Paekche One of three ancient kingdoms on the Korean Peninsula. In the fourth century, Paekche allied itself with Japan to obtain military support against the neighboring kingdoms of Silla and Koguryŏ. As Paekche was in close contact with Liang-dynasty China, it played an important role in the introduction of Chinese culture to Japan.
Painfully Acquired A follower of the non-Buddhist teacher Nirgrantha Jnātaputra (Nigantha Nātaputta in Pali), founder of Jainism, who sought liberation through rigorous asceticism.
Pāpīyas The name of the devil king.
pāramitā (Skt) Practice that Mahayana bodhisattvas must undertake in order to attain enlightenment. Generally, pāramitā is interpreted as “perfection” or “having reached the opposite shore.” These practices were so called because, by perfecting them, one was said to be able to cross from the shore of delusion and suffering to the shore of enlightenment. They are usually divided into six or ten.
Parinirvāna Sutra A Chinese version of the Nirvana Sutra in six volumes, translated by Fa-hsien and Buddhabhadra in 418.
Pārshva The tenth of Shakyamuni’s twenty-four successors. He received the precepts under the guidance of Buddhamitra, the ninth successor. Under the patronage of King Kanishka, together with Vasumitra he summoned some five hundred monks and held the Fourth Buddhist Council to compile the Buddhist scriptures in Kashmir.
P’eng-lai A legendary mountainous island off the eastern coast of China, where immortals possessing the elixir of perennial youth and eternal life are said to dwell.
Perceiver of the World’s Sounds A bodhisattva described in the Lotus and other sutras who strives to save people out of profound compassion. He assumes various forms and appears anywhere in the world to save people from danger or suffering. He is the protagonist of the “Perceiver of the World’s Sounds” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. According to this chapter, Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds assumes whatever form is required to relieve suffering. The chapter describes thirty-three such forms.
Perfect Bliss The name of the land of Amida Buddha, said to be located in a western region of the universe. It is also called the Pure Land, the Land of Perfect Bliss, the Pure Land of Perfect Bliss, and the Western Paradise. Sukhavati, the Sanskrit name of this land, was translated in China as Perfect Bliss, Peace and Delight, and Peace and Sustenance.
perfect meditation One of the three types of learning based on the teaching for perfect and immediate enlightenment, or the Lotus Sutra, along with perfect wisdom and perfect precepts. According to T’ien-t’ai, perfect meditation means meditation on the true nature of life or the doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life that derives from the Lotus Sutra.
perfect teaching The last of the four teachings of doctrine. The perfect teaching is divided into two categories: that expounded in the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings and that taught in the Lotus Sutra. The term perfect teaching is often used synonymously with the Lotus Sutra.
perfect wisdom The wisdom that dispels illusions and enables one to realize the truth of the Lotus Sutra. Perfect wisdom is also one of the three types of learning based on the Lotus Sutra, along with perfect precepts and perfect meditation.
phoenix A reference to a mythical bird in China whose rare appearance is said to presage some great event or attest to the worthiness of a ruler. A highly idealized bird, it is thought to be five-colored, and to have a song of extraordinary beauty and meaning.
Pi Kan An uncle of Chou, the last ruler of the Yin (Shang) dynasty. He is regarded as a model of the minister who attempts to correct his lord’s faults even at the risk of his own life. When Chou became increasingly decadent and disorderly, Pi Kan remonstrated with him. Chou said he had heard that a sage’s heart had seven apertures and then cut out Pi Kan’s heart.
Platform Sutra, The The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. A collection of the sermons of Hui-neng (638–713), the sixth patriarch of the Chinese Zen school. It was called a “sutra” by his disciples who compiled the sermons.
Po Chü-i (772–846) One of the most famous and prolific of the T’ang-dynasty poets. He served as a government official for most of his life. He attached great importance to his poetry of social criticism in which he dealt with the social and political ills of his time such as heavy taxation, military conscription, and abuses in government, often contrasting present conditions with the ideal ages of the past. Partly as a result of his criticisms, Po was deprived of his government posts in 815 and exiled to Hsün-yang in Kiangsi on the south bank of the Yangtze River. He was recalled to government office at the end of 818.
Po I See Po I and Shu Ch’i.
Po I and Shu Ch’i Brothers who lived from the end of the Yin (Shang) dynasty through the beginning of the Chou dynasty and are often cited as models of integrity. According to Records of the Historian, Po I and Shu Ch’i were elder and younger sons of the ruler of Ku-chu during the Yin dynasty. After their father’s death, they abandoned their country and went to the state of Chou. There they learned that King Wen, the ruler of Chou, had died, and that his son, King Wu, intended to attack King Chou of the Yin dynasty. They reprimanded King Wu, saying that the official period of mourning for King Wen had not expired, and that, as a subject, he should not attack his sovereign, King Chou. (In the ruling system of the time, King Wu was one of the feudal lords of the kingdom of the Yin dynasty under King Chou.) However, the admonition of Po I and Shu Ch’i was not heeded, and they chose to seclude themselves on Mount Shou-yang, where they tried to live by gathering ferns to eat, but finally died of starvation. There are a number of different versions of their story.
poison-drum relationship Another term for a reverse relationship, that is, a bond formed with the Lotus Sutra by opposing or slandering it. The expression poison drum comes from the Nirvana Sutra, meaning a drum daubed with poison. The Nirvana Sutra says that once the poison drum is beaten, all the people who hear it will die, even though they are not of the mind to listen to it. Similarly, when the Lotus Sutra is preached, both those who embrace it and those who oppose it will equally receive the seeds of Buddhahood.
Possessor of Virtue The name of Shakyamuni in a previous lifetime when he was a king in Kushinagara a great many years after the death of the Buddha Joy Increasing. According to the Nirvana Sutra, at that time the teaching of the Buddha Joy Increasing was destined to perish in forty years, and many evil monks who violated the Buddhist precepts armed themselves to attack the monk Realization of Virtue, who embraced the teaching. King Possessor of Virtue rushed to his protection, enabling Realization of Virtue to escape unharmed, but the king received wounds all over his body and died. As a result of giving his life for the Law, he was born in the land of Akshobhya Buddha and became that Buddha’s chief disciple, while Realization of Virtue became Akshobhya’s second disciple. Later King Possessor of Virtue was reborn as Shakyamuni Buddha, and Realization of Virtue, as Kāshyapa Buddha.
Potalaka A mountain regarded as the home of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds and said to be located on the southern coast of India.
Praising the Profundity of the Lotus Sutra A commentary on the Lotus Sutra by Tz’u-en, written from the viewpoint of the Consciousness-Only doctrine of the Dharma Characteristics school. It criticizes T’ien-t’ai’s interpretation of the Lotus Sutra, asserting that the one vehicle doctrine set forth in the sutra is a mere expedient, and that the three vehicle doctrine represents the truth.
Prasenajit The king of Kosala and a follower of Shakyamuni Buddha. Under his rule Kosala rose to prominence as one of the two most powerful kingdoms in India, together with Magadha.
pratyekabuddha (Skt) Also, cause-awakened ones or self-awakened ones. Those who perceive the twelve-linked chain of causation, or the truth of causal relationship. Pratyekabuddha also means one who lives in an age without any Buddha and awakens to the truth of impermanence through personal effort and by observing natural phenomena.
precepts of perfect and immediate enlightenment Also, perfect precepts. One of the three types of learning based on the teaching for perfect and immediate enlightenment, or the Lotus Sutra. Dengyō adopted Mahayana precepts for Buddhist practice—specifically the ten major precepts and forty-eight minor precepts as set forth in the Brahma Net Sutra—basing them on the Lotus Sutra. He thus laid the foundation for the establishment of an ordination platform for administering the precepts of perfect and immediate enlightenment.
Precepts school A reference to the Chinese Lü school and the Japanese Ritsu school. Ritsu is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word lü. A school based on the rules of monastic discipline.
Precious Key to the Secret Treasury, The A work by Kōbō, which is a condensed version of his Treatise on the Ten Stages of the Mind, setting forth the essential doctrines of the esoteric True Word school. In this work Kōbō recapitulates the ten stages of the mind and asserts the superiority of esoteric over exoteric teachings.
pre-Lotus Sutra teachings The teachings Shakyamuni expounded before the Lotus Sutra. According to T’ien-t’ai’s classification of the Buddha’s teachings into five periods in the order in which they were taught, the teachings of the Flower Garland, Āgama, Correct and Equal, and Wisdom periods constitute the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings, all of which he identified as provisional teachings.
Profound Meaning of the Four Mahayana Treatises, The A work Chün-cheng of the T’ang dynasty. The four Mahayana treatises are The Treatise on the Middle Way, The One-Hundred-Verse Treatise, The Treatise on the Twelve Gates, and The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom. This text explains the doctrine of the Three Treatises school and attempts to refute those of the Establishment of Truth school and the Summary of the Mahayana school.
Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra, The One of T’ien-t’ai’s three major works. It gives a detailed explanation of the meaning of the title of the Lotus Sutra.
Profound Secrets Sutra Also, the Revelation of the Profound Secrets Sutra. A sutra that deals with such topics as the characteristics of the dharmas, ālaya-consciousness, and so forth. It is the basic text of the Dharma Characteristics school.
Protection Sutra A sutra that expounds a dhāranī, or a mysterious spell, for protecting the sovereign, and the benefit coming from this dhāranī. This sutra was valued by esoteric schools in Japan.
provisional Buddha (1) A Buddha who does not reveal his true identity but assumes a transient role or aspect in order to save the people. The term is used in contrast to the true Buddha who has revealed his true identity. (2) A Buddha of the provisional teachings such as Amida and Mahāvairochana.
provisional Mahayana Mahayana teachings expounded as a means to lead people to the true Mahayana teaching, or the Lotus Sutra. Provisional Mahayana teachings reveal only partial aspects of the truth to which the Buddha was awakened.
provisional teachings All the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings expounded during the first forty-two years following Shakyamuni’s enlightenment. T’ien-t’ai divided Shakyamuni’s teachings into two categories: provisional and true. The provisional teachings, which include Hinayana and provisional Mahayana, were set forth according to the people’s capacity, as a means to lead them to the true teaching of the Lotus Sutra.
Pu-k’ung (705–774) (Skt Amoghavajra) The sixth patriarch of the esoteric Buddhist teachings. When young, he journeyed from India to China. He won the patronage of Hsüan-tsung and other T’ang emperors, and is said to have conducted the esoteric rituals for the protection of the nation. He translated many esoteric scriptures.
Punyayashas The eleventh of Shakyamuni’s twenty-four successors. A native of Pātaliputra in Magadha, he was entrusted with the teachings by Pārshva and transferred them to Ashvaghosha.
pure and far-reaching voice Also, the brahma sound. The voice of a Buddha. One of his thirty-two features. The voice of a Buddha is pure and reaches all the worlds in the ten directions. It delights those who hear it; it deeply touches people’s hearts and inspires reverence.
Pure Eye One of the two sons of the king Wonderful Adornment who appear in the “King Wonderful Adornment” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. At the request of his mother, Pure Virtue, he joined efforts with his brother, Pure Storehouse, and converted their father to Buddhism.
pure land A land that is blissful and free from impurity. A Buddha’s land. The term is used in contrast to “impure land,” meaning this sahā world, which is defiled by suffering and desire. Buddhism sets forth two views concerning the relationship of the sahā world and the pure land. The first is that the pure land is another realm entirely, physically removed from the sahā world. One of the examples of this view is Amida Buddha’s Pure Land of Perfect Bliss in the west. The second view as represented in the Lotus and Vimalakīrti sutras is that there can be no pure land apart from the sahā world. The difference lies in the state of life of the people living there. When people purify their hearts, the world they live in becomes a pure land. The term Pure Land in capitals indicates Amida’s land.
Pure Land school A school that teaches the attainment of rebirth in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha by means of the chanting of Amida’s name. Hōnen is the founder of the Japanese Pure Land school. In Japan, the Pure Land school is also called the Nembutsu school. “Nembutsu” refers to the invocation of Amida’s name—the words “Namu-Amida-butsu”—chanted by this school.
Pure Land teachings The teachings that define this world as a defiled world and assert that, by relying on the power of Amida Buddha, one can attain rebirth in his land, or the Pure Land of Perfect Bliss.
Pure Practices One of the four leaders of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth who appear in the “Emerging from the Earth” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. Bodhisattva Pure Practices represents purity, one of the four virtues of the Buddha’s life, which are true self, eternity, purity, and happiness.
Pure Storehouse One of the two sons of the king Wonderful Adornment described in the “King Wonderful Adornment” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. In cooperation with his brother, Pure Eye, he persuaded the king, a follower of Brahmanism, to take faith in Buddhism.
Pure Virtue The wife of the king Wonderful Adornment who appears in the “King Wonderful Adornment” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. She exhorted her two sons, Pure Storehouse and Pure Eye, to convince the king, a follower of Brahmanism, of the righteousness of Buddhism.
Pūrna One of Shakyamuni’s ten major disciples. He was noted as the foremost in preaching the Law. Born to a rich Brahman family, he practiced austerities in the Snow Mountains and achieved a kind of enlightenment. Thereafter, when he heard that Shakyamuni had attained Buddhahood, he became the Buddha’s disciple.
Pushyamitra (n.d.) A king in India around the second century b.c.e. who became an enemy of Buddhism. A descendant of Ashoka, he originally served as commander in chief to Brihadratha, the last king of the Maurya dynasty, but he murdered Brihadratha and founded the Shunga dynasty, ruling northern India from his capital at Pātaliputra. He slandered Buddhism, killed many monks, and destroyed Kukkutārāma Monastery, a major center of Buddhism built by Ashoka.