Buddha Sutras Mantras Sanskrit

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Last updated 04/2009

Glossary

        The following Buddhist terms are mainly based on the Fo Guang Da Ci Dian (佛光大辭典), or the Buddha's Light Dictionary, as well as on A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms (中英佛學辭典), compiled by William Edward Soothill and Lewis Hodous. Both are published by Fo Guang Publisher.


Afflictions (煩惱), or kleśa, are passions that agitate one's mind, resulting in negative actions performed by one's voice and/or body. The three fundamental afflictions, called the three poisons (三毒), are (1) desire, (2) anger, and (3) delusion. Derived from these three and added to the list are (4) arrogance, (5) doubt, and (6) wrong views (邪見). The list can be extended to ten by dividing the wrong views into (6) the self-view that an embodied self exists in a person composed of the five aggregates and that this self owns the five aggregates and things; (7) the diametric view of perpetuity or cessation; (8) the evil view of no causality; (9) holding the preceding three wrong views and certain inferior views; and (10) observance of useless precepts, such as staying naked, covering oneself with ashes, imitating cows or dogs, self-flagellation, etc., with a view to achieving a better rebirth. These ten afflictions accompany and drive sentient beings. The first five are called the chronic drivers (鈍使), which can be removed gradually. The last five are called the acute drivers (利使), which can be removed quickly. Ignorance of the truth is the root of all afflictions..

Agalloch (沉水) is the fragrant, resinous wood of an East Indian tree, aquilaria agallocha, of the mezereum family, used as incense in the Orient. Heavy and rich in oil, it is called in China the sink-in-water wood.

Aggregates (蘊), or skandhas, refer to the five aggregates, which are the five components of a sentient being: rūpa (form), vedanā (sensory reception), saṁjñā (perception), saṁskāra (mental processing), and vijñāna (consciousness). Skandha means that which covers or conceals (陰). Of the five skandhas, the first one is physical and the remaining four are mental. Since these four are non-form (非色), thus in name only, the five aggregates are summarized as name and form (名色). An ordinary being perceives the existence of a self founded on these five constantly changing skandhas (see sixty-two views). This self-view is a fundamental delusion which hinders one's realization of the truth.

Akaniṣṭha Heaven (阿迦尼吒天), or the Ultimate Form Heaven (色究竟天), is the topmost heaven (有頂天) of the eighteen heavens in the form realm (see Three Realms).

Ālaya-vijñāna (阿賴耶識), the store consciousness (藏識), also known as the eighth consciousness, stores the pure, impure, and neutral seeds of one's experience since time immemorial. These seeds manifest as causes and conditions that lead to karmic events in one's life, which in turn become seeds. Maintaining the physical and mental life of a sentient being, ālaya is neither different from nor the same as the physical body. As the base of the other seven consciousnesses, ālaya is the root consciousness (mūla-vijñāna). After one's death, ālaya may either immediately manifest a rebirth according to karmic forces and conditions or first produce a subtle interim body which can last up to 49 days, pending the right karmic conditions for a rebirth. Ālaya is also identified with the thus-come store (Tathāgata-garbha) as well as Buddha nature (see true suchness). The seeds in a Buddha's mind are all pure seeds which no longer change, and the name ālaya-vijñāna is then changed to amala-vijñāna, the stainless consciousness.

Anāthapiṇḍika (給孤獨) means Provider for the Deprived, a name given to the Elder Sudatta for his generosity to the poor and lonely. He bought a garden from Prince Jeta as an offering to the Buddha.

Anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi (阿耨多羅三藐三菩提) is unsurpassed equal perfect enlightenment (無上正等正覺). Anuttara means unsurpassed: samyak is derived from the stem, samyac, which means "same"; and saṁbodhi means perfect enlightenment. Equal means that the perfect enlightenment of all Buddhas is the same. The third epithet of a Buddha is Samyak-Saṁbuddha, the Equally Perfectly Enlightened One.

Anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi mind (阿耨多羅三藐三菩提心) is the resolve to attain the unsurpassed equal perfect enlightenment for self and others.

Apasamāra (阿波悉魔羅) is a class of ghosts that scare children.

Araṇya (阿蘭若) means forest. It is interpreted as a quiet remote place for spiritual training. One who stays in such a place is also called an āraṇyaka (阿蘭若迦). Such a way of life is called the araṇya way, which is one of the twelve dhūta practices. A temple in an area away from urban noise is also called an araṇya.

Arhat (阿羅漢) is a voice-hearer who has attained the fourth, the highest fruit on the Liberation Way, by totally annihilating the fixation on having an autonomous self in a person and annihilating all afflictions. A Buddha is also an Arhat, but not vice versa. As the second of a Buddha's ten epithets, Arhat means worthy of offerings. (See voice-hearer fruits.)

Arrogance has seven levels: (1) arrogance (慢) is vaunting one's superiority over inferiors; (2) over-arrogance (過慢) is asserting one's superiority over equals; (3) arrogant over-arrogance (慢過慢) is alleging one's superiority over superiors; (4) self-arrogance (我慢) is the root of all other arrogances, considering oneself by definition to be superior to others; (5) exceeding arrogance (增上慢) is alleging realization of truth one has not realized; (6) humility-camouflaged arrogance (卑慢) is admitting slight inferiority to those who are much superior; and (7) evil arrogance (邪慢) is boasting of virtues one does not have.

Asaṁkhyeya (阿僧祇) means innumerable or uncountable, or an exceedingly large number.

Asaṁskṛta (無為) means not made or formed through causes and conditions, while saṁskṛta (有為) means made or formed through causes and conditions. Saṁskṛta dharmas are impermanent and go through the four phases of birth, staying, change, and obliteration, as displayed by all phenomena. The asaṁskṛta dharma is the changeless true reality of saṁskṛta dharmas, not their opposite.

Asura (阿修羅), one of the six life forms, is a non-god or sub-god and may be born among gods, humans, animals, and hungry ghosts. Given to anger and jealousy, the life of an asura is considered more an evil life-journey than a good one.

Avīci Hell (阿鼻地獄), the last of the eight hot hells, is the hell of uninterrupted tortures.

Bhagavān or Bhagavat (薄伽梵) means the World-Honored One. The tenth epithet of a Buddha is Buddha-Bhagavān, or Buddha the World-Honored One.

Bhikṣu (比丘) is a fully-ordained monk who has entered the order of the Buddha and observes, in the Mahāyāna tradition, 250 monastic precepts (see Saṅgha).

Bhikṣuṇī (比丘尼) is a fully-ordained nun who has entered the order of the Buddha and observes, in the Mahāyāna tradition, 500 monastic precepts (see Saṅgha).

Bodhi (菩提) means enlightenment or the unsurpassed wisdom. There are three bodhis in one-to-one correspondence with the Three Vehicles: (1) the bodhi of a voice-hearer who has attained Arhatship, (2) the greater bodhi of a Pratyekabuddha, and (3) the greatest bodhi of a Buddha. In old translations, bodhi is translated into Chinese as the Way (道), which needs to be distinguished from the path (marga).

Bodhimaṇḍa (道場), or bodhi place, in a specific sense, refers to the vajra seat of a Buddha sitting under the bodhi tree, where He attains the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. In a general sense, it is a place for spiritual learning and practice, such as a temple or one's home. In a deeper sense, since the Way to Buddhahood is one's mind, all sentient beings are bodhi places.

Bodhisattva (菩薩), or enlightenment being, is one who, walking the Bodhi Way and delivering sentient beings along the Way, will ultimately attain Buddhahood for self and others.

Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva (菩薩摩訶薩) means an enlightenment being who is a great being because of his great vows, great actions, and the great number of sentient beings he delivers.

Bodhisattva precepts (菩薩戒) are for both lay and monastic Buddhists who have resolved to walk the Bodhisattva Way. They are called the Three Clusters of Pure Precepts (三聚淨戒), consisting of (1) precepts for restraining improper conduct; (2) precepts for engaging in good dharmas, such as the six pāramitās; and (3) precepts for benefiting sentient beings, based on the Four Immeasurable Minds (四無量心). The first cluster is to prevent negative actions, and the latter two are to cultivate the positive qualities essential to the development of a Bodhisattva. Sets of Bodhisattva precepts vary with the sources. While in the Brahma Net Sūtra (Brahmajāla Sūtra, 梵網經) are ten primary and forty-eight secondary precepts, in the Sūtra of the Upāsaka Precepts (優婆塞戒經) are six primary and twenty-eight secondary precepts. When Chinese monastic Buddhists are ordained, they all accept the former set of Bodhisattva precepts. Lay Buddhists may choose to accept either set of Bodhisattva precepts.

Brahma (梵) means purity, or freedom from desire. The Brahma way of life is celibacy. The first three of the eighteen heavens in the form realm are called Brahmapāriṣadya (Brahma Multitude Heaven), Brahmapurohita (Brahma Minister Heaven), and Mahābrahmā (Great Brahma Heaven). The Brahma-king Śikhin, assisted by his ministers, rules the multitude of Brahma gods in these three heavens. In general, all the gods in the eighteen form heavens are called Brahma gods (梵天), and the form realm is called the Brahma World (see Three Realms).

Brahmin (婆羅門) is a member of the highest of the four major castes of traditional Indian society, responsible for officiating at religious rites and studying and teaching the Vedic literature.

Breakoff thought (一念相應) is not a thought but a flash of attunement when one suddenly enters a non-dual state, realizing one's true mind and/or seeing one's Buddha nature. In Chinese Zen Buddhism, experiencing a breakoff thought means breaking through the first gate or the second gate.

Buddha (佛) is the unsurpassed enlightened one. According to the Mahāyāna tradition, Śākyamuni Buddha (circa 563-483 BCE) is the present one in a series of past and future Buddhas. Each Buddha has a particular name, such as Śākyamuni, to suit the needs of sentient beings of His time, and ten epithets common to all Buddhas, which are (1) Tathāgata (Thus-Come One or Thus-Gone One), (2) Arhat (Worthy of Offerings), (3) Samyak-Saṁbuddha (Equally Perfectly Enlightened One), (4) Vidyācaraṇa-Sampanna (Knowledge and Conduct Perfected), (5) Sugata (Well-Arrived One or Well-Gone One), (6) Lokavid (Understanding the World), (7) Anuttara (Unsurpassed One), (8) Puruṣa-Damya-Sārathi (Tamer of Men), (9) Śāstā Deva-Manuṣyāṇām (Teacher to Gods and Humans), and (10) Buddha-Bhagavān (Buddha the World-Honored One).

Buddha-crown (佛頂), or buddhoṣṇīṣa, sometimes tathāgatoṣṇīṣa (Tathāgata-crown), refers to a fleshy mound on the crown of a Buddha's head, which is one the thirty-two major physical marks of a Buddha, a sign resulting from countless lives of performing good dharmas and teaching others to do so. The same term also refers to the invisible top of a Buddha's head, which is one of the eighty excellent characteristics of a Buddha, a sign resulting from countless lives of venerating, praising, and making obeisance to innumerable holy beings, teachers, and parents. The invisible Buddha-crown signifies the true mind, which never depends upon causes and conditions.

Buddha Vehicle (佛乘), or One Vehicle (一乘), means that, among the Three Vehicles, Mahāyāna for Bodhisattvas is the only vehicle. The Two Vehicles (二乘) of Hīnayāna bound for attaining Arhatship and Pratyekabuddhahood are skillful ways for riders to reach an intermediate stop. All will ultimately attain Buddhahood.

Bhūta (部多) is that which is or exists, a living being or the ghost of a deceased person.

Cause Ground (因地) can include all levels of development of a Bodhisattva before attaining Buddhahood, which is the Fruit (Result) Ground, or the Buddha Ground (see Stages of the Bodhisattva Way). It may also refer to the level a Bodhisattva before ascending to the First Ground, which is the first of the ten holy stages.

Chamber of Great Compassion (大悲精室) is called the Tathāgata's chamber in Chapter 10 of the Lotus Sūtra. It is none other than one's own mind of great lovingkindness and compassion.

Character-type (種性), or gotra, refers to the character-type as one evolves on the spiritual path. Those riding the Bodhisattva Vehicle are categorized into five, corresponding to the middle five of the seven Stages of the Bodhisattva Way: (1) The self-motivated character-type (性種性) has the innate drive to advance through the ten levels of standing firm; (2) the learning character-type (習種性) is trained through the ten levels of action; (3) the bodhi character-type (道種性) is developed through the ten levels of transference of merit; (4) the holy character-type (聖種性) is enhanced through the Ten Grounds; and (5) the equal enlightenment character-type (等覺種性) is formed when a Bodhisattva attains enlightenment virtually equal to that of a Buddha. Finally, the Buddha or Tathāgata character-type (佛種性, 如來種性) is fulfilled when a Bodhisattva attains the wondrous enlightenment of a Buddha. Those who have affinities with the Voice-Hearer Vehicle are called the voice-hearer character-type while those who have affinities with the Pretyekabuddha Vehicle are called the Pretyekabuddha character-type.

Command of eight spiritual displays (八大自在) includes (1) one physical body can manifest many copies of itself; (2) one physical body can fill the Large Thousandfold World; (3) this vast body can lift off and travel at will; (4) innumerable different bodies can be manifested in one land; (5) the functions of the five sense organs can be interchangeable; (6) attainment of all dharmas without perceiving them as dharmas; (7) command in expounding the Dharma; and (8) the Tathāgata is free of location, like space.

Cow dung, or gomaya (瞿摩夷), is considered a pure substance.

Cundī Bodhisattva (准提菩薩) is one of the six special forms of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva (Guanyin in Chinese), who is forever active in delivering sentient beings that transmigrate through the six life-journeys. Hailed as mother of seven koṭi Buddhas, Cundī has three eyes and eighteen arms, adorned with a white conch shell on her wrist. According to the Chinese Canon, Text 1076, cun means the unsurpassed enlightenment, di means that all phenomena as illusions, irrelevant to being grasped or waived, and cundi (the vocative case of cundī) means the inherent purity of the nature of one's true mind.

Deliverance (度), or liberation, means crossing from this shore of life and death to the other shore of nirvāṇa. There are three kinds of holy beings that have attained deliverance: Arhats, Pratyekabuddhas, and Buddhas. The former two have achieved the bodhi fruit and liberation fruit for themselves. Buddhas have accomplished not only the liberation fruit but also the great bodhi fruit of omniscience, for delivering sentient beings (see pāramitā).

Dhāraṇī (陀羅尼), often in the form of a long mantra, means total retention (總持), the power to unite all dharmas and hold all meanings.

Dharma (法) can mean (1) the teachings of the Buddha (generally this meaning of dharma is capitalized in English); (2) the universal truth underlying all physical and mental domains; (3) phenomena, or all things—mental, physical, events—everything; or (4) mental activities as the objects of consciousness.

Dharma-eye (法眼) not only penetrates the reality of all phenomena but also can discriminate all illusory phenomena. Bodhisattvas who have come to the Enduring Realization of the No-birth of Dharmas ascend to the Eighth Bodhisattva Ground and acquire the pure Dharma-eye, with which they help sentient beings to go through various Dharma Doors according to their natures and preferences (see five eyes).

Dharma Seal (法印), or Dharma-mudrā, is the seal of the universal truth taught by the Buddha, against which other doctrines should be measured. The three Dharma Seals include (1) processes are impermanent, (2) dharmas, whether saṁskṛta or asaṁskṛta, have no selves, and (3) nirvāṇa is silence and stillness. Added to the list are two more Dharma Seals: (4) experiences boil down to suffering, and (5) dharmas are empty. In the Mahāyāna doctrine, all these seals can be synthesized into one, the one true reality.

Dhyāna (禪), or meditation, not counting meditation at the desire-realm level, is generally classified into four levels: the four dhyānas (四禪) of the form realm. In the first dhyāna, one's mind is undisturbed by the pleasures of the desire realm, but it has coarse and subtle perception. In the second dhyāna, there is bliss and joy in meditation. In the third dhyāna, there is subtle joy from abandoning the bliss in the second dhyāna. In the fourth dhyāna, one's mind is in pure meditation, away from any subtle feelings or movements. Each level of dhyāna is also called the Root Samādhi, from which virtues will grow, such as the Four Immeasurable Minds, the Eight Liberations, and the Eight Observations, etc. (see the four samādhis of the formless realm.)

Dhyāna with Appearance (有相禪) is meditation supported with the appearance of a mental object. For example, one can focus one's attention on a point of the body, count the breaths, recite mantra syllables silently, gaze at an object, or visualize an object.

Dhyāna Without Appearance (無相禪) is meditation during which one disregards or even inhibits the appearance of any mental object. For example, one can ponder true suchness without thoughts or think of a Buddha without reciting His name or visualizing His form.

Discharge (漏), or āsrava, means outflow of afflictions through the sense organs. It is a characteristic of sentient beings engaged in the cycle of life and death.

Dhūta (頭陀) means shaken off. As a way of life, to shake off one's desire for creature comfort in food, clothing, and shelter, there are twelve rules: (1) beg for food; (2) beg for food from one door to the next without discrimination; (3) eat only one meal a day, at noon; (4) eat with moderation in quantity; (5) do not drink liquids after lunch; (6) wear clothes made of cast-away rags; (7) keep only three garments; (8) live in a quiet remote area; (9) live among graves; (10) live under a tree; (11) sit on open ground under the open sky; and (12) sit, without reclining.

Eight classes of Dharma protectors (八部) include gods, dragons, gandharvas, asuras, yakṣas, garuḍas, kiṁnaras, and mahoragas.

Eight difficulties (八難) are the eight difficult conditions in which there is no opportunity or leisure for one to see the Buddha or hear His Dharma. These conditions are (1) in hells, (2) as hungry ghosts, (3) as animals, (4) in the northern continent Uttarakuru, where life is too pleasant, (5) in deep meditation in the formless heavens, (6) being blind, deaf, and mute, (7) as a worldly eloquent intellectual, and (8) in the intermediate period between the presence of one Buddha and the next.

Eight precepts (八關齋戒) include (1) not to kill sentient beings, (2) not to take things without permission, (3) not to have sex, (4) not to tell lies, (5) not to take intoxicating substances,(6) not to use cosmetics or personal adornments or watch song-dance entertainments; (7) not to sleep on a luxurious bed; and (8) not to eat food after lunch. Lay Buddhists who have accepted the eight precepts need to observe them periodically for one or more days. Note that the third precept is not to have sex whereas the third of the five precepts is no sexual misconduct.

Eight tones (八音) refer to the qualities of the Tathāgata's tone: (1) fine, (2) gentle, (3) harmonious, (4) awe-inspiring, (5) manly, (6) error-free, (7) far-reaching, and (8) carrying inexhaustible meaning.

Eighteen Exclusive Dharmas (十八不共法), or āveṇikadharma, are the eighteen special attainments of a Buddha, which Arhats, Pratyekabuddhas, and Bodhisattvas do not have. They include (1-3) perfection in conduct, speech, and mindfulness, (4) impartiality to all, (5) constant serenity, (6) equability toward sensory experiences, (7) unceasing desire to deliver sentient beings, (8) inexhaustible energy for helping sentient beings, (9) unfailing memory of the Buddha Dharma, (10) perfect wisdom in everything, (11) total liberation from afflictions and habits, (12) perfect knowledge and views of liberation, (13-15) perfect deeds, perfect words, and perfect thoughts, led by wisdom, and (16-18) perfect knowledge of the past, present, and future. Another set of eighteen includes the Ten Powers, the Four Fearlessnesses, the Three Equality Minds, and the great compassion. The Three Equality Minds mean that a Buddha’s mind remains impartial to ones who listen to the Dharma reverently, others who listen to the Dharma irreverently, and these two groups.

Eight liberations (八解脫, 八背捨), aṣṭa-vimokṣa, refer to eight kinds of samādhi power to free oneself from the greed for rebirth in the form and formless realms: (1) liberation from perceptible desires for form by visualizing the impurity of external objects; (2) liberation from imperceptible desires for form by visualizing the impurity of external objects; (3) liberation from all desires for form by visualizing the purity of external objects; (4) liberation from visualization of the purity of external objects through the mental state of boundless space; (5) liberation from the state of boundless space through the mental state of boundless consciousness; (6) liberation from the state of boundless consciousness through the mental state of nothingness; (7) liberation from the state of nothingness through the mental state of neither perception nor non-perception; and (8) liberation from the state of neither perception nor non-perception through the mental state of total suspension of sensory receptions and perceptions. Liberations 1 and 2 correspond to the first two dhyānas, and liberation 3 corresponds to the fourth dhyāna. The third dhyāna is not used because one's mind is not vigilant in a blissful state. Liberations 4-7 correspond to the four samādhis in the formless realm, and liberation 8 is the liberation samādhi attained by an Arhat.

Eightfold Right Path (八正道) is the path to liberation from the cycle of life and death. It includes (1) right views, (2) right thinking, (3) right speech, (4) right action, (5) right livelihood, (6) right effort, (7) right mindfulness, and (8) right meditative concentration (samādhi). (1)-(2) educate one with understanding, (3)-(5) ground one on morality, (7)-(8) develop one's insight and wisdom through meditation, and (6) is applied to the other seven paths of training.

Endurance in the Dharma (法忍) generally includes endurance of persecution, endurance of suffering, and endurance in accepting the truth that dharmas are never born. The Three Endurances in the Dharma are (1) Endurance through the Sounds, which means acceptance of the Dharma through hearing it; (2) Endurance through Attunement, which means profound understanding of the Dharma through pondering in accord with the truth; and (3) Endurance in the Realization of the No-birth of Dharmas, which is achieved through spiritual training (see Endurance in the Realization of the No-birth of Dharmas).

Endurance in the Realization of the No-birth of Dharmas (無生法忍) is the lasting realization of the truth that dharmas in true reality are never born and hence never die because dharmas are manifestations of one's mental activity and only appear and disappear through causes and conditions.

Faculties (入), or indriya, refers to the six faculties (六入), or the six sense organs (六根), which include the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and manas. The sixth one is neither a sensory entrance nor a faculty. Manas is designated as the seventh consciousness in the Mahāyāna doctrine. As the eye organ is the physical base from which the eye consciousness arises, likewise manas is the mental faculty from which mental consciousness (the sixth consciousness) arises (see spheres).

Fields (處), or āyatana, refers to the twelve fields (十二處), more detailed than the five aggregates, as another way of analyzing a sentient being. Then a sentient being is a combination six faculties (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and manas) and six sense objects (sights, sounds, scents, flavors, tactile sensations, and mental objects). These faculties are also called the six internal fields, and their sense objects, or percepts, are called the six external fields, six dusts, or projected appearances (影像相分). This is an understanding supported by modern neuroscientists, who have explained that percepts are brain representations (see spheres).

Five desires (五欲) refer to the desires for pleasures in the five sense objects: (1) sights, (2) sounds, (3) smells, (4) flavors, and (5) tactile sensations. Six desires include, in addition to the preceding five, the desire for pleasure in (6) mental objects, which encompass all objects projected through mental processing, verbal or nonverbal, coarse or subtle. These are defiled desires in the desire realm but pure desires in the form and formless realms. Human beings in the desire realm are driven especially by their five desires for (1) riches, (2) sex, (3) food and drink, (4) reputation, and (5) sleep.

Five eyes (五眼) include (1) the Physical-eye that a sentient being is born with; (2) the God-eye that can see anything anywhere; (3) the Wisdom-eye that can see emptiness of phenomena; (4) the Dharma-eye that can discriminate all illusory phenomena; and (5) the Buddha-eye of omniscience which includes the preceding four (see three wisdom-knowledges).

Five obstructive coverings (五蓋), or pañca āvaraṇāni, are desire, anger, torpor, restlessness, and doubt. These mental states cover up one's true mind.

Five precepts (五戒) are accepted by lay Buddhists to refrain from (1) killing sentient beings, (2) taking things not given, (3) sexual misconduct, (4) telling lies, and (5) taking intoxicating substances.

Five rebellious acts (五逆) are (1) patricide, (2) matricide, (3) killing an Arhat, (4) shedding the blood of a Buddha, and (5) destroying the harmony of a Saṅgha, the Buddhist community.

Five studies (五明) include (1) language and composition, (2) science and technology, (3) medical arts, (4) logic, and (5) inner knowledge in a certain discipline.

Five sūtras of the Pure Land School (淨土五經) include (1) the Sūtra of Amitābha Buddha (Text 366), (2) the Sūtra of Infinite Life Buddha (Text 360), (3) the Sūtra of Visualization of Infinite Life Buddha (Text 365), (4) the Actions and Vows of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva (Fascicle 40 of the 40-fascicle Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of Buddha Adornment (Text 293), and (5) Great Might Arrived Bodhisattva's Thinking-of-Buddhas as the Perfect Passage (a subsection in the Śūraṅgama Sūtra (Text 945).

Five transcendental powers (五通) include (1) the God-eye to see anything anywhere; (2) the God-ear to hear any sound anywhere; (3) the ability to know the past lives of self and others; (4) the ability to know the thoughts of others; and (5) the ability to transform one's body and to travel instantly to any place. Non-Buddhists can also develop these five powers through meditation. An Arhat, with no more afflictions to discharge, has liberated himself from the cycle of life and death. Hence, this exhaustion of discharges is said to be the sixth power of an Arhat, which makes his achievement in the first five powers superior to that of those who have not achieved Arhatship.

Five turbidities (五濁), or pañca kaṣāyas, are the five kinds of degeneracy which begin, in a decreasing kalpa, when the human lifespan has decreased from 80,000 years to 20,000 years, and become more severe as the human lifespan decreases down to 10 years. They include (1) the turbidity of a kalpa in decay, which is characterized by the next four turbidities; (2) the turbidity of views, which include the five wrong views; (3) the turbidity of afflictions, which include greed, anger, delusion, arrogance, and doubt; (4) the turbidity of sentient beings that live an unwholesome life and in increasing suffering, and (5) the turbidity of the human lifespan, which is decreasing to 10 years. The wrong views in (2) and the afflictions in (3) are the turbidity itself, which leads to the results in (4) and (5).

Flowers mentioned in the sūtras are listed below. A question mark next to a Chinese name indicates the failure to find its corresponding Sanskrit name. Then a Sanskrit name is constructed phonetically from Chinese.

utpala (優波羅)—blue lotus
padma (波頭摩)—red lotus
kumuda (拘物頭)—white lotus
puṇḍarīka (分陀利華)—large white lotus
atimuktaka (阿提目多花)—an herbaceous plant which has fragrant red or white blooms
cāka (遮迦花?)
campaka (瞻蔔)—the champaka (玉蘭) tree which has fragrant golden or white flowers
caṇa (栴那花)—the chickpea plant
canuttara (栴奴多羅花?)
locana (盧遮那花)—a certain plant
māndarāva (曼陀羅花)—the red blooms of the coral tree, considered as celestial flowers
mañjūṣaka (曼殊沙花)—the white blooms of an herbaceous plant, considered as celestial flowers
palāśa (波樓沙花)—the flaming orange blooms of a tree called Butea monosperma, native to India and Southeast Asia
pāṭali (波羅羅花)—a tree which has fragrant purple flowers
raṇi (羅尼花?)
gauraṇi (瞿羅尼花?)
suloci (蘇樓至?)
sumana (須曼那華)—the jasmine plant which has fragrant white, yellow, or red blooms
tāla (他邏)—the fan palm tree
Udumbara (烏曇跋羅), or the ficus glomerata, is a tree which produces fruit without flowers. Hence, its flower is a symbol of the rare appearance of a Buddha.

Four appearances or four views (四相四見) are the false projections that sentient beings hold about themselves. As taught in the Diamond Sutra, these appearances are (1) an autonomous self; (2) a human being the same as or distinct from other human beings; (3) a sentient being the same as or distinct from other sentient beings; and (4) a living being that has a lifespan to terminate, preserve, or prolong. The latter three are derived from the first. In general, the four perceived appearances of all saṁskṛta dharmas are the stages of (1) birth, (2) staying (seeming stability), (3) change, and (4) obliteration. In the case of a sentient being, these four are (1) birth, (2) aging, (3) illness, and (4) death (see ten appearances). In the case of a nonliving thing, these four are (1) formation, (2) staying, (3) decay, and (4) destruction.

Four Dharmas to Rely Upon (四依法) are given in Fascicle 6 of the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra (different from the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta in the Pāli Canon), in the Chinese Canon, Text 375. The Buddha has taught us to rely (1) upon the Dharma, not an individual; (2) upon the sūtras of definitive meaning, not those of provisional meaning; (3) upon the true meaning, not just the words; and (4) upon one's wisdom-knowledge, not consciousness. In summary, dharma means dharma nature; the definitive meaning refers to Mahāyāna sūtras; the true meaning refers to the eternity and changelessness of the Tathāgata; and wisdom-knowledge means the understanding that all sentient beings have Buddha nature.

Four Drawing-in Dharmas (四攝法) are helpful ways to draw sentient beings into the Dharma, which include (1) almsgiving, (2) loving words, (3) beneficial actions, and (4) collaborative work.

Four Fearlessnesses (四無畏) include (1) fearlessness in overall wisdom-knowledge, (2) fearlessness in ending afflictions, (3) fearlessness in explaining dharmas that obstruct one's realization of bodhi, and (4) fearlessness in explaining how to end the path of suffering.

Four Foundations of Mindfulness (四念住), according to the Pāli Canon of the Therāveda School, include (1) mindfulness of one's body in stillness and in motion; (2) mindfulness of one's sensory experience as pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral; (3) mindfulness of one's mental afflictions: desire, anger, and delusion; and (4) mindfulness of all mental contents, including the teachings of the Buddha. Being mindful of the constant changes in one's physical and mental states, one comes to the insight that phenomena are impermanent and there is no self in control. The Mahāyāna doctrine also includes a set of Four Remembrances: (1) observe that the body is impure; (2) observe that all sensory experiences come down to misery; (3) observe that the mind is constantly changing; and (4) observe that all dharmas have no selves (see right mindfulness).

Four god-kings (四天王) reside halfway up Mount Sumeru, in the first of the six desire heavens. As protectors of the world, they ward off the attacks of asuras. On the east side is Dhṛtarsaṣtra, the god-king Upholding the Kingdom; on the south side is Virūḍhaka, the god-king Increase and Growth; on the west side is Virūpākṣa, the god-king Broad Eye; and on the north side is Vaiśravaṇa, the god-king Hearing Much.

Four grave prohibitions (四重) are prohibitions against committing the four grave root-sins, which include (1) killing sentient beings, (2) taking things not given, (3) sexual misconduct, and (4) telling lies.

Four Heavens (四天王天), ruled respectively by the four god-kings, constitute the first of the six desire heavens (see four god-kings).

Four Immeasurable Minds (四無量心) include lovingkindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equability. It is essential for Boddhisattvas to develop these Four Immeasurable Minds.

Four Indian castes (四姓) include (1) brāhmaṇa, priests, (2) kṣatriya, royalty and warriors, (3) vaiśya, farmers and merchants, and (4) śūdra, serfs. The Buddha ruled that all from the four castes would be allowed to become Buddhist śramaṇas as the fifth caste, the highest of all castes.

Four modes of birth (四生) are the four modes through which a sentient being is born: (1) the womb, such as humans and other mammals; (2) the egg, such as the birds and fishes; (3) moisture, such as fishes and insects; and (4) miraculous formation, such as gods, ghosts, and hell-dwellers.

Four necessities (四事供養) offered to a monk include (1) food and drink, (2) clothing, (3) bedding, and (4) medicine.

Four Noble Truths (四聖諦) are the fundamental truths about saṁsāra and nirvāṇa. They include (1) suffering (duḥkha): life and death through the six life-journeys is suffering; (2) accumulation (samudaya): suffering is caused by the accumulation of afflictions, especially love; (3) annihilation (nirodha): annihilation of afflictions reveals nirvāṇa; and (4) the path (mārga): the Eightfold Right Path is the path to annihilation of afflictions. The first two truths are a condensed version of the Twelve Links of Dependent Arising. In going along with the flow of saṁsāra, the cause is the accumulation of afflictions and the result is suffering. The last two truths reveal that, in ending the flow of saṁsāra, the cause is taking the Eightfold Right Path and the result is annihilation of afflictions, realizing nirvāṇa.

Four Preparatory Trainings (四加行), or the Four Roots of Goodness (四善根位), are accomplished before one sees bodhi. According to the Consciousness-only School, after the Stage of Gathering Provisions is completed, one embarks upon the Stage of Preparatory Trainings by investigating the four aspects of phenomena: name, meaning, self-essence, and differentiation, to develop successively the four roots of goodness: (1) Warmth—one realizes in the Illumination Samādhi that objects are empty, (2) Pinnacle—one affirms the same realization through the Enhanced Illumination Samādhi, (3) Endurance—one realizes in the Seal-in-Accord Samādhi that consciousness as the agent of differentiation is empty, (4) Foremost in the World—one ascertains in the Uninterrupted Samādhi that both object perceived and the agent that perceives are empty. With this realization, one becomes a holy being as one ascends to the First Bodhisattva Ground (see Stages of the Bodhisattva Way), beginning the holy stage toward Buddhahood.

Four types of armed forces (四種兵) include regiments of (1) cavalry, (2) elephants, (3) chariots, and (4) infantry.

Fourfold kindness (四重恩) comes from one's (1) parents, (2) teachers, (3) country, and (4) other sentient beings.

Gandharva (乾闥婆) means fragrance eater and is a class of celestial musicians playing in the court of gods.

Garuḍa (迦樓羅) is a large bird-like being that eats dragons.

God (天), or deva, is the highest life form in the Three Realms of Existence. According to their merits and mental states, gods reside in six desire heavens, eighteen form heavens, and four formless heavens.

Good Stay (善住), or Supratiṣṭhita, is the name of the god-son (devaputra) in the Buddha-Crown Superb Victory Sūtra .

Gṛdhrakūṭa Mountain (耆闍崛山), or the Vulture Peak Mountain (靈鷲山), northeast of Rājagṛha, is the place where the Buddha pronounced the Lotus Sutra and other sutras.

Great seed (大種), or mahābhūta, refers to the four great seeds or domains (四大): earth, water, fire, and wind, which have four corresponding appearances: solid, liquid, heat, and mobility. According to ancient Indian philosophy, matter is made of these four great elements or domains, and their appearances are considered to have self-essence, or changeless qualities. In fact, these appearances are the states of matter under prevailing conditions.

Icchantika (一闡提迦) is one without any desire for Buddhahood, one who has cut off his roots of goodness. However, the Buddha does not abandon any sentient being, and, with His spiritual power, an icchantika may grow his roots of goodness through causes and conditions in a future life. This name icchantika is also applied to a Bodhisattva who has made a vow not to become a Buddha until all sentient beings have been delivered. He is called the icchantika of great compassion.

Illumination Door of the One Hundred Dharmas (百法明門) has different meanings in different contexts: (1) According to Sūtra of the Original Karma of the Bodhisattva Garland (Chinese Canon, Text 1485), this Dharma Door refers to the ten minds of faith. Each mind of faith has ten levels, which come to a total of 100. Having gone through this Illumination Door of One Hundred Dharmas, one achieves the first level of stay on the Bodhisattva Way. (2) According to the Sūtra of Visualization of Infinite Life Buddha (Sūtra 24), one goes through this Dharma Door to ascend to the first Bodhisattva Ground on the Bodhisattva Way. The training through this Dharma Door is not mentioned. (3) Asaṅga (無著, circa fourth century CE) in his book Yogācārya-bhūmi-śāstra classifies all dharmas, saṁskṛta and asaṁskṛta, into a total of 660. His younger brother Vasubandhu (世親, circa fourth century CE) condenses it into 100, in his Treatise on the Illumination Door of the One Hundred Dharmas.

Inversion (顛倒) is sevenfold: (1) taking impermanence as permanence; (2) taking misery as happiness; (3) taking defilement as purity; (4) taking no-self as self; (5) inverted perception, which refers to the inverted differentiations in the first four inversions; (6) inverted view, which refers to the establishment of, attachment to, and delight in the first four inversions; and (7) inverted mind, which refers to afflictions arising from the first four inversions. According to Fascicle 7 of the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra, a Mahāyāna sūtra of definitive meaning, the first four inversions also include respectively (1) taking the eternity of the Tathāgata as impermanence, (2) taking the bliss of the Tathāgata as suffering, (3) taking the purity of the Tathāgata as defilement, and (4) taking true-self (Buddha nature) as no-self.

Jambudvīpa (贍部洲), located south of Mount Sumeru and identified by the huge Jambu tree, is one of the four continents surrounding Mount Sumeru in a small world.

Jetavana, the Jeta Grove (衹樹園), is a garden near Śrāvastī presented to the Buddha by the Elder Anāthapiṇḍika, who purchased it from Prince Jeta with gold covering the land. In honor of the two benefactors, the estate was henceforth known as the Garden of Jeta and Anāthapiṇḍika. The Buddha spent nineteen rainy seasons with His 1,250 monks in the monastery built on the land. There he gave many of His teachings.

Jīvajīva (耆婆耆婆) is a legendary two-headed bird (命命鳥) with a beautiful call.

Kalā (歌羅) is a minute part, one hundredth or one sixteenth of the length of the body hair of a human being.

kalaviṅka (迦陵頻伽) is a bird with a melodious voice, found in the Himalayas. It has beautiful black plumage and a red beak. It starts singing in the eggshell before it is hatched. Its beautiful voice surpasses that of humans, gods, kiṁnaras, and other birds, and is likened to the wondrous tones of Buddhas and holy Bodhisattvas.

Kalpa (劫) is an eon. A large kalpa is the long period of formation, existence, destruction, and nonexistence of a world. It is divided into eighty small kalpas, each lasting 16,800,000 years.

Karma (業) is an action, a work, or a deed performed by one's body, voice, or mind. Good or evil karmas lead to corresponding requitals in one's present life and/or future lives. Nonspecific karmas (無記業) are neutral actions that cannot be accounted as good or evil. Karma (羯磨) is also the work in a ceremony for imparting Buddhist precepts or for repentance. It includes four requirements: (1) the dharma, i.e., the procedure, (2) the purpose, (3) people meeting the quorum, and (4) the designated place.

Kaṭa-pūtana (迦吒富單那) is a class of stinking hungry ghosts staying at cremation grounds.

Kiṁnara (緊那羅) is a class of bird-like celestial beings with a man's head, acting as musicians.

Kiṁśuka (甄叔迦) is the tree Butea frondosa or its bright orange-red flowers.

Koṭi (倶胝) means the edge, the highest point. As a numeral, koṭi means one hundred thousand, one million, or ten million.

Kṣaṇa (剎那) is the smallest unit of time, something like a nanosecond. According to the Buddhist doctrine, a thought lasts 60 kṣaṇas. In each kṣaṇa 900 sets of arising and ceasing of mental processing take place.

Kumbhāṇḍa (鳩槃荼) is a class of ghosts which are shaped like pots and feed on the vitality of humans.

Kuśinagara (拘尸那竭), named after the sacred kuśa grass, the place where Śākyamuni Buddha entered parinirvāṇa, was the capital city of the ancient Malla Kingdom. It is, identified by Professor Vogel with Kasia, 180 miles northwest of Patna.

Laṅkā (楞迦) is the present-day Sri Lanka or the name of a mountain of gemstones in Sri Lanka.

Li (里), or Chinese mile, is a traditional Chinese unit of distance. A li now has a standardized length of 500 meters, or half a kilometer.

Liberation of one flavor (一味解脫) describes the ultimate reality of all dharmas. As illusory appearances, all dharmas are self-liberated in the one flavor of emptiness (see true suchness).

Licchavi (離車) is an Indian clan in the kṣatriya caste, a ruling dynasty of the ancient republic of Vaiśālī in central India. After the Buddha's parinirvāṇa, the Licchavi people received one eighth of the Buddha's relics.

Life-journey (趣), life-path (道), or gati, is the life experience of a sentient being in the cycle of karmic life and death. According to one's karma in previous lives, one continues to transmigrate through the six life-journeys in corresponding life forms: god, asura, human, animal, hungry ghost, and hell-dweller. The first three life-journeys are considered the good ones, and the last three are the evil ones. Given to anger and jealousy, asuras may also be considered the fourth evil life-journey. Sometimes, only five life-journeys are mentioned in the sūtras because asuras can be born among gods, humans, animals, and ghosts. In comparison with life in the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss, all five life-journeys in this world are evil journeys.

Magadha (摩竭陀) is a kingdom in central India, the headquarters of Buddhism up to 400 CE.

Mahāvaipulya sūtras (大方廣經) are extensive Mahāyāna sūtras that are great in explaining the right principles and great in their vast scope.

Mahāyāna (大乘) means the Great Vehicle that can carry many people to Buddhahood for self and others. It is also called the Bodhisattva Vehicle, the riders of which are Bodhisattvas who resolve to attain Buddhahood by perfecting their merit and wisdom through practicing the ten pāramitās. The Mahāyāna doctrine, widely followed in Northeast Asia (Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan), refers to the Theravāda School in Southeast Asia (Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia) as Hīnayāna, the Small Vehicle (小乘), which can be either of the Two Vehicles (二乘), carrying the rider to Arhatship or Pratyekabuddhahood for self-liberation only.

Mahoraga (摩呼洛迦) is a class of serpents or land dragons.

Maṇḍala (壇), a circle, can be any geometric representation drawn on the ground or visualized, for meditation practice.

Mantra (咒), as the speech of all Buddhas, is an esoteric incantation.

Māra (魔) means killer, the Destroyer, Evil One, or Devil. The four kinds of māras are (1) the celestial māra, a god named Pāpīyān, residing with legions of subordinates in Paranirmita-vaśa-vartin Heaven, situated at the top of the six desire heavens, (2) māra of the five aggregates, which conceals one's Buddha mind, (3) māra of afflictions, which causes one to create karma, and (4) māra of death, which ends one's life.

Mudrā (印) means a seal, symbolized by positions of the hands or intertwinings of the fingers. Used in ritual practices, a seal possesses secret meanings and magical efficacy.

Nāga (龍) is a class of dragon-like beings, one of the eight classes of Dharma protectors. It is also a symbol of the true mind, as the statement goes that the great nāga is always in samādhi, never moving. An Arhat is likened to the great dragon.

Namo (南無) means reverential homage, salutation, adoration, or obeisance to. Based on the Sanskrit rule of pronunciation, this word may be spelled as namo, nama, namaḥ, namas, or namaś, according to the initial letter of the next word.

Nayuta (那由他) is a numeral, meaning one hundred thousand, one million, or ten million.

Nirgrantha-putra (尼乾子), was one of the six non-Buddhist groups in ancient India. Nirgrantha means untied, the former name of the devotees of Jainism, who wander naked, untied to possessions. Nirgrantha-jñātiputra (尼乾陀若提子), named after his mother, Jñāti, was the 24th and last patriarch of the Jain School, now revered as the Mahāvīra (great hero). Their doctrine is fatalistic, stating that no spiritual practice can change one's good or evil karma and that all sentient beings would be automatically liberated after 80,000 kalpas of life and death.

Nirvāṇa (涅槃) means extinction of afflictions and liberation from karmic rebirth, because one has realized the emptiness of self and its afflictions. The four nirvāṇas include (1) the inherent nirvāṇa (自性涅槃), which refers to the true reality, no birth and no death, of all dharmas; (2) the nirvāṇa with remnant (有餘依涅槃), which refers to the enlightenment of an Arhat or a Pratyekabuddha who is still living; (3) the nirvāṇa without remnant (無餘依涅槃), which is the death of an Arhat or a Pratyekabuddha, who has abandoned his body, the remnant of karmic existence; and (4) the nirvāṇa that abides nowhere (無住處涅槃), which is the supreme enlightenment of a Buddha. The great nirvāṇa of a Buddha includes the realization of the eternity, bliss, self, and purity of the Tathāgata and the attainment of powers unavailable to an Arhat or a Pratyekabuddha. Beyond the duality of existence and nonexistence, saṁsāra and nirvāṇa, a Buddha continues to manifest in most suitable ways in response to the needs of sentient beings, thus abiding nowhere.

No Regress (不退), or avinivartanīya, is the level of spiritual progress from which a Bodhisattva will never fall back. Bodhisattvas at the sixth level of faith or above will never regress from faith; Bodhisattvas at the seventh level of stay or above will never abandon the Mahāyāna; Bodhisattvas on the First Ground or above will never lose their spiritual realization; and Bodhisattvas on the Eight Ground or above will never lose their mindfulness, and their progress will be effortless (see Stages of the Bodhisattva Way).

Nourishment (食) is provided by (1) ingestion of food, (2) contact with enjoyable sense objects such as sights, sounds, scents, flavors, and tactile sensations, (3) formation of mental food such as ideas, expectations, and recollections, and (4) ālaya consciousness that maintains one's physiological and mental processes as well as carries karmic seeds which will lead to future rebirths. An ordinary being requires these four kinds of nourishment to survive.

Pāramitā (度) means gone from this shore of birth and death to that shore of nirvāṇa. To succeed in the crossing, one needs to perfect these six pāramitās: (1) dāna (generosity, giving alms), (2) śīla (moral conduct), (3) kṣānti (endurance), (4) vīrya (energetic progress), (5) dhyāna (meditation), and (6) prajñā (wisdom). In parallel with the Ten Grounds of Bodhisattva development, four more pāramitās are added to the list of six. These are: (7) upāya (helpful ways), (8) praṇidhāna (earnest wish), (9) bala (power), and (10) jñāna (wisdom-knowledge).

Parinirvāṇa (般涅槃) means beyond nirvāṇa. It is the death of an Arhat or a Buddha by entering profound samādhi. Whether or not He has abandoned His body in mahā-parinirvāṇa, a Buddha is in the nirvāṇa that abides not, beyond the duality of existence and nonexistence. He dwells in neither saṁsāra nor nirvāṇa as He continues to manifest suitable forms to deliver sentient beings.

Past seven Buddhas (過去七佛) include Vipaśyin, Śikhin, and Visvabhū, the last 3 of the 1,000 Buddhas of the preceding Majestic Kalpa, and Krakucchanda, Kanakamuni, Kāśyapa, and Śākyamuni, the first 4 of the 1,000 Buddhas of the present Worthy Kalpa.

Perfect Passage (圓通) is a Dharma Door, a perfect practice of meditation, through which one can pass from ignorance to significant realizations. In the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, Arhats and Bodhisattvas twenty-five in number, at the Buddha's command, reveal their respective Perfect Passages.

Piśāca (畢舍遮) is a class of demonic ghosts that eat human flesh and suck human vitality.

Pippala (畢鉢羅), the sacred fig (ficus religiosa) tree, is a species of banyan fig, native to India. The tree is renamed the bodhi tree because the Buddha was enlightened sitting under it.

Prātimokṣa (波羅提木叉), belonging in the Vinaya section of the Buddhist Canon, is the body of precepts observed by Buddhist monks and nuns. Prāti means toward or severally, and mokṣa means liberation. Observance of the precepts is one's foremost training toward liberation. Recitation of the precepts in a Buddhist monastery is mandatory on the poṣadha days (布薩日), the new moon and full moon days. Fully-ordained monks and nuns in their assemblies disclose any breach of the code. Each person can be released from the offense through repentance and penance.

Pratyekabuddha (緣覺佛) is one who is enlightened by contemplating the Twelve Links of Dependent Arising. He is also called a solitary Buddha (獨覺佛) because, living in solitude, he has realized the truth without receiving the teachings from a Buddha.

Pure Abode Heavens (淨居天) are the top five of the nine heavens that constitute the fourth Dhyāna Heaven (see Three Realms of Existence).

Pūtana (富單那) is a class of stinking hungry ghosts, each shaped like a hog. They scare children.

Rājagṛha (王舍城) was the capital city of Magadha in central India, near the Vulture Peak Mountain.

Rakṣasa (羅剎) is a class of demonic ghosts which eat human flesh. They are described as the original inhabitants of Sri Lanka.

Right mindfulness (正念), or samyak-smṛti, is the seventh in the Eightfold Right Path. A few examples of right mindfulness include (1) practice of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, (2) remembrance of the Dharma, such as the no-birth of all dharmas, (3) remembrance of a Buddha, and (4) the inconceivable mindfulness of a Buddha.

Roots of goodness (善根), or kuśala-mūla, are the roots of goodness planted in the present life and past lives, which include: (1) no greed, (2) no hatred, and (3) no delusion. Since any wholesome deeds can produce wholesome fruits, they also can be called roots of goodness (see the five roots of goodness in thirty-seven elements of bodhi).

Ṛṣi (仙人) is an ascetic hermit considered to be an immortal or a godlike human. Śakyāmuni Buddha is also revered as the Great Ṛṣi. In the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, the Buddha describes ten kinds of ṛṣis, who live thousands, tens of thousands of years, with five transcendental powers, walking on land, traveling across sky, changing themselves into any form, etc.

Sahā World (莎婆世界), or Sahā-lokadhātu, means the endurance world. It refers to the Three Realms of Existence, where sentient beings are able to endure their suffering and may even find their lives enjoyable.

Śakrābhi-lagna-ratna (釋迦毘楞伽寶) is the precious jewel worn on the neck of the god-king Śakra, which illuminates all of the thirty-three heavens of the second desire heaven in his dominion. It is likened to the wisdom of Bodhisattvas, which can manifest myriad things.

Śakro-Devānām-Indra (釋提桓因) is the title of the god-king in Trayastriṁśa Heaven, the second of the six desire heavens. This title is often abbreviated as Śakra or Indra. The Buddha addresses the incumbent Śakra by his family name Kauśika.

Samādhi (定) is a state of mental absorption in meditation. Entering the Samādhi Door of the Buddha is to master innumerable samādhis. In brief, there are eight levels of samādhi (八定) above the mental state of the desire realm. The first four levels are the four dhyānas (四禪) of the form realm. The next four levels are the four samādhis of the formless realm (四空定): Boundless Space (空無邊), Boundless Consciousness (識無邊), Nothingness (無所有), and Neither Perception nor Non-perception (非想非非想). A Buddhist or non-Buddhist who has attained any of the eight levels of meditation can be reborn in a corresponding heaven in the form or formless realm. Only an Arhat can attain the ninth level called the Samādhi of Total Suspension (滅盡定), also more appropriately called the Samādhi of Total Suspension of Sensory Reception and Perception (滅受想定).

Śamatha (奢摩他), or stillness, is a mental state in which one's mind is concentrated in one position (see vipaśyanā).

Saṁsāra (輪迴) is the cycle of karmic life and death, in which sentient beings transmigrate through the six life-journeys in the Three Realms of Existence.

Saṅgha (僧伽) is a Buddhist community consisting of the four groups of disciples (四眾) of the Buddha: bhikṣus (monks), bhikṣuṇīs (nuns), upāsakas (laymen), and upāsikās (laywomen).

Śārī (舍利) is a mynah bird. Śārikā was the name of Śāriputra's mother because her eyes were bright and clever like those of a mynah.

Sarvajña (see three wisdom-knowledges).

self-essence (自性), or svabhāva, means that the inherent state of being of anything is self-made, self-determined, and changeless. This is a false reality that sentient beings attach to their perceptions of phenomena. In truth, any phenomenon, because it is constantly changing with causes and conditions, has no self-essence. The true reality of all phenomena without self-essence is defined as emptiness (śūnyatā).

Seven bodhi factors (七覺分) include (1) critical examination of theories, (2) energetic progress, (3) joyful mentality, (4) lightness and peacefulness in body and mind, (5) mindfulness in all activities and remembrance of the true Dharma, (6) samādhi (meditative concentration), and (7) equability under favorable or unfavorable circumstances.

Seven noble treasures (七聖財) include (1) faith, (2) wisdom, (3) observing the precepts, (4) hearing teachings, (5) having sense of shame, (6) having sense of dishonor, and (7) abandoning afflictions.

Seven treasures (七寶) include suvarṇa (gold), rūpya (silver), vaiḍūrya (琉璃, aquamarine), sphaṭika (頗梨, crystal), musāragalva (硨磲, conch shell or white coral), lohita-muktikā (赤珠, ruby), and aśmagarbha (瑪瑙, emerald). Sometimes, coral and amber are included in place of crystal and ruby. F. Max Muller cited a reference on page 92 in Buddhist Mahāyāna Texts, edited by E. B. Cowell and others (New York: Dover publications, 1969), in which vaiḍūrya is matched with lapis lazuli and aśmagarbha with diamond. While lapis lazuli is an opaque intense blue stone, indications in the sūtras are that vaiḍūrya should be a transparent gemstone, a blue beryl such as aquamarine. According to the Monier-Williams Online Dictionary, aśmagarbha is emerald, and vajra (伐折羅) is diamond, an adamantine mineral (金剛).

Siddhi (悉地) is achievement through spiritual training using one's body, voice, and mind. The ultimate achievement is Buddhahood.

Six periods (六時) divide the day into morning (6-10 am), midday (10 am - 2 pm), and afternoon (2-6 pm) and the night into evening (6-10 pm), midnight (10 pm - 2 am), and post-midnight (2-6 am). Each period has four hours.

Six remembrances (六念) include remembrance of (1) the Buddha, (2) the Dharma, (3) the Saṅgha, (4) the precepts, (5) giving alms, and (6) the fortune to be reborn as a god by purifying one's mind, observing one's precepts, and giving alms.

Sixty-two views (六十二見) are the wrong views held by ancient Indian philosophers. One set of 62 views argues about each of the five aggregates of a sentient being: in the past it is permanent, impermanent, both, or neither; in the present it is with boundary, without boundary, both, or neither; and in the future it is going, not going, both, or neither. To these 60 views, two polar opposites, perpetuity and cessation, are added to make a total of 62. Another set of 62 views includes 56 views of self and 6 views of existence. They hold that each of the five aggregates of a sentient being in the desire realm and the form realm and each of the four aggregates of a god in the formless realm is self, not self, both, or neither, totaling 56 views. In addition, perpetuity and cessation of existence in each of these Three Realms comes to 6 views.

Spheres (界), or dhātu, refers to the eighteen spheres (十八界), more detailed than the five aggregates and the twelve fields, as another way of analyzing a sentient being. Then a sentient being is a combination of eighteen spheres, which include six faculties (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and manas), six sense objects (sights, sounds, scents, flavors, tactile sensations, and mental objects), and six consciousnesses (eye consciousness, ear consciousness, nose consciousness, tongue consciousness, body consciousness, and mental consciousness) which discriminate the corresponding sense objects. Mental consciousness, the sixth consciousness, functions by itself as well as together with the first five consciousnesses. These six consciousnesses are all subsumed under the term consciousness in modern neuroscience. Manas, the mental faculty, is the seventh consciousness. For an ordinary being, it has four inborn defilements: (1) self-delusion (我癡), (2) self-love (我愛), (3) self-view (我見), and (4) self-arrogance (我慢). Ālaya, the eighth consciousness, though not explicitly included in the eighteen spheres, is the root of them all.

Śramaṇa (沙門) is an ascetic or a monk, one who has renounced family life and lives a life of purity, poverty, and diligent training, in search of the truth.

Śrāmaṇera (沙彌) is a male novice Buddhist monk who observes ten precepts.

Śrāvastī (舍衛國) is the capital city of the ancient Indian state Kośala.

Stages of the Bodhisattva Way (菩薩階位) are the levels of a Bodhisattva on the Way to Buddhahood, who realizes his dharma body part by part as he unfolds his wisdom, and develops the manifestation bodies of a Buddha as he fulfills his merit. According to the 80-fascicle Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of Buddha Adornment, a Bodhisattva advances through fifty-two levels which are grouped into seven stages: (1) ten levels of faith, (2) ten levels of standing firm, (3) ten levels of action, (4) ten levels of transference of merit, (5) Ten Grounds, (6) equal enlightenment, and (7) wondrous enlightenment. A Bodhisattva will still be an ordinary being as he develops the ten levels of faith; he will be a sage as he practices the ten pāramitās, progressing through the ten levels of standing firm, ten levels of action, and ten levels of transference of merit; and he will be a holy being as he progresses through the Ten Grounds. A Bodhisattva makes a major breakthrough when he penetrates that all dharmas have no selves and ascends to the First Ground. From the First Ground to the Tenth Ground, he successively perfects the ten pāramitās in one-to-one correspondence. At the fifty-first level, his enlightenment is almost equal to that of a Buddha. He will become a Buddha in his next life, attaining the wondrous enlightenment, the ultimate fruit of the aspiration and training of a Bodhisattva.

Store (藏) is a paraphrase of the Sanskrit word "garbha," which means the womb or the child in the womb. Then, the thus-come store (tathāgata-garbha) is one's true mind, which is also the indestructible store called the vajra store. The vastness of one's true mind is likened to the earth store or the space store. The realm of all dharmas (phenomena) is the dharma store. The aggregate of all Dharmas (Buddhas' teachings) is the Dharma store; the collection of all precepts is the precept store.

Stūpa (窣堵婆) is a pagoda for the remains of a holy being, whether relics of bones or scriptures.

Suffering (苦), or duḥkha, is the first of the Four Noble Truths that the Buddha taught in His first turning of the Dharma wheel. The eight kinds of suffering includes (1) birth, (2) old age, (3) sickness, (4) death, (5) inability to get what one wants, (6) loss of what one loves, (7) encounter with what one hates, and (8) the impelling force of the five aggregates. Driven by the five aggregates, one experiences impermanence, misery, and sorrow as listed in the preceding seven situations. The three kinds of suffering includes (1) pain caused by an agent or event (苦苦), (2) deterioration of pleasure (壞苦), and (3) continuous change in all processes (行苦).

Śūnyatā (空), or emptiness, is the true reality of everything in the world, which is born and perishes through causes and conditions. Since everything has no self-essence (independent inherent existence), its true nature is emptiness. For example, a sentient being composed of the five aggregates has an illusory existence, and therefore a sentient being is empty. Furthermore, an autonomous self (ātman) as the commander of a sentient being is imagined and nonexistent, and therefore it is empty. Śūnyatā is not nothingness because it does not deny the illusory existence of phenomena. Because all phenomena are empty, they appear and disappear through causes and conditions. Fabricated names and pronouns serve to refer to sentient beings or things as they are vividly perceived. Therefore, emptiness is the true reality of illusory manifestations, not their opposite. The non-duality of emptiness and manifestations, of nirvāṇa and saṁsāra, is the Middle View of the Mahāyānist doctrine (see two emptinesses).

Sūtras in the twelve categories (十二部經) are the teachings of the Buddha classified by content and form into twelve categories: (1) sūtra (discourses in prose), (2) geya (songs that repeat the teachings), (3) vyākaraṇa (prophecies), (4) gāthā (stanzas), (5) udāna (self-initiated utterances), (6) nidāna (causes for the discourses), (7) avadāna (parables), (8) itivṛttaka (sūtras that begin with "so it has been said"), (9) jātaka (past lives of the Buddha), (10) vaipulya (extensive teachings), (11) adbhuta-dharma (marvelous events), and (12) upadeśa (pointing-out instructions).

Tathāgata (如來), the Thus-Come One, is the first of the ten epithets of a Buddha and signifies true suchness. Although the Tathāgata (true reality) never moves, a Buddha appears to have come and gone in the same way as past Buddhas.

Ten appearances (十相) mentioned in the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra (Text 374) include (1) sights, (2) sounds, (3) scents, (4) flavors, (5) tactile sensations, (6) birth, (7) staying, (8) death, (9) male, and (10) female (see Four appearances).

Ten directions (十方) of space include east, southeast, south, southwest, west, northwest, north, northeast, the nadir, and the zenith.

Ten evil karmas (十惡) are (1) killing sentient beings, (2) taking things not given, (3) sexual misconduct, (4) false speech, (5) divisive speech, (6) abusive speech, (7) suggestive speech, (8) greed, (9) anger, and (10) wrong views.

Ten good karmas (十善) are the opposites of the ten evil deeds. They are the base of all precepts and the requisite for riding the Five Vehicles: Human, God, Voice-Hearer, Pratyekabuddha, and Bodhisattva. Bodhisattvas on the Second Ground will perfect their training in the ten good karmas.(See stages of the Bodhisattva Way.)

Ten fetters (十纏) are (1) no sense of shame, (2) no sense of dishonor, (3) jealousy, (4) stinginess, (5) remorse, (6) sleep, (7) excitement, (8) stupor, (9) rage, and (10) concealing one's wrongdoings.

Ten Powers (十力), or daśa balāni, of a Buddha include the perfect knowledge of: (1) the right or wrong in every situation and its corresponding karmic consequences; (2) the karmic requitals of every sentient being—past, present, and future; (3) all stages of dhyāna and samādhi; (4) the capacity and future attainment of every sentient being; (5) the desires and inclinations of every sentient being; (6) the nature and condition of every sentient being; (7) the consequences of all actions with or without afflictions; (8) all past lives of every sentient being and their karmic reasons; (9) all future rebirths of every sentient being and their karmic reasons; and (10) the permanent termination of all afflictions and habits upon attainment of Buddhahood.

Thirty-seven elements of bodhi (三十七道品) are trainings for attaining enlightenment, which include (1) the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, (2) the four correct endeavors: a. end forever the existing evil, b. do not allow new evil to arise, c. cause new goodness to arise, and d. expand existing goodness, (3) the four wish-fulfilling approaches to samādhi: a. resolve, b. energetic progress, c. concentration, and d. contemplation, (4) the five roots of goodness: a. faith, b. energetic progress, c. remembrance of the true Dharma, d. samādhi, and e. wisdom, (5) the five powers: a. power in faith, b. power in energetic progress, c. power in remembrance of the true Dharma, d. power in samādhi, and e. power in wisdom, (6) the seven bodhi factors, and (7) the Eightfold Right Path.

Three bodies of a Buddha (三身) include (1) dharma-kāya (the dharma body or truth body), which is emptiness, the true reality of all dharmas, (2) saṁbhoga-kāya (the reward or enjoyment body) in a sublime subtle form, which represents the infinite merit and virtue of a Buddha, and (3) nirmāṇa-kāya (a response body through birth or a miraculously created body), which is the manifestion of a Buddha in response to sentient beings that are ready to accept the Dharma. The reward body and the response body are the appearances of the truth body, and these three bodies are inseparable. According to the Tiantai School of China, of the latest Buddha, Vairocana is the dharma-kāya, Rocana is the saṁbhoga-kāya, and Śākyamuni is the nirmāṇa-kāya.

Three Buddha natures (三佛性) include (1) the Buddha nature inherent in all sentient beings but unknown to them, (2) the Buddha nature gradually revealed through one's spiritual training, and (3) the Buddha nature evident in a Buddha.

Three Clarities (三明) include (1) clarity of the past lives of self and others and their causes and conditions, (2) clarity of the God-eye, which sees the future lives of self and others and their causes and conditions, and (3) clear knowledge that one's afflictions have ended and will never arise again. These attainments of an Arhat are called the Three Clarities. These attainments of a Buddha are supreme and are called the Three Thorough Clarities (三達).

Three fortune fields (三福田) are (1) the fortune field of reverence (敬田), which includes the Three Jewels, (2) the fortune field of requital of kindness (恩田), which includes one's parents and teachers, and (3) the fortune field of compassion (悲田), which includes the poor, the sick, and animals. By making offerings to any of these three fortune fields, one has planted seeds which will yield harvests of fortune in one's present and future lives.

Three hindrances (三障) to realization of one's true mind are (1) afflictions, such as greed, anger, and delusion, which agitate one's mind and lead to karma, (2) karmas, such as the ten evil deeds, which lead to retributions, and (3) retributions, such as unfortunate rebirth in the form of animal, hungry ghost, or hell dweller, to live a life of suffering.

Three Jewels (三寶) are (1) the Buddha, the unsurpassed perfectly enlightened teacher, (2) the Dharma, His teachings, and (3) the Saṅgha, the spiritual community.

Three Liberation Doors (三解脫門), or trīṇi vimokṣa-mokhāni, also called the Three Samādhis, include: (1) emptiness, (2) no appearance, and (3) no wish or no creation. Through meditation, one realizes emptiness, penetrating the no-birth of all dharmas. One also realizes that one's perceptions of dharmas are illusory appearances, which in effect are no appearance. And one makes no wish and creates no karma for future rebirths in the Three Realms of Existence.

Three periods of the Dharma (正像末期) are the three successive stages by which the Dharma will end in this world: (1) The true Dharma age (正法) lasted 500 to 1,000 years after the passing of Śākyamuni Buddha. During this period, there were teachings, carrying out of the teachings, and attaining of fruits. (2) The Dharma-likeness age (像法) lasted 500 to 1,000 years. During this period, there were teachings and carrying out of the teachings, but no attaining of fruits. (3) The Dharma-ending age (末法) will last 10,000 years. During this period, the teachings will gradually vanish, and there will be neither carrying out of the teachings nor attaining of fruits. Since people will no longer be receptive, the Dharma will be gone for a long time until the advent of the next Buddha. In the Bodhisattva in the Womb Sūtra (Text 384), the Buddha prophesies that, after 56 koṭi and 70 million years (converted into 630 million years), Maitreya Bodhisattva will descend from Tuṣita Heaven (the fourth of the six desire heavens) and become the next Buddha, bringing the Dharma to a renewed world.

Three Realms (三界), or triloka, are the threefold world of illusory existence (三有) in which sentient beings transmigrate. It includes (1) the desire realm, where reside sentient beings with the full range of afflictions, such as hell dwellers, ghosts, animals, humans, asuras, and some gods; (2) the form realm, where Brahma gods, or desire-free gods, in subtle forms, reside in eighteen form heavens classified into four levels of meditation (four Dhyāna Heavens); and (3) the formless realm, where formless gods are in mental existence in four formless heavens, or at four levels of long, deep meditative absorption.

Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World (三千大千世界) is actually a Large Thousandfold World, the educational district of a Buddha. It consists of a billion small worlds, each including a Mount Sumeru surrounded by four continents and interlaying circles of eight oceans and eight mountain ranges. One thousand such small worlds constitute a Small Thousandfold World. One thousand Small Thousandfold Worlds constitute a Medium Thousandfold World. Finally, one thousand Medium Thousandfold Worlds constitute a Large Thousandfold World. Therefore, Three-Thousand does not mean 3,000, but 1,000 raised to the power of three, as described above. It can also mean that there are three kinds of Thousandfold World: small, medium, and large.

Three turnings of the Dharma wheel in the twelvefold process are three advancing levels in the Buddha's teachings on the Four Noble Truths. During the first turning, the Buddha indicated to the five bhikṣus in the Deer Park that "This is suffering; this is the cause; this is cessation; and this is the path." During the second turning, He persuaded them that "This is the suffering you should know; this is the cause you should annihilate; this is the cessation you should achieve; and this is the path you should walk." During the third turning, He confirmed that "This is the suffering I have known; this is the cause that I have annihilated; this is the cessation I have achieved; and this is the path I have completed."

Three white foods (三白食) are milk, cream or curd, and white rice.

Three wisdom-knowledges (三智) include (1) overall knowledge, or sarvajña (一切智), which is the realization of the emptiness of everything (Arhats and Pratyekabuddhas may have only realized there is no self in a person), (2) discriminative knowledge (道種智), which is developed in Bodhisattvas who recognize the distinct displays in illusory existence, and (3) knowledge of all knowledge (sarvajña-jñāna, 一切種智), or omniscience (sarvajñatā) , which is the perfect wisdom of a Buddha, of all beings and all things in their general and particular aspects and of the non-duality of emptiness and myriads of display.

Trayastriṁśa Heaven (忉利天), on the top of Mount Sumeru, is the second of the six desire heavens. (The four god-kings are in the first desire heaven located halfway up Mount Sumeru. Except for the first two desire heavens on Mount Sumeru, all other heavens are in space.) Trayastriṁśa Heaven is subdivided into thirty-three heavens at the same level, all ruled by the god-king Śakro-Devānām-Indra, who is commonly called Śakra or Indra.

Tripiṭaka (三藏) means the three collections of texts of the Buddhist canon: (1) the Sūtra-piṭaka, discourses of the Buddha, (2) the Vinaya-piṭaka, rules of conduct, and (3) the Abhidharma-piṭaka, treatises on the Dharma. A Tripiṭaka master is accomplished in all three areas.

True suchness (真如), or bhūta-tathatā, is the changeless true reality of all dharmas (phenomena), the absolute truth that they have never been born and never perish. It has other names such as emptiness, true emptiness, ultimate emptiness, one appearance, one flavor, true reality, ultimate reality (bhūta-koṭi), primal state, Buddha mind, true mind, inherent pure mind, the Thus-Come One (Tathāgata), the thus-come store (Tathāgata-garbha), vajra store, dharma-kāya, Buddha nature, dharma nature, dharma realm, the one true dharma realm, the highest truth (paramārtha), the great seal, the great perfection, etc. One's body and mental states, and objects perceived as external are all manifestations of one's true mind, projected from the pure, impure, and neutral seeds stored in ālaya consciousness through causes and conditions.

Twelve Links of Dependent Arising (十二因緣法) explains the reason why a sentient being continues to transmigrate in the cycle of life and death. These twelve links, a series of causes and effects in a definite order, each being the principal condition for the next link to arise, are (1) ignorance, (2) karmic actions, (3) consciousness, (4) name and form, (5) six sense organs, (6) contact with objects, (7) sensory reception, (8) love, (9) grasping, (10) karmic force for being, (11) birth, and (12) old age and death. Links (1)-(2) refer to afflictions and karmic seeds from preceding lives, links (3)-(7) refer to the karmic fruit in the present life, links (8)-(10) refer to the karma performed in the present life, and links (11)-(12) refer to the karmic fruit in the next life. In this sequence, the twelve links connect one’s lives from the past to the present and then to the future. In each life, with ignorance, one goes from afflictions to karmic deeds and to suffering, and then starts all over again in the cycle of life and death, like an endless spiraling coil. In contrast, in terminating the flow of saṁsāra, by ending ignorance one will disengage the remaining eleven links and cease the endless cycle.

Twenty-five forms of existence (二十五有) include fourteen in the desire realm (欲界), seven in the form realm (色界), and four in the formless realm (無色界).

Two emptinesses (二空) include (1) emptiness of self, the ātman, the soul, in a person composed of the five aggregates, constantly changing with causes and conditions; and (2) emptiness of selves in all dharmas—each of the five aggregates, each of the twelve fields, and each of the eighteen spheres, as well as everything else with no independent existence. No-self in any dharma implies no-self in a person, but the latter is separated out in the first category. Realization of the emptiness of self in a person will lead to attainment of Arhatship or Pratyekabuddhahood. Bodhisattvas who have realized both emptinesses ascend to the First Ground on their Way to Buddhahood.

Two-footed Honored One (兩足尊), or dvipadottama, means the most honored one among gods and men. In this epithet of a Buddha, the two feet are compared to meditation and moral conduct, merit and wisdom, knowledge in the relative and absolute truth, knowledge and action, or vow and action. A Buddha has perfected both.

Unimpeded eloquence (無礙辯) includes (1) unimpeded understanding of dharmas, (2) unimpeded interpretation of their meanings, (3) unimpeded forms of expression, and (4) unimpeded delight in articulation according to the capacity of the listeners.

Upaniṣad (優波尼薩曇) means sitting down at the feet of another to listen to his words, and hence, suggests secret knowledge given in this manner. It may be an esoteric unit of measure.

Upāsaka (優婆塞) is a Buddhist layman. (See saṅgha.)

Upāsikā (優婆夷) is a Buddhist laywoman. (See saṅgha.)

Vaiśālī (毘舍離), the domicile of the Licchavi clan, is one of the sixteen great city kingdoms of ancient India. In this city the Buddha pronounced the Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra and the Medicine Buddha Sūtra. One hundred years after the Buddha's parinirvāṇa, in this city, 700 sages gathered in the second assembly for the compilation and revision of the Buddhist Canon.

Vajra (伐折羅) means indestructible or adamantine (金剛), which is a description of the true suchness of phenomena. It is a diamond, considered to be as hard as the thunderbolt. Vajra is also a ritual object as a symbol of skillful means for delivering self and others from the cycle of life and death.

Vārāṇasī (波羅奈國), now Benares, is an ancient city state on the Ganges. Nearby is Deer Park, where the Buddha gave His first teachings to five monks.

Veda (吠陀) means sacred knowledge and is the general name of the Hindu canonical sacred texts. The four Vedas are the Ṛg-veda, Sāma-veda, Yajur-veda, and Athara-veda. They include mantras, prayers, hymns, and rituals. The Ṛg-veda is the only original work of the first three Vedas. Its texts are assigned to a period between 1400 and 1000 BCE. The fourth Veda, Athara-veda, emerged later.

View of void (空見) is held by those who have misunderstood śūnyatā, equating it to nothingness and claiming that causality is 'empty' and therefore can be ignored. (See śūnyatā for the correct meaning.)

Vipaśyanā (毗婆舍那) means correct observation or clear seeing, which leads to insight. Śamatha-vipaśyanā may be translated into stillness and observation (止觀), or silent illumination (默照). When śamatha and vipaśyanā are balanced in power, one may come to realize the non-dual state of one's mind.

Voice-hearer (聲聞), or śrāvaka, is one who has received oral teachings from a Buddha. The four groups of disciples of Śākyamuni Buddha were all voice-hearers. In the Lotus Sūtra, the Buddha bestows upon 1,200 Arhats and 2,000 voice-hearers the prophecy of attaining Buddhahood. Listed below are a few disciples of the Buddha:

Ajñātakauṇḍinya (阿若憍陳如) was one of the first five disciples of the Buddha. He is well regarded as an Elder.

Ānanda (阿難) was the younger brother of Devadatta. As the Buddha's attendant, he is noted for hearing and remembering all of the teachings of the Buddha. Ānanda became an Arhat after the Buddha's mahā-parinirvāṇa. He then recited from memory, in the first assembly of Arhats, all the teachings for the compilation of the sūtras. Succeeding Mahākāśyapa, he is reckoned as the second patriarch of the Buddhist lineage.

Aniruddha (阿那律) became a disciple soon after the Buddha's enlightenment. He used to fall asleep when the Buddha was teaching and was reproved by the Buddha. Ashamed, he practiced day and night without sleep and lost his eyesight. However, he was able to see with his God-eye.

Devadatta (提婆達多) was a cousin of the Buddha, with whom he had been competitive since childhood. He became a disciple after the Buddha had attained perfect enlightenment. He trained hard for twelve years but did not attain Arhatship. Disgusted, he studied magic and formed his own group. Devadatta beat a nun to death. He made several attempts to murder the Buddha and destroy the Saṅgha. He fell to hell after his death. However, in a previous life he had given the Buddha Mahāyāna teachings. In spite of his wicked deeds in this life, the Buddha prophesies in the Lotus Sūtrathat Devadatta will become a Buddha named Devarāja.

Gavāṁpati (憍梵波提) had been a cow for 500 lives because past karma. As a disciple of the Buddha, he still ruminated and burped like a cow. Gentle in nature, he was mocked by people as the cow-faced bhikṣu. Out of compassion, the Buddha sent him to a garden in Trāyastriṃśa Heaven (the second desire heaven) to train in meditation. He returned to Earth after the Buddha's parinirvāṇa, and he too entered parinirvāṇa soon afterward.

Kālodāyin (迦留陀夷) was a disciple whose skin was very black. He used to beg for food at night. A pregnant woman miscarried when she saw him in a flash of lightning in the dark of the night. Then the Buddha stipulated the rule that no one should beg for food after noontime.

Kapphiṇa (劫賓那), whose monastic name was Mahā-kapphiṇa, was born under the constellation Scorpio. He is said to have understood astronomy and been the king of Southern Kośala, and then become a disciple of the Buddha. In the Lotus Sūtra, the Buddha gives a prophecy that Kapphiṇa will become a Buddha named Samanta-prabhāsa.

Kāśyapa brothers (三迦葉) include Uruvilvākāśyapa (優樓頻螺迦葉), Nadīkāśyapa (那提迦葉), Gayākāśyapa (伽耶迦葉), who were fire-worshippers. They joined the Buddha's Order together with their 1,000 followers.

Mahākāśyapa (摩訶迦葉), initially a Brahmin in Magadha, became a disciple, three years after the Buddha had attained enlightenment. In eight days, Mahākāśyapa attained Arhatship. He is considered the foremost in ascetic practices. When the Buddha raised a flower in His hand, only Mahākāśyapa in the huge assembly understood the meaning and responded with a smile. Then the Buddha entrusted him with the continuation of the lineage, and he became the first patriarch after the Buddha's mahāparinirvāṇa. After transmitting the lineage to Ānanda, Mahākāśyapa went to the Vulture Peak (Gṛdhrakūṭa) Mountain, and there he has remained in samādhi. He will enter parinirvāṇa after the arrival the next Buddha, Maitreya.

Mahākātyāyana (摩訶迦旃延) was born into the Brahmin caste in the kingdom Avanti in western India. He studied the Vedas under his uncle Asita, a ṛṣi, who foresaw that Prince Siddhārtha would attain Buddhahood. Mahākātyāyana then followed the Buddha in honor of Asita's death wish. After diligent training under the Buddha, Mahākātyāyana attained Arhatship. He often debated with the non-Buddhists after the parinirvāṇa of the Buddha, and is known as the foremost in polemic.

Mahākauṣṭhila (摩訶拘絺羅) joined the Buddha's Order after his nephew Śāriputra. He soon attained Arhatship and achieved unimpeded eloquence. The Buddha praised him as the foremost in eloquence.

Mahāmaudgalyāyana (大目揵連), or Maudgalyāyana, is considered the foremost in transcendental powers among the disciples. Together with his own disciples, following his good friend Śāriputra, he became a disciple of the Buddha and attained Arhatship in a month. Śāriputra is represented as standing on the Buddha's right and Maudgalyāyana on His left. Maudgalyāyana was stoned to death by Brahmins shortly before the Buddha's mahā-parinirvāṇa.

Piṇḍola-bhāradvāja (賓頭盧頗羅墮), also called Long Eyebrowed Arhat, is one of the sixteen major Arhats. He was the son of a state minister and attained Arhatship at a young age. However, after flaunting his transcendental powers, he was rebuked by the Buddha and forbidden to enter parinirvāṇa. So he is still in the world, delivering sentient beings.

Pūrṇa (富樓那), or Pūrṇa-Maitrāyaṇī-Putra, was given his mother's family name Maitrāyaṇī. His was the son of a minister of the king Śuddhodana of the kingdom of Kapilavastu. He was very intelligent and studied the Vedas at a young age. On the night Prince Siddhārtha left the palace to seek the truth, he too left with 30 friends to practice asceticism in the snow mountain. He achieved the four dhyānas and the five transcendental powers. After Siddhārtha attained Buddhahood and did the first turning of the Dharma wheel in the Deer Park, he became a monk in the Buddha's Order. He soon attained Arhatship. He was known as the foremost among the disciples in expounding the Dharma because some 99,000 people were delivered through his teachings.

Rāhula (羅睺羅) was the only son of Śākyamuni Buddha and Yaśodharā. He had been in gestation for six years and was born on the lunar eclipse after the Buddha had attained perfect enlightenment. Rāhula was six years old when the Buddha returned to the city kingdom Kapila-vati, and he became a monk at the command of the Buddha. Foremost in secret training, he is to be reborn as the eldest son of every future Buddha.

Revata (離婆多) was the younger brother of Śāriputra. In his meditation at a temple, he saw two ghosts fighting to eat a corpse. Realizing the illusoriness of the body, he renounced family life and became a disciple of the Buddha. Traveling barefoot in a snow country, his feet were frostbitten. The Buddha praised him for his contentment with few material things and allowed him to wear shoes.

Śāriputra (舍利弗) is considered the foremost in wisdom among the disciples. Together with his own disciples, he joined the Buddha's order soon after the Buddha's enlightenment. After being a principal disciple for 44 years, to avoid his grief over the Buddha's mahāparinirvāṇa, he requested and received the Buddha's permission to enter parinirvāṇa sooner than the Buddha.

Subhūti (須菩提) was foremost among the disciples in understanding the meaning of emptiness (śūnyatā). He is the principal interlocutor in the Prajñā-Pāramitā Sūtra.

śuddhipanthaka (周梨槃陀迦) and his twin brother Panthaka were both the Buddha's disciples. They were successively born on roadside when their parents were traveling. His brother is named Panthaka, which means produced on the way. śuddhi means cleansing as śuddhipanthaka was born next. He was forgetful of the Buddha's teachings. Then the Buddha told him to remember the short phrase "remove the dust and defilements" as he did cleaning work in his daily life. He then attained Arhatship and transcendental powers.

Svāgata (莎伽陀), or Sugata, means well come or well gone. It is an epithet of every Buddha. In the Buddha Pronounces the Sūtra of the Bhikṣu Svāgata's Merit (Text 501), this bhikṣu named Svāgata lay drunk under a tree. The Buddha praised his merit for subjugating a vengeful dragon and explained that Svāgata was not really drunk but pretended drunkenness for a purpose.

Upāli (優波離) had been a barber in the royal court. He became a disciple, together with Ānanda, six years after the Buddha had attained perfect enlightenment. Foremost in observing the precepts, he contributed to the compilation of the Vinaya in the first assembly of the Arhats after the Buddha's mahāparinirvāṇa.

Upananda (跋難陀) and his brother Nanda (難陀) often caused disciplinary problems. Because of their conduct, the Buddha had to add a few more precepts to the collection. Upananda rejoiced over the Buddha's mahāparinirvāṇa because it, in his opinion, freed the disciples from restraint.

Vakkula (薄拘羅) was a disciple who, during his 80 years of life, never had a moment's illness or pain.

Voice-hearer fruits (聲聞果) refer to the four fruits of the voice-hearers on the Liberation Way. The four fruits in ascending order are (1) Srotāpanna, the Stream-Enterer who has shattered the self-view; (2) Sakṛdāgāmin, the Once-Returner who will be reborn as a human only once more before attaining Arhatship; (3) Anāgāmin, the Never-Returner who will attain Arhatship in a heaven in the form realm; and (4) Arhat, who has realized the nirvāṇa with remnant by totally annihilating the fixation on having an autonomous self and annihilating all his afflictions. These four fruits and their respective preliminary positions are called the eight holy ranks (八聖). Actually, those in the first preliminary position are sages, and others in the other seven positions are holy beings. The first seven attainments pertain to those who are still learning (有學). The highest attainment, Arhatship, pertains to those who have nothing more to learn (無學).

Water of the eight virtues (八功德水) fills all the pools of Amitābha Buddha's Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. According to the Praising the Pure Land Sūtra, these eight virtues are (1) purity and clarity, (2) coolness, (3) sweetness, (4) lightness and softness, (5) soothing, (6) peace and harmony, (7) quenching of thirst, and (8) nourishing and vitalizing.

Way (道) in the Mahāyāna doctrine is to find the ultimate truth within one's own mind. Those who see phenomena as existing outside their minds are considered not on the Way. In Chinese Daoism, Way (Dao or Tao) means the natural order of phenomena.

Wheel-Turning King (轉輪王), or cakravartī-rāja, is a ruler, the wheels of whose chariot roll everywhere unimpeded. The wheel, or cakra, comes in four ranks: iron, copper, silver, and gold. The Iron Cakravartī rules over one continent, the south; the Copper, over two, east and south; the Silver, over three, east, west, and south; and the Gold over all four continents. The term is also applied to a Buddha as the universal Dharma King, who turns the Dharma wheel, giving teachings to sentient beings.

Wolf Track Mountain (狼跡山) is identified with the Cock's Foot Mountain, or Kukkuṭapāda, northeast of Buddhagayā, in central India. It has three spires, like the upturned foot of a cock. Mahākāśyapa is now in samādhi in this mountain, waiting for the descent of Maitreya Bodhisattva.

Yakṣa (夜叉) is a class of demonic ghosts that eat human flesh.

Yama (夜摩) is the lord of the underworld and acts as superintendent of the karmic punishment of hell-dwellers.

Yojana (由旬) is described as one day's march of the army or one day's walk of a yoked bull. One yojana may equal 4 or 8 krośas, each krośa being the distance at which a bull's bellow can be heard. The estimated distance of a yojana varies from 8 to 19 kilometers.


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