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

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

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

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

Sanskrit word for meditation. See Meditation and Contemplation.

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

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

One of four types of Vedic literature in ancient India. It consists of four sections, including poems, songs, rituals, mandra, etc.

1.Rg-veda - life & health;
2.Sama-veda - ritual & worship;
3.Yajur-veda - war study;
4.Atharva-veda - mandra & poems.

The four is know as Four Vedas.

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

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

See Volition or Five Skandhas.

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

See Recognition or Five Skandhas.

See Sautrantika.

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

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

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

One of the early Hinayana sects, said to be formed about 200-300 years after the Nirvana of Shakyamuni. A branch of the Vaibhasika claiming Rahula as founder. A school of reality of all phenomena asserting the doctrine that all things are real.

The subdivision of Sarvastivadah was complicated and doubtful. In the list of the Eighteen Sects of Hinayana, the Sarvastivadah was not taken into account to be one sect, as it split into all the remaining sects.

Also known as Hetavadinah.

Satyasiddhi School
One of the Ten Schools of Chinese Buddhism. Founded on the Satyasiddhi Shastra by Harivarman.

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

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

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

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

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

Seven Title Classification
Sutra titles fall into seven classes accordingly to their reference to person, Dharma and analogy.

A.Three Single
1.Solely by reference to people
e.g. the Amitabha Sutra
2.Solely by reference to Dharma
e.g. the Mahaparinirvana Sutra
3.Solely by analogy
e.g. The Brahma Net Sutra

B.Three Paired
4.By reference to a person and a Dharma
e.g. The Sutra of the Questions of Manjushri
5.By reference to a person and an analogy
e.g. The Sutra of the Lion's Roar of the Thus Come One
6.By reference to a Dharma and an analogy.
e.g. The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra.

7.By reference to person, Dharma and analogy together
e.g. The Great Universal Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra

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

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

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

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

Singalovada Sutra
A short sutra about ethics and morality.

Six Consciousness
They are the perceptions and the discriminative ability of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind.

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

Six Dusts
See Six Gunas.

Six Entrances
see Six Places and Six Indriyas.

Six External Bases
See Six Gunas.

Six Fields of Senses
See Six Gunas.

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

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

Six Heavens of Desire
See Three Realms.

Six Indriyas
Or Six Internal Bases, or Six Sense-organs, or Six Places. They are eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind.

Six Internal Bases
See Six Indriyas.

Six Paramita
See Paramita.

Six Paths
See Six Directions of Reincarnation.

Six Periods of Day and Night
Six periods in a day, three for day and three for night, i.e. morning, noon, evening, night, midnight, dawn.

Six Places
Sanskrit word is Sadayatana. See Six Indriyas.

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

Six Roots
Or Six Sense-organs, see Six Indriyas.

Six Sense-organs
See Six Indriyas.

Six States of Existence
See Six Directions of Reincarnation.

Sixteen Contemplations
See Vipasyana Sukhavativyha Sutra.

Sixteen Hearts
There are eight hearts within the Desire Realm:
1.Patience regarding the Dharma involved in Suffering
2.Wisdom regarding the Dharma involved in Suffering
3.Patience regarding the Dharma involving in Acculumation
4.Wisdom regarding the Dharma involved in Acculumation
5.Patience regarding the Dharma involved in Extinction
6.Wisdom regarding the Dharma involved in Extinction
7.Patience regarding the Dharma involved in Way
8.Wisdom regarding the Dharma involved in Way

Note that the Truths of Suffering, Acculumation, Extinction and Way are the Four Noble Truths, which is the fundamental doctrine in Buddhism, particularly Hinayana.

There are the other eight hearts within the Form Realm and the Formless Realm:
1.Subsequent Patience regarding Suffering
2.Subsequent Wisdom regarding Suffering
3.Subsequent Patience regarding Acculumation
4.Subsequent Wisdom regarding Acculumation
5.Subsequent Patience regarding Extinction
6.Subsequent Wisdom regarding Extinction
7.Subsequent Patience regarding Way
8.Subsequent Wisdom regarding Way

Sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception
The highest of the four heavens in the Realm of Formlessness, or called the sphere of no-thing.

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

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

Literally, it means the one who ceases from evil and does works of mercy or lives altruistically. He is a devoted and zealous man who has taken a vow to obey the ten commandments in Buddhist orders:

1.not to kill.
2.not to steal.
3.not to lie or speak evil.
4.not to have sexual misconduct.
5.not to use perfumes or decorate oneself with flowers.
6.not to occupy high beds.
7.not to sing or dance.
8.not to possess wealth.
9.not to eat out of regulation hours.
10.not to drink wine.

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

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

A Sanskrit word means one who has entered the flow, Sota-panna in Pali. He opposes the flow of common people's six dusts and enters the flow of the Sage's Dharma-nature.

It is the certification of the first fruit of Arhatship, which is within the Hinayana (small vehicle). It comes when the eighty-eight categories of delusions of view are smashed and cut off by means of sixteen hearts. It is called a Way of Liberation, for at that point, delusion is completely severed and liberation is obtained. One who has certified to
Srotaapanna has seven more births and deaths to undergo. He will be born seven times in the heavens and seven times among men.

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

Also known as Sthaviranikaya or Aryasthavirah. Sthavirah and Mahasanghikah are the two earliest sects in Buddhism.
At first, they were not considered to be different. Sthavirah merely represented the intimate and older disciples of Shakyamuni, while Mahasanghika being the rest. It is said that a century later, a difference of opinion arose on certain doctrines. Three divisions were named as a result (all in Ceylon):


In the course, the eighteen Hinayana sects were developed.

From the time of Ashoka, four principal school are regarded as prevailing:


As far as Sthavira is concerned, there are eleven sects reckoned.

The Sthaviravadins were reputed as nearest to early Buddhism in its tenets, though it is said to have changed the basis of Buddhism from an agonostic system to a realist philosophy.

See Sthavirah.

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

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

See Anathapindika.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sakyamuni Buddha

See "Shakyamuni Buddha."


(Sanskrit) Suffering.

saha world

This world; world of suffering. (See " saha.")


Meditative absorption. Usually denotes the particular final stage of pure concentration.


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


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

San Gui

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


One of the Triple Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha). In Sanskrit, Buddha means "Awareness and Understanding," Dharma means "Right Understanding and Views," and Sangha means "Purity and Harmony." By extension, the word Sangha also refers to the community of cultivators who seek the Truth -- specifically, any group of four or more persons who have made a decision to practice the Buddha's teachings and abide by the Six Principles of Living in Harmony. Most specifically, the word Sangha refers to the community of monks and nuns, who are often referred to as "left-home people." See also "Triple Jewels."


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


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


(Sanskrit) The Goddess of Letters and Eloquence.

seven treasures

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

Shakyamuni Buddha

The founder of Buddhism. Shakyamuni Buddha was born three thousand years ago in northern India. He lived to the age of 79 and delivered the Sutras to congregations of people for forty-nine years.

Shan Tao

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


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

Shorter Amitabha Sutra

See Amitabha Sutra.

Shurangama Sutra

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

Siddhartha Guatama

An Indian Prince who attained enlightenment and became Shakyamuni Buddha. Siddhartha Guatama was born in 563 B.C. to a royal family in Benares, near the
foothills of the Himalayas in present-day Nepal. The young Prince was raised in a very unusual way. Before his birth, his parents received a premonition that their son would either grow to be a great King or renounce all worldly goods and become an Enlightened One, or Buddha. After spending some time as a wandering ascetic, Siddhartha attained enlightenment and was thereafter known as the Buddha.

six directions

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

six dusts

See "dusts."

six paramitas

See "paramitas."

six paths

See "six states of existence."

six states of existence

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

Six Principles of Living in Harmony

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

six senses

In Buddhism, the five senses plus mind.

six sense organs

The five sense organs plus the mind.


See "five skandas."


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

Small Vehicle

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


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


See " eight sufferings."


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


See "Amitabha Sutra."


A mountain of inconceivable height.

Surangama Sutra

See "Shurangama Sutra."


Buddhist scripture.

Sutra of the Heroic One

See "Shurangama Sutra."

Sutra on Observing Amitabha (and His Pure Land)

See "Contemplation Sutra ."

Sutra on Visualizing Amitabha (and His Pure Land)

See "Contemplation Sutra."

Suzuki, D.T.

A well-known Buddhist scholar who has commented extensively on Buddhism
and the Sutras.