Common Buddhist Religion Terms 1

Image of Unfinished MandalaWhen studying the Buddhist religion, you may encounter a variety of terms that you may not be familiar with. This article deals with some of these terms, including the Sanskrit words for “ignorance”, as well as the term used to represent wisdom or enlightenment. You will also learn about the ins and outs of dharma, which is one of the basic concepts regarding many of the religions throughout India.


avidya: In Sanskrit, the term means “ignorance.” Within the Buddhist religion, ignorance is looked upon as the starting point of all suffering.


bodhi: Refers to enlightenment or wisdom


bonpu: In Japanese, this term stands for the ordinary man. When studying Zen Buddhism, you will find that this is the word used to refer to those who are not following a path marked with religion, as well as one who is not enlightened.


bodhicitta: In Sanskrit, this term refers to the “thought of enlightenment.” It is a term that will be encountered throughout Mahayana Buddhism. When it comes to the personal meaning of this term, it refers to the journey towards achieving enlightenment when it least is excepted.


dharma: This term refers to the religion and the truths and teachings connected to it. It is commonly referred to as the basis of the philosophies and practices that pertain to many belief systems that originate in the country of India. Dharma can be found present in the teachings of the four main religions within the land. These include Buddhism (of course); Hinduism; Jainism; and Sikhism. Dharma is one of the main, centralized focuses of these religions.


dhyana:  When it comes to meditation, this term refers to the concentrations that is often associated with Buddhists.


duhkha: The Four Noble Truths are rather important when dealing with the religion of Buddhism. This word refers to the first, which denotes the suffering we endure.


Mahinda Festival: Also referred to as Poson, this is a Sri Lankan Buddhist Festival that pays tribute to a monk by the name of Mahinda, who is accredited with bringing the religion of Buddhism to Sri Lanka. This is a celebration, which is marked by the changes of the lunar calendar, paying special attention to the full moon.


mandala: This is a term that is associated with Tibetan Buddhism. It stands as a symbol and representation of the sacredness within the universe. This term often deals with the five jinas, as well as the Dhyani Buddhas. The mandala is an important symbol that is used during moments of meditation. It is through the center of this object that followers pour their focus into during sessions of meditation. The center is composed of an array of geometric shapes that form a symmetrical appearance. Naturally, the eye is drawn to the center of a mandala. The meditation allure of the mandalas are so strong that psychiatrists have used the mandala to tap into the unconscious self, as well as shed light on the disorders that ails patients. Some have used the mandala to make a patient’s personality more whole.