Thera Sutta; 2 Definition(s)


Thera Sutta means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[Thera Sutta in Theravada glossaries]

1. Thera Sutta - An Elder may be time honoured, long gone forth, well known, renowned, with a great following, a receiver of the requisites, learned, with a well stored mind, but if he has wrong views and a perverted vision, he exists for the ill, the harm of devas and men. A.iii.114.

2. Thera Sutta - Ten qualities, the possession of which will enable a monk to live happily and comfortably, wherever he may be. A.v.201.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Thera Sutta in Pali glossaries]

Thera, (Vedic sthavira. Derivation uncertain. It may come from sthā in sense of standing over, lasting (one year or more), cp. thāvara old age, then “old=venerable”; (in meaning to be compared w. Lat. senior, etc. from num. sem “one”=one year old, i.e. lasting over one and many more years). Cp. also vetus=Gr. e)/tos, year, E. wether, one year old ram, as cpd. w. veteran, old man. Or it may come from sthā in der. *stheǔā in sthūra (sthūla: see etym. under thūla) thus, “strong= venerable”) t. t. only used with ref. to the bhikkhus of Gotama Buddha’s community.—(a) (adj.) senior, Vin. I, 47, 290 (th. bhikkhū opp. navā bh.), 159 (th. bhikkhu a senior bh. opp. to navaka bh. a novice), 187; II, 16, 212. Therânutherā bhikkhū seniors & those next to them in age dating not from birth, but from admission to the Order). Three grades are distinguished, thera bh. , majjhima bh. , nava bh. , at D. I, 78.—See also A. II, 23, 147, 168; V, 201, 348; D. III, 123 sq. , 218; Dh. 260, 261. In Saṅgha-thera, used of Bhikkhus not senior in the Order, the word thera means distinguished. Vin. II, 212, 303. In Mahāthera the meaning, as applied to the 80 bhikkhus so called, must also have some similar meaning Dīpv IV. 5 Psalms of the Brethren xxxvi.; J. V, 456. At A. II, 22 it is said that a bhikkhu, however junior, may be called thera on account of his wisdom. It is added that four characteristics make a man a thera —high character, knowing the essential doctrines by heart, practising the four Jhānas, and being conscious of having attained freedom through the destruction of the mental intoxications. It is already clear that at a very early date, before the Aṅguttara reached its extant shape, a secondary meaning of thera was tending to supplant that of senior-that is, not the senior of the whole Order, but the senior of such a part of the Saṅgha as live in the same locality, or are carrying out the same function.—Note. thera in thero vassiko at S. IV, 161 is to be read tero-vassiko.

—gāthā hymns of senior bhikkhus, N. of a canonical book, incorporated in the Khuddaka-Nikāya. Theratara, very senior, oppd to navatara, novice D. II, 154. —vāda the doctrine of the Theras, the original Buddhist doctrine M. I, 164; Dpvs. IV, 6, 13. (Page 310)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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