The abbot is the head of a monastery.

One Chinese term for abbot, fangzhang ‘ten feet square’ is a term used primarily in Chan monasteries and refers to the ideal size of the abbot’s quarters. The great enlightened Buddhist layman Vimalakirti, who lived during the time of the Buddha, was said to have lived in a stone room of that size.

Another frequently used Chinese term for abbot is zhuchi, literally “dweller and upholder”, is explained as meaning that the abbot is one who protects the Dharma while abiding peacefully in the world.

1) Ch. fangzhang ¤è¤V , zhuchi ¦í«ù , 2) Skt. vih@radhishvara, 3) Pali vih@radhipati.