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vihara

[vi-hahr-uh] /vɪˈhɑr ə/
noun
1.
a meeting place of Buddhist monks.
2.
a Buddhist monastery.
3.
(initial capital letter). Also called Brahma Vihara. one of the four states of mind, namely love, compassion, sympathetic gladness, and equanimity, to be developed by every Buddhist.
Origin
1875-1880
1875-80; < Sanskrit vihāra
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Article for vihara

early type of Buddhist monastery consisting of an open court surrounded by open cells accessible through an entrance porch. The viharas in India were originally constructed to shelter the monks during the rainy season, when it became difficult for them to lead the wanderer's life. They took on a sacred character when small stupas (housing sacred relics) and images of the Buddha were installed in the central court

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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