Triskandha, aka: Tri-skandha; 1 Definition(s)


Triskandha 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

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[Triskandha in Mahayana glossaries]

Triskandha (त्रिस्कन्ध) refers to “threefold practice” according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 13. The Bodhisattvas regularly accomplish a threefold practice (triskandha) three times during the day and three times during the night. By accomplishing this threefold practice, the Bodhisattvas gain immense merit and approach Buddhahood. This is why they must invite the Buddhas.

The Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra also mentions this threefold practice and, according to the explanations it gives here, it appears that the Triskandha consists of the following practices: i) Confession of sins. ii) Commemoration, rejoicing and exhortation of the Buddhas.iii) Invitation to the Buddhas to preach the Dharma and prayer to the Buddhas to delay their entry into nirvāṇa. (also see Appendix 4)

Śāntideva recommends these spiritual exercises mainly in his Bodhicaryāvatāra, chap. II-III, and his Śikṣamuccaya, p. 290–291. There the threefold practice, so-called because it is done three times during the day and three times during the night, consists of at least six parts:

  1. Vandana and pūjana: veneration and worship of the Buddhas, etc.
  2. Śaraṇagamana, taking refuge in the Buddhas, etc., and pāpadeśana, confession of sins.
  3. Puṇyānumodanā, rejoicing in virtue.
  4. Adhyeṣaṇā, invitation to the Buddhas to preach the Dharma.
  5. Yācanā, prayer to the Buddhas to delay their entry into nirvāṇa.
  6. Pariṇamanā, dedication of merit for the good of beings.
(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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