An introduction to Buddhist dictionary glossary of Sanskrit Tibetan Chinese Buddhism terms
Primary Compilation Source: Ronald Epstein, Ph.D, compiler, Buddhism A to Z, Burlingame, California: Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2003. ISBN: 0881393533 Paperback: 284 pages. http://www.BTTSOnline.org http://www.Amazon.com http://www.bttsonline.org/product.aspx?pid=118 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0881393533/ref=ase_medicinebuddh-20
What do sangha, karma and Bodhisattva really mean? Who were the major disciples of the Buddha? Find out in this lively and easy-to-read, alphabetical listing of major Buddhist terms and figures. Written by a practicing Buddhist scholar for the beginner, many entries read like short stories. Cross references. Author: Ronald Epstein received his PhD from UC Berkeley in Buddhism. He collaborated in the translation of the Heart Sutra and the Shurangama Sutra under the direction of Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua. He has been teaching philosophy and religion at San Francisco State University for 30 years and is also a research professor at the Institute for World Religions in Berkeley.
This book is meant to provide basic information about Buddhism for students and others who have personal interest. It was especially designed as an aid for readers of the publications of the Buddhist Text Translation Society (BTTS), and the larger portion of the material presented consists of selections from BTTS publications. It is not meant as a scholarly tool, (although scholars are certainly welcome to read and use it).
The book is arranged in dictionary format and contains information on basic Buddhist concepts and Buddhist lists. It can be used as a reference when reading Buddhist texts, and it can also function as an introduction to Buddhism. (See the List of Introductory Buddhist Readings below.)
Buddhism A to Z is by no means all-inclusive. For instance, very little historical information is provided. The most basic important terms and lists are found in it, but from time to time the reader will fail to find what he or she is looking for. In those cases, the “Some Standard Reference Works Including Buddhist Subjects” contains information about standard reference works that will almost certainly be of use. References to non-Buddhist Text Translation Society publications were initially also planned for inclusion; however, it was decided that since that information can be readily located in the standard reference works, it would be omitted here.
The scope of the information found in the entries is not exhaustive. Many of the entries have an open-ended quality to them. The intent is to spur the interest of the reader to investigate further.
The following conventions have been adopted: All quotations from canonical works have been indented ten spaces. Quotations not indented and indicated by quotation marks are from modern works. In quotations from canonical works, if the speaker is not indicated, it is the Buddha Shakyamuni. In modern works, if the speaker is not indicated, it is the Venerable Master Hsuan-Hua, ninth patriarch of the Wei-Yang Chan lineage and founder and chairperson of the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (DRBA).
Buddhism A to Z is by no means a finished work. Because of pressures to make it available, it has been decided to publish it in this preliminary form. The reader is cordially invited to participate in the development of the work for future editions by offering suggestions for its improvement and by providing information about errors and inaccuracies. Although many members of the BTTS have kindly contributed their suggestions and made corrections, the errors that remain are solely my responsibility.
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
When using this book as a reference, look first under the term or list in question. If you do not find a list, then try under the key term in the list. If you do not find a term, try either another translation, the Sanskrit, or a related term. Be sure to consult the table of contents.
The Structure of the Entries
Most entries are structured following a pattern of going from easier to understand material to more difficult to understand material. Often the explanations progress according to level of teaching, culminating with the Mahayana teaching, but sometimes the progression is from less technical to more technical without regard to level of teaching.
Each entry will include some or all of the following elements:
DEFINITION OF TERM OR LISTING OF MEMBERS OF LIST
SHORT EXPLANATORY ESSAY AND/OR QUOTATIONS
ENTRY REFERENCES (at the bottom of each entry, separated by a short line). The references include the following sections:
2) Sanskrit: : lists one or more Sanskrit equivalents.
3) Pali: : lists one or more Pali equivalents.
4) Alternate Translations: lists other translations that have been used or proposed for the same term or list. Some of the alternate translations listed may not be accurate. They are given partly so that readers can be aware of equivalents found in other translations.
SEE ALSO: Indicates other entries that may give additional information on the topic or be of related interest.
Information to be Found
Following the Entries
The reader should consult the table of contents for the location of useful charts and tables that follow the entry section.
LIST OF INTRODUCTORY READINGS List of Introductory Buddhist Readings
For a general understanding of basic Buddhist teachings, start with the entries in Group I, then move on to Group II, and so forth. If you want information on a particular topic, read the specific entry that most closely approximates your topic, then check the entries listed under “SEE ALSO” at the end of the entry, then check the sources listed under “BTTS REFERENCES” and “OTHER REFERENCES”.
1. Many passages from BTTS publications have been slightly edited and/or retranslated without each specific instance being indicated.
2. In quoted passages some attempt, though not an exhaustive one, has been made to standardize terminology.
a) Sanskrit and Pali diacritical marks are missing in the text of the entries but hopefully can be added in later editions. Diacritical marks are included in the Sanskrit and Pali sections of entry references.
b) Two slightly different conventions of Romanization have been used for Sanskrit words depending upon whether or not they are treated as English. For those treated as English no diacritical marks will be used, and so the spelling is that English spelling closest to the pronunciation.
c) The following Sanskrit Buddhist terms have been treated as English words: Arhat, Bhikshu, Bhikshuni, Bodhisattva, Buddha, Hinayana, karma, Mahayana, nirvana, Pratyekabuddha, samadhi, stupa, sutra, Theravada.
The following words have been italicized to indicate that they have not yet become part of the English language: asura, bodhi, dhyana, gatha, kalpa, paramita, prajna, sharira, skandha, shramana, shravaka, upasaka, upasika, vajra, yang, yin. Of course other less well-known non-English terms are also underlined.
e) The Yale system of Romanization has been adopted for Jungwen (i.e., Chinese Mandarin, Zhong-Wen), because as read by non-linguists it most closely approximates the actual pronunciation. However, in many quoted passages the reader will find other systems of Romanization. Conversion tables to the more widely used Wade Giles and Pinyin Romanization are found at the end of the book. NOTE: We are in the process of converting the Romanization to Pinyin.
Related Websites: http://www.Shakyamuni-Buddha.com, http://www.Amitabha-Buddha.com, http://www.Amitabha-Sutra.com, http://www.Bhaisajya-Guru.com, http://www.Medicine-Buddha.org, http://www.Avatamsaka-Sutra.com, http://www.Flower-Adornment.com, http://www.Shurangama-Mantra.com, http://www.Shurangama-Sutra.com, http://www.Prajna-Paramita.com, http://www.Diamond-Sutra.net, http://www.Vajra-Sutra.com, http://www.Sixth-Patriarch.com, http://www.Dharani-Sutra.com, http://www.Sanghata-Sutra.com, http://www.Manjushri-Bodhisattva.com, http://www.Avalokiteshvara-Bodhisattva.com, http://www.Samantabhadra-Bodhisattva.com, http://www.Ksitigarbha-Bodhisattva.com, http://www.Ksitigarbha.com, http://www.Nagarjuna-Bodhisattva.com, http://www.Nalanda-University.com, http://www.Buddhist-Sutras.com, http://www.Buddhist-Sutra.com,
Primary Original Source: The Tripitaka Sutra, Shastra and Vinaya teachings (as found in the scripture storehouse of the Indian Sanskrit- Siddham, Chinese, Tibetan and Japanese traditions of the Nalanda Tradition of ancient Nalanda University) of Shakyamuni Buddha, and his Arya Sagely Bodhisattva Bhikshu Monk and Upasaka disciples.
These Good and Wise Advisors (Kaliyanamitra) Dharma Master teachers include Arya Venerables Nagarjuna, Ashvaghosha, Aryasura, Kumarajiva, Shantideva, Chandrakirti, Chandragomin, Vasubandhu, Asanga, Hui Neng, Atisha, Kamalashila, Dharmarakshita, Tsong Khapa, Thogme Zangpo, Patanjali, Sushruta, Charaka, Vagbhata, Nichiren, Hsu Yun, Hsuan Hua, Shen Kai, Tenzin Gyatso, Kyabje Zopa, Ajahn Chah, Vasant Lad, and other modern day masters. We consider them to be in accord with Master Hsuan Hua’s Seven Guidelines for Recognizing Genuine Teachers
Nalanda Online University's (http://www.Nalanda-University.com]]) teachings are based especially on the Dharma Flower Sutra (also called Lotus Sutra, the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Shurangama Sutra, the Ksitigarbha Sutra, the Bhaisajya Guru Sutra, the Dharani Sutra, the Vajra Sutra, the Prajna Paramita Sutra, the Guhyasamaja, the Kalachakra and their commentaries (shastras) by the above Arya Tripitakacharya Dharma Masters.
At Nalanda Online University we practice daily and introduce you to (via downloadable multimedia MP3 audio and HDTV Hi-Def video lectures) the teachings and practices of the Five Traditions transmitted by the Buddha Shakyamuni:
See also: [[Tripitaka]] (1. [[Sutras]], 2. [[Vinaya]], 3. [[Shastras]] or [[Abhidharma]], or [[Tantra]]), [[Taisho]] Catalog Numbering System, [[Dharma]], and names of individual sutras (such as [[Shurangama Sutra]], [[Avatamsaka Sutra]] [[Flower Adornment Sutra]], [[Lotus Sutra]] [[Wonderful Dharma Flower Sutra]], [[Earth Store Sutra]], [[Dharani Sutra]], [[Brahma Net Sutra]], [[Medicine Master Buddha Sutra]], [[Sixth Patriarch Platform Sutra]], [[Sutra in 42 Sections]], [[Sutra on the Buddha's Bequeathed Teaching]], et al.
[[Tibetan]] [[Mahamudra]] of [[Kagyu]], and [[Tibetan]] [[Dzogchen]] of [[Nyingma]])
[[Name Recitation ]]of [[Buddhas]] [[Amitabha]] - [[Amitayus]], [[Vajradharma]], [[Vajrayogini]], [[Vajravarahi]], [[Medicine Buddha]] - [[Bhaisajya Guru]] - [[Akshobhya]] - [[Vajradhara]], [[Heruka]], [[Chakrasamvara]], [[Shakyamuni]], [[Vairochana]], [[Nishyanda]], [[Vajrasattva]], and [[Bodhisattva]]s: [[Avalokiteshvara]] - [[Guanyin]] - [[Chenrezig]] -[[Mahakala]] - [[Ushnisha Shitata Patra]] (also [[She Dan Doe Bo Da La]] or [[White Umbrella]] or [[White Canopy]]) - [[Hayagriva]], [[Tara]], [[Samantabhadra]] [[Universal Worthy]], [[Manjushri]] - [[Yamantaka]] - [[Kalarupa]] Great [[Wisdom]], [[Maitreya]] Great [[Loving Kindness]] (also [[maitri]], [[Mahasthamaprapta]] Great [[Strength]], [[Ksitigarbha]] (also [[Kshitigarbha]] or [[Di Zang]]- [[Earth Store]] Great [[Vows]], [[Vajrapani]], [[Chandraprabha]] [[Moonlight Radiance]], [[Suryaprabha]] [[Sunlight Radiance]], [[Medicine King]] Bodhisattva, [[Bhaisajyaraja]], [[Medicine Superior]] Bodhisattva, [[Bhaisajyasamudgata]], and others [[Dharma Protecting]] [[Dharmapala]] [[Lokapala]] [[Sanghapala]] [[Bodhisattvas]], [[Gods]] ([[Deva]]) and [[Goddesses]] ([[Devi]]) such as [[Vaishravana]].
Compilation Sources for the Above Material on the Teachings of the Buddha:
Primary Compilation Source: Epstein, Ronald B., Ph.D, compiler, Buddhist Text Translation Society's Buddhism A to Z, Burlingame, California: Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2003. ISBN: 0881393533 Paperback: 284 pages. www.BTTSOnline.org www.Amazon.com http://www.bttsonline.org/product.aspx?pid=118 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0881393533/ref=ase_medicinebuddh-20
Secondary Compilation Source: The Seeker’s Glossary of Buddhism, 2nd ed., San Francisco, California: Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada, 1998: www.budaedu.org.tw
Secondary Compilation Source: Muller, Charles, editor, Digital Dictionary of Buddhism [DDB], Toyo Gakuen University, Japan, 2007: Username is “guest”, with no password. http://buddhism-dict.net/ddb - Based in large part on the Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms with Sanskrit and English Equivalents (by Soothill and Hodous) Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass, 1997.
Secondary Compilation Source: Ehrhard, Diener, Fischer, et al, The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen, Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications, 1991. 296 pages. ISBN 978-0-87773-520-5 www.Shambhala.com, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0877735204/ref=ase_medicinebuddh-20, http://www.shambhala.com/html/catalog/items/isbn/978-0-87773-520-5.cfm
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On the Buddha Shakyamuni's Birthday 2007, this free redaction is offered (received, upheld, read, recited, studied, pondered, explained, and written out), in accordance with the Lotus Saddharma Pundarika Sutra Chapter 19: “Merit and Virtue of a Dharma Master” as a selfless offering to the Buddhas and Bodhisattva Sangha above to adorn the Pure Lands and to liberate living beings suffering in samsara below by compassionately helping them to plant good roots in this and their future rebirths. The merit is dedicated to anuttarasamyaksambodhi.
Increasing Effect Mantra: Om Sambhara Sambhara (These Bhikshu Bodhisattva Bodhichitta Vows) Bimana Sara (Spread) Maha (Greatly) Java (Rapidly) Hum (recited 7x)
To increase by 100,000 times the merit created: Tadyatha Om Pancha Griya (five offerings or five faces) Ava Bodhani Svaha (7x)
Om Dhuru Dhuru Jaya (Victory) Mukhe (Face or Mouth) Svaha (7x)
I Now Universally Transfer the Merit and Virtue of to All Beings to realize Anuttara-Samyak-Sam-Bodhi (“Unsurpassed Proper and Equal Right Enlightenment”)
Sarva Mangalam. May all be Auspicious.
Arya Bhikshu Shantideva’s Bodhisattvacharyavatara says: Just as Manjushri works To fulfill the aims of all limited beings To the far reaches of space in the ten directions, May my behavior become just like that.
For as long as space remains, And for as long as wandering beings remain, May I too remain for that long, Dispelling the sufferings of wandering beings.
(Like Ananda says in the Shurangama Sutra introduction to the Shurangama Mantra, “And even could the nature of shunyata melt away, my vajra-like Supreme Resolve would still remain unmoved.)
Whatever sufferings wandering beings might have, May all of them ripen on me, And through the Bodhisattva assembly, May wandering beings enjoy happiness.
May the teachings, the sole medicine for the sufferings of wandering beings And the source of all happiness, Continue to endure for a very long time, With material support and shows of respect.
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