- see charity.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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. Guan Yin is one of the most popular Bodhisattva in China.
- Sanskrit word, the Buddha of Medicine, who quells all diseases and
lengthens life. His is the Buddha in the Pure Land of
the Paradise of the East.
- 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.
- the highest of the four Indian Castes at the time of Shakyamuni. They served Brahma, his offering, the keepers
of the Vedas, i.e. priestly.
- means "the Enlightened One" or "the Awakened One".
- also called Zen; see Contemplation and Meditation.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Sanskrit word, means law, truth, anything Buddhist. It is used in the
sense of all things, visible or invisible.
- see Vigor.
- see Vigor.
- 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 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 flouishing of the Five Skandhas
- Eight Winds
- or the Winds of Eight Directions. Most people are usually moved by the
winds of the eight directions:
- Eighteen Fields
- The Six Consciousness and the Twelve Bases are together called the Eighteen Fields.
- 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
- The Sanskrit word is Sunya. One of the key concepts in Buddhism.
Emptiness is an abstract idea representing impermanence, unreality,
instability, transcience 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 depdent or caused by the conditions of
Emptiness is not nothing, but it is the condition of existence of everything.
It permeates all phenomena making possible their evolution.
- see Patience.
- see Vigor.
- Evil Time of Five Turbidities
- It refers to the time on Earth. The Five Turbidities are
(1) the Kalpa Turbidity
(2) the View Turbidity
(3) the Affliction Turbidity
(4) the Living Beings Turbidity
(5) the Life Turbidity
- Five Basic Afflications
- The five fundamental conditions of the passions and delusions:
- wrong view, which are common to the Trailokya
- clinging or attachment in the Desire Realm
- clinging or attachment in the Form Realm
- clinging or attachment in the Formless Realm
- the state of unenlightenment or ignorance in Trailokya, which is the root-cause of all distressful
- Five Bhikshus
- The first five of Buddha's converts: Ajnata-Kaundinya, Asvajit, Bhadrika,
Dasabala-Kasyapa, and Mahanama-Kulika. They were the first five disciples
that Shakyamuni preached when he became Buddha.
- 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
- the esoteric
- words having multiple meanings
- words for things not existing in China
- words not translated in accord with already established precedent
- words left untranslated in order to give rise to wholesomeness and respect
- Five Commandments
- see Five Precepts.
- Five Eyes
- There are five classes of eyes:
1. human eye
2. devine eye
3. dharma eye
4. wisdom eye
5. Buddha eye
- Five Offences
- The five rebellious acts or deadly sins:
(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:
- Matter or Form (Rupa) - the physical form responded to the five organs of
senses, i.e., eye, ear, nose, tongue and body
- Sensation or Feeling (vedana) - the feeling in reception of physical
things by the senses through the mind
- Recognition or Conception (sanjna) - the functioning of mind in
distinguishing and formulating the concept
- 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
- Consciousness (vijnana) - the mental faculty in regard to perception,
cognition and experience
- Five Vehicles
- The Five Vehicles converying to the karma-reward which differs according
to the vehicle:
- Human Vehicle - rebirth among human conveyed by observing the Five Commandments (Five Precepts)
- Deva Vehicle - among the devas by the Ten Forms of Good
Actions (Ten Wholesomeness)
- "Sound-Hearing" Arhat - among the sravakas by the Four Noble Truths
- "Enlightened by Conditions" Arhat - among the
pratyeka-buddhas by the Twelve Nidanas
- Bodhisattva - among the Bodhisattvas by the Six Paramita
- Four Aspects (of Buddhist Dharma)
- (1) the teaching
(2) the principle
(3) the practice
(4) the fruit/reward/result
- Four Great Bodhisattva
- They represent the four major characters of Bodhisattva:
- Manjusri - Universal Great Wisdom Bodhisattva
- Samantabhadra - Universal Worthy Great Conduct Bodhisattva
- Ksitigarbha - Earth TReasury King Great Vow Bodhisattva
- 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 Noble Truths
- It is the primary and fundamental doctrines of Shakyamuni
The first two are considered to be related to this life, and the last two to
the life outside and beyond this world.
- Doctrine of Suffering - suffering is a necessary attribute of sentient
existence (Effect of Suffering)
- Doctrine of Accumulation - accumulation of suffering is caused by passions
(Cause of Suffering)
- Doctrine of Extinction - extinction of passion (Effect of Happiness)
- Doctrine of Path - Path leading to the extinction of passion (Cause of
Happiness); i.e. Eightfold Path.
The Four Noble Truths were first preached to Shakyamuni's five former ascetic
- Four Reliance (to learning Buddhist Dharma)
- The four standards of Right Dharma which buddhist should rely on or abide
(1) to abide by the Dharma, not the person
(2) to abide by the sutras of ultimate truth, not the sutras of incomplete
(3) to abide by the meaning, not the word
(4) to abide by the wisdom, not the consciousness
- Four Unlimited Mind
- The mind of Bodhisattva:
- Four Virtues
- The four Nirvana virtues:
(1) Eternity or permanence
These four important virtues are affirmed by the sutra in the transcendental
- Four Ways (of learning Buddhist Dharma)
- (1) Belief/faith
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.
- see charity.
- Heavenly Eye
- see Devine Eye.
- 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.
- Sanskrit word meaning 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
- 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.
- Law of Dependent Organization
- 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.
- the mother of Shakaymuni. She was the Koliyan Princess and married to
- 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.
- The Sanskrit word is Dharani, i.e. esoteric incantation. It is a treatise
with mystical meaning, and is regarded as every word and deed of a Bodhisattva. It is one of the most popular method of
cultivation in Buddhism, especially in Shingon or "True Word" sect.
- 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
Rupa is one of the Six Bahya-ayatanna or Six Gunas and
also one of the Five Skandhas.
- the fifth Paramita. There are numerous methods
and subjects of meditation. See also Contemplation.
- the second Paramita, to take precepts and to keep
the moral laws.
- 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
- 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.
- completely liberated from existence, absolute extinction or annihilation,
complete extinction of individual existence. Nirvana is not death, but is
- 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 above plus
(7) upaya - use of expedient or proper means
(8) pranidhana - vow of bodhi and helpfulness
(9) bala - strength
Childers gives the list of ten as the perfect exercise of
Each of the ten is divided into ordinary, superior and unlimited perfection,
making up to thirty in total.
- kindness/universal love and
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. The Pure-Land Sect whose chief tenet is
salvation by faith in Amitabha; it is the popular cult in China and Japan.
- Three Realms.
- Realm of Formlessness
- see Realm of Sensuous Desire
- see 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
- 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
- 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
- Right Understanding
- see Right View.
- Right View
- understanding the Four Noble Truths; the first of
the Eightfold Path.
- see Matter or Five Skandhas.
- Saha Land
- It refers to the land on Earth. Saha interprets as bearing and enduring.
Saha Land is contrary to Pure Land.
- Sanskrit word for meditation. See Meditation and Contemplation.
- Sanskrit word meaning turning of the wheel or revolving. It refers to the
transmigration in the Six Directions of Reincarnation.
- see Volition or Five
- see Recognition or Five
- One of the principal disciples of Shakyamuni,
noted for his wisdom and learning. He was also the right-hand attendant on
Shakyamuni. 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.
- or Feeling. The Sanskrit word is Vedana. One of the Five Skandhas. See Five
- 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".
- Siddhartha Goutama
- the Sanskrit word of Siddhartha, the name of Shakyamuni when he was born to the Prince Suddhodana. The
name means "wish fulfilled".
- Six Consciousness
- They are the perceptions and the discriminative ability of eye, ear, nose,
tongue, body and mind.
- 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
- Six External Bases
- see Six Gunas.
- Six Fields of Senses
- see Six Gunas.
- 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 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 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
- see Six Sense-organs.
- Six Sense-organs
- see Six Indriyas.
- Six States of Existence
- see Six Directions of Reincarnation.
- Sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception
- the highest heaven of the four "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.
- Pure Rice Prince, the father of Shakyamuni, ruled
over the Sakyans at Kapilaratthu on the Nepalese border.
- the lowest of the four Indian Castes at the time of Shakyamuni. They were peasants, slaves and serfs.
- It is a "path" necessarily passed through in the cultivation of the Way.
- Taking Precepts
- see Morality.
- Ten Directions
- the ten directions of space, i.e. the eight points of the compass and the
nadir and zenith. There is a Buddha in each direction.
- Ten Good Deeds
- The Ten Forms of Good Actions for layman, or Ten Wholesomeness.
It is essential for the rebirth in Deva realm.
- No killing
- No stealing
- No adultery
- No lying
- No slandering
- No harsh speech
- No idle talks
- No greed
- No hatred
- No illusion
- Ten Paramita
- see Paramita.
- Ten Wholesomeness
- see Ten Good Deeds.
- Three Classifications
- Buddha shows that a person is nothing more than a combination of various
elements which come together under suitable conditions. They are
- the Five Skandhas
- the Twelve Bases
- the Eighteen Fields
- 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 Jewels
- Or the Three Precious Ones, i.e. the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
- Three Obstacles
When the Three Obstacles are cleared and dissolved, the Three Virtues will be perfected.
- the karmic obstacle
- the affliction obstacle
- the retribution obstacle
- Three Poisons
- or Three Roots
These are the source of all the passions and delusions.
- Greed or wrong desire
- Hatred or anger
- Illusion or stupidity or ignorance
- Three Realms
- Sanskrit word is Trailokya. It is Buddhist metaphysical equivalence for
the triple world of earth, atmosphere and heaven.
- Realm of Sensusous Desire (Sanskrit word is Kamadhatu) of sex and food.
It includes the Six Hevens of Desire, the Human World and the Hells.
- Realm of Form (Sanskrit word is Rupaadhatu) of matter which is substantial
and resistant. It includes the Heavens of Four Zen (Sanskrit word is
- 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.
- 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
- Three Studies
- or Three Vehicles of Learning
It is practiced by the Arhats.
- Sila, i.e. taking Precepts
- Dhyana, i.e. concentration and medition
- Prajna, i.e. wisdom
- 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 Virtues
- the virtue of liberation
- the virtue of prajna
- the virtue of Dharma-body
- see Twelve Bases
- The Six Internal Bases and the 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.
- Two Forms of Death
- (1) Natural death of the life
(2) Death form external cause and conditions
- the third of the four Indian Castes at the time of Shakyamuni. They were merchant, entrepreneurs, traders,
farmers, manufacturers, etc., but not well-educated.
- 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.
- see Sensation or Five
- the fourth Paramita, pure and unadulterated
progress, i.e. zealous and courageous progressing in the good, and eliminating
- or mental formation, or action, or conduct, or deed, usually done through
the body, mouth or mind. The Sanskrit word is Samskara.
- 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.
- the wife of Siddhartha Goutama.
- see Vigor.
- also called Chan; see Contemplation and Meditation.