Note: Dates for early, legendary events use traditional dating. 3000 b.c.e. ♦ The mythical emperor Fu Xi (r. 2952-2836 b.c.e.) creates writing, teaches cooking, fishing, and, most significantly, the ordering of the eight trigrams later recorded in the Yijing.Fu Xi, married to his sister, Nyu Gua, was responsible for the general ordering of society and […]

Chronology Part 2 (Buddhism)

1192 ♦ The Kamakura era (1192-1338) begins with the shogun (military ruler) assuming real power throughout Japan as opposed to the emperor, based in Kyoto. The shoguns favor Buddhism, especially Zen, and Pure Land and Nichiren schools also flourish. 1198 ♦ The founder of the Japanese Rinzai Zen school, Eisai (1141-1215), publishes Kozen Gogokuron (Promote […]

Abhidharma/Abhidhamma To Aitken, Robert Baker (Buddhism)

Abhidharma/Abhidhamma The Abhidharma is one of the three subsections or "baskets" of the Tripitaka, the traditional collection of the Buddhist sacred scriptures. The Abhidharma is sometimes also written as Abhidharmapitaka, meaning "the basket of the Abhidharma." Abhidharma means, literally, "concerning the Dharma. The term Dharma here refers to the teachings of the Buddha, which are […]

Ajanta To Amitabha (Amida, Amitayus, "Infinite Light") (Buddhism)

Ajanta Ajanta is a cave complex in western India, northeast of present-day Mumbai (Bombay), whose walls are richly decorated with Buddhist paintings and sculptures. Some of the caves date from the earliest phase of Buddhist history. The site has 36 separate building foundations, including viharas and stupas. The caves are carved into a 250-foot-high wall […]

Amitabha Buddhist Societies To Arnold, Edwin, Sir

Amitabha Buddhist Societies Amitabha centers offer courses that lead to an understanding of Pure Land Buddhism and its practice. The basic course teaches a set of moral principles and the practice of reciting the Amida Buddha’s name. Subsequent courses emphasize harmony and self-discipline. A final course centers upon the "universal Worthy Bodhisattva’s Ten Great Vows." […]

Aro gTer To Art, aesthetics, and architecture (Buddhism)

Aro gTer Aro gTer (Mother Essence) is a relatively small and unrecognized lineage within Nyingma Tibetan Buddhism. It is described as a nonliturgical, nonmonastic tradition that emphasizes the practice of Dzogchen. Aro gTer emphasizes the integration of Buddhist practice with everyday life, and everyday life as practice. it also teaches an equality of the sexes. […]

Aryadeva To Avalokitesvara (Buddhism)

Aryadeva (second century c.e.) student of Nagarjuna and Chan patriarch Aryadeva, also called Kanadeva (god of a single eye), was a follower of Nagarjuna, the great early Mahayana philosopher. He is considered the 15 th patriarch in the Chan (Zen) lineage. He was killed after a debate against brahmanist teachers—that is, teachers representing rival Hindu […]

Avidya (ignorance) To Bhava (Buddhism)

Avidya (ignorance) Avidya, or ignorance, is the inability to distinguish between the transitory and eternal aspects of experience. The term has a specific sense in Buddhist philosophy. It means being unaware of the Four Noble Truths, the three precious jewels (the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha), and the truth of karma—in other words, the […]

Bhavana To Bodhgaya (Buddhism)

Bhavana Bhavana is a Sanskrit term for "dwelling," and, by extension, it evolved to refer to meditation. The meditator dwells in the state of meditative repose. The contemporary Theravada scholar Walpola Rahula contends that this key term is widely misunderstood. According to him, bhavana should indicate a mental culture in which the individual is on […]

Bodhi To Borobudur (Buddhism)

Bodhi Bodhi, or enlightenment, is a concept found throughout Buddhism and used in different ways by different schools. All understand bodhi as wisdom or understanding achieved through progress on the Buddhist path of cultivation. Early Buddhist schools, such as Theravada, understand bodhi to mean awakening, the realization of the four noble truths. This process is […]