Common Buddhist Religion Terms 2

Central Buddhism Symbol: The LotusThrough further exploration of terms associated with the Buddhist culture, there will be many terms you may not be familiar with. When studying the art, literature and religion of the Buddhist culture, you will definitely happen upon a reference to the lotus, which is one of the central symbols connected to the religion. In this article, you will encounter the lotus, as well as terms, such as “sutra,” “samu” and the Middle Way.”


ranto: In Japanese, this term stands for an “egg-shaped tower,” which refers to the tower that appears on the tomb of a Zen monk.


lotus: This is a central symbol associated with Buddhism. It is used to refer to the process of one who has overcome their boundaries and ignorance to achieve a state of enlightenment. The lotus grows in mud, but when it blooms, it shows no sign of its dirty surroundings. Throughout Buddhism, the lotus appears throughout many myths and legends. Works of art, literature and religious rituals all utilize the lotus as a main theme at some point.


samu: The Japanese use this word to refer to “work service.” The physical work that is accomplished during specific times throughout Zen monasteries is expressed through the use of this term.


sutra: In Sanskrit, the term is used to refer to a specific grouping of teachings. There are many different sutras associated with both the Buddhist and Hindu culture and religion. In Buddhism, the Samadhi Sutras are considered one of the earliest texts associated with the Mahayana school of Buddhism. These particular sutras pay attention to the attainment of “profound states” that is reached through meditation. The Confession Sutras involves the confession of ones faults and is quite prominent throughout Japanese Buddhism. The Avatamsaka Sutra is rather large and is broken into different parts. There are many other Sutras to study, such as the Third Turning Sutras, which divides the teachings of the Buddha into three different classes.


dependent arising: This is an important aspect of the Buddhist religion, which states that all of the appearance that we encounter are dependant on each and every other. Other words are also used to refer to this belief, including “dependent origination” and “conditioned genesis.”


Five hindrances (nivaranas): This refers to the obstacles that one faces when it comes to mental and emotional factors. In order for one to reach a level of knowledge, as well as enlightenment, these barriers must be removed. The five hindrances are called anger, sloth, worry, doubt, and desire.


karuna:  This term means “compassion” and is associated with Sanskrit and Pali language. This is considered an important virtue to possess within the Buddhism religion. This is a term that is especially attached to a Mahayana Buddhism belief system.


Middle Way: The Buddha has always suggested a monastic way of life, which is the midway point from obtaining pleasure. This is the term used to refer to this belief.


mantra: This term stands for “mind protection” within the Sanskrit language. This is the set of syllables that is recited during sessions of meditation. In regards to Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhists have been known to carve mantras into rocks. This is a way that they show their devotion to the religion. Mantras are also used in other religions, such as Hinduism, which often infuse principles of knowledge into their mantras.