Buddhism Study Guide

  1. anatma
    (n.) “no-self”: the idea that there is no permanent, transcendent personhood or soul
  2. arhat
    (n.) in Theravada Buddhism, a person who has achieved enlightenment in imitation of the Buddha
  3. attachment
    (n.) the constant human tendency to grasp and hold onto objects, people, or circumstances and to expect (or futilely try to make) them be permanent
  4. bhikku (m.)
    (n.) a Buddhist male renunciate, a monk, esp. in Theravada contexts
  5. bhikkhuni (f.)
    (n.) a Buddhist female renunciate, a nun, esp. in Theravada contexts
  6. Bodhi tree
    (n.) the tree under which Siddhartha Gautama achieved enlightenment, thus becoming the Buddha
  7. bodhisattva
    (n.) in Mahayana traditions, a being who has achieved enlightenment but remained in the world to teach and spread the Buddhist message
  8. bodhisattva vow
    (n.) a vow undertaken in Mahayana Buddhism, to seek full enlightenment but then not enter into nirvana until every sentient being in the world has been saved from samsara
  9. buddha
    (n.) a being who has ‘woken up’ to the reality of the world, and become enlightened
  10. The Buddha
    (n.) title of the ‘historical Buddha,’ Siddhartha Gautama
  11. Dalai Lama
    (n.) title of the most prominent of Tibetan tulkus, head of the Gelukpa monastic order and de facto head of the Tibetan political system
  12. dukkha
    (n.) suffering or dissatisfaction, identified by Buddhists as the result of attachment
  13. Eightfold Path
    • (n.) the set of religious practices articulated in the Buddha’s first post-enlightenment sermon:
    • Right Understanding, Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Attitude, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration
  14. enlightenment
    (n.) the achievement of properly understanding the nature of the world
  15. Four Noble Truths
    (n.) distilled formulation of the fundamental insights attributed to the Buddha about suffering and how to bring about its cessation
  16. Jataka tales
    (n.) stories about the Buddha in his lives prior to the life in which he attained enlightenment
  17. lama
    (n.) a Tibetan title for a teacher
  18. Mahayana
    • (adj./n.) the branch of Buddhism that spread to Tibet, China, Korea, Japan; recognizes the
    • possibility of lots of Buddhas in lots of universes; asks its adherents to take the
    • ‘bodhisattva vow’
  19. meditation
    (n.) the cultivation of insight, awareness, and mental stillness, primarily undertaken by Buddhist monks and nuns
  20. merit
    (n.) the positive karma acquired by performing virtuous deeds that benefit other people or the Dharma; can be held for oneself or transferred to another
  21. nirvana
    (n.) the escape from samsara: the absolute extinction of suffering and its causes
  22. Pali
    (n.) a language, derived from Sanskrit, used in Theravada Buddhism
  23. Pali canon
    (n.) the oldest of the Buddhist canons of literature; includes the Pali vinaya and a broad variety of teachings attributed directly to the Buddha or his direct followers
  24. relic
    (n.) a physical remnant of the body of the Buddha or of a prominent Buddhist; most famously, the tooth of the Buddha, venerated in the Sri Lankan city of Kandy
  25. sangha
    (n.) the community of Buddhist monks and nuns
  26. Shakyamuni
    (n.) “sage of the Shakya clan”: a common title used for the Buddha
  27. Siddhartha Gautama
    (n.) the name of the Buddha while he was still a prince, prior to his renunciation
  28. sutra
    (n.) a text attributed to the Buddha (though many seem to have been written far later)
  29. stupa
    (n.) a large semi-spherical mound covering a Buddhist relic (or related sacred object, such as a statue or text), worshipped by walking around the base clockwise
  30. terma
    (n.) a Tibetan Buddhist text understood to have been hidden in the ground and then ‘discovered’ at the time when it is needed; a revealed ‘new’ scripture
  31. Theravada
    • (adj.) the “way of the elders”: the form of Buddhism practiced in Southeast Asia; ritual life focused around the historical Buddha; monks/nuns aspire to become arhats rather
    • than bodhisattvas
  32. the Triple Gem
    (n.) the three great “assets” of Buddhism: The Buddha, The Dharma, the Sangha
  33. tulku
    (n.) a Tibetan teacher who purposefully reincarnates in order to continue his teaching life after life
  34. Vinaya
    (n.) the ‘code of discipline’: the comprehensive list of rules for Buddhist monks and nuns
Card Set
Buddhism Study Guide
cards for religion term quiz