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Questions tagged [terminology]

The study of terms and their use. Specifically this will include requests for clarification of Buddhist terms and comparisons of terms within or between traditions.

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Are Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism the same thing?

This is a hugely amateurish question, for which I apologize, but: are Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism the same thing? If not, how are they related? In particular, does the term "Tibetan Buddhism" ...
senshin's user avatar
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16 votes
5 answers
1k views

What exactly is Jhana?

What exactly is the theory of jhana, how does it come about and how does it relate to the buddhist practice and everyday life? feel free to answer in depth.
Anatta34811's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
1k views

English (or other European) translations of Pali Canon

Perhaps this should be closed as a 'shopping' question, but maybe translations take a long time to make and therefore there are not too many of them, and they don't go out of date quickly. The ...
ChrisW's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the difference between craving and clinging?

Considering the 12 nidanas Ignorance Mental Volitions Consciousness "Name" and "Form" The six senses Contact Feelings Craving Clinging Becoming Birth Suffering and Death What is the difference ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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14 votes
6 answers
2k views

What are the differences/similarities in the concept of faith as used in Buddhism and Christianity?

There is the concept of faith (śraddhā) in Buddhism. There is also the concept of faith found in Christianity. Both concepts have been translated into the English word faith but in what ways are the ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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14 votes
9 answers
13k views

Why does the Buddha call himself the Tathāgata?

Questions in the title. What is the significance of this term and how it is used by the Buddha in the suttas?
Sāmaṇera Jayantha's user avatar
14 votes
8 answers
4k views

What is Navayana Buddhism?

Recently, I found out there is a new branch of Buddhism called the Navayana. I read the article on Wikipedia but it did not say too much. What is Navayana Buddhism and what type of practices does it ...
DharmaEater's user avatar
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11 votes
7 answers
5k views

What is the difference between Vijñāna, Manas and Citta?

Together they refer to one's mental processes as a whole. Separately, what are they and how are they different?
user70's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
8k views

What is the difference between samadhi and samatha?

I am in the habit of getting the concepts samatha and samadhi mixed up. To me they seem like related or even similar concepts. Is that correct? My understanding is that samatha seems like the process ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
703 views

Please explain when and where to use the terms Theravada and Hinayana

I understand that Hinayana as a term is generally pejorative when referring to Theravadin practitioners. Where is the use of the term Hinayana proper, and why is it still used if it's considered ...
likethesky's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
566 views

How is semchen (sentient being) defined?

Semchen is typically defined as a sentient being. What does this mean? What is sentience? This question about killing bacteria indicates bacteria are not sentient, but I distinctly remember a guru ...
Richard Morgan's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

What is effluent?

The Brahmana Sutta, for example, mentions "effluent": So it is with an arahant whose mental effluents are ended ... Or in Adhimutta, One gone to the far shore without clinging without ...
ChrisW's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Was the Buddha harsh?

"And to whom, worthless man, do you understand me to have taught the Dhamma like that? Haven't I, in many ways, said of dependently co-arisen consciousness, 'Apart from a requisite condition, there is ...
user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
9k views

What is idle chatter?

In AN 10.176 idle chatter is defined as He speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the goal, the Dhamma, & the Vinaya. He speaks words worth treasuring, ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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9 votes
6 answers
1k views

What, precisely, is kamma/karma?

In Buddhist doctrine there is always the problem, that for the sake of understandability, certain concepts are being presented in a solid, substantial way, while actually, one has to keep in the back ...
zwiebel's user avatar
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9 votes
7 answers
1k views

What are the three marks of existence?

What are the three marks of existence and where are they found in the canon? Is there any fundamental differences in interpretation among the different traditions?
user70's user avatar
  • 1,805
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Did Shakyamuni Buddha say anything in regard to fear

I'm sure that at some point Shakyamuni talked about fear, but I am wondering more specifically if he had listed something like "the five types of fear" or something like that(e.g. Four noble truths, ...
Morella Almånd's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
578 views

How and when did the name "Buddhism" appear?

What is called "Buddhism" is a whole range of different schools, sects, practices etc. that has in common that they are based on the teachings of Siddharta Gautama/the Buddha. But is the name "...
Mr. Concept's user avatar
  • 2,663
8 votes
3 answers
968 views

What is the definition of passa ?

The answer on this question mentions passa in the comments. Having never encountered the term in my studies, what is an overview of the term? What school of Buddhism does it originate from?
hellyale's user avatar
  • 2,527
8 votes
4 answers
460 views

If one's inner monologue stops forever, is one necessarily an arahant?

Question in the title. I'm looking for answers citing either canonical scripture or the position of any particular school of Buddhism. The inner monologue in the question could also be read as mental ...
Anthony's user avatar
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8 votes
6 answers
3k views

Is Satori the same as Enlightenment?

Is the Zen term Satori the same as enlightenment or does it have different nuances or emphasis over what is commonly meant by enlightenment in non-Zen texts. If it is the same then why is used at all. ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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8 votes
5 answers
650 views

Conventional versus Ultimate

People sometimes qualify their statements, by adding the word, "conventionally" — and people distinguish between Conventional Truth (Sammuti Sacca) versus Ultimate Truth (Paramattha Sacca). ...
ChrisW's user avatar
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8 votes
7 answers
3k views

What is a pandaka?

I can understand that within the social context of the historical Buddha, being homosexual or bisexual could have possibly been damaging to the Sangha's image as there is still a lot of gay/bisexual/...
Colburn Paul Clark's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
743 views

Why is the first lines of the Dhammapada twin verses sometimes translated using the word 'heart'?

In most of the translations of the Dhammapada I have read the first lines of the Twin Verses (first chapter) are rendered using the words mind or thoughts. For instance this translation by ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the difference between 'hard' and 'soft' Jhanas?

I have on a few occasions come across the distinction between a 'hard' and 'soft' Jhana and would like to know what the experiential distinction between these two terms might be.
Devindra's user avatar
  • 1,830
7 votes
10 answers
10k views

What is Nirodha?

I came across the concept of Nirodha in the book The Meditative Mind by Daniel Goleman. I think it's originally from the Visuddhimagga. In the book it seems to be placed above Nirvana in the path of ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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7 votes
5 answers
510 views

Is there a better term than Hinayana?

I'm aware that using the term Hinayana isn't ideal as it has derogatory undertones - being coined by the Mahayana school to differentiate themselves from what had gone on before. The implication being ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
5k views

What is the difference between an arhat, bodhisattva and a buddha?

What is the difference between an arhat, a bodhisattva and a buddha? References to the scriptures would be most helpful. I'm open to both Theravada and Mahayana perspectives.
Kyoma's user avatar
  • 295
7 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is dry insight?

Following up from this answer - What is 'dry insight' exactly and how does it work. Is it a practice that someone will activity engage in or is it something that just happens to someone - a flash of ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the difference between Suttas and Sutras?

Reading this question and its accepted answer prompted me to ask the following question: Is there a difference between Suttas and Sutras? and, if so, what is the difference? Thank you
Jose B's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
793 views

What is the name in Pāli and Sanskrit for the ‘body scanning’ meditation technique?

I would like to research this method in historical texts, but any search on google for ‘body scan’ only returns results related to the modern vipassana movement.
Quinn Comendant's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
806 views

In the five paramitas, what is patience and why is it on the list?

I understand the English dictionary definition of patience, the ability to wait. When reading about the paramitas, it seems like this word in the original language covered forbearance, i.e. the ...
MatthewMartin's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
296 views

Is Theravada Buddhism the only modern representative of Hinayana Buddhism?

Apologies for the term Hinayana but this question is borne out of those discussions. So - is Theravada Buddhism the only modern representative on Hinayana Buddhism or are there another current ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
651 views

What is attachment as per Buddhism?

Is attachment some kind of love? Parental love, a smile that comes when we get a glance of a toddler, when we spent money on good for our beloved one's then that time what is it? As per my perception ...
jitin's user avatar
  • 1,504
6 votes
5 answers
1k views

What is the definition of 'fool' in Theravada Buddhist text?

The Lakkhana Sutta says, Endowed with three things, monks, a fool can be known as a fool. What three? By bodily misconduct, by verbal misconduct, by mental misconduct. Endowed with these three ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 669
6 votes
2 answers
944 views

What does Nonduality correspond to in Buddhism?

There is not [was not] a tag for nonduality. Would someone please make a correspondence between nonduality and Buddhism as to "stage" or "attainment", qualifications, or whatever is applicable? EDIT: ...
user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
6k views

Meaning of 'kalapas'

What did the Buddha really meant with 'kalapas' (those ultra small particles of existence, that arise and pass away at an incredible speed)? Is there a correlation between those kalapas and the ...
Guy Eugène Dubois's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is Magga phala?

I've come across a few references to Magga phala and can only find obscure half explanations of what it is referring to and some of the explanations seem to be contradictory.
hellyale's user avatar
  • 2,527
6 votes
2 answers
296 views

Is vipassana practice the same as insight practice?

Is vipassana practice the same as insight practice? Are the terms completely interchangeable? I know there is the vipassana movement but this appears to be Theravadin so it makes me think that ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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6 votes
5 answers
2k views

What is Sat-Dharma?

In this answer Sat-Dharma is referred to. I can kind of get the meaning from the context but what exactly is Sat-Dharma? What is the 'Sat' part. Why not just refer to the Dharma? Does it have ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
  • 21.1k
6 votes
1 answer
214 views

What is Dharma?

I have read that Dharma refers to reality as-is (in this wikipedia article). I have also read that it refers to the teachings of the Buddha. Does Dharma refer to both these things? The former seems ...
willem's user avatar
  • 450
6 votes
2 answers
631 views

How can you translate nibbida?

How can you translate or define nibbida in English?
Guy Eugène Dubois's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
367 views

What are 'suttas of indirect meaning' in the Pali canon?

This subsection of Wikipedia's Two Truths article says that the "two truths" distinction is not made in the suttas, but that there are some "suttas of indirect meaning". Two ...
ChrisW's user avatar
  • 46.5k
6 votes
3 answers
412 views

Tathagatagarbha and dhammakaya

Can we consider 'tathagatagarbha' and 'dhammakaya' as synonyms? If not, what is the difference between those words.
Guy Eugène Dubois's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
93 views

Which traditions have gurus?

On the site I often read posts referencing gurus. My Buddhist group (Triratna) doesn't really have a concept of gurus - certainly no-one uses the term. Which traditions have gurus? I most associate it ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
  • 21.1k
6 votes
2 answers
4k views

What are the Pali or Sanskrit words for these things?

I think I know some of these, but the rest are a translation muddle. The west seems to not attempt to translate nirvana, sangha, dharma, mantra, mudra, buddha, bodhisattva (and probably a few more) ...
MatthewMartin's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
138 views

What is "stream"

The question is really just that - "What is stream"? I've recently found this forum, and recently started reading some Buddhist scriptures, and I've seen the term a few times and have no ...
Anton's user avatar
  • 819
6 votes
2 answers
354 views

Nine different ways the word ‘Mind’ is used?

I was reading a comment on this answer and it mentioned the word mind being used in nine different ways. Comment below : If you learn to apply episteme, the way Foucault, Derrida, and Kant had ...
hellyale's user avatar
  • 2,527
5 votes
9 answers
6k views

What does deathless mean?

The word "deathless" is used sometimes. What does it mean? Are there non-obvious or non-English meanings to the words translated as 'death' and/or 'deathless'? Similarly what does "attaining the ...
ChrisW's user avatar
  • 46.5k
5 votes
5 answers
479 views

What does "intention" mean?

I see two Pali words which are translated into English as "intention": Cetanā used in the definition of karma Sankappa used in the definition of the Noble Eightfold Way. Do these two words mean ...
ChrisW's user avatar
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