Glossary of Chinese/English Buddhist terms

#1

I found some online resources that helps me find the matching Buddhist terms between Chinese and English. This allows me to google for the articles in English.
Sharing them here. Hope it aids everybody’s studies. :pray:

https://www.wisdomlib.org/buddhism/compilation/a-dictionary-of-chinese-buddhist-terms

http://mahajana.net/texts/kopia_lokalna/soothill-hodous.html

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#2

as an example, when I encounter the term 贍部洲, I just take it as referring to one of the four regions in the Buddhist cosmology.

Curiosity will normally lead me to google for more details where I will be presented with a long list of Chinese sites - kinda painful for this not-so-good reader of Chinese :persevere:

Thus, a small shout of joy when I found the above resources to help get the English term for 贍部洲, which is Jambudvīpa…sparking a marathon of wiki-ing and googling the English content to my heart’s content :grin:

The Regions:
东胜神洲 / 东毗提诃 > (East) Purvavideha
南瞻部洲 / 南阎浮提 > (South) Jambudvīpa
西牛贺洲 / 西瞿耶尼 > (West) Aparagodaniya
北俱卢洲 / 北郁单越 > (North) Uttarakuru

More details:
In English:
http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Four_continents
In Chinese:
https://baike.baidu.com/item/四大部洲/1899808?fromtitle=四大洲&fromid=5415672

#3

another term I take for granted is 三藏 and 三藏法师.
one will hear it so often that it becomes like just another name…brandied about quite conveniently

a search reveals how such a term has so much connotation:

三藏 - tripiṭaka which is:

經藏(sūtrapiṭaka)、
律藏(vinayapiṭaka)、
論藏(abhidharmapiṭaka)
#4

Encountered Master Ri-Chang mention 布萨 in his Lamrim commentary Track 32A

昨天是白月十五布萨,啊!看得真感动,有好几位同修出来忏悔,说:啊……这样。我们总共只有十几个人,结果忏悔的占绝大部分,说明大家真是肯有心努力,有的人各式各样地说不对,有的人说,我身口意三业不清净,有的说,说是非什么等等。忏悔干净了,下面要不能再做喔!

Went to look up the English term: 布萨 > Uposatha

#5

also was interested in 格喜 and how Master Ri-Chang mentioned the effort and time needed to produce a Venerable of such qualification: a statistic of 1 out of 1000

“格喜”通常西藏话翻成我们就是说博士,就是法师,我曾经跟大家说过,真正要他们那边考一个格喜真不简单喔!他那个真正的,你想要学,以黄教来说,这个三大寺,三大寺的平均单单三个庙的这个出家众有五、六万,每一个庙平均大概有一万多个人,然后要念十五年才能够考,那一年当中真正的考取的,像不知道是色拉还是甘丹我就弄不清楚了,只有十五个名额,这样啊!一千个人当中还不到一个

格喜 is a Tibetan term and the English equivalent will be Geshe:

#6

for lineage, I often get confused. Putting it here for reference:

相宗
弥勒菩萨 > Maitreya
无着菩萨 > Asanga

性宗
文殊菩萨 > Mañjuśrī
龙树菩萨 > Nāgārjuna

#7

What is 功德?
It is easily translated as 功德 > Merits.

However, Master Ri-Chang has given an example of it here (Lamrim Commentary Track 56B)

所谓功德,是什么叫做功德?就是你做了这件事情,留下来对大家有善的、好的果报的影响的,这个叫做功德。所以这个布施 (p285) 得到的功德是怎么样的?原则上面说,比如说你送一个铜钱,送给别人,然后呢他那个钱摆在那里的话,这个功德不一定得到;他拿到了那个钱,然后呢买了吃饱,吃饱了肚子,那个时候你的功德就得到,这样的啊!现在你做了一件事情,如果做了一件事情,你这影响力量,在世间产生了影响力量,那功德就得到。

From what Master has said, I read that merit can be better described as the beneficial effect rather than the act itself!

#8

声闻 > hearers / sravakas

Those who follow the path to liberation from cyclic existence and become arhats. They are so-called because they hear the Buddha’s teachings and teach them to others. (Pali: sāvaka, Sanskrit: śrāvaka)
Source: https://thubtenchodron.org/vocabulary-index/hearers/

缘觉 / 独觉 > solitary realizer

Someone who, in their last lifetime before becoming an arhat, practice in solitude at a time when no Buddha has appeared in the world. (Pali: paccekabuddha, Sanskrit: pratyekabuddha)
Source: http://thubtenchodron.org/vocabulary-index/solitary-realizer/

Also realised that there is a great glossary of English Buddhism terms at https://thubtenchodron.org/vocabulary-index/

辟支佛 (Pratyekabuddhas) can be said to be 缘觉 / 独觉 > solitary realizer
This is also based on Master Ri-Chang’s Lamrim Commentary Track 89A
https://bwmonastery.org.sg/lr89a

“佛” 那就是大乘的,“辟支佛”是缘觉,“声闻”,
三乘

#9

Master Ri-Chang mentioned this case study of an Arhat (阿罗汉) called
周利槃陀伽 > Suddhipanthaka or Kṣudrapanthaka

这个佛的大弟子当中有一个非常特殊的,也很了不起的一个人—周利槃陀伽,大家都晓得这个人。这个人为什么这么特别呢?因为他笨。他这个笨的情况简直是,他哥哥要出家,他也要跟着他哥哥出家,不 (p57) 让他出家,哭哭啼啼,因为他太笨嘛,实在笨得一塌糊涂。然后呢佛就看见了,说:“好好好!那你来出家吧!”那么出了家了。出家了以后呢,那个时候已经有很多佛弟子就教他,跟了几百个人哪,就教他一个偈子就记不住。教一个偈子,四句偈喔!就是得前忘后,实在没有方法,最后就告诉他学“扫帚”两个字。他就念扫帚,念了个扫,扫什么?扫什么?帚字忘记掉了。哦,扫帚,帚帚帚,帚了半天,帚什么?扫字忘记掉了。那我们无法想像说天下居然有这么笨的人!欸,就有这么笨的人。后来他证罗汉果了,他证了罗汉果了。

那么当然这个里边还有很多很有趣的事情,可是真正最主要的这个里边什么原因呢?那么就问佛了。那么佛就说呀,他说在很多无量无边劫以前,那个时候有一个佛出世,那个时候佛出世的时候,有一个国王出了家,那么出了家以后,后来呢王子也出家。那么出了家以后就跟着去学,去学的其中,他先跟着那个和尚。那个和尚就告诉他很多方法,除了讲那个所谓持戒什么等等,当然讲那个法理,那个佛法的法理主要的都是讲空缘起,他对这个东西听不进,他对这个就是听不进。所以他就毁谤,心里面就否定那个和尚所教的。可是那个阿阇黎告诉他的,他倒满听得进,就这样。所以他这个人持戒的行相是持得非常好,但是对于这个佛法的真正深入的内涵就不相应,不相应而且还去毁谤。所以后来 (p58) 他死了以后就堕阿鼻地狱,哎呀,不晓得多苦。然后出来了以后余报他一直笨,笨得一直多生多劫就是这样,一直到现在,一直到现在他还是这么个笨法。但是他毕竟还在出家当中有过这么一段缘,所以后来证了果了,这是一个。
From Lamrim Commentary Track 58B

The very much shorter English version here:

#10

a bit of history of how Buddhism spread to China.
安士高 > An Shigao

The Chinese entry has some interesting stories:
https://baike.baidu.com/item/安士高

#11

唯识宗 > Yogācāra
The Mind-Only school, a Buddhist philosophical system that posits that objects cannot exist independently of being perceived by the mind.
Reference: https://thubtenchodron.org/vocabulary-index/yogacara/

中观见 > Madhyamaka

#12

another good glossary of terms used in Buddhist studies.
seems to be from a student of Lamrim:

#13

遮罪
secondary precepts (?) or
faults that require the exercise of restraint

vs

性罪
primary precepts (?) or
wrong by nature

Master Ri-Chang provides a definition here:

这个我们造的罪有两种,一种叫遮罪,一种叫性罪。什么是遮罪?就是制这个戒,制了以后这个不可以做的、遮止的,现在呢你不小心又犯了,这个叫遮罪。还有一个呢,不管它制不制,这个本身就是有罪的,是这样,这样。所以这一点,那么在《戒经》上面特别告诉我们说:身、口两个主要的是“遮”,然后意这一点的话,那就是“性”,特别是起心动念。这个是声闻别解脱戒,粗的。
Lamrim Commentary Track 62B

#14

善逝子 > Sugata

From wiki:

From a Chinese page:
https://zh.wikisource.org/zh-hans/佛學大辭典/善逝

#15

The Lamrim Chenmo mostly use the term “good quality” for 功德。For example, under the outline for Going for Refuge, 知功德 is translated as “Going for refuge by knowing the good qualities”. In this case, “good quality” does convey the meaning better than “merits”.

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#16

thank you Venerable @Bensi for the pointer :muscle:

#17

Master Ri-Chang mentioned 四念处 in his Lamrim Commentary Track 68A:

第一个四念处,也是讲这个。“观身不净、观受是苦”

Curious, I googled for the term and found some descriptions for it:

The English Wiki is here:

#18

嗢柁南 > uddāna

uddāna : (nt.) 1. a list; a table of contents; 2. a cluster.

Uddāna, (nt.) (fr. ud + dā, dayati to bind: see under dāma) a group of Suttas, used throughout the Vinaya Piṭaka, with ref. to each Khandhaka, in the Saṃyutta, the Aṅguttara and other books (cp. Miln. 407) for each group of about ten Suttas (cp. DhsA. 27). The Uddāna gives, in a sort of doggerel verse, at the end of each group, the titles of the Suttas in the group. It may then be roughly rendered “summary”. If all the Uddānas were collected together, they would form a table of contents to the whole work.—Otherwise the word has only been found used of fishes “macchuddāna” (so J. II, 425; DhA. II, 132). It then means a group of fish placed apart for for sale in one lot. Perhaps a set or a batch would meet the case. (Page 135)
Source: https://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/uddana

Master Ri-Chang’s explanation is here:

嗢柁南”这个地方是指纲要,纲宗扼要。通常嗢陀南我们可以翻成功一个“偈”,偈子,所以前面说完了,那个偈子总结起来。
https://bwmonastery.org.sg/lr68b

#19

I was curious about the difference between 报身佛 and 化身佛.
Did some Googling and found these articles:

三身佛 > Trikaya

三身佛
https://baike.baidu.com/item/三身佛/10538956
法身佛(毗卢遮那佛)代表佛教真理(佛法)凝聚所成的佛身。
报身佛(卢舍那佛)经过修习得到佛果,享有佛国(净土)之身。
应身佛(又称化身佛,即释迦牟尼佛)指佛为超度众生、随缘应机而呈现的各种化身。

#20

三昧耶 > Samaya

Master Ri-Chang mentions in his Lamrim Commentary Track 65B:

那个时候啊,它密教也有它灌顶的,叫“三昧耶”,这个三昧耶叫誓句,誓句。

What is 三昧耶?