The 7th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
|Articles by alphabetic order|
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- the four cardinal directions (Wyl. phyogs bzhi),
- the four intermediate directions (Wyl. mtshams bzhi),
- 'above' or zenith (Wyl. steng), and
- 'below' or nadir (Wyl. 'og).
The entire universe, all physical space. Specifically, the ten directions are the eight directions of the compass—north, south, east, west, northwest, northeast, southeast, and southwest—plus up and down. Buddhist scriptures refer to the existence of Buddha lands in all directions throughout the universe, each with its own Buddha. The expression "the Buddhas of the ten directions" in the sutras indicates these Buddhas. The phrase ten directions often appears with the phrase three existences, meaning past, present, and future existences. "The Buddhas of the ten directions and three existences" thus means all Buddhas throughout space and time.