First Council: Also known as the Council of 500, Theravada Council, and The First Compilation. After the death of the Buddha, when literally thousands of arhats were inspired to enter nirvana, Mahakasyapa was moved to do something to preserve the Buddhadharma. An assembly of 500 leading Bhikhus gathered for 3 months after the Buddha's death to compile the Buddhist Tripitaka. It was held at Cave of the Seven Leaves near Rajagaha. In the assembly, Ananda recited the Sutra-pitaka, Upali recited the Rules of Disciplines of the Order (Vinaya-pitaka) and Kassapa recited the Abhidharma. Thus, the Tripitaka was adopted as a unity of doctrines and opinions within the religious order, and also an orthodox teaching for the Buddhists to follow.
Five Great Treasures of Jamgon Kongtrul Predicted by the Buddha, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye was a brilliant master of the Rimé (non-sectarian) movement of Buddhism in Tibet. Born December 14, 1813, to Sonamphel and Tashitso in front of Mount Pema Lhatse, one of the eight sacred places in Kham (eastern Tibet), in a place called Kongpo. That is how he got his name: Kong as in Kongpo and trul from trulku, for he was recognized as the Tulku of Kongpo. Lodro Thaye became learned in the ten ordinary and extraordinary branches of knowledge, and it became his responsibility to explain and compose texts, which incorporated a great number of teachings from both the old and new traditions, including the lineages of oral teachings, hidden treasures (terma), and teachings of pure vision. These were all brought together in Lodro Thaye's compilation of the most important teachings of the Buddha common to all the lineages of Tibetan Buddhism; these teachings are called "Five Great Treasures (mDzod-lnga) of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great." They include: Rinchen Terzo in 60 volumes plus Gyachen Kardzo of 5 volumes, Ngadzo Dam Ngadzo Sheja Dzo of 3 volumes. In these Five Great Treasures Kongtrul has provided very clear and complete commentaries. He also went through the painstaking task of making sure that all these teachings maintained an unbroken line of empowerment, instructions and other forms required in a continuous lineage of transmissions. During his lifetime he maintained an immensely important role in the preservation of the Kagyu Lineage and became teacher to His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa.
Five Ornamental Causes: Space, air, fire, water and earth. These are associated with the qualities of energy in the state of pure awareness.
Five Paths: Tibetan: Lam-nga. The five paths on the way to full enlightenment are:
1. Accumulation: The practitioner here focuses on purification of obscurations and the accumulation of merit.
2. Application: The teachings of the Dharma are applied here where the focus is cutting desire at its root through a growing insight into emptiness.
3. Seeing: Here one has understood emptiness directly through deep insight and gone beyond the cycle of existence. This is the first bhumi, The Joyous
4. Meditation: The phase between the second and ninth bhumi.
5. No More Learning: Full enlightenment. Cloud of Dharma, the tenth bhumi.
Five Precepts: Praktimosha, or Five Commandments for layman, essential for rebirth as a human. Based on the concept of ahimsa (harmlessness), they are: no killing; no stealing; no sexual misconduct, no lying; no use of intoxicants.
Five Skandhas (or Five Aggregates): Tibetan: Phung-po-nga. The five aggregates that comprise the constitution of sentient beings. They are: Form; Feeling; Perception; Conception; Consciousness.
Five Works of Maitreya According to Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese Buddhists, Maitreya authored five great treatises, using Asanga as a scribe. These Tathagatagarba Scriptures serve as the basis for the idealistic school of Mahayana philosophy, the Yogacara or Vijnana-vada school. According to tradition, Buddha Maitreya is also the author of some commentarial work, known as the Five Books of Maitreya. These include Abhisamaylankara, a brilliant summary of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in 25,000 lines. Modern scholars attribute these five works to Asanga or another master, Maitreya-natha, however, there ís no reason why the writer should not have been directly inspired by Buddha Maitreya to compose these. Tradition has it that through deep meditation Asanga had a pure vision of Tushita devaloka during which he received from Maitreya the teachings contained in the Five Books. Asanga had been experiencing difficulty in gaining an unmistaken understanding of the Prajnaparamita sutras and felt that only from Maitreya himself could he receive the instructions he needed. So he entered into intensive retreat, occupying a cave on the outskirts of Rajgrha in hopes of gaining a direct vision of Buddha Maitreya. After three years with no success he quit this retreat. On his way back home he saw an old man trying to remove a huge stone which threw a shadow on his house by gently brushing it with a feather. Asanga took this as a sign that with enthusiastic perseverance, anything could be accomplished, so he reentered the retreat. More time passed, without results. After 12 years, Asanga was prepared to give up his practice for good. This time on his way home, he saw a starving dog on the ground, its wounds being eaten by maggots. Moved by compassion for both dog and maggots, he cut off a piece of his own flesh and bent down to transfer the worms to the meat with his tongue so he would not hurt them. He closed his eyes, but although he leaned over very far, almost to the ground, he felt nothing. When he opened his eyes to see what was wrong, the dog had disappeared and in its place stood Maitreya in all his glory. Asanga was shocked and even a little pissed when he asked: "Where were you all those years I was meditating in the cave?" Maitreya replied that he had been there next to him all that time and only delusions had prevented Asanga from seeing him. Maitreya took Asanga and transported him to Tushita. They spent the morning there, during which Asanga received detailed instructions from Maitreya on the Perfection of Wisdom sutras in the form of five texts. These are: Ornament of Realizations, Ornament of Universal Vehicle Scriptures, Analysis of the Jewel Matrix, or Peerless Continuum (Uttaratantra), Discrimination between Center and Extremes, & Discrimination between Phenomenon and Noumenon
Flower Adornment Sutra: A Mahayana sutra that describes the entire Buddha Realm. See Avatamsaka Sutra.
forbearance: Self-control; responding with patience and compassion, especially under provocation. Endurance; tolerance. See yama-niyama.
Four All-Embracing Virtues: 1. Dana: giving to others what they want in order to lead them to become receptive and to be draw toward the truth. 2. Priyavacana: affectionate and beautiful speech employed for the same reasons. 3. Arthakrtya: conduct profitable to others which is used in the same way. 4. Smanarthata: cooperation with and adaptation to the patterning of others for the sake of leading them to the truth.
Four Awarenesses, Four Thoughts Which Turn the Mind Towards the Dharma:
1. Meaningful appreciation of the importance of this human birth: The freedoms and advantages of a well-endowed human existence 2. Impermanence 3. Inviolable nature of karma; and 4. Samsara and the truth of Suffering.
Four Buddha Activities: Tibetan: "Trin Le Zhi" The four enlightened activities that embody the active compassion of buddhas. Also known as the Dakini Actions, they are: Pacifying; Enriching; Magnetizing; Subjugating
Four Great Vows: The four vows held by all Bodhisattvas. These vows are called great because of the wondrous and inconceivable compassion involved in fulfilling them. They are as follows:
1. We vow to enlighten all sentient beings.
2. We vow to eradicate all vexations.
3. We vow to master all approaches to Dharma.
4. We vow to achieve supreme awakening.
Four Immeasurables: Means to achieving our own happiness and that of others. Called "immeasurable" because cultivating these qualities brings an infinite amount of merit, and because each is to practiced without bias or limit. They are: 1. Loving-kindness; 2. Compassion; 3. Joy 4. Equanimity.
Four Laws of the Dharma: The condensed essence of the Buddha's teaching - All compounded things are impermanent; all that is corrupt is suffering; all conditioned things are without self; nirvana is peace
Four Noble Truths: Four fundamental principles of conscious existence emerging from the Buddha's penetrating assessment of the human condition which serve to define the entire scope of Buddhist practice. These Truths are not fixed dogmatic principles but deep insights into the nature of existence which are to be repeatedly studied, contemplated and discussed, but above all, their meaning must be explored individually in the heart and mind-stream of the sincere spiritual seeker:
1. The Noble Truth of dukkha (T. dug-ngal, stress, suffering, unsatisfactoriness): life is fundamentally fraught with unsatisfactoriness, corruption and disappointment of every description;
2. The Noble Truth of the cause (S. hetu) of dukkha: the cause of this dissatisfaction is tanha (craving) in all its forms;
3. The Noble Truth of the cessation (S. nirodha) of dukkha: an end to all that unsatisfactoriness can be found through the relinquishment and abandonment of craving;
4. The Noble Truth of the path (S. marga) leading to the cessation of dukkha: there is a method of achieving the end of all unsatisfactoriness, namely the Noble Eightfold Path.
The Four Truths are arranged in the style of ayurvedic analysis so that the effect of the disease is stated and then a consideration cause, followed by a description of the state of health and the means of its realization. The first two truths describe samsara and its cause; the second two refer to liberation and its cause. Each of these Noble Truths implies a specific task which the practitioner is to carry out: the first Noble Truth is to be comprehended; the second is to be renounced; the third is to be directly realized which is only possible on the basis of the cultivating the truth of the path. The fullness of the third Noble Truth is the realization of peace, the transcendent freedom of nirvana that is the final goal of all the Buddha's teachings. The last of the Noble Truths -- the Noble Eightfold Path -- contains a detailed prescription for the relief of our unhappiness and for eventual release, once and for all, from the painful and wearisome cycle of birth and death (samsara) to which -- through our own ignorance (S. avidya/T. Ma-rigpa) of the Four Noble Truths -- we have been bound for countless aeons. The Noble Eightfold Path offers a comprehensive practical guide to the development of those wholesome qualities and skills in the human heart that must be cultivated in order to bring the practitioner to the final goal, the supreme freedom and happiness of Nirvana. See Eightfold Path.