84000 Glossary of Terms

Our trilingual glossary combining entries from all of our publications into one useful resource, giving translations and definitions of thousands of terms, people, places, and texts from the Buddhist canon.

འཛམ་བུའི་གླིང་། | Glossary of Terms


    ’dzam bu’i gling


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Publications: 64

The name of the southern continent in Buddhist cosmology, which can signify either the known human world, or more specifically the Indian subcontinent, literally “the jambu island/continent.” Jambu is the name used for a range of plum-like fruits from trees belonging to the genus Szygium, particularly Szygium jambos and Szygium cumini, and it has commonly been rendered “rose apple,” although “black plum” may be a less misleading term. Among various explanations given for the continent being so named, one (in the Abhidharmakośa) is that a jambu tree grows in its northern mountains beside Lake Anavatapta, mythically considered the source of the four great rivers of India, and that the continent is therefore named from the tree or the fruit. Jambudvīpa has the vajrāsana at its center and is the only continent upon which buddhas attain awakening.