An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics: Foundations, Values, and Issues

By Peter Harvey | Go to book overview

Glossary and details of historical figures and texts

P = Pali, S = Sanskrit, E = English

Abhidhamma (P); Abhidharma (S): third section of early Buddhist Canon, on systematized teachings, psychology, philosophy.

Abhidharma-kośa (S): a key text of the Sarvāstivāda school, by Vasubandhu.

Abhidharma-kośa-bhās$$ya is his own commentary on this, mainly from the point of view of the Sautrāntika school.

Arahat (P); Arhat (S): a fully liberated saint who has experienced Nirvān$$a by uprooting and destroying his or her attachment, hatred and delusion.

Asan·ga: fourth- or fifth-century CE Indian author of a number of Mahāyāna treatises, especially of the Yogācāra school.

Asoka (P); Aśoka (S): Buddhist ruler (c. 268–239 BCE) of a large Indian empire; left many stone-carved edicts indicating his rule according to Buddhist social ethics.

Bodhi-caryāvatāra (S): a work of Śāntideva on the path of the Bodhisattva.

Bodhisatta (P); Bodhisattva (S): a being-for-enlightenment: one fully dedicated to becoming a perfect Buddha. In the Theravāda, mainly used for Gotama in many of his past lives, as described in the Jātakas. In the Mahāyāna, a being, human or divine, on the long Bodhisattva-path.

Bodhisattva-bhūmi (S): a text, by Asan·ga, on the stages of the Bodhisattva-path, with a substantial section on ethics.

Brahmanism: early form of Hinduism.

brahmin (E) (P and S brāhman$$a): a Hindu priest, member of the highest of four social classes in the Hindu system.

Buddhaghosa: famous Indian commentator on texts of Theravāda school. Active in fifth-century CE Sri Lanka.

Cakkavatti (P); Cakravartin (S): a 'wheel-turning' king: a compassionate and just emperor. Seen as a secular parallel to a Buddha.

Candrakīrti: late sixth-century CE Indian writer and commentator of the Mahāyāna Madhyamaka school.

Conditioned Arising (E) (P pat$$icca-samuppāda;S pratīya-samutpāda): also known as Dependent Origination. The doctrine that all mental and physical states arise from and depend on conditions. A common application of this principle is a series of twelve conditions, including spiritual ignorance and craving, culminating in the arising of dukkha.

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