Taking Precepts
see Morality.

Also called Vajrayana. A school of esoteric Tibetan Buddhism. It emphsizes not only meditation but also the use of symbolic rites, gestures, postures, breathing, incantation, and other secret means.

Ten Dharma Realms
also known as ten states of existence, which are
7.Sravaka (Sound-Hearer Arhat)

Each Dharma realm has its own characteristics, and its existence is attributed to the retribution of the beings. The lowest six realms (1-6) are known as the Six Paths or Six Realms. These six states of existence are subjected to birth and death,and then rebirth for many lives. The upper four realms are known as the Four Holy Realms. These four states of existence are beyond birth and death and liberated from the Samsara

For details, please refer to Part 2 of Buddhism In A Nutshell, which appeared in Vol. 1 No. 4 of Buddhist Door, March 1996.

Ten Directions
The eight points of the compass, in addition to the nadir and the zenith.

Ten Good Deeds
The Ten Forms of Good Actions for layman, or Ten Wholesomeness.
1.No killing
2.No stealing
3.No adultery
4.No lying
5.No slandering
6.No harsh speech
7.No idle talks
8.No greed
9.No hatred
10.No illusion
It is essential for the rebirth in Deva realm.

Ten Great Disciples of Skakyamuni Buddha
They are:

1.Mahakasyapa in Sanskrit, Mahakassapa in Pali.
first in ascetism.
first in having heard the words of Buddha.
3.Sariputra in Sanskrit, Sariputta in Pali.
first in wisdom.
first in expressing emptiness.
first in explaining good law.
6.Maudgalyayana in Sanskrit, Moggallana in Pali.
first in supernatural power.
first in preaching.
8.Aniruddha in Sanskrit, Anuruddha in Pali.
first in the sharpness of his divine eyes.
first in taking precepts.
first in esoteric practices and in desire for instruction in the law.

Ten Great King Vows
The vows of Visvabhadra Bodhisattva:
1.To worship and respect all Buddhas.
2.To praise the Thus Come One.
3.To practise offerings.
4.To repent all karmic hindrance.
5.To rejoice and follow merits and virtue.
6.To request that the Dharma wheel be turned.
7.To request that the Buddha remain in the world.
8.To follow the Buddha's teachings.
9.To live in accord with all living beings.
10.To spread all merits and virtue.

Ten Meritorious Deeds
The Ten Meritorious Deeds allow people to gain a happy and peaceful life as well as to develop knowledge and understanding. They are:
2.Morality / Taking Precepts
3.Mental cultivation / Meditation
4.Reverence or respect
5.Services in helping others
6.Transference of merits
7.Rejoicing in the merits of others
8.Preaching and teaching Dharma
9.Listening the Dharma
10.Straightening one's own views

Ten Offerings
For the material there are ten kinds of offerings in Buddhism:
5.jeweled parasols
6.banners and canopies
8.fruit and food
10.joined palms

Ten Paramita
see Paramita.

Ten Powers
The Ten Powers of Buddha or Bodhisattva are the complete knowledge of
1.what is right or wrong in every condition
2.what is the karma of every being, past, present and future
3.all stages of dhyana liberation and samadhi
4.the powers and faculties of all beings
5.the desires or moral directions of every being
6.the actual condition of every individual
7.the direction and consequence of all laws
8.all causes of mortality and of good and evil in their reality
9.the end of all beings and Nirvana
10.the destruction of all illusion of every kind

Ten Schools of Chinese Buddhism
4.Tien Tai
5.Hua Yen
10.Pure Land

Ten Stages of Bodhisattva
These are the ten stages of development of Bodhisattva depending on their merits and virtues:
1.Pramudita (joy) - job at having overcome the difficulties and sufferings, now entering on the path to Buddhahood
2.Vimala (purity) - freedom from all possible defilement
3.Prabhakari (enlightenment) - stage of further enlightenment
4.Arcismati (widsom) - stage of glowing wisdom
5.Sudurjaya (no difficulty) - stage of mastering the utmost difficulties
6.Abhimukhi (open way) - the open way of wisdom above definitions of impurity and purity
7.Duramgama (proceeding afar) - getting above ideas of self in order to save others
8.Acala (unperturbed) - attainment of being unperturbed
9.Sadhumati (discriminatory wisdom) - the finest discriminatory wisdom, knowing where and how to save, and possessing the Ten Powers
10.Dharma megha (law cloud) - attainment of the fertilizing powers of law cloud

Ten Titles of Buddha
represent the characteristics of Buddha
1.Tathagata - the Thus Come Ones
2.Arhat - worthy of offerings
3.Samyak-sambuddha - of proper and universal knowledge
4.Vidyacarna-sampauna - perfect in understanding and conduct
5.Sugata - skilful in leaving the world through liberation
6.Lokavid - perfect and complete understanding of all worldly Dharma
7.Anuttara - unsurpassed knights
8.Purusa-damya-sarathi - taming heroes
9.Sasta deramanusyanam - teachers of gods and people
10.Buddha-lokanatha or Bhagaran - Buddha, the World Honored Ones

Ten Vehicles of Meditation
Vehicles is the means to take living beings across from suffering to Nirvana. Though there are ten vehicles, there is only one teaching (Dharma), i.e., Inconceivable Virtues of the Self-mind, and the other nine are supplementary. According to Tien Tai Sect, the ten vehicles are:
1.Meditation of Inconceivable Virtue of the Self-mind - highest order for superior roots
2.Meditation of Real Bodhicitta
3.Meditation of Expedient Dwelling of Mind
4.Meditation of Breaking Universal Dharma
5.Meditation of Penetrating through Obstructed Consciousness
6.Meditation of Commissioning all Chapters of Paths
7.Meditation of Confronting Delusion and Advocating Enlightenment
8.Meditation of Understanding the Stages of Fruition
9.Meditation of Calmness and Endurance
10.Meditation of Non-attachment of Dharma

Ten Wholesomeness
see Ten Good Deeds.

Thera, an elder; a fully ordained monk who has past ten rainy seasons. Theravada is the doctrine of the Theras, i.e. the teaching of Southern Buddhism. It is one of the traditional 18 sects of Hinayana Buddhism. This form of Buddhism emerged out of Mahinda's mission to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) during Ashoka's region. They are apparently very closely related to the orthodox Vibhajyavada doctrine of Ashoka's time and represent the sole remaining Hinayanist sect today.
It is the form of Buddhism prevalent in S.E. Asian countries, e.g. Thailand, Sri Lanka, etc. (see Mahayana).

Thirty-two Forms
These are the physical marks of a Buddha
1.Level feet
2.thousand-spoke wheel-sign on feet
3.long slender fingers
4.pliant hands and feet
5.toes and fingers finely webbed
6.full-sized heels
7.arched insteps
8.thigh like a royal stag
9.hands reaching below the knees
10.well-retracted male organ
11.height and stretch of arms equal
12.every hair-root dark coloured
13.body hair graceful and curly
14.golden-hued body
15.a ten-foot halo around him
16.soft smooth skin
17.two soles, two palms, two shoulders and crown well rounded
18.below the armpits well-filled
19.lion-shaped body
21.full shoulders
22.forty teeth
23.teeth white even and close
24.the four canine teeth pure white
26.salvia improving the taste of all food
27.tongue long and broad
28.voice deep and resonant
29.eye deep blue
30.eye lashes like a royal bull
31.a white urna or curl between the eyebrows emitting light
32.an usnisa or fleshy protuberance on the crown.

Three Classifications
Buddha shows that a person is nothing more than a combination of various elements which come together under suitable conditions. They are
1.the Five Skandhas
2.the Twelve Bases
3.the Eighteen Fields

Three Delusions
In Tien Tai, three doubts in the mind of Bodhisattva, producing three delusions, i.e.,
1.through things seen and thought
2.through the immense variety of duties in saving humans
3.through ignorance

Three Dogmas
They are the Dogma of Void, Unreal and Mean. See also Three Meditations of One Mind.

Three Enlightenments
the three kinds of Enlightenment:
1.Enlightenment for self
2.Enlightenment for others
3.Perfect enlightenment and accomplishment
The first is Arhat. The second is Bodhisattva. When all the three have been attained, the being becomes a Buddha.

Three Evil Paths
They are the three lowest realms of the Nine Realms: hell, hungry ghost and animal.

Three Good Paths
They are Man, Asura and Deva Paths.

Three Jewels
Or the Three Precious Ones, i.e. the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, which are the three essential components of Buddhism. They are the objects of veneration. Buddhists take refuge in them by pronouncing the threefold refuge formula,thus acknowledging themselves to be Buddhists.

Three Meditations of One Mind
Also known as Three Inconceivable Meditations, which is one of the practices in Tien Tai Sect in China. According to Tien Tai, all existence in the universe consists of Three Dogmas (Truths), namely, Void, Unreal and Mean. These three Dogmas are co-existent and interactive, integrated and interrelated. If one can meditate this concept with the whole mind, it is call Three Meditations of One mind, or Inconceivable Profound Meditation.

Three Obstacles
See Three Obstructions.

Three Obstructions
Also called Three Obstacles. They are the obstructions that hinder the attainment of Buddhahood. When the Three Obstructions are cleared, the Three Virtues will be perfected. The Three Obstructions are:

1.Affliction obstruction - e.g. due to Three Poisons, i.e. greed, hatred and stupidity.
2.Karma obstruction - e.g. due to Five Offenses, and Ten Unwholesome Deeds, i.e. the Karma in the past.
3.Retribution obstruction - e.g. the suffering retribution in Three Evil Paths.

Three Periods of Time
That is the past, the present and the future.

Three Poisons
or Three Roots
1.Greed or wrong desire
2.Hatred or anger
3.Illusion or stupidity or ignorance
These are the source of all the passions and delusions.

Three Realms
Sanskrit word is Triloka. It is Buddhist metaphysical equivalence for the triple world of earth, atmosphere and heaven.
1.Realm of Sensusous Desire (Sanskrit word is Kamadhatu) of sex and food. It includes the Six Heavens of Desire, the Human World and the Hells.
2.Realm of Form (Sanskrit word is Rupaadhatu) of matter which is substantial and resistant. It is a semi-material conception. It is above the lust world and contains bodies, places and things, all mystic and wonderful. It consists of 18 heavens, including the Heavens of Four Zen (Sanskrit word is Brahmalokas).
3.Realm of Formlessness (Sanskrit word is Arupadhatu) of pure spirit, where there are no bodies and matters to which human terms would apply, but where the mind dwells in mystic contemplation; its extent is indefinable, but it is conceived of in Four Stages/Places of Emptiness in the immaterial world. It has four heavens, in which the Sphere/heaven of neither-perception-nor-non-perception is the highest.

Three Roots
The three (evil) roots, i.e. desire, hate and stupidity. Another group is the three grades of good "roots" or abilities, i.e. superior, medium and inferior.

Three Seals
Also known as Three Universal Truths.
1.All phenomena are impermanent.
2.All Dharma are not-self.
3.The eternity is Nirvana.

It is called the seal because it is to certify whether it is the Buddha's teaching or not. Also see Four Seals.

Three Shastra
They are
1.Madhyamaka Shastra
2.Dvadashamukha Shastra
3.Shatika Shastra

All three were translated by Kumarajiva, on which the Three Shastra Sect bases its doctrines.

Three Studies
or Three Vehicles of Learning
1.Sila, i.e. taking Precepts
2.Dhyana, i.e. concentration and meditation
3.Prajna, i.e. wisdom
It is practiced by the Arhats.

Three Sufferings
1.Feeling of suffering
2.Feeling of happiness - suffering of decay
3.Feeling of neither suffering nor happiness - suffering of the activity of the Five Skandhas.

Three Universal Characteristics
The Three Universal Characteristics are connected with the existence. They are:
1.All phenomena are impermanent.
2.All Dharma are not-self.
3.All sensations are suffering.

Three Universal Truths
Also known as the Three Seals. Three Universal Truths are the basic teaching of Buddha, so that they are commonly used to attest Buddhism.

The Three Universal Truths are:
1.All phenomena are impermanent, (i.e., Anicca in Sanskrit).
2.All dharmas are non-self, (i.e., Anatta in Sanskrit).
3.The eternity is Nirvana and stillness.

Three Vehicles
They are the Two Vehicles, plus the Bodhisattva Vehicle, i.e. the Vehicles for Sravaka, Pratyeka Buddha, and the Bodhisattva are called the Three Vehicles.

Three Virtues
The three virtues of power,
1.the virtue, or potency of the Buddha's eternal, spiritual body, i.e., the Dharmakaya
2.the virtue of his Prajna, knowing all things in their reality
3.the virtue of his freedom from all attachments and his sovereign liberty

Three Wisdom
There are three kinds of wisdom:
1.Sravaka and Praetyka-Buddha knowledge that all the Dharmas or laws are void and unreal
2.Bodhisattva knowledge of all things in proper discrimination
3.Buddha knowledge or perfect knowledge of all things in their every aspect and relationship past, present and future.

In Tien Tai Sect, the Three Wisdom is associated with the Three Dogmas of Void, Unreal and Mean.

Threefold Body of a Buddha
They are
1.Dharma body, i.e. Dharmakaya - its own essential nature, common to all Buddhas.
2.Retribution body, i.e. Sambhogakaya - a body of bliss, which he receives for his own use and enjoyment.
3.Response and transformation body, i.e. Nirmanatkaya - he can appear in any form whenever and wherever necessary for the sake of crossing over others.

Tien Tai Sect
One of the Ten Great Sect in Chinese Buddhism. It was initiated by Hui Man in the dynasty of Bei-Chai, and was promoted by Chi-Hai in Tsui Dynasty. Mainly based on Lotus Sutra, Tien Tai Sect explains all universal phenomena with Three Dogmas. For the practices, it emphasizes cutting off Three Delusions, thus establishes the method of Three Meditations of One Mind.

see Three Realms.

Trinity of Western Paradise
They are the Buddhas and the Great Bodhisattvas in Western Paradise (Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss):
2.Avalokitesvara (Kuan Yin)

Tripitaka in Sanskrit, Tipitaka in Pali. The three parts of Pali canon, consisting of:
1.Sutra-Pitika (Sanskrit) or Sutta-Pitaka (Pali), or the Sutra Basket - containing the entire , the sermons attributed to the Shakyamuni Buddha.
2.Vinaya-Pitika (both Sanskrit and Pali), or the Ordinance Basket - containing the rules of monastic life.
3.Abhidharma-Pitika (Sanskrit) or Abhidhamma-Pitaka (Pali), or Shastras, or the Treatise Basket - containing the doctrinal commentaries, philosophical and technical works, such as discourses, discussions, or treatises on the dogma, doctrines, etc.

True Suchness
Bhutatathata in Sanskrit word. Bhuta means substance that exists; tathata means suchness, thusness, i.e. such is its nature.
It is regarded as the absolute, ultimate source and character of all phenomena. It is the eternal, imperson, unchangeable reality behind all phenomena. Simply speaking, it is ALL.

There are many other terms to describe it, e.g. Buddha-nature, Self-nature Pure Mind, Dharmakaya (Dharma Body), Tathagata-garbha (Buddha-treasury), Reality (real mark), Dharma Realm, Dharma Nature, the Complete and Perfect real nature, etc.

Tusita Heaven
The fourth devaloka in the Realm of Desire. Its inner department is the Pure Land of Maitreya who like Shakyamuni and all Buddhas, is reborn there before descending to earth as the next Buddha in our world.

Twelve Bases
The Six Internal Bases and the Six External Bases are together called the Twelve Bases. Base implies the meaning of germinating and nourishing. All mental activities are germinated and nourished from these Twelve Bases.

Twelve Links of Dependent Origination
see the Law of Dependent Origination.

Twelve Nidanas
see the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination.

Twelve Places
see the Twelve Bases.

Twenty Sects of Hinayana
See the Eighteen Sects of Hinayana, plus the two originals, i.e. Mahasanghikah and Sthavirah called the Twenty Sects of

Two Deaths
Two Deaths refer to
1.share-sectioned birth and death
2.changed birth and death

Two Forms of Death
1.Natural death of the life
2.Death form external cause and conditions

Two Obstacles
Two Obstacles refer to
1.the obstacle of afflictions
2.the obstacle of what is known

Two Sects of Hinayana
It refers to the Sthaviravadin and Mahasanghika.

Two Vehicles
Two Vehicles generally refer to Sravaka and Praetykabuddha.


(English: Thus Come One . Chinese: ru lai []) A word used to refer to Buddhas -- either Shakyamuni Buddha or the Buddhas in general.. Tathagata is a Sanskrit word that means "one who has attained full realization of 'such-ness'" -- that is, one who has become one with the absolute "Body of Law" (Dharma-Kaya) in such a way that he or she neither "comes from anywhere" (na-agamana) nor "goes to anywhere" ( na-gaman).

ten directions

The ten directions, or ten quarters, are: north, south, east, west, north-east, south-east, north-west, south-west, the nadir, and the zenith. See also "six directions."

Ten Esoteric Doors

See " Ten Mysterious Gates."

ten evil acts

The acts of (1) killing, (2) stealing, (3) indulging in sexual misconduct, (4) lying, (5) committing slander, (6) using coarse language, (7) indulging in empty chatter, (8) harboring covetousness, (9) using angry speech, and (10) holding wrong views. Opposite of the ten kind deeds.

ten evil deeds

See "ten evil acts."

Ten Great Vows (of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva)

Ten vows made by Universal Worthy Bodhisattva (Samantabhadra) in the Flower Adornment Sutra. The essence of Mahayana practice is contained in these Ten Great Vows. The chapter in the Flower Adornment Sutra in which Universal Worthy Bodhisattva makes his Ten Great Vows is presented on the page titled "Flower Adornment Sutra, Chapter 40."

Ten Grounds

According to the Mahayana sutras, there are a total of 52 levels of attainment before a cultivator achieves Buddhahood. The 41st to 50th levels constitute the level known as the Ten Grounds. Above these stages are the levels of Equal Enlightenment, Wonderful Enlightenment, and Buddhahood.

Ten Kind Deeds

(1) No killing. (2) No stealing. (3) No sexual misconduct. (4) No lying. (5) No seductive speech. (6) No speech that would cause discord and hatred. (7) No harsh speech. (8) No greed. (9) No anger or hatred. (10) Refraining from ignorance.

Ten Mysteries

See "Ten Mysterious Gates."

Ten Mysterious Gates

Ten aspects of the interrelationship of all phenomena, as seen from the enlightened point of view. To explain such relationship and harmony, the Avatamsaka (Flower Adornment) School advances the Ten Profound Propositions: (1) All things are co-existent, corresponding to one another. (2) The intension and extension of one thing involve those of others without any obstacle. (3) The One and the Many are mutually inclusive. (4) All things are identical with one another. (5) The hidden and the manifested mutually perfect each other. (6) All minute and abstruse things mutually penetrate one another. (7) All things reflect one another. (8) Truth is manifested in facts and facts are the source of enlightenment. (9) The past, present and future are inter-penetrating. (10) All things are manifestations and transformations of the mind."

ten paramitas

See "paramitas."

Ten Precepts

See "Ten Kind Deeds."

Ten Profound Propositions

See " Ten Mysterious Gates."

ten quarters

The ten directions.

Ten Recitation Method

A technique of Buddha recitation described in the Contemplation Sutra and presented on the Web site on the page titled "The Ten Recitation Method." It is an ideal recitation method for people who are busy with mundane activities but want to practice Buddha recitation so they can achieve rebirth in the Pure Land.

ten sins

See "ten evil acts."

Ten Stages

See "Ten Grounds."

ten thousand conducts

All the countless activities and cultivation practices of the Bodhisattvas.

thoroughly learned ones

Saints who have reached the fourth and final stage of Arhatship. Persons in the first three stages of Arhatship are called "learners." See also "four grades of disciples."

those beyond learning

See "thoroughly learned ones."

those enlightened to conditions

See "Pratyeka-Buddhas."

those who are beyond study

See "thoroughly learned ones."

Three Bodies of the Buddha

According to Mahayana teachings, a Buddha has three bodies: a Dharma Body (Sanskrit: Dharmakaya, the Body of Reality); (2) A Reward Body (Sanskrit: Sambhogakaya, Noumenal Body, or, Celestial Body); and (3) a Transformation Body (Sanskrti: Nirmanakaya, Phenomenal Body, Manifested Body, or Incarnate Body). In the Dharma Body , a Buddha is the personification of Suchness, Emptiness, the Truth (e.g., Vairocana Buddha). A Buddha's Reward Body is a body that is obtained as a reward of completing Bodhisattva practice and understanding the Buddha-wisdom, which is transcendent and imperceptible to common mortals (e.g., Amitabha Buddha). In the Transformation Body, a Buddha is manifested in the ordinary world of samsara (e.g., Shakyamuni Buddha).

three evil paths

See "three evil realms."

three evil realms

The realms of (1) people in hells, (2) hungry ghosts, and (3) animals.

three karmas

Karmas accumulated as a result of actions by the body, mouth, and mind.

three kinds of enlightment

There are 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."

three periods of time

The past, present, and future.

three poisons

Greed, anger, and ignorance.

Three Realms

See "Triple Realm."

Three Sages of the World of Ultimate Bliss

Amitabha Buddha, Guan Yin Bodhisattva, and Great Strength Bodhisattva.

Three Studies

Self-discipline, concentration, and wisdom.

Three Treasures

See "Triple Jewels."

Thus Come One

A name for a Buddha. Hsuan Hua explains that the world "Thus" connotes stillness, while the word "Come" connotes action. When combined, these two words connote stillness within action, or action within stillness: i.e., the Buddha. See also "Tathagata."

transference of merit

The practice of transferring, or sharing, one's own merits and virtues with others. For an example of a recitation for transferring merit, see the page titled "Dedication of Merit."

tongue of subtle and wonderful eloquence

The tongue of one who never tires of speaking the Buddha-dharma.

transformation body

See "Three Bodies of the Buddha."


See "Three Bodies of the Buddha."

Triple Jewels

The Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sanga. These are Sanskrit words for three good qualities we should all strive for: "Awareness and Understanding," "Right Understanding and Views," and "Purity and Harmony." Pure Land students who want to declare their intention to deepen their cultivation can participate in a ceremony called Taking Refuge in the Triple Jewels -- or, in Chinese, San Gui.

Triple Realm

The realms of desire (our world), form (realms of the lesser dieties), and formlessness (realms of the higher dieties). The Pure Land is outside the Triple realm, beyond samsara and retrogression.

Triple Saints of the Flower Adornment Sutra

The Triple Saints of the Flower Adornment (Avatamsaka) Sutra are Universal Worthy Bodhisattva; (Samantabhadra); Manjushri Bodhisattva, and the Tathagata (or Dhyani Buddha) Vairocana.

True Dharma Realm

The state of being in which enlightement and the object of wisdom and
enlightenment are one, not two.