Dharma Wheel symbol Buddha and Bill
The Dharma &
The Twelve Steps
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Key to abbreviations: Skt. = Sanskrit (language), lit. = literally.

anatman Skt. (Pali, anatta): lit. "nonself" or "no-self"; in Buddhism, the concept of anatman denies the absolute existence of a self, a soul, or an ego in the sense of an individual, independent, unchanging, substantive enitity. See also atman.

atman Skt. (Pali, atta): lit. "self"; in Hinduism, atman is the real, immortal self of a sentient being. Buddhism denies the absolute existence of a self. See also anatman.

dharma Skt. (Pali, dhamma): lit. the "bearer"; 1. a thing, the nature of a thing, an object of mind; 2. doctrine, law; 3. when capitalized as Dharma or Dhamma: 3a. the liberating doctrine of the Buddha, or 3b. the universal truth of the nature of reality, the universal law that orders the cosmos.

karma Skt. (Pali, kamma): lit. "action"; the wholesome, unwholesome, and neutral volitions of unenlightened beings and their concomitant mental factors; by the Law of Karma, the karma of an unenlightened being influences his future circumstances.

nirvana Skt. (Pali, nibbana): lit. "extinction"; the goal of Buddhism, the state of being totally enlightened, completely free of cravings and attachments, completely free of the cycle of birth and death; the opposite of samsara.

samsara Skt. (Pali, sanskara): lit. "journeying"; the common state of being unenlightened, obsessed by desires, fettered by attachments, trapped in the cycle of birth and death; the opposite of nirvana.