Encyclopedia of Buddhism Online

Get access Subject: Asian Studies
Help us improve our service

Brill’s Encyclopedia of Buddhism is the first comprehensive academic reference work devoted to the plurality of Buddhist traditions across Asia, offering readers a balanced and detailed treatment of this complex phenomenon in six thematically arranged volumes: literature and languages (I, publ. 2015), lives (II, publ. 2019), thought (III, forthcoming 2022), history (IV, forthcoming 2023), life and practice (V, forthcoming 2025), index and remaining issues (VI, forthcoming 2026).

Each volume contains substantial original essays by many of the world’s foremost scholars, essays which not only cover basic information and well-known issues but which also venture into areas as yet untouched by modern scholarship. An essential tool for anyone interested in Buddhism.
An online resource will provide easy access to the encyclopedia’s ever-growing corpus of information.

The online edition of volume 2 (Lives, publ. 2019) will be added in (mid-)2021, with further volumes following after their original publication in print.
Brill’s Encyclopedia of Buddhism is under the general editorial control of Jonathan Silk (Leiden University, editor-in-chief), Richard Bowring (University of Cambridge) and Vincent Eltschinger (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris). In addition, each volume has a dedicated board of specialist editors.

More information: Brill.com

Gavampati in Southeast Asia

(3,343 words)

Author(s): François Lagirarde
Gavampati, Kaccāyana, and the “Fat Monk” Gavampati is a multifaceted figure, of central importance in Southeast Asia. Originally one of the Buddha’s disciples, his role expands far beyond this, and his visual depictions find a prominent place in the art of the region, especially in the form of the “Fat Monk.” No matter whether one focuses on his history from the perspective of archaeology or the Buddhist textual sources of the Theravāda countries of Southeast Asia, or from ethnography, one must consid…

General Abbreviations

(149 words)

  app. appendix approx. approximately Bact. Bactrian BE1 Buddhist Era BE2 Burmese Era BE3 Thai Buddhist Era Bur. Burmese c. circa cent./cents. century/centuries Chn. Chinese comp. compare dem. demonstrative e.g. for example esp. especially ET English translation etc. etcetera exp. ed. expanded edition ext. extended f./ff. following fasc. fascicle(s) fl. floruit fol./fols. folio(s) Gandh. Gandhari Grk. Greek GT German translation i.e. that is Ita. Italian Jpn. Japanese Khot. Khotanese Kor. Korean l./ll. line/lines lit. literally Mid. Pers. Middle Persian Mong. Mongolian ms./m…

General Abbreviations

(145 words)

app. appendix approx. approximately Bact. Bactrian Bur. Burmese c. circa cent./cents. century/centuries Chn. Chinese comp. compare CUL Cambridge University Library dem. demonstrative d.u. date unknown e.g. for example esp. especially ET English translation etc. etcetera exp. ed. expanded edition ext. extended f./ff. following fasc. fascicle(s) fl. floruit fol./fols. folio(s) Gandh. Gandhari Grk. Greek GT German translation h. here i.e. that is Ita. Italian Jpn. Japanese Khot. Khotanese Kor. Korean Kych Kychanov l./ll. line/lines lit. literally MIA Middle Indo-Aryan Mid. P…

Genshin

(3,169 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Robert F.
Genshin (源信; 942–1017), also known as Eshin sōzu (慧心僧都, Bishop of the Eshin Cloister), was a Japanese Tendai monk of the Heian period. He is most famous as the author of the Ōjōyōshū (往 生要集; Collection of Essentials for Pure Land Birth, T. 2682), a seminal text in the development of Pure Land Buddhism in Japan. Because of the tremendous impact of the Ōjōyōshū, most studies on Genshin highlight this aspect of his writings (Andrews, 1973), but Japanese studies (Hayami, 1988; Obara, 2006) have shown that he was not only a devout Pure Land practitioner but also…

Ge sar of Gling

(4,608 words)

Author(s): FitzHerbert, S.G.
Gling Ge sar (Mong. Geser Qagan) is the hero of an elaborate epic cycle maintained through oral and (to a lesser extent) literary tradition across the Tibetan and Mongolic cultural regions. It is typically performed solo in chantefable style without musical accompaniment, with third person narration interspersed by songs sung in the first person as the narrator takes on the role of the various characters (whether good and bad, human, animal and spirit) in turn. Although the Buddhist orientation of this epic – particularly evident in its eastern Tibetan manifestations –…