TERMINOLOGY TO BETTER UNDERSTAND SOME
TIBETAN & SANSKRIT WORDS IN THE CHANTS
Buddha of Compassion - Chenrezig- (Tibetan) or Avalokiteshvara (Sanskrit)
Amitabha - a celestial Buddha
Three Times – Past, Present & Future
10 Directions – The compass points North, South, East, West. The 4 points in between those. All the way up, all the way down. In other words, all directions, all times and in all universes.
Dharma – The Buddha’s teachings
Sangha - The Buddha's students
Nirvana - The Buddha describes nirvana as the perfect peace of mind possessed by one who is liberated. It is to be distinguished from peaceful moods arising from a temporary absence of anger, sensual desire, anxiety and other afflicting states
Samsara - Within Buddhism, samsara is defined as the continual repetitive cycle of birth and death that arises from ordinary beings' grasping and fixating on a self and experiences. Specifically, samsara refers to the process of cycling through one rebirth after another within the six realms of existence, where each realm can be understood as either a physical realm or a psychological state characterized by a particular type of suffering.
Yidam - is a fully enlightened being who is the focus of personal meditation . The term is often translated into English as a teacher deity or meditation deity.
Dewachen – Land of Bliss or Heaven-world.
Complete Chenrezig Chant - When chanting this prayer we are making an earnest request, a sincere and heartfelt prayer on behalf of all sentient beings. Chenrezig may you hold all beings fast in your compassion until all sentient beings are established in the "pure realm of Buddhahood."
While doing the Chenrezig prayer, we pray that all beings in the six realms may be established in the pure land of Chenrezig. Ultimately we are aiming toward liberation from the six realms of existence for all beings, including ourselves.
Thus having prayed for the establishment of all beings in a pure realm, we pray that we ourselves may be of benefit to all living beings with as much strength and power as Chenrezig, in this and all our future births, throughout all of our different existences. We pray that we may be able to develop the qualities that Chenrezig developed, and having developed these qualities ourselves, we pray that we may be able to benefit beings by removing all obscurations and defilement's, just as Chenrezig does, with the six-syllable mantra (OM MANI PEME HUNG) spread in the ten directions. It is really a prayer that we ourselves will have the power to benefit all others.
Understanding some of the terminology in the Heart Sutra
The 5 Skandhas -
Form or matter
Sensation or feeling
Perception or conception
Consciousness or discernment
Vulture Peak Mountain – One of Buddhas teaching places
Shariputra – One of the main disciples of the Buddha
Bodhisattva - A bodhisattva is someone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish to attain Buddha-hood for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Bodhiciitta- a compassion for all beings, accompanied by a falling away of the attachment to the illusion of an inherently-existing self. Bodhicitta is a strong need to replace others' suffering with bliss and happiness.
Tathagatas – The Buddha’s name for themselves.
Asuras – Demi-gods
Gandharvas - Gandharvas can fly through the air and are known for their skill as musicians. They are connected with trees and flowers, and are described as dwelling in the scents of bark, sap, and blossom. Fairy-like creatures.
The 10 non virtuous actions:
3. Sexual Misconduct
4. Divisive or disruptive Speech
5. Harsh or mean Words
6. Idle Chatter or gossip
9. Hatred and Malice
10. Wrong Views
Chenrezig - The Buddha of Compassion