B C D E F
G H I K L
M N P R S
T U V W Y
This glossary was compiled
from glossaries found in different English books on Tibetan Buddhist
philosophy and edited by the webmaster.
Definitions and synonyms may differ in the various Buddhist traditions.
* : unpreferred term or term with incorrect connotation
(Tib): Tibetan A glossary with numbers (like "2 TRUTHS") can be
very extensive Buddhist Glossary can be found here
on the Web.
Third part of the TRIPITAKA collection of Buddhist
Buddhist classic written by Vasubandhu; the earliest attempt at
a systematic representation of Buddhist philosophy, psychology and
See ULTIMATE TRUTH.
ACTION MUDRA: A Highest Yoga #T consort who assists in generating
AEON: See EON
AGGREGATE: Mental or physical collection. See 5
AKSHOBYA (Skt.): Name of a DEITY. One of
the 5 DHYANI BUDDHAS, representing
the consciousness AGGREGATE of all Buddhas and their Dharmadhatu
AMITABHA: Name of a DEITY. One of the 5
DHYANI BUDDHAS, representing the discrimination AGGREGATE of
all Buddhas and their Discriminating Wisdom.
AMOGHASIDDHI (Skt.): Name of a DEITY. One
of the 5 DHYANI BUDDHAS, representing
the compositional factors-AGGREGATE (or volition)
of all Buddhas and their Wisdom of Accomplishing Activities.
ANGER: Definition: Being unable
to bear the object, or the intention to cause harm to the object.
Anger is defined as aversion with stronger exaggeration.
ANTI-GOD: See ASURA.
ARHAT (Skt.): Foe or Enemy Destroyer. One who has destroyed
the enemy of dualistic ego-grasping/clinging, and thus accomplished
LIBERATION of CYCLIC EXISTENCE.
There are three types of Arhats: SRAVAKA, PRATYEKABUDDHA,
ARYA (Skt.): Superior, High One. One who has gained direct
meditational experience of EMPTINESS. See also
ASPIRING BODHICITTA: A merely wishful BODHICITTA
(as opposed to ENGAGING BODHICITTA).
ASURA (Skt.): Anti/demi
god , Titan*. Being living in the Asura-realm of CYCLIC
EXISTENCE, within sight of the DEVAS
ATISHA: Great Indian scholar who arrived in Tibet in 1042
and caused a major purification of the Buddhism present at that
time. Composer of the first LAM-RIM-text.
ATTACHMENT: Inability to separate
from a person or thing, although it will ultimately lead to SUFFERING.
Usually it exaggerates the good qualities of the object. It is one
of the biggest mental DELUSIONS which prevents
the achievement of ENLIGHTENMENT.
AVALOKITESHVARA (Skt.): 1. Name of a specific DEITY,
representing the COMPASSION of all BUDDHAS
= Chenrezig (Tib.) 2. One of the main disciples of SHAKYAMUNI
Exaggerated wanting to be separated from someone or something. (Exact
opposite of ATTACHMENT)
(Tib.): Intermediate state of existence. The time between death
BHUMI (Skt.): Stage. Usually referring to a stage in the
BODHI (Skt.): See ENLIGHTENMENT.
BODHICITTA (Skt.): Enlightenment-
mind. The mind dedicated to attain Buddhahood in order to help all
SENTIENT BEINGS. "Conventional Bodhicitta" is either
ENGAGING- or ASPIRING BODHICITTA.
"Ultimate Bodhicitta" is a WISDOM motivated by
Conventional Bodhicitta directly realising EMPTINESS.
BODHISATTVA (Skt.): Enlightenment
being. Person who strives for Buddhahood in order to be of utmost
benefit to all SENTIENT BEINGS. 1. General, someone
who has taken the Bodhisattva-vows. 2. More specific, being who
has taken that vow and also has attained spontaneous BODHICITTA.
BUDDHA (Skt.): Enlightened/Awakened/Omniscient
One. One who has purified all DEFILEMENTS and developed
all good qualities. "The Buddha" usually means SHAKYAMUNI
BUDDHADHARMA (Skt.): 1. BUDDHA's
teachings. 2. The inner REALISATIONS achieved
by practising Buddha's teachings.
BUDDHA-NATURE: potential of all SENTIENT BEINGS
to become a BUDDHA.
BUDDHISM: Religion, philosophy founded
by SHAKYAMUNI BUDDHA. All Buddhist schools agree
on the 4 SEALS. Main doctrines:
KARMA, rebirth, EMPTINESS.
BUDDHIST: Person who has taken
REFUGE in the 3
JEWELS, and agrees on the philosophy of the 4
CENTRAL CHANNEL: Main energy channel in the
body, starting at the browpoint, going backwards under the skull
and then down to the level of the navel (or lower).
CHAKRA (Skt.): Wheel, circle. A focal centre where secondary
(energy) channels branch out from the CENTRAL CHANNEL.
CHARYA-TANTRA (Skt.): Performance/behavioural class of TANTRA.
See 4 TANTRIC CLASSES.
CHENREZIG (Tib.): See AVALOKITESHVARA.
CITTAMATRA (Skt.): Mind-only-school. See
CLEAR LIGHT MIND: Very subtle MIND
which, when manifest, perceives everything as clear, empty space.
COMMITMENT-BEING: In tantric practice: visualised BUDDHA
(FRONT GENERATION) or oneself visualised as a Buddha
(SELF-GENERATION). A WISDOM-BEING
is an actual Buddha who is invited to unite with the commitment-being.
and pledges taken when engaging in spiritual practices.
COMPASSION: The wish that others
may be free from SUFFERING and its' causes.
COMPLETION STAGE: Final
stage in the practice of Highest Yoga TANTRA using
methods that cause the energies (Prana in Skt. or Lung in Tib.)
of the body to enter, abide and dissolve within the CENTRAL
CHANNEL and result in BUDDHAHOOD.
CONVENTIONAL TRUTH: All-false
truth, relative truth (as opposed to ULTIMATE TRUTH),
conventional existence; the interdependence of phenomena.
The cycle of death and rebirth, taking uncontrolled REBIRTH
under the influence of DEFILEMENTS and karmic imprints.
The process arises out of IGNORANCE and is marked
by SUFFERING. See
3 REALMS & 6 REALMS.
DAKA (Skt.): Male equivalent of DAKINI.
DAKINI (Skt.): Female tantric DEITY who
embodies enlightened activity, or woman who have achieved high realizations
like direct REALIZATION of EMPTINESS
with the CLEAR LIGHT MIND.
DEITY: The symbolic form
of a pure being, manifested from BUDDHA's wisdom.
Meditational BUDDHA form.
Misconceptions and their resultant afflicted states of MIND.
Syn.: defilements, disturbing attitudes, mental afflictions, afflictive
emotions. Contaminated mental functions which are obstacles to LIBERATION
and the causes for SUFFERING, which disturb our
mental peace and propel us to act harmful to others (and ourselves).
The "Root DELUSIONS" are: IGNORANCE, desire/ATTACHMENT,
anger/hatred/aversion, pride, doubt and wrong views. .
DEMIGOD: See ASURA.
DEPENDENT ORIGINATION: Doctrine concerning the interrelatedness
of phenomena. Closely related to EMPTINESS. See
12 LINKS OF INTERDEPENDENT ORIGINATION.
DESIRE REALM: One
of the 3 REALMS within CYCLIC
EXISTENCE, where beings enjoy the five external sense objects
(form, sound, smell, touch and taste) and where SUFFERING
of suffering is experienced. Consists of the 6
DEVA (Skt.): "god",
"angel", a being in CYCLIC EXISTENCE, temporarily
abiding in a heavenly state (unlike the Christian God).
DEVADATTA (Skt.): Litt. Theodore; name of SHAKYAMUNI
BUDDHA'S evil cousin, seeing the BUDDHA full
DHARMA (Skt.): Doctrine, law, truth.
1. What prevents SUFFERING; usually BUDDHADHARMA.
2. Any objects of knowledge. 3. Religion or religious knowledge.
4. REALISATIONS of the path and the consequent
cessation of SUFFERING.
most popular collection of sayings of the Buddha in the Pali canon.
DHANYAKATAKA: Location in South India where the BUDDHA
is said to have taught the KALACHAKRA TANTRA.
DHARMAKAYA (Skt.): Truth Body of a BUDDHA,
the pure, omniscient MIND of a Buddha, result of
the transformation of the ordinary MIND. It can
be divided into the SVABHAVI-KAKAYA and the "Jñana
Dharmakaya". See 4 BUDDHA-BODIES.
DHARMAPALA (Skt.): See DHARMA PROTECTOR.
DHARMA PROTECTOR: Guardian of the BUDDHA's
teaching. 1. Worldly protectors: ordinary DEVAS,
spirits etc., bound by a tantric GURU to protect
Buddhism and its practitioners. 2. Non-worldly: manifestations of
BUDDHAS or BODHISATTVAS in wrathful form who protect
DHYANA (Skt.): Advanced
form of concentration MEDITATION, after realising
DIVINE PRIDE: Non-deluded
pride that regards oneself as a DEITY and one's surroundings and
enjoyments as those of the DEITY. It is an antidote
to ordinary conceptions.
DROPS: The essence of sperm and blood (egg), abiding in the
ENERGY CHANNELS or nadis.
DZOGCHEN (Tib.): Profound practice of the NYINGMA
EMANATION BODY: See NIRMANAKAYA.
EMPTINESS: Full expression:
"Emptiness of INHERENT EXISTENCE". The doctrine
that all concepts and phenomena lack INHERENT EXISTENCE.
See ULTIMATE TRUTH
ENERGY CHANNEL: Veins within the body through which psychic
energy (Tib. Lung, Skt. PRANA) flows.
ENGAGING BODHICITTA: A BODHICITTA
held by the BODHISATTVA
VOWS. (As opposed to ASPIRING BODHICITTA).
ENJOYMENT BODY: See SAMBHOGAKAYA.
ENLIGHTENMENT: Syn.: BUDDHAHOOD,
full enlightenment/ awakening. Highest level of development, having
forever eliminated all DEFILEMENTS and karmic
IMPRINTS, and having developed all good qualities and WISDOM
to their fullest extent. Enlightenment supersedes LIBERATION.
"Great eon": lifetime of the universe (KALPA (Skt)).
"Small eon": one 20th. of a great eon
State of MIND in which one does not distinguish
between friend, enemy and stranger.
EXAMPLE CLEAR LIGHT-MIND: A CLEAR LIGHT MIND
that experiences EMPTINESS by means of a generic
image, it is not just yet the 'real' realisation of emptiness with
the MEANING CLEAR LIGHT.
State of CYCLIC EXISTENCE where no SUFFERING
of suffering is experienced. Beings here have renounced the
enjoyment of external sense objects but still have ATTACHMENT
to internal form (their own body and MIND).
Highest states of CYCLIC EXISTENCE. Beings here
have renounced form and ATTACHMENT to form pleasures,
and exist only within their mindstream. Their MIND
is still bound by subtle desire and ATTACHMENT
to mental states and ego. See 3
FRONT GENERATION: Practice
in TANTRA, whereby the DEITY is
visualised in front of oneself.
GANDHARVA (Skt.): Smell-eater. Celestial
GARUDA (Skt.): Name of a mythical bird.
GELUG(PA) (Tib.): 'Yellow-hats'.
Biggest school in Tibetan tradition, founded by TSONGKHAPA,
also known as "New KADAM". Main emphasis on ethics
and sound scholarship prior to serious meditation. In 1642 the 5th.
Dalai Lama, who was of the Gelugpa tradition, became secular and
religious leader of Tibet.
GENERATION STAGE: Stage
of practice in Highest Yoga TANTRA, wherein one
mentally generates oneself as a DEITY, and one's
surroundings as the deity's MANDALA.
GESHE (Tib.): 1. Degree like Doctor of Theology, awarded
by the principal monastic colleges of the GELUGPA
tradition. 2. Title of some masters of the Old KADAM
GOD: See DEVA.
GOD REALM: DEVA-realm,"heaven".
State within CYCLIC EXISTENCE. Some god realms
are in the DESIRE REALM, others in the FORM
and FORMLESS REALMS. See 3
REALMS and 6 REALMS
GURU (Skt.): Spiritual
GURU RINPOCHE: See PADMASAMBHAVA
GURU-YOGA (Skt.): Practice of seeing one's GURU
HEARER: See SRAVAKA.
HELL REALM: State
within CYCLIC EXISTENCE in which much SUFFERING
is experienced, joyless realm. See 6
HINAYANA (Skt.): Lesser/lower
vehicle (as opposed to MAHAYANA). Buddhist path
leading to individual LIBERATION from
CYCLIC EXISTENCE (as SHRAVAKA or PRATYEKABUDDHA).
HERO and HEROINE: A hero is a male tantric DEITY,
embodying method. A HEROINE is a female tantric
DEITY, embodying WISDOM.
Unawareness, lack of ENLIGHTENMENT. 1. Worldly:
Not knowing the principles of KARMA. 2. Transworldly:
Not knowing/realising EMPTINESS.
IMPRINT (on the mind): 1. Karmic imprint; potentiality to
experience certain effects in the future. 2. Imprint of DEFILEMENT;
obstructions to Buddhahood which remain even after abandonment of
the DEFILEMENTS themselves.
IMPUTE: To label/name or give meaning to an object.
INDESTRUCTIBLE DROP: Most subtle DROP, located
at the heart, formed from the essence of sperm and egg of the parents.
It does not melt until death, when it opens and allows the very
subtle MIND and wind to take REBIRTH.
INHERENT EXISTENCE: Syn.:
true / objective / ultimate / self-powered / self-sufficient / independent
/ intrinsically / existence. Existence - from the side of the object,
- by the way of the object's own character, - from within the basis
of designation, - as its own suchness, - as its own reality, - as
its own mode of subsistence, - by way of its own entity. 'Inherent
existence' is a misconception, a non-existent quality that we project
onto persons and phenomena, and does not exist even conventionally.
It describes existence which is independent of: causes and conditions,
parts, or the MIND IMPUTING it.
Bestowal of permission and a special potential power to practice
a specific part of TANTRA, given by a tantric GURU
by means of a ritual.
INNER OFFERING: A MAHA-ANNUTARAYOGA-TANTRA
offering, produced by mentally transforming 10 bodily substances
Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, started by ATISHA.
Before Lama TSONGKHAPA known as "Old KADAM", afterwards
known as "New Kadam" or GELUGPA.
(also spelled as Kalacakra): Time-Wheel; name of a specific DEITY.
KALKI (Skt.): probably a misspelling of KULIKA.
KALPA (Skt.): Lifetime of a universe.
KANGYUR (Tib.): Collection of all translated SUTRAS
and TANTRAS from Sanskrit into Tibetan. See also:
KA(R)GYU (Tib.): School of Tibetan
Buddhism, founded by Marpa Chökyi & Khyungpo Nyaljor (11th.
century). Meditation & philosophy lineage. Special practice:
KARMA (Skt.): Action. Intentional
action, impulse. Also; the IMPRINT which the action
leaves on one's mindstream. "The law of karma": the doctrine holding
that all experiences are results of imprints on our mindstream of
previous actions; simply said: virtuous actions lead to happiness,
NEGATIVE ACTIONS to SUFFERING
and unpleasant states.
KAYA (Skt.): Body, usually of a BUDDHA.
See also 4 BUDDHA-BODIES.
KRIYA-TANTRA (Skt.): Purification class of TANTRA.
See 4 TANTRIC CLASSES.
KULIKA (Skt.): "Holder of the Castes" or 'Shambala's Knowledge
Holder' (Rigden in Tib.) from the KALACHAKRA
TANTRA. Titles of the 8th. to the 24th. Kings of SHAMBALA
Psychic heat, inner
heat generated in special tantric meditation practices.
(Tib.): See GURU (Skt.).
LAMAISM*: Tibetan Buddhism, an unpreferred term, based on
misunderstandings by early western contacts with Tibetan Buddhism.
LAM RIM (Tib.): Lamp on the Path. The stages of the Path
to ENLIGHTENMENT. Systematic presentation of all
BUDDHA's teachings. First presented in this form
by ATISHA, preserved and further developed in the
original translated text is available here.
LIBERATION: State after
removing the DEFILEMENTS and KARMA
which cause uncontrolled REBIRTH in CYCLIC
LOVE: The wish that beings
have happiness and its causes.
LUNG (Tib.): Wind, energy, prana (Skt.). 1. Subtle (life-)
wind/energy. In TANTRA these winds are the vehicle
of consciousness. 2. Disease, energy disturbance/imbalance in the
body. 3. Oral transmission of a DHARMA text.
MADHYAMIKA (Skt.): 'Middle-way school'. See
MAHA-ANNUTARAYOGA-TANTRA (Skt.): Highest yoga TANTRA.
See 4 TANTRIC CLASSES. Tantric
class that contains the method to transform sexual experience into
the spiritual path.
MAHAMUDRA (Skt.): Great Seal. 1. According to SUTRA:
Profound view of EMPTINESS. 2. According to TANTRA:
the union of great bliss and EMPTINESS.
MAHAYANA (Skt.): 'Greater vehicle'
(Maha = great, Yana = vehicle. (as opposed to the HINAYANA
or smaller vehicle). Buddhist path which leads to Buddhahood, emphasising
great COMPASSION for all SENTIENT BEINGS. Also
called "BODHISATTVA-yana". It includes SUTRAYANA
Name of the next coming BUDDHA, also both teacher
and main disciple of SHAKYAMUNI BUDDHA.
MANDALA (Skt.): Circle
or sphere. 1. Symbolic representation of a meditation visualisation,
usually in the form of a palace with one or more DEITIES
present. 2. Symbolic representation of the universe (see MANDALA
Mentally transforming the universe into a PURE REALM
and offering it. "Inner mandala offering": offering one's body,
wealth, happiness etc.
MANJUSHRI (Skt.): One of the main disciples of the BUDDHA.
Name of DEITY; represents wisdom of all Buddhas.
MANJUSHRIKIRTI: The 8th. King of SHAMBALA
(first KULIKA- king), who composed the condensed
MANTRA (Skt.): 'Tool
for thinking'. 1. Prescribed syllables (in Sanskrit) to protect
the mind (from DEFILEMENTS). They express the essence
of specific energies. Recitation of mantras is always done with
specific visualisations. 2. Often, Mantra is used as a synonym for
VAJRA or TANTRA.
MARA (Skt.): Demon. Anything which interrupts the attainment
of LIBERATION or ENLIGHTENMENT.
See: 4 MARAS.
MARKS AND SIGNS: The 32 Major Marks and 80 Minor Signs of
a BUDDHA - golden skin, webbed fingers & toes
etc. A detailed list can be found on this website,
MEANING CLEAR LIGHT: A CLEAR LIGHT MIND
that directly realises EMPTINESS.
MEDITATION: (Tib.: gom)
Habituating, familiarising. Habituating ourselves to positive and
realistic states of mind
MERIT: See VIRTUE.
MERIT FIELD: The 3 JEWELS,
usually Visualised in front, before which one accumulates VIRTUE
or merit. Merit fields used in tantric practices can very extensive.
MIGRATOR: (Or transmigrator) See SENTIENT BEING.
MILAREPA (Tib.): Great Tibetan practitioner (1040-1123),
famed for his attainment of Buddhahood in one lifetime.
MIND: Def.:"That which is clear and
knowing", mindstream. Non-physical phenomena which perceives, thinks,
recognises, experiences and emotionally reacts to the environment.
1. Mental faculties (Tib.: thugs) 2. Ways of being conscious, conscious
phenomena (Tib.: shes.pa).
MINDSTREAM: Continuity of the MIND,
"that which is clear and knowing".
MOUNT MERU: Huge mountain in the centre of the universe.
MUDRA (Skt.): Seal. 1.Tantric
hand gesture, 2. Tantric consort.
NADI (Skt.): See ENERGY CHANNEL.
NAGA (Skt.): Type of living spirit living mainly in rivers,
oceans or lakes, but can live anywhere which are generally invisible.
Usually depicted with a serpent-like body.
NAGARJUNA (Skt.): Great Indian Buddhist Master who revived
the MAHAYANA in the 1st. century AD, after its'
virtual disappearance, by bringing to light the Perfection of Wisdom
NEGATIVE ACTION: non-virtue, destructive
action, black karmic IMPRINT, sin*. Action which
leaves an imprint on the MINDSTREAM which will
lead to SUFFERING in the future.
NIRMANAKAYA (Skt.): Emanation Body of a BUDDHA.
The result of transformation of the ordinary body and experience
of self. It is the transformation of the SAMBHOGAKAYA
into ordinary physical form. (The Nirmanakaya is visible to those
with pure KARMA, others will just see an ordinary
NIRVANA (Skt.): Beyond
suffering/sorrow, transcendence of suffering, state beyond the causes
for SUFFERING, unsatisfactoriness, troubles. State
outside CYCLIC EXISTENCE attained by an ARHAT.
Something which precedes, goes before. Preliminary practice to the
practice of TANTRA.
NYINGMA (Tib.): Oldest Tibetan
Buddhist tradition, founded by PADMASAMBHAVA. Emphasis
on tantric and DZOGCHEN-practice.
"Guru Rinpoche": Great Indian tantric master, who came to Tibet
in 817 AD With his SIDDHIS he dispelled evil forces
which obstructed Buddhism in Tibet.
PARAMITA (Skt.): PERFECTION,
see 6 and 10 PERFECTIONS.
PARAMITAYANA (Skt.): Perfection
vehicle. The MAHAYANA, but excluding the TANTRAYANA.
PERFECTION: Going beyond,
reaching beyond limitation, (Skt.: paramita). See:
6 and 10 PERFECTIONS.
PRANA (Skt.): See LUNG.
PRATIMOKSHA (Skt.): Vows of individual liberation. Precepts
established by SHAKYAMUNI BUDDHA for Buddhist lay-persons,
monks and nuns.
PRATYEKABUDDHA (Skt.): Solitary Buddha/Realiser. Follower
of the HINAYANA tradition, concentrating on basic
Buddhist teachings like the 12
LINKS OF INTERDEPENDENT ORIGINATION, 4
NOBLE TRUTHS etc. to attain LIBERATION (NOT
PRETA (Skt.): Hungry
ghost. A being obsessed by ATTACHMENT, living in
the preta-realm within DESIRE REALM, mainly suffering
from lack of food, drink and shelter.
PUJA (Skt.): Ceremony/act
of worship, offering.
KULIKA King of SHAMBALA, best
known for his famous commentary on the KALACHAKRA
TANTRA called Vimalaprabha (stainless light).
PURE LAND BUDDHISM: a
MAHAYANA tradition emphasising methods to be reborn
in a PURE REALM. Mostly practiced
in relation to AMITABHA BUDDHA
PURE REALM or LAND: Realm outside CYCLIC
EXISTENCE where BUDDHAS, BOHISATTVAS
and practitioners with sufficient VIRTUE abide.
All conditions are conducive for practising DHARMA
and attaining ENLIGHTENMENT.
PURIFICATION: Preventing negative
KARMA to ripen and counteracting self-identification
with negative energy.
RAHU (Skt.): the
North node of the moon, where lunar eclipses occur. In Chinese astrology,
it is 'the tail of the dragon'.
RAINBOW BODY: the highest attainment from the view of the DZOGCHEN
tradition, in which the practitioner's corporeal body transforms
into a body of rainbow light, which is accessible to people with
RAKSHA (Skt.): Fierce, cannibalistic type of demon.
RATNASAMBHAVA (Skt.): Name of a DEITY. One
of the 5 DHYANI BUDDHAS, representing
the feeling AGGREGATE of all Buddhas and their
Wisdom of Equality.
REALISATION: A deep and strong understanding / inner knowing,
(beyond intellectual understanding) that becomes part of us and
changes our perception of the world.
REFUGE: Taking refuge means entrusting
one's spiritual development to the BUDDHAS, DHARMA
and SANGHA. "Inner refuge" refers to refuge in
our own BUDDHA-NATURE: our own natural WISDOM
and the guidance we can give others.
to be free from all problems and SUFFERING (of
CYCLIC EXISTENCE), not longer having ATTACHMENT
to the pleasures of CYCLIC EXISTENCE which lead
to more SUFFERING and DEFILEMENTS.
It is inner WISDOM.
RINPOCHE (Tib.): Precious one. Referring to a TULKU,
or sometimes just a title of respect.
RUDRA CHAKRIN (Skt.):
Rigden Dragpo (Tib.) (2327 - 2427) "Wrathful One with the Wheel"
the King of SHAMBALA who is predicted to defeat
the "barbarians" in 2424 in a spiritual war.
RUPAKAYA (Skt.): Form (Rupa) Body (Kaya) of a BUDDHA.
Physical manifestation of a BUDDHA. It can be further
divided into the SAMBHOGAKAYA and the NIRMANAKAYA.
(Skt.): A TANTRAYANA ritual text which sets out
a particular MEDITATION practice.
SAKYA (Tib.): School of Tibetan
Buddhism, founded by Khon Könchok Gyelpo (11th. century). Main
practice: "Lamdrey". Sakyas ruled in Tibet for over 100 yrs, before
the secular power was handed to the Dalai Lama of the GELUGPA
tradition. (13th.&14th. century)
SAMADHI (Skt): Meditative
stabilisation, concentration. One-pointed involvement in MEDITATION
where the meditation object and the practitioner are experienced
as inseparable and indistinguishable. As there are many types of
Samadhi, the term does not infer anything about the practitioner's
REALISATION or accomplishment.
SAMBHOGAKAYA (Skt.): Enjoyment/bliss Body of a BUDDHA.
The physical (psychic) form of BUDDHA's WISDOM.
The transformation result of speech, communication and LUNG.
In TANTRA known as the VAJRA of
speech or the Buddha's voice.
See CYCLIC EXISTENCE.
SANGHA (Skt.): Spiritual
community. 1. In the broadest sense; whole community of Buddhists:
monks, nuns and lay people up to enlightened BODHISATTVAS
(this is not the original meaning of Sangha). 2. More restricted:
monks and nuns. 3. Most specific: ARYA-beings.
SATSA (Tib.): See TSATSA
SAUTRANTIKA (Skt.): Sutra-school. See
SELF GENERATION: Practice
in TANTRA whereby one imagines oneself to be the
SELFLESSNESS: See EMPTINESS.
SENTIENT BEING: (Trans)-migrator. Being that possesses a
MIND that is contaminated by DEFILEMENTS
or their IMPRINTS, living within CYCLIC
EXISTENCE (thus generally excluding plants).
SHAKTI (Skt.): Deity within the KALACHAKRA
MANDALA. 10 Shaktis are present, although only
8 are visible in the mandala. Shaktis are common in Hinduism, but
in Buddhism they only appear in the Kalachakra TANTRA.
SHAKYAMUNI BUDDHA (Skt.): Name
of the historical BUDDHA, living in the 6th. century
SHAMATA (Skt.): Calm
abiding, Concentration. 1. MEDITATION method to
achieve tranquility. 2. The resultant tranquil meditative state;
the ability to remain single-pointedly on an object with a pliant
and blissful MIND. Mental quiescence, stilled and
settled state of awareness.
SHAMBALA (Skt.): "The Land held by Shiva". Mythical kingdom
which is also called the pure land of KALACHAKRA.
SHRAVAKA (Skt.): Hearer. One who hears, practices and proclaims
BUDDHA's teachings. Followers of the HINAYANA
tradition, concentrating on RENUNCIATION and pacifying
emotions, in order to attain LIBERATION.
SHUNYATA (Skt.): See
SIDDHI (Skt.): Supernatural attainment/psychic power.
SKANDHA (Skt.): See AGGREGATE.
SOLITARY REALIZER: See PRATYEKABUDDHA.
Buddhist reliquary object. Indian Buddhist Stupas are dome-shaped
monuments containing relics of the BUDDHA or his
disciples. Tibetan stupas are usually purely symbolic; any size
or materials, but of carefully defined shape and proportions representing
the BUDDHA's mind.
SUCHANDRA: King of SHAMBALA who requested
the KALACHAKRA TANTRA from the
SUFFERING: Any dissatisfactory
condition, referring to physical and mental pain, and all problematic
situations. See also 3 TYPES OF
SUFFERING and 4 NOBLE TRUTHS.
SUTRA (Skt.): Discourse/ speech
etc. of the BUDDHA, excluding teachings on TANTRA.
SUTRAYANA (Skt.): SUTRA
vehicle. Also: "exoteric or common path". Name of the HINAYANA
and PARAMITAYANA combined, thus excluding
the TANTRAYANA (the esoteric path).
SVABHAVIKAKAYA (Skt.): Nature Body of a BUDDHA.
The empty nature of the Buddha's omniscient MIND
SVATANTRIKA (Skt.): Autonomy-school. Sub-school of MADHYAMIKA.
(Skt.): Continuity, stream. (Continuity maintained throughout the
practice.) 1. In general referring to the systems of MEDITATION
described in the tantric texts; practices involving 4
PURITIES, meditation on ENERGY CHANNELS, CHAKRAS
and energy drops within the body. These esoteric teachings are not
found in the SUTRAYANA and require INITIATION
of a tantric GURU. 2. More specific; a scripture
describing a TANTRAYANA practice.
Mantra/vajra/secret/uncommon/esoteric vehicle, a MAHAYANA
Buddhist path which leads to ENLIGHTENMENT. See
TARA (Skt.): Saviouress; name of a specific DEITY,
representing the enlightened activities of all BUDDHAS.
TATHAGATA (Skt.): One Thus Gone; title of a BUDDHA
TENET: Philosophical view/school. See
TENGYUR (Tib.): Collection of commentaries to BUDDHA's
teachings translated from Sanskrit into Tibetan.
TERMA (Tib.): Hidden treasure teaching, usually from PADMASAMBHAVA
TERTON (Tib): one who rediscovers and reveals 'hidden treasure
teachings' or TERMA.
THERAVADIN (Skt.): The tradition
of the Elders. Buddhist tradition widespread in Southeast Asia and
Sri Lanka. Generally, practices can be said to be HINAYANA.
TIRTHIKA (Skt.): One not following the Middle way, a non-Buddhist,
usually referring to a Hindu.
(Tib.): Giving and taking. MIND training
to overcome selfishness and develop COMPASSION
for others; giving one's own happiness and taking other's SUFFERING.
TORMA (Tib.): Ritual offering
cake, used in tantric rituals.
TRANSMIGRATORS: See SENTIENT BEINGS.
TRIPITAKA (Skt.): Three baskets.
Three collections of Buddhist scriptures; 1. VINAYA
(Skt.): Discipline; 2. SUTRA 3. ABHIDHARMA
small clay replicas of DEITIES or STUPAS. The clay is often mixed
with ashes from the remains of deceased individuals to transmit
blessings to the deceased.
(Tib.): Tantric (food) offering.
TSONG KHAPA (Tib.): Great Tibetan
Scholar (1357-1419), founder of the Tibetan GELUGPA-tradition.
TULKU (Tib.): Recognised reincarnation of a GURU.
TUMMO (Tib.): Psychic heat, inner heat generated in special
tantric meditation practices, Kundalini (Skt).
TUSHITA (Skt.): Joyous Land. The BODHISATTVA
PURE REALM of the 1000 BUDDHAS
of this EON
TRUTH: Synonyms: EMPTINESS,
without INHERENT EXISTENCE, correct view, fundamental
true nature, not truly existent, without self-existence, sphere
of DHARMA, true nature, voidness, void of self-existence, universal
law, level of truth that is the deepest fact of reality, total absence
of fantasised ways of existing.
UPASAKA (Skt.): Litterally 'attendant'. Buddhist lay-person
(taken REFUGE in the BUDDHA, DHARMA,
SANGHA) and holder of the 5
LAY PRECEPTS. Upasaka is the male form, Upasika is the female
USHNISHA (Skt.): The fleshy protrusion on the crown of a
UTPALA (Skt.): Blue lotus flower.
(Skt.): Great exposition school. See 4
VAIROCHANA (Skt.): Name of a DEITY. One
of the 5 DHYANI BUDDHAS, representing
the form (or body) AGGREGATE and Mirror-like Wisdom
of all Buddhas.
VAJRA (Skt.): Indestructible/diamond/adamantine.
1. Tibetan ritual sceptre (dorje). 2. Anything used in the practice
of TANTRA to differentiate it from everyday things. 3. used as synonym
for TANTRA or MANTRA.
VAJRADHARA (Skt.): Name of DEITY, representing
the SAMBHOGAKAYA- aspect of SHAKYAMUNI
BUDDHA. Vajradhara is the founder of TANTRAYANA.
VAJRAPANI (Skt.): Vajra-Holder. One of the main disciples
of the BUDDHA. Name of wrathful DEITY,
representing the power of all BUDDHAS.
VAJRA-POSTURE: Cross-legged posture with the feet on the
opposite thighs. Mirror image of the Hindu lotus-posture.
VAJRASATTVA (Skt.): Name of a DEITY
(Vajra-Being), specifically related to PURIFICATION
VAJRAYANA (Skt.): See
VETALA (Skt.): Corpse revived by a bad spirit, zombie.
VIMALAPRABHA (Skt.): "Stainless Light", a commentary on the
KALACHAKRA TANTRA by Pundarika
(second KULIKA King of SHAMBALA.
VINAYA (Skt.): Discipline.
Rules governing the conduct of the SANGHA (here
usually monks and nuns).
VIPASHYANA (Skt.): Seeing
beyond, superior or excellent seeing, insight. 1. Meditative technique
which identifies and analyses the patterns of the MIND
and the world it projects. 2. The resultant WISDOM
or perfect knowledge, which thoroughly and clearly discriminates
VIRTUE: Positive potential, merit.
IMPRINTS on the mindstream of positive actions,
leading to future happiness.
VOIDNESS: See EMPTINESS.
1. Prajña(Skt.), shes.rab (Tib.); discriminative awareness.
2. Jñana (Skt.), ye.shes (Tib.); deep/pristine awareness,
wisdom-knowledge, primal wisdom, gnosis.
WISDOM-BEING: See COMMITMENT BEING.
(Skt.): Name of the Lord of (uncontrolled) Death.
YAMANTAKA: YAMA-Opponent. Name of a specific DEITY.
YANA (Skt.): Vehicle. Usually;
specific path/system of Buddhist practice.
YIDAM (Skt.): Enlightened
DEITY, or meditational Buddha-form, on whom one's
personal tantric practice is centred.
YOGA (Skt.): Practice, endeavour, application. In the Tibetan
system, generally a merely mental tradition.
YOGA-TANTRA (Skt.): Union TANTRA. See 4
YOJANA (Skt.): Distance measure, approx. 1 mile.
Japanese variation of the Chinese word "Ch'an". A MAHAYANA
Buddhist tradition originating from China, and further developed
to be widespread in Japan.
Number Glossary can be found here.
A very extensive
Buddhist Glossary on the Web.
If you really cannot find a word, try
list of Buddhist Dictionaries.
updated: May 11, 2015