Purify Mind
     Glossary A-
       Glossary N-
         Pure Land

Glossary A-
Power Of Mind    
Hua Yen        
Glossary A-M


  THE thought of SELF-center (Egocentricity) comes from "We want to protect the SELF from the dangers of constant change of life (Impermanence)", the Self-center is the home of the illusory, the illusion that we have a true or unchanging self, in reality there is no such entity, instead there are only feelings, sensations, and emotions (most of the times are wishing, longing, hating, grieving, fearing … all kinds of afflictions). That is why the Self-center always make us speak highly of ourselves but lower the respect of others. The Self-center will warp our judgment and cloud our vision of things.

  LIKE we mentioned above, we first should learn "Giving up", giving up our time, giving up our hate, giving our belongings, "Giving up" helps make Self-center thaw, this will benefit "How to get rid of the Self-center".

  ACCORDING to the experienced people's idea: Which we always call "Being" "Individual" "I" "You" "Somebody" … etc., is in reality nothing but a mere changing combination of physical and mental phenomena, has no real existence in itself. From this point, we should have an idea "To remove ME and MINE" can be reached through the hard work of becoming aware of every single thought and trying hard to empty them one by one, this step will liberate us from the bondage of Self-center.

  Real Truth

  WHAT is the Real Truth? The prerequisites for the real truth are "Truth of Origins" "Truth of Absoluteness" and "Truth of Universality". For example, the Sun rises from the east, we thought this is the truth, now we know the Sun will not rise from the east if we are in other planets. When we think it deeper, if we are not familiar with our real inner self or original nature of human being, we will not understand the real truth.[This is the most important idea I am going to introduce it to you later someday]


  FOR the "Greedy For Everything", we try to introduce some ideas here, hopefully can give you a way to counteract them.

  MOST of the times in our daily life we cannot control ourselves, our mind always in the unsettling situations. Some people understand this point, do their best to gain a temporarily peaceful mind by practicing pray or something else. But they concentrate mainly on the external aspects of worship and do not pay attention to getting rid of thoughts in their mind. Our mind, like the experienced people's idea "Should be like the moon reflected in lakes in summertime, clear and bright all the time." The dirty lakes cannot reflect the images of trees, houses, mountains, sky, clouds. Think deeper, when we have a polluted mind, can our mind still see everything even something happen in front of us? Should we pray or practice like the experienced people?

  WE are used to thinking that life continues day after day and death seems to be very very far away. We mentioned that everything in this world arises depending on conditions, there is no exception, everything is changing, including the mind and thoughts (The mind of greed, thoughts of sadness, anger, love and happiness suddenly arise and then disappear)( Look at our surroundings, which are subject to birth and death. What was the sea is now mulberry fields [Evanescence of worldly affairs, great changes in the course of time]. Houses, trees, stones, which all change maybe slower than we think), this is called "impermanence". Do not ignore the fact of impermanence, the death may come at any moment (We should always remember in heart). And we must give up everything when we die. When you understand this notion, do you still want to fight with other people over things no matter important or unimportant to you?

  IF we know that we have to give up everything when we die, then we should learn how to give up everything now, this might be the best way to subdue Greed. Giving up our time, giving up our hate, giving up our belongings, giving up our money…, these are the ways to upgrade ourselves, of course, to rid greed too.

  FOR the "Angry for Everything", this is the hard part, but we still try to find some ideas and help you to counteract it.

  ACCORDING to the experienced people's idea "To counteract anger and resentment, we should develop a compassionate mind". The compassionate mind is a little hard to develop, but again the first step always hard. Think this way: 1) when we are angry, we are the first to suffer, and later anger will bring hurt to everyone. 2) Angry people usually don't have clear mind (How can we fight somebody who does not know what they are doing).

  TO learn forbearance is the best way for counteracting anger and resentment. Can we suffer indignities without a protest? Can we accept insults and humiliations silently? Have we ever come to the end of our patience?

  PEOPLE in this world, usually like to make the distinction between the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, the beautiful and the ugly, the …. When we face the criticism no matter what kind, try to calm down our mind and practice forbearing first, remember that "Upsetting our mind" is not the solution, it will just make situations worse.

  WE should always have a clear mind and pay no attention to the criticism of the outside world. Just like we mentioned that nothing in this world is lasted forever because of the impermanent. Anything happen to us, try to think this way, "It is just a temporary phenomena". If we can swallow criticisms, we upgrade ourselves, if we can not swallow criticisms, we degrade ourselves.


  ALTHOUGH we are just ordinary people but we still have to remember "Before criticizing others, look at ourselves first." "Are we perfect ?" "Where are our compassion and forgiveness?" "Can we forgive others as much as forgive ourselves?".

  IF we cannot really control ourselves when we face the situations we don't like, try to leave immediately the scene, this will benefit everybody are involved. Like the experienced people's idea "If the surroundings disappear, then the mind loses its anchor, eventually all memories will fade away".

  "DO not understand the Real Truth" may be we can use the word "Ignorance". Ignorance is the main cause of all the problems including "Angry for everything" "Greedy for everything". Ignorance means the lack of right understanding or real understanding, the basic ignorance is our failure to understand that the SELF(This is at the center of all our lives)(I will introduce more ideas about the Self in another page) is an illusion, we do not understand completely what our lives and what universes are. With the notion of "self", we want to protect the our SELF from the dangers of constant change of life, so we are angry, we are greedy, we are hypocritical.

  NOW we know the ignorance is the cause of all thoughts, and understand that is why we are in trouble, in danger, in anger, in illusion, in pride, in anxiety, in prejudice, in fear, …etc. As long as there is ignorance, there is the accumulation of thoughts. So this is something we have to purify.

  WE have to train ourselves to eliminate the idea of the self. Try to understand that all phenomenas are impermanent, understand the illusory phenomenas for realities and not to cling to these phenomenas, learn to understand the true nature of reality and wisdom.

  DELUSION is a lack of awareness of the true nature of things, or of the true meaning of existence. If we can like the experienced people's ideas "looking into the deluded mind is virtually the same as looking into the self-nature of the Pure Mind. If we have the wisdom to perceive Ignorance in this way, we can gradually dispel Ignorance".


  [[[There are these five modes of speech that others may use when they address you. Their speech may be timely or untimely, true or untrue, gentle or harsh, for good or for harm, and may be accompanied by thoughts of loving-kindness or by inner hate. Now this is how you should train yourselves here: "Our minds will remain unaffected, we shall utter no bad words, we shall abide friendly and compassionate, with thoughts of loving-kindness and no inner hate. We shall abide with loving-kindness in our hearts extending to that person, and we shall dwell extending it to the entire world as our object, with our hearts abundant, exalted, measureless in loving-kindness, without hostility or ill-will." That is how you should train yourselves.]]]

  [[[He, by getting rid of coveting for the world, dwells with a mind devoid of coveting, he purifies the mind of coveting. By getting rid of the taint of ill-will, he dwells benevolent in mind, compassionate for the welfare of all creatures and beings, he purifies the mind of the taint of ill-will. By getting rid of sloth and torpor, he dwells devoid of sloth and torpor, perceiving the light, mindful, clearly conscious, he purifies the mind of sloth and torpor. By getting rid of restlessness and worry, he dwells calmly the mind subjectively tranquilized, he purifies the mind of restlessness and worry. By getting rid of doubt, he dwells doubt-crossed, unperplexed as to the states that are skillful, he purifies the mind of doubt.]]]

  [[[Be possessed of mindfulness and clear consciousness, acting with clear consciousness whether you are approaching or departing, acting with clear consciousness whether you are looking ahead or looking round, acting with clear consciousness whether you are bending in or stretching out, acting with clear consciousness whether you are carrying the outer cloak, the bowl or robe, acting with clear consciousness whether you are eating, drinking, munching, savoring, acting with clear consciousness whether you are obeying the calls of nature, acting with clear consciousness whether you are walking, standing, sitting, asleep, awake, talking or being silent.]]]


  THE definition of meditation should be "The mind frees itself from all subjects and objective hindrances and reaches a state of absolute indifference and annihilation of thought, perception, and will."

  ONCE Buddha said: "There are five meditations." ... "The first meditation is the meditation of love in which thou must so adjust thy heart that thou longest for the weal and welfare of all beings including the happiness of thine enemies." ... "The second meditation is the meditation of pity, in which thou thinkest of all beings in distress, vividly representing in thine imagination their sorrows and anxieties so as to arouse a deep compassion for them in thy soul." ... "The third meditation is the meditation of joy in which thou thinkest of the prosperity of others drejoicestwith " "The fourth meditation is the meditation on purity, in which thou considerest the evil consequences of corruption, the effects of wrongs and evils. How trivial is often the pleasure of the moment and how fatal are its consequences." ... "The fifth meditation is the meditation on serenity, in which thou risest above love and hate, tyranny and thraldom, wealth and want, and regardest thine own fate with impartial calmness and perfect tranquillity."

  TO learn meditation, usually we need the experienced people to show us or guide us "How to make the body and mind working together", step by step, especially for the beginners, from this point of view, we should understand that learning meditation is not a very easy thing.

  The BEST way to learn MEDITATION:

  WE all know that the hardest part for beginner to learn meditation is the "concentrating", here we introduce the very special way to learn meditation, which is to chant the "AMITABHA". Chanting "AMITABHA" in China has almost two thousand years history, and according to the records, the result is beyond we can imagine.

  THE reason we want to introduce the chanting "AMITABHA" is because it belongs to the basic level of practice for learning meditation, for the beginners who are seriously interested in learning meditation, they can just do the chanting. Once you have done the chanting "AMITABHA" for a while, you will gradually concentrate on your chanting, and this is a form of meditation. In this moment, the chanting will gradually reduce the thoughts in our mind, eventually our mind will be purified. When we are angry or happy, our mind always are led by emotional ups and downs. If there are less thoughts in our mind, there are less ups and downs actions. The purpose for meditation is to reduce the thoughts in our mind. And chanting "AMITABHA" is the easiest, best, and safest way to reach that purpose.

  WHY Amitabha? The Buddha Sikyamoni once said "The repetition of the name Amitabha Buddha is meritorious only if thou speak it with such a devout attitude of mind as will cleanse thy heart and attune thy will to do works of righteousness."

  OVER the centuries in the Far East, many people have used the chanting AMITABHA or NAMO AMITABHA for meditation purpose and have recovered from their illnesses (Both mind and body), and the problems never come back. If the way we chant "AMITABHA" like the Buddha Sikyamoni said, the result of our work should be expected.

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

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

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

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

  Akushala Sanskrit word. It means bad Karma.

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

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

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

  Almsgiving ... See charity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Arhan ... See Arhat and Four Fruition.

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

  Aryasthavirah See Sthavirah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Arahant/Arahat, The worthy one

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

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

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

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

  Abhi๑๑a: Intuitive powers that come from the practice of concentration: the ability to display psychic powers, clairvoyance, clairaudience, the ability to know the thoughts of others, recollection of past lifetimes, and the knowledge which does away with mental effluents (see asava).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Ariyadhana: Noble Wealth; qualities that serve as 'capital' in the quest for liberation: conviction (see saddha), virtue (see sila), conscience, fear of evil, erudition, generosity (see dana), and discernment (see pa๑๑a),.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Avatamsaka Sutra ... See Flower Adornment Sutra.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Bodhipakkhiya Dhamma ... the 37 qualities contributing to Enlightenment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Bodhicitta ... See Bodhi Mind.

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

  Bodhisattva grounds ... See "Ten Grounds."

  Bodhisattva path ... See "Great Vehicle."

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Bahukayani ... Plentiful good actions

  Bhadra Kalpa ... The era presently we are in

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

  Buddha-Rupa ... Body of Buddha

  Caityasailah ... See Jetavaniyah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Components ... See "five skandas."

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

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

  Cosmos ... See " Dharma Realm."

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

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

  Deva ... a shining one, god, deity

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Devotion ... See Vigor.

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

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

  Dharma-wheel ... See Wheel of Law.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Dharma Door ... School, method, tradition.

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

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

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

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

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

  Dharmadhatu ... See "Dharma Realm."

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

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

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

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

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

  Dasabhadra ... Ten worthy deeds

  Dasakusala ... Ten vices or evil deeds

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

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

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

  Dhatu ... Line of demarcation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Equal Enlightenment ... See "Ten Grounds."

  Evil deeds ... See "ten evil acts."

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

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

  Externalists ... Adherents to non-Buddhist religions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Five Commandments ... See Five Precepts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Four Immeasurable Minds ... See Four Unlimited Minds.

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

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

  Four Phala ... See Four Fruition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Gatha ... Ancient Indian verse.

  Giving ... See charity.

  Gokulika ... See Kaukkutikah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Great Mind ... See "Bodhi Mind."

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

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

  Grounds ... See "Ten Grounds."

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

  Guatama Buddha ... See "Shakyamuni Buddha."

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

  Gatis ... Evil realms

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

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

  Heavenly Eye ... See Devine Eye.

  Hetavadinah ... Another name of Sarvastivadah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Hinayana Buddhism ... See "Small Vehicle."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Koti ... Sanskrit for "ten million."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Lee Ping-Nan ... See Li Ping-Nan.

  Left-home people ... See "Sangha."

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

  Lions among Men ... Buddhas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Maudgalyayana ... See Ten Great Disciples of Shakyamuni.

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

  Middle Path ... See Middle Way.

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

  Migadaya ... See Deer Park.

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


  Mrgadava ... See Deer Park.

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

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


|Purify Mind| |Glossary A-| |Glossary N-| |Pure Land| |Outlook| |Power Of Mind| |Emptiness| |Hua Yen| |No Ego| |RealMeaning| |Chanting| |Heart Sutra| |FortyEightVows| |Sutras| |HuaYen Sutra| |Bequeathed| |Amitabha| |Wisdom| |Giving| |HELP| |Refuge| |Education| |Practice| |Buddhism| |Treatise| |Philosophy| |Vimalakirti| |Teaching| |Tibetan| |Karma| |HEALTH| |Hinayana| |Study| |Ideas| |Meditation| |Dharma| |Diamond| |Scriptures| |Intro| |DalaiLama| |Rinpoche| |Science| |Teaching I| |Teaching II| |Lama| |Zen| |Buddha| |Hinayana I| |Study I| |Guide| |Practice I | |How To| |Rinpoche I| |Teaching III|