Thiền Tông Việt Nam
Keys to Buddhism (Chìa Khóa Học Phật)

1. A Vietnamese expression similar to "airing dirty laundry".

2. According to Mahayana Buddhism, Siddhartha renounced worldly life at the age of 19 and became enlightened at 30, eleven years later. Hinayana Buddhism places these ages at 29 and 35, respectively.

3. Interdependent Origination (Sanskrit:Pratitya-samutpada): "conditioned arising" or "interdependent arising." All psychological and physical phenomena constituting individual existence are interdependent and mutually condition each other; this at the same time describes what entangles sentient beings in the cycle of birth and death (samsara). Interdependent Origination consists of twelve links: (1) ignorance (avidya) - lack of recognition of the four noble truths, ignorance of the suffering-ridden nature of existence - conditions (2) formations or impulsed (samskara), which precede actions. Th ese can be good, bad, or neutral and are related to physical, verbal, and psychological actions. In turn they condition (3) consciousness (vijnana) in the next life of the individual. This consciousness reenters another womb aft er the death of an individual who has not been librated and instigates there the arising of (4) "name and form," the psychological and physical factors (namarupa), i.e., a new empirical being constituted by the five aggregates. Which womb the consciousness chooses is determined by its qualities, which in turn depend upon the formations or impulses. Interdependently with namarupa, (5) the six bases (shadayatana) arise. These are the six object realms of the senses, which present themselves to the being aft er its birth, thus conditioning (6) contact (sparsha) with its environment. This contact invokes (7) sensation (vedana), out of which develops, for someone who is ignorant in the Buddhist sense, (8) craving (trishna). Ignorant and craving lead, after the death of the individual, to (9) clinging (upadana) to a womb, where (10) a new becoming (bhava) is set in motion. This is followed by (11) birth (jati), which again comes to an end in (12) old age and death (jara-maranam).

4. Tripitaka: (Sanskrit for "three baskets") Buddhist Canon which is divided into three categories: the Sutra or sermons of the Buddha; the Vinaya or precepts and rules of monastic discipline; and the Abhidharma or commentaries of the teachings.

5. Samsara (Sanskrit meaning "continuous movement"): the endless cycle of birth and death.

6. A sravaka is one whose aim is to reach Arhatship by listening to a Buddha and following his teachings. A pratyekabuddha is one who becomes fully enlightened due to insight into 12 links of Interdependent Origination.

7. Bodhisattva (Skt.): "enlightenment being;" in Mahayana Buddhism, a being who practices the paramitas (perfection of virtues) as a means to buddhahood but renounces complete enlightenment until all beings are saved; as opposed to the Theravada ideal of an Arahat, whose aim is for self-enlightenment.

8. Eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind.

9. Meaning "object."

10. Two of six heterodox teachers in Buddha's time.

11. Another member of the group of six heterodox teachers in Buddha's time.

12. The sun and the moon.

13. From the Chinese-Vietnamese "van hue," meaning "the wisdom of listening," because in the time of the Buddha, the teachings were orally taught and learnt. However, we have translated it as "learning" to re fl ect current times.

14. From the Samyutta Nikaya, chapter 3, item Ambapali, "Disease."

15. Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

16. Not killing, not stealing, not misusing sexuality, not lying, and no intoxicants.

17. Also known as The Pure Land or The Land of Ultimate Bliss.

18. Saha (Skt. for "endurance") the worldly world of suffering.

19. The eight virtues are clarity, coolness, sweetness, lightness, moistening power, the ability to give comfort, the ability to quench thirst, and the ability to improve health.

20. The 7 treasures are gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, agate, red pearl, and carnelian.

21. Also known as Boundless Light or Boundless Longevity.

22. Defilements of view, passion, the human condition, the life-span, and the world condition.

23. Sanskrit for "awareness."

24. Also known as the Six Planes of Existence: hells, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, asuras, and celestials.

25. Anapanasati is broadly used in various schools of Buddhism while the Six Wonderful Strategies is from the Mahayana branch.

26. Sanskrit for Fundamental Wisdom that is beyond intellect.

27. Clear wisdom that cuts through delusional views.

28. "The path of birds" is a Zen saying, meaning the fastest way to reach the goal.

29. The true Self.

30. An ordained person’s robe.

31. Eight worldly conditions of prosperity, decline, disgrace, honor, aise, censure, suffering, and pleasure.

32. According to Buddhism, sentient beings’ bodies are made of four basic constituents of earth (solid matter), water (liquid), fire (heat), and air (energy or motion).

33. Also known as Earth Repository or Earth Store Boddhisattva; who saves suffering beings in the hells, usually represented standing, holding in his left hand a pearl, and in his right hand a pilgrim’s staff. His famous quote is: "Not until the hells are emptied will I become a Buddha."

34. Meaning "ultimate goal"; from the Lotus Sutra, in the chapter entitled "Magic City."

35. The assertion of the permanence of ego.

36. The belief of human beings’ total annihilation after death.

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