Top ten words every Buddhist convert must learn

Below are some of the most important words for new Buddhists to learn. The main words are Pali. If there are more common Sanskrit equivalents, they are in parentheses.

Buddha

This refers to someone who has attained enlightenment on his own and establishes a community of enlightened disciples. All the Buddhas of the past share the same nine qualities. Our Buddha is Sidhattha Gotama.

Dhamma (Dharma)

The teachings of the Buddha that lead to full enlightenment. This word is also used by other religions but has different meanings.

Sangha

There are two groups that Sangha refers to. One is all of the Buddhas disciples that have attained some level of enlightenment. The other is the community of monks and nuns. The use of the word sangha to refer to any group of people who practice together is new. It is important to remember that this third group is not the group we go for refuge to.

Arahat/Arahant

Someone who has attained full enlightenment.

sutta (sutra)

The collected sermons, discourses and verses spoken by the Buddha and some of his enlightened disciples.

kamma (karma)

In general, kamma just means action. In the Buddha’s Dhamma it specifically refers to actions that we do intentionally by body, speech, and mind that will give a result related to the wholesome or unwholesome nature of the action.

Pali

Pali is the language that the suttas are written in. It is still used today for liturgies.

Bhante

Bhante is a way to address a monk, equivalent to Reverend or Venerable. (“Yes, bhante”). It is now often used as a noun, although it is not in Pali (“Have you seen any of the bhantes?”) As well it is commonly used as a title. (Bhante Sivali)

vandana & puja

Vandana means a worship service. Puja means an offering. Since they usually happen together, the two words are used interchangeably.

Puñña

Puñña means merit. It is equivalent to good kamma. Specifically the Buddha taught that merit is collected through giving, being virtuous, and by developing the mind.

Advertisements

Your turn...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s