Buddhist Terms Explanation


Buddhist Terms
Sanskrit anupadhiśeṣa-nirvāṇa
Chinese 無餘涅槃 ;
無餘依涅槃
English Nirvana Without Remainder ;
Unconditioned Nirvana ;
Unlimited Nirvana
Explanation The state of total liberation from all physical and mental conditions. This is in contrast to Nirvana With Remainder, where the body still exists.

In this nirvana, all hindrances due to defilement in the mind are cut off, and the body that is composed of the five skandhas is extinguished, therefore there is nothing remaining to depend upon, thus it is called Nirvana Without Remainder.

Please note that Nirvana Without Remainder is not equal to death, because after one's death, although his body is vanished, his mind, which may contain lots of defilements, will continue to function and make him reborn in another body.

As Mahayana Secret Sublime Sutra (Taisho Tripitaka 0681 & 0682) says:
    Those who belong to Exterior-Paths
    say that destruction and annihilation are Nirvana,
    but this is not true,
    for destruction should be regarded as an action,
    in both non-existence and existence,
    errors are produced repeatedly.
    The ten types of karma
    are classified as superior, middling, and inferior.
    From there those of the three vehicles arise,
    and the most exalted ones come into the Secret Sublime World.
    From one Bhumi to another Bhumi,
    they keep advancing
    therefore they finally attain the Wisdom of Liberation
    and the subtle and wonderful bodies of Tathagata,
    so how can it be said that
    Nirvana is a dharma of destruction and annihilation?
One must defeat the demon of death to become a Buddha, therefore a Buddha does not die; a Buddha also overcomes the demon of skandha, therefore He may manifest that He abandons His flesh body composed of the five skandhas. In fact, a Buddha, while staying in Samadhi, can synchronously manifest infinite bodies and scenes at anywhere and anytime, thus, when one of His manifestations enters into Nirvana, another one may be doing anything. For detailed description on this unimaginable state, please read Mahayana Secret Sublime Sutra and Tathagata's Unimaginable State Sutra.
 
Sanskrit ṣaṭ-parāyaṇa-dharma
Chinese 六和敬 (Loc Whaw Ging) ;
六和敬法 (Loc Whaw Ging Faad)
English the Six Harmonious Dharmas
Explanation The practitioners who live together should be harmonious and respect each other. To achieve this, they should follow these six ways, which are:

1. keeping the same correct precepts (同戒和敬);
2. having the same correct views (同見和敬);
3. carrying out the same correct practices (同行和敬);
4. their bodily actions should be benevolent (身慈和敬);
5. their verbal actions should be benevolent (口慈和敬);
6. their mind actions should be benevolent (意慈和敬);

In addition, another explanation of the Six Harmonious Dharmas is:

1. do bodily actions based on a benevolent heart (以慈心起身業);
2. do verbal actions based on a benevolent heart (以慈心起口業);
3. do mind actions based on a benevolent heart (以慈心起意業);
4. if you (as a monk) get some valuable offerings from your supporters, you should share the offerings with other monks (若得重養。與人共之);
5. keep the precepts purely (持戒清淨);
6. cultivate the wisdom of non-leaking (修漏盡慧);
 
Sanskrit saptatriṃśad-bodhi-pakṣikādharmāḥ ;
sapta-triṃśad-bodhi-pakṣyān dharmān ;
saptatriṃśat bodhipakṣika dharma
Chinese 三十七道品 ;
三十七菩提分法 ;
三十七品助道法
English The Thirty-seven Aids to Enlightenment
Explanation The thirty-seven kinds of practices for the attainment of enlightenment, they are:

The Four Bases of Mindfulness (四念處);
The Four Right Efforts (四正勤);
The Four Supernatural Abilities (四神足);
The Five Roots of Goodness (五根);
The Five Powers (五力);
The Seven Factors of Enlightenment (七覺支);
The Eightfold Holy Path (八聖道)
 
Sanskrit catvāri mahā-bhūtāni / mahā-bhūta / dhātu
Chinese 四大 (Sei Dai)
English the four gross elements ;
the four great elements ;
the four greatnesses
Explanation the basic elements that all substances are composed of. They are:

(1) 地 the earth element (Pṛthivī dhātu), which has the basic quality of hardness and the function of protection;

(2) 水 water (ab-dhātu), which has the function of gathering and storing wetness;

(3) 火 fire (teja-dhātu), which is the nature of heat and has the function of warming;

(4) 風 wind (vāyū-dhātu), which has the function of giving life to all living things.
 
Sanskrit catvāri-apramānāna
Chinese 四無量心 (Sei Moe Leong Sum)
English the Four Immeasurable Minds
Explanation The Four Immeasurable Minds are:

benevolence (慈),
compassion (悲),
sympathetic joy (喜),
impartiality (舍)
 
Sanskrit catuḥ-saṃgraha-vastu ;
catuḥ-saṃgaraha-vastu ;
Chinese 四攝法 / 四攝事  (Sei Sip Faad / Sei Sip See)
English the four Dharmas of attraction ;
the four methods of winning (people) over
Explanation The four methods that Bodhisattvas employ to approach and save living beings. They are:

1. Giving (布施), giving the gift of Dharma or something that people like;
2. Using kind words (愛語);
3. Acting for the purpose of benefit to them (利行);
4. Physically working together with them (同事).
 
Sanskrit dvādaśa-astanga pratītyasamutpāda ;
dvādaśâṅgaḥ pratītya-samutpādaḥ ;
dvādaśa-nidāna ;
dvādaśa-pratītya-samutpāda
Chinese 十二因緣 (Sup Yee Yun Yioon)
English the twelve interconnected causes;
the twelve causes and conditions;
the twelve-linked chain of causation;
the twelve limbs of dependent origination
Explanation The twelve interconnected causes are:

1. non-brightness [ignorance] (無明);
2. action (行);
3. consciousness (識);
4. name and form (名色);
5. the six sense organs (六入);
6. touch (觸);
7. feel (受);
8. craving (愛);
9. grasping (取);
10. becoming (有);
11. birth (生);
12. aging and death (老死)
 
Sanskrit danapati
Chinese 檀越 (Taan Yiud)
English devoted donor;
Explanation A believer who supports the holy teachings and monks with his / her donation.
 
Sanskrit pańca-maṇḍala
Chinese 五體 (Ng Tai) / 五輪 (Ng Lurn)
English the five bodily parts / the five wheels
Explanation The five bodily parts are:
1. The right knee;
2. The left knee;
3. The right hand;
4. The left hand;
5. The head
 
Sanskrit pańca-kaṣāya
Chinese 五濁 (Ng Tzoc)
English the five turbidities
Explanation The five turbidities are:
1. The turbidity of time;
2. The turbidity of views;
3. The turbidity of afflictions;
4. The turbidity of living beings;
5. The turbidity of lifespan
 
Sanskrit tribhir-yāna
Chinese 三乘 (Saam Sing)
English the three vehicles
Explanation The three vehicles are:
1. The vehicle of Voice-hearer [Sravaka];
2. The vehicle of Conditional-Awakener [Pratyeka-buddha];
3. The vehicle of Bodhisattva.

The vehicle of Bodhisattva is also called Great vehicle [Mahayana], and the vehicle of Sravaka and Pratyeka-buddha is called Small vehicle [Hinayana].
 
Sanskrit saddharma
Chinese 正法
English Proper Dharma ;
Correct Law ;
True Dharma
Explanation The first period of the three periods of a Buddha's Dharma.
 
Sanskrit saddharma-pratirūpaka
Chinese 像法
English Semblance Dharma ;
Counterfeit Law ;
Dharma Resemblance Age
Explanation The second period of the three periods of a Buddha's Dharma.
 
Sanskrit saddharma-vipralopa
Chinese 末法
English Degenerate Dharma ;
Dharma-ending Age ;
Latter Day of the Law
Explanation The last period of a Buddha's Dharma.