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BUDDHIST TERMINOLOGIES IMPORTANT FOR UPSC

25th January, 2021 Prelims

BUDDHIST TERMINOLOGIES IMPORTANT FOR UPSC

Some Buddhist terms and concepts lack direct translations into English that cover the breadth of the original term. Such terminologies are asked directly in the UPSC Prelims Paper. Below are given a number of important Buddhist terms. In this list, an attempt has been made to organize terms by their original form and give translations and synonyms along with the definition. So, without any further ado let’s get started.

Adhitthana

It means Determination, to pray, to wish. In the late canonical literature of Theravada Buddhism, adhiṭṭhāna is one of the ten "perfections" (dasa pāramiyo), exemplified by the bodhisatta's resolve to become fully awakened.

Agama

The non-Mahayana divisions of the Sutta Pitaka

Amitabha

The Buddha of the Western "Pure Land." Also known as Amida.

Tathāgata

It is a Pali and Sanskrit word; Gautama Buddha uses it when referring to himself in the Pāli Canon.

Five Tathāgatas

In Vajrayana Buddhism, the Five Tathāgatas (pañcatathāgata) or Five Wisdom Buddhas are emanations and representations of the five qualities of the Adi-Buddha or "first Buddha" Vairochana or Vajradhara.

  • Amoghasiddhi

It is one of the Five Wisdom Buddhas. He is associated with the accomplishment of the Buddhist path and of the destruction of the poison of envy. His name means “He Whose Accomplishment Is Not In Vain”. His Shakti/consort is Tara, meaning Noble Deliverer or Noble Star. He belongs to the family of karma whose family symbol is the double vajra/thunder. 

  • Amitābha

Amitābha is the principal buddha in Pure Land Buddhism, a branch of East Asian Buddhism. In Vajrayana Buddhism, Amitābha is known for his attributes of, discernment, pure perception and purification of the aggregates with a deep awareness of emptiness of all phenomena. According to these scriptures, Amitābha possesses infinite merit resulting from good deeds over countless past lives as a bodhisattva named Dharmākara. Amitābha means "Infinite Light", and Amitāyus means "Infinite Life" so Amitābha is also called "The Buddha of Immeasurable Light and Life.” 

  • Vairocana

The Buddha Vairocana is the guardian of the centre and is identified by the gesture of teaching or the "Turning of the Wheel of Law" (dharmacakramudra). In the conception of the Five Tathagatas of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, Vairocana is at the centre and is considered a Primordial Buddha.

  • Akshobhya

Akshobhya is a product of the Adibuddha, who represents consciousness as an aspect of reality. His consort is Lochanā and he is normally accompanied by two elephants. His color is blue-black and his attributes include a bell, three robes, and staff, as well as a jewel, lotus, prayer wheel, and sword. He has several emanations.

  • Ratnasambhava

Ratnasambhava's mandalas and mantras focus on developing equanimity and equality and, in Vajrayana Buddhist thought it is associated with the attempt to destroy greed and pride. His consort is Mamaki and his mount is a horse or a pair of lions.

Ānāpānasati

Ānāpānasati meaning "mindfulness of breathing", is a form of Buddhist meditation originally taught by Gautama Buddha in several suttas including the Ānāpānasati Sutta.

Anicca

The Pali word for impermanence, anicca, is a compound word consisting of "a" meaning non-, and "nicca" meaning "constant, continuous, permanent”. While 'nicca' is the concept of continuity and permanence, 'anicca' refers to its exact opposite; the absence of permanence and continuity. The term is synonymous with the Sanskrit term anitya (a + nitya). The concept of impermanence is prominent in Buddhism, and it is also found in various schools of Hinduism and Jainism. The term also appears in the Rigveda.

Arhat

In Buddhism, an arhat (Sanskrit) or arahant (Pali) is a living person who has reached Enlightenment. Mahayana Buddhist traditions have used the term for people far advanced along the path of Enlightenment, but who may not have reached full Buddhahood.

Bhāvacakra

The bhāvacakra is a symbolic representation of saṃsāra (or cyclic existence). It is found on the outside walls of Tibetan Buddhist temples and monasteries in the Indo-Tibetan region, to help ordinary people understand Buddhist teachings. It is used in Indian Buddhism & Tibetian Buddhism.

Bhante

The polite particle used to refer to Buddhist monks in the Theravada tradition. Bhante literally means "Venerable Sir."

Bodhisattvas

Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who postpone their own salvation in order to help all sentient beings.

List of Bodhisattvas

Akasagarbha

The Bodhisattva of infinite happiness generated by helping countless numbers of sentient beings. He manifests wisdom.

Avalokitesvara

The bodhisattva of compassion, the listener of the world's cries who uses skillful means to come to their aid; the most universally acknowledged Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism. Known as Guan Yin in East Asia, Chenrezig in Tibet, and Migjid Janraisig in Mongolia. He is described as holding a lotus flower.

Ksitigarbha

It means Earth Womb. The bodhisattva of the beings suffering in hellish realms, or the bodhisattva of great vows. He is revered as the guardian of children and patron deity of deceased children.

Mahasthamaprapta

Represents the power of wisdom, seen on the left of Amitabha in Pure Land Buddhism.

Maitreya

Also known as Ajita Boddhisattva. The bodhisattva to be reborn and to become enlightened, thus succeeding Gautama Buddha in the future. Known for his benevolence. He keeps a Kumbha or phililal in his hand and is destined to rule Varanasi (Pure Land).

Manjusri

Bodhisattva of keen awareness and wisdom. Wields a flaming sword in his right hand

Nagarjuna

The founder of the Madhyamaka (Middle Path) school of Mahāyāna Buddhism.

Niō

Two wrath-filled and muscular guardians of the Buddha, standing today at the entrance of many Buddhist temples in Japan and Korea under the appearance of frightening wrestler-like statues. They are manifestations of the Bodhisattva Vajrapani.

Padmasambhava

Most associated with Tibetan Buddhism and Bhutanese Buddhism. The Nyingma school regards Padmasambhava as a second Buddha.

Samantabhadra

Represents the practice and meditation of all Buddhas.

Sangharama

Only revered in Chinese Buddhism-Taoism, Sangharama refer to a group of devas who guard Buddhist monasteries and the faith, but the title is usually referring to the legendary Chinese military general Guan Yu, who became a Dharmapala through becoming a Buddhist and making vows.

Sitatapatra

The goddess of the White Parasol and protector against supernatural danger.

Skanda

A Dharmapala who guards the Dharma, with links to Vajrapani and is somewhat the direct forbear to Murugan, a Hindu deity. Primarily worshipped in Chinese Buddhism.

Supushpachandra

One of two attendants of Bhaisajyaguru Buddha.

Tara

Female bodhisattva, or set of bodhisattvas, in Tibetan Buddhism. She represents the virtues of success in work and achievements. Also a manifestation of Avalokitesvara.

Vajrapani

He is described as one of the 3 protective deities around Buddha, other are Manjusri and Avlokiteshwara. Vajrapani manifests Buddha’s power while Buddha’s wisdom is manifested Buddha’s wisdom and Avlokiteshwara manifests Buddha’s compassion.

Vasudhara

Bodhisattva of abundance and fertility. Popular in Nepal.

Dhammapada

The Dhammapada is a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scriptures. The original version of the Dhammapada is in the Khuddaka Nikaya, a division of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism.

Dharmapala

A dharmapāla is a type of wrathful god in Buddhism. The name means "Dharma protector or defender" in Sanskrit, and the dharmapālas are also known as the Defenders of the Law (Dharma), or the Protectors of the Law. There are two kinds of dharmapala, Worldly Protectors and Wisdom Protectors. Only Wisdom Protectors are enlightened beings.

Dīpankara

Dīpankara is one of the Buddhas of the past. He is said to have lived on Earth one hundred thousand aeons ago. According to some Buddhist traditions, Dīpankara was a Buddha who reached enlightenment eons prior to Gautama Buddha, the historical Buddha.

Generally, Buddhists believe that there has been a succession of many Buddhas in the distant past and that many more will appear in the future; Dīpankara, then, would be one of numerous previous Buddhas, while Gautama was the most recent, and Maitreya will be the next Buddha in the future.

Gassho

A position used for greeting, with the palms together and fingers pointing upwards in prayer position; used in various Buddhist traditions, but also used in numerous cultures throughout Asia. It expresses greeting, request, thankfulness, reverence and prayer. Also considered a mudra or inkei of Japanese Shingon.

Kakusandha Buddha

Kakusandha Buddha (Pāli), is one of the ancient Buddhas whose biography is chronicled in Buddhavamsa, one of the books of the Pāli Canon.

According to Theravāda Buddhist tradition, Kakusandha is the twenty-fifth of the twenty-nine named Buddhas, the fourth of the Seven Buddhas of Antiquity, and the first of the five Buddhas of the present kalpa.

  • kalpa is the period of time between the creation and recreation of a world or universe. In the Pali language of early Buddhism, the word takes the form kappa, and is mentioned in the assumed oldest scripture of Buddhism, the Sutta Nipata.

The present kalpa is called the bhadrakalpa (Auspicious aeon). The five Buddhas of the present kalpa are:

  • Kakusandha (the first Buddha of the bhadrakalpa)
  • Koṇāgamana (the second Buddha of the bhadrakalpa)
  • Kassapa (the third Buddha of the bhadrakalpa)
  • Gautama (the fourth and present Buddha of the bhadrakalpa)
  • Maitreya (the fifth and future Buddha of the bhadrakalpa)

Kshanti

Kshanti or khanti (Pāli) is patience, forbearance and forgiveness. It is one of the pāramitās in both Theravāda and Mahāyāna Buddhism.

Kumbhāṇḍa

A kumbhāṇḍa (Sanskrit) or kumbhaṇḍa (Pāli) is one of a group of dwarfish, misshapen spirits among the lesser deities of Buddhist mythology. The terms kumbhāṇḍa and yakṣa are sometimes used for the same person.

Madhyamaka

The Madhyamaka school of Buddhism, the followers of which are called Mādhyamikas, was one of the two principal schools of Mahāyāna Buddhism in India, the other school being the Yogācāra. The name of the school is a reference to the claim made of Buddhism in general that it is a middle path (madhyamā pratipad) that avoids the two extremes of eternalism. This practice was founded by the Indian philosopher Nāgārjuna. Madhyamaka also refers to the ultimate nature of phenomena and the realization of this in meditative equipoise.

Mahabhuti

In Buddhism, the four Great Elements (Pali: cattāro mahābhūtāni) are earth, water, fire and air. Mahābhūta is generally synonymous with catudhātu, which is Pāli for the "Four Elements."

Mahāmudrā

Mahāmudrā literally means "great seal" or "great imprint" and refers to the fact that "all phenomena inevitably are stamped by the fact of wisdom and emptiness inseparable."

Nekkhamma

Nekkhamma is a Pali word generally translated as "renunciation" or "the pleasure of renunciation" while also conveying more specifically "giving up the world and leading a holy life" or "freedom from lust, craving and desires." In Buddhism's Noble Eightfold Path, nekkhamma is the first practice associated with "Right Intention." In the Theravada list of ten perfections, nekkhamma is the third practice of "perfection." It involves non-attachment (detachment). 

Nirvana

Nirvana is the highest state that someone can attain, a state of enlightenment, meaning a person's individual desires and suffering go away.

The origin of the word nirvana relates to religious enlightenment; it comes from the Sanskrit meaning "extinction, disappearance" of the individual to the universal.

Four Noble Truths

The Four Noble Truths refer to and express the basic orientation of Buddhism. This is the four pillars the principle of Nirvana rests on. The four truths describe dukkha and its ending as a means to reach peace of mind in this life, but also as a means to end rebirth.

Suffering (Dukkha)

Buddha describes,

Birth is suffering

Aging is suffering

Illness is suffering

Death is suffering

Union with what is displeasing is suffering

Separation from what is pleasing is suffering

Not to get what one wants is suffering

In brief, the five aggregates (which you learn soon) subject to clinging are suffering.

Origin of suffering (Samudaya)

Samudaya explains the origin of suffering. It is this craving (tanha) which leads to re-becoming, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there; craving for sensual pleasures, craving for becoming, and craving for disbecoming.

Cessation of suffering (Nirodha)

Nirodha is acceptance of the cessation of suffering. It is the remainder less fading away and cessation of the craving (tanha), the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, non-reliance on it.

The path leading to cessation (Marga)

This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering (Nirvana). It is this noble eightfold path or middle path achieving right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

Pabbajjā

Pabbajjā (Pali; Sanskrit.: pravrajya) literally means "to go forth" and refers to when a layperson leaves home to live the life of a Buddhist renunciate among a community of bhikkhus (fully ordained monks). This generally involves preliminary ordination as a novice (m. samanera, f. samaneri). It is sometimes referred to as "lower ordination". After a period or when the novice reaches 20 years of age, the novice can be considered for the upasampadā ordination (or "higher ordination") whereby the novice becomes a monk (bhikkhu) or nun (bhikkhuni).

Paramārtha

Paramartha (499-569 CE) was an Indian monk from Ujjain in central India, who is best known for his prolific Chinese translations which include Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakośa. Paramārtha is considered one of the greatest translators of sutras in Chinese Buddhism, along with Kumārajīva and Xuanzang.

Pāramitā 

Pāramitā (SanskritPali) or pāramī (Pāli), is a Buddhist term often translated as "perfection". It is described in Buddhist commentaries as noble character qualities generally associated with enlightened beings. 

Parinirvana

In Buddhism, parinirvana (Sanskrit: parinirvāṇa; Pali: parinibbāna) is commonly used to refer to nirvana-after-death, which occurs upon the death of someone who has attained nirvana during his or her lifetime. It implies a release from the Saṃsāra, karma and rebirth as well as the dissolution of the skandhas.

In some Mahāyāna scriptures, notably the Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra, Parinirvāṇa is described as the realm of the eternal true Self of the Buddha.

Prajñā

Prajñā (Sanskrit) or paññā (Pāli), is a Buddhist term often translated as "wisdom", "intelligence", or "understanding". It is described in Buddhist commentaries as the understanding of the true nature of phenomena. In the context of Buddhist meditation, it is the ability to understand the three characteristics of all things: anicca (impermanence), dukkha (dissatisfaction or suffering), and anattā (non-self). Mahāyāna texts describe it as the understanding of śūnyatā (Eng: emptiness). It is part of the Threefold Training in Buddhism, and is one of the ten pāramīs of Theravada Buddhism and one of the six Mahāyāna pāramitās.

Pratītyasamutpāda

It is the theory of dependent origination, which literally means "arising on the ground of a preceding cause," could well be considered the common denominator of all Buddhist traditions throughout the world, whether TheravĀda, MahĀyĀna, or VajrayĀna.

Pratyekabuddha

In the early tradition of the Pāli canon the pratyekabuddha refers to a male individual who has attained enlightenment or insight (bodhi; hence, buddha) by himself. In contrast to a sammāsambuddha (Sanskrit, samyaksaṃbuddha), which is a completely enlightened person, a pratyekabuddha keeps enlightenment for himself (pratyeka) and does not embark on a career of preaching it to others.

Ratnasambhava

Buddha Ratnasambhava is one of the principal 5 Dhyani Buddhas in Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Ratnasambhava represents the wisdom of equality and transforms all inner feelings of pride into vision of equality and equanimity. His name “Ratnasambhava” can be translated as “born from the jewel” or "Origin of Jewels."

Sāmaṇera

One who is making a first approach to full membership of the Buddhist saṅgha (community)—i.e. the equivalent, in Western terms, of a novice monk.

Samatha

Samatha is a Buddhist term that is often translated as the "tranquility of the mind", or "mind-calmness". The Pali Canon describes it as one of two qualities of mind which is developed (bhāvanā) in Buddhist meditation, the other being vipassana (insight). Samatha is said to be achieved by practicing single-pointed meditation. This includes a variety of mind-calming techniques. Samatha is common to many Buddhist traditions.

Saṃsāra

Saṃsāra in Buddhism is the beginning less cycle of repeated birth, mundane existence and dying again. Samsara is considered to be dukkha, suffering, and in general unsatisfactory and painful, perpetuated by desire and avidya (ignorance), and the resulting karma.

Samvriti

In Buddhist context, samvriti refers to the conventional, as opposed to absolute, truth or reality. Knowledge is considered as split into three levels: The first being the illusory (called samvriti, parikalpita or pratibhasika according to different schools of thought), considered false compared to the empirical (samvriti, paratantra or vyavaharika), in turn trumped by the transcendental (paramartha or paramarthika).

Sangha

In Buddhism, sangha refers to the monastic community of bhikkhus (monks) and bhikkhunis (nuns).

Sikhī

According to the Buddhavamsa and buddhist mythology, Sikhī is the twenty-third of twenty-eight Buddhas. The penultimate Buddha of the Alamkarakalpa (Adorned Eon), Sikhī was preceded by Vipassī Buddha and succeeded by Vessabhū Buddha.

Taṇhā

Taṇhā is an important concept in Buddhism, referring to "thirst, desire, longing, greed", either physical or mental. It is typically translated as craving, and is of three types: kāma-taṇhā (craving for sensual pleasures), bhava-taṇhā (craving for existence), and vibhava-taṇhā (craving for non-existence).

Taṇhā appears in the Four Noble Truths, wherein taṇhā is the cause of dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness) and the cycle of repeated birth, becoming and death (Saṃsāra).

Three Jewels

Three things that Buddhists take refuge in: the Buddha, his teachings (Dharma) and the community of realized practitioners (Sangha), and in return look toward for guidance (see also Refuge (Buddhism).

Tiantai

Tiantai is a school of Buddhism in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam that reveres the Lotus Sutra as the highest teaching in Buddhism.

Trailokya

Trailokya has been translated as "three worlds" “three spheres," "three planes of existence," "three realms" and "three regions."

In Buddhism, the three worlds refer to the following destinations for karmic rebirth:

  • Kāmaloka the world of desire, typified by base desires, populated by hell beings, preta, animals, ghosts, humans and lower demi-gods.
  • Rūpaloka is the world of form, predominately free of baser desires, populated by dhyāna-dwelling gods, possible rebirth destination for those well practiced in dhyāna.
  • Arūpaloka is the world of formlessness, a noncorporeal realm populated with four heavens, possible rebirth destination for practitioners of the four formlessness stages.

Tulku

A Tulku is a reincarnate custodian of a specific lineage of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism who is given empowerments and trained from a young age by students of his or her predecessor.

Examples of tulkus include the Dalai Lamas.

Upādāna

It is also an important Buddhist concept referring to "attachment, clinging, grasping". It is considered to be the result of taṇhā (craving), and is part of the dukkha (suffering, pain) doctrine in Buddhism.

Upadhyaya

In Buddhism, an upadhyaya is a religious functionary responsible for guiding novices, hearing monastic vows and entrusting monastic precepts on ordinands. The word is usually translated either as abbot, preceptor or master of novices. An upadhyaya has customarily spent at least ten years in a Buddhist monastery before given this appointment.

Upāsaka

Upāsaka (masculine) or Upāsikā (feminine) refers to Buddhists who are not monks, nuns or novices belonging to a particular monastic community but nevertheless still undertake certain ethical vows to cultivate beneficial Buddhist modes of behavior. The five ethical vows undertaken by an Upāsaka (known as the "Five Precepts" offer guidelines for the behavior of Buddhist lay-devotees who are inspired to follow the Buddha's eight-fold path.

Upaya

Upaya is a term used in Buddhism to refer to an aspect of guidance along the Buddhist paths to liberation where a conscious, voluntary action "is driven by an incomplete reasoning" about its direction. Upaya is often used with kaushalya, upaya-kaushalya meaning "skill in means".

Upekṣā

Upekṣā is the Buddhist concept of equanimity. As one of the Brahma Vihara (meditative states), it is a pure mental state cultivated on the Buddhist path to nirvāna.

Urna

In Buddhist art and culture, the Urna is a spiral or circular dot placed on the forehead of Buddhist images as an auspicious mark. It symbolizes a third eye, which in turn symbolizes vision into the divine world; a sort of ability to see past our mundane universe of suffering.

Vipassanā

Vipassanā is a Buddhist term that is often translated as "insight". The Pali Canon describes it as one of two qualities of mind which is developed (bhāvanā) in Buddhist meditation, the other being samatha (mind calming). It is often defined as a form of meditation that seeks "insight into the true nature of reality", defined as anicca "impermanence", dukkha "suffering, unsatisfactoriness", anattā "non-self", the three marks of existence in the Theravada tradition, and as śūnyatā "emptiness" and Buddha-nature in the Mahayana traditions.

Viriya

In Buddhism's Pali literature, viriya is identified as critical component in each of the following sets of qualities conducive to Enlightenment (bodhi-pakkhiyā-dhammā):

  • the five spiritual faculties (indriya)
  • the five powers (bala)
  • the ten or six "perfections" (pāramitās)
  • the seven factors of enlightenment (bojjhaṅga).[6]

It is also associated with "Right Effort" (sammā-vāyāma) of the Noble Eightfold Path  and with the "Four Right Exertions" (samma-ppadhāna).

Yāna

Yāna refers to a mode or method of spiritual practice in Buddhism, and in particular to divisions of various schools of Buddhism according to their type of practice.

Ten Epithets (titles) of Buddha

  1. Tathagata - Thus Come One
  2. Arhat - Worthy of offerings & reverance
  3. Anuttara Samyaksamuddha - The one who has attained complete enlightenment, truly omniscient
  4. Vidyacarana-Samanna - perfect accordance of knowledge & conduct
  5. Sugata - well departed
  6. Lokavid - understanding the world
  7. Anuttara - unexcelled, unsurpassed one
  8. Purusa Damya Sarathi - trainer of men
  9. Sasta Devamanusyanam - Teacher of deity & humans
  10. Buddha-Bhagavat - Enlightened The World Honored One

Satori

Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term for awakening, "comprehension; understanding".

Sutra

A written text of the teachings of the Buddha and his early followers. The sutra collections of Theravada and Mahayana traditions differ widely, and Mahayana tradition includes teachings from the bodhisattvas as well.

Bardo

According to Tibetan tradition, the state of consciousness between death and rebirth. 

Skandha

Literally "heap," this refers to the various components that make up all existence, including human existence. Physical substance the first component) gives rise to sensation (the second) which gives rise to perception which gives rise to emotional response which gives rise to "mind" or consciousness of "self." None is permanent.

Vihara

Literally, "dwelling" or "refuge," the Buddhist monastery. Initially, it was a shelter for the rainy season only, but in time came to be a permanent home for a sangha. The construction of a vihara is usually undertaken by a wealthy benefactor, rather than as an act of the sangha itself. As a result, many are beautiful examples of architecture.

Dharma (dhamma)

the teachings of the Buddha.

Dharmakaya

Buddha-mind, the pervasive essence

Mahakyashapa

The monk who understood the silent sermon and led the first council.

Mandala

A complex, circular, symmetrical image used in meditation.

Mudita

Sympathetic joy, being happy for others, without a trace of envy. One of the four brahma vihara.

Prajñaparamita

A massive collection of Mahayana texts, including the Heart and Diamond Sutras.

Samjña

Perception

Sambhogakaya

Buddha as a deva or god.

Shakyamuni

Sage of the Sakyas, a name for the Buddha.

Appamada [appamaada]

Heedfulness; diligence; zeal. The cornerstone of all skillful mental states, and one of such fundamental import that the Buddha stressed it in his parting words to his disciples: "All fabrications are subject to decay. Bring about completion by being heedful!."

Jhana {Sanskrit dhyana]

Mental absorption. A state of strong concentration focused on a single physical sensation (resulting in rupa jhana) or mental notion (resulting in arupa jhana). Development of jhana arises from the temporary suspension of the five hindrances through the development of five mental factors: vitakka (directed thought), vicara (evaluation), piti (rapture), sukha (pleasure), and ekaggatarammana (singleness of preoccupation).

Mara [maara]

The personification of evil and temptation.

Metta [mettaa]

Loving-kindness; goodwill. One of the ten perfections (paramis) and one of the four "sublime abodes" (brahma-vihara).

Mudita

Appreciative/sympathetic joy. Taking delight in one's own goodness and that of others. One of the ten perfections (paramis) and one of the four "sublime abodes"

Papanca 

Complication, proliferation. The tendency of the mind to proliferate issues from the sense of "self." This term can also be translated as self-reflexive thinking, reification, falsification, distortion, elaboration, or exaggeration. In the discourses, it is frequently used in analyses of the psychology of conflict.

Parami, paramita

Perfection of the character. A group of ten qualities developed over many lifetimes by a bodhisatta, which appear as a group in the Pali Canon only in the Jataka ("Birth Stories"): generosity (dana), virtue (sila), renunciation (nekkhamma), discernment (panna), energy/persistence (viriya), patience/forbearance (khanti), truthfulness (sacca), determination (adhitthana), good will (metta), and equanimity (upekkha).

Piti

Rapture; bliss; delight. In meditation, a pleasurable quality in the mind that reaches full maturity upon the development of the second level of jhana.

Saddha

Conviction, faith. A confidence in the Buddha that gives one the willingness to put his teachings into practice. Conviction becomes unshakeable upon the attainment of stream-entry.

Samadhi

Concentration; the practice of centering the mind in a single sensation or preoccupation, usually to the point of jhana.

Vajrapani

The embodiment of the power of all the Buddhas. He appears in a wrathful aspect, displaying his power to overcome outer, inner, and secret obstacles. At the time of Buddha Shakyamuni he manifested as a Bodhisattva disciple in order to show Buddha’s disciples how to be perfect Mahayana disciples.

Vasubhandu

A great Indian Buddhist scholar of the fifth century who was converted to the Mahayana by his older brother, Asanga. He wrote Treasury of Abhidharma (Skt. Abhidharmakosha).

Avalokiteshvara

The embodiment of the compassion of all the Buddhas. Sometimes he appears with one face and four arms, and sometimes with eleven faces and a thousand arms. At the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, he manifested as a Bodhisattva disciple.

Hand Gestures of Buddha