In the vast corpus of the Mahayana tradition, one text, the Avatamsaka Sutra, stands supreme. Described by Dr. D.T. Suzuki as the “epitome of Buddhist thought, Buddhist sentiment and Buddhist experience”, the sutra recounts the story of the youth Sudhana, the perennial seeker of the Way, who toward the end of the sutra sought entrance into Maitreya’s Tower — his own Self- Nature and Mind.
The present Seeker’s Glossary of Buddhism is devoted to this inner pilgrimage, as it attempts to make the treasures of Maitreya’s Tower accessible to the greatest number. Thus, over the last several years, the editors have canvassed some 30 Buddhist dictionaries and encyclopedias and over 350 books on Buddhism, published in different languages, extracting what they believe are key terms and concepts useful to the average student of Buddhism. Although the whole range of Buddhist thought is covered, special emphasis is placed on the Pure Land and Hua-yen (Avatamsaka) world views, the so-called Schools of Existence (q.v.). An important aspect of this Glossary is its extensive cross- referencing of key Buddhist terms, a feature which we believe is particularly useful at this stage of development of Buddhist terminology in the West.
Perceptive readers will no doubt find errors and omissions as well as (intentional) repetitions and (unintentional) redundancies. For these and other lapses, we request their indulgence and encourage them to write to the Sutra Translation Committee, 2611 Davidson Avenue, Bronx, NY 10468, USA Tel./Fax.- (718) 584-0621.
. Note to the Second Edition
. Note on Language/Abbreviation
Avatamsaka Sutra, chapter 40: “Pratices and Vows of the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra”
Note on Pure Land Buddhism (Dr. J.C. Cleary)
The Last Rites (Dharma Master Thich Thien Tam)
Mudras of Rebirth