Buddhist Studies glossary of buddhist terms

Glossary of Buddhist Terms: T - T

Takuhatsu: (Japanese) To show the bowl, the walk taken by monks or nuns through towns near the temple to accept gifts of money or rice.

Tanha: (Pali) Lit. 'thirst': 'Craving' is the chief root of suffering, and of the ever continuing cycle of rebirths.

Tantra: (Sanskrit) Any text from a group of later mystical writings.

Tantrayana: Also called Vajrayana. A school of esoteric Tibetan Buddhism. It emphasizes not only meditation but also the use of symbolic rites, gestures, postures, breathing, incantation, and other secret means.

Tariki: (Japanese) The use of 'Other-Power' for salvation as distinct from Self-Power, Jiriki.

Tathagata: (Pali/Skt.) Literally, "one who has become authentic (tatha-agata)," an epithet used in ancient India for a person who has attained the highest religious goal. In Buddhism, it usually denotes the Buddha, although occasionally it also denotes any of his Arahant disciples.

Tathata: (Sanskrit) 'Thusness' or 'Suchness', used for the ultimate and unconditioned nature of things.

Teisho: (Japanese) To present the shout; the roshi's Dharma talk.

Ten Great Disciples of Skakyamuni Buddha:

  • Mahakasyapa in Sanskrit, Mahakassapa in Pali - first in ascetism.
  • Ananda - first in having heard the words of Buddha.
  • Sariputra in Sanskrit, Sariputta in Pali - first in wisdom.
  • Subhuti first in expressing emptiness.
  • Purna first in explaining good law.
  • Maudgalyayana in Sanskrit, Moggallana in Pali - first in supernatural power.
  • Katyayana first in preaching.
  • Aniruddha in Sanskrit, Anuruddha in Pali - first in the sharpness of his divine eyes.
  • Upali first in taking precepts.
  • Rahula first in esoteric practices and in desire for instruction in the law.

Ten Oxherding Pictures: Traditional images that depict the stages of Zen practice.

Ten Stages of the Bodhisattva: These are the ten stages of development of Bodhisattva:

  • Pramudita (joy) - joy at having overcome the difficulties and sufferings, now entering on the path to Buddhahood;
  • Vimala (purity) - freedom from all possible defilement;
  • Prabhakari (enlightenment) - stage of further enlightenment;
  • Arcismati (widsom) - stage of glowing wisdom;
  • Sudurjaya (no difficulty) - stage of mastering the utmost difficulties;
  • Abhimukhi (open way) - the open way of wisdom above definitions of impurity and purity;
  • Duramgama (proceeding afar) - getting above ideas of self in order to save others;
  • Acala (unperturbed) - attainment of being unperturbed;
  • Sadhumati (discriminatory wisdom) - the finest discriminatory wisdom, knowing where and how to save, and possessing the Ten Powers;
  • Dharma megha (law cloud) - attainment of the fertilizing powers of law cloud.

Theravada: (Pali) The "Teachings of the Elders" - the only one of the early schools of Buddhism to have survived into the present; currently the dominant form of Buddhism in Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Burma.

Therigatha: One of the books of the Pali Tipitaka meaning " The Verses of the Nuns" and the earliest corpus of poetry by a woman from ancient India.

The Three Jewels: Or the Triple Gem, i.e. the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, which are the three essential components of Buddhism. They are the objects of veneration. Buddhists take refuge in them by pronouncing the threefold refuge formula, thus acknowledging themselves to be Buddhists.

T'ien t'ai: (Japanese: Tendai ) One of the schools of Chinese Buddhism.

Ti-ratana: (Pali) 'Three Jewels' or Three Gems, which by all Buddhist are revered as the most venerable things, they are: the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.

Ti-sarana: 'Three-fold Refuge', in which every faithful adherent of the Buddha but his/her trust, consisting in the Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha.

Tokudo: (Japanese) Ordination as a trainee for the priesthood.

Tope: Buddhist shrine, typically dome-shaped.

Transmission of the Lamp: A record of the lives and sayings of Zen masters from the earliest days to the tenth century, compiled in 1004 by Tao-yuan.

Trikaya: (Sanskrit) The three 'bodies', kaya, or vehicles of manifestation of the Buddha; Dharma-kaya, Sambhoga-kaya and Nirmana-kaya.

Tripitaka: Tripitaka in Sanskrit, Tipitaka in Pali. The three parts of the Pali canon are: Sutra-Pitika (Sanskrit) or Sutta-Pitaka (Pali), or the Sutra Basket, which are the discourses attributed to Shakyamuni Buddha. Vinaya-Pitika (both Sanskrit and Pali), or the Ordinance Basket - containing the rules of monastic life. Abhidharma-Pitika (Sanskrit) or Abhidhamma-Pitaka (Pali), or Shastras, or the Treatise Basket - containing the doctrinal commentaries, philosophical and technical works, such as discourses, discussions, or treatises on the doctrines, etc.

Trishna: (Sanskrit) Thirst for sentient existence; separative desire.

Tsong Khapa, Lama: (1357-1417) Founder of the Geluk tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, and revitalizer of many sutra and tantra lineages and the monastic tradition in Tibet.

Tusita Heaven: The fourth devaloka in the Realm of Desire. Its inner department is the Pure Land of Maitreya who like Shakyamuni and all Buddhas is reborn there before descending to earth as the next Buddha in our world.

Twelve Bases: The Six Internal Bases and the Six External Bases are together called the Twelve Bases. Base implies the meaning of germinating and nourishing. All mental activities are germinated and nourished from these Twelve Bases.


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