Glossary

Ageless. Ajara, A synonym for Nirvana.

Ananda. The Buddha’s cousin and long-time attendant.

Brahma. The supreme god of Brahmanism, the prevailing religion at the time of the Buddha.

Brahmin. The hereditary priests of Brahmanism

Conqueror. Jina, a title for the Buddha, who has conquered the mental defilements.

Devadatta. The Buddha’s wayward and ambitious cousin.

Fires, the three. Greed, hatred and delusion.

Gandhakuti. Fragrant Hut, a small house in Jeta’s Grove where the Buddha used to stay when in Savatthi.

Gaya. A city sacred to Hindus, not far from Uruvela.

Gods, the Thirty Three. The deities who reside in the second of the six heavens of Brahmanical mythology.

Immortal. Amata, a synonym for Nirvana.

Jeta’s Grove. A park on the outskirts of Savatthi which became a monastery.

Jettamula. A month in the Indian calendar, equivalent to May-June.

Kasi cloth. A type of expensive brocade manufactured in Varanasi.

Kings, the Four Great. The deities believed to preside over each of the four directions.

Kinsuka tree. Butea fondosa, Flame of the Forest, a medium-sized tree that bears a profusion of orange/red flowers.

Kosambi. The capital of the Kingdom of Vamsa.

Magadha. The most powerful kingdom at the time of the Buddha.

Mara. The personification of evil.

Moggallana. One of the Buddha’s two chief disciples.

Nigantha Nataputta. The founder of Jainism, known as Mahavira by Jains.

Naked ascetics. The adherents of several religious sects who believed that nakedness was proof of radical world-renunciation.

Neranjara River. A sandy shallow river that flows passed Uruvela.

Noble One. Arahat, an enlightened person.

Non-Returner. Anagami, someone who has attained the third stage of enlightenment and will be reborn in a heaven realm and from there attain enlightenment.

Once-Returner. Sakadagami, someone who has attained the second stage of enlightenment and will only be reborn once more in this world before enlightenment.

Payaga. The city at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, now called Allahabad.

Rajagaha. The capital of Magadha, now called Rajgir.

Sakya. The tribe to which the Buddha belonged.

Sal tree. Shorea robusta, a large hardwood tree with fragrant yellow flowers.

Samsara. The continual process of birth, death and rebirth.

Sariputta. One of the Buddha’s two chief disciples.

Savatthi. The capital of the kingdom of Kosala where the Buddha spent much of the last 20 years of his life.

Stream-Winner. Sotapana, someone who has attained the first stage of enlightenment and will only be reborn at most seven more times before enlightenment.

Tagara. Tabernaemontana coronaria, a small bush with small fragrant star-shaped white flowers.

Tathagata. An epithet for the Buddha meaning ‘The Thus Come One’ or ‘The Thus Gone One.’

Uruvela. The small village on the outskirts of which the Buddha attained enlightenment, now called Bodh Gaya.

Vesali. The capital of the Vijji Confederacy which was to the north of Magadha.

Yama. The king of the underworld in Brahmanical mythology.