Buddhism Philosophy & Teachings

Buddhist Monks

While terms for Monk in the Buddhist tradition (Sanskrit, Bhikṣu or Śramaṇa; Pāli, Bhikkhu or Samaṇa) are rooted in words connoting mendicancy and austerity, the Buddhist Monk is more generally understood as a member of a community of religious renunciants (the Saṅgha in Pāli, Saṁgha in Sanskrit) who has undergone a formal Ordination ceremony conducted by a quorum of fully ordained Monks. Novice Monks (Śrāmaṇera)...

Pāramitā (Perfection) | Definition

Pāramitā (Perfection) | Definition Pāramitā (Pāli, pāramī;) refers to the spiritual practice accomplished by a Bodhisattva. The term has been interpreted variously as meaning, for example, “perfection,” “to reach the other shore,” or “to cross over.” Traditionally, the term Pāramitā comprises 4 groups: a) the group of 6 Pāramitās; b) the group of 10 Pāramitās; c) the group of 4 Pāramitās; d) the perfections of...

Pāli language & Buddhist classic literature

The term Pāli, used today in both Buddhist and Western cultures as a designation of a language, is a relatively modern coinage, not traceable before the 17th century. Although Pāli is clearly younger than the time of the Buddha, it is the oldest surviving variety of Middle Indic. The dialect used by the Buddha himself when instructing his disciples is unknown and irretrievably lost. It...

Buddha and Buddhas | Definition

The term Buddha, literally “awakened one,” is one of many Indian epithets applied to the founder of the Buddhism religion: A Buddha is defined, first and foremost, as one who has undergone the profoundly transformative experience known as Nirvāṇa and who, as a result, will never be subject to the cycle of birth and death again. Only one Buddha can appear in the world at...

Ḍākinīs | Definition

Ḍākinīs | Definition. In Tibet, Ḍākinī can refer either: a) to a living woman Buddhist teacher or b) to a spirit of ambivalent nature. Regarding the latter type, the idea has persisted that Ḍākinīs are attracted by Buddhist practitioners, drawn in swarms to powerful meditators like mosquitoes to blood. Tibetans further distinguish 2 kinds of Ḍākinīs: 1) gnostic (ye shes), “otherworldly” and 2) flesh-eating (sha...

Mettā - Practice of Universal Love

The Pali word mettā is a multi-significant term meaning loving kindness, friendliness, goodwill, benevolence, fellowship, amity, concord, inoffensiveness and non-violence. Theravada commentators define mettā as the strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others. Essentially mettā is an altruistic attitude of love and friendliness as distinguished from mere amiability based on self-interest. Through mettā one refuses to be offensive and renounces bitterness, resentment and...

Buddha’s Teachings | Overview

After His enlightenment the Buddha pondered on how profound His Dhamma was and how difficult it would be for the people to understand. Once, during the Buddha’s time, a young men humbly requested the Buddha to deliver a discourse, whereby the ordinary people could gain wealth and happiness in their present lives, as well as in the future. There at the Buddha expounded a discourse...

Buddha in Former Lives

Viewing the glory of the Buddha is a very strong experience and may involve the arousing of the Buddhist Righteous Wish and the very great inspiration to become a Buddha Supreme: This happened to our Gotama Buddha who, in the Buddhist history, began practising the Act of Wishing by thought, to become a Buddha. Gotama did this in the presence of the numerous Supremely Enlightened...

Buddha: From Birth to Enlightenment

Before His Mission on Earth the future Buddha was born in Tusita Heaven, as a deity named Setaketu, enjoying a contented and blissful life. He was also known as Santussita deva the name derived from the divine abode he was staying Nearing the end of his divine lifespan, all the divine beings from the ten thousand universes cordially requested him saying: “Dear Bodhisattva deva it...

Buddha’s First Community disciples

Buddha thought how deep His Dhamma was and how difficult it would be for the people to understand and practise. Coincidentally Brahma Sahampati appeared before Him and invited Him to preach the Dhamma, as there were some people who could understand the Dhamma. With His Divine Eye, He surveyed and saw that indeed there were people who could understand the Dhamma: Buddha told them: “Go...