Key Chinese Concepts

2018-05-15 13:52:00 Source:China Today Author:
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Buddhist Wisdom

梵文 prajñā“波若”指能洞见一切事物本性、认识万物真相的最高的智慧。佛教认为,“般若”是超越一切世俗认识的特殊智慧,是觉悟得道、修成佛或菩萨的所有修行方法的指南或根本。然而,这种智慧本身无形无相,不可言说,仅能依赖各种方便法门而有所领悟。

The term is the transliteration of the Sanskrit word prajñā, meaning wisdom. It refers to the supreme wisdom with insight into the nature and reality of all things. Buddhism believes that such wisdom surpasses all secular understandings, and therefore is the guide for, or essence of the effort aimed at achieving enlightenment and attaining Buddhahood or bodhisattvahood. This wisdom has no form, no appearance, and cannot be expressed in words. It can only be achieved by undertaking a variety of accessible Buddhist practices.

引例 Citations:



Prajñã is the wisdom that surpasses all common or ordinary knowledge and specific understandings. (Sengzhao: Treatises of Sengzhao)





Dependent Origination

梵文 pratītyasamutpāda 的意译。“缘起”就是“依缘(一定的条件)而起(发生)”。意思是一切事物、现象乃至社会的一切活动都是因缘和合体,都处于相续不断的因缘关系中,依一定条件而有生灭变化。“缘起”是佛教思想的起点,也是佛教各宗派所共有的理论基础。佛教以此解释宇宙万物、社会乃至各种精神现象变化无常、生灭变化的内在法则。

The term is a translation of the Sanskrit word pratītyasamutpāda. Yuan means conditions; qi means origination. That is to say, all things, phenomena, and social activities arise out of the combinations of causes and conditions. They exist in the continuous relationship between causes and conditions. Thus all things originate, change, and demise depending upon certain conditions. Dependent origination is the fountainhead of Buddhist thought and forms the common theoretical basis for all Buddhist schools and sects. Buddhism uses this concept to explain everything in the universe, the constant changes of social and spiritual phenomena, and the internal laws of origination, change, and demise.

引例 Citations:



All things originate out of the combinations of causes and conditions, thus they cannot be regarded as original existence; at the same time, they arise, change, and demise upon certain conditions, so they cannot be said as non-existence. (Sengzhao: Treatises of Sengzhao)

Selected from Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture published by Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.

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