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 and local 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 died.
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 in order 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 names. 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 renouncing secular life. 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 in Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost major island. It governed Kyushu and the two islands of Iki and Tsushima. It also exercised jurisdiction over contact with the continent and also worked for defense.
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 monks 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 and the place where Shakyamuni delivered his first sermon.
Demon Eloquence (n.d.) A Brahman whose eloquence, for which he was revered widely as a sage, was endowed by a demon. 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 a demon for his eloquence.
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 the doctrines of T’ien-t’ai. Returning the next year, he founded the Tendai school. (Tendai is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese name 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, “kompon” meaning basis or origin.
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 instigated 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.
dhāranī (Skt) A phrase said to protect and benefit those who recite it. “Dhāranī” is rendered in Chinese Buddhist scriptures as “all-retaining” or “able to retain.” Some dhāranīs possess no intelligible meaning. One who upholds and recites a dhāranī is believed effectively to remember all of the Buddha’s teachings and to deflect evil influences. Dhāranīs are especially valued in Esoteric Buddhism.
dharma (Skt) A term fundamental to Buddhism, and which has a variety of meanings, including law, truth, doctrine, the Buddha’s teaching, virtue, good conduct, religion, nature, characteristic, elements of existence, and phenomena. 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. Considered a pinnacle of doctrinal study, this work became 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 independence 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) An official rank for priests, established in Japan in 864. As with other clerical ranks, it eventually lost its original significance and came to be conferred as a mere 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) (239–316) A priest of Tun-huang, an oasis town in Central Asia known to have been a center of Buddhism, 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 traveled to China and translated many sutras into Chinese, including the Nirvana Sutra.
Dharma seal An official rank for priests, established in Japan in 864. As with other clerical ranks, it eventually lost its original significance and came to be conferred as a mere honorific title.
Dharma teacher A priest who is versed in Buddhist teachings and gives instruction in the doctrines of Buddhism. Here, Dharma means the Buddhist teachings. “Dharma Teacher” was often simply 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 zen-chishiki) who acts to lead Bodhisattva Ever Wailing to enlightenment lifetime after lifetime.
dhūta (Skt) A discipline or ascetic practice intended to purify the body and mind and quell the desire for food, clothing, and shelter. The Sanskrit word dhūta means shaken off, removed, or abandoned. In Buddhism it indicates shaking off the “dust” or defilement of desires and illusions. Buddhist texts set forth twelve disciplines for obtaining release from attachments to food, clothing, and dwelling. They are known as the twelvefold dhūta practice or twelve dhūtas and include such practices as living in a quiet and secluded place, eating only food received through begging, eating only once a day, and wearing only robes made from rags. Among Shakyamuni’s ten major disciples, Mahākāshyapa was known as foremost in the dhūta practice.
Diamond Crown Sutra One of the principal scriptures of Esoteric Buddhism. While the Mahāvairochana Sutra reveals the teaching of the Womb Realm, the Diamond Crown Sutra expounds the teaching of the Diamond Realm, on which the Diamond Realm mandala is based.
Diamond Realm Also, Diamond World. A realm described in the Diamond Crown Sutra, a central scripture of Esoteric Buddhism. The Sanskrit term is vajradhātu, “vajra” meaning diamond, which symbolizes strength, imperviousness, and purity, and “dhātu” meaning realm or world. The Diamond Realm represents the wisdom of Mahāvairochana Buddha, while the Womb Realm described in the Mahāvairochana Sutra represents the essential truth that is identical with Mahāvairochana Buddha. The power and purity of Mahāvairochana’s wisdom, said to be capable of destroying delusion, is compared to the hardness and clarity of a diamond. In Esoteric Buddhism, both realms are considered two aspects of essential reality and are depicted as mandalas, which are revered particularly in the Japanese True Word school.
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 central to the esoteric rituals of the True Word school. The Diamond Realm mandala is generally depicted as a square divided into nine square sections, the central section picturing Mahāvairochana Buddha.
Diamond Scalpel, The A work by Miao-lo (711–782) intended to clarify the supremacy of T’ien-t’ai’s teaching and restore the T’ien-t’ai school by refuting the doctrines of the Flower Garland, Dharma Characteristics, and Zen schools, which prospered in China after T’ien-t’ai. The title derives from a passage in the “Nature of the Thus Come One” chapter of the Chinese version of the Mahāparinirvāna Sutra, which refers to a diamond scalpel used by an excellent physician to cure the eyes of the blind. In this context, the title “diamond scalpel” indicates removing the delusions that blind people to the truth. Employing a question-and-answer format, Miao-lo in this treatise upholds the doctrine that insentient beings possess the Buddha nature, denying the Flower Garland position to the contrary. He also rejects the Dharma Characteristics doctrine that certain categories of people are by nature forever incapable of attaining Buddhahood, citing the Lotus Sutra teaching that Buddhahood is accessible to all.
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 with 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.
Dignāga (n.d.) An Indian scholar of the Consciousness-Only school who lived from the fifth through the sixth century. He was also a scholar of Buddhist logic.
discipline master A priest who is adept in the Buddhist rules of discipline and observes the precepts. “Discipline Master” was also among the official ranks conferred upon a priest by the government, designating that priest as an official instructor of priests and nuns. In later times it became simply an honorific title.
Dōa See Dōamidabutsu.
Dōami See Dōamidabutsu.
Dōamidabutsu (n.d.) Also known as Dōami and Dōkyō. A Nembutsu priest and contemporary of Nichiren Daishonin; a disciple of Kakumyō and superintendent of Shin-Zenkō-ji temple in Kamakura. Along with Ryōchū, he was a key figure behind the explosive growth of the Nembutsu faith in the Kamakura area.
doctrine of many-times recitation Also, doctrine of many callings. A doctrine of the Pure Land school set forth by Ryūkan (1148–1227), a disciple of Hōnen, the founder of that school in Japan. It states that to attain rebirth in the Pure Land one should recite the name of Amida Buddha as many times as possible until the moment of death because each recitation deepens one’s devotion to Amida. This doctrine contrasts with that of one-time recitation expounded by Kōsai, another disciple of Hōnen. See also doctrine of one-time recitation.
doctrine of one-time recitation Also, doctrine of one calling. A teaching of the Pure Land school propounded by Kōsai (1163–1247), a disciple of Hōnen, the founder of that school in Japan. It states that a single recitation of the Nembutsu, or the name of the Buddha Amida, made with sincere faith in Amida’s grace, is sufficient to ensure rebirth in the Pure Land, though subsequent recitations may be performed as an expression of gratitude. This stood in opposition to the doctrine of many-times recitation expounded by Ryūkan, another disciple of Hōnen. See also doctrine of many-times recitation.
Dōji (d. 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 702.
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. By the time she resumed the throne as Empress Shōtoku, he had acquired considerable power till he 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 Dōryū (Lan-ch’i Tao-lung). In 1246 he traveled to Japan from China. When Kenchō-ji was built by Hōjō Tokiyori, the regent of the Kamakura shogunate, in Kamakura in 1253, he became its first chief priest. He opposed Nichiren Daishonin and plotted against him with Ryōkan and others.
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 eight years 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 Dōzen-bō’s death, the Daishonin wrote On Repaying Debts of Gratitude as an expression of his gratitude to his former teacher.
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 experienced 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 reptilian form.
Dronodana A younger brother of King Shuddhodana, Shakyamuni’s father. He was the father of Devadatta and Ānanda.
Duke of Chou (n.d.) A younger brother of King Wu, the founder of China’s 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 overthrowing the Yin (also called Shang) dynasty and founding a new rule, and continued to assist in the affairs of government. When King Wu died and his son King Ch’eng, then still a child, ascended the throne, the Duke of Chou acted as regent for the young ruler. Confucianists revered him over the centuries as a model of correct government and propriety.
dust particles of the land An expression used in Buddhist scriptures to indicate an incalculable number. It is often preceded by expressions like “as numerous as” and applied to describe vast numbers of worlds, kalpas, persons, or beings such as bodhisattvas. It is also used to emphasize the great numbers of those who slander the correct Buddhist teaching. Dust particles, particles or specks of earth or dirt, or grains of sand are often employed as similes for an unfathomable number. In Buddhist scriptures the plentitude of “the sands of the Ganges River” is also frequently used to indicate an inconceivable number.