daimoku (Jpn) (1) The title of a sutra, in particular the title of the Lotus Sutra, Myoho-renge-kyo. (2) The invocation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism.
Dainichi (n.d.) Also called Nōnin. A twelfth-century Japanese priest who was among the first to spread the Zen teaching in Japan. He propagated the Zen teachings before Eisai, the founder of the Rinzai school. In 1189 he sent two disciples to China to have his teachings authenticated by a Zen master, Cho-an Te-kuang. His school was known as the Nihon Daruma, or the Japanese Bodhidharma, school.
Daishin, Āchārya (n.d.) A disciple of Nichiren Daishonin who was born in Shimōsa Province and is believed to have been a relative of the Soya family. He taught the believers in Kamakura while the Daishonin was in exile on Sado Island.
Daishin-bō (d. 1279) A priest in the Fuji area in Nichiren Daishonin’s day. At one point the Daishonin’s disciple, he was persuaded by Gyōchi, the deputy chief priest of Ryūsen-ji temple, to abandon his faith and join in harassing Nikkō Shōnin and other believers in the area. He was one of the party that rode to arrest twenty peasant-believers in Atsuhara in 1279 on false charges of stealing a crop of rice. The peasants resisted, and in the melee he was thrown from his horse and killed.
Daishonin (Jpn) Literally, “great sage.” In particular, this honorific title is applied to Nichiren to show reverence for him as the Buddha who appeared in the Latter Day of the Law to save all humankind.
Dammira (n.d.) Also, Mirakutsu. A king of Kashmir in northern India who destroyed the Buddhist temples and stupas in his kingdom. He killed many monks including Āryasimha, the last of Shakyamuni’s twenty-four successors. The names Dammira and Mirakutsu are Japanese pronunciations of the Chinese. The original Sanskrit names are unknown.
Dandaka, Mount A mountain said to be located in Gandhāra, India. Dandaka was believed to be the mountain where Shakyamuni carried out austerities after he renounced the world. It is also known as the place where, according to the Sutra of Collected Birth Stories concerning the Practice of the Six Pāramitās, Sudāna, Shakyamuni as a prince in a former life, went into retreat and carried out austerities.
Danna (953–1007) Another name for Kakuun, the founder of the Danna branch of the Tendai school in Japan. He was one of the chief disciples of Ryōgen, the eighteenth chief priest of Enryaku-ji, the head temple of the Tendai school. His name derives from the fact that he lived in Danna-in temple on Mount Hiei.
Dazaifu See Dazaifu government office.
Dazaifu government office Also simply called Dazaifu. A local headquarters of the government established in Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost major island, to regulate contact with the mainland and also for defensive measures.
Decline of the Law Sutra A sutra that describes how Shakyamuni’s teachings will disappear after his death. It also explains that, in the Latter Day of the Law, devils will appear in the form of priests and carry out slanderous acts against the Law.
Deer Park The name of a park in Vārānasī in India, the site of present-day Sarnath. The place where Shakyamuni delivered his first sermon.
Demon Eloquence (n.d.) A Brahman whose ability of eloquence was endowed by a demon and who was therefore revered widely as a sage. He often conducted debates from behind a curtain. One day Ashvaghosha, who was well versed in the Buddhist teachings, confronted him in debate and argued him into silence. Then Ashvaghosha lifted the curtain, revealing that he was dependent upon the demon.
Dengyō (767–822) Also called Saichō and the Great Teacher Dengyō. The founder of the Tendai school in Japan. In 804 he went to China to study T’ien-t’ai’s doctrines. Returning the next year, he founded the Tendai school. The word Tendai is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word T’ien-t’ai. He made efforts to establish a Mahayana ordination center on Mount Hiei despite opposition from the older schools in Nara. Permission was finally granted shortly after his death, and his successor Gishin completed the center in 827. In Nichiren Daishonin’s writings, Dengyō is also referred to as the Great Teacher Kompon, or the Great Teacher Fundamental.
Devadatta A cousin of Shakyamuni who at one time followed him but later became his enemy. In his arrogance he sought to kill the Buddha and usurp his position. He encouraged dissension within the Buddhist Order and made several attempts on the Buddha’s life. He is said to have fallen into hell alive. The “Devadatta” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, however, predicts his future enlightenment.
devil king of the sixth heaven The king of devils, who dwells in the highest of the six heavens of the world of desire. He works to obstruct Buddhist practice and delights in sapping the life force of other beings. He is also regarded as the manifestation of the fundamental darkness inherent in life. Also called the heavenly devil.
dharma (Skt) A term fundamental to Buddhism that has a variety of meanings. These include: law, truth, doctrine, the Buddha’s teaching, steadfast decree, customary observance, prescribed conduct, duty, virtue, morality, good deeds, religion, justice, nature, quality, character, characteristic, essential quality, elements of existence, ultimate constituents of things, phenomena, etc. Some of the more common usages are: (1) (Sometimes capitalized) The Law, or ultimate truth. (2) The teaching of the Buddha that reveals the Law. (3) (Often plural) Manifestations of the Law, that is, phenomena, things, facts, existences, etc. (4) The elements of existence, which, according to the Hinayana schools, are the most basic constituents that make up the individual and his or her reality. (5) Norms of conduct leading to the accumulation of good karma.
Dharma Analysis Treasury, The An exhaustive and systematic study of Buddhist ideas and concepts written by Vasubandhu. As the pinnacle of doctrinal study, this work was greatly influential later on and was studied widely in India, China, and Japan. It is the basic text of the Dharma Analysis Treasury school.
Dharma Analysis Treasury school A reference to the Chinese Chü-she school and the Japanese Kusha school (kusha being the Japanese pronunciation of chü-she). A school based on Vasubandhu’s Dharma Analysis Treasury. It enjoyed a brief independent existence during the T’ang dynasty, but by 793 it had been registered as a branch of the Dharma Characteristics school. The doctrines of this school are thought to have been transmitted to Japan by Chitsū and Chidatsu, who went to T’ang China in 658 and studied under Hsüan-tsang and his disciple Tz’u-en. The Dharma Analysis Treasury system was widely studied during the Nara period (710–794) and is counted as one of the six schools of Nara, though it never became fully independent. Its doctrine teaches that the self is without substance but the dharmas themselves are real, and that past, present, and future actually exist. It also classifies all phenomena into seventy-five dharmas in five categories.
Dharma body Also, body of the Law. One of the three bodies that a Buddha possesses. The Dharma body means the ultimate truth or Law and also the entity or true nature of the Buddha’s life. The Dharma body also means a Buddha’s entire being, which embodies the ultimate truth or Law.
Dharma Characteristics school A reference to the Chinese Fa-hsiang school and the Japanese Hossō school (hossō being the Japanese pronunciation of fa-hsiang). A school that aims at clarifying the ultimate reality by analyzing and classifying the aspects and characteristics of things. Its doctrines derive from the teachings of the Consciousness-Only school of Maitreya, Asanga, and Vasubandhu. Hsüan-tsang and his disciple Tz’u-en are traditionally regarded as the founders of this school in China.
Dharma eye (1) One of the official ranks for priests. The official ranks changed with the passage of time. The rank of the Dharma eye was created in 864 in Japan. Later, it became formalized as had the other ranks and was conferred merely as an honorific title. (2) One of the five types of vision. See also five types of vision.
Dharma nature The essential and unchanging nature inherent in all existence. The term Dharma nature is also used to refer to the Buddha nature, or the internal cause or potential for attaining Buddhahood. The Lotus and Nirvana sutras hold that all beings are endowed with the Buddha nature.
Dharmaraksha (1) (233?–310?) A priest of Dun-huang, an oasis town in Central Asia, who went to China during the Western Chin dynasty and translated Buddhist scriptures into Chinese. The oldest extant Chinese version of the Lotus Sutra, entitled the Lotus Sutra of the Correct Law, is his work. (2) (385–433) A priest from central India. He first studied the Hinayana teachings, but later he was so impressed by the Nirvana Sutra that he converted to Mahayana. He translated many sutras into Chinese, including the Nirvana Sutra.
Dharma seal One of the official ranks for priests. The system of official ranking changed with time. The rank of the Dharma seal was established in 864 in Japan. Later “Dharma seal” became an honorary position and lost its original significance, as was the case with the other ranks. Eventually it became simply a title of respect.
Dharma teacher A priest who is versed in Buddhist teachings and gives instruction in the doctrines of Buddhism. Here, the Dharma means the Buddhist teachings. “Dharma Teacher” was often used simply as an honorific title.
Dharma Wisdom One of the four great bodhisattvas appearing in the Flower Garland Sutra. Dharma Wisdom expounded the doctrine of the ten stages of security in the heaven of the thirty-three gods at the third assembly described in that sutra.
Dharmodgata A bodhisattva described in the Wisdom sutras. He preached on the perfection of wisdom, and those who listened to his teaching and embraced it never fell into the evil paths. From Dharmodgata, Bodhisattva Ever Wailing learned the teaching of the perfection of wisdom and acquired supreme wisdom, thus accomplishing the perfection of wisdom. In the Wisdom sutras, Bodhisattva Dharmodgata is described as a “good friend” (Jpn zenchishiki) who acts to lead Bodhisattva Ever Wailing to enlightenment lifetime after lifetime.
Diamond Crown Sutra One of the basic scriptures of esoteric Buddhism. In contrast to the Mahāvairochana Sutra, which reveals the teaching of the Womb Realm, the Diamond Crown Sutra explains the teaching of the Diamond Realm, on which the Diamond Realm mandala is based.
Diamond Realm mandala Also, the Diamond World mandala. A mandala of the True Word school. The Diamond Realm, described in the Diamond Crown Sutra, represents the wisdom of Mahāvairochana Buddha, while the Womb Realm, described in the Mahāvairochana Sutra, represents the fundamental truth illuminated by this wisdom. The Diamond Realm and Womb Realm mandalas are placed at the center of the esoteric rituals of the True Word school.
Diamond Wisdom Sutra A sutra that teaches that one should rely upon one’s innate Buddha wisdom, which is as solid, sharp, and brilliant as a diamond. This sutra is set in Jetavana Monastery in Shrāvastī and records Shakyamuni’s discourse to Subhūti on the constant flux of all phenomena and the doctrine of non-substantiality.
difficult-to-practice way Together with the “easy-to-practice way,” one of two ways of Buddhist practice mentioned in Nāgārjuna’s Commentary on the Ten Stages Sutra. The difficult-to-practice way means the exertion of strenuous effort in austere practices for countless kalpas in order to attain enlightenment. The “Easy Practice” chapter of this commentary emphasizes salvation by the power of Buddhas, saying that one can be reborn in a pure land by calling on their names. The Pure Land school interprets the difficult-to-practice way as the practice of any sutra other than the three basic sutras of that school, and the easy-to-practice way as that of calling upon the name of Amida Buddha, relying upon his power of salvation to attain enlightenment.
discipline master A priest who is adept in the Buddhist rules of discipline and observes the precepts. Discipline master was also one of the official ranks of a priest. A priest was appointed discipline master by the government to act as official instructor of priests and nuns. “Discipline Master” was also used simply as an honorific title.
Dōamidabutsu (n.d.) A Nembutsu priest in Nichiren Daishonin’s day.
Dōji (675–744) The third patriarch of the Three Treatises school in Japan. He was also well versed in the doctrines of the Dharma Characteristics school. He visited China in 701.
Dōkyō (d. 772) A priest of the Dharma Characteristics school at Tōdai-ji temple, whose prayers were said to be effective in restoring the Retired Empress Kōken to health. When she resumed the throne as Empress Shōtoku, he acquired considerable power and was accused of trying to usurp the throne. After the empress’s death, he was sent into exile.
Dōryū (1213–1278) (Chin Tao-lung) A priest of the Rinzai school of Zen, also called Rankei (Lan-ch’i). In 1246 he traveled to Japan from China. When Kenchō-ji was built by Hōjō Tokiyori in Kamakura in 1253, he became its first chief priest. He opposed Nichiren Daishonin and, with Ryōkan and others, plotted against him.
Dōshō (629–700) The founder of the Dharma Characteristics school in Japan. In 653 he went to China and studied the Dharma Characteristics doctrine under Hsüan-tsang. After an eight-year period of study in China, he returned to Japan and propagated the Dharma Characteristics teaching.
Dōzen-bō (d. 1276) A priest of Seichō-ji temple, under whom Nichiren Daishonin first studied Buddhism. After his death, the Daishonin wrote On Repaying Debts of Gratitude as an expression of his gratitude to Dōzen-bō.
dragon girl See dragon king’s daughter.
dragon king’s daughter Also called the dragon girl. The daughter of Sāgara, one of the eight great dragon kings said to dwell in a palace at the bottom of the sea. According to the “Devadatta” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, she conceived the desire for enlightenment when she heard Bodhisattva Manjushrī preach the Lotus Sutra in the dragon king’s palace. Later, when she appeared before the assembly of the Lotus Sutra, Bodhisattva Wisdom Accumulated and Shāriputra asserted that women were incapable of attaining Buddhahood. At that moment, she immediately manifested the state of Buddhahood without changing her dragon form.
Dronodana A younger brother of King Shuddhodana, Shakyamuni’s father. He was the father of Devadatta and Ānanda.
Duke of Chou A younger brother of King Wu, the founder of the Chou dynasty (c. 1100–256 b.c.e.). His personal name was Tan. Nichiren Daishonin’s writings refer to him as “the Duke of Chou” or “Tan, the Duke of Chou.” He assisted his brother in the task of overthrowing the Yin (Shang) dynasty and founding a new rule. He continued to assist in the affairs of government. When King Wu died and his son Ch’eng, who was still a child, came to the throne, the Duke of Chou acted as regent for the young ruler. He has been revered over the centuries by Confucianists as a model of correct government and propriety.
dust particles of the land An expression indicating “incalculable in number.” In Buddhist scriptures “the dust particles of the land” often appears as a simile for an uncounted number and indicates “as numerous as the dust particles of the land.” This expression is used to represent, for example, incalculable worlds or kalpas or uncountable bodhisattvas at a particular preaching assembly. It is also used as an emphatic expression to indicate a great number of slanderers of the correct teaching. The phrase “dust particles” is often used as a simile for an unfathomable number in expressions such as “the dust particles of a world,” “the dust particles of a major world system,” and “the dust particles of all the worlds in the ten directions.” In Buddhist scriptures “the sands of the Ganges River” is also frequently used to indicate an inconceivable number.