Buddhism: It’s All About the Lists, Baby.

My Sangha-mate, David compiled this List of Lists. Most of this is from Wikipedia. He told me that he claims no ownership of the text so, I'm guessing little, if any, of it is his text.

Buddhists really are crazy about lists. I think this might have come about during the early days before the first Sangha Council, when the Triptaka began to be standardized and written down. It's easier to remember lists then long passages without any delineation, I suppose.

Feel free to add to this or point out any omissions. I'll forward those back to David.

So without further adieu:

The Four Noble Truths

  1. The Nature of Suffering (or Dukkha): "This is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering." Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (SN 56.11), trans. Bodhi (2000), pp. 1843-47.
  2. Suffering's Origin (Dukkha Samudaya): "This is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving which leads to renewed existence, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there, that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for existence, craving for extermination.” Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (SN 56.11), trans. Bodhi (2000), pp. 1843-47.]
  3. Suffering's Cessation (Dukkha Nirodha): "This is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering: it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, nonreliance on it." Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (SN 56.11), trans. Bodhi (2000), pp. 1843-47.
  4. The Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering: (Dukkha Nirodha Gamini Patipada Magga): "This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering: it is the Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration."

Noble Eightfold Path


Eightfold Path factors

Wisdom (Sanskrit: prajñā, Pāli: paññā)

1. Right view

2. Right intention

Ethical conduct (Sanskrit: śīla, Pāli: sīla)

3. Right speech

4. Right action

5. Right livelihood

Concentration (Sanskrit and Pāli: samādhi)

6. Right effort

7. Right mindfulness

8. Right concentration

The Six Paramitas (Perfections)
1) The Perfection of Generosity (Dana Paramita)
2) The Perfection of Ethics (Sila Paramita)
3) The Perfection of Patience (Kshanti Paramita)
4) The Perfection of Joyous Effort / Enthusiastic Perseverance (Virya Paramita)
5) The Perfection of Concentration (Dhyana Paramita
6) The Perfection of Wisdom (Prajna Paramita)

The Twelve Nidānas (chain of causation)
ignorance Avidyā (Sanskrit) or Avijjā (Pāli)
(mental) formations Saṃskāra (Sanskrit) or Saṅkhāra (Pāli)
consciousness Vijñāna (Sanskrit) or Viññāna (Pāli)
name and form Nāmarūpa (Sanskrit and Pāli)
six sense gates Ṣaḍāyatana (Sanskrit) or Saḷāyatana (Pāli)
contact Sparśa (Sanskrit) or Phassa (Pāli)
sensation Vedanā (Sanskrit and Pāli)
"craving" or "desire" or "thirst" Tṛṣṇā (Sanskrit) or Taṇhā (Pāli)
attachment Upādāna (Sanskrit and Pāli)
becoming Bhava (Sanskrit and Pāli)
birth Jāti (Sanskrit and Pāli)
aging (old age), decay and death Jarā-maraṇa (Sanskrit and Pāli)

Three Marks of Existence
impermanence (anicca)
suffering or unsatisfactoriness (dukkha)
not-self (anattā)

The 5 Skandhas (aggregates)

  1. form or matter (Skt., Pāli rūpa)
  2. sensation or feeling (Skt., Pāli vedanā)
  3. perception, conception, apperception, cognition, or discrimination (Skt. samjñā, Pāli saññā)
  4. mental formations, impulses, volition, or compositional factors (Skt. samskāra, Pāli saṅkhāra)
  5. consciousness or discernment (Skt. vijñāna, Pāli viññāṇa)

Three Poisons- the mūla kleśa (English: root poisons) of the Twelve Nidānas are:
ignorance (Sanskrit: Avidyā)
attachment (Sanskrit: Upādāna)
craving (Sanskrit: Tṛṣṇā)

The Five Hindrances

  1. Sensual desire (kāmacchanda): Craving for pleasure to the senses.
  2. Anger or ill-will (byāpāda, vyāpāda): Feelings of malice directed toward others.
  3. Sloth-torpor or boredom (thīna-middha): Half-hearted action with little or no concentration.
  4. Restlessness-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca): The inability to calm the mind.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Adam
    Feb 09, 2011 @ 14:31:50

    In Mahayana Buddhism, there are many times 10 paramitas.

    There is a site that lists some more lists: http://www.leighb.com/listlist.htm

    I’ve seen a couple of other ones too, but can’t remember where.

    I think the lists are quite valuable for practice. You can focus on one list at a time sometimes, like I am now with the paramitas, and work on those things within that list for awhile. Helps to focus things a bit at times I feel.


    • Andy
      Feb 09, 2011 @ 14:35:55

      Thanks for that link, Adam. It’s always weird when I get a comment on the wordpress or Blogger. I’m glad you can still read it somehow. I’ll share that link with the Dharmapunx.


  2. Adam
    Feb 09, 2011 @ 16:57:40

    I found the one I was thinking of:


    It’s a free E-book, found it at the following site:

    On that site they have a free PDF download as well.


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