Statue of the baby or child Buddha found in the gardens of Lumbini, Nepal, the birthplace of Prince Guatama, Sidhartha, Buddha Shakyamuni.
Buddha: (Sanskrit, lit., the ‘awakened’ or ‘enlightened’ one) According to Buddhist teachings there have been four ‘historical Buddhas’ over the aeons of past history. The last was the Indian prince Guatama (circa sixth century BC), known in Tibetan as Shakyamuni, or ‘sage of the Sakyas’. The next, who will appear at some unspecified time in the future, is Maitreya, the ‘Buddha to come’.
Buddha Nature (1) – de gshegs snying po, Skt. tathagatagarbha, the potential of Buddhahood present in every being. AT: essence of Buddhahood.
Buddha nature (2) – The natural state of all sentient beings, which is infinitely aware, infinitely compassionate, and infinitely able to manifest itself.
Enlightenment (1) – byang chub, Skt. bodhi, purification (byang) of all obscurations and realization (chub) of all qualities.
Enlightenment (2) – In Buddhist terms, the firm and unshakable recognition of one’s Buddha nature.
Natural mind – The mind in its natural state, free from conceptual limitations.
Tathagatagarbha – Sanskrit: “The nature of one who has gone that way,” a way of describing someone who has attained complete enlightenment; also translated as “Buddha nature”, “enlightened essence,” “ordinary nature,” and “natural mind.”
Nirmanakaya (Skt.): emanation body; of the two aspects of the form body (rupakaya) of a Buddha, the one that can be seen by ordinary beings.
‘Buddha’, The Dance of 17 Lives, The Incredible True Story of Tibet’s 17th Karmapa, by Mick Brown, Bloomsbury Publishing
‘Buddha Nature’ (1), ‘Enlightenment’ (1), Words of My Perfect Teacher, A Complete Translation of a Classic Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism; by Partul Rinpoche, The Sacred Literature Series, translated by the Padmakara Translation Group, Vistaar Publications
‘Buddha nature’ (2), ‘Enlightenment’ (2), ‘Natural mind’, ‘Tathagatagarbha’, The Joy of Living, Unlocking the Secret & Science of Happiness, Chapter 7, Compassion: Survival of the Kindest; Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, Three Rivers Press
‘Nirmanakaya’, The Four Noble Truths, The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Vol. I, by Geshe Tashi Tsering, Wisdom Publications
Photograph by C. J. Schake – © Copyright 2010 – all rights reserved, quality prints available on request.