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Sāsana (Pāli) or śāsana (Skt.). Teaching, instruction, message of the Buddha; however, the term by custom has come to mean the Buddhist religion (Buddha-sāsana) or tradition itself, especially with respect to the period of its duration as a historical phenomenon. So sāsana refers to the ‘dispensation’ of the teaching. When a sammāsambuddha discovers and imparts the dharma, his message and its impact on society and the world endures for a limited period of time only. The circumstances or fortunes of the dharma change, being subject, like all things, to the law of impermanence (anicca), although the dharma itself, of course, never changes. Gradually Buddhist tradition wanes until it eventually disappears from the earth altogether. It remains lost until the next sammāsambuddha appears and introduces dharma to the world again.

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