together we can change ourself

together we can change ourself

Basic Buddhist Vocabulary

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Abhidharma pitaka — higher teachings,
philosophy Alaya-vijñana — “store” consciousness (similar to collective unconscious?)
Amitabha — the Buddha of the Western “Pure Land.” Also known as Amida.
Ananda — Buddha’s friend, cousin, and favorite disciple, and the monk who remembered the Sutras.
Anatman (anatta) — not-self, self or ego not ultimately real.
Annitya (anicca) — change, impermanence of all things, including us.
Arahant — Worthy one, a name for the Buddha.
Arhat — a monk who has achieved nirvana.
Asanga — one of two brothers who lived in India in the 300’s ad who developed Yogachara.
Asita — the astrologer who predicts Buddha’s fate
Asuras — titans or demigods.
Avalokiteshwara — boddhisattva of compassion
Avidya (avijja) — ignorance, delusion.
Bardo — (Tibet) the period between death and rebirth.
Bhagava — The blessed one, a name for the Buddha.
Bhikshu — monk. Bhikshuni — nun.
Bodh-gaya — a town in Bihar where Buddha was enlightened at 35.
Bodhi — enlightenment, awakening.
Bodhi tree — the fig tree under which Buddha gained enlightenment.
Bodhicitta — sanskrit word for ‘mind of enlightenment’
Bodhidharma — monk who brought Buddhism to China. Bodhisattva — enlightened being who remains in this existence to help others, a saint. Brahma — the supreme deva, who convinced Buddha to teach. Brahma vihara — four “sublime states” of the boddhisattva: Maitri, Karuna, Mudita, Upeksa. Buddha — The awakened one, the enlightened one. Ch’an — Chinese for Zen Buddhism. Chandaka — Buddha’s squire, who helped him leave his princely life. Ching-T’u — Chinese for Pure Land. Citta — basic mind or consciousness Citta-matra — mind only, idealism Dalai Lama — the leader of Tibetan Buddhists. Deer Park — where Buddha gave his first sermon, in Sarnath, near Benares, to the five sadhus. Dependent origination — “one thing leads to another,” all is connected. Devadatta — Buddha’s “evil” cousin. “Theodore.” Devas — gods. Dhamma — Pali for dharma. Dharma (dhamma) — the teachings of the Buddha. Dharmakaya — Buddha-mind, the pervasive essence Dharmas — ultimate elements of the universe (not dharma as in teachings!) Dhyana (ch’an, zen) — meditation. Dogen (1200-1253) — monk who brought Soto Zen to Japan. Duhkha (dukkha) — suffering, distress, lack of peace. First noble truth. Dzogchen — Tibetan tantric techniques for rapid enlightenment. Dvesha (dosha) — hatred, anger, avoidance. Eightfold Path — right view, aspiration, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, concentration. Five sadhus — the five ascetics who practiced self-mortification with the Buddha. Flower Adornment School — a sect which attempted to consolidate all forms of Buddhism. Also known as Hua-Yen or Kegon. Gandharvas — angelic beings who provide the gods with music. Gati — realm. Used to refer to the six realms (gods, titans, humans, animals, ghosts, and demons) Gautama (Gotama) — Buddha’s family name. Hinayana — southern Buddhism (“small or lesser vehicle or journey”). Ho-tei — Japanese name for Pu-tai Indra — a major deva, originally the Hindu sky god. Jodo, Jodoshin — Japanese for Pure Land. Kalpa — millions of years, an eternity. Kamma — Pali for karma. Kanthaka — Buddha’s horse. Kapilavastu — Shakyan capital, where Buddha grew up. Karma (kamma) — intentional or willed act. Karuna — compassion or mercy, the special kindness shown to those who suffer. One of the four brahma vihara. Kashinagara — were Buddha died (near Lumbini), in a grove of sala trees. Koan — a very brief story demonstrating the paradoxical nature of dualistic thinking. Used in Zen meditation. Kwan Yin , Kwannon — Chinese and Japanese names for Avalokiteswara. Lama — Tibetan tantric master, now often used to refer to any respected monk. Lumbini Grove — where Buddha was born, during his mother’s trip to her parents home. Madhyamaka — middle way, negative logic, not this — not that Mahakyashapa — the monk who understood the silent sermon and led the first council. Mahamaya, or Mayadevi — Buddha’s mother, who died seven days after his birth Mahaprajapati — Buddha’s aunt and stepmother, founder of Buddhist nuns. Mahayana — northern Buddhism (“large or greater vehicle or journey”). Maitreya — the future Buddha, who will be born 30,000 years from now. Maitri — caring, loving kindness displayed to all you meet. One of the four brahma vihara. Manas — I-consciousness, mind, intelligence Mandala — a complex, circular, symmetrical image used in meditation Mantra — a phrase or syllable repeated during meditation Mara — a deva associated with death and hindrances to enlightenment. It was Mara who tempted Buddha under the bodhi tree. Marga — the path, track. The eightfold noble path. Fourth noble truth. Metta — Pali for Maitri. Mudita — sympathetic joy, being happy for others, without a trace of envy. One of the four brahma vihara. Mudra — symbolic hand positions Nagarjuna — monk who developed Madhyamaka in India about 150 ad. Nagas — great serpents (or dragons, or water creatures). The king of the Nagas protected Buddha from a storm. Narakas — demons (hell beings) Nibbana — Pali for nirvana. Nichiren — Japanese school popular in west, and the name of its founder. Emphasizes chanting. Nirmankaya — Gotama, the historical Buddha. Nirodha — containment of suffering. Third noble truth. Nirvana (nibbana) — liberation, enlightenment, release from samsara. Pali — a language related to Sanskrit in which the earliest scriptures were recorded in Sri Lanka. Pali canon — see the Tripitaka. Pancha shila — five moral precepts: Avoid killing, or harming any living thing; Avoid stealing; Avoid sexual irresponsibility; Avoid lying, or any hurtful speech; Avoid alcohol and drugs which diminish clarity of consciousness. Pañña — Pali for prajña Pitaka — basket, referring to the Tripitaka or scriptures. Prajña (pañña) — wisdom. Prajña — goddess of knowledge. Buddha’s mother was considered an incarnation. Prajñaparamita — a massive collection of Mahayana texts, including the Heart and Diamond Sutras. Prateyaka-buddha — solitary realizer. Pretas — hungry ghosts. Puja — ceremony in which offerings and other acts of devotion are performed. Pu-tai — the laughing buddha, chinese monk, incarnation of Maitreya Pure Land — Chinese/Japanese sect, emphasizing worship of Amitabha Buddha. Ching- T’u, Jodo and Jodoshin. Rahula — Buddha’s son. Rinzai Zen — a Zen sect that makes extensive use of koans. Rupa — form, the physical body and senses Samadhi — meditation. Samatha — Pali for Shamatha. Sambhogakaya — Buddha as a deva or god. Samjña — perception Samsara — the wheel of cyclic existence, birth-life-suffering-death-rebirth… Samskara — mental formations (emotions and impulses) Samudaya — arising or root of suffering. Second noble truth. Sangha — the community of monks and nuns. Sanskrit — an early language of northern India, modified and used as a religious language by some Buddhists. Sanzen — interview with a master in Zen Buddhism Sati — Pali for smrti. Satori — Zen term for enlightenment. Shakyamuni — Sage of the Sakyas, a name for the Buddha. Shakyas — a noble clan, ruled an area of southern Nepal. Shamatha (samatha) — “calm abiding,” peacefulness. Shikantaza — mindfulness meditation in Zen Buddhism. Shila (sila) — morality. Shravaka — “hearer,” one who needs the help of others to become enlightened. Shrota-appana — “stream-winner” (only seven more rebirths!). Shuddodana — Buddha’s father. Shunyata — emptiness, lack of inherent existence of “own nature.” Siddhartha Gautama — “He who has reached his goal.” Sila — Pali for shila. Six realms — realms of the gods, asuras, humans, animals, pretas, narakas. Skandhas — parts of the self. Smrti (sati) — mindfulness, meditation. Son — Korean for Zen Buddhism. Soto Zen — A Zen sect emphasizing Shikantaza meditation Sthaviravada — Sanskrit for Theravada, “way of the elders” Sujata — the village girl who gave Buddha milk-rice. Sukhavati — Sanskrit for Blissful Land, the “Pure Land” of Amitabha. Sutra (sutta) pitaka — sacred texts, sayings of the Buddha. Tantra — yogic, magico-ritual form. Taras — a set of 21 female saviors, born from Avalokiteshwara’s tears. Green Tara and White Tara are the best known. Tathagata — “thus gone,” a name for the Buddha. Tendai — see White Lotus School. Thangka — a traditional Tibetan painting of a holy being. The Four Noble Truths: duhkha, samudaya, nirodha, marga. Theravada — “way of the elders,” only surviving form of southern Buddhism. Three bodies — nirmankaya, sambhogakaya, dharmakaya. Three meanings of “Buddha.” Three fires (or poisons) — the causes of suffering. Tipitaka — Pali for Tripitaka. Tripitaka (three baskets) — earliest Buddhist scriptures: Vinaya pitaka, sutra pitaka, abhidarma pitaka. Trishna (tanha) — thirst, craving, desire. Upali — the first person ordained as a monk by the Buddha, a barber, and the monk who remembered the Vinaya or code of the monks. Upeksa (upekkha) is equanimity, levelness, or grace. One of the four brahma vihara. Vajrayana — tantric Buddhism (“thunderbolt vehicle”), esp. Tibetan Buddhism. Vasubandhu — one of two brothers who lived in India in the 300’s ad who developed Yogachara. Vedana — sensation, feeling. Vijñana — consciousness or mind. Vinaya pitaka — discipline basket (code of behavior for monks). Vipaka — “fruit” of willed act, the consequences. Vipashyana (vipassana) — insight, mindfulness. White Lotus School — sect focusing on the Lotus Sutra. Also known as T’ien T’ai or Tendai. Yama — the king of the 21 hells. Yashodhara — Buddha’s wife, whom he married when they were both 16 Yidam — mental image of a god or other entity used for meditation Yogacara (or vijñañavada) — school emphasizing primacy of consciousness Zazen — sitting meditation in Zen Buddhism Zen — a group of Buddhist sects that focus on meditation. Also known as Ch’an, Son, or Dhyana.

Written by Bhushan Kulkarni

May 23, 2007 at 11:25 am

Posted in Buddha

Tagged with , ,

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