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

As someone who was born into Orthodox Christian faith, has been baptized, attended church occasionally, has read full Bible, both New and Old Testament (BTW the Orthodox version of which includes 11 ...
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16 votes

What exactly is Jhana?

Originally in Hindu yoga and Jainism, Jhana/Dhyana was deliberate thinking on a given topic. The word seems to share its root with Sanskrit verb "dhyayati" (pronounced JAH-YA-TEE), that supposedly ...
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16 votes
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What is the difference between craving and clinging?

Craving is when the baby reaches with desire for the pacifier and clinging is when the baby has the pacifier and won't let it go. To distinguish craving from clinging, Buddhaghosa uses the following ...
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15 votes
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What is the difference between Vijñāna, Manas and Citta?

'Citta' (the C is pronounced as ch in cheetah) is a generic word for mind, including thoughts as well as emotional state. When the Chinese translated Buddhist texts they often used 'shin', the heart-...
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13 votes

Are Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism the same thing?

No they are not the same, Tibetan Buddhism is a broader concept that subsumes Tibetan Vajrayana. Also, there's non-Tibetan Vajrayana, some still practiced in e.g. Japan. To some degree all schools ...
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13 votes

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

Thoughts are one of the six sense objects; there is no reason to think that they stop when one becomes an arahant. It is quite clear that both the Buddha and arahants did indeed have thoughts after ...
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12 votes
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Is Satori the same as Enlightenment?

No, satori is not complete enlightenment, it is an a-ha moment when the practitioner finally realizes "how things are": Seeing his own original nature, he discovers that the ground of this nature ...
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12 votes
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English (or other European) translations of Pali Canon

I personally use the following translations: Paper copies of Bhikkhu Bodhi's translations of Nikayas (for example Majjhima) for nice smooth English rendition. Access To Insight for quick and ...
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11 votes

What exactly is Jhana?

Jhāna, in Theravada Buddhism, refers to the act of meditation: The (popular etym -- ) expln of jhāna is given by Bdhgh at Vism 150 as follows: "ārammaṇ' ûpanijjhānato paccanīka -- jhāpanato vā ...
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11 votes
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Please explain when and where to use the terms Theravada and Hinayana

The term Hinayana's usage is confused at best. It's mostly used now as a synonym for Theravada along with some other early Buddhist schools, but some people think Theravada needs to be specifically ...
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  • 1,807
11 votes

What, precisely, is kamma/karma?

Karma is not something one accumulates; this question gets asked so often because, as you say, there is a misconception of it being a 'a solid, substantial' entity. Karma is volition (intention is a ...
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11 votes

Why does the Buddha call himself the Tathāgata?

Tatha means "truth", "reality" or literally "so", "such". gata is often translated as gone, however from my research it looks like it is a suffix that means "firmly grounded in" or "rooted in" -- as ...
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10 votes

What is Navayana Buddhism?

Navayana is a proposed fourth major branch of Buddhism after Hinayana (sorry not a great term), Mahayana and Vajrayana. I believe it is a term claimed by the Dalit Buddhist movement which I am most ...
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10 votes

Is there a better term than Hinayana?

As I was just explaining in a comment to one of my answers, the term "Hinayana" is widely used by Tibetan Buddhism teachers to refer to basic/elementary/foundational (and because of this often ...
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  • 55.2k
10 votes

What is Nirodha?

Nirodha is a term that is normally translated as 'cessation' or 'stopping'. It's what happens to suffering in the 3rd noble truth, dukkhanirodha (cessation of suffering) and to all of the other ...
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10 votes
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Did Shakyamuni Buddha say anything in regard to fear

In the Cātumā Sutta (Majjhima Nikāya, 67) Buddha talks about four types of fear in the case of Bhikkus just as there are dangers and hazards in a sea like stormy waves, crocodiles, whirlpools, and ...
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9 votes
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What is dry insight?

Dry insight or bare insight (suddha-vipassana) is the 'direct' way (Pali: ekayano maggo) to insight (nibbana), without jhana meditation practice (i.e. without 'upacara samadhi' or 'appana samadhi'). ...
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9 votes

What is the definition of passa ?

As per my dictionaries: Phassa (sanskr. sparça): contact, touch, tangibility, tactile sensation, a momentary union of the sense-object, sense-door, and sense-consciousness. It's a standard term ...
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8 votes

What is New Age Buddhism?

I think we should differentiate Buddhism from New Age movements, they may share some goals (happiness), some tools (meditation) and some teachings, however they are very different in some key aspects, ...
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8 votes
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Was the Buddha harsh?

This question is addressed in the Abhaya Sutta from the Buddha himself, on the topic of Right Speech. Your question should fall under "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, ...
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8 votes
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Is vipassana practice the same as insight practice?

They are synonymous. Insight is in fact the word that is used to translate the word Vipassana. All schools of Buddhism that talk about meditation talk about Samatha and Vipassana (but of course they'...
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  • 7,356
8 votes
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What does Nonduality correspond to in Buddhism?

There's an article on that subject Dhamma and Non-duality by Bhikkhu Bodhi. The following is basically all direct quotes from that article, except very summarized (I'm extracting sentences and ...
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8 votes
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What is Dharma?

The word dharma is understood to come from the Sanskrit root dhṛ - in regards to holding or keeping. The word has its history in the vedas, where the meaning is something that holds the world together ...
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7 votes
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What, precisely, is kamma/karma?

There are two main interpretations of how karma is accumulated. In Sarvastivada branch of philosophy, past actions can be directly related to new consequences, because fundamentally "everything ...
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  • 1,991
7 votes

Are Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism the same thing?

Vajrayana was practiced in China, Vietnam and Korea. This is often called esoteric Buddhism. Kukyo brought esoteric Buddhist to Japan and founded the Shingon sect. In Russia (well, Kalmykia and ...
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7 votes

Why does the Buddha call himself the Tathāgata?

From an academic perspective the wikipedia article "Tathāgata" has good information. According to wikipedia: The word's original significance is not known and there has been speculation about it ...
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  • 1,775
7 votes
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What are the three marks of existence?

The Three characteristics of existence are part of the core teaching of the Buddha and found throughout his teachings. In essence every single compound (i.e. made of the 5 aggregates and/or the four ...
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7 votes
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Is there a better term than Hinayana?

Based on the Introduction in "Buddhist Religions" by Robinson, Johnson, and Thanissaro (5th ed.), one option could be to use Śrāvakayāna. Those authors discuss Buddhism as being more like three (at ...
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