Alaya: The eighth consciousness which means ‘non-vanishing,’ and translates as ‘store.’
Anuttarasamyaksambodhi: Sanskrit for ‘unsurpassed, proper and equal right enlightenment,’ which is attained by Buddhas.
Arhat: The disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha who had certified to sagehood.
Arhatship: There are four stages.
1. Srotaapanna or ‘Stream-enterer’ is an Arhat of the first stage who has entered the stream of the Dharma-nature of the sage. He has to undergo seven rebirths in the heavens and among humans before he arrives at the end of the Path.
2. Sakridagamin or ‘Once-returner’ is an Arhat of the second stage who has one more birth to undergo in the heavens and one among humans.
3. Anagamin or ‘Never-returner’ is an Arhat of the third stage who does not have to undergo birth again in the human realm.
4. An Arhat of the fourth stage is called ‘unborn’ and has attained patience with the non-production of dharmas. One who attains patience with the non-production of dharmas does not see a single dharma produced or a single dharma extinguished throughout the three realms. This state is inexpressible. This patience is obtained when birth and death of the physical body are ended.
Asamkhyeya: One of the large numbers used in ancient India, which translates as ‘uncountable.’
Asura: One of the eight classes of spiritual beings who act as protectors of the Buddhas’ Teachings. They are beings who like to fight, and they can be found in the heavens, among people, the animal realm, and the ghost realm.
Bhikshu:A fully ordained Buddhist monk.
Bhikshuni:A fully ordained Buddhist nun.
Bodhi Resolve: The resolve to become enlightened which includes the resolve to help all other beings become enlightened too.
Bodhisattva: An enlightened being who does not enter Nirvana but chooses instead to remain in the world and save living beings.
Buddha: One who has achieved the ultimate, perfect, unsurpassed enlightenment.
Dharma: The teachings of the Buddha. Also called Buddhadharma.
dharma: A generic term for all the various kinds of things or entities that exist in the world, including the physical phenomena. It also refers to a method.
Dharma Master: A teacher of Dharma. A respectful term for addressing members of the Sangha. The Sangha is the community of monks and nuns (Buddhist).
Dharma Realm: The infinity of the realm of Buddhas. There are the (ten) Dharma Realms of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Those Enlightened by Conditions, Hearers, gods, humans, asuras, animals, hungry ghosts, and beings in the hells. There are also Four Kinds of Dharma Realms:
1. The Dharma Realm of Specifics
2. The Dharma Realm of Principle
3. The Dharma Realm of Non-Obstruction of Specifics and Principle
4. The Dharma Realm of Non-Obstruction of Specifics and Specifics.
Dharma Selecting Eye: The ability to perceive what is proper, the wisdom selecting vision
Eightfold Division: The eightfold pantheon of gods, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, and mahoragas. They are spiritual beings who act as protectors of the Buddhas’ teachings and they cannot be seen by the ordinary human eyes.
Five Eyes: The spiritual eye which people possess and can have access to if they cultivate the Way diligently. They are the Buddha Eye, the Wisdom Eye, the Dharma Eye, the Heavenly Eye, and the Flesh Eye.
icchantika: Sanskrit term which translates as ‘one of insufficient faith.’
Karma: Sanskrit word meaning ‘deeds’ or ‘what is done.’ Karma can be good or neutral. They are created by body, mouth, and mind. It is the deeds one create oneself and the retributions which the deeds bring upon oneself.
King Yama: Lord of the underworld, the judge of karma who determines where beings are reborn.
Kshetra: Field or land. Buddha-Kshetra means Buddha-land.
Leave home: To renounce the householder’s life and become monks or nuns (left-home people), in order to devote themselves to the practice of the Buddha’s teachings.
Lion’s Roar: The Buddha’s voice is called the Lion’s Roar because all must listen to him when he speaks.
Nirvana: A Sanskrit word which translates as ‘perfect stillness.’ Perfect quiescence realized by Sages. Freedom from desire, and one no longer comes into being or ceases to be.
Paramita: A Sanskrit word which translates as ‘crossed to the other shore,’ or ‘perfection.’ To successfully complete something.
Prajna: Transcendental wisdom.
Pratyekabuddhas: The holy sages who are enlightened to conditions. When there is a Buddha in the world, they are known as those ‘enlightened to conditions.’ When there is no Buddha in the world, they are known as; solitary enlightened ones.’
Saha world: The name of the world we live in, which means ‘can be endured.’
Samadhi: Concentration attained through meditation. A wholesome state of concentration of which there are many kinds and levels.
Sangha: The community of Buddhist monks and nuns.
Self-Ending Arhat: A practitioner of the Way who is contented with only saving himself/herself. He/She has not attained ultimate wisdom.
Skandha: The Five Skandhas are form, feelings, thoughts, activities, and counsciousness. The five causally conditioned elements of existence which make up a being.
Sound Hearers: Refer to the Shravakas, the Arhats of the Two Vehicles. They hear the Buddha’s sound and awaken to the Way. They cultivate the Four Noble Truths.
Sutra: Discourses spoken by Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, or enlightened disciples of the Buddha.
Tathagata: Thus Come One. One of the ten titles of Buddhas.
Thus Come One: One of the ten titles of Buddhas.
Tripitaka: The Buddhist Canon.
Upasaka/Upasika: A layman/laywoman who has received the Five Precepts.
Vajra: A Sanskrit word which means ‘durable.’ It is indestructible and is usually represented by diamond.
World Honored One: One of the ten titles of a Buddha.
© 2000 Soo Hoong Liung. All Rights Reserved.