There are many religious practices today. And, each religion has its own principles. As a result, they use notable terms. However, these terms are parts of the whole. They help to prove the principal idea Of what the religion is trying to convey. And, these may not agree and vary from religion to religion. But, their existence in every religion is quite important. That is to say, it confers depth and dimension to the religion.

Buddhism is not left out of this circle. As a result, they have many principles. And, there are a whole lot of wordings used to explain these Buddhist principles. These Buddhist principles include the teachings, beliefs, and practices of Buddhists. For example, the principles of suffering recorded in the Four Noble Truths. And, the path to awakening which is the Noble Eightfold Path.

Most importantly, these Buddhist principles come usually in two languages. Certainly, these words happen to be the literary languages of ancient India where Buddhism started. As a result, they are Pali and Sanskrit. Moreover, some part of Sanskrit texts were translated into central and East Asian languages. For example, we have translations of the Tibetan and Chinese.

These words also happen to gain recognition as English words. So, most times are written in the same manner as it is originally with few exceptions.

We are going to see the predominant Buddhist Principles. That is to say, the Buddhist principles common among the main branches of Buddhism.

Thus, here are the principles on which Buddhism stands

The Four Noble Truths

  • The fact that suffering exists
  • That suffering stems from insatiable desires of man
  • The fact that extrication from suffering is quenching our flare for unsteady life contents
  • And, the fact that the path to liberation is through the noble eightfold

Buddhists acknowledge that the wheels of life lack steadiness and permanence. Moreover, the continued quest for the ephemeral contents of life will lead to a state of unsatisfaction and suffering. Therefore, we will eventually understand that satisfaction as a permanent state cannot be achieved. Especially, in an actively changing setting.

However, it is blissful to replace our quest for a better life with meditation. Also, embrace wisdom, eternal verifies, and a dulled desire for the unsteady offerings of life. Likewise, there are ways to attain lasting freedom from suffering.

There Is No Concrete Self (No Soul)

Human life is transitory from one realm to another. As a result, there is no fixed entity inside the physical forms. However, there are five main entities interacting to make up a being. For example, physical forms, feelings, ideations, mental forms, and consciousness.

Retributive Justice

There is a belief in constant reincarnation in Buddhism. In other words, the Buddhist principle of unending series of transition into the various six realms. This works with the idea that good deeds bring good results. Consequently, strengthening the ability for more good acts. On the other hand, bad conducts bring about bad rewards. Similarly, this also gives room for the rejection of a similar unwholesome act.

The results of our actions can come in the immediate life, or succeeding ones. Certainly, this is what the principle of retributive justice is about. In addition, it can also determine in which realm one will transit into. Most importantly, this explains the inequality in life. That is to say, why some suffer handicap and others gifted.

The Noble Eightfold Path

The unending cycles of suffering, death, and eventual rebirth typifies the suffering encountered during existence. However, there is a means to overcome this cycle. This is through the conscious following of a definite path. And, this is the path of right speech, conduct, effort, view, livelihood, aim, concentration, and mindfulness. Certainly, this is simply the Buddhist principle of the Noble Eightfold Path.

The State Of Absolute Liberation

There is a state of complete happiness. And, that is freedom from suffering and perfect liberation. This is the state of enlightenment. In addition, this state can also be described poetically as an abode of refuge. Or, basically, the farther end. Hence, this is when one discovers the path out of the endless torture of rebirth. Above all, one can achieve this by perfecting himself.

Furthermore, one transits into this blissful state when he follows the path of liberation to an end. As a result, the hidden secrets contained therein becomes revealed.

The five precepts

  • Abstaining from killing
  • Avoiding stealing. That is, taking that which the owner did not willingly give
  • Avoiding sexual misconduct
  • Abstinence from lying
  • Avoiding drunkenness

Other Buddhist principles include Meditation, Four divine abodes, the ten perfections, and the three poison.

Keywords Associated With The Buddhist Four Noble Truths Principles.


This is the belief that everything in the universe is unsteady. As a result, are rapidly transforming.


A monk who achieved Nirvana.


Also known as canker or taint. Because it is one of the things that keep us from our path to enlightenment and liberation. More so, they are sensuous cravings, desire for existence, and ignorance.


This the awareness and enlightenment one who passes into Nirvana gets. Most importantly, in this state, suffering ends. Consequently, there would be no more rebirth.


One who has the opportunity to encounter Nirvana. However, he foregoes it in order to help others to attain such enlightenment.

Bodhi Tree

A kind of tree under which the Buddha sat and gained enlightenment. On the other hand, some refer to it as the pipal tree. In addition, it has variously shaped leaves.


In the Mahayana, this is the foremost trait of Buddha. The quest to achieve enlightenment singularly for other’s sake.


The awakened one. Or, an enlightened person. Also, it is an image symbolizing enlightenment.


The symbol of Buddha and his Enlightenment, symbolized by his footprint.


A false idea of the literal cause of suffering.


This is the truth that life itself is abundant in sufferings. Therefore, life causes pain, death, and hardships. So, the things contained therein are passing. Furthermore, it is as though a cloak covering vast emptiness.


The idea that one has no attachment to the rest of the universe. However, one has to break this idea down for enlightenment to take place.


The understanding of the true nature of the universe. Above all, this is how to achieve enlightenment.


The fact of the existence of the part to absolute liberation.


It is symbolic and it depicts forces militating against true enlightenment. As a fact, it came close to distract Buddha from nirvana.


The truth of the end of suffering by following a definite path.


This is a state of absolute enlightenment and liberation. However, it is wrong to think of it as a place. Or, even see it as the Buddhists’ paradise. Instead, view it as the state when one thinks conversely as he thought initially.

One can thus describe nirvana as:

  • The realization that self much cared for is illusory
  • A state of no longer clinging to one’s desires and cravings.
  • Extrication from continuity and becoming
  • Absolute truth


The indefinite state after the death of one who achieved nirvana. That is, one is free from the wheels of rebirth.

Prajnaparamita/Perfection Of Wisdom

The belief that the attainment of Nirvana should not be goal-oriented. As such, the idea itself is a glaring unenlightenment.


One who achieves enlightenment entirely for self-gain.

Pure Land

A place where conditions are perfect for attaining enlightenment.


A school in Tibetan Buddism, aiming to achieve enlightenment in one life cycle.


The symbol of progression towards enlightenment. Hence, this involves being taken off from the wheels of life. And, subsequently, climbing to a higher point.


The truth of what causes suffering. That is to say, the cause of suffering is blindly clinging to life’s ephemeral contents. However, we do not realize how much of chasing shadows it eventually becomes.


One who attains enlightenment through the help of others.


It is a monument that points upwards with a tapering end. For example, chedi, pagoda, and chaitya. Even more, they represent enlightenment.

The Three Poisons/fire

Greed, hatred, and delusion which keeps us off the path of enlightenment.

The Noble Eightfold Path

The patterned path out of suffering which includes:

The Right –

  1. View – samma dilthi
  2. Thinking – samma sankappa
  3. Speech – samma vaca
  4. Action – samma kammanta
  5. Livelihood – samma ajiva
  6. Effort – samma vayama
  7. Mindfulness – samma sati
  8. Concentration – samma Samadhi


These are cravings, greed, anger, delusion, hatred. Above all, they plunges us into the deeper ends of an unenlightened life.


Turban or pointedness of Buddha’s head. This is the figure one of thirty-two marks of an enlightened being.


Symbolized as throne the place where Buddha gained enlightenment. Initially represented with throne rather than the Buddha.

Keywords Associated With No-self Principle


This entails that there is no defined entity existent inside our physical forms. Therefore, what we normally refer to as a soul is false as there is nothing as such. Hence, it is just cycles of existence.


Those who happen to find themselves in the steely grasp of envy. As a result, found in one of the six realms of the Tibetan wheels of life.


One of the gods not worshipped by Buddhists. But, tend to be caught up in blissful experiences. As a result, they are in the realms of gods in the Tibetan wheels of life.

Heaven Realm

One of the six realms of the Tibetan wheels of life. In this realm, one transits into a god and lives happily. However, it is not eternal heaven. Hence, the gods’ possibility of plunging itself into a lower realm is existent.

Hell Realm

One of the six realms of the Tibetan wheels of life. Here, one can transit into where hatred and anger leads one to experience torture. Also, it is not eternal. As a result, one can still find his way out. Mostly, by embracing and bearing positive fruits.


This is the Hungry ghost realm. Also, it is among the six realms of the wheels of life. Here, one experience torture constantly by his cravings. However, satisfaction is still far from him.


This is the teaching that one becomes trapped in the unending cycles of the six realms. And, this is due to the inability to gain enlightenment. It is the opposite of Nirvana.


The school in early Indian Buddhism believing in the no self. And, also in the true existence of all things described in samsara.


This projects from no-self belief. Consequently, it says that the things which consist of a person are ego, matter, feeling, perception, mental formations, and consciousness.

Keywords Associated With Retributive Justice Principle

Ajivakas/Alternative Lifers

A religious movement in the time of Buddha teaching the predetermined nature of all actions. Thus, denying the karmic doctrine.


The cycles of cause and effect which affects every action and event in the universe.


A spirituality practice of charity and Benevolence. Perhaps, done in the hope of achieving a better karmic effect.

Karma/Literally Action

This is basically the rewards for each of our actions and the motives behind them. Most of all, the manner we pattern our lives tells in the future. If not in the immediate cycle of life it comes in the next. One who gained Nirvana happens to have freed himself from the grasp of karma.


Also known as dependent origination. This represents the karmic cycle in the edges of the wheel of life. And, it brings about the happenings that bind us to continue in unenlightened existence.


The vehicle for Karma also known as volitional activities. It involves mental conditions giving birth to ego. And, believed to pass from one birth to another.

Wheel Of Life

A painting in Tibetan Buddhism symbolizing the whole karmic teachings and pratityasamutpada.

Keywords Associated With The Principle Of The Five Buddhist Precepts


The guiding conduct of non-violence and not harming other living beings.


The practice of chastity and celibacy.

Keywords Associated With Buddhist Meditation


Store of consciousness. The section of the mind responsible for the preservation of imprints left by karma. More so, it is a belief in the Yogacara school. And, the mana is responsible for organizing these imprints.

Brahmaviharas or Divine abode

The four conditions of positive emotion built by related meditation. Thus:

  • Maitri/Melts – Loving-kindness
  • Karuna – Compassion
  • Mudita – sympathetic joy and
  • Upkesha – Equanimity

Chitta-matra/Mind only

One of the yogachara beliefs. It states that the objective world is not existent in itself but in the mind.


A way of revering Buddhas and Boddisattvas through meditation and puja. And, this is to inculcate their ideal qualities into oneself.


A meditative manner of focus and assimilation. It has four divisions called dyanas. First, with different levels in which the mind assimilate. And, on the other hand, four formless dyanas.

Five Hindrances

The form of things that opposes good meditation. These include anger, unbelief, anxiety, laziness, and cravings.

Forest Monks

Those who focus more on meditating in seclusion especially in Sri-lanka.


A plain colored disc used in focusing one’s mind in the Theravada form of meditation.

Lankavatara Sutra

The first chapter of the Mahayana scripture. And, it forms the foundation of Yogacara philosophy.


The unit of the mind in the Yogacara school. This puts together our karmic imprints collected by alayavijnana.

Mandala or Circle

The symbol depicting the human mind in Tantrism art. It has the center meaning enlightenment and edges its component parts.


Series of strong words with in-depth meaning. However, it is not always clear to understand. But, one can recite it as a meditation practice. Or, during Puja, believed that the sounds exact cleansing spiritual effects on the mind.


A patterned form of cognitive exercise to alter and make better thinking habits. The different types of meditation include:

  • Melta- Bharana or Building Of Loving-kindness

This is a sequential meditation practice for the inculcation of love and kindness.

  • Mindfulness

This is channeling our attention to happenings. In other words, it is focusing on events buried in the preceding moments of our existence. By so doing, it brings about a more clarified self-image. Moreover, it improves inner peace and general well-being.


These are images from meditation. They come through a series of successful practice of mind focusing. Hence, journeys from vague to clarity. And, when fully clarified it seems as though the eye has seen it.


The false imagination which sometimes appears as reality. And, evident where things are non-dependent and distinct.


In Yogacara teaching, a perfect manner of viewing reality in which things are not independent.


A way of meditation characterized by the imagination of deities. It symbolizes certain qualities and assimilating the qualities into one’s own mind.


A general word for meditation.


A kind of meditation which prepares the mind for vipassana by calming and focusing it.


It symbolizes yogic power, a sign Mark on Buddha’s forehead. One of the thirty-two marks of a great being.


It is concentrating one’s mind on a word, phrase or image. And, equally bearing in mind its consequences.


A spiritual practice in India in which the sole aim is achieving focus. In addition, it helps in the regulation of the mind and body through patterned physical work out. It harmonizes scattered energies, which might be based on meditation and devotion. An example is a hatha yoga.


In Mahayana school, which lays emphasis on yoga. Moreover, it views the universe as something conjured from the mind. And, put forward in the Alaya-Vijana doctrine.


A form of meditation practice of Zen tradition. It mostly involves sitting.


A sect of Buddhism originating from China. It is more emphatic on meditation other than enlightenment.

Other Keywords For Better Understanding Of The Buddhist Principles


Deeper teachings of the complicated Buddhism psychological pattern. The teachings bases on momentous encounters, Dharma and its categories.


Momentary encounters and happenings. The block of experiences. Certainly, it makes up the teachings of the Buddha.


Essential texts on the nature of Dharma.

Jiriki or Own power

A saying in Buddhists practice which involves finding liberation by self-effort.

Mahayana or Great Vehicle

Mahayana started about 500 years after Buddha’s existence. It represents a movement which solely re-interpreted Buddha’s teachings. Subsequently, it spread through Tibet, China, Mongolia, Japan, and other countries. You can as well refer to it as Northern Buddhism.

Oral Traditions

Passing down knowledge to generations through speech, without documentation.


Pali is a language spoken by laymen during Buddha’s existence. But, later adopted as literary languages of Buddhist’s monks. It originated from Sanskrit. Moreover, it is the language used in writing Theravadan scriptures and teachings.

Sanskrit (Literary perfect, complete)

An old Indian language spoken by the elite class used in writings until now. It is the language used in Mahayana Buddhism writings.


Earliest Buddhist school which preserved a body of teaching from Buddha.


Note that this page contains texts from both Pali and Sanskrit languages.

Some of these terms may seem jaw-breaking. However, they provide easy insights about the big word Buddhism, its principles, and teachings.

Some of these terms appear in modern psychology today. Buddhism principles see the improvement of existential being from a whole lot different angle. And, many have come to terms with these principles.