L - R

Lakchaanas Sanskrit word which literally means signs, forms, marks, etc. It refers to the thirty-two forms or thirty-two marks, or thirty-two signs visible on the body of the Buddha. See also Thirty-two Forms.

Lalitavistara Sutra Also known as Detailed Narration of the Sport of the Buddha. It consists of 8 fascicles translated in Chinese by Dharmaraksha in 308 AD. There are stories related to the biography of Skahyamuni, such as his life, disciplines in previous lives, birth at Kapilavastu, his life as the prince, his renunciation and ascetic practice, his enlightenment under Bodhi trees, and the preaching for 45 years. Through these interesting stories, the readers have an understanding of the Buddhist way of thinking naturally.

Lama A monk in higher order of the Sangha hierarchy of Tibet.

Lankavatara Sutra One of important Sutras expounding the teaching of philosophy, natural sciences in Buddhism. It is said that the teaching was given by the Buddha on Mount Lanka.

Lao Zi A sage who lived in China around 500 BC. His belief was in the natural course of events, thus he advocated 'non-doing' (無為), letting things be as they are. The 'Daodejing' (道德經), the principal classic of Taoism is attributed to him.

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:

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).

Lien Chih Master Lien Chih, alias Yun Hsi (雲棲), also known as Zhu Hung (株宏), was the eighth patriarch of Pure Land School in China. He was born in 1533 AD in the Ming Dynasty. He was a Confucian scholar when he was 17. Within ten years after his marriage, his wife and son both died. Then his parents also died when he was around 30. He was ordained as a monk at the age of 33. He preached in Mount Yun Chi (雲棲山). He always urged his disciples of inferior roots to repeat the Buddha's name. He died in 1615, aged 81.

Lignaloes The fragrant wood burnt as a perfume, used in religious ceremonies.

Lin Chi Master I Hsuan (義玄) of Lin Chi, disciple of Huang Po (黃檗), was the founder of Lin Chi Sect, one of the five Chan branches in China.

He was prominent within Ch'an movement during the Tang period. He used to employ shouting and beating which were his direct inheritance of the peculiar style. The most important dialectural formula in Lin Chi school was 'the Four Alternatives' (四料簡), which described four states regarding the relationship between subjects and objects. Based on the Indian logic, i.e. being, non-being, neither being nor non-being, both being and being, these alternatives represented an ascending grasp of reality. The practitioner was required to repudiate all clinging to subjective intellectual perception and to the objective world. Reality is then comprehended in its ultimate oneness that is perfect and all-encompassing. The illustration of ox-herding pictures was well-known.

He died in 867 AD.

Ling Shu He was a Ch'an master Chih Seng ( 知聖 ) of Ling Shu in the 9th century.

Lo Pu Chan master Yuan An ( 元安 ) of Lo Pu was the disciple of Chia Shan ( 夾山 ). He died in 925 AD.

Lohan A Chinese term derived from Sanskrit Arhat. It signifies one who has attained enlightenment and perfection. The Lohans are personal disciples and worthies of Buddha. Generally there are 16 as recognized in China. Their images were introduced into halls of Buddhist temples, where they are regarded as patrons and guardians of Buddhism throughout the world. See also 'Arhat'.

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.

Lu Sect 'Lu' ( 律 ) is transliterated in Chinese from the Sanskrit word Vinaya. It means the code of monastic discipline, which is one of Tripitaka. Lu-tsung ( 律宗 ) is actually Vinaya Sect.

It is also known as Nan-shan-tsung ( 南山宗 ). As the founder of Lu-tsung, Master Tao-husan ( 道宣 ) lived in Mount Zhong Nan ( 終南山 ), this sect is named after it.

In Japan, this sect is called Ritsu Sect.

Lu Tsu Ch'an master Lu Tsu of Chih Chou ( 池州 ) was the disciple of Chi Hsien ( 志閑 ) of Kuan Chi ( 灌溪 ). He died in the 9th century.

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

Lung Tan Master Chung Hsin ( 崇信 ) of Lung Tan (Dragon Pond) was the Dharma-successor of Tao Wu ( 道悟 ) of Tien Huang ( 天皇 ) Monastery and the master of Te Shan ( 德山 ). He died in 9th century.

Ma Ku Ch'an master who was the disciple of Chao Chou ( 趙州 ) in the 9th century.

Ma Tsu Ma Tsu, alias Tao I (道一) of Kiangsi, was the Dharma successor of Huai Jang (懷讓) of Nan Yo Mountain (南嶽) and the teacher of Pai Chang (百丈). He was a brilliant Ch'an teacher of most of the Ch'an masters of his following generation, such as Fa Chang, Hui Tsang, Nan Chuan, Pai Chang, Yen Kuan, Lu Shan, etc. Ma Tsu and Shih Tou were considered the greatest teachers of their time, and many of their students studied with both of them. He died in 788 AD.

Madhyamaka Indian Mahayana school founded by Nagarjuna in 2nd century. Its doctrines are based on the notion that all phenomena are empty of inherent existence, which is derived from the Buddhist doctrine of Prajna, i.e. the Perfection of Wisdom. Nagarjuna wrote 'Mulamadhyamaka-karika', i.e. 'Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way', which is most influential text of this school. In Chinese Buddhism, San-lun ( 三論 ) Sect is considered to be a classical school developed from Madhyamaka in India.

See also San-lun Sect.

Madhyamaka-shastra The Treatise on the Middle, translated by Kumarajiva in 409 A.D. in 4 fascicles.

Madhyantavibhaga It was translated by Hsuan Tsang in 3 fascicles.

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.

Maghava Pali word, which is same is Sakra, the kings of gods. See Sakra.

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.

There are several translated scripts in Chinese, namely:

  1. Known as Ta-pan ni-yuan ching ( 大般泥洹經 ), 6 fascicles, translated by Fa-hsien and Buddhabhadra during 416-418.
  2. Known as Ta-pan nieh-pan ching ( 大般涅槃經 ), 40 fascicles, translated by Dharmakshema during 414-421 AD. Sometimes also called Pei-pen nieh-pan ching ( 北本涅槃經 ), i.e. Northern Text of the Sutra of the Great Decease.
  3. Known as Ta-pan nieh-pan ching ( 大般涅槃經 ), 36 fascicles, revised by Master Hui-yen, Hui-kuan and Hsieh Ling-yun, Sometimes also called Nan-pen nieh-pan ching ( 南本涅槃經 ), i.e. Southern Text of the Sutra of the Great Decease.

See also Mahaparinirvana Sutra.

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.

Mahaparinirvana Sutra Sanskrit title of a Mahayana text that is extant in Chinese and Tibetian.

There are several translated scripts in Chinese, namely:

  1. Known as Ta-pan ni-yuan ching ( 大般泥洹經 ), 6 fascicles, translated by Fa-hsien and Buddhabhadra during 416-418.
  2. Known as Ta-pan nieh-pan ching ( 大般涅槃經 ), 40 fascicles, translated by Dharmakshema during 414-421 AD. Sometimes also called Pei-pen nieh-pan ching ( 北本涅槃經 ), i.e. Northern Text of the Sutra of the Great Decease.
  3. Known as Ta-pan nieh-pan ching ( 大般涅槃經 ), 36 fascicles, revised by Master Hui-yen, Hui-kuan and Hsieh Ling-yun, Sometimes also called Nan-pen nieh-pan ching ( 南本涅槃經 ), i.e. Southern Text of the Sutra of the Great Decease.

It was spoken on the occasion of the Nirvana of Shakyamuni Buddha, which was an important source for the notion that the Buddha-nature is present in all beings. This Sanskrit version is a bit different that of Pali version, known as Maha-parinibbana-suttaa. The latter also recorded the cremation of his body and the distribution of relics. Moreover, the latter is included in the Digha-nikaya in Agama Sutra, presenting the Buddha as merely a human teacher. See also Maha-parinibbana-sutta.

Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra The Sutra was delivered by Shakyamuni in four places at sixteen assemblies. It consists of 600 volumes as translated by Hsuan-tsang during 660-663 AD. It is the fundamental philosophical work of the Mahayana Buddhism, the formulation of wisdom, which is the sixth paramita.

Mahaprajnaparamita Upadesha The Treatise on The Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, translated by Kumarajiva in 402-405 A.D. in 100 fascicles.

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.

For the sub division of Mahasanghika, please refer to the Eighteen Sects of Hinayana.

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.

Mahasthamaprapta Also known as Mahasthama who is the great Bodhisattva representing the Buddha's wisdom of Amitabha. He is on Amitabha's right side while Avalokitesvara on the left. Both are the chief attendants to Amitabha. All three are called the Holy Three in the Western Paradise, i.e. Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss.

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

Mahayana Abhidharma Samucchaya Collection of the Mahayana Abhidharama was translated by Hsuan Tsang in 7 fascicles in 652 A.D.

大乘阿毗達磨集論 / 集論
Mahayana Abhidharma Samucchaya Vyakhya Exegesis on the Collection of the Mahayana Abhidharma was translated by Hsuan Tsang in 16 fascicles in 646 A.D.

阿毗達磨雜集論 / 雜集論
Mahayana Bodhisattva Precepts There are 6 major precepts and 28 minor precepts as the enhanced ones for Upasaka, Upasika, and 10 major precepts and 48 minor precepts, as stipulated in Braham Net Sutra. Since Braham Net Sutra is regarded as the text for Mahayana Dharmakaya Sect (i.e. all things arise from Bhutatathata / Dharma Realm, thus all phenomena are of the same essence as the noumenon), those precepts are also called Mahayana Dharmakaya Precepts.

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.

See also Hinayana. For further details, please refer to Section 3 A Glimpse in the Scope of Buddhism in Vol. 1 No. 4 of Budddhist Door.

Mahayanasamgraha Comprehensive Treatise on Mahayana Buddhism was translated by Hsuan Tsang in 3 fascicles in 648-649 A.D. Other earlier translated scripts in Chinese are as follows:
  1. Translated by Buddhashanta in 531 AD in 2 fascicles.
  2. Translated by Paramartha in 563 AD in 3 fascicles.

Mahesvara Heaven It is the second highest heaven in the Fourth Dhyana. In the Mahesvara, the Great Self-Sufficiency Heaven, the chief god has eight arms and three eyes and rides a great white ox; as a result he thinks he is very independent.

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.

Maitreya-vyakarama Sutra It was translated by Kumarajiva in 1 fascicle.

Manas Consciousness The seventh consciousness called Manas in Sanskrit ( 末那 ), which is the center of egotism for each individual. As we use to perceive all objective matters and phenomena in the external worlds from the subjective point of view of 'self', we develop an illusory belief that there exists a self- identity. As the result of 'self-centered', all the selfish thoughts, egotistic opinion, arrogance, self-love, etc arise. Some psychologists regard the seventh consciousness as the sub-consciousness in our mind. However, as the mental function, the Manas consciousness plays the role of thinking on a self-center basis. It gives rise a misunderstanding that 'self' is the master of mind, which is actually the eighth consciousness, Alaya consciousness.

Out of the fifty-one Dharmas of Mental Functions, the Manas consciousness possesses only eighteen. The strongest ones are, of course, volition ( 作意 ), thought ( 想 ) and idea ( 思 ), which are the features of the Manas consciousness. Normally, the Manas consciousness can influence the Mano consciousness, which instruct the first five consciousnesses to act and react. However, ordinary people do not think very much. They usually act and react mechanically and habitually, in accordance with their pre-conceptions formulated by the sixth consciousness. Thus, the functions of Manas consciousness are always neglected.

See Eight Consciousnesses.

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.

Mani Jewel A jewel, a pearl, symbol of perfection and purity.

Mani A word with a double meaning, sewer or pearl.

Manjushri Also written as Manjusri. It is a Sanskrit word which means 'Wonderful Virtue', 'Wonderfully Auspicious'. It is the name of one of the Four Great Bodhisattvas. In Chinese, it is translated to be 文殊師利, and is abbreviated as 文殊. He is honored to be the Mother of the Buddhas ( 佛母 ), as he is the foremost in wisdom amongst Bodhisattvas. Enlightenment by wisdom is an essential part in attaining Buddhahood. Whoever wishes to be a Buddha, Manjurshi Bodhisatva will help him to realize it. He is always titled to be the son of the Dharma King ( 法王子 ), as the Buddha is the Dharma King.

See also Manjusri Bodhisattva.

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.

Mano Consciousness Mano consciousness is the sixth consciousness in Sanskrit. It is the general center of perceptions, performing the functions of cognition and differentiation. It also forms conceptions out of the perceptions. See also 'Eight Consciousness'

The Mano consciousness or conscious mind, like the CPU of the computer, can process rapidly the information obtained from the first five consciousnesses, and perform immediately three kinds of function of recognition and differentiation, based on the past experience. See also 'Three Reasonings'

It is easy for the solitary Mano Consciousness to take wrong views and go astray:

  1. when it is in dissipation. This refers to our everyday mind, which is scattered and makes discrimination.
  2. when it is in insanity and incoherence. When someone is crazy and speaks incoherently, the Mano Consciousness is in the state of insane and has control of him.
  3. when it is in dream. This is the Mano Consciousness playing tricks.
  4. when it is in Samadhi. This is the state of inner composure, in which seeing, hearing, awareness and knowing are extinguished, but the Mano Consciousness in Samadhi is still active.

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.

Mental Function Dharmas The establishment of these Dharmas is based on the Mind Dharmas. Thus, the Dharmas are the mental functions or phenomena due to or in association with mind/consciousness. According to the Five Kinds of A Hundred Dharmas in Fa-hsaing sect, there are fifty-one (51) Dharmas in this group , which can be subdivided into five, as follows:

  1. General ( 5 nos. ) ( 遍行 ) - existent and functional universally regardless of time and space
    1. Touch ( 觸 ) - in touch with all objects
    2. Sensation ( 受 ) - feeling
    3. Thought ( 想 ) - image and impression for recognition
    4. Idea ( 思 ) - initiative to act
    5. Volition ( 作意 ) - alertness

  2. Special ( 5 nos. ) ( 別境 ) - recognition and discrimination of external objects and phenomena
    1. Desire ( 欲 ) - pursuit
    2. Resolve ( 勝解 ) - thorough and ultimate understanding
    3. Remembrance ( 念 ) - memory
    4. Concentration ( 定 ) - focusing
    5. Wisdom ( 慧 )

  3. Good ( 11 nos. ) ( 善 ) - the abilities and actions for wellness and kindness
    1. Belief ( 信 ) - faith
    2. Shame ( 慚 ) - shame that is inferior to others
    3. Bashfulness ( 愧 ) - regret for one's own wrong deed
    4. Absence of covetousness ( 無貪 )
    5. Absence of hatred ( 無瞋 )
    6. Absence of ignorance ( 無癡 )
    7. Energy ( 精進 ) - making effort to progress
    8. Repose of mind ( 輕安 ) - liberation and ease of mind
    9. Vigilance ( 不放逸 )
    10. Equanimity ( 行捨 ) - renunciation of defiled behavior
    11. Non-injury ( 不害 ) - no injury to self and others

  4. Evil ( 6 nos. ) ( 煩惱 ) - also known as fundamental affliction, which leads us to suffering, illusion and depression.
    1. Covetousness ( 貪 )
    2. Hatred ( 瞋 )
    3. Ignorance ( 癡 )
    4. Arrogance ( 慢 ) - both self and others
    5. Doubt ( 疑 )
    6. False View ( 惡見 )

  5. Minor Evil ( 20 nos.) ( 隨煩惱 ) - minor afflictions as they are derived from the fundamental afflictions
    1. Anger ( 忿 )
    2. Enmity ( 恨 )
    3. Concealment ( 覆 ) - to hide up one's own evil deed
    4. Affliction ( 惱 )
    5. Envy ( 嫉 )
    6. Parsimony ( 慳 )
    7. Deception ( 誑 )
    8. Fraudulence ( 諂 )
    9. Injury ( 害 )
    10. Pride ( 憍 )
    11. Shamelessness ( 無慚 )
    12. Non-bashfulness ( 無愧 )
    13. Restlessness ( 放逸 )
    14. Low spirit ( 昏沉 )
    15. Unbelief ( 不信 )
    16. Sloth ( 懈怠 )
    17. Negligence ( 掉舉 ) - loss in peace of mind because of fear and hot temper
    18. Forgetfulness ( 失念 )
    19. Distraction ( 散亂 )
    20. Non-discernment ( 不正知 ) - stupidity and naivete

  6. Indeterminate ( 4 nos.) ( 不定 ) - indeterminate whether it is good or evil, depending upon the mental state during the act
    1. Repentance ( 惡作 / 懺悔 )
    2. Drowsiness ( 睡眠 )
    3. Reflection ( 伺 ) - observation and monitoring
    4. Investigation ( 尋 )

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.

Milindapanda An important text in Theravada, which is a record of the conversation between the monk Nagasena and King Menander. It focuses on the discussion of 'no-self' (i.e. Anatman), the problem of how rebirth is possible without a 'soul', and karma. Menander later gave up being the king and was ordained as a Buddhist monk. The Sutra was also called The Questions of [King] Milinda [Menander] ( 彌蘭王問經 ).

Mind Dharma They are Dharmas regarding all spiritual and mental activities. According to the Five Kinds of A Hundred Dharmas in Fa-hsiang sect, there are eight kinds in this group:
  1. Eye-consciousness ( 眼識 )
  2. Ear-consciousness ( 耳識 )
  3. Nose-consciousness ( 鼻識 )
  4. Tongue-consciousness ( 舌識 )
  5. Body-consciousness ( 身識 )
  6. Mind-consciousness ( 意識 )
  7. Manas consciousness ( 末那識 )
  8. Alaya consciousness ( 阿賴耶識 )

Mleccha A Sanskrit word means a fondness for defilement. They like unclean places. It also means 'evil knowledge and views'.

Mo Shan Also known as Liao Jan ( 了然 ) of Mo Shan. She was an eminent Ch'an nun, disciple of Ta Yu ( 大愚 ) and the teacher of Kuan Chi ( 灌溪 ).

Mondo A Japanese term commonly used in Zen Buddhism. It means 'questions and answers'. It refers to the short dialogues between the master and his disciple. Some of the answers may be used as Koans.

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

Mrgadava See Deer Park.

Mu Chou Ch'an master Chen Tsun Su ( 陳尊宿 ) of Mu Chou was the disciple of Huang Po ( 黃檗 ) in the 9th century.

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:

Murddhabhichikta Also simply written as Murddhadja. The Sanskrit word literally means pouring (water) at the top of the head (灌頂). A ceremony, common in Tibet in the form of baptism or consecration, administered by the venerable master in the monastery.

Nan Chuan An eminent Ch'an master Pu Yuan ( 普願 ) of Nan Chuan Mountain. He was the Dharma-successor of Ma Tsu ( 馬祖 ). He died in 834 when he was 87.

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.

Namarupa Sanskrit word literally means name and form. It is one of the twelve Nidana signifying the emptiness of both spiritual and abstract notions (in which only names are given) and physical and material phenomena (which has their own shape and form).

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

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.

Nirmanakaya One of the three bodies of a Buddha. It is the physical manifestation of a Buddha to benefit and teach the ordinary sentient beings. It may be human or any other form.

The historical Shakyamuni Buddha is also known to be the manifestation that can be perceived by human beings.

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   自性涅槃
It is commonly possessed by all individual sentient beings. It is not subject to birth and death, nor increase and decrease.
Nirvana with residue   有餘涅槃
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   無餘涅槃
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   無住涅槃
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.

Niu Tou It refers to the six generations of Ch'an master on Niu Tou Mountain, namely, Fa Yung, Chih Yeh, Hui Fang, Fa Chih, Chih Wei and Hui Chung.

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.

Nyayapravesa It was translated by Hsuan Tsang in 1 fascicle.

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.

Ou-I The Tien-tai master in Chin Dynasty, also studied and practiced Vinaya, but later recognized as the ninth Patriarch of Pure Land School. (1599-1655)

Outflow It refers to the discharge of energy through the six sense organs; hence, defilement, affliction; that which obstruct cultivation. See also 'Conditioned'.

Padma Vyuha Bodhisattva A fabulous Bodhisattva usually worshipped on New Year Eve in China.

Padmaprabha Buddha The name under which Sariputtra re-appears as Buddha by prediction.

Pai Chang An eminent Ch'an master Huai Hai ( 懷海 ) or Ta Chih of Pai Chang Mountain. He was the Dharma-successor of Ma Tsu ( 馬祖 ) and the master of Kuei Shan (溈山 ) and Huang Po. He died in 814 AD.

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

Panchavimshati Sahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in Twenty-five Thousand Lines, translated by Kumarajiva in 404 A.D. in 27 fascicles.

Pang Yun Pang Yun or Tao Hsuan ( 道玄 ). An eminent Upasaka who at the beginning of the Chen Yuan reign (785-804) called on Shih Tou ( 石頭 ) and was awakened to the truth. Later he called on Master Ma Tsu ( 馬祖 ) and attained instantaneous enlightenment.

Paramartha (499-569 A.D.) Paramartha went to Southern China from Western India during the Period of Disunity. He is said to be one of the greatest translators comparable to Kumarajiva. However his supportive logistics were not so favourable.

He translated over 50 scriptures in over 120 fascicles, including:

波羅未陀 / 真諦三藏
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 above 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 Each of the ten is divided into ordinary, superior and unlimited perfection, making up to thirty in total.

Paramiti He was one of the great translators in China. Paramiti in Sanskrit means 'Extreme Amount' (極量), indicating that his talent and his wisdom were both extremely ample and full.

Shramana Paramiti smuggled The Shurangama Sutra (楞嚴經) from India to China in the Tang Dynasty. He accomplished his works very quickly so that he could get back to India on time without punishment. After he finished his translation, he went back to India and confessed to the King, and asked to receive whatever punishment the offense incurred.

As the Director of Translation, he stood at the head of more than five hundred Dharma masters who had assembled to work on the translation. The work was done with over 200 scholars and monks at the Chih Chih Monastery (制止寺), a large monastery in the City of Guangzhou.

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.

Patra Sanskrit word means the alms bowl used by the Buddhist monks.

Peng Tsu The Methuselah of China, said to have lived 800 years.

Peshi A Sanskrit word that refers to the third week of embryonic development, the soft flesh.

Pilusaragiri A mountain, the guardian spirit or demon of which was converted by Shakyamuni Buddha.

比羅婆洛山, 象堅山
Pisacah A class of demons.

Potala Sanskrit word means small white flower. It is the name of an island near Ningpo (寧波), which is regarded as the dwelling place of Kwan-yin Bodhisattva (Avolokitesvara). It is one of the four sagely mountains in China.

Prajna Samadhi According to the Platform Sutra, Prajna Samadhi is 'no-thought' (無念). It is the attainment of liberation, which is the recognition of the original mind during the contemplation and illumination with Prajna (i.e. inherent wisdom). No-thought means to view all Dharmas in a mind undefiled by attachments. The function pervades all places, but is nowhere attached. It is a practice to let the six consciousnesses go out the six gates (i.e. sense organs), but undefiled and unmixed among the six objects, to let come and go freely, and penetrate without obstruction.

Prajna Tripitaka Master (810 A.D.) Prajna vowed to move to China from Kabul, North India during the Tang Dynasty. His translation works include:

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.

Prajnaparamita Sutra of the Benevolent Kings Also known as Jen Wang Ching, which is transliterated from 仁王經 in Chinese. It is considered by the Tien-tai tradition to be one of the three great Sutras, along with the Lotus Sutra (法華經) and the Suvarnaprahasa Sutra (金光明經). In the Sutra, the Buddha carried on a dialogue with King Prasenajit, who spoke on behalf of a group of kings in the gathering. The purpose of the Sutra wass to answer the kings' question as to how they could protect their countries from decadence and ruin. After expounding on emptiness, the Bodhisattva Path, and the two truths (which were given a threefold structure), the Buddha advised the kings to protect their countries from riots, calamities and robbers, and to sponsor various Buddhist activities. Thus, the Bodhisattvas would come to protect the country with their powers. The Sutra was translated by Kumarajiva, and later by Amoghavajra.

Prajnaparamita-hridaya-sutra Heart of Wisdom Sutra, or simply Heart Sutra was translated by Hsuan Tsang in 1 fascicle in 649 A.D.

般若波羅密多心經 / 心經
Prajnaruchi Prajnaruchi was a Braham in Central India who moved to China. He translated 18 scriptures in 92 fascicles including Saddharmasmrity Upasthana Sutra, i.e. Sutra of Stability in Contemplation of the True Law (正法念處經), 70 fascicles in 538-543 A.D.

般若流支 / 智希
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.

Prasenadjit Sanskrit word literally means conqueror of the army (勝軍). He was the king of Kosala, residing in Sravasti, one of the first royal converts and patrons of Shakyamuni. He made a statue of Buddha, which was supposed to be the first one ever made.

Prashakha A Sanskrit word that refers to the fifth week of embryonic development, the rudimentary embryo.

Prasrabdhi Sanskrit word means removal or eradication, which particularly refers to the cutting off trouble and vexation in order to arrive at the state of tranquility.

Pratisamvid Sanskrit word literally means four unlimited forms of wisdom. It refers to the four modes of knowledge characterized by the Arhat. They are:
  1. of Artha - unlimited knowledge of the law / truth (義無礙智)
  2. of Dharma - unlimited knowledge of the Dharma (法無礙智)
  3. of Nirukti - unlimited knowledge of the speech or debate (辯無礙智)
  4. of Pratibhana - unlimited knowledge of pleasant discourse (樂說無礙智)

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.

Pretas Sanskrit word literally means ghost, which is the 7th class or Dharma Realm of Existence. There are 36 classes of ghosts identified. The common characteristics of Pretas are huge bellies, narrow throat but large mouth. They suffer from hunger as the food will turn to fire when they eat.

Proper Nature It is the Buddha-nature of proper cause leading to Buddhahood in all sentient beings. There are 3 kinds:
  1. Proper cause of Buddha-nature 正因佛性
  2. Perfect cause of the Buddha-nature 了因佛性
  3. Ultimate cause of the Buddha-nature 圓因佛性

Proper Retribution It refers to the human body. Proper retribution undergoes birth ( 生 ), aging (老 ), sickness ( 病 ) and death ( 死 ). For the human beings in this world, they take 20 years to grow, dwell for 20 years, and are sick for 20 years, and going to die in the last 20 years.

See also Dependent Retribution.

Pudja Sanskrit word literally means to support and nourish, which refer to offerings in Buddhism.

Puranas Sanskrit word literally means complete. A class of Brahamic mythological, philosophical and ascetic literature.

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 will understand 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.

極樂世界 / 淨土
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.

Purucha Sanskrit word literally means the spiritual self. Together with Svabhavah (自性), the spirit produces all forms of existence through successful transformation of Guna (塵).

Purvanivasanu Sanskrit word literally means destiny of the dwelling, which is the knowledge of all matters in the past lives of oneself and others.

Rachtrapada Bodhisattva A Bodhisattva among demons.

Radjagriha The Sanskrit word literally means city of royal palace. It was the residence of the Magadha prince from Bimbisara to Asoka. See also Rajagaha.

Rahu Sanskrit word literally means stoppage (障蔽). Rahu is the king of Asura who seeks in the form of dog to devour sun and moon, thus causing eclipses.

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.

Rakchasa Literally means demons, which eats men.

Rakchasi The wives and daughters of Rakchasa demons.

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

Ratnakara Buddha Ratnakara literally means treasure accumulation (寶積). The Buddha is the 112th Buddha in the Bhadra Kalpa (賢劫).

Realization of Faith It is one of the Six Realizations necessary for the speaking of a Sutra. All Sutras that the Buddha spoke begin with the four words 'Thus I have heard'. There have four reasons for this:
  1. To put the doubts of the assembly to rest
  2. To honor the Buddha's instruction before he entered Nirvana
  3. To resolve the assembly's disputes
  4. To distinguish Buddhist Sutras from the writings of other religions

See also Thus I have heard and Six Realizations.

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.

Richi Sanskrit word literally means immortals. A man that transformed into immortals by meditation and asceticism. There are five classes of Richi:
  1. Deva Richi (天仙), residing at the high level of Mount Sumeru (須彌山)
  2. Purucha (or Atman) Richi (神仙), roamimg about in the air
  3. Nara Richi (人仙), dwelling as immortals among men
  4. Bhumi Richi (地仙), residing on earth in caves
  5. Preta Richi (鬼仙), ghost demons in the 7th class (Dharma Realm) of sentient beings

Riddhi Sanskrit word literally means power to transform the body in any shape or form and to traverse space at will. Also called 'spiritual penetration (神通).

Right Action Samyagadjiva in Sanskrit. 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 Samyaksamadhi in Sanskrit. Right abstraction, the eighth of the Eightfold Path; meditation, focusing the mind without distraction, preparing the mind to attain wisdom.

Right Effort Samyagvysysma in Sanskrit. The sixth of the Eightfold Path, also known as correct and continuous practice in cultivation (正力). It means 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 Samyakkarmanta in Sanskrit. Sometimes known as right profession (正業). 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 Samyaksmriti in Sanskrit. Right memory, right mindfulness; the seventh of the Eightfold Path, avoiding distracted and clouded state of mind, awareness and self-possessed.

Right Speech Samyagvak in Sanskrit. The third of Eightfold Path, abstaining from lying, slander/back biting, abuse/harsh words and idle talk.

Right Thought Samyaksamkalpa in Sanskrit. Right thought and intent; avoiding desire and ill-will; the second of the Eightfold Path.

Right Understanding See Right View.

Right View Samyagdrichti in Sanskrit. Understanding the Four Noble Truths; the first of the Eightfold Path.

Rinzai A Japanese term translated from Lin Chi ( 臨濟 ) in Chinese. Lin Chi is one of the Five Houses in Ch'an Buddhism in China. It was founded by Master Lin Chi and brought to Japan by Eisai in 1190. The Koan and Mondo are commonly used as 'sudden' enlightenment is encouraged in the school.

Roots Roots refer to one's capacity to hear, believe, understand, accept and maintain the Buddhadharma. People may be endowed with superior, ordinary or inferior roots.

Roshi A Japnese name given to the Zen master giving Zen instruction.

Rupa See Matter or Five Skandhas.

Index A - E F - K L - R S - S T - Z