Encyclopedia of Buddhism Online

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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

Paccekabuddhas/Pratyekabuddhas in Indic Sources

(6,472 words)

Author(s): Oskar von Hinüber
Paccekabuddhas (Skt. pratyekabuddha) are mentioned only rarely in early canonical Pali texts, where they remain somewhat shadowy figures. However, they occur frequently in later narrative literature such as Jātakas or Avadānas. In commentarial or philosophical literature, they do not gain the same importance; their position within the progress on the way to enlightenment is defined only briefly. These figures thus appear in a large variety of texts and contexts, which express sometimes contradic…

Padmasambhava in Tibetan Buddhism

(9,692 words)

Author(s): Doney, Lewis
The myths concerning the powerful Indian guru Padmasambhava (8th–9th cents.) suffuse almost all aspects of public and private life in the Tibetan cultural sphere. These myths are instantiated in literature, art, dance, church–state relations, and domestic and calendrical ritual. Many Tibetan Buddhists worship him as the “precious guru” ( Gu ru rin po che), the “lotus ( padma) from Uḍḍiyāna” in modern day northern Pakistan ( U/O rgyan padma), or the “second Buddha” ( Sangs rgyas gnyis pa). This master of magic and mantra is one of the foremost culture heroes of the Tibeta…


(4,755 words)

Author(s): Ching, Keng | Radich, Michael
Paramārtha (499–569), an Indian who came to China during a period of tumult, is traditionally regarded as one of the four greatest translators of Buddhist texts in Chinese history (along with Kumārajīva [鳩 摩羅什 ; 344–413]; Xuanzang [玄奘; 602–664]; and Amoghavajra [不空; 705–774]). His name was most commonly translated into Chinese as Zhendi (眞 諦), and transcribed as Boluomotuo (波羅末陀), although other Chinese transcriptions such as Juluonatuo (拘羅那陀) and Junaluotuo (拘那羅陀) and the translation Qinyi (親 依) suggest that he was (also) called *Kulanātha. Despite challenging circumstances, t…