Dharma Lists and Select Pali terms

Dharma Lists and Select Pali terms

There are a lot of numbered lists in the Buddha’s teachings – many of the key ones are listed below. In addition, some select words from the Pali language are also listed below.

Dharma lists

The Four Noble Truths

  • There is Dukkha, i.e.,  unsatisfactoriness/suffering/discontent/stress (to be Understood)
  • The cause of dukkha is clinging (to be Abandoned)
  • Dukkha ceases with the relinquishment of clinging (to be Realized)
  • The path leading to the cessation of dukkha is the Noble Eightfold Path (to be Developed)

The Eightfold Path (ariya-magga)

Wisdom/Discernment (panna)

  • Wise/Right View or Understanding (samma-ditthi) – Understanding based on the framework of the Four Noble Truths
  • Wise/Right Intention or Resolve (samma-sankappa) – Resolved on Renunciation, Loving-kindness, Harmlessness

Virtue (sila)

  • Wise/Right Speech (samma-vaca) – abstaining from lying, malicious or divisive speech, abusive or harsh speech, and idle chatter
  • Wise/Right Action (samma-kammanta) – abstaining from killing, stealing and sexual misconduct
  • Wise/Right Livelihood (samma–ajiva) – abstaining from dishonest and harmful means of livelihood

Concentration/Meditation (samadhi)

  • Wise/Right Effort (samma-vayama) – the effort of avoiding and overcoming unskillful qualities, and of developing and maintaining skillful qualities
  • Wise/Right Mindfulness (samma-sati) – (see The Four Foundations of Mindfulness)
  • Wise/Right Concentration (samma-samadhi) – (see the Four Jhanas

The Three Characteristics

Anything we experience or perceive is

  • Impermanent  or inconstant (anicca)
  • Unsatisfactoryh or suffering (dukkha)
  • Not-self (anatta) – empty of inherent existence; not “me”, “myself”, nor “what I am”

Three Pillars of Dhamma (dharma) or Grounds for Making Merit

  • Generosity (dana)
  • Moral restraint (sila)
  • Meditation (bhavana) – consists of Concentration (samadhi) and Mindfulness (sati)

Three Poisons / Defilements (Kilesas)

  • Greed (lobha) – mindfulness transforms this into Faith
  • Aversion/hatred (dosa) – mindfulness transforms this into discriminating Wisdom
  • Delusion (moha) – mindfulness transforms this into Equanimity

Three Refuges (Triple Gem, Three Jewels)

  • Buddha – both the historical Buddha and one’s own innate potential for Awakening
  • Dhamma – the Buddha’s teaching of liberation and the truth towards which it points
  • Sangha – the community of followers of the Buddhist path and/or the community of those who have achieved some degree of Awakening

Three Types of Dukkha

  • Dukkha as pain (dukkha–dukkhata) – body or mental pain
  • Dukkha that is inherent in formation (sankhara-dukkhata) – maintenance of body and things, oppressive nature of continuous upkeep
  • Dukkha of change (viparinama-dukkhata) – pleasant and happy conditions in life are not permanent

Four Bases of Power (iddhipada)

  • Desire (chanda)
  • Persistence/Energy/Effort (viriya)
  • Intention, Mind, Thoughtfulness (citta)
  • Investigation/Discrimination (vimamsa or panna)

Four Brahmaviharas (Highest Attitudes/Emotions)

Heavenly or sublime abodes (best home). Near enemy is a quality that can masquerade as the original, but is not the original. Far enemy is the opposite quality.

  • Lovingkindness, good-will (metta): Near enemy: attachment; far enemy: hatred
  • Compassion (karuna): Near enemy: pity; far enemy: cruelty
  • Sympathetic joy, Appreciation (mudita), joy at the good fortune of others: Near enemy: comparison,hypocrisy, insincerity, joy for others but tinged with identification (my team, my child); far enemy: envy
  • Equanimity (upekkha): Near enemy: indifference; far enemy: anxiety, greed

Four Foundations of Mindfulness

(from the Satipatthana Sutta)

  • Mindfulness of the body (kaya)
  • Mindfulness of feeling (vedana)-pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral
  • Mindfulness of mind/consciousness (citta), of the mind-states, moods (greed, aversion, delusion and their opposites)
  • Mindfulness of mind objects / mental events (dharmas); Five categories of dhammas: Five hindrances, Five aggregates, Six sense bases, Seven factors of enlightenment, Four Noble Truths

Four Jhanas / Meditative Absorptions

  • First Jhana, characterized by intense pleasure, has five jhanic factors: applied thought (vittaka), sustained thought(vicara), joy (piti), happiness (sukha), one-pointednesss (ekkagata)
  • Second Jhana, characterized by joy, has 3 factors: joy (piti), happiness (sukha) , and one–pointedness (ekkagata)
  • Third Jhana, characterized by contentment, has 2 factors: contentment and one-pointedness (ekkagata)
  • Fourth Jhana, characterized by equanimity and stillness, has 1 factor: one-pointedness (ekkagata)

Four Heavenly Messengers

  • An old person
  • A sick person
  • A corpse
  • A wandering monastic

Four Right Efforts (sammappadhana)

  • Not to let an unwholesome/unskillful thought, which has not yet arisen, arise; (Guard)
  • Not to let an unwholesome/unskillful thought, which has already arisen, continue; (Abandon)
  • To make a wholesome/skillful thought, which has not yet arisen, arise; (Develop)
  • To make a wholesome/skillful thought, which has already arisen, continue; (Sustain)

Four Taints / effluents / intoxicants / fermentations / cankers / defilements (asavas)

  • attachment to sensuality
  • attachment to existence/to becoming
  • ignorance of the dhamma (of the way things are)
  • attachment to opinions/views (most suttas do not include this one)

Five Aggregates / heaps (khandha)

Physical and mental components of sensory experience

  • Form/physical phenomena, body (rupa )
  • Feeling (vedana ) pleasant, unpleasant, neutral. Feelings arise when there is contact between the 6 internal organs and the 6 external objects: (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind and corresponding: sight, sound, odor, taste touch, mental object)
  • Perception (sanna) – recognition
  • Mental Formations (sankhara) – includes mental states, emotions, volition (fabrications)
  • Consciousness (vinnana) – grasps the characteristics of the 6 external objects

Five Daily Recollections

  • I am of the nature to grow old; I cannot avoid aging
  • I am of the nature to become ill or injured; I cannot avoid illness or injury.
  • I am of the nature to die; I cannot avoid death.
  • All that is mine, dear and delightful, will change and vanish.
  • I am the owner of my actions;
    • I am born of my actions;
      I am related to my actions;
      I am supported by my actions;
      Any thoughts, words or deeds I do, good or evil, those I will inherit.

* from AN V.57  Upajjhatthana Sutta: Subjects for Contemplation

Five Faculties (indriya) and Five Strengths / Powers

  • Faith (saddha)
  • Energy/Effort/Persistence (viriya)
  • Mindfulness (sati)
  • Concentration (samadhi)
  • Wisdom/Discernment (panna)

Five Hindrances (nivarana)

  • Sensual desire (kamacchanda)
  • Aversion / Ill-will (vyapada)
  • Sloth and torpor (thina middha)
  • Restlessness (uddhacca-kukkucca)
  • Skeptical doubt (vicikiccha)

Five Precepts

  • To refrain from killing
  • To refrain from taking that which is not freely offered
  • To refrain from sexual misconduct
  • To refrain from lying, harsh speech, idle speech, and slander
    • Guidelines for Wise Speech:  Is it true?   Is it kind?   Is it helpful?   Is this the right time to say it?
  • To refrain from taking intoxicants that cloud the mind and cause heedlessness

Five Daily Recollections

  • I am of the nature to grow old; I cannot avoid aging.
  • I am of the nature to become ill or injured; I cannot avoid illness or injury.
  • I am of the nature to die; I cannot avoid death.
  • All that is mine, dear and delightful, will change and vanish.
  • I am the owner of my actions; I am born of my actions; I am related to my actions; I am supported by my actions; Any thoughts, words or deeds I do, good or evil, those I will inherit.

Five Things that lead to Awakening

  • Admirable friends
  • Morality, virtue
  • Hearing the dharma
  • Effort in abandoning unskillful qualities and cultivating skillful ones
  • Awareness of impermanence

Six Senses

  • Seeing
  • Hearing
  • Smelling
  • Tasting
  • Touching
  • Thinking

Seven Factors of Enlightenment (bojjhanga)

  • Mindfulness (sati)
  • Investigation of phenomena (dhamma vicaya)
  • Energy/Effort (viriya)
  • Rapture/Joy (piti)
  • Calm/tranquility (passaddhi)
  • Concentration (samadhi)
  • Equanimity (upekkha)

Eight Worldly Dhammas (Conditions, Concerns)

  • Gain and Loss
  • Pleasure and Pain
  • Praise and Blame
  • Fame and Disrepute

Ten Perfections (Paramis/Paramitas)

  • Generosity (dana)
  • Morality/virtue/integrity (sila)
  • Renunciation (nekkhamma)
  • Wisdom (pañña)
  • Energy/Strength (viriya)- effort
  • Patience (khanti)
  • Truthfulness (sacca)
  • Resolve / determination (adhitthana)
  • Lovingkindness (metta)
  • Equanimity (upekkha)

Ten Fetters (samyojana)

  • Self-identity beliefs
  • Doubt
  • Clinging to rites and rituals
  • Sensual craving
  • Ill will
  • Attachment to form
  • Attachment to formless phenomena
  • Conceit (comparing oneself to others)
  • Restlessness
  • Ignorance

Four Stages of Enlightenment

  • The Stream-enterer (sotapanna) has eradicated the first three fetters.
  • The Once-returner (sakadagami) has eradicated the first three fetters and weakened the fourth and fifth fetters.
  • The Non-returner (anagami) has eradicated the first five fetters.
  • The Arahat has eradicated all ten fetters.

Twelve Links of Dependent Origination / Dependent Co-arising (Paticca-Samuppada)

  • Ignorance
  • From ignorance (avijja) comes karma formations/fabrications/volitional formations (sankhara)
  • From karma formations comes consciousness (vinnana)
  • From consciousness comes mind and matter (nama-rupa)
  • From mind and matter come the six senses (salayatana)
  • From the six senses comes contact (phassa)
  • From contact comes feeling (vedana)
  • From feeling comes craving (tanha)
  • From craving comes clinging (upadana)
  • From clinging comes becoming/existence (bhava)
  • From becoming/existence comes birth (jati)
  • From birth, then aging and death

Twelve Links of Transcendental Dependent Arising

  • Suffering (dukkha)
  • Faith (saddha)
  • Joy (pamojja)
  • Rapture (piti)
  • Tranquility (passaddhi)
  • Happiness (sukha)
  • Concentration (samadhi)
  • Knowledge and vision of things as they are (yathabhutananadassana)
  • Disenchantment (nibbida)
  • Dispassion (viraga)
  • Emancipation (vimutti)
  • Knowledge of destruction of the cankers (asavakkhaye nana)

37 Factors of Enlightenment / Wings of Awakening (bodhipakkhiya-dhamma)

  • Four Foundations of Mindfulness (satipatthana)
  • Four Right Efforts (sammappadhana)
  • Four Bases of Power (iddhipada)
  • Five Faculties (indriya)
  • Five Strengths (bala)
  • Seven Factors of Enlightenment (bojjhanga)
  • Eight Fold Path (ariya-magga)

Select Pali Terms

anapanasati: mindfulness of breathing

anatta: not-self anicca: impermanence; inconstancy

Arahat: Liberated one

bhavana: meditation, cultivation

bhikku: monk

bhikkhuni: nun

bodhi: awakening; enlightenment

bodhicitta: awakened heart-mind

Bodhisatta (Sanskrit-Bodhisattva) A future Buddha Buddha: an Enlightened being

citta: mind, consciousness

Dhamma (Skt. dharma)-liberating law discovered by the Buddha, summed up in the Four Noble Truths, the Truth, Reality, natural law, all physical and mental phenomena dosa: aversion

dukkha– unsatisfactoriness, suffering, pain, distress, discontent, stress,

jhana: (Skt. dhyana) meditative absorption, a state of strong concentration.

kalyana mitta– spiritual friend

kamma (Skt. karma): (lit.-action) The law of cause and effect; intentional acts karuna: compassion

khandha (skandha):Five aggregates which form the raw material for one’s sense of self: form/body, feeling, perception, mental formations, consciousness

kilesa (defilements)- greed, aversion, delusion

lobha: greed magga: path

metta: Lovingkindness, good will mindfulness (sati) the quality of noticing, of being aware of what’s happening in the moment, not allowing the mind to be forgetful

moha: (lit.-to be stupified) delusion

nibbana (Skt. nirvana): the cessation of suffering, enlightenment, liberation

pañña: wisdom

papañca: Complication, proliferation; tendency of the mind to proliferate issues from the sense of “self.”

parami: perfections, virtues necessary for the realization of Awakening

sacca: truth

saddha: faith, confidence (Lit.-to place one’s heart on) samadhi: concentration; meditative absorption

sampajañña: clear comprehension

samsára: (lit.-perpetual wandering) moving through worldly suffering; round of rebirth; pursuit of renewed existence

samvega– spiritual urgency

sangha: the community of Buddhist monks & nuns; recently: “the community of followers on the Buddhist path.”

sati: mindfulness, awareness

sila: moral conduct; precept; virtue; moral restraint

sukha: happiness; pleasure; ease; bliss

sutta: (lit. thread; Skt. sutra) discourse of the Buddha or one of his leading disciples tanha: (lit. thirst) craving

Tathagata: (Lit. thus gone) an Enlightened person

Theravada: (Doctrine of the elders)- school of Buddhism that draws its inspiration from the Pali Canon, or Tipitaka, the oldest surviving record of the Buddha’s teachings. Has been the predominant religion of southeast Asia (Thailand, Sri Lanka, Burma)

upekkha: equanimity

Vipassana: literally, “to see clearly”; insight; insight into the truth of anicca (impermanence), anatta (not-self), & dukkha (unstatisfactoriness), to see things as they really are viriya: effort; persistence; energy

Tipitaka: The Pali Canon

The Tipitaka (Pali ti, “three,” + pitaka, “baskets”), or Pali Canon, is the collection of primary Pali language texts which form the doctrinal foundation of Theravada Buddhism. Theravada (Pali: thera “elders” + vada “word, doctrine”), the “Doctrine of the Elders”

The 3 divisions of the Tipitaka are:

  • Vinaya Pitaka : Rules and origin of rules for monks (bhikkhus) and nuns (bhikkhunis). There are 227 rules for the bhikkhus, 311 for the bhikkhunis.
  • Sutta Pitaka: The collection of discourses, attributed to the Buddha and a few of his closest disciples, containing all the central teachings of Theravada Buddhism
  • Abhidhamma Pitaka: The Buddhist systematic analysis of mind and mental processes. Consists of 7 books.

Sutta Pitaka

The Sutta Pitaka, the second division of the Tipitaka, consists of over 10,000 suttas (discourses), attributed to the Buddha or his close disciples during the Buddha’s forty-five year teaching career.

Grouped intofive collections (nikayas):

  • DighaNikaya
  • The Mahasatipatthana Sutta (The Great Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness; DN 22),
  • The Samaññaphala Sutta (The Fruits of the Contemplative Life; DN 2),
  • The Mahaparinibbana Sutta (The Buddha’s Last Days; DN 16)
  • Majjhima Nikaya – The “Middle-length” Discourses Consists of 152 suttas, including:
  • The Satipatthana Sutta (Foundations of Mindfulness; MN 10),
  • The Anapanasati Sutta (Mindfulness of Breathing; MN 118),
  • The Kayagatasati Sutta (Mindfulness of the Body; MN 119),
  • The Angulimala Sutta (MN 86)
  • SamyuttaNikaya – The “Connected” Discourses Consists of 2,889 shorter suttas grouped together into 56 topics (samyuttas).
  • AnguttaraNikaya
  • Khuddaka Nikaya – The “Division of Short Books” Consists of 15 “anthologies” (17 in the Thai edition; 18 in the Burmese), including:
  • The Dhammapada (Path of Dhamma,)
  • Therigatha (Verses of the Elder Nuns)
  • Theragatha (Verses of the Elder Monks)
  • Sutta Nipata
  • Udana
  • Itivuttaka