Buddhist Glossary - Namo Amitabha

Buddhism as an Education

The path to Enlightenment

Namo Amitabha

Filial piety has profound meanings in Buddhism. It means to take care of parents physically, mentally and to fulfill their wishes. To further extend and enhance our respect and care for our parents, we have compassion for all beings in this world. As stated in a precept sutra, “All men are my father; all women are my mother”. This is the broadening of our mind of filial piety so that it encompasses all beings in the universe, in the past, present and future.
Glossary A-Z


  Abhayagiri-vasinah ... A subdivision of early Sthavirah school. Abhayagiri, the Mountain of Fearlessness in Ceylon, where the disciples dwelled in a monastery. 

  Agama Sutra ... It is one of the oldest Buddhist scriptures. These sutras contain the sermons of Shakyamuni Buddha during the first two to three years after he attained Enlightenment and during the year proceeding his Nirvana. The sutras consists of four collections: 

  in Pali (P) in Sanskrit (S) ... 1. Digha-nikaya ... Dirghagama (Long Sayings)... 2. Mojjhima-nikaya ... Madhyamagama (Middle-length Sayings) ... 3. Samyutta-nikaya ... Samyuktagama (Kindred Sayings) ... 4. Anguttara-nikaya ... Ekottaragama (Gradual Sayings) ... 5. Khuddaka-nikaya ... Ksudrakagama (Minor Saying) ... 

  Khuddaka-nikaya is only included in Pali canon. The five collections is called Sutta-pitaka. 

  Akushala Sanskrit word. It means bad Karma. 

  Alara-Kalama ... Alara-Kalama in Pali, Arada-Kalama in Sanskrit. A sage under whom Shakyamuni studied meditation. The state reached by Alara-Kalama was that of a higher formless world where matter no longer exists. 

  Alaya ... An abbreviation of Alaya-vijanana. Alaya is a sort of eternal substance or matter, creative and containing all forms; when considered as a whole, it is non-existent, or contains nothing; when considered phenomenal, it fills the universe. It seems to be of the nature of materialism. It is the store or totality of consciousness both absolute and relative. It is described as the fundamental mind-consciousness of conscious beings, which lays hold of all the experience of the individual life, and which stores and holds the germs of all affairs. 

  It is the last of Eighth Consciousness from which the Wisdom of Great Round Mirror is derived. 

  Almsgiving ... See charity. 

  Amitabha ... Sanskrit word, literally means boundless light and boundless life. He is the Buddha in the Land of Ultimate Bliss (Pure Land), in which all beings enjoy unbounded happiness. Amitabha has forty-eight great vows to establish and adorn his Pure Land. People also recite or call upon his name by the time of dying will be born in the Land of Ultimate Bliss with the reception by Amitabha. Amitabha is one of the most popular and well-known Buddha in China and Asia. 

  Amitabha Sutra ... One of the main sutra in Pure Land Sect. It is said to be the only sutra that Shakyamuni preached without being asked. For the sake of facilitating the living beings to practice and cultivate the Buddha way. Shakyamuni revealed and taught us the simplest way for liberation and enlightenment -- reciting Amitabha Buddha's name. By reciting the name, one can opt to be born in the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. It is one of the most popular sutra recited by the Buddhists in China and Asia. 

  Anagamin ... A Sanskrit word means one who does not return. It is the certification of the third fruit of Arhatship. After a Sakrdagamin cuts off the last three categories of his delusions in thought in the Desire Realm, he certifies to the third fruit, and never returns. See Four Fruition. 

  Ananda ... One of the Shakyamuni Buddha's Ten Great Disciples. He was first in hearing the Buddha's words. As he had excellent memory, he memorized the Buddha's sermons, which were later recorded as sutras. He was also the cousin of Shakyamuni Buddha. 

  Anathapindika ... A name given to Sudatta, meant one who gives to the needy. He was a wealthy merchant of Savatthi in ancient India who bought the land from Prince Jeta with as much gold as would cover the ground for the construction of Jetavanna Grove - one of the great monastery Bodhimandala of Shakyamuni Buddha. 

  Annutara-samyak-sambodhi ... Sanskrit word meaning unexcelled complete enlightenment, which is an attribute of every Buddha. It is the highest, correct and complete or universal knowledge or awareness, the perfect wisdom of a Buddha. 

  Arana ... It means a place of stillness, which is to practice pure conduct and to cultivate without the attachment of self and the Four Marks. 

  Arangaka ... One of the four types of Vedic literature in ancient India, known as the "Forest Treatise", compiled around 600 B.C. 

  Arhan ... See Arhat and Four Fruition. 

 Arhat ... Arhat in Sanskrit, Arahat in Pali. Literally, man of worth, honourable one. There are two kinds of arhats, namely, the Sound-hearing arhat (Sravaka) and the Enlightened-to-condition arhat (Praetyka-Buddha). The former attains the wisdom to understand the Four Noble Truth, while the latter attains the wisdom to understand the Law of Dependent Origination or the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination. They represent two vehicles, who "comprehend for their own sake". As they pay attention to themselves and not to others, they are incapable of genuine and equal enlightenment. There are four noble stages of fruition in the Arhat Path. 

  Aryasthavirah ... See Sthavirah. 

  Asamkhyeya ... A Sanskrit words interpreted as innumerable, and countless. See also kalpas. 

  Asanga ... Brother of Vasubandhu. Originally trained as a Hinayanist, but converted his brother Vasubandha to become Mahayanist. They both established the Yogacara School of Buddhism. 

  Ashoka ... A Buddhist monarch of 300 B.C., the third emperor of the Mauryan Dynasty, who unified most of India under his rule and fostered the dissemination of Buddhism. It is said that the Third Council was held during his reign. Ashoka set the model for many other rulers who sought to govern in accordance with Buddhist philosophy. 

  Asura ... Ashura in Sanskrit, Asura in Pali. It is a peculiar path in the Six Paths. They are the enemies of the devas, and are the mightest of all demons. In terms of material enjoyment and psychic power, it is similar to Deva. However, in some aspects, it is even worse than the Human Path. The male Asura is extremely ugly and furious, and always fight with each other. The female Asura is as beautiful as an angel. They are proud of themselves, thus reluctant to learn and practice Buddhism. 

  Atman ... The individual self or the soul in Brahmanic thought. 

  Avalokitesvara ... Sanskrit word for the Bodhisattva who Hears the Sounds of the World. He rescues all beings by hearing their voices of suffering and cries for help. In Chinese, he is called Guan Shr Yin or Guan Yin Bodhisattva. As one of the Four Great Bodhisattva, he is the one with the greatest compassion and mercy, therefore known as God/Goddess of Mercy. 

  Guan Yin is one of the triad of Amitabha Buddha, represented on his left, and being the future Buddha in the Land of Ultimate Bliss (Pure Land) after Amitabha Buddha. 

  Guan Yin can transform into many different forms in order to cross over to the beings. Originally represented as a male, the images are now generally those of a female figure. Guan Yin is one of the most popular Bodhisattva in China. 

  Avarasailah ... One of the Hinayana School, a sub division of MahasanghikaSchool. The disciples dwelled in the western mountains in Dhanakataka. 

  Avatamsaka Sutra ... Sanskrit words, also known as Flower Adornment Sutra, or Flower Garland Sutra. One of the great sutras in Buddhism. It was sermoned in heaven by Buddha Shakyamuni soon after his attainment of Buddhahood. The sutra reveals different causes and ways of cultivation of many great Bodhisattvas, such as Ten Grades of Faith, Ten Stages of Wisdom, Ten Activities, Ten Transference of Merits, Ten Stages of Bodhisattva, Absolute Universal Enlightenment, Wonderful Enlightenment, etc. It also reveals how to enter Avatamsaka World (Buddha's world) from Saha World (our world). 

  Acariya, teacher (Thai: Ajahn) Adhitthana, decision, resolution, self determination, will ... Akusala, unwholesome, demerit, wrong, bad, evil ... Anagami, a Non-returner, the third stage in the realization of Nibbana ... Anapanasati, mindfulness of in and out breathing Anatta, not self, Egolessness ... Anicca, Impermanence ... Arammana, sense objects, and object of consciousness (in Thai: mood, temper, emotion) 

  Arahant/Arahat, The worthy one 

  Ariya, Noble: 1. The Sublime Path of the Hole life. 2. Ariya atthaangika magga, The Noble Eightfold Path 

  Ariya Phala, fruition: 1. Sota patti phala, fruition of stream entry 2. Sakadagamiphala, fruition of once returning 3. Anagami phala, fruition of non returning 4. Arahatta phala, fruition of the worthy one or perfected one 

  Ariya Sacca, Noble Truth ..... Asava, mental intoxication, defilememt ..... Atta, Self, Ego ..... Avijja Ignorance, nescience, not knowing better, delusion 

  Abhidhamma: (1) In the discourses of the Pali Canon, this term simply means "higher Dhamma," and a systematic attempt to define the Buddha's teachings and understand their interrelationships. (2) A later collection of analytical treatises based on lists of categories drawn from the teachings in the discourses, added to the Canon several centuries after the Buddha's life. 

  Abhiñña: Intuitive powers that come from the practice of concentration: the ability to display psychic powers, clairvoyance, clairaudience, the ability to know the thoughts of others, recollection of past lifetimes, and the knowledge which does away with mental effluents (see asava). 

  acariya: Teacher; mentor. See kalyanamitta. Adhitthana: Determination; resolution. One of the ten perfections (paramis)..... Ajaan: (Thai; also "Ajarn", "Ajahn", etc.). Teacher; mentor. Equivalent to the Pali acariya ..... Akaliko: Timeless; unconditioned by time or season ..... Akusala: Unwholesome, unskillful, demeritorious. See its opposite, kusala ..... 

  Anagami: Non-returner. A person who has abandoned the five lower fetters that bind the mind to the cycle of rebirth (see samyojana), and who after death will appear in one of the Brahma worlds called the Pure Abodes, there to attain nibbana, never again to return to this world. 

  Anapanasati: Mindfulness of breathing. A meditation practice in which one maintains one's attention and mindfulness on the sensations of breathing. 

  Anatta: Not-self; ownerless ..... Anicca: Inconstant; unsteady; impermanent. 

  Anupadisesa-nibbana: Nibbana with no fuel remaining (the analogy is to an extinguished fire whose embers are cold) -- the nibbana of the arahant after his passing away. 

  Anupubbi-katha: Gradual instruction. The Buddha's method of teaching Dhamma that guides his listeners progressively through increasingly advanced topics: generosity (see dana), virtue (see sila), heavens, drawbacks, renunciation, and the four noble truths. 

  Apaya-bhumi: State of deprivation; the four lower levels of existence into which one might be reborn as a result of past unskillful actions (see kamma): rebirth in hell, as a hungry ghost, as an angry demon (see Asura), or as a common animal. None of these states is permanent. Compare sugati. 

  Apaya-mukha: Way to deprivation -- extra-marital sexual relations; indulgence in intoxicants; indulgence in gambling; associating with bad people. Performance of these acts paves the way for rebirth in one of the lower realms (see apaya-bhumi). 

  Arahant: A "worthy one" or "pure one"; a person whose mind is free of defilement (see kilesa), who has abandoned all ten of the fetters that bind the mind to the cycle of rebirth (see samyojana), whose heart is free of mental effluents (see asava), and who is thus not destined for further rebirth. A title for the Buddha and the highest level of his Noble Disciples. 

  Arammana: Preoccupation; mental object ..... Ariya: Noble, ideal. Also, a "Noble One" (see ariya-puggala). 

  Ariyadhana: Noble Wealth; qualities that serve as 'capital' in the quest for liberation: conviction (see saddha), virtue (see sila), conscience, fear of evil, erudition, generosity (see dana), and discernment (see pañña),. 

  Ariya-puggala: Noble person; enlightened individual. An individual who has realized at least one of the four noble paths (see magga) or their fruitions (see phala). Compare puthujjana (worldling). 

  Ariya-sacca: Noble Truth. The word "ariya" (noble) can also mean ideal or standard, and in this context means "objective" or "universal" truth. There are four: stress, the origin of stress, the disbanding of stress, and the path of practice leading to the disbanding of stress. 

  Asava: Mental effluent, pollutant, or fermentation. Four qualities -- sensuality, views, becoming, and ignorance -- that "flow out" of the mind and create the flood of the round of death and rebirth. 

  Asubha: Unattractiveness, loathsomeness, foulness. The Buddha recommends contemplation of this aspect of the body as an antidote to lust and complacency. See also kayagata-sati. 

  Asura: A race of heavenly beings who, like the Titans of Greek mythology, fought the devas for sovereignty over the heavens and lost. See apaya-bhumi. 

  Avijja: Unawareness; ignorance; obscured awareness; delusion about the nature of the mind. See also moha. 

  Ayatana: Sense medium. The inner sense media are the sense organs -- eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. The outer sense media are their respective objects. 

  Aeon ... An age (Sanskrit: kalpa), too long to be reckoned by any ordinary calendar, during which the evolution of a physical universe takes place. This evolution occurs in four stages: (1) The antara-kalpa, in which the universe is formed; (2) the vivartta-siddha-kalpa, in which the universe possesses continued stability; (3) the samvartta-kalpa , in which the universe is gradually destroyed; and (4) the sunyakalpa, in which the universe disappears. After the sunyakalpa, the process of cosmic activity begins again in a cyclic evolution. There are three kinds of kalpas: (1)A great kalpa of 1,344,000,000 years, (2) a medium kalpa of 336,000,000 years, and (3) a small kalpa of 1 6, 800,000 years. 

  Amitayur Dhyana Sutra ... See "Contemplation Sutra." 

  Anagamin ... One of "four grades of disciples" in the Small Vehicle school of Buddhism. Anagamin have reached a level at which they will they will never retrogress to rebirth in this saha world. 

  Aparimitayur Sutra ... See "Infinite Life Sutra." 

  Arhatship ... Arhatship is the goal of Small Vehicle practice, as contrasted with Bodhisattvahood or Buddhahood in Mahayana practice. Persons in the first three stages of Arhatship are called "learners." Those in the fourth and final stage of Arhatship are referred to as "those who are beyond study" or "thoroughly learned ones." See also "four grades of disciples." 

  Assures ... Beings that are just above humans in the six states of existence. Asuras are demigods, or semi-blessed beings, who are powerful but are also fierce and quarrelsome. Like humans, they are partly good and partly evil. 

  Avatamsaka Sutra ... See Flower Adornment Sutra. 

  Awakening ... The awakening to the realization of the true nature of oneself and the true ature of the universe and everyone in it. 

  Abhidjanas ..... Six supernatural occult powers... Divyacaksus – Clairvoyance... Paracittajnana – Thought reading... Divyasrota – Clairaudience... Riddhi Sakchatkriya – Divine Speed... Purvanivasanu Smritidjana – Knowledge of previous existence... Asravakchaya – Exhaustive knowledge appertaining to the life stream of all sentient beings 

  Anasravah ... Deed performed without leakage, i.e., an altruistic act done without considering returns or retribution for benefit of oneself 

  Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi ... Trancendental knowledge and wisdom of Buddhas 

  Avalokitesvara ... A Boddhisattva who has special affinity with sentient beings of this world (Sara World) 

  Bahusrutiyah ... One of the Hinayana sect, a branch of Mahasanghikah. One of their chief doctrines held Buddha's teaching to be twofold: transcedent on one hand and mundane on the other. 

  Bamboo Grove ... Veluvana in Pali, Venuvana in Sanskrit. The first monastery (Bodhi-mandala) in Buddhism located in Rajagaha. It was donated by the elder Kalanda and built by King Bimblisara of Magadha. 

  Bhadrayaniyah ... One of the Hinayana sect, a branch of Sthavirandin, developed from Vatsiputriyah. 

  Bhaisajyaguru ... Sanskrit word, i.e., the Buddha of Medicine Master, who quells all diseases and lengthens life. He is the Buddha in the Pure Land of the Paradise of the East, i.e., Pure Land of Lapus Lazuli Light. 

  Bhiksu ... Bhiksu in Sanskrit, Bhikkhu in Pali. A monk, who has left home, is fully ordained to follow the way of the Buddha, and depends on alms for a living. 

  Bhiksuni ... Bhiksuni in Sanskrit, Bhikkhuni in Pali. A nun observing more strict rules than a Bhiksu. See also Bhiksu. 

  Bodhi ... A term used in both Sanskrit and Pali, meaning perfect wisdom or enlightenment. 

  Bodhicitta ... The mind of enlightenment. It is with this initiative that a Buddhist begins his path to complete, perfect enlightenment. 

  Bodhidharma ... An Indian missionary monk who came to China in 600 A.D., regarded as the founder of the Chan (Zen) School of Buddhism in China, i.e. the First Patriarch. 

  Bodhimandala ... A monastery where Bhiksus (monks) and Bhiksunis (nuns) practise and teach the Buddhist Dharma. 

  It also generally refers to a holy place of enlightenment; a place for teaching and learning the Dharma; a place where a Bodhisattva appears and where devotees have glimpses of him. 

  Bodhisattva ... Bodhisattva in Sanskrit, Bodhisatta in Pali. A Future Buddha who is a being destined to Buddhahood. Bodhi means Enlightenment and Sattva means Sentient and Conscious. Therefore Bodhisattva refers to the sentient being of or for the great wisdom and enlightenment. Bodhisattva's vow/aim is the pursuit of Buddhahood and the salvation of others and of all. He seeks enlightenment to enlighten others. He will sacrifice himself to save the others. He is devoid of egoism and devoted to help the others. The way and discipline of Bodhisattva is to benefit the self and the others, leading to Buddhahood. 

  Brahma ... One of the three major deities of Hinduism, along with Visnu (Vishnu) and Siva (Shiva). Adopted as one of the protective deities of Buddhism. 

  Brahman ... The highest of the Four Castes in ancient India at the time of Shakyamuni. They served Brahma, with offerings; the keepers of the Vedas, i.e. priestly caste. 

  Brahmana ... One of the four types of Vedic literature in ancient India. The portion of the Veda that deals with ceremony and rituals. 

  Brahmin ... Name used in the present text for the priestly caste of Hindus. See Brahman. 

  Buddha ... Means "the Enlightened One" or "the Awakened One". 

  Buddha-ksetra ... That is, Buddhaland. The term is absent from the Hinayana schools. In Mahayana, it is the spiritual realm acquired by one who reaches perfect enlightenment, where he instructs all beings born there, preparing them for enlightenment, e.g. Amitabha in Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss (Western Paradise), Bhaisajya guru (Medicine Master Buddha) in Pure Land of Lapus Lazuli Light (Eastern Paradise). 

  Buddhata ... Buddha Nature i.e. the potential for attaining Buddhahood, or enlightenment. In the absolute sense, it is unproduced and immortal. Every sentient being possesses the Buddha Nature, but it requires to be cultivated in order to be revealed. 

  Burning Lamp Buddha ... He was the Buddha that bestowed a prediction of Buddhahood on Shakyamuni Buddha. He was the one who gave Shakyamuni a name, saying "In the future, you will become a Buddha named Shakyamuni." 

  Bhavana ... mental culture, development, the control and evolution of the mind, meditation 

  Bodhipakkhiya Dhamma ... the 37 qualities contributing to Enlightenment 

  Bodhisatta (Pali)/Bodhisattva (Sanskrit)... A Buddha to be, one who has resolved to attain Enlightenment for the helping of all sentient beings. 

  Brahma ... (in Hinduism, The Creator, The Universal Self); in Buddhism, a divine being of the Form Sphere or the Formless Sphere, Happy and blameless celestial beings, inhabitants of the higher heavens. 

  Buddho ... a recitation of the Buddha, an example of a mantra 

  Ahutas ... (Sanskrit) Big-bodied ghosts. 

  Bodhimandala ... The posture of a Buddha. "To sit in a Bodhimandala" is another way of saying, "to become a Buddha." 

  Bodhi Mind ... The spirit of enlightenment, which has two parallel aspects: the determination to achieve Buddhahood, and an aspiration to help all sentient beings become enlightened. 

  Bodhi Tree ... The tree under which Shakyamuni Buddha, meditating, attained enlightenment. 

  Bodhicitta ... See Bodhi Mind. 

  Bodhimandala ... (Sanskrit) Seat or site of Enlightenment. By extension, a temple or place of retreat. 

  Bodhisattva grounds ... See "Ten Grounds." 

  Bodhisattva path ... See "Great Vehicle." 

  brahmins ... Members of the highest caste in India (the priestly caste). 

  Buddha Dharma ... The teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha or other Buddhas. See also "Dharma." 

  Buddha-lands ... Lands created by and presided over by Buddhas. 

  Buddha-nature ... The inherent nature of all sentient beings. In the Mahayana view, Buddha-nature is the true. immutable, and eternal nature of all beings. Because all beings possess Buddha-nature, it is possible for anyone to attain enlightenment and become a Buddha, no matter what level of existence one occupies. The answer to the question whether Buddha-nature is immanent in beings is an essential determining factor for the association of a given school with Theravada or Mahayana, the two great currents within Buddhism. In Theravada, this notion of inherent Buddha-nature is unknown, so the potential to become a buddha is not ascribed to every being. In contrast, the Mahayana school sees the attainment of Buddhahood as the highest goal; it can be attained through the inherent Buddha-nature of every being through appropriate spiritual practice. 

  Buddhism ... A body of teachings, consisting of the elements of ethics, science, metaphysics, and the law of universe etc.; taught by Shakyamuni the Buddha (560-480 B.C.). 

  Butter lamp ... A lamp with wicks made of cotton or cloth that has been dipped in butter. 

  Bahukayani ... Plentiful good actions 

  Bhadra Kalpa ... The era presently we are in 

  Buddha ... Appelation for one who has reached the final stage of Perfect Enlightenment other appelations being::: Tathagata – Suchness... Arham – Veneration deserving... Samsaksam-Buddha – Full of universal knowledge... Vidyacarana Sampanah – With full knowledge of all supernatural power... Sagata – Having completed the pursuance of the Eight Noble Paths heading for Nirvana... Lakavit – With thorough knowledge of the world... Anuttarah – Highest order of sentient beings... Purusadem-yasarathin – Great tamer of men... Sastadeva-manuchyanam – Teacher of both celestial and human beings... The World Honored One 

  Buddha-Rupa ... Body of Buddha 

  Caityasailah ... See Jetavaniyah. 

  Catur-Maharaja-Kayika ... The four heavens of the four Deva-Kings. It is the lowest of the six heavens of the Realm of Desire. 

  Causal Ground ... Fundamental cause; the state of practising the Buddhism which leads to the resulting Buddhahood. 

  Cave of the Seven Leaves ... Saptaparna-guha in Sanskrit, Sattapanna-guba in Pali. The site of the First Buddhist Council, near Rajagaha. 

  Chakra ... A wheel in Yoga, one of the psychic centres of the body. 

  Chan ... Also called Zen; see Contemplation and Meditation. 

  Chan School ... The Chan School was established in China by Bodhidharma, the 28th Patriarch who brought the tradition of the Buddha-mind from India. This school, disregarding ritual and sutras, as they believe in sudden enlightenment which is beyond any mark, including speech and writing. They practice meditation with Hua Tou. This school is said to be for those of superior roots. 

  Charity ... Or almsgiving, the first Paramita. There are three kinds of charity in terms of goods, doctrines (Dharma) and courage (fearlessness). Out of the three, the merits and virtues of doctrines charity is the most surpassing. Charity done for no reward here and hereafter is called pure or unsullied, while the sullied charity is done for the purpose of personal benefits. In Buddhism, the merits and virtues of pure charity is the best. 

  Chih Che ... Chih Che (A.D. 538-597) was the Third Patriarch of the Tien Tai School. He had a deep understanding and insight on the Lotus Sutra. He wrote many books to explain the doctrines in Lotus Sutra, which established the fundamental structure in the teaching of the Tien Tai School. 

  Chih-Kuan ... A method of cultivation, commonly practised in Tien Tai Sect in China. It is similar to meditation, looking into the mind. There are two processes: 

  1.Chih - a Chinese word which means fixing the mind to meditate on the ten Dharma realms. 2.Kuan - a Chinese word which means contemplating and looking into underlying reality of all things. 

  No priority of cultivation is given to the one or the other, but should be cultivated simultaneously. Its principle and the aim of practice is to realize the Three Dogmas and to attain Sudden Enlightenment. 

  Condition ... There is no existing phenomena that is not the effect of dependent origination. All phenomena arise dependent upon a number of casual factors called conditions. 

  Conditioned Dharma ... It refers to all phenomena and law in the world. The worldly dharma is governed by the Law of Cause and Effect and Law of Dependent Origination or conditions. In general, there are three kinds of conditioned dharma, namely 

  1.form - all material which has form. 2.mental - related to all mental activities. 3.neither form nor the mental. 

  Contemplation ... Abstract contemplation. There are four levels through which the mind frees itself from all subjects and objective hindrances and reaches a state of absolute indifference and annihilation of thought, perception, and will. See also Meditation. 

  Citta ... Thought, thoughtfulness, active thoughts, mind, a state of consciousness. 

  Chan ... A school of Buddhism that emphasizes meditation on a puzzling concept, or koan, as a method for attaining enlightenment. (Chan is the Chinese pronunciation of "Zen.") 

  Chin Kung ... Chin Kung is Venerable Master of Pure Land Learning Centers in Asia, Australia, and the United States. Author of Understanding Buddhism and many other works presented on this Web site. 

  City of Ten Thousand Buddhas ... The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Talmage, CA, was founded by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. It is the U.S. home of the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association and Dharma Realm Buddhist University. 

  Circumambulation ... Walking slowly in single file around a Buddha or an image of a Buddha, usually chanting the Buddha's name. In Pure Land, this is a type of Buddha recitation that groups of people often perform. 

  Components ... See "five skandas." 

  Contemplation Sutra ... A Sutra that describes sixteen contemplations on Amitabha Buddha and his Pure Land. Sometimes called The Sutra on Observing (or Visualizing) Amitabha (or Amitabha and his Pure Land). Sanskrit: The Amitayur Dhyana Sutra. One of the five principle Pure Land Texts. 

  Conditioned ... A word used to describe all the various phenomena in the world, which are made up of separate, discrete elements -- that is "with outflows" -- and have no intrinsic nature of their own. Merits and virtues with "outflows" are said to be conditioned; that is, they lead to rebirth within samsara . Conversely, unconditioned merits and virtues do not have outflows and can therefore bring about liberation from the cycle of birth and death. 

  Cosmos ... See " Dharma Realm." 

  Cycle of birth and death ... The unending cycle of birth, death, and rebirth that sentient beings experience until they become enlightened or are reborn in a Buddha-land such as the Pure Land. Pure Land inhabitants are freed from the cycle of birth and death so they can focus their full attention upon continuing their progress toward enlightenment. 

  Dana ... giving, gift, alms-giving, alms, generosity, charity, benevolence, liberality, donation 

  Deva ... a shining one, god, deity 

  Devata ... (Thai: Thevada) a shining one, god, deity 

  Dhamma (Pali) Dharma (Sanskrit) ... The Dhamma, The Doctrine, The Teaching of the Buddha, The Law, nature, the Truth, Ultimate Reality, The Supramundane esp. Nibbana, righteousness, virtue, morality. 

  Dukkha ... Suffering, misery, woe, pain, ill, sorrow, trouble, discomfort, unsatisfactoriness 

  Deer Park ... Migadaya in Pali, Mrgadava in Sanskrit. Deer Park in Benares, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Kasi. It was a place of Shakyamuni's first sermon to the Five Bhikhus after his Enlightenment. 

  Devadatta ... A cousin of Shakyamuni. At first, he was a follower of Shakyamuni, but later left him and even attempted to kill him. 

  Devine Eye ... One of the Six Psychic Power and one of the Five Eyes. Unlimited vision, large and small, distant and near, the destiny of all beings in future rebirth. It may be obtained by human eyes through the practice of meditation/Samadhi. 

  Devotion ... See Vigor. 

  Dhammapada ... Dhammapada in Pali, Dharmapada in Sanskrit. A sutra consisting of two sections and 39 chapters, with 423 short verses of the Buddha, teachings given at various times and places. It is regarded as the "original" teaching of the Buddha, which can be used for reference, moral instruction and inspiration. It was composed by Dharmatrata in 400-300 B.C. 

  Dharma ... Dharma in Sanskrit, Dhamma in Pali. The universal norms or laws that govern human existence and is usually regarded as law, truth, anything Buddhist. It is used in the sense of all things, visible or invisible. In Buddhist tradition, it is generally referred to as the teaching of the Buddha. 

  Dharma-wheel ... See Wheel of Law. 

  Dharmagupta ... He translated the Lotus Sutra in A.D. 601 jointly with Jnanagupta. 

  Dharmaguptah ... One of the Hinayana sect, a subdivision of Sarvastivadah, developed from Mahisasakah and located in northwest India and Central Asia. 

  Literally means those who protect (or preserve) the Law. They were instrumental informing the cult of the stupa, and were expert in incantation. 

  Dharmalaksana School ... Also known as Yogacara. It aims at discovery of the ultimate entity of cosmic existence in contemplation throughinvestigation into the specific characteristics of all existence, and through the realization of the fundamental nature of "self" in mystic illumination. 

  Dharmaraksa ... Dharmaraksa (A.D. 223-300) was the Chinese born descendant of Iranian who had settled in West China generations before. He had translated the Lotus Sutra in A.D. 286. 

  Dharmottariyah ... One of the Hinayana sect, a branch of Sthavirandin developed from Vatsiputriyah. Dharmottara is the Buddhist logician writing, an important commentary called the Nyayabindu-tika on Dharmakirtis Nyayabindu. 

  Dukkha ... Buddhist word meaning suffering. Broadly speaking, it means not complete and not perfect. 

  Dvadashamukha Shastra ... One of the Three Shastra of Madhyamika School, composed by Nagarjuna, translated by Kumarajiva A.D. 408. There are several works on it. 

  Da Shi Zhi ... (English: Great Strength Bodhisattva.) One of Amitabha Buddha's two great Bodhisattva companions in the Pure Land. (The other is Guan Yin.) In pictures depicting Amitabha, Great Strength Bodhisattva often stands to Amitabha's right (our left). He often carries one or more flowers and is recognizable by the water jar (jeweled pitcher) adorning his crown. 

  Degenerate age ... See "Dharma-Ending Age." 

  Devas ... Celestial beings who are often regarded as gods in religions other than Buddhism. They rank above humans and Asuras in the six stages of existence. Many devas have godlike powers and reign over celestial kingdoms, and most devas live in delightful happiness and splendor. Devas have lifetimes that are unimaginably long by human standards, but their lives eventually do come to an end because devas are not yet free from the cycle of birth and death. That distinction belongs only to Arhats, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas. The devas dwell in celestial regions called the "six heavenly realms." 

  Dharma Body ... See " Three Bodies of the Buddha." 

  Dharma Door ... School, method, tradition. 

  Dharma-Ending Age ... Today's spiritually degenerate era, which began with the passing of Shakyamuni Buddha and has continued for more than 2,400 years. The concept that the current era is an age of spiritual decline, dissension, and is a generally accepted teaching of Buddhism. 

  Dharma nature ... The intrinsic nature of all things. Used interchangeably with "emptiness" and "reality." 

  Dharma Realm ... A term that has several meanings in the Sutras. It can refer to: (a) the infinite universe, consisting of worlds upon worlds ad infinitum; (b) the nature or essence of all things; or (c) the Mind. "To the exhaustion of the Dharma Realm" means forever, because the Dharma Realm lasts forever. It is never "exhausted"; that is, it never ends. 

  Dharma Seals ... Three criteria used to determine the genuineness of Buddhist teachings: namely, impermanence, suffering, and no-self. A fourth criterion, emptiness, is also mentioned in the Sutras. But most scholars agree that according to Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings, there are three Dharma seals. The first Dharma seal, the Truth of Impermanence, is particularly important to Buddhism because it was when the young prince Siddhartha (Shakyamuni Buddha) saw a corpse that he decided to leave his royal court to become an ascetic. 

  Dharma wheel ... The doctrine of the Buddhas. To "turn the Dharma wheel" or to "set in motion the wheel of Dharma" means to proclaim the doctrine of the Buddhas to the world. 

  Dharmadhatu ... See "Dharma Realm." 

  Dharamakara ... (English: "Dharma Store.") A monk, later a Bodhisattva, who attained Buddhahood and became Amitabha Buddha in a series of events related in the Infinite Life Sutra. As Bodhisattva Dharamakara, Amitabha made 48 Great Vows promising to create the Pure Land and to guarantee rebirth in the Pure Land to anyone who would recite His name with utmost sincerity, particularly at the time of death. Dharamakara fulfilled this vow when he attained Buddhahood and became Amitabha Buddha. See also Dipankara. 

  Dipankara ... A Buddha who attained Buddhahood many aeons ago. Fifty-three Buddhas after Dipankara, Amitabha Buddha attained Buddhahood. 

  Dragons ... A word used to refer to nagas, a class of spiritual beings with great powers. See also "eight groups." 

  Dust-mote ... A dust-mote (param-anuh) is not literally a fine, dry particle of earth, but rather an "atom" -- that is, the ultimate unit of rarified matter in the superphysical planes of beings. Dust-motes can also be described as waves of vibration of inconceivable rapidity, used to symbolize numbers or quantities of inconceivable smallness. Often, the term "dust-mote" is used as a simile to represent the infinite number of Buddhas: As narrated in "Universal Worthy's Conduct and Vows," all Buddhas, or World Honored Ones, are as numerous as as fine motes of dust throughout the ten directions and the three periods of time to the exhaustion of empty space and the end of the Dharma Realm. 

  Dusts ... A metaphor for all the mundane things that can cloud our bright self-nature. These include sound, scent, taste, touch, and dharmas (external opinions and views). These "dusts" correspond to the five senses and the discriminating, everyday mind (the sixth sense, in Buddhism). 

  Dasabhadra ... Ten worthy deeds 

  Dasakusala ... Ten vices or evil deeds 

  Deva-loka ... One of the six divisions of existence or celestial beings; the other five divisions being: Asuras, Humankind, Hungry ghosts, Demons in purgatorial hells, and beasts. 

  Devas, ... Nagas, Yakchas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Ganrudas, Kinaras, and Mahoragas ... The eight divisions of celestial beings and creatures 

  Dharma-cakra ... Wheel of Law, its turning or rotation means the constant dissemination of Dharma 

  Dhatu ... Line of demarcation 

  Eight Divisions of Gods and Dragons ... Devas (gods), Nagas (Dragons) and others of eight divisions (classes): deva, nagas, yakas, ganharvas, asuras, gaudas, kinaras, mahoragas. 

  Eight Negations ... The eight negations of Nagarjuna, founder of Madhyamika, are actually four pairs of neither birth nor death, neither end nor permanence, neither identity nor difference, neither coming nor going. This is one of the important concepts of the Middle Way, the ultimate truth of Buddhism and the reality character of all Dharma. 

  The Eight Precepts ... They are: 1.no killing 2.no stealing 3.no sexual misconduct 4.no false speech 5.no alcoholic drink 6.no cosmetic, personal adnornments, dancing or music 7.no sleeping on fine beds 8.no eating after noon 

  Eight Sufferings ... (1) Suffering of Birth (2) Suffering of Old Age (3) Suffering of Sickness (4) Suffering of Death (5) Suffering of being apart from the loved ones (6) Suffering being together with the despised ones (7) Suffering of not getting what one wants (8) Suffering of the flourishing of the Five Skandhas 

  Eight Winds ... Or the Winds of Eight Directions. Most people are usually moved by the winds of the eight directions: (1) Praise (2) Ridicule (3) Suffering (4) Happiness (5) Benefit (6) Destruction (7) Gain (8) Loss 

  Eighteen Different Characters ... There are eighteen different characters of a Buddha as compared with all other beings in the Nine Realms. 1.His perfection of body (or person) 2.His perfection of mouth (or speech) 3.His perfection of memory 4.His perfection of impartiality to all 5.Serenity 6.Self-sacrifice 7.Unceasing desire to save 8.Unflagging zeal therein to save 9.Unfailing thought thereto to save 10.Unceasing wisdom to save 11.Powers of deliverance 12.The principle of the powers of deliverance 13.Revealing perfect wisdom in deed 14.Revealing perfect wisdom in word 15.Revealing perfect wisdom in thought 16.Perfect knowledge of the past 17.Perfect knowledge of the future 18.Perfect knowledge of the present 

  Eighteen Fields ... The Six Consciousness and the Twelve Bases are together called the Eighteen Fields. 

  Eighteen Sects of Hinayana ... I.Mahasanghikah is divided into eight schools::: 1.Ekavyavaharikah 2.Lokottaravadinah 3.Kaukkutikah (Gokulika) 4.Bahusrutiyah 5.Prajnativadinah 6.Jetavaniyah (Caityasailah) 7.Avarasailah 8.Uttarasailah II.Sthavirah or Aryasthavirah is divided into ten schools::: 1.Haimavatah 2.Vatsiputriyah (developed from Sarvastivadah) 3.Dharmottariyah (developed from Vatsiputriyah) 4.Bhadrayaniyah (developed from Vatsiputriyah) 5.Sammatiyah (developed from Vatsiputriyah) 6.Sannagarikah (developed from Vatsiputriyah) 7.Mahisasakah 8.Dharmaguptah (developed from Mahisasakah) 9.Kasyapiyah (developed from Sarvastivadah) 10.Sautrantika (developed from Sarvastivadah) ... Under (I), the first five are stated as arising two centuries after the Nirvana of Shakyamuni, and the remaining three a century later, dates which are unreliable ... Under (II), the Haimavatah and the Sarvastivadah are dated some 200 years after Nirvana; from the Sarvastivadah soon arose the Vatsiputriyah, from whom soon arose the third, fourth, fifth and sixth; then from the Sarvastivadah there arose the seventh which gave rise to the eighth, and again, near the 400th year, the Sarvastivadah gave rise to the ninth and soon after the tenth ... In the list of eighteen, the Sarvastivadah was not taken into account, as it split into all the rest. 

  Eightfold Path ... The eight right ways for the Arhat leading to Nirvana. The eight are: (1) Right View (2) Right Thought (3) Right Speech (4) Right Action (5) Right Livelihood (6) Right Effort (7) Right Remembrance (8) Right Concentration 

  Ekavyavaharika ... Ekavyavaharika in Sanskrit, Ekabyohara in Pali. One of the Hinayana sect, a branch of Mahasanghikah, which considered things as nominal, i.e. just names without any underlying reality. They held that the mind is by its nature pure and radiant, inaccessible to defilement. 

  Emptiness ... The Sanskrit word is Sunya. One of the key concepts in Buddhism. Emptiness is an abstract idea representing impermanence, unreality, instability, transience and relativity in the nature of all existence. The doctrine states that all phenomena and the ego have no reality, but are composed of a certain number of Skandhas or elements, which disintegrate. The doctrine also states that everything is unstable, possessing no self-essence or self-nature, i.e., its own existence dependent or caused by the conditions of others' existence. Emptiness is not nothing, but it is the condition of existence of everything. It permeates all phenomena making possible their evolution. 

  Enlightenment ... "Enlightenment" sometimes refers to the attainment of Buddhahood, as the "Enlightened One" means Buddha. If one is enlightened, one has a complete and perfect understanding of the reality character of everything. 

  Evil World of Five Turbidities ... It refers to the world on Earth. The Five Turbidities are 1.the Kalpa Turbidity the age of people decreases and all kinds of diseases afflict people; 2.the View Turbidity people's views start to degenerate; 3.the Affliction Turbidity passions, delusions, desire, anger, stupidity, pride and doubt prevail; 4.the Living Beings Turbidity human miseries increase and happiness decreases; 5.the Life Turbidity the human lifespan gradually diminishes to ten years. 

  Extinction ... It means having put the Two Obstacles, i.e. the obstacle of afflictions and the obstacle of what is known, to an end. It also means that the beings have transcended the Two Deaths, i.e. glare-sectioned birth and death and changed birth and death. 

  Earth Store Bodhisattva ... Earth Store Bodhisattva (Sanskrit: Kshitigarbha) is considered one of the Four Great Bodhisattvas because he is foremost in the strength of vows. 

  Eight adversities ... Eight conditions under which it is difficult to meet Buddhas and Bodhisattvas or hear the Dharma: (1) rebirth in the hells, (2) rebirth as a hungry ghost (3) rebirth as an animal, (4) rebirth in Uttarakuru (a world where life is so pleasant that people have no motivation to practice the Dharma) (5) rebirth in any long-life heaven (where one is also not motivated to seek the Dharma), (6) rebirth with impaired faculties, (7) rebirth as an intelligent, educated person in the mundane sense (such an individual often looks down on religion and on the Dharma), and (8) rebirth in the intermediate period between a Buddha and his successor (such our current era). Note that even rebirth under "favorable" circumstances (under the fourth and seventh conditions, for example) can be an "adversity" with respect to the Buddha Dharma. 

  Eight consciousnesses ... Eight kinds of perception or discernment that occur when our sense organs make contact with objects in our environment. The eight consciousnesses are: (1) sight consciousness, (2) hearing consciousness, (3) scent consciousness, (4) taste consciousness, (5) touch consciousness, (6) mind consciousness, (7) Mano consciousness (defiled mind), and (8) Alaya consciousness. The first five consciousnesses correspond to the five senses. The sixth consciousness (i.e.,our ordinary mind) "integrates the perceptions of the five senses into coherent images and makes judgments about the external world. The seventh consciousness [afflicted or defiled mind] is said to be the active center of reasoning, calculation, and construction or fabrication of individual objects. Buddhist scholars have said that it is the source of clinging and craving, and thus the origin of the sense of self or ego and the cause of all illusion that arises from assuming the apparent to be real. 

  Eight groups ... Eight levels of powerful spiritual beings: (1) The devas (heavenly beings whose bodies radiate light and who dwell in the six heavenly realms); (2) the nagas; (3) the yakas , or flying deities. (4) The gandharvas, who live only on perfumes and are the musicians of the Indra, the Hindu god of heaven; (5) the Asuras , or beings who rank just above humans in the six states of existence; (6) the ganrudas, or golden-winged birds (the length between their wings is more than three million miles, and they eat dragons); (7) the kinaras, a horn-headed, semi-human species who are singers for Indra; and (8) the maharajas, a category of naga deities with large abdomens. All eight groups of beings in this list are invisible to humans. 

  Eight sufferings ... Birth, (2) old age, (3) disease, (4) death, (5) separation from loved ones, (6) meeting uncongenial persons, (7) unfulfilled wishes, and (8) the suffering associated with the five raging skandas. 

  Enlightenment ... The realization of the true nature of oneself and the true nature of the universe and everyone in it. There are three different kinds of enlightenment: (1) self-enlightenment, (2) the ability to enlighten others, and (3) the ability to attain self-enlightenment as well as to enlighten others. For more details, see the first chapter of "Understanding Buddhism" by Master Chin Kung. See also "Great Enlightenment." 

  Enlightenment ... A state in which one realizes one's own Buddha-nature, or becomes self-realized. See also three kinds of enlightenment. 

  Enlightenment of Great Strength Bodhisattva ... See " Shurangama Sutra " 

  Equal Enlightenment ... See "Ten Grounds." 

  Evil deeds ... See "ten evil acts." 

  Evil paths ... See "three evil paths." 

  Exalted powers ... (Sanskrit: abhidjnas, abhijina). Supernatural powers attained by enlightened beings. They are: the heavenly step , which is a power of transmutable body that can travel through all space without impediment; the heavenly eye, which can see without limitations of time or space; the heavenly ear, which can hear all sounds and understand all languages and voices; the knowledge of previous existences of oneself and other beings; and asravakchaya, the knowledge of the stream of life and exhaustion of worldly passions. 

  Externalists ... Adherents to non-Buddhist religions. 

  Ekajati-pratyekabuddas ... A Buddha-elect or a Bodhisattva who is well on the path to go through the various stages to become a Buddha 

  Fa Yun ... Fa Yun (A.D. 467-529) was a great Dharma master of the Satyasiddhi School, also a scholar of the Nirvana School. He wrote a commentary on Lotus Sutra, which is generally accepted by Japanese Buddhism later. 

  First Council ... Also known as 500 Council, Theravada Council", The First Compilation, etc. The assembly of 500 leading Bhikhus gathered for 3 months after the Buddha's death to compile the Buddhist sutras. It was held at Cave of the Seven Leaves near Rajagaha..... In the assembly, Ananda recited the Sutta-pitaka, Upali recited the Rules of Disciplines of the Order, i.e., Vinaya-pitaka, and Kassapa recited the Abhidhamma. Thus, the Tripitaka was adopted as a unity of doctrines and opinions within the religious order, and also an orthodox teaching for the Buddhists to follow. 

  Five Basic Afflications ... The five fundamental conditions of the passions and delusions::: 1.wrong view, which are common to the Trailokya 2.clinging or attachment in the Desire Realm 3.clinging or attachment in the Form Realm 4.clinging or attachment in the Formless Realm 5.the state of unenlightenment or ignorance in Trailokya, which is the root-cause of all distressful delusion. 

  Five Bhikshus ... The first five of Buddha's converts::: in Pali (P). in Sanskrit (S). Ajnata-Kaundinya. Ajnata-Kondanna... Bhadrika Bhaddiya... Asvajit Assagi... Vaspa Vappa... Mahanaman Mahanama... They followed Shakyamuni to practice asceticism, but left him when he abandoned such practices. Later, when Shakyamuni attained Buddhahood, his first sermon was preached in Deer Park to these men, who became his first disciples. 

  Five Categories of Untranslated Terms ... Chinese T"ang Dynasty Master of the Tripitaka Hsuan-Tsang established five categories of words which should be left untranslated 1.the esoteric 2.words having multiple meanings 3.words for things not existing in China 4.words not translated in accord with already established precedent 5.words left untranslated in order to give rise to wholesomeness and respect 

  Five Commandments ... See Five Precepts. 

  Five Eyes ... There are five kinds of eyes or vision 

  1.human eye - it is our flesh eye, an organ to see an object with limitation, for instance, in darkness, with obstruction. 2.devine eye - it can see in darkness and in distance, attainable by men in dhyana (concentration/meditation). 3.wisdom eye - the eye of Arhat and Two Vehicles i.e. the sound-hearers (Sravaka) and the Enlightened to Conditions (Praetyka-Buddha). It can see the false and empty nature of all phenomena. 4.dharma eye - the eye of Bodhisattva. It can see all the dharmas in the world and beyond the world. 5.buddha eye - the eye of Buddha or omniscience. It can see all that four previous eyes can see. 

  Five Forms of Decaying ... When the devas are dying, there are five symptoms: 1. the flowers around the crown 2. the clothes being dirty 3. having unpleasant smell in the body 4. sweating in armpit 5. Being unhappy in seat 

  Five Messengers ... They are five messengers of Manjusri: 1. Kesini 2. Upakesini 3. Citra 4. Vasumati 5. Akarsani 

  Five Offences ... The five rebellious acts or deadly sins: (1) parricide, i.e., killing father (2) matricide, i.e., killing mother (3) killing an arhat (4) shedding the blood of a Buddha (5) destroying the harmony of the sangha, or fraternity. 

  Five Precepts ... Or Five Commandments for layman (1) No killing (2) No stealing (3) No sexual misconduct/adultery (4) No lying (5) No intoxicant ... It is essential for the rebirth in human realms. 

  Five Skandhas ... Or Five Aggregates, that is, the five components of an intelligent beings, or psychological analysis of the mind: 1.Matter or Form (rupa) - the physical form responded to the five organs of senses, i.e., eye, ear, nose, tongue and body 2.Sensation or Feeling (vedana) - the feeling in reception of physical things by the senses through the mind 3.Recognition or Conception (sanjna) - the functioning of mind in distinguishing and formulating the concept 4.Volition or Mental Formation (samskara) - habitual action, i.e., a conditioned response to the object of experience, whether it is good or evil, you like or dislike 5.Consciousness (vijnana) - the mental faculty in regard to perception, cognition and experience 

  Five Vehicles ... Pancayana in Sanskrit. The Five Vehicles conveying the karma-reward which differs according to the vehicle: 1.Human Vehicle - rebirth among human conveyed by observing the Five Commandments (Five Precepts) 2.Deva Vehicle - among the devas by the Ten Forms of Good Actions (Ten Wholesomeness) 3."Sound-Hearing" Arhat - among the sravakas by the Four Noble Truths 4."Enlightened by Conditions" Arhat - among the pratyeka-buddhas by the Twelve Nidanas 5.Bodhisattva - among the Bodhisattvas by the Six Paramita 

  Five Wisdoms ... 1.Wisdom of the Embodied Nature of Dharma Realm - derived from amala-vijanana, i.e. pure ccconsciousness (or mind). 2.Wisdom of the Great Round Mirror - derived from alaya-vijanana, (8th consciousness) reflecting all things. 3.Wisdom in regard to all things equally and universally - derived from manovijanana (7th consciousness). 4.Wisdom of profound insight, or discrimination, for exposition and doubt - destruction - derived from the mind consciousness (6th consciousness). 5.Wisdom of perfecting the double work of self welfare and the welfare of others - derived from the five senses (1st to 5th consciousness). 

  Flower Adornment Sutra ... One of the most important sutra in Buddhism, particularly Mahayana Buddhism. There are many volumes in the Sutra. It describes the entire Buddha Realm which is, of course, not easy to visualize. See also Avatamsaka Sutra. 

  Foremost Paramita ... It refers to the perfect principle of Middle Way. It is neither birth nor death, without dwelling in Nirvana. It is the substance of everything beyond words and conceptual thinking. 

  Four Aspects (of Buddhist Dharma) ... (1) the teaching (2) the principle (3) the practice (4) the fruit/reward/result 

  Four Castes ... The class system in ancient India: 1.Brahman - the highest caste, 2.Kshatriyas (royal families) - the warrior, 3.Vaishyas (ordinary citizen), 4.Sudras (slaves). 

  Four Fearlessness ... There are four kinds of fearlessness, of which there are two groups: A.Buddha's fearlessness arises from 1.his omniscience 2.perfection of character 3.overcoming opposition 4.ending of suffering. B.Bodhisattva's fearlessness arises from 1.powers of memory 2.power of moral diagnosis and application of the remedy 3.power of ratiocination 4.power of solving doubts 

  Four Fruition ... Also called the "Four Fruits", the "Four Rewards", or the "Four Phala". These are four grades of arhatship, namely: 1.Srota-apanna (Srota-apanna in Sanskrit, Sota-panna in Pali) : has entered the stream of holy living; the first stage of the arhat, that of a Sravaka 2.Sakrdagamin (Sakrdagamin in Sanskrit, Sakadagamin in Pali) : comes to be born once more; the second grade of arhatship involving only one birth 3.Anagamin: will not be reborn in this world (i.e. Six Paths), but in the Form Realm or Formless Realm, where he will attain to Nirvana 4.Arhat: enters Nirvana. All Karma of reincarnation is destroyed. He also reaches a state of no longer learning. He is the highest Saint in Hinayana in contrast with the Bodhisattva as the Saint in Mahayana 

  Four Great Bodhisattva ... They represent the four major characters of Bodhisattva: 1.Manjusri - Universal Great Wisdom Bodhisattva 2.Samantabhadra - Universal Worthy Great Conduct Bodhisattva 3.Ksitigarbha - Earth Treasury King Great Vow Bodhisattva 4.Avalokitesvara - Guan Shr Yin Great Compassion Bodhisattva 

  Four Great Elements ... All matters are formed and are composed by four conditioned causes : (1) earth, which is characterized by solidity and durability (2) water, which is characterized by liquid/fluid and moisture (3) fire, which is characterized by energy and warmth (4) wind, which is characterized by gas/air movement 

  Four Great Vows ... 1.Vow to take across the numberless living beings. 2.Vow to cut off the endless afflictions. 3.Vow to study the countless Dharma doors. 4.Vow to realize the supreme Buddha Way. 

  Four Holy Realms ... They are Sravaka, Praetyka-Buddha, Bodhisattva, and Buddha. 

  Four Immeasurable Minds ... See Four Unlimited Minds. 

  Four Marks ... A mark is a notion of form. In Diamond Sutra, it states that people attach to the Four Marks which hinder them from Buddhahood. Conversely, those who see all marks as no mark are Buddhas. The Four Marks are 1.a mark of self 2.a mark of others 3.a mark of sentient being 4.a mark of life 

  Four Noble Truths ... It is the primary and fundamental doctrines of Shakyamuni 1.Doctrine of Suffering - suffering is a necessary attribute of sentient existence (Effect of Suffering) 2.Doctrine of Accumulation - accumulation of suffering is caused by passions (Cause of Suffering) 3.Doctrine of Extinction - extinction of passion (Effect of Happiness) 4.Doctrine of Path - Path leading to the extinction of passion (Cause of Happiness); i.e. Eightfold Path. The first two are considered to be related to this life, and the last two to the life outside and beyond this world. The Four Noble Truths were first preached to Shakyamuni's five former ascetic companions. 

  Four Phala ... See Four Fruition. 

  Four Reliance (to learning Buddhist Dharma) ... The four standards of Right Dharma which buddhist should rely on or abide by: 1.to abide by the Dharma, not the person 2.to abide by the sutras of ultimate truth, not the sutras of incomplete truth 3.to abide by the meaning, not the word 4.to abide by the wisdom, not the consciousness 

  Four Seals ... They are: 1.All phenomena are impermanent. 2.All Dharma are not-self. 3.The eternity is Nirvana. 4.All sensations are suffering. 

  Four Sects of Hinayana ... From the time of Ashoka, there were four principal schools out of the Eighteen sects of Hinayana, namely Mahasanghika, Sthavirah, Mulasarvastivadah and Sammatiyah. 

  Four Unlimited Mind ... The mind of Bodhisattva: 1. Kindness 2. Compassion 3. Delight 4. Renunciation 

  Four Virtues ... The four Nirvana virtues: (1) Eternity or permanence (2) Joy (3) Personality (4) Purity ... These four important virtues are affirmed by the sutra in the transcendental or nirvana-realm. 

  Four Ways (of learning Buddhist Dharma) ... (1) Belief/faith (2) Interpretation/discernment (3) Practice/performance (4) Verification/assurance ... These are the cyclic process in learning a truth. 

  Fourfold Assembly ... Or the Four Varga (groups) are bhiksu, bhiksuni, upasaka and upasika, i.e. monks, nuns, male and female devotees. 

  Fundamental Face ... Also known as Fundamentally Unborn. A common term used in Chan practice. 

  It is actually the fundamental mind, considered to be the Buddha's Dharma Body. It is the form of the fundamental truth, so called True Suchness or Bhutaththata. 

  Five grave offenses ... Offenses that cause rebirth in the Uninterrupted Hell. They are: (1) killing one's father, (2) killing one's mother, (3) killing an Arhat, (4) causing dissension within the Sangha, and (5) causing the Buddhas to bleed. 

  Five Precepts ... 1.No Killing 2.No Stealing 3.No Sexual Misconduct 4.No Lying 5.No Taking of Intoxicants. 

  Five raging skandas ... See "five skandas." 

  Five skandas ... Five "components," or "aggregates," that represent the body and the mind. The five skandas are (1) form, (2) feeling, (3) conception, (4) impulse, and (5) consciousness. In the physical sense, form is the physical body and consciousness is the faculty of awareness. The best known reference to the five skandas is found in the Heart Sutra, which says that by realizing that the skandas are intrinsically empty, Bodhisattva Guan Yin escaped all suffering. Only by internalizing the Truth of emptiness can the cultivator escape suffering. 

  Five turbidities ... The five turbidities are: corruptions, defilements, depravities, filths, and impurities. More specifically, they are: (1) the defilement of views (when incorrect, perverse thoughts and ideas are predominant); (2) the defilement of passions (when all kinds of transgressions are exalted); (3) the defilement of the human condition (when people are usually dissatisfied and unhappy), (4) the defilement of the lifespan, when the human life-span as a whole decreases; and (5) the defilement of the world age, when war and natural disasters are rife. These wretched conditions, viewed from a Buddhist perspective, can actually constitute aids to enlightenment, as they can spur practitioners to more earnest cultivation. 

  Flower Adornment Assembly ... The assembly of sages who were present when Shakyamuni Buddha spoke the Flower Adornment Sutra. 

  Flower Adornment Sutra ... The basic text of the Avatamsaka School. The Flower Adornment Sutra, one of the longest Sutras, was spoken by Shakyamuni immediately after he attained enlightenment. It is traditionally believed that Buddha spoke the Sutra to an assembly of Bodhisattvas and other high spiritual beings while he was in deep samadhi. The Flower Adornment Sutra (Sanskrit: Avatamsaka Sutra) has been described as the epitome of Buddhist thought, Buddhist sentiment and Buddhist experience. It is studied by cultivators in all schools of Mahayana Buddhism -- in particular, Pure Land and Chan. 

  Forty-Eight Great Vows ... A set of vows made by Bodhisattva Dharamakara, who later attained Buddhahood and became Amitabha Buddha. In the 48 Great Vows, Dharamakara pledged that once he became a Buddha, he would create the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss and would guarantee rebirth there to anyone who would recite his name with utmost sincerity, particularly at the time of death. Dharamakara fulfilled this vow when he attained Buddhahood and became Amitabha Buddha. See also Dipankara, Dharamakara. Dharamakara's 48 Great Vows are listed and described on the page that summarizes "The Infinite Life Sutra." 

  Four constituents ... Earth, water, wind, and fire. 

  Four fruits ... Four levels of enlightenment, culminating in Arhatship. Arhats are no longer subject to rebirth in samsara. 

  Four grades of disciples ... A term that refers to four levels of disciples in the Small Vehicle school of Buddhism. These levels are, starting with the lowest: (1) the Srotapana, who lives in this saha world but has reversed the cycle of birth and death and will never have to be reborn here; (2) Sakridagamin, who is destined to have only one more rebirth in this world before attaining nirvana; (3) the Anagamin , who has advanced beyond this world and has been freed from the cycle of birth and death, and (4) the Arhat, who is free from all attachment to existence and can attain nirvana whenever he chooses to pass from this life. 

  Four Grand Vows ... Four great vows taken by Bodhisattvas. For details, see the section titled "The First Practice" in Part 3 of the Chin Kung commentary titled "The Three Conditions." 

  Four Great Bodhisattvas ... There are four great Bodhisattvas: Manjushri Bodhisattva, who is foremost in wisdom; Guan Yin (Sanskrit: Avalokiteshvara), who is foremost in great compassion; Earth Store (Sanskrit: Kshitigarbha) , who is foremost in the strength of vows; and Universal Worthy (Sanskrit: Samatrabhadra), who is foremost in practice. 

  Four great debts ... Debts to (1) one's parents, (2) the Three Treasures (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha), (3) the founders of the nation/enlightened temporal leaders and (4) all sentient beings ("all men were my fathers, all women my mothers" in past lives). 

  Four kinds of birth ... Four ways in which sentient beings are born: (1) from the womb, (2) from eggs, (3) from heat and moisture, and (4) by metamorphosis. four oral evils Lying, erotic language, evil talk (impolite, scornful, or hostile language), and two-tongued talk (using language to divide other people's friendship and mutual trust). 

  Fourfold assembly ... The great assembly of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen. 

  Gatha ... Ancient Indian verse. 

  Giving ... See charity. 

  Gokulika ... See Kaukkutikah. 

  Good Roots ... There are eleven kinds of good roots: 1.faith 2.shame 3.remorse 4.absence of greed 5.absence of hatred 6.absence of stupidity 7.vigor 8.transquility 9.non-laxity 10.non-harming 11.renunciation ... These are eleven good Dharmas of the fifty one Dharmas belonging to the heart. 

  Gotama ... Gotama in Pali, Gautama in Sanskrit. The surname of the Shakya clan into which Shakyamuni was born. Another name for Shakyamuni. 

  Gui Ji ... Gui Ji (A.D. 632-682) was a great Dharma master of the Dharmalaksana School. His writing on the Lotus Sutra was so remarkable that was generally accepted and interpreted by other great Dharma masters. 

  Gave up ineffably ineffable numbers of bodies and lives ... (Said of Shakyamuni Buddha in Chapter 40 of the Flower Adornment Sutra.) It means that he renounced his body and life and gave them up to help others countless times during countless lifetimes. 

  Good knowing advisors ... Dharma Masters who lecture on the Sutras. 

  Good Wealth ... The main protagonist in the Chapter 40 of the Flower Adornment Sutra, "The Chapter on Entering the Inconceivable State of Liberation Through the Practices and Vows Of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva." Seeking enlightenment, Good Wealth (Sanskrit: Sudhana) visited and studied with 53 spiritual advisors, and attained Buddhahood in one lifetime. The name "Good Wealth" is derived from the fact that when Sudhana was born, myriad treasures appeared in his father's home. See also "Sudhana." 

  Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra ... See "Flower Adornment Sutra." 

  Great Enlightenment ... The highest of all enlightenments. It is the combination of three different kinds of enlightenment: self-enlightenment, the ability to enlighten others, and the ability to attain self-enlightenment as well as to enlighten others. See also Chapter 1 of "Understanding Buddhism." 

  Great Mind ... See "Bodhi Mind." 

  Great Strength Bodhisattva ... (Chinese: "Da Shi Zhi.") One of Amitabha Buddha's two great Bodhisattva companions in the Pure Land. (The other is Guan Yin.) In pictures depicting Amitabha Buddha, Great Strength Bodhisattva often stands to Amitabha's right (our left). He often carries one or more flowers and is recognizable by the water jar (jeweled pitcher) adorning his crown. 

  Great Vehicle ... A term used to describe what is known in Pure Land study as the Bodhisattva path. As Master Chin Kung explains in Part 3 of his commentary titled The Three Conditions,. "The Buddha's 'Great Vehicle' teachings are those that encourage not only self-realization, but also the cultivation of compassion to help all suffering beings.The Buddha also expounded some 'Small Vehicle' teachings, which 'carry' fewer people to Buddhahood because they solely stress self-realization." See also "Mahayana." 

  Grounds ... See "Ten Grounds." 

  Guan Yin ... The Bodhisattva of Compassion, often referred to as "Great Compassion Bodhisattva." One of Amitabha Buddha's two greatest Bodhisattva companions in the Pure Land. Guan Yin stands to Amitabha Buddha's left (our right) in many pictures and statues. (The Bodhisattva who stands on the other side of Amitabha is is Da Shi Zhi, or "Great Strength Bodhisattva.") Guan Yin is often recognizable by the small Buddha adorning Her crown. 

  Guatama Buddha ... See "Shakyamuni Buddha." 

  Gatha ... Stanza or the versified part of a discourse 

  Gatis ... Evil realms 

  Haimavatah ... One of the Hinayana School, a subdivision of Sthaviradin. It was a school of the snow mountains, a schismatic philosophical school. 

  Hau Tou ... Intense concentration on a question-word which defies any answer and allows no answer at all. Literally, it refers to the source of word before it is uttered. It is a method used in Ch'an Sect to arouse the doubt. The practitioner meditates on questions as who is reciting the Buddha's name?. He does not rely on experience or reasoning. Sometimes, it is also known as Kung-an. 

  Heavenly Eye ... See Devine Eye. 

  Hetavadinah ... Another name of Sarvastivadah. 

  Hinayana ... Also called Small Vehicle or Liberated Vehicle, which refers to Sravaka and Praetyka-Buddha. It is a school of Buddhism, popular in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, hence also known as Southern Buddhism, in contrast with Northern Buddhism or Mahayana, the form mainly prevalent from Nepal to Japan. 

  Hinayana is sometimes described as self-benefiting, and Mahayana as self-benefiting for the benefit of others. Another difference is that Pali is the general literary language in Hinayana while Sanskrit of Mahayana. See also Theravada. 

  Hsu Yun ... A great Ch'an master in China. He died in 1959 at the age of 120. 

  Hua-yen School ... It is based on the Avatamsaka Sutra and was founded by Tu Shun in China. 

  Hui Neng ... The Sixth Patriarch of Zen (Ch'an) Sect in China 

  Heavenly realms ... Realms where devas dwell. They are: thekama-heavens, or heavens of desire (spheres where lust still exists); the rupadhatu-heavens, or four heavens of ethereal form (where sexual desires and desires for delicious food exist but where material beauty and magnificent surroundings do and where inhabitants enjoy states of mental ecstasy; and the arupadhatu-heavens, or formless heavens (worlds of pure abstract thought and nothing has material form. The inhabitants of this realm have no bodies, just feelings. The devas who dwell in the six heavenly realms are extremely high and blessed beings; however, they can have not escaped the cycle of birth and death, and can backslide into the lower realms when their merits are exhausted, unless they reach the ultimate goal of Buddhahood. 

  Heroic Gate Sutra ... See "Shurangama Sutra." 

  Hinayana Buddhism ... See "Small Vehicle." 

  Hsuan Hua ... The Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, a renowned teacher of both Pure Land and Chan Buddhism, was the founder of the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association, the Dharma Realm Buddhist University, the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Talmage, CA, and the Buddhist Text Translation Society, the publisher of several of the books presented, excerpted, or summarized on this Web site. 

  Hungry ghosts ... Sprits, or demons, who are always hungry because they have pinpoint mouths and ravenous appetites. One of the three evil realms is the realm of hungry ghosts. 

  Ignorance ... Sanskrit word is Avidya. Literally, it means darkness without illumination. Actually it refers to illusion without englightenment, i.e., the illusory phenomena for realities. Avidya is the first or the last of the Twelve Nidanas. Ignorance, karma and desire are the three forces that cause reincarnation. 

  Infinite Life Sutra ... One of the three most important Sutras in Pure Land Study. (The other two primary Pure Land Sutras are the Amitabha Sutra and the Contemplation Sutra.) In the Infinite Life Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha explains how Amitabha Buddha created the Pure Land and made 48 Great Vows promising that anyone who repeated his name with a sincere desire to be reborn in the Pure Land would be reborn there. The Sutra is summarized on the page titled "The Contemplation Sutra ." 

  Jainism ... A religion founded by Nataputta, who was a royal clan of the Nata tribe in ancient India at the time of Shakyamuni. Similar to Buddhism, its basic doctrine is non-materialistic atheism. 

  Jataka ... The sutra to narrate the birth stories of Shakyamuni in present life, past lives, and effects related to the past lives and the present lives. 

  Jetavaniyah ... Or Jetiyasailah, school of the dwellers on Mount Jeta, which is a sub division of the Sthavirah, one of the Hinayana sect. 

  Also known as Caitya-vandana, who paid reverence to or worship a stupa. Caitya is a religious monument or stupa in which the relics of the Buddha or other reverend sages are placed. This sect held that the Buddha's discourse was transcendent, his enlightenment was already determined when he was born, that he could violate the natural laws, and could be reborn wherever he wished (in his previous lives as a Bodhisattva). 

  Jetavanna Grove ... A famous monastery Bodhimandala of Shakyamuni Buddha, where he spoke of many sutras. It was located in Savatthi, the capital of savatthi. The land was bought by a wealthy merchant Anathapindika with as much gold as would cover the ground, and the houses were built by Prince Jeta for the Buddha and his followers. 

  Ji Zang ... Ji Zang (A.D. 549-623) was a great Dharma master of Madhyamika, who wrote five books regarding the Lotus Sutra. 

  Jie Huan ... He was a great Dharma master in Sung Dynasty. Practicing in Chan School, he used the concept of Chan to interpret the Lotus Sutra. 

  Jnanagupta ... He translated the Lotus Sutra in A.D. 601, jointly with Dharmagupta. 

  Kalpa ... Kalpa in Sanskrit, Kappa in Pali. It is a fabulous period of four hundred and thirty two million years of mortals, measuring the duration of world. It is the period of time between other creation and recreation of a world or universe. 

  The four kalpas of formation, existence, destruction and emptiness as a complete period, is called maha kalpa or great kalpas. Each great kalpa is subdivided into four asamkhyeya-kalpas or kalpas. Each of the four kalpas is subdivided into twenty antara-kalpas, or small kalpas. There are different distinctions and illustrations of kalpas. In general, a small kalpa is represented as 16,800,000 years, a kalpa as 336,000,000 years and a mahakalpa is 1,334,000,000 years. 

  Kapilavatsu ... The capital of Shakya kingdom. The king of Kapilavatsu was Suddhodana, who was the father of Shakyamuni. The present-day Kapilavatsu is in Nepal. 

  Karma ... Karman in Sanskrit, Kamma in Pali. It means action, deed, moral duty, effect. Karma is moral action which causes future retribution, and either good or evil transmigration. It is also moral kernal in each being which survive death for further rebirth. 

  Kasyapiya ... One of the Hinayana sect, a subdivision of Sarvastivadah. 

  Kaukkutikah (Gokulika) ... One of the Hinayana sect. A branch of Mahasanghikah. They held that there is no hapiness whatsoever in the world, just suffering. 

  King Bimblisara ... The king of Magadha, one of the four great kingdoms in ancient India. He was devoted in Buddhism, and was converted to the follower of Shakyamuni Buddha. He was the one who built Bamboo Grove Park in Rajagaha, the first Bodhi mandala in Buddhism. 

  Koan ... A Japanese term taken from the Chinese Kung-an. 

  Koliya ... The royal clan to which the mother of Shakyamuni, Maya belonged. The kings of the Koliya and Shakya were brothers, and the families were inter-married. Indeed, Yasodhara, the wife of Shakyamuni, was also a princess of Koliya royal house. 

  Kosala ... Kosala in Pali, Kausala in Sanskrit. One of the four great states (i.e., Kosala, Magadha, Vansa & Avanti) in ancient India. The Shakya tribe to which Shakyamuni belonged was under the power and influence of Kosala. The capital of Kosala was Savatthi where the famous monastery (Bodhi-mandala) Jetavanna Grove was located. 

  Ksatriya ... Ksatriya in Sanskrit, Khattiya in Pali. The second of the four Indian Castes at the time of Shakyamuni, they were the royal caste, the noble landlord, the warriors and the ruling castes. 

  Ksitigarbha ... Earth Store Bodhisattva. He is now the guardian of the earth. Depicted with the alarum staff with its six rings, he is accredited with power over the hells and is devoted to the saving of all creatures between the Nirvana of Shakyamuni and the advent of Maitreya. He vows that while the hell is not empty, he will not attain Buddhahood. As his vow is the greatest, he is also known as The Great Vow Bodhisattva. 

  Kung-an ... In Zen, it is a word, or a phrase, or a story couched in irrational language which cannot be solved by intellectual processes, but whose meaning must burst on the mind directly. Kung-an is used as an exercise in breaking the false thoughts, developing the deep intuition, and achieving a state of awareness. 

  Kushala ... Sanskrit word. It means good Karma. 

  Kusinara ... Kusinara in Pali, Kusinagara in Sanskrit. The village where Shakyamuni died, and the capital of the ancient kingdom of Malla. 

  Kala ... (Sanskrit) An inconceivably large number. 

  Karma ... The law of cause and effect. The existence of favorable or unfavorable karma depends on whether past deeds were good or evil. Most people have both good and bad karma because they have performed both good and bad deeds in the past. So most people's lives are a mixture of misery and happiness. Karma is not limited to actions taken during one's present life, but can extend back into the infinite past and forward into the infinite future.Thus, it is karma that forms the connecting link between one's consecutive lives. Karma applies mostly to the acts of individuals, but it may also be the overall result of actions by many people acting as a group, such as groups of persons, family groups, groups of nations, and the like -- in other words, there are such things as group karma, family karma and even national karma. Buddhas teach us how to break the fetters of karma, escape from the cycle of birth and death, and attain enlightenment. 

  Koti ... Sanskrit for "ten million." 

  Ksana ... The shortest measure of time; it is said that sixty ksana equal one finger-snap,ninety ksana elapse during the duration of a thought; and 4,500 ksanas equal a minute. 

  Kshatriyas ... The warrior caste; the second highest-ranking social class in India. (The highest is the brahmin caste.) 

  Kumbhandas ... Barrel-shaped ghosts. Also called winter-melon ghosts because of their shape. Kumbhandas are nightmare ghosts that frighten sleeping people and have the power to prevent their victims from moving or screaming; the victim wants to scream but cannot, wants to squirm away but cannot, because the kumbhanda sits on the victim. Then the victim cannot do anything. 

  Law ... Ruling principle, universal basis, essential element, i.e. fundamental law. 

  Law of Causal Condition ... The fundamental doctrine of Buddhism that all phenomena in the universe are produced by causation. Since all phenomena result from the complicated causes and effects, all existing things in the universe are inter-dependent, i.e., no self nature or existence on its own. Moreover, all phenomena and things are impermanent (i.e. changing constantly). It was to this law that Shakyamuni was awakened when he attained enlightenment. 

  Law of Cause and Effect ... The Law of Cause and Effect treats of the Law of Causal condition as it relates to an individual. 

  Law of Dependent Origination ... It states that all phenomenon arise depending upon a number of casual factors. In other word, it exists in condition that the other exist; it has in condition that others have; it extinguishes in condition that others extinguish; it has not in condition that others have not. For existence, there are twelve links in the chain: Ignorance is the condition for karmic activity; Karmic activity is the condition for consciousness; Consciousness is the condition for the name and form; Name and form is the condition for the six sense organs; Six sense organs are the condition for contact; Contact is the condition for feeling; Feeling is the condition for emotional love/craving; Emotional love/craving is the condition for grasping; Grasping is the condition for existing; Existing is the condition for birth; Birth is the condition for old age and death; Old age and death is the condition for ignorance; and so on. 

  Law of Karma ... The results of actions, which produce effect that may be either good or bad. It is derived from the Law of Causal Condition (Law of Cause and Effect). 

  Lokottaravadinah ... One of the Hinayana sect, a branch of Mahasanghikah, which held the view that all in the world is merely phenomenal and that reality exists outside it. They held that the body of the Buddha was transcendental from the time of his birth to the time of his death. Consequently, his behaviour as a human was merely a convention. 

  Lotus Sutra ... Short name of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law, or Saddharma-pundarik-sutra in Sanskrit. It consists of a series of sermons delivered by Shakyamuni towards the end of his preaching ministry. It is one of the most important sutras of Manayana Buddhism. Basically, it states that all sentient beings can attain Buddhahood, and nothing less than this is the appropriate final goal of all Buddhists. It also states that the Buddha is eternal, and the supreme form of Buddhist practice is the way of the Bodhisattva. Lotus flower is used to describe the brightness and pureness of the One Buddha Vehicle. 

  Lumbini Park ... The birthplace of Shakyamuni Buddha, which lay between the state of the Shakyas and the Koliyas. 

  Lamps of the Worlds ... Past, present, and future Buddhas 

  Land of Ultimate Bliss ... See "Pure Land." 

  Lee Ping-Nan ... See Li Ping-Nan. 

  Left-home people ... See "Sangha." 

  Li Ping-Nan ... Master Chin Kung's Dharma teacher. Professor Professor Li's Dharma teacher was Patriarch Yin Guang. Some of Professor Li's are presented on the page titled "Enlightenment in One Lifetime ." Also see Professor Li's entry in the Bibliography. 

  Lions among Men ... Buddhas. 

  Lokesvararaja ... (English: "World-Sovereign-King"). A Buddha who taught the Dharma to Amitabha Buddha before Amitabha attained Buddhahood. At that time, Amitabha was living in the saha world as a monk named Dharamakara. 

  Longer Amitabha Sutra ... See "Infinite Life Sutra." 

  Lotus grades ... The nine possible degrees of rebirth in the Western Pure Land. (Pure Land inhabitants are born from lotus blossoms.) The more merits and virtues the cultivator accumulates while on earth, the higher the cultivator's lotus grade, and the less time the cultivator has to spend inside a lotus blossom before rebirth occurs. (For more details, see the fourteenth through sixteenth contemplations that are spoken of in "The Contemplation Sutra.") 

  Magadha ... One of the four great kingdoms (i.e. Magadha, Kosala, Vansa, and Avanti) in ancient India. The capital of Magadha was Rajagaha. The king of Magadha, Bimblisara, became the follower of Shakyamuni. 

  Mahakasyapa ... Mahakassapa in Pali, Mahakasyapa in Sanskrit. He was a Brahman in Magadha, who became one of the Ten Great Disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha. He was the foremost in ascetism. He is regarded as the First Patriarch because he responded with a smile when Shakyamuni Buddha held up a golden flower in a sermon. This is known to be the transmission of heart-seal. After the death of Shakyamuni, he was the leader of the disciples. He convened the First Council to compile the Buddhist canon, i.e. Tripitika. Mahakassapa is supposed to be living in Kukkutapada (Cock Foot Mountain) in Magadha, on which he enters into Nirvana. 

  Mahamaya ... The mother of Shakyamuni. She was the Koliyan Princess and married to Suddhodana. She died seven days after giving birth to Shakyamuni. 

  Mahapajapati ... She was the sister of Mahamaya, the mother of Shakyamuni. They both married King Suddhodana. Maya died seven days after the birth of Shakyamuni. Mahapajapati then became the step/foster mother of Shakyamuni, and treated Shakyamuni so kind as her son, Nanda. Nanda was one of the Ten Great Disciples of Shakyamuni. After the death of King Suddhodana, Mahapajapati was ordained to be the first woman admitted in Buddhist order. 

  Maha-Parinibbana-Sutta ... Maha-Parinibbana-Sutta in Pali and Maha-Parinirvana-Sutra in Sanskrit. Also known as the Sutra of the Great Nirvana/Decease, recording the final sermon, the death and the funeral of Shakyamuni. 

  Maha-prajna-paramita-sutra ... The Sutra was delivered by Shakyamuni in four places at sixteen assemblies. It consists of 600 volumes as translated by Hsuan-tsang. It is the fundamental philosophical work of the Mahayana Buddhism, the formulation of wisdom, which is the sixth paramita. 

  Mahasanghika ... Literally means the Member of the Great Order, majority, community. 

  During the First Council, when the Sthavira or elder disciples assembled in the cave after the Buddha's death, and the other disciples (called to be Mahasanghika) assembled outside the cave. Both compiled the Tripitaka. However, the former emphasized on the rules of disciplines in the monastic community, while the latter concerned the spread of the spirit of Buddhism in lay community. As sects, the principal division took place in the Second Council. 

  Mahasanghika and Sthavira are known as two earliest sects in Hinayana. Mahasanghika is said to be the basis of the development of the Mahayana Buddhism, while Sthavira of the Theravada Buddhism. 

  Mahasattva ... There are seven meanings of Mahasattva: 1.He has perfected great roots. 2.He has great wisdom. 3.He believes the great Dharma. 4.He understands the great principle. 5.He cultivates the great conduct. 6.He passes through great kalpas. 7.He seeks the great fruit. 

  Mahaviharavasinah ... A subdivision of the Sthavirah school, which opposed to the Mahayana system. 

  Mahayana ... Also called Great Vehicle or Bodhisattva Vehicle. It is a school of Buddhism prevalent in China, Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Tibet and other places in the Far East. It is also called Northern Buddhism. 

  Mahayana is described as seeking Buddhahood and transforming beings, thus self-benefiting for the benefits of the others. 

  Mahisasakah ... One of the Hinayana school, a branch of Sarvastivadah founded 300 years after the Nirvana, but the doctrines of the school are said to be similar to those of the Mahasanghika. Literally means a ruler who converted or rectified his land or people. The school denied reality to past and future, but maintained the reality of the present. Similarly, the school rejected the doctrine of the void and the non-ego, the production of taint by the Five consciousness, the theory of nine kinds of non-activity, and so on. They held that enlightenment came suddenly rathern than gradually. 

  Maitreya ... Sanskrit word, literally means friendly and benevolent. He will be the next Buddha in our world. He is now preaching in Tusita Heaven. He is usually represented as the fat laughing Buddha. 

  Mandala ... A diagrammatic circular picture used as an aid in meditation or ritual, sometimes a symbol of the universe, or a representation of a deed of merit. Sometimes, it represents a place of enlightenment, where Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are existent. Mandalas also reveal the direct retribution of each of the ten worlds of beings (see Ten Realms). Each world has its mandala which represents the originating principle that brings it to completion. It is one of the three mystics in Tantric Buddhism. 

  Manjusri Bodhisattva ... As one of the Four Great Bodhisattva, he is the one with the greatest wisdom. Manjusri is said to have: wonderful head, universal head, glossy head, revered head, wonderful virtue and wonderfully auspicious. Manjusri, the guardian of wisdom, is often placed on the left of Shakyamuni, while Visvabhadra, the guardian of law, is on the right. Manjusri always rides on a lion. He is described as the ninth predecessor or Buddha-ancestor of Shakyamuni. In the past lives, he is also described as being the parent of many Buddhas and have assisted the Buddha into existence. He is the Chief of the Bodhisattva, and the chief disciple of the Buddha. He is the object for the pilgrimages visiting the Wu Tai Shan of Shansi Province in China. 

  Mantra ... Sanskrit words signifying a sacred word, verse or syllable which embodies in sound of some specific deity or supernatural power. It is one of the three mystics in Tantric Buddhism. 

  Mara ... Literally, "murderer". The Evil One who "takes" away the wisdom-life of all living beings. 

  Mark ... Lakana in Sanskrit word. It is a notion of form. In Diamond Sutra, it says "All with marks is empty and false. If you can see all marks as no marks then you see the Tathagata." See also Four Marks. 

  Matter ... Or Form or Thing. The Sanskrit word is Rupa. It is defined as that which has resistence, or which changes and disappear, i.e., the phenomenal. There are inner and outer forms representing the organs and objects of sense respectively. Rupa is one of the Six Bahya-ayatanna or Six Gunas and also one of the Five Skandhas. 

  Maudgalyayana ... See Ten Great Disciples of Shakyamuni. 

  Meditation ... The fifth Paramita. There are numerous methods and subjects of meditation. See also Contemplation. 

  Middle Path ... See Middle Way. 

  Middle Way ... It denotes the mean between two extremes, particularly between realism and nihilism, eternal substantial existence and annihilation. This doctrine opposes the rigid categories of existence and non-existence in the interest of a middle way. This is the utlimate truth of Buddhism, and the reality character of all Buddha. See also Eight Negations. 

  Migadaya ... See Deer Park. 

  Morality ... The second Paramita, to take precepts and to keep the moral laws 


  Mrgadava ... See Deer Park. 

  Mudra ... One of the three mystics in Tantric Buddhism, which is the symbolic gesture of hand fingers. 

  Mulasarvastivada ... It was a branch of the Sarvastivadin sect, which asserted the doctrine of the reality of things. It held that all is produced by causative action, and everything is dynamic, not static. Mulasavastivada is a school of reality of all phenomena, one of the early Hinayana sects, said to have been formed, about 300 years after the Nirvana of Shakyamuni. Later it subdivided into five: Mulasarvastivadah Dharmaguptah Kasyapiyah Mahisasakah Vatsiputriyah (most influential) 





Glossary N-Z


  Nagarjuna ... A Bodhisattva in South India, born into a Brahman family about 800 years after the Nirvana of Shakyamuni, i.e., 200 AD. He was the founder of Madhyamika (Middle Way) and Sunya (emptiness). He had plenty of writings in Buddhism. He was one of the chief philosophers of Mahayana Buddhism. 

  Nataputta ... The founder of Jain religion, i.e. Jainism. 

  Nayutas ... A Sanskrit word interpreted as a numeral, 100,000 or one million or ten million. 

  Nine Realms ... The nine realms of error, or subjection to passions, i.e. all the realms of the living except the tenth and highest, the Buddha-realm. The nine realms are: the hell, the hungry ghost, the animal, the man, the Asura, the gods, the Arhat (sound hearer), the Arhat (enlightened to condition), and the Bodhisattra. 

  Nine Stages of Lotus Flowers ... Or Nine Grades, Classes of Lotus Flowers, i.e. upper superior, middle superior, lower superior, upper medium, middle medium, lower medium, upper inferior, middle inferior and lower inferior, which represent ninefold future life into Pure Land. The nine grades, or rewards, of the Pure Land, corresponding to the nine grades of development in the previous life, upon which depends, in the next life, one's distance from Amitabha, the consequent aeons that are required to approach Amitabha, and whether one's lotus will open early or late. 

  Nirvana ... Nirvana is a Sanskrit word which is originally translated as "perfect stillness". It has many other meanings, such as liberation, eternal bliss, tranquil extinction, extinction of individual existence, unconditioned, no rebirth, calm joy, etc. It is usually described as transmigration to "extinction", but the meaning given to "extinction" varies... There are four kinds of Nirvana: 1.Nirvana of pure, clear self-nature 2.Nirvana with residue 3.Nirvana without residue 4.Nirvana of no dwelling 

  Nirvana of pure, clear self-nature ... It is commonly possessed by all individual sentient beings. It is not subject to birth and death, nor increase and decrease. Nirvana with residue... The cause, but not all the effect (Karma) of reincarnation is cut off and removal of the obstacle of affliction, but not that of what is known (Dharma), thus the body which remains is subject to birth and death. Those beings are Arhats. Nirvana without residue... Both the cause and effect of reincarnation are extinguished, both afflictions and what is known (Dharma) are extinguished. All kinds of suffering are externally in stillness. There is no further residue. Those beings are Bodhisattva. Nirvana of no dwelling... With the aid of interactive wisdom and compassion, those who do not dwell in birth and death, nor in Nirvana, but continue to cross living beings over forever. 

  No Strife Samadhi ... Strife means debating and fighting. It is a kind of Samadhi, i.e. right concentration/meditation. To cultivate and attain this Samadhi, one will not argue or angry with others as one has no differentiation between self and others. 

  Nagas ... (Literally, dragons.) A class of deities with great wisdom. 

  Nayuta ... (Sanskrit) A very large number. 

  Nine realms ... The entire universe. 

  Nirvana ... (1) Enlightenment. (2) The point in time at which a Buddha or other enlightened being leaves our world and moves on to the Buddha-realms. See also "Parinirvana." 

  Nine Realms ... All realms in the cosmos, with the exception of the Buddha realms. 

  Om ... The most simple, yet sacred mantra in Buddhism, also used in other Indian religions. 

  One Buddha Vehicle ... Also known as Supreme Vehicle. In Buddhism, the Five Vehicles are established to facilitate us to understand the reality of Buddhahood. The teachings of One Buddha Vehicle is the ultimate, perfect and complete truth of Buddha, which is unconceivable and beyond words, as stated in the Lotus Sutra. 

  On the causal ground, I used mindfulness of the Buddha to gain patience with the non-production of Dharmas. This is a passage that occurs near the end of the section of the Shurangama Sutra titled "Chapter on the Foremost Attainment of Great Strength Bodhisattva through Buddha Recitation" (one of the five principle Sutras used in Pure Land Study). The passage means that when Great Strength Bodhisattva first resolved to attain enlightenment, during periods when he felt he was making no progress on his quest, he cultivated patience using the Pure Land technique of mindfulness of the Buddha. Subsequently, by continuing to practice this technique, he attained enlightenment. 

  Ou Yang Jing Wu ... A Buddhist scholar who founded the Zhi Na Nei school in Nanjing. In 1945, Ou Yang delivered a lecture titled "Buddhism Is Not a Religion and Not a Philosophy, but Is Essential in This Age." Master Chin Kung quotes from this book in Chapters 1 and 3 of his book, "Understanding Buddhism." 

  Outflow ... A characteristic that is common to all the various phenomena in the world, which are made up of separate, discrete elements -- that is, "with outflows," or with no intrinsic nature of their own. Merits and virtues with "outflows" are said to be conditioned -- that is, they lead to rebirth within samsara. Conversely, unconditioned merits and virtues do not have outflows and can therefore bring about liberation from the cycle of birth and death. 

  Pali ... The language of the Theravada (Hinayana) Buddhist Canon, alleged to be the language used by the Buddha. 

  Paramita ... It means to cross over from this shore of births and deaths to the other shore which is the Nirvana... The Six Paramita or means of so doings are (1) dana - charity/giving (2) sila - moral/conduct/taking precepts (3) ksanti - patience (4) virya - vigor/devotion/energy (5) dhyana - contemplation/meditation (6) prajna - wisdom... The Ten Paramita are the aboveee plus (7) upaya - use of expedient or proper means (8) pranidhana - vow of bodhi and helpfulness (9) bala - strength (10) intelligence 

  Childers gives the list of ten as the perfect exercise of charity/almsgiving, morality, renunciation, wisdom, energy/effort, patience, truth, resolution/determination, kindness/universal love and resignation/equanimity. Each of the ten is divided into ordinary, superior and unlimited perfection, making up to thirty in total. 

  Parinirvana ... Not death, but perfect rest, i.e. the perfection of all virtues and the elimination of all evils.. Also a release from the suffering of transmigration and an entry to a state of fullest joy. 

  Patience ... Endurance, the third Paramita. There are groups of two, three, four, five, six, ten and fourteen, indicating various forms of patience, equanimity, repression, forbearance, both in mundane and spiritual things. Patience refers to bearing insult and distress without resentment. 

  Pratyeka-Buddha ... The second stage in Hinayana, the first or initial being that of Sravaka. He is enlightened to the conditions, i.e. the Law of Dependent Origination. He seeks enlightenment for himself and understands deeply Nidanas. He attains his enlightenment alone, independently, or a teacher, and with the object of attaining Nirvana and his own salvation rather than that of others. 

  Prajna ... There are three kinds of Prajna: (1) Prajna of languages (2) Prajna of contemplative illumination (3) prajna of the characteristics of actuality... The last one is the ultimate wisdom, which is the wisdom of Buddha. Also see wisdom. 

  Prajnativadinah ... One of the Hinayana School, a branch of the Mahasanghikah, which held the view that there was a distinction between mere concepts and real entities (referred to in Buddha's teaching) i.e. phenomenality and reality, based on Prajatisastra. 

  Pure Land ... Generally refers to the Paradise of the West, presided over by Amitabha. Also known as the Land of Ultimate Bliss. Other Buddhas have their own Pure Lands, all of which are the adornment of merits and virtues in moral or spiritual cultivation. The Pure-Land Sect whose chief tenet is salvation by faith in Amitabha; it is the popular cult in China and Japan. 

  Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss ... This is the Buddha Land of Amitabha Buddha. In Amitabha Sutra, there is full description about this Pure Land. This is the world of utmost joy without suffering. With the spiritual power of Amitabha Buddha, all beings in this world willnderstand Buddhism easily and practise diligently, and attain enlightenment eventually. Therefore by reciting Amitabha Buddha's name, Buddhist followers hope that they will be born in this Pure Land after their lives on earth. See also Nine Stages of Lotus Flowers. 

  Pure Land of Vairocana ... The Lotus world, also the Pure Land of all Buddhas in their Sambhogakaya or Reward Body/Enjoyment Body. Above the wind or air circle is a sea of fragrant water, in which is the thousand-pedal lotus with its infinite variety of worlds. Hence, the meaning is the Lotus which contains a store of myriads of worlds. 

  Paramitas ... Six stages of study and practice followed by the Bodhisattvas in their progress to Buddhahood. They are (1) charity, or alms-giving; (2) discipline, or observance of precepts; (3) forbearance, or patient resignation; (4) energy; (5) concentration; and (6) wisdom. Although, there are usually said to be six paramitas, sometimes their number is expanded to ten (with the addition of expedients, vows, power, and knowledge). 

  Parinirvana ... The great Nirvana (enlightenment) of the Buddha.See also "nirvana ." peeled off his skin for paper, split his bones to fashion brushes, [and] drew blood for ink (Said of Shakyamuni Buddha in Chapter 40 of the Flower Adornment Sutra.) In his most ancient lives, during prehistoric times, there were no such things as paper, brushes, or ink, so he wrote out countless Sutras on his own peeled-off skin using splinters of bone for brushes and blood for ink. 

  Perfect Penetration ... Complete penetration of the knots of the senses, which frees one of attachments to sense-objects, resulting in release from the cycle of birth and death and the attainment of enlightenment. 

  Pishachas... Ghosts that eat the vitality of things. They eat people's essential energies, as well as the essential energies of foods. 

  pi zhi fo ... See Pratyka Buddhas. 

  Pishachas ... Ghosts that eat the vitality of things. They eat people's essential energies, as well as the essential energies of foods. 

  Practices and Vows of the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra ... See "Universal Worthy's Conduct and Vows." 

  Prajna ... (Sanskrit) transcendental wisdom, divine intuition; one of the six paramitas. 

  Pratyeka-Buddha ... pi zhi fo, a Buddha who has attained Buddhahood using techniques taught in the Small Vehicle school of Buddhism. Pratyeka-Buddhas attain enlightenment through the intellect and self-discipline. They lack the loving compassion and self-sacrifice of the Bodhisattvas. Pratyeka-Buddhas can also be defined as Buddhas who are enlightened to "conditions ." 

  Precepts ... See "Five Precepts." 

  Pure Land ... A Buddha-lland created by Amitabha Buddha for cultivators who chant his name with single-minded wish to be reborn in his land. The Pure Land is an ideal place for cultivation, abounding in adornments and spiritual delights, where inhabits can continue their progress toward enlightenment without ever again being subject to retrogression (rebirth on earth or other lower realms). For more details, see "The Pure Land" and "The Amitabha Sutra" pages on this Web site. 

  Pure Land School ... A school of Buddhism that focuses on Buddha recitation and Pure Land study. The Pure Land School was founded in China by Master Hui Yuan (334-416), the first Pure Land Patriarch, who taught that faith in the Buddha Amitabha and recitation of his name will ensure rebirth in Amitabha's Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. Shakyamuni Buddha put special stress upon the Pure Land method in many Sutras. See also "Pure Land." 

  Pure Land Study ... The study of the Pure Land form of Buddhism. 

  Pure Mind ... In Pure Land Study, the attainment of mental purity through Buddha recitation. 

  Pusa ... The Chinese word for Bodhisattva.. 

  Rahula ... He was one of the Ten Great Disciples of Shakyamuni. He was the first in esoteric practices and in desire for instruction in the Law. He was also the son of Shakyamuni. 

  Rajagaha ... Rajagaha in Pali, Rajagrha in Sanskrit. The capital of the ancient kingdom of Magadha in India, which was the centres of culture at the time of Shakyamuni. The first Bodhi mandala of Buddhism called Bamboo Grove Park was built by the elder Kalanda and King Bimblisara of Magadha in Rajagaha. 

  Raksa ... Living in the Ghost Path. Like Yaksa, they are evil and violent, but inferior to Yaksa. 

  Realm of Form ... See Three Realms... Realm of Formlessness ... See Three Realms... Realm of Sensuous Desire ... See Three Realms. 

  Recognition ... Or Conception or Thinking. The Sanskirt word is Sanjna. It is the function of mind. It may lead to desire. One of the Five Skandhas. 

  Renunciation ... One of the Four Unlimited Mind. As one of the chief Buddhist virtues, renunciation leads to a state of "undifferent without pleasure or pain". It is also an equality in mind with no distinction of self and others. 

  Right Action ... The fourth of the Eightfold Path; respect for life (do not kill), property (do not steal) and personal relationship (no sexual misconduct) so as to purify one's mind and body... Right Concentration ... Right abstraction, the eighth of the Eightfold Path; meditation, focusing the mind without distraction, preparing the mind to attain wisdom... Right Effort ... Right zeal or progress, unintermitting perseverance, suppressing the rising of evil states and stimulating good states, and to perfect those which have come to beings... Right Livelihood ... The fifth of the Eightfold Path; right life, abstaining from any of the forbidden modes of living. Five kinds of livelihood are discouraged : trading in animals for slaughter, dealing in weapons, dealing in slaves, dealing in poison and dealing in intoxicants... Right Remembrance ... Right memory, right mindfulness; the seventh of the Eightfold Path, avoiding distracted and clouded state of mind, awareness and self-possessed... Right Speech ... The third of Eightfold Path, abstaining from lying, slander/back biting, abuse/harsh words and idle talk... Right Thought ... Right thought and intent; avoiding desire and ill-will; the second of the Eightfold Path... Right Understanding ... See Right View... Right View ... Understanding the Four Noble Truths; the first of the Eightfold Path... 

  Rupa ... See Matter or Five Skandhas. 

  Raging skandas ... See "five skandas." 

  Rakshasa ... A fearsome ghost. 

  Realm of Reality ... See "Dharma Realm." Realm of Truth ... See "Dharma Realm." 

  Reckoning ... " not . . . one part by reckoning, one part by calculation, one part that can be demonstrated by comparison, or one part in an Upanishad ." (Flower Adornment Sutra, Chapter 40.) No matter how you figure or calculate it, a very small number. 

  Refuge, Taking ... See "Triple Jewels." 

  Retrogression ... Rebirth on earth or other lower realms during the cycle of birth and death. Rebirth in the Pure Land ends the cycle of birth and death; Pure Land inhabitants, freed from the cycle of birth and death, are said to be beyond retrogression. 

  Reward body ... See "Three Bodies of the Buddha ." 

  Roots ... The kind of accumulated karma that an individual has at birth. Persons whose accumulated karma is good are said to have "good roots." 

  Saddharmapundarika Sutra ... The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra in Sanskrit. "Sad" means wonderful, and "Pundarika" means white lotus flower. 

  Sagely Wheel-turning King ... He is referred to a Buddha as universal spiritual king with all kinds of good marks and appearance, or a god over a universe, or a preacher of the supreme doctrine. The wheel is probably a symbol of the sun with its myraid rays. 

  Saha Land ... Also called the Saha World. It refers to the land on Earth. Saha interprets as bearing and enduring. Saha Land is contrary to Pure Land. It is a place of good and evil. A universe where all are subjected to transmigration and in which a Buddha transforms. 

  Sakrdagamin ... A Sanskrit word means one who returns once. It is the certification of the second fruit of Arhatship. Being a Sakrdagamin, he returns once - once to heaven and once among men before he cuts off the last three categories of his delusions in thought in the Desire Realm. 

  Samadhi ... Sanskrit word for meditation. See Meditation and Contemplation 

  Samana ... A Pali word, Sramana in Sanskrit. One who practices austerities; an ascetic. 

  Samantabhadra Bodhisattva ... Also called Visvabhadra Bodhisattva, Universally Worthy Bodhisattva. Being one of the Four Great Bodhisattvas, he is the Bodhisattva of Great Conduct, representing the Law. He has Ten Great King Vows, which are the guidelines in practising Buddhism, and cultivating the Buddhist Way. 

  Samhita ... One of four types of Vedic literature in ancient India. It consists of four sections, including poems, songs, rituals, mandra, etc... 1.Rg-veda - life & health; 2.Sama-veda - ritual & worship; 3.Yajur-veda - war study; 4.Atharva-veda - mandra & poems... The four is know as Four Vedas. 

  Sammatiyah ... One of the Hinayana sect, a branch of Sthavirandin, developed from Vatsiputriyah. It is a school of correct measures, or correct evaluation, formed about 300 years after the Nirvana of Shakyamuni. It was classified in the Pudgalavadin category, thus often linked with Vatsiputriyah. 

  Samsara ... Sanskrit word meaning turning of the wheel or revolving. It refers to the ransmigration in the Six Directions of Reincarnation, the realm of birth and death. 

  Samskara ... See Volition or Five Skandhas. 

  Sangha ... The Buddhist monastic order. The corporate assembly of at least 3 monks under a chairman, empowered to hear confession, grant absolution and ordain. In general terms, it refers to any community practising the Buddhist Way. 

  Sanjna ... See Recognition or Five Skandhas... Sankrantivada ... See Sautrantika. 

  Sannagarikah ... One of the Hinayana sect, a branch of Sthavirandin, developed from Vatsiputriyah. 

  Sanskrit ... Brahma letters. The classical Aryan language of ancient India, systematized by scholars. With the exception of a few ancient translations probably from Pali versions, most of the original texts in Buddhism used in China were Sanskrit. 

  Sariputra ... Sariputra in Sanskrit, Sariputta in Pali. He was born in a Brahman family near Rajagaha. At the age of 17, he mastered all Vedic doctrines. In seeking a good teacher, he studied under one of the six great non-Buddhist teachers called Sanjaya. He met Shakyamuni with the aid of Assaji, one of the Five Bhiksus. He then became one of the Ten Great Disciples of Shakyamuni, noted for his wisdom and learning. He was also the right-hand attendant on Shakyamuni. He died before Shakyamuni entered Nirvana. He figures prominently in certain sutras. He is represented as standing with Maudgalyayana by the Buddha when entering Nirvana. He is to reappear as Padmaprabha Buddha. 

  Sarvastivadah ... One of the early Hinayana sects, said to be formed about 200-300 years after the Nirvana of Shakyamuni. A branch of the Vaibhasika claiming Rahula as founder. A school of reality of all phenomena asserting the doctrine that all things are real... The subdivision of Sarvastivadah was complicated and doubtful. In the list of the Eighteen Sects of Hinayana, the Sarvastivadah was not taken into account to be one sect, as it split into all the remaining sects... Also known as Hetavadinah. 

  Satyasiddhi School ... One of the Ten Schools of Chinese Buddhism. Founded on the Satyasiddhi Shastra by Harivarman... Satyasiddhi Shastra ... Written by Harivarman and translated by Kumarajiva, on which the Satyasiddhi Sect bases its doctrine. It was a Hinayana variation of the Sunya (emptiness) doctrine. The term is defined as perfectly establishing the real meaning of the Sutras. 

  Sautrantika ... Sutravada in Sanskrit, Suttavada in Pali. Libereally means reliance upon sutras, the original Buddhist texts, therefore emphasized the efficacy and authority of the sutras. Also called Sankrantivada as it held the view that the Skandhas transmigrate from the former world to the later world. It is one of the Hinayana sect, a branch of Sthaviradin developed from Sarvastivadah. Vasubandhu's arguments in the Abhidharmakosa criticize the Vaibhasikas from a Sautrantika viewpoint. The ideas influenced Mahayana doctrines to form Yogacara school. 

  Savatthi ... Savatthi in Pali, Sravasti in Sanskrit. The capital of the ancient Kingdom of Kosala, where the famous monastery (Bodhimandala) Jetavanna Grove was located. 

  Sensation ... Or Feeling. The Sanskrit word is Vedana. One of the Five Skandhas. See Five Skandhas. 

  Seven Gems ... They are gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, mother-of-pearl, red pearls and carnelian. 

  Seven Title Classification ... Sutra titles fall into seven classes accordingly to their reference to person, Dharma and analogy... A.Three Single... 1.Solely by reference to people e.g. the Amitabha Sutra 2.Solely by reference to Dharma e.g. the Mahaparinirvana Sutra 3.Solely by analogy e.g. The Brahma Net Sutra... B.Three Paired... 4.By reference to a person and a Dharma e.g. The Sutra of the Questions of Manjushri 5.By reference to a person and an analogy e.g. The Sutra of the Lion's Roar of the Thus Come One 6.By reference to a Dharma and an analogy. e.g. The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra... C.Three-in-one... 7.By reference to person, Dharma and analogy together e.g. The Great Universal Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra 

  Shakya ... Sakiya in Pali and Sakya in Sanskrit. The tribe to which Shakyamuni belonged. 

  Shakyamuni ... Sakayamuni in Sanskrit, Shakyamuni in Pali. The founder of Buddhism. He was born as the Prince of Sakyans, and was called Siddhartha Goutama. At the age of 35, he attained the supreme Enlightenment and became the Buddha and was the called Shakyamuni. The word means "capability and kindness". 

  Shatika Shastra ... One of the Three Shastra of Madhyamika School, so called because of its 100 verses, each of 32 words. It was written in Sanskrit by Vasubandhu and translated by Kumarajiva, but the versions differ. 

  Siddhartha ... Siddhartha in Sanskrit, Siddhattha in Pali. The given name of Shakyamuni when he was born to the Prince Suddhodana. The name means "wish fulfilled". 

  Singalovada Sutra ... A short sutra about ethics and morality. 

  Six Directions of Reincarnation ... (1) Naraka, i.e. Hell (2) Presta, i.e. Hungry Ghost (3) Tiryagyoni, i.e. Animal (4) Asura, i.e. Malevolent nature spirits (5) Manusya, i.e. Human Existence (6) Deva, i.e. Heavenly Existence 

  Six Dusts ... See Six Gunas... Six Entrances ... see Six Places and Six Indriyas... Six External Bases ... See Six Gunas... Six Fields of Senses ... See Six Gunas. 

  Six Fulfilment ... The six requirements indicating that the Sutra is a true record of teachings given directly by the Buddha. They are the fulfilment of meeting the requirement... 1.on belief 2.on hearing 3.on time 4.on of the host 5.on place 6.on audiences 

  Six Gunas ... Or Six External Bases, or Six Dusts. They are sight, sound, scent/smell, taste, tangibles/touch and dharma/idea. They are the qualities produced by the objects and organs of sense. 

  Six Heavens of Desire ... See Three Realms... Six Indriyas ... Or Six Internal Bases, or Six Sense-organs, or Six Places. They are eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind... Six Internal Bases ... See Six Indriyas... Six Paramita ... See Paramita... Six Paths ... See Six Directions of Reincarnation... Six Periods of Day and Night ... Six periods in a day, three for day and three for night, i.e. morning, noon, evening, night, midnight, dawn... Six Places ... Sanskrit word is Sadayatana. See Six Indriyas. 

  Six Psychic Power ... (1) the phychic power of the heavenly eye (2) the psychic power of the heavenly ear (3) phychic power with regard to post lives (4) phychic power with regard to the minds (5) the spiritually based psychic powers (6) the psychic power of the extinction of outflows 

  Six Roots ... Or Six Sense-organs, see Six Indriyas... Six Sense-organs ... See Six Indriyas... Six States of Existence ... See Six Directions of Reincarnation... Sixteen Contemplations ... See Vipasyana Sukhavativyha Sutra. 

  Sixteen Hearts ... There are eight hearts within the Desire Realm: 1.Patience regarding the Dharma involved in Suffering 2.Wisdom regarding the Dharma involved in Suffering 3.Patience regarding the Dharma involving in Acculumation 4.Wisdom regarding the Dharma involved in Acculumation 5.Patience regarding the Dharma involved in Extinction 6.Wisdom regarding the Dharma involved in Extinction 7.Patience regarding the Dharma involved in Way 8.Wisdom regarding the Dharma involved in Way... Note that the Truths of Suffering, Acculumation, Extinction and Way are the Four Noble Truths, which is the fundamental doctrine in Buddhism, particularly Hinayana.... There are the other eight hearts within the Form Realm and the Formless Realm: 1.Subsequent Patience regarding Suffering 2.Subsequent Wisdom regarding Suffering 3.Subsequent Patience regarding Acculumation 4.Subsequent Wisdom regarding Acculumation 5.Subsequent Patience regarding Extinction 6.Subsequent Wisdom regarding Extinction 7.Subsequent Patience regarding Way 8.Subsequent Wisdom regarding Way 

  Sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception ... The highest of the four heavens in the Realm of Formlessness, or called the sphere of no-thing... Sphere of no-thing ... The heavens without form, immaterial, consisting only of the mind in contemplation, being four in number of which the "sphere of neither-perception-nor-nonperception" is the highest. 

  Spiritual Ghost ... Living in the Ghost Path. They are kind dwelling in the nature, e.g. trees, mountain and sea protecting the creatures. 

  Sramanera ... Literally, it means the one who ceases from evil and does works of mercy or lives altruistically. He is a devoted and zealous man who has taken a vow to obey the ten commandments in Buddhist orders: 1.not to kill. 2.not to steal. 3.not to lie or speak evil. 4.not to have sexual misconduct. 5.not to use perfumes or decorate oneself with flowers. 6.not to occupy high beds. 7.not to sing or dance. 8.not to possess wealth. 9.not to eat out of regulation hours. 10.not to drink wine. 

  Sramaneraka ... Sramenera in female gender obeying the ten commandments of Sramanera too. 

  Sravaka ... The first or initial stage in Hinayana, the second being that of Praetyka-Buddha. Sravaka, a Sanskrit word, means a hearer. It generally relates to Hinayana disciple who understands the Four Noble Truth in entering Nirvana. 

  Srotaapanna ... A Sanskrit word means one who has entered the flow, Sota-panna in Pali. He opposes the flow of common people's six dusts and enters the flow of the Sage's Dharma-nature... It is the certification of the first fruit of Arhatship, which is within the Hinayana (small vehicle). It comes when the eighty-eight categories of delusions of view are smashed and cut off by means of sixteen hearts. It is called a Way of Liberation, for at that point, delusion is completely severed and liberation is obtained. One who has certified to Srotaapanna has seven more births and deaths to undergo. He will be born seven times in the heavens and seven times among men. 

  Sruti ... The bibles of Brahmans, which are absolute truths originated from holy gods. They dictated the philosophical and religious thoughts in ancient India. 

  Sthavirah ... Also known as Sthaviranikaya or Aryasthavirah. Sthavirah and Mahasanghikah are the two earliest sects in Buddhism. At first, they were not considered to be different. Sthavirah merely represented the intimate and older disciples of Shakyamuni, while Mahasanghika being the rest. It is said that a century later, a difference of opinion arose on certain doctrines. Three divisions were named as a result (all in Ceylon): 1.Mahaviharavasinah 2.Jetavaniyah 3.Abhayagiri-vasinah... In the course, the eighteen Hinayana sects were developed... From the time of Ashoka, four principal school are regarded as prevailing: 1.Mahasanghika 2.Sthavira 3.Mulasarvastivada 4.Sammatiyah... As far as Sthavira is concerned, there are eleven sects reckoned... The Sthaviravadins were reputed as nearest to early Buddhism in its tenets, though it is said to have changed the basis of Buddhism from an agonostic system to a realist philosophy. 

  Sthaviranikaya ... See Sthavirah. 

  Stupa ... Sanskrit word means burial mound, which contains the ashes or relics of an enlightened being. In China, it appears as pagoda, representing the place where Buddha "lives". 

  Subhadra ... Subhadra in Sanskrit, Subhadda in Pali. A Brahman of age 120, who became Shakyamuni's disciple shortly before Shakyamuni's death and is therefore known as the last disciple. 

  Sudatta ... See Anathapindika. 

  Sudden Enlightenment ... Enlightened all of a sudden by hearing or studying Dharma, usually for those who practices Ch'an. 

  Suddhodana ... Pure Rice Prince, the father of Shakyamuni, ruled over the Sakyans at Kapilaratthu on the Nepalese border. 

  Sudra ... Sudra in Sanskrit, Sudda in Pali. The lowest of the four Indian Castes at the time of Shakyamuni. They were peasants, slaves and serfs. 

  Sukhavativyuha Sutra ... It is one of the main Sutras for Pure Land Sect. It stipulates the Forty-eight Vows of Amitabha Buddha, which give rise to the characteristic of the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss in the West. 

  Sumeru ... Sanskrit words. It means wonderful high mountain. It is composed of gold. silver, lapis lazuli and crystal, therefore it is so wonderful. It is eighty four thousand Yugamdhara high and eighty found thousand Yugamdhara wide, which is the greatest mountain amongst all. 

  Sutra ... Sutra in Sanskrit, Sutta in Pali. It is a "path" necessarily passed through in the cultivation of the Way. 

  Saha ... (Sanskrit) Suffering... Saha world ... This world; world of suffering. (See " saha.") 

  Samantabhadra ... Sanskrit name for Universal Worthy Bodhisattva. Samanta means "general or universal;" bhadra means "sage;" and Samantabhadra, which is derived from these words, means "the principle of universal love or compassion." Samantabhadra is also referred to as the Bodhisattva of Great Activity. See "Universal Worthy Bodhisattva." 

  Samsara ... Cycle of birth and death; realms of Birth and Death. 

  San Gui ... The Triple Jewels; the ceremony of taking refuge in the Triple Jewels. The San Gui ceremony is described in detail on the page titled "Taking Refuge in the Triple Jewels." 

  Sanskrit ... An ancient classical Indian languages in which many Buddhist and Hindu scriptures are written. The earliest Buddhist books were written in Prakrit; later translated into Pali; and still later translated into Sanskrit. Most Chinese, Japanese, and Tibetan Buddhist scriptures are translated from Sanskrit. 

  Sariputra ... Major disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha, foremost in wisdom among Arhats. 

  Sarasvati ... (Sanskrit) The Goddess of Letters and Eloquence. 

  Seven treasures ... Gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, agate, red pearl, and carnelian. They represent the seven powers of faith, perseverance, "shame," avoidance of wrongdoing, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom. 

  Shan Dao ... Shan Tao (613-81) was one of the first patriarchs of the Pure Land school. 

  Sharira ... Solid relics found in the cremated remains of Buddhas or saints after they leave this world and move on to the Buddha-realms. Sharira that have the forms of pearls and precious jewels are often found in the material remains of Buddhas. Sharira that are left behind in the bodies of lesser beings often resemble white or colored pieces of coral. 

  Shorter Amitabha Sutra ... See Amitabha Sutra. 

  Shurangama Sutra ... The Sutra that gives the most detailed explanation of the Buddha's teachings regarding the mind. It includes an analysis of where the mind is located, an explanation of the origin of the cosmos, a discussion of the specific workings of karma , a description of all the realms of existence, and an exposition on fifty kinds of deviant samadhi-concentrations that can delude us in our search for awakening. Also, in a chapter of particular importance to Pure Land practitioners, twenty-five enlightened beings explain the methods they used to become enlightened. One of those beings is Great Strength Bodhisattva (Chinese: Da Shi Zhi), who tells how attained enlightenment using Buddha recitation. This section of the Sutra, titled "The Foremost Attainment of Great Strength Bodhisattva through Buddha Recitation," is presented in "The Enlightenment of Great Strength Bodhisattva ." 

  Six directions ... North, south, east, west, above and below; i.e., all directions. In the Flower Adornment Sutra, the six directions are expanded to include the points of the compass that lie between the major directions, (northeast, southwest, etc.) and are referred to as the ten directions 

  Six dusts ... See "dusts." Six paramitas ... See "paramitas." Six paths ... See "six states of existence." 

  Six states of existence ... The six states in which beings live within the realm of birth and death. Within these states, the lowest three are called the three evil paths, or three bad states. They are the states of (1) people in hells, (2) hungry ghosts, and (3) animals. Above these three states are the states of (4) humans, (5) Asuras, and (6) devas. 

  Six Principles of Living in Harmony ... The principles of (1) purity, (2) equality, (3) honesty, (4) freedom, (5) compassion, and (6) true happiness. Taking refuge in the Triple Jewels helps us live by these principles by restoring the complete wisdom and abilities of our self-nature. 

  Six senses ... In Buddhism, the five senses plus mind... Six sense organs ... The five sense organs plus the mind. 

  Sound-hearers ... (Sanskrit: Sravakas). One of the four grades of disciples in the Small Vehicle school. Sound-hearers attain liberation through a meritorious life but lack the intellectual power of the Pratyeka-Buddhas or the active compassion of the Bodhisattvas. 

  Small Vehicle ... A term used to describe Hinayana Buddhism, which is said to "carry" fewer people to Buddhahood than Mahayana "Great Vehicle" teachings can because -- as Master Chin Kung puts it -- Small Vehicle teachings "solely stress self-realization." For more details, see "Great Vehicle." 

  Sudhana ... Kumera Sudhana, also known as "Good Wealth" or "The Celestial Youth of the Treasure of Merit," consecrated his life to the attainment of Buddhahood and visited 53 saints in pursuit of that goal. Finally, he met Universal Worthy Bodhisattva (Sanskrit: Samantabhadra), who advised him to follow Ten Great Practices and to make Ten Great Vows in order to be reborn in the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. Sudhana's story is related in "The Flower Adornment Sutra, Chapter 40." See also "Good Wealth." 

  Sukhavati ... Sanskrit name for the Western Pure Land, or Land of Ultimate Bliss. 

  Sukhavati-Vyuha ... See "Amitabha Sutra." 

  Sumeru ... A mountain of inconceivable height. 

  Sutra ... Buddhist scripture... Sutra of the Heroic One ... See "Shurangama Sutra." Sutra on Observing Amitabha (and His Pure Land) ... See "Contemplation Sutra ." Sutra on Visualizing Amitabha (and His Pure Land) See "Contemplation Sutra." 

  Taking Precepts ... see Morality. 

  Tantrayana ... Also called Vajrayana. A school of esoteric Tibetan Buddhism. It emphsizes not only meditation but also the use of symbolic rites, gestures, postures, breathing, incantation, and other secret means. 

  Ten Dharma Realms ... also known as ten states of existence, which are: 1.Hell 2.Ghost 3.Animal 4.Asura 5.Man 6.Deva 7.Sravaka (Sound-Hearer Arhat) 8.Praetyka-Buddha 9.Bodhisattva 10.Buddha... Each Dharma realm has its own characteristics, and its existence is attributed to the retribution of the beings. The lowest six realms (1-6) are known as the Six Paths or Six Realms. These six states of existence are subjected to birth and death,and then rebirth for many lives. The upper four realms are known as the Four Holy Realms. These four states of existence are beyond birth and death and liberated from the Samsara 

  Ten Directions ... The eight points of the compass, in addition to the nadir and the zenith. 


  Ten Good Deeds ... The Ten Forms of Good Actions for layman, or Ten Wholesomeness. 1.No killing 2.No stealing 3.No adultery 4.No lying 5.No slandering 6.No harsh speech 7.No idle talks 8.No greed 9.No hatred 10.No illusion... It is essential for the rebirth in Deva realm. 

  Ten Great Disciples of Skakyamuni Buddha ... They are: 1.Mahakasyapa in Sanskrit, Mahakassapa in Pali. first in ascetism. 2.Ananda first in having heard the words of Buddha. 3.Sariputra in Sanskrit, Sariputta in Pali. first in wisdom. 4.Subhuti first in expressing emptiness. 5.Purna first in explaining good law. 6.Maudgalyayana in Sanskrit, Moggallana in Pali. first in supernatural power. 7.Katyayana first in preaching. 8.Aniruddha in Sanskrit, Anuruddha in Pali. first in the sharpness of his divine eyes. 9.Upali first in taking precepts. 10.Rahula first in esoteric practices and in desire for instruction in the law. 

  Ten Great King Vows ... The vows of Visvabhadra Bodhisattva: 1.To worship and respect all Buddhas. 2.To praise the Thus Come One. 3.To practise offerings. 4.To repent all karmic hindrance. 5.To rejoice and follow merits and virtue. 6.To request that the Dharma wheel be turned. 7.To request that the Buddha remain in the world. 8.To follow the Buddha's teachings. 9.To live in accord with all living beings. 10.To spread all merits and virtue. 

  Ten Meritorious Deeds ... The Ten Meritorious Deeds allow people to gain a happy and peaceful life as well as to develop knowledge and understanding. They are: 1.Charity 2.Morality / Taking Precepts 3.Mental cultivation / Meditation 4.Reverence or respect 5.Services in helping others 6.Transference of merits 7.Rejoicing in the merits of others 8.Preaching and teaching Dharma 9.Listening the Dharma 10.Straightening one's own views 

  Ten Offerings ... For the material there are ten kinds of offerings in Buddhism: 1.incense 2.flower 3.lamp 4.necklace 5.jeweled parasols 6.banners and canopies 7.clothes 8.fruit and food 9.music 10.joined palms 

  Ten Paramita ... see Paramita. 

  Ten Powers ... The Ten Powers of Buddha or Bodhisattva are the complete knowledge of: 1.what is right or wrong in every condition 2.what is the karma of every being, past, present and future 3.all stages of dhyana liberation and samadhi 4.the powers and faculties of all beings 5.the desires or moral directions of every being 6.the actual condition of every individual 7.the direction and consequence of all laws 8.all causes of mortality and of good and evil in their reality 9.the end of all beings and Nirvana 10.the destruction of all illusion of every kind 

  Ten Schools of Chinese Buddhism ... 1.Kosa 2.Satyasiddhi 3.Madhyamika 4.Tien Tai 5.Hua Yen 6.Dharmalaksana 7.Vinaya 8.Chan 9.Esoteric 10.Pure Land 

  Ten Stages of Bodhisattva ... These are the ten stages of development of Bodhisattva depending on their merits and virtues: 1.Pramudita (joy) - job at having overcome the difficulties and sufferings, now entering on the path to Buddhahood 2.Vimala (purity) - freedom from all possible defilement 3.Prabhakari (enlightenment) - stage of further enlightenment 4.Arcismati (widsom) - stage of glowing wisdom 5.Sudurjaya (no difficulty) - stage of mastering the utmost difficulties 6.Abhimukhi (open way) - the open way of wisdom above definitions of impurity and purity 7.Duramgama (proceeding afar) - getting above ideas of self in order to save others 8.Acala (unperturbed) - attainment of being unperturbed 9.Sadhumati (discriminatory wisdom) - the finest discriminatory wisdom, knowing where and how to save, and possessing the Ten Powers 10.Dharma megha (law cloud) - attainment of the fertilizing powers of law cloud 

  Ten Titles of Buddha ... represent the characteristics of Buddha... 1.Tathagata - the Thus Come Ones 2.Arhat - worthy of offerings 3.Samyak-sambuddha - of proper and universal knowledge 4.Vidyacarna-sampauna - perfect in understanding and conduct 5.Sugata - skilful in leaving the world through liberation 6.Lokavid - perfect and complete understanding of all worldly Dharma 7.Anuttara - unsurpassed knights 8.Purusa-damya-sarathi - taming heroes 9.Sasta deramanusyanam - teachers of gods and people 10.Buddha-lokanatha or Bhagaran - Buddha, the World Honored Ones 

  Ten Vehicles of Meditation ... Vehicles is the means to take living beings across from suffering to Nirvana. Though there are ten vehicles, there is only one teaching (Dharma), i.e., Inconceivable Virtues of the Self-mind, and the other nine are supplementary. According to Tien Tai Sect, the ten vehicles are: 1.Meditation of Inconceivable Virtue of the Self-mind - highest order for superior roots 2.Meditation of Real Bodhicitta 3.Meditation of Expedient Dwelling of Mind 4.Meditation of Breaking Universal Dharma 5.Meditation of Penetrating through Obstructed Consciousness 6.Meditation of Commissioning all Chapters of Paths 7.Meditation of Confronting Delusion and Advocating Enlightenment 8.Meditation of Understanding the Stages of Fruition 9.Meditation of Calmness and Endurance 10.Meditation of Non-attachment of Dharma 

  Ten Wholesomeness ... see Ten Good Deeds. 

  Theravada ... Thera, an elder; a fully ordained monk who has past ten rainy seasons. Theravada is the doctrine of the Theras, i.e. the teaching of Southern Buddhism. It is one of the traditional 18 sects of Hinayana Buddhism. This form of Buddhism emerged out of Mahinda's mission to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) during Ashoka's region. They are apparently very closely related to the orthodox Vibhajyavada doctrine of Ashoka's time and represent the sole remaining Hinayanist sect today... It is the form of Buddhism prevalent in S.E. Asian countries, e.g. Thailand, Sri Lanka, etc. (see Mahayana). 

  Thirty-two Forms ... These are the physical marks of a Buddha: 1.Level feet 2.thousand-spoke wheel-sign on feet 3.long slender fingers 4.pliant hands and feet 5.toes and fingers finely webbed 6.full-sized heels 7.arched insteps 8.thigh like a royal stag 9.hands reaching below the knees 10.well-retracted male organ 11.height and stretch of arms equal 12.every hair-root dark coloured 13.body hair graceful and curly 14.golden-hued body 15.a ten-foot halo around him 16.soft smooth skin 17.two soles, two palms, two shoulders and crown well rounded 18.below the armpits well-filled 19.lion-shaped body 20.erect 21.full shoulders 22.forty teeth 23.teeth white even and close 24.the four canine teeth pure white 25.lion-jawed 26.salvia improving the taste of all food 27.tongue long and broad 28.voice deep and resonant 29.eye deep blue 30.eye lashes like a royal bull 31.a white urna or curl between the eyebrows emitting light 32.an usnisa or fleshy protuberance on the crown. 

  Three Classifications ... Buddha shows that a person is nothing more than a combination of various elements which come together under suitable conditions. They are: 1.the Five Skandhas 2.the Twelve Bases 3.the Eighteen Fields 

  Three Delusions ... In Tien Tai, three doubts in the mind of Bodhisattva, producing three delusions, i.e., 1.through things seen and thought 2.through the immense variety of duties in saving humans 3.through ignorance 

  Three Dogmas ... They are the Dogma of Void, Unreal and Mean. See also Three Meditations of One Mind. 

  Three Enlightenments ... the three kinds of Enlightenment: 1.Enlightenment for self 2.Enlightenment for others 3.Perfect enlightenment and accomplishment The first is Arhat. The second is Bodhisattva. When all the three have been attained, the being becomes a Buddha. 

  Three Evil Paths ... They are the three lowest realms of the Nine Realms: hell, hungry ghost and animal. 

  Three Good Paths ... They are Man, Asura and Deva Paths. 

  Three Jewels ... Or the Three Precious Ones, i.e. the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, which are the three essential components of Buddhism. They are the objects of veneration. Buddhists take refuge in them by pronouncing the threefold refuge formula,thus acknowledging themselves to be Buddhists. 

  Three Meditations of One Mind ... Also known as Three Inconceivable Meditations, which is one of the practices in Tien Tai Sect in China. According to Tien Tai, all existence in the universe consists of Three Dogmas (Truths), namely, Void, Unreal and Mean. These three Dogmas are co-existent and interactive, integrated and interrelated. If one can meditate this concept with the whole mind, it is call Three Meditations of One mind, or Inconceivable Profound Meditation. 

  Three Obstacles ... See Three Obstructions. 

  Three Obstructions ... Also called Three Obstacles. They are the obstructions that hinder the attainment of Buddhahood. When the Three Obstructions are cleared, the Three Virtues will be perfected. The Three Obstructions are: 1.Affliction obstruction - e.g. due to Three Poisons, i.e. greed, hatred and stupidity. 2.Karma obstruction - e.g. due to Five Offenses, and Ten Unwholesome Deeds, i.e. the Karma in the past. 3.Retribution obstruction - e.g. the suffering retribution in Three Evil Paths. 

  Three Periods of Time ... That is the past, the present and the future. 

  Three Poisons ... or Three Roots... 1.Greed or wrong desire 2.Hatred or anger 3.Illusion or stupidity or ignorance These are the source of all the passions and delusions. 

  Three Realms ... Sanskrit word is Triloka. It is Buddhist metaphysical equivalence for the triple world of earth, atmosphere and heaven... 1.Realm of Sensusous Desire (Sanskrit word is Kamadhatu) of sex and food. It includes the Six Heavens of Desire, the Human World and the Hells. 2.Realm of Form (Sanskrit word is Rupaadhatu) of matter which is substantial and resistant. It is a semi-material conception. It is above the lust world and contains bodies, places and things, all mystic and wonderful. It consists of 18 heavens, including the Heavens of Four Zen (Sanskrit word is Brahmalokas). 3.Realm of Formlessness (Sanskrit word is Arupadhatu) of pure spirit, where there are no bodies and matters to which human terms would apply, but where the mind dwells in mystic contemplation; its extent is indefinable, but it is conceived of in Four Stages/Places of Emptiness in the immaterial world. It has four heavens, in which the Sphere/heaven of neither-perception-nor-non-perception is the highest. 

  Three Roots ... The three (evil) roots, i.e. desire, hate and stupidity. Another group is the three grades of good "roots" or abilities, i.e. superior, medium and inferior. 

  Three Seals ... Also known as Three Universal Truths. 1.All phenomena are impermanent. 2.All Dharma are not-self. 3.The eternity is Nirvana... It is called the seal because it is to certify whether it is the Buddha's teaching or not. Also see Four Seals. 

  Three Shastra ... They are: 1.Madhyamaka Shastra 2.Dvadashamukha Shastra 3.Shatika Shastra... All three were translated by Kumarajiva, on which the Three Shastra Sect bases its doctrines. 

  Three Studies ... or Three Vehicles of Learning... 1.Sila, i.e. taking Precepts 2.Dhyana, i.e. concentration and meditation 3.Prajna, i.e. wisdom It is practiced by the Arhats. 

  Three Sufferings ... 1.Feeling of suffering 2.Feeling of happiness - suffering of decay 3.Feeling of neither suffering nor happiness - suffering of the activity of the Five Skandhas. 

  Three Universal Characteristics ... The Three Universal Characteristics are connected with the existence. They are: 1.All phenomena are impermanent. 2.All Dharma are not-self. 3.All sensations are suffering. 

  Three Universal Truths ... Also known as the Three Seals. Three Universal Truths are the basic teaching of Buddha, so that they are commonly used to attest Buddhism. 

  The Three Universal Truths are: 1.All phenomena are impermanent, (i.e., Anicca in Sanskrit). 2.All dharmas are non-self, (i.e., Anatta in Sanskrit). 3.The eternity is Nirvana and stillness. 

  Three Vehicles ... They are the Two Vehicles, plus the Bodhisattva Vehicle, i.e. the Vehicles for Sravaka, Pratyeka Buddha, and the Bodhisattva are called the Three Vehicles. 

  Three Virtues ... The three virtues of power, 1.the virtue, or potency of the Buddha's eternal, spiritual body, i.e., the Dharmakaya 2.the virtue of his Prajna, knowing all things in their reality 3.the virtue of his freedom from all attachments and his sovereign liberty 

  Three Wisdom ... There are three kinds of wisdom: 1.Sravaka and Praetyka-Buddha knowledge that all the Dharmas or laws are void and unreal 2.Bodhisattva knowledge of all things in proper discrimination 3.Buddha knowledge or perfect knowledge of all things in their every aspect and relationship past, present and future... In Tien Tai Sect of China, the Three Wisdom is associated with the Three Dogmas of Void, Unreal and Mean. 

  Threefold Body of a Buddha ... They are: 1.Dharma body, i.e. Dharmakaya - its own essential nature, common to all Buddhas. 2.Retribution body, i.e. Sambhogakaya - a body of bliss, which he receives for his own use and enjoyment. 3.Response and transformation body, i.e. Nirmanatkaya - he can appear in any form whenever and wherever necessary for the sake of crossing over others. 

  Tien Tai Sect ... One of the Ten Great Sect in Chinese Buddhism. It was initiated by Hui Man in the dynasty of Bei-Chai, and was promoted by Chi-Hai in Tsui Dynasty. Mainly based on Lotus Sutra, Tien Tai Sect explains all universal phenomena with Three Dogmas. For the practices, it emphasizes cutting off Three Delusions, thus establishes the method of Three Meditations of One Mind. 

  Triloka ... see Three Realms. 

  Trinity of Western Paradise ... They are the Buddhas and the Great Bodhisattvas in Western Paradise (Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss): 1.Amitabha 2.Avalokitesvara (Kuan Yin) 3.Mahasthamaprapta 

  Tripitaka ... Tripitaka in Sanskrit, Tipitaka in Pali. The three parts of Pali canon, consisting of: 1.Sutra-Pitika (Sanskrit) or Sutta-Pitaka (Pali), or the Sutra Basket - containing the entire , the sermons attributed to the Shakyamuni Buddha. 2.Vinaya-Pitika (both Sanskrit and Pali), or the Ordinance Basket - containing the rules of monastic life. 3.Abhidharma-Pitika (Sanskrit) or Abhidhamma-Pitaka (Pali), or Shastras, or the Treatise Basket - containing the doctrinal commentaries, philosophical and technical works, such as discourses, discussions, or treatises on the dogma, doctrines, etc. 

  True Suchness ... Bhutatathata in Sanskrit word. Bhuta means substance that exists; tathata means suchness, thusness, i.e. such is its nature. It is regarded as the absolute, ultimate source and character of all phenomena. It is the eternal, imperson, unchangeable reality behind all phenomena. Simply speaking, it is ALL... There are many other terms to describe it, e.g. Buddha-nature, Self-nature Pure Mind, Dharmakaya (Dharma Body), Tathagata-garbha (Buddha-treasury), Reality (real mark), Dharma Realm, Dharma Nature, the Complete and Perfect real nature, etc. 

  Tusita Heaven ... The fourth devaloka in the Realm of Desire. Its inner department is the Pure Land of Maitreya who like Shakyamuni and all Buddhas, is reborn there before descending to earth as the next Buddha in our world. 

  Twelve Bases ... The Six Internal Bases and the Six External Bases are together called the Twelve Bases. Base implies the meaning of germinating and nourishing. All mental activities are germinated and nourished from these Twelve Bases. 

  Twelve Links of Dependent Origination ... see the Law of Dependent Origination. 

  Twelve Nidanas ... see the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination. 

  Twelve Places ... see the Twelve Bases. 

  Twenty Sects of Hinayana ... See the Eighteen Sects of Hinayana, plus the two originals, i.e. Mahasanghikah and Sthavirah called the Twenty Sects of Hinayana. 

  Two Deaths ... Two Deaths refer to 1.share-sectioned birth and death 2.changed birth and death 

  Two Forms of Death ... 1.Natural death of the life 2.Death form external cause and conditions 

  Two Obstacles ... Two Obstacles refer to: 1.the obstacle of afflictions 2.the obstacle of what is known 

  Two Sects of Hinayana ... It refers to the Sthaviravadin and Mahasanghika. 

  Two Vehicles ... Two Vehicles generally refer to Sravaka and Praetykabuddha. 

  Tathagata ... (English: Thus Come One . Chinese: ru lai []) A word used to refer to Buddhas -- either Shakyamuni Buddha or the Buddhas in general.. Tathagata is a Sanskrit word that means "one who has attained full realization of 'such-ness'" -- that is, one who has become one with the absolute "Body of Law" (Dharma-Kaya) in such a way that he or she neither "comes from anywhere" (na-agamana) nor "goes to anywhere" ( na-gaman). 

  Ten directions ... The ten directions, or ten quarters, are: north, south, east, west, north-east, south-east, north-west, south-west, the nadir, and the zenith. See also "six directions." 

  Ten Esoteric Doors ... See " Ten Mysterious Gates." 

  Ten evil acts ... The acts of (1) killing, (2) stealing, (3) indulging in sexual misconduct, (4) lying, (5) committing slander, (6) using coarse language, (7) indulging in empty chatter, (8) harboring covetousness, (9) using angry speech, and (10) holding wrong views. Opposite of the ten kind deeds. 

  Ten evil deeds ... See "ten evil acts." 

  Ten Great Vows (of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva) ... Ten vows made by Universal Worthy Bodhisattva (Samantabhadra) in the Flower Adornment Sutra. The essence of Mahayana practice is contained in these Ten Great Vows. The chapter in the Flower Adornment Sutra in which Universal Worthy Bodhisattva makes his Ten Great Vows is presented on the page titled "Flower Adornment Sutra, Chapter 40." 

  Ten Grounds ... According to the Mahayana sutras, there are a total of 52 levels of attainment before a cultivator achieves Buddhahood. The 41st to 50th levels constitute the level known as the Ten Grounds. Above these stages are the levels of Equal Enlightenment, Wonderful Enlightenment, and Buddhahood. 

  Ten Kind Deeds ... (1) No killing. (2) No stealing. (3) No sexual misconduct. (4) No lying. (5) No seductive speech. (6) No speech that would cause discord and hatred. (7) No harsh speech. (8) No greed. (9) No anger or hatred. (10) Refraining from ignorance. 

  Ten Mysteries ... See "Ten Mysterious Gates." 

  Ten Mysterious Gates ... Ten aspects of the interrelationship of all phenomena, as seen from the enlightened point of view. To explain such relationship and harmony, the Avatamsaka (Flower Adornment) School advances the Ten Profound Propositions: (1) All things are co-existent, corresponding to one another. (2) The intension and extension of one thing involve those of others without any obstacle. (3) The One and the Many are mutually inclusive. (4) All things are identical with one another. (5) The hidden and the manifested mutually perfect each other. (6) All minute and abstruse things mutually penetrate one another. (7) All things reflect one another. (8) Truth is manifested in facts and facts are the source of enlightenment. (9) The past, present and future are inter-penetrating. (10) All things are manifestations and transformations of the mind." 

  Ten Precepts ... See "Ten Kind Deeds." 

  Ten Profound Propositions ... See " Ten Mysterious Gates." 

  Ten quarters ... The ten directions. 

  Ten Recitation Method ... A technique of Buddha recitation described in the Contemplation Sutra and presented on the Web site on the page titled "The Ten Recitation Method." It is an ideal recitation method for people who are busy with mundane activities but want to practice Buddha recitation so they can achieve rebirth in the Pure Land. 

  Ten sins ... See "ten evil acts." 

  Ten Stages ... See "Ten Grounds." 

  Ten thousand conducts ... All the countless activities and cultivation practices of the Bodhisattvas. 

  Thoroughly learned ones ... Saints who have reached the fourth and final stage of Arhatship. Persons in the first three stages of Arhatship are called "learners." See also "four grades of disciples." 

  Those beyond learning ... See "thoroughly learned ones." 

  Those enlightened to conditions ... See "Pratyeka-Buddhas." 

  Those who are beyond study ... See "thoroughly learned ones." 

  Three Bodies of the Buddha ... According to Mahayana teachings, a Buddha has three bodies: a Dharma Body (Sanskrit: Dharmakaya, the Body of Reality); (2) A Reward Body (Sanskrit: Sambhogakaya, Noumenal Body, or, Celestial Body); and (3) a Transformation Body (Sanskrti: Nirmanakaya, Phenomenal Body, Manifested Body, or Incarnate Body). In the Dharma Body , a Buddha is the personification of Suchness, Emptiness, the Truth (e.g., Vairocana Buddha). A Buddha's Reward Body is a body that is obtained as a reward of completing Bodhisattva practice and understanding the Buddha-wisdom, which is transcendent and imperceptible to common mortals (e.g., Amitabha Buddha). In the Transformation Body, a Buddha is manifested in the ordinary world of samsara (e.g., Shakyamuni Buddha). 

  Three evil paths ... See "three evil realms." 

  Three evil realms ... The realms of (1) people in hells, (2) hungry ghosts, and (3) animals. 

  Three karmas ... Karmas accumulated as a result of actions by the body, mouth, and mind. 

  Three kinds of enlightment ... There are three different kinds of enlightenment: self-enlightenment, the ability to enlighten others, and the ability to attain self-enlightenment as well as to enlighten others. See also Chapter 1 of "Understanding Buddhism." 

  Three periods of time ... The past, present, and future. 

  Three poisons ... Greed, anger, and ignorance. 

  Three Realms ... See "Triple Realm." 

  Three Sages of the World of Ultimate Bliss ... Amitabha Buddha, Guan Yin Bodhisattva, and Great Strength Bodhisattva. 

  Three Studies ... Self-discipline, concentration, and wisdom. 

  Three Treasures ... See "Triple Jewels." 

  Thus Come One ... A name for a Buddha. Hsuan Hua explains that the world "Thus" connotes stillness, while the word "Come" connotes action. When combined, these two words connote stillness within action, or action within stillness: i.e., the Buddha. See also "Tathagata." 

  Transference of merit ... The practice of transferring, or sharing, one's own merits and virtues with others. For an example of a recitation for transferring merit, see the page titled "Dedication of Merit." 

  Tongue of subtle and wonderful eloquence ... The tongue of one who never tires of speaking the Buddha-dharma. 

  Transformation body ... See "Three Bodies of the Buddha." 

  Trikaya ... See "Three Bodies of the Buddha." 

  Triple Jewels ... The Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sanga. These are Sanskrit words for three good qualities we should all strive for: "Awareness and Understanding," "Right Understanding and Views," and "Purity and Harmony." Pure Land students who want to declare their intention to deepen their cultivation can participate in a ceremony called Taking Refuge in the Triple Jewels -- or, in Chinese, San Gui. 

  Triple Realm ... The realms of desire (our world), form (realms of the lesser dieties), and formlessness (realms of the higher dieties). The Pure Land is outside the Triple realm, beyond samsara and retrogression. 

  Triple Saints of the Flower Adornment Sutra ... The Triple Saints of the Flower Adornment (Avatamsaka) Sutra are Universal Worthy Bodhisattva; (Samantabhadra); Manjushri Bodhisattva, and the Tathagata (or Dhyani Buddha) Vairocana. 

  True Dharma Realm ... The state of being in which enlightement and the object of wisdom and enlightenment are one, not two. 

  Uddaka-Ramaputta ... Uddaka-ramaputta in Pali, Udraka-Ramaputra in Sanskrit. A sage under whom Shakyamuni studied meditation. The state reached by Uddaka-Ramaputta was that at which neither thought nor non-thought exists. 

  Udumbara Flower ... Udumbara flower blooms once every three thousand years, so it is rare and wonderful. It is used to describe how rare the occasion is. 

  Unconditioned dharma ... Also known as Asamskrta dharma, which is anything not subject to the principle of cause and effect, nor law of dependent origination, i.e. conditions. It is the dharma beyond the worldly ones. 

  Upanichads ... One of the four types of Vedic literature in ancient India, which are basically Brahmanic philosophical texts. It is a sophisticated exposition of Indian philosophy and metaphysics about man and universe. 

  Uruvela ... A town in Magadha where Shakyamuni attained his enlightenment and Buddhahood in the woods along Nairanjana river. 

  Uttarasailah ... One of the Hinayana School, a branch of Mahasanghika. It was established in the third century, after the Nirvana, whose seat is described as north of Jetavana. 

  Unconditioned merits and virtues ... Merits and virtues that do not have outflows and can therefore bring about liberation from the cycle of birth and death. 

  Understanding Buddhism ... A book on basic Buddhism by the Venerable Master Chin Kung. It is currently being translated into English. 

  Universal Worthy Bodhisattva ... A major Bodhisattva who personifies the transcendental practices and vows of the Buddhas (as compared to the Bodhisattva Manjushri, who represents transcendental wisdom). Often depicted seated on an elephant with six tusks representing the six paramitas. Achieved enlightenment by by doing "Ten Great Practices" and taking "Ten Great Vows," as related on the page titled "Flower Adornment Sutra, Chapter 40." 

  Universal Worthy's Conduct and Vows ... Chapter 40 of the Flower Adornment Sutra, in which Universal Worthy Bodhisattva made Ten Great Vows which contain the essence of the Mahayana. See the page titled "Flower Adornment Sutra, Chapter 40." 

  Upanishad ... (1) (Sanskrit) Dust-motes; thus, an inconceivably large number. (2) One of a set of Hindu scriptures called the Upanishads. (3) The name of a Bhodisattva who, before becoming a Bodhisattva, was plagued by an attachment to the female human form. To free himself of this attachment, Upanishad contemplated unpleasant features of dead and living human bodies, including bodies suffering the revolting effects of boils, wounds, and diseases. Once he was freed from his bondage to his to the flesh, he attained enlightenment. Upanishad relates this experience in the same chapter of the Shurangama Sutra in which Great Strength Bodhisattva explains how he became enlightened (see "The Enlightenment of Great Strength Bodhisattva "). 

  Vaibhasika ... A Hinayana school of the reality of all phenomena... It is said that there were four branches of the Vaibhasika school, so called after the Vaibhasika Shastra. 1.Sthavirah 2.Sarvastivadah 3.Vatsiputriyah 4.Mahasanghika... The school adhered primarily to two Sarvastivadin texts, the Jnanaprasthana and Abhidharmavibbasa-shastra. 

  Vaisya ... Vaisya in Sanskrit, Vaishya in Pali. The third of the four Indian Castes at the time of Shakyamuni. They were merchant, entrepreneurs, traders, farmers, manufacturers, etc., but not well-educated. 

  Vajrayana ... Also called Tantrayana. 

  Vast and Long Tongue ... one of the thirty-two monks of Buddha, big enough to cover his face; it is also one of the "marvels" in the Lotus Sutra. 

  Vasubandhu ... Buddhist philosopher of 500 A.D. The 21st Buddhist patriach of Mahayana Buddhism. He was great Buddhist commentator in Hinayana, but was converted to Yogacara by his brother Asanga. 

  Vatsiputriyas ... Vatsiputriyas in Sanskrit, Vajjiputtakas in Pali. Hinayanist sect often linked with Sammatiyah, which broke from the orothodox Sarvastivada. The founder was Vatsa. They may be classified as Pudgalavadins, accepting the pudgala transmigrated, and rejecting the theory of the Five Skandhas (the Five Aggregates comprising personality). They were considered schismatics through their insistence on the reality of the self. That individual self is neither the same nor different from the Five Skandhas. The doctrine challenged the Dharma exposition by the Sarvastivadah. The school was later dividied into four: Dharmottariyah Bhadrayaniyah Sammatiyah Sannagarikah 

  Vedana ... see Sensation or Five Skandhas. 

  Vedas ... Literally, it means knowledge. They are basic scriptures of Hinduism in India, composed between 2000 and 500 B.C. They consist of Rg-veda, Sama-veda, Yajur-veda and Atharva-veda. The collection is also known as the Vedic Samhita. Apart from Samhita, the Vedic literature regarded as Sruti were Brahmana, Aranyaka and Upanisads. 

  Vibhajyavada ... Literally means Distinctionist or Holders of the Doctrine of Distinctions. A sect of Ashoka's Council at Pataliputra (i.e. the Third Council). They were called as they made a distinction of phenomena in time into two categories; those that exist and those that do no... The meaning of the term, not necessarily limited to this sect, is the method of particularization in dealing with questions in debate. It is said that this school was established to harmonize the difference between the Sthaviras and Mahasanghikas... The Abhidhamma Pitaka was the definite work of this school, thus they gained supremacy over the Sarvastivadins in the Third Council. 

  Vigor ... the fourth Paramita, pure and unadulterated progress, i.e. zealous and courageous progressing in the good, and eliminating the evil. 

  Vimalakirti-Nivdesa Sutra ... Vimalakirti, a Sanskrit word, means undefiled and pure reputation. Vimalakirti was said to be a native of Vaisali, and an upasaka (not a monk) to assist Shakyamuni to preach and cross over the human beings. The Sutra is the record of interesting conversation between Vimalakirti and Manjusri Bodhisattva regarding the understanding of One Buddha Vehicle. 

  Vinaya School ... Emphasizes the monastic discipline founded by Tao Hsuan of the Tang Dynasty in China. 

  Vipasyana Sukhavativyuha Sutra ... It is one of the main sutra for Pure Land Sect. The Sutra indicates that the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha is one of the Buddha Lands. It also describes how to be born in the Pure Land through the Sixteen Contemplations. Therefore, the Sutra is also called "Sixteen Contemplations Sutra". 

  Visvabhadra Bodhisattva ... As one of the Four Great Bodhisattva, he is the one with the highest conduct. Visvabhadra, also known as Samantabhadra, means universal worthy. He is the lord of the fundamental law, the dhyana ( taking precepts) and the practice of all Buddhas. Visvabhadra, the guardian of law, is often placed on the right of Shakyamuni, while Manjusri, the guardian of wisdom, is the left. He always rides on a white elephant, is the patron of the Lotus Sutra, and its devotees, and has close connection with Hua-yen Sutra. He has Ten Great King Vows, which give an excellent guideline to all Buddhists to practice and cultivate the Buddha Way. 

  Volition ... or mental formation, or action, or conduct, or deed, usually done through the body, mouth or mind. The Sanskrit word is Samskara. 

  Vasubandhu Bodhisattva's Commentary on the Way to Reaching Pure Land ... A commentary by Vasubandhu Bodhisattva on the Infinite Life Sutra. In twenty-four stanzas, Vasubandhu explains how to attain birth in the Pure Land and praises the wonders Pure Land. 

  Vairochana ... A Sanskrit name for Shakyamuni Buddha, the Thus Come One of this saha world. In Sanskrit, the name Vairochana means "pervading everywhere." It refers to the Dharma body of Shakyamuni Buddha. 

  Way ... Generally, it refers to the Way of Bodhi or enlightenment leading to Nirvana through spiritual stages, and even to Buddhahood through Bodhisattva's practices. Sometimes, it is also called the Path, the Road, the Truth, the Reason, the Logos, Cosmic Energy, etc., depending on different circumstances. 

  Wheel of Law ... The Buddha-truth which is able to crush all evil, and which rolls on from man to man, place to place and age to age. To turn the wheel means to preach Buddha-truth. 

  Wheel-rolling King ... Cakkavatti-raja in Pali, Cakravarti-raja in Sanskrit. Also known as Sagely Wheel-turning King. There are four such kings, each with a precious wheel of gold, silver, copper, and iron. The kings reign over the four areas in north, south, east and west. It is believed that the Gold-Wheel King is to come in perfection and unify the world. In Indian mythology, he is the ideal ruler. 

  Wisdom ... the highest of Paramita; the virtue of wisdom as the principal means of attaining Nirvana. It connotes a knowledge of the illusory character of everything earthly, and destroys error, ignorance, prejudice and heresy. 

  World Honoured One ... One of the titles of the Buddha. In Sutras, this is the respected title of Shakyamuni Buddha. See also Ten Titles of Buddha. 

  Western Pure Land ... See "Pure Land." 

  Wheel of Dharma ... See " Dharma wheel." 

  Wheel-turning kings ... (Sanskrit: chakra-varti-rajas, "holy kings who turn the wheel.") Great kings who rule various worlds but are not as high as Buddhas or great Bodhisattvas. 

  World Honored Ones ... Buddhas. 

  Worldly dusts ... See "dusts." 

  Wonderful Enlightenment ... See "Ten Grounds." 

  Yaksa ... The demons in the lower realm, like the Ghost Realm. They are evil, malignant and violent. They live on earth or in air. 

  Yana ... a Sanskrit word means vehicle. A term applied to Buddhism as a means by which a practitioner cultivates on the path to enlightenment. The different vehicles correspond to views of spiritual path, that differ as to the basic attitude of the practitioner and the means of making progress on the way. There are categories of one, two, three and five vehicles. 

  Yasodhara ... the wife of Siddhartha Goutama. She later became a Bhikhuni. 

  Yogacara ... See Dharmalaksana School. 

  Yakshas ... Demons who can move very fast. 

  Yin Guang ... Master Chin Kung's Dharma Teacher was Professor Ping-Nan Lee. Professor Lee's Teacher was Master Yin Guang. 

  Yin Kuang ... See "Yin Guang." 

  Zeal ... see Vigor. 

  Zen ... also called Chan; see Contemplation and Meditation. 

  Zen ... A Japanese school of Buddhism, which is much like the Chinese school of Buddhism known as Chan. "Zen" is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese character "Chan" (or "Ch'an"). 




Namo Amitabha

Life’s most awesome event is death, and death comes to all without regard to wealth, beauty, intelligence or fame. Death is inevitable, but how you die—terrified and confused, or with confidence and spiritual mastery—is within your control.