Community | Buddhism

Buddhist Saṅgha | Community

The Saṅgha (community) is the third of the 3 Buddhist Refuges, or Jewels (tri-rātna), of Buddha, Dharma, and Saṅgha. The word Saṅgha literally means “that which is well struck together”; it derives from a Sanskrit root, han (to strike), with the prefix sam conveying a sense of togetherness and completeness. The idea is that the true Buddhist community is well hammered together, impervious to schism,

Stages of Awakening

The 4 Stages of Awakening in Early Buddhism and Theravāda are 4 progressive stages culminating in full awakening (Bodhi) as an Arahant. These 4 stages are: 1. Sotāpanna, Stream-enterer 2. Sakadāgāmi, Once-returner 3. Anāgāmi, Non-returner 4. Arahant. The teaching of the 4 Stages of Awakening is a central element of the early Buddhist schools, including the Theravāda school of Buddhism, which still survives.

Arhat (Arahant) | Definition

The Arhat (Sanskrit) or Arahant (Pāli) is a being who has attained the state of Enlightenment that is the goal of Theravāda and other Mainstream Buddhist Schools. The Arhat is fully human yet has reached a transcendent state of wisdom and liberation that the texts describe as being almost identical with that of the Buddha. Arhat fulfils a role as an ideal for imitation veneration.

Arhat in Theravada Buddhism

The Sanskrit term Arhat (Pāli, Arahant) derives from the root arh (Arhati) and literally means “worthy” or “deserving.” In its most typical usage in Theravāda Buddhism, however, the term Arahant signifies persons who have reached the goal of Enlightenment or Nibbāna (Skt., Nirvāṇa) The term is especially important in Theravāda Buddhism, where it denotes the highest state of spiritual development, but it also has pre-Buddhist

Disciples of the Buddha

The Disciples of the Buddha form a diverse category of human, non-human, and divine figures. This article will restrict its discussion to those presented by the Indian Buddhist tradition as personal disciples of the historical Buddha. Even so, the discussion will be selective. Key disciples of all kinds also appear as co-protagonists in stories of former lives of the Buddha (Jātaka), extending their relationship into


In the early tradition of the Pāli Canon the Paccekabuddha (Sanskrit, Pratyekabuddha) refers to a male individual who has attained Enlightenment or insight (Bodhi; hence, Buddha) by himself. In contrast to a Sammāsambuddha (Sanskrit, Samyaksaṁbuddha), which is a completely Enlightened person, a Pratyekabuddha keeps Enlightenment for himself (pratyeka) and does not embark on a career of preaching it to others. Pratyekabuddha may be the result


The Sanskrit term Mahāsiddha (“great master of spiritual accomplishment” or “great adept”) and the simpler, near synonymous form siddha (adept) refer to an individual who has achieved great success in tantric meditation. Buddhist traditions mainly associate siddhas with the transmission of tantric instructions. They are especially important for the Buddhist schools of Nepal and Tibet, there are 84 Mahāsiddhas, founders of tantric lineages still in


Devadatta is the paradigmatically wicked and evil personality in Buddhist tradition and literature. There are various major and minor legends about Devadatta’s actions against the Buddha and the Buddhist community: The 3 most serious acts leading to Devadatta’s fall into hell, are: 1. Causing the First Schism of the Buddhist order, 2. Wounding the Buddha, and 3. Killing a Buddhist nun named Utpalavarṇā.

Maitreya – the Future Buddha

Maitreya is the Bodhisattva anticipated by all Buddhists traditions to become the Next Buddha of this world, Jambudvīpa. Currently dwelling in the Tuṣita heaven, Maitreya awaits rebirth at that time in the distant future when Śākyamuni Buddha’s dispensation will have been completely forgotten. Depicted as both - Bodhisattva and Future Buddha, Maitreya is frequently portrayed sitting Western-style with legs pendant, sometimes with ankles crossed.

Lama & Lamaism | Definition

A Lama is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher: In the most narrow sense, the term bla ma (pronounced “lama”) refers to a lay or ordained religious instructor. It is also commonly used by Tibetans as a title for Tulku, a reincarnated Teacher. The prominent position of the Lama in Tibetan Buddhism gave rise, first in China and then in the West, to the misnomer Lamaism to