Glossary

This glossary is designed to help the reader in two sorts of situations: (1) when encountering a Pali term in this book in a passage where it is not explained; and (2) when encountering Vinaya terminology in other books or conversations and wanting to know how it is defined and/or where it is discussed here. For terms that have entire chapters devoted to them—such as nissaya and pācittiya—see the relevant chapter.

Ācariya: teacher. See Chapter 2 and Appendix X.

Acittaka: a class of offenses carrying a penalty even when committed unintentionally or with incorrect perception.

Adhikaraṇa: issue. See Pc 63, Chapter 11, and BMC2, Chapter 12.

Adhiṭṭhāna: determining for use. See NP 1, 3, 21, & 24 and Appendix IV.

Akkosa-vatthu: a topic for abuse. See Pc 2 & 3.

Anupasampanna: anyone who has not received full Acceptance (ordination). Under some rules, this includes bhikkhunīs; under others, it doesn’t.

Apalokana: declaration; the simplest form for a Community transaction, in which a decision is proposed to the Community in the announcer’s own words. See BMC2, Chapter 12.

Bhattuddesaka: a meal distributor—the Community official in charge of distributing meals and invitations to meals. See Pc 32, Appendix III, and BMC2, Chapter 18.

Bhikkhu: a male mendicant ordained in the Bhikkhu Saṅgha, subject to the training rules of the Bhikkhu Pāṭimokkha and the Khandhakas (the Mahāvagga and Cullavagga).

Bhikkhunī: a female mendicant ordained by both the Bhikkhunī and the Bhikkhu Saṅghas, subject to the training rules of the Bhikkhunī Pāṭimokkha and the eight rules of respect (garu-dhamma). See Pc 21 and BMC2, Chapter 23.

Bhojana/Bhojaniya: staple food. See the introduction to the Food Chapter in Chapter 8.

Bhūtagāma: a living plant in its place. See Pc 11.

Bījagāma: a plant or part of a plant removed from its place but capable of growing again if replanted. See Pc 11.

Chanda: consent by proxy. See Pc 79.

Deva (devatā): literally, a “shining one”—a terrestrial spirit or celestial being.

Dubbhāsita: wrong speech. See Pc 2.

Dukkaṭa: wrong doing, the lightest penalty.

Garu-bhaṇḍa: a heavy or expensive article. Garu-bhaṇḍa belonging to the Saṅgha includes monasteries and monastery land; dwellings, land on which dwellings are built; furnishings such as beds, chairs, and mattresses; metal vessels and tools; building materials, except for such things as rushes, reeds, grass, and clay; and articles made of pottery or wood. See Pr 2, Sg 6, Pc 81, and BMC2, Chapter 7.

Garu-dhamma: any of eight rules of respect observed by bhikkhunīs. See Pc 21 and BMC2, Chapter 23.

Hatthapāsa: a distance of 2 ½ cubits, or 1.25 meters.

Jhāna: mental absorption. See Pr 4.

Kappiya-vohāra: a proper expression, i.e., a way of expressing a hint or desire allowable in the context of a rule where an outright command would be a breach of the rule.

Kaṭhina: a ceremony, held in the fourth month of the rainy season, in which a Community of bhikkhus receives a gift of cloth from lay people, bestows it on one of their members, and then makes it into a robe before dawn of the following day. See NP 1-3, Pc 81, and BMC2, Chapter 17.

Khādaniya: non-staple food. See the introduction to the Food Chapter in Chapter 8.

Lahu-bhaṇḍa: a light or inexpensive article. Lahu-bhaṇḍa of the Saṅgha includes such things as cloth, food, and medicine; small personal accessories such as scissors, sandals, and water strainers; and light building materials, such as rushes, reeds, grass, and clay. See Pr 2, Sg 6, and Pc 81.

Leḍḍupāta: the distance a man of average height can toss a clod of dirt underarm—approximately 18 meters.

Loka-vajja: acts criticized by people in general. See Chapter 1.

Lokuttara-dhamma: a transcendent state. See Pr 4.

Mahāpadesa: Great Standard for deciding what is and is not in line with the Dhamma and Vinaya. See Chapter 1.

Mānatta: penance. See the conclusion to Chapter 5 and BMC2, Chapter 19 and Chapter 23.

Nāga: a special kind of serpent, classed as a common animal but having magical powers, including the ability to assume human appearance. Nāgas have long been regarded as protectors of the Buddha’s teachings. See BMC2, Chapter 14.

Ñatti-kamma: a form for a Community transaction in which a decision is proposed to the Community in a motion following a set wording. See BMC2, Chapter 12.

Ñatti-dutiya-kamma: a form for a Community transaction in which a decision is proposed to the Community in a motion and one announcement. See BMC2, Chapter 12.

Ñatti-catuttha-kamma: a form for a Community transaction in which a decision is proposed to the Community in a motion and three announcements. See BMC2, Chapter 12.

Niyasa-kamma: demotion (also called nissaya-kamma, an act of dependence)—a transaction whereby a bhikkhu released from dependence is required to return to dependence under a mentor until he mends his ways. See Chapter 2 and BMC2, Chapter 20.

Pabbājanīya-kamma: banishment—a transaction whereby a bhikkhu is denied membership in a particular Community until he mends his ways. See Sg 13 and BMC2, Chapter 20.

Pabbajjā: Going-forth—ordination as a sāmaṇera or sāmaṇerī. See BMC2, Chapters 14 and 24.

Paccuddharaṇa: rescinding from use. See Appendix IV.

Palibodha: constraint. See NP 1.

Pāna: juice drink. See the introduction to the Food Chapter in Chapter 8, and Pc 38.

Paṇḍaka: a eunuch or person born neuter. See Sg 2.

Paṇṇatti-vajja: acts criticized by the training rules. See Chapter 1.

Parivāsa: probation. See the conclusion to Chapter 5 and BMC2, Chapter 19.

Pavāraṇā: (1) an invitation whereby a donor gives permission to a bhikkhu or a Community of bhikkhus to ask for requisites. See Pc 47. (2) A ceremony, held at the end of the Rains-residence (see vassa), in which each bhikkhu invites the rest of the Community to confront him with any transgressions they may have seen, heard, or suspected that he has committed. See BMC2, Chapter 16.

Peta: (1) a hungry ghost—one of a class of beings in the lower realms, sometimes capable of appearing to human beings. (2) A corpse.

Pubbayoga: a preliminary effort leading up to the commission of an offense.

Sacittaka: a class of offenses that carry a penalty only when committed intentionally and with correct perception.

Samaṇa: contemplative; monk. This word is derived from the adjective sama, which means “in tune” or “in harmony.” The samaṇas in ancient India were wanderers who tried through direct contemplation to find the true nature of reality—as opposed to the conventions taught in the Vedas—and to live in tune or in harmony with that reality. Buddhism is one of several samaṇa movements. Others included Jainism, Ājivakan fatalism, and Lokāyata, or hedonism.

Sāmaṇera: literally, a small samaṇa—a novice monk observing ten precepts. See Pc 70.

Saṅgha: Community. This may refer to the entire Community of bhikkhus or of bhikkhunīs, or to the Community living in a particular location. In this book I have tried to distinguish between the two by calling the first Saṅgha, and the second Community, but there are some contexts where it is difficult to draw a clear line between the two.

Saṅgha-bheda: a schism in the Saṅgha. See Sg 10 & 11 and BMC2, Chapter 21 and Appendix V.

Saṅgha-rāji: a crack in the Saṅgha. See Sg 10.

Sīmā: a territory related to the performance of Community transactions. See Pc 79 and BMC2, Chapter 13.

Sugata: Well-gone, an epithet for the Buddha. Sugata measures are discussed in Appendix II.

Sutta (suttanta): discourse.

Tajjanīya-kamma: censure, a transaction whereby a Community strips a bhikkhu of some of his communal rights if he is a maker of strife; if he is defective in virtue, conduct, or views; or if he criticizes the Buddha, Dhamma, or Saṅgha. If he mends his ways, the act may be repealed. See Sg 8, Ay 1, Chapter 11, and BMC2, Chapter 19.

Thullaccaya: grave offense, the most serious derived offense and the most serious offense not included in the Pāṭimokkha rules. See Appendix IX.

Tiracchāna-kathā: “animal talk,” topics of conversation inappropriate for bhikkhus. See Pc 46 & 85.

Tiracchāna-vijjā: “animal knowledge,” occult abilities or other traditional skills inappropriate for bhikkhus to study or practice. See Pr 4 and BMC2, Chapter 10.

Ukkhepanīya-kamma: suspension—a transaction whereby a Community deprives a bhikkhu of his right to associate with the Saṅgha as a whole until he mends his ways. See Pc 68 & 69 and BMC2, Chapter 19.

Upajjhāya: preceptor (literally, “supervisor” or “overseer”). See Chapter 2, Appendix X, and BMC2, Chapter 14.

Upasampadā: Full Acceptance—ordination as a bhikkhu or bhikkhunī. See BMC2, Chapter 14.

Uposatha: Observance day, the day of the new and of the full moon; traditionally, in India, a time of special spiritual practices. The Buddha adopted this as the day for reciting the Pāṭimokkha. See BMC2, Chapter 15.

Vassa: Rains-residence—a three-month period, generally beginning the day after the full moon in July (or the second, if there are two), during which certain restrictions are placed on the bhikkhus’ wanderings; usually considered a time to accelerate one’s efforts in study or practice. See BMC2, Chapter 11.

Vikappana: an arrangement whereby an item not in use is placed under shared ownership. See NP 1, Pc 59, and Appendix V.

Vissāsa: trust between friends. See Pr 2 and Pc 59.

Yakkha: one of a class of powerful “non-human” beings—sometimes kindly, sometimes murderous and cruel—corresponding roughly to the fairies and ogres of Western fairy tales. The female (yakkhinī) is generally considered more treacherous than the male.

Yojana: a distance of approximately ten miles or sixteen kilometers.