Cp Art318

Updated 2007-02-19 21:08


Various terms about Buddhism.

study guide 1

Question Answer
Theravada(or "Way of the Elders") The earliest form of Buddhism, in which nirvana is achieved through discipline (like meditation), rather than worship or devotion.
Mahayana("Greater Vehicle") The later (and more popular) form of Buddhism in which nirvana can be achieved by worship and devotion (bhakti) to a deity.
stupaa mound-shape which is an object of Buddhist worship. It symbolizes various things: the dome of heaven; Mt. Meru; and the parinirvana of the Buddha among them.
jatakatales of the Buddha's former lives used to teach Buddhist concepts, such as compassion, in early Buddhist art.
yakshaan early Indian male nature deity. later incorporated into Buddhism.
yakshian early Indian female nature deity. which symbolized fertility and abundance. She was later incorporated into Buddhism.
chaityaa hall-style structure, usually carved from living rock, used as a site of Buddhist worship.

study guide 2

Question Answer
Buddha literally, "The Enlightened One." This sometimes refers to the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Guatama, but can generally refer to any "enlightened one." (There are many Buddhas in Mahayana Buddhism.)
ushnishain portrayals of the Buddha, the protuberance on top of his head, which symbolizes expanded knowledge.
mudra (abhaya, dharmachakra)a symbolic hand gesture associated with Buddhist figures abhaya mudra is "have no fear" dyhana mudra is "meditation" dharmachakra mudra is "teaching" bhumisparsa mudra is "enlightenment"
bodhisattvaan enlightened being who postpones entry into nirvana in order to help others achieve nirvana.
urnaa dot or tuft of hair in the middle of the forehead of a Buddhist deity. it symbolizes expanded (in)sight.
asana (dhyanasana)postures which have symbolic significance in Buddhism (dhyanasana is meditation)

study guide 3

Question Answer
andathe dome-shaped portion of a stupa.
lokapalathe guardians of the 4 directions in esoteric Buddhism.
Taraa goddess popular in Tantric Buddhism; the daughter of Avalokitesvara.
mandalaa geometric diagram of the Buddhist universe which sometimes also includes a hierarchical arrangement of deities.
thankaa Buddhist devotional painting (usually Tibetan) done on cloth and meant to be hung.
harmikathe 4-sided balcony or fence located at the top of the stupa; which surrounds the mast.
Vairochana(C: Palushena; J: Dainichi) the "Sun Buddha" or Cosmic Buddha who is the central deity. in esoteric Buddhism.
Avalokiteshvara(C: Guanyin; J: Kannon): The Bodhisattva of Compassion.

study guide 4


Question Answer
stelea stone slab onto which relief sculpture is carved
Amitabha(J. Amida) The Buddha of the Western Paradise
DunhuangA site in northwestern China that is known for its many Buddhist cave temples
Tiantai(J. Tendai) an esoteric sect of Buddhism that emphasizes study of the Lotus Sutra and worship of Amitabha Buddha