Devadatta A disciple of Shakyamuni and, according to some sources, Shakyamuni’s cousin. He was at first diligent in religious practice but later, growing envious of Shakyamuni, worked to foment dissension within the Order and made several attempts on Shakyamuni’s life. He is regarded as the epitome of evil and is said to have fallen into hell alive, but chapter twelve of the Lotus Sutra predicts that he will attain buddhahood in a future existence.
dharani (dhāraṇi) A spell or formula said to protect the one who recites it and bring benefit by virtue of its mystic power.
dharma (Ch fa, J hō) See Law. Dharma with a lower case “d” refers to phenomena, things, facts, existences, as in the phrase “the true aspect of all phenomena” (Ch zhufa-shixiang, J shohō jissō).
Dharma king Also king of the Law. A term for the Buddha.
Dharma prince A term for a bodhisattva.
Dharma seal The emblem of the Law, or essence of the Buddha’s teachings.
dhuta (dhūta) A discipline or ascetic practice carried out in order to purify the body and mind and free one from the desire for food, clothing, and shelter.
dragon (Skt nāga, Ch long, J ryū) One of the eight kinds of nonhuman beings who protect Buddhism and appear frequently in the Lotus Sutra. The first chapter of the Lotus Sutra lists eight dragon kings who attended the preaching of the sutra.