Three Marks of Existence

 


Three marks of existence (Paliti-lakkhana; Sanskrit, tri-laksana) in Buddhism is the collective term for three characteristics of all beings: anicca, “impermanence,” dukkha, “suffering,” and anatta, “no-self.”

The three marks are: sabbe sa?kh?r? anicc? sa?kh?ras are impermanent, sabbe sa?kh?r? dukkh? — “all sa?kh?ras are suffering no unsatisfactory, sabbe dhamm? anatt? — “all dharmas are not self”

Although each comprise a topic of meditation in its own right conceptually they are interrelated: there is “no-self” because there is “impermanence,” and because there is “impermanence” there is “suffering.”

The reflection upon dukkha serves to dispel the illusions about the world and of life. A.G.H.


Source:

Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 973

 

Tattva

 


Tattva (Sanskrit, (that-ness”)

In Buddhism tattva does not carry the same technical philosophical connotation as in other Eastern religions. The proto-Mahayanist Prajnaptivadins defined tattva as the real phenomenon that underlies concept (prajnapti). In the Vijhnanavada (Yogacara) this meaning is substantially retained, though now extended to include the totality of entities. The Ratnagotravibhaga of Asanga talks of reality (tattva) being devoid of subject-object dichotomy, and other texts by the same author state that since words and concepts do not partake of the nature of things they denote, tattva is ultimately inexpressible.

Authors representing the Madhyamaka tendency are careful not to use tattva in the Yogacarin sense in their effort to avoid all term that may be taken as absolutes. Nagarjuna does, however, talk of the reality or truth (tattva) of the Buddha’s teaching.

Aaccording to Samkhye philosophy, in Hinduism, tattvas are the constituent subtle elements of prakrti.

In Jainism, tattva is the categorical (true or genuine) constituent of appearance and release. “Tattva (the categories of truth) are sentient selves (jiva), non-sentient selves, inflow of karmicparticles into the self, binding of the karmic particles to the self, blocking its inflow, shedding it, liberation (moksa)” (Tattvartha[dhigama]-Sutra 1. 4)

A.G.H.


Source:

Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, pp. 956-957

Storehouse consciousness

 


Storehouse consciousness, in Buddhism, is a term designating the continuum of subjective consciousness. A.G.H.


Source:

Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 922

Skandhas

 


Skandhas (Sanskrit, “group”; Palikhandhas) means aggregate, quantity and multitude. In Buddhism the five aggregations that constitute the human appearance (nama-rupa) mental and physical existence, which are

(i) rupa, material composition;

(ii) vedana, sensing, including sensing through the sixth sense of mental impressions; 

(iii) samjna (Pali, sanna), perception;

(iv) samskara (pali, sankhara), mental formations, producing character;

(v) vijana (Pali, vinnana), consciousness. They are constantly in the process of change, and do not constitute self (Anatta [anatman]).

The five skandhas are also grouped into three: rupacetasika (conditioning factors of consciousness, (ii), (iii) and (iv) above), and citta (state of consciousness); or even simply as rupa plus nama, that is, rupanama.

The alternative organizations simply serve as a reminder that there is nothing fixed or substantial in the skandhas so it can be named as such. A.G.H.


Source:

Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 907

Sankhara

 


Sankhara (Pali; Sanskrit, Samskara) in Buddhism is the fourth of the skandhas, or aggregations, which constitute human appearance. A.G.H.


Source:

Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 855

Rupa

 


Rupa, Sanskrit, “form,” in Buddhism rupa is associated with nama as in rupa-nama, in the analysis of human appearance to denote corporeality.

The general definition of rupa in Eastern religions is the means through which the accidental and transitory flux of appearance achieves identifiable shape. By means on rupa, appearance becomes an object of perception. But the term applies especially in Hinduism to the representation of gods, which are then contrasted with lesser objects of perception, stones, trees, etc.; the latter have form, nevertheless, they are called arupa--literally “formless”; but clearly something “aniconic,” not bearing a divine form. A.G.H.


Source:

Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 826

Prayer Wheel


Prayer wheel  also known as mani wheel is a cylinder used in Tibetan Buddhism, and other Hindu religions, externally inscribed with a mantra, frequently, “Om mani padme hum,” and contains scrolls on which this and other mantras as well as sacred texts are written.

Turning the wheel (clockwise, never counterclockwise except among the adherents of Bon) releases the power inherent in the texts and prayers. The origins may lie in the power gained from circumambulation in general, since until recently the use of the wheel in Tibet to bear burdens was regarded as wrong.

Prayer wheels vary in size from small (from 3 inches in height) to large (at least 20 feet), and may set in rows. Some Tibetans turn prayer wheels themselves while other wheels are turned by waterpower and electric motors

It has a chinese origin, around 400 c.e. They are used to gain good karma and purify bad karma.

There are many types of prayer wheel: Water Wheels, Fire wheels, Wind Wheels, Electric Dharma Wheels and Stationary Prayer Wheels. A.G.H.


Source:

Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 764

Pali

 


Pali is the language of the Hinayana or Theravada Buddhism, a derivative of Sanskrit. It was the ancient language of the Vedic Aryan peoples, native to the indian subcontinent and in its vulgar form it was the common language of Magadha.

The Pali language is in some sacred texts religious texts of Hinduism and all Therava Buddhism texts.

The older Buddhist canon was written in Pali, but it is now employed primarily for the Hinayana; the Mahayana, “Greater Vehicle,” rewrote portions of the cannon in Sanskrit. In Pali, the Sanskrit terms such as dharma and nirvana became dhamma and nibbana. Pali was the language used by Indian Buddhists in their cultural, trade, and religious penetration into Southeast Asia, or Indochina.

Today Pali doesn’t exist as a language but it is used to read an study ancient scriptures. There is a society to promote the study of Pali in Europe, the Pali text society.

To know more about Pali Alphabet, phonology, morphology https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pali

A.G.H.


Source:

Rice, Edward, Eastern Definitions: A Short Encyclopedia of Religions of the Orient, Garden City, New York, Doubleday, 1978, p. 281

Nibbana

 


Nibbana (Pali, from Sanskrit nirvana) is a Buddhist term, which definition is different from the Hindu term nirvana.

While some Buddhist interpret nibbana in a similar manner as Hindus, that is, “dying out” or “extinction” (as of a fire), others find in it an archaic meaning of “he who is cooled,) such as cooled from the fever of greed, hatred, and delusion, the three principle evils of Buddhist thought. The Buddha explicitly denied the Western interpretation of the term as complete extinction or annihilation.

However, while nibbana does not mean extinction, neither does it mean that after death the individual exists in some manner or other. When the body ceases to function, the phenomenal personality disappears.

Buddhism denies the existence of a soul at any time, whether before or after death. An early Buddhist brother wrote, “Illusion has utterly passed from me. Now I am cool, all fire within gone out.” A third-century, BC, Indian text states that nibbana “is really only the inner realization of the stored impressions”

Nibbana is a state that can be realized in the here and now as well as after death. In the third century BC, the Milindapanha states that the Buddha still exists but “has passed completely away in nibbana, so nothing is left which could lead to the formation of another being. And so he cannot be pointed out as being here or there.”

Later in the same work, probably in a different hand, the nibbana is described as “the City of Righteousness.” Here the liberated man “enters the glorious city of Nibbana, stainless and undefiled, pure and white, unaging, deathless, secure and calm and happy, and his mind is emancipated as a perfect being.” A.G.H.


Source:

Rice, Edward, Eastern Definitions: A Short Encyclopedia of Religions of the Orient, Garden City, New York, Doubleday, 1978, pp. 275-277

Moha

 


Moha, Pali, Sanskrit “delusion,” is that which prevents the discernment of truth in Hinduism and Buddhism. In the later, it is one of the three “unwholesome roots” (akusalamula), which, together with craving (lobha) or attachment (raga) and hatred (dosa) leads to rebirth and suffering in cyclic existence (samara). Moha is synonymous with ignorance (avijja), which is the first link in the series of Paticca-samuppada and which must be removed if suffering (dukkha) is to cease. Most fundamentally moha and avijja relate to ignorance concerning the true nature of things as summarized in the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. This includes the ignorance of one’s own nature as well as the world at large, and manifests itself in the belief that phenomena are permanent and stable, and that a self or soul underlies the personal identity. The recommended way of cleansing the mind of this misconception is through the practice of the Eightfold Path that destroys delusion (moha) replacing it with wisdom (panna) and by systematic and methodical attentiveness. A.G.H.


Source:

Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 650