Tathātā

Tathātā (Sanskrit: तथाता, romanizedtathātā; Pali: तथता, romanized: tathatā; Tibetan: དེ་བཞིན་ཉིད་; Chinese: 真如) is variously translated as "thusness" or "suchness". It is a central concept in Mahayana Buddhism[1][2] having a particular significance in Chan Buddhism as well. The synonym dharmatā is also often used.

While alive the Buddha referred to himself as the Tathāgata, which can mean either "One who has thus come" or "One who has thus gone",[3] and interpreted correctly can be read as "One who has arrived at suchness".

Tathātā
Chinese name
Chinese真如
Tibetan name
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabetchân như
Korean name
Hangul진여
Japanese name
Kanji真如
Hiraganaしんにょ

Mahayana Buddhism

Tathātā in the East Asian Mahayana tradition is seen as representing the base reality and can be used to terminate the use of words. A 5th-century Chinese Mahayana scripture entitled "Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana" describes the concept more fully:

In its very origin suchness is of itself endowed with sublime attributes. It manifests the highest wisdom which shines throughout the world, it has true knowledge and a mind resting simply in its own being. It is eternal, blissful, its own self-being and the purest simplicity; it is invigorating, immutable, free... Because it possesses all these attributes and is deprived of nothing, it is designated both as the Womb of Tathagata and the Dharma Body of Tathagata.[4]

R. H. Robinson, echoing D. T. Suzuki, conveys how the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra perceives dharmata through the portal of śūnyatā: "The Laṅkāvatāra is always careful to balance Śūnyatā with Tathatā, or to insist that when the world is viewed as śūnya, empty, it is grasped in its suchness."[5]

Chan Buddhism

In Chan stories, tathātā is often best revealed in the seemingly mundane or meaningless, such as noticing the way the wind blows through a field of grass, or watching someone's face light up as they smile. According to Chan hagiography, Gautama Buddha transmitted the awareness of tathātā directly to Mahākāśyapa in what has come to be rendered in English as the Flower Sermon. In another story, the Buddha asked his disciples, "How long is a human life?" As none of them could offer the correct answer he told them "Life is but a breath".[6] Here we can see the Buddha expressing the impermanent nature of the world, where each individual moment is different from the last. Molloy states, "We know we are experiencing the 'thatness' of reality when we experience something and say to ourselves, 'Yes, that's it; that is the way things are.' In the moment, we recognize that reality is wondrously beautiful but also that its patterns are fragile and passing."[7]

The Thiền master Thích Nhất Hạnh wrote, "People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child--our own two eyes. All is a miracle."[8]

References

  1. ^ Goldwag, Arthur (2014). 'Isms & 'Ologies: All the movements, ideologies and doctrines that have shaped our world. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 206. ISBN 9780804152631. Most of its doctrines agree with Theravada Buddhism, but Mahayana does contain a transcendent element: tathata, or suchness; the truth that governs the universe
  2. ^ Stevenson, Jay (2000). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eastern Philosophy. Penguin. p. 144. ISBN 9781101158364.
  3. ^ Oxford dictionary of Buddhism; P296
  4. ^ Berry, Thomas (1996). Religions of India: Hinduism, Yoga, Buddhism. Columbia University Press. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-231-10781-5.
  5. ^ Robinson, Richard H. (1957). "Some Logical Aspects of Nagarjuna's System". Philosophy East & West. 6 (4): 306.
  6. ^ Cai, Zhizhong; Bruya, Brian (1994). Zen Speaks: Shouts of Nothingness. Anchor Books. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-385-47257-9.
  7. ^ Molloy, Michael (23 November 2012). Experiencing the World's Religions: Sixth Edition. McGraw-Hill Higher Education. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-07-743490-8.
  8. ^ Thích, Nhất Hạnh (5 April 1996). The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation. Beacon Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-8070-1244-4.

See also

Abhidharmadīpa

The Abhidharmadīpa or Lamp of Abhidharma is an Abhidharma text thought to have been authored by Vasumitra as a response to Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakośakārikā.

The text consists of verse and prose commentary. It currently survives as an incomplete collection of Sanskrit fragments. However, the text is valuable insofar as it confirms the identity of Vasubandhu as author of the Abhidharmakośakārikā.

Ajahn

Ajahn (Thai: อาจารย์, RTGS: achan, IPA: [ʔāː.tɕāːn], also romanized ajaan, aajaan, ajarn, ajahn, acharn and achaan) is a Thai language term which translates as "professor" or "teacher." It is derived from the Pali word ācariya, and is a term of respect, similar in meaning to the Japanese sensei, and is used as a title of address for high-school and university teachers, and for Buddhist monks who have passed ten vassa. The term "ajahn" is customarily used to address forest tradition monks and the term Luang Por, "Venerable father" is customarily used to address city tradition monks in Thai Buddhism.

Anagarika

In Buddhism, an anagārika (Pali, 'homeless one', [əˈnəɡɑːrɪkə]; f. anagārikā [əˈnəɡɑːrɪkɑː]) is a person who has given up most or all of their worldly possessions and responsibilities to commit full-time to Buddhist practice. It is a midway status between a bhikkhu or bhikkhuni (fully ordained monastics) and laypersons. An anagārika takes the Eight Precepts, and might remain in this state for life.

Anagārikas usually wear white clothes or robes, depending on the tradition they follow. Some traditions have special ordination ceremonies for anagārikas, while others simply take the eight precepts with a special intention.

Given the lack of full ordination for women in modern Theravada Buddhism, women who wish to renounce live as anagārikās under names such as maechi in Thailand, thilashin in Myanmar, and dasa sil mata in Sri Lanka. In Vajrayana Buddhism, many nuns are technically anagārikās or śrāmaṇerikās (novitiates).

Asita

Asita or Kaladevala or Kanhasiri was a hermit ascetic of ancient India in the 6th century BCE. He is best known for having predicted that prince Siddhartha of Kapilavastu would either become a great chakravartin or become a supreme religious leader; Siddhartha was later known as Gautama Buddha.He lived in the forest in the Shakya country. The name Asita literally means 'not clinging' while Kanhasiri means 'dark splendour'. Asita is described as wearing matted hair.

Assaji

Assaji (Pali: Assaji, Sanskrit: Aśvajit) was one of the first five arahants of Gautama Buddha. He is known for his conversion of Sariputta and Mahamoggallana, the Buddha's two chief male disciples, counterparts to the nuns Khema and Uppalavanna, the chief female disciples. He lived in what is now Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in northern India, during the 6th century BCE.

Buddhism in Venezuela

Buddhism in Venezuela is practiced by over 52,000 people (roughly 0.2% of the population). The Buddhist community is made up mainly of Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans.

Most identify with the Mahayana tradition, reflecting the religious heritage of their emigrant countries.

However, in the mid-1990s Keun-Tshen Goba (né Ezequiel Hernandez Urdaneta), together with Jigme Rinzen, founded a meditation center using the Shambhala Training method.

There are Buddhist centers in Caracas, Maracay, Mérida, Puerto Ordáz, San Felipe, and Valencia.

Buddhism in the Maldives

Buddhism in the Maldives was the predominant religion at least until the 12th century CE. It is not clear how Buddhism was introduced into the islands.

Dharma talk

A Dharma talk (Sanskrit) or Dhamma talk (Pali) or Dharma sermon (Japanese: 法語 (ほうご, Hōgo), Chinese: 法語) is a public discourse on Buddhism by a Buddhist teacher.In some Zen traditions a Dharma talk may be referred to as a teisho (提唱). However, according to Taizan Maezumi and Bernard Glassman, a teisho is "a formal commentary by a Zen master on a koan or Zen text. In its strictest sense, teisho is non-dualistic and is thus distinguished from a Dharma talk, which is a lecture on a Buddhist topic." In this sense, a teisho is thus a formal Dharma talk. Vietnamese master Thich Nhat Hanh says the following about Dharma talks:

A Dharma talk must always be appropriate in two ways: it must accord perfectly with the spirit of the Dharma and it must also respond perfectly to the situation in which it is given. If it only corresponds perfectly with the teachings but does not meet the needs of the listeners, it's not a good Dharma talk; it's not appropriate.

Koliya

The Koliyas were Kshatriya of the Adicca (Iksvaku) clan of the Solar Dynasty from the Indian subcontinent, during the time of Gautama Buddha.The family members of the two royal families, that is the Koliyas and Sakyas married only among themselves. Both clans were very proud of the purity of their royal blood and had practised this tradition of inter-marriage since ancient times. For example, Suddhodana's paternal aunt was married to the Koliyan ruler Añjana. Their daughters, Mahamaya and Mahapajapati Gotami, were married to Śuddhodana, the chief of the Sakyans. Similarly, Yashodhara, daughter of Suppabuddha, who was Añjana’s son, was married to the Sakyan prince, Gautama Buddha. Thus, the two royal families were related by marriage bonds between maternal and paternal cousins since ancient times. In spite of such close blood-ties, there would be occasional rifts between the two royal families, which sometimes turned into open hostility.

Kuri (kitchen)

A kuri (庫裏, lit. warehouse behind) or kuin (庫院, lit. warehouse hall) is the kitchen of a Zen monastery, typically located behind the butsuden (or, Buddha Hall). Historically the kuri was a kitchen which prepared meals only for the abbot and his guests, though in modern Japan it now functions as the kitchen and administrative office for the entire monastery.

List of Buddhas

This is a list of historical, contemporary, and legendary figures which at least one school of Buddhism considers to be a Buddha and which have an article on Wikipedia:

Acala

Adi-Buddha

Akshobhya

Amitābha, principal Buddha of Pure Land Buddhism

Amoghasiddhi

Bhaisajyaguru

Budai

Dīpankara Buddha

Five Tathagatas

Gautama Buddha

Kakusandha

Kassapa Buddha

Koṇāgamana Buddha

Lokesvararaja

Nairatmya

Nichiren Daishonin, Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law (Nikko Lineage)

Padumuttara Buddha

Padmasambhava

Ratnasambhava

Satyanama

Sumedha Buddha

Tara

Tonpa Shenrab

Vairocana, embodiment of the Dharmakaya

Vajradhara

Vajrayogini

Yeshe Tsogyal

List of suttas

Suttas from the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon.

List of Digha Nikaya suttas

List of Majjhima Nikaya suttas

List of Samyutta Nikaya suttas

List of Anguttara Nikaya suttas

List of Khuddaka Nikaya suttas

Prajnaparamita

Prajñāpāramitā means "the Perfection of (Transcendent) Wisdom" in Mahāyāna Buddhism. Prajñāpāramitā refers to this perfected way of seeing the nature of reality, as well as to a particular body of sutras and to the personification of the concept in the Bodhisattva known as the "Great Mother" (Tibetan: Yum Chenmo). The word Prajñāpāramitā combines the Sanskrit words prajñā "wisdom" with pāramitā "perfection". Prajñāpāramitā is a central concept in Mahāyāna Buddhism and is generally associated with the doctrine of emptiness (Shunyata) or 'lack of Svabhava' (essence) and the works of Nagarjuna. Its practice and understanding are taken to be indispensable elements of the Bodhisattva path.

According to Edward Conze, the Prajñāpāramitā Sutras are "a collection of about forty texts ... composed somewhere around Indian subcontinent between approximately 100 BC and AD 600." Some Prajnāpāramitā sūtras are thought to be among the earliest Mahāyāna sūtras.One of the important features of the Prajñāpāramitā Sutras is anutpada (unborn, no origin).

Rinpoche

Rinpoche, also spelled Rimboche and Rinboku (Tibetan: རིན་པོ་ཆེ་, Wylie: rin po che, THL: Rinpoché, ZYPY: Rinboqê), is an honorific term used in the Tibetan language. It literally means "precious one", and may be used to refer to a person, place, or thing--like the words "gem" or "jewel" (Sanskrit Ratna).

The word consists of rin(value) and po(nominative suffix) and chen(big).

The word is used in the context of Tibetan Buddhism as a way of showing respect when addressing those recognized as reincarnated, older, respected, notable, learned and/or an accomplished Lamas or teachers of the Dharma. It is also used as an honorific for abbots of monasteries.

Threefold Training

The Buddha identified the threefold training (sikkhā) as training in:

higher virtue (adhisīla-sikkhā)

higher mind (adhicitta-sikkhā)

higher wisdom (adhipaññā-sikkhā)

Uppalavanna

Uppalavannā (Chinese: 蓮華色比丘尼 or 優缽華色比丘尼) was considered to be one of the two chief female disciples of the Buddha, the other being Khema.

She was the daughter of a wealthy merchant and was known for her great beauty. Her name means "one with the hue of the blue lotus".

Upāli

Upāli (Sanskrit उपालि upāli) was a monk, one of the ten chief disciples of the Buddha.

Upāli was originally a barber from a Vaidya caste family in service to the Sakyan princes. When the princes left home to become monks, Upāli also sought ordination.Several variations on the story of Upāli's ordination exist, but all of them emphasize that his status in the Sangha was independent of his caste origin. In the Pali version, the princes voluntarily allow Upāli to ordain before them in order to give him seniority and abandon their own attachment to caste and social status. In some Tibetan versions, Sariputra encourages Upāli to ordain when he hesitates because of his caste origin.In the literature of every Buddhist school, Upāli is depicted as an expert in monastic discipline and the monastic code. At the First Buddhist Council, he was asked to recite the Vinaya and monastic code. He attained the state of arhatship before his death, and is regarded as the 'patron saint' of monks who specialize in the Vinaya.

Ṛddhi

In Buddhism, rddhi powers (Sanskrit; Pali: iddhi) are "psychic powers", one of the five or six supernormal powers (abhijñā) of the mundane plane attained by performing the four dhyānas. The normal Sanskrit meaning of ṛddhi is "increase, growth, prosperity, success, good fortune, wealth, abundance".

Transcriptions
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinZhēnrú
Wade–GilesChen-ju
Yue: Cantonese
JyutpingZan1jyu4
Middle Chinese
Middle ChineseTśjen-ńźjwo
Transcriptions
Wyliede bzhin nyid
Transcriptions
McCune–ReischauerJinyeo
Transcriptions
RomanizationShin-nyo
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