A Dictionary Of Chinese Buddhist Terms

With Sanskrit And English Equivalents And A Sanskrit-pali Index

by William Edward Soothill | 1937 | 324,264 words

For about a thousand years, Buddhism dominated the thought of China and her thinkers were occupied with Buddhist philosophy. This dictionary serves as a resource to the interpretation of Chinese culture, as well as an important reference for the comparative study of Sanskrit and Pali originals. The author provides a key for the students which to u...

Part 25 - Twenty-five Strokes

vipaśyanā; vidarśanā. To look into, study, examine, contemplate; contemplation, insight; a study, a Taoist monastery; to consider illusion and discern illusion, or discern the seeming from the real; to contemplate and mentally enter into truth. 覺 is defined as awakening, or awareness, 觀 as examination or study. It is also an old tr. of the word Yoga; and cf. 禪 17. Guan is especially a doctrine of the Tiantai school as shown in the 止觀 q.v.

觀世音 Regarder of the world's sounds, or cries, the so-called Goddess of Mercy; also known as 觀音; 觀世音善薩; 觀自在 (觀世自在); 觀尹; 光世音 (the last being the older form). Avalokiteśvara, v. 阿 8. Originally represented as a male, the images are now generally those of a female figure. The meaning of the term is in doubt; it is intp. as above, but the term 觀自在 (觀世自在) accords with the idea of Sovereign Regarder and is not associated with sounds or cries. Guanyin is one of the triad of Amida, is represented on his left, and is also represented as crowned with Amida; but there are as many as thirty-three different forms of Guanyin, sometimes with a bird, a vase, a willow wand, a pearl, a 'thousand' eyes and hands, etc., and, when as bestower of children, carrying a child. The island of Putuo (Potala) is the chief centre of Guanyin worship, where she is the protector of all in distress, especially of those who go to sea. There are many sūtras, etc., devoted to the cult, but its provenance and the date of its introduction to China are still in doubt. Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sūtra is devoted to Guanyin, and is the principal scripture of the cult; its date is uncertain. Guanyin is sometimes confounded with Amitābha and Maitreya. She is said to be the daughter of king Śubhavyūha 妙莊王, who had her killed by 'stifling because the sword of the executioner broke without hurting her. Her spirit went to hell; but hell changed into paradise. Yama sent her back to life to save his hell, when she was miraculously transported on a Lotus flower to the island of Poo-too'. Eitel.

觀世音母 Tara, the śakti, or female energy of the masculine Avalokiteśvara.

觀佛 To contemplate, or meditate upon, Buddha.

觀佛三昧 A samādhi on the characteristic marks of a Buddha.

觀像念佛 To contemplate the image of (Amitābha) Buddha and repeat his name.

觀在薩埵 Idem Guanyin Bodhisattva, v. 觀世音.

觀察 pravicaya; investigation; meditation on and inquiry into; vibhāvana, clear perception.

觀察門 Contemplation of the joys of Amitābha's Pure Land, one of the 五念門.

觀心 Contemplation of the mind, mental contemplation, contemplation of all things as mind.

觀念 To look into and think over, contemplate and ponder.

觀想 To meditate and think.

觀想念佛 To contemplate Buddha (especially Amitābha) in the mind and repeat his name.

觀慧 The wisdom which penetrates to ultimate reality.

觀智 Wisdom obtained from contemplation.

觀樹 Contemplating the tree (of knowledge, as Śākyamuni is said to have done after his enlightenment).

觀法 Methods of contemplation, or obtaining of insight into truth, cf. 六觀法 and 止觀.

觀無量壽經 An important sūtra relating to Amitayus' or Amitābha, and his Pure Land, known also as 佛說觀無量壽佛經. There are numerous commentaries on it. The title is commonly abbreviated to 觀經.

觀照 To be enlightened (or enlighten) as the result of insight, or intelligent contemplation.

觀照般若 The prajñā or wisdom of meditative enlightenment on reality.

觀禪 Contemplation and meditation, to sit in abstract trance.

觀空 To regard all things as unreal, or as having no fundamental reality.

觀行 Contemplation and (accordant) action; method of contemplating.

觀行佛 觀行卽 The third of the 六卽, the bodhisattva or disciple who has attained to the 五品 stage of Buddhahood.

觀解 To contemplate ultimate reality and unravel or expound it.

觀象 Describing an elephant from sight rather than 摸觀, as would a blind man, from feeling it; i.e. immediate and correct knowledge.

觀道 Contemplation, meditation, insight.

觀達 To penetrate to reality through contemplation.

觀門 Contemplation or meditation as one of the two methods of entry into truth, i.e. instruction and meditation; also one of the 六妙門.

觀門十法界 cf. 十 and 法.

觀頂三昧 The samādhi of the summit of contemplation, i.e. the peak whence all the samādhis may be surveyed.

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