The Info List - Subitism

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The term subitism points to sudden enlightenment, the idea that insight is attained all at once.[1] The opposite approach, that enlightenment can be achieved only step by step, through an arduous practice, is called gradualism.[2]


1 Etymology 2 Early Buddhism

2.1 Dhyana and insight 2.2 Dhyana 2.3 Insight

3 Theravada 4 Mahayana

4.1 Chinese Buddhism

4.1.1 Chan Huineng Rivalry between schools Later interpretations

4.1.2 Hua-yen

4.2 Korean Seon

5 Neo-Vedanta

5.1 Ramana maharshi - Akrama mukti 5.2 Inchegeri Sampradaya

6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Sources

9.1 Published sources 9.2 Web-sources

10 External links 11 Further reading

Etymology[edit] The application of the term to Buddhism
is derived from the French illumination subite (sudden awakening), contrasting with 'illumination graduelle' (gradual awakening). It gained currency in this use in English from the work of sinologist Paul Demiéville. His 1947 work 'Mirror of the Mind' was widely read in the U.S. It inaugurated a series by him on subitism and gradualism. [web 1] Subitizing, also derived from the Latin adjective subitus, is the rapid, accurate, and confident judgments of numbers performed for small numbers of items. It is important to be aware subitism can also be used in this context. Early Buddhism[edit] Dhyana and insight[edit] A core problem in the study of early Buddhism
is the relation between jhana/dhyana and insight.[3][4][5][note 1] The Buddhist tradition has incorporated two traditions regarding the use of dhyana.[4] There is a tradition that stresses attaining insight (bodhi, prajna, kensho) as the means to awakening and liberation. But it has also incorporated the yogic tradition, as reflected in the use of jhana, which is rejected in other sutras as not resulting in the final result of liberation.[3][6][5] The problem was famously voiced in 1936 by Louis de La Vallee Poussin, in his text Musila et Narada: Le Chemin de Nirvana.[7][note 2] Schmithausen, in his often-cited article On some Aspects of Descriptions or Theories of 'Liberating Insight' and 'Enlightenment' in Early Buddhism, notes that the mention of the four noble truths as constituting "liberating insight", which is attained after mastering the Rupa Jhanas, is a later addition to texts such as Majjhima Nikaya 36.[8][4][3] Schmithausen discerns three possible roads to liberation as described in the suttas. Vetter adds a fourth possibility, which pre-dates these three:[9]

The four Rupa Jhanas themselves constituted the core liberating practice of early buddhism, c.q. the Buddha;[10] Mastering the four Rupa Jhanas, where-after "liberating insight" is attained; Mastering the four Rupa Jhanas and the four Arupa Jhanas, where-after "liberating insight" is attained; Liberating insight itself suffices.

This problem has been elaborated by several well-known scholars, including Tilman Vetter,[3] Johannes Bronkhorst,[6] and Richard Gombrich.[5] Dhyana[edit] According to Tilmann Vetter, the core of earliest Buddhism
is the practice of dhyāna.[3] Vetter notes that "penetrating abstract truths and penetrating them successively does not seem possible in a state of mind which is without contemplation and reflection."[11] Vetter further argues that the eightfold path constitutes a body of practices which prepare one, and lead up to, the practice of dhyana.[12] Bronkhorst agrees that dhyana was a Buddhist invention,[4] whereas Norman notes that "the Buddha's way to release [...] was by means of meditative practices."[13] Gombrich also notes that a development took place in early Buddhism
resulting in a change in doctrine, which considered prajna to be an alternative means to "enlightenment".[14] Insight[edit] According to Johannes Bronkhorst,[4] Tillman Vetter,[3] and K.R. Norman,[13] bodhi was at first not specified. K.R. Norman:

It is not at all clear what gaining bodhi means. We are accustomed to the translation "enlightenment" for bodhi, but this is misleading [...] It is not clear what the buddha was awakened to, or at what particular point the awakening came.[13]

According to Norman, bodhi may basically have meant the knowledge that nibbana was attained,[15][16] due to the practice of dhyana.[13][3] Bronkhorst notes that the conception of what exactly this "liberating insight" was developed throughout time. Whereas originally it may not have been specified, later on the four truths served as such, to be superseded by pratityasamutpada, and still later, in the Hinayana schools, by the doctrine of the non-existence of a substantial self or person.[17] And Schmithausen notices that still other descriptions of this "liberating insight" exist in the Buddhist canon:

"that the five Skandhas are impermanent, disagreeable, and neither the Self nor belonging to oneself";[note 3] "the contemplation of the arising and disappearance (udayabbaya) of the five Skandhas";[note 4] "the realisation of the Skandhas as empty (rittaka), vain (tucchaka) and without any pith or substance (asaraka).[note 5][18]

Discriminating insight into transiency as a separate path to liberation was a later development.[19][20] This may have been to due an over-literal interpretation by later scholastics of the terminology used by the Buddha,[21] or to the problems involved with the practice of dhyana, and the need to develop an easier method.[22] According to Vetter it may not have been as effective as dhyana, and methods were developed to deepen the effects of discriminating insight.[22] It was also paired to dhyana, resulting in the well-known sila-samadhi-prajna scheme.[22] According to Vetter this kind of preparatory "dhyana" must have been different from the practice introduced by the Buddha, using kasina-exercises to produce a "more artificially produced dhyana", resulting in the cessation of apperceptions and feelings.[23] It also led to a different understanding of the eightfold path, since this path does not end with insight, but rather starts with insight. The path was no longer seen as a sequential development resulting in dhyana, but as a set of practices which had to be developed simultaneously to gain insight.[24] Theravada[edit] The distinction between sudden and gradual is also apparent in the differentiation between vipassana and samatha. According to Gombrich, the distinction between vipassana and samatha did not originate in the suttas, but in the interpretation of the suttas.[25] Mahayana[edit] The emphasis on insight is also discernible in the Mahayana-tradition, which emphasises prajna:

[T]he very title of a large corpus of early Mahayana
literature, the Prajnaparamita, shows that to some extent the historian may extrapolate the trend to extol insight, prajna, at the expense of dispassion, viraga, the control of the emotions.[26]

Although Theravada
and Mahayana
are commonly understood as different streams of Buddhism, their practice too may reflect emphasis on insight as a common denominator:[note 6] Chinese Buddhism[edit] The distinction between sudden and gradual awakening was first introduced in China in the beginning of the 5th century CE by Tao Sheng.[28] Chan[edit] The term is used in Chan Buddhism
Chan Buddhism
to denote the doctrinal position that enlightenment (kenshō, bodhi or satori) is instantaneous, sudden and direct, not attained by practice through a period of time, and not the fruit of a gradual accretion or realisation. Aspects of Dzogchen and Mahamudra
may be referred to as subitist, as well as the Rinzai school. Huineng[edit] In the 8th century the distinction became part of a struggle for influence at the Chinese court by Shenhui, a student of Huineng. Hereafter "sudden enlightenment" became one of the hallmarks of Chan Buddhism, though the sharp distinction was softened by subsequent generations of practitioners.[29] This softening is reflected in the Platform Sutra
of Huineng.

While the Patriarch was living in Bao Lin Monastery, the Grand Master Shen Xiu was preaching in Yu Quan Monastery of Jing Nan. At that time the two Schools, that of Hui Neng
Hui Neng
of the South and Shen Xiu of the North, flourished side by side. As the two Schools were distinguished from each other by the names "Sudden" (the South) and "Gradual" (the North), the question which sect they should follow baffled certain Buddhist scholars (of that time). (Seeing this), the Patriarch addressed the assembly as follows: So far as the Dharma
is concerned, there can be only one School. (If a distinction exists) it exists in the fact that the founder of one school is a northern man, while the other is a southerner. While there is only one dharma, some disciples realize it more quickly than others. The reason why the names 'Sudden' and 'Gradual' are given is that some disciples are superior to others in mental dispositions. So far as the Dharma
is concerned, the distinction of 'Sudden' and 'Gradual' does not exist.[web 2]

Rivalry between schools[edit] While Southern School placed emphasis on sudden enlightenment, it also marked a shift in doctrinal basis from the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra
Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra
to the prajnaparamita tradition, especially the Diamond Sutra. The Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra, which endorses the Buddha-nature, emphasized purity of mind, which can be attained in gradations. The Diamond Sutra emphasizes śūnyatā, which "must be realized totally or not at all".[30] Once this dichotomy was in place, it defined its own logic and rhetorics, which are also recognizable in the distinction between Caodong (Sōtō) and Linji (Rinzai) schools.[31] But it also leads to a "sometimes bitter and always prolix sectarian controversy between later Ch'an and Hua-yen exegetes".[32] In the Huayan classification of teachings, the sudden approach was regarded inferior to the Perfect Teaching of Huayan. Guifeng Zongmi, fifth patriarch of Huayan and Chan master, devised his own classification to counter this subordination.[33] To establish the superiority of Chan, Jinul, the most important figure in the formation of Korean Seon, explained the sudden approach as not pointing to mere emptiness, but to suchness or the dharmadhatu.[34] Later interpretations[edit] Guifeng Zongmi, fifth-generation successor to Shenhui, also softened the edge between sudden and gradual. In his analysis, sudden awakening points to seeing into one's true nature, but is to be followed by a gradual cultivation to attain buddhahood.[2] This is also the standpoint of the contemporary Sanbo Kyodan, according to whom kensho is at the start of the path to full enlightenment.[35] This gradual cultivation is also recognized by Dongshan Liangjie, who described the Five Ranks of enlightenment]].[web 3] Other example of depiction of stages on the path are the Ten Bulls, which detail the steps on the Path, The Three Mysterious Gates of Linji, and the Four Ways of Knowing of Hakuin Ekaku.[36] This gradual cultivation is described by Chan Master Sheng Yen as follows:

Ch'an expressions refer to enlightenment as "seeing your self-nature". But even this is not enough. After seeing your self-nature, you need to deepen your experience even further and bring it into maturation. You should have enlightenment experience again and again and support them with continuous practice. Even though Ch'an says that at the time of enlightenment, your outlook is the same as of the Buddha, you are not yet a full Buddha.[37]

Hua-yen[edit] In the Fivefold Classification of the Huayan school
Huayan school
and the Five Periods and Eight Teachings of the Tiantai-school the sudden teaching was given a high place, but still inferior to the Complete or Perfect teachings of these schools. Korean Seon[edit] Chinul, a 12th-century Korean Seon
Korean Seon
master, followed Zongmi, and also emphasized that insight into our true nature is sudden, but is to be followed by practice to ripen the insight and attain full Buddhahood.[38] In contemporary Korean Seon, Seongcheol
has defended the stance of "sudden insight, sudden cultivation". Citing Taego Bou
Taego Bou
(太古普愚: 1301-1382) as the true successor of the Linji Yixuan
Linji Yixuan
(臨済義玄) line of patriarchs rather than Jinul
(知訥: 1158-1210), he advocated Hui Neng's original stance of 'sudden enlightenment, sudden cultivation' (Hangul: 돈오돈수, Hanja: 頓悟頓修) as opposed to Jinul's stance of 'sudden enlightenment, gradual cultivation' (Hangul: 돈오점수, Hanja: 頓悟漸修).[39] Whereas Jinul
had initially asserted that with enlightenment comes the need to further one's practice by gradually destroying the karmic vestiges attained through millions of rebirths, Huineng
and Seongcheol
maintained that with perfect enlightenment, all karmic remnants disappear and one becomes a Buddha immediately.[40][41][42][43] Neo-Vedanta[edit] Ramana maharshi - Akrama mukti[edit] Ramana Maharshi
Ramana Maharshi
made a distinction between akrama mukti, "sudden liberation", as opposed to the krama mukti, "gradual liberation" as in the Vedanta path of jnana yoga:[web 4][note 7]

‘Some people,’ he said, ‘start off by studying literature in their youth. Then they indulge in the pleasures of the world until they are fed up with them. Next, when they are at an advanced age, they turn to books on Vedanta. They go to a guru and get initiated by him and then start the process of sravana, manana and nididhyasana, which finally culminates in samadhi. This is the normal and standard way of approaching liberation. It is called krama mukti [gradual liberation]. But I was overtaken by akrama mukti [sudden liberation] before I passed through any of the above-mentioned stages.’[web 4]

Inchegeri Sampradaya[edit] The teachings of Bhausaheb Maharaj, the founder of the Inchegeri Sampradaya, have been called "the Ant's way", [note 8] the way of meditation,[web 7] while the teachings of Siddharameshwar Maharaj and his disciples Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ranjit Maharaj have been called "the Bird's Way",[note 9] the direct path to Self-discovery:[web 7]

The way of meditation is a long arduous path while the Bird's Way is a clear direct path of Self investigation, Self exploration, and using thought or concepts as an aid to understanding and Self-Realization. Sometimes this approach is also called the Reverse Path. What Reverse Path indicates is the turning around of one's attention away from objectivity to the more subjective sense of one's Beingness.[note 10] With the Bird's Way, first one's mind must be made subtle. This is generally done with some initial meditation on a mantra or phrase which helps the aspirant to step beyond the mental/conceptual body, using a concept to go beyond conceptualization.[web 7]

The terms appear in the Varaha Upanishad, Chapter IV:

34. (The Rishi) Suka is a Mukta (emancipated person). (The Rishi) Vamadeva
is a Mukta. There are no others (who have attained emancipation) than through these (viz., the two paths of these two Rishis). Those brave men who follow the path of Suka in this world become Sadyo-Muktas (viz., emancipated) immediately after (the body wear away); 35. While those who always follow the path of Vamadeva
(i.e., Vedanta) in this world are subject again and again to rebirths and attain Krama (gradual) emancipation, through Yoga, Sankhya and Karmas associated with Sattva (Guna). 36. Thus there are two paths laid down by the Lord of Devas (viz.,) the Suka and Vamadeva
paths. The Suka path is called the bird’s path; while the Vamadeva
path is called the ant’s path.[web 8]

See also[edit]

Enlightenment in Buddhism Enlightenment (spiritual) Jinul Mushi-dokugo
("self-enlightenment") Subitizing Shattari Illuminationism


^ Bodhi, prajna, vipassana, kensho ^ See Louis de La Vallée Poussin, Musial and Narad. Translated from the French by Gelongma Migme Chödrön and Gelong Lodrö Sangpo. ^ Majjhima Nikaya 26 ^ Anguttara Nikaya II.45 (PTS) ^ Samyutta Nikaya III.140-142 (PTS) ^ Warder: "In the Sthaviravada [...] progress in understanding comes all at once, 'insight' (abhisamaya) does not come 'gradually' (successively - anapurva)".[27] ^ Rama P. Coomaraswamy: "[Krama-mukti is] to be distinguished from jîvan-mukti, the state of total and immediate liberation attained during this lifetime, and videha-mukti, the state of total liberation attained at the moment of death."[44] See [web 5] for more info on "gradual liberation". ^ Pipeelika Mārg,[45] or Pipilika Marg ,[web 6] ^ Bihangam Mārg,[45] or Vihangam Marg,[web 6] ^ Compare Jinul's "tracing back the radiance".Buswell, Robert E. (1991), Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul's Korean Way of Zen, University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 978-0-8248-1427-4 


^ McRae 1991. ^ a b Gregory 1991. ^ a b c d e f g Vetter 1988. ^ a b c d e Bronkhorst 1993. ^ a b c Gombrich 1997. ^ a b bronkhorst 1993. ^ Bronkhorst 1993, p. 133-134. ^ Schmithausen 1981. ^ Vetter 1988, p. xxi-xxii. ^ Vetter, 1988 & xxi-xxxvii. ^ Vetter 1988, p. xxvii. ^ Vetter 1988, p. xxx. ^ a b c d Norman 1997, p. 29. ^ gombrich 1997, p. 131. ^ Norman 1997, p. 30. ^ Vetter 1988, p. xxix, xxxi. ^ Bronkhorst 1993, p. 100-101. ^ Bronkhorst 1993, p. 101. ^ Vetter 1988, p. xxxiv-xxxvii. ^ Gombrich 1997, p. 131. ^ Gombrich 1997, p. 96-134. ^ a b c Vetter 1988, p. xxxv. ^ Vetter 1988, p. xxxvi. ^ Vetter 1988, p. xxxvi-xxxvii. ^ Gombrich 1997, p. 96-144. ^ Gombrich 1997, p. 133. ^ Warder 2000, p. 284. ^ Lai 1991, p. 169. ^ McRae 2003. ^ Kasulis 2003, pp. 26–28. ^ McRae 2003, p. 123. ^ Buswell 1993, p. 234. ^ Gregory 1993. ^ Buswell 1991, p. 240-241. ^ Kapleau 1989. ^ Low 2006. ^ Yen 2006, p. 54. ^ Buswell 1989, p. 21. ^ 퇴옹 성철. (1976). 한국불교의 법맥. 해인사 백련암 (Korea): 장경각. (Toeng Seongcheol. (1976). Hanguk Bulgyo Ei Bupmaek. Haeinsa Baekryun'am (Korea): Jang'gyung'gak.) ISBN 89-85244-16-7 ^ 퇴옹 성철. (1987). 자기를 바로 봅시다. 해인사 백련암 (Korea): 장경각. (Toeng Seongcheol. (1987). Jaghireul Baro Bopshida. Haeinsa Baekryun'am (Korea): Jang'gyung'gak.) ISBN 89-85244-11-6 ^ 퇴옹 성철. (1988). 영원한 자유. 해인사 백련암 (Korea): 장경각. (Toeng Seongcheol. (1988). Yongwonhan Jayou. Haeinsa Baekryun'am (Korea): Jang'gyung'gak.) ISBN 89-85244-10-8 ^ 퇴옹 성철. (1987). 선문정로. 해인사 백련암 (Korea): 장경각. (Toeng Seongcheol. (1987). Seon Mun Jung Ro. Haeinsa Baekryun'am (Korea): Jang'gyung'gak.) ISBN 89-85244-14-0 ^ 퇴옹 성철. (1992). 백일법문. 해인사 백련암 (Korea): 장경각. (Toeng Seongcheol. (1992). Baek Il Bupmun. Haeinsa Baekryun'am (Korea): Jang'gyung'gak.) ISBN 89-85244-05-1, ISBN 89-85244-06-X ^ Coomaraswamy 2004. ^ a b Prasoon 2009, p. 8.

Sources[edit] Published sources[edit]

Bronkhorst, Johannes (1993), The Two Traditions Of Meditation In Ancient India, Motilal Banarsidass Publ.  Buswell, R. E. (1989). "Chinul's Ambivalent Critique of Radical Subitism
in Korean Sŏn". Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies. 12 (2): 20–44.  Buswell, Robert E. (1991), The "Short-cut" Approach of K'an-hua Meditation: The Evolution of a Practical Subitism
in Chinese Ch'an Buddhism. In: Peter N. Gregory (editor) (1991), Sudden and Gradual. Approaches to Enlightenment in Chinese Thought, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited  Buswell, Robert E (1993), Ch'an Hermeneutics: A Korean View. In: Donald S. Lopez, Jr. (ed.)(1993), Buddhist Hermeneutics, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass  Coomaraswamy, Rama P. (2004), The Essential Ananda
K. Coomaraswamy, World Wisdom, Inc  Faure, Bernard (2003), Chan Buddhism
Chan Buddhism
in Ritual Context, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-29748-6  Gregory, Peter N. (1991), Sudden Enlightenment Followed by Gradual Cultivation: Tsung-mi's Analysis of Mind. In: Peter N. Gregory (editor)(1991), Sudden and Gradual. Approaches to Enlightenment in Chinese Thought, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited  Gombrich, Richard F. (1997), How Buddhism
Began. The Conditioned Genesis of the Early Teachings, New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.  Kapleau, Philip (1989), The three pillars of Zen  Kasulis, Thomas P. (2003), Ch'an Spirituality. In: Buddhist Spirituality. Later China, Korea, Japan and the Modern World; edited by Takeuchi Yoshinori, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass  Lai, Whalen (1991), Tao Sheng`s Theory of Sudden Enlightenment Re-examined. In: Peter N. Gregory, ed. (1991), Sudden and Gradual. Approaches to Enlightenment in Chinese Thought, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, pp. 169–200  Low, Albert (2006), Hakuin on Kensho. The Four Ways of Knowing, Boston & London: Shambhala  McRae, John (1991), Shen-hui and the Teaching of Sudden Enlightenment in Early Ch'an Buddhism. In: Peter N. Gregory (editor)(1991), Sudden and Gradual. Approaches to Enlightenment in Chinese Thought, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited  McRae, John (2003), Seeing Through Zen. Encounter, Transformation, and Genealogy in Chinese Chan Buddhism, The University Press Group Ltd, ISBN 978-0-520-23798-8  Norman, K.R. (1992), The Four Noble Truths. In: "Collected Papers", vol 2:210-223, Pali
Text Society, 2003  Prasoon, Shrikant (2009), Knowing Sant Kabir, Pustak Mahal  Schmithausen, Lambert (1981), On some Aspects of Descriptions or Theories of 'Liberating Insight' and 'Enlightenment' in Early Buddhism". In: Studien zum Jainismus und Buddhismus (Gedenkschrift für Ludwig Alsdorf), hrsg. von Klaus Bruhn und Albrecht Wezler, Wiesbaden 1981, 199-250  Vetter, Tilmann (1988), The Ideas and Meditative Practices of Early Buddhism, BRILL  Warder, A.K. (2000), Indian Buddhism, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers  Yen, Chan Master Sheng (1996), Dharma
Drum: The Life and Heart of Ch'an Practice, Boston & London: Shambhala 


^ Bernard Faure, Chan/ Zen
Studies in English: The State Of The Field ^ The Sudden School and the Gradual School. Chapter VIII ^ The Five Ranks of Tozan ^ a b David Godman (23 June 2008), More on Bhagavan's death experience ^ Swami Krishnananda, The Attainment of Liberation: Progressive Salvation ^ a b http://nondualite.free.fr, Shri Sadguru Siddharameshwar Maharaj ^ a b c sadguru.us, The Bird's way Archived 2015-03-30 at the Wayback Machine. ^ swamji.com, Seven Bhumikas

External links[edit]

Gary L. Ray, The Northern Ch'an School And Sudden Versus Gradual Enlightenment Debates In China And Tibet Wei Chueh, Gradual Cultivation And Sudden Enlightenment

Further reading[edit]

Vetter, Tilmann (1988), The Ideas and Meditative Practices of Early Buddhism, BRILL  Faure, Bernard (1991), The Rhetoric of Immediacy. A Cultural Critique of Chan/ Zen
Buddhism. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02963-6 Peter N. Gregory (editor)(1991), Sudden and Gradual. Approaches to Enlightenment in Chinese Thought. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited McRae, John (2003), Seeing through Zen. Encounter, Transformation, and Genealogy in Chinese Chan Buddhism. The University Press Group Ltd . ISBN 978-0-520-23798-8

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practice Sesshin Zazenkai Ango

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lineage charts


Main Soto Temples

Eihei-ji Sōji-ji Antai-ji

Main Rinzai Temples

Myōshin-ji Daitoku-ji Tōfuku-ji



Long Scroll of the Treatise on the Two Entrances and Four Practices Platform Sutra Xinxin Ming Sandokai Denkoroku The Gateless Gate Shōbōgenzō


Mind, Beginner's Mind Three Pillars of Zen


at War

Cultural influence

and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Related schools

Huayan school Tiantai Pure Land Buddhism

Academic research

Heinrich Dumoulin Masao Abe Steven Heine William Bodiford

Buddhism Zen
Buddhists Zen

v t e


Glossary Index Outline


Three Jewels

Buddha Dharma Sangha

Four Noble Truths Noble Eightfold Path Nirvana Middle Way

The Buddha

Tathāgata Birthday Four sights Physical characteristics Footprint Relics Iconography in Laos and Thailand Films Miracles Family

Suddhodāna (father) Māyā (mother) Mahapajapati Gotamī (aunt, adoptive mother) Yasodhara (wife) Rāhula
(son) Ānanda (cousin) Devadatta

Places where the Buddha stayed Buddha in world religions

Key concepts

Avidyā (Ignorance) Bardo Bodhicitta Bodhisattva Buddha-nature Dhamma theory Dharma Enlightenment Five hindrances Indriya Karma Kleshas Mind Stream Parinirvana Pratītyasamutpāda Rebirth Saṃsāra Saṅkhāra Skandha Śūnyatā Taṇhā
(Craving) Tathātā Ten Fetters Three marks of existence

Impermanence Dukkha Anatta

Two truths doctrine


Ten spiritual realms Six realms

Deva (Buddhism) Human realm Asura realm Hungry Ghost realm Animal realm Hell

Three planes of existence


Bhavana Bodhipakkhiyādhammā Brahmavihara

Mettā Karuṇā Mudita Upekkha

Buddhābhiseka Dāna Devotion Dhyāna Faith Five Strengths Iddhipada Meditation

Mantras Kammaṭṭhāna Recollection Smarana Anapanasati Samatha Vipassanā
( Vipassana
movement) Shikantaza Zazen Kōan Mandala Tonglen Tantra Tertön Terma

Merit Mindfulness


Nekkhamma Pāramitā Paritta Puja

Offerings Prostration Chanting

Refuge Satya


Seven Factors of Enlightenment

Sati Dhamma vicaya Pīti Passaddhi


Five Precepts Bodhisattva
vow Prātimokṣa

Threefold Training

Śīla Samadhi Prajñā


Four Right Exertions


Bodhi Bodhisattva Buddhahood Pratyekabuddha Four stages of enlightenment

Sotāpanna Sakadagami Anāgāmi Arhat


Bhikkhu Bhikkhuni Śrāmaṇera Śrāmaṇerī Anagarika Ajahn Sayadaw Zen
master Rōshi Lama Rinpoche Geshe Tulku Householder Upāsaka and Upāsikā Śrāvaka

The ten principal disciples

Shaolin Monastery

Major figures

Gautama Buddha Kaundinya Assaji Sāriputta Mahamoggallāna Mulian Ānanda Mahākassapa Anuruddha Mahākaccana Nanda Subhuti Punna Upali Mahapajapati Gotamī Khema Uppalavanna Asita Channa Yasa Buddhaghoṣa Nagasena Angulimala Bodhidharma Nagarjuna Asanga Vasubandhu Atiśa Padmasambhava Nichiren Songtsen Gampo Emperor Wen of Sui Dalai Lama Panchen Lama Karmapa Shamarpa Naropa Xuanzang Zhiyi


Tripiṭaka Madhyamakālaṃkāra Mahayana
sutras Pāli Canon Chinese Buddhist canon Tibetan Buddhist canon


Theravada Mahayana

Chan Buddhism

Zen Seon Thiền

Pure Land Tiantai Nichiren Madhyamaka Yogachara

Navayana Vajrayana

Tibetan Shingon Dzogchen

Early Buddhist schools Pre-sectarian Buddhism Basic points unifying Theravāda and Mahāyāna


Afghanistan Bangladesh Bhutan Cambodia China India Indonesia Japan Korea Laos Malaysia Maldives Mongolia Myanmar Nepal Pakistan Philippines Russia

Kalmykia Buryatia

Singapore Sri Lanka Taiwan Thailand Tibet Vietnam Middle East


Western countries

Argentina Australia Brazil France United Kingdom United States Venezuela


Timeline Ashoka Buddhist councils History of Buddhism
in India

Decline of Buddhism
in India

Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution Greco-Buddhism Buddhism
and the Roman world Buddhism
in the West Silk Road transmission of Buddhism Persecution of Buddhists Banishment of Buddhist monks from Nepal Buddhist crisis Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism Buddhist modernism Vipassana
movement 969 Movement Women in Buddhism


Abhidharma Atomism Buddhology Creator Economics Eight Consciousnesses Engaged Buddhism Eschatology Ethics Evolution Humanism Logic Reality Secular Buddhism Socialism The unanswered questions



Temple Vihara Wat Stupa Pagoda Candi Dzong architecture Japanese Buddhist architecture Korean Buddhist temples Thai temple art and architecture Tibetan Buddhist architecture



Tree Budai Buddharupa Calendar Cuisine Funeral Holidays

Vesak Uposatha Magha Puja Asalha Puja Vassa

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Kasaya Mahabodhi Temple Mantra

Om mani padme hum

Mudra Music Pilgrimage

Lumbini Maya Devi Temple Bodh Gaya Sarnath Kushinagar

Poetry Prayer beads Prayer wheel Symbolism

Dharmachakra Flag Bhavacakra Swastika Thangka

Temple of the Tooth Vegetarianism


Abhijñā Amitābha Avalokiteśvara


Brahmā Dhammapada Dharma
talk Hinayana Kalpa Koliya Lineage Maitreya Māra Ṛddhi Sacred languages

Pali Sanskrit

Siddhi Sutra Vinaya


Bahá'í Faith Christianity

Influences Comparison

East Asian religions Gnosticism Hinduism Jainism Judaism Psychology Science Theosophy Violence Western philosophy


Bodhisattvas Books Buddhas


Buddhists Suttas Temples