Why Are Buddhist Monks Termed “Heshang” in China? What Does It Mean?

发布日期:2017-10-19   字体大小:   

The word “Heshang” was derived from the Sanskrit Upādhyāya, (P. Upajjhāya), meaning teacher or mentor. The word was pronounced as Pwājjhaw or Khosha in the regions to the West of China. From there to the Han-inhabited area it was changed into Heshang. Originally it was an honorable title only for those who were capable to be masters, and not to be anybody else. This title at first had not been confined to Buddhist monks but might equally be applied to qualified Buddhist nuns. Later on, this word came to be used to address any male who is leading a monastic life. It is not in conformity to the original meaning. (From Essentials of Buddhism: Questions and Answers)

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