T’ai-kung Wang A general who served King Wen, the founder of the Chou dynasty. During the Yin (Shang) dynasty, he was living in seclusion but emerged to lead the army of King Wen at the latter’s request. After Wen’s death, he served King Wu, Wen’s successor, and fought valorously to defeat King Chou of the Yin dynasty.
Taira clan Also, the Heike clan. An offshoot of the imperial family in Japan. At the time of Taira no Kiyomori, the head of the Taira clan, it seized absolute power. However, in 1185, at the naval battle of Dannoura, the forces of the Minamoto clan defeated the Taira, marking the end of the Taira hegemony. Minamoto no Yoritomo, the head of the Minamoto clan, then proceeded to consolidate his rule, establishing the Kamakura government later that year.
Taira no Kiyomori (1118–1181) Leader of the Heike, or Taira clan. After achieving political preeminence, he dominated the imperial court. He married his daughter to the emperor and eventually installed his grandson as emperor.
T’ai-tsung (598–649) The second emperor (r. 626–649) of the T’ang dynasty in China. He developed and completed the government structure, institutions, and law code that had been established by Kao-tsu, his father and the founder of the dynasty. He was also engaged in organization of the military and in military campaigns against the Turks. During his reign the kingdoms located west of the dynasty and lying along the Silk Road were placed under his rule.
Takahira (1180–1239) The name of Emperor Gotoba. See also Retired Emperor of Oki.
Takenouchi Takenouchi no Sukune, a legendary figure who, according to The Chronicles of Japan, was the great grandson of the eighth emperor Kōgen and served under the five emperors from the twelfth, Keikō, to the sixteenth, Nintoku. Takenouchi is described as having played an active role in the non-reigning empress Jingū’s successful expedition to Korea.
Tamura (758–811) Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, a military leader who was designated “Great General Who Subdues the Barbarians” for his successful campaign against the aboriginal Ezo people of northern Japan, through which he established the authority of the imperial court in that region.
Tan, the Duke of Chou See Duke of Chou.
T’an-luan (476–542) The founder of the Chinese Pure Land school. He received the Meditation on the Buddha Infinite Life Sutra from Bodhiruchi at Lo-yang and devoted himself to the Pure Land teachings, stressing the practice of calling on the name of Amida Buddha as the “easy-to-practice way” that enables all people to attain rebirth in Amida’s Pure Land, and rejecting all other practices as the “difficult-to-practice way.”
Tao-an Several different persons are known by the name Tao-an. One is a Chinese priest who lived during the Northern Chou dynasty (557–581). He expounded on the Nirvana Sutra and The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom. He submitted a treatise to Emperor Wu (r. 560–578) that asserted the superiority of Buddhism over Taoism and also criticized Confucianism. In 574, however, Emperor Wu issued his decree proscribing Buddhism and Taoism, and called for the destruction of Buddhist temples, images, and scriptures. Tao-an escaped from persecution and devoted himself to instructing his disciples.
Tao-ch’o (562–645) The second of the five patriarchs of the Pure Land school in China. He classified the Buddhist sutras into the two categories of Pure Land teachings and Sacred Way teachings. He asserted that the Sacred Way teachings, which expound the achievement of enlightenment through one’s own power, are too difficult for common mortals of the latter age, and that only the Pure Land teachings, which expound rebirth in Amida Buddha’s Pure Land by reliance on Amida’s power, can offer salvation.
Tao-hsien (n.d.) A priest of the T’ien-t’ai school in T’ang China, said to have been a disciple of Miao-lo. In the Ta-li era (766–779), he went to Ch’ang-an, the capital of T’ang China, where he devoted himself to writing. The Supplement to “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra” is one of his works.
Tao-hsüan (596–667) The founder of the Nan-shan branch of the Precepts school in China. The Nan-shan school was the only branch of the Precepts school to survive; therefore, it later became synonymous with the Precepts school. Tao-hsüan assisted Hsüan-tsang in his translation work. He wrote several books on precepts. He is also known as the author of The Continued Biographies of Eminent Priests, a collection of the biographies of five hundred eminent priests who lived during the period from 502 to 645.
Tao-sui (n.d.) A priest of the T’ien-t’ai school in T’ang China. He studied T’ien-t’ai’s teachings under Miao-lo. In 805 he taught the T’ien-t’ai meditation to Dengyō who had come from Japan.
teachings of the three periods A comparative classification of the Buddha’s teachings. This system arranges Shakyamuni’s teachings into three categories according to the order of preaching and content. The definition of these categories differs among the Buddhist schools. In the Dharma Characteristics school, the first period consists of the Āgama sutras. During this period the Buddha taught the four noble truths to refute attachment to the self or ego. In these teachings he taught that the self is without substance, but that the dharmas or elements of existence themselves are real. The second period is represented by the Wisdom sutras, which teach that all things are non-substantial. This doctrine was intended to refute attachment to belief in the reality of the dharmas as taught in the Hinayana or Āgama sutras. The third period includes the Flower Garland Sutra, the Profound Secrets Sutra, and the Lotus Sutra. The teachings in this period are intended to refute attachment both to the idea that the dharmas are non-substantial and to the belief that they are real. They teach that the reality of all things is neither real nor non-substantial; this is called the Middle Way. The teachings of the first two periods are regarded as temporary and imperfect, while those of the third period are considered to reveal the truth. In the Three Treatises school, the teaching of the first period corresponds to Hinayana while those of the second and third are divisions of Mahayana. They are: (1) the teaching that both the mind and objective reality are real; (2) the teaching that objective reality is without substance and the mind alone is real; and (3) the teaching that both the mind and objective reality are without substance. The Three Treatises school defines the teaching of the third period as the complete teaching.
Tendai Lotus school Another name for the Tendai school, so called because it ranks the Lotus Sutra above all other sutras.
Tendai school A school founded by Dengyō in Japan. Its head temple is Enryaku-ji on Mount Hiei. In 804 Dengyō made the journey to T’ang China, where he completed his study of the T’ien-t’ai (Jpn Tendai) teachings. He returned to Japan in 805 and officially founded the Tendai school in 806. Jikaku and Chishō, respectively the third and fifth chief priests of Enryaku-ji, incorporated esoteric teachings into the doctrine of the Tendai school. Hence the Tendai school in Japan rapidly assumed the character of esotericism, differing in this respect from the Chinese T’ien-t’ai school.
ten demon daughters The female demons described in the “Dhāranī” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. Together with the Mother of Demon Children, they vowed to protect the votaries of the Lotus Sutra.
ten directions The entire dimension of space, that is, the eight directions of a compass, plus up and down.
ten evil acts Killing, stealing, unlawful sexual intercourse, lying, flattery (or random and irresponsible speech), defaming others, duplicity, greed, anger, and foolishness (or the holding of mistaken views).
ten factors A principle clarifying the factors common to all life in any of the Ten Worlds. As listed in the “Expedient Means” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, they are appearance, nature, entity, power, influence, internal cause, relation, latent effect, manifest effect, and their consistency from beginning to end, or the unifying factor that makes all of the previous nine consistent from beginning to end.
Tengi era The period in Japan from 1053 to 1058.
ten good precepts Ten precepts for lay believers of Mahayana. They are prohibitions against the ten evils of: (1) killing, (2) stealing, (3) unlawful sexual intercourse, (4) lying, (5) flattery (or random and irresponsible speech), (6) defaming, (7) duplicity, (8) greed, (9) anger, and (10) foolishness (or the holding of mistaken views).
ten honorable titles Ten epithets for a Buddha, expressing his power, wisdom, virtue, and compassion.
ten inexhaustible precepts of the Flower Garland Sutra The ten precepts for bodhisattvas. One of them concerns the observance of the ten good precepts, or prohibition of the ten evil acts such as killing, stealing, and unlawful sexual intercourse.
ten major offenses Violations of the ten major precepts. See also ten major precepts.
ten major precepts Precepts for Mahayana bodhisattvas set forth in the Brahma Net Sutra. They are: (1) not to kill, (2) not to steal, (3) not to engage in sexual misconduct, (4) not to lie, (5) not to sell liquor, (6) not to discuss others’ faults, (7) not to praise oneself or disparage others, (8) not to begrudge offerings or spare one’s efforts for the sake of Buddhism, (9) not to give way to anger, and (10) not to speak ill of the three treasures.
ten meditations Ten kinds of meditation set forth by T’ien-t’ai in his Great Concentration and Insight as a way to observe the truth of life. They are: (1) the meditation on the region of the unfathomable; (2) the meditation to arouse compassion; (3) the meditation to enjoy security in the realm of truth; (4) the meditation to eliminate attachments; (5) the meditation to discern what leads to the realization of the true aspect of life and what prevents it; (6) the meditation to make proper use of the thirty-seven aids to the way; (7) the meditation to remove obstacles to enlightenment while practicing the six pāramitās; (8) the meditation to recognize the stage of one’s progress; (9) the meditation to stabilize one’s mind; and (10) the meditation to remove attachment to what is not true enlightenment.
ten mysteries Ten aspects of the interrelationship of all phenomena as seen from the standpoint of the Buddha’s enlightenment, a doctrine of the Flower Garland school formulated by Chih-yen (602–668), the second patriarch of the school, and revised by the third patriarch Fa-tsang.
ten mystic principles Principles set forth by T’ien-t’ai in interpreting the word myō of Myoho-renge-kyo, the title of the Lotus Sutra. According to T’ien-t’ai, the ten mystic principles are all implicit in the single word myō. There are two categories of ten mystic principles: the ten mystic principles of the theoretical teaching, and the ten mystic principles of the essential teaching, of the Lotus Sutra. The ten mystic principles of the theoretical teaching are based on the concept of the true aspect of all phenomena and the replacement of the three vehicles with the one vehicle revealed in the first half of the Lotus Sutra. The ten mystic principles of the essential teaching are based on the revelation of the Buddha’s original enlightenment in the remote past, as expounded in the “Life Span” chapter.
ten objects Also, the ten objects of meditation. Objects of meditation set forth by T’ien-t’ai in his Great Concentration and Insight as part of a comprehensive system of meditation for perceiving the truth of three thousand realms in a single moment of life. The ten objects are: (1) the phenomenal world that exists by virtue of the five components, the relationship between the six sense organs and their six objects, and the six consciousnesses arising from this relationship, (2) earthly desires, (3) sickness, (4) karmic effect, (5) diabolical functions, (6) attachment to a certain level of meditation, (7) distorted views, (8) arrogance, (9) attachment to the two vehicles, and (10) attachment to the state of the bodhisattva.
ten objects of meditation See ten objects.
ten peerlessnesses Ten points that assert the superiority of the Lotus Sutra over all other sutras. One, for example, is that the seeds of enlightenment imparted by the Lotus Sutra are without peer. This concept appears in Vasubandhu’s Treatise on the Lotus Sutra.
ten precepts Precepts for male and female novices of the Buddhist Order. They are: (1) not to kill, (2) not to steal, (3) to refrain from all sexual activity, (4) not to lie, (5) not to drink intoxicants, (6) not to wear ornaments or perfume, (7) not to go to listen to singing or watch dancing, (8) not to sleep on an elevated or broad bed, (9) not to eat at irregular hours, and (10) not to own valuables such as gold and silver. The “ten precepts” can also refer to the ten good precepts and also to the ten major precepts of the Brahmā Net Sutra.
ten schools The ten schools in Japan—the Dharma Analysis Treasury, Establishment of Truth, Precepts, Dharma Characteristics, Three Treatises, Flower Garland, Tendai, True Word, Zen, and Pure Land schools.
ten schools of northern and southern China See three schools of southern China and seven schools of northern China.
ten stages of development Ten stages through which the practitioner conquers the deeper levels of darkness so as to perceive the truth of the Middle Way. In the system of the fifty-two stages of bodhisattva practice, they are viewed as the forty-first through the fiftieth stages.
ten stages of devotion The thirty-first through the fortieth of the fifty-two stages of bodhisattva practice. These ten stages follow the ten stages of faith, ten stages of security, and ten stages of practice. In these ten stages, one directs one’s blessings toward all people and aims to perceive the Middle Way.
ten stages of faith The first ten of the fifty-two stages of bodhisattva practice. The ten stages of faith, from the stage of arousing pure faith through the stage of fulfilling vows, include assiduousness, perceiving the non-substantiality of all things, and guarding the mind against earthly desires.
ten stages of the mind A system of comparative classification formulated by Kōbō. He classifies Buddhist and non-Buddhist teachings as corresponding to ten stages in the development of religious consciousness, and places a follower of the esoteric teachings of the True Word school in the highest, or tenth, stage.
ten supernatural powers Supernatural powers that Shakyamuni Buddha displays in the “Supernatural Powers” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, before transferring the essence of the sutra to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth.
Ten Worlds Distinct realms or categories of beings. From the lowest to the highest; they are the realms of (1) hell, (2) hungry spirits, (3) animals, (4) asuras, (5) human beings, (6) heavenly beings, (7) voice-hearers, (8) cause-awakened ones, (9) bodhisattvas, and (10) Buddhas. The Ten Worlds are also interpreted as states of life.
theoretical teaching The first fourteen chapters of the twenty-eight-chapter Lotus Sutra, as classified by T’ien-t’ai. In contrast to the essential teaching—the latter fourteen chapters of the sutra, which represent preaching by Shakyamuni as the Buddha who attained enlightenment in the remote past, the theoretical teaching represents preaching by the historical Shakyamuni, who first attained enlightenment during his lifetime in India. The core of the theoretical teaching is the “Expedient Means” chapter, which teaches that all phenomena manifest the true aspect and that all phenomena are endowed with the ten factors. The “Expedient Means” chapter also states that the Buddhas’ sole purpose is to lead all people to Buddhahood, and that the three vehicles of voice-hearers, cause-awakened ones, and bodhisattvas are no more than expedient means to lead people to the one Buddha vehicle. The theoretical teaching further states that voice-hearers and cause-awakened ones will attain Buddhahood in the future.
thirty-three heavenly gods The gods said to live on a plateau at the top of Mount Sumeru. Shakra rules from his palace in the center, and the other thirty-two gods live on four peaks, eight gods to a peak, in each of the plateau’s four corners.
thirty-two features Remarkable physical characteristics possessed by great beings such as Buddhas and wheel-turning kings.
thirty-two features and eighty characteristics The remarkable physical characteristics and extraordinary features possessed by Buddhas and bodhisattvas.
thousand-armed Perceiver of the World’s Sounds One of the many forms of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds. Images of this form of Perceiver of the World’s Sounds usually have only representative forty arms, although some have been made with a full thousand. The thousand-armed Perceiver of the World’s Sounds was believed to possess great compassion and the power to prolong life span, eradicate evil karma, and cure illness.
thousand-spoked wheel pattern Also, the markings of the thousand-spoked wheel. One of the thirty-two features that a Buddha is said to possess, it appears on the sole of each foot.
three ascetics Kapila, Ulūka, and Rishabha. Kapila was the founder of the Sāmkhya school, one of the six major schools of Brahmanism in ancient India. Ulūka was also called Kanāda, the founder of the Vaisheshika school, another of the above six schools. Rishabha is said to have maintained the importance of asceticism, and his teachings are said to have prepared the way for Jainism.
three assemblies The three assemblies described in the Lotus Sutra. The first assembly on Eagle Peak, the Ceremony in the Air, and the second assembly on Eagle Peak. According to the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni began preaching the sutra on Eagle Peak, then raised the assembly into midair, where he continued to preach, and finally returned the assembly to Eagle Peak, where the sutra concludes.
three bodies Three kinds of body that a Buddha possesses, namely: (1) the Dharma body, which indicates the fundamental truth or Law to which a Buddha is enlightened; (2) the reward body, which indicates the wisdom; and (3) the manifested body, or the merciful actions of a Buddha to save people and the physical form that he assumes for that purpose. The three bodies are generally considered to be three different types of Buddhas, but in the Lotus Sutra they are shown to be the three aspects of a single Buddha.
three calamities A reference to two sets of three calamities—lesser and greater. The three lesser calamities are warfare, pestilence, and famine. The calamity of famine is also called the calamity of high grain prices or inflation, because inflation was caused by a shortage of grain. The three greater calamities are those of fire, water, and wind. These calamities occur at the end of a kalpa. The three lesser calamities are often referred to in conjunction with the seven disasters as the “three calamities and seven disasters.”
three cardinal sins The three grave sins committed by Devadatta. Constituting three of the five cardinal sins, they are: (1) causing disunity in the Buddhist community, (2) injuring the Buddha, and (3) killing an arhat.
three categories of illusion A classification established by T’ien-t’ai. They are: (1) illusions of thought and desire (the former are distorted perceptions of the truth, while the latter refer to base inclinations such as greed and anger); (2) illusions innumerable as particles of dust and sand, which arise when bodhisattvas try to master innumerable teachings in order to save others; and (3) illusions about the true nature of existence.
three equalities A concept set forth by Vasubandhu—the equality of the vehicle, the equality of the world and nirvana, and the equality of the body. The equality of the vehicle means that the one supreme vehicle is equally given to all people and that the three vehicles are united by the Lotus Sutra into the one supreme vehicle. The equality of the world and nirvana indicates that there is no fundamental distinction between the world of delusion and nirvana, or enlightenment. The equality of the body (of the Buddha) means that, although the Buddha assumes various forms to save people, the state of Buddhahood equally pervades them all. Vasubandhu established these three viewpoints to show that the Lotus Sutra represents the Law of absolute equality.
three evil paths The realms of suffering into which one falls as a result of evil deeds—hell, the realm of hungry spirits, and that of animals.
three existences The past, present, and future. The three aspects of the eternity of life, linked by the law of cause and effect.
threefold contemplation Also, threefold contemplation in a single mind. A method of meditation formulated by T’ien-t’ai and aimed at perceiving the unification of the three truths of non-substantiality, temporary existence, and the Middle Way in a single mind. Through this meditation, one is said to be able to rid oneself of the three categories of illusion and acquire the three kinds of wisdom (the wisdom of the two vehicles, the wisdom of bodhisattvas, and the Buddha wisdom).
threefold world The world of unenlightened beings who transmigrate within the six paths of existence. They are: (1) the world of desire, ruled by various desires; (2) the world of form, whose inhabitants are free from all desires, cravings, and appetites but, still having material form, are subject to certain material restrictions; and (3) the world of formlessness, where the beings are free from both desires and material restrictions.
Three Great Secret Laws The core principles of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism: (1) the object of devotion, (2) the invocation, or daimoku of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and (3) the sanctuary, or the place where one chants the daimoku before the object of devotion.
three groups of voice-hearers Shakyamuni’s disciples of superior, intermediate, and inferior capacity, whose attainment of Buddhahood is prophesied in the first half of the Lotus Sutra. Shāriputra constitutes the first group. He was the first to understand the Buddha’s teaching of “replacing the three vehicles with the one vehicle” expounded in the “Expedient Means” (second) chapter. The “Simile and Parable” (third) chapter predicts his enlightenment. Maudgalyāyana, Mahākāshyapa, Kātyāyana, and Subhūti constitute the second group. They understood the Buddha’s teaching through the parable of the three carts and the burning house related in the “Simile and Parable” chapter. Their enlightenment is predicted in the “Bestowal of Prophecy” (sixth) chapter. Pūrna, Ānanda, Rāhula, and others comprise the third group. They understood the Buddha’s teaching by hearing about their relationship with Shakyamuni since the remote past as explained in the “Parable of the Phantom City” (seventh) chapter. Their future enlightenment is predicted in the next two chapters.
Three Histories The works of the Three Kings—King Yü of the Hsia dynasty, King T’ang of the Yin (Shang) dynasty, and King Wen of the Chou dynasty.
three insights The ability to know the past, foresee the future, and eradicate illusions, which indicates powers that Buddhas and arhats are said to possess.
Three Kings Founders of the three dynasties, Hsia, Yin (Shang), and Chou, in China. They are King Yü of the Hsia dynasty, King T’ang of the Yin dynasty, and King Wen of the Chou dynasty. They are said to have realized model governments.
three metaphors of the lotus blossom Metaphors used by T’ien-t’ai to clarify the relationship between the Lotus Sutra (likened to the lotus calyx) and the provisional teachings (likened to the blossom), and between the essential teaching (calyx) and the theoretical teaching (blossom). The former relationship is described by the three metaphors of the theoretical teaching, and the latter, by the three metaphors of the essential teaching.
three mysteries The three mysteries of body, mouth, and mind. A term of the esoteric True Word school. In terms of practice, the mystery of the body means the making of mudras, which are gestures with the hands and fingers; the mystery of the mouth refers to the recitation of mantras (magical formulas); and the mystery of the mind indicates meditation on an esoteric mandala or one of the figures appearing in it. The True Word school teaches that, through these three practices, the body, mouth, and mind of the common mortal are united with those of Mahāvairochana Buddha, thus enabling one to attain Buddhahood in one’s present form.
three obediences Also known as the three types of obedience. A code of conduct that required women to obey their parents in childhood, their husbands after marriage, and their sons in old age. Together with the five obstacles, they were seen as hindrances that women must confront.
three obstacles and four devils Various obstacles and hindrances to the practice of Buddhism. The three obstacles are: (1) the obstacle of earthly desires; (2) the obstacle of karma, which may also refer to opposition from one’s spouse or children; and (3) the obstacle of retribution, also obstacles caused by one’s superiors, such as rulers or parents. The four devils are: (1) the hindrance of the five components; (2) the hindrance of earthly desires; (3) the hindrance of death, because untimely death obstructs one’s practice of Buddhism or because the premature death of another practitioner causes doubts; and (4) the hindrance of the devil king.
three paths Earthly desires, karma, and suffering. Called “paths” because one leads to the other. Earthly desires, which include greed, anger, foolishness, arrogance, and doubt, inspire actions that create evil karma. The effect of this evil karma then manifests itself as suffering. Suffering aggravates earthly desires, leading to further misguided action, which in turn brings on more evil karma and suffering.
three poisons Greed, anger, and foolishness—the fundamental evils inherent in life, which give rise to human suffering. They are also known as three of the six most fundamental earthly desires.
three powerful enemies Also, the three types of enemies. Three types of people who persecute those who propagate the Lotus Sutra after the Buddha’s passing, as described in the “Encouraging Devotion” chapter of the sutra. They are: (1) lay people ignorant of Buddhism who denounce the votaries of the Lotus Sutra and attack them with swords or staves; (2) arrogant and cunning priests who slander the votaries; and (3) priests respected by the general public who, fearing the loss of fame or profit, induce the secular authorities to persecute the sutra’s votaries.
three-pronged diamond-pounder One of the three types of diamond-pounders. A diamond-pounder was originally a weapon used in ancient India. It is so called because of its hardness, suggesting that of the diamond that can destroy anything. In the rituals of esoteric Buddhism, the diamond-pounder is used as a symbol of the resolve to attain enlightenment which can destroy any illusion. This diamond-pounder, usually made of iron or copper, is slender in shape with pointed ends. There are three types, according to the number of prongs at either end: the single-pronged diamond-pounder, the three-pronged one, and the five-pronged one.
three Pure Land sutras The three basic sutras of the Pure Land school: the Buddha Infinite Life Sutra, the Meditation on the Buddha Infinite Life Sutra, and the Amida Sutra.
three realms of existence A component of the principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life. (1) The realm of the five components—form, perception, conception, volition, and consciousness—which constitute a living being. (2) The realm of living beings. (3) The realm of the environment.
Three Records One of the ancient texts mentioned in early Chinese writings. The Three Records is said to have belonged to the time of the three mythical sage rulers Fu Hsi, Shen Nung, and Huang Ti (Yellow Emperor) and to have recorded their deeds. It is not extant, and nothing is known as to whether this text ever existed and, if it did, what its form or content was. Together with the Five Canons that concerns the Five Emperors, or the five mythical sage rulers who followed the above-mentioned three rulers, it is often referred to in conjunction as the “Three Records and Five Canons.”
three robes The three kinds of robes worn by a monk according to the time or the occasion. Together with a mendicant’s bowl, or begging bowl, these are all that a monk was permitted to possess. Originally the three robes symbolized the ascetic monastic life free from secular attachments and were made from discarded rags. These evolved with the spread of Buddhism to the point where some priests in Japan came to wear robes of silk, brocade, or other luxurious fabrics.
three robes and one begging bowl The only personal belongings that the precepts allow a monk to possess. They exemplify the austere life of the monkhood and the attitude to divest oneself of worldly attachments in order to seek the way. See also three robes.
Three Sages Three wise men of ancient China. Lao Tzu, Confucius, and Yen Hui, Confucius’s foremost disciple.
three schools of southern China and seven schools of northern China T’ien-t’ai’s designation for the ten schools or major systems of comparative classification of the Buddhist sutras employed by various Buddhist teachers in China during the Northern and Southern Dynasties period (fifth-sixth century). Though their systems differed, each held either the Flower Garland Sutra or the Nirvana Sutra to be supreme among the Buddha’s teachings. T’ien-t’ai refuted their conclusions and demonstrated the superiority of the Lotus Sutra over all the other sutras.
three schools of the south and seven schools of the north See three schools of southern China and seven schools of northern China.
Three Sovereigns Also called the Three Rulers. Fu Hsi, Shen Nung, and Huang Ti (Yellow Emperor), legendary rulers of ancient China. They are usually regarded as having invented fishing, farming, and medicine, respectively. In his writings, Nichiren Daishonin often refers to Shen Nung and Huang Ti as masters of medicine, and refers to the reigns of Fu Hsi and Shen Nung as an age in which an ideal society was realized.
three standards of comparison Three viewpoints from which T’ien-t’ai asserts the superiority of the Lotus Sutra over all the other sutras. The first standard is whether people of all capacities can attain Buddhahood through a particular sutra. The second standard is whether the process of teaching, that is, the process from planting the seed of Buddhahood in the lives of people through finally leading them to Buddhahood, is revealed from beginning to end. The third standard is whether the original relationship between master and disciple is revealed. The term master refers to the Buddha. The Lotus Sutra reveals that Shakyamuni originally attained enlightenment in the distant past and that ever since he has been teaching the people.
three thousand or more volumes of non-Buddhist writings An expression commonly used to refer to the entire body of the Confucian and Taoist scriptures. The number “three thousand or more” is found in Chinese classics. There are other similar expressions such as the three thousand and more volumes of non-Buddhist literature, the three thousand or more volumes of the Confucian and Taoist writings, the three thousand or more volumes of the Confucian and Taoist scriptures, the more than three thousand volumes of Confucian and Taoist literature, and the three thousand volumes of non-Buddhist writings.
three thousand realms in a single moment of life (Jpn ichinen sanzen) A philosophical system established by T’ien-t’ai. The “three thousand realms” indicates the varying aspects and phases that life assumes at each moment. At each moment, life manifests one of the Ten Worlds. Each of these worlds possesses the potential for all ten within itself, thus making one hundred possible worlds. Each of these hundred worlds possesses the ten factors and operates within each of the three realms of existence, thus making three thousand realms.
three thousand rules of conduct Also, three thousand rules of behavior. Strict Hinayana rules of discipline for monks. Accounts differ in how to arrive at the figure of three thousand. According to one account, the figure of three thousand is arrived at by applying the two hundred and fifty precepts—the rules of discipline for fully ordained Hinayana monks—to each of the four activities of daily life: walking, standing, sitting, and lying. The resulting total of one thousand is then applied to each of the three existences of past, present, and future for a total of three thousand rules of conduct. According to another account, the figure three thousand is not intended to be literal but simply indicates a large number.
three treasures The three basic elements of Buddhism—the Buddha, the Law (the Buddha’s teachings), and the Order (community of believers).
Three Treatises school A reference to the Chinese San-lun school and the Japanese Sanron school (sanron being the Japanese pronunciation of san-lun). A school based on Nāgārjuna’s Treatise on the Middle Way and Treatise on the Twelve Gates and Āryadeva’s One-Hundred-Verse Treatise. These three treatises were translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva, and their doctrines were finally systematized by Chi-tsang. The Korean priest Ekan (Kor Hyekwan) is regarded as the first to have formally introduced the Three Treatises doctrine to Japan.
three True Word sutras Also, the three major True Word sutras. The Mahāvairochana, Diamond Crown, and Susiddhikara sutras. These sutras are revered by the True Word school and in Tendai esotericism.
three truths The truths of non-substantiality, temporary existence, and the Middle Way—three phases of the truth formulated by T’ien-t’ai. The truth of non-substantiality means that all phenomena are non-substantial and in a state transcending the concepts of existence and nonexistence. The truth of temporary existence means that although non-substantial in nature, all things possess a temporary reality that is in constant flux. The truth of the Middle Way is that all phenomena are both non-substantial and temporary, yet are in essence neither.
three types of enemies See three powerful enemies.
three types of learning The three disciplines that a practitioner of Buddhism should master. They are precepts, meditation, and wisdom and are said to encompass all aspects of Buddhist doctrine and practice.
three types of meditation Meditation taught in The Dharma Analysis Treasury. The first is a meditation bound and encumbered by earthly desires, which is designated for lay people; the second is for lay people who are highly advanced in Buddhist practice but whose meditation is still not free from delusions and earthly desires; and the third enables one to obtain wisdom completely free from delusions and earthly desires, designed for those who have become monks.
three types of obedience See three obediences.
three vehicles The teachings expounded for voice-hearers, cause-awakened ones, and bodhisattvas. Vehicle means a teaching that “carries” one to a certain state. The term three vehicles is used in contrast to the one vehicle, or the vehicle that carries all people to Buddhahood. In the Lotus Sutra, the three vehicles are encompassed and united into the one vehicle.
three virtues (1) The virtues of sovereign, teacher, and parent, attributes that a Buddha possesses. The virtue of sovereign is the power to protect all living beings, the virtue of teacher is the wisdom to instruct them and lead them to enlightenment, and the virtue of parent means the compassion to nurture and support them. (2) The three virtues of the Dharma body, wisdom, and emancipation—virtues possessed by a Buddha. The Dharma body is the truth that the Buddha has realized; wisdom is the capacity to realize this truth; and emancipation is the state of being free from the sufferings of birth and death.
thrice turned wheel of the Law A division of the Buddha’s teachings into three categories, set forth by Chi-tsang. The three categories are: (1) the teachings expounded for bodhisattvas, which correspond to the Flower Garland Sutra; (2) the three vehicle teaching of the Āgama, Correct and Equal, and Wisdom sutras expounded for those people of inferior capacity who could not understand the teaching of the Flower Garland Sutra; and (3) the teaching of the Lotus Sutra that unites the three vehicles into the one vehicle.
Thus Come One (Skt Tathāgata) One of the ten honorable titles of a Buddha, meaning one who has arrived from the world of truth. This title indicates that a Buddha embodies the fundamental truth of all phenomena and has grasped the law of causality spanning past, present, and future.
T’ien-t’ai (538–597) Referred to also as Chih-i, T’ien-t’ai Chih-che, the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai, and the Great Teacher Chih-che. The founder of the T’ien-t’ai school in China. After studying at Mount Ta-su under Nan-yüeh, he became known for his profound lectures on the Lotus Sutra. He refuted the scriptural classifications formulated by the ten major Buddhist schools of his day, and classified all of Shakyamuni’s sutras into five periods and eight teachings, demonstrating the supremacy of the Lotus Sutra. His principal works, The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra, The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra, and Great Concentration and Insight, were all recorded and compiled by his immediate disciple Chang-an. In Great Concentration and Insight, T’ien-t’ai set forth the principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life and the practice of meditation to realize it.
T’ien-t’ai, Mount A mountain in Chekiang Province in China where the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai lived and the T’ien-t’ai school was based.
to (Jpn) A unit of volume equivalent to about eighteen liters, about a half of one bushel.
Tōfuku-ji The head temple of the Tōfuku-ji branch of the Japanese Rinzai school of Zen, one of the five major Rinzai temples of Kyoto. It was built in 1239 by Fijiwara no Michiie, who invited Enni (also known as Bennen) to become its first chief priest.
Tō-ji The head temple of the Tō-ji branch of the True Word school, located in Kyoto in Japan. In 823 it was given by the imperial court to Kōbō and became a center of esoteric practice.
Tokuitsu (n.d.) Also called Tokuichi. A priest of the Dharma Characteristics school in Japan during the late eighth and early ninth centuries. His dispute with Dengyō regarding the one vehicle doctrine and the three vehicle doctrine is well known. This debate continued until Dengyō’s death.
Toshihito (n.d.) Fujiwara no Toshihito. A distinguished warrior of the Fujiwara clan who lived during the Heian period (794–1185). In 915 he became the chief of the military headquarters in northern Japan.
treasure tower A tower adorned with treasures. A treasure tower often appears in Buddhist scriptures. In Nichiren Daishonin’s writings, the treasure tower primarily indicates the tower of the Buddha Many Treasures that appears from beneath the earth in the “Treasure Tower” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. He also equated this with the Gohonzon and human life.
Treatise on the Consciousness-Only Doctrine, The A reference to The Treatise on the Establishment of the Consciousness-Only Doctrine, written by Dharmapāla, a prominent Consciousness-Only scholar, and translated into Chinese by Hsüan-tsang. Also a reference to one or another of Vasubandhu’s treatises on the Consciousness-Only doctrine, such as The Twenty-Stanza Treatise on the Consciousness-Only Doctrine and The Thirty-Stanza Treatise on the Consciousness-Only Doctrine, as well as to Chinese translations of these treatises. Dharmapāla’s Treatise on the Establishment of the Consciousness-Only Doctrine is a commentary on Vasubandhu’s Thirty-Stanza Treatise on the Consciousness-Only Doctrine. Twenty-Stanza Treatise and Thirty-Stanza Treatise were translated into Chinese by Hsüan-tsang.
Treatise on the Discipline for Attaining Enlightenment, The A treatise consisting of original verses attributed to Nāgārjuna and a prose commentary added later. It sets forth the six pāramitās and other various bodhisattva practices for attaining enlightenment.
Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom, The A comprehensive commentary on the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, traditionally attributed to Nāgārjuna. Only the Chinese version translated by Kumārajīva exists today. The work explains the concepts of wisdom and of non-substantiality, and the bodhisattva ideal and the six pāramitās, among others. It also incorporates concepts from the Lotus Sutra and other Mahayana sutra, and is considered extremely important work of Mahayana thought in general.
Treatise on the Lotus Sutra, The A commentary by Vasubandhu on the Lotus Sutra. In this work, Vasubandhu asserts the superiority of the Lotus Sutra over all the other sutras in terms of the seven parables, three equalities, and ten peerlessnesses. According to Paramārtha’s account, in India more than fifty people wrote commentaries on the Lotus Sutra, but among them, only the commentary by Vasubandhu was brought to China and translated into Chinese. See also seven parables, three equalities, and ten peerlessnesses.
Treatise on the Middle Way, The One of Nāgārjuna’s principal works, translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva, which develops the concept of non-substantiality and the practice of the Middle Way on the basis of the Wisdom sutras. Nāgārjuna’s idea of non-substantiality formed a major theoretical basis of Mahayana Buddhism.
Treatise on the Mind Aspiring for Enlightenment, The A work attributed to Nāgārjuna and translated by Pu-k’ung from Sanskrit into Chinese. Another account attributes it not to Nāgārjuna but to Pu-k’ung. It teaches the importance of a mind that seeks enlightenment. Because the work distinguishes between esoteric and exoteric teachings, it is valued by the True Word school. Kōbō, the founder of the Japanese True Word school, quoted it frequently to assert the superiority of the esoteric teachings over the exoteric teachings including the Lotus Sutra.
Treatise on the Profundity of the Lotus Sutra, The A commentary on the Lotus Sutra by Chi-tsang, written from the viewpoint of the Three Treatises school. In this work, Chi-tsang cites many sutras and treatises such as the Flower Garland, the Nirvana, and The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom, and introduces the content of these texts as well as his own views on the Lotus Sutra.
Treatise on the Stages of Yoga Practice, The A work attributed to either Maitreya or Asanga (around the fourth century) and translated into Chinese by Hsüan-tsang. One of the basic treatises of the Dharma Characteristics school. It elucidates seventeen stages through which the practitioner of the Consciousness-Only doctrine advances toward enlightenment.
Treatise on the Ten Stages of the Mind, The A work written around 830 by Kōbō, founder of the Japanese True Word school. In this work, he places the mind of a believer in the Lotus Sutra and that of a believer in the Flower Garland Sutra in the eighth and the ninth stages, respectively. And he places the mind of a follower of the True Word teaching in the tenth, or highest, stage, because such a person has obtained the esoteric teaching.
Treatise on the Ten Stages Sutra school The Chinese Ti-lun school. A school founded based on Vasubandhu’s Treatise on the Ten Stages Sutra. The school prospered in the Liang, Ch’en, and Sui dynasties but was absorbed by the Flower Garland school during the T’ang dynasty.
Treatise on the Treasure Vehicle of Buddhahood, The A work by Sāramati translated into Chinese by Ratnamati of the Northern Wei dynasty. It asserts that all beings possess the matrix of the Thus Come One or the Buddha nature, and that even icchantikas—those of incorrigible disbelief—can attain Buddhahood eventually. Tibetan tradition attributes this work to Maitreya. The Treatise on the Treasure Vehicle of Buddhahood is generally thought to have been written sometime around the end of the fourth century through the beginning of the fifth century.
Tripitaka master An honorific title given to those who were well versed in the three divisions of the Buddhist canon. It was often bestowed on eminent Chinese priests as well as on those monks from India and Central Asia who went to China and translated Buddhist scriptures into Chinese.
Tripitaka teaching (1) Tripitaka (Skt) means the three baskets or collections of sacred writings. The Tripitaka teaching is so called because it consists of the three divisions of the Buddhist canon—sutras, rules of discipline, and doctrinal treatises. (2) One of the four teachings of doctrine formulated by T’ien-t’ai. The teachings of this category are Hinayana and aim at awakening people to the sufferings of birth and death in the threefold world, and urge the practitioner to rid himself of desire and attachment in order to escape the cycle of rebirth.
true aspect of all phenomena The ultimate truth or reality that permeates all phenomena and is in no way separate from them. The “Expedient Means” chapter of the Lotus Sutra defines this as the ten factors of life, and Nichiren Daishonin defines it as Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
true Buddha The Buddha who has revealed his true identity.
true cause See true effect.
true effect Often refers to the enlightenment Shakyamuni attained numberless major world dust particle kalpas ago. In contrast, the true cause means the cause for that enlightenment. From another viewpoint, the “true effect” indicates the eternal Buddhahood, while the “true cause” indicates the eternal nine worlds. Both are eternally inherent in all life.
true Mahayana The Lotus Sutra. Mahayana teachings are divided into provisional and true. True Mahayana reveals Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment in the remote past and the possibility of all people’s enlightenment.
True Word school A reference to the Chinese Chen-yen school and the Japanese Shingon school. (Shingon, or true word, is the Japanese pronunciation of chen-yen.) The school that follows the esoteric doctrines found in the Mahāvairochana and the Diamond Crown sutras. “True word” comes from the Sanskrit mantra (secret word, mystic formula) and indicates the words said to have been uttered by Mahāvairochana Buddha. The chanting of these secret words is one of the school’s basic esoteric rituals for the attainment of enlightenment. In the eighth century, three Indian monks introduced the esoteric teachings to China. They were naturalized in China and named Shan-wu-wei, Chin-kang-chih, and Pu-k’ung. These teachings were later introduced to Japan by Kōbō.
Tsukushi The provinces of Chikuzen and Chikugo in Kyushu, a southern island in Japan. The term was also used to indicate Kyushu in its entirety.
Ts’ung-i (1042–1091) A priest of the T’ien-t’ai school in China. He wrote many works including The Supplement to T’ien-t’ai’s Three Major Works. He asserted the supremacy of the T’ien-t’ai doctrine over the doctrines of the Zen, Flower Garland, and Dharma Characteristics schools.
Tsun-shih (964–1032) A priest of the T’ien-t’ai school in Sung-dynasty China. He enhanced the fame of the T’ien-t’ai school and successfully petitioned the throne to have the school’s texts and commentaries included in the official Chinese Buddhist canon. He left behind a number of commentaries on both T’ien-t’ai and Pure Land doctrines.
Tsushima A small southern island of Japan. In the tenth month of 1274, the Mongols launched a massive military attack against Tsushima and another island, Iki.
tuft of white hair A tuft of white hair between a Buddha’s eyebrows, one of a Buddha’s thirty-two features. A beam of light is said to emanate from this tuft of white hair.
Tung-ch’un Another name of The Supplement to the Meanings of the Commentaries on the Lotus Sutra. A work by Chih-tu, a T’ien-t’ai priest of the T’ang dynasty in China. This work was called Tung-ch’un after the place where the author lived.
Tushita heaven The Heaven of Satisfaction. The fourth of the six heavens in the world of desire. It is said that bodhisattvas are reborn there just before their last rebirth in the world when they will attain Buddhahood. This heaven consists of an inner court and an outer court. The inner court is said to be the abode of Bodhisattva Maitreya.
Tu-shun (557–640) The founder of the Chinese Flower Garland school.
twelve divisions of the scriptures A classification of all the Buddhist sutras according to their content and style of presentation. The term twelve divisions of the scriptures is often used in the same meaning with the “eighty thousand teachings,” indicating all the sutras and all of the Buddha’s teachings.
twelve great vows The vows that the Buddha Medicine Master made while still engaged in bodhisattva practice. They are vows to cure all illnesses and lead all people to enlightenment.
twelve hundred and more honored ones Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and other venerable figures represented in the Diamond Realm and Womb Realm mandalas of the esoteric teaching of the True Word school.
twelve-linked chain of causation Also, twelve-linked chain of dependent origination. An early doctrine of Buddhism showing the causal relationship between ignorance and suffering. The first link in the chain is ignorance. Then ignorance causes action; action causes consciousness; consciousness causes name and form; name and form cause the six sense organs; the six sense organs cause contact; contact causes sensation; sensation causes desire; desire causes attachment; attachment causes existence; existence causes birth; and birth causes aging and death.
twenty-eight constellations Celestial houses of heavenly bodies as conceived in ancient India and China. They had names such as Chitrā (Chiao in China) and Anurādhā (Fang in China). The twenty-eight constellations, or the twenty-eight divisions of the sky, derive from the lunar mansions in which the moon was considered to stay on successive nights.
twenty-five preparatory exercises Practices to be undertaken in preparation for entering meditation on the truth of life. These preliminary practices were set forth in Great Concentration and Insight by T’ien-t’ai, including the regulation of one’s daily life by observing the precepts and obtaining the appropriate food and clothing.
twenty-four successors Those who successively inherited the lineage of Shakyamuni’s Buddhism and propagated it in the Former Day of the Law. Differing lists exist. According to one, they are: (1) Mahākāshyapa, (2) Ānanda, (3) Madhyāntika, (4) Shānavāsa (or Shānakavāsa), (5) Upagupta, (6) Dhritaka, (7) Mikkaka, (8) Buddhananda, (9) Buddhamitra, (10) Pārshva, (11) Punyayashas, (12) Ashvaghosha, (13) Kapimala, (14) Nāgārjuna, (15) Āryadeva, (16) Rāhulatā, (17) Samghanandi, (18) Samghayashas, (19) Kumārata, (20) Jayata, (21) Vasubandhu, (22) Manorhita, (23) Haklenayashas, and (24) Āryasimha.
twenty outstanding principles Principles enumerated by Miao-lo in his Annotations on “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra,” clarifying the superiority of the Lotus Sutra over all the other sutras. Among them are the revelation of the Buddha’s attainment of Buddhahood numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago, the bestowal of a prophecy of Buddhahood upon persons of the two vehicles, and the revelation that one who hears even a single verse or phrase of the Lotus Sutra will without fail attain Buddhahood.
two hundred and fifty precepts Rules of discipline to be observed by fully ordained Hinayana Buddhist monks.
two places and three assemblies A description of the setting in which Shakyamuni preached the Lotus Sutra, as depicted in the sutra. The two places are atop Eagle Peak and in the air. The three assemblies are: the first assembly at Eagle Peak, which continues from the “Introduction” (first) chapter through the first half of the “Treasure Tower” (eleventh) chapter; the assembly in the air, which lasts from the latter half of the “Treasure Tower” chapter to the “Entrustment” (twenty-second) chapter; and the second assembly at Eagle Peak, which lasts from the “Medicine King” (twenty-third) chapter to the “Universal Worthy” (twenty-eighth) chapter.
two storehouses of teachings The summation of the teachings expounded for persons of the two vehicles, and that of the teachings expounded for bodhisattvas. The former corresponds to Hinayana teachings such as the four noble truths and the twelve-linked chain of causation. The latter indicates the Mahayana teachings such as the six pāramitās.
two vehicles The teachings expounded for voice-hearers and cause-awakened ones. Persons of the two vehicles indicate these two kinds of people.
Two-Volumed Sutra Another title of the Buddha Infinite Life Sutra. The Buddha Infinite Life Sutra is so called because it consists of two volumes. See also Buddha Infinite Life Sutra.
Tz’u-en (632–682) Also known as K’uei-chi. The founder of the Dharma Characteristics school in China. One of the outstanding disciples of Hsüan-tsang, he collaborated with him on the translation of many important texts and wrote several commentaries on the Consciousness-Only doctrine.