The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism
The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism
Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.
WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF
|Juhn Ahn||Sumi Lee|
|J. Wayne Bass||Patrick Pranke|
|William Chu||Andrew Quintman|
|Amanda Goodman||Gareth Sparham|
|Hyoung Seok Ham||Maya Stiller|
|Seong-Uk Kim||Harumi Ziegler|
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS
PRINCETON AND OXFORD
Copyright © 2014 by Princeton University Press
Published by Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey 08540
In the United Kingdom: Princeton University Press, 6 Oxford Street, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1TW
Jacket Photograph: Buddha portrait. © Anna Jurkovska. Courtesy of Shutterstock.
All Rights Reserved
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The Princeton dictionary of Buddhism / Robert E. Buswell, Jr. and Donald S. Lopez, Jr. ;
with the assistance of Juhn Ahn, J. Wayne Bass, William Chu, Amanda Goodman, Hyoung Seok Ham, Seong-Uk Kim,
Sumi Lee, Patrick Pranke, Andrew Quintman, Gareth Sparham, Maya Stiller, Harumi Ziegler.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN-13: 978-0-691-15786-3 (cloth : alk. paper)
ISBN-10: 0-691-15786-3 (cloth : alk. paper) 1. Buddhism—Dictionaries. I. Buswell, Robert E., author, editor of compilation.
II. Lopez, Donald S., 1952- author, editor of compilation.
British Library Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available
This book has been composed in Adobe Garamond Pro with Myriad Display
Printed on acid-free paper. ∞
Printed in the United States of America
3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
At more than one million words, this is the largest dictionary of Buddhism ever produced in the English language. Yet even at this length, it only begins to represent the full breadth and depth of the Buddhist tradition. Many great dictionaries and glossaries have been produced in Asia over the long history of Buddhism and Buddhist Studies. One thinks immediately of works like the Mahāvyutpatti, the ninth-century Tibetan-Sanskrit lexicon said to have been commissioned by the king of Tibet to serve as a guide for translators of the dharma. It contains 9,565 entries in 283 categories. One of the great achievements of twentieth-century Buddhology was the Bukkyō Daijiten (“Encyclopedia of Buddhism”), published in ten massive volumes between 1932 and 1964 by the distinguished Japanese scholar Mochizuki Shinkō. Among English-language works, there is William Soothill and Lewis Hodous’s A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms, published in 1937, and, from the same year, G. P. Malalasekera’s invaluable Dictionary of Pāli Proper Names. In preparing the present dictionary, we have sought to build upon these classic works in substantial ways.
Apart from the remarkable learning that these earlier works display, two things are noteworthy about them. The first is that they are principally based on a single source language or Buddhist tradition. The second is that they are all at least a half-century old. Many things have changed in the field of Buddhist Studies over the past fifty years, some for the worse, some very much for the better. One looks back in awe at figures like Louis de la Vallée Poussin and his student Msgr. Étienne Lamotte, who were able to use sources in Sanskrit, Pāli, Chinese, Japanese, and Tibetan with a high level of skill. Today, few scholars have the luxury of time to develop such expertise. Yet this change is not necessarily a sign of the decline of the dharma predicted by the Buddha; from several perspectives, we are now in the golden age of Buddhist Studies. A century ago, scholarship on Buddhism focused on the classical texts of India and, to a much lesser extent, China. Tibetan and Chinese sources were valued largely for the access they provided to Indian texts lost in the original Sanskrit. The Buddhism of Korea was seen as an appendage to the Buddhism of China or as a largely unacknowledged source of the Buddhism of Japan. Beyond the works of “the Pāli canon,” relatively little was known of the practice of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. All of this has changed for the better over the past half century. There are now many more scholars of Buddhism, there is a much higher level of specialization, and there is a larger body of important scholarship on each of the many Buddhist cultures of Asia. In addition, the number of adherents of Buddhism in the West has grown significantly, with many developing an extensive knowledge of a particular Buddhist tradition, whether or not they hold the academic credentials of a professional Buddhologist. It has been our good fortune to be able to draw upon this expanding body of scholarship in preparing The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism.
This new dictionary seeks to address the needs of this present age. For the great majority of scholars of Buddhism, who do not command all of the major Buddhist languages, this reference book provides a repository of many of the most important terms used across the traditions, and their rendering in several Buddhist languages. For the college professor who teaches “Introduction to Buddhism” every year, requiring one to venture beyond one’s particular area of geographical and doctrinal expertise, it provides descriptions of many of the important figures and texts in the major traditions. For the student of Buddhism, whether inside or outside the classroom, it offers information on many fundamental doctrines and practices of the various traditions of the religion. This dictionary is based primarily on six Buddhist languages and their traditions: Sanskrit, Pāli, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Also included, although appearing much less frequently, are terms and proper names in vernacular Burmese, Lao, Mongolian, Sinhalese, Thai, and Vietnamese. The majority of entries fall into three categories: the terminology of Buddhist doctrine and practice, the texts in which those teachings are set forth, and the persons (both human and divine) who wrote those texts or appear in their pages. In addition, there are entries on important places—including monasteries and sacred mountains—as well as on the major schools and sects of the various Buddhist traditions. The vast majority of the main entries are in their original language, although cross-references are sometimes provided to a common English rendering. Unlike many terminological dictionaries, which merely provide a brief listing of meanings with perhaps some of the equivalencies in various Buddhist languages, this work seeks to function as an encyclopedic dictionary. The main entries offer a short essay on the extended meaning and significance of the terms covered, typically in the range of two hundred to six hundred words, but sometimes substantially longer. To offer further assistance in understanding a term or tracing related concepts, an extensive set of internal cross-references (marked in small capital letters) guides the reader to related entries throughout the dictionary. But even with over a million words and five thousand entries, we constantly had to make difficult choices about what to include and how much to say. Given the long history and vast geographical scope of the Buddhist traditions, it is difficult to imagine any dictionary ever being truly comprehensive. Authors also write about what they know (or would like to know); so inevitably the dictionary reflects our own areas of scholarly expertise, academic interests, and judgments about what readers need to learn about the various Buddhist traditions.
Despite the best efforts of the king of Tibet more than a thousand years ago, it has always been difficult for scholars of Buddhism to agree on translations. That difficulty persists in the present work for a variety of reasons, including the different ways that Buddhist scholiasts chose to translate technical terms into their various languages over the centuries, the preferences of the many modern scholars whose works we consulted, and the relative stubbornness of the authors. As a result, there will inevitably be some variation in the renderings of specific Buddhist terminology in the pages that follow. In our main entries, however, we have tried to guide users to the range of possible English translations that have been used to render a term. In addition, a significant effort has been made to provide the original language equivalencies in parentheses so that specialists in those languages can draw their own conclusions as to the appropriate rendering.
This book represents more than twelve years of effort. Donald Lopez initiated the project with the assistance of several of his graduate students at the University of Michigan, many of whom have now gone on to receive their degrees and be appointed to university positions. Around that time, Robert Buswell asked Lopez to serve as one of the editors of his two-volume Encyclopedia of Buddhism (New York: Macmillan Reference, 2004). When that project was completed, Lopez invited Buswell to join him as coauthor of the dictionary project, an offer he enthusiastically accepted, bringing with him his own team of graduate students from UCLA. In dividing up responsibilities for the dictionary, Buswell took principal charge of entries on mainstream Buddhist concepts, Indian abhidharma, and East Asian Buddhism; Lopez took principal charge of entries on Mahāyāna Buddhism in India, Buddhist tantra, and Tibetan Buddhism. Once drafts of the respective sections were complete, we exchanged files to review each other’s sections. Over the last seven years, we were in touch almost daily on one or another aspect of the project as we expanded upon and edited each other’s drafts, making this a collaborative project in the best sense of the term. Graduate students at both the University of Michigan and UCLA assisted in gathering materials for the dictionary, preparing initial drafts, and tracing the multiple cross-references to Asian language terms. This project would have been impossible without their unstinting assistance and extraordinary commitment; we are grateful to each of them. Those graduate students and colleagues who made particularly extensive contributions to the dictionary are listed on the title page.
In addition to its more than five thousand main entries, this volume also contains a number of reference tools. Because the various historical periods and dynasties of India, China, Korea, and Japan appear repeatedly in the entries, historical chronologies of the Buddhist periods of those four countries have been provided. In order to compare what events were occurring across the Buddhist world at any given time, we have provided a timeline of Buddhism. Eight maps are provided, showing regions of the Buddhist world and of the traditional Buddhist cosmology. We have also included a List of Lists. Anyone with the slightest familiarity with Buddhism has been struck by the Buddhist propensity for making lists of almost anything. The Mahāvyutpatti is in fact organized not alphabetically but by list, including such familiar lists as the four noble truths, the twelve links of dependent origination, and the thirty-two major marks of the Buddha, as well as less familiar lists, such as various kinds of grain (twenty items) and types of ornaments (sixty-four items). Here we have endeavored to include several of the most important lists, beginning with the one vehicle and ending with the one hundred dharmas of the Yogācāra school. After some discussion, we decided to forgo listing the 84,000 afflictions and their 84,000 antidotes.
Our first debt of gratitude is to the several generations of scholars of Buddhism around the world whose research we have mined shamelessly in the course of preparing our entries. We are unable to mention them by name, but those who remain during the present lifetime will recognize the fruits of their research as they read the entries. In addition to our collaborators listed on the title page, we would like to thank the following graduate students and colleagues, each of whom assisted with some of the myriad details of such a massive project: Wesley Borton, Bonnie Brereton, Tyler Cann, Caleb Carter, Mui-fong Choi, Shayne Clarke, Jacob Dalton, Martino Dibeltulo, Alexander Gardner, Heng Yi fashi (Chi Chen Ho), Anna Johnson, Min Ku Kim, Youme Kim, Alison Melnick, Karen Muldoon-Hules, Cuong Tu Nguyen, Aaron Proffitt, Cedar Bough Saeji, and Sherin Wing. In addition, we would like to thank our long-suffering colleagues: William Bodiford, Gregory Schopen, Natasha Heller, Stephanie Jamison, and Jennifer Jung-Kim at UCLA, and Madhav Deshpande, Luis Gómez, Robert Sharf, and James Robson, now or formerly at the University of Michigan. The map of Tibet was designed by Tsering Wangyal Shawa; the map of Japan and Korea was designed by Maya Stiller; all other maps were designed by Trevor Weltman. Christina Lee Buswell also provided invaluable assistance with preparing the lists of language cross-references.
Financial support for the project was provided by the Numata Fund in Buddhist Studies and the 14th Dalai Lama Fund in Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies; the UCLA Academic Senate Faculty Research Grant Program; the UCLA International Institute; the University of Michigan Institute for the Study of Buddhist Traditions; and the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. A generous supplemental grant to help complete the project was provided by Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (America).
No single language crosses all of the linguistic and cultural boundaries of the Buddhist tradition. However, in order to present Buddhist terms that are used across this diverse expanse, it is convenient to employ a single linguistic vocabulary. For this reason European and North American scholars have, over the last century, come to use Sanskrit as the lingua franca of the academic discipline of Buddhist Studies. Following this scholarly convention we have used Sanskrit, and often Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit forms, in our main entry headings for the majority of Indic-origin terms that appear across the Buddhist traditions. Pāli, Tibetan, or Chinese terms are occasionally used where that form is more commonly known in Western writings on Buddhism. We have attempted to avoid unattested Sanskrit equivalents for terms in Pāli and other Middle Indic languages, generally marking any hypothetical forms with an asterisk. These main entry headings are accompanied by cognate forms in Pāli, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (abbreviated as P., T., C., J., and K., respectively), followed by the Sinographs (viz., Chinese characters) commonly used in the East Asian traditions. For those Indian terms that are known only or principally in the Pāli tradition, the main entry heading is listed in Pāli (e.g., bhavaṅga). Terms used across the East Asian traditions are typically listed by their Chinese pronunciation with Japanese and Korean cross-references, with occasional Japanese or Korean headings for terms that are especially important in those traditions. Tibetan terms are in Tibetan, with Sanskrit or Chinese cognates where relevant. In order that the reader may trace a standard term through any of the languages we cover in the dictionary, we also provide cross-references to each of the other languages at the end of the volume in a section called Cross-References by Language. In both the main entries and the Cross-References by Language, words have been alphabetized without consideration of diacritical marks and word breaks.
Book titles are generally given in the language of original provenance, e.g., Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra, in Sanskrit, with cross-references to Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean; Dasheng qixin lun, in Chinese, with cross-references to a putative Sanskrit reconstruction of the title, and Japanese and Korean. We also include some main entries to indigenous terms, book titles, personal names, or place names in other Asian languages, e.g.: Burmese, Thai, Lao, Nepalese, Sinhalese, Mongolian, and Vietnamese.
To reduce the amount of capitalization in the dictionary, as a general rule we capitalize only:
proper names: e.g., of historical figures, specific buddhas, bodhisattvas, and divinities;
historical schools: Madhyamaka, Mūlasarvāstivāda, Huayan zong, but not hīnayāna, ekayāna, tathāgatagarbha;
titles of books: e.g., Sukhāvatīvyūhasūtra, Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra;
terrestrial place names: e.g., Jambudvīpa, Śrāvastī, Turfan, but not celestial realms (e.g., tuṣita), infernal realms (avīci), or ideal realms (sukhāvatī).
East Asian monks, especially those in the Chan, Sŏn, Zen, and Thiền schools, often use multiple names throughout their careers, e.g., ordination name, cognomen, toponym (e.g., the mountains, monasteries, hermitages, or regions where they dwelled), posthumous or funerary name, and honorary names and titles conferred by a monarch. Commonly, these monks are listed in their genealogical lineages by a four-Sinograph name, which gives this alternate name first, typically followed by their ordination name: e.g., Linji Yixuan (hermitage name + ordination name), Dongshan Liangjie (mountain name + ordination name), Pojo Chinul (posthumous name/official title + ordination name). The main entries for these monks are found under this common four-Sinograph lineage name, with a blind cross-reference in the main body of the dictionary for their two-Sinograph ordination name; e.g.: Congshen. (C) (從諗). See ZHAOZHOU CONGSHEN.
The dictionary uses the standard Romanization systems for East Asian languages: viz., pinyin for Chinese (rather than the now-superseded Wade-Giles system that most pre-1990s scholarship on Chinese Buddhism used), Revised Hepburn for Japanese, and McCune-Reischauer for Korean, with the transcriptions in some cases modified slightly to conform more closely to the Chinese parsing of compounds. While this dictionary was being compiled, the Korean government unveiled its latest iteration of a Revised Romanization system, but that system is still rarely used in academic writing in the West and its acceptance is uncertain; we therefore chose to employ McCune-Reischauer for this edition of the dictionary.
For Tibetan, the dictionary uses the standard Wylie system of transliteration, with words alphabetized by the first letter, regardless of whether it is the root letter. Tibetan does not have a standard system for rendering words phonetically. For Tibetan terms that appear as main entries, a phonetic approximation has been placed in parentheses following the Wylie transliteration. In addition, a separate listing of Tibetan pronunciations has been provided in the Cross-References by Language, where readers may look up phonetic renderings in order to find the Wylie transliteration used in the main entries.
Unlike Tibetan, where there are generally standard translations for Indian terms, in the East Asian tradition there are a plethora of alternate Sinographic renderings, including both translations and transcriptions (i.e., using the Chinese characters purely for their phonetic value to render Sanskrit or Middle Indic terms). We obviously could not include all possible renderings and have typically chosen one or at most two of the most common, e.g., one translation and one transcription. In addition, in Tibet and China, translations of Indian terms and texts were often given in abbreviated forms. We have attempted to provide the full form in most cases, using the abbreviation when it is the better known version of the term or text.
As a general rule, we provide multiple language equivalencies only for terms that were traditionally known in the other languages. For this reason, many late tantric terms known only in India and Tibet will not have East Asian equivalents (even though equivalents were in some cases created in the twentieth century); Chinese texts not translated into Tibetan will give only Japanese and Korean equivalencies; Japanese and Korean figures and texts not generally known in China will have only Japanese and Korean transcriptions, and so forth.
The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism
A. The first vowel and letter in the Sanskrit alphabet. The phoneme “a” is thought to be the source of all other phonemes and its corresponding letter the origin of all other letters. As the basis of both the Sanskrit phonemic system and the written alphabet, the letter “a” thus comes to be invested with mystical significance as the source of truth, nondifferentiation, and emptiness (ŚŪNYATĀ), or even of the universe as a whole. The PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀSARVATATHĀGATAMĀTĀ-EKĀKṢARĀ, the shortest of the perfection of wisdom scriptures, also describes how the entirety of the perfection of wisdom is subsumed by this one letter. The letter in the Sanskrit SIDDHAM alphabet gained special significance within the esoteric Buddhist traditions in Japan (MIKKYŌ), such as Shingon (see SHINGONSHŪ), which considered it to be the “seed” (BĪJA) of MAHĀVAIROCANA, the central divinity of esoteric Buddhism, and used it in a distinctive type of meditation called AJIKAN (“contemplation of the letter ‘a’”). The letter “a,” which is said to be originally uncreated (AJI HONPUSHŌ), is interpreted to be the essence of all phenomena in the universe and the DHARMAKĀYA of the buddha Mahāvairocana. In the East Asian CHAN traditions, the letter “a” is also sometimes understood to represent the buddha-nature (FOXING, S. BUDDHADHĀTU) of all sentient beings.
abhabbaṭṭhāna. (S. *abhavyasthāna; T. *mi rung ba’i gnas; C. buwei; J. fui; K. purwi 不爲). In Pāli, “condition of being incapable” or “impossibility”; referring to nine immoral acts or inadequacies of character that an ARHAT is incapable of performing or possessing. Because he has destroyed the four ĀSRAVA, or contaminants—of sensuality (KĀMA), becoming (BHAVA), ignorance (AVIDYĀ), and wrong views (DṚṢṬI)—he is rendered forever “incapable” of engaging in the following acts: (1) deliberately killing any living being; (2) theft; (3) sexual intercourse; (4) deliberately lying; (5) accumulating personal possessions for sensual indulgence, as would a layperson; or performing wrong actions prompted by (6) attachment; (7) hatred; (8) stupidity; or (9) fear.
ābhāsvaracitta. In Sanskrit, “mind of clear light.” See PRABHĀSVARACITTA.
ābhāsvarāloka. (P. ābhassaraloka; T. ’od gsal ba; C. jiguangjing tian/guangyintian; J. gokukōjōten/kōonten; K. kŭkkwangjŏng ch’ŏn/kwangŭmch’ŏn 極光淨天/光音天). In Sanskrit, the “heaven of radiant light” (in Chinese, the name is also parsed as the “heaven of radiant sound”), the highest of the three heavens associated with the second concentration (DHYĀNA) of the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPADHĀTU). As the BRAHMĀ divinities dwelling in this realm perpetually experience this profound state of meditation, they are described as subsisting on bliss (PRĪTI) and abiding in ease (SUKHA). Their bodies radiate light in all directions like lightning or like flames from a torch. While the bodies of the divinities of this realm are uniform, their perceptions are diverse, and there is no assurance that they will not be reborn in a lower realm of existence after their death. At the beginning of a world cycle, when the physical world (BHĀJANALOKA) of the sensuous realm (KĀMADHĀTU) has not yet been formed, and at the end of a world cycle when that physical world has been destroyed, many beings are reborn into the ābhāsvarāloka. A BODHISATTVA is never reborn in the immaterial realm (ĀRŪPYADHĀTU) even if he has achieved meditative states consistent with that realm, but he may be reborn in the ābhāsvarāloka. The Buddha once disabused a Brahmā god dwelling in that realm of the mistaken view that he was eternal. This god, whose name was Baka, had been the first living being born in the ābhāsvarāloka after a period of world dissolution, and presumed that no one had existed before him. When the divinities (DEVA) of the ābhāsvarāloka are first reborn in the realm of human beings (MANUṢYA), they may retain their divine attributes for a time, being spontaneously generated rather than born viviparously, and possessing bodies made from subtle materiality rather than gross matter. However, as time passes and they take on the physical and mental characteristics of ordinary human beings, they lose their luminosity, develop sexual characteristics, and come to subsist on solid foods.
abhayadāna. (T. mi ’jigs pa sbyin pa; C. wuwei [bu]shi/shi wuwei; J. mui[fu]se/semui; K. muoe[bo]si/si muoe 無畏[布]施/施無畏). In Sanskrit, the “gift of fearlessness”; said to be one of the expanded list of three (sometimes four) forms of giving/gifts (DĀNA), along with the “gift of dharma” (DHARMADĀNA) and the “gift of material goods” (ĀMIṢADĀNA). This particular type of gift is typically offered by BODHISATTVAs, whose encouragement, consolation, teaching of the dharma, and so forth relieve the fears, worries, and tribulations of the beneficiary. The common Buddhist practice of purchasing animals from butchers in order to save them from slaughter (see FANGSHENG) is considered to be a form of abhayadāna.
Abhayadattaśrī. (T. Mi ’jigs pa sbyin pa dpal). Indian author of the early twelfth century to whom the text of tantric hagiographies entitled *CATURAŚĪTISIDDHAPRAVṚTTI (“Lives of the Eighty-Four Siddhas”) is ascribed. According to the colophon of this work, the author is known as “the great guru from Campara in India.”
Abhayagiri. A Sri Lankan monastery built at the capital of ANURĀDHAPURA in first century BCE. The monastery was constructed for the elder Mahātissa by the Sinhala king VAṬṬAGĀMAṆI ABHAYA in gratitude for the monk’s assistance during the king’s political exile and his struggle for the throne. According to medieval Pāli historical chronicles, Mahātissa was said to have been unrestrained and base in his behavior, which eventually prompted the monks of the MAHĀVIHĀRA to pass an act of banishment (PRAVRĀJANĪYAKARMAN, P. pabbājanīyakamma) against him. Mahātissa thereafter conducted ecclesiastical ceremonies (SAṂGHAKARMAN, P. saṅghakamma) separately, and the Abhayagiri fraternity eventually seceded from the Mahāvihāra as a separate order of Sri Lankan Buddhism. The Abhayagiri flourished during the eleventh century, but, with the abandonment of Anurādhapura in the thirteenth century, ceased to exist as an active center. The site is today known for the massive Abhayagiri Thūpa (STŪPA), one of the largest in Sri Lanka, which was rediscovered deep in a forest at the end of the nineteenth century.
Abhayākaragupta. (T. ’Jigs med ’byung gnas sbas pa) (d. c. 1125). Indian tantric Buddhist master who was born into a brāhmaṇa family in either Orissa or northeast India near Bengal. Sources vary regarding his dates of birth and death, although most agree that he was a contemporary of the Pāla king Rāmapāla, who began his reign during the final quarter of the eleventh century. Abhayākaragupta became a Buddhist monk in response to a prophetic vision and trained extensively in the esoteric practices of TANTRA, while nevertheless maintaining his monastic discipline (VINAYA). Abhayākaragupta was active at the monastic university of VIKRAMAŚĪLA in Bihar and became renowned as both a scholar and a teacher. He was a prolific author, composing treatises in numerous fields of Buddhist doctrine, including monastic discipline and philosophy as well as tantric ritual practice and iconography. Many Sanskrit manuscripts of his works have been preserved in India, Nepal, and Tibet, and his writings were influential both in India and among Newari Buddhists in Nepal. Translations of his works into Tibetan were begun under his supervision, and more than two dozen are preserved in the Tibetan canon. To date, Abhayākaragupta’s writings best known in the West are his treatises on tantric iconography, the Vajrāvalī and Niṣpannayogāvalī, and his syncretistic ABHIDHARMA treatise Munimatālaṃkāra.
abhayamudrā. (T. mi ’jigs pa’i phyag rgya; C. shiwuwei yin; J. semuiin; K. simuoe in 施無畏印). In Sanskrit, “the gesture of fearlessness” or “gesture of protection”; also sometimes called the gesture of granting refuge. This gesture (MUDRĀ) is typically formed with the palm of the right hand facing outward at shoulder height and the fingers pointing up, although both hands may simultaneously be raised in this posture in a double abhayamudrā. Occasionally, the index, second, or third finger touches the thumb, with the remaining fingers extended upward. This gesture is associated with ŚĀKYAMUNI Buddha immediately following his enlightenment, and standing buddha images will often be depicted with this mudrā, portraying a sense of the security, serenity, and compassion that derive from enlightenment. This gesture is also commonly associated with AMOGHASIDDHI.
Abheda. (T. Mi phyed pa). One of “the sixteen elders” or senior ARHATs in the Tibetan enumeration. See ṢOḌAŚASTHAVIRA.
abhibhvāyatana. (P. abhibhāyatana; T. zil gyis gnon pa’i skye mched; C. shengchu; J. shōsho; K. sŭngch’ŏ 勝處). In Sanskrit, “sphere of sovereignty” or “station of mastery”; eight stages of transcendence over the sense spheres (ĀYATANA), which are conducive to the development of meditative absorption (DHYĀNA). By recognizing from various standpoints that material forms are external, one trains oneself to let go of attachments to material objects and focus exclusively on the meditation subject. The standard list of eight is as follows. When one perceives forms internally (viz., on one’s own person), one sees forms external to oneself that are (1) limited and beautiful or ugly (viz., pure and impure colors) or (2) unlimited, and beautiful or ugly, and masters them so that one is aware that one knows and sees them; when one does not perceive forms internally, one sees external forms that are (3) limited or (4) unlimited. When one does not perceive forms internally, one sees external forms that are (5) blue, (6) yellow, (7) red, or (8) white and masters them so that one is aware that one knows and sees them. In the Pāli meditative literature, the earth and the color devices (KASIṆA) are said to be especially conducive to developing these spheres of sovereignty. Progress through these spheres weans the mind from its attraction to the sensuous realm (KĀMADHĀTU) and thus encourages the advertence toward the four meditative absorptions (DHYĀNA; RŪPĀVACARADHYĀNA) associated with the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPADHĀTU), wherein the mind becomes temporarily immune to sensory input and wholly absorbed in its chosen object of meditation.
abhicāra. [alt. abhicara] (T. mngon spyod). In Sanskrit, “magic” or “wrathful action”; in ANUTTARAYOGATANTRA, the fourth of the four activities (CATURKARMAN) of the Buddhist tantric adept. Abhicāra is broken down into māraṇa “killing,” mohana “enchanting,” stambhana “paralyzing,” vidveṣaṇa “rendering harm through animosity,” uccāṭana “removing or driving away,” and vaśīkaraṇa “subduing.” After initiation (ABHIṢEKA), adepts who keep their tantric commitments (SAMAYA) properly and reach the requisite yogic level are empowered to use four sorts of enlightened activity, as appropriate: these four types of activities are (1) those that are pacifying (S. ŚĀNTICĀRA); (2) those that increase prosperity, life span, etc. (PAUṢṬIKA), when necessary for the spread of the doctrine; (3) those that subjugate or tame (S. VAŚĪKARAṆA) the unruly; and finally (4) those that are violent or drastic measures (abhicāra) such as war, when the situation requires it. In the MAÑJUŚRĪNĀMASAṂGĪTI, Cānakya, Candragupta’s minister, is said to have used abhicāra against his enemies, and because of this misuse of tantric power was condemned to suffer the consequences in hell. Throughout the history of Buddhist tantra, the justification of violence by invoking the category of abhicāra has been a contentious issue. PADMASAMBHAVA is said to have tamed the unruly spirits of Tibet, sometimes violently, with his magical powers, and the violent acts that RWA LO TSĀ BA in the eleventh century countenanced against those who criticized his practices are justified by categorizing them as abhicāra.
Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha. In Pāli, “Summary of the Meaning of Abhidharma”; a synoptic manual of Pāli ABHIDHARMA written by the Sri Lankan monk ANURUDDHA (d.u.), abbot of the Mūlasoma Vihāra in Polonnaruwa, sometime between the eighth and twelfth centuries CE, but most probably around the turn of the eleventh century. (Burmese tradition instead dates the text to the first century BCE.) The terse Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha Has been used for centuries as an introductory primer for the study of abhidharma in the monasteries of Sri Lanka and the THERAVĀDA countries of Southeast Asia; indeed, no other abhidharma text has received more scholarly attention within the tradition, especially in Burma, where this primer has been the object of multiple commentaries and vernacular translations. The Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha includes nine major sections, which provide a systematic overview of Pāli Buddhist doctrine. Anuruddha summarizes the exegeses appearing in BUDDHAGHOSA’s VISUDDHIMAGGA, though the two works could hardly be more different: where the Visuddhimagga offers an exhaustive exegesis of THERAVĀDA abhidharma accompanied by a plethora of historical and mythical detail, the Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha is little more than a list of topics, like a bare table of contents. Especially noteworthy in the Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha is its analysis of fifty-two mental concomitants (CETASIKA), in distinction to the forty-six listed in SARVĀSTIVĀDA ABHIDHARMA and the ABHIDHARMAKOŚABHĀṢYA. There is one major Pāli commentary to the Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha still extant, the Porāṇaṭīkā, which is attributed to Vimalabuddhi (d.u.). The Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha appears in the Pali Text Society’s English translation series as Compendium of Philosophy.
Abhidhammāvatāra. In Pāli, “Introduction to Abhidhamma”; a primer of Pāli ABHIDHAMMA attributed to BUDDHADATTA (c. fifth century CE), who is said to have been contemporaneous with the premier Pāli scholiast BUDDHAGHOSA; some legends go so far as to suggest that the two ABHIDHAMMIKAS might even have met. The book was written in south India and is the oldest of the noncanonical Pāli works on abhidhamma. It offers a systematic scholastic outline of abhidhamma, divided into twenty-four chapters called niddesas (S. nirdeśa; “expositions”), and displays many affinities with Buddhaghosa’s VISUDDHIMAGGA. These chapters include coverage of the mind (CITTA) and mental concomitants (CETASIKA), the various types of concentration (SAMĀDHI), the types of knowledge (JÑĀNA) associated with enlightenment, and the process of purification (visuddhi, S. VIŚUDDHI). The work is written in a mixture of prose and verse.
abhidhammika. [alt. Ābhidhammika]. In Pāli, “specialist in the ABHIDHAMMA”; scholarly monks who specialized in study of the abhidhamma (S. ABHIDHARMA) section of the Buddhist canon. In the Pāli tradition, particular importance has long been attached to the study of abhidharma. The AṬṬHASĀLINĪ says that the first ABHIDHAMMIKA was the Buddha himself, and the abhidhammikas were presumed to be the most competent exponents of the teachings of the religion. Among the Buddha’s immediate disciples, the premier abhidhammika was Sāriputta (S. ŚĀRIPUTRA), who was renowned for his systematic grasp of the dharma. Monastic “families” of abhidhamma specialists were known as abhidhammikagaṇa, and they passed down through the generations their own scholastic interpretations of Buddhist doctrine, interpretations that sometimes differed from those offered by specialists in the scriptures (P. sutta; S. SŪTRA) or disciplinary rules (VINAYA) . In medieval Sri Lanka, the highest awards within the Buddhist order were granted to monks who specialized in this branch of study, rather than to experts in the scriptures or disciplinary rules. Special festivals were held in honor of the abhidhamma, which involved the recital of important texts and the granting of awards to participants. In contemporary Myanmar (Burma), where the study of abhidhamma continues to be highly esteemed, the seventh book of the Pāli ABHIDHARMAPIṬAKA, the PAṬṬHĀNA (“Conditions”), is regularly recited in festivals that the Burmese call pathan pwe. Pathan pwe are marathon recitations that go on for days, conducted by invited abhidhammikas who are particularly well versed in the Paṭṭhāna, the text that is the focus of the festival. The pathan pwe serves a function similar to that of PARITTA recitations, in that it is believed to ward off baleful influences, but its main designated purpose is to forestall the decline and disappearance of the Buddha’s dispensation (P. sāsana; S. ŚĀSANA). The Theravāda tradition considers the Paṭṭhāna to be the Buddha’s most profound exposition of ultimate truth (P. paramatthasacca; S. PARAMĀRTHASATYA), and according to the Pāli commentaries, the Paṭṭhāna is the first constituent of the Buddha’s dispensation that will disappear from the world as the religion faces its inevitable decline. The abhidhammikas’ marathon recitations of the Paṭṭhāna, therefore, help to ward off the eventual demise of the Buddhist religion. This practice speaks of a THERAVĀDA orientation in favor of scholarship that goes back well over a thousand years. Since at least the time of BUDDHAGHOSA (c. fifth century CE), the life of scholarship (P. PARIYATTI), rather than that of meditation or contemplation (P. PAṬIPATTI), has been the preferred vocational path within Pāli Buddhist monasticism. Monks who devoted themselves exclusively to meditation were often portrayed as persons who lacked the capacity to master the intricacies of Pāli scholarship. Even so, meditation was always recommended as the principal means by which one could bring scriptural knowledge to maturity, either through awakening or the realization (P. paṭivedha; S. PRATIVEDHA) of Buddhist truths. See also ĀBHIDHARMIKA.
Abhidhānappadīpikā. A Pāli dictionary of synonyms attributed to the twelfth-century Sinhalese scholar–monk Moggallāna, which, in style and method, is similar to the Sanskrit lexicon the Amarakośa. The text is arranged into three sections, dealing with celestial, terrestrial, and miscellaneous topics. The three sections are further subdivided into various chapters, each composed of groups of synonyms arranged in verse for ease of memorization. For example, the first section of the thesaurus includes 179 different entries, each of which offers multiple entries: e.g., thirty-two different epithets for the Buddha and forty-six synonyms for nibbāna (S. NIRVĀṆA). The second section has six different chapters, which include twenty-four synonyms for a house, ten for man, fifteen for woman, etc. The third section has four chapters on miscellaneous topics. A Sinhalese paraphrase and commentary on this dictionary were produced in Sri Lanka by Caturaṅgabala (d.u.), while a Burmese commentary was composed by Ñāṇāvāsa (d.u.) in the fourteenth century during the reign of King Kittisīhasūra (c. 1351); a Burmese vernacular translation was subsequently made during the eighteenth century.
Abhidhānottaratantra. [alt. Avadānastotratantra] (T. Mngon par brjod pa’i rgyud bla ma). In Sanskrit, “Continuation of the Explanation [of the CAKRASAṂVARATANTRA]”; an Indian text describing the invocation of numerous tantric deities together with their seed syllables (BĪJA) and ritual meditations. The work was originally translated into Tibetan and edited by ATIŚA DĪPAṂKARAŚRĪJÑĀNA and RIN CHEN BZANG PO in the eleventh century.
abhidharma. (P. abhidhamma; T. chos mngon pa; C. apidamo/duifa; J. abidatsuma/taihō; K. abidalma/taebŏp 阿毘達磨/對法). In Sanskrit, abhidharma is a prepositional compound composed of abhi- + dharma. The compound is typically glossed with abhi being interpreted as equivalent to uttama and meaning “highest” or “advanced” DHARMA (viz., doctrines or teachings), or abhi meaning “pertaining to” the dharma. The SARVĀSTIVĀDA Sanskrit tradition typically follows the latter etymology, while the THERAVĀDA Pāli tradition prefers the former, as in BUDDHAGHOSA’s gloss of the term meaning either “special dharma” or “supplementary dharma.” These definitions suggest that abhidharma was conceived as a precise (P. nippariyāya), definitive (PARAMĀRTHA) assessment of the dharma that was presented in its discursive (P. sappariyāya), conventional (SAṂVṚTI) form in the SŪTRAS. Where the sūtras offered more subjective presentations of the dharma, drawing on worldly parlance, simile, metaphor, and personal anecdote in order to appeal to their specific audiences, the abhidharma provided an objective, impersonal, and highly technical description of the specific characteristics of reality and the causal processes governing production and cessation. There are two divergent theories for the emergence of the abhidharma as a separate genre of Buddhist literature. In one theory, accepted by most Western scholars, the abhidharma is thought to have evolved out of the “matrices” (S. MĀTṚKĀ; P. mātikā), or numerical lists of dharmas, that were used as mnemonic devices for organizing the teachings of the Buddha systematically. Such treatments of dharma are found even in the sūtra literature and are probably an inevitable by-product of the oral quality of early Buddhist textual transmission. A second theory, favored by Japanese scholars, is that abhidharma evolved from catechistic discussions (abhidharmakathā) in which a dialogic format was used to clarify problematic issues in doctrine. The dialogic style also appears prominently in the sūtras where, for example, the Buddha might give a brief statement of doctrine (uddeśa; P. uddesa) whose meaning had to be drawn out through exegesis (NIRDEŚA; P. niddesa); indeed, MAHĀKĀTYĀYANA, one of the ten major disciples of the Buddha, was noted for his skill in such explications. This same style was prominent enough in the sūtras even to be listed as one of the nine or twelve genres of Buddhist literature (specifically, VYĀKARAṆA; P. veyyākaraṇa). According to tradition, the Buddha first taught the abhidharma to his mother MAHĀMĀYĀ, who had died shortly after his birth and been reborn as a god in TUṢITA heaven. He met her in the heaven of the thirty-three (TRĀYASTRIṂŚA), where he expounded the abhidharma to her and the other divinities there, repeating those teachings to ŚĀRIPUTRA when he descended each day to go on his alms-round. Śāriputra was renowned as a master of the abhidharma. Abhidharma primarily sets forth the training in higher wisdom (ADHIPRAJÑĀŚIKṢĀ) and involves both analytical and synthetic modes of doctrinal exegesis. The body of scholastic literature that developed from this exegetical style was compiled into the ABHIDHARMAPIṬAKA, one of the three principal sections of the Buddhist canon, or TRIPIṬAKA, along with sūtra and VINAYA, and is concerned primarily with scholastic discussions on epistemology, cosmology, psychology, KARMAN, rebirth, and the constituents of the process of enlightenment and the path (MĀRGA) to salvation. (In the MAHĀYĀNA tradition, this abhidharmapiṭaka is sometimes redefined as a broader “treatise basket,” or *ŚĀSTRAPIṬAKA.)
Abhidharmadharmaskandha[pādaśāstra]. (C. Apidamo fayun zu lun; J. Abidatsuma hōunsokuron; K. Abidalma pŏbon chok non 阿毘達磨法蘊足論). See DHARMASKANDHA[PĀDAŚĀSTRA].
Abhidharmadhātukāya[pādaśāstra]. (C. Apidamo jieshen zu lun; J. Abidatsuma kaishinsokuron; K. Abidalma kyesin chok non 阿毘達磨界身足論). See DHĀTUKĀYA[PĀDAŚĀSTRA].
Abhidharmadīpa. In Sanskrit, “Lamp of ABHIDHARMA”; an Indian scholastic treatise probably composed between 450 and 550 CE. Only fragments of the treatise (sixty-two of 150 folios) are extant; these were discovered in Tibet in 1937. The treatise is composed of two parts—the Abhidharmadīpa, written in verse (kārikā), and a prose autocommentary, the Vibhāṣāprabhāvṛtti—both of which were probably composed by the same anonymous author. The author, who refers to himself merely as the “Dīpakāra” (“author of the Dīpa”) may be Vimalamitra (d.u.), an otherwise-unknown disciple of SAṂGHABHADRA. The structure of the text is modeled on that of the influential ABHIDHARMAKOŚABHĀṢYA, and almost half of the kārikā verses included in the Abhidharmadīpa are virtually identical to those found in the Abhidharmakośa. Although borrowing freely from the Kośa, the Dīpakāra launches a harsh critique of VASUBANDHU’s (whom he calls the “Kośakāra,” or “author of the Kośa”) Abhidharmakośabhāṣya, from the standpoint of SARVĀSTIVĀDA abhidharma. Vasubandhu is criticized for the SAUTRĀNTIKA tendencies betrayed in his doctrinal analyses and also for being a Mahāyānist adherent of the teachings of the “three natures” (TRISVABHĀVA). As such, the Abhidharmadīpa’s author seems to have been a follower of SAṂGHABHADRA’s *NYĀYĀNUSĀRA, and the text helps to clarify the positions of Saṃghabhadra and the orthodox VAIBHĀṢIKAs. The Dīpakāra shares the latter’s concern with providing both a systematic exegesis of abhidharma theory and a vigorous polemical defense of Sarvāstivāda doctrinal positions. Since it presents theories of other thinkers not covered in the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya, the Abhidharmadīpa serves as an important source for studying the history of Indian abhidharma. For example, in his discussion of the eponymous Sarvāstivāda position that “everything exists” throughout all three time periods (TRIKĀLA) of past, present, and future, the Dīpakāra also critiques three rival positions: the VIBHAJYAVĀDA and Dārṣṭāntikas, who maintain that only “part” exists (viz., the present); the Vaitulika and Ayogaśūnyatāvāda, who say that nothing exists; and the PUDGALAVĀDA, who presume that existence is indeterminate (AVYĀKṚTA).
*Abhidharmahṛdaya. (C. Apitan xin lun; J. Abidon shinron; K. Abidam sim non 阿毘曇心論). In Sanskrit, “Heart of ABHIDHARMA”; one of the first attempts at a systematic presentation of abhidharma according to the SARVĀSTIVĀDA school; the treatise is attributed to Dharmaśreṣṭhin (Fasheng, c. 130 BCE), who hailed from the GANDHĀRA region of Central Asia. The text is no longer extant in Sanskrit but survives only in a Chinese translation made sometime during the fourth century (alt. 376, 391) by Saṃghadeva and LUSHAN HUIYUAN. The treatise functions essentially as a handbook for meditative development, focusing on ways of overcoming the negative proclivities of mind (ANUŚAYA) and developing correct knowledge (JÑĀNA). The meditative training outlined in the treatise focuses on the four absorptions (DHYĀNA) and on two practical techniques for developing concentration: mindfulness of breathing (ĀNĀPĀNASMṚTI) and the contemplation of impurity (AŚUBHABHĀVANĀ). The text is also one of the first to distinguish the path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA), which involves the initial insight into the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS, and the path of cultivation (BHĀVANĀMĀRGA), which eliminates all the remaining proclivities so that the adept may experience the stage of the worthy one (ARHAT).
Abhidharmajñānaprasthāna. (C. Apidamo fazhi lun; J. Abidatsuma hotchiron; K. Abidalma palchi non 阿毘達磨發智論). See JÑĀNAPRASTHĀNA.
Abhidharmakośa. See ABHIDHARMAKOŚABHĀṢYA.
Abhidharmakośabhāṣya. (T. Chos mngon pa’i mdzod kyi bshad pa; C. Apidamo jushe lun; J. Abidatsuma kusharon; K. Abidalma kusa non 阿毘達磨倶舎論). In Sanskrit, “A Treasury of ABHIDHARMA, with Commentary”; an influential scholastic treatise attributed to VASUBANDHU (c. fourth or fifth century CE). The Abhidharmakośabhāṣya consists of two texts: the root text of the Abhidharmakośa, composed in verse (kārikā), and its prose autocommentary (bhāṣya); this dual verse-prose structure comes to be emblematic of later SARVĀSTIVĀDA abhidharma literature. As the title suggests, the work is mainly concerned with abhidharma theory as it was explicated in the ABHIDHARMAMAHĀVIBHĀṢĀ, the principal scholastic treatise of the VAIBHĀṢIKAĀBHIDHARMIKAs in the Sarvāstivāda school. In comparison to the Mahāvibhāṣā, however, the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya presents a more systematic overview of Sarvāstivāda positions. At various points in his expositions, Vasubandhu criticizes the Sarvāstivāda doctrine from the standpoint of the more progressive SAUTRĀNTIKA offshoot of the Sarvāstivāda school, which elicited a spirited response from later Sarvāstivāda–Vaibhāṣika scholars, such as SAṂGHABHADRA in his *NYĀYĀNUSĀRA. The Abhidharmakośabhāṣya has thus served as an invaluable tool in the study of the history of the later MAINSTREAM BUDDHIST SCHOOLS. The Sanskrit texts of both the kārikā and the bhāṣya were lost for centuries before being rediscovered in Tibet in 1934 and 1936, respectively. Two Chinese translations, by XUANZANG and PARAMĀRTHA, and one Tibetan translation of the work are extant. The Kośa is primarily concerned with a detailed elucidation of the polysemous term DHARMA, the causes (HETU) and conditions (PRATYAYA) that lead to continued rebirth in SAṂSĀRA, and the soteriological stages of the path (MĀRGA) leading to enlightenment. The treatise is divided into eight major chapters, called kośasthānas. (1) Dhātunirdeśa, “Exposition on the Elements,” divides dharmas into various categories, such as tainted (SĀSRAVA) and untainted (ANĀSRAVA), or compounded (SAṂSKṚTA) and uncompounded (ASAṂSKṚTA), and discusses the standard Buddhist classifications of the five aggregates (SKANDHA), twelve sense fields (ĀYATANA), and eighteen elements (DHĀTU). This chapter also includes extensive discussion of the theory of the four great elements (MAHĀBHŪTA) that constitute materiality (RŪPA) and the Buddhist theory of atoms or particles (PARAMĀṆU). (2) Indriyanirdeśa, “Exposition on the Faculties,” discusses a fivefold classification of dharmas into materiality (rūpa), thought (CITTA), mental concomitants (CAITTA), forces dissociated from thought (CITTAVIPRAYUKTASAṂSKĀRA), and the uncompounded (ASAṂSKṚTA). This chapter also has extensive discussions of the six causes (HETU), the four conditions (PRATYAYA), and the five effects or fruitions (PHALA). (3) Lokanirdeśa, “Exposition on the Cosmos,” describes the formation and structure of a world system (LOKA), the different types of sentient beings, the various levels of existence, and the principle of dependent origination (PRATĪTYASAMUTPĀDA) that governs the process of rebirth, which is discussed here in connection with the three time periods (TRIKĀLA) of past, present, and future. (4) Karmanirdeśa, “Exposition on Action,” discusses the different types of action (KARMAN), including the peculiar type of action associated with unmanifest materiality (AVIJÑAPTIRŪPA). The ten wholesome and unwholesome “paths of action” (KUŚALA-KARMAPATHA and AKUŚALA-KARMAPATHA) also receive a lengthy description. (5) Anuśayanirdeśa, “Exposition on the Proclivities,” treats the ninety-eight types of ANUŚAYA in relation to their sources and qualities and the relationship between the anuśayas and other categories of unwholesome qualities, such as afflictions (KLEŚA), contaminants (ĀSRAVA), floods (OGHA), and yokes (yoga). (6) Mārgapudgalanirdeśa, “Exposition on the Path and the [Noble] Persons,” outlines how either insight into the four noble truths and carefully following a series of soteriological steps can remove defilements and transform the ordinary person into one of the noble persons (ĀRYAPUDGALA). (7) Jñānanirdeśa, “Exposition on Knowledge,” offers a detailed account of the ten types of knowledge and the distinctive attributes of noble persons and buddhas. (8) Samāpattinirdeśa, “Exposition on Attainment,” discusses different categories of concentration (SAMĀDHI) and the attainments (SAMĀPATTI) that result from their perfection. (9) Appended to this main body is a ninth section, an independent treatise titled the Pudgalanirdeśa, “Exposition of the Notion of a Person.” Here, Vasubandhu offers a detailed critique of the theory of the self, scrutinizing both the Buddhist PUDGALAVĀDA/VĀTSĪPUTRĪYA “heresy” of the inexpressible (avācya) “person” (PUDGALA) being conventionally real and Brahmanical theories of a perduring soul (ĀTMAN). Numerous commentaries to the Kośa, such as those composed by VASUMITRA, YAŚOMITRA, STHIRAMATI, and Pūrṇavardhana, attest to its continuing influence in Indian Buddhist thought. The Kośa was also the object of vigorous study in the scholastic traditions of East Asia and Tibet, which produced many indigenous commentaries on the text and its doctrinal positions.
Abhidharmakośavyākhyā Sphuṭārthā. See SPHUṬĀRTHĀ ABHIDHARMAKOŚAVYĀKHYĀ.
Abhidharmamahāvibhāṣā. (T. Chos mngon pa bye brag bshad pa chen po; C. Apidamo dapiposha lun; J. Abidatsuma daibibasharon; K. Abidalma taebibasa non 阿毘達磨大毘婆沙論). In Sanskrit, “Great Exegesis of ABHIDHARMA,” also commonly known as Mahāvibhāṣā; a massive VAIBHĀṢIKA treatise on SARVĀSTIVĀDA abhidharma translated into Chinese by the scholar–pilgrim XUANZANG and his translation bureau between 656 and 659 at XIMINGSI in the Tang capital of Chang’an. Although no Sanskrit version of this text is extant, earlier Chinese translations by Buddhavarman and others survive, albeit only in (equally massive) fragments. The complete Sanskrit text of the recension that Xuanzang used was in 100,000 Ślokas; his translation was in 200 rolls, making it one of the largest single works in the Buddhist canon. According to the account in Xuanzang’s DA TANG XIYU JI, four hundred years after the Buddha’s PARINIRVĀṆA, King KANIṢKA gathered five hundred ARHATs to recite the Buddhist canon (TRIPIṬAKA). The ABHIDHARMAPIṬAKA of this canon, which is associated with the Sarvāstivāda school, is said to have been redacted during this council (see COUNCIL, FOURTH). The central abhidharma treatise of the Sarvāstivāda school is KĀTYĀYANĪPUTRA’s JÑĀNAPRASTHĀNA, and the Abhidharmamahāvibhāṣā purports to offer a comprehensive overview of varying views on the meaning of that seminal text by the five hundred arhats who were in attendance at the convocation. The comments of four major ĀBHIDHARMIKAs (Ghoṣa, DHARMATRĀTA, VASUMITRA, and Buddhadeva) are interwoven into the Mahāvibhāṣā’s contextual analysis of Kātyāyanīputra’s material from the Jñānaprasthāna, making the text a veritable encyclopedia of contemporary Buddhist scholasticism. Since the Mahāvibhāṣā also purports to be a commentary on the central text of the Sarvāstivāda school, it therefore offers a comprehensive picture of the development of Sarvāstivāda thought after the compilation of the Jñānaprasthāna. The Mahāvibhāṣā is divided into eight sections (grantha) and several chapters (varga), which systematically follow the eight sections and forty-three chapters of the Jñānaprasthāna in presenting its explication. Coverage of each topic begins with an overview of varying interpretations found in different Buddhist and non-Buddhist schools, detailed coverage of the positions of the four major Sarvāstivāda Ābhidharmikas, and finally the definitive judgment of the compilers, the Kāśmīri followers of KātyāyanĪputra, who call themselves the Vibhāṣāśāstrins. The Mahāvibhāṣā was the major influence on the systematic scholastic elaboration of Sarvāstivāda doctrine that appears (though with occasional intrusions from the positions of the Sarvāstivāda’s more-progressive SAUTRĀNTIKA offshoot) in VASUBANDHU’s influential ABHIDHARMAKOŚABHĀṢYA, which itself elicited a spirited response from later Sarvāstivāda–Vaibhāṣika scholars, such as SAṂGHABHADRA in his *NYĀYĀNUSĀRA. The Mahāvibhāṣa was not translated into Tibetan until the twentieth century, when a translation entitled Bye brag bshad mdzod chen mo was made at the Sino-Tibetan Institute by the Chinese monk FAZUN between 1946 and 1949. He presented a copy of the manuscript to the young fourteenth DALAI LAMA on the Dalai Lama’s visit to Beijing in 1954, but it is not known whether it is still extant.
*Abhidharmanyāyānusāra. See *NYĀYĀNUSĀRA.
abhidharmapiṭaka. (P. abhidhammapiṭaka; T. chos mngon pa’i sde snod; C. lunzang; J. ronzō; K. nonjang 論藏). The third of the three “baskets” (PIṬAKA) of the Buddhist canon (TRIPIṬAKA). The abhidharmapiṭaka derives from attempts in the early Buddhist community to elucidate the definitive significance of the teachings of the Buddha, as compiled in the SŪTRAs. Since the Buddha was well known to have adapted his message to fit the predilections and needs of his audience (cf. UPĀYAKAUŚALYA), there inevitably appeared inconsistencies in his teachings that needed to be resolved. The attempts to ferret out the definitive meaning of the BUDDHADHARMA through scholastic interpretation and exegesis eventually led to a new body of texts that ultimately were granted canonical status in their own right. These are the texts of the abhidharmapiṭaka. The earliest of these texts, such as the Pāli VIBHAṄGA and PUGGALAPAÑÑATTI and the SARVĀSTIVĀDA SAṂGĪTIPARYĀYA and DHARMASKANDHA, are structured as commentaries to specific sūtras or portions of sūtras. These materials typically organized the teachings around elaborate doctrinal taxonomies, which were used as mnemonic devices or catechisms. Later texts move beyond individual sūtras to systematize a wide range of doctrinal material, offering ever more complex analytical categorizations and discursive elaborations of the DHARMA. Ultimately, abhidharma texts emerge as a new genre of Buddhist literature in their own right, employing sophisticated philosophical speculation and sometimes even involving polemical attacks on the positions of rival factions within the SAṂGHA. ¶ At least seven schools of Indian Buddhism transmitted their own recensions of abhidharma texts, but only two of these canons are extant in their entirety. The Pāli abhidhammapiṭaka of the THERAVĀDA school, the only recension that survives in an Indian language, includes seven texts (the order of which often differs): (1) DHAMMASAṄGAṆI (“Enumeration of Dharmas”) examines factors of mentality and materiality (NĀMARŪPA), arranged according to ethical quality; (2) VIBHAṄGA (“Analysis”) analyzes the aggregates (SKANDHA), conditioned origination (PRATĪTYASAMUTPĀDA), and meditative development, each treatment culminating in a catechistic series of inquiries; (3) DHĀTUKATHĀ (“Discourse on Elements”) categorizes all dharmas in terms of the skandhas and sense-fields (ĀYATANA); (4) PUGGALAPAÑÑATTI (“Description of Human Types”) analyzes different character types in terms of the three afflictions of greed (LOBHA), hatred (DVEṢA), and delusion (MOHA) and various related subcategories; (5) KATHĀVATTHU (“Points of Controversy”) scrutinizes the views of rival schools of mainstream Buddhism and how they differ from the Theravāda; (6) YAMAKA (“Pairs”) provides specific denotations of problematic terms through paired comparisons; (7) PAṬṬHĀNA (“Conditions”) treats extensively the full implications of conditioned origination. ¶ The abhidharmapiṭaka of the SARVĀSTIVĀDA school is extant only in Chinese translation, the definitive versions of which were prepared by XUANZANG’s translation team in the seventh century. It also includes seven texts: (1) SAṂGĪTIPARYĀYA[PĀDAŚĀSTRA] (“Discourse on Pronouncements”) attributed to either MAHĀKAUṢṬHILA or ŚĀRIPUTRA, a commentary on the Saṃgītisūtra (see SAṄGĪTISUTTA), where śāriputra sets out a series of dharma lists (MĀTṚKĀ), ordered from ones to elevens, to organize the Buddha’s teachings systematically; (2) DHARMASKANDHA[PĀDAŚĀSTRA] (“Aggregation of Dharmas”), attributed to śāriputra or MAHĀMAUDGALYĀYANA, discusses Buddhist soteriological practices, as well as the afflictions that hinder spiritual progress, drawn primarily from the ĀGAMAs; (3) PRAJÑAPTIBHĀṢYA[PĀDAŚĀSTRA] (“Treatise on Designations”), attributed to Maudgalyāyana, treats Buddhist cosmology (lokaprajñapti), causes (kāraṇa), and action (KARMAN); (4) DHĀTUKĀYA[PĀDAŚĀSTRA] (“Collection on the Elements”), attributed to either PŪRṆA or VASUMITRA, discusses the mental concomitants (the meaning of DHĀTU in this treatise) and sets out specific sets of mental factors that are present in all moments of consciousness (viz., the ten MAHĀBHŪMIKA) or all defiled states of mind (viz., the ten KLEŚAMAHĀBHŪMIKA); (5) VIJÑĀNAKĀYA[PĀDAŚĀSTRA] (“Collection on Consciousness”), attributed to Devaśarman, seeks to prove the veracity of the eponymous Sarvāstivāda position that dharmas exist in all three time periods (TRIKĀLA) of past, present, and future, and the falsity of notions of the person (PUDGALA); it also provides the first listing of the four types of conditions (PRATYAYA); (6) PRAKARAṆA[PĀDAŚĀSTRA] (“Exposition”), attributed to VASUMITRA, first introduces the categorization of dharmas according to the more developed Sarvāstivāda rubric of RŪPA, CITTA, CAITTA, CITTAVIPRAYUKTASAṂSKĀRA, and ASAṂSKṚTA dharmas; it also adds a new listing of KUŚALAMAHĀBHŪMIKA, or factors always associated with wholesome states of mind; (7) JÑĀNAPRASTHĀNA (“Foundations of Knowledge”), attributed to KĀTYĀYANĪPUTRA, an exhaustive survey of Sarvāstivāda dharma theory and the school’s exposition of psychological states, which forms the basis of the massive encyclopedia of Sarvāstivāda-Vaibhāṣika abhidharma, the ABHIDHARMAMAHĀVIBHĀṢĀ. In the traditional organization of the seven canonical books of the Sarvāstivāda abhidharmapiṭaka, the JÑĀNAPRASTHĀNA is treated as the “body” (ŚARĪRA), or central treatise of the canon, with its six “feet” (pāda), or ancillary treatises (pādaśāstra), listed in the following order: (1) Prakaraṇapāda, (2) Vijñānakāya, (3) Dharmaskandha, (4) Prajñaptibhāṣya, (5) Dhātukāya, and (6) Saṃgītiparyāya. Abhidharma exegetes later turned their attention to these canonical abhidharma materials and subjected them to the kind of rigorous scholarly analysis previously directed to the sūtras. These led to the writing of innovative syntheses and synopses of abhidharma doctrine, in such texts as BUDDHAGHOSA’s VISUDDHIMAGGA and ANURUDDHA’s ABHIDHAMMATTHASAṄGAHA, VASUBANDHU’s ABHIDHARMAKOŚABHĀṢYA, and SAṂGHABHADRA’s *NYĀYĀNUSĀRA. In East Asia, this third “basket” was eventually expanded to include the burgeoning scholastic literature of the MAHĀYĀNA, transforming it from a strictly abhidharmapiṭaka into a broader “treatise basket” or *ŚĀSTRAPIṬAKA (C. lunzang).
Abhidharmaprakaraṇapāda. (S). See PRAKARAṆA[PĀDAŚĀSTRA].
Abhidharmasamuccaya. (T. Chos mngon pa kun las btus pa; C. Dasheng Apidamo ji lun; J. Daijō Abidatsuma jūron; K. Taesŭng Abidalma chip non 大乘阿毘達磨集論). In Sanskrit, “Compendium of Abhidharma”; an influential scholastic treatise attributed to ASAṄGA. The Abhidharmasamuccaya provides a systematic and comprehensive explanation of various categories of DHARMAs in ABHIDHARMA fashion, in five major sections. Overall, the treatise continues the work of earlier abhidharma theorists, but it also seems to uphold a MAHĀYĀNA and, more specifically, YOGĀCĀRA viewpoint. For example, unlike SARVĀSTIVĀDA abhidharma materials, which provide detailed listings of dharmas in order to demonstrate the range of factors that perdure throughout all three time periods (TRIKĀLA) of past, present, and future, Asaṅga’s exposition tends to reject any notion that dharmas are absolute realities, thus exposing their inherent emptiness (ŚŪNYATĀ). The first section of the treatise, Lakṣaṇasamuccaya (“Compendium of Characteristics”), first explains the five SKANDHA, twelve ĀYATANA, and eighteen DHĀTU in terms of their attributes (MĀTṚKĀ) and then their includedness (saṃgraha), association (saṃprayoga), and accompaniment (samanvāgama). The second section of the treatise, Satyaviniścaya (“Ascertainment of the Truths”), is generally concerned with and classified according to the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS (catvāry Āryasatyāni). The third section, Dharmaviniścaya (“Ascertainment of the Dharma”), outlines the teachings of Buddhism in terms of the twelve divisions (DVĀDAŚĀṄGA[PRAVACANA]) of texts in the TRIPIṬAKA. The fourth section, Prāptiviniścaya (“Ascertainment of Attainments”), outlines the various types of Buddhist practitioners and their specific realizations (ABHISAMAYA). The fifth and last section, Sāṃkathyaviniścaya (“Ascertainment of Argumentation”), outlines specific modes of debate that will enable one to defeat one’s opponents. Fragments of the Sanskrit text of the Abhidharmasamuccaya (discovered in Tibet in 1934) are extant, along with a Tibetan translation and a Chinese translation made by XUANZANG in 652 CE. A commentary on the treatise by STHIRAMATI, known as the Abhidharmasamuccayavyākhyā(na), was also translated into Chinese by Xuanzang.
Abhidharmavijñānakāyapādaśāstra. See VIJÑĀNAKĀYA[PĀDAŚĀSTRA].
Ābhidharmika. (P. ABHIDHAMMIKA; T. chos mngon pa ba; C. apidamo dalunshi/duifa zhushi; J. abidatsuma daironshi/taihō shashi; K. abidalma taeronsa/taebŏp chesa 阿毘達磨大論師/對法諸師). In Sanskrit, “specialist in ABHIDHARMA”; refers to exegetes and commentators specializing in the texts and teachings of the ABHIDHARMAPIṬAKA. In MAHĀYĀNA sources, Ābhidharmika may also refer more generically to “scholars,” not necessarily only to specialists in abhidharma. In Chinese Buddhism, for example, the eminent Indian scholiasts AŚVAGHOṢA, NĀGĀRJUNA, ĀRYADEVA, and Kumāralāta are said to be the four great Ābhidharmikas of the Mahāyāna tradition. See also ABHIDHAMMIKA.
abhidhyā. (P. abhijjhā; T. brnab sems; C. tan; J. ton; K. t’am 貪). In Sanskrit, “covetousness”; a synonym for greed (LOBHA) and craving (TṚṢṆĀ), abhidhyā is listed as the eighth of ten unwholesome courses of action (AKUŚALA-KARMAPATHA). Abhidhyā is a more intense form of lobha in which one’s inherent greed or lust for objects has evolved into an active pursuit of them in order to make them one’s own (“Ah, would that they were mine,” the commentaries say). The ten courses of action are divided into three groups according to whether they are performed by the body, speech, or mind. Covetousness is classified as an unwholesome mental course of action and forms a triad along with malice (VYĀPĀDA) and wrong views (MITHYĀDṚṢṬI). Only extreme forms of defiled thinking are deemed an unwholesome course of mental action (akuśalakarmapatha), such as the covetous wish to misappropriate someone else’s property, the hateful wish to hurt someone, or adherence to pernicious doctrines. Lesser forms of defiled thinking are still unwholesome (AKUŚALA), but do not constitute a course of action. The unwholesome course of bodily action is of three types: killing, stealing, and unlawful sexual intercourse. The unwholesome course of verbal action includes four: false speech, slander, abusive speech, and prattle. The list of ten wholesome and ten unwholesome courses of action occurs frequently in mainstream Buddhist scriptures.
abhijñā. (P. abhiññā; T. mngon shes; C. shentong; J. jinzū; K. sint’ong 神通). In Sanskrit, “superknowledges”; specifically referring to a set of supranormal powers that are by-products of meditation. These are usually enumerated as six: (1) various psychical and magical powers (ṚDDHIVIDHĀBHIJÑĀ [alt. ṛddhividhi], P. iddhividhā), such as the ability to pass through walls, sometimes also known as “unimpeded bodily action” (ṛddhisākṣātkriyā); (2) clairvoyance, lit. “divine eye” (DIVYACAKṢUS, P. dibbacakkhu), the ability to see from afar and to see how beings fare in accordance with their deeds; (3) clairaudience, lit. “divine ear” (DIVYAŚROTRA, P. dibbasota), the ability to hear from afar; (4) the ability to remember one’s own former lives (PŪRVANIVĀSĀNUSMṚTI, P. pubbenivāsānunssati); (5) “knowledge of others’ states of mind” (CETOPARYĀYĀBHIJÑĀNA/PARACITTAJÑĀNA, P. cetopariyañāṇa), e.g., telepathy; and (6) the knowledge of the extinction of the contaminants (ĀSRAVAKṢAYA, P. āsavakkhāya). The first five of these superknowledges are considered to be mundane (LAUKIKA) achievements, which are gained through still more profound refinement of the fourth stage of meditative absorption (DHYĀNA). The sixth power is said to be supramundane (LOKOTTARA) and is attainable through the cultivation of insight (VIPAŚYANĀ) into the nature of reality. The first, second, and sixth superknowledges are also called the three kinds of knowledge (TRIVIDYĀ; P. tevijjā).
abhilāṣa. (P. abhilāsa; T. ’dod pa/mngon par ’dod pa; C. leqiu; J. gyōgu; K. nakku 樂求). In Sanskrit, “desire” or “longing”; in MAHĀYĀNA referring especially to the “longing” to remain at the level of a ŚRĀVAKA.
abhimāna. (T. mngon pa’i nga rgyal; C. man; J. man; K. man 慢). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “conceit,” “haughtiness,” or “arrogance”; an intensification of mere “pride” (MĀNA). In the YOGĀCĀRABHŪMIŚĀSTRA and Tibetan sources, abhimāna is listed as one of seven types of conceit. This conceit can refer either to views that one holds arrogantly, haughtiness regarding the status into which one is born, or arrogance regarding the extent of one’s wealth and/or knowledge.
abhimukhī. (T. mngon du ’gyur ba/mngon du phyogs pa; C. xianqian [di]; J. genzen[chi]; K. hyŏnjŏn [chi] 現前[地]). In Sanskrit, “manifest” or “evident”; used with reference to a twofold classification of phenomena as manifest (abhimukhī)—viz., those things that are evident to sense perception—and hidden (S. PAROKṢA, T. lkog gyur)—viz., those things whose existence must be inferred through reasoning. ¶ Abhimukhī, as “immediacy” or “face-to-face,” is the sixth of the ten stages (BHŪMI) of the BODHISATTVA path described in the DAŚABHŪMIKASŪTRA. The MAHĀYĀNASŪTRĀLAṂKĀRA interprets this bhūmi as “directly facing,” or “face-to-face,” implying that the bodhisattva at this stage of the path stands at the intersection between SAṂSĀRA and NIRVĀṆA. The bodhisattva here realizes the equality of all phenomena (dharmasamatā), e.g., that all dharmas are signless and free of characteristics, unproduced and unoriginated, and free from the duality of existence and nonexistence. Turning away from the compounded dharmas of saṃsāra, the bodhisattva turns to face the profound wisdom of the buddhas and is thus “face-to-face” with both the compounded (SAṂSKṚTA) and uncompounded (ASAṂSKṚTA) realms. This bhūmi is typically correlated with mastery of the sixth perfection (PĀRAMITĀ), the perfection of wisdom (PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ).
abhinirūpaṇāvikalpa. (T. mngon par rtog pa/rnam par rtog pa; C. jidu fenbie; J. ketaku funbetsu; K. kyet’ak punbyŏl 計度分別). In Sanskrit, “conceptualizing discrimination” or “discursive thought”; the second of the three types of conceptual discrimination (VIKALPA). See TRIVIKALPA.
Abhiniṣkramaṇasūtra. (T. Mngon par ’byung ba’i mdo; C.Fo benxing ji jing; J. Butsuhongyōjukkyō; K. Pul ponhaeng chip kyŏng 佛本行集經). In Sanskrit, “Sūtra of the Great Renunciation”; this scripture relates the story of Prince SIDDHĀRTHA’s “going forth” (abhiniṣkramaṇa; P. abhinikkhamaṇa) from his father’s palace to pursue the life of a mendicant wanderer (ŚRAMAṆA) in search of enlightenment. There are no extant Sanskrit versions of the SŪTRA, but the work survives in Tibetan and in several distinct recensions available in Chinese translation, one dating to as early as the first century CE. The best-known Chinese translation is the Fo benxing ji jing, made by JÑĀNAGUPTA around 587 CE, during the Sui dynasty. The text claims to be a DHARMAGUPTAKA recension of the JĀTAKA, or past lives of the Buddha. (Franklin Edgerton has suggested that this text may instead be a translation of the MAHĀVASTU, “The Great Account,” of the LOKOTTARAVĀDA offshoot of the MAHĀSĀṂGHIKA school.) Jñānagupta’s recension has sixty chapters, in five major parts. The first part is an introduction to the work as a whole, which relates how rare it is for a buddha to appear in the world and why people should take advantage of this opportunity. Reference is made to the various meritorious roots (KUŚALAMŪLA) that ŚĀKYAMUNI acquired throughout his many lifetimes of training, in order to prepare for this final life when he would finally attain enlightenment. The second part enumerates the entire lineage of the buddhas of antiquity, a lineage that Śākyamuni would soon join, and the third part follows with a genealogy of the ŚĀKYA clan. The fourth part describes the decisive stages in Śākyamuni’s life, from birth, through his awakening, to the first “turning of the wheel of the DHARMA” (DHARMACAKRAPRAVARTANA). The last part gives extended biographies (going even into their past lives) of his prominent disciples, of which the stories involving his longtime attendant, ĀNANDA, are particularly extensive. In 1876, SAMUEL BEAL translated this Chinese recension of the sūtra into English as The Romantic Legend of Śākya Buddha.
abhiprāya. (T. dgongs pa; C. yiqu; J. ishu; K. ŭich’wi 意趣). In Sanskrit, “hidden intention” or “purpose”; a term used in hermeneutics to refer to the concealed intent the Buddha had in mind when he made a statement that was not literally true (see also ABHISAṂDHI). In the MAHĀYĀNASŪTRĀLAṂKĀRA, there are four abhiprāyas. (1) The Buddha may say that two things are the same when in fact they are similar in only one, albeit important, feature. Thus, ŚĀKYAMUNI Buddha says that he is the past buddha VIPAŚYIN, thinking of the fact that there is not the slightest difference in their DHARMAKĀYAs. This is called the intention of sameness (samatābhiprāya). (2) The Buddha may say one thing while intending something else (arthāntarābhiprāya). This category is often invoked in YOGĀCĀRA exegesis to explain why the Buddha proclaimed the nonexistence of all phenomena in the PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ sūtras when he in fact did not intend this statement to be taken literally, thinking instead of the three natures (TRILAKṢAṆA) of all phenomena propounded by the Yogācāra. (3) The buddha may make a statement intending another time (kālāntarābhiprāya) than that suggested by his words. For example, he may assure lazy persons who are incapable of any virtuous practice whatsoever that they will be reborn in SUKHĀVATĪ, the paradise of AMITĀBHA, if they will simply call on that buddha. He does this in order to encourage them to accumulate a modest amount of merit, although he knows that they will not be reborn there immediately or even in their next lifetime, but at some other time in the future. (4) The Buddha adjusts his teaching to the capacities of his students based on their dispositions (pudgalāntarābhiprāya). For example, the Buddha will extol the benefits of the practice of charity (DĀNA) to a person who is disposed toward the accumulation of merit (PUṆYA) but will underplay the importance of charity to a person who becomes complacently attached to that practice. See ABHISAṂDHI; SANDHYĀBHĀṢĀ.
abhirati. (T. mngon dga’; C. miaoxi/abiluoti; J. myōki/abiradai; K. myohŭi/abiraje 妙喜/阿比羅提). In Sanskrit, “delight,” “repose,” or “wondrous joy”; the world system (LOKADHĀTU) and buddha-field (BUDDHAKṢETRA) of the buddha AKṢOBHYA, which is said to be located in the east. Abhirati is one of the earliest of the buddha-fields to appear in Buddhist literature and is depicted as an idealized form of our ordinary SAHĀ world. As its name implies, abhirati is a land of delight, the antithesis of the suffering that plagues our world, and its pleasures are the by-products of Akṣobhya’s immense merit and compassion. In his land, Akṣobhya sits on a platform sheltered by a huge BODHI TREE, which is surrounded by row after row of palm trees and jasmine bushes. The soil is golden in color and as soft as cotton. Although abhirati, like our world, has a sun and moon, both pale next to the radiance of Akṣobhya himself. In abhirati, there are gender distinctions, as in our world, but no physical sexuality. A man who entertains sexual thoughts toward a woman would instantly see this desire transformed into a DHYĀNA that derives from the meditation on impurity (AŚUBHABHĀVANĀ), while a woman can become pregnant by a man’s glance (even though women do not experience menstruation). Food and drink appear spontaneously whenever a person is hungry or thirsty. Abhirati is designed to provide the optimal environment for Buddhist practice, and rebirth there is a direct result of an adept having planted meritorious roots (KUŚALAMŪLA), engaging in salutary actions, and then dedicating any merit deriving from those actions to his future rebirth in that land. Akṣobhya will eventually attain PARINIRVĀṆA in abhirati through a final act of self-immolation (see SHESHEN). Abhirati is described in the AKṢOBHYATATHĀGATASYAVYŪHA, an important precursor to the more famous SUKHĀVATĪVYŪHA that describes SUKHĀVATĪ, the buddha-field of AMITĀBHA.
Abhirūpā Nandā. In Pāli, “Nandā the Lovely”; one of three prominent nuns named Nandā mentioned in the Pāli canon (the others being JANAPADAKALYĀṆĪ NANDĀ and SUNDARĪ NANDĀ), all of whom share similar stories. According to Pāli sources, Abhirūpā Nandā was said to be the daughter of the Sākiyan (S. ŚĀKYA) chieftain Khemaka and lived in Kapilavatthu (S. KAPILAVASTU). She was renowned for her extraordinary beauty, for which she was given the epithet Abhirūpā (Lovely). So popular was she that her parents became vexed by the many suitors who sought her hand in marriage. As was the Sākiyan custom, Nandā was entitled to choose her future husband, but on the day she was to wed, her fiancé died and her parents forced her into the monastic order against her will. Exceedingly proud of her beauty and having no real religious vocation, she avoided visiting the Buddha lest he rebuke her for her vanity. Learning of her reluctance, the Buddha instructed Mahāpajāpatī (S. MAHĀPRAJĀPATĪ), his stepmother and head of the nuns’ order, to arrange for every nun in her charge to come to him for instruction. Nandā, in fear, sent a substitute in her place but the ruse was uncovered. When Nandā was finally compelled to appear before the Buddha, he created an apparition of lovely women standing and fanning him. Nandā was enthralled by the beauty of the conjured maidens, whom the Buddha then caused to age, grow decrepit, die, and rot, right before her eyes. The Buddha then preached to her about the fragility of physical beauty. Having been given a suitable subject of meditation (KAMMAṬṬHĀNA), Nandā eventually gained insight into the impermanence (ANITYA), suffering (DUḤKHA), and lack of self (ANĀTMAN) of all conditioned things and attained arahatship. The source for the stories related to Abhirūpā Nandā is the commentarial note to verses nineteen and twenty of the Pāli THERĪGĀTHĀ, a text only known to the Pāli tradition.
abhisamācārikāsīla. (C. biqiu weiyi; J. biku igi; K. pigu wiŭi 比丘威儀). In Pāli, “virtuous (or proper) conduct”; often abbreviated simply as abhisamācārikā. The term may be used generically to refer to the basic moral codes (ŚĪLA) that are followed by all Buddhists, whether lay or monastic. More specifically, in the context of the Buddhist monastic codes (VINAYA), abhisamācārikā refers to the broad standards of behavior and norms that are expected of a monk (BHIKṢU) or nun (BHIKṢUṆĪ) living in a monastery. In the monastic tradition, we find a distinction between two kinds of moral discipline. The first is abhisamācārikāsīla, which indicates a set of more mundane, external prescriptions including how a monk should treat his superior and how a monastery should be maintained from day to day. For example, the abhisamācārikā section of the MAHĀSĀṂGHIKA VINAYA includes detailed instructions on how and when to hold the recitation of the monastic rules (UPOṢADHA). The text lists the spaces that are appropriate for this ritual and gives detailed instructions on how the space is to be cleaned and prepared for the recitation. As with other monastic instructions, these rules are accompanied by a story that serves as an impetus for the making of the rule. The second type of moral discipline is ĀDIBRAHMACARIYAKASĪLA, which are rules of conduct that will lead one further toward the complete eradication of suffering (DUḤKHA). Abhisamācārikāsīla is understood to be the lesser discipline with mundane ends, while ādibrahmacariyakasīla is understood to be the higher transcendent discipline.
abhisamaya. (T. mngon rtogs; C. xianguan; J. genkan; K. hyŏn’gwan 現觀). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “comprehension,” “realization,” or “penetration”; a foundational term in Buddhist soteriological theory, broadly referring to training that results in the realization of truth (satyābhisamaya; P. saccābhisamaya). This realization most typically involves the direct insight into the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS (catvary āryasatyāni) but may also be used with reference to realization of the twelvefold chain of dependent origination (PRATĪTYASAMUTPĀDA), the noble eightfold path (ĀRYĀṢṬĀṄGAMĀRGA), the thirty-seven wings of enlightenment (BODHIPĀKṢIKADHARMA), etc., thus making all these doctrines specific objects of meditation. The Pāli PAṬISAMBHIDĀMAGGA discusses forty-four specific kinds of abhisamaya, all related to basic doctrinal lists. In the SARVĀSTIVĀDA abhidharma, abhisamaya occurs on the path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA), through a “sequential realization” (anupūrvābhisamaya) of sixteen moments of insight into the four noble truths. This gradual unfolding of realization was rejected by the THERAVĀDA school and was strongly criticized in HARIVARMAN’s *TATTVASIDDHI, both of which advocated the theory of instantaneous realization (ekakṣaṇābhisamaya). In the YOGĀCĀRA school of MAHĀYĀNA, abhisamaya is not limited to the path of vision, as in the Sarvāstivāda school, but also occurs on the path of preparation (PRAYOGAMĀRGA) that precedes the path of vision through the abhisamayas of thought, faith, and discipline, as well as on the path of cultivation (BHĀVANĀMĀRGA) through two abhisamayas associated with wisdom and an abhisamaya associated with the ultimate path (NIṢṬHĀMĀRGA). The term comes to be associated particularly with the ABHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRA, attributed to MAITREYANĀTHA, which sets forth the various realizations achieved on the “HĪNAYĀNA” and MAHĀYĀNA paths. In the eight chapters of this text are delineated eight types of abhisamaya, which subsume the course of training followed by both ŚRĀVAKAs and BODHISATTVAs: (1) the wisdom of knowing all modes (SARVĀKĀRAJÑATĀ), (2) the wisdom of knowing the paths (MĀRGAJÑATĀ), (3) the wisdom of knowing all phenomena (SARVAJÑATĀ), (4) manifestly perfect realization of all (the three previous) aspects (sarvākārābhisambodha), (5) the summit of realization (mūrdhābhisamaya; see MŪRDHAN), (6) gradual realization (anupūrvābhisamaya), (7) instantaneous realization (ekakṣaṇābhisamaya), and (8) realization of the dharma body, or DHARMAKĀYA (dharmakāyābhisambodha).
Abhisamayālaṃkāra. (T. Mngon par rtogs pa’i rgyan). In Sanskrit, “Ornament of Realization”; a major scholastic treatise of the MAHĀYĀNA, attributed to MAITREYANĀTHA (c. 350CE). Its full title is Abhisamayālaṃkāranāmaprajñāpāramitopadeśaśāstra (T. Shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa’i man ngag gi bstan bcos mngon par rtogs pa’i rgyan) or “Treatise Setting Forth the Perfection of Wisdom called ‘Ornament for Realization.’” In the Tibetan tradition, the Abhisamayālaṃkāra is counted among the five treatises of Maitreya (BYAMS CHOS SDE LNGA). The 273 verses of the Abhisamayālaṃkāra provide a schematic outline of the perfection of wisdom, or PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ, approach to enlightenment, specifically as delineated in the PAÑCAVIṂŚATISĀHASRIKĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ (“Perfection of Wisdom in Twenty-Five Thousand Lines”). This detailed delineation of the path is regarded as the “hidden teaching” of the prajñāpāramitā sūtras. Although hardly known in East Asian Buddhism (until the modern Chinese translation by FAZUN), the work was widely studied in Tibet, where it continues to hold a central place in the monastic curricula of all the major sects. It is especially important for the DGE LUGS sect, which takes it as the definitive description of the stages of realization achieved through the Buddhist path. The Abhisamayālaṃkāra treats the principal topics of the prajñāpāramitā sūtras by presenting them in terms of the stages of realizations achieved via the five paths (PAÑCAMĀRGA). The eight chapters of the text divide these realizations into eight types. The first three are types of knowledge that are essential to any type of practice and are generic to both the mainstream and Mahāyāna schools. (1) The wisdom of knowing all modes (SARVĀKĀRAJÑATĀ), for the bodhisattva-adepts who are the putative target audience of the commentary, explains all the characteristics of the myriad dharmas, so that they will have comprehensive knowledge of what the attainment of enlightenment will bring. (2) The wisdom of knowing the paths (MĀRGAJÑATĀ), viz., the paths perfected by the ŚRĀVAKAs, is a prerequisite to achieving the wisdom of knowing all modes. (3) The wisdom of knowing all phenomena (SARVAJÑATĀ) is, in turn, a prerequisite to achieving the wisdom of knowing the paths. With (4) the topic of the manifestly perfect realization of all aspects (sarvākārābhisambodha) starts the text’s coverage of the path itself, here focused on gaining insight into all aspects, viz., characteristics of dharmas, paths, and types of beings. By reaching (5) the summit of realization (mūrdhābhisamaya; see MŪRDHAN), one arrives at the entrance to ultimate realization. All the realizations achieved up to this point are secured and commingled through (6) gradual realization (anupūrvābhisamaya). The perfection of this gradual realization and the consolidation of all previous realizations catalyze the (7) instantaneous realization (ekakṣaṇābhisamaya). The fruition of this instantaneous realization brings (8) realization of the dharma body, or DHARMAKĀYA (dharmakāyābhisambodha). The first three chapters thus describe the three wisdoms incumbent on the buddhas; the middle four chapters cover the four paths that take these wisdoms as their object; and the last chapter describes the resultant dharma body of the buddhas and their special attainments. The Abhisamayālaṃkāra provides a synopsis of the massive prajñāpāramitā scriptures and a systematic outline of the comprehensive path of Mahāyāna. The Abhisamayālaṃkāra spurred a long tradition of Indian commentaries and other exegetical works, twenty-one of which are preserved in the Tibetan canon. Notable among this literature are Ārya VIMUKTISEṆA’s Vṛtti and the ABHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRĀLOKĀ and Vivṛti (called Don gsal in Tibetan) by HARIBHADRA. Later Tibetan commentaries include BU STON RIN CHEN GRUB’s Lung gi snye ma and TSONG KHA PA’s LEGS BSHAD GSER PHRENG.
Abhisamayālaṃkārakārikāprajñāpāramitopadeśaśāstraṫīkā-Prasphuṭapadā. (S). See PRASPHUṬAPADĀ.
Abhisamayālaṃkārālokā-vyākhyā. (T. Mngon rtogs rgyan gyi snang ba rgya cher bshad pa). In Sanskrit, “Illuminating the ‘Ornament of Realization,’” by the Indian scholiast HARIBHADRA (c. 750 CE). This long commentary, summarized in his ABHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRAVIVṚTI, correlates the 273 verses of MAITREYANĀTHA’s ABHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRA with the specific corresponding sections in the AṢṬASĀHASRIKĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ (“Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines”). It was translated into Tibetan by RIN CHEN BZANG PO in the eleventh century and by RNGOG BLO LDAN SHES RAB and subsequently became a central text in the curricula of many Tibetan monasteries. See AṢṬASĀHASRIKĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀVYĀKHYĀBHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRĀLOKĀ.
Abhisamayālaṃkāravivṛti. (T. [Shes rab phar phyin man ngag gi bstan bcos] mngon rtogs rgyan gyi ’grel pa). In Sanskrit, “Commentary on the Ornament of Realization” by HARIBHADRA. The work in four bundles (T. bam po) is a digest (called ’grel chung, “short commentary”) of his long detailed explanation of the AṢṬASĀHASRIKĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ (“Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines”), the AṢṬASĀHASRIKĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀVYĀKHYĀBHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRĀLOKĀ (called ’grel chen, “long commentary”). The Abhisamayālaṃkāravivṛti gained considerable importance in Tibet after RNGOG BLO LDAN SHES RAB supplemented his translation of it with a summary (bsdus don) of its contents, beginning a tradition of PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ commentary that spread from GSANG PHU NE’U THOG monastery into all four Tibetan sects. This tradition, which continues down to the present, uses the ABHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRA and ABHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRAVIVṚTI as twin root texts to structure wide-ranging discussions of abhidharma, right philosophical view and proper praxis. There are two subcommentaries to the work, Dharmamitra’s PRASPHUṬAPADĀ and DHARMAKĪRTIŚRĪ’s Durbodhāloka. PRAJÑĀKARAMATI, RATNAKĪRTI, and Buddhajñāna wrote summaries of the work, all extant in Tibetan translation. See also SPHUṬĀRTHĀ.
abhisaṃdhi. (T. ldem por dgongs pa; C. miyi; J. mitchi/mitsui; K. mirŭi 密意). In Sanskrit, “implied intention,” a term used in hermeneutics to classify the types of statements made by the Buddha. In the MAHĀYĀNASŪTRĀLAṂKĀRA, there are four such abhisaṃdhi listed. (1) The first is implied intention pertaining to entrance (avatāraṇābhisaṃdhi). The Buddha recognizes that if he were to teach HĪNAYĀNA disciples that, in addition to the nonexistence of the self (ANĀTMAN), DHARMAs also did not exist (DHARMANAIRĀTMYA), they would be so terrified that they would never enter the MAHĀYĀNA. Therefore, in order to coax them toward the Mahāyāna, he teaches them that a personal self does not exist while explaining that phenomena other than the person do exist. (2) The second is implied intention pertaining to the [three] natures (lakṣaṇābhisaṃdhi). When the Buddha said that all phenomena are without own-nature, he had in mind the imaginary nature (PARIKALPITA) of phenomena. When he said that they were neither produced nor destroyed, he had in mind their dependent nature (PARATANTRA). When he said that they were inherently free from suffering, he had in mind their consummate nature (PARINIṢPANNA). (3) The third is implied intention pertaining to antidotes (pratipakṣābhisaṃdhi). In the hīnayāna, the Buddha teaches specific antidotes (PRATIPAKṢA) to various defilements. Thus, as an antidote to hatred, he teaches the cultivation of love; as an antidote to sensuality, he teaches meditation on the foul, such as a decomposing corpse; as an antidote to pride, he teaches meditation on dependent origination; and as an antidote to a wandering mind, he teaches meditation on the breath. He indicates that these faults can be completely destroyed with these antidotes, calling them a supreme vehicle (agrayāna). In fact, these faults are only completely destroyed with full insight into non-self. Thus, the Buddha intentionally overstated their potency. (4) The final type is implied intention pertaining to translation (pariṇāmanābhisaṃdhi). This category encompasses those statements that might be termed antiphrastic, i.e., appearing to say something quite contrary to the tenor of the doctrine, which cannot be construed as even provisionally true. A commonly cited example of such a statement is the declaration in the DHAMMAPADA (XXI.5–6) that one becomes pure through killing one’s parents; the commentators explain that parents are to be understood here to mean negative mental states such as sensual desire. See also ABHIPRĀYA; SANDHYĀBHĀṢĀ.
abhiṣeka. (P. abhiseka; T. dbang bskur; C. guanding; J. kanjō; K. kwanjŏng 灌頂). In Sanskrit, “anointment,” “consecration,” “empowerment,” or “initiation”; a term originally used to refer to the anointment of an Indian king or the investiture of a crown prince, which by extension came to be applied to the anointment of a BODHISATTVA as a buddha. Just as a wheel-turning monarch (CAKRAVARTIN) invests the crown prince by sprinkling the crown of his head with fragrant water from all the four seas, so too do the buddhas anoint the crown of a bodhisattva when he makes his vow to achieve buddhahood. The Chinese translation, lit. “sprinkling the crown of the head,” conveys this sense of anointment. In the MAHĀVASTU, an early text associated with the LOKOTTARAVĀDA branch of the MAHĀSĀṂGHIKA school, the tenth and last stage (BHŪMI) of the bodhisattva path is named abhiṣeka, rather than the more commonly known DHARMAMEGHĀBHŪMI, indicating that the bodhisattva has then been initiated into the lineage of the buddhas. Abhiṣeka is used especially in tantric literature, such as the MAHĀVAIROCANĀBHISAṂBODHISŪTRA, to refer to an initiation ceremony that empowers disciples to “enter the MAṆḌALA,” where they are then allowed to learn the esoteric formulae (MANTRA) and gestures (MUDRĀ) and receive the instructions associated with a specific tantric deity. In ANUTTARAYOGATANTRA, a series of four initiations or empowerments are described, the vase empowerment (KALAŚĀBHIṢEKA), the secret empowerment (GUHYĀBHIṢEKA), the knowledge of the wisdom empowerment (PRAJÑĀJÑĀNĀBHIṢEKA), and the word empowerment (śabdābhiṣeka), also known as the “fourth empowerment” (caturthābhiṣeka). The vase empowerment is the only one of the four that is used in the three other tantras of KRIYĀTANTRA, CARYĀTANTRA, and YOGATANTRA. A special type of consecration ceremony, called a BUDDHĀBHIṢEKA, is conducted at the time of the installation of a new buddha image, which vivifies the inert clay, metal, or wood of the image, invests the image with insight into the dharma (e.g., through reciting some version of the formula concerning causality, or PRATĪTYASAMUTPĀDA), and transforms the image into a living buddha.
abhiṣekamudrā. (T. dbang bskur phyag rgya; C. guanding yin; J. kanjōin; K. kwanjŏng in 灌頂印). In Sanskrit, “gesture of anointment.” In this particular mudrā, the palms are held together with the forefingers extended against each other. See also MUDRĀ.
abhūtaparikalpa. (T. yang dag pa ma yin pa’i kun tu rtog pa/kun rtog; C. xuwang fenbie; J. komō funbetsu; K. hŏmang punbyŏl 妄分別). In Sanskrit, “false imagining” or “construction of what is unreal”; a pivotal Yogācāra term describing the tendency of the dependent (PARATANTRA) nature (SVABHĀVA) to project false constructions of a reality that is bifurcated between self and others. Sentient beings mistakenly assume that what has been constructed through consciousness has a static, unchanging reality. This process inserts into the perceptual process an imaginary bifurcation (VIKALPA) between perceiving subject (grāhaka) and perceived object (grāhya) (see GRĀHYAGRĀHAKAVIKALPA), which is the basis for a continued proliferation of such mental constructions. This subject–object dichotomy is then projected onto all sensory experience, resulting in the imagined (PARIKALPITA) nature (svabhāva). By relying on these false imaginings to construct our sense of what is real, we inevitably subject ourselves to continued suffering (DUḤKHA) within the cycle of birth-and-death (SAṂSĀRA). The term figures prominently in MAITREYNĀTHA’s MADHYĀNTAVIBHĀGA (“Separating the Middle from the Extremes”) and VASUBANDHU’s commentary on the treatise, the Madhyāntavibhāgabhāṣya.
abhyāyana. (P. abbhāna; T. mngon par ’ongs; C. chuzui; J. shutsuzai; K. ch’ulchoe 出罪). In Sanskrit, the formal ecclesiastical act of “calling back” a monk into communion. In the Pāli VINAYA, for example, a monk who has committed a suspension (P. saṅghādisesa; S. SAṂGHĀVAŚEṢA) offense is required to undergo rehabilitation through either penance (P. manatta; S. MĀNATVA) or probation (PARIVĀSA) until his offense has been expiated. If he does not properly carry out his penalty, it will be reimposed until the community is satisfied with his performance. At that point, the community performs the abbhāna-kamma, the ecclesiastical act of “calling back,” which restores the monk to functional membership in the SAṂGHA. A minimum of twenty monks must be present during the abhyāyana ritual for it to be valid. No member of the twenty may himself be observing either mānapya or parivāsa at the time, although such a monk may be present as long as the minimum number of blameless monks is participating.
abhyudaya. (T. mngon par mtho ba; C. shengsheng; J. shōsho; K. sŭngsaeng 勝生). In Sanskrit, lit. “rising”; viz., a “superior rebirth.” In MAHĀYĀNA texts like NĀGĀRJUNA‘s RATNĀVALĪ, the term is typically used to refer to “rising” to a higher rebirth in the realms of the divinities (DEVA) or human beings (MANUṢYA); often paired with NIḤŚREYASA, a term for NIRVĀṆA that literally means “of which there is nothing finer.”
absorption. See DHYĀNA; JHĀNA.
acalā. (T. mi g.yo ba; C. budong di; J. fudōji; K. pudong chi 不動地). In Sanskrit, “immovable” or “steadfast”; the name for the eighth of the ten BODHISATTVA grounds or stages (BHŪMI) according to the DAŚABHŪMIKASŪTRA. At this level of the path (MĀRGA), the bodhisattva realizes the acquiescence or receptivity to the nonproduction of dharmas (ANUTPATTIKADHARMAKṢĀNTI) and is no longer perturbed by either cause or absence of cause. The eighth-stage bodhisattva is able to project different transformation bodies (NIRMĀṆAKĀYA) anywhere in the universe. This bhūmi is sometimes correlated with mastery of the eighth perfection of resolve or aspiration (PRAṆIDHĀNAPĀRAMITĀ). According to some commentators, upon reaching this bhūmi, the bodhisattva has abandoned all of the afflictive obstructions (KLEŚĀVARAṆA) and is thus liberated from any further rebirth in a realm where he would be subject to defilement; for this reason, the eighth, ninth, and tenth bhūmis are sometimes called “pure bhūmis.”
Acalanātha-Vidyārāja. (T. Mi g.yo mgon po rig pa’i rgyal po; C. Budong mingwang; J. Fudō myōō; K. Pudong myŏngwang 不動明王). In Sanskrit, a wrathful DHARMAPĀLA of the VAJRAYĀNA pantheon and the chief of the eight VIDYĀRĀJA. As described in the MAHĀVAIROCANĀBHISAṂBODHISŪTRA, he is the NIRMĀṆAKĀYA of VAIROCANA, a protector of boundaries and vanquisher of obstacles. A late Indian deity, Acalanātha-Vidyārāja possibly originated from the YAKṢA form of VAJRAPĀṆI, with whom he is associated in his form of Acalavajrapāṇi. Indian forms of the god from the eleventh century show him kneeling on his left leg, holding a sword (khaḍga). Vajrayāna images show him standing with one or three faces and varied numbers of pairs of hands, identified by his raised sword, snare, and ACALĀSANA. The cult of Acalanātha-Vidyārāja entered China during the first millennium CE, and was brought to Japan by KŪKAI in the ninth century, where the wrathful deity (known in Japanese as Fudō myōō) became important for the Shingon school (SHINGONSHŪ), even being listed by it as one of the thirteen buddhas. In East Asian iconography, Acalanātha-Vidyārāja holds the sword and a snare or lasso (pāśa), with which he binds evil spirits.
acalāsana. (T. mi g.yo ba’i ’dug stangs; C. budongzuo; J. fudōza; K. pudongjwa 不動坐). In Sanskrit, the “immovable posture”; a semi-kneeling position, where the left knee touches the ground, but the right knee is raised off the ground. This posture is commonly seen in figures bearing gifts, where the hands are clasped in front of the donor’s chest in AÑJALI. This pose is also characteristic of the wrathful deity ACALANĀTHA-VIDYĀRĀJA, whose hands instead hold a snare (pāśa) in the left and a raised sword in the right. Bodhisattvas are also sometimes depicted in this posture.
Acalavajrapāṇi. See ACALANĀTHA-VIDYĀRĀJA.
ācariya. (S. ācārya, Thai, āčhān; T. slob dpon; C. asheli; J. ajari; K. asari 阿闍梨). In Pāli, “teacher.” A monk takes an ācariya if he has lost his preceptor (P. upajjhāya; S. UPĀDHYĀYA) and is still in need of guidance (nissaya, S. NIŚRAYA). A preceptor is said to be lost when he goes away, disrobes, dies, joins another religion, or has expelled the monk under his guidance for wrongdoing. To act as an ācariya, a monk must possess the same qualifications as required of an upajjhāya; namely, he must be competent in DHARMA and VINAYA and be of at least ten years standing in the order since his own ordination. The monk taken under the guidance of the ācariya is called his ANTEVĀSIKA, or pupil. The relationship between teacher and pupil is compared to that of father and son. The teacher is enjoined to teach dhamma and vinaya to his pupil and to supply him with all necessary requisites, such as robes (see TRICĪVARA) and alms bowl (PĀTRA). He should tend to him if he is ill and discipline him if he commits wrongdoing. If the pupil should begin to entertain doubts about the dispensation or his abilities to practice, the teacher must try to dispel them. If the pupil should commit a grave offense against the rules of the SAṂGHA, the teacher is to prevail upon him to go before the saṃgha to seek expiation. If the pupil misbehaves or is disobedient, the teacher is enjoined to expel him. But if the pupil shows remorse and asks forgiveness, the teacher is to take him again under guidance. A monk ceases to be an ācariya when he goes away, dies, disrobes, changes religion, or expels his pupil. See also ĀCĀRYA.
ācārya. (P. ācariya; Thai āčhān; T. slob dpon; C. asheli; J. ajari; K. asari 阿闍梨). In Sanskrit, “teacher” or “master”; the term literally means “one who teaches the ācāra (proper conduct),” but it has come into general use as a title for religious teachers. In early Buddhism, it refers specifically to someone who teaches the supra dharma and is used in contrast to the UPĀDHYĀYA (P. upajjhāya) or “preceptor.” (See ĀCARIYA entry supra.) The title ācārya becomes particularly important in VAJRAYĀNA Buddhism, where the officiant of a tantric ritual is often viewed as the vajra master (VAJRĀCĀRYA). The term has recently been adopted by Tibetan monastic universities in India as a degree (similar to a Master of Arts) conferred upon graduation. In Japan, the term refers to a wise teacher, saint, holy person, or a wonder-worker who is most often a Buddhist monk. The term is used by many Japanese Buddhist traditions, including ZEN, TENDAI, and SHINGON. Within the Japanese Zen context, an ajari is a formal title given to those who have been training for five years or more.
āčhān. Thai pronunciation of the Sanskrit term ĀCĀRYA (“teacher”); also seen transcribed as AJAHN or acchan. See AJAHN.
acintya. (P. acinteyya; T. bsam gyis mi khyab pa; C. bukesiyi; J. fukashigi; K. pulgasaŭi 不可思議). In Sanskrit, “inconceivable”; a term used to describe the ultimate reality that is beyond all conceptualization. Pāli and mainstream Buddhist materials refer to four specific types of “inconceivables” or “unfathomables” (P. acinteyya): the range or sphere of a buddha, e.g., the extent of his knowledge and power; the range of meditative absorption (DHYĀNA); the potential range of moral cause and effect (KARMAN and VIPĀKA); and the range of the universe or world system (LOKA), i.e., issues of cosmogony, whether the universe is finite or infinite, eternal or transitory, etc. Such thoughts are not to be pursued, because they are not conducive to authentic religious progress or ultimately to NIRVĀṆA. See also AVYĀKṚTA.
Acintyastava. (T. Bsam gyis mi khyab par bstod pa). In Sanskrit, “In Praise of the Inconceivable One”; an Indian philosophical work by the MADHYAMAKA master NĀGĀRJUNA written in the form of a praise for the Buddha. In the Tibetan tradition, there are a large number of such praises (called STAVAKĀYA) in contrast to the set of philosophical texts (called YUKTIKĀYA) attributed to Nāgārjuna. Among these praise works, the Acintyastava, LOKĀTĪTASTAVA, NIRAUPAMYASTAVA, and PARAMĀRTHASTAVA are extant in Sanskrit and are generally accepted to be his work; these four works together are known as the CATUḤSTAVA. It is less certain that he is the author of the DHARMADHĀTUSTAVA or DHARMADHĀTUSTOTRA (“Hymn to the Dharma Realm”) of which only fragments are extant in the original Sanskrit. The Acintyastava contains fifty-nine stanzas, many of which are addressed to the Buddha. The first section provides a detailed discussion of why dependently originated phenomena are empty of intrinsic nature (NIḤSVABHĀVA); this section has clear parallels to the MŪLAMADHYAMAKAKĀRIKĀ. The forty-fifth verse makes reference to the term PARATANTRA, leading some scholars to believe that Nāgārjuna was familiar with the LAṄKĀVATĀRASŪTRA. The second section describes wisdom (JÑĀNA); the third section sets forth the qualities of the true dharma (SADDHARMA); the fourth and final section extols the Buddha as the best of teachers (ŚĀSTṚ).
ādānavijñāna. (T. len pa’i rnam par shes pa; C. atuona shi/xiangxu shi; J. adanashiki/sōzokushiki; K. at’ana sik/sangsok sik 阿陀那識/相續識). In Sanskrit, “appropriating consciousness” or “retributory consciousness”; an alternate name for the ĀLAYAVIJÑĀNA, the eighth consciousness in the YOGĀCĀRA analysis of consciousness, which serves as a repository (ālaya) of the seeds (BĪJA) of past action (KARMAN) until they can come to fruition (VIPĀKA) in the future. Because that consciousness thus links the present with the future life, the ālayavijñāna also serves as the consciousness that “appropriates” a physical body at the moment of rebirth, hence, its name ādānavijñāna.
ādarśajñāna. [alt. mahādarśajñāna] (T. me long lta bu’i ye shes; C. dayuanjing zhi; J. daienkyōchi; K. taewŏn’gyŏng chi 大圓鏡智). In Sanskrit, “mirrorlike wisdom” or “great perfect mirror wisdom”; one of the five types of wisdom (PAÑCÁJÑĀNA) exclusive to a buddha according to the YOGĀCĀRA and tantric schools, along with the wisdom of equality (SAMATĀJÑĀNA), the wisdom of discriminating awareness (PRATYAVEKṢAṆAJÑĀNA), the wisdom that one has accomplished what was to be done (KṚTYĀNUṢṬHĀNAJÑĀNA), and the wisdom of the nature of the DHARMADHĀTU (DHARMADHĀTUSVABHĀVAJÑĀNA). This specific type of wisdom is a transformation of the eighth consciousness, the ĀLAYAVIJÑĀNA, in which the perfect interfusion between all things is seen as if reflected in a great mirror.
adbhutadharma. (P. abbhutadhamma; T. rmad du byung ba’i chos; C. xifa; J. kehō; K. hŭibŏp 希法). In Sanskrit, “marvelous events”; one of the nine (NAVAṄGA[PĀVACANA]) or twelve (DVĀDAŚĀṄGA[PRAVACANA]) categories (AṄGA) of scripture recognized in Pāli and Sanskrit sources, respectively, as classified according to their structure or literary style. This particular genre of SŪTRA is characterized by the presence of various miraculous or supernatural events that occur during the course of the narrative.
Adbhutadharmaparyāyasūtra. (T. Rmad du byung ba’i chos kyi rnam grangs; C. Shen xiyou jing/Weicengyou jing; J. Jinkeukyō/Mizōukyō; K. Sim hŭiyu kyŏng/Mijŭngyu kyŏng 甚希有經/未曾有經). In Sanskrit, “Discourse on the Wondrous Teachings”; a MAHĀYĀNA SŪTRA best known for advocating that the merit deriving from worshipping the Buddha, such as sponsoring the production of a buddha image or a STŪPA, surpasses that of all other activities. The sūtra states, for example, that erecting even a tiny stūpa containing the relics of a TATHĀGATA is more meritorious than building a large monastery. This text is extant only in three Chinese translations: the “Scripture on the Miraculous” (Weicengyou jing); “Scripture on the Rarest of Things” (Shen xiyou jing), translated by XUANZANG (600/602–664); and the “Chapter on Relative Merits” (Xiaoliang gongde pin), the first chapter of the “Scripture on the Unexcelled Basis” (Fo shuo wushangyi jing, S. *Anuttarāśrayasūtra), translated by PARAMĀRTHA (499–569).
adhamapuruṣa. (T. skyes bu chung ngu; C. xiashi; J. geshi; K. hasa 下士). In Sanskrit, “person of lesser capacity”; the lowest in a threefold classification of religious practitioners, together with madhyapuruṣa (“person of average capacity”) and MAHĀPURUṢA (“person of great capacity”). The person of lesser capacity seeks only happiness in SAṂSĀRA, wishing to be reborn as a human (MANUṢYA) or a divinity (DEVA) in the next life. The three categories of persons are most famously set forth in ATIŚA’s BODHIPATHAPRADĪPA and, deriving from that text, in the LAM RIM literature in Tibet. See also TRĪNDRIYA; MṚDVINDRIYA; TĪKṢṆENDRIYA.
adhigama. (T. rtogs pa; C. zheng; J. shō; K. chŭng 證). In Sanskrit, “realization,” especially in the realization of truth, either conceptually or directly. In this context, adhigama is contrasted with ĀGAMA, the received scriptural tradition, as one of the two methods of realizing truth. See also ADHIGAMADHARMA.
adhigamadharma. (T. rtogs pa’i chos; C. zhengfa; J. shōhō; K. chŭngbŏp 證法). In Sanskrit, “realized dharma”; one of the two divisions of the dharma or teaching of the Buddha, together with the “scriptural dharma” (ĀGAMADHARMA). The adhigamadharma is the practice of the dharma, often identified in this context as the training in higher morality (ADHIŚĪLAŚIKṢĀ), the training in higher meditation (ADHISAMĀDHIŚIKṢĀ), and the training in higher wisdom (ADHIPRAJÑĀŚIKṢĀ), which leads to direct realization (ADHIGAMA), rather than mere conceptual understanding. It is also identified with the truths of cessation and path within the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS. See also ĀGAMA; ĀGAMADHARMA.
adhikaraṇa. (T. rtsod pa; C. zhengshi/zhengsong; J. jōji/jōshō; K. chaengsa/chaengsong 諍事/諍訟). In Pāli and Sanskrit, “legal question” or “case,” an important term in the VINAYA. Legal questions or cases are of four kinds: (1) those arising out of a dispute, (2) those arising out of censure, (3) those arising out of an offense, and (4) those arising out of an obligation. (1) Legal questions or cases arising out of a dispute are of eighteen kinds and deal primarily with what does and does not pertain to the monastic code, what is and is not sanctioned by the rules of vinaya, and what is an especially grievous offense, such as “defeat” (PĀRĀJIKA), vs. what is nongrievous. (2) Legal questions or cases arising out of censure are involved with whether or not a monk has fallen away from morality or good habits, fallen away from right view, or fallen away from right livelihood. (3) Legal questions or cases arising out of offenses deal with misdeeds classified under five headings: viz., pārājika, SAṂGHĀDIŚEṢA, PĀYATTIKA, PRATIDEŚANĪYA, or DUṢKṚTA, or under seven headings: viz., the above five plus miscellaneous grave, but unconsummated offenses (STHŪLĀTYAYA, P. thullaccaya), and mischievous talk (DURBHĀṢITA, P. dubbhāsita). (5) Legal questions or cases arising out of obligation concern the jurisdiction of resolutions and formal acts passed by the SAṂGHA. In the final section of the monastic codes of conduct (PRĀTIMOKṢA), seven specific methods of resolving disputes (ADHIKARAṆAŚAMATHA) are offered.
adhikaraṇaśamatha. (P. adhikaraṇasamatha; T. rtsod pa nye bar zhi ba; C. miezhengfa; J. metsujōhō; K. myŏlchaengpŏp 滅諍法). In Sanskrit, “settlement of a legal case,” viz., rules for settling disputes, involving either confronting ordained monks and nuns who have transgressed the rules of the order (see PRĀTIMOKṢA) or dealing with differences that have arisen within the order. The settlement of a legal question or case (ADHIKARAṆA) within the SAṂGHA may be accomplished in seven ways (SAPTĀDHIKARAṆAŚAMATHA): (1) a verdict “in the presence of,” viz., bringing disputants before a panel of competent monks or the saṃgha as a whole and rendering a verdict according to the appropriate legal procedure; (2) a verdict “of mindfulness”: declaring the accused innocent by virtue of being pure and without offense—e.g., being an ARHAT—and thus incapable of wrongdoing; (3) declaring the accused not guilty by reason of insanity; (4) adding an additional punishment to a monk who confesses to a specific type of wrongdoing only after being interrogated; (5) rendering a verdict by majority vote of the whole saṃgha when a competent monk or a panel of competent monks is unable to reach a decision; (6) resolution through an admission of guilt; and (7) a verdict of “covering over as with grass”: viz., settling a case between disputants through arbitration and compromise before bringing it before the saṃgha for a verdict. These seven methods of resolving disputes are typically placed at the end of the list of rules in the PRĀTIMOKṢA code and appear in the Pāli Pāṭimokkha in its CŪḶAVAGGA section. These seven types of verdicts are sometimes listed in different orders.
adhimāna. (T. lhag pa’i nga rgyal; C. zengshangman; J. zōjōman; K. chŭngsangman 增上慢). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “arrogance” or “haughtiness”; this term refers specifically to overestimation of oneself or boasting about one’s spiritual accomplishments. When one is mistakenly convinced that one has attained one of the superknowledges (ABHIJÑĀ), meditative absorptions (DHYĀNA), or spiritual fruitions (PHALA), when in actuality one has not, one is said to possess adhimāna. When adhimāna is expressed verbally—that is, by bragging to others that one has mastered one of the aforementioned exceptional achievements for the purpose of winning reputation and material support—this braggadocio constitutes a grave offense, especially for ordained monks and nuns. According to the VINAYA, such overestimation of one’s extraordinary spiritual achievements could constitute grounds for “defeat” (PĀRĀJIKA), the most serious transgression that can be committed by monks and nuns. In its more generic usage, adhimāna may also refer simply to particularly intense forms of “conceit” and “pride” (MĀNA).
adhimokṣa. (P. adhimokkha; T. mos pa; C. shengjie; J. shōge; K. sŭnghae 勝解). In Sanskrit, “determination,” “resolution,” or “zeal”; a general term denoting an inclination toward a virtuous object, sometimes used to indicate a preliminary stage prior to the conviction that results from direct experience; also seen written as adhimukti. The adhimukticaryābhūmi incorporates the stages of the path of accumulation (SAṂBHĀRAMĀRGA) and the path of preparation (PRAYOGAMĀRGA) prior to the path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA). In a more technical sense, adhimokṣa is a mental factor (CAITTA) that keeps consciousness intent on its object without straying to another object. It is listed among the ten major omnipresent mental concomitants (S. MAHĀBHŪMIKA) that are present in all in the dharma taxonomy of the SARVĀSTIVĀDA school, among the five determinative mental concomitants (S. VINIYATA) in the YOGĀCĀRA dharma system, and one of the six secondary (P. pakiṇṇaka) factors in the Pāli ABHIDHAMMA. Adhimokṣa is also used to describe the interests or dispositions of sentient beings, the knowledge of which contributes to a buddha’s pedagogical skills.
adhimukti. In Sanskrit, “resolution” or “resolute faith.” See ADHIMOKṢA.
adhipatiphala. (T. bdag po’i ’bras bu; C. zengshang guo; J. zōjōka; K. chŭngsang kwa 增上果). In Sanskrit, “predominant effects” or “sovereign effects”; this is one of the five effects (PHALA) enumerated in the SARVĀSTIVĀDA ABHIDHARMA and in YOGĀCĀRA. In the Sarvāstivāda–VAIBHĀṢIKA abhidharma system of six causes (HETU) and five effects (PHALA), the “predominant effect” is the result of the “efficient cause” (KĀRAṆAHETU), referring to causation in its broadest possible sense, in which every conditioned dharma serves as the generic, indirect cause for the creation of all things except itself. The kāraṇahetu provides the general background necessary for the operation of causality, and the results of the causal process it supports are the adhipatiphala.
adhipatipratyaya. (P. adhipatipaccaya; T. bdag po’i rkyen; C. zengshang yuan; J. zōjōen; K. chŭngsang yŏn 增上縁). In Sanskrit, “predominant” or “sovereign condition”; the fourth of the four types of conditions (PRATYAYA) recognized in the SARVĀSTIVĀDA–VAIBHĀṢIKA system of ABHIDHARMA and in YOGĀCĀRA; the term also appears as the ninth of the twenty-four conditions (P. paccaya) in the massive Pāli abhidhamma text, the PAṬṬHĀNA. In epistemology, the predominant condition is one of the three causal conditions necessary for perception to occur. It is the specific condition that provides the operative capability (kāraṇa) for the production of something else. In the case of sensory perception, the predominant condition for the arising of sensory consciousness (VIJÑĀNA) is the physical sense organ and the sensory object; but more generically even the seed could serve as the adhipatipratyaya for the generation of a sprout. The four primary physical elements (MAHĀBHŪTA) themselves serve as the predominant condition for the five physical sensory organs, in that they are the condition for the sensory organs’ production and development.
adhiprajñāśikṣā. (T. lhag pa’i shes rab kyi bslab pa; C. zengshanghui xue; J. zōjōegaku; K. chŭngsanghye hak 增上慧學). In Sanskrit, “training in higher wisdom”; the third of the three trainings (TRIŚIKṢĀ) required to achieve enlightenment, said to be set forth primarily in the ABHIDHARMA basket of the TRIPIṬAKA. Adhiprajñāśikṣā is primarily associated with the first two constituents of the eightfold path (ĀRYĀṢṬĀṄGAMĀRGA), viz., right views (SAMYAGDṚṢṬI) and right intention (SAMYAKSAṂKALPA).
adhisamādhiśikṣā. (T. lhag pa’i ting nge ’dzin gyi bslab pa; C. zengshangding xue; J. zōjōjōgaku; K. chŭngsangjŏng hak 增上定學). In Sanskrit, “training in higher meditation”; the second of the three trainings (TRIŚIKṢĀ) required to achieve enlightenment, said to be set forth primarily in the SŪTRA basket of the TRIPIṬAKA. Adhisamādhiśikṣā is primarily associated with the last three constituents of the eightfold path (ĀRYĀṢṬĀṄGAMĀRGA), viz., right effort (SAMYAGVYĀYĀMA), right mindfulness (SAMYAKSMṚTI), and right concentration (SAMYAKSAMĀDHI).
adhiśīlaśikṣā. (T. lhag pa’i tshul khrims kyi bslab pa; C. zengshangjie xue; J. zōjōkaigaku; K. chŭngsanggye hak 增上戒學). In Sanskrit, “training in higher morality”; the first of the three trainings (TRIŚIKṢĀ) required to achieve enlightenment, said to be set forth primarily in the VINAYA basket of the TRIPIṬAKA. Adhiśīlaśikṣā is primarily associated with the middle three constituents of the eightfold path (ĀRYĀṢṬĀṄGAMĀRGA), viz., right speech (SAMYAGVĀC), right action (SAMYAKKARMĀNTA), and right livelihood (SAMYAGĀJĪVA).
adhiṣṭhāna. (P. adhiṭṭhāna; T. byin gyis brlabs pa; C. jiachi; J. kaji; K. kaji 加持). In Sanskrit, lit. “determination” or “decisive resolution” and commonly translated as “empowerment.” Literally, the term has the connotation of “taking a stand,” viz., the means by which the buddhas reveal enlightenment to the world, as well as the adept’s reliance on the buddhas’ empowerment through specific ritual practices. In the former sense, adhiṣṭhāna can refer to the magical power of the buddhas and bodhisattvas, in which contexts it is often translated as “blessing” or “empowerment.” As the LAṄKĀVATĀRASŪTRA notes, it is thanks to the buddhas’ empowerment issuing from their own original vows (PRAṆIDHĀNA) that BODHISATTVAS are able to undertake assiduous cultivation over three infinite eons (ASAṂKHYEYAKALPA) so that they may in turn become buddhas. The buddhas’ empowerment sustains the bodhisattvas in their unremitting practice by both helping them to maintain tranquillity of mind throughout the infinity of time they are in training and, ultimately, once the bodhisattvas achieve the tenth and final stage (BHŪMI) of their training, the cloud of dharma (DHARMAMEGHĀ), the buddhas appear from all the ten directions to anoint the bodhisattvas as buddhas in their own right (see ABHIṢEKA). ¶ In mainstream Buddhist materials, adhiṣṭhāna refers to the first of a buddha’s six or ten psychic powers (ṚDDHI), the ability to project mind-made bodies (MANOMAYAKĀYA) of himself, viz., to replicate himself ad infinitum. In Pāli materials, adhiṭṭhāna is also used to refer to the “determination” to extend the duration of meditative absorption (P. JHĀNA; S. DHYĀNA) and the derivative psychic powers (P. iddhi; S. ṚDDHI).
Adhyardhaśatikāprajñāpāramitāsūtra/Prajñāpāramitānayaśatapañcaśatikā. (T. Shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa’i tshul brgya lnga bcu pa; C. Shixiang bore boluomi jing/Bore liqu fen; J. Jissō hannya haramitsukyō/Hannya rishubun; K. Silsang panya paramil kyŏng/Panya ich’wi pun 實相般若波羅蜜經/般若理趣分). In Sanskrit, “Perfection of Wisdom in One Hundred and Fifty Lines.” The basic verses (in Sanskrit) and a commentary describing the ritual accompanying its recitation (originally in Khotanese), are found together as two YOGA class tantras, the Śrīparmādhya (T. Dpal mchog dang po) and Śrīvajramaṇḍalālaṃkāra (T. Dpal rdo rje snying po rgyan). In Japan, AMOGHAVAJRA’s version of the text (called the Rishukyō) came to form an integral part of the philosophy and practice of the Japanese Shingon sect (SHINGONSHŪ).
adhyāśaya. (T. lhag bsam; C. zhengzhi xin; J. shōjiki no shin, K. chŏngjik sim 正直心). In Sanskrit, “determination” or “resolution”; a term used especially to describe the commitment of the BODHISATTVA to liberate all beings from suffering. In the Tibetan mind-training (BLO SBYONG) tradition, the bodhisattva’s resolute commitment is the last in a series of six causes (preceded by recollecting that all beings have been one’s mother, recollecting their kindness, wishing to repay them, love, and compassion), which culminate in BODHICITTA or BODHICITTOTPĀDA. See also XINXIN.
adhyātmavidyā. (T. nang rig pa; C. neiming; J. naimyō; K. naemyŏng 内明). In Sanskrit, “inner knowledge,” viz. knowledge of the three trainings (TRIŚIKṢĀ) and the two stages (UTPATTIKRAMA and NIṢPANNAKRAMA) of TANTRA; the term is sometimes used to refer to knowledge of Buddhist (as opposed to non-Buddhist) subjects.
ādibrahmacariyakasīla. In Pāli, “higher rules of purity”; the more advanced of two types of moral discipline (P. sīla, S. ŚĪLA), referring to rules of conduct that will lead the practitioner further along toward the complete eradication of suffering. This type of discipline is contrasted with ABHISAMĀCĀRIKĀSĪLA, or lesser discipline, which indicates more mundane, external prescriptions, including how a monk should treat his superior and how a monastery should be maintained from day to day. While abhisamācārikāsīla is concerned with mundane ends, ādibrahmacariyakasīla is understood to be the higher, transcendent discipline.
ādibuddha. (T. dang po’i sangs rgyas/ye nas sangs rgyas; C. benchu fo; J. honshobutsu; K. ponch’o pul 本初佛). In Sanskrit, “original buddha” or “primordial buddha”; the personification of innate enlightenment. The term seems to appear for the first time in the MAHĀYĀNASŪTRĀLAṂKĀRA, where the existence of such a primordial buddha is refuted on the grounds that the achievement of buddhahood is impossible without the accumulation of merit (PUṆYA) and wisdom (JÑĀNA). However, the term reemerges in tantric literature, most prominently in the KĀLACAKRATANTRA. There, the term has two meanings, based on the reading of the term ādi. According to the first interpretation, ādi means “first” such that the ādibuddha was the first to attain buddhahood. According to the second interpretation, ādi means “primordial,” which suggests an eternal and atemporal state of innate buddhahood. However, when the commentators on this tantra use the term in this second sense, they appear to be referring not to a person but to an innate wisdom that is present in the minds of all sentient beings and which is the fundamental basis of SAṂSĀRA and NIRVĀṆA. In Tibetan Buddhism, the term ādibuddha is often used to describe the buddha SAMANTABHADRA (according to the RNYING MA sect) or VAJRADHARA (for the GSAR MA sects); in East Asia, by contrast, the ādibuddha is typically considered to be VAIROCANA.
ādikarmika. (P. ādikammika; T. las dang po pa; C. shiye; J. shigō; K. siŏp 始業). In Sanskrit, “beginner” or “neophyte”; a term used to refer to someone who is a novice on the path (MĀRGA). More technically, it refers to a practitioner on the path of accumulation (SAṂBHĀRAMĀRGA), where the initial tools necessary for spiritual development are first beginning to be gathered.
ādīnava. (T. nyes dmigs; C. guohuan; J. kagen; K. kwahwan 過患). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “dangers.” More generically, ādīnava refers to the evils that may befall a layperson who is made heedless (PRAMĀDA) by drinking, gambling, debauchery, and idleness. More specifically, however, the term comes to be used to designate a crucial stage in the process of meditative development (BHĀVANĀ), in which the adept becomes so terrified of the “dangers” inherent in impermanent, compounded things that he turns away from this transitory world and instead turns toward the radical nonattachment that is NIRVĀṆA. In the so-called graduated discourse (P. ANUPUBBIKATHĀ) that the Buddha used to mold the understanding of his new adherents, the Buddha would outline in his elementary discourse the benefits of giving (dānakathā), right conduct (śīlakathā), and the prospect of rebirth in the heavens (svargakathā). Once their minds were pliant and impressionable, the Buddha would then instruct his listeners in the dangers (ādīnava) inherent in sensuality (KĀMA), in order to turn them away from the world and toward the advantages of renunciation (P. nekkhamme ānisaṃsa; see NAIṢKRAMYA). This pervasive sense of danger thence sustains the renunciatory drive that ultimately will lead to nirvāṇa. See also ĀDĪNAVĀNUPASSANĀÑĀṆA.
ādīnavānupassanāñāṇa. In Pāli, “knowledge arising from the contemplation of danger (ĀDĪNAVA)”; this is the fourth of nine knowledges (ñāṇa) cultivated as part of the “purity of knowledge and vision of progress along the path” (PAṬIPADĀÑĀṆADASSANAVISUDDHI) according to the outline in the VISUDDHIMAGGA. This latter category, in turn, constitutes the sixth and penultimate purity (VISUDDHI) to be developed along the path to liberation. Knowledge arising from the contemplation of danger is developed by noting the frightfulness of conditioned formations (saṃkhāra; S. SAṂSKĀRA), that is to say, the mental and physical phenomena (NĀMARŪPA) comprising the individual and the universe. Having seen that all phenomena are fearful because they are impermanent (anicca; S. ANITYA) and destined for annihilation, the practitioner finds no refuge in any kind of existence in any of the realms of rebirth. He sees no conditioned formation or station on which he can rely or that is worth holding onto. The Visuddhimagga states that the practitioner sees the three realms of existence as burning charcoal pits, the elements of the physical world as venomous snakes, and the five aggregates (khandha; S. SKANDHA) comprising the person as murderers with drawn swords. Seeing danger in continued existence and in every kind of becoming (BHAVA), the practitioner realizes that the only safety and happiness are found in nibbāna (S. NIRVĀṆA).
Ādittapariyāyasutta. (S. *ādityaparyāyasūtra; C. Ranshao; J. Nenshō; K. Yŏnso 燃燒). In Pāli, lit. “Discourse on the Manner of Being Aflame,” usually known in English as the “Fire Sermon”; the third sermon spoken by the Buddha following his enlightenment. After his conversion of the three matted-hair ascetics Uruvela-Kassapa, Gayā-Kassapa, and Nadī-Kassapa, along with their one thousand disciples, the Buddha was traveling with them to Gayāsīsa, where he delivered this sermon. Because of his new disciples’ previous devotions to the Brahmanical fire sacrifice, once they were ordained the Buddha preached to these new monks a targeted discourse that he called the “Fire Sermon.” The Buddha explains that all of the six sense bases, six sensory objects, and six sensory consciousnesses, along with the sensory contacts (phassa; S. SPARŚA) and sensations (VEDANĀ) that accompany the senses, are burning with the fires of greed (LOBHA), hatred (P. dosa; S. DVEṢA), and delusion (MOHA) and with the fires of all the various types of suffering (dukkha; S. DUḤKHA). Only through dispassion toward the senses (see INDRIYASAṂVARA) will attachment diminish and liberation eventually be achieved. In the Pāli tradition, the sermon appears in the MAHĀVAGGA section of the Pāli VINAYAPIṬAKA, on the history of the dispensation, not in the SUTTAPIṬAKA; a parallel SARVĀSTIVĀDA recension appears in the Chinese translation of the SAṂYUKTĀGAMA.
Ādityabandhu. (P. ādiccabandhu; T. Nyi ma’i gnyen; C. Rizhong; J. Nisshu; K. Ilchong 日種). In Sanskrit, “Kinsman of the Sun”; one of the common epithets for ŚĀKYAMUNI or GAUTAMA Buddha, from his lineage (GOTRA) name of āditya. This epithet and gotra name led some early Western scholars, such as ÉMILE SENART, to presume (wrongly) that the Buddha was an Indian solar deity. āditya is also the name of a past buddha.
advaya. (T. gnyis su med pa; C. bu’er; J. funi; K. puri 不二). In Sanskrit, “nonduality”; one of the common synonyms for the highest teachings of Buddhism and one of the foundational principles of the MAHĀYĀNA presentation of doctrine. Nonduality refers to the definitive awareness achieved through enlightenment, which transcends all of the conventional dichotomies into which compounded existence is divided (right and wrong, good and evil, etc.). Most specifically, nondual knowledge (ADVAYAJÑĀNA) transcends the subject–object bifurcation that governs all conventional states of consciousness and engenders a distinctive type of awareness that no longer requires an object of consciousness. See also WU’AIXING.
advayajñāna. (T. gnyis su med pa’i ye shes; C. bu’erzhi; J. funichi; K. puriji 不二智). In Sanskrit, “nondual knowledge”; referring to knowledge that has transcended the subject-object bifurcation that governs all conventional states of sensory consciousness, engendering a distinctive type of awareness that is able to remain conscious without any longer requiring an object of consciousness. See also WU’AIXING.
Advayavajra. (S). See MAITRĪPA/MAITRĪPĀDA.
adveṣa. (P. adosa; T. zhe sdang med pa; C. wuchen; J. mushin; K. mujin 無瞋). In Sanskrit, “absence of ill will” or “absence of hatred.” One of the forty-six mental concomitants (CAITTA) according to the VAIBHĀṢIKA–SARVĀSTIVĀDA school of ABHIDHARMA, one of the fifty-one according to the YOGACĀRA school and one of the fifty-two in the Pāli ABHIDHAMMA, “absence of ill will” is the opposite of “ill will” or “aversion” (DVEṢA). The SARVĀSTIVĀDA exegetes posited that this mental quality accompanied all wholesome activities, and it is therefore classified as one of the ten omnipresent wholesome factors (KUŚALAMAHĀBHŪMIKA). “Absence of ill will” is listed as one of the three wholesome faculties (KUŚALAMŪLA), is one of the states of mind comprising right intention (SAMYAKSAṂKALPA) in the noble eightfold path (ĀRYĀṢṬAṄGIKAMĀRGA), and is traditionally presumed to be a precondition for the cultivation of loving-kindness (MAITRĪ).
afflictions. See KLEŚA.
āgama. (T. lung; C. ahan jing; J. agongyō; K. aham kyŏng 阿含經). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “text” or “scripture”; a general term for received scriptural tradition. The term āgama is commonly paired with two other contrasting terms: āgama and YUKTI (reasoning) are the means of arriving at the truth; āgama and ADHIGAMA (realization) are the two divisions of the BUDDHADHARMA—the verbal or scriptural tradition and that which is manifested through practice. In its Sanskrit usage, the term āgama is also used to refer more specifically to the four scriptural collections of the mainstream tradition (now lost in Sanskrit but preserved in Chinese translation), attributed to the Buddha and his close disciples, which correspond to the four Pāli NIKĀYAs: (1) DĪRGHĀGAMA or “Long Discourses,” belonging to the DHARMAGUPTAKA school and corresponding to the Pāli DĪGHANIKĀYA; (2) MADHYAMĀGAMA or “Medium Discourses,” associated with the SARVĀSTIVĀDA school and corresponding to the Pāli MAJJHIMANIKĀYA; (3) SAṂYUKTĀGAMA or “Connected Discourses,” belonging to the Sarvāstivāda school (with a partial translation perhaps belonging to the KĀŚYAPĪYA school) and corresponding to the Pāli SAṂYUTTANIKĀYA; and (4) EKOTTARĀGAMA or “Numerically Arranged Discourses,” variously ascribed to the Dharmaguptakas, or less plausibly to the MAHĀSĀṂGHIKA school or its PRAJÑAPTIVĀDA offshoot, and corresponding to the Pāli AṄGUTTARANIKĀYA. Despite the similarities in the titles of these collections, there are many differences between the contents of the Sanskrit āgamas and the Pāli nikāyas. The KHUDDAKANIKĀYA (“Miscellaneous Collection”), the fifth nikāya in the Pāli canon, has no equivalent in the extant Chinese translations of the āgamas; such miscellanies, or “mixed baskets” (S. kṣudrakapiṭaka), were however known to have existed in several of the MAINSTREAM BUDDHIST SCHOOLS, including the Dharmaguptaka, Mahāsāṃghika, and MAHĪŚĀSAKA.
āgamadharma. (T. lung gi chos; C. jiaofa, J. kyōhō, K. kyobŏp 教法). In Sanskrit, “scriptural dharma”; one of the two divisions of the dharma or teaching of the Buddha, together with the “realized dharma” (ADHIGAMADHARMA). This term refers to the scriptural dharma as the teaching of the Buddha in its verbal form and is often identified with the TRIPIṬAKA or with the twelve divisions (DVĀDAŚĀṄGA[PRAVACANA]) of the word of the Buddha (BUDDHAVACANA).
āgantukakleśa. (P. āgantukakilesa; T. glo bur gyi nyon mongs; C. kechen fannao; J. kyakujin bonnō; K. kaekchin pŏnnoe 客塵煩惱). In Sanskrit, “adventitious afflictions” or “adventitious defilements”; indicating that the KLEŚA are accidental and extrinsic qualities of the mind, rather than natural and intrinsic. This notion builds on an ancient strand in Buddhist thought, such as in the oft-quoted passage in the Pāli AṄGUTTARANIKĀYA: “The mind, O monks, is luminous but defiled by adventitious defilements” (pabhassaraṃ idaṃ bhikkave cittaṃ, tañ ca kho āgantukehi upakkilesehi upakkiliṭṭham). Since defilements are introduced into the thought processes from without, the intrinsic purity of the mind (CITTA) can be restored through counteracting the influence of the kleśa and overcoming the inveterate tendency toward attachment and its concomitant craving (LOBHA) and ill will (DVEṢA), which empower them.This concept of āgantukakleśa is critical to the MAHĀYĀNA doctrine of TATHĀGATAGARBHA (embryo of buddhahood), where the mind is presumed to be innately enlightened, but that enlightenment is temporarily obscured or concealed by defilements (KLEŚA) that are extrinsic to it.
Aggaññasutta. (C. Xiaoyuan jing; J. Shōengyō; K. Soyŏn kyŏng 小經). In Pāli, “Discourse on Origins” or “Sermon on Things Primeval”; the twenty-seventh sutta of the DĪGHANIKĀYA (a separate DHARMAGUPTAKA recension appears as the fifth SŪTRA in the Chinese translation of the DĪRGHĀGAMA); the sūtra provides a Buddhist account of the origins of the world and of human society. The Buddha preached the sermon at Sāvatthi (ŚRĀVASTĪ) to two ordinands, Vāsettha and Bhāradvāja, to disabuse them of the belief that the priestly brāhmaṇa caste was superior to the Buddha’s khattiya (KṢATRIYA), or warrior, caste. The Buddha describes the fourfold caste system of traditional Indian society as a by-product of the devolution of sentient beings. In the beginning of the eon (KALPA), beings possess spiritual bodies that are luminous, able to travel through the air, and feed on joy. But out of greed for sensual gratification, they degenerate into physical beings with ever grosser propensities: e.g., the coarser the food they eat (first a cream on the surface of water, then creepers, then eventually rice), the coarser their bodies become, until the beings develop sex organs, begin to have intercourse, and in turn build dwellings in order to conceal their debauchery. As their bodies become ever more physical, their life spans in turn also decrease. Immorality, strife, and violence ensue until people finally realize they need a leader to save them from anarchy. They elect the first human king, named Mahāsammata, who was also the first kṣatriya. It was out of the kṣatriya lineage deriving from this first king that the other three classes—brāhmaṇa, vaiśya, and Śūdra—also evolved. This account challenges the mainstream Indian belief that the brāhmaṇa caste is congenitally superior (descending, it claims, from the mouth of the god Brahmā himself) and posits that the effort of moral and spiritual perfection, not the accident of birth, is the true standard of human superiority. Although the Buddhist tradition presumes that this sermon offers a distinctively Buddhistic account of the origin and development of both the universe and society, many of the topoi adopted in the story derive from Brahmanical cosmogonies, perhaps employed here as a satire of Brahmanical pretensions in Indian society. The scripture has also been treated by modern interpreters as offering an incipient Buddhist “environmentalism,” wherein human actions, motivated by greed and lust, cause deleterious effects on the physical world, turning, for example, naturally growing rice into a rice that must be cultivated.
Aggavaṃsa. A twelfth-century scholar monk of the Pāli tradition who wrote the Saddanīti, an important Pāli grammar, in 1154. Although some texts describe him as hailing from JAMBUDVĪPA (viz., India), he seems instead to have lived north of Pagan (Bagan), present-day Myanmar (Burma).
aggregates. See SKANDHA.
Agni. (T. Me lha; C. Huoshen; J. Kashin; K. Hwasin 火神). The Vedic fire deity adopted into the Buddhist pantheon as the guardian of the southeast. In the MAHĀVAIROCANĀBHISAṂBODHISŮTRA, he is identified as an incarnation of VAIROCANA; in Tibet, he is associated with HEVAJRA. Agni is depicted riding a goat, with one face and two hands, the right holding a rosary, the left a vase full of the nectar of immortality (AMṚTA). The term also refers to a class of pre-Buddhist fire deities absorbed into the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon.
Agonshū. (阿含宗). In Japanese, “ĀGAMA School”; a Japanese “new religion” structured from elements drawn from esoteric Buddhism (MIKKYŌ) and indigenous Japanese religions; founded in 1970 by Kiriyama Seiyū (born Tsutsumi Masao in 1921). Kiriyama’s teachings are presented first in his Henshin no genri (“Principles of Transformation”; 1975). Kiriyama believed he had been saved by the compassion of Kannon (AVALOKITEŚVARA) and was told by that BODHISATTVA to teach others using the HOMA (J. goma) fire rituals drawn from Buddhist esoteric (MIKKYŌ) traditions. Later, while Kiriyama was reading the āgama (J. agon) scriptures, he realized that Buddhism as it was currently constituted in Japan did not correspond to the original teachings of the Buddha. In 1978, Kiriyama changed the name of his religious movement to Agon, the Japanese pronunciation of the transcription of āgama, positing that his teachings derived from the earliest scriptures of Buddhism and thus legitimizing them. His practices are fundamentally concerned with removing practitioners’ karmic hindrances (KARMĀVARAṆA). Since many of these hindrances, he claims, are the result of neglecting one’s ancestors or are inherited from them, much attention is also paid in the school to transforming the spirits of the dead into buddhas themselves, which in turn will also free the current generation from their karmic obstructions. Spiritual power in the school derives from the shinsei busshari (true ŚARĪRA [relics] of the Buddha), a sacred reliquary holding a bone fragment of the Buddha himself, given to Kiriyama in 1986 by the president of Sri Lanka. Individual adherents keep a miniature replica of the Śarīra in their own homes, and the relic is said to have the transformational power to turn ancestors into buddhas. A “Star Festival” (Hoshi Matsuri) is held in Kyōto on each National Foundation Day (February 11), at which time two massive homa fires are lit, one liberating the spirits of the ancestors (and thus freeing the current generation from inherited karmic obstructions), the other helping to make the deepest wishes of its adherents come true. Adherents write millions of prayers on wooden sticks, which are cast into the two fires.
Agvaandandar. (T. Ngag dbang bstan dar a.k.a. Bstan dar lha ram pa) (1759–1830). Mongolian scholar of the DGE LUGS sect of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born into a nomad family in the Eastern Qoshot banner of Alashan, entering the monastery at the age of seven. He was sent to ’BRAS SPUNGS monastery in LHA SA at the age of nineteen, where he completed the Dge lugs curriculum and received the highest rank of DGE BSHES, that of lha ram pa, around 1800. In Tibetan, he is often referred to as Bstan dar lha ram pa. He returned to his native Mongolia shortly thereafter where he was appointed to a high position at Eastern Monastery, before leaving again, this time for A mdo and the great Dge lugs monasteries of SKU ’BUM and BLA BRANG. He traveled extensively, visiting monasteries in both Inner and Outer Mongolia, and going also to China, where he visited Beijing and WUTAISHAN. He was regarded as one of the leading Dge lugs scholars of his generation. Agvaandandar returned to his native Alashan at the end of his life, where he died in 1830. His tomb at Sharil Chindar is still a place of worship. His collected works fill two volumes, comprising thirty-six titles, all written in Tibetan (two are bilingual Tibetan and Mongolian). He wrote on a wide range of topics in Buddhist philosophy, logic, poetics (based on Daṇḍin’s Kāvyādarśa), and grammar (both Tibetan and Mongolian), including a Tibetan–Mongolian dictionary. His philosophical work included commentaries on the Hetucakra and the ĀLAMBANAPARIKṢĀ of DIGNĀGA, the Saṃtānāntarasiddhi of DHARMAKĪRTI, and on the PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀHṚDAYASŪTRA (“Heart Sūtra”).
agyo. (C. xiayu; K. haŏ 下語). In Japanese, “appended words” or “granted words.” Although the term is now used generally to refer to the instructions of a ZEN master, agyo can also more specifically refer to a set number of stereotyped sayings, often a verse or phrase, that were used in KŌAN (C. GONG’AN) training. Unlike the literate monks of the medieval GOZAN monasteries, monks of the RINKA, or forest, monasteries were usually unable to compose their own Chinese verses to express the insight that they had gained while struggling with a kōan. The rinka monks therefore began to study the “appended words” or “capping phrases” (JAKUGO) of a kōan text such as the BIYAN LU, which summarized or explained each segment of the text. The agyo are found in kōan manuals known as MONSAN, or Zen phrase manuals, such as the ZENRIN KUSHŪ, where they are used to explicate a kōan.
Agyō. (J) (阿形). See NIŌ.
ahaṃkāra. (T. ngar ’dzin; C. wozhi/woman; J. gashū/gaman; K. ajip/aman 我執/我慢). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “conception of I,” “egotism,” or “arrogance”; a synonym of ĀTMAGRĀHA (attachment to a conception of self). See ĀTMAGRĀHA.
āhāra. (T. zas; C. shi; J. jiki; K. sik 食) In Sanskrit and Pāli, lit. “food,” i.e., “nutriment” in the broadest sense, which nourishes everything associated with the body and mind. Four types of nutriment are commonly listed in mainstream materials: (1) food (āhāra; P. kabaliṅkārāhāra) of both coarse and fine varieties, which nourishes the physical body; (2) sensory contact or impression (SPARŚA, P. phassa), which nourishes pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral sensations (VEDANĀ; see PRATĪTYASAMUTPĀDA); (3) intention (CETANĀ; P. manosañcetanā), which nourishes actions (KARMAN) performed via body, speech, and mind; and (4) consciousness (VIJÑĀNA; P. viññāṇa), which nourishes mentality and corporeality (NĀMARŪPA), specifically at the moment of conception in the next rebirth (see pratītyasamutpāda).
ahiṃsā. (T. ’tshe ba med pa; C. buhai; J. fugai; K. purhae 不害). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “absence of harmful intentions,” “harmlessness,” “noninjury,” or “nonviolence.” The religious ideal and ethical injunction of “harmlessness” toward all living beings was shared in some fashion by several of the Indian ŚRAMAṆA traditions, including the Buddhists as well as the JAINAs, who made it a central tenet of their religion. Some of the corollaries of this idea included the precept against killing, the injunction to refrain from physically and verbally abusing sentient beings, and vegetarianism. The Jainas were especially stringent in their interpretation of “harmlessness” toward all living creatures, demanding strict vegetarianism from their followers in order to avoid injuring sentient creatures, a requirement that the Buddha rejected when his rival in the order, DEVADATTA, proposed it in his list of austerities (see DHUTAṄGA). The Buddha’s view was that monks were a “field of merit” (PUṆYAKṢETRA) for the laity and should accept all offerings made to them, including meat, unless the monk knew that the animal had been killed specifically to feed him, for example. The voluntary vegetarianism that is now prevalent in both Mahāyāna Buddhism and wider Indian Hindu culture is almost certainly a result of Jaina influence and constitutes that religion’s most enduring contribution to Indian religion. Buddhism treated “absence of harmful intentions” as one of the forty-six mental factors (CAITTA) according to the SARVĀSTIVĀDA–VAIBHĀṢIKA school of ABHIDHARMA, one of the fifty-one according to the YOGACĀRA school, and one of the fifty-two CETASIKAs in the Pāli ABHIDHAMMA. It is the opposite of “harmful intention” or “injury” (VIHIṂSĀ, and is sometimes seen written as avihiṃsā) and one of the states of mind comprising right intention (S. samyaksaṃkalpa; P. sammāsaṅkappa) in the noble eightfold path (ĀRYĀṢṬĀṄGIKAMĀRGA). “Absence of harmful intentions” is also traditionally taken to be a precondition for the cultivation of “compassion” (KARUṆĀ). See VIHIṂSĀ.
aiśvarya. (T. dbang phyug; C. zizai; J. jizai; K. chajae 自在). In Sanskrit, lit. “sovereignty”; referring to the “self-mastery” or “autonomy” that is a product of religious training and/or related superknowledges (ABHIJÑĀ) that are gained thereby, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, the ability to manifest transformation bodies, and erudition.
Aizen Myōō. (愛染明王) (S. Rāgavidyārāja). In Japanese, lit. “Bright King of the Taint of Lust”; an esoteric deity considered to be the destroyer of vulgar passions. In stark contrast to the traditional Buddhist approach of suppressing the passions through various antidotes or counteractive techniques (PRATIPAKṢA), this VIDYĀRĀJA is believed to be able to transform attachment, desire, craving, and defilement directly into pure BODHICITTA. This deity became a principal deity of the heretical Tachikawa branch (TACHIKAWARYŪ) of the SHINGONSHŪ and was considered the deity of conception. As an emanation of the buddha MAHĀVAIROCANA or the bodhisattva VAJRASATTVA, Aizen Myōō was favored by many followers of Shingon Buddhism in Japan and by various esoteric branches of the TENDAISHŪ. Aizen Myōō was also sometimes held to be a secret buddha (HIBUTSU) by these traditions. The NICHIRENSHŪ was the last to adopt him as an important deity, but he played an important role in the dissemination of its cult. Aizen Myōō is well known for his fierce appearance, which belies the love and affection he is presumed to convey. Aizen Myōō usually has three eyes (to see the three realms of existence) and holds a lotus in his hand, which is symbolic of the calming of the senses, among other things. Other attributes of this deity are the bow and arrows, VAJRAs, and weapons that he holds in his hands.
ajahn. Thai pronunciation of the Sanskrit term ĀCĀRYA (“teacher”); also transcribed as āčhān.
Ajahn Chah Bodhiñāṇa. (1918–1992). A prominent Thai monk who was one of the most influential Thai forest-meditation masters (PHRA PA) of the twentieth century. Born in the village of Baan Gor in the northeastern Thai province of Ubon Ratchathani, he was ordained as a novice at his local temple, where he received his basic education and studied the Buddhist teachings. After several years of training, he returned to lay life to attend to the needs of his parents, but motivated by his religious calling, at the age of twenty, he took higher ordination (UPASAṂPADĀ) as a BHIKṢU and continued his studies of Pāli scripture. His father’s death prompted him to travel to other monasteries in an effort to acquire a deeper understanding of Buddhist teaching and discipline under the guidance of different teachers. During his pilgrimage, he met AJAHN MUN BHŪRIDATTA, the premier meditation master of the Thai forest-dwelling (ARAÑÑAVĀSI) tradition. After that encounter, Ajahn Chah traveled extensively throughout the country, devoting his energies to meditation in forests and charnel grounds (ŚMAŚĀNA). As his reputation grew, he was invited to establish a monastery near his native village, which became known as Wat Pa Pong after the name of the forest (reputed to be inhabited by ghosts) in which it was located. Ajahn Chah’s austere lifestyle, simple method of mindfulness meditation, and straightforward style of teaching attracted a large following of monks and lay supporters, including many foreigners. In 1966, he established Wat Pa Nanachat, a branch monastery specifically for Western and other non-Thai nationals, next to Wat Pa Pong. In 1976, he was invited to England, which led to the establishment of the first branch monastery of Wat Pa Pong there, followed by others in Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy. He also visited the United States, where he spoke at retreats at the Insight Meditation Center in Barre, Massachusetts. Ajahn Chah died in 1992, after several years in a coma.
Ajahn Mun Bhūridatta. (1870–1949). Thai monk who revitalized the Thai forest-monk tradition (Thai PHRA PA), and the subject of a celebrated Thai hagiography by Ajahn Mahā Boowa ñāṇasampaṇṇo (b. 1913). Born in 1870, in Ban Khambong village in the province of Ubon Ratchathani, Mun was ordained in 1893 at Wat Liab and began studying insight practice (VIPAŚYANĀ) under the guidance of Ajahn Sao Kantasīla (1861–1941). Through developing the meditation on foulness (AŚUBHABHĀVANĀ), he eventually had an experience of calmness (ŚAMATHA), and in order to enhance his practice, he embarked on the life of asceticism (P. DHUTAṄGA) as a forest dweller (P. ARAÑÑAVĀSI) in northeast Thailand and southern Laos. After every rains’ retreat (VARṢĀ) was over, he would travel into the forests, staying just close enough to a few small villages in order to perform his alms round (PIṆḌAPĀTA) each morning. According to the hagiography, after first experiencing the fruition of the state of the nonreturner (ANĀGĀMIN), he eventually achieved the stage of a worthy one (ARHAT) in Chiang Mai, an experience that he said shook the entire universe and brought a roar of accolades from the heavenly hosts. Ajahn Mun became a widely known and respected meditator and teacher, who was invited to dwell in monasteries throughout much of Thailand. The hagiography compiled by Ajahn Mahā Boowa is filled with exuberantly told tales of his meditative visions, prophetic dreams, lectures and instructions, and encounters with other eminent monks, laypeople, and even with deceased arhats and divinities (DEVA) such as ŚAKRA with his 100,000 strong retinue. Ajahn Mun’s many prominent disciples helped revive the Thai forest-monk tradition, especially in the northeast, and defined its austere practices (Thai, THUDONG; P. DHUTAṄGA) in their contemporary context.
Ajaṇṭā. A complex of some thirty caves and subsidiary structures in India, renowned for its exemplary Buddhist artwork. Named after a neighboring village, the caves are carved from the granite cliffs at a bend in the Wagurna River valley, northeast of AURANGĀBĀD, in the modern Indian state of Maharashtra. The grottoes were excavated in two phases, the first of which lasted from approximately 100 BCE to 100 CE, the second from c. 462 to 480, and consist primarily of monastic cave residences (VIHĀRA) and sanctuaries (CAITYA). The sanctuaries include four large, pillared STŪPA halls, each enshrining a central monumental buddha image, which renders the hall both a site for worship and a buddha’s dwelling (GANDHAKUṬĪ), where he presides over the activities of the monks in residence. The murals and sculpture located at Ajaṇṭā include some of the best-preserved examples of ancient Buddhist art. Paintings throughout the complex are especially noted for their depiction of accounts from the Buddha’s previous lives (JĀTAKA). Despite the presence of some AVALOKITEŚVARA images at the site, it is Sanskrit texts of mainstream Buddhism, and especially the MŪLASARVĀSTIVĀDA school, that are the source and inspiration for the paintings of Ajaṇṭā. Indeed, almost all of Ajaṇṭā’s narrative paintings are based on accounts appearing in the MŪLASARVĀSTIVĀDA VINAYA, as well as the poems of Āryaśūra and AŚVAGHOṢA. On the other hand, the most common type of sculptural image at Ajaṇṭā (e.g., Cave 4) is a seated buddha making a variant of the gesture of turning the wheel of the dharma (DHARMACAKRAMUDRĀ), flanked by the two bodhisattvas AVALOKITEŚVARA and VAJRAPĀṆI. The deployment of this mudrā and the two flanking bodhisattvas indicates that these buddha images are of VAIROCANA and suggests that tantric elements that appear in the MAHĀVAIROCANĀBHISAṂBODHISŪTRA and the MAÑJUŚRĪMŪLAKALPA, both of which postdate the Ajaṇṭā images, developed over an extended period of time and had precursors that influenced the iconography at Ajaṇṭā. Inscriptions on the walls of the earliest part of the complex, primarily in Indian Prakrits, attest to an eclectic, even syncretic, pattern of religious observance and patronage. Later epigraphs found at the site associate various patrons with Hariṣeṇa (r. 460–477), the last known monarch of the Vākāṭaka royal family. Varāhadeva, for example, who patronized Cave 16, was one of Hariṣeṇa’s courtiers, while Cave 1 was donated by Hariṣeṇa himself, and Cave 2 may have been patronized by a close relative, perhaps one of Hariṣeṇa’s wives. Cave 16’s central image, a buddha seated on a royal throne with legs pendant (BHADRĀSANA), is the first stone sculpture in this iconographic form found in western India. Introduced to India through the tradition of KUSHAN royal portraiture, the bhadrāsana has been interpreted as a position associated with royalty and worldly action. This sculpture may thus have functioned as a portrait sculpture; it may even allegorize Hariṣeṇa as the Buddha. In fact, it is possible that Varāhadeva may have originally intended to enshrine a buddha seated in the cross-legged lotus position (VAJRAPARYAṄKA) but changed his plan midway in the wake of a regional war that placed Hariṣeṇa’s control over the Ajaṇṭā region in jeopardy. Around 480, the constructions at Ajaṇṭā came to a halt with the destruction of the Vākāṭaka family. The caves were subsequently abandoned and became overgrown, only to be discovered in 1819 by a British officer hunting a tiger. They quickly became the object of great archaeological and art historical interest, and were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Ajātaśatru. (P. Ajātasattu; T. Ma skyes dgra; C. Asheshi wang; J. Ajase ō; K. Asase wang 阿闍世王). In Sanskrit, “Enemy While Still Unborn,” the son of King BIMBISĀRA of Magadha and his successor as king. According to the Pāli account, when Bimbisāra’s queen VAIDEHĪ (P. Videhī) was pregnant, she developed an overwhelming urge to drink blood from the king’s right knee, a craving that the king’s astrologers interpreted to mean that the son would eventually commit patricide and seize the throne. Despite several attempts to abort the fetus, the child was born and was given the name Ajātaśatru. While a prince, Ajātaśatru became devoted to the monk DEVADATTA, the Buddha’s cousin and rival, because of Devadatta’s mastery of yogic powers (ṚDDHI). Devadatta plotted to take revenge on the Buddha through manipulating Ajātaśatru, whom he convinced to murder his father Bimbisāra, a close lay disciple and patron of the Buddha, and seize the throne. Ajātaśatru subsequently assisted Devadatta in several attempts on the Buddha’s life. Ajātaśatru is said to have later grown remorseful over his evil deeds and, on the advice of the physician JĪVAKA, sought the Buddha’s forgiveness. The Buddha preached to him on the benefits of renunciation from the SĀMAÑÑAPHALASUTTA, and Ajātaśatru became a lay disciple. Because he had committed patricide, one of the five most heinous of evil deeds that are said to bring immediate retribution (ĀNANTARYAKARMAN), Ajātaśatru was precluded from attaining any degree of enlightenment during this lifetime and was destined for rebirth in the lohakumbhiya hell. Nevertheless, Sakka (S. ŚAKRA), the king of the gods, described Ajātaśatru as the chief in piety among the Buddha’s unenlightened disciples. When the Buddha passed away, Ajātaśatru was overcome with grief and, along with other kings, was given a portion of the Buddha’s relics (ŚARĪRA) for veneration. According to the Pāli commentaries, Ajātaśatru provided the material support for convening the first Buddhist council (see COUNCIL, FIRST) following the Buddha’s death. The same sources state that, despite his piety, he will remain in hell for sixty thousand years but later will attain liberation as a solitary buddha (P. paccekabuddha; S. PRATYEKABUDDHA) named Viditavisesa. ¶ Mahāyāna scriptures, such as the MAHĀPARINIRVĀṆASŪTRA and the GUAN WULIANGSHOU JING (“Contemplation Sūtra on the Buddha of Infinite Life”), give a slightly different account of Ajātaśatru’s story. Bimbisāra was concerned that his queen, Vaidehī, had yet to bear him an heir. He consulted a soothsayer, who told him that an aging forest ascetic would eventually be reborn as Bimbisāra’s son. The king then decided to speed the process along and had the ascetic killed so he would take rebirth in Vaidehī’s womb. After the queen had already conceived, however, the soothsayer prophesized that the child she would bear would become the king’s enemy. After his birth, the king dropped him from a tall tower, but the child survived the fall, suffering only a broken finger. (In other versions of the story, Vaidehī is so mortified to learn that her unborn son will murder her husband the king that she tried to abort the fetus, but to no avail.) Devadatta later told Ajātaśatru the story of his conception and the son then imprisoned his father, intending to starve him to death. But Vaidehī kept the king alive by smuggling food to him, smearing her body with flour-paste and hiding grape juice inside her jewelry. When Ajātaśatru learned of her treachery, he drew his sword to murder her, but his vassals dissuaded him. The prince’s subsequent guilt about his intended matricide caused his skin break out in oozing abscesses that emitted such a foul odor that no one except his mother was able to approach him and care for him. Despite her loving care, Ajātaśatru did not improve and Vaidehī sought the Buddha’s counsel. The Buddha was able to cure the prince by teaching him the “Nirvāṇa Sūtra,” and the prince ultimately became one of the preeminent Buddhist monarchs of India. This version of the story of Ajātaśatru was used by Kosawa Heisaku (1897–1968), one of the founding figures of Japanese psychoanalysis, and his successors to posit an “Ajase (Ajātaśatru) Complex” that distinguished Eastern cultures from the “Oedipal Complex” described by Sigmund Freud in Western psychoanalysis. As Kosawa interpreted this story, Vaidehī’s ambivalence or active antagonism toward her son and Ajātaśatru’s rancor toward his mother were examples of the pathological relationship that pertains between mother and son in Eastern cultures, in distinction to the competition between father and son that Freud posited in his Oedipal Complex. This pathological relationship can be healed only through the mother’s love and forgiveness, which redeem the child and thus reunite them.
aji gatsurinkan. (阿字月輪觀). In Japanese, “contemplation of the letter ‘A’ in the moon-wheel.” See AJIKAN.
aji honpushō. (阿字本不生). In Japanese, “the letter ‘A’ that is originally uncreated.” See AJIKAN.
ajikan. (阿字観). In Japanese, “contemplation of the letter ‛A’”; a meditative exercise employed primarily within the the Japanese SHINGON school of esoteric Buddhism. The ajikan practice is also known as the “contemplation of the letter ‘A’ in the moon-wheel” (AJI GATSURINKAN). The letter “A” is the first letter in the Sanskrit SIDDHAM alphabet and is considered to be the “seed” (BĪJA) of MAHĀVAIROCANA, the central divinity of the esoteric traditions. The letter “A” is also understood to be the “unborn” buddha-nature (FOXING) of the practitioner; hence, the identification of oneself with this letter serves as a catalyst to enlightenment. In ajikan meditation, the adept draws a picture of the full moon with an eight-petaled lotus flower at its center. The Siddham letter “A” is then superimposed over the lotus flower as a focus of visualization. As the visualization continues, the moon increases in size until it becomes coextensive with the universe itself. Through this visualization, the adept realizes the letter “A” that is originally uncreated (AJI HONPUSHŌ), which is the essence of all phenomena in the universe and the DHARMAKĀYA of MAHĀVAIROCANA Buddha.
Ajita. (T. Ma pham pa; C. Ayiduo; J. Aitta; K. Ailta 阿逸多). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “Invincible”; proper name of several different figures in Buddhist literature. In the Pāli tradition, Ajita is said to have been one of the sixteen mendicant disciples of the brāhmaṇa ascetic BāvarĪ who visited the Buddha at the request of their teacher. Upon meeting the Buddha, Ajita saw that he was endowed with the thirty-two marks of a great man (MAHĀPURUṢALAKṢAṆA) and gained assurance that the Buddha’s renown was well deserved. Starting with Ajita, all sixteen of the mendicants asked the Buddha questions. Ajita’s question is preserved as the Ajitamānavapucchā in the Parāyanavagga of the SUTTANIPĀTA. At the end of the Buddha’s explanations, Ajita and sixteen thousand followers are said to have become worthy ones (ARHAT) and entered the SAṂGHA. Ajita returned to his old teacher Bāvarī and recounted to him what happened. Bāvarī himself converted and later became a nonreturner (ANĀGĀMIN). ¶ Another Ajita is Ajita-Keśakambala (Ajita of the Hair Blanket), a prominent leader of the LOKĀYATA (Naturalist) school of Indian wandering religious (ŚRAMAṆA) during the Buddha’s time, who is mentioned occasionally in Buddhist scriptures. His doctrine is recounted in the Pāli SĀMAÑÑAPHALASUTTA, where he is claimed to have denied the efficacy of moral cause and effect because of his materialist rejection of any prospect of transmigration or rebirth. ¶ An Ajita also traditionally appears as the fifteenth on the list of the sixteen ARHAT elders (ṢOḌAŚASTHAVIRA), who were charged by the Buddha with protecting his dispensation until the advent of the next buddha, MAITREYA. Ajita is said to reside on Mt. GṚDHRAKŪṬA (Vulture Peak) with 1,500 disciples. He is known in Chinese as the “long-eyebrowed arhat” (changmei luohan) because he is said to have been born with long white eyebrows. In CHANYUE GUANXIU’s standard Chinese depiction, Ajita is shown sitting on a rock, with both hands holding his right knee; his mouth is open, with his tongue and teeth exposed. East Asian images also sometimes show him leaning on a staff. In Tibetan iconography, he holds his two hands in his lap in DHYĀNAMUDRĀ. ¶ Ajita is finally a common epithet of the bodhisattva MAITREYA, used mostly when he is invoked in direct address.
Ājīvaka. [alt. Ājīvakā; Ājīvika]. (T. ’Tsho ba can; C. Xieming waidao; J. Jamyō gedō; K. Samyŏng oedo 邪命外道) In Sanskrit and Pāli, “Improper Livelihood”; one of the major early sects of Indian wandering religious (ŚRAMAṆA) during the fifth century BCE. Makkhali Gosāla (S. MASKARIN GOŚĀLĪPUTRA) (d. c. 488 BCE), the leader of the Ājīvakas, was a contemporary of the Buddha. No Ājīvaka works survive, so what little we know about the school derives from descriptions filtered through Buddhist materials. Buddhist explications of Ājīvaka views are convoluted and contradictory; what does seem clear, however, is that the Ājīvakas adhered to a doctrine of strict determinism or fatalism. The Ājīvakas are described as believing that there is no immediate or ultimate cause for the purity or depravity of beings; all beings, souls, and existent things are instead directed along their course by fate (niyati), by the conditions of the species to which they belong, and by their own intrinsic natures. Thus, attainments or accomplishments of any kind are not a result of an individual’s own action or the acts of others; rather, according to those beings’ positions within the various stations of existence, they experience ease or pain. Makkhali Gosāla is portrayed as advocating a theory of automatic purification through an essentially infinite number of transmigrations (saṃsāraśuddhi), by means of which all things would ultimately attain perfection. The Buddha is said to have regarded Makkhali Gosāla’s views as the most dangerous of heresies, which was capable of leading even the divinities (DEVA) to loss, discomfort, and suffering. BUDDHAGHOSA explains the perniciousness of his error by comparing the defects of Makkhali’s views to those of the views of two other heretical teachers, Pūraṇa Kassapa (S. Pūraṇa Kāśyapa) (d. c. 503 BCE), another Ājīvaka teacher, and AJITA-Kesakambala, a prominent teacher of the LOKĀYATA (Naturalist) school, which maintained a materialist perspective toward the world. Pūraṇa asserted the existence of an unchanging passive soul that was unaffected by either wholesome or unwholesome action and thereby denied the efficacy of KARMAN; Ajita advocated an annihilationist theory that there is no afterlife or rebirth, which thereby denied any possibility of karmic retribution. Makkhali’s doctrine of fate or noncausation, in denying both action and its result, was said to have combined the defects in both those systems of thought.
Ājñātakauṇḍinya. (P. Aññātakoṇḍañña / Aññākoṇḍañña; T. Kun shes kauṇ ḍi nya; C. Aruojiaochenru; J. Anyakyōjinnyo; K. Ayakkyojinyŏ 阿若憍陳如). In Sanskrit, “Kauṇḍinya (P. Koṇḍañña) who Knows”; the first person to understand the insights of the Buddha, as delivered in the first sermon, the DHARMACAKRAPRAVARTANASŪTRA (P. DHAMMACAKKAPPAVATTANASUTTA), and the first disciple to take ordination as a monk (BHIKṢU), following the simple EHIBHIKṢUKĀ (P. ehi bhikkhu), or “come, monk,” formula: “Come, monk, the DHARMA is well proclaimed; live the holy life for the complete ending of suffering.” Kauṇḍinya was one of the group of five ascetics (BHADRAVARGĪYA) converted by the Buddha at the ṚṢIPATANA (P. Isipatana) MṚGADĀVA (Deer Park), located just north-east of the city of Vārāṇasī. According to the Pāli account, he was a brāhmaṇa older than the Buddha, who was especially renowned in physiognomy. After the birth of the infant GAUTAMA, he was one of eight brāhmaṇas invited to predict the infant’s future and the only one to prophesize that the child would definitely become a buddha rather than a wheel-turning monarch (CAKRAVARTIN). He left the world as an ascetic in anticipation of the bodhisattva’s own renunciation and was joined by the sons of four of the other eight brāhmaṇas. Kauṇḍinya and the other four ascetics joined the bodhisattva in the practice of austerities, but when, after six years, the bodhisattva renounced extreme asceticism, they left him in disgust. After his enlightenment, the Buddha preached to the five ascetics at the Ṛṣipatana deer park, and Kauṇḍinya was the first to realize the truth of the Buddha’s words. The Pāli canon describes Kauṇḍinya’s enlightenment as proceeding in two stages: first, when the Buddha preached the Dhammacakkappavattanasutta, he attained the opening of the dharma eye (DHARMACAKṢUS), the equivalent of stream-entry (SROTAĀPANNA), and five days later, when the Buddha preached his second sermon, the ANATTALAKKHAṆASUTTA, he attained the level of ARHAT. The Buddha praised him both times by exclaiming “Kauṇḍinya knows!,” in recognition of which Ājñāta (“He Who Knows”) was thereafter prefixed to his name. Later, at a large gathering of monks at JETAVANA grove in ŚRĀVASTĪ, the Buddha declared Ājñātakauṇḍinya to be preeminent among his disciples who first comprehended the dharma, and preeminent among his long-standing disciples. Ājñātakauṇḍinya received permission from the Buddha to live a solitary life in the Chaddantavana forest and only returned after twelve years to take leave of the Buddha before his own PARINIRVĀṆA. After his cremation, Ājñātakauṇḍinya’s relics were given to the Buddha, who personally placed them in a silver reliquary (CAITYA) that spontaneously appeared from out of the earth.
akalpikavastu. (P. akappiyavatthu; T. rung ba ma yin pa’i dngos po; C. bujing wu; J. fujōmotsu; K. pujŏng mul 不淨物). In Sanskrit, “inappropriate possessions” or “improper matters”; eight kinds of possessions or activities that monks and nuns are expected to avoid, since they may compromise their status as renunciants: (1) gold, (2) silver, (3) servants or slaves, (4) cattle, (5) sheep, (6) safe deposits or warehouses, (7) engaging in trade, and (8) engaging in farming. (An alternative version of this list does not include “sheep,” but instead distinguishes between male and female servants or slaves). Another list has the following: (1) possessing land or property, (2) engaging in animal husbandry, (3) maintaining storage of grains or food and silk or other cloth, (4) having servants or slaves, (5) keeping animals (as either pets or livestock), (6) keeping money, (7) keeping cushions and pans, and (8) keeping furniture gilded with gold, ivory, or precious jewels.
akaniṣṭha. (P. akaniṭṭha; T. ’og min; C. sejiujing tian; J. shikikukyōten; K. saekkugyōng ch’ōn 色究竟天). In Sanskrit, “highest”; akaniṣṭha is the eighth and highest level of the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPADHĀTU), which is accessible only through experiencing the fourth meditative absorption (DHYĀNA); akaniṣṭha is thus one of the BRAHMALOKAS (see DEVA). akaniṣṭha is the fifth and highest class of the “pure abodes,” or ŚUDDHĀVĀSA (corresponding to the five highest heavens in the realm of subtle materiality), wherein abide “nonreturners” (ANĀGĀMIN)—viz., adepts who need never again return to the KĀMADHĀTU—and some ARHATS. The pure abodes therefore serve as a way station for advanced spiritual beings (ĀRYA) in their last life before final liberation. According to some Mahāyāna texts, akaniṣṭha is also the name of the abode of the enjoyment body (SAṂBHOGAKĀYA) of a buddha in general and of the buddha VAIROCANA in particular.
Ākaṅkheyyasutta. (C. Yuan jing; J. Gangyō; K. Wŏn kyŏng 願經). In Pāli, “Discourse on What One May Wish,” the sixth sutta in the MAJJHIMANIKĀYA (a separate SARVĀSTIVĀDA recension appears as SŪTRA no. 105 in the Chinese translation of the MADHYAMĀGAMA, and a recension of uncertain affiliation in the Chinese translation of the EKOTTARĀGAMA); preached by the Buddha to a group of disciples in the JETAVANA grove in the town of ŚRĀVASTĪ. The Buddha describes how a monk who wishes for all good things to come to himself, his fellow monks, and his lay supporters should restrain his sense faculties by seeing danger (ĀDĪNAVA) in the slightest fault and by abiding by the dictates of the disciplinary codes (PRĀTIMOKṢA). This restraint will allow him to develop morality (ŚĪLA), meditative concentration (SAMĀDHI), and liberating wisdom (PRAJÑĀ), leading to the destruction of the contaminants (ĀSRAVAKṢAYA).
ākāra. (T. rnam pa; C. xingxiang; J. gyōsō; K. haengsang 行相). In Sanskrit, “aspect,” “mode,” “form,” or “image”; a polysemous term that is notably employed in discussions of epistemology to describe an image cast by an object, which serves as the actual object of sense perception. At an early stage of its history (as ākṛti), the term refers to what a word articulates. Over time, it came to mean the content of a word (that may or may not be connected with an actual content in reality) and then the mediating mental image. Buddhist philosophical schools differ as to whether or not such an “aspect” is required in order for sense perception to occur. VAIBHĀṢIKAS are non-aspectarians (NIRĀKĀRAVĀDA) who say mind knows objects directly; SAUTRĀNTIKAS are aspectarians (SĀKĀRAVĀDA) who say mind knows through an image (ākāra) of the object that is taken into the mind. YOGĀCĀRAS are aspectarians insofar as they do not accept external objects; they are divided into satyākāravādin (T. rnam bden pa), or true aspectarians, who assert that appearances as gross objects exist and are not polluted by ignorance; and alīkākāravādin (T. rnam rdzun pa), or false aspectarians, who assert that appearances as gross objects do not exist and are polluted by ignorance. In SARVĀKĀRAJÑATĀ (“knowledge of all modes”), the name in the perfection of wisdom (PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ) literature for the omniscience of a buddha, ākāra is synonymous with DHARMAS. In the ABHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRA, there are 173 aspects that define the practice (prayoga) of a bodhisattva. They are the forms of a bodhisattva’s knowledge (of impermanence that counteracts the mistaken apprehension of permanence, for example) informed by BODHICITTA and the knowledge that the knowledge itself has no essential nature (SVABHĀVA).
ākāśa. (T. nam mkha’; C. xukong; J. kokū; K. hŏgong 虚空). In Sanskrit, “space” or “spatiality”; “sky,” and “ether.” In ABHIDHARMA analysis, ākāśa has two discrete denotations. First, as “spatiality,” ākāśa is an absence that delimits forms; like the empty space inside a door frame, ākāśa is a hole that is itself empty but that defines, or is defined by, the material that surrounds it. Second, as the vast emptiness of “space,” ākāśa comes also to be described as the absence of obstruction and is enumerated as one of the permanent phenomena (nityadharma) because it does not change from moment to moment. Space in this sense is also interpreted as being something akin to the Western conception of ether, a virtually immaterial, but glowing fluid that serves as the support for the four material elements (MAHĀBHŪTA). (Because this ethereal form of ākāśa is thought to be glowing, it is sometimes used as a metaphor for buddhahood, which is said to be radiant like the sun or space.) In addition to these two abhidharma definitions, the sphere of infinite space (ĀKĀŚĀNANTYĀYATANA) has a meditative context as well through its listing as the first of the four immaterial DHYĀNAS. Ākāśa is recognized as one of the uncompounded dharmas (ASAṂSKṚTADHARMA) in six of the mainstream Buddhist schools, including the SARVĀSTIVĀDA and the MAHĀSĀṂGHIKA, as well as the later YOGĀCĀRA; three others reject this interpretation, including the THERAVĀDA.
Ākāśagarbha. (T. Nam mkha’i snying po; C. Xukongzang pusa; J. Kokūzō bosatsu; K. Hŏgongjang posal 空藏菩薩). In Sanskrit, “Storehouse/Womb of Space”; a BODHISATTVA who is one of the MAHOPAPUTRA, whose position is the north; also known as Cakrapāṇi. He is usually considered to be a form of AKṢOBHYA, although sometimes he is instead said to be the emanation of VAIROCANA. He is depicted in bodhisattva form, with one face and two hands in various MUDRĀS; his most common attribute is a sun disc. His consort is Mālā, and he is the counterpart to KṢIṬIGARBHA, the “Womb of the Earth.” The sūtra that describes his attributes, the Ākāśagarbhasūtra, was first translated into Chinese by BUDDHAYAŚAS at the beginning of the fifth century and again by Dharmamitra a few decades later.
ākāśānantyāyatana. (P. ākāsānañcāyatana; T. nam mkha’ mtha’ yas skye mched; C. kong wubian chu; J. kūmuhenjo; K. kong mubyŏn ch’ŏ 空無邊處). In Sanskrit, “sphere of infinite space”; the first and lowest (in ascending order) of the four levels of the immaterial realm (ĀRŪPYADHĀTU) and the first of the four immaterial absorptions (DHYĀNA). It is a realm of rebirth as well as a meditative state that is entirely immaterial (viz., there is no physical [RŪPA] component to existence) in which the mind comes to an awareness of unlimited pervasive space (ĀKĀŚA) without the existence of material objects. Beings reborn in this realm are thought to live as long as forty thousand eons (KALPAS). However, as a state of being that is still subject to rebirth, even the realm of infinite space remains part of SAṂSĀRA. Like the other levels of the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPADHĀTU) and the immaterial realm, one is reborn in this state by achieving the specific level of meditative absorption of that state in the previous lifetime. One of the most famous and influential expositions on the subject of these immaterial states comes from the VISUDDHIMAGGA of BUDDHAGHOSA, written in the fifth century. Although there are numerous accounts of Buddhist meditators achieving immaterial states of SAMĀDHI, they are also used polemically in Buddhist literature to describe the attainments of non-Buddhist yogins, who mistakenly identify these exalted states within saṃsāra as states of permanent liberation from rebirth. See also DHYĀNASAMĀPATTI; DHYĀNOPAPATTI.
ākiñcanyāyatana. (P. ākiñcaññāyatana; T. ci yang med pa’i skye mched; C. wu suoyou chu; J. mushousho; K. mu soyu ch’ŏ 無所有處). In Sanskrit, “sphere of nothing whatsoever,” or “absolute nothingness,” the third (in ascending order) of the four levels of the immaterial realm (ĀRŪPYADHĀTU) and the third of the four immaterial absorptions (SAMĀPATTI). It is “above” the first two levels of the immaterial realm, called infinite space (AKĀŚĀNANTYĀYATANA) and infinite consciousness (VIJÑĀNĀNANTYĀYATANA), but “below” the fourth level, called “neither perception nor nonperception” (NAIVASAṂJÑĀNĀSAṂJÑĀYATANA). It is a realm of rebirth as well as a meditative state that is entirely immaterial (viz., there is no physical [RŪPA] component to existence) in which all ordinary semblances of consciousness vanish entirely. Beings reborn in this realm are thought to live as long as sixty thousand eons (KALPAS). However, as states of being that are still subject to rebirth, all of these spheres remain part of SAṂSĀRA. See also DHYĀNASAMĀPATTI; DHYĀNOPAPATTI.
akkhipūjā. In Pāli lit. “ritual of [opening] the eyes,” a consecration ceremony for a buddha image; the Pāli equivalent for the Sanskrit term NETRAPRATIṢṬHĀPANA. The Pāli term is attested at least as early as the sixth-century MAHĀVAṂSA and BUDDHAGHOSA’s SAMANTAPĀSĀDIKĀ.
akliṣṭājñāna. (T. nyon mongs can ma yin pa’i mi shes pa; C. buran wuzhi; J. fuzen muchi; K. puryŏm muji 不染無知). In Sanskrit, “unafflicted ignorance,” a form of ignorance that affects those who have destroyed the KLEŚĀVARAṆA (afflictive obstructions) but not the JÑEYĀVARAṆA (cognitive obstructions). The term is used specifically in the MAHĀYĀNA tradition to refer to ARHATs, who have been liberated from rebirth (SAṂSĀRA) but who are still presumed to possess this subtlest form of ignorance. These cognitive obstructions are considered to result from fundamental misapprehensions about the nature of reality and serve as the origin of the afflictive obstructions. The buddhas therefore encourage the arhats to overcome even this unafflicted ignorance and enter the BODHISATTVA path that leads to buddhahood.
akopya. (P. akuppa; T. mi ’khrugs pa; C. budong; J. fudō; K. pudong 不動). In Sanskrit, “imperturbable” or “unshakable”; used often in mainstream Buddhist materials in reference to the “imperturbable” liberation of mind (CETOVIMUKTI) that derives from mastering any of the four meditative absorptions (P. JHĀNA; S. DHYĀNA). The term is also deployed in treatments of mastery of the “adept path” (AŚAIKṢAMĀRGA) of the ARHAT: once the imminent arhat realizes the knowledge of the cessation (KṢAYAJÑĀNA) of the afflictions (KLEŚA), and becomes imperturbable in that experience, the “knowledge of nonproduction” (ANUTPĀDAJÑĀNA) arises—viz., the awareness that the kleśas, once eradicated, will never arise again.
akṣaṇa. (P. akkhaṇa; T. mi khom pa; C. nanchu; J. nansho; K. nanch’ŏ 難處). In Sanskrit, “inopportune birth” (lit. “not at the right moment”), referring specifically to a rebirth in which one will not be able to benefit from a buddha or his teachings. Eight such situations are typically listed: birth (1) as one of the hell denizens (NĀRAKA); (2) as an animal, (3) as a hungry ghost (PRETA), or (4) as a long-lived divinity (DEVA); (5) in a border land or barbarian region; (6) with perverted or heretical views; (7) as stupid and unable to understand the teachings; and (8) even if one could have understood the teachings, one is born at a time when or place where no buddhas have arisen. An opportune birth (KṢAṆA), by contrast, means to be born at a time and place where a buddha or his teachings are present and where one has the intellectual faculties sufficient to benefit from them.
Akṣayamati. (T. Blo gros mi zad pa; C. Wujinyi pusa; J. Mujin’i bosatsu; K. Mujinŭi posal 無盡意菩薩). In Sanskrit, “Inexhaustible Intention,” a bodhisattva who expounds the AKṢAYAMATINIRDEŚA. Akṣayamati is also the foil for chapter twentyfive of the SADDHARMAPUṆḌARĪKASŪTRA (“Lotus Sūtra”) where the Buddha explains the efficacy of calling AVALOKITEŚVARA’s name; upon hearing the Buddha’s discourse, Akṣayamati is said to have given Avalokiteśvara his crystal rosary.
Akṣayamatinirdeśa. (T. Blo gros mi zad pas bstan pa; C. Wujinyi pusa pin/Achamo pusa jing; J. Mujin’i bosatsubon/Asamatsu bosatsukyō; K. Mujinŭi posal p’um/Ach’amal posal kyŏng 無盡意菩薩品/阿差末菩薩經). In Sanskrit, “Exposition of Akṣayamati,” a MAHĀYĀNA sūtra in which the BODHISATTVAAKṢAYAMATI expounds the “inexhaustible eightyfold doctrine,” the method through which a BODHISATTVA should listen to and comprehend the dharma. Four Chinese translations are extant, including the Wujinyi pusa pin by Zhiyan and Baoyun and the Achamo pusa jing by DHARMARAKṢA (C. Zhu Fahu). The sūtra also exists in a Tibetan translation by Chos nyid tshul khrims. The sūtra is particularly important as the source of the doctrine that the only definitive (NĪTĀRTHA) statements are those in which a buddha teaches emptiness (ŚŪNYATĀ) with words like unceasing, unproduced (ANUTPĀDA), and so on; all other statements require interpretation (NEYĀRTHA). See also ALAKṢAṆADHARMACAKRA, ABHIPRĀYA.
Akṣobhya. (T. Mi bskyod pa; C. Achu fo; J. Ashuku butsu; K. Ach’ok pul 阿閦佛). In Sanskrit, “Immovable” or “Imperturbable”; the name given to the buddha of the East because he is imperturbable in following his vow to proceed to buddhahood, particularly through mastering the practice of morality (ŚĪLA). Akṣobhya is one of the PAÑCATATHĀGATA (five tathāgatas), the buddha of the vajra family (VAJRAKULA). There are references to Akṣobhya in the PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ sūtras and the SADDHARMAPUṆḌARĪKASŪTRA (“Lotus Sūtra”), suggesting that his cult dates back to the first or second century of the Common Era, and that he was popular in India and Java as well as in the Himālayan regions. The cult of Akṣobhya may have been the first to emerge after the cult of ŚĀKYAMUNI, and before that of AMITĀBHA. In the Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra, Akṣobhya is listed as the first son of the buddha Mahābhijñā Jñānābhibhu, and his bodhisattva name is given as Jñānākara. His cult entered China during the Han dynasty, and an early text on his worship, the AKṢOBHYATATHĀGATASYAVYŪHA, was translated into Chinese during the second half of the second century. Although his cult was subsequently introduced into Japan, he never became as popular in East Asia as the buddhas AMITĀBHA or VAIROCANA, and images of Akṣobhya are largely confined to MAṆḌALAs and other depictions of the pañcatathāgata. Furthermore, because Akṣobhya’s buddha-field (BUDDHAKṢETRA) or PURE LAND of ABHIRATI is located in the East, he is sometimes replaced in maṇḍalas by BHAIṢAJYAGURU, who also resides in that same direction. Akṣobhya’s most common MUDRĀ is the BHŪMISPARŚAMUDRĀ, and he often holds a VAJRA. His consort is either Māmakī or Locanā.
Akṣobhyatathāgatasyavyūha. (T. De bzhin gshegs pa mi ’khrugs pa’i bkod pa; C. Achu foguo jing; J. Ashuku bukkokukyō; K. Ach’ok pulguk kyŏng 阿閦佛國經). In Sanskrit, “The Array of the TATHĀGATAAKṢOBHYA”; a SŪTRA in which the Buddha, at ŚĀRIPUTRA’s request, teaches his eminent disciple about the buddha AKṢOBHYA; also known as the Akṣobhyavyūha. It was first translated into Chinese in the mid-second century CE by LOKAKṢEMA, an Indo–Scythian monk from KUSHAN, and later retranslated by the Tang-period monk BODHIRUCI in the early eighth century as part of his rendering of the RATNAKŪṬASŪTRA. The scripture also exists in a Tibetan translation by Jinamitra, Surendrabodhi, and Ye shes sde. The text explains that in the distant past, a monk made a vow to achieve buddhahood. He followed the arduous BODHISATTVA path, engaging in myriad virtues; the text especially emphasizes his practice of morality (ŚĪLA). He eventually achieves buddhahood as the buddha Akṣobhya in a buddha-field (BUDDHAKṢETRA) located in the east called ABHIRATI, which the sūtra describes in some detail as an ideal domain for the practice of the dharma. As its name implies, Abhirati is a land of delight, the antithesis of the suffering that plagues our world, and its pleasures are the by-products of Akṣobhya’s immense merit and compassion. In his land, Akṣobhya sits on a platform sheltered by a huge BODHI TREE, which is surrounded by rows of palm trees and jasmine bushes. Its soil is golden in color and as soft as cotton, and the ground is flat with no gullies or gravel. Although Abhirati, like our world, has a sun and moon, both pale next to the radiance of Akṣobhya himself. In Abhirati, the three unfortunate realms (APĀYA) of hell denizens, ghosts, and animals do not exist. Among humans, there are gender distinctions but no physical sexuality. A man who entertains sexual thoughts toward a woman would instantly see that desire transformed into a DHYĀNA that derives from the meditation on impurity (AŚUBHABHĀVANĀ), while a woman can become pregnant by a man’s glance (even though women do not experience menstruation). Food and drink appear spontaneously whenever a person is hungry or thirsty. There is no illness, no ugliness, and no crime. Described as a kind of idealized monastic community, Abhirati is designed to provide the optimal environment to engage in Buddhist practice, both for those who seek to become ARHATs and for those practicing the bodhisattva path. Rebirth there is a direct result of having planted virtuous roots (KUŚALAMŪLA), engaging in wholesome actions, and then dedicating any merit deriving from those actions to one’s future rebirth in that land. One is also reborn there by accepting, memorizing, and spreading this sūtra. Akṣobhya will eventually attain PARINIRVĀṆA in Abhirati through a final act of self-immolation (see SHESHEN). After his demise, his teachings will slowly disappear from the world.
akunin shōki. (惡人正機). In Japanese, lit. “evil people have the right capacity”; the emblematic teaching of the JŌDO SHINSHŪ teacher SHINRAN (1173–1263), which suggests that AMITĀBHA’s compassion is directed primarily to evildoers. When Amitābha was still the monk named DHARMĀKARA, he made a series of forty-eight vows (PRAṆIDHĀNA) that he promised to fulfill before he became a buddha. The most important of these vows to much of the PURE LAND tradition is the eighteenth, in which he vows that all beings who call his name will be reborn in his pure land of SUKHĀVATĪ. This prospect of salvation has nothing to do with whether one is a monk or layperson, man or woman, saint or sinner, learned or ignorant. In this doctrine, Shinran goes so far as to claim that if a good man can be reborn in the pure land, so much more so can an evil man. This is because the good man remains attached to the delusion that his virtuous deeds will somehow bring about his salvation, while the evil man has abandoned this conceit and accepts that only through Amitābha’s grace will rebirth in the pure land be won.
akuśala. (P. akusala; T. mi dge ba; C. bushan; J. fuzen; K. pulsŏn 不善). In Sanskrit, “unsalutary,” “unvirtuous,” “inauspicious,” “unwholesome,” used to describe those physical, verbal, and mental activities (often enumerated as ten) that lead to unsalutary rebirths. An “unvirtuous” or “unwholesome” action generally refers to any volition (CETANĀ) or volitional action, along with the consciousness (VIJÑĀNA) and mental constructions (SAṂSKĀRA) associated with it, that are informed by the afflictions (KLEŚA) of greed (LOBHA), hatred (DVEṢA; P. dosa), or delusion (MOHA). Such volitional actions produce unfortunate results for the actor and ultimately are the cause of the unfavorable destinies (APĀYA; DURGATI) of hell denizens (NĀRAKA), hungry ghosts (PRETA), animals (TIRYAK), and (in some descriptions) titans or demigods (ASURA). A list of ten unwholesome courses of actions (see KARMAPATHA) are listed that lead to apāya and are equivalent to the ten wrong deeds (P. duccarita) as enumerated in the Nidānavagga of the SAṂYUTTANIKĀYA. The first three on the list are classified as bodily wrong deeds: killing (prāṇātipāta; P. pāṇātipāta), stealing (adattādāna; P. adinnādāna), and sexual misconduct (KĀMAMITHYĀCĀRA; P. kāmamicchācāra). The next four in the list are classified as verbal wrong deeds: lying (mṛṣāvāda; P. musāvāda), slander or malicious speech (PAIŚUNYA; P. pisuṇavācā), offensive or rough speech (pāraṣyavāda; P. pharusavācā), and frivolous prattle (saṃbhinnapralāpa; P. samphappalāpa). The final three on the list are classified as mental wrong deeds: covetousness (ABHIDHYĀ; P. abhijjhā), ill will (VYĀPĀDA), and wrong views (MITHYĀDṚṢṬI; P. micchādiṭṭhi).
akuśaladṛṣṭi. (C. ejian/xiejian; J. akuken/jaken; K. akkyŏn/sagyŏn 惡見/邪見). See MITHYĀDṚṢṬI.
akuśalakarmapatha. In Sanskrit, the ten “unwholesome courses of action.” See KARMAPATHA.
akuśalamahābhūmika. (T. mi dge ba’i sa mang chen po; C. da bushandi fa; J. daifuzenjihō; K. tae pulsŏnji pŏp 大不善地法). In Sanskrit, “omnipresent unwholesome factors” or “unwholesome factors of wide extent”; the principal factors (DHARMA) that ground all unwholesome actions (AKUŚALA). In the SARVĀSTIVĀDA ABHIDHARMA system, two specific forces associated with mentality (CITTASAṂPRAYUKTASAṂSKĀRA) are identified as accompanying all unwholesome activities and are therefore described as “unwholesome factors of wide extent.” The two dharmas are “lack of a sense of decency” (āhrīkya; cf. HRĪ, “sense of decency”) and “lack of modesty” (anapatrāpya; cf. APATRĀPYA, “modesty”).
akuśalamūla. (P. akusalamūla; T. mi dge ba’i rtsa ba; C. bushangen; J. fuzenkon; K. pulsŏn’gŭn 不善根). In Sanskrit, “unwholesome faculties,” or “roots of evil”; these refer to the cumulative unwholesome actions performed by an individual throughout one’s past lives, which lead that being toward the baleful destinies (DURGATI) of animals, hungry ghosts, and the denizens of hell. The Buddhist tradition offers various lists of these unwholesome faculties, the most common of which is threefold: craving or greed (LOBHA), aversion or hatred (DVEṢA), and delusion (MOHA). These same three are also known in the sūtra literature as the “three poisons” (TRIVIṢA). These three factors thus will fructify as unhappiness in the future and provide the foundation for unfavorable destinies or rebirths (APĀYA). These three unwholesome roots are the converse of the three wholesome faculties, or “roots of virtue” (KUŚALAMŪLA), viz., nongreed (alobha), nonhatred (adveṣa), and nondelusion (amoha), which lead instead to happiness or liberation (VIMOKṢA). See also SAMUCCHINNAKUŚALAMŪLA.
Akutobhayā. (T. Ga las ’jigs med). In Sanskrit, “Fearless,” the abbreviated title of the Mūlamadhyamakavṛtti-akutobhayā, a commentary on NĀGĀRJUNA’s MŪLAMADHYAMAKAKĀRIKĀ. In Tibet, the work has traditionally been attributed to Nāgārjuna himself, but scholars doubt that he is the author of this commentary on his own work, in part because the commentary cites the CATUḤŚATAKA of ĀRYADEVA, who was Nāgārjuna’s disciple. In places, the work is identical to the commentary of BUDDHAPĀLITA. Regardless of the authorship, the work is an important commentary on Nāgārjuna’s most famous work. In China, the commentary of Qingmu (*Piṅgala?), an influential work in the SAN LUN ZONG, is closely related to the Akutobhayā.
Alagaddūpamasutta. (C. Alizha jing; J. Aritakyō; K. Arit’a kyŏng 阿梨經). In Pāli, “Discourse on the Simile of the Snake,” the twenty-second sutta of the MAJJHIMANIKĀYA (a separate Sarvāstivāda recension appears as the 200th sūtra in the Chinese translation of the MADHYAMĀGAMA, and the similes of the snake and of the raft are the subjects of independent sūtras in an unidentified recension in the EKOTTARĀGAMA). The discourse was preached by the Buddha at Sāvatthi (ŚRĀVASTĪ), in response to the wrong view (MITHYĀDṚṢṬI) of the monk Ariṭṭha. Ariṭṭha maintained that the Buddha taught that one could enjoy sensual pleasures without obstructing one’s progress along the path to liberation, and remained recalcitrant even after the Buddha admonished him. The Buddha then spoke to the assembly of monks on the wrong way and the right way of learning the dharma. In his discourse, he uses several similes to enhance his audience’s understanding, including the eponymous “simile of the snake”: just as one could be bitten and die by grasping a poisonous snake by the tail instead of the head, so too will using the dharma merely for disputation or polemics lead to one’s peril because of one’s wrong grasp of the dharma. This sutta also contains the famous “simile of the raft,” where the Buddha compares his dispensation or teaching (ŚĀSANA) to a makeshift raft that will help one get across a raging river to the opposite shore: after one has successfully crossed that river by paddling furiously and reached solid ground, it would be inappropriate to put the raft on one’s head and carry it; similarly, once one has used the dharma to get across the “raging river” of birth and death (SAṂSĀRA) to the “other shore” of NIRVĀṆA, the teachings have served their purpose and should not be clung to.
alakṣaṇadharmacakra. (T. mtshan nyid med pa’i chos ’khor; C. wuxiang falun; J. musō hōrin; K. musang pŏmnyun 無相法輪). In Sanskrit, lit. “the dharma wheel of signlessness”; the second of the three turnings of the wheel of the dharma (DHARMACAKRAPRAVARTANA) described in the SAṂDHINIRMOCANASŪTRA. The sūtra, an important source for YOGĀCĀRA doctrine, explains that the Buddha turned the wheel of the dharma three times. According to the commentators on the sūtra, in the first turning of the wheel, called “the dharma wheel of the four noble truths” (CATUḤSATYADHARMACAKRA), the Buddha taught that dharmas exist in reality. This wheel is described as provisional (NEYĀRTHA). The second turning of the wheel, delivered on Vulture’s Peak (GṚDHRAKŪṬAPARVATA) near RĀJAGṚHA, is called “the dharma wheel of signlessness” (alakṣaṇadharmacakra). Here, the Buddha taught that no dharmas exist. The sūtra also identifies this wheel as a provisional teaching (NEYĀRTHA). The third turning of the wheel is described as “well-differentiated” (suvibhakta), with the Buddha explaining that some dharmas exist and some do not. This wheel is described as definitive (NĪTĀRTHA). The description of the third wheel is an important scriptural source for the Yogācāra doctrine of the three natures (TRISVABHĀVA). Commentators identify this second turning of the wheel, the alakṣaṇadharmacakra, with the Mahāyāna doctrine set forth in the PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀSŪTRAs (perfection of wisdom sūtras) that all dharmas, even buddhahood and NIRVĀṆA, are without any intrinsic nature (NIḤSVABHĀVA). In Tibet, the schools of interpretation of the sūtra divided evenly into two camps: some (like TSONG KHA PA) assert that the Saṃdhinirmocanasūtra’s second turning of the wheel is the definitive teaching of the Buddha and that the third turning is an inferior YOGĀCĀRA teaching;, others (like DOL PO PA) assert that the third turning of the wheel is a definitive teaching and the second turning of the wheel is provisional. See also *SUVIBHAKTADHARMACAKRA.
ālambana. (P. ārammaṇa; T. dmigs pa; C. suoyuan; J. shoen; K. soyŏn 所縁). In Sanskrit, “objective support,” “sense object,” or “object of cognition”; in epistemology, the object of any one of the six sensory consciousnesses (VIJÑĀNA), i.e., visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, and mental objects. In the mainstream traditions, these objects were considered to be the external constituent in the cognitive relationship between subject and object, whereby the contact (SPARŚA) between, e.g., an olfactory sensory object (e.g., gandha) and the olfactory sense base (GHRAṆENDRIYA) produces a corresponding olfactory consciousness (GHRAṆAVIJÑĀNA). Sense objects thus correspond to the six external “sense-fields” or “spheres of perception” (ĀYATANA) and the six external “elements” (DHĀTU). The term ālambana is also used in instructions on meditation to describe the object upon which the meditator is to focus the mind. See also ĀLAMBANAPRATYAYA.
Ālambanaparīkṣā. (T. Dmigs pa brtag pa; C. Guan suoyuan yuan lun; J. Kanshoen nenron; K. Kwan soyŏn yŏn non 觀所論). In Sanskrit,“An Analysis of the Objects of Cognition,” a text on YOGĀCĀRA epistemology by the early fifth-century Indian logician DIGNĀGA, which examines the objective support (ĀLAMBANA) of cognition. Dignāga argues that cognition cannot take for its object anything from the external world; instead, the object of cognition is actually the form of an object that appears within cognition itself. While the original Sanskrit is lost, the text is preserved in both Tibetan and Chinese translations. Dignāga also composed a commentary to this work, the Ālambanaparīkṣāvṛtti, as did Vinītadeva (c. eighth century), the Ālambanaparīkṣāṭikā.
ālambanapratyaya. (P. ārammaṇapaccaya; T. dmigs rkyen; C. suoyuan yuan; J. shoennen; K. soyŏn yŏn 所縁縁). In Sanskrit, “objective-support condition” or “observed-object condition,” the third of the four types of conditions (PRATYAYA) recognized in both the VAIBHĀṢIKA ABHIDHARMA system of the SARVĀSTIVĀDA school and the YOGĀCĀRA school; the term also appears as the second of the twenty-four conditions (P. paccaya) in the massive Pāli abhidhamma text, the PAṬṬHĀNA. This condition refers to the role the corresponding sensory object (ĀLAMBANA) takes in the arising of any of the six sensory consciousnesses (VIJÑĀNA) and is one of the three causal conditions necessary for cognition to occur. Sensory consciousness thus cannot occur without the presence of a corresponding sensory object, whether that be visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, or mental.
Alaungpaya. Burmese king (r. 1752–1760) and founder of the Konbaung dynasty (1752–1885), the last Burmese royal house before the British conquest. He was born the son of the village headman of Mokesoebo in Upper Burma in 1711. Originally named Aungzeyya, he succeeded his father as headman and early on showed charismatic signs of leadership. By this time, the then Burmese empire of Taungoo, which had been founded in 1531, was on the verge of collapse. The Mon of Lower Burma, whose capital was Pegu, rebelled and soon swept northward, eventually capturing the Burmese capital, AVA, and executing its king. When emissaries from the Mon king, Binnya-dala, demanded the allegiance of Mokesoebo, Aungzeyya beheaded them and organized a rebellion to restore Burmese sovereignty. Gathering around him a loyal cohort of local chiefs and soldiers from Ava, he crowned himself king and established Mokesoebo as his first capital, which he renamed Shwebo. A brilliant tactician and masterful propagandist, he assumed the title Alaungpaya, meaning “Future Buddha,” and waged war on the Mon as a BODHISATTVA intent on restoring the purity of the Buddha’s religion and ushering in a golden age. In 1753, he recaptured Ava and subdued the Shan chieftains on his northern flank. In 1755, he captured the strategic port town of Dagon, which he renamed Yangon (Rangoon), meaning “End of Strife.” In 1757, after a protracted siege, he destroyed Pegu, the last stronghold of Mon resistance, executing its king, Binnya-dala, and massacring its population. After consolidating Burmese control over the central provinces, Alaungpaya marched his armies against the Hindu kingdom of Manipur, which had taken advantage of the civil war to pillage Burma’s western territories. Having vanquished Manipur, in 1760, he moved against the Thai kingdom of AYUTHAYA in the east in retaliation for fomenting anti-Burmese rebellions along the border. The Burmese seized Moulmein, Tavoy, and Tenasserim, but Alaungpaya was mortally wounded during the siege of Ayuthaya and died during the subsequent Burmese retreat. The empire created by Alaungpaya expanded under his sons and their descendants, eventually bringing it into conflict with the British East India Company.
Ālavaka. Name of a man-eating ogre (P. yakkha; S. YAKṢA) whose conversion by the Buddha is described in Pāli materials. Ālavaka dwelt in a tree near the town Ālavi and had been granted a boon by the king of the yakkhas that allowed him to eat anyone who came into the shadow of his tree. Even the sight of the ogre rendered the bodies of men as soft as butter. His tree was surrounded by a stout wall and covered with a metal net. Above it lay the sky passage to the Himālaya mountains traversed by those who possessed supernatural powers. Ascetics seeing the strange abode would descend out of curiosity, whereupon Ālavaka would ask them knotty questions about their beliefs. When they could not answer, he would penetrate their hearts with his mind and drive them mad. Ālavaka is most famous for the promise he extorted from the king of Ālavi, whom he captured while the monarch was on a hunting expedition. In order to save his life, the king promised to supply the ogre regularly with a human victim. The king first delivered convicted criminals for sacrifice, but when there were no more, he ordered each family to supply one child at the appointed time. Pregnant women fearing for their unborn infants fled the city, until after twelve years, only one child, the king’s own son, remained. The child was duly made ready and sent to the ogre. The Buddha knew of the impending event and went to the ogre’s abode to intervene. While Ālavaka was absent, the Buddha sat upon the ogre’s throne and preached to his harem. Informed of the Buddha’s brazenness, Ālavaka returned and attacked the Buddha with his superpowers to remove him from the throne, but to no avail. The Buddha only left when politely asked to do so. Still unwilling to admit defeat, the ogre invited the Buddha to answer questions put to him. So skillfully did the Buddha answer that Ālavaka shouted for joy and then and there became a stream-enterer (SROTAĀPANNA; P. sotāpanna). When the king’s entourage delivered the young prince for sacrifice, Ālavaka, ashamed of his past deeds, surrendered the boy to the Buddha, who in turn handed him back to the king’s men. Because he was handed from one to another, the boy was known as Hatthaka (Little Hand, or Handful) and in adulthood became one of the chief lay patrons of the Buddha. When the populace heard of the ogre’s conversion, they were overjoyed and built a shrine for him, where they offered flowers and perfumes daily. Ālavaka is named in the Aṭānāṭiyasutta as one of several yakṣas who may be entreated for protection against dangers.
ālayavijñāna. (T. kun gzhi rnam par shes pa; C. alaiyeshi/zangshi; J. arayashiki/zōshiki; K. aroeyasik/changsik 阿賴耶識/藏識). In Sanskrit, “storehouse consciousness” or “foundational consciousness”; the eighth of the eight types of consciousness (VIJÑĀNA) posited in the YOGĀCĀRA school. All forms of Buddhist thought must be able to uphold (1) the principle of the cause and effect of actions (KARMAN), the structure of SAṂSĀRA, and the process of liberation (VIMOKṢA) from it, while also upholding (2) the fundamental doctrines of impermanence (ANITYA) and the lack of a perduring self (ANĀTMAN). The most famous and comprehensive solution to the range of problems created by these apparently contradictory elements is the ālayavijñāna, often translated as the “storehouse consciousness.” This doctrinal concept derives in India from the YOGĀCĀRA school, especially from ASAṄGA and VASUBANDHU and their commentators. Whereas other schools of Buddhist thought posit six consciousnesses (vijñāna), in the Yogācāra system there are eight, adding the afflicted mind (KLIṢṬAMANAS) and the ālayavijñāna. It appears that once the Sarvāstivāda’s school’s eponymous doctrine of the existence of dharmas in the past, present, and future was rejected by most other schools of Buddhism, some doctrinal solution was required to provide continuity between past and future, including past and future lifetimes. The alāyavijñāna provides that solution as a foundational form of consciousness, itself ethically neutral, where all the seeds (BIJA) of all deeds done in the past reside, and from which they fructify in the form of experience. Thus, the ālayavijñāna is said to pervade the entire body during life, to withdraw from the body at the time of death (with the extremities becoming cold as it slowly exits), and to carry the complete karmic record to the next rebirth destiny. Among the many doctrinal problems that the presence of the ālayavijñāna is meant to solve, it appears that one of its earliest references is in the context not of rebirth but in that of the NIRODHASAMĀPATTI, or “trance of cessation,” where all conscious activity, that is, all CITTA and CAITTA, cease. Although the meditator may appear as if dead during that trance, consciousness is able to be reactivated because the ālayavijñāna remains present throughout, with the seeds of future experience lying dormant in it, available to bear fruit when the person arises from meditation. The ālayavijñāna thus provides continuity from moment to moment within a given lifetime and from lifetime to lifetime, all providing the link between an action performed in the past and its effect experienced in the present, despite protracted periods of latency between seed and fruition. In Yogācāra, where the existence of an external world is denied, when a seed bears fruit, it bifurcates into an observing subject and an observed object, with that object falsely imagined to exist separately from the consciousness that perceives it. The response by the subject to that object produces more seeds, either positive, negative, or neutral, which are deposited in the ālayavijñāna, remaining there until they in turn bear their fruit. Although said to be neutral and a kind of silent observer of experience, the ālayavijñāna is thus also the recipient of karmic seeds as they are produced, receiving impressions (VĀSANĀ) from them. In the context of Buddhist soteriological discussions, the ālayavijñāna explains why contaminants (ĀSRAVA) remain even when unwholesome states of mind are not actively present, and it provides the basis for the mistaken belief in self (ātman). Indeed, it is said that the kliṣṭamanas perceives the ālayavijñāna as a perduring self. The ālayavijñāna also explains how progress on the path can continue over several lifetimes and why some follow the path of the ŚRĀVAKA and others the path of the BODHISATTVA; it is said that one’s lineage (GOTRA) is in fact a seed that resides permanently in the ālayavijñāna. In India, the doctrine of the ālayavijñāna was controversial, with some members of the Yogācāra school rejecting its existence, arguing that the functions it is meant to serve can be accommodated within the standard six-consciousness system. The MADHYAMAKA, notably figures such as BHĀVAVIVEKA and CANDRAKĪRTI, attacked the Yogācāra proponents of the ālayavijñāna, describing it as a form of self, which all Buddhists must reject. ¶ In East Asia, the ālayavijñāna was conceived as one possible solution to persistent questions in Buddhism about karmic continuity and about the origin of ignorance (MOHA). For the latter, some explanation was required as to how sentient beings, whom many strands of MAHĀYĀNA claimed were inherently enlightened, began to presume themselves to be ignorant. Debates raged within different strands of the Chinese Yogācāra traditions as to whether the ālayavijñāna is intrinsically impure because of the presence of these seeds of past experience (the position of the Northern branch of the Chinese DI LUN ZONG and the Chinese FAXIANG tradition of XUANZANG and KUIJI), or whether the ālayavijñāna included both pure and impure elements because it involved also the functioning of thusness, or TATHATĀ (the Southern Di lun school’s position). Since the sentient being has had a veritable interminable period of time in which to collect an infinity of seeds—which would essentially make it impossible to hope to counteract them one by one—the mainstream strands of Yogācāra viewed the mind as nevertheless tending inveterately toward impurity (dauṣṭhulya). This impurity could only be overcome through a “transformation of the basis” (ĀŚRAYAPARĀVṚTTI), which would completely eradicate the karmic seeds stored in the storehouse consciousness, liberating the bodhisattva from the effects of all past actions and freeing him to project compassion liberally throughout the world. In some later interpretations, this transformation would then convert the ālayavijñāna into a ninth “immaculate consciousness” (AMALAVIJÑĀNA). See also DASHENG QIXIN LUN.
Alchi. The name, possibly of early Dardic origin, of a monastic complex located approximately twenty miles northwest of Leh, in the Ladakh region of the northwestern Indian state of Kashmir. The complex is renowned for its exceptional collection of early Tibetan Buddhist painting and statuary. Local legend ascribes Alchi’s foundation to the great eleventh-century translator RIN CHEN BZANG PO. While the monastery’s early history is obscure, inscriptions within the complex attribute its foundation to Skal ldan shes rab (Kalden Sherap) and Tshul khrims ’od (Tsultrim Ö), active sometime between the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The complex of Alchi, called the chos ’khor (“dharma enclave”), comprises five main buildings: (1) the ’dus khang (“assembly hall”); (2) the lo tsā ba’i lha khang (“translator’s temple”); (3) the ’Jam dpal lha khang (“Mañjuśrī temple”); (4) the gsum brtsegs (“three-storied [temple]”); and (5) the lha khang so ma (“new temple”). While the ’dus khang stands as the earliest and largest structure, the gsum brtsegs is perhaps most famous for its three-storied stucco statues of AVALOKITEŚVARA, MAITREYA, and MAÑJUŚRĪ, each painted in elaborate detail. The temple also contains extraordinary murals painted by western Tibetan and Kashmiri artisans.
ālīḍha. (T. g.yas brkyang ba). A Sanskrit term used to describe the Buddhist iconographic posture (ĀSANA) in which the figure holds one leg bent forward at the knee with the other leg stretched out in the opposite direction. While the term generally refers to standing postures, it may also apply to seated poses and is distinguished from PRATYĀLĪḌHA, where the leg positions are reversed. Sources vary in describing which leg is outstretched and which leg is bent. In Tibetan tantric art, the ālīḍha posture is often found in deities of the MOTHER TANTRA class. See also ĀSANA.
ālikāli. (T. ā li kā li). The letters of the Sanskrit alphabet (A being the first in the list of vowels and ka the first in the list of consonants), often recited or visualized in tantric practice. See also ARAPACANA; AJIKAN.
alms bowl. See PĀTRA.
alms round. See PIṆḌAPĀTA.
alobha. (T. ma chags pa; C. wutan; J. muton; K. mut’am 無貪). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “absence of craving” or “absence of greed”; one of the most ubiquitous of moral virtues (KUŚALA), which serves as an antidote to the KLEŚA of desire and as the foundation for progress on the path. Alobha is one of the forty-six mental factors (CAITTA) according to the SARVĀSTIVĀDA school and the ABHIDHARMAKOŚABHĀṢYA, one of the fifty-one according to the YOGĀCĀRA school, and one of the fifty-one of the Pāli abhidhamma. “Absence of craving” is the opposite of “craving” or “greed” (LOBHA). The Sarvāstivāda ABHIDHARMA system posited that this mental quality accompanied all wholesome activities, and therefore lists it as the seventh of the ten major omnipresent wholesome factors (KUŚALAMAHĀBHŪMIKA). Absence of craving is listed as one of the so-called three roots of virtue (KUŚALAMŪLA), one of the states of mind comprising right intention (SAMYAKSAṂKALPA) in the noble eightfold path (ĀRYĀṢṬĀṄGAMĀRGA), and is traditionally taken to be the precondition for the cultivation of equanimity (UPEKṢĀ).
Āloka lena. A cave near modern Matale in Sri Lanka where, during the last quarter of the first century BCE, during the reign of King VAṬṬAGĀMAṆI ABHAYA, the Pāli tipiṭaka (TRIPIṬAKA) and its commentaries (AṬṬHAKATHĀ) were said to have been written down for the first time. The DĪPAVAṂSA and MAHĀVAṂSA state that a gathering of ARHATs had decided to commit the texts to writing out of fear that they could no longer be reliably memorized and passed down from one generation to the next. They convened a gathering of five hundred monks for the purpose, the cost of which was borne by a local chieftain. The subcommentary by Vajirabuddhi and the Sāratthadīpanī (c. twelfth century CE) deem that the writing down of the tipiṭaka occurred at the fourth Buddhist council (see COUNCIL, FOURTH), and so it has been generally recognized ever since throughout the THERAVĀDA world. However, the fourteenth-century SADDHAMMASAṄGAHA, written at the Thai capital of AYUTHAYA, deems this to be the fifth Buddhist council (see COUNCIL, FIFTH), the fourth council being instead the recitation of VINAYA by Mahā Ariṭṭha carried out during the reign of King DEVĀNAṂPIYATISSA.
ālokasyopalabdhiśa. (T. nye bar thob pa’i snang ba). In Sanskrit “appearance of near-attainment,” the penultimate stage in the final three stages of the dissolution of consciousness that culminates in the dawning of “clear light” (PRABHĀSVARA), the actual moment of death according to certain systems of ANUTTARAYOGATANTRA. After the gross elements and states of consciousness dissolve, a process that is accompanied by a series of signs, the subtler levels of consciousness appear: first an experience of radiant whiteness called appearance (āloka) like a night sky filled with moonlight, then an experience of redness, called increase (vṛddhi) like a clear sky filled with sunlight, and finally an experience called “near attainment” (upalabdha) like a black moonless sky, so called because it is the state nearest to the most subtle level of consciousness, the mind of clear light.
Altan Khan. (1507–1583). A ruler descending from the lineage of Genghis Khan who became the leader of the Tümed Mongols in 1543. In 1578, he hosted BSOD NAMS RGYA MTSHO, a renowned Tibetan lama of the DGE LUGS sect, bestowing on the prelate the appellation “DALAI LAMA” by translating part of his name, rgya mtsho (“ocean”), into the Mongolian word dalai. Bsod nams rgya mtsho was deemed the third Dalai Lama, with the title applied posthumously to his two predecessors. The Dge lugs gained influence under Tümed Mongol patronage, and, following the death of Bsod nams rgya mtsho, the grandson of Altan Khan’s successor was recognized as the fourth Dalai Lama. See also DALAI LAMA.
amalavijñāna. (T. dri ma med pa’i rnam shes; C. amoluo shi/wugou shi; J. amarashiki/mukushiki; K. amara sik/mugu sik 阿摩羅識/無垢識). In Sanskrit, “immaculate consciousness”; a ninth level of consciousness posited in certain strands of the YOGĀCĀRA school, especially that taught by the Indian translator and exegete PARAMĀRTHA. The amalavijñāna represents the intrusion of TATHĀGATAGARBHA (womb or embryo of buddhahood) thought into the eight-consciousnesses theory of the YOGĀCĀRA school. The amalavijñāna may have antecedents in the notion of immaculate gnosis (amalajñāna) in the RATNAGOTRAVIBHĀGA and is claimed to be first mentioned in STHIRAMATI’s school of Yogācāra, to which Paramārtha belonged. The term is not attested in Sanskrit materials, however, and may be of Chinese provenance. The most sustained treatment of the concept appears in the SHE LUN ZONG, an exegetical tradition of Chinese Buddhism built around Paramārtha’s translation of ASAṄGA’s MAHĀYĀNASAṂGRAHA (She Dasheng lun). Paramārtha compares amalavijñāna to the perfected nature (PARINIṢPANNA) of consciousness, thus equating amalavijñāna with the absolute reality of thusness (TATHATĀ) and therefore rendering it the essence of all dharmas and the primary catalyst to enlightenment. As “immaculate,” the amalavijñāna emulates the emphasis in tathāgatagarbha thought on the inherent purity of the mind; but as “consciousness,” amalavijñāna could also be sited within the Yogācāra philosophy of mind as a separate ninth level of consciousness, now construed as the basis of all the other consciousnesses, including the eighth ĀLAYAVIJÑĀNA. See also BUDDHADHĀTU; FOXING.
Amarapura. The “Immortal City”; Burmese royal capital during the Konbaung period (1752–1885), built by King Bodawpaya (r. 1782–1819). Amarapura was one of five Burmese capitals established in Upper Burma (Myanmar) after the fall of Pagan between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries, the others being Pinya, SAGAING, AVA (Inwa), and Mandalay. Located five miles north of the old capital of Ava (Inwa) and seven miles south of Mandalay on the southern bank of the Irrawaddy river, it served as the capital of the Burmese kingdom twice: from 1783 to 1823 and again from 1837 to 1857. The city was mapped out in the form of a perfect square, its perimeter surrounded by stout brick walls and further protected by a wide moat. The city walls were punctuated by twelve gates, three on each side, every gate crowned with a tiered wooden pavilion (B. pyatthat). Broad avenues laid out in a grid pattern led to the center of the city where stood the royal palace and ancillary buildings, all constructed of teak and raised above the ground on massive wooden pylons. Located to the north of the city was a shrine housing the colossal MAHĀMUNI image of the Buddha (see ARAKAN BUDDHA), which was acquired by the Burmese as war booty in 1784 when King Bodawpaya conquered the neighboring Buddhist kingdom of Arakan. Since its relocation at the shrine, the seated image has been covered with so many layers of gold leaf that its torso is now completely obscured, leaving only the head and face visible. In 1816, Bodawpaya erected the monumental Pahtodawgyi pagoda, modeled after the Shwezigon pagoda at Pagan. Its lower terraces are adorned with carved marble plaques depicting episodes from the JĀTAKAs. Another major shrine is the Kyauktawgyi pagoda, located to the southeast of the city on the opposite shore of Taungthaman lake. Kyauktawgyi pagoda is reached via the U Bein Bridge, a 3,000-foot- (1,200-meter) long bridge spanning the lake, which was constructed from teakwood salvaged from the royal palace at the vanquished capital of Ava. Amarapura was site of the THUDHAMMA (P. Sudhamma) reformation begun in 1782 under the patronage of Bodawpaya, which for a time unified the Burmese saṅgha under a single leadership and gave rise to the modern Thudhamma Nikāya, contemporary Burma’s largest monastic fraternity. The Thudhamma council that Bodawpaya organized was directed to reform the Burmese saṅgha throughout the kingdom and bring it under Thudhamma administrative control. In 1800, the president of the council conferred higher ordination (UPASAṂPADĀ) on a delegation of five low-caste Sinhalese ordinands who returned to Sri Lanka in 1803 and established a branch of the reformed Burmese order on the island; that fraternity was known as the AMARAPURA NIKĀYA and was dedicated to opening higher ordination to all without caste distinction. In 1857, when the royal residence was shifted from Amarapura to nearby Mandalay, the city walls and palace compound of Amarapura were disassembled and used as building material for the new capital. Today, Amarapura is home to modern Burma’s most famous monastic college, Mahagandayon Kyaung Taik, built during the British period and belonging to the Shwegyin Nikāya.
Amarapura Nikāya. One of three major monastic fraternities (NIKĀYA) within the modern Sinhalese THERAVĀDA saṅgha (S. SAṂGHA), the others being the majority SIYAM NIKĀYA and the RĀMAÑÑA NIKĀYA. The Amarapura Nikāya was founded in the early nineteenth century in opposition to the Siyam Nikāya’s policy of restricting higher ordination (UPASAṂPADĀ) to the highest Goyigama caste. The Goyigama was concentrated in the interior highlands of Sri Lanka, which were governed by the Kandyan king. The lower castes—comprised of toddy tappers and cinnamon pickers, who formed the majority population in the British controlled coastal lowlands—were at most given lower ordination (PRAVRAJYĀ) as novices (ŚRĀMAṆERA). In protest, five low-caste Sinhalese novices journeyed to the Burmese capital of Amarapura in 1800 to receive higher ordination from the Burmese patriarch, Ñāṇabhivaṃsa. In 1803, they were ordained as monks (BHIKṢU) and, together with three Burmese elders (P. thera), returned to Sri Lanka to establish the reformist Amarapura Nikāya. The Amarapura Nikāya takes as its charter the KALYĀṆĪ INSCRIPTIONS of the Mon king Dhammazedi erected at Pegu in 1479, a recension of which it preserves in its monasteries as the Kalyāṇipakaraṇa. Following its establishment, the Amarapura Nikāya itself divided along caste lines into numerous subgroups, each group maintaining its own lineage of teachers that are traced back to the original founders of the Amarapura Nikāya. Continued sectarianism, along with doctrinal disagreements over the role of meditation, led to the formation of another reformist monastic order with Burmese roots, the Rāmañña Nikāya, in 1862.
Amarāvatī. (T. ’Chi med ldan). In Sanskrit, “Immortal”; is the modern name for Dhānyakaṭaka or Dharaṇikoṭa, the site of a monastic community associated with the MAHĀSĀṂGHIKA school, located in eastern Andhra Pradesh. The site is best known for its large main STŪPA, started at the time of AŚOKA (third century BCE), which, by the second century CE, was the largest monument in India. It is thought to have been some 140 feet in diameter and upwards of 100 feet tall, and decorated with bas-reliefs. The stūpa is mentioned in numerous accounts, including that by the Chinese pilgrim XUANZANG. Amarāvatī (as Dhānyakaṭaka) reached its historical zenith as the southern capital of the later Sātavāhana [alt. Śātavāhana] dynasty that ended in 227 CE. The last inscription found at the site is dated to the eleventh century, and when first excavated at the end of the eighteenth century by the British, the stūpa had long been reduced to a large mound of earth. Over the following centuries, it has been the focus of repeated archaeological excavations that yielded many important finds, making it one of the best researched Buddhist sites of ancient India. The site is important in Tibetan Buddhism because the Buddha is said to have taught the KĀLACAKRATANTRA at Dhānyakaṭaka. See also NĀGĀRJUNAKOṆḌĀ.
Ambedkar, Bhimrao Ramji. (1891–1956). Indian reformer and Buddhist convert, who advocated for reform of the caste system and improvements in the social treatment of “untouchables” or the Dalit community during the independence period. The fourteenth child of a Dalit caste family in the Indian state of Maharashtra, Ambedkar was one of the few members of his caste to receive a secondary-school education and went on to study in New York and London, eventually receiving a doctorate from Columbia University. Upon his return to India, he worked both for Indian independence from Britain and for the social and political rights of the untouchables. After independence, he served in Nehru’s government, chairing the committee that drafted the constitution. Seeking a religious identity for Dalits that would free them from the caste prejudice of Hinduism, he settled on Buddhism after considering also Islam, Christianity, and Sikhism. Buddhism had been extinct in India for centuries, but Ambedkar’s research led him to conclude that the Dalits were descendants of Buddhists who had been persecuted by Hindus for their beliefs. In 1956, six weeks before his death, Ambedkar publicly converted to Buddhism and then led an audience of 380,000 in taking refuge in the three jewels (RATNATRAYA) and in accepting the five precepts (PAÑCAŚĪLA) of lay Buddhists. Eventually, millions of other Indians, mostly from low-caste and outcaste groups, followed his example. In his writings, Ambedkar portrayed the Buddha as a social reformer, whose teachings could provide India with the foundation for a more egalitarian society.
Amida. Japanese pronunciation of the Sinographic transcripton of the name AMITĀBHA, the buddha who is the primary focus of worship in the PURE LAND traditions of Japan. See JŌDOSHŪ; JŌDO SHINSHŪ.
āmiṣadāna. (P. āmisadāna; T. zang zing gi sbyin pa; C. caishi; J. zaise; K. chaesi 財施). In Sanskrit, “the gift of material goods”; one of the two (or sometimes three) forms of giving (DĀNA) praised in the sūtras. The Sanskrit term āmiṣa connotes the venal world of the flesh—i.e., material goods, physical pleasures, and sensual enjoyment—as contrasted to the spiritual world of the dharma. Therefore, giving material goods, while certainly a salutary and meritorious act, is thought to be inferior to the “gift of dharma” (DHARMADĀNA), which is believed to bring greater merit (PUṆYA). Sometimes, a third form of giving, the “gift of fearlessness” (ABHAYADĀNA), viz., helping others to overcome their fear, is added to the list. The gift of material goods typically takes the form of laypeople providing material or monetary support to religious renunciants or institutions, or to the needy and indigent. See also WUJINZANG YUAN.
Amitābha. (T. ’Od dpag med/Snang ba mtha’ yas; C. Amituo fo/Wuliangguang fo; J. Amida butsu/Muryōkō butsu; K. Amit’a pul/Muryanggwang pul 阿彌陀佛/無量光佛). In Sanskrit, “Limitless Light,” the buddha of the western PURE LAND of SUKHĀVATĪ, one of the most widely worshipped buddhas in the MAHĀYĀNA traditions. As recounted in the longer SUKHĀVATĪVYŪHASŪTRA, numerous eons ago, a monk named DHARMĀKARA vowed before the buddha LOKEŚVARARĀJA to follow the BODHISATTVA path to buddhahood, asking him to set forth the qualities of buddha-fields (BUDDHAKṢETRA). Dharmākara then spent five KALPAS in meditation, concentrating all of the qualities of all buddha-fields into a single buddha field that he would create upon his enlightenment. He then reappeared before Lokeśvararāja and made forty-eight specific vows (PRAṆIDHĀNA). Among the most famous were his vow that those who, for as few as ten times over the course of their life, resolved to be reborn in his buddha-field would be reborn there; and his vow that he would appear at the deathbed of anyone who heard his name and remembered it with trust. Dharmakāra then completed the bodhisattva path, thus fulfilling all the vows he had made, and became the buddha Amitābha in the buddha-field called sukhāvatī. Based on the larger and shorter versions of the Sukhāvatīvyūhasūtra as well as the apocryphal GUAN WULIANGSHOU JING (*Amitāyurdhyānasūtra), rebirth in Amitābha’s buddha-field became the goal of widespread Buddhist practice in India, East Asia, and Tibet, with the phrase “Homage to Amitābha Buddha” (C. namo Amituo fo; J. NAMU AMIDABUTSU; K. namu Amit’a pul) being a central element of East Asian Buddhist practice. Amitābha’s Indian origins are obscure, and it has been suggested that his antecedents lie in Persian Zoroastrianism, where symbolism of light and darkness abounds. His worship dates back at least as far as the early centuries of the Common Era, as attested by the fact that the initial Chinese translation of the Sukhāvatīvyūhasūtra is made in the mid-second century CE, and he is listed in the SADDHARMAPUṆḌARĪKASŪTRA (“Lotus Sūtra”) as the ninth son of the buddha Mahābhijñā Jñānābhibhu. The Chinese pilgrims FAXIAN and XUANZANG make no mention of him by name in their accounts of their travels to India in the fifth and seventh centuries CE, respectively, though they do include descriptions of deities who seem certain to have been Amitābha. Scriptures relating to Amitābha reached Japan in the seventh century, but he did not become a popular religious figure until some three hundred years later, when his worship played a major role in finally transforming what had been previously seen as an elite and foreign tradition into a populist religion. In East Asia, the cult of Amitābha eventually became so widespread that it transcended sectarian distinction, and Amitābha became the most popular buddha in the region. In Tibet, Amitābha worship dates to the early propagation of Buddhism in that country in the eighth century, although it never became as prevalent as in East Asia. In the sixteenth century, the fifth DALAI LAMA gave the title PAṆ CHEN LAMA to his teacher, BLO BZANG CHOS KYI RGYAL MTSHAN, and declared him to be an incarnation of Amitābha (the Dalai Lama himself having been declared the incarnation of Avalokiteśvara, Amitābha’s emanation). ¶ The names “Amitābha” and “Amitāyus” are often interchangeable, both deriving from the Sanskrit word “amita,” meaning “limitless,” “boundless,” or “infinite”; there are some intimations that Amita may actually have been the original name of this buddha, as evidenced, for example, by the fact that the Chinese transcription Amituo [alt. Emituo] transcribes the root word amita, not the two longer forms of the name. The distinction between the two names is preserved in the Chinese translations “Wuliangguang” (“Infinite Light”) for Amitābha and Wuliangshou (“Infinite Life”) for Amitāyus, neither of which is used as often as the transcription Amituo. Both Amitābha and Amitāyus serve as epithets of the same buddha in the longer Sukhāvatīvyūhasūtra and the Guan Wuliangshou jing, two of the earliest and most important of the sūtras relating to his cult. In Tibet, his two alternate names were simply translated: ’Od dpag med (“Infinite Light”) and Tshe dpag med (“Infinite Life”). Despite the fact that the two names originally refer to the same deity, they have developed distinctions in ritual function and iconography, and Amitāyus is now considered a separate form of Amitābha rather than just a synonym for him. ¶ Amitābha is almost universally shown in DHYĀNĀSANA, his hands at his lap in DHYĀNAMUDRĀ, though there are many variations, such as standing or displaying the VITARKAMUDRĀ or VARADAMUDRĀ. As one of the PAÑCATATHĀGATA, Amitābha is the buddha of the padma family and is situated in the west. In tantric depictions he is usually red in color and is shown in union with his consort Pāndarā, and in East Asia he is commonly accompanied by his attendants AVALOKITEŚVARA (Ch. GUANYIN) and MAHĀSTHĀMAPRĀPTA. See also JINGTU SANSHENG; WANGSHENG.
Amitābhasūtra. (C. Amituo jing; J. Amidakyō; K. Amit’a kyŏng 阿彌陀經). The popular title for the “shorter” or “smaller” version of the SUKHĀVATĪVYŪHASŪTRA, one of the three main texts of the PURE LAND tradition of East Asia. See SUKHĀVATĪVYŪHASŪTRA.
Amitāyus. (T. Tshe dpag med; C. Wuliangshou fo; J. Muryōju butsu; K. Muryangsu pul 無量壽佛). In Sanskrit, the buddha or bodhisattva of “Limitless Life” or “Infinite Lifespan.” Although the name originally was synonymous with AMITĀBHA, in the tantric traditions, Amitāyus has developed distinguishing characteristics and is now sometimes considered to be an independent form of Amitābha. The Japanese SHINGON school, for example, uses Muryōju in representations of the TAIZŌKAI (garbhadhātumaṇḍala) and Amida (Amitābha) in the KONGŌKAI (vajradhātumaṇḍala). Amitāyus is often central in tantric ceremonies for prolonging life and so has numerous forms and appellations in various groupings, such as one of six and one of nine. He is shown in bodhisattva guise, with crown and jewels, sitting in DHYĀNĀSANA with both hands in DHYĀNAMUDRĀ and holding a water pot (kalaśa) full of AMṚTA (here the nectar of long life); like Amitābha, he is usually red.
Amituo jingtu bian. (阿彌陀淨土變). In Chinese, “transformation tableaux of the PURE LAND of AMITĀBHA Buddha,” pictorial representations of Amitābha Buddha and his pure land of SUKHĀVATĪ. Typically in colors and occasionally hung on the western wall of some pure land monasteries, these elaborate illustrations were typically created as MAṆḌALA, visual supplements to public preaching, or as visualization aids for people on their deathbed intent on being reborn into the pure land. The illustrations themselves—viz., Amitābha Buddha with his two flanking bodhisattvas AVALOKITEŚVARA and MAHĀSTHĀMAPRĀPTA (see JINGTU SANSHENG), his celestial entourage, jeweled trees, singing birds, lotus pond, and palatial buildings—are usually rendered in East Asian artistic style and are based on the way sukhāvatī is described in pure land texts such as the GUAN WULIANGSHOU JING (“Sūtra on the Contemplation of the Buddha of Immeasurable Life”). See also JINGTU BIAN, BIANXIANG, and DIYU BIAN.
Amituo jiupin yin. (J. Amida kuhon’in; K. Amit’a kup’um in 阿彌陀九品印). In Chinese, lit. “the nine-levels gesture of AMITĀBHA”; in East Asian Buddhist iconography, the distinctive gesture (MUDRĀ) associated with images of Amitābha Buddha, whose western paradise of SUKHĀVATĪ is said to have nine levels through which devotees pass in the process of attaining enlightenment. The gesture is formed with the index finger and thumbs of both hands touching each other, with one hand typically raised in the air.
Amoghapāśa (Lokeśvara). (T. Don yod zhags pa; C. Bukong Juansuo; J. Fukū Kenjaku; K. Pulgong Kyŏnsak 不空羂索). A popular tantric form of AVALOKITEŚVARA, primarily distinguished by his holding of a snare (pāśa); his name is interpreted as “Lokeśvara with the unfailing snare.” Like Avalokiteśvara, he is worshipped as a savior of beings, his snare understood to be the means by which he rescues devotees. His worship seems to have developed in India during the sixth century, as evidenced by the 587 Chinese translation of the Amoghapāśahṛdayasūtra (the first chapter of the much longer Amoghapāśakalparājasūtra) by Jñānagupta. Numerous translations of scriptures relating to Amoghapāśa by BODHIRUCI, XUANZANG, and AMOGHAVAJRA and others up into the tenth century attest to the continuing popularity of the deity. The earliest extant image of Amoghapāśa seems to be in Japan, in the monastery of TŌDAIJI in Nara, dating from the late seventh century. There are many extant images of the god in northwest India from the ninth and tenth centuries; some earlier images of Avalokiteśvara from the eighth century, which depict him holding a snare, have been identified as Amoghapāśa, although the identification remains uncertain. Tibetan translations of the Amoghapāśahṛdayasūtra and the Amoghapāśakalparājasūtra are listed in the eighth-century LDAN DKAR MA catalogue, though it is later translations that are included in the BKA’ ’GYUR, where they are classified as kriyātantras. (The Tibetan canon includes some eight tantras concerning Amoghapāśa.) Numerous images of Amoghapāśa from Java dating to the early second millennium attest to his popularity in that region; in the Javanese custom of deifying kings, King Viṣṇuvardhana (d. 1268) was identified as an incarnation of Amoghapāśa. Amoghapāśa can appear in forms with any number of pairs of hands, although by far the most popular are the six-armed seated and eight-armed standing forms. Other than his defining snare, he often carries a three-pointed staff (tridaṇḍa) but, like other multiarmed deities, can be seen holding almost any of the tantric accoutrements. Amoghapāśa is depicted in bodhisattva guise and, like Avalokiteśvara, has an image of AMITĀBHA in his crown and is occasionally accompanied by TĀRĀ, BHṚKUTĪ, Sudhanakumāra, and HAYAGRĪVA.
Amoghasiddhi. (T. Don yod grub pa; C. Bukong Chengjiu rulai fo; J. Fukū Jōju nyoraibutsu; K. Pulgong Sŏngch’wi yŏrae pul 不空成就如來佛). In Sanskrit, “He Whose Accomplishments Are Not in Vain,” name of one of the PAÑCATATHĀGATA. He is the buddha of the KARMAN family (KARMAKULA) and his PURE LAND is located in the north. Amoghasiddhi is seldom worshipped individually and he appears to have been largely a creation to fill out the pañcatathāgata grouping. He is usually depicted in the guise of a buddha, green in color, and sitting in DHYĀNĀSANA with his right hand in DHYĀNAMUDRĀ or with a viśvavajra in his upturned palm; his left hand is held at his chest in ABHAYAMUDRĀ. In Nepal, he alone of the five buddhas is shown with a NĀGA above his face or coiled beside him. In East Asian representations of the pañcatathāgata, Amoghasiddhi is often replaced with ŚĀKYAMUNI Buddha.
Amoghavajra. (C. Bukong; J. Fukū; K. Pulgong 不空) (705–774). Buddhist émigré ĀCĀRYA who played a major role in the introduction and translation of seminal Buddhist texts belonging to the esoteric tradition or mijiao (see MIKKYŌ; TANTRA). His birthplace is uncertain, but many sources allude to his ties to Central Asia. Accompanying his teacher VAJRABODHI, Amoghavajra arrived in the Chinese capital of Chang’an in 720–1 and spent most of his career in that cosmopolitan city. In 741, following the death of his mentor, Amoghavajra made an excursion to India and Sri Lanka with the permission of the Tang-dynasty emperor and returned in 746 with new Buddhist texts, many of them esoteric scriptures. Amoghavajra’s influence in the Tang court reached its peak when he was summoned by the emperor to construct an ABHIṢEKA, or consecration, altar on his behalf. Amoghavajra’s activities in Chang’an were interrupted by the An Lushan rebellion (655–763), but after the rebellion was quelled, he returned to his work at the capital and established an inner chapel for HOMA rituals and abhiṣeka in the imperial palace. He was later honored by the emperor with the purple robe, the highest honor for a Buddhist monk and the rank of third degree. Along with XUANZANG, Amoghavajra was one of the most prolific translators and writers in the history of Chinese Buddhism. Among the many texts that he translated into Chinese, especially important are the SARVATATHĀGATATATTVASAṂGRAHA and the BHADRACARĪPRAṆIDHĀNA.
amoha. (T. gti mug med pa; C. wuchi; J. muchi; K. much’i 無癡). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “nondelusion”; one of the eleven wholesome (KUŚALA) mental concomitants (CAITTA) according to the YOGĀCĀRA school, “nondelusion” is the opposite of “delusion” (MOHA). This mental quality was presumed to be so central to all wholesome activities that it was listed as one of the three wholesome faculties, or roots of virtue (KUŚALAMŪLA). Nondelusion is interpreted variously as clarity in perception regarding the way things are (yathābhūta), the temporary suppression or permanent extirpation of ignorance (AVIDYĀ), the full comprehension of the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS, or the clear seeing of the three marks of existence (TRILAKṢAṆA).
Āmrapālī. (P. Ambapālī [alt. AmbapālikĀ]; T. A mra skyong ma; C. Anpoluonü; J. Anbaranyo; K. Ambaranyŏ 菴婆羅女). A courtesan in the city of VAIŚĀLĪ (P. Vesāli) and famous patron of the Buddha, who donated her mango grove (the Āmrapālīvana) to the SAṂGHA. Pāli sources describe her as a woman of exceptional beauty, who is said to have been spontaneously born at the foot of a mango tree in the king’s garden, whence her name. As a young maiden, many princes vied for her hand in marriage. To quell the unrest, she was appointed courtesan of the city. She is said to have charged her patrons the extraordinary amount of fifty kahāpaṇas for a night with her. So much revenue flowed into the coffers of Vaiśālī through her business that BIMBISĀRA, the king of RĀJAGṚHA, decided to install a courtesan at his capital as well. It was during the Buddha’s last visit to Vaiśālī, shortly before his death, that Āmrapālī first encountered his teachings. Hearing that the famous sage was to preach in the nearby town of Kotigāma, she went there with a retinue of chariots to listen to him preach. Enthralled by his sermon, she invited him for his meal the next morning. Delighted at his acceptance and proud by nature, she refused to give way to the powerful Licchavi princes whom she met on the road, and who likewise had intended to invite the Buddha the next day. Knowing the effect such beauty could have on minds of men, the Buddha admonished his disciples to be mindful in her presence lest they become infatuated. At the conclusion of the meal, Āmrapālī offered to the Buddha and his order her park, Āmrapālīvana, which was the venue of several sermons on the foundations of mindfulness (S. SMṚTYUPASTHĀNA; P. SATIPAṬṬHĀNA). Āmrapālī’s son Vimala Kauṇḍinya (P. Koṇḍañña) entered the order and became a renowned elder. Listening to him preach one day, Āmrapālī renounced the world and became a nun. Practicing insight (VIPAŚYANĀ) and contemplating the faded beauty of her own aging body, she became an ARHAT.
amṛta. (P. amata; T.’chi med/bdud rtsi; C. ganlu; J. kanro; K. kamno 甘露). In Sanskrit, lit. “deathless” or “immortal”; used in mainstream Buddhist materials to refer to the “end” (NIṢṬHĀ) of practice and thus liberation (VIMOKṢA). The term is also used to refer specifically to the “nectar” or “ambrosia” of the TRĀYASTRIṂŚA heaven, the drink of the divinities (DEVA) that confers immortality. It is also in this sense that amṛta is used as an epithet of NIRVĀṆA, since this elixir confers specific physical benefit, as seen in the descriptions of the serene countenance and clarity of the enlightened person. Moreover, there is a physical dimension to the experience of nirvāṇa, for the adept is said to “touch the ‘deathless’ element with his very body.” Because amṛta is sweet, the term is also used as a simile for the teachings of the Buddha, as in the phrase the “sweet rain of dharma” (dharmavarṣaṃ amṛtaṃ). The term is also used in Buddhism to refer generically to medicaments, viz., the five types of nectar (PAÑCĀMṚTA) refer to the five divine foods that are used for medicinal purposes: milk, ghee, butter, honey, and sugar. Amṛtarāja (Nectar King) is the name of one of the five TATHĀGATAs in tantric Buddhism and is identified with AMITĀBHA. In ANUTTARAYOGATANTRA, there are five types of amṛta and five types of māṃsa (“flesh”) that are transformed in a KAPĀLA (“skull cup”) into a special offering substance called nang mchod, the “inner offering,” in Tibetan. Giving it to the deities in the MAṆḌALA is a central feature in anuttarayogatantra practice (SĀDHANA) and ritual (VIDHI). The inner offering of important religious figures in Tibetan is often distilled into a pill (T. bdud rtsi ril bu) that is then given to followers to use. In tantric practices such as the visualization of VAJRASATTVA, the meditator imagines a stream of amṛta descending from the teacher or deity visualized on the top of the head; it descends into the body and purifies afflictions (KLEŚA) and the residual impressions (VĀSANĀ) left by earlier negative acts.
A myes rma chen. (Amnye Machen). A mountain that stands beside a bend in the Yellow River in the Chinese province of Qinghai (which Tibetans call the A mdo region), the seat of the Tibetan mountain god RMA CHEN SPOM RA. This mountain is an important pilgrimage site in northeastern Tibet.
an. (J. an; K. am 菴). In Chinese, “hermitage”; referring to residences where only a single hermit or a small number of monks are in residence; often used for smaller residences built in the mountains surrounding major monasteries. The term is also sometimes used for a nunnery or convent. See also ANJITSU.
An. (J. An; K. An 安). Sinograph used as an ethnikon for PARTHIA; the character is used to transcribe the surname of monks and missionaries who hailed from Aršak or Arsakes (C. ANXI GUO), the Arsacid kingdom (c. 250 BCE–224 CE) southeast of the Caspian Sea, in the region Roman geographers called Parthia. This Chinese character appears, for example, in the names of the prolific early translator AN SHIGAO (fl. c. 148–180 CE) and his compatriot An Xuan (fl. c. 168–189).
anabhisaṃskāraparinirvāyin. (T. mngon par ’du byed pa med par yongs su mya ngan las ’das pa; C. wuxing ban/wuxing banniepan; J. mugyōhatsu/mugyōhatsunehan; K. muhaeng pan/muhaeng panyŏlban 無行般/無行般涅槃). In Sanskrit, “one who achieves NIRVĀṆA without effort”; a particular sort of nonreturner (ANĀGĀMIN), one of the twenty members of the ĀRYASAṂGHA (see VIṂŚATIPRABHEDASAṂGHA). According to the ABHIDHARMAKOŚABHĀṢYA, the anabhisaṃskāraparinirvāyin are nonreturners who, having achieved any of the sixteen birth states of the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPADHĀTU), enter “nirvāṇa with remainder” (SOPADHIŚEṢANIRVĀṆA) in that state without having to apply any effort. They are distinguished from those who achieve nirvāṇa at birth (see UPAPADYAPARINIRVĀYIN) or those who need to apply themselves in order to achieve nirvāṇa (see SĀBHISAṂSKĀRAPARINIRVĀYIN).
anabhraka. (T. sprin med; C. wuyun tian; J. muunten; K. muun ch’ŏn 無雲天). In Sanskrit, “cloudless,” the lowest of the eight heavens of the fourth concentration (DHYĀNA) of the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPADHĀTU). As with all the heavens of the realm of subtle materiality, one is reborn as a divinity (DEVA) there through achieving the same level of concentration (dhyāna) as the gods of that heaven during one’s practice of meditation in the preceding lifetime. This heaven has no analogue in Pāli.
anāgāmin. (T. phyir mi ’ong ba; C. buhuan/bulai/anahan; J. fugen/furai/anagon; K. purhwan/pullae/anaham 不還/來/阿那含). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “nonreturner”; the third of the four types of Buddhist saint or “noble person” (ĀRYAPUDGALA) in the mainstream traditions, along with the SROTAĀPANNA or “stream-enterer” (the first and lowest grade), the SAKṚDĀGĀMIN or “once-returner” (the second grade), and the ARHAT or “worthy-one” (the fourth and highest grade). The anāgāmin is one who has completely put aside the first five of ten fetters (SAṂYOJANA) that bind one to the cycle of rebirth: (1) belief in the existence of a perduring self (SATKĀYADṚṢṬI), (2) belief in the efficacy of rites and rituals (ŚĪLAVRATAPARĀMARŚA), (3) skeptical doubt about the efficacy of the path (VICIKITSĀ), (4) sensual craving (KĀMARĀGA), and (5) malice (VYĀPĀDA). The anāgāmin has also weakened considerably the last five of the ten fetters (including such affective fetters as pride, restlessness, and ignorance), thus enervating the power of SAṂSĀRA. Having completely eradicated the first five fetters, which are associated with the sensuous realm (KĀMADHĀTU), and weakened the latter five, the anāgāmin is a “nonreturner” in the sense that he will never be reborn in the kāmadhātu again; instead, he will either complete the path and become an arhat in the present lifetime or he will be reborn in the “pure abodes,” or ŚUDDHĀVĀSA (corresponding to the five highest heavens in the subtle-materiality realm, or RŪPADHĀTU); and specifically, in the AKANIṢṬHA heaven, the fifth and highest of the pure abodes, which often serves as a way station for anāgāmins before they achieve arhatship. As one of the twenty members of the ĀRYASAṂGHA (see VIṂŚATIPRABHEDASAṂGHA), the anāgāmin is the name for a candidate (pratipannaka) for anāgāmin (the third fruit of the noble path). In addition, the ANĀGĀMIPHALASTHA is the basis for several subdivisions of the twenty members. The anāgamin may be either a follower through faith (ŚRADDHĀNUSĀRIN) or a follower through doctrine (DHARMĀNUSĀRIN) with either dull (MṚDVINDRIYA) or keen faculties (TĪKṢṆENDRIYA). The anāgāmins have eliminated all of the nine levels of afflictions that cause rebirth in the sensuous realm (kāmadhātu) that the ordinary (LAUKIKA) path of meditation (BHĀVANĀMĀRGA) removes. Depending on their earlier career, they may be VĪTARĀGAPŪRVIN (those who have already eliminated sensuous-realm faults prior to reaching the path of vision) and an ānupūrvin (those who reach the four fruits of the noble path in a series). Those with dull faculties are ānupūrvin who have earlier been SAKṚDĀGĀMIPHALASTHA. Those with keen faculties reach the third fruit when they attain the VIMUKTIMĀRGA (path of liberation from the afflictions, or KLEŚA) on the DARŚANAMĀRGA (path of vision). See also ANABHISAṂSKĀRAPARINIRVĀYIN; SĀBHISAṂSKĀRAPARINIRVĀYIN; UPAPADYAPARINIRVĀYIN.
anāgāmiphalapratipannaka. (P. anāgāmimagga; T. phyir mi ’ong zhugs pa; C. buhuan xiang; J. fugenkō; K. purhwan hyang 不還向). In Sanskrit, candidate for the fruit of nonreturner. If an anāgāmiphalapratipannaka is an Ānupūrvin (one who reaches the four fruits of the noble path in a series), he is SAKṚDĀGĀMIPHALASTHA.
anāgāmiphalastha. (P. anāgāmiphala; T. phyir mi ’ong ’bras gnas; C. zheng buhuan guo; J. shōfugenka; K. chŭng purhwan kwa 證不還果). In Sanskrit, “one who has reached or is the recipient of the fruit of nonreturner”; the anāgāmiphalastha is the basis for the division into a number of the twenty members of the ĀRYASAṂGHA (see VIṂŚATIPRABHEDASAṂGHA). Among the anāgāmiphalastha are those who have aspired through faith (ŚRADDHĀDHIMUKTA), those who attain through seeing (DṚṢṬIPRĀPTA), and those who are Ānupūrvin (those who reach the four fruits of the noble path in a series). See SAKṚDĀGĀMIPHALASTHA.
anagārikā. [alt. anāgārikā; anagāriyā] (P. anagāriya; T. khyim med pa; C. feijia; J. hike; K. piga 非家). In Sanskrit, “the homeless life,” viz., to leave the home life behind and follow the ascetic existence of the wandering mendicant. The term was adopted in the twentieth century for unordained laymen who lived as monks. See DHARMAPĀLA, ANAGĀRIKA.
Anāgatavaṃsa. In Pāli, “Chronicle of Future Events”; a medieval Pāli work in verse detailing the advent of Metteya (MAITREYA) Buddha in the far distant future of this auspicious eon (bhaddakappa; S. BHADRAKALPA). The current eon is deemed auspicious because five buddhas—Maitreya being the fifth—appear during its duration, the maximum number possible. Attributed to Coḷa Kassapa, author of Vimativinodanī, the Anāgatavaṃsa claims to have been preached to ŚĀRIPUTRA by the Buddha. The text elaborates upon the prophecy of the coming of Maitreya found in the CAKKAVATTISĪHANĀDASUTTA of the DĪGHANIKĀYA. In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Burma, the Anāgatavaṃsa became popular as a kind of charter for a host of millenarian movements and uprisings, including one that led in 1752 to the founding of Burma’s last royal dynasty, the Konbaung. Its founder, Alaung hpaya (r. 1752–1760), and his sons utilized this text to justify claims that their wars of conquest were prophesied to usher in a Buddhist Golden Age. A synopsis in English of a nineteenth-century Burmese recension of the Anāgatavaṃsa appears in HENRY CLARK WARREN’s Buddhism in Translations as “The Buddhist Apocalypse.”
Anakṣarakaraṇḍaka[Vairocanagarbha]sūtra. (T. Yi ge med pa’i za ma tog rnam par snang mdzad kyi snying po’i mdo; C. Wuzi baoqie jing; J. Muji hōkyōgyō; K. Muja pohyŏp kyŏng 無字寶篋經). In Chinese translation from the Sanskrit, “The Letter-less Casket”; a Mahāyāna scripture best known for its statement that, in the enlightenment of the TATHĀGATAs, the nature of all factors (DHARMA) is discovered to be empty (ŚŪNYATĀ); it is neither produced nor extinguished; it neither increases nor decreases; it neither comes nor goes; it is neither obtained nor discarded; and it is free from all causes and conditions. There are three Chinese translations, the best known of which is the Wuzi baoqie jing, which was translated by BODHIRUCI (?–527) between 508 and 535. There are also two other Chinese recensions, both translated by Divākara (613–687), the first made in 683 and the second between 676 and 688.
Ānanda. (T. Kun dga’ bo; C. Anan[tuo]; J. Anan[da]; K. Anan[da] 阿難[陀]). In Sanskrit and Pāli, literally “Bliss,” the name of the Buddha’s cousin, longtime attendant, and one of his chief disciples. According to tradition, in his previous life, he was a god in the TUṢITA heaven, who was born on the same day and into the same ŚĀKYA clan as the BODHISATTVA and future buddha who was born as prince SIDDHĀRTHA. Ānanda was born as the son of Amṛtodana, the brother of king ŚUDDHODANA. He was thus the Buddha’s cousin and the brother of DEVADATTA. When the Buddha returned to his home town of KAPILĀVASTU in the second year after his enlightenment, many of the Śākyan men, such as Ānanda and Devadatta, wished to renounce the householder life and become the Buddha’s disciples as monks. Not long after his ordination, Ānanda became a SROTAĀPANNA upon hearing a sermon by PŪRṆA. The Buddha did not have a personal attendant for the first twenty years after his enlightenment, with various monks occasionally offering various services to him. But after two decades of these ad hoc arrangements, the Buddha finally asked for someone to volunteer to be his personal attendant; all the monks volunteered except Ānanda, who said that he did not do so because the Buddha would choose the correct person regardless of who volunteered. The Buddha selected Ānanda, who accepted on the following conditions: the Buddha was never to give him any special food or robes that he had received as gifts; the Buddha was not to provide him with a special monk’s cell; and the Buddha was not to include him in dining invitations he received from the laity. Ānanda made these conditions in order to prevent anyone from claiming that he received special treatment because of serving as the Buddha’s attendant. In addition, he asked to be allowed to accept invitations on behalf of the Buddha; he asked to be allowed to bring to the Buddha those who came from great distances to see him; he asked to be able to bring any questions he had to the Buddha; and he asked that the Buddha repeat to him any doctrine that had been taught in his absence. Ānanda saw these latter conditions as the true advantages of serving the Buddha. For the next twenty-five years, Ānanda served the Buddha with great devotion, bringing him water, sweeping his cell, washing his feet, rubbing his body, sewing his robes, and accompanying him wherever he went. He guarded the Buddha’s cell at night, carrying a staff and a torch, in order to make sure that his sleep was not disturbed and to be ready should the Buddha need him. As the Buddha grew older and more infirm, Ānanda provided devoted care, despite the fact that the two were exactly the same age. Because Ānanda was constantly in the Buddha’s presence, he played a key role in many famous events of the early dispensation. For example, it was Ānanda who, on behalf of MAHĀPRAJĀPATI, requested that women be allowed to enter the SAṂGHA as nuns, persisting in his request despite the Buddha’s initial refusal. He is therefore remembered especially fondly by the order of BHIKṢUṆĪs, and it is said that he often preached to nuns. In a famous tale reproduced in various sources, the daughter of a woman named Mātaṅgī attempted to seduce Ānanda with the help of her mother’s magical powers, only to come to realize her wrongdoing with the intervention of the Buddha. Toward the end of his life, the Buddha mentioned to Ānanda that a buddha could live for a KALPA or until the end of the kalpa if he were asked to do so. (See CĀPĀLACAITYA.) Ānanda, distracted by MĀRA, failed to request the Buddha to do so, despite the Buddha mentioning this three times. Ānanda was chastised for this blunder at the first council (see infra). Ānanda figures prominently in the account of the Buddha’s last days in the MAHĀPARINIBBĀNASUTTA, weeping at the knowledge that the Buddha was about to die and being consoled by him. Ānanda was known for his extraordinary powers of memory; he is said to have heard all 84,000 sermon topics (82,000 taught by the Buddha and 2,000 taught by other disciples) and was able to memorize 15,000 stanzas without omitting a syllable. He therefore played a key role in the recitation of the Buddha’s teachings at the first council (SAṂGĪTI; see COUNCIL, FIRST) held at RĀJAGṚHA shortly after the Buddha’s death. However, MAHĀKĀŚYAPA, who convened the council, specified that all five hundred monks in attendance must be ARHATs, and Ānanda was not. On the night before the opening of the council, Ānanda achieved the enlightenment of an arhat as he was lying down to sleep, as his head fell to the pillow and his feet rose from the ground. He is therefore famous for achieving enlightenment in none of the four traditional postures (ĪRYĀPATHA): walking, standing, sitting, or lying down. As an arhat, Ānanda was welcomed to the council, where he recounted all the words of the Buddha (except those concerning the VINAYA, or monastic rules, which were recited by UPĀLI). For this reason, most SŪTRAs open with the words, “Thus have I heard” (EVAṂ MAYĀ ŚRUTAM); the “I” is usually Ānanda. (For this reason, Ānanda is also known in China as Duowen Diyi, “First in Vast Hearing” or “He Who Heard the Most.”) After the Buddha’s death, the order of monks brought five charges against Ānanda: (1) the Buddha had said that after his passing, the monks could disregard the minor precepts, but Ānanda failed to ask him which those were; thus, all the precepts had to be followed; (2) Ānanda had once stepped on the Buddha’s robe when sewing it; (3) Ānanda had allowed women to honor the Buddha’s naked body after his death and their tears had fallen on his feet; (4) Ānanda failed to ask the Buddha to live on for the rest of the kalpa; and (5) Ānanda urged the Buddha to admit women to the order. Ānanda replied that he saw no fault in any of these deeds but agreed to confess them. According to FAXIAN, when Ānanda was 120 years old, he set out from MAGADHA to VAIŚĀLĪ in order to die. Seeking his relics (ŚARĪRA), AJĀTAŚATRU followed him to the Rohīni River, while a group from Vaiśālī awaited him on the other bank. Not wishing to disappoint either group, Ānanda levitated to the middle of the river in the meditative posture, preached the dharma, and then meditated on the TEJOKASIṆA, which prompted his body to burst into flames, with the relics dividing into two parts, one landing on each bank of the river. Ānanda has long been one of the most beloved figures in the history of Buddhism, in part because he was not the wisest of the Buddha’s disciples but showed unstinting devotion to the Buddha, always seeking to understand him correctly and to bring his teachings to as many people as possible.
Ananda Metteyya. (1872–1923). Ordination name of the British Buddhist monk, born Charles Henry Allen Bennett. He was the son of an electrical engineer and studied science in his youth. In 1894, he joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a society devoted to esotericism, whence he gained a reputation as a magician and miracle worker, becoming the friend and teacher of Aleister Crowley. He became interested in Buddhism from reading EDWIN ARNOLD’s The Light of Asia. In 1900, he traveled to Asia, both because of his interest in Buddhism and his hope of relieving his asthma. Bennett was ordained as a Buddhist novice (ŚRĀMAṆERA) in Akyab, Burma, in 1901 and received the higher ordination (UPASAṂPADĀ) as a monk (BHIKṢU) in 1902. He was among the first Englishmen to be ordained as a bhikkhu, after Gordon Douglas (Bhikkhu Asoka), who was ordained in 1899 and the Irish monk U Dhammaloka, who was ordained some time prior to 1899. In 1903, he founded the International Buddhist Society (Buddhasasana Samagama) in Rangoon. Ananda Metteya led the first Buddhist mission to Britain with his patroness Hla Oung in 1908. In the previous year, in preparation for their visit, the Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland was established, with THOMAS W. RHYS DAVIDS as president. He returned to Rangoon after six months. Plagued throughout his life with asthma, he disrobed in 1914 due to ill health and returned to England, where he continued his work to propagate Buddhism. Partly due to increasing drug dependency prompted by continuing medical treatments, he passed his final years in poverty. His published works include An Outline of Buddhism and The Wisdom of the Aryas.
Ananda Temple. A monumental THERAVĀDA Buddhist monastery located outside the Tharba Gate in the medieval Burmese capital of Pagan. The Ananda was built around 1105 by King Kyanzittha (r. 1084–1111), third monarch of the Pagan empire, and is dedicated to the four buddhas who have appeared during the present auspicious age: Krakucchanda (P. Kakusandha), Kanakamuni (P. Koṅāgamana), KĀŚYAPA, and GAUTAMA. In architectural style, the Ananda represents a fusion of Bengali, Burmese, and Pyu (precursors of the ethnic Burmans) elements. Legend states that eight ARHATs from Mount Gandhamadana in India visited King Kyanzittha, and he was so impressed that he constructed a monastery for them, and next to it founded the Ananda. Like all temples and pagodas of the city of Pagan, the Ananda is built of fired brick and faced with stucco. It is cruciform in plan following a Pyu prototype and crowned with a North Indian style tower, or Śikhara. Its interior consists of two circumambulatory halls pierced by windows that allow a limited amount of light into the interior. The hallways are decorated with terracotta plaques depicting episodes from the Pāli JĀTAKAs, the Mahānipāta, and NIDĀNAKATHĀ. The inner hall contains niches housing numerous seated images of the Buddha that are rendered in a distinctive Pala style. The temple is entered from four entrances facing the four cardinal directions, which lead directly to four large inner chambers, each containing a colossal standing statue of a buddha. Two of the statues are original; a third was rebuilt in the eighteenth century; and the fourth has been repaired. Three of the statues are flanked by smaller images of their chief disciples. The exception is the statue of Gautama Buddha, located in the western chamber, which is flanked by what is believed to be portrait statues of King Kyanzitha and SHIN ARAHAN, the Mon monk said to have converted Pagan to Theravāda Buddhism, who was also Kyanzittha’s preceptor.
Anaṅgaṇasutta. (C. Huipin jing; J. Ebongyō; K. Yep’um kyŏng 穢品經). In Pāli, “Discourse on Being Unblemished,” the fifth sutta in the MAJJHIMANIKĀYA (a separate SARVĀSTIVĀDA recension appears as the eighty-seventh sūtra in the Chinese translation of the MADHYAMĀGAMA; there is also an unidentified recension in the Chinese translation of the EKOTTARĀGAMA); preached by ŚĀRIPUTRA to a group of monks in the JETAVANA grove in ŚRĀVASTĪ. Śāriputra describes how a monk will become blemished if he succumbs to evil wishes. In this regard, he explains that people are of four types: one who is impure who does not know his impurity, and one who is impure and knows his impurity; one who is pure and does not know his purity, and one who is pure who knows his purity. Of these four, the second of each pair is to be preferred: the one who knows his impurities can strive to remove them so that he dies with his mind undefiled; the one who knows that his mind is pure can continue to guard his senses so that he too keeps his mind without blemish until death.
anantarapratyaya. (P. anantarapaccaya; T. de ma thag pa’i rkyen; C. cidi yuan; J. shidaien; K. ch’aje yŏn 次第). In Sanskrit, “antecedent condition,” one of the four kinds of conditions (PRATYAYA) recognized in the VAIBHĀṢIKA school of SARVĀSTIVĀDAABHIDHARMA and the YOGĀCĀRA school; the term is also listed as one of the twenty-four conditions (P. paccaya) in the massive Pāli ABHIDHAMMA text, the PAṬṬHĀNA. This type of condition refers to the antecedent moment in the mental continuum (SAṂTĀNA), which through its cessation enables a subsequent moment of consciousness to arise. Any moment of consciousness in the conditioned (SAṂSKṚTA) realm serves as an antecedent condition. The only exception is the final thought-moment in the mental continuum of an ARHAT: because the next thought-moment involves the experience of the unconditioned (ASAṂSKṚTA), no further thoughts from the conditioned realm can ever recur. This type of condition is also called the “immediate-antecedent condition” (SAMANANTARAPRATYAYA); the VISUDDHIMAGGA explains that samanantarapratyaya and anantararapratyaya are essentially the same, except that the former emphasizes the immediacy of the connection between the two moments.
ānantaryakarman. (P. ānantariyakamma; T. mtshams med pa’i las; C. wujian ye; J. mukengō; K. mugan ŏp 無間業). In Sanskrit, “act that brings immediate retribution” or “inexpiable transgressions.” This term refers to particularly heinous deeds that after death result in the “immediate retribution” of rebirth in the AVĪCI hell, without an intervening rebirth in another realm. They are often enumerated as five: patricide, matricide, killing an ARHAT, spilling the blood of a buddha, and causing schism in the monastic order (SAṂGHABHEDA). According to Pāli sources, this type of act also serves as a karmic obstruction (KARMĀVARAṆA) to concentration meditation (specifically of the KASIṆA visualization devices).
ānantaryamārga. (T. bar chad med lam; C. wujian dao; J. mukendō; K. mugan to 無間道). In Sanskrit, the “immediate path” or “uninterrupted path”; a term that refers to the two-stage process of abandoning the afflictions (KLEŚA). In the VAIBHĀṢIKA path (MĀRGA) schema, as one proceeds from the third level of the path, the path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA), to the fifth level, the adept path (AŚAIKṢAMĀRGA), the kleśa are abandoned in sequence through repeated occasions of yogic direct perception (YOGIPRATYAKṢA), which consists of two moments: the first is called the Ānantaryamārga (uninterrupted path) in which the specific kleśa or set of kleśas is actively abandoned, followed immediately by a second moment, the path of liberation (VIMUKTIMĀRGA), which is the state of having been liberated from the kleśa. A similar description is found in YOGĀCĀRA and MADHYAMAKA presentations of the path.
ānantaryasamādhi. (T. bar chad med pa’i ting nge ’dzin; C. wujian ding; J. mukenjō; K. mugan chŏng 無間定). In Sanskrit, “unimpeded concentration”; the culmination of the path of preparation (PRAYOGAMĀRGA), the second segment of the five-path schema outlined in the VAIBHĀṢIKA school system of SARVĀSTIVĀDAABHIDHARMA and treated similarly in YOGĀCĀRA soteriology. After mastering all four of the “aids to penetration” (NIRVEDHABHĀGĪYA) that catalyze knowledge of the reality of the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS, the meditator acquires fully the highest worldly dharmas (LAUKIKĀGRADHARMA), the last of these aids, an experience that is marked by the Ānantaryasamādhi. This distinctive type of SAMĀDHI receives its name from the fact that the adept then continues on without interruption to the path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA), the third stage of the path, which provides access to sanctity (ĀRYA) as a stream-enterer (SROTAĀPANNA).
Ānāpānasatisutta. (S. Ānāpānasmṛtisūtra; T. Dbugs rngub pa dang ’byung ba dran pa’i mdo; C. Annabannanian; J. Annahannanen; K. Annabannanyŏm 安那般那念). In Pāli, “The Mindfulness of Breathing Discourse,” the 118th sutta (SŪTRA) in the MAJJHIMANIKĀYA (a separate SARVĀSTIVĀDA recension, as titled above, appears in the Chinese translation of the SAṂYUKTĀGAMA). In this discourse, the Buddha outlines a type of meditation where the meditator remains mindful of the process of breathing in and breathing out (P. ānāpānasati; S. ĀNĀPĀNASMṚTI). The meditator begins by developing an awareness of the physical processes involved in breathing, such as whether the breath is long or short; remaining cognizant of either the entire body during breathing or the entire process of breathing (as the commentaries typically interpret it), it culminates in breathing while consciously striving to calm the body. The meditator then follows the in- and out-breaths while developing salutary affective states, such as rapture (P. pīti, S. PRĪTI) and ease (SUKHA). The penultimate step is breathing while actively seeking to focus and liberate the mind. The meditation culminates in mindfulness of the breath while focusing on the awareness of the mental qualities of impermanence, cessation, and relinquishment. Through this progressive development, mindfulness of breathing thus leads from physical and mental calm, to direct insight into the value of nonattachment. The discourse ends with a treatment of the seven aspects of awakening (P. bojjhaṅga; S. BODHYAṄGA) with regard to the four foundations of mindfulness (P. satipaṫṫhāna; S. SMṚTYUPASTHĀNA) of the physical body, physical sensations, state of mind, and mental qualities. See also ANBAN SHOUYI JING.
ānāpānasmṛti. (P. ānāpānasati; T. dbugs rngub pa dang ’byung ba dran pa; C. shuxi guan/annabannanian; J. susokukan/annahannanen; K. susik kwan/annabannanyŏm 數息觀/安那般那念). In Sanskrit, lit. “mindfulness (SMṚTI) of inhalation (āna = prāṅa) and exhalation (apāna),” or simply, “mindfulness of breathing”; referring to one of the oldest and most basic meditative techniques found in Buddhism. The practice requires focusing on the breath as it moves into and out of the body during inhalation and exhalation, some say through attention to the sensation of the movement of breath at the tip of the nose, others say through attention to the rise and fall of the diaphragm. This passive following of the breath leads to physical and mental calm, which allows the meditator to focus on the generic aspect of breath: viz., the fact that the constant ebb and flow of the breath is emblematic of impermanence (ANITYA). This awareness may then lead to nonattachment and insight. The Pāli ĀNĀPĀNASATISUTTA provides a detailed description of the processes involved in developing this type of meditation. Unlike many of the other forty topics of meditation (KAMMAṬṬHĀNA) in Pāli Buddhism, which are said to suit specific types of personalities or as antidotes to specific negative tendencies, ānāpānasmṛti is claimed to be suitable for all, which may account for its continued popularity. Elsewhere, it is said to be a suitable object of meditation for those given to excessive thought. Some form of this practice is found in nearly every Buddhist tradition. There are various renderings of the term using Chinese Sinographs; although shuxi guan is one of the most common translations, there are others (e.g., chixi guan), as well as different ways of transcribing the Sanskrit into Chinese (e.g., anabona nian).
anāsrava. (P. anāsava; T. zag pa med pa; C. wulou; J. muro; K. muru 無漏). In Sanskrit, “uncontaminated” or “non-outflow”; referring to the absence of the “contaminants” (ĀSRAVA) of sensuality (KĀMA), the desire for continued existence (BHAVA), ignorance (AVIDYĀ), and sometimes wrong views (DṚṢṬI). The absence of these contaminants may be either the quality of a specific object, such as NIRVĀṆA, or a state achieved through meditative training. In the former sense, anāsrava refers both to freedom from the afflictions (KLEŚA) and to those factors that are uncontaminated in the sense that their observation does not serve to increase the afflictions (kleśa). Examples of the latter include true cessations (NIRODHASATYA) and true paths (MĀRGASATYA) among the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS. The “uncontaminated actions” (anāsrava-KARMAN) performed after enlightenment by ARHATs and PRATYEKABUDDHAs, and by great BODHISATTVAs who have gained control (vaśitāprāptabodhisattva) may in some cases lead to rebirth, but they will not produce continued subjection to SAṂSĀRA as would be the case for ordinary beings. See also PARIṆĀMIKAJARĀMARAṆA (“transfigurational birth-and-death”).
anāsravadhātu. (T. zag pa med pa’i dbyings; C. wulou jie; J. murokai; K. muru kye 無漏界). In Sanskrit, the “uncontaminated realm.” According to those proponents of the MAHĀYĀNA who assert that all beings will eventually become buddhas, ARHATs do not enter the NIRVĀṆA without remainder (ANUPADHIŚEṢANIRVĀṆA) at the time of death but instead enter the anāsravadhātu. There, they abide in states of deep concentration until they are roused by the buddhas and exhorted to abandon their “unafflicted ignorance” (AKLIṢṬĀJÑĀNA) by following the BODHISATTVA path to buddhahood.
Anāthapiṇḍada. (P. Anāthapiṇḍika; T. Mgon med zas sbyin; C. Jigudu zhangzhe; J. Gikkodoku chōja; K. Kŭpkodok changja 給孤獨長者). In Sanskit, “Feeder of the Defenseless”; a wealthy merchant from the city of ŚRĀVASTĪ who became such a great patron of the SAṂGHA that the Buddha declared him to be chief among laymen (UPĀSAKA) in his munificence. His personal name was Sudatta; Anāthapiṇḍada was a sobriquet suggesting his philanthropic qualities. Anāthapiṇḍada’s father-in-law introduced him to the Buddha, and he was quickly converted, becoming in the process a stream-enterer (SROTAĀPANNA). Anāthapiṇḍada built numerous dwellings, guest houses, and residential parks for the Buddha and his monastic order and was unstinting in his donation of requisites. The most famous of the residences he built was the JETAVANA park on the outskirts of Śrāvastī, which he purchased from the prince JETA (Jetakumāra) by covering the entire property with gold coins. Prince Jeta himself donated the entrance to the park, over which he built a splendid gate. Anāthapiṇḍada had numerous buildings constructed at the site—including the Buddha’s own residence, the GANDHAKUṬĪ, or perfumed chamber—to serve the Buddha and the monastic community during the rains retreat (VARṢĀ). The very same spot had served as a monastery and rains retreat center for previous buddhas as well, although the extent of the establishments varied. Jeta’s Grove was said to be the Buddha’s favorite residence and, according to tradition, he passed nineteen rains retreats there. After the laywoman VIŚĀKHĀ built the grand monastery MṚGĀRAMĀTṚPRĀSĀDA in Śrāvastī, the Buddha would alternate between both residences, spending the day at one and the night at another. The Buddha preached numerous sermons to Anāthapiṇḍada who, in turn, was fond of debating with ascetics and teachers of other religions. Although skilled in business, Anāthapiṇḍada was in his later years reduced to penury. He is said to have died shortly after feeding the monks with gruel prepared from his own cooking pot. One of the more poignant exchanges in the Pāli canon involves Anāthapiṇḍada and is recorded in the Anāthapiṇḍikovādasutta, the 143rd sutta in the Pāli MAJJHIMANIKĀYA (a recension of unidentified affiliation appears in the Chinese translation of the EKOTTARĀGAMA). When Anāthapiṇḍada was on his deathbed, the Buddha sent ŚĀRIPUTRA, one of his two chief disciples, along with ĀNANDA as his attendant, to visit him. Learning that Anāthapiṇḍada was in great pain, Śāriputra taught him a fairly standard discourse on how to guard the senses (INDRIYASAṂVARA) so as to remain unattached toward sensory experience and thereby develop a state of consciousness that clings to nothing. At the conclusion of the discourse, Anāthapiṇḍada was brought to tears; seeing him weep, Śāriputra asked him whether he was deteriorating. Anāthapiṇḍada said that he was actually lamenting the fact that, throughout his years of attending the Buddha and his monks, he had not once heard this kind of instruction. Śāriputra responded that such teachings were intended for the monks, not the laity, but Anāthapiṇḍada begged him to make such teachings available to the laity as well, since some of them had “little dust in their eyes” and would be able to understand. Soon afterward that evening, Anāthapiṇḍada was reborn in TUṢITA heaven and, as a young divinity (DEVA), visited the Buddha and praised the virtues of the Jetavana and of Śāriputra, of whom Anāthapiṇḍada was especially fond.
anātman. (P. anattā; T. bdag med; C. wuwo; J. muga; K. mua 無我). In Sanskrit, “no self” or “nonself” or more broadly “insubstantiality”; the third of the “three marks” (TRILAKṢAṆA) of existence, along with impermanence (ANITYA) and suffering (DUḤKHA). The concept is one of the key insights of the Buddha, and it is foundational to the Buddhist analysis of the compounded quality (SAṂSKṚTA) of existence: since all compounded things are the fruition (PHALA) of a specific set of causes (HETU) and conditions (PRATYAYA), they are therefore absent of any perduring substratum of being. In the sūtra analysis of existence, the “person” (PUDGALA) is said to be a product of five aggregates (SKANDHA)—materiality (RŪPA), physical sensations (VEDANĀ), perception (SAṂJÑĀ), impulses (SAṂSKĀRA), and consciousness (VIJÑĀNA)—which together comprise the totality of the individual’s physical, mental, and emotional existence. What in common parlance is called the person is a continuum (SAṂTĀNA) imputed to the construction of these aggregates, but when these aggregates are separated at the time of death, the person also simultaneously vanishes. This relationship between the person and the skandhas is clarified in the MILINDAPAÑHA’s famous simile of the chariot: a chariot is composed of various constituent parts, but if that chariot is broken down into its parts, there is no sense of “chariot” remaining. So it is with the person and his constituent parts, the skandhas. The Buddha is rigorously against any analysis of phenomena that imputes the reality of a person: when a questioner asks him, “Who senses?,” for example, the Buddha rejects the question as wrongly conceived and reframes it in terms of conditionality, i.e., “With what as condition does sensation occur?” (“Sensory contact” [SPARŚA] is the answer.) Buddhism thus rejects any notion of an eternal, perduring soul that survives death, or which transmigrates from lifetime to lifetime; rather, just as we can impute a conventional continuity to the person over one lifetime, so can this same continuity be imputed over several lifetimes. The continuum of karmic action and reaction ensures that the last moment of consciousness in the present life serves as the condition for the first moment of consciousness in the next. The next life is therefore neither the same as nor different from the preceding lifetime; instead, it is causally related to it. For this reason, any specific existence, or series of existences, is governed by the causes and conditions that create it, rendering life fundamentally beyond our attempts to control it (another connotation of “nonself”) and thus unworthy as an object of attachment. Seeing this lack of selfhood in compounded things generates a sense of “danger” (ĀDĪNAVA) that catalyzes the aspiration to seek liberation (VIMOKṢA). Thus, understanding this mark of anātman is the crucial antidote (PRATIPAKṢA) to ignorance (AVIDYĀ) and the key to liberation from suffering (duḥkha) and the continuing cycle of rebirth (SAṂSĀRA). Although the notion of anātman is applied to the notion of a person in mainstream Buddhism, in the PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ scriptures and the broader MAHĀYĀNA tradition the connotation of the term is extended to take in the “nonself of phenomena” (DHARMANAIRĀTMYA) as well. This extension may be a response to certain strands of the mainstream tradition, such as SARVĀSTIVĀDA (lit. the “Teaching That All [Dharmas] Exist”), which considered dharmas (i.e., the five skandhas and so on) to be factors that existed in reality throughout all three time periods (TRIKĀLA) of past, present, and future. In order to clarify that dharmas have only conventional validity, the Mahāyāna posited that they also were anātman, although the nature of this lack of self was differently understood by the YOGĀCĀRA and MADHYAMAKA schools.
Anattalakkhaṇasutta. (S. *Anātmalakṣaṇasūtra; C. Wuwo; J. Muga; K. Mua 無我). In Pāli, “Discourse on the Mark of Nonself,” Gautama Buddha’s second sermon, delivered five days after the DHAMMACAKKAPPAVATTANASUTTA (S. DHARMACAKRAPRAVARTANASŪTRA); the discourse appears in the MAHĀVAGGA section of the Pāli VINAYA, which recounts the founding of the dispensation (ŚĀSANA). (Separate SARVĀSTIVĀDA recensions, as titled above, appear in the Chinese translation of the SAṂYUKTĀGAMA.) In this second sermon delivered to the group of five new monks (BHADRAVARGĪYA, PAÑCAVARGIKA), the Buddha demonstrates that the five aggregates (SKANDHA) are not a perduring self, because they are impermanent (ANITYA), suffering (DUḤKHA), and therefore impossible to control, viz., “nonself” (ANĀTMAN). The Buddha concludes that any manifestation of the aggregates, whether past, present, or future, whether internal or external, etc., are not mine, are not what I am, and are not my self. This realization will lead, the Buddha says, to dispassion toward the aggregates and eventually liberation. After hearing the sermon, all five monks progressed from the stage of stream-enterer (SROTAĀPANNA) to worthy one (ARHAT).
Anawrahta. (S. Aniruddha; P. Anuruddha) (1015–1078). King of Pagan (r. c. 1044–1077 CE), who is celebrated in Burmese history and legend as the founder of the first Burmese empire and as having established THERAVĀDA Buddhism as the national religion of the Burmese people. Fifteenth-century Mon inscriptions record that Anawrahta conquered the Mon kingdom of Thaton in 1057 and carried off to his capital relics of the Buddha, Pāli texts, and orthodox Theravāda monks. With these acquisitions, he laid the foundation for Pāli Buddhism in his kingdom. Later Burmese chronicles recount that, prior to his invasion of the Mon kingdom, Anawrahta had been converted to Theravāda Buddhism by the Mon saint SHIN ARAHAN, who preached to the king the Appamādasutta. After his conversion, Anawrahta is alleged to have suppressed an already established sect of heretical Buddhist monks dwelling at Pagan known as the Ari, which seem to have been a MAHĀYĀNA strand that practiced some forms of tantra. Although supposedly reprehensible in their behavior, the Ari had enjoyed the patronage of Pagan’s kings for generations. In revenge, the Ari monks attempted to harm Shin Arahan, whereupon Anawrahta defrocked them and conscripted them into his army. To firmly establish Theravāda Buddhism as the sole religion of Pagan, Shin Arahan advised Anawrahta to request Buddha relics and Pāli scriptures from the king of Thaton, the Mon Theravāda kingdom whence Shin Arahan hailed. When Manuha, the Thaton king in Rāmañña, refused Anawrahta’s request, Anawrahta and his Burmese forces invaded and acquired these objects by force. Manuha was himself seized and transported to Pagan in golden chains where he and his family were dedicated to the Shwezigon Pagoda as temple slaves and allowed to worship the Buddha until the end of their days. Whatever the historical accuracy of the legend, epigraphic and archaeological evidence indicates that Anawrahta was more eclectic in his beliefs than traditional sources suggest. According to the CŪḶAVAṂSA, Anawrahta assisted the Sinhalese king Vijayabāhu I (r. 1055–1110) in reinstating a valid Theravāda ordination line in Sri Lanka, but Anawrahta also circulated in his own kingdom votive tablets adorned with Mahāyāna imagery, and seals bearing his name are inscribed in Sanskrit rather than in Pāli. In addition, Anawrahta supported a royal cult of spirits (Burmese NAT) propitiation at the Shwezigon pagoda in the capital, which was dedicated to the same deities said to have been worshipped by the heterodox Ari monks. All of this evidence suggests a religious environment at Pagan during Anawrahta’s time that was far more diverse than the exclusivist Theravāda practices described in the chronicles; indeed, it is clear that more than one Buddhist tradition, along with brahmanism and the nat cult, received the patronage of the king and his court.
Anban shouyi jing. (J. Anpanshuikyō; K. Anban suŭi kyŏng 安般守意經). In Chinese, “The Ānāpāna Guarding the Mind Scripture” composed by the Parthian teacher and translator AN SHIGAO sometime during the second century. Although the text purports to be a translation of a Middle Indic analogue of the Pāli ĀNĀPĀNASATISUTTA, the text is interspersed with commentarial notes on the practice of mindfulness of the process of breathing in and breathing out (ĀNĀPĀNASMṚTI, P. ānāpānasati) and brief explanations of such numerical categories as the five SKANDHAs, twelve ĀYATANAs, and so on. The text is similar in content to certain sections of the ABHIDHARMAMAHĀVIBHĀṢĀ. The Anban shouyi jing relies heavily upon indigenous Chinese terminology and consequently serves as an important source for studying the process through which Buddhist meditative techniques were introduced into China. The Sogdian monk KANG SENGHUI wrote a preface and commentary to this text, but his commentary is no longer extant.
anchin kokkahō. (安鎭國家法). In Japanese, the “technique for pacifying the state.” Japanese TENDAI priests often performed this ritual in the palace at the request of the emperor. Offerings were made to the deity fudō myōō (S. ACALANĀTHA–VIDYĀRĀJA), who in return would quell the demons who were disturbing the peace of the state. A simplified version of this ritual known as kachin or chintaku is now commonly performed for laity at their homes.
Andhakā. In Pāli, “Those from Andhra,” a collective designation used by BUDDHAGHOSA, in the introduction to his commentary to the KATHĀVATTHU, to refer to the Rājagirīya, Siddhārthika, PŪRVAŚAILA, and Aparaśaila MAINSTREAM BUDDHIST SCHOOLS, which seem to have been related to the CAITYA [alt. Caitiya] school, a collateral line of the MAHĀSĀṂGHIKA school.
Āndhra. In Sanskrit, “Those from Andhra,” a Telegu-speaking region in central India now incorporated into the modern state of Andhra Pradesh. See ANDHAKĀ.
aṅga. (T. yan lag; C. zhi; J. shi; K. chi 支). In Sanskrit and Pāli, literally “branch” or “limb” but, in the context of Buddhist doctrine, usually connoting “section” or a constituent of a list. The term is used as an abbreviation for the Pāli NAVAṄGA and Sanskrit DVĀDAŚĀṄGA, the nine or twelve sections or categories of the Buddha’s word (BUDDHAVACANA), divided according to structure, literary style, or content (see List of Lists). It is also widely used in Buddhist lists such as seven factors of enlightenment (BODHYAṄGA), eightfold noble path (ĀRYĀṢṬĀṄGAMĀRGA), and so on.
Aṅgaja. (T. Yan lag ’byung; C. Yinjietuo; J. Inkatsuda; K. In’get’a 因陀). The Sanskrit name of the thirteenth of the sixteen ARHAT elders (ṢOḌAŚASTHAVIRA), who were charged by the Buddha with protecting his dispensation until the advent of the next buddha, MAITREYA. He is said to reside on Guangxie Mountain with thirteen hundred disciples. According to the Chinese tradition, Aṅgaja had been a snake wrangler before he was ordained, so whenever he went into the mountains, he carried a cloth bag with him to catch snakes, which he would release after removing their fangs so they would not injure people. For this reason, he earned the nickname “Cloth-Bag Arhat” (BUDAILUOHAN/heshang). In CHANYUE GUANXIU’s standard Chinese depiction, Aṅgaja leans against a staff, with his head lowered, reading a SŪTRA that he holds in his left hand, his right hand counting recitation beads (JAPAMĀLĀ).
Angkor Thom. Twelfth-century Khmer (Cambodian) temple city constructed by Jayavarman VII (r. 1181–c. 1220) and dedicated to AVALOKITEŚVARA. Built shortly after the Khmer capital was sacked by invading Chams from the region of today’s central Vietnam, Angkor Thom is surrounded by a hundred-meter-wide moat and an eight-meter-high wall. Arranged in the shape of a perfect rectangle oriented toward the cardinal directions, its walls are pierced at their center by gates that connect the city to the outside world via four broad avenues that bridge the moat. The avenues are flanked by massive railings in the form of a cosmic snake (NĀGA) held aloft on one side by divinities (DEVA) and on the other by ASURAs, a motif recalling the Hindu creation myth of the churning of the cosmic ocean. The avenues run at right angles toward the center of the city complex, where the famous funerary temple of BAYON is located. Constructed of sandstone and in the form of a terraced pyramid, the Bayon represents among other symbols Mt. SUMERU, the axis mundi of the Hindu–Buddhist universe. The temple is entered through four doorways, one on each side, that lead through galleries richly carved with bas-reliefs depicting scenes from contemporary life and Hindu mythology. The temple is crowned with fifty-two towers, the largest of which occupies the center and pinnacle of the structure. The four sides of every tower bear colossal guardian faces that are believed to be portraits of Jayavarman VII in the guise of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. The Bayon is the first of Angkor’s many temples dedicated to a MAHĀYĀNA Buddhist cult; those built earlier were exclusively Hindu in affiliation. Beneath the central tower is a chamber that once housed a buddha image protected by a hooded nāga. This image was situated above a receptacle intended to receive the king’s ashes at death. The Bayon thus combines the function and architectural elements of a Hindu temple and a Buddhist STŪPA; and Jayavarman’s identification with Avalokiteśvara was but an extension of Angkor’s long-standing Hindu devarāja (divine king) cult, which identified the reigning monarch as an incarnation of Śiva. Angkor Thom was the last of several temple cities that cover the large area known today as Angkor, each city having been built by a successive Khmer king and crowned with an elaborate funerary shrine at its center. The most famous of these is the nearby ANGKOR WAT, the largest religious structure in the world, built by Suryavarman II between 1131 and 1150.
Angkor Wat. Massive temple complex and religious monument located in northwest Cambodia; the name refers to both a specific temple and the larger archaeological site, which includes hundreds of temples, including ANGKOR THOM, an ancient capital city of the Khmer kingdom. The Angkor Wat temple was constructed under the auspices of King Suryavarman II (r. 1131–1150 CE) in honor of the Hindu god Viṣṇu. The temple is constructed in high Khmer (Cambodian) classical style and consists of five major towers, which are said to represent the five peaks surrounding Mt. SUMERU, the axis mundi of the universe in Indian cosmology; it also includes an extensive bas-relief, the longest continuous such carving in the world, that depicts famous episodes in Hindu mythology. As the fortunes of the Khmer empire declined along with the Hindu religion it had supported, Angkor Wat was later reconceived as a Buddhist monument, and a Hall of a Thousand Buddhas added to its main entrance. In 1992, UNECSCO designated the entire complex as a World Heritage Site.
ango. (S. vārṣika; P. vassa; C. anju; K. an’gŏ 安居). In Japanese, “peaceful dwelling”; also known as gegyō (“summer dwelling”), zage (“sitting in the summer”), zarō (“sitting age”), etc. The term is used in ZEN monasteries to refer either to the summer rainy season retreat, which usually lasts for three months, or to an intensive period of meditative training during the summer rain’s retreat. The beginning of this period is known as kessei (C. JIEZHI), but this term is also occasionally used in place of ango to refer to the meditation retreat. In the Sōtō Zen tradition (SŌTŌSHŪ), ango is often used as a means of measuring the dharma age, or hōrō (C. FALA), of a monk. A monk who completes his first summer retreat is known as “one who has entered the community,” five retreats or more a “saint,” and ten retreats or more a “master.” See also VARṢĀ.
Aṅgulimāla. (S. alt. Aṅgulimālīya; T. Sor mo phreng ba; C. Yangjuemoluo; J. Ōkutsumara; K. Anggulmara 央掘摩羅). In Sanskrit and Pāli, literally, “Garland of Fingers”; nickname given to Ahiṃsaka, a notorious murderer and highwayman who was converted by the Buddha and later became an ARHAT; the Sanskrit is also seen written as Aṅgulimālya and Aṅgulimālīya. Ahiṃsaka was born under the thieves’ constellation as the son of a brāhmaṇa priest who served the king of KOŚALA. His given name means “Harmless,” because even though his birth was attended by many marvels, no one was injured. The boy was intelligent and became a favorite of his teacher. His classmates, out of jealousy, poisoned his teacher’s mind against him, who thenceforth sought Ahiṃsaka’s destruction. His teacher instructed Ahiṃsaka that he must collect one thousand fingers as a gift. (In an alternate version of the story, the brāhmaṇa teacher’s wife, driven by lust, attempted to seduce the handsome student, but when he rebuffed her, the resentful wife informed her husband that it was instead he who had attempted to seduce her. Knowing that he could not defeat his disciple by force, the vengeful brāhmaṇa teacher told his student that he must kill a thousand people and string together a finger from each victim into a garland as the final stage of his training.) Following his teacher’s instructions, he began to murder travelers, cutting off a single finger from each victim. These he made into a garland that he wore around his neck, hence his nickname Aṅgulimāla, or “Garland of Fingers.” With one finger left to complete his collection, Aṅgulimāla resolved to murder his own mother, who was then entering the forest where he dwelled. It was at this time that the Buddha decided to intervene. Recognizing that the thief was capable of attaining arhatship in this life but would lose that chance if he killed one more person, the Buddha taunted Aṅgulimāla and converted him through a miracle: although the Buddha continued to walk sedately in front of the brigand, Aṅgulimāla could not catch him no matter how fast he ran. Intrigued at this feat, Aṅgulimāla called out to the Buddha to stop, but the Buddha famously responded, “I have stopped, Aṅgulimāla; may you stop as well.” Aṅgulimāla thereupon became a disciple of the Buddha and spent his time practicing the thirteen austere practices (see DHUTAṄGA), eventually becoming an ARHAT. Because of his former misdeeds, even after he was ordained as a monk and became an arhat, he still had to endure the hatred of the society he used to terrorize, sometimes suffering frightful beatings. The Buddha explained that the physical pain he suffered was a consequence of his violent past and that he should endure it with equanimity. His fate illustrates an important point in the theory of KARMAN: viz., even a noble one who has overcome all prospect of future rebirth and who is certain to enter NIRVĀṆA at death can still experience physical (but not mental) pain in his last lifetime as a result of past heinous deeds. Aṅgulimāla also became the “patron saint” of pregnant women in Buddhist cultures. Once, while out on his alms round, Aṅgulimāla was profoundly moved by the suffering of a mother and her newborn child. The Buddha recommended that Aṅgulimāla cure them by an “asseveration of truth” (SATYAVACANA). The Buddha first instructed him to say, “Sister, since I was born, I do not recall that I have ever intentionally deprived a living being of life. By this truth, may you be well and may your infant be well.” When Aṅgulimāla politely pointed out that this was not entirely accurate, the Buddha amended the statement to begin, “since I was born with noble birth.” The phrase “noble birth” can be interpreted in a number of ways, but here it seems to mean “since I became a monk.” When Aṅgulimāla spoke these words to the mother and her child, they were cured. His statement has been repeated by monks to pregnant women over the centuries in the hope of assuring successful childbirth. See also AṄGULIMĀLĪYASŪTRA.
Aṅgulimālīyasūtra. (T. Sor mo’i phreng ba la phan pa’i mdo; C. Yangjuemoluo jing; J. Ōkutsumarakyō; K. Anggulmara kyŏng 央掘摩羅經). In Sanskrit, “The Discourse on AṄGULIMĀLA”; a TATHĀGATAGARBHA sūtra that tells the story of Aṅgulimāla. Aṅgulimāla’s story (see previous entry) also serves here as a frame for several sermons concerning the EKAYĀNA and tathāgatagarbha doctrine. When asked by the Buddha about the meaning of “one learning,” for example, Aṅgulimāla replies that the path to awakening consists of a single vehicle (ekayāna), a single act of taking refuge, and a single truth. In reply to the BODHISATTVA MAÑJUŚRĪ’s questions about the meaning of tathāgatagarbha, the Buddha teaches that every sentient being possesses the tathāgatagarbha, which remains concealed (S. saṃdhi/abhisaṃdhi, C. yinfu) and covered by afflictions (KLEŚA); this is one of the two major interpretations of the concept. The Buddha proclaims the tathāgatagarbha to be the only true foundation of the bodhisattva path.
Aṅgulimālya. (S). See AṄGULIMĀLA.
Aṅguttaranikāya. (S. Ekottarāgama; T. Gcig las ’phros pa’i lung; C. Zengyi ahan jing; J. Zōichiagongyō; K. Chŭngil aham kyŏng 增壹阿含經). In Pāli, “Collection of Numerically Arranged Discourses”; the fourth division of the Pāli SUTTAPIṬAKA (S. SŪTRAPIṬAKA). This collection, which may date from as early as the first century BCE, is composed of 2,198 suttas organized into nine nipātas, or sections. It corresponds in general structure to the EKOTTARĀGAMA, extant only in Chinese translation (and of unidentified affiliation), which is much smaller at only 471 sūtras. The suttas in the Pāli collection are arranged sequentially in numbered lists according to their subject matter, beginning with discussions of singularities, such as nibbāna (NIRVĀṆA), and progressing up to sets of eleven. Its Pāli commentary, the MANORATHAPŪRAṆĪ, was probably composed during the fifth century CE. The Aṅguttaranikāya appears in the Pali Text Society’s English translation series as The Book of Gradual Sayings.
Anham. (安含) (c. 579–640). Korean pilgrim-monk of the Silla dynasty. According to the HAEDONG KOSŬNG CHŎN, in 600, Anham attempted with a fellow monk by the name of Hyesuk to travel to China in search of the teachings of the Buddha but had to turn back due to a heavy rainstorm. The following year, a royal decree permitted him to accompany a Silla envoy to China. At the behest of the Chinese emperor, he studied various scriptures at the monastery of Xingshengsi in the imperial capital of Chang’an for five years. Anham returned to Silla in 605 with foreign monks from Khotan, Serindia, India, and China. While residing at the monastery of HWANGNYONGSA, these monks are claimed to have translated together a scripture known as the Zhantanxianghuo xingguang miaonü jing, which emphasizes the efficacy of a DHĀRAṆĪ called zhantanxiang shen. Anham might also be identical to another Korean monk by the name of Anhong who is said to have brought the LAṄKĀVATĀRASŪTRA, ŚRĪMĀLĀDEVĪSIṂHANĀDASŪTRA, and relics of the Buddha to Korea in 576. Anham was renowned for his superknowledges (ABHIJÑĀ) and was worshipped as one of the “ten worthies of Silla” (Silla sipsŏng) at Hwangnyongsa. A text known as the Tongdo sŏngnip ki (“Record of the Establishment of the Eastern Capital”) is attributed to Anham.
ānimitta. (P. animitta; T. mtshan ma med pa; C. wuxiang; J. musō; K. musang 無相). In Sanskrit, “signless”; one of three “gates to deliverance” (VIMOKṢAMUKHA), along with emptiness (ŚŪNYATĀ) and wishlessness (APRAṆIHITA). A sign or characteristic (NIMITTA) refers to the generic appearance of an object, in distinction to its secondary characteristics or ANUVYAÑJANA. Advertence toward the generic sign and secondary characteristics of an object produces a recognition or perception (SAṂJÑĀ) of that object, which may in turn lead to clinging or rejection and ultimately suffering. Hence, signlessness is crucial in the process of sensory restraint (INDRIYASAṂVARA), a process in which one does not actively react to the generic signs of an object (i.e., treating it in terms of the effect it has on oneself), but instead seeks to halt the perceptual process at the level of simple recognition. By not seizing on these signs, perception is maintained at a pure level prior to an object’s conceptualization and the resulting proliferation of concepts (PRAPAÑCA) throughout the full range of sensory experience. As the frequent refrain in the SŪTRAs states, “In the seen, there is only the seen,” and not the superimpositions (cf. SAMĀROPA) created by the intrusion of ego (ĀTMAN) into the perceptual process. Mastery of this technique of sensory restraint provides access to the signless gate to deliverance. Signlessness is produced through insight into impermanence (ANITYA) and serves as the counteragent (PRATIPAKṢA) to attachments to anything experienced through the senses; once the meditator has abandoned all such attachments to the senses, he is then able to advert toward NIRVĀṆA, which ipso facto has no sensory signs of its own by which it can be recognized. In the PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ literature, signlessness, emptiness, and wishlessness are equally the absence of the marks or signs of intrinsic existence (SVABHĀVA). The YOGĀCĀRABHŪMIŚĀSTRA says when signlessness, emptiness, and wishlessness are spoken of without differentiation, the knowledge of them is that which arises from hearing or learning (ŚRUTAMAYĪPRAJÑĀ), thinking (CINTĀMAYĪPRAJÑĀ), and meditation (BHĀVANĀMAYĪPRAJÑĀ), respectively.
animittayoga. (T. mtshan med kyi rnal ’byor). Literally, “yoga without signs,” a term that occurs in Buddhist tantric literature and is especially associated with YOGATANTRA among the four classes of tantric texts. It refers to those meditation practices in which one meditates on emptiness (ŚŪNYATĀ) in such a way that there are no dualistic appearances or “signs.” It is contrasted with SANIMITTAYOGA or “yoga with signs,” practices that entail dualistic appearances or signs in the sense that the meditator visualizes seed syllables (BĪJA) and deities.
aniñjyakarman. [alt. aniñjanakarman] (P. aniñjitakamma; T. mi g.yo ba’i las; C. budong ye; J. fudōgō; K. pudong ŏp 不動業). In Sanskrit, “invariable” or “unwavering action”; usually appearing in conjunction with the dichotomies of wholesome (KUŚALA) and unwholesome (AKUŚALA) or meritorious (PUṆYA) and demeritorious (APUṆYA) in referring to types of action (KARMAN) or the states of existence resulting therefrom. Wholesome and unwholesome actions lead to rebirth, but other actions may intervene and produce their results first. In particular, according to the ABHIDHARMAKOŚABHĀṢYA, when a meditator attains the fundamental state (maula) of a DHYĀNA (concentration) in the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPADHĀTU) or the immaterial realm (ĀRŪPYADHĀTU), the force of the action is aniñjya and will definitely lead to rebirth as a deity in the corresponding heaven in the next life. It is said, however, that BODHISATTVAs are able to circumvent birth as a long-lived divinity in one of the heavens of the realm of subtle materiality or immaterial realm so that they can better offer assistance to sentient beings. Thus, aniñjyakarman indicates the “invariable” connection or continuity between the achievement of those states in this lifetime and the subsequent rebirth: for example, a person who achieves the fourth immaterial absorption in this lifetime will “invariably” be reborn as a BHAVĀGRA deity in the fourth immaterial heaven in the next lifetime.
aniruddha. (T. ma ’gags pa; C. bumie; J. fumetsu; K. pulmyŏl 不滅). In Sanskrit, “unextinguished”; a term used to describe uncompounded (ASAṂSKṚTA) phenomena, especially NIRVĀṆA, which are not subject either to production or extinction. In some MAHĀYĀNA SŪTRAs, all phenomena, including compounded (SAṂSKṚTA) phenomena, are described as being aniruddha, which is interpreted to mean that from the standpoint of absolute truth (PARAMĀRTHASATYA), they are not produced and therefore are not extinguished or do not cease. See NIRODHA.
Aniruddha. (P. Anuruddha; T. Ma ’gags pa; C. Analü; J. Anaritsu; K. Anayul 阿那律). One of the ten great disciples of the Buddha, who was GAUTAMA’s first cousin and brother of MAHĀNĀMAN. Along with many others of the Buddha’s relatives in the ŚĀKYA clan, such as ĀNANDA and DEVADATTA, Aniruddha renounced the life of a householder to become a disciple of the Buddha when the Buddha returned to his home town of KAPILAVASTU after his enlightenment. According to legend, Aniruddha was once scolded by the Buddha for sleeping too much. Aniruddha subsequently devoted himself to vigorous practice without sleep (see DHUTAṄGA), as a consequence of which he became blind. The Pāli THERAGĀTHĀ notes that he did not sleep at all for twenty-five years, and that for the last thirty years of his life, he slept only during the last watch of the night. Despite his physical blindness, he attained through his meditative practice the divine eye (DIVYACAKṢUS) and came to be ranked as foremost among the Buddha’s disciples in that attainment. For this reason, in East Asia, he is given the epithet Tianyan Diyi or “First of Those Who Have the Divine Eye.” According to Pāli tradition, after the recitation of the Buddha’s teachings at the first Buddhist council (COUNCIL, FIRST), Aniruddha and his disciples were entrusted with preserving the AṄGUTTARANIKĀYA. Aniruddha and the Buddha held one another in particularly high regard, and many of the Buddha’s discourses were addressed personally to him. In assemblies, Aniruddha always sat near the Buddha, and he was present at the Buddha’s death. He consoled his fellow monks at their master’s passing (PARINIRVĀṆA) and advised the MALLĀ on how properly to carry out the funerary rites.
anisong. In Thai, “blessings” (from the Pāli ānisaṃsa [S. ANUŚAṂSA], “blessing” or “merit”), referring to a type of text in the northern Thai tradition that explains the benefits of certain merit-making rituals. The anisong may have been written specifically to encourage participation in Buddhist rituals and festivals.
anitya. [alt. anityatā] (P. anicca; T. mi rtag pa; C. wuchang; J. mujō; K. musang 無常). In Sanskrit, “impermanence”; the first of the “three marks” (TRILAKṢAṆA) of existence, along with suffering (DUḤKHA), and nonself (ANĀTMAN). “Impermanence” refers to the fact that compounded objects (SAṂSKṚTA) created by causes (HETU) and conditions (PRATYAYA) are inevitably subject to change, decline, and finally destruction. Because conditioned objects are subject to such impermanence, they are seen to be unsuitable objects for either desire (LOBHA) or hatred (DVEṢA), thus prompting the meditator to turn away from conditioned objects and toward the unconditioned (ASAṂSKṚTA). Mistaking what is in fact impermanent for something permanent is one of the four fundamental “inverted views” (VIPARYĀSA) and a primary cause of suffering. Two kinds of impermanence (see ER WUCHANG) are sometimes delineated: “impermanence marked by a successive period” (S. prabandhānitya, C. xiangxu wuchang), i.e., when an event or length of time has elapsed, such as the ending of a human life or the waning daylight at dusk; and “impermanence that occurs at every thought-instant” (S. kṣaṇikānitya, C. niannian wuchang), i.e., the inexorable change that is taking place anytime and anywhere, even before an event has come to an end (e.g., even before a person’s biological death, the person “dies” every instant in the continuum of flux that defines his existence). ¶ In the SARVĀSTIVĀDA ABHIDHARMA system, anityatā (more technically “desinence,” viz., death) is treated as a “conditioned force dissociated from thought” (CITTAVIPRAYUKTASAṂSKĀRA), which functions as one of the four conditioned characteristics (CATURLAKṢAṆA, SAṂSKṚTALAKṢAṆA) that are associated with all conditioned objects. Because the ontology of the Sarvāstivāda school, as its name implies, postulated that “everything exists” in all three time periods (TRIKĀLA) of past, present, and future, the school had to posit some mechanism through which to account for the apparent change that conditioned objects underwent through time. Therefore, along with the other three characteristics of birth (JĀTI), continuance (STHITI), and senescence (JARĀ), desinence was posited as a “conditioned force dissociated from thought” that serves as the predominant condition of an object’s death. The very definition of conditioned objects is that they are subject to these conditioned characteristics, including this inevitability of death, and this is what ultimately distinguishes them from the unconditioned (asaṃskṛta), viz., NIRVĀṆA.
aniyata. (T. gzhan ’gyur; C. buding; J. fujō; K. pujŏng 不定). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “undetermined” or “indeterminate”; the term has separate usages in both ABHIDHARMA and VINAYA materials. In the abhidharma analysis of mind, among the mental constituents (CAITTA, P. CETASIKA), “indeterminate” refers to mental factors that, depending on the intention of the agent, may be virtuous, nonvirtuous, or neutral. They are variously listed as four (in the YOGĀCĀRA hundred-dharmas list) or eight (in the seventy-five dharmas list of the SARVĀSTIVĀDA school) and include sleep (MIDDHA), contrition (KAUKṚTYA, which can be nonvirtuous when one regrets having done a good deed), applied thought or investigation (VITARKA), and sustained thought or analysis (VICĀRA). ¶ In the vinaya (rules of discipline), “undetermined” refers to a category of ecclesiastical offenses of “uncertain” gravity, which therefore must be evaluated by the SAṂGHA in order to make a determination. Aniyata offenses are of two types and always concern the conduct of a monk toward a woman in either (1) private or (2) semiprivate situations. For the monk, even to place himself in such a potentially compromising situation is an offense, since it can arouse suspicion among the laity about the monk’s intentions. After learning of such an offense, the saṃgha must then determine the seriousness of the monk’s offense by evaluating his conduct while in that situation. After due evaluation, his “undermined” offense will then be judged accordingly as one of three types: (1) PĀRĀJIKA, or most grave, entailing “defeat”; (2) SAṂGHĀVAŚEṢA (P. saṅghādisesa), the second most serious category, entailing confession before the assembly and expiation; and (3) PĀYATTIKA (P. pācittiya), the least serious offense, requiring only confession.
aniyatagotra. (T. rigs ma nges pa; C. buding zhongxing; J. fujōshushō; K. pujŏng chongsŏng 不定種姓). In Sanskrit, “indeterminate lineage”; referring to those beings who are not predestined to a particular path and who, depending on circumstances, may follow one path and then change to another. According to some YOGĀCĀRA schools, at birth some beings are endowed with an inherent lineage (PRAKṚTISTHAGOTRA) directing them toward one of three vehicles: the ŚRĀVAKAYĀNA, PRATYEKABUDDHAYĀNA, or BODHISATTVAYĀNA. The difficulty or ease with which they proceed on the path results from a developed lineage (SAMUDĀNĪTAGOTRA) obtained from cultivating earlier wholesome roots (KUŚALAMŪLA). For such persons, the lineages of the śrāvaka, pratyekabuddha, and bodhisattva remain definite even when facing great hindrances. There are also persons of indeterminate or indefinite lineage. For such persons, whether they follow the śrāvaka, pratyekabuddha, or bodhisattva path depends on circumstances, such as which teacher they encounter. Persons of this lineage can therefore change their path. For example, beginner (ĀDIKARMIKA) bodhisattvas may revert to a śrāvaka path and seek personal NIRVĀṆA when faced with either the prospect of the difficult deeds (duṣkaracaryā) that bodhisattvas must perform for the sake of others or the seemingly interminable length of time (see ASAṂKHYEYAKALPA) required to achieve full enlightenment (ANUTTARASAMYAKSAṂBODHI). In addition, a Śrāvaka may be inspired to seek buddhahood for the sake of all beings and thus switch to the bodhisattva path.
añjali[mudrā]. (T. thal mo sbyar ba; C. hezhang; J. gasshō; K. hapchang 合掌). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “gesture of supplication” or “gesture of greeting.” The añjali is a traditional Indian gesture of salutation and respect wherein the palms of the hands are pressed together with fingers pointing up, usually at the level of the heart or the forehead. As a specific type of gesture (MUDRĀ), añjali is used to symbolize thusness (TATHATĀ). In Buddhist iconography, this is one of the principal mudrās of AVALOKITEŚVARA, who in several forms holds a wish-fulfilling gem (CINTĀMAṆI) between cupped palms at his heart. This gesture is also commonly seen in images of religious donors and patrons.
anjitsu. (C. anshi; K. amsil 庵室). In Japanese “hut” or “hermitage”; the term is used for a small residence often used by monks to further their training away from the company of others. According to various sources, such as the SHASEKISHŪ, an anshitsu was preferably built deep in the mountains, far away from the hustle and bustle of cities and towns, which might distract monks from their practice. See also AN.
ankokuji. (安國寺). In Japanese, “temples for the pacification of the country.” After the Ashikaga shogunate took over control of the capital of Kyōto from the rapidly declining forces of Emperor Godaigo (1288–1339) between the years 1336 and 1337, they sought to heal the scars of civil war by following the suggestions of the ZEN master MUSŌ SOSEKI and building pagodas and temples in every province of Japan. By constructing these temples, the shogunate also sought to subsume local military centers under the control of the centralized government, just as the monarch Shōmu (r. 724–749) had once done with the KOKUBUNJI system. These pagodas were later called rishōtō, and the temples were given the name ankokuji in 1344. Many of these temples belonged to the lineages of the GOZAN system, especially that of Musō and ENNI BEN’EN.
anleguo. (J. anrakukoku; K. allakkuk 安樂國). In Chinese, the “land of peace and happiness.” One of the many names in Chinese for the buddha-field (BUDDHAKṢETRA) of AMITĀBHA known as SUKHĀVATĪ or the “realm of bliss.” Other terms such as JILE or JINGTU, however, are more commonly used to translate the Sanskrit term sukhāvatī.
Anle ji. (安樂集). In Chinese, “Collected Writings on the Land of Peace and Happiness”; an influential Chinese Buddhist treatise compiled by the monk DAOCHUO sometime during the early seventh century. The text is divided into twelve sections that largely consist of scriptural quotations and exhortations to seek rebirth in AMITĀBHA’s PURE LAND, otherwise known as the land of peace and happiness (ANLEGUO). The Anle ji classifies the Buddha’s teachings into two “gates” known as the “sagely way” (shengdao men) and the “pure land” (jingtu men). The latter refers to the teachings of the Buddha that emphasize the chanting of his name and especially that of the buddha Amitābha, and the former refers to those teachings that expound the means of attaining NIRVĀṆA or enlightenment. This classification became the standard defense for the practice of NIANFO, or “chanting the name of the Buddha.” Many of Daochuo’s contemporaries, such as Jiacai (d.u.), also noted inconsistencies in certain parts of the text that have even led some to argue that the text was not compiled by Daochuo.
Anlu. (C) (安). See ZONGLI ZHONGJING MULU.
Annen. (安然) (841–889?). Japanese TENDAI (C. TIANTAI) monk considered to be the founder of Japanese Tendai esoterism and thus also known as Himitsu daishi. Annen studied under ENNIN and initiated a reform of the Japanese Tendai tradition by incorporating new teachings from China called MIKKYŌ, or esoteric Buddhism. He received the bodhisattva precepts at ENRYAKUJI on Mt. Hiei (HIEIZAN) in 859 and by 884 had become the main dharma lecturer at Gangyoji. He subsequently was the founder of a monastery called Godaiin and is therefore often known to the tradition as “master Godaiin” (Godaiin daitoku or Godaiin ajari). Over one hundred works are attributed to Annen on both the exoteric and esoteric teachings of Tendai as well as on Sanskrit SIDDHAM orthography; dozens are extant, including texts that are considered primary textbooks of the Japanese Tendai tradition, such as his Hakke hiroku, Kyōjijō, and Shittanzō. Annen is especially important for having examined comprehensively the relationship between precepts associated with the esoteric tradition and the Buddhist monastic precepts, including the bodhisattva precepts (BODHISATTVAŚĪLA); his ultimate conclusion is that all precepts ultimately derive from specific sets of esoteric precepts.
An Shigao. (J. An Seikō; K. An Sego 安世高) (fl. c. 148–180 CE). An early Buddhist missionary in China and first major translator of Indian Buddhist materials into Chinese; he hailed from Arsakes (C. ANXI GUO), the Arsacid kingdom (c. 250 BCE–224 CE) of PARTHIA. (His ethnikon AN is the Chinese transcription of the first syllable of Arsakes.) Legend says that he was a crown prince of Parthia who abandoned his right to the throne in favor of a religious life, though it is not clear whether he was a monk or a layperson, or a follower of MAHĀYĀNA or SARVĀSTIVĀDA, though all of the translations authentically ascribed to him are of mainstream Buddhist materials. An moved eastward and arrived in 148 at the Chinese capital of Luoyang, where he spent the next twenty years of his life. Many of the earliest translations of Buddhist texts into Chinese are attributed to An Shigao, but few can be determined with certainty to be his work. His most famous translations are the Ren benyu sheng jing (MAHĀNIDĀNASUTTANTA), ANBAN SHOUYI JING (ĀNĀPĀNASATISUTTA), Yinchiru jing, and Daodi jing. Although his Anban shouyi jing is called a SŪTRA, it is in fact made up of both short translations and his own exegesis on these translations, making it all but impossible to separate the original text from his exegesis. An Shigao seems to have been primarily concerned with meditative techniques such as ĀNĀPĀNASMṚTI and the study of numerical categories such as the five SKANDHAs and twelve ĀYATANAs. Much of An’s pioneering translation terminology was eventually superseded as the Chinese translation effort matured, but his use of transcription, rather than translation, in rendering seminal Buddhist concepts survived, as in the standard Chinese transcriptions he helped popularize for buddha (C. FO) and BODHISATTVA (C. pusa). Because of his renown as an early translator, later Buddhist scriptural catalogues (JINGLU) in China ascribed to An Shigao many works that did not carry translator attributions; hence, there are many indigenous Chinese Buddhist scriptures (see APOCRYPHA) that are falsely attributed to him.
antagrāhadṛṣṭi. (T. mthar ’dzin gyi lta ba; C. bianjian; J. henken; K. pyŏn’gyŏn 邊見). In Sanskrit, “extreme views”; one of the five major types of (wrong) views (DṚṢṬI), along with the view that there is a perduring self, or soul (SATKĀYADṚṢṬI); fallacious views (MITHYĀDṚṢṬI); the attachment to views (DṚṢṬIPARĀMARŚA); and attachment to rites and rituals (ŚĪLAVRATAPARĀMARŚA). “Extreme views” refers specifically to the mistaken notion that there is a perduring soul that continues to be reborn unchanged from one lifetime to the next, or to the self as being annihilated at death and thus not subject to rebirth. The former view is called the extreme of eternalism (ŚĀŚVATADṚṢṬI; P. sassatadiṭṭhi); the latter, the extreme of annihilationism (UCCHEDADṚṢṬI; P. ucchedadiṭṭhi). The Buddhist middle way (MADHYAMAPRATIPAD) between these two extremes posits that there is no permanent, perduring soul (countering eternalism), and yet there is karmic continuity from one lifetime to the next (countering annihilationism).
antarābhava. (T. bar do’i srid pa/bar do; C. zhongyin/zhongyou; J. chūin/chūu; K. chungŭm/chungyu 中陰/中有). In Sanskrit, “intermediate state” or “transitional existence,” a transitional state between death (maraṇabhava) and rebirth (upapattibhava), distinct from the five or six destinies of SAṂSĀRA (see GATI), during which time the transitional being (GANDHARVA) prepares for rebirth. The antarābhava is considered one of sentient beings’ “four modes of existence” (catvāro bhavāḥ), along with birth/rebirth (upapattibhava), life (pūrvakālabhava), and death (maraṇabhava). The notion of an intermediate state was controversial. Schools that accepted it, including the SARVĀSTIVĀDA and most MAHĀYĀNA traditions, resorted to scriptural authority to justify its existence, citing, for example, SŪTRAs that refer to seven states of existence (bhava), including an antarābhava. A type of nonreturner (ANĀGĀMIN), the third stage of sanctity in the mainstream Buddhist schools, was also called “one who achieved NIRVĀṆA while in the intermediate state” (ANTARĀPARINIRVĀYIN), again suggesting the scriptural legitimacy of the antarābhava. There were several views concerning the maximum duration of the ANTARĀBHAVA. The ABHIDHARMAMAHĀVIBHĀṢĀ, for example, lists such variations as instantaneous rebirth, rebirth after a week, indeterminate duration, and forty-nine days. Of these different durations, forty-nine days became dominant, and this duration is found in the ABHIDHARMAKOŚABHĀṢYA and the YOGĀCĀRABHŪMIŚĀSTRA. Ceremonies to help guide the transitional being toward a more salutary rebirth, if not toward enlightenment itself, take place once weekly (see QIQI JI); these observances culminate in a “forty-ninth day ceremony” (SISHIJIU [RI] ZHAI), which is thought to mark the end of the process of transition, when rebirth actually occurs. The transitional being in the intermediate state is termed either a gandharva (lit. “fragrance eater”), because it does not take solid food but is said to subsist only on scent (gandha), or sometimes a “mind-made body” (MANOMAYAKĀYA). During the transitional period, the gandharva is searching for the appropriate place and parents for its next existence and takes the form of the beings in the realm where it is destined to be reborn. In the Tibetan tradition, the antarābhava is termed the BAR DO, and the guidance given to the transitional being through the process of rebirth is systematized in such works as the BAR DO THOS GROL CHEN MO, commonly known in the West as The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Like several of the MAINSTREAM BUDDHIST SCHOOLS, the THERAVĀDA scholastic tradition rejects the notion of an intermediate state, positing instead that an instantaneous “connecting” or “linking” consciousness (P. paṭisandhiviññāna; S. *pratisaṃdhivijñāna) directly links the final moment of consciousness in the present life to the first moment of consciousness in the next.
antaradhāna. In Pāli, “disappearance [of the Buddha’s teachings].” According to the Pāli commentaries, the true dharma (saddhamma) or teaching (sāsana) of the Buddha is destined to survive in the world for at most five thousand years, during which time it will suffer a steady decline in five stages, called the pañcantaradhānāni. There are several alternate theories found in the commentaries as to the specifics of the decline. One version of the five disappearances, which appears in the MANORATHAPŪRAṆĪ, the commentary to the AṄGUTTARANIKĀYA, describes the sequential disappearance of (1) the four noble (āriya) attainments, (2) observance of the precepts, (3) knowledge of the texts, (4) outward signs of monasticism, and (5) the Buddha’s relics. In the PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ (perfection of wisdom) literature, there are similarly a number of explanations of the disappearance or extinction of the teaching (saddharmakṣaya). The Śatasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitābṛhaṭṭīkā, an early commentary extant only in Tibetan, subdivides the five thousand years that the teaching lasts into ten periods of five hundred years each. The first three (the period of understanding) are when people realize the doctrine and attain results of ARHAT, ANĀGĀMIN (nonreturner), and SROTAĀPANNA (stream-enterer), respectively; the second three (the period of practice) are when people cultivate insight (VIPAŚYANĀ), serenity (ŚAMATHA), and morality (ŚĪLA), respectively; the third three are when the majority have a scripture-centered religious life based on the ABHIDHARMA, SŪTRA, and VINAYA sections of the TRIPIṬAKA; and the final five hundred years are when there is just the mere show of the dharma. See also MOFA; SADDHARMAVIPRALOPA.
antarāparinirvāyin. (T. bar ma dor yongs su mya ngan las ’das pa; C. zhong ban/zhong banniepan; J. chūhatsu/chūhatsunehan; K. chung pan/chung panyŏlban 中般/中般涅槃). In Sanskrit, “one who achieves NIRVĀṆA in the ANTARĀBHAVA (intermediate state)”; a specific type of nonreturner (ANĀGĀMIN), one of the twenty members of the āryasaṃgha (see VIṂŚATIPRABHEDASAṂGHA). According to the ABHIDHARMAKOŚABHĀṢYA, the antarāparinirvāyin are nonreturners who, having been reborn in any of the seventeen intermediate states that would have led to rebirth in the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPADHĀTU) (with the exception of the great Brahmā heaven), enter “nirvāṇa without remainder” (NIRUPADHIŚEṢANIRVĀṆA) on the basis of that support. There are three types: those who enter into nirvāṇa without remainder immediately after the intermediate state comes into being; those who enter after it has come into being and just before the sequence of events leading to the conception state begins; and those who enter when thoughts begin to turn toward the conception state.
antarvāsas. (P. antaravāsaka; T. smad g.yogs; C. neiyi; J. naie; K. naeŭi 内衣). In Sanskrit, the “lower robe” or “waist cloth”; one of the “three robes” (TRICĪVARA) worn by a monk or nun, along with the larger outer robe (S. SAṂGHĀṬĪ; P. saṅghāṭi) and the upper robe (S. UTTARĀSAṂGA; P. uttarāsaṅga). See also CĪVARA; KĀṢĀYA.
antevāsika. [alt. antevāsī] (T. nye gnas; C. jinzhu dizi; J. gonjū deshi; K. kŭnju cheja 近住弟子). In Pāli and Sanskrit, a “pupil” who dwells with a teacher. A monk who loses his preceptor (P. upajjhāya; S. UPĀDHYĀYA) while still in need of “guidance” (P. NISSAYA; S. NIŚRAYA) must seek instruction and training under another qualified master. This new master is called the ĀCARIYA (S. ĀCĀRYA), or “teacher,” and the monk is then designated an antevāsika, or “pupil.” The same relationship pertains between the antevāsika and the ācariya as between a *SĀRDHAVIHĀRIN (P. saddhivihārika) and an upajjhāya, and it is described as being like that of a son and father. Accordingly, the pupil is required to serve the daily needs of his teacher, by, for example, providing him with water, washing and preparing his robes and alms bowl, cleaning his residence, accompanying him on journeys, attending him when he is sick, and so forth. As part of his responsibilities toward the teacher, if the teacher should begin to entertain doubts about the doctrine or his ability to practice, the pupil is to try to dispel them. If the teacher should commit a grave offense against the rules of the saṃgha, the pupil is supposed to try to prevail upon his teacher to go before the saṃgha to receive its judgment. An antevāsika requires the permission of his ācariya to attend to others, to accompany others on alms round (PIṆḌAPĀTA), to seek instruction from others, etc. The antevāsika is required to seek pardon from his ācariya for any wrongdoing, and may be expelled for bad behavior. A fully ordained monk (P. bhikkhu; S. BHIKṢU) must remain under the guidance (nissaya) of either his upajjhāya or an ācariya or for a minimum of five years from the time of his ordination. A monk may be required to live under nissaya for a longer period, or for his whole life, if he is unable to become competent in DHARMA and VINAYA.
antidote. See PRATIPAKṢA.
anubhāva. (T. mthu; C. weishen; J. ijin; K. wisin 威神). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “majesty” or “splendor”; referring to the inconceivable power and glory of the buddhas, the spiritual equivalent to the majesty of royalty. The term is often found in compound to express different aspects of Buddhistic splendor. For example, the buddhas are said to have the ability to display various psychic powers (ṚDDHI), including telekinesis, and the ability to walk through walls and to project themselves infinitely (see ADHIṢṬHĀNA); the majestic power displayed through these thaumaturgic abilities is termed ṛddhyanubhāva (P. iddhānubhāva).
anujñā. (T. rjes gnang). In Sanskrit, “authorization”; referring to a ritual less elaborate than the ABHIṢEKA (consecration) rite, which imparts the authorization to perform certain practices within a particular cycle of tantric instructions, including deity yoga (DEVATĀYOGA) and MANTRA recitation, but excluding the activities of teaching and bestowing consecrations authorized by the final part of the abhiṣeka, the ĀCĀRYA (teacher) consecration.
anulomañāṇa. In Pāli, “conformity knowledge”; according to the VISUDDHIMAGGA, this is the ninth and last of nine knowledges (P. ñāṇa, S. JÑĀNA) cultivated as part of the purity of knowledge and vision of progress along the path (P. paṭipadāñāṇadassanavisuddhi). This latter category, in turn, constitutes the sixth of the seven purities (VIŚUDDHI) to be developed along the path to liberation. “Conformity knowledge” refers to the last three so-called impulsion moments (javana) of consciousness that arise in the mind of the practitioner preceding his perception of the nibbāna element (NIRVĀṆADHĀTU). This knowledge is so named because it conforms itself to the preceding eight stages of knowledge, as well as to the immediately following supramundane path (P. āriyamāgga, S. ĀRYAMĀRGA) and the thirty-seven constituents of enlightenment (P. bodhipakkhiyadhamma, S. BODHIPĀKṢIKADHARMA). When the three moments are treated separately, they receive different names. The first impulsion moment is called “preparation” (P. parikamma), when adaptation knowledge takes as its object the compounded formations (SAṂSKĀRA) as being something impermanent (ANITYA), suffering (DUḤKHA), and nonself (ANĀTMAN). Immediately thereafter, the second impulsion moment arises, which takes the same formations as its object and is called “access” (upacāra). Immediately following that the third impulsion moment arises taking the same object, which is called “conformity” (anuloma). At this point, the practitioner is at the threshold of liberation (P. vimokkha, S. VIMOKṢA), and, therefore, conformity knowledge is described as the final stage in what is called “insight leading to emergence” (P. vuṭṭhānagāminivipassanā). This category includes the sixth, seventh, and eighth knowledges (ñāṇa) in the ninefold schema: namely, “knowledge arising from the desire for deliverance” (P. MUCCITUKAMYATĀÑĀṆA), “knowledge arising from the contemplation on reflection” (P. PAṬISAṄKHĀNUPASSANĀÑĀṆA), and “knowledge arising from equanimity regarding all formations of existence” (P. SAṄKHĀRUPEKKHĀÑĀṆA).
anulomapratiloma. (P. anulomapaṭiloma; T. lugs ’byung lugs ldog; C. shunni; J. jungyaku; K. sunyŏk 順逆). In Sanskrit, “forward and reverse”; a term most commonly used in discussions of the twelvefold chain of dependent origination (PRATĪTYASAMUTPĀDA). The “forward” order of the twelve constituents provides an account of the origin of SAṂSĀRA, i.e., an ontology, whereby ignorance produces predispositions, (linking) consciousness, and name-and-form, ultimately leading to birth, aging, and death. The “reverse” order refers to the soteriological sequence, whereby birth, aging, and death are ended by bringing an end ultimately to ignorance; thus, from the cessation of ignorance, volitional action ceases; from the cessation of volitional action, consciousness ceases; and so on.
anumāna. (T. rjes su dpag pa; C. biliang; J. hiryō; K. piryang 比量). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “inference.” In Buddhist logic and epistemology, inference is considered to be one of the two forms of valid knowledge (PRAMĀṆA), along with direct perception (PRATYAKṢA). Inference allows us to glean knowledge concerning objects that are not directly evident to the senses. In the Buddhist logical traditions, inferences may be drawn from logical signs (HETU, LIṄGA): e.g., there is a fire on the mountain (SĀDHYA), because there is smoke (SĀDHANA), like a stove (SAPAKṢA), unlike a lake (VIPAKṢA).
Anumānasutta. (C. Biqiu qing jing; J. Bikushōkyō; K. Pigu ch’ong kyŏng 比丘請經). In Pāli, “Discourse on Inference,” the fifteenth sutta of the MAJJHIMANIKĀYA (a separate SARVĀSTIVĀDA recension appears as the eighty-ninth SŪTRA in the Chinese translation of the MADHYAMĀGAMA). The sūtra was preached by MAHĀMAUDGALYĀYANA (P. Mahāmoggallāna) to a large group of monks at Suṃsumāragiri in the Bhagga country. Mahāmaudgalyāyana enumerates sixteen faults that make it difficult for a monk to be admonished by his teachers or fellow monks, such as evil wishes, conceit, deceit, anger, resentment, stubbornness, defensiveness, and prevarication. Should a monk discover any of these negative traits within himself, he should strive to remove them.
anumodana. (T. rjes su yi rang; C. suixi; J. zuiki; K. suhŭi 隨喜). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “admiration” or “gratification,” also written anumodanā; the act of taking delight in the virtuous acts of others, which, in contrast to the unwholesome emotion of envy (ĪRṢYĀ), enables one also to accumulate virtue for oneself. It is considered an effective means of gaining merit (PUṆYA) and figures as a standard component in MAHĀYĀNA liturgies, including the three-part Mahāyāna liturgy (TRISKANDHAKA) and the sevenfold PŪJĀ (SAPTĀṄGAVIDHI). Anumodanā is also used in mainstream Buddhism to refer to the “benedictions” (C. zhouyuan) that monks recite after receiving a meal or a gift, which express thanks or “gratification” to the donors for their offerings.
Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśa. (C. Buzeng bujian jing; J. Fuzōfugengyō; K. Pujŭng pulgam kyŏng 不增不減經). In Sanskrit, the “Neither Increase nor Decrease Sūtra,” one of the earliest TATHĀGATAGARBHA (embryo of the tathāgatas) scriptures, along with the TATHĀGATAGARBHASŪTRA and the ŚRĪMĀLĀ-DEVĪSIṂHANĀDASŪTRA. The text, only a single roll in length, was far more influential in the development of tathāgatagarbha thought in East Asia than its length might suggest. The complete text survives only in a Chinese translation made in 525 by BODHIRUCI (d. 527). Neither Sanskrit nor Tibetan recensions of the text are extant, although the RATNAGOTRAVIBHĀGA includes many quotations from the scripture. The Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśa explains the absolute identity between sentient beings and the DHARMAKĀYA of the buddhas through the concept of tathāgatagarbha. According to the scripture, although sentient beings endure endless rebirths among the six destinies (GATI) because of afflictions (KLEŚA), they in fact neither arise nor perish because they are all actually manifestations of the unchanging dharmakāya. Since sentient beings are therefore nothing other than the dharmakāya—and since the dharmakāya is unchanging, ever-present, and subject neither to increase nor to decrease—the sentient beings who possess the dharmakāya as their nature also “neither increase nor decrease.” The scripture also explains that such wrong views as the notion that sentient beings are subject to increase or decrease are caused by not realizing that the realms of sentient beings and tathāgatas are in fact one and the same. When the dharmakāya is obscured by afflictions and resides in the suffering of SAṂSĀRA, it is called a sentient being; when it is cultivating the perfections (PĀRAMITĀ) and developing a repugnance for the suffering of saṃsāra, it is called a BODHISATTVA; when it is pure and free from all afflictions, it is called a tathāgata. Sentient beings, tathāgatagarbha, and dharmakāya are therefore merely different names for the one realm of reality (DHARMADHĀTU). The Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśa thus emphasizes the immanent aspect of tathāgatagarbha, whereas the Śrīmālāsūtra emphasizes its transcendent aspect.
anupadhiśeṣanirvāṇa. [alt. nirupadhiśeṣanirvāṇa] (P. anupādisesanibbāna; T. phung po’i lhag ma med par mya ngan las ’das ba / lhag med myang ’das; C. wuyu niepan; J. muyonehan; K. muyŏ yŏlban 無餘涅槃). In Sanskrit, “the nirvāṇa without remainder”; one of the two kinds of NIRVĀṆA, along with “the nirvāṇa with remainder” (SOPADHIŚEṢANIRVĀṆA). After a buddha or, in some interpretations, an ARHAT has achieved awakening (BODHI), some Buddhist schools distinguish between the experience of nirvāṇa while it is still accompanied by a substratum of existence (upadhi = SKANDHA) and the nirvāṇa that is completely freed from that substratum. According to this view, at the time of his enlightenment under the BODHI TREE, the Buddha achieved the nirvāṇa with remainder, because he had destroyed all causes for future rebirth, but the “remainder” of his mind and body persisted. The anupadhiśeṣanirvāṇa subsequently occurred at the time of the Buddha’s death. It was achieved through having brought an absolute end to any propensity toward defilement (KLEŚA) and of the causes that would lead to any prospect of future rebirth; it is therefore the total extinction of all conventional physical and mental existence. The nirvāṇa that is experienced at death is thus “without remainder” because there are no physical or mental constituents remaining that were the products of previous KARMAN; anupadhiśeṣanirvāṇa is therefore synonymous with PARINIRVĀṆA. Since this type of nirvāṇa results from the complete eradication of the afflictive destructions (KLEŚĀVARAṆA), MAINSTREAM BUDDHIST SCHOOLS typically claim that it is accessible by ŚRĀVAKAs and PRATYEKABUDDHAs. However, according to those proponents of the MAHĀYĀNA who assert that all beings will eventually become buddhas, arhats do not enter anupādiśeṣanirvāṇa upon death but instead enter the uncontaminated realm (ANĀSRAVADHĀTU), where they remain in states of deep concentration until they are roused by the buddhas and exhorted to abandon their “unafflicted ignorance” (AKLIṢṬĀJÑĀNA). In the YOGĀCĀRA school, anupādiśeṣanirvāṇa is one of the four kinds of nirvāṇa, which entails the cessation of any tendency toward delusion through the transformation of the eighth consciousness, the storehouse consciousness (ĀLAYAVIJÑĀNA), into the mirrorlike knowledge (ĀDARŚAJÑĀNA).
anupalabdhi. [alt. anupalambha] (T. mi dmigs pa / dmigs med; C. bukede; J. fukatoku; K. pulgadŭk 不可得). In Sanskrit, “unascertainable,” “noncognition,” or “non-observation,” describing the peculiar type of cognition inherent in enlightenment, in which perception occurs without any bifurcation between subject and object in the case of YOGĀCĀRA or without any perception or “observation” of intrinsic existence (SVABHĀVA) in the case of MADHYAMAKA and is thus freed from any kind of false dichotomization. This type of perception is therefore “unascertainable,” viz., freed from conventional types of cognition and thus “noncognition.”
anupassanā. (S. ANUPAŚYANĀ). In Pāli, “contemplation.” A term applied to several sets of meditation practices, most notably as enumerated under the category of the four “foundations of mindfulness” (P. satipaṭṭhāna; S. SMṚTYUPASTHĀNA). The first foundation is called “contemplation of the body” (kāyānupassanā, S. KĀYĀNUPAŚYANĀ) and comprises fourteen practices, which include mindfulness of breathing (P. ānāpānasati, S. ĀNĀPĀNASMṚTI), mindfulness of postures or deportments (P., iriyāpatha, S. ĪRYĀPATHA), full awareness of bodily actions, contemplation of bodily impurities, contemplation of the four physical elements (DHĀTU, MAHĀBHŪTA), and nine cemetery meditations (P. asubhabhāvanā, S. AŚUBHABHĀVANĀ). The second foundation is called “contemplation of sensations” (P. vedanānupassanā, S. vedanānupasyanā) and consists of one practice: mindfulness of physical sensations (VEDANĀ) as pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. The third foundation is called “contemplation of mind” (P. cittānupassanā, S. cittānupasyanā) and consists of one practice: mindfulness of one’s general state of mind (CITTA), e.g. as calm or distracted, elated or depressed, etc. The fourth foundation is “contemplation of mind-objects” (P. dhammānupassanā, S. dharmānupasyanā) and includes five meditations on specific categories of factors (P. dhamma, S. DHARMA), namely: the five hindrances (NĪVARAṆA), the five aggregates (SKANDHA), the six sense bases and six sense objects (ĀYATANA), the seven enlightenment factors (BODHYAṄGA), and the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS. In the Pāli SATIPAṬṬHĀNASUTTA, the four anupassanās are extolled as the one path leading to the realization of nibbāna (NIRVĀṆA). Another common set of anupassanās found in the Pāli tradition includes three members: (1) contemplation of impermanence (aniccānupassanā), (2) contemplation of suffering (dukkhānupassanā), and (3) contemplation of nonself (anattānupassanā). In the PAṬISAMBHIDĀMAGGA, this list is expanded to ten with the addition of (4) contemplation of nirvāṇa (nibbānānupassanā), (5) contemplation of dispassion (virāgānupassanā), (6) contemplation of cessation (nirodhānupassanā), (7) contemplation of renunciation (paṭinissaggānupassanā), (8) contemplation of signlessness (animittānupassanā), (9) contemplation of desirelessness (appaṇihitānupassanā), and (10) contemplation of emptiness (suññatānupassanā).
anupaśyanā. (T. rjes su lta ba; C. xunguan; J. junkan; K. sun’gwan 循觀). In Sanskrit, “contemplation” or “consideration.” See ANUPASSANĀ (P).
anupubbikathā. (S. anupūrvikathā; T. mthar gyis pa; C. cidi shuofa/jianwei shuofa; J. shidai seppō/zen’i seppō; K. ch’aje sŏlbŏp/chŏmwi sŏlbŏp 次第法/漸爲法). In Pāli, “graduated discourse” or “step-by-step instruction”; the systematic outline of religious benefits that the Buddha used to mold the understanding of new lay adherents and to guide them toward the first stage of enlightenment. In this elementary discourse, the Buddha would outline the benefits of generosity (dānakathā) and morality (śīlakathā) before finally holding out for the laity the prospect of rebirth in the heavens (svargakathā). Once their minds were pliant and impressionable, the Buddha then would instruct his listeners in the dangers (ĀDĪNAVA) inherent in sensuality (KĀMA) in order to turn them away from the world and toward the advantages of renunciation (P. nekkhamme ānisaṃsa). Only after his listeners’ minds were made fully receptive would the Buddha then go on to teach them the doctrine that was unique to the buddhas: the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS of suffering, origination, cessation, and path. Understanding the pervasive reality of the fact that “all that is subject to production is subject to cessation” (yaṃ kiñci samudayadhammaṃ taṃ nirodhadhammaṃ), the laity would then gain a profound personal understanding of the dharma, which often prompted the experience of “stream-entry” (SROTAĀPANNA). The “graduated discourse” was such a stock formula in the standard sermon to the laity that it appears only in summary form in the NIKĀYAs and ĀGAMAs. The only detailed treatment of the graduated discourse appears in the Tuṇḍilovādasutta (Advice to Layman Tuṇḍila), a late Pāli apocryphon (see APOCRYPHA) probably composed in Sri Lanka in the eighteenth century. This late text provides a systematic outline of the specifics of the practice of generosity (DĀNA), morality (ŚĪLA), the heavens (SVARGA), the dangers in sensual desires, and the benefits of renunciation, leading up to the “perfect peace” of nibbāna (S. NIRVĀṆA).
anupūrvikathā. In Sanskrit, “graduated discourse.” See ANUPUBBIKATHĀ.
Anurādhapura. Ancient capital of Sri Lanka nearly continuously from the fourth century BCE to the ninth century CE, with interludes of foreign occupation by Cōḷa forces from South India. To the south of the city was the MAHĀMEGHAVANA park, which was gifted to the elder MAHINDA by King DEVĀNAṂPIYATISSA when the latter converted to Buddhism in the third century BCE. Soon, the MAHĀVIHĀRA and the shrine of the southern branch of the BODHI TREE were built there. In the second century BCE, King DUṬṬHAGĀMAṆĪ built the seven-storied LOHAPĀSĀDA and the MAHĀTHŪPA. The site also housed the ABHAYAGIRI monastery, built in the first century BCE by King VAṬṬAGĀMAṆI, and the JETAVANA monastery built in the fourth century CE by King Mahāsena. The latter two monasteries were headquarters of the two eponymous secessionist fraternities of Sri Lankan Buddhism. Although Anurādhapura was abandoned in favor of Pulatthipura as the capital in the ninth century, it remained a center of pilgrimage and religious activity.
Anuruddha. (P) The Pāli name for one of the ten chief disciples of the Buddha; see ANIRUDDHA. ¶ Anuruddha is also the name of the author of the THERAVĀDA abhidhamma manual ABHIDHAMMATTHASAṄGAHA, as well as the Paramatthavinicchaya and the Nāmarūpapariccheda. Anuruddha flourished during the eleventh or twelfth century and was the abbot of Mūlasoma Vihāra. His Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha has for centuries been the most widely used introductory text for the study of ABHIDHAMMA (S. ABHIDHARMA) in monastic colleges throughout the Pāli Buddhist world.
anuśaṃsa. [alt. ānuśaṃsa; ānuśaṃsā, etc.] (P. ānisaṃsa; T. phan yon; C. gongde/liyi; J. kudoku/riyaku; K. kongdŏk/iik 功德/利益). In Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, “blessing,” “benefit,” “reward,” or “advantage” that accrues from leading a virtuous life or performing various types of virtuous actions. In the Pāli MAHĀPARINIBBĀNASUTTANTA, for example, while preaching on the benefits of moral rectitude to a gathering of lay disciples in the city of Pāṭaligāma (see PĀṬALIPUTRA), the Buddha enumerates five such blessings that a morally upright person can expect to acquire in this lifetime: first, great wealth (bhogakkhandha); second, a good reputation (kittisadda); third, self-confidence (visārada); fourth, a peaceful death (asammūḷho kālaṃ karoti); and fifth, after he dies, a happy rebirth (saggaṃ lokaṃ upapajjati). In contrast, a morally dissolute person can expect in this lifetime: first, poverty due to sloth; second, a bad reputation; third, shame in the presence of others; fourth, an anxious death; and fifth, after he dies, an unhappy rebirth. In the so-called graduated discourse (P. ANUPUBBIKATHĀ), the Buddha also teaches the blessings of renunciation (nekkhamme ānisaṃsa) as a prerequisite to understanding the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS. Different lists of five, ten, or eighteen such blessings appear in Sanskrit sources. The PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ literature has long passages praising the merit gained from writing out in book form, reading, memorizing, and generally worshipping the prajñāpāramitā as compared, in particular, to worshiping a STŪPA containing the relics of a TATHĀGATA, and the commentarial literature lists the benefits (anuśaṃsa) of the BODHISATTVA’s path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA) when compared with the earlier understanding of the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS.
anuśaya. (P. anusaya; T. bag la nyal ba; C. suimian; J. zuimen; K. sumyŏn 隨眠). In Sanskrit, “proclivity” or “predisposition”; various unwholesome mental states that lead eventually to suffering. There are several lists, most common of which is a list of six or seven principal proclivities: sensual passion (KĀMARĀGA; see also RĀGA), hostility (PRATIGHA), pride (MĀNA), ignorance (AVIDYĀ), views (DṚṢṬI), and skeptical doubt (VICIKITSĀ); sometimes, passion for existence (bhavarāga) is added as a seventh. The SARVĀSTIVĀDA school of ABHIDHARMA offers an extensive list of ninety-eight proclivities, in which dṛṣṭi is subdivided into five subtypes, giving ten, which are then further subdivided into ninety-eight in relation to the three realms of existence (sensual, subtle materiality, and immaterial) and the five classes of discipline.
anusmaraṇavikalpa. (T. rjes su dran pa’i rnam rtog; C. suinian fenbie; J. zuinen funbetsu; K. sunyŏm punbyŏl 隨念分別). In Sanskrit, “discrimination involving reflection on past events”; the third of the three types of conceptual discrimination (VIKALPA). See TRIVIKALPA.
anusmṛti. (P. anussati; T. rjes su dran pa; C. nian; J. nen; K. yŏm 念). In Sanskrit, “recollection.” The Pāli form anussati is applied to a number of mental exercises enumerated in the Pāli tradition under the category of KAMMAṬṬHĀNA, or topics of meditation. The fifth-century VISUDDHIMAGGA lists ten such recollections conducive to the cultivation of concentration (SAMĀDHI): namely, recollection of (1) the BUDDHA, (2) the DHARMA, (3) the SAṂGHA, (4) morality, (5) generosity, (6) the gods, (7) death, (8) the body, (9) the in-breath and out-breath, and (10) peace. Of these, recollection or mindfulness (P. sati; S. SMṚTI) of the in-breath and out-breath can produce all four meditative absorptions (DHYĀNA; P. JHĀNA), while recollection of the body can produce the first absorption. The remaining recollections can produce only “access concentration” (UPACĀRASAMĀDHI), which immediately precedes but does not quite reach the first absorption. In East Asia, the practice of recollection of the Buddha (BUDDHĀNUSMṚTI) evolved into the recitation of name of the buddha AMITĀBHA in the form of the Chinese phrase namo Amituo fo (Homage to the buddha Amitābha; see NAMU AMIDABUTSU). See also BUDDHĀNUSMṚTI.
anuśrava. (P. anussava; T. gsan pa; C. suiwen; J. zuimon; K. sumun 隨聞). In Sanskrit, “tradition,” “hearsay,” or “report” (in Chinese, it is, literally, “according to what has been heard”), referring to knowledge learned from received tradition, which is said to be unreliable as a standard for judging truth and falsity. In the Pāli KĀLĀMASUTTA, the Buddha rejects the validity of testimony based on anussava (tradition) in favor of what practitioners learn through their own personal training to be blameworthy or praiseworthy, harmful or beneficial.
anutpāda. [alt. anutpanna] (T. skye med; C. wusheng; J. mushō; K. musaeng 無生). In Sanskrit, “unproduced” or “nonproduction”; a term used to describe unconditioned phenomena, especially NIRVĀṆA, which are not subject to either production or cessation. In some MAHĀYĀNA sūtras, all phenomena, including impermanent phenomena, are described as anutpāda; this is interpreted to mean that they ultimately are neither produced nor extinguished.
anutpādajñāna. (T. mi skye ba shes pa; C. wusheng zhi; J. mushōchi; K. musaeng chi 無生智). In Sanskrit, “knowledge of nonproduction”; one of the two knowledges (along with KṢAYAJÑĀNA) that accompanies liberation from rebirth (SAṂSĀRA). Anutpādajñāna refers specifically to the knowledge that the afflictions (KLEŚA), once destroyed, will never be produced again. See also ANUTPATTIKADHARMAKṢĀNTI.
anutpanna. (S; T. skye med). See ANUTPĀDA.
anutpattikadharmakṣānti. (T. mi skye ba’i chos la bzod pa; C. wushengfaren; J. mushōbōnin; K. musaeng pŏbin 無生法忍). In Sanskrit, the “acquiescence” or “receptivity” “to the nonproduction of dharmas.” In the MAHĀYĀNA, a BODHISATTVA is said to have attained the stage of “nonretrogression” (AVAIVARTIKA) when he develops an unswerving conviction that all dharmas are “unproduced” (ANUTPĀDA) and “empty” (ŚŪNYATĀ) in the sense that they lack any intrinsic nature (NIḤSVABHĀVA). This stage of understanding has been variously described as occurring on either the first or eighth BHŪMIs of the bodhisattva path. This conviction concerning emptiness is characterized as a kind of “acquiescence,” “receptivity,” or “forbearance” (KṢĀNTI), because it sustains the bodhisattva on the long and arduous path of benefiting others, instilling an indefatigable equipoise, and preventing him from falling back into the selfish preoccupation with personal liberation. The bodhisattva “bears” or “acquiesces to” the difficulty of actively entering the world to save others by residing in the realization that ultimately there is no one saving others and no others being saved. In other words, all dharmas—including sentient beings and the rounds of rebirth—are originally and eternally “unproduced” or “tranquil.” This realization of nonduality—of the self and others, and of SAṂSĀRA and NIRVĀṆA—inoculates the bodhisattva from being tempted into a premature attainment of “cessation,” wherein one would escape from personal suffering through the extinction of continual existence, but at the cost of being deprived of the chance to attain the even greater goal of buddhahood through sustained practice along the bodhisattva path. Anutpattikadharmakṣānti is sometimes used in a nonpolemical context, where it refers both to the Mahāyāna realization of the truth of “emptiness” and to the non-Mahāyāna realization of no-self (ANĀTMAN) and the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS. In a non-Mahāyāna context, the term corresponds to the path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA).
anuttarasamyaksaṃbodhi. (T. bla na med pa yang dag par rdzogs pa’i byang chub; C. wushang zhengdeng jue/anouduoluo sanmiao sanputi; J. mujōshōtōgaku/anokutara-sanmyaku-sanbodai; K. musang chŏngdŭng kak/anyoktara sammyak sambori 無上正等覺/阿耨多羅三藐三菩提). In Sanskrit, “unsurpassed (anuttara), complete (samyak), and perfect enlightenment (SAṂBODHI)”; the enlightenment (BODHI) of a buddha, superior to all other forms of enlightenment. The term is often used to distinguish the enlightenment of a buddha from that of an ARHAT, with the former deemed superior because it is the result of the sustained practice of the BODHISATTVA path over the course of many eons (KALPA) of lifetimes. According to Mahāyāna schools, in anuttarasamyaksaṃbodhi, both of the two kinds of obstructions, the afflictive obstructions (KLEŚĀVARAṆA) and the obstructions to omniscience (JÑEYĀVARAṆA), have been completely overcome. Although ARHATS also achieve enlightenment (BODHI), they have overcome only the first of the obstructions, not the second, and thus have still not realized anuttarasamyaksaṃbodhi. This enlightenment, which is unique to the buddhas, surpasses all other types of realization and is thus unsurpassed, complete, and perfect. See also MAHĀBODHI; SAṂBODHI.
anuttarayogatantra. (T. bla na med pa’i rnal ’byor rgyud). In Sanskrit, “unsurpassed yoga tantra.” According to an Indian classification system, later adopted in Tibet, anuttarayogatantra is the highest category in the fourfold division of tantric texts, above YOGATANTRA, CARYĀTANTRA, and KRIYĀTANTRA. Texts classified as unsurpassed yoga tantras include such works as the GUHYASAMĀJATANTRA, the HEVAJRATANTRA, and the CAKRASAṂVARATANTRA. These tantras were further divided into mother tantras (MĀTṚTANTRA) and father tantras (PITṚTANTRA). The mother tantras, also known as ḌĀKINĪ tantras, are traditionally said to emphasize wisdom (PRAJÑĀ) over method (UPĀYA), especially wisdom in the form of the mind of clear light (PRABHĀSVARACITTA). The father tantras are those that, between method (upāya) and wisdom (prajñā), place a particular emphasis on method, especially as it pertains to the achievement of the illusory body (MĀYĀDEHA) on the stage of generation (UTPATTIKRAMA). According to Tibetan exegetes, buddhahood can only be achieved through the practice of anuttarayogatantra; it cannot be achieved by the three “lower tantras” or by the practice of the PĀRAMITĀYĀNA. The many practices set forth in the anuttarayogatantras are often divided into two larger categories, those of the stage of generation (utpattikrama) and those of the stage of completion (NIṢPANNAKRAMA). The latter typically includes the practice of sexual yoga. The status of the KĀLACAKRATANTRA, historically the latest of the unsurpassed yoga tantras (the text includes apparent references to Muslim invaders in the Indian subcontinent), was accorded special status by DOL PO PA SHES RAB RGYAL MTSHAN; TSONG KHA PA in his SNGAGS RIM CHEN MO (“Great Exposition of the Stages of Tantra”) gave it a separate place within a general anuttarayogatantra category, while others such as Red mda’ ba Gzhon nu blo gros said it was not a Buddhist tantra at all.
anuvyañjana. (T. dpe byad; C. hao; J. kō; K. ho 好). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “minor mark” or “secondary characteristic”; the secondary characteristics of an object, in distinction to its generic appearance, or “sign” (NIMITTA). Advertence toward the generic sign and secondary characteristics of an object produces a recognition or perception (SAṂJÑĀ) of that object, which may then lead to clinging or rejection and ultimately suffering. ¶ The term anuvyañjana [alt. vyañjana] also refers specifically to the eighty minor marks of a “great man” (MAHĀPURUṢA) and specifically of a buddha; these are typically mentioned in conjunction with the thirty-two major marks of a great man (MAHĀPURUṢALAKṢAṆA). These are set forth at length in, for example, the PAÑCAVIṂŚATISĀHASRIKĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ (see PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ) and chapter eight of the ABHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRA and are known as well in mainstream Buddhist sources.
anuyoga. (T. a nu yo ga). In Sanskrit, “subsequent yoga” or “further yoga,” the eighth of the nine vehicles (THEG PA DGU) of Buddhism according to the RNYING MA sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Here, the system of practice described elsewhere as ANUTTARAYOGATANTRA is divided into three: MAHĀYOGA, anuyoga, and ATIYOGA, with anuyoga corresponding to the practices of the “stage of completion” (NIṢPANNAKRAMA), mahāyoga to the stage of generation (UTPATTIKRAMA) and atiyoga to the great completion (RDZOGS CHEN) and the spontaneous achievement of buddhahood. Thus, such stage of completion practices as causing the winds (PRĀṆA) to move through the channels (NĀḌĪ) to the CAKRAs are set forth in anuyoga. In Rnying ma, anuyoga is also a category of texts in the RNYING MA’I RGYUD ’BUM, divided under the following headings: the four root sūtras (rtsa ba’i mdo bzhi), the six tantras clarifying the six limits (mtha’ drug gsal bar byed pa’i rgyud drug), the twelve rare tantras (dkon rgyud bcu gnyis), and the seventy written scriptures (lung gi yi ge bdun bcu).
anvayajñāna. (S). See DHARMAKṢĀNTI.
Anxi guo. (J. Ansoku koku; K. Ansik kuk 安息國). Chinese transcription of the Parthian proper name Aršak, referring to the Arsacid kingdom (c. 250 BCE–224 CE) in the region Roman geographers called PARTHIA. Aršak was the name adopted by all Parthian rulers, and the Chinese employed it to refer to the lands that those rulers controlled to the southeast of the Caspian Sea. In the Marv oasis, where the old Parthian city of Margiana was located, Soviet archeologists discovered the vestiges of a Buddhist monastic complex that has been dated to the third quarter of the fourth century CE, as well as birch-bark manuscripts written in the BRĀHMĪ script that are associated with the SARVĀSTIVĀDA school of mainstream Buddhism. There is therefore archaeological evidence of at least a semblance of Buddhist presence in the area during the fourth through sixth centuries. Parthian Buddhists who were active in China enable us to push this dating back at least two more centuries, for two of the important early figures in the transmission of Buddhist texts into China also hailed from Parthia: AN SHIGAO (fl. c. 148–180 CE), a prolific translator of mainstream Buddhist works, and An Xuan (fl. c. 168–189), who translated the UGRAPARIPṚCCHĀ with the assistance of the Chinese Yan Fotiao. (The AN in their names is an ethnikon referring to Parthia.) There is, however, no extant Buddhist literature written in the Parthian language and indeed little evidence that written Parthian was ever used in other than government documents and financial records until the third century CE, when Manichaean texts written in Parthian begin to appear.
anxin. (J. anjin; K. ansim 安心). In Chinese, “pacification of mind” or “peace of mind.” Used generally to refer to an enlightened state of mind, anxin is used specifically in the Chan school (CHAN ZONG) in the more active sense of focusing one’s attention in “wall contemplation” (BIGUAN) and thereby calming or “pacifying” the mind. According to the ERRU SIXING LUN attributed to the founder of Chan, BODHIDHARMA, the result of such cultivation is said to be an immovable state of mind. In the PURE LAND traditions, the “pacification of mind” refers to the firm establishment of a sense of faith in the teachings of the buddhas and the patriarchs (ZUSHI).
Anyang jie. (J. Annyōkai; K. Anyang kye 安養界). In Chinese, the “realm of peace and nurturance”; also known as the Anyang jingtu, or “pure land of peace and nurturance.” One of the many names in Chinese for SUKHĀVATĪ (“land of bliss”), the purified buddha-field (BUDDHAKṢETRA) of AMITĀBHA Buddha. Sukhāvatī is, however, more commonly translated as JILE (“ultimate bliss”).
Anzhai shenzhou jing. (J. Antaku jinshukyō; K. Ant’aek sinju kyŏng 安宅神呪經). In Chinese, the “Spirit-Spell Scripture for Pacifying Homes”; together with the Anzhai tuolunizhou jing (“DHĀRAṆĪ-Spell Scripture for Pacifying Homes”), both SŪTRAs detail the ritual known as anzhai zhai (“feast for pacifying homes”). According to this scripture, a merchant’s sons were anguished by the unending travails that befell their household and asked the Buddha for help. The Buddha went to the merchant’s house, reprimanded the spirits who were supposed to be protecting the home (anzhai jingshen), and expounded the means of preparing the feast for pacifying homes. This ritual, which had to be supervised by a BHIKṢU, entailed burning incense, lighting lamps, and chanting the Anzhai shenzhou jing. The scripture is claimed to have been translated during the Eastern Han dynasty (25–220 CE) by an unidentified translator, but no Indian or Tibetan recension is known, and it is suspected to be an indigenous Chinese composition (see APOCRYPHA).
Apabhraṃśa. In Sanskrit, literally “corrupt,” or “ungrammatical”; a term used in ancient Sanskrit works to refer to the dialects of northern India. The term is used with reference to a number of north Indian languages, including Bengali, between the sixth and thirteenth centuries CE. A number of important tantric texts, such as the CARYĀGĪTIKOṢA, were composed in Apabhraṃśa.
Apadāna. In Pāli, “Heroic Tales” or “Narratives” (cf. S. AVADĀNA); the thirteenth book of the KHUDDAKANIKĀYA of the Pāli SUTTAPIṬAKA, this collection includes hagiographies of 547 monks and forty nuns, all arahant (S. ARHAT) disciples who lived during the lifetime of the Buddha. The text also contains two introductory chapters in verse. The first, the “Buddhāpadāna,” is a series of encomiums praising the merits and perfections (P. pāramī; S. PĀRAMITĀ) of the Buddha and an account of the past lives during which he mastered these qualities. The second chapter, the “Paccekabuddhāpadāna,” deals with solitary buddhas who do not teach (paccekabuddha; S. PRATYEKABUDDHA). Quite distinctively, the Apadāna names thirty-five buddhas of antiquity, in contrast to the twenty-four listed in the BUDDHAVAṂSA; this is one of the reasons that the Apadāna is presumed to be one of the latest books in the Pāli canon. The third and fourth chapters offer accounts of the noble deeds of the senior disciples, including many of the most famous names in Buddhist history. Each story focuses on a specific meritorious action performed by one of these elders while they trained under a buddha in a previous lifetime, followed by an account of what wholesome result that action produced in subsequent lifetimes, and how this ultimately led them to achieve arahantship in the present life. The collection thus highlights the merit that results from perfecting specific types of moral actions.
aparagodānīya. (S). See GODĀNĪYA.
Aparamitāyurnāmamahāyānasūtra. (S). See AMITĀBHASŪTRA.
Aparānta. [alt. Aparāntaka]. A territory in western India traversing modern Rajasthan and Gujarat along the Narmada River; according to the Pāli tradition, it was one of the nine regions to which Buddhist missions were dispatched during the reign of King AŚOKA. After the completion of the third Buddhist council (see COUNCIL, THIRD) in the third century BCE, the elder MOGGALIPUTTATISSA dispatched the elder Yonaka Dhammarakkhita from Pāṭaliputta (S. PĀṬALIPUTRA) to Aparānta to promote Buddhism. Burmese and Thai chroniclers, by contrast, variously identify Aparānta with Chiangmai, AYUTHAYA, and the Irrawaddy river basin in Middle Burma. The third Buddhist council at Pāṭaliputta and the nine Buddhist missions are known only in Pāli sources and are first recorded in the fifth-century DĪPAVAṂSA.
āpas. (P. āpo; T. chu; C. shuida; J. suidai; K. sudae 水大). In Sanskrit, lit. “water,” viz., the property of “cohesion”; also seen written as āpodhātu. One of the four “great elements” (MAHĀBHŪTA) or “major elementary qualities” of which the physical world of materiality (RŪPA) is composed, along with earth (viz., solidity; PṚTHIVĪ, P. paṭhavī), wind (viz., motion, movement, or oscillation; VĀYU, P. vāyu/vāyo), and fire (viz., temperature, warmth; TEJAS, P. tejo). “Water” is defined as that which is moist and fluid and refers to the principle of liquidity; it also is the agent that binds the other elements together. Since water can convey things, such as ships (viz., earth), has relative temperature (viz., fire), and is capable of motion (viz., wind), the existence of all the other three elements may also be inferred even in that single element. In the physical body, this water element is associated with blood, tears, urine, sweat, phlegm, and so on.
apatrāpya. (P. ottappa; T. khrel yod pa; C. kui; J. gi, K. koe 愧). In Sanskrit, “modesty” or “blame”; one of the fundamental mental concomitants thought to accompany all wholesome actions (KUŚALA) and therefore listed as the sixth of the ten “wholesome factors of wide extent” (KUŚALAMAHĀBHŪMIKA) in the SARVĀSTIVĀDA ABHIDHARMA and one of the twenty-five wholesome (P. kusala) mental concomitants (CETASIKA) in the Pāli ABHIDHAMMA. It refers to a fear of blame or condemnation that prevents one from engaging in nonvirtuous deeds. “Modesty” is often seen in compound with the term “shame” or “decency” (HRĪ), where hrī refers to the sense of shame or the pangs of moral conscience that one feels oneself at the prospect of engaging in an immoral act, whereas apatrāpya refers to the fear of being blamed or embarrassed by others for engaging in such acts. This dual sense of “shame and blame” was thought to be foundational to progress in morality (ŚĪLA).
apavāda. (T. skur ’debs; C. sunjian; J. songen; K. son’gam 損減). In Sanskrit, “denigration” or “slander”; denying the presence of positive qualities and falsely ascribing negative qualities. Philosophically, the term is used to describe the underestimation or denigration of the status of phenomena, by claiming, for example, that phenomena do not exist conventionally. Wrong views (MITHYĀDṚṢṬI) themselves are considered to be the “denigration” of that which really exists, such as the truth of suffering (DUḤKHA); other specific sorts of wrong views may also be the “erroneous affirmation” or “superimposition” (SAMĀROPA) of things that actually do not exist in reality. Four types of apavāda are mentioned in the ABHIDHARMAMAHĀVIBHĀṢĀ: denigration of (1) cause, which is countered by understanding the noble truth of origination; (2) effect, which is countered by the noble truth of suffering; (3) the path, which is countered by the noble truth of the path; and (4) cessation, which is countered by the noble truth of cessation.
apāya. (T. ngan song; C. equ; J. akushu; K. akch’wi 惡趣). In Sanskrit and Pāli, lit. “falling away,” or “misfortune,” viz., “baleful destinies,” and synonymous with the unfortunate destinies (DURGATI); refers to an unsalutary rebirth that occurs as a consequence of performing unwholesome actions (S. AKUŚALA; P. akusala). Three such unfortunate rebirth destinies (GATI) are typically enumerated in the literature: rebirth as (1) a denizen of the hells (S. NĀRAKA; P. nirāya); (2) an animal (S. TIRYAK, P. tiracchāna); or (3) a ghost (S. PRETA; P. peta); birth as a demigod or titan (ASURA) is sometimes added as a fourth. Unwholesome actions that lead to unfortunate rebirth are classified into ten types of wrong deeds (S. duṣcarita; P. duccarita), which include (1) intentionally killing living beings (S. prāṇātipāta; P. pāṇātipāta); (2) stealing (S. adattādāna; P. adinnādāna); and (3) sexual misconduct (S. KĀMAMITHYĀCĀRA; P. kāmamicchācāra). The next four in the list are classified as verbal wrong deeds and include (4) lying (S. mṛṣāvāda; P. musāvāda); (5) malicious speech (S. PAIŚUNYA; P. pisuṇavācā); (6) harsh speech (S. PĀRAṢYAVĀDA; P. pharusavācā); and (7) frivolous prattle (S. sampralāpa; P. samphappalāpa). The final three of the list are classified as mental wrong deeds and include (8) covetousness (S. ABHIDHYĀ; P. abhijjhā); (9) malice (S. VYĀPĀDA; P. vyāpāda); and (10) wrong views (S. MITHYĀDṚṢṬI; P. micchādiṭṭhi). Other sūtra literature, such as the SĀMAÑÑAPHALASUTTA, attribute rebirth in this state to reviling the noble ones (ĀRYA), keeping wrong views, and performing unwholesome acts as a result of those wrong views. See also BHAVACAKRA.
apocrypha. (C. yijing/weijing; J. gikyō/gikyō; K. ŭigyŏng/wigyŏng 疑經/僞經). Buddhist scholars have appropriated (though not without some controversy) the Judeo-Christian religious term “apocrypha” to refer to indigenous sūtras composed outside the Indian cultural sphere, but on the model of translated Indian or Serindian scriptures. Such scriptures were sometimes composed in conjunction with a revelatory experience, but many were intentionally forged using their false ascription to the Buddha or other enlightened figures as a literary device to enhance both their authority and their prospects of being accepted as authentic scriptures. Many of the literary genres that characterize Judeo-Christian apocrypha are found also in Buddhist apocrypha, including the historical, didactic, devotional, and apocalyptic. Both were also often composed in milieus of social upheaval or messianic revivalism. As Buddhism moved outside of its Indian homeland, its scriptures had to be translated into various foreign languages, creating openings for indigenous scriptures to be composed in imitation of these translated texts. Ferreting out such inauthentic indigenous scripture from authentic imported scripture occupied Buddhist bibliographical cataloguers (see JINGLU), who were charged with confirming the authenticity of the Buddhist textual transmission. For the Chinese, the main criterion governing scriptural authenticity was clear evidence that the text had been brought from the “Outer Regions” (C. waiyu), meaning India or Central Asia; this concern with authenticating a text partially accounts for why Chinese translations of Buddhist scriptures typically included a colophon immediately following the title, giving the name of the translator (who was also sometimes the importer of the scripture), along with the place where, and often the imperial reign era during which the translation was made. Scriptures for which there was no such proof were in danger of being labeled as texts of “suspect” or “suspicious” authenticity (yijing) or condemned as blatantly “spurious” or “counterfeit” scriptures (weijing). The presence of indigenous cultural elements, such as yin-yang cosmology, local spirits, or rituals and liturgies associated with folk religion could also be enough to condemn a scripture as “spurious.” In Tibet, “treasure texts” (GTER MA) were scriptures or esoteric teachings attributed to enlightened beings or lineage holders that purported to have been buried or hidden away until they could be rediscovered by qualified individuals. Because of their association with a revelatory experience, such “treasure texts” carried authority similar to that of translated scripture. Different classifications of apocryphal scriptures have been proposed, based on genre and style, social history, and doctrinal filiations. In one of the ironies of the Buddhist textual transmission, however, many of the scriptures most influential in East Asian Buddhism have been discovered to be indigenous “apocrypha,” not translated scriptures. Such indigenous scriptures were able to appeal to a native audience in ways that translated Indian materials could not, and the sustained popularity of many such “suspect” texts eventually led cataloguers to include them in the canon, despite continuing qualms about their authenticity. Such “canonical apocrypha” include such seminal scriptures as the FANWANG JING (“Brahmā’s Net Sūtra”), RENWANG JING (“Humane Kings Sūtra”), and the YUANJUE JING (“Perfect Enlightenment Sūtra”), as well as treatises like the DASHENG QIXIN LUN (“Awakening of Faith”). Similar questions of authenticity can be raised regarding scriptures of Indian provenance, since it is virtually impossible to trace with certainty which of the teachings ascribed to the Buddha in mainstream canonical collections (TRIPIṬAKA) such as the Pāli canon can be historically attributed to him. Similarly, the MAHĀYĀNA sūtras, which are also attributed to the Buddha even though they were composed centuries after his death, are considered apocryphal by many of the MAINSTREAM BUDDHIST SCHOOLS, including the modern THERAVĀDA tradition; however, modern scholars do not use the term “Buddhist apocrypha” to describe Mahāyāna texts.
apoha. (T. gzhan sel; C. chu; J. jo; K. che 除). In Sanskrit, “exclusion”; a technical term in later Indian Buddhist philosophy of language and epistemology, which describes comprehension through the negative process of exclusion: i.e., only by excluding everything that is other than the target concept will the significance of that concept be comprehended. Buddhist apoha theory therefore posits that concepts convey meaning only to the extent that they “exclude” other meanings: e.g., the concept “chair” is understood only by the mental consciousness excluding everything else that is “not chair.” Concepts thus do not denote the actual objects that they purport to reference but instead denote the mere “exclusion” of everything else that is not relevant. See also VYATIREKA.
appanāsamādhi. In Pāli, “absorptive concentration”; the more advanced of the two broad types of concentration (SAMĀDHI) discussed in Pāli commentarial literature. Both of these two types of samādhi are used with reference to meditators who are specializing in calmness (samatha; S. ŚAMATHA) techniques. The preliminary “threshold concentration” (UPACĀRASAMĀDHI) helps to calm and focus the mind but is too discursive to lead to full meditative absorption (JHĀNA; S. DHYĀNA). In order to develop jhāna, meditators must proceed to cultivate less discursive topics of meditation (KAMMAṬṬHĀNA) that will lead to “absorptive concentration” and thence jhāna: e.g., mindfulness of breathing (ānāpānasati, S. ĀNĀPĀNASMṚTI); the four “divine abidings” (BRAHMAVIHĀRA; [alt. P. appamañña], S. APRAMĀṆA), namely, loving-kindness (P. mettā; S. MAITRĪ), compassion (KARUṆĀ), altruistic or empathetic joy (MUDITĀ), and equanimity or impartiality (P. upekkhā; S. UPEKṢĀ); and the ten “visual devices” (KASIṆA)—devices that are constructed from the elements earth, water, fire, and air; the colors blue, yellow, red, and white; and light and space. See also KHANIKASAMĀDHI.
apramāda. (P. appamāda; T. bag yod pa; C. bufangyi; J. fuhōitsu; K. pulbangil 不放逸). In Sanskrit, “heedfulness” or “vigilance”; one of the forty-six mental concomitants (CAITTA) according to the SARVĀSTIVĀDA-VAIBHĀṢIKA school of ABHIDHARMA and one of the fifty-one according to the YOGACĀRA school. Heedfulness is the opposite of “heedlessness” (PRAMĀDA) and is the vigilant attitude that strives toward virtuous activities and remains ever watchful of moral missteps. Heedfulness fosters steadfastness regarding spiritual and ethical matters; it was presumed to be so foundational to any kind of ethical or wholesome behavior that the Sarvāstivāda abhidharma system included it among the predominant wholesome factors of wide extent (KUŚALAMAHĀBHŪMIKA). Heedfulness is also an integral part of the path of cultivation (BHĀVANĀMĀRGA), where certain types of proclivities (ANUŚAYA)—such as passion for sensual pleasure (RĀGA)—can only be removed by consistent and vigilant training, rather than simply through correct insight, as on the path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA). Heedfulness was so crucial to spiritual progress that the Buddha recommended it in his last words delivered on his deathbed, as related in the Pāli MAHĀPARINIBBĀNASUTTANTA: “Indeed, monks, I declare to you: decay is inherent in all compounded things; strive on with vigilance.” (Handa ’dāni bhikkhave āmantayāmi vo: vayadhammā saṅkhārā; appamādena sampādetha.)
apramāṇa. (P. appammaññā; T. tshad med pa; C. wuliangxin; J. muryōshin; K. muryangsim 無量心). In Sanskrit, “the boundless states,” “unlimiteds,” or “limitless qualities.” This list is identical to the four “divine abidings” (BRAHMAVIHĀRA) of loving-kindness (MAITRĪ), compassion (KARUṆĀ), empathetic joy (MUDITĀ), and equanimity or impartiality (UPEKṢĀ). When taken as objects of concentration and extended in meditation to all beings without limit, the divine abidings then become “boundless states” (apramāṇa). The meditator is taught to take up each of the boundless states in the same way: starting with the first apramāṇa, for example, filling his mind with loving-kindness, he pervades the world with it, first in one direction, then in a second direction, then a third and a fourth, then above, below, and all around, identifying himself with all beings and remaining free from hatred and ill will. In the same way, he takes up compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. These four factors are taken up as objects of meditation to counter the influence of specific unwholesome states of mind: viz., loving-kindness counteracts hostility (VYĀPĀDA); compassion counters harmfulness (VIHIṂSĀ); empathetic joy counters dissatisfaction or envy regarding others’ achievements (arati); and equanimity counters both the desire and hostility arising from sensuality (KĀMARĀGA-VYĀPĀDA) and the desire to win the approval of others (anunaya). Of these boundless states, the first three are capable of producing the first three of the four DHYĀNAs, or meditative absorptions; the fourth divine abiding is the only one capable of producing the fourth meditative absorption.
apramāṇābha. (P. appamāṇābha; T. tshad med ’od; C. wuliangguang tian; J. muryōkōten; K. muryanggwang ch’ŏn 無量光天). In Sanskrit, “immeasurable radiance”; the second of the three heavens of the second meditative absorption (DHYĀNA) of the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPADHĀTU). The divinities of this heaven are so-called because their bodies emanate limitless light. As with all the heavens of the realm of subtle materiality, one is reborn as a divinity in this realm through achieving the same level of concentration (dhyāna) as the gods of that heaven during one’s practice of meditation in a previous lifetime.
apramāṇaśubha. (P. appamāṇasubha; T. tshad med dge; C. wuliangjing tian; J. muryōjōten; K. muryangjŏng ch’ŏn 無量淨天). In Sanskrit, “immeasurable purity”; the second of the three heavens of the third meditative absorption (DHYĀNA) of the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPADHĀTU).
apraṇihita. (P. appaṇihita; T. smon pa med pa; C. wuyuan; J. mugan; K. muwŏn 無願). In Sanskrit, “wishless”; apraṇihita is one of the three “gates to deliverance” (VIMOKṢAMUKHA), along with emptiness (ŚŪNYATĀ) and signlessness (ĀNIMITTA). Once signlessness has exposed the dangers (ĀDĪNAVA) inherent in sensory perception, the meditator loses all desire for the compounded (SAṂSKṚTA) things of this world and adverts instead toward the uncompounded (ASAṂSKṚTA), which is NIRVĀṆA. The wishless is produced through insight into suffering (DUḤKHA) and serves as the counteragent (PRATIPAKṢA) to all the intentions (āśaya) and aspirations (PRAṆIDHĀNA) one has toward any compounded dharma. Once the meditator has abandoned all such aspirations, he or she is then able to advert toward nirvāṇa, which has no relation to anything that can be desired (VAIRĀGYA). This leads to the seeming conundrum of Buddhist soteriology, viz., that nirvāṇa can only be attained once the meditator no longer has any desire for anything, including nirvāṇa itself. The SARVĀSTIVĀDA and YOGĀCĀRA schools sought to resolve this conundrum about nirvāṇa being uncaused by positing that nirvāṇa was a specific type of effect, the VISAṂYOGAPHALA, or “disconnection fruition,” which was disconnected from the afflictions (KLEŚA).
aprāpti. (T. ’thob pa med pa; C. feide; J. hitoku; K. pidŭk 非得). In Sanskrit, “dispossession” or “nonacquisition”; the second of the fourteen “conditioned forces dissociated from thought” (CITTAVIPRAYUKTASAṂSKĀRA) listed in the SARVĀSTIVĀDA–VAIBHĀṢIKA ABHIDHARMA and in the YOGĀCĀRA system. It is the opposite of the dissociated force of “possession” (PRĀPTI), which serves as a kind of glue that causes the various independent constituents of reality (DHARMA) to stick together into apparently permanent constructs. Aprāpti is the absence of such possession: when, for example, the afflictions (KLEŚA) are eliminated through the experience of sanctity, there is a “dispossession” between the afflictions and the mental continuum (SAṂTĀNA) of that sage to whom they were previously attached. Similarly, the state of an ordinary person (PṚTHAGJANA) involves the “dispossession” of the noble (ĀRYA) dharmas.
apratisaṃkhyānirodha. (T. so sor brtags min gyi ’gog pa; C. feizemie; J. hichakumetsu; K. pit’aekmyŏl 非擇滅). In Sanskrit, “nonanalytical suppression” or “nonanalytical cessation,” one of the uncompounded factors (ASAṂSKṚTADHARMA) listed by both the VAIBHĀṢIKA-SARVĀSTIVĀDA and the YOGĀCĀRA schools. In the Vaibhāṣika dharma theory, where all factors were presumed to exist in all three time periods (TRIKĀLA) of past, present, and future, this dharma was posited to suppress the production of all other dharmas, ensuring that they remain ever positioned in future mode and never again able to arise in the present. Whenever any specific factor is unproduced, this is due to its position in the present mode being occupied by the nonanalytical suppression; thus the number of apratisaṃkhyānirodha is coextensive with the number of factors. Because this dharma is not produced, not an object of knowledge, and not a result of insight, it is considered to be “nonanalytical.” Other schools, such as the SAUTRĀNTIKA, presume that this factor has only nominal validity and refers to dharmas when they are in their unproduced state. The term also refers to states of temporary absence or cessation that do not occur as the result of meditative practice, such as the cessation of hunger after eating a meal. See also PRATISAṂKHYĀNIRODHA.
apratiṣṭhitanirvāṇa. (T. mi gnas pa’i mya ngan las ’das pa; C. wuzhu niepan; J. mujūnehan; K. muju yŏlban 無住涅槃). In Sanskrit, “unlocated nirvāṇa” or “nirvāṇa that is not permanently fixed”; the MAHĀYĀNA description of the NIRVĀṆA of the buddhas, which is “not permanently fixed” at either the extreme of the SAṂSĀRA of ordinary beings (PṚTHAGJANA) or what is presented as the overly quietistic nirvāṇa of the ARHAT. Since the buddhas’ nirvāṇa is “unlocated,” the buddhas are free to return to this world in order to save all sentient beings from suffering, without becoming in any way entangled by the prospect of rebirth, and without having passed completely away into the nirvāṇa of the arhat. Nirvāṇa as it is experienced by the buddhas, who have eradicated both the afflictive obstructions (KLEŚĀVARAṆA) and obstructions to omniscience (JÑEYĀVARAṆA), is therefore qualitatively different from that of the arhats, who have eradicated only the former.
apsaras. (P. accharā; T. chu skyes mo; C. tiannÜ; J. tennyo; K. ch’ŏnnyŏ 天女). In Sanskrit, “celestial nymph” (lit. “between the vapors [of the clouds]”); female divinities who dwell in the sky but have the capacity to visit the earth at will and thus occupy a liminal state between the celestial and the terrestrial worlds; they are eventually incorporated into Buddhist cosmology as one of several different types of nonhuman beings who dwell in the sensuous realm (KĀMADHĀTU). According to Indian mythology, they are married to the “celestial musicians” (GANDHARVA). The apsaras occupy an ambivalent position in Buddhist cosmology, since they are sometimes depicted as the debauched seductresses of Buddhist ascetics, at other times as the heavenly reward of leading a spiritual life. In Buddhist art, the apsaras are typically depicted as aerial beings fluttering above Buddhist deities or saints.
Ārāḍa Kālāma. (P. Āḷāra Kālāma; T. Sgyu rtsal shes kyi bu ring du ’phur; C. Aluoluojialan; J. Ararakaran; K. Araragaran 阿羅邏迦蘭). The Sanskrit name of one of the Buddha’s two teachers of meditation (the other being UDRAKA RĀMAPUTRA) prior to his enlightenment. He was known as a meditation master who once sat in deep concentration without noticing that five hundred carts had passed by. He explained to GAUTAMA that the goal of his system was the attainment of the “state of nothing whatsoever” (ĀKIÑCANYĀYATANA), which the BODHISATTVA quickly attained. Ārāḍa Kālāma then regarded the bodhisattva as his equal. However, Gautama eventually recognized that this state was not NIRVĀṆA and left to begin the practice of austerities. Upon his eventual achievement of buddhahood, Gautama surveyed the world to identify the most worthy recipient of his first sermon. He thought first of Ārāḍa Kālāma but determined that he had unfortunately died just seven days earlier.
arahant. (S. arhat). In Pāli, “worthy one”; the highest of the four grades of Buddhist saint or “noble person” (ariyapuggala) recognized in the mainstream Buddhist schools. For a full description see ARHAT; LUOHAN.
Arakan Buddha. A colossal buddha image that is one of the most sacred images in Arakan, a coastal kingdom along the west coast of what eventually became the country of Burma after the Burmese conquest of the region in the eighteenth century; also known as the MAHĀMUNI Buddha or the Candasāra Buddha. This twelve-foot, seven-inch, tall bronze image of the Buddha as Mahāmuni (“Great Sage”) is claimed by tradition to have been cast in 197 CE, during the reign of the Arakan king Candrasurya, and is assumed to be an exact replica of the Buddha himself, which was made at the time of his putative visit to the Arakan kingdom. The image is cast in the “earth-touching gesture” (BHŪMISPARŚAMUDRĀ) and is now enshrined in the Arakan pagoda (Mahāmuni Paya), located near the old capital of AMARAPURA on the outskirts of the city of Mandalay, which was constructed to house it. The image was coveted by several of Arakan’s neighboring kingdoms, including Prome, Pagan, Pegu, and the Shan, but was eventually carried off to Mandalay by the Burmese as war booty in 1784 when King Bodawpaya finally conquered the kingdom. Since its relocation to the shrine, the seated image has been covered by worshippers with so many layers of gold leaf that its torso is now totally obscured, leaving only the head and face fully visible. The image is embellished with a pointed crown and earrings made in 1884 in the JAMBUPATI style, with a royal insignia across its chest; the Buddha is also draped in shawls by the temple vergers every night to ward off the evening chill.
ārāma. (T. kun dga’ ra ba; C. yuan; J. on; K. wŏn 園). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “park” or “pleasure grove”; a term that originally referred to a garden, a favorite site for the teaching or practice of the dharma. The term came to mean an enclosed area, often in or near a city, which contained permanent dwellings for the use of monks during the annual rains retreat (VARṢĀ). The dwellings were built and maintained by a donor (DĀNAPATI), who offered them to the SAṂGHA for its use. An ārāma donated as property to the saṃgha was called a saṃghārāma and is considered to be the forerunner of the monastery, or VIHĀRA. These residences were often named after their donors, e.g., the JETAVANA-ārāma in ŚRĀVASTĪ, named after Prince JETA.
araññavāsi. In Pāli, “forest-dweller”; in the Pāli Buddhist tradition, a monk who is principally dedicated to meditative training (VIPASSANĀDHURA); contrasted with “town-dweller” (GĀMAVĀSI), who lives in a village or town monastery and whose monastic vocation focuses on doctrinal study and teaching, or “book work” (GANTHADHURA). In Sri Lankan Buddhism, the emphases within the Buddhist order on both meditation and study led to the evolution over time of these two major practice vocations. The araññavāsi remained in solitude in the forest to focus principally on their meditative practice. The gāmavāsi, by contrast, were involved in studying and teaching the dhamma, especially within the lay community of the village, and thus helped to disseminate Buddhism among the people. The araññavāsi were not necessarily hermits, but they did live a more secluded life than the gāmavāsi, devoting most of their time to meditation (either individually or in smaller groups) and keeping their contact with the laity to a minimum. According to the VINAYA, a monk cannot remain constantly alone in the forest by himself; at a minimum, he must join together with the saṅgha at least once a fortnight to participate in the uposatha (S. UPOṢADHA) rite, when the monks gather to confess any transgressions of the precepts and to listen to a recitation of the rules of discipline (P. pāṭimokkha; S. PRĀTIMOKṢA). These two vocations have a long history and have continued within the saṅgha into modern times. In a sense, the Buddha himself was an araññavāsi for six years before he attained enlightenment; subsequently, he then passed much of his time as a gāmavāsi, teaching people the dharma and encouraging them to practice to bring an end to their suffering. See also PHRA PA; THUDONG.
araṇya. (P. arañña; T. dgon pa; C. [a]lanruo; J. [a]rannya; K. [a]ranya [阿]蘭若). In Sanskrit, “forest” or “wilderness”; the ideal atmosphere for practice, and one of the various terms used to designate the residences of monks. The solitude and contentment fostered by forest dwelling was thought to provide a better environment for meditation (BHĀVANĀ) than the bustle and material comforts of city monasteries, and there is some evidence in mainstream Buddhist materials of discord between monks who followed the two different ways of life. Forest dwelling was frequently championed by the Buddha, and living at the root of a tree was one of the thirteen specific ascetic practices (S. DHŪTAGUṆA, P. DHUTAṄGA) authorized by the Buddha. Forest dwelling is also used as a metaphor for the renunciation and nonattachment that monks were taught to emulate. Forest dwellers are called araṇyaka (P. araññaka or āraññaka). See also ARAÑÑAVĀSI; PHRA PA.
arapacana. (T. a ra pa dza na). The arapacana is a syllabary of Indic or Central Asian origin typically consisting of forty-two or forty-three letters, named after its five initial constituents a, ra, pa, ca, and na. The syllabary appears in many works of the MAHĀYĀNA tradition, including the PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ, GAṆḌAVYŪHA, LALITAVISTARA, and AVATAṂSAKA SŪTRAs, as well as in texts of the DHARMAGUPTAKA VINAYA (SIFEN LÜ) and MŪLASARVĀSTIVĀDA VINAYA. It occurs in both original Sanskrit works and Chinese and Tibetan translations. In most cases, each syllable in the list is presumed to correspond to a key doctrinal term beginning with, or containing, that syllable. A, for example, is associated with the concept of ANUTPĀDA (nonarising), ra with rajo’pagata (free from impurity), and so forth. Recitation of the syllabary, therefore, functioned as a mystical representation of, or mnemonic device (DHĀRAṆĪ) for recalling, important Mahāyāna doctrinal concepts, somewhat akin to the MĀTṚKĀ lists of the ABHIDHARMA. Other interpretations posit that the syllables themselves are the primal sources whence the corresponding terms later developed. The syllabary includes: a, ra, pa, ca, na, la, da, ba, ḍa, ṣa, va, ta, ya, ṣṭa, ka, sa, ma, ga, stha, tha, ja, śva, dha, śa, kha, kṣa, sta, jña, rta, ha, bha, cha, sma, hva, tsa, gha, ṭha, ṇa, pha, ska, ysa, śca, ṭa, ḍha. The arapacana also constitutes the central part of the root MANTRA of the BODHISATTVA MAÑJUŚRĪ; its short form is oṃ a ra pa ca na dhi. It is therefore also considered to be an alternate name for Mañjuśrī.
Arbuda. (S). One of the twenty-four sacred sites associated with the CAKRASAṂVARATANTRA. See PĪṬHA.
arciṣmatī. (T. ’od ’phro ba; C. yanhui di; J. enneji; K. yŏmhye chi 焔慧地). In Sanskrit, “radiance” or “effulgence”; the fourth of the ten BODHISATTVA grounds or stages (BHŪMI) according to the DAŚABHŪMIKASŪTRA. At this stage, the bodhisattva masters the thirty-seven wings of enlightenment (BODHIPĀKṢIKADHARMA), whose radiance becomes so intense that it incinerates all the obstructions and afflictions. The bodhisattva thus develops inexhaustible energy for his quest for enlightenment; this bhūmi is therefore often correlated with mastery of the fourth perfection (PĀRAMITĀ), the perfection of vigor or energy (VĪRYAPĀRAMITĀ). The fourth-stage bodhisattva also shows special devotion to the fourth means of conversion (SAṂGRAHAVASTU), that of the common good, or consistency between words and deeds (SAMĀNĀRTHATĀ).
ardhapadmāsana. (T. pad ma’i skyil krung phyed pa; C. ban lianhuazuo; J. hanrengeza; K. pan yŏnhwajwa 半蓮華坐). In Sanskrit, “half-lotus posture” a position in which only one leg is crossed completely over the top of the opposite thigh, the other leg being simply folded underneath. (In full-lotus posture, both legs would be crossed completely over the opposite thigh.) See also PADMĀSANA; ARDHAPARYAṄKA.
ardhaparyaṅka. (T. skyil krung phyed pa; C. ban jiafuzuo; J. hankafuza; K. pan kabujwa 半跏趺坐). In Sanskrit, the “half cross-legged” posture (ĀSANA). This particular posture may be formed in a number of ways. As a seated pose, either foot rests on the opposite thigh with the remaining leg bent forward. Alternatively, both shins may be loosely crossed at the ankles while resting or crouching on the seat. As a standing pose, it may form a dancing posture sometimes described as NṚTYĀSANA. Some standing Japanese images described as being in ardhaparyaṅka may show a raised foot lifted straight up off the ground, as if about to stomp down. See also VAJRAPARYAṄKA; ARDHAPADMĀSANA.
arhat. (P. arahant; T. dgra bcom pa; C. aluohan/yinggong; J. arakan/ōgu; K. arahan/ŭnggong 阿羅漢/應供). In Sanskrit, “worthy one”; one who has destroyed the afflictions (KLEŚA) and all causes for future REBIRTH and who thus will enter NIRVĀṆA at death; the standard Tibetan translation dgra bcom pa (drachompa) (“foe-destroyer”) is based on the paronomastic gloss ari (“enemy”) and han (“to destroy”). The arhat is the highest of the four grades of Buddhist saint or “noble person” (ĀRYAPUDGALA) recognized in the mainstream Buddhist schools; the others are, in ascending order, the SROTAĀPANNA or “stream-enterer” (the first and lowest grade), the SAKṚDĀGĀMIN or “once-returner” (the second grade), and the ANĀGĀMIN or “nonreturner” (the third and penultimate grade). The arhat is one who has completely put aside all ten fetters (SAṂYOJANA) that bind one to the cycle of rebirth: namely, (1) belief in the existence of a perduring self (SATKĀYADṚṢṬI); (2) skeptical doubt (about the efficacy of the path) (VICIKITSĀ); (3) belief in the efficacy of rites and rituals (ŚĪLAVRATAPARĀMARŚA); (4) sensual craving (KĀMARĀGA); (5) malice (VYĀPĀDA); (6) craving for existence as a divinity (DEVA) in the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPARĀGA); (7) craving for existence as a divinity in the immaterial realm (ĀRŪPYARĀGA); (8) pride (MĀNA); (9) restlessness (AUDDHATYA); and (10) ignorance (AVIDYĀ). Also described as one who has achieved the extinction of the contaminants (ĀSRAVAKṢAYA), the arhat is one who has attained nirvāṇa in this life, and at death attains final liberation (PARINIRVĀṆA) and will never again be subject to rebirth. Although the arhat is regarded as the ideal spiritual type in the mainstream Buddhist traditions, where the Buddha is also described as an arhat, in the MAHĀYĀNA the attainment of an arhat pales before the far-superior achievements of a buddha. Although arhats also achieve enlightenment (BODHI), the Mahāyāna tradition presumes that they have overcome only the first of the two kinds of obstructions, the afflictive obstructions (KLEŚĀVARAṆA), but are still subject to the noetic obstructions (JÑEYĀVARAṆA); only the buddhas have completely overcome both and thus realize complete, perfect enlightenment (ANUTTARASAMYAKSAṂBODHI). Certain arhats were selected by the Buddha to remain in the world until the coming of MAITREYA. These arhats (called LUOHAN in Chinese, a transcription of arhat), who typically numbered sixteen (see ṢOḌAŚASTHAVIRA), were objects of specific devotion in East Asian Buddhism, and East Asian monasteries will often contain a separate shrine to these luohans. Although in the Mahāyāna sūtras, the bodhisattva is extolled over the arhats, arhats figure prominently in these texts, very often as members of the assembly for the Buddha’s discourse and sometimes as key figures. For example, in the SADDHARMAPUṆḌARĪKASŪTRA (“Lotus Sūtra”), ŚĀRIPUTRA is one of the Buddha’s chief interlocutors and, with other arhats, receives a prophecy of his future buddhahood; in the VAJRACCHEDIKĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀSŪTRA, SUBHŪTI is the Buddha’s chief interlocutor; and in the VIMALAKĪRTINIRDEŚA, Śāriputra is made to play the fool in a conversation with a goddess.
arhatpratipannaka. (P. arahattamagga; T. dgra bcom zhugs pa; C. aluohan xiang; J. arakankō; K. arahan hyang 阿羅漢向). In Sanskrit, “candidate for worthy one”; one of the VIṂŚATIPRABHEDASAṂGHA (“twenty varieties of the ārya saṃgha”) based on the list given in the ABHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRA. The arhatpratipannaka is usually an ANĀGĀMIPHALASTHA (one who has reached, or is the recipient of the fruit of nonreturner) who is making an effort to eliminate any fault that could cause rebirth in SAṂSĀRA, including the very last, ninth fetter to the BHAVĀGRA (summit of existence) that only the supramundane (LOKOTTARA) path of meditation (BHĀVANĀMĀRGA) can eliminate. See ARHAT.
Ariyapariyesanāsutta. (C. Luomo jing; J. Ramakyō; K. Rama kyŏng 羅摩經). In Pāli, “Discourse on the Noble Quest”; the twenty-sixth sutta (SŪTRA) in the MAJJHIMANIKĀYA, also known as the Pāsarāsisutta (a separate SARVĀSTIVĀDA recension appears as the 204th SŪTRA in the Chinese translation of the MADHYAMĀGAMA); preached by the Buddha to an assembly of monks at the hemitage of the brāhmaṇa Rammaka in the town of ŚRĀVASTĪ. The Buddha explains the difference between noble and ignoble quests and recounts his own life as an example of striving to distinguish between the two. Beginning with his renunciation of the householder’s life, he tells of his training under two meditation masters, his rejection of this training in favor of austerities, and ultimately his rejection of austerities in order to discover for himself his own path to enlightenment. The Buddha also relates how he was initially hesitant to teach what he had discovered, but was convinced to do so by the god BRAHMĀ SAHĀṂPATI, and how he then converted the “group of five” ascetics (PAÑCAVARGIKA) who had been his companions while he practiced austerities. There is an understated tone of the narrative, devoid of the detail so familiar from the biographies. There is no mention of the opulence of his youth, no mention of his wife, no mention of the chariot rides, no description of the departure from the palace in the dead of night, no mention of MĀRA. Instead, the Buddha states, “Later, while still young, a black-haired young man endowed with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life, though my mother and father wished otherwise and wept with tearful faces, I shaved off my hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and went forth from the home life into homelessness.” Although the accounts of his study with other meditation masters assume a sophisticated system of states of concentration, the description of the enlightenment itself is both simple and sober, portrayed as the outcome of long reflection rather than as an ecstatic moment of revelation.
Ariyaratne, A. T. See SARVODAYA.
Arnold, Edwin. (1832–1904). Sir Edwin Arnold was educated at Oxford and served as principal of a government college in Pune, India, from 1856 to 1861, during which time he studied Indian languages and published translations from the Sanskrit. He eventually returned to England, due primarily to the death of a child and his wife’s illness. Upon his return, he became a writer for The Daily Telegraph newspaper, where he was appointed chief editor in 1873. He wrote his most famous work, The Light of Asia, during this period. After leaving his editorial position, he traveled widely in Asia, especially in Japan, and published popular accounts of his travels. Although largely forgotten today, The Light of Asia was in its own time a foundational text for anyone in the English-speaking world interested in Buddhism. First published in 1879, The Light of Asia was a poetic rendering of the life of the Buddha. Arnold used as his chief source a French translation of the LALITAVISTARA, one of the more ornate and belletristic Indian biographies of the Buddha. Arnold, however, added his own embellishments and deployed important scenes from the life of the Buddha differently than had previous authors in order to intensify the narrative. Despite the animosity it aroused in many Christian pulpits, the book was a favorite of Queen Victoria, who subsequently knighted Arnold. Although it has long been rendered obsolete, The Light of Asia played a seminal role in introducing the history and belief systems of Buddhism to the West. Arnold also played an important role in rallying support worldwide for the restoration of the important Buddhist pilgrimage site of BODHGAYĀ, the place where the Buddha achieved enlightenment. He and Reverend SUMAṄGALA sent a petition to the Queen of England requesting permission to buy the land and the temple from the Hindus and restore the neglected site. Although unsuccessful, his efforts eventually came to fruition after Indian independence in 1949, when the Indian government returned control of Bodhgayā to the Buddhists.
āropa. (S). See SAMĀROPA.
artha. (P. attha/aṭṭha; T. don; C. yi; J. gi; K. ŭi 義). In Sanskrit, “meaning” or “object”; a polysemous term of wide import in Buddhist materials. In perhaps its most common usage, artha refers to the meaning or denotation of a term (and is always spelled aṭṭha in Pāli in this meaning), and, as the first of the four reliances (PRATISARAṆA), suggests that adepts should rely on the real meaning (artha) of words rather than their mere “letter” (vyañjana). In other contexts, however, artha may also be contrasted with DHARMA to refer to the principal denotation of a word rather than its interpreted connotations, implying the “literal meaning” of a term rather than its imputed “true spirit.” Artha, as extensive understanding of meaning, is also listed as one of the four discriminating insights (PRATISAṂVID), along with knowledge of reasons or causal interconnections (DHARMA), explanation (NIRUKTI), and eloquence (PRATIBHĀNA). In other contexts, artha also can mean a sensory object; an event, matter, or aim; and welfare, benefit, profit, or even wealth. Thus, the bodhisattva seeks the welfare (artha) of others.
arthacaryā. (S). See SAṂGRAHAVASTU.
arthakriyā. (T. don byed nus pa; C. liyi; J. riyaku; K. iik 利益). In Sanskrit, “efficiency” or “capable of functioning”; a term used to describe the capacity of impermanent phenomena to produce effects. Arthakriyā as “actions that bring spiritual benefit to others,” is also sometimes listed as one of the four means of conversion (SAṂGRAHAVASTU), in place of the more typical arthacaryā (actions that benefit others, i.e., helpfulness). The term is also important in YOGĀCĀRA and MADHYAMAKA philosophy in describing conventional truths (SAṂVṚTISATYA), which, although empty of intrinsic nature (NIḤSVABHĀVA), are nonetheless able to perform a function. Thus, for example, although the water in a mirage and the water in a glass are both empty of intrinsic nature, the water in a glass is nonetheless conventionally existent because it can perform the function of slaking thirst.
arūpadhātu. (S, P). See ĀRŪPYADHĀTU.
arūpaloka. In Sanskrit and Pāli, “immaterial world.” See AVACARA.
ārūpyadhātu. [alt. in S. and P. arūpadhātu] (T. gzugs med pa’i khams; C. wuse jie; J. mushikikai; K. musaek kye 無色界). In Sanskrit, “immaterial” or “formless” “realm”; the highest of the three realms of existence (TRAIDHĀTUKA) within SAṂSĀRA, along with the sensuous realm (KĀMADHĀTU) and the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPADHĀTU). The heavens of the immaterial realm are comprised of four classes of divinities (DEVA) whose existence is entirely mental, no longer requiring even a subtle material foundation for their ethereal states of mind: (1) the sphere of infinite space (ĀKĀŚĀNANTYĀYATANA); (2) the sphere of infinite consciousness (VIJÑĀNĀNANTYĀYATANA); (3) the sphere of nothing whatsoever or absolute nothingness (ĀKIÑCANYĀYATANA); (4) the sphere of neither perception nor nonperception (NAIVASAṂJÑĀNĀSAṂJÑĀYATANA, see also BHAVĀGRA). Rebirth in these different spheres is based on mastery of the corresponding four immaterial meditative absorptions (ĀRŪPYĀVACARADHYĀNA) in previous lives. Because they have transcended all materiality, the beings here retain only the subtlest form of the last four aggregates (SKANDHA). For a detailed description, see DEVA.
ārūpyarāga. (P. arūparāga; T. gzugs med pa’i ’dod chags; C. wuse tan; J. mushikiton; K. musaek t’am 無色貪). In Sanskrit, “craving for immaterial existence”; the seventh of ten “fetters” (SAṂYOJANA) that keep beings bound to the cycle of rebirth (SAṂSĀRA). Ārūpyarāga is the desire to be reborn as a divinity (DEVA) in the immaterial realm (ĀRŪPYADHĀTU), where beings are composed entirely of mentality and are perpetually absorbed in the meditative bliss of the immaterial absorptions or attainments (ĀRŪPYĀVACARADHYĀNA). Craving for immaterial existence is permanently eliminated upon attaining the stage of a worthy one (ARHAT), the fourth and highest degree of Buddhist sanctity (ĀRYAPUDGALA) in the mainstream schools.
ārūpyāvacaradhyāna. (P. arūpāvacarajhāna; T. gzugs med na spyod pa’i bsam gtan; C. wusejie ding; J. mushikikaijō; K. musaekkye chŏng 無色界定). In Sanskrit, “meditative absorption associated with the immaterial realm”; equivalent to S. ārūpyadhyāna (q.v. DHYĀNA) and synonymous with “immaterial attainment” (arūpasamāpatti). One of two broad varieties of DHYĀNA or meditative absorption; the other being RŪPĀVACARADHYĀNA (P. rūpāvacarajhāna) or meditative absorption belonging to the realm of subtle materiality. In both cases, dhyāna refers to the attainment of single-pointed concentration of the mind on an ideational object of meditation. Ārūpyāvacaradhyāna is described as accessible only to those who have already mastered the fourth absorption of the realm of subtle materiality, and is itself merely a refinement of that state. In the immaterial absorptions, the “object” of meditation is gradually attenuated until the meditator abides in the sphere of infinite space (S. ĀKĀŚĀNANTYĀYATANA; P. ākāsānañcāyatana). In the second immaterial absorption, the meditator sets aside infinite space and abides in the sphere of infinite consciousness (S. VIJÑĀNĀNANTYĀYATANA; P. viññāṇānañcāyatanta). In the third immaterial absorption, one sets aside the perception of infinite consciousness and abides in the sphere of nothingness (S. ĀKIÑCANYĀYATANA; P. ākiñcaññāyatana). In the fourth immaterial absorption, one sets aside the perception of nothingness and abides in the sphere of neither perception nor nonperception (S. NAIVASAṂJÑĀNĀSAṂJÑĀYATANA; P. nevasaññānāsaññāyatana). Mastery of any of the absorptions of the immaterial realm can result in rebirth as a divinity (DEVA) within the corresponding plane in the immaterial realm (ārūpyāvacara or ĀRŪPYADHĀTU); see ANIÑJYAKARMAN. See also KAMMAṬṬHĀNA.
ārya. (P. ariya; T. ’phags pa; C. sheng; J. shō; K. sŏng 聖). In Sanskrit, “noble” or “superior.” A term appropriated by the Buddhists from earlier Indian culture to refer to its saints and used technically to denote a person who has directly perceived reality and has become a “noble one.” In the fourfold path structure of the mainstream schools, an ārya is a person who has achieved at least the first level of sanctity, that of stream-enterer (SROTAĀPANNA), or above. In the fivefold path system, an ārya is one who has achieved at least the path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA), or above. The SARVĀSTIVĀDA (e.g., ABHIDHARMAKOŚABHĀṢYA) and THERAVĀDA (e.g., VISUDDHIMAGGA) schools of mainstream Buddhism both recognize seven types of noble ones (ārya, P. ariya). In e.g., the VISUDDHIMAGGA, these are listed in order of their intellectual superiority as (1) follower of faith (P. saddhānusāri; S. ŚRADDHĀNUSĀRIN); (2) follower of the dharma (P. dhammānusāri; S. DHARMĀNUSĀRIN); (3) one who is freed by faith (P. saddhāvimutta; S. ŚRADDHĀVIMUKTA); (4) one who has formed right view (P. diṭṭhippatta; S. DṚṢṬIPRĀPTA), by developing both faith and knowledge; (5) one who has bodily testimony (P. kāyasakkhi; S. KĀYASĀKṢIN), viz., through the temporary suspension of mentality in the equipoise of cessation (NIRODHASAMĀPATTI); (6) one who is freed by wisdom (P. paññāvimutta; S. PRAJÑĀVIMUKTA), by freeing oneself through analysis; and (7) one who is freed both ways (P. ubhatobhāgavimutta; S. UBHAYATOBHĀGAVIMUKTA), by freeing oneself through both meditative absorption (P. jhāna; S. DHYĀNA) and wisdom (P. paññā; S. PRAJÑĀ). In the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya, the seven types of ārya beings are presented in a slightly different manner, together with the list of eight noble persons (ĀRYAPUDGALA) based on candidates for (pratipannika) and those who have reached the result of (phalastha) stream-enterer (srotaāpanna), once-returner (SAKṚDĀGĀMIN), nonreturner (ANĀGĀMIN), and ARHAT; these are again further expanded into a list of twenty members of the ārya VIṂŚATIPRABHEDASAṂGHA and in Mahāyāna explanations into forty-eight or more ĀRYABODHISATTVAs. The Chinese character sheng, used to render this term in East Asia, has a long indigenous history and several local meanings; see, for example, the Japanese vernacular equivalent HIJIRI. It is also the name of one of two Indian esoteric GUHYASAMĀJATANTRA traditions, receiving its name from Ārya Nāgārjuna, the author of the PAÑCAKRAMA.
āryabodhisattva. (T. byang chub sems dpa’ ’phags pa). In Sanskrit, superior bodhisattva, a bodhisattva who has achieved either the path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA) or the path of cultivation (BHĀVANĀMĀRGA).
Āryadeva. (T. ’Phags pa lha; C. Tipo; J. Daiba; K. Cheba 提婆). While traditional sources are often ambiguous, scholars have identified two Āryadevas. The first Āryadeva (c. 170–270 CE) was an important Indian philosopher, proponent of MADHYAMAKA philosophy, and a direct disciple of the Madhyamaka master NĀGĀRJUNA. According to traditional accounts, he was born to a royal family in Sri Lanka. Renouncing the throne at the time of his maturity, he instead sought monastic ordination and met Nāgārjuna at PĀṬALIPUTRA. After his teacher’s death, Āryadeva became active at the monastic university of NĀLANDĀ, where he is said to have debated and defeated numerous brahmanic adherents, eventually converting them to Buddhism. He is the author of the influential work CATUḤŚATAKA (“The Four Hundred”). He is also said to be the author of the *ŚATAŚĀSTRA (C. BAI LUN), or “The Hundred Treatise,” counted as one of the “three treatises” of the SAN LUN ZONG of Chinese Buddhism, together with the Zhong lun (“Middle Treatise,” i.e., MŪLAMADHYAMAKAKĀRIKĀ) and SHI’ERMEN LUN (“Twelve [Chapter] Treatise”), both attributed to Nāgārjuna. The *Śataśāstra is not extant in Sanskrit or Tibetan, but is preserved only in Chinese. ¶ The second Āryadeva [alt. Āryadevapāda; d.u.] trained in yogic practices under the tantric master Nāgārjuna at Nālandā. In the Tibetan tradition, this Āryadeva is remembered for his great tantric accomplishments, and is counted among the eighty-four MAHĀSIDDHAs under the name Karṇari or Kaṇheri. His important tantric works include the Caryāmelapakapradīpa (“Lamp that Integrates the Practices”) and Cittaviśuddhiprakaraṇa [alt. Cittāvaraṇaviśuddhiprakaraṇa] (“Explanation of Mental Purity”).
āryamārga. (P. ariyamagga; T. ’phags lam; C. shengdao; J. shōdō; K. sŏngdo 聖道). In Sanskrit, “noble path”; the path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA), of cultivation (BHĀVANĀMĀRGA), and of the adept who has nothing more to learn (AŚAIKṢAMĀRGA), in either the mainstream or MAHĀYĀNA traditions. On these three paths, the practitioner becomes a noble person (ĀRYA) as a result of a direct perception of the truth. The paths of the stream-enterer (SROTAĀPANNA), once-returner (SAKṚDĀGĀMIN), and nonreturner (ANĀGĀMIN) would all be classified as noble paths. See also ĀRYĀṢṬĀṄGAMĀRGA.
āryamārgaphala. (P. ariyamaggaphala; T. ’phags lam gyi ’bras bu; C. shengdaoguo; J. shōdōka; K. sŏngdo kwa 聖道果). In Sanskrit, “noble path and fruit”; the four supramundane (LOKOTTARA) paths (MĀRGA) and the four supramundane fruitions (PHALA) that mark the attainment of sanctity (ĀRYA). Attainment of the path refers to the first moment of entering into or becoming a candidate (pratipannaka) for any of the four stages of sanctity; viz., stream-enterer (SROTAĀPANNA), once-returner (SAKṚDĀGĀMIN), nonreturner (ANĀGĀMIN), and worthy one (ARHAT). During this initial moment of path attainment, the mind takes the nirvāṇa element (NIRVĀṆADHĀTU) as its object. Path attainment is brought about by insight (VIPAŚYANĀ) into the three universal marks (TRILAKṢAṆA) of existence that characterize all phenomena: impermanence (ANITYA), suffering (DUḤKHA), and nonself (ANĀTMAN). Attainment of the fruit refers to the moments of consciousness that immediately follow attainment of the path. Attainment of any of the four paths occurs only once, while attainment of the fruit can be repeated indefinitely during a lifetime, depending on the circumstances. It is said that, by virtue of attaining the path, one “becomes” free in stages of the ten fetters (SAṂYOJANA) that bind one to the cycle of rebirth, and, by virtue of attaining the fruit, one “is” free from the fetters. The ten fetters that are put aside in stages are (1) belief in the existence of a self (ĀTMAN) in relation to the body (SATKĀYADṚṢṬI; P. sakkāyadiṭṭhi); (2) belief in the efficacy of rites and rituals (ŚĪLAVRATAPARĀMARŚA; P. sīlabbataparāmāsa) as a means of salvation; (3) doubt about the efficacy of the path (VICIKITSĀ; P. vicikicchā); (4) sensual craving (KĀMACCHANDA); (5) malice (VYĀPĀDA); (6) craving for existence as a divinity in the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPARĀGA); (7) craving for existence as a divinity in the immaterial realm (ĀRŪPYARĀGA; P. arūparāga); (8) pride (MĀNA); (9) restlessness (AUDDHATYA; P. uddhacca); and (10) ignorance (AVIDYĀ; P. avijjā). See also ŚRĀMAṆYAPHALA.
āryapudgala. (P. ariyapuggala; T. ’phags pa’i gang zag; C. xiansheng; J. kenjō; K. hyŏnsŏng 賢聖). In Sanskrit, “noble person”; an epithet given to enlightened beings, i.e., those who have reached at least the path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA). There is a well-known list of four types of noble persons, from stream-enterer (SROTAĀPANNA) to once-returner (SAKṚDĀGĀMIN), nonreturner (ANĀGĀMIN), and worthy one (ARHAT). This list is then subdivided into eight types or grades of noble persons according to their respective attainment of the paths and fruits of the noble path (ĀRYAMĀRGAPHALA). These are (1) the person who has entered the path of stream-enterer (SROTAĀPANNAPHALAPRATIPANNAKA); (2) the person who abides in the fruit of stream-enterer (SROTAĀPANNAPHALASTHA); (3) the person who has entered the path of once-returner (SAKṚDĀGĀMIPHALAPRATIPANNAKA); (4) the person who abides in the fruit of once-returner (SAKṚDĀGĀMIPHALASTHA); (5) the person who has entered the path of nonreturner (ANĀGĀMIPHALAPRATIPANNAKA); (6) the person who abides in the fruit of nonreturner (ANĀGĀMIPHALASTHA); (7) the person who has entered the path of a worthy one (ARHATPRATIPANNAKA); and (8) the person who has attained that fruition and become a worthy one (arhat). In some treatments, this list is presented together with a list of seven types of noble ones (ĀRYA) in order of intellectual superiority. By attaining the path and fruit of stream-entry, that is, by becoming a srotaāpanna, a person becomes free of the first three of the ten fetters (SAṂYOJANA) that bind one to the cycle of rebirth: namely, (1) belief in the existence of a perduring self in relation to the body (SATKĀYADṚṢṬI, P. sakkāyadiṭṭhi); (2) belief in the efficacy of rites and rituals (ŚĪLAVRATAPARĀMARŚA, P. sīlabbataparāmāsa) as a means of salvation; and (3) skeptical doubt (VICIKITSĀ, P. vicikicchā) about the efficacy of the path. By attaining the path and fruit of once-returning, i.e., becoming a sakṛdāgāmin, a person in addition severely weakens the effects of the fourth and fifth fetters, namely, (4) sensual craving (KĀMACCHANDA) and (5) malice (VYĀPĀDA). By attaining the path and fruit of nonreturning, i.e., becoming an anāgāmin, a person is completely freed of the first five fetters. Finally, by attaining the path and fruit of a worthy one and becoming an arhat, a person is additionally freed of the last five of the ten fetters: (6) craving for existence as a divinity (DEVA) in the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPARĀGA); (7) craving for existence as a divinity in the immaterial realm (ĀRŪPYARĀGA; P. arūparāga); (8) pride (MĀNA); (9) restlessness (AUDDHATYA, P. uddhacca); and (10) ignorance (AVIDYĀ, P. avijjā).
āryasaṃgha. (P. ariyasaṅgha; T. ’phags pa’i dge ’dun; C. shengseng; J. shōsō; K. sŏngsŭng 聖僧). “Noble community” or “community of noble ones”; the community of followers of the Buddha who are noble persons (ĀRYAPUDGALA). There are eight types or grades of noble persons according to their respective attainment of the paths and fruits of the noble path (ĀRYAMĀRGAPHALA). These are (1) the person who has entered the path of stream-enterer (SROTAĀPANNAPHALAPRATIPANNAKA); (2) the person who abides in the fruit of stream-enterer (SROTAĀPANNAPHALASTHA); (3) the person who has entered the path of once-returner (SAKṚDĀGĀMIPHALAPRATIPANNAKA); (4) the person who abides in the fruit of once-returner (SAKṚDĀGĀMIPHALASTHA); (5) the person who has entered the path of nonreturner (ANĀGĀMIPHALAPRATIPANNAKA); (6) the person who abides in the fruit of nonreturner (ANĀGĀMIPHALASTHA); (7) the person who has entered the path of a worthy one (ARHATPRATIPANNAKA); and (8) the person who has attained the fruit of a worthy one (ARHAT) (see also VIṂŚATIPRABHEDASAṂGHA). These eight persons are said to constitute the “SAṂGHA jewel” among the three jewels (RATNATRAYA) to which Buddhists go for refuge (ŚARAṆA).
āryāṣṭāṅgamārga. (P. ariyāṭṭhaṅgikamagga; T. ’phags lam yan lag brgyad; C. bazhengdao; J. hasshōdō; K. p’alchŏngdo 八正道). In Sanskrit, “noble eightfold path”; the path (MĀRGA) that brings an end to the causes of suffering (DUḤKHA); the fourth of the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS (catvāry āryasatyāni). This formulation of the Buddhist path to enlightenment appears in what is regarded as the Buddha’s first sermon after his enlightenment, the “Setting Forth the Wheel of Dharma” (DHARMACAKRAPRAVARTANASŪTRA), in which he sets forth a middle way (MADHYAMAPRATIPAD) between the extremes of asceticism and sensual indulgence. That middle way, he says, is the eightfold path, which, like the four truths, he calls “noble” (ĀRYA); the term is therefore commonly rendered as “noble eightfold path.” However, as in the case of the four noble truths, what is noble is not the path but those who follow it, so the compound might be more accurately translated as “eightfold path of the [spiritually] noble.” Later in the same sermon, the Buddha sets forth the four noble truths and identifies the fourth truth, the truth of the path, with the eightfold path. The noble eightfold path is comprised of (1) right views (SAMYAGDṚṢṬI; P. sammādiṭṭhi), which involve an accurate understanding of the true nature of things, specifically the four noble truths; (2) right intention (SAMYAKSAṂKALPA; P. sammāsaṅkappa), which means avoiding thoughts of attachment, hatred, and harmful intent and promoting loving-kindness and nonviolence; (3) right speech (SAMYAGVĀC; P. sammāvācā), which means refraining from verbal misdeeds, such as lying, backbiting and slander, harsh speech and abusive language, and frivolous speech and gossip; (4) right action or right conduct (SAMYAKKARMĀNTA; P. sammākammanta), which is refraining from physical misdeeds, such as killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct; (5) right livelihood (SAMYAGĀJĪVA; P. sammājīva), which entails avoiding trades that directly or indirectly harm others, such as selling slaves, selling weapons, selling animals for slaughter, dealing in intoxicants or poisons, or engaging in fortune-telling and divination; (6) right effort (SAMYAGVYĀYĀMA; P. sammāvāyāma), which is defined as abandoning unwholesome states of mind that have already arisen, preventing unwholesome states that have yet to arise, sustaining wholesome states that have already arisen, and developing wholesome states that have yet to arise; (7) right mindfulness (SAMYAKSMṚTI; P. sammāsati), which means to maintain awareness of the four foundations of mindfulness (SMṚTYUPASTHĀNA), viz., body, physical sensations, the mind, and phenomena; and (8) right concentration (SAMYAKSAMĀDHI; P. sammāsamādhi), which is one pointedness of mind. ¶ The noble eightfold path receives less discussion in Buddhist literature than do the four noble truths (of which they are, after all, a constituent). Indeed, in later formulations, the eight factors are presented not so much as a prescription for behavior but as eight qualities that are present in the mind of a person who has understood NIRVĀṆA. The eightfold path may be reduced to a simpler, and more widely used, threefold schema of the path that comprises the “three trainings” (TRIŚIKṢĀ) or “higher trainings” (adhiśikṣā) in morality (ŚĪLA; P. sīla; see ADHIŚĪLAŚIKṢĀ), concentration (SAMĀDHI, see ADHISAMĀDHIŚIKṢĀ), and wisdom (PRAJÑĀ; P. paññā; see ADHIPRAJÑĀŚIKṢĀ). In this schema, (1) right views and (2) right intention are subsumed under the training in higher wisdom (adhiprajñāśikṣā); (3) right speech, (4) right conduct, and (5) right livelihood are subsumed under higher morality (adhiśīlaśikṣā); and (6) right effort, (7) right mindfulness, and (8) right concentration are subsumed under higher concentration (adhisamādhiśikṣā). According to the MADHYĀNTAVIBHĀGA, a MAHĀYĀNA work attributed to MAITREYANĀTHA, the eightfold noble path comprises the last set of eight of the thirty-seven constituents of enlightenment (BODHIPĀKṢIKADHARMA), where enlightenment (BODHI) is the complete, nonconceptual awakening achieved during the path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA). After that vision, following the same pattern as the Buddha, right view is the perfect understanding of the vision, and right intention is the articulation of the vision that motivates the teaching of it. Right mindfulness, right effort, and right concentration correspond respectively to the four types of mindfulness (SMṚTYUPASTHĀNA), four efforts (PRAHĀṆA), and four ṚDDHIPĀDA (“legs of miraculous attainments,” i.e., samādhi) when they are perfect or right (samyak), after the vision of the four noble truths.
āryavaṃśa. (P. ariyavaṃsa; T. ’phags pa’i rigs; C. shengzhong; J. shōshu; K. sŏngjong 聖種). In Sanskrit, “[attitudes of] the noble lineage.” A list of four such attitudes commonly appears in the literature: contentment with robes, food, and beds, and devotion to the way of liberation. In MAHĀYĀNA literature, the meaning of lineage changes, and the word GOTRA or DHĀTU is used in place of vaṃśa.
aśaikṣa. (P. asekha; T. mi slob pa; C. wuxue; J. mugaku; K. muhak 無學). In Sanskrit, lit. “one for whom no further training is necessary,” an “adept”; a term for one who has completed the path (see AŚAIKṢAMĀRGA), used especially as an epithet of the ARHAT. The aśaikṣa has completed the three “higher trainings” (adhiśikṣā; P. adhisikkhā) in morality (ADHIŚĪLAŚIKṢĀ), concentration (ADHISAMĀDHIŚIKṢĀ), and wisdom (ADHIPRAJÑĀŚIKṢĀ).
aśaikṣamārga. (T. mi slob lam; C. wuxuedao; J. mugakudō; K. muhakto 無學道). In Sanskrit, “the path of the adept” (lit. “the path where there is nothing more to learn” or “the path where no further training is necessary”); the fifth of the five-path schema (PAÑCAMĀRGA) used in both SARVĀSTIVĀDA ABHIDHARMA and the YOGĀCĀRA and MADHYAMAKA schools of MAHĀYĀNA. It is the equivalent of the path of completion (NIṢṬHĀMĀRGA) and is synonymous with aśaikṣapatha. With the consummation of the “path of cultivation” (BHĀVANĀMĀRGA), the adept (whether following the ŚRĀVAKA, PRATYEKABUDDHA, or BODHISATTVA path) achieves the “adamantine-like concentration” (VAJROPAMASAMĀDHI), which leads to the permanent destruction of even the subtlest and most persistent of the ten fetters (SAṂYOJANA), resulting in the “knowledge of cessation” (KṢAYAJÑĀNA) and in some presentations an accompanying “knowledge of nonproduction” (ANUTPĀDAJÑĀNA), viz., the knowledge that the fetters are destroyed and can never again recur. Because the adept now has full knowledge of the eightfold path (ĀRYĀṢṬĀṄGAMĀRGA) and has achieved full liberation (VIMOKṢA) as either an ARHAT or a buddha, he no longer needs any further instruction—thus he has completed the “path where there is nothing more to learn.”
asamayavimukta. (T. dus dang mi sbyor bar rnam par grol ba; C. bushi jietuo; J. fujigedatsu; K. pulsi haet’al 時解). In Sanskrit, “one who is liberated regardless of occasion,” in the sense that there is no occasion in which the meditative concentration of such an ARHAT will degenerate; one of the twenty members of the ĀRYASAṂGHA (see VIṂŚATIPRABHEDASAṂGHA).
asaṃjñāsamāpatti. [alt. asaṁjñisamāpatti] (P. asaññasamāpatti; T. ’du shes med pa’i snyoms par ’jug pa; C. wuxiang ding; J. musōjō; K. musang chŏng 無想定). In Sanskrit, “equipoise of nonperception” or “unconscious state of attainment”; viz., a “meditative state wherein no perceptual activity remains.” It is a form of meditation with varying, even contradictory, interpretations. In some accounts, it is positively appraised: for example, the Buddha was known for entering into this type of meditation in order to “rest himself” and, on another occasion, to recover from illness. In this interpretation, asaṃjñāsamāpatti is a temporary suppression of mental activities that brings respite from tension, which in some accounts, means that the perception (SAṂJÑĀ) aggregate (SKANDHA) is no longer functioning, while in other accounts, it implies the cessation of all conscious thought. In such cases, asaṁjñasamāpatti is similar to ānimittasamāpatti in functions and contents, the latter being a meditative stage wherein one does not dwell in or cling to the “characteristics” (NIMITTA) of phenomena, and which is said to be conducive to the “liberation of the mind through signlessness (ĀNIMITTA)” (P. ānimittacetovimutti)—one of the so-called three gates to deliverance (VIMOKṢAMUKHA). Elsewhere, however, asaṁjñāsamāpatti is characterized negatively as a nihilistic state of mental dormancy, which some have mistakenly believed to be final liberation. Non-Buddhist meditators were reported to mistake this vegetative state for the ultimate, permanent quiescence of the mind and become attached to this state as if it were liberation. In traditional Buddhist classificatory systems (such as those of the YOGĀCĀRA school and the ABHIDHARMAKOŚABHĀṢYA), asaṃjñāsamāpatti is sometimes also conflated with the fourth DHYĀNA, and the karmic fruition of dwelling in this meditation is the rebirth in the asaṃjñā heaven (ASAṂJÑIKA) located in the “realm of subtle materiality,” where the heavens corresponding to the fourth dhyāna are located (see RŪPADHĀTU). Together with the “trance of cessation” (NIRODHASAMĀPATTI), these two forms of meditation are classified under the CITTAVIPRAYUKTASAṂSKĀRA (“forces dissociated from thought”) category in SARVĀSTIVĀDA ABHIDHARMA texts, as well as in the one hundred dharmas of the Yogācāra school, and are also called in the East Asian tradition “the two kinds of meditation that are free of mental activity” (er wuxin ding).
asaṃjñika. (P. asañña; T. ’du shes med pa; C. wuxiang tian; J. musōten; K. musang ch’ŏn 無想天). In Sanskrit, “free from discrimination,” or “nonperception”; according to some systems, one of the heavens of the fourth meditative absorption (DHYĀNA) associated with the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPADHĀTU; see RŪPĀVACARADHYĀNA). In the Pāli tradition, it is one of the seven heavens of the fourth dhyāna; in Sanskrit sources, in some cases, it is considered a ninth heaven of the fourth dhyāna, and in other cases, it is considered to be a region of the BṚHATPHALA heaven. It is a place of rebirth for those who, during their lifetimes as humans, have cultivated the trance of nonperception (ASAṂJÑĀSAMĀPATTI), a state of meditative trance in which there is no mental activity; it is compared to dreamless sleep. During their long lifetime in this heaven, these divinities have a slight perception of having been born there and then have no other thoughts, sensations, or perceptions until the end of their period of rebirth in that heaven. Such beings are called asaññasatta (“unconscious beings”) in Pāli. This particular state is often described as the attainment of non-Buddhist ascetics, who mistake it for the state of liberation (VIMOKṢA).
asaṃkhya. (P. asaṅkhya; T. grangs med pa; C. asengqi; J. asōgi; K. asŭnggi 阿僧祇). In Sanskrit, literally, “incalculable” or “infinite”; often used with reference to “infinite” eons of time (ASAṂKHYEYAKALPA).
asaṃkhyeyakalpa. (P. asaṅkheyyakappa; T. bskal pa grangs med pa; C. asengqi jie; J. asōgikō; K. asŭnggi kŏp 阿僧祇劫). In Sanskrit, “incalculable eon” or “infinite eon.” The longest of all KALPAs is named “incalculable” (ASAṂKHYA); despite its name, it has been calculated by dedicated Buddhist scholiasts as being the length of a mahākalpa (itself, eight intermediate kalpas in duration) to the sixtieth power. The BODHISATTVA path leading to buddhahood is presumed to take not one but three “incalculable eons” to complete, because the store of merit (PUṆYA), knowledge (JÑĀNA), and wholesome actions (KUŚALA-KARMAPATHA) that must be accumulated by a bodhisattva in the course of his training is infinitely massive. Especially in the East Asian traditions, this extraordinary period of time has been taken to mean that practice is essentially interminable, thus shifting attention from the goal to the process of practice. For example, the AVATAṂSAKASŪTRA’s statement that “at the time of the initial arousal of the aspiration for enlightenment (BODHICITTOTPĀDA), complete, perfect enlightenment (ANUTTARASAMYAKSAṂBODHI) is already achieved” has been interpreted in the East Asian HUAYAN ZONG to imply that enlightenment is in fact achieved at the very inception of religious training—a realization that renders possible a bodhisattva’s commitment to continue practicing for three infinite eons. In YOGĀCĀRA and MADHYAMAKA presentations of the path associated with the ABHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRA, the three incalcuable eons are not considered infinite, with the bodhisattva’s course divided accordingly into three parts. The first incalcuable eon is devoted to the paths of accumulation (SAMBHĀRAMĀRGA) and preparation (PRAYOGAMĀRGA); the second incalculable eon devoted to the path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA) and the first seven bodhisattva stages (BHŪMI); and the third incalculable eon devoted to the eighth, ninth, and tenth stages.
asaṃprajanya. (P. asampajañña; T. shes bzhin med pa; C. buzhengzhi; J. fushōchi; K. pujŏngji 不正知). In Sanskrit, “without circumspection” or “without clear comprehension.” In Buddhist psychological analysis, when contact with sensory objects is made “without circumspection” (asaṃprajanya), then “attachment” (RĀGA), “greed” (LOBHA), “aversion” (DVEṢA), or “delusion” (MOHA) may result. The YOGĀCĀRA school lists asaṃprajanya in its hundred dharmas (C. BAIFA) list as the last of twenty secondary afflictions (UPAKLEŚA). Asaṃprajanya is the opposite of SAṂPRAJANYA (P. sampajañña), a term closely related to “mindfulness” (S. SMṚTI; P. sati), with which is it often used in compound as “mindfulness and clear comprehension.”
asaṃskṛta. (P. asaṅkhata; T. ’dus ma byas; C. wuwei; J. mui; K. muwi 無爲). In Sanskrit, “uncompounded” or “unconditioned”; a term used to describe the few factors (DHARMA), especially NIRVĀṆA and in some schools space (ĀKĀŚA), that are not conditioned (SAṂSKṚTA) and are thus not subject to the inevitable impermanence (ANITYA) that plagues all conditioned dharmas. See ASAṂSKṚTADHARMA.
asaṃskṛtadharma. (P. asaṅkhatadhamma; T. ’dus ma byas kyi chos; C. wuweifa; J. muihō; K. muwibŏp 無爲法). In Sanskrit, “uncompounded” or “unconditioned” “factors”; a term used to describe the few DHARMAs that are not conditioned (SAṂSKṚTA) and are therefore perduring phenomena (NITYADHARMA) that are not subject to impermanence (ANITYA). The lists differ in the various schools. The Pāli tradition’s list of eighty-two dharmas (P. dhamma) recognizes only one uncompounded dharma: NIRVĀṆA (P. nibbāna). The SARVĀSTIVĀDA school recognizes three out of seventy-five: space (ĀKĀŚA), and two varieties of nirvāṇa: “analytical” “suppression” or “cessation” (PRATISAṂKHYĀNIRODHA) and “nonanalytical suppression” (APRATISAṂKHYĀNIRODHA). YOGĀCĀRA recognizes six of its one hundred dharmas as uncompounded: the preceding three, plus “motionlessness” (āniñjya, [alt. aniñjya]), the “cessation of perception and sensation” (SAṂJÑĀVEDAYITANIRODHA), and “suchness” (TATHATĀ). Nirvāṇa is the one factor that all Buddhist schools accept as being uncompounded. It is the one dharma that exists without being the result of a cause (ahetuja), though it may be accessed through the three “gates to deliverance” (VIMOKṢAMUKHA). Because nirvāṇa neither produces nor is produced by anything else, it is utterly distinct from the conditioned realm that is subject to production and cessation; its achievement, therefore, means the end to the repeated cycle of rebirth (SAṂSĀRA). In several schools of Buddhism, including the Sarvāstivāda, nirvāṇa is subdivided into two complementary aspects: an “analytical cessation” (pratisaṃkhyānirodha) that corresponds to earlier notions of nirvāṇa and “nonanalytical suppression” (apratisaṃkhyānirodha), which ensures that the enlightened person will never again be subject to the vagaries of the conditioned world. “Analytical cessation” (pratisaṃkhyānirodha) occurs through the direct meditative insight into the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS (catvāry āryasatyāni) and the cognition of nonproduction (ANUTPĀDAJÑĀNA), which brings about the disjunction (visaṃyoga) from all unwholesome factors (AKUŚALADHARMA). “Nonanalytical suppression” (apratisaṃkhyānirodha) prevents the dharmas of the conditioned realm from ever appearing again for the enlightened person. In the VAIBHĀṢIKA interpretation, this dharma suppresses the conditions that would lead to the production of dharmas, thus ensuring that they remain forever positioned in future mode and unable ever again to arise in the present. Because this dharma is not a result of insight, it is called “nonanalytical.” Space (ākāśa) has two discrete denotations. First, space is an absence that delimits forms; like the empty space inside a door frame, ākāśa is a hole that is itself empty but that defines, or is defined by, the material that surrounds it. Second, as the vast emptiness of space, space comes also to be described as the absence of obstruction; in this sense, space also comes to be interpreted as something akin to the Western conception of ether, a virtually immaterial, but glowing fluid that serves as the support for the four material elements (MAHĀBHŪTA). Space is accepted as an uncompounded dharma in six of the mainstream Buddhist schools, including the SARVĀSTIVĀDA and the MAHĀSĀṂGHIKA, as well as the later YOGĀCĀRA; three others reject this interpretation, including the THERAVĀDA. The Yogācāra additions to this list essentially subsume the upper reaches of the immaterial realm (ārūpyāvacara) into the listing of uncompounded dharmas. Aniñjya, or motionlessness, is used even in the early Buddhist tradition to refer to actions that are neither wholesome nor unwholesome (see ANIÑJYAKARMAN), which lead to rebirth in the realm of subtle materiality or the immaterial realm and, by extension, to those realms themselves. The “cessation of perception and sensation” (saṃjñāvedayitanirodha) is the last of the eight liberations (VIMOKṢA; P. vimokkha) and the ninth and highest of the immaterial attainments (SAMĀPATTI). “Suchness” (TATHATĀ) is the ultimate reality (i.e., ŚŪNYATĀ) shared in common by a TATHĀGATA and all other afflicted (SAṂKLIṢṬA) and pure (VIŚUDDHI) dharmas; the “cessation of perception and sensation” (saṃjñāvedayitanirodha) is not only “a meditative trance wherein no perceptual activity remains,” but one where no feeling, whether pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, is experienced.
asaṃvāsa. (T. gnas par mi bya; C. bugongzhu; J. fugūjū; K. pulgongju 不共住). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “not in communion”; the lifelong punishment enjoined in the VINAYA on monks (and nuns) who have transgressed one of the major offenses that bring “defeat” (PĀRĀJIKA), such as the prohibition against engaging in sexual intercourse. The monk who is asaṃvāsa is not permitted to participate in any of the official monastic proceedings or ecclesiastical acts (KARMAN); thus he is effectively ostracized from the formal activities of the monastery. Although this term has sometimes been interpreted as “expulsion,” asaṃvāsa does not necessarily mean that the monk is banished from the monastery but simply that he is “no longer in communion” with the work, rules, and training of the monastic community as a whole. Indeed, there is evidence from virtually all recensions of the vinaya (except the Pāli recension of the THERAVĀDA school), that pārājika monks continued to live in the monastery even after their transgressions, in the special status of pārājika penitents (ŚIKṢĀDATTAKA).
āsana. (T. ’dug stangs; C. zuofa/zuo; J. zahō/za; K. chwabŏp/chwa 坐法/座). In Sanskrit, “posture”; commonly referring to the position of the legs and feet in representations of Buddhist images. Āsanas may be seated or standing, passive or active, and, in the context of esoteric imagery, they are usually prescribed in literary sources such as TANTRAs and SĀDHANAs. The term may also be used to refer to the physical support or seat for a Buddhist deity. See also ACALĀSANA; ĀLĪḌHA; ARDHAPARYAṄKA; BHADRĀSANA; LALITĀSANA; MAITREYĀSANA; NṚTYĀSANA; PADMĀSANA; PRALAMBAPĀDĀSANA; PRATYĀLĪḌHA; RĀJALĪLĀSANA; SATTVAPARYAṄKA; SATTVĀRDHAPARYAṄKA; VAJRAPARYAṄKA; VAJRĀSANA.
Asaṅga. (T. Thogs med; C. Wuzhao; J. Mujaku; K. Much’ak 無著) (c. 320–c. 390 CE). a.k.a. Ārya Asaṅga, Indian scholar who is considered to be a founder of the YOGĀCĀRA school of MAHĀYĀNA Buddhism. In the Tibetan tradition, he is counted as one of the “six ornaments of JAMBUDVĪPA” (’dzam gling rgyan drug), together with VASUBANDHU, NĀGĀRJUNA and ĀRYADEVA, and DIGNĀGA and DHARMAKĪRTI. Born into a brāhmaṇa family in Puruṣapura (modern-day Peshawar, Pakistan), Asaṅga originally studied under SARVĀSTIVĀDA (possibly MAHĪŚĀSAKA) teachers but converted to the Mahāyāna later in life. His younger brother was the important exegete Vasubandhu; it is said that he was converted to the Mahāyāna by Asaṅga. According to traditional accounts, Asaṅga spent twelve years in meditation retreat, after which he received a vision of the future buddha MAITREYA. He visited Maitreya’s abode in TUṢITA heaven, where the bodhisattva instructed him in Mahāyāna and especially Yogācāra doctrine. Some of these teachings were collected under the name Maitreyanātha, and the Buddhist tradition generally regards them as revealed by Asaṅga through the power of the future buddha. Some modern scholars, however, have posited the existence of a historical figure named MAITREYANĀTHA or simply Maitreya. Asaṅga is therefore associated with what are known as the “five treatises of Maitreyanātha” (the ABHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRA, the DHARMADHARMATĀVIBHĀGA, the MADHYĀNTAVIBHĀGA, the MAHĀYĀNASŪTRĀLAṂKĀRA, and the RATNAGOTRAVIBHĀGA). Asaṅga was a prolific author, composing commentaries on the SAṂDHINIRMOCANASŪTRA and the VAJRACCHEDIKĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀSŪTRA. Among his independent treatises, three are particularly important. The ABHIDHARMASAMUCCAYA sets forth the categories of the ABHIDHARMA from a Yogācāra perspective. The MAHĀYĀNASAṂGRAHA is a detailed exposition of Yogācāra doctrine, setting forth such topics as the ĀLAYAVIJÑĀNA and the TRISVABHĀVA as well as the constituents of the path. His largest work is the compendium entitled YOGĀCĀRABHŪMIŚĀSTRA. Two of its sections, the ŚRĀVAKABHŪMI and the BODHISATTVABHŪMI, circulated as independent works, with the former important for its exposition of the practice of DHYĀNA and the latter for its exposition of the bodhisattva’s practice of the six PĀRAMITĀ; the chapter on ŚĪLA is particularly influential. These texts have had a lasting and profound impact on the development of Buddhism, especially in India, Tibet, and East Asia. Among the great figures in the history of Indian Buddhism, Asaṅga is rare for the breadth of his interests and influence, making significant contributions to philosophy (as the founder of Yogācāra), playing a key role in TATHĀGATAGARBHA thought (through the Ratnagotravibhāga), and providing significant expositions of Buddhist practice (in the Yogācārabhūmi).
āsava. (S. āsrava). In Pāli, “contaminants” or “outflows”; mental contaminants that are eradicated upon attaining arahantship. They are: (1) the contaminant of sensuality (P. kāmāsava); (2) the contaminant of continuing existence (P. bhavāsava); and (3) the contaminant of ignorance (P. avijjāsava); to this list is sometimes added (4) the contaminant of views (P. diṭṭhāsava). See also ĀSAVAKKHAYA; and the more extensive discussion in ĀSRAVA s.v.
āsavakkhaya. (S. āsravakṣaya). In Pāli, “extinction of the contaminants” or “destruction of the outflows”; a supramundane (lokuttara) supernormal power (abhiññā) produced through the perfection of insight (VIPASSANĀ). It is equivalent to the attainment of “worthiness” (arahatta) or perfect sainthood. One who achieves this is a “worthy one” (arahant), attains in this life deliverance of mind (cetovimutti) and deliverance through wisdom (paññāvimutti), and at death passes into nibbāna never to be reborn. See ĀSRAVAKṢAYA.
asceticism. (S. duṣkaracaryā; P. dukkarakārikā; T. dka’ ba spyod pa; C. kuxing; J. kugyō; K. kohaeng 苦行). Derived from the Greek term askesis, “to exercise”; the performance of austerities, both mental and physical, for the purpose of attaining enlightenment (BODHI) and, in certain cases, special powers or knowledges (ABHIJÑĀ). The basic Buddhist attitude toward asceticism, as found in the narrative surrounding the life of the Buddha, has been a negative one, particularly with regard to those practices associated with physical torment, such as fasting. The Buddha himself is said to have once practiced asceticism with five fellow ascetics in the forest of URUVILVĀ, only to eventually abandon it for the middle way (MADHYAMAPRATIPAD) between sensual indulgence and mortification of the flesh. Ascetic practices nevertheless continued to be important in the various Buddhist traditions, as attested to by the life stories of the teachers MI LA RAS PA (Milarepa), BODHIDHARMA, and HAKUIN EKAKU to name but a few. See also DUṢKARACARYĀ; DHUTAṄGA; TAPAS.
asipattravana. (P. asipattavana; T. ral gri’i lo ma’i nags; C. jianye lin; J. ken’yōrin; K. kŏmyŏp rim 劍葉林). In Sanskrit, “forest with leaves of swords,” one of the neighboring hells (PRATYEKANARAKA) surrounding the eight hot hells, through which the denizens of the hells (NĀRAKA) must pass as they depart from those baleful realms. It is classified as part of the third of the four neighboring hells, called “razor road” (KṢURAMĀRGA). From a distance, the forest appears to be a forest of mango trees, and the denizens of hell approach in the hope of eating the mangoes. Upon arrival, they find that the leaves on the trees are swords and, as the denizens of hell pass through the forest, the leaves fall from the trees, lacerating their bodies.
Asita. (T. Mdog nag po; C. Asituo; J. Ashida; K. Asat’a 阿私陀). Sanskrit and Pāli name for an Indian brāhmaṇa who, according to Pāli sources, was chaplain to the BODHISATTVA’s grandfather Sīhahanu (S. Siṃhahanu) and teacher of the bodhisattva’s father Suddhodana (S. ŚUDDHODANA). After his retirement from the world, Asita developed various supranormal powers through his mastery of meditation and used them to sojourn in the realm of the divinities (DEVA). Once while staying in TRĀYASTRIṂŚA heaven, he learned that the future buddha SIDDHĀRTHA GAUTAMA had been born as the son of King Śuddhodana. Asita went to the palace to examine the infant and saw that the child was endowed with the thirty-two marks of a MAHĀPURUṢA, or great man. From these signs, he realized that Siddhārtha was destined to become a fully enlightened buddha. Despite his great joy, Asita was also dismayed to realize that, at his current age of ninety, he would not live long enough to witness this event. Instead, he would die and be reborn in the immaterial realm (ĀRŪPYADHĀTU), where he would not be able to hear the Buddha preach and could not be liberated by his salvific message. Asita urged his nephew Nālaka to renounce the world in anticipation of the future buddha’s enlightenment. The boy complied and later attained arhatship after reflecting on the sermon the Buddha delivered to him in the Nālakasutta.
Aśoka. (P. Asoka; T. Mya ngan med; C. Ayu wang; J. Aiku ō; K. Ayuk wang 阿育王) (c. 300–232 BCE; r. c. 268–232 BCE). Indian Mauryan emperor and celebrated patron of Buddhism; also known as Dharmāśoka. Son of Bindusāra and grandson of Candragupta, Aśoka was the third king of the Mauryan dynasty. Aśoka left numerous inscriptions recording his edicts and proclamations to the subjects of his realm. In these inscriptions, Aśoka is referred to as DEVĀNĀṂ PRIYAḤ, “beloved of the gods.” These inscriptions comprise one of the earliest bodies of writing as yet deciphered from the Indian subcontinent. His edicts have been found inscribed on boulders, on stone pillars, and in caves and are widely distributed from northern Pakistan in the west, across the Gangetic plain to Bengal in the east, to near Chennai in South India. The inscriptions are ethical and religious in content, with some describing how Aśoka turned to the DHARMA after subjugating the territory of Kaliṅga (in the coastal region of modern Andhra Pradesh) in a bloody war. In his own words, Aśoka states that the bloodshed of that campaign caused him remorse and taught him that rule by dharma, or righteousness, is superior to rule by mere force of arms. While the Buddha, dharma, and SAṂGHA are extolled and Buddhist texts are mentioned in the edicts, the dharma that Aśoka promulgated was neither sectarian nor even specifically Buddhist, but a general code of administrative, public, and private ethics suitable for a multireligious and multiethnic polity. It is clear that Aśoka saw this code of ethics as a diplomatic tool as well, in that he dispatched embassies to neighboring states in an effort to establish dharma as the basis for international relations. The edicts were not translated until the nineteenth century, however, and therefore played little role in the Buddhist view of Aśoka, which derives instead from a variety of legends told about the emperor. The legend of Aśoka is recounted in the Sanskrit DIVYĀVADĀNA, in the Pāli chronicles of Sri Lanka, DĪPAVAṂSA and MAHĀVAṂSA, and in the Pāli commentaries, particularly the SAMANTAPĀSĀDIKĀ. Particularly in Pāli materials, Aśoka is portrayed as a staunch sectarian and exclusive patron of the Pāli tradition. The inscriptional evidence, as noted above, does not support that claim. In the Mahāvaṃsa, for example, Aśoka is said to have been converted to THERAVĀDA Buddhism by the novice NIGRODHA, after which he purifies the Buddhist SAṂGHA by purging it of non-Theravāda heretics. He then sponsors the convention of the third Buddhist council (SAṂGĪTĪ; see COUNCIL, THIRD) under the presidency of MOGGALIPUTTATISSA, an entirely Theravāda affair. Recalling perhaps the historical Aśoka’s diplomatic missions, the legend recounts how, after the council, Moggaliputtatissa dispatched Theravāda missions, comprised of monks, to nine adjacent lands for the purpose of propagating the religion, including Aśoka’s son (MAHINDA) and daughter (SAṄGHAMITTĀ) to Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, where the legend appears to have originated, and in the Theravāda countries of Southeast Asia, the Pāli account of King Aśoka was adopted as one of the main paradigms of Buddhist kingship and models of ideal governance and proper saṃgha-state relations. A different set of legends, which do not recount the conversion of Sri Lanka, appears in Sanskrit sources, most notably, the AŚOKĀVADĀNA.
Aśokan pillars. Stone pillars erected or embellished during the reign of King AŚOKA, many of which bear royal edicts attesting to the king’s support of the “dharma” and putatively of Buddhism. Although later Buddhist records mention more than forty such pillars, less than half of these have been identified. At least some pillars predate Aśoka’s ascendance, but most were erected by the king to commemorate his pilgrimage to sacred Buddhist sites or as Buddhist memorials. One representative example, located at Lauriyā Nandangaṛh, stands nearly forty feet tall and extends over ten feet below the ground. The heaviest may weigh up to 75,000 pounds. The pillar edicts form some of the earliest extant written records in the Indian subcontinent and typically avoid mentioning Buddhist philosophy, offering instead general support of dharma, or righteousness, and in some cases of the Buddhist SAṂGHA. At one time, the pillars supported stone capitals in the form of animals such as the bull. One Aśokan innovation was the use of lion capitals, the most famous being a lotus vase supporting a drum of four wheels and other animals, topped with four lions and a wheel (now missing). The use of lion symbolism may have been a direct reference to the ŚĀKYA clan of the Buddha, which took the lion (siṃha) as its emblem.
Aśokāvadāna. (T. Ku ṇā la’i rtogs pa brjod pa; C. Ayu wang zhuan; J. Aiku ō den; K. Ayuk wang chŏn 阿育王傳). In Sanskrit, “The Story of Aśoka,” a text belonging to the category of “edifying tales” (AVADĀNA), which narrates the major events in the life of King AŚOKA of the Indian Mauryan dynasty. The work focuses primarily on Aśoka’s conversion to Buddhism, his subsequent support of the DHARMA and monastic community (SAṂGHA), his visits to the major sites of the Buddha’s life (MAHĀSTHĀNA), and his construction of STŪPAs. It also records the transmission of the Buddhist teachings by five early teachers: MAHĀKĀŚYAPA, ĀNANDA, MADHYĀNTIKA, ŚĀṆAKAVĀSIN, and UPAGUPTA. The Aśokāvadāna relates that, in a previous life, Aśoka (then a small boy named Jaya) placed a handful of dirt in the Buddha’s begging bowl (PĀTRA). The Buddha predicted that one hundred years after his passage into nirvāṇa, the child would become a DHARMARĀJA and CAKRAVARTIN named Aśoka. As emperor, Aśoka becomes a devout Buddhist and righteous king, renowned for collecting the relics (ŚARĪRA) of the Buddha from eight (or in one version, seven of eight) stūpas and redistributing them in 84,000 stūpas across his realm. Parts of the Sanskrit text have been preserved in the DIVYĀVADĀNA, and the entire work is extant in Chinese. Only the Kunāla chapter of the Aśokāvadāna was rendered into Tibetan, in the eleventh century, by Padmākaravarman and RIN CHEN BZANG PO.
āśraddhya. [alt. aśrāddhya] (P. asaddhā/asaddhiya; T. ma dad pa; C. buxin; J. fushin; K. pulsin 不信). In Sanskrit, “lack of faith,” “disbelief.” In the roster of seventy-five factors (DHARMA) in the SARVĀSTIVĀDA school of ABHIDHARMA, āśraddhya is listed as the fourth of the six major afflicted factors of wide extent (KLEŚAMAHĀBHŪMIKA) that are associated with all defiled thoughts and afflictions (KLEŚA), together with delusion (MOHA), heedlessness (PRAMĀDA), indolence (KAUSĪDYA), sloth (STYĀNA), and restlessness (AUDDHATYA). The YOGĀCĀRA school lists it in its roster of a hundred dharmas (C. BAIFA) as the thirteenth of the twenty secondary afflictions (UPAKLEŚA). Āśraddhya refers to the inability of a person to generate the tacit belief or confidence in a teacher and the doctrines that is necessary to undertake practice in earnest; it has a stronger affective dimension than the intellectual skepticism of the related term doubt (VICIKITSĀ).
āsrava. (P. ĀSAVA; T. zag pa; C. lou; J. ro; K. nu 漏). In Sanskrit, “contaminants,” “outflows,” or “fluxes”; mental contaminants that are eradicated upon attaining the status of a “worthy one” (ARHAT); also written as āśrava. They are (1) the contaminant of sensuality (kāmāsrava; KĀMA); (2) the contaminant of continuing existence (bhavāsrava; BHAVA); and (3) the contaminant of ignorance (avidyāsrava; AVIDYĀ); to this list is often added (4) the contaminant of views (dṛṣṭyāsrava; DṚṢṬI). Since the āsravas bind or immerse one in the cycle of existence, they are also sometimes called the “floods” (OGHA) and the “yokes” (yoga). The term āsrava is used in both Buddhism and Jainism, suggesting that it is one of the earliest such terms for the mental contaminants used within the tradition. (In the Buddhist interpretation, an āsrava is more of an “outflow,” because the contaminants flow out from the mind and affect the ways in which one interacts with the external world; indeed, the Chinese translation of the term means literally to “leak.” In the JAINA tradition, an āsrava is more of an “inflow,” because the contaminants flow into the body, where they adhere to the ĀTMAN, thus defiling it.) The term is a synonym of the KLEŚAs (afflictions, defilements), since objects (such as the five SKANDHAs) that can serve as objects of defilement are “contaminated” (sāsrava). The contaminants are permanently overcome through insight into such fundamental Buddhist truths as the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS, conditioned origination (PRATĪTYASAMUTPĀDA), or the three marks of existence (TRILAKṢAṆA). Because the ARHAT has permanently uprooted the contaminants from the mind, he or she receives the epithet KṢĪṆĀSRAVA (“one whose contaminants are extinguished”). See also ĀSAVA, ANĀSRAVA, ĀSRAVAKṢAYA.
āsravakṣaya. (P. āsavakkhaya; T. zag pa zad pa; C. loujin[zhi]; J. rojin[chi]; K. nujin[ji] 漏盡[智]). In Sanskrit, “extinction of the contaminants”; a supranormal power (ABHIJÑĀ) produced through the perfection of insight (VIPAŚYANĀ), and one of the three knowledges (TRIVIDYĀ) that are the products of enlightenment (BODHI). One who achieves this state is a “worthy one” (ARHAT) and at death passes into NIRVĀṆA, never to be reborn. See also ANĀSRAVA; ĀSRAVA.
āśraya. (T. gnas; C. suoyi; J. sho’e; K. soŭi 所依). In Sanskrit, lit. “basis.” In the SAUTRĀNTIKA school, the term is used idiosyncratically to refer to the “substratum” of existence. This substratum is the psychophysical entity that was presumed to exist independently from the momentary flow of the conscious continuum (SAṂTĀNA) and thus to provide the physical support for thought (CITTA) and the mental concomitants (CAITTA). This Sautrāntika teaching was critiqued by other Buddhist schools as skirting dangerously close to the proscribed notion of a perduring self (ĀTMAN). The term is also adopted subsequently in the YOGĀCĀRA school to refer to the “transformation of the basis” (ĀŚRAYAPARĀVṚTTI) of the mind, the path, and the proclivities, which transforms an ordinary person (PṚTHAGJANA) into a noble one (ĀRYA).
āśrayaparāvṛtti. [alt. āśrayaparivṛtti] (T. gnas yongs su ’gyur pa; C. zhuanyi; J. ten’e; K. chŏnŭi 轉依). In Sanskrit, “transformation of the basis” or “fundamental transmutation”; the transmutation of the defiled state in which one has not abandoned the afflictions (KLEŚA) into a purified state in which the kleśas have been abandoned. This transmutation thus transforms an ordinary person (PṚTHAGJANA) into a noble one (ĀRYA). In the YOGĀCĀRA school’s interpretation, by understanding (1) the emptiness (ŚŪNYATĀ) of the imagined reality (PARIKALPITA) that ordinary people mistakenly ascribe to the sensory images they experience (viz., “unreal imaginings,” or ABHŪTAPARIKALPA) and (2) the conditioned origination of things through the interdependent aspect of cognition (PARATANTRA), the basis will be transformed into the perfected (PARNIṢPANNA) nature, and enlightenment realized. STHIRAMATI posits three aspects to this transformation: transformation of the basis of the mind (cittāśrayaparāvṛtti), transformation of the basis of the path (mārgāśrayaparāvṛtti), and transformation of the basis of the proclivities (dauṣṭhulyāśrayaparāvṛtti). “Transformation of the basis of mind” transmutes the imaginary into the perfected through the awareness of emptiness. Insight into the perfected in turn empties the path of any sense of sequential progression, thus transmuting the mundane path (LAUKIKAMĀRGA) with its multiple steps into a supramundane path (lokottaramārga, cf. LOKUTTARAMAGGA) that has no fixed locus; this is the “transformation of the basis of the path.” Finally, “transformation of the basis of the proclivities” eradicates the seeds (BĪJA) of action (KARMAN) that are stored in the storehouse consciousness (ĀLAYAVIJÑĀNA), liberating the bodhisattva from the effects of any past unwholesome actions and freeing him to project compassion liberally throughout the world.
Aṣṭabhayatrāṇa-Tārā. (S). See TĀRĀ.
aṣṭaduḥkha. (T. sdug bsngal brgyad; C. baku; J. hakku; K. p’algo 八苦). In Sanskrit, “eight types of suffering” (DUḤKHA), sometimes specificed as the eight sufferings of humans. The eight are the suffering associated with (1) birth (jātiduḥkha), (2) aging (jarāduḥkha), (3) sickness (vyādhiduḥkha), and (4) death (maraṇaduḥkha); (5) “the suffering of being separated from persons and things one likes” (priyaviprayogaduḥkha); (6) “the suffering of being associated with persons and things one dislikes” (apriyasaṃprayogaduḥkha); (7) “the suffering of not getting what one wants” (yad api icchayā paryeṣamāṇo na labhate tad api duḥkham); and (8) “the suffering inherent in the five aggregates” (saṃkṣepeṇa pañcopādānaskandhaduḥkham); the eighth appears in some lists as “the suffering of getting what one does not want.” See discussion in DUḤKHA entry.
aṣṭakṣaṇa. (T. dal ba brgyad). In Sanskrit, lit. “eight moments,” i.e., eight qualities of an opportune [human] rebirth (these are defined in Tibetan as “eight freedoms”). The eight are freedom from (1) birth as one of the hell denizens (NĀRAKA); (2) birth as an animal (TIRYAK), (3) birth as a ghost (PRETA), or (4) birth as a long-lived divinity (DEVA); (5) birth in a border land or barbarian region; (6) birth in a place with perverted or heretical views; (7) birth as a stupid person who is unable to understand the teachings; and (8) birth at a time when or a place where no buddhas have arisen. In Tibetan LAM RIM literature, one is instructed to contemplate the rarity of such an opportune birth in order to take full advantage of it by practicing the path. See KṢAṆA.
aṣṭalokadharma. (T. ’jig rten gyi chos brgyad). In Sanskrit, “eight mundane dharmas” or “eight worldly concerns”; the preoccupation with gain (lābha) and loss (alābha), pleasure (SUKHA) and pain (DUḤKHA), praise (praśaṃsā) and blame (nindā), and fame (yaśas) and disgrace (ayaśas). This list encapsulates the concerns of foolish (BĀLA) ordinary persons (PṚTHAGJANA) who in each case desire to attain the first and avoid the second, unlike those who practice asceticism (DHUTAṄGA), understand impermanence (ANITYA), and are motivated to attain both a better rebirth and the state of NIRVĀṆA and BODHI.
aṣṭamahābodhisattva. In Sanskrit, “eight great BODHISATTVAs.” See AṢṬAMAHOPAPUTRA.
aṣṭamahāśmaśāna. (T. dur khrod chen po brgyad). In Sanskrit, “eight great charnel grounds.” See ŚMAŚĀNA.
aṣṭamahopaputra. (T. nye ba’i sras chen brgyad; C. ba da pusa; J. hachidai bosatsu; K. p’al tae posal 八大菩薩). In Sanskrit, the “eight great associated sons”; a group of eight bodhisattvas also known as the AṢṬAMAHĀBODHISATTVA or “eight great bodhisattvas”; they are KṢITIGARBHA, ĀKĀŚAGARBHA, AVALOKITEŚVARA, VAJRAPĀṆI, MAITREYA, SARVANĪVARAṆAVIṢKAMBHIN, SAMANTABHADRA, and MAÑJUŚRĪ. Textual evidence for the grouping is found as early as the third century, the date of ZHI QIAN’s Chinese translation of the Aṣṭabuddhakasūtra (Fo shuo ba jixiangshen zhoujing). In earlier representations, they flank either ŚĀKYAMUNI or AMITĀBHA. Their roles are laid out in the Aṣṭamaṇḍalakasūtra, where the aims of their worship are essentially mundane—absolution from transgressions, fulfillment of desires, and protection from ills. The grouping is known throughout Asia, from northern India, where they first appeared in ELLORĀ, Ratnagiri, and NĀLANDĀ, and from there as far east as Japan and Indonesia—indeed, virtually anywhere MAHĀYĀNA and tantric Buddhism flourished. They figure as a group in TANTRAs of various classes, where their number of arms corresponds to the main deity of the MAṆḌALA and their colors correspond to the direction in which they are placed. In the maṇḍala of the GUHYASAMĀJATANTRA, they flank the central figure AKṢOBHYA, who appears in the form of Vajradhṛk and his consort Sparśavajrā. When each has a consort, the females are called the aṣṭapūjādevī (“eight offering goddesses”). There are four in the Guhyasamājatantra maṇḍala: Rūpavajrā, Śabdavajrā, Gandhavajrā, and Rasavajrā. In the vajradhātu mahāmaṇḍala, the group of bodhisattvas is expanded to sixteen.
aṣṭamaṅgala. (T. bkra shis rtags brgyad; C. ba jixiang; J. hachikichijō; K. p’al kilsang 八吉祥). In Sanskrit, “eight auspicious symbols”; eight Indian emblems of good fortune, which became especially popular in Nepal and Tibet but are also known in China. The eight include the lotus (PADMA), the endless knot (śrīvatsa, T. dpal be’u), the pair of golden fish (suvarṇamatsya, T. gser nya), the parasol (chattra, T. gdugs), the victory banner (ketu, T. rgyal mtshan), the treasure vase (dhanakumbha, T. gter gyi bum pa), the white conch shell (śaṅkha, T. dung dkar), and the wheel (CAKRA, T. ’khor lo). VAJRAYĀNA Buddhism deified the symbols as eight goddesses, the aṣṭamaṅgaladevī, who each carry one of these emblems as their attribute. Chinese Buddhism regards the symbols as representing eight organs of the Buddha’s body, and in one Tibetan tradition the eight are collectively identified as forming the body of the Buddha. Designs of these symbols are found throughout both sacred and secular artwork and commonly adorn furniture, murals, carpets, and brocade hangings. In Tibetan communities, the eight symbols are traditionally drawn on the ground out of sprinkled flour or powder as a greeting to visiting religious teachers.
aṣṭamāyopamā. (T. sgyu ma’i dpe brgyad; C. ruhuan yu; J. nyogen no yu; K. yŏhwan yu 如幻喩). In Sanskrit, “eight similes of illusion”; teaching that all dharmas lack an inherent nature (NIḤSVABHĀVA). In the PAÑCAVIṂŚATSĀHASRIKĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀSŪTRA, these are listed as a dream (svapna); an illusion (MĀYĀ); a mirage (marīci); an echo (pratiśabda); an optical illusion (pratibhāsa); a reflection (pratibimba), such as of the moon reflected in water (udakacandra); a city of the GANDHARVAs (GANDHARVANAGARA); and a tathāgata’s magical creation (tathāgatanirmita). Other famous metaphors or similes for the insubstantiality of the five aggregates (SKANDHA) include the five in the Pheṇapiṇḍūpamasutta of the SAṂYUTTANIKĀYA, which compare form to a lump of foam (P. pheṇapiṇḍa), feeling to a water bubble (P. bubbuḷaka), perception to a mirage (P. marīcikā), conditioned formations to the trunk of a plantain tree (P. kadalikkhandha), and consciousness to a conjurer (māyākāra). See also LIUYU (“six similes”).
aṣṭāṅgasamanvāgataṃ upavāsaṃ. (P. aṭṭhaṅgasamannāgataṃ uposathaṃ; T. yan lag brgyad pa’i gso sbyong; C. bazhaijie; J. hassaikai; K. p’alchaegye 八齋戒). In Sanskrit, the “fortnightly assembly with its eight constituents,” more popularly known as the eight rules of conduct (ŚIKṢĀPADA; P. sikkhāpada). On the fortnightly UPOṢADHA days, Buddhist laity would take three additional precepts beyond their standard list of five precepts (PAÑCAŚĪLA) to help foster a sense of renunciation. The full list of eight includes prohibitions against (1) killing, (2) stealing, (3) engaging in sexual misconduct, (4) lying, and (5) consuming intoxicants; these are supplemented by these three extra precepts prohibiting (6) resting on a high or luxurious bed, (7) using makeup and perfumes and enjoying music and dance, and (8) eating at improper times (viz., after midday). See also BAGUAN ZHAI; ŚĪLA.
aṣṭāṅgikamārga. In Sanskrit, “eightfold path.” See ĀRYĀṢṬĀṄGAMĀRGA.
aṣṭānta. (T. mtha’ brgyad; C. babu; J. happu; K. p’albul 八不). In Sanskrit, “eight extremes,” an important term in the MADHYAMAKA school, referring to eight qualities of which all phenomena are said to be empty (see ŚŪNYATĀ). The eight (in four pairs) are cessation and production, annihilation and permanence, coming and going, and difference and sameness. The locus classicus for the list is the opening passage of NĀGĀRJUNA’s MŪLAMADHYAMAKAKĀRIKĀ, which reads, “Homage to the perfect Buddha, best of teachers, who taught that what is dependently arisen has no cessation and no production, no annihilation and no permanence, no coming and no going, no difference and no sameness, is free of elaborations and is at peace.” See also BABU.
aṣṭāryapudgala. (P. aṭṭhāriyapuggala; T. ’phags pa’i gang zag brgyad/gang zag ya brgyad; C. badaren; J. hachidainin; K. p’altaein 八大人). In Sanskrit, “eight noble persons”; referring to those who have achieved the four right paths and four fruitions of sanctity. See ĀRYAPUDGALA.
Aṣṭasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitāvyākhyābhisamayālaṃkārālokā. (T. Brgyad stong ’grel chen/Rgyan snang). In Sanskrit, “Light for the Ornament of Clear Realizations, a Commentary on the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines,” by the Indian scholiast HARIBHADRA. See ABHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRĀLOKĀVYĀKHYĀ.
Aṣṭasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitā. (T. Sher phyin brgyad stong pa; C. Xiaopin bore jing; J. Shōbon hannyakyō; K. Sop’um panya kyŏng 小品般若經). In Sanskrit, “Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines.” This scripture is now generally accepted to be the earliest of the many PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ sūtras and thus probably one of the very earliest of the MAHĀYĀNA scriptures. The Aṣṭa, as it is often referred to in the literature, seems to have gradually developed over a period of about two hundred years, from the first century BCE to the first century CE. Some of its earliest recensions translated into Chinese during the Han dynasty do not yet display the full panoply of self-referentially Mahāyāna terminology that characterize the more elaborate recensions translated later, suggesting that Mahāyāna doctrine was still under development during the early centuries of the Common Era. The provenance of the text is obscure, but the consensus view is that it was probably written in central or southern India. The Aṣṭa, together with its verse summary, the RATNAGUṆASAṂCAYAGĀTHĀ, probably represents the earliest stratum of the prajñāpāramitā literature; scholars believe that this core scripture was subsequently expanded between the second and fourth centuries CE into other massive Prajñāpāramitā scriptures in as many as 100,000 lines (the ŚATASĀHASRIKĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ). By about 500 CE, the Aṣṭa’s basic ideas had been abbreviated into shorter condensed statements, such as the widely read, 300-verse VAJRACCHEDIKĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ (“Diamond Sūtra”). (Some scholars have suggested instead that the “Diamond Sūtra” may in fact represent one of the earliest strata of the prajñāpāramitā literature.) The Mahāyāna tradition’s view of its own history, however, is that the longest of the prajñāpāramitā scriptures, the 100,000-line Śatasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitā, is the core text from which all the other perfection of wisdom sūtras were subsequently excerpted. The main interlocutor of the Aṣṭa, as in most of the prajñāpāramitā scriptures, is SUBHŪTI, an ARHAT foremost among the Buddha’s disciples in dwelling at peace in remote places, rather than ŚĀRIPUTRA, who much more commonly appears in this role in the mainstream Buddhist scriptures (see ĀGAMA; NIKĀYA). The prominent role accorded to Subhūti suggests that the prajñāpāramitā literature may derive from forest-dwelling (āraṇyaka) ascetic traditions distinct from the dominant, urban-based monastic elite. The main goal of the Aṣṭa and other prajñāpāramitā scriptures is rigorously to apply the foundational Buddhist notion of nonself (ANĀTMAN) to the investigation of all phenomena—from the usual compounded things (SAṂSKĀRA) and conditioned factors (SAṂSKṚTADHARMA), but even to such quintessentially Buddhist summa bona as the fruits of sanctity (ĀRYAMĀRGAPHALA) and NIRVĀṆA. The constant refrain of the Aṣṭa is that there is nothing that can be grasped or to which one should cling, not PRAJÑĀ, not PĀRAMITĀ, not BODHISATTVA, and not BODHI. Even the six perfections (ṢAḌPĀRAMITĀ) of the bodhisattva are subjected to this same refutation: for example, only when the bodhisattva realizes that there is no giver, no recipient, and no gift will he have mastered the perfection of giving (DĀNAPĀRAMITĀ). Such radical nonattachment even to the central concepts of Buddhism itself helps to foster a thoroughgoing awareness of the emptiness (ŚŪNYATĀ) of all things and thus the perfection of wisdom (prajñāpāramitā). Even if the Aṣṭa’s area of origin was in the south of India, the prajñāpāramitā scriptures seem initially to have found their best reception in the northwest of India during the KUSHAN dynasty (c. first century CE), whence they would have had relatively easy entrée into Central Asia and then East Asia. This geographic proximity perhaps accounts for the early acceptance the Aṣṭa and the rest of the prajñāpāramitā literature received on the Chinese mainland, helping to make China the first predominantly Mahāyāna tradition.
*aṣṭasenā. (T. lha srin sde brgyad; C. tianlong babu; J. tenryū hachibu; K. ch’ŏnnyong p’albu 天龍八部). Sanskrit term for a grouping of eight nonhuman beings associated with the sensuous realm (KĀMADHĀTU); they are often listed as being in attendance when the Buddha speaks the MAHĀYĀNA sūtras. There are various lists, but a standard grouping includes divinities (DEVA), dragons (NĀGA), demons (YAKṢA), demigods or titans (ASURA), demigod musicians (GANDHARVA), mythical birds (GARUḌA), half-horse/half-men (KIṂNARA), and great snakes (MAHORĀGA).
aṣṭavimokṣa. (P. aṭṭhavimokkha; T. rnam par thar pa brgyad; C. ba jietuo; J. hachigedatsu; K. p’al haet’al 八解脱). In Sanskrit, “eight liberations”; referring to a systematic meditation practice for cultivating detachment and ultimately liberation (VIMOKṢA). There are eight stages in the attenuation of consciousness that accompany the cultivation of increasingly deeper states of meditative absorption (DHYĀNA). In the first four dhyānas of the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPĀVACARADHYĀNA), the first three stages entail (1) the perception of materiality (RŪPA) in that plane of subtle materiality (S. rūpasaṃjñin, P. rūpasaññī), (2) the perception of external forms while not perceiving one’s own form (S. arūpasaṃjñin, P. arūpasaññī), and (3) the developing of confidence through contemplating the beautiful (S. Śubha, P. subha). The next five stages transcend the realm of subtle materiality to take in the four immaterial dhyānas (ĀRŪPYĀVACARADHYĀNA) and beyond: (4) passing beyond the material plane with the idea of “limitless space,” one attains the plane of limitless space (ĀKĀŚĀNANTYĀYATANA); (5) passing beyond the plane of limitless space with the idea of “limitless consciousness,” one attains the plane of limitless consciousness (VIJÑĀNĀNANTYĀYATANA); (6) passing beyond the plane of limitless consciousness with the idea that “there is nothing,” one attains the plane of nothingness (ĀKIÑCANYĀYATANA); (7) passing beyond the plane of nothingness, one attains the plane of neither perception nor nonperception (NAIVASAṂJÑĀNĀSAṂJÑĀYATANA); and (8) passing beyond the plane of neither perception nor nonperception, one attains the cessation of all perception and sensation (SAṂJÑĀVEDAYITANIRODHA). ¶ The ABHIDHARMASAMUCCAYA and YOGĀCĀRABHŪMIŚĀSTRA give an explanation of the first three of the eight vimokṣas within the larger context of bodhisattvas who compassionately manifest shapes, smells, and so on for the purpose of training others. Bodhisattvas who have reached any of the nine levels (the RŪPADHĀTU, the four subtle-materiality DHYĀNAs, and four immaterial attainments) engage in this type of practice. In the first vimokṣa, they destroy “form outside,” i.e., those in the rūpadhātu who have not destroyed attachment to forms (to their own color, shape, smell, and so on) cultivate detachment to the forms they see outside. (Other bodhisattvas who have reached the first dhyāna and so on do this by relaxing their detachment for the duration of the meditation.) In the second vimokṣa, they destroy the “form inside,” i.e., they cultivate detachment to their own color and shape. (Again, others who have reached the immaterial attainments and have no attachment to their own form relax that detachment for the duration of the meditation.) In the third, they gain control over what they want to believe about forms by meditating on the relative nature of beauty, ugliness, and size. They destroy grasping at anything as having an absolute pleasant or unpleasant identity, and perceive them all as having the same taste as pleasant, or however else they want them to be. These texts finally give an explanation of the remaining five vimokṣas, “to loosen the rope of craving for the taste of the immaterial levels.”
aśubhabhāvanā. (P. asubhabhāvanā; T. mi sdug pa bsgom pa; C. bujing guan; J. fujōkan; K. pujŏng kwan 不淨觀). In Sanskrit, the “contemplation on the impure” or “foul”; a set of traditional topics of meditation (see KAMMAṬṬHĀNA) that were intended to counter the affliction of lust (RĀGA), develop mindfulness (SMṚTI; P. SATI) regarding the body, and lead to full mental absorption (DHYĀNA). In this form of meditation, “impure” or “foul” is most often used to refer either to a standardized list of thirty-one or thirty-two foul parts of the body or to the various stages in the decay of a corpse. In the case of the latter, for example, the meditator is to observe nine or ten specific types of putrefaction, described in gruesome detail in the Buddhist commentarial literature: mottled discoloration of the corpse (vinīlakasaṃjñā), discharges of pus (vipūyakasaṃjñā), decaying of rotten flesh (vipaḍumakasaṃjñā), bloating and tumefaction (vyādhmātakasaṃjñā), the exuding of blood and the overflow of body fluids (vilohitakasaṃjñā), infestation of worms and maggots (vikhāditakasaṃjñā), the dissolution of flesh and exposure of bones and sinews (vikṣiptakasaṃjñā), the cremated remains (vidagdhakasaṃjñā), and the dispersed skeletal parts (asthisaṃjñā). The Kāyagatāsatisutta of the MAJJIHIMANIKĀYA includes the contemplation of the impure within a larger explanation of the contemplation of one’s body with mindfulness (KĀYĀNUPAŚYANĀ; see also SMṚTYUPASTHĀNA); before the stages in the decay of the corpse, it gives the standardized list of thirty-one (sometimes thirty-two) foul parts of the body: the head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, skin-oil, saliva, mucus, fluid in the joints, and urine. These parts are chosen specifically because they will be easily visualized, and may have been intended to be the foul opposites of the thirty-two salutary marks of the great man (MAHĀPURUṢALAKṢAṆA). The Chinese tradition also uses a contemplation of seven kinds of foulness regarding the human body in order to counter lust and to facilitate detachment. (1) “Foulness in their seeds” (C. zhongzi bujing): human bodies derive from seminal ejaculate and, according to ancient medicine, mother’s blood. (2) “Foulness in their conception” (C. shousheng bujing): human bodies are conceived through sexual intercourse. (3) “Foulness in their [gestational] residence” (C. zhuchu bujing): human bodies are conceived and nurtured inside the mother’s womb. (4) “Foulness in their nutriments” (C. shidan bujing): human bodies in the prenatal stage live off and “feed on” the mother’s blood. (5) “Foulness in their delivery” (C. chusheng bujing): it is amid the mess of delivery, with the discharge of placenta and placental water, that human bodies are born. (6) “Foulness in their entirety” (C. jüti bujing): human bodies are innately impure, comprising of innards, excrement, and other foul things underneath a flimsy skin. (7) “Foulness in their destiny” (C. jiujing bujing): human bodies are destined to die, followed by putrid infestation, decomposition, and utter dissolution. There is also a contemplation on the nine bodily orifices (C. QIAO), which are vividly described as constantly oozing pus, blood, secretions, etc. ¶ As contemplation on foulness deepens, first an eidetic image (S. udgrahanimitta, P. UGGAHANIMITTA), a perfect mental reproduction of the visualized corpse, is maintained steadily in mind; this is ultimately followed by the appearance of the representational image (S. pratibhāganimitta, P. PAṬIBHĀGANIMITTA), which the VISUDDHIMAGGA (VI.66) describes as a perfectly idealized image of, for example, a bloated corpse as “a man with big limbs lying down after eating his fill.” Continued concentration on this representational image will enable the meditator to access up to the fourth stage of the subtle-materiality dhyānas (ĀRŪPYĀVACARADHYĀNA). After perfecting dhyāna, this meditation may also be used to develop wisdom (PRAJÑĀ) through developing increased awareness of the reality of impermanence (ANITYA). Foulness meditation is ritually included as part of the THERAVĀDA ordination procedure, during which monks are taught the list of the first five of the thirty-two foul parts of the body (viz., head hair, body hair, nails, teeth, and skin) in order to help them ward off lust.
Asuka. (飛鳥). Japan’s first historical epoch, named after a region in the plains south of modern NARA. Until the eighth century (710) when the capital was moved to Nara, a new palace, and virtually a new capital, was built every time a new ruler succeeded to the throne. One of the earliest capitals was located in the region of Asuka. The Asuka period is characterized by the rise of powerful aristocratic clans such as the Soga and Mononobe and attempts such as the Taika reform (646) to counteract the rise of these clans and to strengthen the authority of the emperor. According to the NIHON SHOKI (“Historical Records of Japan”), the inception of Buddhism occurred in the Japanese isles during this period, when Emperor Kimmei (r. 532–571) received an image of the Buddha from the King Sŏngmyŏng of the Korean kingdom of Paekche in 552 (var. 538). Buddhism became the central religion of the Asuka court with the support of such famous figures as Prince SHŌTOKU, Empress Suiko (r. 593–628), and Empress Jitō (r. 686–697). After the establishment of the grand monastery ASUKADERA by the descendants of a Korean clan, other temples modeled after early Chinese monastery campuses, such as HŌRYŪJI, were also constructed during this period. These temples enshrined the magnificent sculptures executed by Tori Busshi.
Asukadera. (飛鳥寺) In Japanese, “Asuka Temple”; also known as Hōkōji (“Monastery of the Flourishing Dharma”), the Asukadera was built during the ASUKA period on a site known as the Amakashi no Oka by the Asuka River near Nara, Japan. Shortly after the death of Emperor Yōmei in 587, the powerful vassals Mononobe no Moriya (d. 587), who represented the indigenous ritual specialists, and Soga no Umako (551?–626), a supporter of Buddhism who came from the Korean peninsula, found themselves caught in battle over imperial succession. In celebration of the Soga clan’s victory over the Mononobe and the death of Moriya, the Soga commenced the construction of the first complete monastic compound in Japan, which they named Hōkōji in 588. Hōkōji was completed nine years later in 596 and for more than a century served as the central monastic complex of the Yamato court. The large monastic compound contained a central hall or KONDŌ and a central pagoda flanked by two other halls. A large lecture hall flanked by a belfry and SŪTRA repository was located behind the main monastic complex. According to the NIHON SHOKI (“Historical Records of Japan”), Empress Suiko commissioned two sixteen-feet gilt-bronze icons of the Buddha to be made by Tori Busshi for installment in Hōkōji. When the capital was moved from Fujiwarakyō to Heijōkyō (modern-day Nara) in 710, the major monasteries including Hōkōji were moved as well. Hōkōji, otherwise known as Asukadera, was subsequently renamed Gangōji.
asura. (T. lha ma yin; C. axiuluo; J. ashura; K. asura 阿修羅). In Sanskrit and Pāli, lit., “nongods,” also translated rather arcanely as “demigod” and “titan,” referring to both a class of divinities and the destiny where those beings reside in the sensuous realm (KĀMADHĀTU); in the list of six destinies (GATI), the asuras are ranked between the realms of the divinities (DEVA) and human beings (MANUṢYA) and are usually considered to be a baleful destiny (see APĀYA; DURGATI). The asuras live in the oceans surrounding the central continent of the world and in the lower reaches of Mount SUMERU. The asuras are said to be constantly jealous of the good fortunes of the divinities (deva), which prompted the king of the gods INDRA [alt. ŚAKRA] to expel them from their original home in the heaven of the thirty-three (TRĀYASTRIṂŚA); the asuras continue to engage in futile warfare against the devas above them to regain access to their lost realm. Many indigenous non-Buddhist deities, such as the Tibetan srung ma (sungma), were placed in this realm as they were assimilated into the Buddhist pantheon.
Asura Cave. A cave south of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal where PADMASAMBHAVA is said to have meditated and conquered the twelve bstan ma (tenma) goddesses. It is an important pilgrimage place, considered sacred by Tibetan and Newar Buddhists as well as Hindus, and the site of several Tibetan monasteries. According to the writings of one Tibetan lama, the fourth KHAMS SPRUL (Khamtrul) Rin po che, the cave may take its name from a small passage at its rear that is purported to lead to the realm of the ASURAs.
Asvabhāva. (T. Ngo bo nyid med pa). Name of the author of the Mahāyānasaṃgrahopanibandhana, a commentary on Asaṅga’s Mahāyānasaṃgraha. See also NIḤSVABHĀVA (“without self-nature”).
Aśvaghoṣa. (T. Rta dbyangs; C. Maming; J. Memyō; K. Mamyŏng 馬鳴) (c. second century CE). An Indian Buddhist poet from ŚRĀVASTĪ, renowned for his epic kāvya poem, the BUDDHACARITA, the first complete biography of the Buddha. According to traditional accounts, Aśvaghoṣa was born into a brāhmaṇa family in Ayodhyā during the reign of the KUSHAN king KANIṢKA and was converted to Buddhism by the VAIBHĀṢIKA teacher PĀRŚVA. His poetic works are esteemed for their distinguished artistic merit, considered representative of the high Sanskritic literary tradition. While the Buddhacarita is Aśvaghoṣa’s most famous work, he authored numerous other epic poems including the Saundarananda (“The Handsome Nanda,” an account of NANDA’s conversion) and the Śāriputraprakaraṇa (“Story of ŚĀRIPUTRA”). East Asian tradition also attributes to Aśvaghoṣa the DASHENG QIXIN LUN (Awakening of Faith), a treatise on TATHĀGATAGARBHA thought that is now widely presumed to be an indigenous Chinese treatise (see APOCRYPHA). ¶ A second tantric Aśvaghoṣa, author of the GURUPAÑCĀŚIKĀ (a brief text detailing the proper worship of a tantric guru), lived in about the tenth century.
Aśvajit. (P. Assaji; T. Rta thul; C. Ashuoshi; J. Asetsuji; K. Asŏlsi 阿示). The fifth of the five ascetics (PAÑCAVARGIKA), along with ĀJÑĀTAKAUṆḌINYA (P. Aññātakoṇḍañña), BHADRIKA (P. Bhaddiya), VĀṢPA (P. Vappa), and MAHĀNĀMAN (P. Mahānāma), who practiced austerities with GAUTAMA prior to his enlightenment. Subsequently, when Gautama abandoned the severe asceticism they had been practicing in favor of the middle way (MADHYAMAPRATIPAD), Aśvajit and his companions became disgusted with Gautama’s backsliding and left him, going to the ṚṢIPATANA (P. Isipatana) deer park, located in the northeast of Vārāṇasī. After the Buddha’s enlightenment, however, the Buddha sought them out to teach them the first sermon, the DHARMACAKRAPRAVARTANASŪTRA (P. DHAMMACAKKAPAVATTANASUTTA); while listening to this sermon, Aśvajit achieved the first stage of awakening or “opening of the dharma eye” (DHARMACAKṢUS), becoming a stream-enterer (SROTAĀPANNA), and was immediately ordained as a monk using the informal EHIBHIKṢUKĀ, or “come, monk,” formula. Five days later, the Buddha then preached to the group of five new monks the second sermon, the *Anātmalakṣaṇasūtra (P. ANATTALAKKHAṆASUTTA), which led to Aśvajit’s becoming a worthy one (ARHAT). It was through an encounter with Aśvajit that ŚĀRIPUTRA and MAHĀMAUDGALYĀYANA, the Buddha’s two chief disciples, were initially converted. Sāriputra witnessed Aśvajit’s calm demeanor while gathering alms in the city of RĀJAGṚHA. Impressed, he approached Aśvajit and asked who his teacher was and what were his teachings. In response, Aśvajit said that he was new to the teachings and could offer only the following summary: “Of those phenomena produced through causes, the Tathāgata has proclaimed their causes and also their cessation. Thus has spoken the great renunciant.” His description, which came to known as the YE DHARMĀ (based on its first two words of the summary), would become perhaps the most commonly repeated statement in all of Buddhist literature. Upon hearing these words, Śāriputra attained the stage of stream-entry (see SROTAĀPANNA), and when he repeated what he heard to his friend Maudgalyāyana, he also did so. The two then agreed to become the Buddha’s disciples. According to Pāli sources, Aśvajit once was approached by the ascetic Nigaṇṭha Saccaka, who inquired of the Buddha’s teachings. Aśvajit explained the doctrine of nonself (ANĀTMAN) with a summary of the Anattalakkhaṇasutta, which the Buddha had taught him. Convinced that he could refute that doctrine, Nigaṇṭha Saccaka challenged the Buddha to a debate and was vanquished. The Pāli commentaries say that Aśvajit intentionally offered only the briefest of explanations of the nonself doctrine as a means of coaxing the ascetic into a direct encounter with the Buddha.
Ātānātiyasutta. In Pāli, “Discourse on the Ātānātiya Protective Spell,” the thirty-second sutta of the DĪGHANIKĀYA (there is no equivalent recension in the Chinese translations of the ĀGAMAS). The discourse was preached by the Buddha to an assembly of deities on Vulture Peak GṚDHRAKŪṬAPARVATA) in RĀJAGṚHA. The divinities of the four directions, together with a retinue of lesser deities, told the Buddha that there are many unbelievers among gods and men who might bring harm to the faithful. They requested that the Buddha allow them to teach his monks the ātānātiya PARITTA, a protective spell to ward off danger; the lengthy spell lists the names of the seven buddhas of antiquity (SAPTATATHĀGATA) and the virtues of the current buddha GAUTAMA, to whom even the ogres (P. yakkha; S. YAKṢA) pay homage. The Buddha consented and advised that monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen memorize the spell so that they might dwell in comfort and safety.
atapa. (P. atappa; T. mi gdung ba; C. wure; J. munetsu; K. muyŏl 無熱). In Sanskrit, “not burning” (viz., “cool”), or “without torment” (also seen spelled as atapas, anavatapta); the second of the five pure abodes (ŚUDDHĀVĀSA), where those who have attained the rank of ANĀGĀMIN become ARHATs, and the highest level of the fourth meditative realm of subtle materiality (RŪPADHĀTU); it is also the name of the divinities (DEVA) who reside there. As with all the heavens of the realm of subtle materiality, one is reborn as a god there through achieving the same level of concentration (DHYĀNA) during one’s practice of meditation as the gods of that heaven. According to BUDDHAGHOSA, the heaven is called “without torment” because the gods born there torment no one.
Atigupta. (S). See ATIKŪṬA.
Atikūṭa. (C. Adiquduo; J. Ajikuta; K. Ajiguda 阿地瞿多) (c. seventh century). An Indian translator who traveled to the Chinese capital of Chang’an in 652, during the Tang dynasty. (His Chinese name may also be transcribed as Atigupta.) His major translation was the Dhāraṇīsamuccaya (Tuoluoni ji jing), which was completed in a total of twelve rolls in 653–654.
Atiśa Dīpaṃkaraśrījñāna. (T. A ti sha Mar me mdzad dpal ye shes) (982–1054). Indian Buddhist monk and scholar revered by Tibetan Buddhists as a leading teacher in the later dissemination (PHYI DAR) of Buddhism in Tibet. His name, also written as Atisha, is an Apabhraṃśa form of the Sanskrit term atiśaya, meaning “surpassing kindness.” Born into a royal family in what is today Bangladesh, Atiśa studied MAHĀYĀNA Buddhist philosophy and TANTRA as a married layman prior to being ordained at the age of twenty-nine, receiving the ordination name of Dīpaṃkaraśrījñāna. After studying at the great monasteries of northern India, including NĀLANDĀ, ODANTAPURĪ, VIKRAMAŚĪLA, and SOMAPURA, he is said to have journeyed to the island of Sumatra, where he studied under the CITTAMĀTRA teacher Dharmakīrtiśrī (also known as guru Sauvarṇadvīpa) for twelve years; he would later praise Dharmakīrtiśrī as a great teacher of BODHICITTA. Returning to India, he taught at the Indian monastic university of VIKRAMAŚĪLA. Atiśa was invited to Tibet by the king of western Tibet YE SHES ’OD and his grandnephew BYANG CHUB ’OD, who were seeking to remove perceived corruption in the practice of Buddhism in Tibet. Atiśa reached Tibet in 1042, where he initially worked together with the renowned translator RIN CHEN BZANG PO at THO LING monastery in the translation of PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ texts. There, he composed his famous work, the BODHIPATHAPRADĪPA, or “Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment,” an overview of the Mahāyāna Buddhist path that served as a basis for the genre of literature known as LAM RIM (“stages of the path”). He spent the remaining twelve years of his life in the central regions of Tibet, where he formed his principal seat in Snye thang (Nyetang) outside of LHA SA where he translated a number of MADHYAMAKA works into Tibetan. He died there and his relics were interred in the SGROL MA LHA KHANG. Atiśa and his chief disciples ’BROM STON RGYAL BA’I ’BYUNG GNAS and RNGOG LEGS PA’I SHES RAB are considered the forefathers of the BKA’ GDAMS PA sect of Tibetan Buddhism. In Tibet, he is commonly known by the honorific title Jo bo rje (Jowoje), “the Superior Lord.”
atiyoga. (T. a ti yo ga/shin tu rnal ’byor). In Sanskrit, “surpassing yoga”; the ninth and most advanced of the nine vehicles according to the RNYING MA sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Here, the system of practice described elsewhere as ANUTTARAYOGATANTRA is divided into three: MAHĀYOGA, ANUYOGA, and atiyoga, with atiyoga referring to the practice of the great completion (RDZOGS CHEN) in which all the phenomena of SAṂSĀRA and NIRVĀṆA appear as the sport of self-arisen wisdom.
ātmabhāvaparityāga. (S). See SHESHEN.
ātmagraha. (P. attagaha; T. bdag ’dzin; C. wozhi; J. gashū; K. ajip 我執). In Sanskrit, “clinging to self” or “conception of self”; the fundamental ignorance that is the ultimate cause of suffering (DUḤKHA) and rebirth (SAṂSĀRA). Although the self does not exist in reality, the mistaken conception that a self exists (SATKĀYADṚṢṬI) constitutes the most fundamental form of clinging, which must be eliminated through wisdom (PRAJÑĀ). Two types of attachment to self are mentioned in MAHĀYĀNA literature: the type that is constructed or artificial (S. parakalpita; T. kun btags; C. fenbie wozhi) and that type that is innate (S. sahaja; T. lhan skyes; C. jusheng wozhi). The former is primarily an epistemic error resulting from unsystematic attention (AYONIŚOMANASKĀRA) and exposure to erroneous philosophies and mistaken views (VIPARYĀSA); it is eradicated at the stage of stream-entry (see SROTAĀPANNA) for the ŚRĀVAKA and PRATYEKABUDDHA and at the DARŚANAMĀRGA for the BODHISATTVA. The latter is primarily an affective, habitual, and instinctive clinging, conditioned over many lifetimes in the past, which may continue to be present even after one has abandoned the mistaken conception of a perduring self after achieving stream-entry. This innate form of clinging to self is only gradually attenuated through the successive stages of spiritual fruition, until it is completely extinguished at the stage of arhatship (see ARHAT) or buddhahood. In the Mahāyāna philosophical schools, the conception of self is said to be twofold: the conception of the self of persons (pudgalātmagraha) and the conception of the self of phenomena or factors (dharmātmagraha). The second is said to be more subtle than the first. The first is said to be abandoned by followers of the HĪNAYĀNA paths in order to attain the rank of arhat, while both forms must be abandoned by the BODHISATTVA in order to achieve buddhahood. See also ĀTMAN; PUDGALANAIRĀTMYA.
ātman. (P. attan; T. bdag; C. wo; J. ga; K. a 我). In Sanskrit, “self” or “I,” with a similar range of meanings as the terms possess in English, but used especially to refer to a perduring substratum of being that is the agent of actions, the possessor of mind and body (NĀMARŪPA), and that passes from lifetime to lifetime. The misconception that there is an “I” (ātman), a perduring soul that exists in reality (SATKĀYADṚṢṬI), and a “mine” (ātmīya), viz., things that belong to me, injects a “point of view” into all of one’s perception (SAṂJÑĀ), which inevitably leads to clinging (toward things we like, viz., LOBHA) and hatred (toward things we dislike, viz., DVEṢA). This mistaken belief that there is such a permanent self is regarded as fundamental ignorance (AVIDYĀ) and the root cause of all suffering (DUḤKHA). The Buddha therefore taught “nonself” (ANĀTMAN) as a palliative to this misconception of permanence. The precise meaning of ātman, the ways in which the misconception arises, and how that misconception is then extended beyond the person are considered in great detail in the various Buddhist philosophical schools. See also PUDGALA.
ātmavāda. (P. attavāda; T. bdag tu smra ba; C. woyu; J. gago; K. aŏ 我語). In Sanskrit, the mistaken “notion of a self”; viz., the misconception that there is a perduring soul that exists in reality (SATKĀYADṚṢṬI), which constitutes the most fundamental form of clinging. The false notion of a self is commonly listed as the fourth of the four kinds of attachments (UPĀDĀNA), along with the attachments to sensuality (KĀMA), views (DṚṢṬI), and the soteriological efficacy of rites and rituals (ŚĪLAVRATA).
attachment. See UPĀDĀNA; NONATTACHMENT.
Aṭṭhakanāgarasutta. (C. Bacheng jing; J. Hachijōkyō; K. P’alsŏng kyŏng 八城經). In Pāli, “Discourse to the Man from Aṭṭhaka”; the fifty-second sutta in the MAJJHIMANIKĀYA (a separate SARVĀSTIVĀDA recension appears as SŪTRA no. 217 in the Chinese translation of the MADHYAMĀGAMA); preached by the Buddha’s attendant ĀNANDA to the householder Dasaka of Aṭṭhaka at Beluvagāmaka near Vesālī (VAIŚĀLĪ). According to the Pāli recension, a merchant from the town (nāgara) of Aṭṭhaka named Dasaka approaches Ānanda and asks him if there was any one thing that could lead to liberation from bondage. Ānanda teaches him the eleven doors of the deathless, by means of which it is possible to attain liberation from bondage. These doors are made up of the four meditative absorptions (JHĀNA; S. DHYĀNA), the four BRAHMAVIHĀRA meditations, and the three immaterial meditations of infinite space (ĀKĀŚĀNANTYĀYATANA), infinite consciousness (VIJÑĀNĀNANTYĀYATANA), and nothing-whatsoever (ĀKIÑCANYĀYATANA). Ānanda states that by contemplating the conditioned and impermanent nature of these eleven doors to liberation, one can attain arhatship (see ARHAT) in this life or short of that will attain the stage of a nonreturner (ANĀGĀMIN), who is destined to be reborn in the pure abodes (ŚUDDHĀVĀSA), whence he will attain arhatship and final liberation.
aṭṭhakathā. In Pāli, lit. “recital of meaning” or “exegesis”; referring specifically to the “commentaries” to the first four NIKĀYAs, or scriptural collections, that comprise the Pāli Buddhist canon (tipiṭaka; S. TRIPIṬAKA). According to THERAVĀDA tradition, MAHINDA brought the Pāli tipiṭaka and aṭṭhakathās to Sri Lanka from the Indian mainland during the third century CE, during the time of King AŚOKA. The language of those Indian commentaries is unknown, but they were initially written down in Sri Lanka in some sort of Sinhalese PRAKRIT. That first Sinhalese recension of the four aṭṭhakathās was superseded when, two centuries later, the renowned Theravāda scholiast, BUDDHAGHOSA, rewrote them in Pāli and wrote a lengthy prolegomenon to this massive body of commentarial literature, which he titled the VISUDDHIMAGGA (“Path of Purification”). In conjunction with the systematic overview provided in the Visuddhimagga, the aṭṭhakathās thus claim to offer a comprehensive account of the full panoply of Buddhist doctrine. The aṭṭhakathā to the last, and latest, of the nikāyas, the KHUDDAKANIKĀYA (“Miscellaneous Discourses”), was composed separately, probably sometime between 450 and 600 CE, by the prolific Pāli commentator DHAMMAPĀLA, and seems to draw on a separate textual recension from that used by Buddhaghosa.
Aṭṭhakavagga. (S. Arthavargīya; C. Yizu jing; J. Gisokukyō; K. Ŭijok kyŏng 義足經). In Pāli, “The Octet Chapter” [alt. “The Chapter on Meaning,” as the Chinese translation suggests], an important chapter of the SUTTANIPĀTA. Based on analysis of the peculiar meters and grammatical formations used in this text, philologists have reached a broad consensus that the Aṭṭhakavagga and its companion chapter, the Pārāyanavagga, are among the very earliest strata of extant Pāli literature and may have existed even during the Buddha’s own lifetime. The Pāli suttas include citations and exegeses of some of the verses from the Aṭṭhakavagga, and the MAHĀNIDESA, a commentary that covers the text, is accepted as canonical in the Pāli canon (tipiṭaka, S. TRIPIṬAKA). All this evidence suggests its relative antiquity within the canon. The teachings contained in the chapter seem to suggest an early stratum of Buddhist teachings, prior to their formalization around fixed numerical lists of doctrines. The technical terminology that becomes emblematic of the standardized Buddhist presentation of doctrine is also relatively absent in its verses (GĀTHĀ). The Aṭṭhakavagga offers a rigorous indictment of the dangers inherent in “views” (P. diṭṭhi; S. DṚṢṬI) and displays a skepticism about religious dogmas in general, seeing them as virulent sources of attachment that lead ultimately to conceit, quarrels, and divisiveness. Some scholars have suggested that the kind of thoroughgoing critique of views presented in the Aṭṭhakavagga might have been the prototype of the later MADHYAMAKA logical approach, which sought to demonstrate the fallacies inherent in any philosophical statement. The verses also seem to represent an earlier stage in the evolution of Buddhist institutions, when monks still lived alone in the forest or with small groups of fellow ascetics, rather than in larger urban monasteries. Monks are still referred to as hermits or “seers” (P. isi, S. ṛṣi), a generic Indian term for religious recluses, rather than the formal Buddhist term bhikkhu (BHIKṢU) as is seen in the prose passages. A two-roll Chinese translation of a Sanskrit or Middle Indic recension of the text was made by ZHI QIAN during the Wu dynasty (c. 223–253 CE).
Aṭṭhasālinī. In Pāli, “Exposition of Meaning,” commentary by BUDDHAGHOSA on the DHAMMASAṄGAṆI, the first book of the Pāli ABHIDHAMMAPIṬAKA (S. ABHIDHARMAPIṬAKA). The MAHĀVAṂSA and SĀSANAVAṂSA state that the Aṭṭhasālinī was originally written in India; the commentary also mentions by name the SAMANTAPĀSĀDIKĀ (the commentary to the Pāli VINAYA) and the VISUDDHIMAGGA, suggesting that it comes from a relatively late stratum of Pāli commentarial writings. The Aṭṭhasālinī provides a spirited defense of the claim that the seven books of the Pāli abhidhammapiṭaka were actually spoken by the Buddha himself, rather than being later scholastic elaborations; they are the Buddha’s own enunciations of his enlightenment experience, which were handed down to ŚĀRIPUTRA and an unbroken succession of ABHIDHAMMIKAs until they were brought to Sri Lanka. The Aṭṭhasālinī’s extended defense suggests that this claim was a matter of much controversy, even within the tradition. The third chapter of the Aṭṭhasālinī presents some of the most comprehensive and detailed explanations of the workings of KARMAN theory found in Pāli literature. The Aṭṭhasālinī appears in the Pali Text Society’s English translation series as The Expositor.
auddhatya. (P. uddhacca; T. rgod pa; C. diao; J. jō; K. to 掉). In Sanskrit, “restlessness,” “agitation,” or “distraction”; along with its related “worry” or “regret” (KAUKṚTYA), with which it is often seen in compound, auddhatya constitutes the fourth of the five hindrances (NĪVARAṆA) to the attainment of meditative absorption (DHYĀNA). Auddhatya-kaukṛtya is the specific hindrance to joy (SUKHA), the fourth of the five factors of dhyāna (DHYĀNĀṄGA). Restlessness and worry are fostered by unwise attention (AYONIŚOMANASKĀRA) to mental unrest and are overcome through learning and reflecting on the SŪTRAs and VINAYA and by associating with elders of calm demeanor. Restlessness and worry are countered by SAMĀDHI, the fourth of the five spiritual faculties (INDRIYA) and the sixth of the factors of enlightenment (BODHYAṄGA), together with development of the factors of tranquillity (PRAŚRABDHI), and equanimity (UPEKṢĀ).
Aurangābād. A complex of twelve rock-cut Buddhist caves located at the outskirts of the city of Aurangābād in the modern Indian state of Maharashtra. The oldest structure at the site is the severely damaged Cave 4, which dates to the beginning of the Common Era. The complex functioned as a center of popular devotion and secular patronage in the region. This strong linkage of the site with popular religiosity is particularly evident in Cave 2, with its central sanctum and pradakṣiṇapatha for circumambulation (PRADAKṢIṆA) left undecorated to display a number of individually commissioned votive panels. The arrangement combines the ritual need for circumambulation with the preference for placing the main buddha against the rear wall by creating a corridor around the entire shrine. The entrance to the shrine is flanked by the BODHISATTVAs MAITREYA and AVALOKITEŚVARA, both attended by serpent kings (NĀGA); the shrine itself contains a seated buddha making the gesture of turning the wheel of the DHARMA (DHARMACAKRAMUDRĀ) flanked by two bodhisattvas. The creation of the Aurangābād cave site appears to have been connected with the collapse of the Vākāṭakas, who had patronized the cave temples at AJAṆṬĀ. Aurangābād rose in response, testimony to the triumph of the regional powers and local Buddhist forces at the end of the fifth century. The small number of cells for the SAṂGHA, the presence of the life-size kneeling devotees with a portrait-like appearance and royal attire sculpted in Cave 3, and the individually commissioned votive panels in Cave 2 indicate the growing importance of the “secular” at Aurangābād. The strong affinities in design, imagery, and sculptural detail between Aurangābād Cave 3 and Caves 2 and 26 at Ajaṇṭā indicate that the same artisans might have worked at both sites. The sculptural panels in Cave 7, which date to the mid-sixth century, may demonstrate the growing importance of tantric sects, with their use of the imagery of voluptuous females with elaborate coiffures serving as attendants to bodhisattvas or buddhas.
aureole. See KĀYAPRABHĀ.
auspicious symbols, eight. See AṢṬAMAṄGALA.
Ava. [alt. Inwa]. Name of the chief Burmese (Myanmar) kingdom and its capital that flourished in Upper Burma between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries CE. Founded in 1364 at the confluence of the Irrawaddy and Myitnge rivers, the city of Ava, whose official Pāli name is Ratanapura, was the successor state of the PAGAN empire (1044–c. 1287), whose cultural, religious, and political traditions Ava’s kings consciously sought to preserve. While occupying a much reduced realm compared to imperial Pagan and hemmed in by the hostile Mon kingdom of Rāmañña (Pegu) in the south, and Shan warlords in the north and east, Ava remained the preeminent military power in the region through its strategic control of the irrigated district of Kyaukse. Ava’s kings were lavish in their support of Buddhist institutions as testified by the numerous pagodas and temples constructed within the environs of the city. Especially important were the Sagaing hills on the opposite shore of the Irrawaddy river, where successive kings built scores of monasteries and colleges, making it one of Southeast Asia’s major Theravāda scholastic centers. In contrast to the neighboring Mon and Thai kingdoms, which by the fifteenth century had largely adopted the reformed THERAVĀDA Buddhism of Sri Lankan tradition, Ava continued to patronize its own native “unreformed” saṅgha, which was descended from Pagan and which Ava regarded as possessing a purer and more ancient pedigree than that of the Sinhalese. The political and religious traditions preserved at Ava came to an abrupt end, however, when in 1527, Shan armies overran the capital and three years later massacred its monks. Ava’s glory was resurrected in 1635 when King Thalun (r. 1629–1648) rebuilt the city and made it the capital of the restored Burmese empire of Taungoo. From the throne of Ava, Thalun orchestrated a major Buddhist revival in which he rebuilt the kingdom’s ancient national shrine of Shwesettaw near Minbu and erected the gigantic Kaungmudaw pagoda in Sagaing. In addition to the construction of monuments, Thalun held an inquest into monastic lands and instituted the office of ecclesiastical censor (B. mahadan-wun) to oversee religious affairs throughout the country, an office that survived into the British period. Ava was again sacked and its king executed by Mon rebels in 1752, an event that marked the end of the Taungoo dynasty. It was rebuilt and served twice as the capital of the third Burmese empire of Konbaung in 1765–1783 and 1823–1837.
avacara. (T. spyod pa; C. jieji; J. kaike; K. kyegye 界繫). In Sanskrit and Pāli, when used at the end of compound words, means “sphere,” “domain,” or “realm of existence.” In Buddhist cosmology, the term refers to the things that “belong to the sphere” of the three realms of existence (traidhātukāvacara, see TRAIDHĀTUKA), which comprise the entire phenomenal universe: the sensuous realm (kāmāvacara or KĀMADHĀTU), the realm of subtle materiality or form (rūpāvacara or RŪPADHĀTU), and the immaterial or formless realm (Ārūpyāvacara or ĀRŪPYADHĀTU). The three realms of existence taken together comprise all of SAṂSĀRA, the cycle of rebirth, and are the spheres within which beings take rebirth: there are no realms of existence that are unoccupied, and no beings are born anywhere other than in these three spheres. The sensuous realm is the lowest stratum of the universe and contains the following destinies (GATI), in ascending order: denizens of hell, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, demigods (ASURA), and divinities (DEVA). Rebirth in the sensuous realm is the result of past performance of either predominantly unwholesome deeds (in the case of hell denizens, hungry ghosts, animals, and asuras), a mix of unwholesome and wholesome deeds (as with human beings), or predominantly wholesome deeds (the divinities). The beings in the sensuous realm all have a coarser physical constituent. The realm of subtle materiality is occupied by the BRAHMĀ and other gods, whose minds are perpetually absorbed in one of the four subtle-materiality meditative absorptions (RŪPĀVACARADHYĀNA). Rebirth in the realm of subtle materiality is the result of mastery of one or all of these four dhyānas, and the beings residing there are refined enough that they require only the subtlest of material foundations for their consciousnesses. The immaterial realm is occupied by divinities who are entirely mental, no longer requiring even a subtle-material foundation for their ethereal states of mind. The divinities in the immaterial realm are perpetually absorbed in immaterial trance states, and rebirth there is the result of mastery of one or all of the immaterial dhyānas (ĀRŪPYĀVACARADHYĀNA).
avadāna. (P. apadāna; T. rtogs par brjod pa; C. apotuona/piyu; J. ahadana or apadana/hiyu; K. ap’adana/piyu 阿波陀那/譬喩). In Sanskrit, “tales” or “narrative”; a term used to denote a type of story found in both Buddhist and non-Buddhist literature. The precise meaning of the word has been the subject of much discussion. In the Indian Brāhmaṇas and śrauta literature, the term denotes either something that is sacrificed or a portion of a sacrifice. The term avadāna was originally thought to mean “something cut off; something selected” and was presumed to derive from the prefix ava- + the Sanskrit root √dā. Feer, who published a French translation of the AVADĀNAŚATAKA in 1891, tentatively translated it as “légende, action héroïque,” while noting that the Tibetans, the Chinese, and the Mongols all employed differing translations of the word as well. (The Chinese use a transcription, apotuona, as well as a translation, piyu, meaning “simile.” The Tibetan rtogs brjod has been rendered as “judgment” or “moral legend”; literally, it means the presentation or expression of the realizations [of an adept]. The Mongolian equivalent is domok.) Feer’s rendering of avadāna is closer to its meaning of “heroic action” in classical Indian works such as the Raghuvaṃśa and the Kumārasambhava. Avadānas are listed as the tenth of the twelvefold (DVĀDAŚĀṄGA) division of the traditional genres of Buddhist literature, as classified by compositional style and content. The total corpus of the genre is quite extensive, ranging from individual avadānas embedded in VINAYA texts, or separate sūtras in the SŪTRAPIṬAKA, to avadānas that circulated either individually or in avadāna collections. These stories typically illustrate the results of both good and bad KARMAN, i.e., past events that led to present circumstances; in certain cases, however, they also depict present events that lead to a prediction (VYĀKARAṆA) of high spiritual attainment in the future. Avadānas are closely related to JĀTAKAs, or birth stories of the Buddha; indeed, some scholars have considered jātakas to be a subset of the avadāna genre, and some jātaka tales are also included in the AVADĀNAŚATAKA, an early avadāna collection. Avadānas typically exhibit a three-part narrative structure, with a story of the present, followed by a story of past action (karman), which is then connected by identifying the past actor as a prior incarnation of the main character in the narrative present. In contrast to the jātakas, however, the main character in an avadāna is generally not the Buddha (an exception is Kṣemendra’s eleventh-century Bodhisattvāvadānakalpalatā) but rather someone who is or becomes his follower. Moreover, some avadānas are related by narrators other than the Buddha, such as those of the AŚOKĀVADĀNA, which are narrated by UPAGUPTA. Although the avadāna genre was once dismissed as “edifying stories” for the masses, the frequent references to monks as listeners and the directives to monks on how to practice that are embedded in these tales make it clear that the primary audience was monastics. Some of the notations appended to the stories in Śūra’s [alt. Āryaśūra; c. second century CE] JĀTAKAMĀLĀ suggest that such stories were also used secondarily for lay audiences. On the Indian mainland, both mainstream and MAHĀYĀNA monks compiled avadāna collections. Some of the avadānas from northwestern India have been traced from kernel stories in the MŪLASARVĀSTIVĀDA VINAYA via other mainstream Buddhist versions. In his French translation of the Avadānaśataka, Feer documented a number of tales from earlier mainstream collections, such as the Avadānaśataka, which were reworked and expanded in later Mahāyāna collections, such as the Ratnāvadānamālā and the Kalpadrumāvadānamālā, which attests to the durability and popularity of the genre. Generally speaking, the earlier mainstream avadānas were prose works, while the later Mahāyāna collections were composed largely in verse.
Avadānaśataka. (T. Rtogs pa brjod pa brgya pa; C. Zhuanji baiyuan jing; J. Senjū hyakuengyō; K. Ch’anjip paegyŏn kyŏng 撰集百經). In Sanskrit, “A Hundred Tales” (AVADĀNA). The collection was originally ascribed to the SARVĀSTIVĀDA school but is now thought to belong to the MŪLASARVĀSTIVĀDA, because of the large number of stereotyped passages that the Avadānaśataka shares with the DIVYĀVADĀNA and the Mūlasarvāstivāda VINAYA and its close correlation with certain other elements of the Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya. Hence, the Avadānaśataka most likely originated in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent, a provenance confirmed with the recent discovery of fragments of the text in the Schøyen Collection that most likely come from BĀMIYĀN. The Avadānaśataka is one of the earliest avadāna collections and was translated into Chinese (Zhuanji baiyuan jing), a translation traditionally attributed to ZHI QIAN. The Tibetan translation (Gang po la sogs pa rtogs pa brjod pa brgya pa) was carried out in the early ninth century by the monk Jinamitra and Devacandra. The composition date of the Avadānaśataka is uncertain. A date c. 100 CE has been proposed, based on Zhi Qian’s putative Chinese translation, whose traditional date of c. 223–253 CE provided a terminus ante quem for the compilation of the anthology. Recent scholarship, however, has questioned this attribution to Zhi Qian and indicates that the translation probably dates instead to the late fifth or early sixth century CE. The significant degree of divergence between the known Sanskrit texts and the Chinese recension may indicate that two or more Sanskrit versions were in circulation. The Chinese text also includes interpolations of story elements that derive from another Chinese collection, the Xian yu jing. In terms of structure, the stories in the Avadānaśataka are arranged symmetrically in ten chapters of ten stories apiece, each with a central theme: (1) prophecies (VYĀKARAṆA) of buddhahood, (2) JĀTAKA tales, (3) prophecies of pratyeka (“solitary”) buddhahood (see PRATYEKABUDDHA), (4) more jātakas, (5) tales of PRETA or “hungry ghosts,” (6) heavenly rebirths as DEVA (“divinities”), (7)–(9) male and female disciples who become ARHATs, and (10) stories of suffering resulting from misdeeds in past lives. The structure of a typical avadāna story includes (1) a frame story told in the narrative present; (2) a story of past deeds (which is the cause of the present achievement or suffering); and (3) a bridge between the two, linking the past actor with the person presently experiencing its consequence. Major motifs include devotion to the Buddha, the benefits of donation (DĀNA), and the workings of moral cause and effect (see KARMAN), as indicated in the stock passage with which more than half of the tales end: “Thus, O monks, knowing that black actions bear black fruits, white actions white fruits, and mixed ones mixed fruits, you should shun the black and the mixed and pursue only the white.” Although avadānas have often been assumed to target the laity, the reference to monks in this stock passage clearly indicates the monastic audience to which these tales were directed.
avadhūtī. (T. rtsa dbu ma; C. afudi; J. abatei; K. abujŏ 阿嚩底). In Sanskrit, “channel,” “vein,” or “canal.” According to various systems of tantric physiognomy, the avadhūtī refers to the central channel that runs from either the tip of the genitals or the base of the spine to either the crown of the head or the point between the eyebrows, with a number of “wheels” (CAKRA) along its course. To its left and right are two channels, both smaller in diameter, the RASANĀ (the left channel in males and the right channel in females) and the LALANĀ (the right channel in males and the left channel in females). Much tantric practice is devoted to techniques for causing the winds or energies that course through the other channels to enter into this central channel.
Avadhūtipāda. (S). See MAITRĪPA/MAITRĪPĀDA.
avaivartika. (T. phyir mi ldog; C. butuizhuan; J. futaiten; K. pult’oejŏn 不退轉). In Sanskrit, “nonretrogression” or “irreversible”; a term used to describe a stage on the path (MĀRGA) at which further progress is assured, with no further possibility of retrogressing to a previous stage. For the BODHISATTVA, different texts posit this crucial transition as occurring at various points along the path, such as on the path of preparation (PRAYOGAMĀRGA), where there is then no danger of the bodhisattva turning back to seek instead to become an ARHAT; the first BHŪMI; or the eighth bhūmi, when the bodhisattva is then certain to continue forward to complete, perfect enlightenment (ANUTTARASAMYAKSAṂBODHI). There are many variant forms in Sanskrit (e.g., avaivarya, avinivartya, avinivartanīya, and anivartiya), of which avaivartika is among the most common. The state of nonretrogression is also termed the avaivartyabhūmi. Nonretrogression is also listed in the MAHĀVASTU as the highest of four stages of practice (CARYĀ). In the PURE LAND schools, taking rebirth (WANGSHENG) in AMITĀBHA’s PURE LAND of SUKHĀVATĪ is said to constitute the stage of nonretrogression.
āvajjana. In Pāli, “advertence,” that is, adverting the mind toward a sensory object, which is the first of seven functions in the cognitive process that ultimately lead to sensory consciousness (P. viññāṇa, S. VIJÑĀNA). When the unconscious mind (P. BHAVAṄGASOTA) is interrupted by the presence of a sensory object, the mind first performs the function of “adverting” toward the object. Thereafter, the mind performs in sequence the functions of “seeing” (P. dassana), “receiving” (P. sampaṭicchana), “investigating” (P. santīrana), and “determining” (P. votthapana). Immediately after this, the mind generates six or seven “impulse moments” (P. javanacitta) associated with either wholesome, unwholesome, or neutral classes of consciousness, after which it reverts to the bhavaṅga.
Avalokitavrata. (T. Spyan ras gzigs brtul zhugs). Indian scholiast of the eighth century CE and successor to BHĀVAVIVEKA [alt. Bhavya] in the SVĀTANTRIKA school of MADHYAMAKA. Avalokitavrata wrote the Prajñāpradīpaṭīkā, an extensive subcommentary to Bhāvaviveka’s PRAJÑĀPRADĪPA, his commentary on NĀGĀRJUNA’s MŪLAMADHYAMAKAKĀRIKĀ, in which he defends Bhāvaviveka from CANDRAKĪRTI’s critiques. That subcommentary is extant only in Tibetan translation.
Avalokiteśvara. (T. Spyan ras gzigs; C. Guanshiyin/Guanyin; J. Kanzeon/Kannon; K. Kwanseŭm/Kwanŭm 觀世音/觀音). In Sanskrit, “Lord who Looks Down [in Empathy]”; the BODHISATTVA of compassion, the most widely worshipped of the MAHĀYĀNA bodhisattvas and one of the earliest to appear in Buddhist literature. According to legend, Avalokiteśvara was produced from a beam of light that radiated from the forehead of AMITĀBHA while that buddha was deep in meditation. For this reason, Buddhist iconography often depicts Amitābha as embedded in Avalokiteśvara’s crown. His name dates back to the beginning of the Common Era, when he replaced the Vedic god BRAHMĀ as the attendant to ŚĀKYAMUNI Buddha, inheriting in turn Brahmā’s attribute of the lotus (PADMA). Images of Avalokiteśvara as PADMAPĀṆI LOKEŚVARA (“Lord with a Lotus in his Hand”), an early name, are numerous. Avalokiteśvara is the interlocutor or main figure in numerous important Mahāyāna sūtras, including the PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀHṚDAYASŪTRA (“Heart Sūtra”). His cult was introduced to China in the first century CE, where his name was translated as Guanshiyin (“Perceiver of the Sounds of the World”) or GUANYIN (“Perceiver of Sounds”); his cult entered Korea and Japan with the advent of Buddhism in those countries. Avalokiteśvara was once worshipped widely in Southeast Asia as well, beginning at the end of the first millennium CE. Although the Mahāyāna tradition eventually faded from the region, images of Avalokiteśvara remain. Avalokiteśvara is also the patron deity of Tibet, where he is said to have taken the form of a monkey and mated with TĀRĀ in the form of a local demoness to produce the Tibetan race. Tibetan political and religious leaders have been identified as incarnations of him, such as the seventh-century king SRONG BTSAN SGAM PO (although that attribution was most likely a later addition to the king’s legacy) and, notably, the DALAI LAMAs. The PO TA LA Palace, the residence of the Dalai Lamas, in the Tibetan capital of LHA SA is named for Avalokiteśvara’s abode on Mount POTALAKA in India. In China, Avalokiteśvara as Guanyin underwent a transformation in gender into a popular female bodhisattva, although the male iconographic form also persists throughout East Asia. PUTUOSHAN, located off the east coast of China south of Shanghai, is said to be Potalaka. Avalokiteśvara is generally depicted in the full raiments of a bodhisattva, often with an image of Amitābha in his crown. He appears in numerous forms, among them the two-armed Padmapāṇi who stands and holds a lotus flower; the four-armed seated Avalokiteśvara, known either as Caturbhuja Avalokiteśvara [Caturbhujāvalokiteśvara] or Cintāmaṇi Avalokiteśvara [Cintāmaṇyavalokiteśvara], who holds the wish-fulfilling jewel (CINTĀMAṆI) with his central hands in AÑJALIMUDRĀ, and a lotus and crystal rosary in his left and right hands, respectively; the eleven-armed, eleven-faced EKĀDAŚAMUKHA; and the thousand-armed and thousand-headed SĀHASRABHUJASĀHASRANETRĀVALOKITEŚVARA (q.v. MAHĀKARUṆIKA). Tradition holds that his head split into multiple skulls when he beheld the suffering of the world. Numerous other forms also exist in which the god has three or more heads, and any number of arms. In his wrathful form as Aṣṭabhayatrāṇāvalokiteśvara (T. Spyan ras gzigs ’jigs pa brgyad skyob), “Avalokiteśvara who Protects against the Eight Fears,” the bodhisattva stands in ARDHAPARYAṄKA (“half cross-legged posture”) and has one face and eight hands, each of which holds a symbol of one of the eight fears. This name is also given to eight separate forms of Avalokiteśvara that are each dedicated to protecting from one of the eight fears, namely: Agnibhayatrāṇāvalokiteśvara (“Avalokiteśvara Who Protects from Fear of Fire”) and so on, replacing fire with Jala (water), Siṃha (lion), Hasti (elephant), Daṇḍa (cudgel), Nāga (snake), ḌĀkinī (witch) [alt. Piśācī]; and Cora (thief). In addition to his common iconographic characteristic, the lotus flower, Avalokiteśvara also frequently holds, among other accoutrements, a jeweled rosary (JAPAMĀLĀ) given to him by Akṣamati (as related in chapter twenty-five of the SADDHARMAPUṆḌARĪKASŪTRA), or a vase. In East Asia, Avalokiteśvara often appears in a triad: the buddha Amitābha in the center, flanked to his left and right by his two bodhisattva attendants, Avalokiteśvara and MAHĀSTHĀMAPRĀPTA, respectively. In Tibet, Avalokiteśvara is part of a popular triad with VAJRAPĀṆI and MAÑJUŚRĪ. As one of the AṢṬAMAHOPAPUTRA, Avalokiteśvara also appears with the other bodhisattvas in group representation. The tantric deity AMOGHAPĀŚA is also a form of Avalokiteśvara. The famous mantra of Avalokiteśvara, OM MAṆI PADME HŪṂ, is widely recited in the Mahāyāna traditions and nearly universally in Tibetan Buddhism. In addition to the twenty-fifth chapter of the Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra, the KĀRAṆḌAVYŪHA is also devoted to him. See also BAIYI GUANYIN; GUANYIN; MIAOSHAN; MAṆI BKA’ ‘BUM.
Avalokiteśvaraguṇa-Kāraṇḍavyūha. (S). See KĀRAṆḌAVYŪHA.
Avalokiteśvarasahasrabhujanetra. In Sanskrit, “Thousand-Armed and Thousand-Eyed AVALOKITEŚVARA”; one of the manifestations of the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteśvara. See SĀHASRABHUJASĀHASRANETRĀVALOKITEŚVARA.
Avanti. (T. Srung byed; C. Abanti [guo]; J. Ahandai[koku]; K. Abanje [kuk] 阿般提[國]). In Sanskrit and Pāli, an Indian kingdom in the southwest subcontinent, north of present-day Mumbai; its capital was Ujjayinī (P. Ujjenī); the dialect spoken there was related to, and perhaps the ancestor of, the language used in the Pāli canon. Avanti was located along the major southern Indian trade route (the Dakṣiṇāpatha) that passed through ŚRĀVASTĪ in central India, one of the main centers of early Buddhism. Buddhist missionaries following this trade route began to proselytize in the southwest even during the Buddha’s lifetime. Kātyāyana, also known as “Kātyāyana the Great” (MAHĀKĀTYĀYANA; P. Mahākaccāna), one of the Buddha’s ten major disciples, hailed from the Avanti region and later returned to his native land to disseminate Buddhism. He is said to have requested that the Buddha allow for special dispensation to ordain new monks in outlying regions without the requisite number of ten monastic witnesses. PŪRṆA (P. Puṇṇa) was another important disciple from the coastal area of this region (Sūrpāraka), who returned there to proselytize as well. He is the subject of the Puṇṇovādasutta (no. 145 in the Pāli MAJJHIMANIKĀYA) and the Pūrṇāvadāna, which describe his resolve to spread the teachings of Buddhism. Buddhism became firmly established in the Avanti region at least by the time of King AŚOKA; Aśoka’s son, MAHINDA, who later transmitted Buddhism to the island kingdom of Sri Lanka (Ceylon), is said to have been a native of its capital, Ujjayinī. Avanti was a stronghold of the STHAVIRANIKĀYA, and its monks led the opposition to ten disputed items in the monastic discipline that resulted in the schism with the MAHĀSĀṂGHIKA order.
āvaraṇa. (T. sgrib pa; C. zhang; J. shō; K. chang 障). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “obstruction,” “obstacle,” or “hindrance.” In MAHĀYĀNA literature, two types of āvaraṇa are commonly described: “obstructions that are the afflictions,” or “afflictive obstructions” (KLEŚĀVARAṆA), and cognitive or noetic obstructions, viz., “obstructions to omniscience” (JÑEYĀVARAṆA). ŚRĀVAKAs and PRATYEKABUDDHAs can be freed from the afflictive obstructions, but only BODHISATTVAs are able to free themselves from the cognitive obstructions. In the YOGĀCĀRA system, the cognitive obstructions result from fundamental misapprehensions about the nature of reality. Because of the attachment that derives from the reification of what are actually imaginary external phenomena, conceptualization and discrimination arise in the mind, which in turn lead to pride, ignorance, and wrong views. Based on the mistakes in understanding generated by these cognitive obstructions, the individual engages in defiled actions motivated by anger, envy, etc., which constitute the afflictive obstructions. The afflictive obstructions may be removed by followers of the śrāvaka, pratyekabuddha, and beginning bodhisattva paths by applying various antidotes or counteragents (PRATIPAKṢA) to the afflictions or defilements (KLEŚA); overcoming these types of obstructions will lead to freedom from further rebirth. The cognitive obstructions, however, can only be overcome by advanced bodhisattvas who seek instead to achieve buddhahood, by perfecting their understanding of emptiness (ŚŪNYATĀ) and compassion (KARUṆĀ) and amassing a great store of merit (PUṆYA) by engaging in the bodhisattva deeds (CARYĀ). Buddhas, therefore, are the only class of beings who have overcome both types of obstructions and thus are able simultaneously to cognize all objects of knowledge in the universe. The jñeyāvaraṇa are therefore sometimes translated as “obstructions to omniscience.” In the elaboration of the obstructions in the Yogācāra text CHENG WEISHI LUN (*Vijñaptimātratāsiddhi), there are ten types of āvaraṇa that are specifically said to obstruct the ten types of suchness (TATHATĀ) correlated with the ten stages of the bodhisattva path (DAŚABHŪMI): (1) the obstruction of the common illusions of the unenlightened (pṛthagjanatvāvaraṇa; C. yishengxing zhang); (2) the obstruction of deluded conduct (mithyāpratipattyāvaraṇa; C. xiexing zhang); (3) the obstruction of dullness (dhaṇḍhatvāvaraṇa; C. andun zhang); (4) the obstruction of the manifestation of subtle afflictions (sūkṣmakleśasamudācārāvaraṇa; C. xihuo xianxing zhang); (5) the obstruction of the lesser HĪNAYĀNA ideal of PARINIRVĀṆA (hīnayānaparinirvāṇāvaraṇa; C. xiasheng niepan zhang); (6) the obstruction of the manifestation of coarse characteristics (sthūlanimittasamudācārāvaraṇa; C. cuxiang xianxing zhang); (7) the obstruction of the manifestation of subtle characteristics (sūkṣmanimittasamudācārāvaraṇa; C. xixiang xianxing zhang); (8) the obstruction of the continuance of activity even in the immaterial realm that is free from characteristics (nirnimittābhisaṃskārāvaraṇa; C. wuxiang jiaxing zhang); (9) the obstruction of not desiring to act to bring salvation to others (parahitacaryākāmanāvaraṇa; C. buyuxing zhang); and (10) the obstruction of not yet acquiring mastery over all things (dharmeṣuvaśitāpratilambhāvaraṇa; fa weizizai zhang). These ten obstructions are overcome by practicing, respectively: (1) the perfection of giving (DĀNAPĀRAMITĀ); (2) the perfection of morality (ŚĪLAPĀRAMITĀ); (3) the perfection of forbearance (KṢĀNTIPĀRAMITĀ); (4) the perfection of energetic effort (VĪRYAPĀRAMITĀ); (5) the perfection of meditative absorption (DHYĀNAPĀRAMITĀ); (6) the perfection of wisdom (PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ); (7) the perfection of expedient means (UPĀYAPĀRAMITĀ); (8) the perfection of the vow (to attain enlightenment) (PRAṆIDHĀNAPĀRAMITĀ); (9) the perfection of powers (BALAPĀRAMITĀ); and (10) the perfection of omniscience (jñānapāramitā). See also KARMĀVARAṆA; NĪVARAṆA.
Avataṃsakasūtra. (T. Mdo phal po che; C. Huayan jing; J. Kegongyō; K. Hwaŏm kyŏng 華嚴經). In Sanskrit, “Garland Scripture”; also known as the BUDDHĀVATAṂSAKASŪTRA (“Scripture of the Garland of Buddhas”), or *Buddhāvataṃsakanāmamahāvaipulyasūtra, the Sanskrit reconstruction of the title of the Chinese translation Dafangguang fo huayan jing, which is usually abbreviated in Chinese simply as the HUAYAN JING (“Flower Garland Scripture”). The sūtra is one of the most influential Buddhist scriptures in East Asia and the foundational text of the indigenous East Asian HUAYAN ZONG. The first major edition of the Avataṃsakasūtra was said to have been brought from KHOTAN and was translated into Chinese by BUDDHABHADRA in 421; this recension consisted of sixty rolls and thirty-four chapters. A second, longer recension, in eighty rolls and thirty-nine chapters, was translated into Chinese by ŚIKṢĀNANDA in 699; this is sometimes referred to within the Huayan tradition as the “New [translation of the] Avataṃsakasūtra” (Xin Huayan jing). A Tibetan translation similar to the eighty-roll recension also exists. The Avataṃsakasūtra is traditionally classified as a VAIPULYASŪTRA; it is an encyclopedic work that brings together a number of heterogeneous texts, such as the GAṆḌAVYŪHA and DAŚABHŪMIKASŪTRA, which circulated independently before being compiled together in this scripture. No Sanskrit recension of the Avataṃsakasūtra has been discovered; even the title is not known from Sanskrit sources, but is a reconstruction of the Chinese. (Recent research in fact suggests that the correct Sanskrit title might actually be Buddhāvataṃsakasūtra, or “Scripture of the Garland of Buddhas,” rather than Avataṃsakasūtra.) There are, however, extant Sanskrit recensions of two of its major constituents, the Daśabhūmikasūtra and Gaṇḍavyūha. Given the dearth of evidence of a Sanskrit recension of the complete Avataṃsakasūtra, and since the scripture was first introduced to China from Khotan, some scholars have argued that the scripture may actually be of Central Asian provenance (or at very least was heavily revised in Central Asia). There also exists in Chinese translation a forty-roll recension of the Avataṃsakasūtra, translated by PRAJÑA in 798, which roughly corresponds to the Gaṇḍavyūha, otherwise known in Chinese as the Ru fajie pin or “Chapter on the Entry into the DHARMADHĀTU.” Little attempt is made to synthesize these disparate materials into an overarching narrative, but there is a tenuous organizational schema involving a series of different “assemblies” to which the different discourses are addressed. The Chinese tradition presumed that the Avataṃsakasūtra was the first sermon of the Buddha (see HUAYAN ZHAO), and the sūtra’s first assembly takes place at the BODHI TREE two weeks after he had attained enlightenment while he was still immersed in the samādhi of oceanic reflection (SĀGARAMUDRĀSAMĀDHI). The Avataṃsaka is therefore believed to provide a comprehensive and definitive description of the Buddha’s enlightenment experience from within this profound state of samādhi. The older sixty-roll recension includes a total of eight assemblies held at seven different locations: three in the human realm and the rest in the heavens. The later eighty-roll recension, however, includes a total of nine assemblies at seven locations, a discrepancy that led to much ink in Huayan exegesis. In terms of its content, the sūtra offers exuberant descriptions of myriads of world systems populated by buddhas and bodhisattvas, along with elaborate imagery focusing especially on radiant light and boundless space. The scripture is also the inspiration for the famous metaphor of INDRAJĀLA (Indra’s Net), a canopy made of transparent jewels in which each jewel is reflected in all the others, suggesting the multivalent levels of interaction between all phenomena in the universe. The text focuses on the unitary and all-pervasive nature of enlightenment, which belongs to the realm of the Buddha of Pervasive Light, VAIROCANA, the central buddha in the Avataṃsaka, who embodies the DHARMAKĀYA. The sūtra emphasizes the knowledge and enlightenment of the buddhas as being something that is present in all sentient beings (see TATHĀGATAGARBHA and BUDDHADHĀTU), just as the entire universe, or trichiliocosm (S. TRISĀHASRAMAHĀSĀHASRALOKADHĀTU) is contained in a minute mote of dust. This notion of interpenetration or interfusion (YUANRONG) is stressed in the thirty-second chapter of Buddhabhadra’s translation, whose title bears the influential term “nature origination” (XINGQI). The sūtra, especially in FAZANG’s authoritative exegesis, is presumed to set forth a distinctive presentation of dependent origination (PRATĪTYASAMUTPĀDA) in terms of the dependence of the whole on its parts, stressing the unity of the universe and its emptiness (ŚŪNYATĀ) of inherent nature; dependent origination here emerges as a profound ecological vision in which the existence of any one thing is completely dependent on the existence of all other things and all things on any one thing. Various chapters of the sūtra were also interpreted as providing the locus classicus for the exhaustive fifty-two stage Mahāyāna path (MĀRGA) to buddhahood, which included the ten faiths (only implied in the scripture), the ten abodes, ten practices, ten dedications, and ten stages (DAŚABHŪMI), plus the two stages of awakening itself: virtual enlightenment (dengjue) and sublime enlightenment (miaojue). This soteriological process was then illustrated through the peregrinations of the lad SUDHANA to visit his religious mentors, each of whom is identified with one of these specific stages; Sudhana’s lengthy pilgrimage is described in great detail in the massive final chapter (a third of the entire scripture), the Gaṇḍavyūha, titled in the Avataṃsakasūtra the “Entry into the Dharmadhātu” chapter (Ru fajie pin). The evocative and widely quoted statement in the “Brahmacarya” chapter that “at the time of the initial arousal of the aspiration for enlightenment (BODHICITTOTPĀDA), complete, perfect enlightenment (ANUTTARASAMYAKSAṂBODHI) is already achieved” was also influential in the development of the East Asian notion of sudden enlightenment (DUNWU), since it implied that awakening could be achieved in an instant of sincere aspiration, without requiring three infinite eons (ASAṂKHYEYAKALPA) of religious training. Chinese exegetes who promoted this sūtra reserved the highest place for it in their scriptural taxonomies (see JIAOXIANG PANSHI) and designated it the “perfect” or “consummate” teaching (YUANJIAO) of Buddhism. Many commentaries on and exegeses of the sūtra are extant, among which the most influential are those written by FAZANG, ZHIYAN, CHENGGUAN, LI TONGXUAN, GUIFENG ZONGMI, WŎNHYO, ŬISANG, and MYŌE KŌBEN.
avavāda. (P. ovāda; T. gdams ngag; C. jiaodaolun; J. kyōdōron; K. kyodoron 教導論). In Sanskrit, “admonitions” or “instructions”; oral instructions that provide practical advice to a student. These may include instructions given to a monk or nun, or instructions on how to put into practice a particular doctrine or teaching. The term carries the connotation of advice drawn from experience in contrast to learning derived from books, although a true practitioner is said to be someone who can see all of the SŪTRAs and ŚĀSTRAs as avavāda. The term often appears in compound with its near-synonym anuśāsanī as “admonition and instruction” (avavādānuśāsanī). The compound OVĀDAPĀṬIMOKKHA (S. *avavādaprātimokṣa) is also used to refer to a foundational disciplinary code (PRĀTIMOKṢA) handed down by the past buddha VIPAŚYIN (P. Vipassī), which is believed to summarize the teachings fundamental to all the buddhas; it is found in the MAHĀPADĀNASUTTANTA [DĪGHANIKĀYA no. 14] and DHAMMAPADA v. 183: “Not doing anything evil,/Undertaking what is wholesome,/Purifying one’s mind:/This is the teaching of the buddhas” (P. sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ/kusalassūpasampadā/sacittapariyodapanaṃ/etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ). This verse has been widely incorporated into THERAVĀDA Buddhist rituals and ceremonies. According to the ABHISAMAYĀLAṂKĀRA, in the PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ sūtras, there are distinct avavāda for each stage of the bodhisattva path (MĀRGA) corresponding to the twenty-two stages of BODHICITTA.
āveṇika[buddha]dharma. (T. chos ma ’dres pa/ma ’dres pa’i chos; C. bugong[fo]fa; J. fugūhō/fugūbuppō; K. pulgong[bul]bŏp 不共[佛]法). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “unshared factors”; special qualities that are unique to the buddhas. They usually appear in a list of eighteen (aṣṭādaśa Āveṇikā buddhadharmāḥ): (1)–(2) the buddhas never make a physical or verbal mistake; (3) their mindfulness never diminishes; (4) they have no perception of difference; (5) they are free from discursiveness; (6) their equanimity is not due to a lack of discernment; (7)–(12) they do not regress in their devotion, perseverance, recollection, concentration, wisdom, or liberation; (13)–(15) all their physical, verbal, and mental actions are preceded and followed by gnosis; and (16)–(18) they enter into the perception of the gnosis that is unobstructed and unimpeded with respect to the past, future, and present. An expanded listing of 140 such unshared factors is given in the YOGĀCĀRABHŪMIŚĀSTRA.
āveśa. (T. ’bebs pa; C. aweishe; J. abisha; K. amisa 阿尾捨). In Sanskrit, “possession”; the possession of shamans and mediums by a spirit or divinity so they could serve as oracles. Specific rites are outlined in esoteric Buddhist materials to incite possession in young children of usually seven or eight years of age; once the children began to shake from their inhabitation by the possessing deity, they would be asked a series of questions regarding portents for the future. In China, the tantric master VAJRABODHI was said to have used two seven-year-old girls as oracles in the palace, who were claimed to have been possessed by two deceased princesses. In Tibet, some of the bodies (rten, sku rten) through which an oracle (lha) speaks attained considerable importance in the religious and even political affairs of the state; among them the GNAS CHUNG (Nechung) oracle, said to be the pre-Buddhist spirit PE HAR, who was tamed by PADMASAMBHAVA and tasked with protecting the Buddha’s teaching, has the status of state oracle.
avīci. (T. mnar med; C. abi diyu/wujian diyu; J. abijigoku/mukenjigoku; K. abi chiok/mugan chiok 阿鼻地獄/無間地獄). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “interminable,” “relentless,” “incessant”; referring to the deepest, largest, and most tortuous of the eight great, or eight hot, hells (see NĀRAKA). (The Chinese use either a transcription corresponding to the first two syllables of the Sanskrit avīci or else the translation “interminable,” combined with their own cultural translation of “hell” as a “subterranean prison.”) This hell is said to be located twenty thousand YOJANAs below the continent of JAMBUDVĪPA and is the destination of beings whose “wholesome faculties are eradicated” (SAMUCCHINNAKUŚALAMŪLA) or who have committed the most heinous of acts, which, after death, result in immediate rebirth in the avīcı hell: patricide, matricide, killing an ARHAT, wounding a buddha, and causing schism in the SAṂGHA (see ĀNANTARYAKARMAN). Because beings reborn in this hell are being constantly burned alive in hot flames, with no respite in their torture, the agony they experience is said to be “Interminable.” (Editors’ note: According to one esoteric lineage, there is a special level of the avīci hell reserved especially for compilers of dictionaries, where, no matter how many terms the authors have defined, an interminable list remains.) Another seven levels of the hot hells are either situated above, or in other interpretations, at the same level as avīci. The ABHIDHARMAKOŚABHĀṢYA lists a corresponding series of bitterly cold hells beginning with the arbuda hell. Avīci and its seven companion hells each have sixteen (four in each direction) neighboring hells (PRATYEKANARAKA) or subhells (utsada), where supplementary tortures are meted out to the unfortunate inhabitants, such as plains of ash that burn their feet; swamps of excrement and corpses in which maggots eat their flesh; roads and forests of razor blades that slice off their flesh; and rivers of boiling water in which they are plunged. Like all levels of hell, however, avīci is ultimately impermanent and, once the previous unwholesome actions of the inhabitant are expiated after many eons, that being will be reborn elsewhere according to his KARMAN.
avidyā. (P. avijjā; T. ma rig pa; C. wuming; J. mumyō; K. mumyŏng 無明). In Sanskrit, “ignorance”; the root cause of suffering (DUḤKHA) and one of the key terms in Buddhism. Ignorance occurs in many contexts in Buddhist doctrine. For example, ignorance is the first link in the twelvefold chain of dependent origination (PRATĪTYASAMUTPĀDA) that sustains the cycle of birth and death (SAṂSĀRA); it is the condition that creates the predispositions (SAṂSKĀRA) that lead to rebirth and thus inevitably to old age and death. Ignorance is also listed as one of the root afflictions (S. MŪLAKLEŚA) and the ten “fetters” (SAṂYOJANA) that keep beings bound to saṃsāra. Avidyā is closely synonymous with “delusion” (MOHA), one of the three unwholesome roots (AKUŚALAMŪLA). When they are distinguished, moha may be more of a generic foolishness and benightedness, whereas avidyā is instead an obstinate misunderstanding about the nature of the person and the world. According to ASAṄGA’s ABHIDHARMASAMUCCAYA, for example, moha is the factor of nescience, while avidyā is the active misconstruction of the nature of reality; he uses the analogy of twilight (= moha) falling on a coiled rope (= reality), which someone in the darkness wrongly conceives to be a snake (= avidyā). Due to the pervasive influence of ignorance, the deluded sentient being (PṚTHAGJANA) sees what is not self as self, what is impermanent as permanent, what is impure as pure, and what is painful as pleasurable (see VIPARYĀSA); and due to this confusion, one is subject to persistent suffering (duḥkha) and continued rebirth. The inveterate propensity toward ignorance is first arrested in the experience of stream-entry (see SROTAĀPANNA), which eliminates the three cognitive fetters of belief in a perduring self (SATKĀYADṚṢṬI), attachment to rules and rituals (S. ŚĪLAVRATAPARĀMARŚA), and skeptical doubt (S. VICIKITSĀ). Avidyā is gradually alleviated at the stages of once-returners (SAKṚDĀGĀMIN) and nonreturners (ANĀGĀMIN), and permanently eliminated at the stage of arhatship (see ARHAT), the fourth and highest degree of sanctity in mainstream Buddhism (see ĀRYAPUDGALA).
avijñaptirūpa. (T. rnam par rig byed ma yin pa’i gzugs; C. wubiaose; J. muhyōjiki; K. mup’yosaek 無表色). In Sanskrit, “unmanifest material force,” or “hidden imprints”; a special type of materiality (RŪPA) recognized in the SARVĀSTIVĀDA school of ABHIDHARMA, especially. The Sarvāstivāda school notably makes recourse to this unique type of materiality as one way of reconciling the apparent contradiction in Buddhism between advocating the efficacy of moral cause and effect and rejecting any notion of an underlying substratum of being (ANĀTMAN), as well as issues raised by the teaching of momentariness (KṢAṆIKAVĀDA). When a person forms the intention (CETANĀ) to perform an action (KARMAN), whether wholesome (KUŚALA) or unwholesome (AKUŚALA), that intention creates an “unmanifest” type of materiality that imprints itself on the person as either bodily or verbal information, until such time as the action is actually performed via body or speech. Unmanifest materiality is thus the “glue” that connects the intention that initiates action with the physical act itself. Unmanifest material force can be a product of both wholesome and unwholesome intentions, but it is most commonly associated in Sarvāstivāda literature with three types of restraint (SAṂVARA) against the unwholesome specifically: (1) the restraint proffered to a monk or nun when he or she accepts the disciplinary rules of the order (PRĀTIMOKṢASAṂVARA); (2) the restraint that is produced through mental absorption (dhyānajasaṃvara); and (3) the restraint that derives from being free from the contaminants (anāsravasaṃvara). In all three cases, the unmanifest material force creates an invisible and impalpable force field that helps to protect the monk or nun from unwholesome action. Prātimokṣasaṃvara, for example, creates a special kind of force that dissuades people from unwholesome activity, even when they are not consciously aware they are following the precepts or when they are asleep. This specific type of restraint is what makes a man a monk, since just wearing robes or following an ascetic way of life would not itself be enough to instill in him the protective power offered by the PRĀTIMOKṢA. Meditation was also thought to confer on the monk protective power against physical harm while he was absorbed in DHYĀNA: the literature abounds with stories of monks who saw tiger tracks all around them after withdrawing from dhyāna, thus suggesting that dhyāna itself provided a protective shield against accident or injury. Finally, anāsravasaṃvara is the restraint that precludes someone who has achieved the extinction of the outflows (ĀSRAVA)—that is, enlightenment—from committing any action (KARMAN) that would produce a karmic result (VIPĀKA), thus ensuring that their remaining actions in this life do not lead to any additional rebirths. Because avijñaptirūpa sounds as much like a force as a type of matter, later authors, such as HARIVARMAN in his TATTVASIDDHI, instead listed it among the “conditioned forces dissociated from thought” (CITTAVIPRAYUKTASAṂSKĀRA).
Avikalpapraveśadhāraṇī. (T. Rnam par mi rtog pa la ’jug pa’i gzungs). In Sanskrit, “DHĀRAṆĪ for Entrance into the Nonconceptual”; also called the Drumavikalpapraveśadhāraṇī, or “Dhāraṇī for Entrance to the [Wish Fulfilling] Tree of Paradise.” The text is cited in the DHARMADHARMATĀVIBHĀGA and appears to be the source of a number of its doctrines. There is a commentary on the text by KAMALAŚĪLA.
avṛha. (P. aviha; T. mi che ba; C. wufan tian; J. mubonten; K. mubŏn ch’ŏn 無煩天). In Sanskrit, “free from afflictions”; the name of the fifth highest of the eight heavens of the fourth concentration (DHYĀNA) of the realm of subtle materiality (RŪPADHĀTU), and one of the five heavens within the fourth dhyāna that constitute the ŚUDDHĀVĀSA, the “pure abodes,” where those who have attained the rank of ANĀGĀMIN become ARHATs. As with all the heavens of the realm of subtle materiality, one is reborn as a divinity there through achieving the same level of concentration (dhyāna) as the gods of that heaven during one’s previous practice of meditation.
avyākṛta. (P. avyākata; T. lung du ma bstan pa/lung ma bstan; C. wuji; J. muki; K. mugi 無). In Sanskrit, “indeterminate” or “unascertainable”; used to refer to the fourteen “indeterminate” or “unanswered” questions (avyākṛtavastu) to which the Buddha refuses to respond. The American translator of Pāli texts HENRY CLARKE WARREN rendered the term as “questions which tend not to edification.” These questions involve various metaphysical assertions that were used in traditional India to evaluate a thinker’s philosophical lineage. There are a number of versions of these “unanswerables,” but one common list includes fourteen such questions, three sets of which are framed as “four alternatives” (CATUṢKOṬI): (1) Is the world eternal?, (2) Is the world not eternal?, (3) Is the world both eternal and not eternal?, (4) Is the world neither eternal nor not eternal?; (5) Is the world endless?, (6) Is the world not endless?, (7) Is the world both endless and not endless?, (8) Is the world neither endless nor not endless?; (9) Does the tathāgata exist after death?, (10) Does the tathāgata not exist after death?, (11) Does the tathāgata both exist and not exist after death?, (12) Does the tathāgata neither exist nor not exist after death?; (13) Are the soul (jīva) and the body identical?, and (14) Are the soul and the body not identical? It was in response to such questions that the Buddha famously asked whether a man shot by a poisoned arrow would spend time wondering about the height of the archer and the kind of wood used for the arrow, or whether he should seek to remove the arrow before it killed him. Likening these fourteen questions to such pointless speculation, he called them “a jungle, a wilderness, a puppet-show, a writhing, and a fetter, and is coupled with misery, ruin, despair, and agony, and does not tend to aversion, absence of passion, cessation, quiescence, knowledge, supreme wisdom, and nirvāṇa.” The Buddha thus asserted that all these questions had to be set aside as unanswerable for being either unexplainable conceptually or “wrongly framed” (P. ṭhapanīya). Questions that were “wrongly framed” inevitably derive from mistaken assumptions and are thus the products of wrong reflection (AYONIŚOMANASKĀRA); therefore, any answer given to them would necessarily be either misleading or irrelevant. The Buddha’s famous silence on these questions has been variously interpreted, with some seeing his refusal to answer these questions as deriving from the inherent limitations involved in using concepts to talk about such rarified existential questions. Because it is impossible to expect that concepts can do justice, for example, to an enlightened person’s state of being after death, the Buddha simply remains silent when asked this and other “unanswerable” questions. The implication, therefore, is that it is not necessarily the case that the Buddha does not “know” the answer to these questions, but merely that he realizes the conceptual limitations inherent in trying to answer them definitively and thus refuses to respond. Yet other commentators explained that the Buddha declined to answer the question of whether the world (that is, SAṂSĀRA) will ever end because the answer (“no”) would prove too discouraging to his audience.
avyākṛtadharma. (P. avyākatadhamma; T. lung du ma bstan pa’i chos; C. wujifa; J. mukihō; K. mugibŏp 無法). In Sanskrit, “indeterminate,” “neutral,” or “indifferent” dharmas. This term is used in contrast to dharmas that are wholesome (KUŚALA) or unwholesome (AKUŚALA); avyākṛtadharmas are neither wholesome nor unwholesome, and therefore “neutral.” Such “interdeterminate dharmas” include the KLIṢṬAMANAS, ĀLAYAVIJÑĀNA, and the results of KARMAN. The term is also used more generally for deeds that in themselves are neither virtuous nor nonvirtuous but may become so depending on the intention with which they are performed.
Awakening of Faith (in Mahāyāna). See DASHENG QIXIN LUN.
ayaḥśālmalīvana. (P. simbalivana; T. lcags kyi shing shal ma li’i nags; C. tieci lin; J. tesshirin; K. ch’Ŏlcha rim 鐡刺林). In Sanskrit “forest of iron thorns”; one of the neighboring hells (PRATYEKANARAKA) surrounding the eight hot hells, through which the denizens of hell must pass as they depart from hell. It is classified as part of the third of the four neighboring hells, called “razor road” (KṢURAMĀRGA). The denizens of this hell arrive at a tree, where a loved one sits at the top of the tree beckoning. As the denizen climbs the tree, its body is lacerated by iron thorns in the bark of the tree. When it reaches the top, the loved one is gone and is now beckoning from the bottom of the tree. Climbing down, the body is again lacerated. The process is repeated until the unwholesome action has been expiated.
āyatana. (T. skye mched; C. chu; J. sho; K. ch’ŏ 處). In Sanskirt and Pāli, “sense-fields” or “bases of cognition.” In epistemology, these twelve sense-fields, which serve as the bases for the production of consciousness, are the six internal sense bases, or sense organs (the “faculties” or INDRIYA, i.e., eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind) and the six external sense objects (the “objective supports” or ĀLAMBANA, i.e., forms, sounds, odors, tastes, tangible objects, and mental phenomena). The contact (SPARŚA) between a sense base and its corresponding sense object would lead to specific sensory consciousnesses (VIJÑĀNA); hence, the āyatanas are considered to be the “access” (āya) of the mind and mental states. In the context of the twelvefold chain of dependent origination (PRATĪTYASAMUTPĀDA), the āyatanas are usually described as comprising only the six sense bases. The twelve āyatana are subsumed as the first twelve of the eighteen elements (DHĀTU). The āyatanas are one of the three major taxonomies of factors (along with SKANDHA and dhātu) found in the SŪTRAs, and represent a more primitive stage of DHARMA classification than the elaborate analyses found in the later ABHIDHARMA literature. In compound words like ĀKĀŚĀNANTYĀYATANA, ABHIBHAVĀYATANA, and so on, āyatana means simply “stage” or “level.”
ayoniśomanaskāra. [alt. ayoniśomanasikāra] (P. ayonisomanasikāra; T. tshul bzhin ma yin pa’i yid la byed pa/tshul min yid byed; C. feili zuoyi/buzheng siwei; J. hiri no sai/fushōshiyui; K. piri chagŭi/pujŏng sayu 非理作意/不正思惟). In Sanskrit, “unsystematic attention” or “wrong reflection”; attention directed to an object in a superficial manner, without thoroughgoing attention. This term refers especially to the entrancement with the compounded forms of things as revealed through their external marks (LAKṢAṆA) and secondary characteristics (ANUVYAÑJANA), so that one does not perceive that they are impermanent (ANITYA). It also entails wrongly ascribing a notion of permanent selfhood (SATKĀYADṚṢṬI) to things that are compounded and thus lacking a perduring substratum of being. Because of unsystematic attention to sensory experience, the sentient being becomes subject to an inexorable process of conceptual proliferation (PRAPAÑCA), in which everything that can be experienced in this world is tied together into a labyrinthine network of concepts, all connected to oneself and projected outward as craving (TṚṢṆĀ), conceit (MĀNA), and wrong views (DṚṢṬI), thus creating bondage to SAṂSĀRA.
āyuṣman. (P. Āvuso; T. tshe dang ldan pa; C. jushou; J. guju; K. kusu 具壽). In Sanskrit, “friend” or “brother” (lit. “endowed with life,” which is the meaning of the Chinese translation “full of life”); a polite form of monastic address, usually used between equals or when a teacher or senior monk addresses a student or junior monk.
Ayuthaya. [alt. Ayutthaya]. There are two important places called Ayuthaya in the Buddhist tradition. ¶ Ayuthaya was a city in north-central India, prominent in early Buddhist texts, that is identified as the ancient city of SĀKETA; it was said to be the birthplace of the Indian divine-king Rāma. ¶ Ayuthaya is the name of a major Thai kingdom and its capital that flourished between 1350 and 1767 CE. The city of Ayuthaya was built on an island at the confluence of the Chao Phraya, Pasak, and Lopburi rivers and grew in importance as the power of its neighbor, the Thai kingdom of SUKHOTHAI, waned. Strategically located and easy to defend, Ayuthaya was accessible to seagoing vessels and commanded the northward trade of the entire Menam basin, whence it grew rapidly into a major Asian entrepôt. Merchant ships from China, Java, Malaya, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Persia, Portugal, Holland, France, and England regularly docked at its port. One of the world’s wealthiest capitals, Ayuthaya contained hundreds of gilded monasteries, temples, and pagodas within its walls and was traversed by grand canals and waterways that served as avenues. Strong Khmer influence is evident in the architecture of Ayuthaya, which developed a distinctive stepped-pyramidal pagoda form called prang. The city’s magnificence was extolled in the travelogues of European and Asian visitors alike. Soon after the city’s founding, Ayuthaya’s kings became enthusiastic patrons of reformed Sinhalese-style THERAVĀDA Buddhism, inviting missionaries from their stronghold in Martaban to reform the local saṅgha. The same form of Buddhism was adopted by neighboring Thai states in the north, the Mon kingdom of Pegu, and later the Burmese, making it the dominant form of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. In 1548, the Burmese king, Tabin Shwehti, invaded the kingdom of Ayuthaya and laid siege to its capital, initiating more than two centuries of internecine warfare between the Burmese and the Thai kingdoms, which culminated in the destruction of Ayuthaya in 1767 and the building of a new Thai capital, Bangkok, in 1782.
babu. (J. happu; K. p’albul 八不). In Chinese, “eight extremes” (the Chinese is a free rendering of the Sanskrit AṢṬĀNTA): the antinomies of production and cessation, eternality and annihilation, sameness and difference, and coming and going, which constitute eight misconceptions of sentient beings. The negation of these eight extremes is a central philosophical and soteriological tenet of the SAN LUN ZONG (the East Asian equivalent of the MADHYAMAKA school) and is adapted from the opening verse of NĀGĀRJUNA’s MŪLAMADHYAMAKAKĀRIKĀ. See also CATUṢKOṬI.
ba bushan jue. (C) (八不善覺). See BA JUE.
Bactria. The name of a region of Central Asia, located between the Hindu Kush range and the Amu Darya River (now lying in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan), which was an active center of Buddhism in the centuries immediately preceding and following the onset of the Common Era. A Greco-Bactrian kingdom was established by Diodotus I around 250 BCE. The Greek rulers received Buddhist emissaries from AŜOKA and the MAHĀVAṂSA describes the monk Mahādharmarakṣita as ordaining Greeks as monks. Buddhism would flourish under later Greek kings, most notably Menander, the putative interlocutor of the MILINDAPAÑHA. Buddhist texts written in cursive Greek have been discovered in Afghanistan. Clement of Alexandria seems to mention Buddhists among the Bactrians during the second century CE, when, in describing the gymnosophists, he writes, “Some of the Indians obey the precepts of Boutta; whom, on account of his extraordinary sanctity, they have raised to divine honors.” The SARVĀSTIVĀDA school of mainstream Buddhism, especially its VAIBHĀṢIKA strand, seems to have been active in the region.
ba da zizai wo. (J. hachidai jizaiga; K. p’al tae chaje a 八大自在我). In Chinese, the “eight great types of autonomy of the self.” In distinction to mainstream Buddhist teachings about the absence of a perduring self (ANĀTMAN), the Chinese recension of the MAHĀYĀNA MAHĀPARINIRVĀṆASŪTRA teaches a doctrine of a “great self” (dawo, S. mahātman) that is realized through enlightenment. According to the Chinese renderings, a buddha, having realized this great self, is capable of eight kinds of miraculous transformations (ba shenbian; ba zizai): (1) self-manifesting (he has the power to make his body appear as multiple emanations; nengshi yishen wei duoshen); (2) infinite enlargement (his physical body appears to fill the myriad world systems; shi yichenshen man daqian jie); (3) levitation and translocation (viz., to transport himself to remote places through space; dashen qingju yuandao); (4) incarnating into myriad species or categories of sentient beings (xian wulianglei changju); (5) intentional synesthesia (e.g., to see with his ears, to smell with his eyes, etc.; zhugen huyong); (6) attaining any ability imaginable, but without giving rise to the (conceited) thought of attainment (de yiqie fa wude xiang); (7) elaborating on the meaning of a single scriptural stanza for innumerable eons (before exhausting his knowledge and eloquence; shuo yiji yi jing wuliang jie); (8) pervading all of infinite space (shenbian zhuchu youru xukong). Other Mahāyāna scriptures outline similarly fantastic and dramatic depictions of greatly apotheosized buddhas and advanced bodhisattvas.
baguan zhai. (S. aṣṭāṅgasamanvāgataṃ upavāsaṃ; P. aṭṭhaṅgasamanāgataṃ uposathaṃ; T. yan lag brgyad dang ldan pa’i bsnyen gnas; J. hakkansai; K. p’algwan chae 八關齋). In Chinese, “eight-restrictions fast”; also known as bajie (“eight precepts”), bajie zhai (“eight-precepts fast”), bafenzhaijie (“eight-fold fasting precepts”), etc. This fast was held on specific days when the laity was expected to observe a temporary set of more restrictive moral precepts. For one day and night, the laity would leave their homes and keep eight precepts (AṢṬĀṄGASAMANVĀGATAṄ UPAVĀSAṂ; see ŚĪLA), as if they had entered the SAṂGHA, effectively becoming monks or nuns for a day. According to the Chinese Buddhist calendar, the UPOṢADHA days reserved for the eight-precepts fast were the eighth, fourteenth, fifteenth, twenty-third, twenty-ninth, and thirtieth of each month. The eight precepts prohibit (1) killing, (2) stealing, (3) engaging in sexual misconduct, (4) lying, (5) consuming intoxicants, (6) resting on a high or luxurious bed, (7) using makeup and perfumes and enjoying music and dance, and (8) eating at improper times. Monasteries sometimes handed out certificates to those laypeople who participated in the precepts ceremony. In Korea, the p’algwan chae (which in Korean is usually called the P’ALGWANHOE, or “eight-restrictions festival”) became an important winter festival of thanksgiving held over two full-moon days of the eleventh lunar month; the festival combined indigenous religious practices propitiating the spirits of mountains and rivers with tributes to the memory of fallen warriors. In Tibet, important religious dignitaries customarily give the precepts to both ordained and lay followers before sunrise on days marking important festivals. See also UPAVĀSA; JINGDU SANMEI JING.
Bāhiranidāna. In Pāli, lit., the “Outer Origin,” a work by BUDDHAGHOSA, conceived as a preface to his SAMANTAPĀSĀDIKĀ, his commentary on the VINAYA, considered by some to be his most important work. The Bāhiranidāna recounts the early history of the dispensation (ŚĀSANA), from the Buddha’s death through the convocation of the first three Buddhist councils and on to the recitation of the vinaya in Sri Lanka by MAHĀRIṬṬHA during the reign of the Sinhalese king DEVĀNAṂPIYATISSA. Although not technically a VAṂSA, or “chronicle,” the work is based on the same sources as the DĪPAVAṂSA, seeking to establish the authenticity of the vinaya by tracing it back to its origins, before beginning the formal commentary upon it. A translation of the Bahīranidāna appears in the Pali Text Society’s English translation series as The Inception of Discipline.
bahirdhā. (P. bahiddhā; T. phyi; C. wai; J. ge; K. oe 外). In Sanskrit, “outer” (also written bāhya); usually paired with “inner” (adhyātma) and sometimes with a third “both” (ubhaya), particularly in lists of the types of emptiness (ŚŪNYATĀ) in the PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ SŪTRAs. Outer refers to the first six external sense-fields (ĀYATANA, the objects of eye, ear, nose, and so on); inner to the six internal sense-fields (from the eye-to mind-faculties); and both to the inner and outer sense-fields of other persons. The emptiness of these three categories completes the presentation of the emptiness of a person (PUDGALA); it is followed by the demonstration of the emptiness of emptiness itself. See also BĀHYĀRTHA.
Bāhiya-Dārucīriya. (C. Poxijia; J. Bakika; K. Pasaga 婆迦). A lay ARHAT (P. arahant), who is declared by the Buddha to be foremost among those of swift intuition (khippābhiññānaṃ). According to Pāli accounts, Bāhiya was a merchant from the town of Bāhiya (whence his toponym), who was engaged in maritime trade. He sailed seven times across the seas in search of profit and seven times returned home safely. On an eighth journey, however, he was shipwrecked and floated on a plank until he came ashore near the seaport town of Suppāraka. Having lost his clothes, he dressed himself in tree bark and went regularly to the town to beg for alms with a bowl. Impressed with his demeanor, the people of Suppāraka were exceedingly generous, offering him luxurious gifts and fine clothes, which he consistently refused. Over time, he came to be regarded by the populace as an arhat, and, infatuated with his growing fame, Bāhiya also came to believe that he had attained that state of holiness. A BRAHMĀ god, who had been Bāhiya’s friend in a previous existence, convinced him out of kindness that he was mistaken and recommended that he seek out the Buddha in ŚRĀVASTĪ (P. Sāvatthi). The Brahmā god transported Bāhiya to the city of RĀJAGṚHA (P. Rājagaha) where the Buddha was then staying and told him to meet the Buddha during his morning alms round. Bāhiya approached the Buddha and requested to be taught what was necessary for liberation, but the Buddha refused, saying that alms round was not the time for teaching. Bāhiya persisted three times in his request, whereupon the Buddha consented. The Buddha gave him a short lesson in sensory restraint (INDRIYASAṂVARA): i.e., “in the seen, there is only the seen; in the heard, only the heard; in what is thought, only the thought,” etc. As he listened to the Buddha’s terse instruction, Bāhiya attained arhatship. As was typical for laypersons who had attained arhatship, Bāhiya then requested to be ordained as a monk, but the Buddha refused until Bāhiya could be supplied with a bowl and robe. Bāhiya immediately went in search of these requisites but along the path encountered an ox, which gored him to death. Disciples who witnessed the event informed the Buddha, who from the beginning had been aware of Bāhiya’s impending demise. He instructed his disciples to cremate the body and build a reliquary mound (P. thūpa, S. STŪPA) over the remains; he then explained that Bāhiya’s destiny was such that he could not be ordained in his final life.
Bahuśrutīya. (P. Bahussutaka/Bahulika; T. Mang du thos pa; C. Duowenbu; J. Tamonbu; K. Tamunbu 多聞部). In Sanskrit, lit. “Great Learning”; one of the traditional eighteen schools of mainstream Indian Buddhism. The Bahuśrutīya was one of the two subschools of the KAUKKUṬIKA branch of the MAHĀSĀṂGHIKA school, along with the PRAJÑAPTIVĀDA, which may have split off as a separate school around the middle of the third century CE. The school was based in NĀGĀRJUNAKOṆḌĀ in the Andhra region of India, although there is also evidence it was active in the Indian Northwest. One of the few extant texts of the Bahuśrutīya is HARIVARMAN’s c. third-century CE *TATTVASIDDHI ([alt. *Satyasiddhi]; C. CHENGSHI LUN, “Treatise on Establishing Reality”), a summary of the school’s lost ABHIDHARMA; this text is extant only in its Chinese translation. The positions the Bahuśrutīya advocates are closest to those of the STHAVIRANIKĀYA and SAUTRĀNTIKA schools, though, unlike the Sthaviranikāya, it accepts the reality of “unmanifest materiality” (AVIJÑAPTIRŪPA) and, unlike the Sautrāntika, rejects the notion of an “intermediate state” (ANTARĀBHAVA) between existences. The Bahuśrutīya also opposed the SARVĀSTIVĀDA position that dharmas exist in both past and future, the Mahāsāṃghika view that thought is inherently pure, and the VĀTSĪPUTRĪYA premise that the “person” (PUDGALA) exists. The Bahuśrutīya thus seems to have adopted a middle way between the extremes of “everything exists” and “everything does not exist,” both of which it views as expediencies that do not represent ultimate reality. The Bahuśrutīya also claimed that the Buddha offered teachings that were characterized by both supramundane (LOKOTTARA) and mundane (LAUKIKA) realities, a position distinct from the LOKOTTARAVĀDA, one of the other main branches of the Mahāsāṃghika, which claimed that the Buddha articulates all of his teachings in a single utterance that is altogether transcendent (lokottara). The Bahuśrutīya appears to be one of the later subschools of mainstream Buddhism; its views are not discussed in the Pāli KATHĀVATTHU. They are also claimed to have attempted a synthesis of mainstream and MAHĀYĀNA doctrine.
bāhya. (S). See BAHIRDHĀ.
bāhyārtha. (T. phyi don; C. waijing; J. gekyō; K. oegyŏng 外境). In Sanskrit, “external object”; referring specifically to sensory objects (ĀYATANA) that exist externally to the sensory consciousnesses (VIJÑĀNA) that perceive them; the term is sometimes also seen in Sanskrit as bahirdhārtha. Such objects are knowable because there is some feature or quality (ĀKĀRA) that is specific to that particular sense datum. In the MADHYAMAKA school, the conventional existence of external objects is sometimes upheld, although they are said to lack intrinsic nature (SVABHĀVA). External objects are built up out of atoms (PARAMĀṆU), the smallest particles, sometimes compared to a mote of dust. These indivisible atoms serve as building blocks that coalesce to create an external object large enough to have an impact on a sensory faculty (INDRIYA). In his critique of individual atoms in his MADHYAMAKĀLAṂKĀRA, ŚĀNTARAKṢITA describes three basic assertions about how this process happens: (1) different atoms are connected with one another; (2) the atoms are surrounded by external atoms of the same class, with interstices in between, each grounding the others’ potential; they cohere and do not drift apart because of a reciprocal energy but do not touch each other; (3) there are no interstices at all between the atoms. In the YOGĀCĀRA school, external objects are presumed not to exist prior to and separate from the sensory consciousnesses that perceive them, and thus lack any intrinsic reality of their own. VASUBANDHU’s VIṂŚATIKĀ presents the Yogācāra view that indivisible atoms of any type cannot form gross objects. The Yogācāra refutation is part of a larger project to demonstrate that Buddhist notions of causality are tenable only in the absence of external objects. According to this view, the conscious experience of apparent external objects is in fact the result of residual impressions (VĀSANĀ) left by earlier, similar experiences on an eighth consciousness, the storehouse-like subconscious (ĀLAYAVIJÑĀNA).
Bai lun. [alt. Bo lun]. (J. Hyakuron; K. Paek non 百論). In Chinese, “The Hundred Treatise,” a philosophical work attributed to the MADHYAMAKA master ĀRYADEVA, and counted as one of the “three treatises” of the SANLUN ZONG of Chinese Buddhism. See *ŚATAŚĀSTRA.
Baiḍūrya dkar po. (Vaidurya Karpo). In Tibetan, “White Beryl.” The monumental astronomical and astrological treatise written in 1685 by the regent of the fifth DALAI LAMA, SDE SRID SANGS RGYAS RGYA MTSHO; the full title is Phug lugs rtsis kyi legs bshad mkhas pa’i mgul rgyan baiḍūrya dkar po’i do shal dpyod ldan snying nor. It deals with the principles of astrology, astronomy, geomancy, and calendrical calculations based on the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Like the larger BAIḌŪRYA SNGON PO, it is supplemented by detailed illustrations. The author’s Baiḍūrya dkar po las ’phros pa’i snyan sgron dang dri lan g.ya’ sel (known as Baiḍūrya g.ya’ sel) clarifies and further elucidates controversial points in the text.
Baiḍūrya gser po. (Vaidurya Serpo). In Tibetan, “Golden Beryl.” The text is a history of the DGE LUGS sect of Tibetan Buddhism, its principal teachers, and its institutions, written in 1698 by the regent of the fifth DALAI LAMA, SDE SRID SANGS RGYAS RGYA MTSHO; also known as the Dga’ ldan chos ’byung (“History of the Dga’ ldan pa [= Dge lugs pa]”); the full title is Dpal mnyam med ri bo dga’ ldan pa’i bstan pa zhwa ser cod pan ’chang ba’i ring lugs chos thams cad kyi rtsa ba gsal bar byed pa baiḍūrya ser po’i me long. Vostrikov’s Tibetan Historical Literature gives a summary of the contents of the work.
Baiḍūrya sngon po. (Vaidurya Ngonpo). In Tibetan, “Blue Beryl”; a commentary composed by the regent of the fifth DALAI LAMA, SDE SRID SANGS RGYAS RGYA MTSHO on the “four tantras” (rgyud bzhi), the basic texts of the Tibetan medical system. Completed in 1688, the work’s full title is Gso ba rig pa’i bstan bcos sman bla’i dgongs rgyan rgyud bzhi’i gsal byed baiḍūrya sngon po; it is an important treatise on the practice of Tibetan medicine (gso rig). Its two volumes explain the Tibetan medical treatise Bdud rtsi snying po yan lag brgyad pa gsang ba man ngag gi rgyud, a text probably by G.yu thog yon tan mgon po (Yutok Yonten Gonpo) the younger, but accepted by Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho to be an authentic work of the “Medicine Buddha” BHAIṢAJYAGURU. The Baiḍūrya sngon po covers a wide range of medical topics approximating physiology, pathology, diagnosis, and cure; although based on the four tantras, the text is a synthesis of earlier medical traditions, particularly those of the Byang (Jang) and Zur schools. Its prestige was such that it became the major reference work of a science that it brought to classical maturity. Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho’s original commentary on the four tantras was supplemented by a set of seventy-nine (originally perhaps eighty-five) THANG KA (paintings on cloth) that he commissioned to elucidate his commentary. Each painting represented in detail the contents of a chapter, making up in total 8,000 vignettes, each individually captioned. These famous paintings, a crowning achievement in medical iconography, adorned the walls of the Lcags po ri (Chakpori) medical center that Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho founded in LHA SA in 1696; they were destroyed in 1959. It is the commentary most widely studied in the Sman rtsis khang (Mentsikang), a college founded by the thirteenth DALAI LAMA for the study of traditional Tibetan medicine.
baifa. (S. śatadharma; J. hyappō; K. paekpŏp 百法). In Chinese, the “hundred DHARMAs”; the standard YOGĀCĀRA classification of factors, classified in five major categories: (1) Eight dharmas concerning the mind (CITTA)—the five affective consciousnesses associated with the five senses, plus the mental consciousness (MANOVIJÑĀNA), mentality (MANAS), and the “storehouse consciousness” (ĀLAYAVIJÑĀNA). (2) Fifty-one forces associated with thought (CITTASAṂPRAYUKTASAṂSKĀRA), such as “applied thought” (VITARKA), “sustained attention” (VICĀRA), and “envy” (ĪRṢYĀ); these are the mental concomitants (CAITTA). (3) Eleven “material” (RŪPA) dharmas, including the eye organ and visual objects, and formal thought objects (dharmāyatanikarūpa). (4) Twenty-four forces dissociated from thought (CITTAVIPRAYUKTASAṂSKĀRA); these are either subconscious or involuntary phenomena, such as “life force” (jīvitendriya) and the “meditative trance wherein no perceptual activities remain” (ASAṂJÑĀSAMĀPATTI), or abstract notions, such as “possession” (PRĀPTI), which are nonetheless classified as real existents. (5) Six “uncompounded” (ASAṂSKṚTA) dharmas, such as “space” (ĀKĀŚA) and “suchness” (TATHATĀ), which are taken to be neither contingent on nor susceptible to causal forces, since they are unproduced by conditions and eternally unchanging. For the full roster of the hundred dharmas, see the List of Lists (s.v.).
Bai Juyi. (C) (白居易). See BO JUYI.
Bailian jiao. (白蓮教). In Chinese, “White Lotus teachings.” As with the BAILIAN SHE, this name was used frequently during the Ming dynasty to refer pejoratively to various religious teachings and magical techniques deemed heretical or traitorous by local officials and Buddhist leaders. No specific religious group, however, seems to coincide precisely with this appellation. The White Lotus teachings are nonetheless often associated with millenarian movements that began to appear during the Mongol Yuan dynasty. Religious groups associated with these movements compiled their own scriptures, known as “precious scrolls” (BAOJUAN), which spoke of the future buddha MAITREYA and the worship of Wusheng Laomu (“Eternal Venerable Mother”).
Bailian she. (J. Byakurensha; K. Paengnyŏnsa 白蓮社). In Chinese, “White Lotus Society.” In the late fourth and early fifth centuries, the Chinese monk LUSHAN HUIYUAN assembled a group of 123 monks and laymen on LUSHAN and contemplated the image of the buddha AMITĀBHA; this group came to be known as the White Lotus Society. This name was also used by putatively heterodox lay Buddhist organizations that flourished during the Tang, Song, and early Yuan dynasties, as well as by monks mainly associated with the TIANTAI school. Inspired by Huiyuan’s White Lotus Society and the repentance rituals of the Tiantai school, Mao Ziyuan (c. 1086–1166) constructed halls for repentance called White Lotus repentance halls and promoted the practice of NIANFO (see BUDDHĀNUSMṚTI) as a means of maintaining the five moral precepts (PAÑCAŚĪLA). Mao Ziyuan’s White Lotus Society was further popularized by the monk Pudu (1255–1330), who compiled an influential treatise known as the Lushan lianzong baojian (“Precious Mirror of the Lotus Tradition at Mt. Lu”). Despite ongoing governmental suppression, he and many other lay followers established cloisters and worship halls all over the country. There seems to be little if any connection between these later organizations and that of Lushan Huiyuan. These lay organizations primarily focused on the recitation of the name of Amitābha in hopes of ensuring rebirth in his PURE LAND. During the early Ming, the name White Lotus Society was frequently associated with rebellious millenarian movements that worshipped the future buddha MAITREYA, which prompted the Ming government to ban any use of the name. Another more common name for these millenarian movements was BAILIAN JIAO. White Lotus societies also flourished in Korea during the Koryŏ dynasty, where they were called Paengnyŏn kyŏlsa (White Lotus retreat societies). Especially well known was the White Lotus Society (Paengnyŏnsa) established at Mandŏksa in 1211 by WŎNMYO YOSE (1163–1240), the mid-Koryŏ revitalizer of the Korean CH’ŎNT’AE (TIANTAI) tradition and a colleague of POJO CHINUL. See also JIESHE.
Baimasi. (J. Hakubaji; K. Paengmasa 白馬寺). In Chinese, “White Horse Monastery”; according to tradition, the oldest Buddhist monastery in China; putatively founded in 75 CE in the Chinese capital of Luoyang by MINGDI (r. 58–75), emperor of the Latter Han dynasty. According to a well-known legend found in the preface to the SISHI’ER ZHANG JING (“Sūtra in Forty-Two Sections”), in 67 CE, Emperor Ming had a dream of a radiant golden figure flying through the air, whom his vassals later told him was the Buddha. He subsequently sent envoys to the Western Regions (Xiyu, viz., Central Asia), where this divine being was presumed to reside. The envoys were said to have returned three years later with a copy of the Sishi’er zhang jing and two foreign missionaries, KĀŚYAPA MĀTAṄGA and Zhu Falan (Dharmaratna). The emperor ordered that a monastery be built on their behalf in the capital of Luoyang; this monastery was named Baimasi because the two Indian monks were said to have arrived in China with scriptures carried on white horses. This legend probably originated in the third century as a means of legitimizing the apocryphal Sishi’er zhang jing. A second founding narrative, which occurs in the GAOSENG ZHUAN (“Biographies of Eminent Monks”), begins with a monastery in India of the same name. According to this legend, a king ordered the destruction of all Buddhist monasteries, but spared one monastery because in his dream he saw a white horse circumambulating the monastery and took this to be an auspicious omen. This king then renamed the monastery White Horse monastery, and, in a reversal of his previous order, began establishing new monasteries throughout India. Emperor Ming thus imitated him in building his own White Horse Monastery in Luoyang. Baimasi quickly became a center for Buddhist study and practice, housing both foreign and Chinese monks. During the Wei dynasty (220–265 CE), SAṂGHAVARMAN stayed there; during the Six Dynasties period (420–589 CE), DHARMARAKṢA, Dharmaruci, and Buddhaśānta (d.u.); and during the Tang dynasty, BUDDHATRĀTA. During the Five Dynasties period (the transition from the Tang to the Song dynasties), Baimasi flourished as a residence for CHAN masters, and during the later Jin dynasty (936–947 CE), it also served as a center for the HUAYAN ZONG. The monastery burned down during the early twelfth century but was rebuilt in 1175 CE by the Jin-dynasty prince Sengyan and was extensively renovated during both the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Baiyi Guanyin. (S. Pāṇḍaravāsinī; T. Gos dkar mo; J. Byakue kannon; K. Paegŭi Kwanŭm 白衣觀音). In Chinese, “White-Robed GUANYIN (Perceiver of Sounds).” An esoteric form of the BODHISATTVA AVALOKITEŚVARA (known as Guanyin in Chinese), who became a popular focus of cultic worship in East Asia. The cult of Baiyi Guanyin began around the tenth century in China, whence it spread to Korea and Japan. Several indigenous Chinese scriptures praise the compassion and miraculous powers of White-Robed Guanyin. According to the various Baiyi Guanyin APOCRYPHA, she was also a grantor of children, as was Songzi Guanyin. Many testimonials from literati are appended to these scriptures, which attest to Baiyi Guanyin’s ability to ensure the birth of sons, although it is also said that she granted children of both genders. Like many other Guanyin-related texts, the White-Robed Guanyin texts frequently invoke esoteric Buddhist terminology such as DHĀRAṆĪ, MUDRĀ, and MANTRA. Beginning in the tenth century, Baiyi Guanyin’s cult was associated with the founding of temples, as well as the production of countless images commissioned by both religious and laity. Many worshippers, especially monastics and royalty, had visions of White-Robed Guanyin. These dreams range from being promised children in return for a residence (such as the Upper Tianzhu monastery outside of Hangzhou, later also associated with Princess MIAOSHAN), to enlarging existing structures or even restoring them once a vision or dream of White-Robed Guanyin occurred. In such visions and dreams, White-Robed Guanyin appeared as a female, thus differentiating this form of the bodhisattva from SHUIYUE GUANYIN (Moon-in-the-Water Avalokiteśvara), who was similarly dressed in a white robe, but appeared as a male. Some miracle tales highlighting the donors’ names were also produced in honor of Baiyi Guanyin, lending further credence to the accounts of the bodhisattva’s miraculous powers.
Baiyun Shouduan. (J. Hakuun Shutan; K. Paegun Sudan 白雲守端) (1025–1072). Chinese CHAN master of the LINJI ZONG. Baiyun was a native of Hengyang in present-day Hunan province. After studying with various teachers, Baiyun eventually became a disciple of the Chan master YANGQI FANGHUI (992–1049) and inherited his YANGQI PAI collateral lineage of the Linji school. Baiyun’s illustrious career took him to such monasteries as Shengtian Chanyuan in Jiangzhou, Shongsheng Chanyuan in Yuantong, Zhengdao Chanyuan on Mt. Fahua, Ganming Chanyuan on Mt. Longmen, and Haihui Chanyuan on Mt. Baiyun, whence he acquired his toponym. The Yangqi lineage came to dominate the Chan tradition of the Song dynasty largely through the efforts of Baiyun and his disciples. Among Baiyun’s disciples, WUZU FAYAN (1024?–1104) is most famous. His teachings can be found in the Baiyun Shouduan yulu, Baiyun Duan heshang guanglu, and Baiyun Duan heshang yuyao.
Baizhang Huaihai. (J. Hyakujō Ekai; K. Paekchang Hoehae 百丈懷海) (749–814). Chinese CHAN monk of the Tang dynasty, who was a dharma successor (FASI) of MAZU DAOYI. Mazu’s disciples dedicated a monastery known as Dazhi Shengshou Chansi (Chan Monastery of Great Wisdom and Sagacious Longevity) on Mt. Baizhang (whence Huaihai derived his toponym) and appointed Baizhang Huaihai to be its founding patriarch (kaizu). According to later Song-dynasty accounts, Baizhang compiled for this first independent Chan monastery a novel code of monastic regulations known as the BAIZHANG QINGGUI. This text was said to have been compiled so that Chan monks would no longer need to reside in VINAYA monasteries, where they were regulated by the imported monastic rules of the Indian vinaya tradition, but could now follow a code unique to their own tradition. Because of this supposedly momentous development in Chan history, Baizhang is often heralded as a revolutionary figure within the Chan tradition. However, thus far, no conclusive evidence exists from the time of Baizhang to support this claim. The famous Chan maxim “a day without work is a day without food” is also attributed to Baizhang. He left many famous disciples, among whom GUISHAN LINGYOU and HUANGBO XIYUN are best known.
Baizhang qinggui. (J. Hyakujō shingi; K. Paekchang ch’ŏnggyu 百丈清規). In Chinese, “Baizhang’s Rules of Purity”; a monastic code distinctive to the CHAN school, attributed to the eminent Tang dynasty monk BAIZHANG HUAIHAI; the text is no longer extant, but it is abridged in the CHANMEN GUISHI. According to later Song-dynasty accounts, Baizhang wrote this QINGGUI (“pure rules”) for the new monastery that he had helped establish on Mt. Baizhang. This monastery is considered by the Chan tradition to be the first independent Chan institution, and its unique monastic code is thus a symbol of the school’s emancipation from the regulations of the Indian VINAYA tradition. The Baizhang qinggui is said to have emphasized the role of the abbot within monastic administration, the precedence of ordination age over monastic rank, and the importance of communal labor. The code also divides the Chan monastic institution into ten administrative offices and provides a general outline of the daily ritual activities in the monastery. This story of the promulgation of the code can be found in the biography of Baizhang in the SONG GAOSENG ZHUAN and JINGDE CHUANDENG LU, as well as in the preface attributed to Yang Yi (968–1024) in the 1335 edition of the Baizhang guishi. Whether Baizhang’s monastic codes were ever compiled in written form, and if so, whether they bore this title, remain matters of scholarly controversy.
ba jue. (J. hachikaku/hakkaku; K. p’algak 八覺). In Chinese, “eight kinds of [misplaced] attention”: (1) that directed at desire (yu; S. CHANDA), (2) that directed at aversion (chen; S. DVEṢA), (3) harmful intent (hai; S. VIHIṂSĀ), (4) partiality and nostalgia for one’s loved ones and relatives (QINLI JUE), (5) chauvinistic identification with one’s land or country (guotu jue), (6) the delusion that one is safe from death (busi jue), (7) identification with or pride in one’s clan or family or lineage (zuxing jue), and (8) belittlement of or contempt toward others (qingwu jue).
Ba Khin, U. (1899–1971). Influential lay Burmese teacher of insight meditation (S. VIPAŚYANĀ; P. VIPASSANĀ). Born to a working-class family in Rangoon, U Ba Khin was educated in Christian middle and high schools. Married with six children, he began his career as a government clerk during the British colonial period, later becoming accountant general of independent Burma. He began practicing vipassanā in 1937 under the guidance of Saya Thet Gyi, a lay meditation teacher and disciple of the Burmese monk LEDI SAYADAW. He explored several styles of tranquility (P. samatha, S. ŚAMATHA) and insight meditation and eventually developed his own technique of vipassanā by drawing on his own experiences. The method he devised focuses on physical sensations (VEDANĀ), beginning at the crown of the head and continuing throughout the body; his approach is considered to be especially effective in producing states of deep concentration (SAMĀDHI). In 1941, U Ba Khin met the famous meditation teacher Webu Sayadaw, who encouraged him to teach his meditation technique to others. He began teaching small groups informally and eventually, while accountant general, taught vipassanā to his staff. Under his influence, the government of Burma instituted a policy of encouraging civil servants to practice meditation as part of their daily routine. In 1952, U Ba Khin established the International Meditation Centre in Rangoon, where he taught meditation and began holding intensive ten-day vipassanā retreats on a regular basis. After his retirement from government service in 1953, he devoted all of his time to promoting vipassanā practice. He also played an active role in the sixth Buddhist council (see COUNCIL, SIXTH), held in Rangoon from 1954–1956. His style of vipassanā is one of the most widely disseminated techniques internationally, and his disciples include such well-known meditation teachers as S. N. Goenka.
Bakkula. [alt. Nakula; Vakula; etc.] (P. Bakkula; T. Ba ku la; C. Bojuluo; J. Hakukura; K. Pakkura 薄拘羅). Sanskrit and Pāi name of an ARHAT disciple of the Buddha, who became an arhat only eight days after ordaining at the age of eighty. The Buddha declared him to be foremost among those who enjoyed good health, and also one of the four monks most proficient in superknowledges (ABHIJÑĀ), supernatural powers that are the by-products of meditation. ¶ Bakkula is also traditionally listed as fifth (or, in Tibetan, ninth) of the sixteen arhat elders (ṢOḌAŚASTHAVIRA), who are charged by the Buddha with protecting his dispensation until the advent of the next buddha, MAITREYA. He is said to reside in JAMBUDVĪPA with eight hundred disciples. According to the East Asian tradition, Bakkula was a fierce warrior. After he ordained, the Buddha calmed him by making him sit in meditation, whence he became known as the “Quietly Sitting Arhat” (Jingzuo Luohan). Bakkula may be the arhat known by the epithet of Kundovahan (Holder of the Mongoose; C. Juntoupohan) referred to in the Śāriputraparipṛcchā (“Sūtra of Śāriputra’s Questions”). In Tibetan iconography he holds a mongoose (nakula) spitting out jewels; East Asian images have him seated in a chair holding a mongoose, sometimes accompanied by a beggar child. In CHANYUE GUANXIU’s standard Chinese depiction, Bakkula is shown sitting cross-legged on a rock, with both hands holding a backscratcher over his left shoulder. In Tibetan Buddhism, Bakkula (or Bakula) is the first figure in an important incarnation (SPRUL SKU) lineage of the DGE LUGS sect. The nineteenth Bakula Rinpoche (1917–2003) served in the Indian parliament and as the Indian ambassador to Mongolia. Bakkula is alternatively known in Sanskrit as Bakula, Vakkula, Vakula, Vatkula (cf. P. Bākula; Vakkula).
bala. (T. stobs; C. li; J. riki; K. yŏk 力). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “power” or “strength”; used in a variety of lists, including the five powers (the eighteenth to twenty-second of the BODHIPĀKṢIKADHARMAs, or “thirty-seven factors pertaining to awakening”), the ten powers of a TATHĀGATA, the ten powers of a BODHISATTVA, and the ninth of the ten perfections (PĀRAMITĀ). The five powers are the same as the five spiritual faculties (INDRIYA)—faith (ŚRADDHĀ), perseverance (VĪRYA), mindfulness (SMṚTI), concentration (SAMĀDHI), and wisdom (PRAJÑĀ)—but now fully developed at the LAUKIKĀGRADHARMA stage of the path of preparation (PRAYOGAMĀRGA), just prior to the path of vision (DARŚANAMĀRGA). A tathāgata’s ten powers are given in both Pāli and Sanskrit sources as the power of the knowledge (jñānabala) of: (1) what can be and cannot be (sthānāsthāna), (2) karmic results (karmavipāka), (3) the various dispositions of different beings (nānādhimukti), (4) how the world has many and different elements (nānādhātu), (5) the higher (or different) faculties people possess (indriyaparāpara), (6) the ways that lead to all destinations (sarvatragāminīpratipad), (7) the defilement and purification of all meditative absorptions (DHYĀNA), liberations (VIMOKṢA), samādhis, and trances (SAMĀPATTI) (sarvadhyānavimokṣasamādhisamāpatti-saṃkleśavyavadānavyavasthāna), (8) recollecting previous births (PŪRVANIVĀSĀNUSMṚTI), (9) decease and birth (cyutyupapatti), and (10) the extinction of the contaminants (ĀSRAVAKṢAYA). Another list gives the Buddha’s ten powers as the power of aspiration (āśaya), resolution (ADHYĀŚAYA), habit (abhyāsa), practice (PRATIPATTI), wisdom (prajñā), vow (PRAṆIDHĀNA), vehicle (YĀNA), way of life (caryā), thaumaturgy (vikurvaṇa), the power derived from his bodhisattva career, and the power to turn the wheel of dharma (DHARMACAKRAPRAVARTANA). When the Mahāyāna six perfections (PĀRAMITĀ) are expanded and linked to the ten bodhisattva stages (DAŚABHŪMI), four perfections are added: the perfections of skillful means (UPĀYA), vow, power, and knowledge (JÑĀNA). Thus the perfection of power (BALAPĀRAMITĀ) is linked with the ninth bodhisattva stage (BHŪMI). When the ten powers are listed as a bodhisattva’s perfection of power, they are sometimes explained to be the powers of a tathāgata before they have reached full strength.
bāla. (T. byis pa; C. yutong; J. gudō; K. udong 愚童). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “foolish,” “childish”; a pejorative term used to describe a worldling (PṚTHAGJANA), especially one who is ignorant or heedless of the DHARMA. The two terms often appear in a compound as bālapṛthagjana (foolish worldling).
balapāramitā. (T. stobs kyi pha rol tu phyin pa; C. li boluomi; J. rikiharamitsu; K. yŏk paramil 力波羅蜜). In Sanskrit, “perfection of power” or “strength”; the ninth of the ten perfections (PĀRAMITĀ), which is mastered at the ninth stage (BHŪMI) of the BODHISATTVA path, viz., SĀDHUMATĪ. The bodhisattva’s strength of intellect achieved through this perfection allows him to master the four analytical knowledges (PRATISAṂVID), which gives him the subtlety of thought necessary to craft his understanding of dharma so that it is relevant to each and every sentient being. See DAŚABHŪMI.
Bāmiyān. (C. Fanyanna; J. Bon’enna; K. Pŏmyŏnna 梵衍那) (The Chinese is probably a transcription of the Indian equivalency Bayana). A complex of several hundred Buddhist caves situated in the heart of the Hindu Kush mountains, some seventy miles northwest of the modern city of Kabul, Afghanistan; renowned for two massive standing buddhas carved into the cliff face, which were the largest in the world. The Bāmiyān Valley was a thriving Buddhist center of the LOKOTTARAVĀDA school from the second through roughly the ninth century CE, until Islam entered the region. Scholars tend to divide the valley into three sections: the western section contained a giant standing buddha (some 177 feet, or fifty-five meters high) and numerous painted caves; the eastern section contained a second large-scale buddha statue (some 124 feet, or thirty-eight meters high); and the central section is marked by a smaller buddha image. The seventh-century Chinese pilgrim XUANZANG described a giant reclining buddha at Bāmiyān, although no archaeological evidence of such a statue has been found. The series of caves excavated between the massive statues vary in size and layout and include both monastic residences (VIHĀRA) as well as cave basilicas perhaps used for worship by passing monks and traveling merchants. The diversity of artistic styles found at Bāmiyān, like those in the caves at DUNHUANG, is a reminder of its crucial position along the ancient SILK ROAD. In 1222 CE, the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan defaced some of the statues, and the Taliban of Afghanistan shelled the two large buddha statues and destroyed them in March 2001. In 2003, the archaeological remains of the Bāmiyān Valley were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Bandhudatta. (C. Pantoudaduo; J. Banzudatta; K. Pandudalta 槃頭達多). A teacher of KUMĀRAJĪVA, the scholar-monk who eventually became the preeminent translator of Indian Buddhist materials into Chinese. Kumārajīva’s mother became a Buddhist nun when her son was seven years old. She also had her son ordained at that time and two years later took him to Kashmir to further his studies. There, over the course of the next three years, he was instructed in the ĀGAMAs and SARVĀSTIVĀDA doctrine by Bandhudatta. Kumārajīva later invited his teacher to KUCHA, where he sought to convert him to the MAHĀYĀNA. Bandhudatta initially resisted, comparing the doctrine of ŚŪNYATĀ to an invisible garment worn by a madman, but Kumārajīva was eventually able to win him over.
banghe. (J. bōkatsu; K. ponghal 棒喝). In Chinese, literally “the stick and the shout.” Also known as fojuanbanghe (“fly whisk, fist, stick, and shout”). A method of pedagogical engagement associated with the “question-and-answer” (WENDA) technique and employed primarily by teachers of the CHAN, SŎN, and ZEN traditions. In response to questions about the nature of the mind or the teachings of BODHIDHARMA, Chan masters of the Tang dynasty began to respond by hitting, kicking, and shouting at their students. This illocutionary method of instruction is said to have been pioneered by such eminent masters of the Chinese Chan school as HUANGPO XIYUN, DESHAN XUANJIAN, and LINJI YIXUAN. According to his recorded sayings (YULU), Linji Yixuan would often strike or shout at his students before they could even begin to respond. The BIYAN LU (“Blue Cliff Record”) specifically refers to “Deshan’s stick and Linji’s shout” (Deshan bang Linji he) in describing this pedagogical style.
Bankei Yōtaku. (盤珪永琢) (1622–1693). Japanese ZEN master of the Tokugawa period; also known as Eitaku. Bankei was born in the district of Hamada in present-day Hyōgō prefecture. According to his sermons, Bankei was dissatisfied with the standard explanations of the concept of “bright virtue” (mingde) found in the CONFUCIAN classic Daxue (“Great Learning”), and sought explanations elsewhere. His search eventually brought him to the temple of Zuiōji, the residence of Zen master Unpo Zenshō (1568–1653). After he received ordination and the dharma name Yōtaku from Unpo, Bankei left his teacher to perform a long pilgrimage (angya) to various temples and hermitages. After what he describes in sermons as an awakening at the age of twenty-six, Bankei continued his post-awakening training under Unpo’s senior disciple, Bokuō Sogyū (d. 1694), and perfected the teaching of FUSHŌ ZEN (“unborn Zen”). Upon hearing of the arrival of the Chinese monk DAOZHE CHAOYUAN in Nagasaki (1651), Bankei traveled to Sōfukuji where Daozhe was residing and furthered his studies under the Chinese master. Bankei spent the rest of his life teaching his “unborn Zen” to both lay and clergy in various locations. He also built and restored a great number of temples and hermitages, such as Ryūmonji in his native Hamada. In 1672 he was appointed the abbot of the RINZAI monastery of MYŌSHINJI in Kyōto.
banruo. (C) (般若). Alternative Sinographic transcription for the Sanskrit PRAJÑĀ