- Taking Precepts
- see Morality.
- Also called Vajrayana. A school of esoteric Tibetan Buddhism. It
emphsizes not only meditation but also the use of symbolic rites, gestures,
postures, breathing, incantation, and other secret means.
- Ten Dharma Realms
- also known as ten states of existence, which are
Each Dharma realm has its own characteristics, and its existence is
attributed to the retribution of the beings. The lowest six realms (1-6) are
known as the Six
Paths or Six Realms. These six
states of existence are subjected to birth and death, and then rebirth for
many lives. The upper four realms are known as the Four
Holy Realms. These four states of existence are beyond birth and death and
liberated from the Samsara
For details, please refer to Part 2 of Buddhism In A Nutshell, which
appeared in Vol. 1 No. 4 of Buddhist Door, March 1996.
- Ten Directions
- The eight points of the compass, in addition to the nadir and the zenith.
- Ten Good Deeds
- The Ten Forms of Good Actions for layman, or Ten Wholesomeness.
It is essential for the rebirth in Deva realm.
- No killing
- No stealing
- No adultery
- No lying
- No slandering
- No harsh speech
- No idle talks
- No greed
- No hatred
- No illusion
- Ten Great Disciples of Skakyamuni Buddha
- They are:
in Sanskrit, Mahakassapa in Pali.
first in ascetism.
first in having heard the words of Buddha.
in Sanskrit, Sariputta in Pali.
first in wisdom.
first in expressing emptiness.
first in explaining good law.
- Maudgalyayana in Sanskrit, Moggallana in Pali.
first in supernatural power.
first in preaching.
- Aniruddha in Sanskrit, Anuruddha in Pali.
first in the sharpness of his divine eyes.
first in taking
first in esoteric practices and in desire for instruction in
- Ten Great King Vows
- The vows of Visvabhadra
- To worship and respect all Buddhas.
- To praise the Thus Come One.
- To practise offerings.
- To repent all karmic hindrance.
- To rejoice and follow merits and virtue.
- To request that the Dharma wheel be turned.
- To request that the Buddha remain in the world.
- To follow the Buddha's teachings.
- To live in accord with all living beings.
- To spread all merits and virtue.
- Ten Meritorious Deeds
- The Ten Meritorious Deeds allow people to gain a happy and peaceful life
as well as to develop knowledge and understanding. They are:
- Morality / Taking
- Mental cultivation / Meditation
- Reverence or respect
- Services in helping others
- Transference of merits
- Rejoicing in the merits of others
- Preaching and teaching Dharma
- Listening the Dharma
- Straightening one's own views
- Ten Offerings
- For the material there are ten kinds of offerings in Buddhism:
- jeweled parasols
- banners and canopies
- fruit and food
- joined palms
- Ten Paramita
- see Paramita.
- Ten Powers
- The Ten Powers of Buddha or Bodhisattva are the complete knowledge of
- what is right or wrong in every condition
- what is the karma
of every being, past, present and future
- all stages of dhyana liberation and samadhi
- the powers and faculties of all beings
- the desires or moral directions of every being
- the actual condition of every individual
- the direction and consequence of all laws
- all causes of mortality and of good and evil in their reality
- the end of all beings and Nirvana
- the destruction of all illusion of every kind
- Ten Schools of Chinese Buddhism
- Tien Tai
- Hua Yen
- Pure Land
- Ten Stages of Bodhisattva
- These are the ten stages of development of Bodhisattva
depending on their merits and virtues:
- Pramudita (joy) - job at having overcome the difficulties and
sufferings, now entering on the path to Buddhahood
- Vimala (purity) - freedom from all possible defilement
- Prabhakari (enlightenment) - stage of further enlightenment
- Arcismati (widsom) - stage of glowing wisdom
- Sudurjaya (no difficulty) - stage of mastering the utmost difficulties
- Abhimukhi (open way) - the open way of wisdom above definitions of
impurity and purity
- Duramgama (proceeding afar) - getting above ideas of self in order to
- Acala (unperturbed) - attainment of being unperturbed
- Sadhumati (discriminatory wisdom) - the finest discriminatory wisdom,
knowing where and how to save, and possessing the Ten
- Dharma megha (law cloud) - attainment of the fertilizing powers of law
- Ten Titles of Buddha
- represent the characteristics of Buddha
- Tathagata - the Thus Come Ones
- Arhat - worthy of offerings
- Samyak-sambuddha - of proper and universal knowledge
- Vidyacarna-sampauna - perfect in understanding and conduct
- Sugata - skilful in leaving the world through liberation
- Lokavid - perfect and complete understanding of all worldly Dharma
- Anuttara - unsurpassed knights
- Purusa-damya-sarathi - taming heroes
- Sasta deramanusyanam - teachers of gods and people
- Buddha-lokanatha or Bhagaran - Buddha, the World Honored Ones
- Ten Vehicles of Meditation
- Vehicles is the means to take living beings across from suffering to Nirvana.
Though there are ten vehicles, there is only one teaching (Dharma),
i.e., Inconceivable Virtues of the Self-mind, and the other nine are
supplementary. According to Tien
Tai Sect, the ten vehicles are:
- Meditation of Inconceivable Virtue of the Self-mind -
highest order for superior roots
- Meditation of Real Bodhicitta
- Meditation of Expedient Dwelling of Mind
- Meditation of Breaking Universal Dharma
- Meditation of Penetrating through Obstructed Consciousness
- Meditation of Commissioning all Chapters of Paths
- Meditation of Confronting Delusion and Advocating Enlightenment
- Meditation of Understanding the Stages of Fruition
- Meditation of Calmness and Endurance
- Meditation of Non-attachment of Dharma
- Ten Wholesomeness
- see Ten
- Thera, an elder; a fully ordained monk who has past ten rainy seasons.
Theravada is the doctrine of the Theras, i.e. the teaching of Southern
Buddhism. It is one of the traditional 18
sects of Hinayana Buddhism. This form of Buddhism emerged out of Mahinda's
mission to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) during Ashoka's
region. They are apparently very closely related to the orthodox Vibhajyavada
doctrine of Ashoka's time and represent the sole remaining Hinayanist sect
today. It is the form of Buddhism prevalent in S.E. Asian countries, e.g.
Thailand, Sri Lanka, etc. (see Mahayana).
- Thirty-two Forms
- These are the physical marks of a Buddha
- Level feet
- thousand-spoke wheel-sign on feet
- long slender fingers
- pliant hands and feet
- toes and fingers finely webbed
- full-sized heels
- arched insteps
- thigh like a royal stag
- hands reaching below the knees
- well-retracted male organ
- height and stretch of arms equal
- every hair-root dark coloured
- body hair graceful and curly
- golden-hued body
- a ten-foot halo around him
- soft smooth skin
- two soles, two palms, two shoulders and crown well rounded
- below the armpits well-filled
- lion-shaped body
- full shoulders
- forty teeth
- teeth white even and close
- the four canine teeth pure white
- salvia improving the taste of all food
- tongue long and broad
- voice deep and resonant
- eye deep blue
- eye lashes like a royal bull
- a white urna or curl between the eyebrows emitting light
- an usnisa or fleshy protuberance on the crown.
- Three Classifications
- Buddha shows that a person is nothing more than a combination of various
elements which come together under suitable conditions. They are
- the Five
- the Twelve
- the Eighteen
- Three Delusions
- In Tien
Tai, three doubts in the mind of Bodhisattva,
producing three delusions, i.e.,
- through things seen and thought
- through the immense variety of duties in saving humans
- through ignorance
- Three Dogmas
- They are the Dogma of Void, Unreal and Mean. See also
Meditations of One Mind.
- Three Enlightenments
- the three kinds of Enlightenment:
The first is Arhat. The
second is Bodhisattva.
When all the three have been attained, the being becomes a Buddha.
- Enlightenment for self
- Enlightenment for others
- Perfect enlightenment and accomplishment
- Three Evil Paths
- They are the three lowest realms of the Nine
Realms: hell, hungry ghost and animal.
- Three Good Paths
- They are Man, Asura and Deva Paths.
- Three Jewels
- Or the Three Precious Ones, i.e. the Buddha,
and the Sangha,
which are the three essential components of Buddhism. They are the objects of
veneration. Buddhists take refuge in them by pronouncing the threefold refuge
formula, thus acknowledging themselves to be Buddhists.
- Three Meditations of One Mind
- Also known as Three Inconceivable Meditations, which is one of the
practices in Tien
Tai Sect in China. According to Tien Tai, all existence in the universe
consists of Three
Dogmas (Truths), namely, Void, Unreal and Mean. These
three Dogmas are co-existent and interactive, integrated and interrelated. If
one can meditate this concept with the whole mind, it is call Three
Meditations of One mind, or Inconceivable Profound Meditation.
- Three Obstacles
- See Three
- Three Obstructions
- Also called Three
Obstacles. They are the obstructions that hinder the attainment of
Buddhahood. When the Three Obstructions are cleared, the Three
Virtues will be perfected. The Three Obstructions are:
- Affliction obstruction - e.g. due to Three
Poisons, i.e. greed, hatred and stupidity.
- Karma obstruction - e.g. due to Five
Offenses, and Ten
Unwholesome Deeds, i.e. the Karma
in the past.
- Retribution obstruction - e.g. the suffering
retribution in Three
- Three Periods of Time
- That is the past, the present and the future.
- Three Poisons
- or Three Roots
These are the source of all
the passions and delusions.
- Greed or wrong desire
- Hatred or anger
- Illusion or stupidity or ignorance
- Three Realms
- Sanskrit word is Triloka. It is Buddhist metaphysical equivalence for the
triple world of earth, atmosphere and heaven.
- Realm of Sensusous Desire (Sanskrit word is Kamadhatu) of sex and food.
It includes the Six Heavens of Desire, the Human World and the Hells.
- Realm of Form (Sanskrit word is Rupaadhatu) of matter which is
substantial and resistant. It is a semi-material conception. It is above the
lust world and contains bodies, places and things, all mystic and wonderful.
It consists of 18 heavens, including the Heavens of Four Zen (Sanskrit word
- Realm of Formlessness (Sanskrit word is Arupadhatu) of pure spirit,
where there are no bodies and matters to which human terms would apply, but
where the mind dwells in mystic contemplation; its extent is indefinable,
but it is conceived of in Four Stages/Places of Emptiness in the immaterial
world. It has four heavens, in which the Sphere/heaven
of neither-perception-nor-non-perception is the highest.
- Three Roots
- The three (evil) roots, i.e. desire, hate and stupidity. Another group is
the three grades of good "roots" or abilities, i.e. superior, medium and
- Three Seals
- Also known as Three
- All phenomena are impermanent.
- All Dharma are not-self.
- The eternity is Nirvana.
It is called the seal because it is to certify whether it is the Buddha's
teaching or not. Also see Four
- Three Shastra
- They are
- Madhyamaka Shastra
All three were translated by Kumarajiva, on which the Three Shastra Sect
bases its doctrines.
- Three Studies
- or Three Vehicles of Learning
It is practiced by the Arhats.
- Sila, i.e. taking Precepts
- Dhyana, i.e. concentration and meditation
- Prajna, i.e. wisdom
- Three Sufferings
- Feeling of suffering
- Feeling of happiness - suffering of decay
- Feeling of neither suffering nor happiness - suffering of the activity
of the Five
- Three Universal Characteristics
- The Three Universal Characteristics are connected with the existence. They
- All phenomena are impermanent.
- All Dharma are not-self.
- All sensations are suffering.
- Three Universal Truths
- Also known as the Three
Seals. Three Universal Truths are the basic teaching of Buddha,
so that they are commonly used to attest Buddhism.
The Three Universal Truths are:
- All phenomena are impermanent, (i.e., Anicca in Sanskrit).
- All dharmas
are non-self, (i.e., Anatta in Sanskrit).
- The eternity is Nirvana
- Three Vehicles
- They are the Two
Vehicles, plus the Bodhisattva Vehicle, i.e. the Vehicles for Sravaka,
Pratyeka Buddha, and the Bodhisattva are called the Three Vehicles.
- Three Virtues
- The three virtues of power,
- the virtue, or potency of the Buddha's eternal, spiritual body, i.e.,
- the virtue of his Prajna,
knowing all things in their reality
- the virtue of his freedom from all attachments and his sovereign liberty
- Three Wisdom
- There are three kinds of wisdom:
knowledge that all the Dharmas
or laws are void and unreal
knowledge of all things in proper discrimination
knowledge or perfect knowledge of all things in their every aspect and
relationship past, present and future.
Tai Sect, the Three Wisdom is associated with the Three
Dogmas of Void, Unreal and Mean.
- Threefold Body of a Buddha
- They are
- Dharma body, i.e. Dharmakaya - its own essential nature, common to all
- Retribution body, i.e. Sambhogakaya - a body of bliss, which he
receives for his own use and enjoyment.
- Response and transformation body, i.e. Nirmanatkaya - he can appear in
any form whenever and wherever necessary for the sake of crossing over
- Tien Tai Sect
- One of the Ten Great Sect in Chinese Buddhism. It was initiated by
Hui Man in the dynasty of Bei-Chai, and was promoted by Chi-Hai
in Tsui Dynasty. Mainly based on Lotus
Sutra, Tien Tai Sect explains all universal phenomena with Three
Dogmas. For the practices, it emphasizes cutting off Three
Delusions, thus establishes the method of Three
Meditations of One Mind.
- see Three
- Trinity of Western Paradise
- They are the Buddhas and the Great Bodhisattvas in Western Paradise (Pure
Land of Ultimate Bliss):
- Tripitaka in Sanskrit, Tipitaka in Pali. The three parts of Pali
canon, consisting of:
- Sutra-Pitika (Sanskrit) or Sutta-Pitaka (Pali), or the Sutra Basket -
containing the entire , the sermons attributed to the Shakyamuni
- Vinaya-Pitika (both Sanskrit and Pali), or the Ordinance Basket -
containing the rules of monastic life.
- Abhidharma-Pitika (Sanskrit) or Abhidhamma-Pitaka (Pali), or Shastras,
or the Treatise Basket - containing the doctrinal commentaries,
philosophical and technical works, such as discourses, discussions, or
treatises on the dogma, doctrines, etc.
- True Suchness
- Bhutatathata in Sanskrit word. Bhuta means substance that exists; tathata
means suchness, thusness, i.e. such is its nature. It is regarded as the
absolute, ultimate source and character of all phenomena. It is the eternal,
imperson, unchangeable reality behind all phenomena. Simply speaking, it is
There are many other terms to describe it, e.g. Buddha-nature, Self-nature
Pure Mind, Dharmakaya (Dharma Body), Tathagata-garbha (Buddha-treasury),
Reality (real mark), Dharma Realm, Dharma Nature, the Complete and Perfect
real nature, etc.
- Tusita Heaven
- The fourth devaloka in the Realm of Desire. Its inner department is the
Pure Land of Maitreya
who like Shakyamuni
and all Buddhas, is reborn there before descending to earth as the next Buddha
in our world.
- Twelve Bases
- The Six
Internal Bases and the Six
External Bases are together called the Twelve Bases. Base implies the
meaning of germinating and nourishing. All mental activities are germinated
and nourished from these Twelve Bases.
- Twelve Links of Dependent Origination
- see the Law
of Dependent Origination.
- Twelve Nidanas
- see the Twelve
Links of Dependent Origination.
- Twelve Places
- see the Twelve
- Twenty Sects of Hinayana
- See the Eighteen
Sects of Hinayana, plus the two originals, i.e. Mahasanghikah
called the Twenty Sects of Hinayana.
- Two Deaths
- Two Deaths refer to
- share-sectioned birth and death
- changed birth and death
- Two Forms of Death
- Natural death of the life
- Death form external cause and conditions
- Two Obstacles
- Two Obstacles refer to
- the obstacle of afflictions
- the obstacle of what is known
- Two Sects of Hinayana
- It refers to the Sthaviravadin
- Two Vehicles
- Two Vehicles generally refer to Sravaka
- Uddaka-ramaputta in Pali, Udraka-Ramaputra in Sanskrit. A sage under whom
studied meditation. The state reached by Uddaka-Ramaputta was that at which
neither thought nor non-thought exists.
- Udumbara Flower
- Udumbara flower blooms once every three thousand years, so it is rare and
wonderful. It is used to describe how rare the occasion is.
- Unconditioned dharma
- Also known as Asamskrta dharma, which is anything not subject to the principle
of cause and effect, nor law
of dependent origination, i.e. conditions. It is the dharma
beyond the worldly ones.
- One of the four types of Vedic
literature in ancient India, which are basically Brahmanic philosophical
texts. It is a sophisticated exposition of Indian philosophy and metaphysics
about man and universe.
- A town in Magadha
attained his enlightenment
and Buddhahood in the woods along Nairanjana river.
- One of the Hinayana
School, a branch of Mahasanghika.
It was established in the third century, after the Nirvana,
whose seat is described as north of Jetavana.
- A Hinayana
school of the reality of all phenomena.
It is said that there were four branches of the Vaibhasika school, so
called after the Vaibhasika Shastra.
The school adhered primarily to two Sarvastivadin texts, the Jnanaprasthana
- Vaisya in Sanskrit, Vaishya in Pali. The third of the four Indian
Castes at the time of Shakyamuni.
They were merchant, entrepreneurs, traders, farmers, manufacturers, etc., but
- Also called Tantrayana.
- Vast and Long Tongue
- one of the thirty-two monks of Buddha,
big enough to cover his face; it is also one of the "marvels" in the Lotus
- Buddhist philosopher of 500 A.D. The 21st Buddhist patriach of Mahayana
Buddhism. He was great Buddhist commentator in Hinayana,
but was converted to Yogacara
by his brother Asanga.
- Vatsiputriyas in Sanskrit, Vajjiputtakas in Pali. Hinayanist
sect often linked with Sammatiyah,
which broke from the orothodox Sarvastivada.
The founder was Vatsa. They may be classified as Pudgalavadins, accepting the
pudgala transmigrated, and rejecting the theory of the Five
Skandhas (the Five Aggregates comprising personality). They were
considered schismatics through their insistence on the reality of the self.
That individual self is neither the same nor different from the Five Skandhas.
The doctrine challenged the Dharma
exposition by the Sarvastivadah. The school was later dividied into four:
- see Sensation
- Literally, it means knowledge. They are basic scriptures of Hinduism in
India, composed between 2000 and 500 B.C. They consist of Rg-veda,
The collection is also known as the Vedic Samhita.
Apart from Samhita, the Vedic literature regarded as Sruti
- Literally means Distinctionist or Holders of the Doctrine of
Distinctions. A sect of Ashoka's Council at Pataliputra (i.e. the
Third Council). They were called as they made a distinction of phenomena in
time into two categories; those that exist and those that do no.
The meaning of the term, not necessarily limited to this sect, is the
method of particularization in dealing with questions in debate. It is said
that this school was established to harmonize the difference between the Sthaviras
The Abhidhamma Pitaka was the definite work of this school, thus they gained
supremacy over the Sarvastivadins in the Third Council.
- the fourth Paramita,
pure and unadulterated progress, i.e. zealous and courageous progressing in
the good, and eliminating the evil.
- Vimalakirti-Nivdesa Sutra
- Vimalakirti, a Sanskrit word, means undefiled and pure reputation.
Vimalakirti was said to be a native of Vaisali, and an upasaka (not a monk) to
to preach and cross over the human beings. The Sutra is the record of
interesting conversation between Vimalakirti and Manjusri
Bodhisattva regarding the understanding of One Buddha Vehicle.
- Vinaya School
- Emphasizes the monastic discipline founded by Tao Hsuan of the Tang
Dynasty in China.
- Vipasyana Sukhavativyuha Sutra
- It is one of the main sutra for Pure Land Sect. The Sutra indicates that
Land of Amitabha
Buddha is one of the Buddha Lands. It also describes how to be born in the
Land through the Sixteen
Contemplations. Therefore, the Sutra is also called "Sixteen
- Visvabhadra Bodhisattva
- As one of the Four
Great Bodhisattva, he is the one with the highest conduct. Visvabhadra,
also known as Samantabhadra,
means universal worthy. He is the lord of the fundamental law, the dhyana (
taking precepts) and the practice of all Buddhas. Visvabhadra, the
guardian of law, is often placed on the right of Shakyamuni,
the guardian of wisdom, is the left. He always rides on a white elephant, is
the patron of the Lotus
Sutra, and its devotees, and has close connection with Hua-yen Sutra. He
Great King Vows, which give an excellent guideline to all Buddhists to
practice and cultivate the Buddha Way.
- or mental formation, or action, or conduct, or deed, usually done through
the body, mouth or mind. The Sanskrit word is Samskara.
- Generally, it refers to the Way of Bodhi or enlightenment
leading to Nirvana
through spiritual stages, and even to Buddhahood through Bodhisattva's
practices. Sometimes, it is also called the Path, the Road, the Truth, the
Reason, the Logos, Cosmic Energy, etc., depending on different circumstances.
- Wheel of Law
- The Buddha-truth which is able to crush all evil, and which rolls on from
man to man, place to place and age to age. To turn the wheel means to preach
- Wheel-rolling King
- Cakkavatti-raja in Pali, Cakravarti-raja in Sanskrit. Also known as
Wheel-turning King. There are four such kings, each with a precious wheel
of gold, silver, copper, and iron. The kings reign over the four areas in
north, south, east and west. It is believed that the Gold-Wheel King is to
come in perfection and unify the world. In Indian mythology, he is the ideal
- the highest of Paramita;
the virtue of wisdom as the principal means of attaining Nirvana.
It connotes a knowledge of the illusory character of everything earthly, and
destroys error, ignorance, prejudice and heresy.
- World Honoured One
- One of the titles of the Buddha. In Sutras,
this is the respected title of Shakyamuni
Buddha. See also Ten
Titles of Buddha.
- The demons in the lower realm, like the Ghost Realm. They are evil,
malignant and violent. They live on earth or in air.
- a Sanskrit word means vehicle. A term applied to Buddhism as a
means by which a practitioner cultivates on the path to enlightenment.
The different vehicles correspond to views of spiritual path, that differ as
to the basic attitude of the practitioner and the means of making progress on
the way. There are categories of one, two, three and five vehicles.
- the wife of Siddhartha
Goutama. She later became a Bhikhuni.
- see Vigor.
- also called Chan; see Contemplation