Buddhism, the offering of food to monks on their daily rounds and the
of goods and money to the monasteries.
Japanese version of Amitabha Buddha. See Amitabha
The Bodhisattva whose name means "Budha of Boundless Light" and who
in the paradise called the Pure Land. He is also the founder of this
A Buddhist monk who is free from all illusions and who has achieved
enlightenment. This term is used primarily in Theravada Buddhism.
Hindu idea of a soul - the individual consciousness that was reborn
Bodhisattva of Compassion. Compassion and Wisdom represent the two main
concepts of Mahayana Buddhism. See Manjushri.
A human soul between the stages of after-death and rebirth.
The Tibetan name for the Book of the Dead.
A fully ordained monk who has left his home and renounced all his
in order to follow the Way of the Buddha
A being in the final stages of attaining Buddhahood, who has vowed to
all sentient beings achieve Nirvana, or enlightenment, before he
The tree beneath which the meditating Gautama sat before he achieved
See Bo Tree
The legendary monk who brought Buddhism from India to China in the
the Ultimate Reality. Similar to a Supreme Being.
The nature innate in every sentient being. The potential for attaining
Japanese Buddhist household altar.
An assembly hall for monks.
Forms of Mahayana Buddhism in China. Japanese version is called Zen.
Blacksmith that gave a meal to Buddha, causing him to become ill.
The ultimate law, or doctrine, as taught by Buddha, which consists of
Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.
A state of mind achieved through higher meditation.
Suffering, emptiness, impermanence.
Literally, "small vehicle." A term used by the Mahayanists to describe
earlier orthodox sects of Buddhism (Theravada School). Their scriptures
are written in Pali, an ancient Indian language. See also Theravada and
Literally, "deed." A concept that binds its followers to an endless
of birth, death, and rebirth and, according to one's deeds in life,
the condition of one's rebirth.
riddle, tale, or short statement used by Zen masters to bring their
to sudden insight.
"superior one." A Buddhist monk of Tibet.
Literally, "great vehicle." One of the three major forms of Buddhism,
is considered the more liberal and practical. Its scriptures are
in Sanskrit. See also Theravada and Vajrayana.
Literally, "Friendly One." The Bodhisattva who embodies the virtues of
wisdom and eloquence.
Bodhisattva of Wisdom. Wisdom (prajna) is, along with Compassion,
the two main concepts of Mahayana Buddhism. See Prajna and
A painting or tapestry with images of Buddha, bodhisattvas, and other
Used as a focus of meditation for monks and as an object of worship for
Ritual sound, word, or phrase used to evoke a certain religious
personification of evil. The god of death.
Maya, mother of Buddha.
Literally, "release." An idea originally developed from Upanishadic
By leading a highly spiritual life (or several lives), a soul could be
reunited with Brahman, the Ultimate Reality.
Hand gestures often depicted on statues of the Buddha. The gestures
different meaning (meditation, etc).
Literally, "Praise to the Buddha Amitabha". In Japanese Pure Land sect,
this is the phrase used to call on Amitabha Buddha. See Nembutsu
Literally, "extinction." The ultimateM#<2 goal of Buddhists,
as the extinction of both craving and the separate "ego." The state of
peace and quietude attained by extinguishing all illusions.
Short form of "Namu Amida Butsa". See Namu Amida Butsa
Death of the Buddha.
Literally, Wisdom. This term represents the wisdom obtained during
and one of the key insight is emptiness.
Sutra: Collection of 40 Mahayana sutras dealing with Prajna and
A sect of Mahayana Buddhism founded by Amitabha Buddha. The Pure Land
a paradise in the "west" where people can go when they die. People must
call on Amitabha to enter this paradise. See Namu Amidha Butsu
Chief or king
Literally, "fetter" or
Son of Siddhartha
The continuous cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (reincarnation)
An organized assembly of Buddhist monks.
King Shuddhodana, father of Buddha.
Sage of the
Another name of the
Five elements each individual is composed of.
A dome, or pagoda, in which sacred relics are deposited.
Emptiness; The belief that all phenomena are dependent on and caused by
other phenomena, thus without intrinsic essense.
Literally, "thread" or "string." A scripture containing the teachings
Literally, "School of the Elders." Aso known as Hinayana. One of the
major forms of Buddhism, Theravada is considered to be the original and
orthodox form of Buddhism. See also Hinayana and Vajrayana.
Literally, "Three Baskets." According to Buddhist belief, the
were stored in three baskets, dividing Buddha's teachings into the code
of discipline for monks, his sermons and discourses, and the higher
(Buddhist philosophy and psychology)
Followers of Buddhism that believed in Buddha's teachings, but did not
follow the strict rule of the Sangha.
mark on the Buddha's forehead, between his eyebrows, that signifies his
A protuberance atop Buddha's head that signifies his great wisdom.
Literally, "diamond vehicle." One of the three major forms of Buddhism,
Vajrayana is popular in Tibet. See also Theravada and Mahayana
Cave dwellings for monks.
Wife of Buddha
of Mahayana Buddhism in Japan. Chinese version is called Ch'an. See
He whose aim is
Birth name of the