A - E

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

Abhdidharma-kosa One of the most important works of Buddhist scholasticism, written by Vasubandhu prior ro his conversion to Mahayana. It was written based on the philosophical system of scholastic treatise Mahavibhasa. The treatise was the principal text of Chu-she Sect in Chinese Buddhism. Chu-she (俱舍 ) is the Chinese pronunciation of 'kosa'.

See also Abhidharmakosha Shastra.

Abhidharma Mahavibhasha Shastra / Mahavibhasha Shastra Great Commentary was translated by Hsuan Tsang in 200 fascicles in 656-659 A.D.

阿毗達磨大毗婆沙論 /大毗婆沙論
Abhidharmakosha Shastra Abhidharma Storehouse Treatise was translated by Hsuan Tsang in 30 fascicles between 651-654 A.D.

Abhisambuddha A Sanskrit word which means 'manifest complete Buddha', generally referred to Shakyamuni Buddha after his Full Enlightenment.

Abhiseka A ceremony that indicates a person's official entry into a Buddhist group, generally practiced in esoteric Buddhism. It is considered to be the initiation of anyone who wishes to engage in ritual and meditation practice.

Acharya Acharya is a Sanskrit word which means 'a teacher who exemplifies the rules' ( 軌範師 ). He is the master who follows the rules and understands them. There are five kinds of Acharya:
  1. An Acharya whom one follows to leave the home-life and to receive the precepts ( 出家阿闍黎 ).
  2. An Acharya who transmits the teaching ( 授戒阿闍黎 ).
  3. A Karmadana Acharya who perform repentances for your offenses ( 羯磨阿闍黎 ).
  4. An Acharya upon whom one relies ( 依止阿闍黎 ).
  5. An Acharya who recites the Sutras and teaches you to recite Sutras and Mantras ( 教讀阿闍黎 ).

One person can be all five kinds of Acharya. An Acharya is the one to help you to realize the Way. He aids you in your cultivation of the Way. He stands beside you and admonishes you. When people who have left home-life go out, they should go in two or three. The three would be a young monk, a senior-seated monk and an Acharya.

Adjita Buddha Adjita literally means invincible (無能勝). It is the title given by Shakyamuni Buddha to Maitreya Bodhisattva (彌勒菩薩), who will be the next Buddha in our world. See also Maitreya.

Agada medicine A remedy counteracting a poison.

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)   長阿含
2.     Mojjhima-nikaya     Madhyamagama (Middle-length Sayings)   中阿含
3.     Samyutta-nikaya     Samyuktagama (Kindred Sayings)   雜阿含
4.     Anguttara-nikaya     Ekottaragama (Gradual Sayings)   增一阿含
5.     Khuddaka-nikaya     Ksudrakagama (Minor Saying)   小阿含

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

Akchayamati Bodhisattva Akchayamati literally means the Bodhisattva of exhausting the meaning (無盡意). A fictitious being to whom Shakyamuni addressed to a series of remarks about Avalokitesvara.

Akchobhya Buddha Akchobhya is a Sanskrit word, which means motionless (無動). The Buddha resides in a realm called Abhirati (歡喜國) in the east of our universe.

Aksha A shrub found in India which bears three fruits in a cluster on one stem.

Aksobhya Buddha The Buddha who resides over the eastern Pure Land of Abhirati. He has a great vow that one will not be angry to any being if one recites his name. Literally, Aksobhya means unperturbed. He is one of the Five Celestial Buddha, associated with the eastern direction.

阿閃佛 / 不動佛 / 不動明王
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 Consciousness The eighth consciousness, called Alaya in Sanskrit ( 阿賴耶 ), is a very subtle one that most people are not aware of . However, it is actually the master of mind, upon which all other seven consciousnesses rely. See also 'Eight Consciousnesses' and 'Alaya'.

Upon the actions taken by the first seven consciousnesses, the Alaya consciousness is 'perfumed' ( 薰 ) to become habituated and efficient in manifestation. That efficiency or energy to produce a result when the conditions are ripened is called a 'seed' ( 種子 ). It is 'stored' in the Alaya consciousness. Thus, the Alaya consciousness is usually described as the 'seed bed', where all the 'seeds' of good and bad karmas are stored, so it is called 'store consciousness', or 'store-house consciousness'.

The seed will sprout out into the external phenomenal world, corresponding to the manifestation of its former cognition and action. It then turns to some new impressions/ideas after perception, and reflect back in the Alaya consciousness as a new seed. Thus, the seeds accumulate and all are stored there together.

Each seed has infinite power to produce a manifestation. There are basically two kinds of seeds, namely, the old original seeds ( 本有 ) and the new perfumed seeds ( 新薰 ). The old seeds latent in the Alaya consciousness exist wholly and completely in the Ten Realms ( 十法界 ), which are ready to be 'perfumed' by external causes, and then manifested. The new seeds are perfumed from time to time. The old and new seeds together produce all manifestations of the existence of the universe, including all lives.

The old seed, the manifestation and the new seeds are mutually dependent upon each other, forming a cycle, which forever repeats the same process without cessation, unless it is transformed to 'wisdom'.

The Alaya consciousness also plays an important role in the rebirth, as it determines what the next form or realm of the life will be, as it keeps all records of all the good and evil actions done in the preceding life, and the seeds will sprout in time when the causal conditions are ripened. It is interesting to know that the Sanskrit word Alaya means non-extinction. It refers to its non-destructive and non-extinctive nature in the cycle of birth and death.

The Alaya consciousness is the last one that leaves our body, indicating the end of one stage of life. Sometimes, it is regarded as the 'soul' in the western world, as it is the seed with energy and volition to drive the sentient beings to another life. Unless the sentient beings break through the ignorance ( 無明 ) in the cycle of birth and death, they will incarnate in the six paths, i.e. hell, hungry ghost, animal, Asura, man, and heaven.

Out of the fifty-one Dharmas of Mental Functions, the Alaya consciousness responds to five only. They are touch ( 觸 ), volition ( 作意 ), sensation ( 受 ), thought ( 想 ) and idea ( 思 ).

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 Sutra Also known as Smaller Sukhavativyuha 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. It consists of 1 fascicle translated in Chinese by Kumarajiva in 402 AD.

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.

Amitayus Buddha An alternative manifestation of Amitabha, who is particularly emphasized in longevity. He is generally depicted with red skin and holding a begging bowl containing the elixir immortality.

Amogha/Amoghavajra (705-774 A.D.) Amogha/Amoghavajra was a northern Brahamaric descent, who lost his father when he was fifteen. He travelled to China with his uncle in 718 A.D. and became a disciple of Varjabodhi. He was famous in the Yogacara School, and proficient in both exoteric and esoteric teachings of Buddhism. He was also the preceptor of the kings in the Tang Dynasty.

He translated 110 scriptures in 143 fascicles such as:

不空 / 智藏
Amoghasiddi One of the five Celestial Buddhas of Mahayana Buddhism. He is associated with the north direction, Literally, Amoghasiddi means unfailing accomplishment.

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.

Anasrava Sanskrit word which means no leak. It refers to the causes with non-outflow virtues and merits. It is contrary to Asrava that is worldly and mundane with outflow of virtues and merits.

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.

Arbuda A Sanskrit word that refers to the second week of embryonic development, the globule.

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.

Ariya Pali word, Arya in Sanskrit. Pure and noble sage who is far removed from passions. Generally applied to Buddhas and Arhats.

Arrogance Arrogance is one of the Five Primary Afflictions, or Five Fundamental Afflictions. In Buddhism, arrogance or conceit are based on seven things:
  1. One may rely on one's worldly wisdom and intelligence.
  2. One may rely on one's influential or lofty position.
  3. One may rely on one's elderly years.
  4. One may rely on one's class or family.
  5. One may rely on one's vast understanding.
  6. One may rely on one's great blessing.
  7. One may rely on one's wealth.

Aryasatyani Sometimes written as Aryanisatyani or Tchatursatya, which means four dogmas. They are:
  1. Dukha (苦)
  2. Samudaya (集)
  3. Nirodha (滅)
  4. Marga (道)

See also Four Noble Truths.

Aryasthavirah See Sthavirah.

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

Asamskrta Sanskrit word which means unconditioned, i.e. anything not subject to cause, condition or dependence, transcendental and eternal.

See also Unconditioned Dharmas and Samskrta.

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.

Astashasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra It is called 'Tao-hsing pan-jo ching' ( 道行般若經 ) as translated with 10 fascicles by Lokashema in 179 AD. It is also called 'Hsiao-pin pan-jo ching' ( 小品般若經 ), i.e. Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in Eight Thousand Lines, as translated with 10 fascicles by Kumarajiva in 408 AD.

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.

Asvaghosa A famous Buddhist master who was born about 600 years after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha. He synthesized the essence of Mahayana teaching Mahayanaraddhotpada Shastra, or called Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana. He indicated that the phenomenal world was the actualization under the limits of space-time of Buddha ( symbolized as Amitabha). He also wrote famous Life of Buddha in verse, Buddha Caritakavya. He was accomplished musician and poet.

Atman The individual self or the soul in Brahmanic thought.

Attachment Attachment is the main cause of suffering, whereas the 'attachment to self' is the root cause of suffering. For the seasoned practitioner, even Dharma must not become an attachment. The practitioner's mind will not be fully liberated until he severs both attachment to self ( 我執 ) and attachment to Dharma ( 法執 ).

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).

Avijja Pali word which means ignorance. See 'Ignorance'.

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.

Bardo A special term to describe the intermediate state between the death in the physical existence and reincarnation. It is a purely mental state, and its conditions depend on the nature of the personality creating them. It varies from 7 to 49 days when the karma-body will be reborn.

Bathing the Buddha Ceremony Also known as Vesak, which is the most important Buddhist festivals. It celebrates the Buddha's birthday, which is taken to be the eighth day of the fourth month of the lunar month. Tradition says that after his birth in Lumbini Garden, the baby Buddha (called Prince Siddhartha) tool seven steps, each treading on a lotus flower, declaring that he had come into the world to become the Buddha. Thereafter, the heavens offered flowers and the nine celestial dragons washed him with fragrant rain that sprang their mouths. After the bath, the young prince was purified in body and mind. Bathing the Buddha is a way to commemorating the day Shakyamuni Buddha was born.

The bathing the Buddha symbolizes inner purification of the devotees and also their sins. In the ceremony, the altar is designated a flower garden, the monks use a ladle to pour fragrant water made with special herbs over a statue of the infant Buddha. Thus, the statue is rinsed with clean water, It serves as a reminder to purify the mind from greed, hatred and ignorance. Chanting and praying by the devotee are the essential part of the ceremony. It is taken to be a national holiday in several countries with large Buddhist population.

Bell Bowl (Da Qing) One of the ritual instruments in the temple. The bell-bowl made from metals such as bronze or steel and shaped like a bowl. It is a major percussion instrument used in Chinese Buddhist chanting sessions and Dharma functions and is sounded throughout ceremonies to punctuate the reading of religious texts. A short wooden rod is truck against the edge of the bell-bowl, creating a long resonating tone that floods the temple space with a field of acoustic energy.

The sizes of the bell-bowl range from large to medium to small. The large bell-bowl is usually set on a stand near the main altar and is used when a large assembly of people chants in a large temple hall. Bell-bowls of a smaller size are generally used for chanting by smaller groups of people.

Benare Kambala A woolen mantle made in Bernares, India.

Bhadra Kalpa It is the Kalpa, or era that we are present in this world.

Bhadrakalpa It is the Kalpa in which we now live. In Chinese, it is called 賢劫 or 善劫 ,which means 'the Good Kalpa'. There are 1,000 Buddhas to be born. Shakyamuni Buddha was the fourth one, while Maitreya is to follow. It is said to last 236 millions years, but over 151 million years have already elapsed, as stated in the Bhadrakalpa Sutra. The previous Kalpa is called the Glorious Kalpa or Adornment Kalpa (莊嚴劫), while the next is to be the Constellation Kalpa (星宿劫). In the Glorious Kalpa, there were another thousand Buddhas, one after the other, bring their contribution of the adornment. Similarly, in the Constellation Kalpa, a thousand Buddha will appear too.

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

Bhagavat A Sanskrit word which means 'teacher', generally referred to Shakyamuni as a great teacher. It has many different meanings:
  1. one who possesses auspicious signs,
  2. one who destroys illusions evil,
  3. one who is provided with such auspicious virtues of freedom as the law, fame, good signs, desire and diligence,
  4. one who has completely understood the Four Noble Truths,
  5. one who receives and keeps various excellent practices,
  6. one who has abandoned the wandering of transmigration.

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.

Bhaisajyaguru Vaidurya Prabhasa Purvapranidhanavisesavistara It was translated by Hsuan Tsang in 1 fasicle.

Bhechadjya Radja Bodhisattva Also written as Bhaisajyaradja Bodhisattva, and known as Medicine King Bodhisattva, a disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha.

Bhechadjya Samudgata Bodhisattva Also written as Bhaisajya Samudgata Bodhisattva, and known as Medicine Superior Bodhisattva, a disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha.

Bhikshu Bhikshu is a Sanskrit, which has three meanings:
  1. A mendicant ( 乞士 ), who takes his bowl out to beg for food in streets.
  2. A frightener of Mara ( 怖魔 ), who can frighten Mara, the King of Evil.
  3. The destroyer of evil ( 破惡 ), who breaks up the evils of ignorance and affliction.

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.

Bodhiruchi (572-727 A.D.) Bodhiruchi studied many non-Buddhist religions, but took refuge in Buddhism in the age of 60, and achieved thorough understanding of all Buddhist scriptures in 5 years. He translated 53 scriptures in 110 fascicles in 17 years, including:

He died in the age of 156.

菩提流志 / 覺愛
Bodhisattva Treasury Sutra It was translated by Hsuan Tsang in 20 fascicles in 645 A.D.

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.

Bodhisattva-bhumi Shastra A treatise written by Asanga in Sanskrit. It outlines the path to Buddhahood followed by the Bodhisattva, and describe the practice pertaining to the path. It is the fifteenth section of the columinous 'Levels of Yoga Practice'.

It is also known as Sutra of a Bodhisattva's Spiritual States, which is a partial translation of the Yogacharabhumi Shastra. Sometimes, it is simply called 'Ti-chih-lun' ( 地持論 ) in Chinese, translated by Dharmakshema in 10 fascicles between 414-426 AD.

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.

Brahmajula Sutra Brahma Net Sutra, translated by Kumarajiva in 2 fascicles.

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 Recitation The most common Pure Land practice technique is recitation of Amitabha Buddha's name. There are several kinds of Buddha Recitation, namely,
  1. Oral recitation by holding Buddha's name ( 持名念佛 )
  2. Visualization / Contemplation of his auspicious mark and those of the Pure Land ( 觀想念佛 )
  3. Real Mark Buddha Recitation ( 實相念佛 )

Buddha Remembrance A synonym for Buddha Recitation in the general sense. Reciting the Buddha's name proceeds from the mind. The mind remembers Buddha and does not forget, thus Buddha Remembrance can be taken as reciting the Buddha's name mindfully.

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

Buddha's Teaching in Three Periods Fa-hsiang sect classifies the Buddha's teachings into three periods:

  1. Elementary Teaching ( 始教 ) - After the enlightenment of Shakyamuni Buddha, he preached the teaching of Five Skandhas in Agamas Sutra, which rejected the doctrine of 'self in reality' advocated by the heterodox religions. It is the period that self is empty and Dharma is existent.

  2. Emptiness Teaching ( 空教 )- Later, the Buddha preached the teaching of Prajna and expounded the doctrines on emptiness. Both self and Dharmas are empty in nature.

  3. Middle Path Teaching ( 中道教 ) - In Sandhinirmocana Sutra, the Buddha explained the profound meaning of Middle Path, which rejected those who attached to either 'existence' or 'emptiness', and explained the inter-dependency of the existence of True Mind and the emptiness of all phenomena. Fa-hsiang sect was established in accordance with the teaching of Middle Path.

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).

Buddhabhadra (394-468 A.D.) Buddhabhadra was from Central India. He was invited by Master Hui-yen (慧遠) to stay at Mount Lu (盧山) to translate sutras. He translated 13 scriptures of 125 fascicles including:

Buddhabhumi Sutra Shastra The Treatise on Buddha-stage Sutra was translated by Hsuan Tsang in 7 fascicles.

Buddhabhumi Sutra Buddha-stage Sutra was translated by Hsuan Tsang in 1 fascicle in 645 A.D.

Buddhajiva (~423 A.D.) Buddhajiva was specialized in Vinaya. His translated works include Mahishasaka Vinaya, i.e. Five-category Vinaya (五分律) 30 fascicles.

佛陀什 / 覺壽
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.

Buddhayashas Buddhayashas was the teacher/advisor of Kumarajiva in Buddhism. He was welcomed by the Emperor Yao Hsing (姚興) of Later Chin Dynasty (後秦) when he arrived in Chang-an (長安), China. His translation works include:

Caitya Reliquary monuments that are built to accommodate the remains or relics of the Buddha (also known as Sairara) or some other revered masters.

Caityasailah See Jetavaniyah.

Caityavandana See Jetavaniyah.

Cakra Also called Dharma-cakra, or Dharma Wheel, or Wheel of Doctrine. It is an important symbolic motif in Buddhism. It often represents the Dharma. It has eight spokes, symbolizing the 'Eightfold Noble Path'. Sometimes, it has twelve spokes, symbolizing the twelve links (also known as Nidana) of the cycle of dependent origination.

Candle and Candlestick Holder A candle, like an oil-lamp, feeds a burning flame which in Buddhism represents the illumination of Wisdom. The candlestick holder serves to hold the candle in place and to elevate its height so that the burning flame can produce a better effect of radiance. Candlestick holders can have various designs incorporating the forms of lotus flowers, auspicious animals, and other aesthetic and symbolic images. They can be made of various substances including any type of metal or alloy, wood and stone.

Traditionally, candles (and the candlestick holders) are one of the three basic objects that are always placed on shrine tables and offering platforms. The other two basic objects are the incense vessel and a pair of flower vases. Candles are always placed in pairs on the altar table on both sides of the incense vessel.

The candle was probably a later development that came after the use of the oil-lamp and was gradually adopted as an important item for placement in shrines and on offering platforms.

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

Caturdvipa The four inhabited continents of every universe, namely Purvavideha in the East (東毗提洲), Jambudvipa in the South (南瞻部洲) , Aparagodaniya in the West (西牛賀洲) and Uttarakuru in the North (北瞿盧洲). They are situated around the four sides of Mount Sumeru (須彌山). Our Earth is located in Jambudvipa.

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.

Chan Jan Also called Chan Jan of Chang Chi ( 荊溪 ), the ninth patriarch of Tien-tai sect.

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.

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

Chan Also called Zen; see Contemplation and Meditation.

Chao Chou Master Tsung-shen ( 從諗 ) of Chao Chou, successor of Nan Chuan ( 南泉 ). He was a famous Ch'an master in China. He died in 897 AD at the age of 120.

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.

Chi Hsien He was an eminent Ch'an master resided in Hsiang Yen ( 香嚴 ) in China. He was the disciple of Kuei Shan ( 溈山 ). He died in 914 AD at the age of 96.

Chia Shan He was an eminent Ch'an master Shan Hui ( 善會 ) of Chia Shan in China. He died in 881 AD.

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 Chih ( 止 ) and Kuan ( 觀 ) are the Chinese translation of the Sanskrit terms of Samatha and Vipasyana respectively.

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

This method of meditation employed by Tien-tai ( 天台 ) school, as their practice in cultivation. It is systematized by Chih-I ( 智顗 ) who wrote the most influential meditation book called 'The Great Calming and Insight' ( 摩訶止觀 ), in which he outlined a path of practice that begins with cultivation of morality leading to perceiving all Dharmas directly as being empty of inherent existent.

See also 'Samatha' and 'Vipasyana'.

Chih-chien (~200 A.D.) Chih-chien went to China from Kushan (月支國) during the Dong-wu Dynasty (東吳) in the Period of Disunity. He translated 88 scriptures for both Hinayana and Mahayana, including:

Chin Chin ( 經 ) is the Chinese translation of the Sanskrit word 'Sutra' ( 修多羅 ). It means 'to tally' ( 契經 ), as the Sutra is the common designation for all the discourses of the Buddha, Shakyamuni. A Sutra tallies above with the principles of all Buddhas, and tallies below with the opportune circumstances for teaching all living beings.

'Chin' in Chinese is also defined as a 'path' ( 徑 ), for it can lead ordinary people to attain Buddhahood. The word 'Chin' has four further meanings:

  1. Stringing together ( 貫 ) - a Sutra strings together the meanings within it, like beads on a thread.
  2. Attracting ( 攝 ) - a Sutra attracts the beings for whom the teaching will be opportune. It is like a magnet to attract people.
  3. Constant ( 常 ) - the principles expounded in a Sutra are applicable from the ancient time to the present.
  4. Method ( 法 ) - a Sutra is revered by beings in the past, present and future because it contains methods to cultivate the Way, realize Buddhahood, and teach and transform living beings.

See also Sutra and Tripitaka.

Chu Fo-nein Chu Fo-nein was the companion of Buddhayashas in translation works. There were 12 scriptures in 74 fascicles in his own translation works, including 十住斷續經, and Dirgha-agama, i.e. Long Sayings (長阿含經) 22 fascicles in 412-413 A.D., jointly with Buddhayashas.

Chu Shih-hsing (~3rd Century) He went to Khotan requesting the King for the original texts of Buddhist sutras. He was also the translator.

Chu Ti He was an eminent Ch'an master at Chin Hua ( 金華 ) in China. He was the disciple of Tien Lung ( 天龍 ) in the 9th century.

Chu Yu Ch'an master who was the disciple of Nan Chuan ( 南泉 ). He died in the 9th century.

Citta Sanskrit word meaning 'heart', but is often translated as 'mind' or 'thought'. It refers to mental processes in general and is commonly said to be synonymous with Manas (sentience) and Vijnana (Consciousness). Thus, it is a collective term to describe the focus of man's emotional nature plus its intellectual expression.

See also ' Bodhicitta'.

Citta-matra It implies that all of reality is actually a creation of consciousness. It is generally associated with the Yogacara tradition, which they use other term 'Vijnapti-matra', i.e. Mere consciousness.

Cloud Board One of the ritual instruments used in temples. A bronze plate shaped like a cloud is normally used to inform members of monastery when it is meal times.

Collective Karma The deeds done by groups of people that lead to collective rewards or retribution. See also Individual Karma.

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.

Conditioned 'With outflow', which describes all various phenomena in the world, as they are taken as separate and discrete elements, with no intrinsic nature of their own Conditioned Merits and Virtues ( 有漏功德 ) lead to rebirth with Samsara, whereas Unconditioned Merits and Virtues ( 無漏功德 ) are the causes of liberation from birth and death. See also 'Unconditioned'.

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.

Creation Basically, Buddhism denies the concept on creation. As all existence has no beginning nor ending, it is a process subjected to the Law of Cause and Effect. In fact, all Dharmas are created by our mind, which are the result of the mental development of the entity. All entities are creators of themselves and of their environment.

Cundi Bodhisattva In Brahmanic mythology, she is a vindictive form of Durga or Parvati, the wife of Siva. In China, she is identified with Marici or Queen of Heaven ( 天后 ). She is also regarded as a form of Kuan-yin ( 觀音 ) or in Kuan-yin's retinue, who is represented with three eyes and eighteen arms.

Cymbal One of the ritual instruments used in the temple. The cymbal is instrument that is always played in conjunction with the hand-held gong to accompany Chinese Buddhist chants and hymns. It is made of copper or bronze alloy that has a central boss with a piece of cloth tied to the center hole to provide a grasp.

The cymbals produce a shimmering and sustained ring, when played during a ceremony. Each of the two pieces are held horizontally in each hand by holding the cloth with bottom piece facing up and the top piece facing down. Both pieces are stationed at the level of the solar plexus and are struck together maintaining its horizontal orientation.

Proper religious etiquette regarding the handling of ceremonial instruments, aimed at keeping dignity of manner during the performance of rituals, stipulates that the cymbals must be kept closed when they are not being played.

Danapala (~1017 A.D.) Danapala went to China from Udyana (于闐國). There he translated 110 scriptures in 236 fascicles, and was granted the title of "The Master of Revealing Teaching" (顯教大師).

Danapati Danapati is a Sanskrit word which is transliterated into Chinese by two different characters, one is 'tan' ( 檀 ), representing the Sanskrit 'dana' and meaning ' to give', and the other is 'yueh' ( 越 ) representing the Sanskrit 'pati' and meaning 'to transcend'. Thus, the word Danapati means 'giving can transcend birth and death'. A layperson, who gives offerings to people who have left the home-life is called Danapati, 'those who give in order to transcend'.

Dasabhumika Sutra Literally, it is called Sutra on the Ten Levels. It is actually a section of the Avatamsaka Sutra, however, it forms a complete sutra by itself. It is one of the most important Mahayana texts outlining the ten levels (known as Bhumi in Sanskrit) through which a Bodhisattva progresses on the path of Buddhahood.

Dasabhumika-vibhasa It was translated by Kumarajiva in 17 fascicles.

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.

Delusion Delusion refers to the belief in something that contradicts reality/ truth, which is a lack of awareness of the true meaning of existence. We are always deluded by our six senses, including intellect. Consciousness ( 識 ), attached to the senses, leads us into error by causing us to take the world of appearances for the world of reality, whereas it is actually only a limited aspect of reality. See also Three Delusions.

Delusion of Views and Thoughts Delusion of views ( 見惑 ) refers to the lust and greed for externals ( clothing, food, sleeping, etc.) which are viewed as real rather than empty in their true nature. Delusion of thoughts ( 思惑 ) consists of being confused about principles and give rise to discrimination. Thought delusions are unclear thoughts, taking what is wrong is right, and what is right as wrong. See also 'Delusion'.

Demon Evil influences which hinder cultivation. These can take an infinite number of forms, including evil beings. Diseases and death, as well as the Three Poisons of greed, anger and delusion are also equated to demons, as they disturb the mind. See also 'Four Demons'.

Dependent Retribution It refers to the mountains, the rivers, the earth, the houses, buildings, structures and dwellings. Dependent retribution undergoes production ( 成 ). dwelling ( 住 ). decaying ( 壞 ) and emptiness ( 空 ).

See also Proper Retribution.

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

Devas Deities, gods.

Devasanti (~1000 A.D.) Devasanti translated 19 scriptures in 59 fascicles such as Bodhicaryavatara (菩提行經) 4 fascicles. He was granted the title of "the Master of Understanding Teaching" (明教大師).

Deviant Livelihood It is opposite to the Right Livelihood of Eightfold Right Paths. There were seven categories of deviant livelihood that the Buddhist monks and nuns were not allowed to do in order to make a living:
  1. One sells sex.
  2. One cooks.
  3. One acts as a fortune teller.
  4. One practices spells and magic.
  5. One acts a skilled craftsman.
  6. One acts as a falcon trainer.
  7. One concocts poisonous drugs.

There are also five aspects of deviant livelihood that restrict people to do:

  1. One cannot watch fighting or quarrelling.
  2. One may not listen to entertaining music.
  3. One may not play various gambling games.
  4. One may not practice divination.
  5. One may not act as an accomplice to thieves.

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.

Dgon pa The most common Tibetan term for monastery.

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.

Dharani A mystic form of praying, mantra or spells of Tantric order, ofter in Sanskrit, usually transliterated and not translated. It is believed that Dharani is able to lay hold of the good so that it cannot be lost, and those of evil so that it cannot arise.

Dharma Door The Dharma doors are the doctrines, discourses, and wisdom of the Buddhas, the cultivation of which lead to enlightenment. See also 'Dharma Gate'.

Dharma Gate School, method, tradition.

Dharma Protector Beings who support and protect the Triple Jewel, usually laypeople who provide necessities and assistance to monks and nuns enabling them devote themselves to spiritual cultivation. Also refer ghosts, spirits, and other spiritual beings that protect cultivators.

Dharma Wheel The Buddha's teachings are always described as the Dharma wheel. When someone teaches, he is said to turn the Dharma wheel. There are at least three meanings of the wheel:
  1. A wheel can grind. The Dharma wheel can grind up all the 'side doors and non-Buddhist paths', and pulverizes and destroys their erroneous and improper teachings.
  2. A wheel also transports. The Dharma wheel can transport living beings from the shore of birth and death to the other shore of Nirvana.
  3. As 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.

See also Cakra.

Dharma Dharma in Sanskrit, Dhamma in Pali. A term derived from the Sanskrit root 'dhr' which means to hold, to bear. It also has other distinctive meanings in Buddhism, such as,
  1. basic formulation of reality
  2. a law or rule to be followed
  3. good qualities
  4. truth and doctrines

Dharma is 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.

See also 'Three Jewels' (Triratna) and 'Three Refuges' (Trisarana).

Dharma-cakra Pravartana Sutra Also called Discourse of the Turning of the Dharma Wheel.

It is regarded as the first sermon of Shakyamuni Buddha, preached in Deer Park in Sarnath shortly after his Enlightenment. It outlines the 'Middle Way' (Madhyama-pratipad), which avoids the extremes of hedonism and asceticism, and elaborates the doctrine of the Four Noble Truth (Arya-satya).

Dharma-ending Age or Degenerate Age, or Last Age.

It refers to the present era, which is the 26th century after the demise of Shakyamuni Buddha. The concept of decline, dissension, and schism with the Dharma after the passing of the Buddha is a general teaching of Buddhism. The time following the demise of Shakyamuni Buddha is divided into three periods:

  1. The Perfect Age ( 正法時期 ) - lasting 500 years , when the Buddha's teaching was correctly practiced and Enlightenment often attained by sentient beings.
  2. The Dharma Semblance Age ( 像法時期 ) - lasting about 1,000 years, when a form of the teaching was practiced, but Enlightenment seldom attained.
  3. The Dharma-ending Age ( 末法時期 ) - lasting some 10,000 years, when a diluted form of the teaching exists, and Enlightenment is rarely attained.

Dharma-selecting Vision The ability to discriminate between what is proper Dharma and what is not.

Dharmadeva / Dharmavisva (~1001 A.D.) Dharmadeva went to China from Nalandasamgharama in Central India. There he translated 46 scriptures during 973-981. Later, he changed his name to Dharmavisva, and continued to translate 72 scriptures during 982-1001 A.D., such as Vajrasuci (金剛針論) 1 fascicle. He was granted the title of "the Master in Preaching Teaching" (傳教大師).

法天 / 法賢
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.

Dharmakara The Bodhisattva later became Amitabha Buddha, as related in the Larger Amitabha Sutra. The Bodhisattva Dharmakara is famous for his forty-eight vows, particularly the 18th, which promises rebirth in the Pure Land to anyone who recites his name with utmost sincerity and faith at the time of death.

Dharmakshema (385-433 A.D.) Dharmakshema went to China from Central India during the Bei-liang Dynasty (北涼) during the Period of Disunity. He was very good in debating, and translated 19 scriptures in 131 fascicles including:

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

法相宗 ( 唯識宗 )
Dharmanandi Translation works by Dharmanandi include Madhyama-agama, i.e. Middle Length Sayings (中阿含經) in 59 fascicles and Ekottara-agama, i.e. Gradual Sayings (增一阿含經) in 50 fascicles. However, the above translated sutras are not extant.

曇摩難提 / 法喜
Dharmapaka Dharmapaka went to China from Central India. He specialized in Tantric Buddhist scriptures and translated 14 scriptures in 170 fascicles, such as Siksasamuccaya (大乘集菩薩學論) 25 fascicles. He was granted the title of "the Master in Preaching Brahma" (傳梵大師).

Dharmas not associated with Mind They are neither mental phenomena nor functions, though they are originated from mind. They are alternative Dharmas that are not associated with Mind Dharmas nor Form Dharmas. They are regarded as the partial process of the manifestation of mind/consciousness. According to the Five Kinds of A Hundred Dharmas in Fa-hsaing sect, there are 24 Dharmas in this group, as follows:
  1. Acquisition ( 得 )
  2. Life ( 命根 )
  3. Nature of sharing similar species ( 眾同分 )
  4. Nature of making different ( 異生性 )
  5. Meditative concentration in the thoughtless heaven ( 無想.定 )
  6. Meditative concentration in extinction ( 滅盡定 )
  7. Facts obtained by thoughtless meditation ( 無想報 )
  8. Name ( 名身 )
  9. Word ( 句身 )
  10. Letter ( 文身 )
  11. Birth ( 生 )
  12. Stability ( 住 )
  13. Age ( 老 )
  14. Impermanence (無常 )
  15. Becoming ( 流轉 )
  16. Distinction (of Karma) ( 定異 )
  17. Union ( 相應 )
  18. Speed ( 勢速 )
  19. Succession ( 次第 )
  20. Region ( 方 )
  21. Time ( 時 )
  22. Number ( 數 )
  23. Totality ( 和合性 )
  24. Differentiation ( 不和合性 )

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.

Dhatu A Sanskrit term, which can be translated as 'realm', 'sphere', 'element', or 'line of demarcation', etc. In Buddhism, it bears several distinctive meanings:

  1. Threefold division of the worlds, i.e. Three Realms, namely Desire Realm (Kama-dhatu), Form Realm (Rupa-dhatu) and Formless Realm (Arupya-dhatu)
  2. Eighteenfold division , i.e. the six senses (Indriya), the six objects (Guna) and the six consciousness (Vijnana)
  3. Sixfold division of the elements, i.e. earth, water, fire, air, space (Akasa) and consciousness (Vijnana)

Dhyana Dhyana is a Sanskrit word, which is interpreted to mean 'thought-cultivation', or 'still consideration'. One uses the mind to trace the coming and going of thoughts, in much the same way as in the cultivation of 'stopping and contemplating' ( 止觀 ).

Dhyana means mystic states of serene contemplation attained by meditation.. These mystic states are not an end in themselves, but means to attainment of prajna (wisdom and enlightenment), thus emancipation.

See also Meditation, Three Studies, Six Paramitas, Shamatha, and Samapatti.

Differentiated Precepts Differentiated Precepts generally refer to the precepts observed and upheld by Bhiksu and Bhiksuni, i.e. full and perfect precepts. The Bhiksu, the male ordained Buddhist, or monk upholds the full 250 precepts, while the Bhiksuni, the female ordained Buddhist, or nun upholds the full 348 (commonly called 500) precepts.

Difficult Path of Practice Also called Path of the Sages, Self-power Path.

According to Pure Land teaching, all conventional Buddhist ways of practice and cultivation, such as Chan, Theravada, Vinaya School, etc, which emphasize self-power and self-reliance. This is contrasted to the Easy Path of Practice ( 易行道 ), i.e. the Pure Land method, which relies on both self-power ( 自力 )and other-power ( 他力 ), i.e. power of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

Dipamkara Buddha The Buddha to whom Shakyamuni Buddha offered five lotuses when the latter was Ju-tung Bodhisattva ( 儒童菩薩 ), and was thereupon predicted as a coming Buddha. He is called the 24th predecessor of Shakyamuni. He appears whenever a Buddha preaches the Lotus Sutra.

Dogen Dogen (1200-1253) was the founder of Soto Zen in Japan. He studied the teaching of Tsao-tung house in China for 4 years before bringing it to Japan in 1227.

Dojo It is a Japanese word to mean any place where Dharma is preached and the Way is practiced.

Double Truths According to the doctrines of San-lun sect, all Buddhist teachings are induced by the Double Truths, i.e. Real Truth ( 真諦 ) and Common Truth ( 俗諦 ).

The Real Truth, i.e. Paramartha-satya in Sanskrit, refers to the correct dogma of the Real Mark of Middle Way, which is beyond words and perception by human beings.

The Common Truth, i.e. Samvrti-satya in Sanskrit, refers to the expedient teachings as if all phenomena are real.

The two forms of statements in the Buddhist teaching are complimentary to each other. If the Buddha teaches us the Real Truth only, ordinary people cannot interpret all the phenomena, which are then believed to be discrete and extinct. If the Buddha teaches the Common Truth only, they do not understand thoroughly the ultimate principle of tranquility of self nature and thus unable to be liberated completely and salvaged.

The teaching was refined by Chih-tsang (549-623 AD) in his commentaries 'The Essay on the Double Truth'.

Drum One of the ritual implement used in the temple. A drum is usually kept to the right of an alter inside the shrines, and is used in chanting. Its sound symbolizes the end of the cycle of rebirth, which inevitable leads to happiness.

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

Dust A metaphor for all the mundane things that can shether our bright self-nature. These include form, sound, scent, taste, touch, Dharmas ( external opinions and views). These dusts correspond to the five senses and the sixth sense, Consciousness, in Buddhism.

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.

Easy Path of Practice Simply refers to Pure Land Practice. The Easy Path involves reliance on the power of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, in particular Amitabha Buddha ('other-power'), in addition to one's own cultivation ('self-power'), which is usually contrasted with primary reliance on self-power in other Buddhist schools. See also Difficult Path of Practice.

Effort See Vigor.

Eight Consciousnesses It is an important Doctrine of Mere Consciousness in Fa-hsiang sect.

The mind is a complex interaction of eight mental functions, namely, eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, Mano-consciousness / conscious mind ( 意識 ), Manas-consciousness ( 末那識 ) and Alaya-consciousness ( 阿賴耶識 ).

The first five are basically mental faculties, or sense, which reacts to the external phenomena through the five organs. These five consciousnesses can (1) keep in contact with the external phenomena, (2) alert and aware them, (3) feel as being stimulated, (4) recognize and differentiate them, and (5) think in reacting to them. For ordinary human beings in this world (Desire Realm), each of these consciousnesses works independently and reacts to their respective objects, i.e. eye to form, ear to sound, nose to smell, tongue to taste, and body to touch. Thus, the sixth consciousness is called Mano-consciousness, which is conscious mind that takes up the role in coordinating the discrete images and impressions in the first five consciousnesses, in order to establish a meaningful and comprehensive idea or concept in our lives. Therefore, the sixth consciousness is the sense center. The seventh is the thought center, and the eighth is the 'store' center.

Eight Divisions of Dragon Kings and Devas They are:
  1. Nagas (Dragons) 龍
  2. Devas (Gods) 天
  3. Raksasas 夜叉
  4. Gandharvas 乾闥婆
  5. Asuras 阿修羅
  6. Garudas 迦樓羅
  7. Kinnaras 緊那羅
  8. Mahoragas 摩候羅伽

Eight Emancipations They are eight forms of emancipations or liberations, which are eight stages of mental concentrations:
  1. Liberation, when subjective desire arises, by examination of the object, or of all things and realization of their filthiness (內有色想觀外色解脫).
  2. Liberation, when no subjective desire arises, by stilling meditating as above (內無色想觀外色解脫).
  3. Liberations by concentration on the pure to the realization of a permanent state of freedom from all desires (淨身作證足住解脫).
  4. Liberation of infinity of space, or immaterial (空無邊處解脫).
  5. Liberation in realization of the infinite knowledge (識無邊處解脫).
  6. Liberation in realization of nothingness, or nowhereness (無所有處解脫).
  7. Liberation in the state of mind where there is neither thought nor absence of thought (非想非非想處解脫).
  8. Liberation by means of a state of mind in which there is final extinction (Nirvana) of both sensation (Vedana), and consciousness (Samjna) (滅受想定解脫).

The first two are deliverance by meditation on impurity, while the third is on purity. The first three correspond to the Four Dhyanas. The following four, i.e. the fourth to seventh arise out of abstract meditation in regard to form and desire, are associated with the four Dhyanas in Formless Realms.

Eight Negations of Middle Way Based on the Middle Way teaching, Nagarjuna (founder of Madhyamika) sought to promote the perfect wisdom of 'absolute emptiness' by negating all views, which can be summarized by Eight Negations (in four pairs). They are:

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

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
  1. Mahasanghikah is divided into eight schools:

    1. Ekavyavaharikah
    2. Lokottaravadinah
    3. Kaukkutikah (Gokulika)
    4. Bahusrutiyah
    5. Prajnativadinah
    6. Jetavaniyah (Caityasailah)
    7. Avarasailah
    8. Uttarasailah

  2. 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 Path in Sanskrit is Marga (道) , which means right path or correct path (正道), holy path (聖道) or correct gates (正門). These are the eight right ways for the Arhat leading to Nirvana:
  1. Right View
  2. Right Thought
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Remembrance
  8. Right Concentration

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

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.

Elder As an elder in the time of the Buddha, he has ten kinds of virtuous qualities:
  1. An honorable name from noble families. ( 姓貴 )
  2. A lofty position. ( 位高 )
  3. A great wealth. ( 大富 )
  4. A heroic deportment. ( 威猛 )
  5. Deep wisdom. ( 智深 )
  6. Maturity in years. ( 年耆 )
  7. Purity in practice. ( 行淨 )
  8. Perfect propriety. ( 禮備 )
  9. Those above him praise him. ( 上歎 )
  10. Those beneath him rely upon him. ( 下歸 )

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.

Endurance See Patience.

Energy See Vigor.

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.

Esoteric Teaching Literally, it means secret. As the esoteric teaching is regarded to be phenomenal or spiritual matters, it cannot be revealed to those who are not fit or tuned to fit and receive it. Moreover, these spiritual truths are apprehended by the intuition only, and cannot be explained in words. Esoteric teaching is not contrary to exoteric. It is said that every Buddha has both a revealed and a mystic truth or doctrine. The former is written in sutras, and the latter is transmitted and apprehended by the faculty of Bodhi latent in our heart. See also Tantrayana.

Evil Paths or evil planes of existence.

The path of hells, hungry ghosts and animals. These paths can be taken as states of mind, when someone has a vicious thought of killing others, he is effectively reborn, for that moment, in the hells.

Evil World of Five Turbidities It refers to the world on Earth. The Five Turbidities are
  1. the Kalpa Turbidity   T濁
    the age of people decreases and all kinds of diseases afflict people;
  2. the View Turbidity   見濁
    people's views start to degenerate;
  3. the Affliction Turbidity   煩惱濁
    passions, delusions, desire, anger, stupidity, pride and doubt prevail;
  4. the Living Beings Turbidity   眾生濁
    human miseries increase and happiness decreases;
  5. the Life Turbidity   命濁
    the human lifespan gradually diminishes to ten years.

Expedient Means Or Skillful Means, Skill-in-means, Upaya.

It refers to strategies, methods, devices, targeted to the capacities, circumstances, likes and dislikes of each sentient being, so as to rescue him and lead him to Enlightenment. 'The Buddha's word were medicines for a given sickness at a given time' always infinitely adaptable to the conditions of the audience.

Externalists Literally, followers of non-Buddhist paths. This term is used by Buddhists with reference to followers of other religions.

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.


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