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.

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.

See Vigor.

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 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.

See Wheel of Law.

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

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 (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.

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.

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."


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."


Ignorance; belief in something that contradicts reality. In Buddhism, delusion is a lack of awareness of the true nature or Buddha nature of things, or of the true meaning of existence.


Buddha-Dharma; that is the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha or other Buddhas; duty, law, doctrine. (In English translations, when the word Dharma is capitalized, it usually means Buddha-Dharma.)

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 body

See "Three Bodies of the Buddha."

Dharma master

One who teaches the Dharma.

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 Realm Buddhist Association

The Dharma Realm Buddhist Association, founded by Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua, is the original publisher of many of the texts presented on this Web site. The Association's address is The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, 2001 Talmage Road, Talmage, CA 95481-0217 (U.S.A.) Telephone: (707) 462-0939.

Dharma Realm Buddhist University

A university operated by the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association at The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, 2001 Talmage Road, Talmage, CA 95481-0217 (U.S.A.) Telephone: (707) 462-0939.

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 Store Bodhisattva

See "Dharamakara."

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.


See "Dharma Realm."


(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.


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


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


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.


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 – Law in its broad sense

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

Dhatu – Line of demarcation