Release Notes for Update of the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism, 3/26/2002

Dear Colleagues,

I just completed the task of a new re-publication of the online Digital Dictionary of Buddhism [DDB], the first since last August. The coverage of this edition reaches 15,246 terms (up over 4,000 from the prior edition) . The TOC page for the DDB is

I would once again like to take this opportunity to publicly express my deepest thanks to Prof. Michael Beddow (, who has unselfishly, and with consummate expertise, done the necessary programming to make this body of data available in such a convenient form on the web. All scholars, students, and translators who are benefiting from this resource owe him a great deal of thanks.

I am including some notes on the main content of this re-publication below, along with information on searching, password access, and so forth. If you use, or expect to use this resource with any kind of regularity, I highly recommend that you read through this.





  1. Main content of the added material
  2. Searching
  3. Password Access
  4. Plea for Collaboration

1. Main content of the added material

The 4,000+ new terms added this time include materials from:

a) All entries contained in Soothill from pages 1-210. These are kept separately in quotes for a number of reasons.
b) All terms contained in Weonhyo's Commentary on the Amitābha Sutra (a recent translation project).
c) Lots of new Sanskrit-Chinese information, the largest portion of which is digitized data provided by the translators working with the Yinshun Foundation. Please take a look at the greatly expanded Sanskrit index at
d) A significantly expanded Tibetan-Chinese index, derived mostly from the Hirosawa/Yokoyama index to the Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra.

2. Searching

a) Diacritics, etc.
You can search for Chinese terms in the search window (, but you can also search by romanized, kana, or hangeul input. The key thing that you need to remember is that you can't search for diacritically marked words by simple roman input. For example, if you try to search for "samsara" as is, you won't find it. To find this kind of word through the search engine, you need to paste it in the search box with diacritics that have been created in a Unicode font. Or better, use the Sanskrit terms index.
b) Differences in Character Form
We are still going to suffer for some time, it seems, with some of the inconsistencies brought in to the development of the CJK portion of Unicode, wherein the same glyph was occasionally assigned different code points according to its prior history in JIS, Big5, or KSC. Thus, sometimes you will input a term that you would think *has* to be contained in the dictionary, and it won't be found. Most likely it is there, but there is some code point problem related to Unicode. In this case, you might want to search by another means, such as kana, hangeul, some form or romanization, or through one of the indexes.

3. Password Access

Due to problems caused by certain persons sending data-gathering robots into the site, we were forced to set up a username/password access system. We presently offer two kinds of access: (1) Limited access accounts for individuals that allows for 50 searches in a 24-hour period. (2) Unlimited form of access for departments, institutes, project groups, and so forth. To apply for the latter kind of password, we need to be contacted by a person in a position of authority in the institution, and we ask for a commitment in terms of regular data contributions to the dictionary, at the rate of 6 pages of data (A4 or Letter size, single-spaced, in digital format) every six months. Please write to (acmuller[at] for details.

4. Plea for Collaboration

The DDB is now being used by large numbers of scholars, translators, and students around the world as a basic tool. Unfortunately, very few users have taken an interest in helping us to further develop this resource by gathering and supplying their own materials in return for this service. So if you are seriously using the DDB in your dissertation writing, or in research and translation projects, please do consider taking a moment to polish up your glossaries for inclusion in the DDB. Using XML markup, precise record is maintained about the contributions of each individual. Please help us to make this resource grow to become comprehensive.