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A Compendium for studies in Buddhism

20 January 2005

The careful study of Buddhism requires access to a somewhat detailed

set of definitions. The religion is mature and has been exposed to the
influences of a number of differences in interpretation and even
practice. The result has been that words which otherwise appear
similar can have somewhat different meanings from one branch of the
belief-system to another making it difficult for an outsider to
accurately evaluate the meaning of a given text. Coupled to this, many

of the Suttras have survived only because they were translated into
languages used outside the centre of origin (North India) where Pali
was the common tongue, again potentially (at least) forcing
differences of interpretation into the belief system.

For this reason the following compendium covering many of the term
used (from one place or another or even from one text to another) has
been assembled for ease of reference.

Outline Structure of Buddhism Today

There are currently 3 branches (vehicles or paths) in
1) Hinayana (Theravada) Way of the Arhats
(original students of The Buddha but later seen as entering nirvana not
to return). In practice characterised by transcendence of sorrowful
attachment to the conditional (personal) self & transcendental
realization based on a negative assessment of material realism – the
effects of a beginning less and endless chain of causation. This is the
“lesser” vehicle, with focus on the enlightenment of the individual -
earliest tradition arising in India passing to southern Asia. The term
”lesser” refers to the smaller number of adherents at the time the name
was allocated by the followers of the “greater” path (Mahayana) and
was also a term of derision in the instant.

2) Mahayana (greater vehicle), the way of the

Bhodisattvas. In practice characterised by transcendence involving a
rejection of personal self, the material world is held to be nothing but
mind (projection of consciousness). Self surrender and compassionate
service follows after development of the necessary insight
(prajnaparamita). This involves the apprehension of the Arhat
followed by transcendent rejection thereof and return as a
Bhodhisattva with the purpose of enlightening all beings before
entering fully embracing nirvana – arising in India passing to China,
Japan, northern Asia.
3) Vajryana (Tantryana), the way of the Mahasiddas.
Practice involves transcendence of both above mentioned
considerations. All positives and negatives are transcended as aspects
of the personal self & experience. The focus in the transcendence
involves the unity of polarized opposites attainable in current lifetime -
arising in India, passing to the north – Tibet.

Nirvana – is the state wherein the ego-sense is “wiped-out” - no
formal “supreme being” is proposed in Buddhism.

In compiling the following list an attempt has been made to cover the
principal aspects of comprehension involving the manifestation of
transcendence across the major areas of practice. Omissions and
inaccuracies are mine alone (Goldenage).

Glossary of Buddhist Terms

Convention: Skt. = Sanskrit / Tib. = Tibetan, Jap
= Japanese, K = Korean, Lank = Lankavatara Sutra, Vism =
Visuddhimagga, Miln = Milindapanha, M = Mahavedall Sutra

Abbot: A person in charge of teaching at a monastery who
has attained a high degree of Buddhist knowledge. Also refers to
someone who gives monastic vows.
Abhasa: Appearances
Abhdiarma: Higher dharmas, study of dharmas, dharmology,
matrix of reality.
Abhi sam: To reach completely
Abhidharma (Skt.): One of the tripitaka (three baskets) of the
Buddhist canon. It is the collection of scriptures that describes the
philosophical and psychological makeup of the universe and the
sentient beings within it.
Abhidharma: [Skt.,=higher dharma, or doctrine], schools of
Buddhist philosophy. Early Buddhism analyzed experience into 5
skandhas or aggregates, and alternatively into 18 dhatus or elements.
Later schools developed the process of analysis and classification that
was called Abhidharma; their treatises were collected in the
Abhidharmapitaka, one of the three main divisions of the Pali Buddhist
canon. The five skandhas analyzed experience to demonstrate the
absence of an abiding "self." The categories of analysis were dharmas,
or natures, ultimate qualities or principles that arise and pass away in
irreducible moments of time. Lists of dharmas varied from 75 to 157,
with different schools classifying the dharmas into different groups,
and the exact definition of a dharma eventually became the subject of
great controversy. The greatest systematizer of Abhidharma thought
was Vasubandhu (5th cent. AD), who wrote the encyclopedic
Abhidharma-kosa or Treasury of Abhidharma.
Abhilapa: Words
Abhisheka (Skt. / Tib. wang): Also known as 'empowerment' in the
Vajrayana tradition. A ritual initiation into a mandala of a particular
Buddhist practice, empowerment is conferred by a lineage teacher
who is a recipient and practitioner of such transmissions. Thus, the
student is empowered to perform the practice.
Abhutaparikalpa: Wrong discrimination
Abisambudda: To reach complete awareness.
Abodes of sensation: Twelve: 6 powers of sensation (eyes,
ears...mind); 6 domains of color, shape, sound, smell, taste, feeling &
thought. Two paths/vehicles (Hinayana) comprising that of the
Shravakas & that of the prateyeka-buddhas.
Absolute truth: Actual truth perceived without one's mental
obscurations and fabrications.
Acharya (Skt. / Tib. loppon): Literally, 'master.' An honorific title
denoting great spiritual and/or academic achievement.
Acts of will: Father - together with (mother, see also
'ignorance') create the illusion of a temporary self which rises up the
duality of name and form - mind and matter. Attainments of self
existence & the aggregates of self rise up (in future) as birth. (see:
Adhishthana: Substrate of all experience. The womb, yoni,
substratum, witness of all is Brahman or Suddha Chaitanya
Adhisthana (Skt.): Also known as 'blessing(s).' In the Vajrayana
tradition, a student who has genuine devotion and proper motivation
can receive the blessings of the lineage. Blessings are usually
bestowed by one's teacher and other lineage masters, or can be
received through heartfelt connection to one's practice. Blessings
awaken a greater sense of awareness in the practitioner.
Advaita: Suchness, non-duality
Agama: Traditional teachings
Agantuklesa: External dirt.
Ahankara: Essence is Jiva
Akanishtha: A heavenly realm. The supreme Buddha field.
Aknishta: Heaven, shining brilliantly
Akriti: Figures
Aksobhya (Akshobhya): 'Aksobhya' - which means 'immovable' or
'imperturbable' - is the name given to a Buddha who is said to reside
in the eastern paradise of Abhirati. According to one legend, when he
was a Bodhisattva he vowed never to give in to anger. In painting,
however, he is portrayed, somewhat paradoxically, as a wrathful form

with blue complexion, a vajra or diamond in one hand and touching the
earth with his other. Often he is depicted riding on a blue elephant.
Alabdhatmaka: Unobtainable essence
Alambana: Objects
Alaya: Normal knowledge as worked through a relative
mind thus tainted/defiled.
Alaya: (Lanka) 2 aspects: 1) as it is in itself - Paramalaya-
vijnana (ref. Sagathakam) (Prabandha = incessant because of its
uninterupted existence); 2) Alaya as mental representation called
Vijnaptir Alaya (Lakshana = manifested because of its activity being
perceptible by mind). Alaya is in one sense absolute and in another as
being subject to evolution (pravritti). It is the evolving aspect of Alaya
that lends itself to the treacherous interpretation of Manas. As long as
the Alaya remains in and of itself it is beyond the grasp of an
individual, empiracle consciousnes and thus approaches "emptiness"
itself althought this ever lies beyond all the Vijnana activities for the
latter will cease working at once when the Alaya is taken out of
existence. Manas is conscious of the presence behind itself of the
Alaya and also of the latter's uninterrupted working on the entire
system of the Vijnanas.
Alayavijnana: Alaya,vijnana Alaya is a store where things are
hoarded for future use. The Citta as a cumulative factor is thus
identified with the Alayavjnana. But, strictly speaking, the Alaya is not
a Vijnana as there is no discerning power in it. It indiscriminatly
harbours all that is poared into it by the Vijnanas. The Alaya is
perfectly neutral, indifferent, and does not offer to give judgments.
See vijana.
Alms: In Buddhism, the offering of food to monks on their
daily rounds and the donation of goods and money to the monasteries.
Alya Vijnana: All conserving mind. Metaphysical resevoir for
Amida Buddha - Origin: In the Larger Sutra on Immeasurable Life,
Shakyamuni explained how a monk called Dharmakara ('Dharma
Treasury') made vows to lead all beings to enlightenment by creating
a Pure Land, a realm that is free from the misleading ignorance that
hinders our progress to Buddhahood, and how he would enable us all
to be born there. Furthermore, Shakyamuni explained that Amida has
attained enlightenment in the deep boundless past and has achieved
his purpose.
Amida Buddha: 'Amida' is a compound East-Asian word derived
from two Sanskrit words: Amitabha (Infinite Light) and Amitayus
(Infinite Life). 'Amida Buddha', means, therefore, 'Infinite Light
Buddha' and 'Infinite Life Buddha'. Amida is not limited to a specific
point in history although knowledge of him first arose from
Amida Butsu: Japanese version of Amitabha Buddha. See
Amitabha (Amita, Amida): Amitabha is 'the Buddha of Unlimited Light'
who is said to preside over the Western paradise known as Sukhavati.
The story has that in a previous birth, as a monk called Dharmakara,
he vowed that he would in the future create a land which was
conducive to winning enlightenment. Sukhavati or the Pure Land is the
fulfilments of this vow. Those born in the Pure Land cannot be reborn
as a hell-being, animal or ghost and would only have one further
rebirth before attaining enlightenment. To be born in the Pure Land
the believer must have a sincere wish to be reborn there and must call
upon the name of Amitabha ten times. Amitabha has especial
significance for Pure Land Buddhism.
Amitabha (Skt. / Tib. Opame): The Buddha of boundless light. One of the
five dhyani Buddhas. Amitabha is a symbol for the clear light state in
meditation. Amitabha practice employs the means of visualization,
mantra and wishing prayers to realize the deity as the true nature of
our own mind, clear, empty and compassionate.
Amitabha Buddha (K. Amita Bul): Emanates from the meditation of the
primordial Buddha. He is the Buddha of Infinite Light and presides
over the Western Pure Land. In India, where Buddhism began, people
found relief from the extreme heat of the day when the sun reached
the western sky. Thus, Amitabha's paradise came to be associated
with the west. Amitabha has vowed to save all beings that call on him.

He assists them by admitting them to his Pure Land, where they will
have no hindrances to achieving enlightenment.
Amitabha: The Bodhisattva whose name means 'Budha of
Boundless Light' and who dwells in the paradise called the Pure Land.
He is also the founder of this sect of Buddhism.
Amrita (Skt. / Tib. dutsi): Literally, 'elixir of immortality.' A symbol of
wisdom, amrita is blessed liquor used in Vajrayana practices. This
legend concerning amrita is of great importance both in Saivite and
Vaishnavite system of beliefs. The devas and the asuras (gods and
demons) united in their efforts to churn the celestial ocean of milk
(ksheerasaagaram), in quest of Amrita (the nectar of life and
immortality). This mammoth task was carried out with the Mandara
Mount as the churning stick and the mythological snake Vasuki as the
rope. Vishnu assumed the Koorma avatara (tortoise) to hold the
Mandara mountain in place and to prevent it from sinking into the
Anabhoga: State of non-striving
Ananya: Not different
Anapanasati(Pali): Literally, 'Inhale-Exhale' (Ana-Panasa).
Mindfulness of in-and-out breathing used in many forms of meditation.
Wakefulness during inhalation and exhaling, meditation on the breath.
One of the most important preliminary exercises for the attainment of
the Four Absorptions (Dhyana). Generally consists of counting the
inhalations and exhalations, which has the effect of calming the mind.
This exercise is the basic preliminary practice of meditation in the
various schools of Buddhism. Concentration on the breathing process
leads to one-pointedness of the mind; ultimately to insight that leads
to Arahantship. See Dhyana
Anatman: No self
Anatta: Not-self
Anicca: Impermanence
Animal realm: One of the six realms of existence that has as its
primary cause of rebirth the conflicting emotion ignorance. One of the
three lower or unfortunate realms of existence. See 'six realms of
existence or samsara.'
Animitta: No-form
Anitya: Impermanence
Antarabhava: Middle way existence
Anugraha: Blessing
Anutara yoga: [Highest Union Lineage] Tantra-Yoga not paying
much attention to external activities but rather focuses on internal i.e.
Chakrasamvara, yogambara, Hevajra (Other tantra-yogas are [action]
Kira-Tantra (carya), [behaviour] Charya-Tantra (carya), [union] Yoga-
Anutpattikadharmakshanti: The recognition of things as unborn (the
supreme spiritual achievement of the Bhodisattva)
Anuttara: Unexcelled
Anya: Different
Aprapti: Non-attainment.
Apratisamkhya-Niroda: Annihilation taking place without
Apratisamkhyanirodha: Annihilation
Arhat (Skt.): Literally, 'enemy destroyer.' The Arhat (Arhant)
represents the Hinayana ideal, one who has experienced the cessation
of suffering through purification of the veils produced by the 'enemy,'
the kleshas or conflicting emotions. Although free from the cycles of
rebirth, the arhat is not fully enlightened.
Arhat - Arhants, Arhan (Tib): (Tibet) 16 fully realised with freedom from
cycle (samsara) distinguished by the Buddha - 1st council in Rajagrha -
they renounced Nirvana cf. Bhodisattvas. Therefore considered (north
Bhuddists) as sravakas - auditors of the good word - all disciples of the
small vehicle destined to become Bhodisattvas.
Arhat: A Buddhist monk who is free from all illusions and
who has achieved personal enlightenment. This term is used primarily
in Theravada Buddhism but also in Mahayana and Vajrayana.
Arhat: Goal Nirvana. Worthy of alms, early Buddhists ie.
direct students of the Buddha.
Artha: Reality
Arupa: Non-form
Arupina: Formless

Arya: Noble, holy or worthy.
Aryabhavavastu: The exalted self-nature of all things - recognised
only when the spiritual eye looks beyond the realm of discriminations
as ruled by being/non-being. Also: vivktadharma - the truth of
solitude, the absolute
Aryavastubhavasvabhva: The exalted self-nature of all things -
recognised only when the spiritual eye looks beyond the realm of
discriminations as ruled by being/non-being. Also: vivktadharma - the
truth of solitude, the absolute
Asama sama Mantra: The mantra equal to the unequalled.
Ashaksha: Graduated disciples of the Buddha.
Asparas: Mates (female) of Gandharvas (air/woods spirits)
Asrava: Outflow
Asraya: Subjects
Astina-stitva: Being & non-being.
Astitvadrishti: Realism
Asuras Demons, but not always of sinister character.
Powerful beings who opposed the Devas and were overthrown by the
Aryan supplanters in early Vedic times and incorporated into the new
Pantheon. Varuna and Mitra were so classified. By the end of the Vedic
period they attained a more demonic aspect or role i.e. Vitra was quite
evil. In some aspects they were often more pios than the gods and
more powerful.
Asvaras: -4- Ignorance, desire, craving (for self-existence),
attachment to views
Atikranto: Bhodissatvas see through the delusion of
samsara, of nirvana & of the non-existence of nirvana (these terms
cannot apply to what lies beyond duality). Nirvana is simply the final
Atma-Sakti: It is through mind that Brahma manifests the
world. He manifests himself thereby as the differentiated universe etc.
That which separates you from "god" is mind. The aspect that stands
between you and god is mind. Pull the wall down through "Om-
Chintana" or devotion & you come face to face with "God".
Atma: Ego
Atman: Hindu idea of a soul - the individual consciousness
that was reborn again and again.
Attainment & prajnaparamita: Regardless of attainment or non-attainment
of any ‘earlier’ knowledge, in the emptiness of prajnaparamita all
states of mind (pertaining to past, present, future) disappear & hence
so does time since all time-states are fictions of the mind. This is in
preparation for the Bhodisattva relying on what is beyond knowledge,
attainment & non-attainment i.e. prajnaparamita.
Attavada: The doctrine of Self (see pudgala)
Auspicious coincidence (Tib. tendrel): The coming together of meritorious
conditions to create a positive result; i.e., in meeting a guru or
receiving teachings.
Avabhasan: Illumination or manifestation
Avacitta-Drisya: What is seen is mind itself
Avadhuti (Skt.): The central channel or nadi of the subtle body
that represents non-dual wisdom.
Avalokiteshvara (Skt. / Tib. Chenrezig): 'loving eyes', the bodhisattva of
compassion. One of the eight great bodhisattvas of Shakyamuni
Buddha. Avalokiteshvara, the patron deity of Tibet is the embodiment
of the compassion of all the Buddhas. Known as a yidam or deity
practice, Avalokiteshvara is a ritualized meditative technique designed
to help the practitioner directly access the spiritual qualities
symbolized by the deity. The methods of supportive imagery or
visualization, mantra and wishing prayers are the means used to
cultivate boundless compassion.
Avalokiteshvara = Avalokitasvara (Avalokysatva): Has 33 manifestations (both male
and female)
Avalokiteshvara: Bodhisattva of Compassion. Compassion and
Wisdom represent the two main concepts of Mahayana Buddhism. See
Avalokiteshvara: (4-part compound), ava- down, lok- to look,
changes ita to avalok- "one who looks down", ishvara- lord or master, -
lord who looks down, master looking down, (a- ending therefore male)
also: Ashvara "sound of lamentation"

Avalokiteshvara: A subsequent incarnation of Santushita.
Sanushita is realisation (sanbhoga-kaya), Avalokiteshvara is
manifestation (nimana-kaya).
Avarana: Barrier to spiritual life – 3 fold: 1)Karma-avarana
(walls of karma, all limiting circumstances); 2) Klesha avarana (walls
of passion, anger & desire); 3) Jneya-avarana (walls of knowledge
including all forms of delusion existing/non-existing : does-not/does.
Walls of the mind.
Avidya: Ignorance as to the meaning of life.
Avyakrita: Inexplicable
Awake: Realization of one's own Buddha-nature; the
primordially awake essential nature of every being.
Awakening Buddha-aftermath: "Now I have found the Truth to end all
suffering; how can I teach it so that other people can understand it
and accept it? Maybe in speaking about the Truth, I would only
confuse people, or my message might go unheeded. Perhaps I should
just pass away." Then there came the voice of Brahmadeva. "No,
please don't leave the world without teaching. You should propagate
the Truth because there are so many people suffering. Your teaching
will save many of them." It is said that the deity requested the Buddha
three times, and only then did the Buddha finally agree to teach
others what he had learned. The first people the Buddha encountered
were the five ascetics he had practiced with before. They did not want
to talk to him, but his majestic appearance forced them to look at him.
The Buddha then began to lecture about the Truth to them, and these
five mendicants became his first disciples. In Buddhism, this first
lecture is called "the first turning of the dharma wheel."
Awakening Buddha-the meditation: Siddhartha found a bodhi tree on the
outskirts of the city of Gaya in eastern India. He sat down, arranged
his limbs in meditation posture, and began to meditate. He vowed not
to get up until he reached enlightenment. Forty-nine days later, he
awakened to the Truth. During these days, Mara, the demon king, and
his evil army attempted to disrupt his meditation in any way they
could. Mara and his cohorts failed to disturb him and finally they fled.
When the Buddha became awakened, he was thirty-five years old. (see
also jhana for technique)
Awakening Buddha-the middle way: One day, he overheard a master
musician instructing his pupil. "If the string is too tight, it will break; if
the string is too loose, no sound will come out. So we should tie the
string neither too loose nor too tight and then the musical notes will
emerge true and clear." "The Middle Way!" That was what Siddhartha
had sought for years. After years of asceticism he looked at himself:
he was so skinny that his ribs were outlined against his skin, and there
did not seem to be any flesh left on him. He was so weak that he could
hardly stand up. If he continued like this, he could simply die from
starvation without reaching the Truth. He ate, but not to enjoy the
taste, nor to fill his stomach. But eating too much was not good either.
The middle way was the solution. He crawled to a river and drank
some water. A young girl herding sheep came by and offered him
some goat's milk, which invigorated his thin body.
Awareness: The self-cognizant quality of mind, developed
and clarified in meditation practice.
Ayam: Coming (origination of objective world)
Ayatana: Resting place
Ayatanas: Base/source of sense-object: eye (shape/form)
etc., ear, nose, tongue, body-sense, mind-base (manoyatana)
Ayavyaya: The notion of "coming and going"
Ayukta: Irrationality, that is: appearances are born of
irrationality arising from habit-energy & due to discrimination.
Objectivity discriminated makes the world - a mind takes its rise from
recognising objectivity; when it is clearly seen that what is perceived
(seen) is the Mind itself, discrimination ceases. Lank.
Bardo (Tib.): Literally, 'in between' or 'intermediate.' Bardos
are the phases in the cyclical process of life, death and rebirth.
Vajrayana teachings generally define six major bardos, 1 bardo of
death, The interval from the moment when the individual begins to die
until the moment when the separation of the mind and body takes
place. 2 bardo of dharmata, The interval immediately following death
when the mind fully experiences its own, ultimate nature. The first
phase of the after-death experience. 3 bardo of becoming, The interval

during which the disembodied mind moves towards rebirth. This is
what is commonly referred to as 'the bardo'. 4 bardo of this life,
Ordinary waking consciousness during the present lifetime. 5 bardo of
dream, The dream state experienced in sleep. 6 bardo of meditation,
The state of meditative absorption.
Bardo Thodol: The Tibetan name for the Book of the Dead.
Bardo: A human soul between the stages of after-death
and rebirth.
Beings, all: The nature of beings is non-existent, and what is
seen as external is nothing but the mind; when the mind itself is not
perceived, discrimination is evolved. This means there is something
not recognised by the intellect. [Lank]
Bhaisagya Buddha (K. Yaksayorae Bul): is the Medicine Buddha. He provides relief
not only from disease and misfortune, but also from ignorance, which
is the greatest illness. Although Buddhas are not typically depicted
holding anything in their hands, Bhaisagya Buddha holds a medicine
bowl. Images of Bhaisagya Buddha closely resemble those of Amitabha
except that Amita Buddha is usually golden, while the Korean Medicine
Buddha is almost always white. (In Tibetan iconography it is always
Bhaisajyaguru: This is 'the Healing Buddha' or 'Medicine
Buddha' and is deemed to have a number of powers beneficial to those
who call upon him. These include healing, long life, wealth, and
protection of the state. In Buddhist art his skin is either gold or blue
and in one hand he holds a medicine bowl symbolic of his role.
Bhava: Existence
Bhikkhu: A fully ordained monk who has left his home and
renounced all his possessions in order to follow the Way of the Buddha
Bhodi Sava: Enlightenment at last.
Bhodisattva: Spiritual enlightenment of self and others - the
path to the enlightenment of the whole world (Buddha). A being
(sattva) of enlightenment (bhodi). Sattva also tends to mean warrior -
thus "champion of enlightenment".
Bhumi (Skt. / Tib. sa): Literally 'ground' or 'foundation.' The ten stages
of realization and activity through which a bodhisattva progresses on
the path towards enlightenment.
Bhuta: Elements
Bhutakoti: Limit of reality.
Bhutanta: End of reality
Bhutata: Realness of things
Bhuva: Objective existence.
Bikkhu: See Bhikkhu
Bikshu: See Bhikkhu
Birth: From the union of mother (desire) & father
(ignorance) the deep-mind (alaya) gets connected with the shallow-
mind (manas) - like a rat in a pot of ghee. The red together with the
white grows up -> unclean mass ... karma -> birth. Discrimination,
designation, names. The notion of self-substance belongs to
discrimination. Individual existences are appearances, images (maya).
Transcendental knowledge is not discriminated. (Lank)
Blessing(s): Also known as adhisthana. In the Vajrayana
tradition, a student who has genuine devotion and proper motivation
can receive the blessings of the lineage. Blessings are usually
bestowed by one's teacher and other lineage masters, or can be
received through heartfelt connection to one's practice. Blessings
awaken a greater sense of awareness in the practitioner.
Bo Tree: The tree beneath which the meditating Gautama
sat before he achieved enlightenment.
Bodh Gaya: The place of pilgrimage in Bihar, India, where
Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment around 500 B.C.
Bodhi (Skt.): Enlightenment, awakening.
Bodhi Tree: See Bo Tree
Bodhicitta (Skt.): Literally, 'enlightened heart' or 'enlightened
mind.' Bodhicitta or enlightened attitude is the aspiration and action
to attain enlightenment in order to deliver all sentient beings from the
sufferings of cyclic existence. The development of bodhicitta is the
indispensable essence of all Mahayana and Vajrayana practices.
Bodhidarma: Nagajuna
Bodhidarma: The legendary monk who brought Buddhism
from India to China in the sixth century C.E.

Bodhisattva (Skt.): Literally, 'enlightenment being.' 1. A
practitioner who has attained realization of the bhumis 2. A
practitioner who is devoted to achieving enlightenment for the sake of
all sentient beings. 3. Someone who has taken the bodhisattva vow.
Bodhisattva: A being in the final stages of attaining
Buddhahood, who has vowed to help all sentient beings achieve
Nirvana, or enlightenment, before he himself achieves it. Accepts 3-
fold world.
Bodhisattva: Looks for the golden mean between the absolute
and the mundane. Defers liberation (proposed by indolent monks -
focused on personal salvation). The two vehicles (saravaka - student
diciple, pratyekaBuddha) only concerned with own spiritual benefit as
opposed to Bhodisattva. The 2 vehicles avoid the 3-fold world through
Bodhisattvas: Bodhisattvas vow not to consider themselves
free of suffering until there's no more suffering anywhere. The
Bodhisattva Vow, the heroic, altruistic journey of awakening. (see
suffering & the skandhas) (see Five Paths)
Brahman: The Ultimate Reality. Similar to a Supreme Being.
Bramarandhra (Skt.): The upper opening of the central channel
(avadhuti) located on the top of the head.
Buddha (Skt.): Literally, 'awakened one.' 1. The historical
Buddha Shakyamuni. 2. Any being that has achieved the complete,
perfect enlightened state. 3. The potential for awakened mind present
in all beings. 4. Also, the first of the 'three jewels' the Buddha, the
dharma and the sangha.
Buddha Padmaprabha: Shariputra turned to the Bhodisattva path.
Form is emptiness, Emptiness is form (emptiness of self-existence)
Form is not just empty but so completely so that it is emptiness itself.
Emptiness is thus "all of reality" although neither can reality be
considered to be whole. "Reality" is in essence indivisible or empty of
anything self-existent (because nothing can be defined by reference to
itself only - everything partakes of characteristic reference points of
others so nothing exists in and of itself).
Buddha Sakyamuni: Mercy and compassion, the wise one of the
Sakyamuni tribe. Another name for the Buddha.
Buddha's Teaching: This world is nothing but mind.
Buddha-nature (Skt. tathagatagarbha): The essence of Buddhahood; the
primordially awake essential nature of every being. Obscured by
ignorance and kleshas, this nature can be actualized by the various
practices of Buddhism.
Buddha-nature: The nature innate in every sentient being. The
potential for attaining Buddhahood.
Buddha-nature: Medieval Christian mystic Meister Ekhardt said,
"The eye through which I see God is the eye through which He sees
me." There is just the seeing. There's no me and God. The eye through
which I see Buddha is the eye through which Buddha sees me. The eye
with which I recognize awareness (Buddha-nature) is the eye with
which awareness (Buddha-nature) recognizes me. (nondualism)
Buddha: Enlightened One
Buddha: There is nothing but that which is seen of the
mind itself - the duality is of the mind - existence is divided into the
grasped and the grasping. As long as mentation is going on there is
materialism. When there is no rising of discrimination the world is
seen as of mind itself. [Lank]
Buddha: Self-existent one, leader.
Buddha: Space, Nirvana, causation exist in numeration - as
realities they are unobtainable. As long as there is a mental
perturbation which makes one cling to an objective world of
discrimination there is materialism. When it is recognised that there is
nothing beyond that which is seen by mind itself, discrimination of
being and non-being ceases, as thus there is no external world as the
object of perception discrimination abides in its own abode. The self-
abode of reality is where reality as it is, is in itself- as something
solitary. Discrimination ceases and one abides in the self-mode
(abode). It ceases to evolve as discrimination is no more borne. It is
said to have ceased to evolve. In short any coming and going of
vijanas, clinging, touch etc. etc. this is materialism, yours, not mine.

Buddha: First form of cosmology: everything exists; 2nd
form: everything does not exist; 3rd form: everything is oneness; 4th
form: everything is manyness (Lank)
Buddha: Sanscrit for ‘awakened’, to awaken oneself and
awaken others.
Buddha: Awareness
Buddhafields: Also called pure lands, this is a realm created by
the pure wishes of bodhisattvas prior to their attainment of Buddha-
hood where conditions are perfect for the swift attainment of
Buddhi: Essence is Ahankara
Buddhi: Intelligence
Buddhism: 3-fold: precepts, samadhi, wisdom
Buddhism: 3 Branches (vehicles): 1) Hinayana (Theravada)
Way of the Arhats (original students of The Buddha but later seen as
entering Nirvana not to return) - transcendence of sorrowful
attachment to conditional (personal) self, transcendental realization
based on material realism - effects of a beginning-less and endless
chain of causation, (lesser vehicle, with focus on enlightenment of the
individual) earliest tradition arising in India passing to southern Asia.
2) Mahayana (greater vehicle), way of the Bhodisattvas,
transcendence of the rejection of personal self, the material world is
nothing but mind (projection of consciousness). Self surrender and
compassionate service. With focus on the apprehension of the Arhat in
Nirvana but returning as a Bhodhisattva with the purpose of
enlightening all beings - arising in India passing to China, Japan,
northern Asia.
Buddhism: 3) Vajryana (Tantryana) way of the Mahasiddas,
transcendence of both above mentioned considerations. All positives
and negatives are aspects of the personal self & experience. Focus in
the transcendence involving the unity of polarized opposites
attainable in current lifetime. Arising in India, passing to the north -
Tibet. The adamantine vehicle
Buddhism: Founder of this religion is "the Buddha," or "the
Enlightened One." Before his enlightenment, his name was Siddhartha
Gautama, with Siddhartha (meaning "one who achieves") being his
given name and Gautama (meaning "sacred cattle") being the family
name. Buddha was born in the state of Kapilavastu, now part of
southern Nepal. The actual year of his birth is disputed. The Southern
Buddhists (Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian
nations) believe that he died in 544 B.C., at the age of eighty, making
the year of his birth 624 B.C. However, there is also evidence to
suggest the Buddha was born some time between 544 B.C. and 368
B.C. As for the date of his birth, people in China and Japan hold that
the eighth day of the fourth month in the lunar calendar is his
birthday, and call this day "Buddha's Birthday" or "the Day for
Showering the Buddha." His father, King Suddhodhana, was a wealthy
Kapilavastu ruler of the Shakya tribe (the Buddha is also referred to as
Butsu-dan: Japanese Buddhist household altar.
Ch'an: Forms of Mahayana Buddhism in China. Japanese
version is called Zen. See also Zen
Ch'an: Zen, Shao-Lin-Ssu
Chain of Dependent Origination : In a formal sense the chain starts with:
Ignorance (which gives rise to)-> Memory-> Consciousness-> Name &
Form-> Abodes-> Contact-> Sensation-> Thirst->
Chain of Dependent Origination: Memory & Ignorance (1st two links) come
from Past Existences - Birth & Old Age(last 2 links) are effects for
future existence - together = ‘Soul’. Self is not really obviated, but
simply set-aside under a different ‘guise’ & ignored.
Chain of Dependent Origination: Thus the chain does not have recourse to a
self so a break between any of the links will disrupt the process & put
and end to the chain of causation once & for all – which is what
Buddha did. However, Avalokitesvara/Chenrezig shines the light of
Prajnaparamita (higher meditation, beyond the peak) on the links and
finds they do not exist in the first place:
Chain of Dependent Origination: (Pratitya-samupada) having 12 links -
(dvadashanga) See Buddha's Path of Enlightenment.
Chaitya: An assembly hall for monks.

Chakra (Skt. / Tib. khorlo): Literally, 'circle' or 'wheel.' In Buddhist yoga
practice, this refers to the energy centres of the subtle body, head,
throat, heart and navel.
Chakrasamvara (Skt. / Tib. Khorlo Demchog): Literally, 'binder of the chakras.'
Chakrasamvara is a heruka visualized as dark blue in colour and in
union with his consort, Vajrayogini. An important tantric deity; a key
yidam of Kagyu lineage.
Chenrezig (Tib. / Skt. Avalokiteshvara): 'loving eyes,' the bodhisattva of
compassion. One of the eight great bodhisattvas of Shakyamuni
Buddha. Chenrezig, the patron deity of Tibet is the embodiment of the
compassion of all the Buddhas. Known as a yidam or deity practice,
Chenrezig is a ritualized meditative technique designed to help the
practitioner directly access the spiritual qualities symbolized by the
deity. The methods of supportive imagery or visualization, mantra and
wishing prayers are the means used to cultivate boundless
compassion. (see deity)
Chia-Shan: When you see form you see the mind - but
people only see form --- They don't see the mind, look into the depths
and think about what you are doing one act at a time & you will
suddenly see. When you don't see, you see it. When you see it, you
don't see it.
Circumambulation: Act of walking clockwise in reverence around a
sacred object such as stupa, a temple, holy landmark, etc.
Citta Alambana: Objects of the mind.
Citta matra: Mind only, here citta appears in the highest sense
- not simply mentation nor intellection nor perception (as a function of
consciousness) but identified with the alaya in an absolute aspect.
Citta: Mind
Citta: from the root "cit", to think. In the Lankavatara
Sutra the derivation is made from the root "ci" - to pile up, to arrange
in order.. The citta is thus a storehouse where the seeds of all
thoughts and deeds are stored up. In a general sense citta means
mind, mentation, ideas including the activity of the manas and
manovijnana and also the vijnanas and it is also specifically a synonym
for alayavijnana in a relative aspect.
Cittakalpa: also called Vijnanakaya. Here Citta and Vijnana
are used synonomously (Lank). Vijnanakaya\Cittakalpa consists of: -
Alayavijnana, Manas, Manovijnana, & 5 sense-Vijnanas. Note: in fact
perception = discrimination and every vijnana performs these two
functions simultaneausly (Lank) but this (analytical function) of a
double activity does not belong to the Alayavijnana.
Cittasraya: Innermost seat of consciousness
Cittasya dharmata: Essence of mind
Coming & Going Coming (ayam) means the origination of the
objective world as effect & going (vyayam) is the not seeing of the
effect. When one thoroughly understands the coming & going
discrimination ceases.
Compassion (Skt. karuna / Tib. nyingje): The unconditional wish that all sentient
beings be freed from physical and mental suffering.
Completion (Skt sampanakrama/Tib. dzog rim): One of the two stages of tantric
practice based upon absolute or ultimate truth. In the Kagyu tradition,
the six yogas of Naropa are completion stage practices. See
development stage.
Conditioned existence: Life within the six realms of existence or
samsara where experiences are conditioned by causes and effects and
inevitable suffering.
Conflict within Buddhism: In Tibet, from the early seventeenth century
well into the eighteenth competing Buddhist sects engaged in armed
hostilities and summary executions. In the twentieth century, in
Thailand, Burma, Korea, Japan, and elsewhere, Buddhists clashed with
each other and with non-Buddhists. In Sri Lanka, armed battles in the
name of Buddhism are part of Sinhalese history. The Chinese
Communists occupied Tibet in 1951 the resulting treaty provided for
ostensible self-government under the Dalai Lama's rule with China
having military control and exclusive right to conduct foreign
relations. Whatever wrongs and new oppressions introduced by the
Chinese in Tibet, after 1959 they did abolish slavery and the serfdom
system of unpaid labour, and put an end to floggings, mutilations, and
amputations as a form of criminal punishment. They established

secular education, thereby breaking the educational monopoly of the
monasteries. And they constructed running water and electrical
systems in Lhasa.
Conflicting or disturbing emotion(s): Also called negative emotions or
kleshas. Conflicting emotions obscure the essentially pure nature of
mind. The five conflicting emotions are passion (also called desire or
attachment), aggression, ignorance, jealousy and pride.
Confusion: Not seeing or understanding the true nature of
mind and the suffering in conditioned existence that results from it.
Consort: A female deity (Tib. yum), represented in union
with a male deity (Tib. yab). The female symbolizes wisdom,
inseparable from the male aspect of skilful means. Also, consort refers
to the wife of a great teacher.
Contact: For definition requests or comments, please
Crazy wisdom: The primordial wisdom or skilful means of a
realized meditation master that spontaneously responds to situations
to fulfil the four enlightened actions of pacifying, enriching,
magnetizing and destroying. Even though the behaviour of a crazy
wisdom master may appear outrageous and unconventional, the
motivation of his or her action is based on unconditional compassion.
Cuanda: Blacksmith that gave a meal to Buddha, causing
him to become ill.
Cyuti: Two-fold death, egoless-ness of things and persons
Daka (Skt.): Literally, 'sky-dancer.' The cosmic male energy
principle associated with skilful means.
Dakini (Skt.): Literally, 'sky-dancer.' The cosmic feminine
energy principle associated with knowledge, wisdom and creativity.
Damaru (Skt.): A double-sided hand drum used in tantric
Dana: Generosity
Darsana: Insight
Davadashanga: Twelve links of dependent organisation
Deity: In Buddhism, there are no external saviors; rather
deity is often used as a translation for 'yidam' representing an
enlightened quality used as a meditation support.
Dewachen (Tib. / Skt. Sukhyavati): 'The place of great bliss.' The Buddhafield or
pure land of Buddha Amitabha where development towards
enlightenment is swift and uninterrupted.
Dhammapada, XIV, 5: To shun all evil, To do good, To purify one's
heart. This is the teaching of the Buddhas.
Dharma (Skt. / Tib. ch?): Of the many meanings for this term, in its
broadest sense it means all that can be known. Buddhism and the
Buddha's teachings are referred to as 'the Dharma' and a 'thing' or
phenomenon, a constituent of existence, is called a dharma. It is also
the second of the three jewels: the Buddha, the dharma and the
Dharma Buddha: Forms seen as external are due to the
imagination of people, they are nothing but Mind itself & therefore
there is no external world. [Lank]
Dharma-kaya: Real body of a Buddha – as pure as the moon in
the sky.
Dharma: The ultimate law, or doctrine, as taught by
Buddha, which consists of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold
Dharma: Truth
Dharma: Building-block of reality.
Dharma: Thought
Dharmadhatu (Skt.): The un-contrived realm of all elements of
phenomena, both samsara and Nirvana; the ultimate space in which all
Dharmadhatu: Abides forever - Tathagata or not [Lank]
Dharmadhatu: Realm of truth
Dharmakaya (Skt.): One of the trikaya, the three bodies of a
Buddha. Dharmakaya, the wisdom form or mind of the Buddhas is
none other than absolute truth, which is non-conceptual and
Dharmakaya: "ground state" of pure consciousness (sky)
Dharmamegha: Law-cloud
Dharmamegha: The Dharma-cloud

Dharmapala (Skt. / Tib. ch? kyong): 'Protector of the dharma.' An
enlightened being, generally of wrathful appearance, who eliminates
obstacles on the path to enlightenment.
Dharmas: Teachings of Buddha ie law - permanent
universal truth.
Dharmata (Skt.): The fundamental nature of all phenomena, the
essence of reality.
Dharmata-Buddha: Suchness, true nature of things, phenomena
as seen by enlightened being. [Lank]
Dharmata-Nishyanda-Buddha: The Buddha that flows out of the absolute
Dhatus: Tissues of human body, 7: chyle, blood, muscle,
fat etc
Dhyana(Four Absorptions): A state of mind achieved through higher
Dhyana: Meditation, contemplation
Dhyani buddha (Skt.): The five dhyani Buddhas - Amitaba,
Akshobya, Amoghasiddhi, Ratnasambhava and Vairocana express the
fully enlightened energy corresponding to the five Buddha families -
padma, vajra, karma, ratna and Buddha. Each Buddha is the central
figure of his family's mandala.
Diamond Sutra: A discourse by the Buddha on the
characteristics of enlightenment
Dipankara Buddha The Buddha of Fixed Light. Said to predate
the historical Buddha in a world cycle long past and to have foretold
his coming. Sometimes equated with Adibuddha, the "original
Discrimination: Life, warmth, vijana, alaya, vital principle,
manas, manovijnana....... While the imagined is being imagined the
imagination itself has no reality; seeing that discrimination has no
reality, how does it really take place? [Lank]
Don(s) (Tib.): Ostensibly caused by a malevolent spirit, dons
are physical and/or mental obstructions experienced due to a lack of
Dorje (Tib. / Skt. vajra): Generally symbolizing indestructibility or
adamantine quality, the dorje or vajra is a ritual object used together
with a bell or ghanta. The dorje represents skilful means or
compassion and the bell symbolizes wisdom.
Dorje Chang (Tib. / Skt. Vajradhara): Literally, 'vajra holder.' The name of the
dharmakaya Buddha who is of particular importance to the Kagyu
lineage. The ultimate source of tantric teachings, he is of dark blue
color and crosses his arms while holding a bell and dorje, symbolizing
the inseparability of wisdom and skilful means.
Dorje Phagmo (Tib. / Skt. Vajrayogini): A semi-wrathful deity visualized as red in
color, Dorje Phagmo represents the transformation of ignorance and
passion (desire or attachment) into wisdom and compassion. An
important tantric deity, a key yidam of the Kagyu tradition that is
generally practiced after completion of ngondro or the preliminary
Dorje Sempa (Tib. / Skt. Vajrasattva): Literally, 'vajra being.' The Buddha of
purification. One of the four preliminary practices using the recitation
of the 100-syllable mantra, Dorje Sempa practice involves
acknowledging and regretting all one's negative actions with the aim
to purify the habitual tendencies from which they arise. Dorje Sempa
is visualized as white in color and represents the intrinsic capacity of
the mind to recognize its own primordial purity.
Dosha: Error
Dravya: Substances
Drishti-dosha: Intellection
Drisya: What is seen
Drisyam: Visible world
Duality: The mistaken perception separating the perceiver
and the world, self and other, this and that.
Duhkas: Retributions of suffering create Klesus
Dukkha: Suffering, emptiness, impermanence. (one of 4
noble truths)
Dukkha: Suffering
Duramgama: The stage of "far-going"
Dzog chen (Tib. / Skt. maha ati): 'The great perfection.' Perfection means that
the nature of mind contains all the qualities of the three kayas: it is

empty, it is clear and it is all encompassing. Dzog Chen is an important
tantric practice of the Nyingma lineage.
Ego-clinging: Holding on to the belief in 'I,' a self.
Ego: The mistaken notion of 'I', a separate self, from
which all confusion and suffering arises.
Ego: Lankavatara Sutra: (755) The ego being (primarily)
pure has been defiled on account of the external passions since the
beginning-less past & what has been added to the outside is like a
(soiled) garment to be washed off. (756) As when a garment is
cleansed of its dirt, or when gold is removed from its impurities, they
are not destroyed but remain as they are; so is the ego freed from its
defilements. (765) Those who hold the theory of non-ego are injurers
of the Buddhist doctrines, they are given up to the dualistic view of
being & non-being; they are to be ejected by the convocation of the
Bikshus and are never to be spoken to (see also 766)
Egoless-ness: The experience of our world absent of dualistic
fixation, either of oneself or of external phenomena. One of the three
marks of existence.
Eight auspicious symbols: Symbols that correspond to the different
parts of a Buddha's body - eternal knot, lotus, canopy, conch, wheel,
banner, vase and fish.
Eight worldly dharmas: The worldly concerns of gain and loss;
happiness and suffering; praise and blame; and fame and infamy.
Ekaggata: One-pointedness. Unlike other jhana factors,
one-pointedness is not specifically mentioned in the usual formula for
the first jhana, but it is included among the jhana factors by the
Mahavedalla Sutta (M.i,294) as well as in the Abhidhamma. One-
pointedness is a universal mental concomitant, the factor by virtue of
which the mind is cantered upon its object. It brings the mind to a
single point, the point occupied by the object. As a jhana factor one-
pointedness is always directed to a wholesome object and wards off
unwholesome influences, in particular the hindrance of sensual desire.
As the hindrances are absent in jhana one-pointedness acquires
special strength, based on the previous sustained effort of
Empowerment (Skt. abhisheka / Tib. wang): A ritual initiation into a mandala of a
particular Buddhist practice, empowerment is conferred by a lineage
teacher who is a recipient and practitioner of such transmissions.
Thus, the student is empowered to perform the practice.
Emptiness (Skt. shunyata): In the Mahayana, emptiness refers to the
absence of self or ego in the mind and in its external projections.
Refers to the fact that all conceptual frameworks are empty of any
reality, of a solid and unchanging essence. Also refers to the absolute
and pure quality of mind. Emptiness is taught as the central theme of
prajnaparamita texts and madhyamika philosophy. The meaning is
thus "not space" but something like the opposite. Namely the absence
of the falsely conceived space between entities of the mind or those of
the material world created by discrimination.
Emptiness: Does not mean "nothingness", it is the absence of
erroneous distinctions dividing one entity from another, one being
from another, one thought from another. Emptiness is not nothing it is
everything "everything at once” -> as seen by Avalokiteshvara. True
emptiness has never not existed but by means of existence it is
distinguished from emptiness. Illusion existence has been empty from
time without beginning, but by means of emptiness it is seen as
existing. And because emptiness is an existent emptiness, it is not
empty. Emptiness which is not empty, does not stop being empty. And
existence which does not exist, exists but not forever.
Emptiness: None of the Dharmas are found in emptiness (i.e.
knowledge thereof) but also the one who knows the knowledge of
emptiness cannot be found either (no attachment). The 5 skandhas as
well as all the rest are empty – the light of the mind shines alone. Thus
emptiness is not a state to be attained, it is merely a transient insight
immediately filled by the light of mind alone (or the reflection
Emptiness: By understanding that the Dharmas are empty
inside & out the vision of one’s wisdom is not blocked by the nature of
Ending of Ignorance: But if there is no ignorance how can there be
an ending of ignorance? What is there that ends (dies)? Because its

nature is ‘empty’ we say ‘there is no ignorance’. But because of ‘true
emptiness’ (that is, the emptiness of ‘no ending of ignorance’) there is
nothing that can end. Likewise, if the 12 links of causation arise, then
life & death can come to an end. But because causation does not arise,
in that the nature of ‘no ending of life & death’ is ‘empty’ then the
resulting true emptiness means that there is no end to life & death
(i.e. old age & death). That is, the non-existence of the links of
causation – does not exist. Thus Avalokiteshva having told Shariputra
that in the light of Prajnaparamita the links of the chain do not exist,
now tells him, in the same light, their non-existence likewise does not
Enlightened attitude (Skt. bodhicitta): Enlightened attitude or bodhicitta is the
aspiration and action to attain enlightenment in order to deliver all
sentient beings from the sufferings of cyclic existence. The
development of enlightened attitude is the indispensable essence of
all Mahayana and Vajrayana practices.
Enlightenment (Skt. bodhi / Tib. jangchup): The ultimate achievement of
Buddhahood, the state of realization in which the subtlest traces of
ego and ignorance about the nature of reality are purified or
Enlightenment: After master Huineng: no form, no thought, no
abiding (Ch'an - Zen). No thought <->no abiding (Diamond Sutra)
when the mind functions without abiding it is called "no thought" -
when the mind functions but abides on certain things it is called
"having thoughts". No-form means no unchanging and definite form.
Diamond sutra -"wherever there are phenomena there is illusion".
Error: Accumulation thereof as by non-recognition of an
external world as of mind itself! Clinging thereto (the false
ground/reality state) leads to multitudinous un-realities i.e. scenes
and persons as if created by magic & imagined as really in existence.
Fear of birth & death: Engenders seeking for nirvana, a dream, a
Feast offering (Skt. ganachakra / Tib. tsok): Blessing, offering and consuming food
and drink as representations of wisdom during a ritual practice.
Five Hindrances (to jhana): The five hindrances (pancanivarana) are
sensual desire (kamachanda), ill will (byapada), sloth and torpor -
sloth (thina), torpor (middha) -, restlessness and worry - restlessness
(uddhacca), worry (kukkucca) i.e. the sense of guilt aroused by moral
transgressions -, and doubt - (vicikiccha) -. The hindrances are
specifically obstructive to jhana, each hindrance impeding in its own
way the mind's capacity for concentration. When the 5 hinderances
are overcome it is called Upacara Samadhi, known also as
neighborhood concentration. This group of 5 constitute the principal
classification used by the Buddha for the obstacles to meditation. It
receives this name because its five members hinder and envelop the
mind, preventing meditative development in the two spheres of
serenity and insight. Hence the Buddha calls them obstructions,
hindrances, corruptions of the mind which weaken wisdom. The
Buddha says that all the hindrances arise through unwise
consideration (ayoniso manasikara)
Five buddha families: Buddha, vajra, ratna, padma and karma
families represent the five qualities of wisdom, respectively
Five paths (Tib. lam nga): According to the Mahayana doctrine, the five
paths to enlightenment are, 1 path of accumulation, Here, the
practitioner focuses on purification and the accumulation of merit. 2
path of unification, The focus here is cutting attachment at its root
through application of the teachings. 3 path of seeing, Here one has
gone beyond cyclic existence and has reached the first bhumi. 4 path
of meditation, The second through tenth stages of the bodhisattva. 5
path of no more learning, Full enlightenment. The stage past the tenth
Four Noble Truths: 1. Life means suffering. 2. The origin of
suffering is attachment. 3. The cessation of suffering is attainable. 4.
The path to the cessation of suffering.
Four classes of tantra: According to the New Translation School, the
division of tantra into kriya (action), carya (performance), yoga
(union) and anutara yoga (highest union).

Four karmas (Tib. thrinly zhi): The Buddha's compassion is expressed
through four main kinds of activity: pacifying, enriching, magnetizing,
& destroying
Four noble truths: The first teaching given by Buddha
Shakyamuni, the truth of suffering, the cause of suffering, the
cessation of suffering, and the path to cessation of suffering.
Gagyu Sect Tibetan Buddhism.(white): The Gagyu (Gagyupa, Kagyu,
Kagyupa,) Sect, founded in the 11th century, stresses the study of
Tantrism and advocates that Tantrist tenets be passed down orally
from one generation to another. Hence the name Gagyu, which in the
Tibetan language means "passing down orally." Marba and Milha Riba,
the founders of the Gagyu Sect, wore white monk robes when
practicing Buddhism,leading to the name White Sect. In the early
years, the White Sect was divided into the Xangba Gagyu which
declined in the 14th and to 15th centuries, and the Tabo Gagyu. The
Tabo Gagyu was powerful and its branch sects were either in power in
their respective localities or otherwise dominant amongst feudal
Gambhira Avabhasam: Deep Samadhi, called "manifestation of the
Deep". Buddha"s entering into the "womb of pragnaparamita".
Gambhira: Navel & vagina (clefts of the body)
Gambhira: Deep (practice) of Buddha teaching - 2 clefts
(navel & vagina) linking life to life.
Gampopa (Tib.): (1079-1153). Predicted by the Buddha, the
'Physician from Dhagpo' was the most famous disciple of Milarepa and
founder of the Kagyu monastic order. Gampopa brought together the
mahamudra lineage of Milarepa with the Kadampa tradition of
Mahayana mind training. Gampopa is said to have had 50,000 students
and was the first of the Kagyu lineage to teach widely.
Gandha: Smell
Gandharvas: (city of) spirits of air/forests mountains, mates
of Apsaras, where children see magically created people coming &
going & imagine they are real....
Garbha: Womb
Gassho (Japanese) a: (Often from term 'Kongo-Gassho' with Kongo
meaning 'mixture' or 'blend'). A Mudra (hand posture) seen in
Bodhisattvas or lesser Buddhist personages. The Gassho Mudra is
formed by placing the palms and fingers of the hands together in a
prayer like position in front of the mouth - with the fingertips at a
point just short of the bottom of the nose. The Gassho gesture or
position reflects recognition of the oneness of all beings. The Gassho
gesture is also used to show reverence to The Buddha, Patriarchs or
Teachers. The left and right hand and posture can represent many
things: The right hand represents the one performing the salute; the
left, the thing, idea or person to whom Gassho is being rendered.
Gassho (Japanese) b: 1) Non-Duality: One hand symbolizes the
mind, the other the body, and the posture reminds you that you and
all other living beings are one. 2) One hand stands for you and the
other for the person you are greeting or for the entire universe.
Gate: Gone! Understood.
Gati: Ocean of birth and death
Gau (Tib.): An amulet box, reliquary used to hold sacred
Gautama Buddha: lived between approximately 563 BC and 483
BC. Born Siddhartha Gautama (Sanskrit, Siddhattha Gotama Pali ?
descendent of Gotama whose aims are achieved/who is efficacious in
achieving aims), he later became the Buddha (lit. Enlightened One). He
is also commonly known as Shakyamuni or Sakyamuni (lit. "The sage
of the Shakya clan") and as the Tathagata (lit. which may mean "thus-
come-one" or "thus-gone-one"). Gautama was a contemporary of
Gelong (Tib.): A fully ordained monk.
Gelongma (Tib.): A fully ordained nun.
Gelug (Tib.): Literally, 'virtuous.' One of the four great schools
of Tibetan Buddhism founded by Je Tsonkhapa in the 14th century.
Also referred to as the 'Yellow Hat' sect. The head of the Gelugpa
lineage is the Dalai Lama.
Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism (Yellow): Gelug (Gelukpa) means Order of
Excellence or Virtuous Order in the Tibetan language. This Buddhist
sect requires its followers to strictly abide by its disciplines. The Gelug

monks usually wear yellow peach-shaped hats, and so it is also known
as the Yellow Sect. The Gelug Sect was stared by Tsongkhapa in the
late 14th century, following a period of religious reform. Tsongkhap
was originally a monk of the Kargdam Sect. He went to the U-Tsang
region to study the Buddhist scriptures in 1373, and combined
features of other Tibetan Buddhist sects, such as the Sakya and Kagyu
sects, in his new doctrine. He gave equal importance to exoteric and
esoteric forms of Buddhism. Tsongkhapa strictly abided by the
religious disciplines and set a good example for his followers. To show
his difference from other monks and his determination to observe the
commandments, Tsongkhapa began to wear a yellow hat.
Gelugpa: See Gelug
Ghanta (Skt.): The ghanta or bell is a ritual object used
together with a dorje or vajra. The bell symbolizes wisdom and the
dorje represents skilful means or compassion.
God realm: One of the six realms of existence that has as its
primary cause of rebirth the conflicting emotion pride (sometimes also
attributed to the ignorance of bliss). The lives of gods while long and
marked by sensuous bliss are ended in great sorrow as their fall from
the god realm towards a lower rebirth becomes imminent. See 'six
realms of existence or samsara.'
Gogan (Jap): Actual case-stories about enlightenment
Gotama: Another name for Buddha.
Gotram Tathagata: Pure essence of Tathagatahood
Grasping and fixation: The dualistic process whereby external
objects other than 'self' are fixated upon as solid entities and the mind
'I' then grasps them. [Lank]
Gum: To go, understand.
Guru (Skt. / Tib. lama): Spiritual teacher who guides disciples on the
path to liberation or enlightenment. A guru or lama is particularly
important in the Vajrayana tradition.
Guru yoga (Skt.): Literally, 'union with the teacher.' A
fundamental tantric practice in which the meditator receives the
blessing of the guru by seeing him as no different from the Buddha,
the yidam and the essential nature of one's own mind. Also one of the
four preliminary practices of ngondro.
Gyalwa (Tib.): 'Victorious One.' The honorific title of the
Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage.
Gyalwa Karmapa White radiance. Brings all to the level of the
Buddha by transmission of the essence of the teaching thereof. The
embodiment of the compassion of all the Buddhas & Bhodisattvas -
limitless compassion - the Buddha's intent to benefit all sentient
beings. The embodiment of Bhodisattva Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezi)
"May I be the last one to achieve Buddhahood after the last sentient
being has done so". The last incarnation of Gyalwa Karmapa will point
to the next - this will continue until the last sentient being has
obtained Buddhahood (21 to present).
Gyalwa: Lord, who is like the ocean in power and
Habit-energy: It is a man's mind that is perceived as something
resembling the form of a star, cloud, sun etc. & what is thus perceived
(by them) is born of habit-energy. The directed energy carry-over from
previous incarnations.
Habitual tendencies: Habitual patterns of body, speech and mind
created by the karmic imprints of behaviours from previous lives.
Hasta: Hand
Heart Sutra Mantra Tayatha Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate
Bodhi Soha:"Gone, Gone, Gone beyond, gone utterly beyond. Oh, what
an Awakening"
Heart Sutra: The extremely concise treatise on emptiness
regarded as the heart or essence of the vast prajnaparamita
(perfection of wisdom) literature.
Heart Sutra: Prajnaparamita's womb, chanting the Chenrezig
mantra results in rebirth as a Buddha"
Hell realm: One of the six realms of existence that has as its
primary cause of rebirth the conflicting emotion aggression. The hell
realm is marked by intense and constant suffering and is the most
painful of the three unfortunate realms of existence. See 'six realms of
existence or samsara.' Bin Tochu realm (Tibet)

Heruka (Skt.): Wrathful, male tantric deity or yidam. The
masculine principle of skilful means that creates power in situations.
Hetulak shana: Released from cause & form (pure)
Hierarchy of enlightenment: Nirvana->Arhat->Boddisattava->Buddha
Hinayana (Skt.): Literally, 'small vehicle.' In the Vajrayana
system, the first of the three yanas or vehicles. Hinayana emphasizes
individual liberation from conditioned existence or samsara. Hinayana
is subdivided into the shravakayana and pratyekabuddayana.
Hinayana: Literally, 'small vehicle.' A term used by the
Mahayanists to describe earlier orthodox sects of Buddhism
(Theravada School). Their scriptures are written in Pali, an ancient
Indian language. See also Theravada and Vajrayana
Hinayana: Lesser vehicle - considered by Mahayana to be
inferior because emphasis on individual liberation. Once in Nirvana
they will not return. The condition is absolute. For Arhats entering
Nirvana is a one-way trip.
History of Dharma: Early Hinayana: 1st turn of wheel of Dharma -
Buddha negated the existence of a permanent substantial self, did not
elaborate a discussion of emptiness; 2nd turn - Teachings on the
emptiness of phenomena & non-substantiality (emptiness of the
personality of self); 3rd turn - Tathagatagarbha or Buddha-nature.
Even if no such thing as self, ego, soul, but there is an element of
incorruptible spiritual principle called Tathatagarbha or Buddhahood
that cannot be vitiated and cannot lead to passion and confusions.
Hridya: Heart, centre, core, essence, best, dearest, most
secret part of anything
Huata (Jap): Single seed-phrase "who am I?" designed to
trigger enlightenment.
Hui Ching: When the wind blows against water it creates
bubbles. As long as they are bubbles they aren't water. When the
bubble disperse and become water, they aren't bubbles. Bubbles are
beings the water represents Buddha-nature.
Hui-Ching: The purest emptiness has no image but it is the
source of all images. The subtlest reasoning has no words but is the
origin of all words. Thus images come from no-image & words from no-
words. These words that are no-words arise in response to beings, &
these images that are no-image appear according to the mind. By
means of words that are no-words, Bhodisattvas spread their
teaching, and by means of images that are no-image, Buddhas appear
in the world. The Heart Sutra is thus the jewel of all teaching.
Human realm: One of the six realms of existence that has as
its primary cause of rebirth the conflicting emotion passion (also
called desire or attachment). It is only through the human realm that
one can attain enlightenment. One of the three higher or fortunate
realms of existence. See 'six realms of existence or samsara.'
Hungry ghost or preta realm: One of the six realms of existence that has
as its primary cause of rebirth the conflicting emotion craving or
impoverishment (associated with pride). One of the three unfortunate
realms of existence. See 'six realms of existence or samsara.'
Vajrayana. Greed and craving indicated by large belly and small
Icchanta: Those destitute of Buddha nature
Ignorance: Mother - together with (father, see also 'acts of
will') create the illusion of a temporary self which rises up the duality
of name and form - mind and matter. Attainments of self existence &
the aggregates of self rise up (in future) as birth.[Lank]
Ignorance: Means to mistake the true for the false & the
false for the true - Includes not only the absence of knowledge but the
presence of delusion.
Iha: Here! Right Now! Right here right now!
(Avalokitesvara: The skandhas are empty - Here! Shariputra!. (Heart
Sutra). The skandahas were considered "real" by the
Sarvastivadins...... Here! Shariputra.... Form is emptiness, Emptiness
is form... Shariputra had understood previously form to be empty (full
Impermanence: One of the three marks of existence, referring
to the transitory nature of all composite phenomena.
Imponderables a: (Four Imponderables). Four things that Buddha
warned against. One of these was trying to get into Karmic detail and

look to find the 'results' of volitional actions (Karma). It is enough to
just Know and Understand and Intuitively have insight into the Fact
that Volitional Action (karma) begets a result (Vipaka). It is even
impossible to judge good and bad because that leads to the
intellectual trap of duality and it's Dukkha. From the Pali Canon....
'These four imponderables are not to be speculated about. Whoever
speculates about them would go mad & experience vexation. Which
Imponderables b: 1. The Buddha-range of the Buddhas (i.e., the
range of powers a Buddha develops as a result of becoming a
Buddha)... 2. The jhana-range of one absorbed in jhana (i.e., the range
of powers that one may obtain while absorbed in jhana).... 3. The
results of kamma... 4. Speculation about (the first moment, purpose,
etc., of) the cosmos is an imponderable that is not to be speculated
about. Whoever speculates about these things would go mad and
experience vexation.
Indryas: Essence is mind
Jambhala (Skt.): The god of wealth depicted holding a mongoose
spewing jewels.
Jambudvipa (Skt.): In Buddhist cosmology, the southernmost of
the four main continents. In some contexts, Jambudvipa refers to
Southeast Asia and in others it refers to the world in which we live.
Jati smaran: The going into past lives. Buddha and Mahavira
both used this technique.
Jealous god or asura realm: One of the six realms of existence that has
as its primary cause of rebirth the conflicting emotion jealousy, also
called envy or paranoia. One of the three higher realms of existence.
See 'six realms of existence or samsara.'
Jhana [Pali]: Jhanas: rapturous states achieved through the
practice of samatha meditation. They consist of four material jhanas
and four formless jhanas. In Buddhism, the meditative stages of
samatha (or shamatha: tranquillity), Samadhi (specifically, access
concentration: upacara samadhi), and jhana [Pali] or dhyana [Sanskrit]
(absorption) correspond roughly to Patanjali's dharana, dhyana,
Samadhi, respectively. Jhanas are samadhi states, states of one-
pointedness, states of stability. Dhyana [Sanskrit]:
Jhana factors (a: First aroused by the meditator's initial efforts to
concentrate upon one of the prescribed objects for developing jhana.
As he fixes his mind on the preliminary object, such as a kasina disk, a
point is eventually reached where he can perceive the object as clearly
with his eyes closed as with them open. This visualized object is called
the learning sign (uggahanimitta). As he concentrates on the learning
sign, his efforts call into play the embryonic jhana factors, which grow
in force, duration and prominence as a result of the meditative
exertion. These factors, being incompatible with the hindrances,
attenuate them, exclude them, and hold them at bay. With continued
practice the learning sign gives rise to a purified luminous replica of
itself called the counterpart sign (patibhaganimitta), the
manifestation of which marks the complete suppression of the
hindrances and the attainment of access concentration
(upacarasamadhi). All three events-take place together.
Jhana factors (b: Simultaneously with his acquiring the
counterpart sign his lust is abandoned by suppression owing to his
giving no attention externally to sense desires (as object). And owing
to his abandoning of approval, ill will is abandoned too, as pus is with
the abandoning of blood. Likewise stiffness and torpor is abandoned
through exertion of energy, agitation and worry is abandoned through
devotion to peaceful things that cause no remorse; and uncertainty
about the Master who teaches the way, about the way, and about the
fruit of the way, is abandoned through the actual experience of the
distinction attained. So the five hindrances are abandoned. (Vism.
189; PP.196). Though the mental factors determinative of the first
jhana are present in access concentration, they do not as yet possess
sufficient strength to constitute the jhana, but are strong enough only
to exclude the hindrances. With continued practice the nascent jhana
factors grow.
Jhana or Dhyana without form: (arupa jhana): absorption without form,
leading to increasing rarefaction or incorporeality (similar to
Patanjali's asamprajnata samadhi. Asamprajnata-samadhi is
sometimes known in Vedanta circles as nirvikalpa-samadhi).

Asamprajnata-samadhi is generally considered to incorporate the first
four Jhanas within its scope
Jhana-applied thought (Vitakka) & counterpart 1: The jhana factors are first aroused
by the meditator's initial efforts to concentrate upon one of the
prescribed objects for developing jhana. As he fixes his mind on the
preliminary object, such as a kasina disk, a point is eventually reached
where he can perceive the object as clearly with his eyes closed as
with them open. This visualized object is called the learning sign
(Uggahanimitta). As he concentrates on the learning sign, his efforts
call into play the embryonic jhana factors, which grow in force,
duration and prominence as a result of the meditative exertion. These
factors, being incompatible with the hindrances, attenuate them,
exclude them, and hold them at bay. With continued practice the
learning sign gives rise to a purified luminous replica of itself called
the counterpart sign (patibhaganimitta), the manifestation of which
marks the complete suppression of the hindrances and the attainment
of access concentration (upacarasamadhi).
Jhana-applied thought (Vitakka) & counterpart 2: All three events-the suppression of
the hindrances, the arising of the counterpart sign, and the
attainment of access concentration -- take place at precisely the same
moment, without interval (Vism. 126; PP.131). And though previously
the process of mental cultivation may have required the elimination of
different hindrances at different times, when access is achieved they
all subside together. The Visuddhimagga explains the difference
between the two signs thus: In the learning sign any fault in the
kasina is apparent.
Jhana-applied thought (Vitakka) & counterpart 3: The counterpart sign appears as if
breaking out from the learning sign, a thousand times more purified,
like: a looking-glass disk drawn from its case; a mother-of-pearl dish
well washed; the moon's disk coming out from behind a cloud but it
has neither colour nor shape. If it had, it would be cognizable by
insight and stamped with the three characteristics. But not like that. It
is born only of perception in one who has obtained concentration,
being a mere mode of appearance (Vism. 125-26; PP.130). The
counterpart sign is the object of both access concentration and
jhana, which differ neither in their object nor in the removal of the
hindrances but in the strength of their respective jhana factors. Weak
in the former, but in the jhana they are strong enough to make the
mind fully absorbed in the object. In this process applied thought is
the factor primarily responsible for directing the mind towards the
counterpart sign and thrusting it in with the force of full absorption.
Jhana-applied thought (Vitakka) & learning sign: The jhana factors are first aroused
by the meditator's initial efforts to concentrate upon one of the
prescribed objects for developing jhana. As he fixes his mind on the
preliminary object, such as a kasina disk, a point is eventually reached
where he can perceive the object as clearly with his eyes closed as
with them open. This visualized object is called the learning sign
(Uggahanimitta). As he concentrates on the learning sign, his efforts
call into play the embryonic jhana factors, which grow in force,
duration and prominence as a result of the meditative exertion. These
factors, being incompatible with the hindrances, attenuate them,
exclude them, and hold them at bay.
Jhana-applied thought (Vitakka): In jhana applied thought is wholesome
and its function of directing the mind upon its object stands forth with
special clarity. Visuddhimagga explains that in jhana the function of
applied thought is: to strike at and thresh -- for the meditator is said,
in virtue of it, to have the object struck at by applied thought & thus
threshed (Vism.142;PP148). The Milindapanha makes the same point
by defining applied thought as absorption (appana): Just as a
carpenter drives a well-fashioned piece of wood into a joint, so applied
thought has the characteristic of absorption (Miln.62). The object of
jhana into which vitakka drives the mind and its concomitant states is
the counterpart sign, which emerges from the learning sign as the
hindrances are suppressed and the mind enters access concentration.
Applied thought brings the mind to the object, sustained thought fixes
and anchors it there. Applied thought focuses the mind on the object.
Jhana-perfecting a: After attaining the first jhana a few times the
meditator is not advised to set out immediately striving for the second
jhana. Before he is prepared to make the second jhana the goal of his
endeavor he must first bring the first jhana to perfection. If he is too

eager to reach the second jhana before he has perfected the first, he
is likely to fail to gain the second and find himself unable to regain the
first. The Buddha compares such a meditator to a foolish cow who,
while still unfamiliar with her own pasture, sets out for new pastures
and gets lost in the mountains: she fails to find food or drink and is
unable to find her way home.
Jhana-perfecting b: Perfecting of the first jhana involves two
steps: the extension of the sign and the achievement of the five
masteries. The extension of the sign means extending the size of the
counterpart sign, the object of the jhana. Beginning with a small area,
the size of one or two fingers, the meditator gradually learns to
broaden the sign until the mental image can be made to cover the
world-sphere or even beyond (Vism. 152-53; PP.158-59).
Jhana-perfecting c: Following this the meditator should try to
acquire five kinds of mastery over the jhana: mastery in adverting, in
attaining, in resolving, in emerging and in reviewing. Mastery in
adverting is the ability to advert to the jhana factors one by one after
emerging from the jhana, wherever he wants, whenever he wants, and
for as long as he wants. Mastery in attaining is the ability to enter
upon jhana quickly, mastery in resolving the ability to remain in the
jhana for exactly the pre-determined length of time, mastery in
emerging the ability to emerge from jhana quickly without difficulty,
and mastery in reviewing the ability to review the jhana and its factors
with retrospective knowledge immediately after adverting to them.
When the meditator has achieved this fivefold mastery, then he is
ready to strive for the second jhana.
Jhana-vitakka/vicara: Applied thought brings a deepening of
concentration by again and again leading the mind back to the same
object. Buddhaghosa illustrates the difference between applied
thought (vitakka) and sustained thought (vicara) thus: Applied
thought is like striking a bell, sustained thought like the ringing;
applied thought is like a bee's flying towards a flower, sustained
thought like its buzzing around the flower; applied thought is like a
compass pin that stays fixed to the centre of a circle, sustained
thought like the pin that revolves around (Vism. 142-43; PP.148-49).
These similes make it clear that applied thought and sustained
thought though functionally associated, perform different tasks.
Jhana; 1st: mental activity, joy, and sense of well-being. The
jhana is entered upon by one who is secluded from sense pleasures,
secluded from unwholesome states of mind. The first jhana possesses
five component factors: applied thought, sustained thought, rapture,
happiness and one-pointedness of mind. Four of these are explicitly
mentioned in the formula for the jhana; the fifth, one-pointedness, is
mentioned elsewhere in the suttas but is already suggested by the
notion of jhana itself.
Jhana; 2nd: delete mental activity, leaving joy and sense of
Jhana; 3rd: delete joy, leaving equanimity and sense of well-
Jhana; 4th: delete sense of well-being, leaving absorbed
Jhana; 5th: jhana of boundless space (anantakasa).
Jhana; 6th: jhana of pure expansive consciousness (vinnana)..
Jhana; 7th: jhana of pure emptiness (akinci, lit. 'nothingness')
Jhana; 8th: jhana beyond perception and nonperception
(nevasannanasanna) Saijojo.
Kadampa: The first of the New Translation Schools of
Tibetan Buddhism. The Kadampa School is based on the teachings of
Atisha that stressed compassion, study and discipline. The Gelug is
known as the New Kadampa School.
Kagyu (Tib.): Literally, 'lineage of the word' or 'command.'One
of the four great schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Founded by Marpa the
Translator in the 11th century, the Kagyu lineage stresses the
importance of oral transmission. There are several branches of the
Kagyu School; the Karma Kagyu is called the Black Hat sect and is
headed by the Gyalwa Karmapa.
Kagyupa Sect Tibetan Buddhism (white).: (Kagyupa, Gagyu, Gagyupa) Began
with two great teachers, Marpa and Milarepa. The name of this sect
means "to teach orally". It focuses on Tantric cultivation. This sect is

also known as the white sect because Marpa and Milarepa wore white
robes. Unlike the Kahdampa sect, this sect's tradition focuses on the
combination of quasi-qigong and Buddhism satori practices. It also
advocates asceticism and obedience for individual development. Its
doctrines are unique. One important contribution of the Kagyupa sect
was the establishment of the tulku (incarnation lama) system wherein
an existing lama can provide clues of his future lama embodiment.
Kagyupa's principal shrine is the Tsurphu Monastery, which is the seat
of Karmapa lama.
Kahdampa Sect Tibetan Buddhism.: Kahdampa means that Buddha's deeds
and teachings should be doctrines of cultivation. It is Atisha's lineage.
Its tradition stresses on the scriptures and discipline; although, a few
outstanding ones can be imparted with Tantra. The sect believes in
samsara and retribution. Its Yoga and Tantra are free from traditional
and religious influence. Kahdampa's main monastery is the Ratreng
Monastery. It was once the seat of Tibetan government when the Dalai
Lamas were young. This sect was later converted to Gelugpa.
Kalachakra (Skt.): Literally, 'the wheel of time.' A complex cycle of
tantric teachings uniting astrology, the subtle energy body and
spiritual practice in one coherent system. Name of a tantra and of the
twenty-four-armed deity and consort featured in it.
Kalama Sutra a: Buddha's advice to the Kalamas on seeking
truth...'Do not accept anything on (mere) hearsay, thinking that thus
we have heard it for a long time. Do not accept anything based on
mere tradition, thinking that it has thus been handed down for many
generations. Do not accept anything on account of mere rumours,
believing what others say, without thorough investigation. Do not
accept anything just because it is in accord with your scriptures. Do
not accept anything by mere supposition. Do not accept anything on
the basis of merely considering the reasons. Do not accept anything
because it agrees with your preconceived notions. Do not accept
anything merely because it seems acceptable. Do not accept anything,
thinking, the Monk, Teacher, Holyman, Buddha, etc. is respected by
us. But, when you know for yourselves, these things are immoral,
these things are blameworthy, these things are censored by the wise;
Kalama Sutra b: These things, when performed and undertaken,
conduce to ruin and sorrow - then indeed do you reject them. (On the
other hand) When you know for yourselves, these things are moral,
these things are blameless, these things are praised by the wise;
these things, when performed and undertaken, conduce to well-being
and happiness, then do you believe and live accordingly.'
Kalamas(Pali): A tribe of Northeast India during the lifetime of
The Buddha. They are particularly well known in Buddhist history as
the recipients of The Buddha's advice on the subject of who to accept
as authorities in one's search for truth. To the Kalamas, the tribal
leaders who were seeking the truth and sought The Buddha's advice,
Buddha spoke and was recorded in the Kalama Sutra.
Kalpa (Skt.): An eon, an inconceivably vast period of time. In
Buddhist cosmology, a complete cycle of a universe consists of four
Kalpita: Net of wrong interpretations woven around
Kapala (Skt.): 'skull cup.' A ritual bowl that symbolizes egoless-
Karma (Skt.): Literally, 'action.' Karma, the law of cause and
effect refers to the way in which mental, verbal and physical actions
create imprints in the mind-stream of sentient beings. Upon meeting
future suitable conditions, these karmic seeds ripen into positive or
negative results. Positive karma can be increased and negative karma
decreased through meditation and the practice of virtue.
Karma, Kamma: 'Deed.' A concept that binds its followers to an
endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth and, according to one's
deeds in life, determines the condition of one's rebirth.
Karma: Karma is the guiding power, and Trishna (in Pali
Tanha) the thirst or desire to sentiently live - the proximate force or
energy, the resultant of human (or animal) action, which, out of the
old Skandhas produce the new group that form the new being and
control the nature of birth itself... The 'old being' is the sole parent -
father and mother at once - of the 'new being.' It is the former who is
the creator and fashioner, of the latter, in reality; and far more so in

plain truth, than any father in flesh... Skandhas... are ever and
ceaselessly at work in preparing the abstract mould, the 'privation' of
the future new being. (see skandhas, pudgala)
Karmapa (Tib.): Literally, 'one who manifests Buddha-activity.'
The title given to the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage who has taken
rebirth since the 12th century for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Known as the 'Black Hat' Lamas, the Karmapas were the first line of
incarnate lamas recognized in Tibet and are considered manifestations
of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. The first Karmapa
was Dusum Khyenpa (1110-1193) and the present day is the17th
Karmapa Thrinley Thaye Dorje.
Karuna (Skt.): Compassion, the unconditional wish that all
sentient beings be freed from physical and mental suffering.
Karuna: Compassion. It can be said that karuna has two
aspects: to mourn and to cry-not the cry that comes from a child but
the cry of anguish that comes out of the activity of deep sorrow-a
sorrow expressed as Great Compassion.
Kava: Hand
Kaya(s) (Skt.): Literally, 'body.' The three bodies or forms in
which a Buddha manifests. See dharmakaya, sambhogakaya and
Kaya-sankhara: object of awareness
Khenchen (Tib.): Honorific title for the highest khenpo.
Khenpo (Tib.): Literally, 'learned one' and sometimes translated
as 'abbot.' The chief instructor or spiritual authority in a monastery.
The title is also accorded to lamas of great learning.
Khorlo (Tib.): Literally, 'circle' or 'wheel. Also known as chakra.
In Buddhist yoga practice, this refers to the energy centers of the
subtle body, head, throat, heart and navel.
Khorlo Demchog (Skt. Chakrasamvara): Literally, 'binder of the chakras.'
Khorlo Demchog is a heruka visualized as dark blue in colour, in union
with his consort, Vajrayogini. An important tantric deity; a key yidam
of Kagyu lineage.
Klesa: Passions
Klesha(s) (Skt. / Tib. nyon mong): Also referred to as conflicting, disturbing
or negative emotions. Kleshas obscure the essentially pure nature of
mind. The five kleshas are passion or attachment, aggression,
ignorance, jealousy and pride.
Klesus: Passion/attachment, agression, ignorance, jealosy,
pride. Emotional distress affliction of the mind
Klishta: Defiled
Klistomanas: Attachments, emotional distress affliction of
mind. See Klesas
Koan: A riddle, tale, or short statement used by Zen
masters to bring their students to sudden insight. Example: Form is
emptiness, emptiness is form.
Koti: Summit or limit.
Kshanti: Forbearance
Ksnanti-anutpatti: Nothing is ever born
Kulachara: Kula=Shakti
Kusha grass: A long broom-like grass considered sacred
because the Buddha was seated on a cushion made of kusha grass
when he attained enlightenment. It is also used as a ritual object in
Vajrayana practices.
Lakshana: Form
Lama (Tib. / Skt. guru): A title for experienced and learned religious
teachers authorized to transmit Buddhist teachings to disciples. Often
used for members of the monastic order in general, or practitioners
who have accomplished a three-year retreat.
Lama: Literally, 'superior one.' A Buddhist monk of Tibet.
Lao Tsu That which is said cannot be true and that which is
true cannot be said. The body will die but the true nature never. The
mind dies and changes again and again, but the true nature never. It
is beyond name and form.
Lao Tsu: Those who seek learning gain everyday – those
who ‘seek the way’ lose everyday.
Lao-Tzu: The way that becomes a way is not the eternal
way. The name that becomes a name is not the eternal Name (Tao

Laya: Just prior to the threshold of Tranquillity, and
sometimes in an overlap of early stages and sometimes
indistinguishable is a preliminary or early stage called 'Laya'. Laya is a
mental state of quietude easily slipped into that occurs usually in the
course of spiritual practice. The experience is temporary as the arrest
of thoughts return the moment the pressure of concentration is
Liberation (Skt. mukti / Tib. tharpa): Freedom from samsara's sufferings either
on the level of an arhat or Buddha.
Living Buddha-hiearchy: Under the two equal-ranking Living Buddhas
(Dalai and Panchen), the hierarchy includes the Pro-consul Living
Buddha who serves as the agent of the Dalai and Panchen lamas in
handling local Buddhist affairs, the Living Buddha who is in charge of
the major monasteries, the Master of Meditation, who represents the
Dalai and Panchen lamas in Beijing, the teacher of classics of the Dalai
and Panchen lamas, the Living Buddha who is head of the Buddhist
Institute, and abbots of medium-sized monasteries. Living Buddhas
have their own "palaces." The largest palace is the Potala Palace in
Lhasa, where the Dalai Lama lives. In the past, the monastery
expenses and funds for the support of the monks mainly came from
begging for alms, soliciting contributions, chanting scriptures,
donations, business, and practicing usury.
Living Buddha: The highest Living Buddhas of the Celug Sect
are the Dalai and Panchen lamas. The Dalai Lama is supposed to be
the embodiment of Avalokitesvara (the Goddess of Mercy), Chenrezig,
and the Panchen Lama is said to be the embodiment of the Buddha of
Infinite Life. The name Dalai Lama originated in 1579. "Dalai," a
Mongolian word, means "Sea." While "Lama," a Tibetan word, means
"Master." Emperor Shunzhi of the Qing Dynasty conferred the title
Dalai Lama in 1653. The title Panchen was first used in the year 1645.
"Pan" is an abbreviation of the Sanskrit word "pandit," meaning
"scholar," while "chen," a Tibetan word, means "big." The combination
of the two words means "master." In the year 1713, Emperor Kangxi of
the Qing Dynasty conferred the title "Panchen Erdeni." "Erdeni" means
"treasure" in Sanskrit.
Lokayatica: Cosmologist, argumentative hedonist
Lower realms: Refers to the three lower realms of existence
the hells, hungry ghosts and animal realms. These along with the
others are really "aspects of consciousness". For instance, hell can be
compared to the state of mind which a mother must endure when she
observes her only beloved son fall into a pit of fire from which no
extraction is possible.
Lumbini: The birthplace of Shakyamuni Buddha in present-
day Nepal.
Lung (Tib.): In the Vajrayana tradition, an authorization or
reading transmission.
Madhyama: Middle way.
Madhyamika (Skt. / Tib. uma): 'the middle way.' A philosophical school
founded by Nargajuna based on the prajnaparamita sutras and their
doctrine of emptiness (shunyata). The madhyamika is concerned with
the transcendence of both eternalism and nihilism.
Magga: Path leading to the cessation of suffering (one of 4
noble truths)
Maha Vidya Mantro: The Mantra of great magic. The mantra is the
goddess Avalokiteshvara.
Maha ati (Skt. / Tib. dzog chen): 'the great perfection.' Perfection means
that the nature of mind contains all the qualities of the three kayas it
is empty, it is clear and it is all-encompassing. Maha ati is an
important tantric practice of the Nyingma lineage.
Maha-vaibhasa-abhidharma-shastra: This text reflects the unique
Sarvastivadin cosmology and ontology, a complex structure of
essences and universals. The basic approach of the Sarvastivada was
to regard the universe as reducible to various elements or co-
efficients of existence; apparently, these were determined by taking
lists of the various "indivisible" factors and substances named in the
Buddha's dialogues. Heat, for instance, was the "lakshana"
(distinguishing mark) of fire, and there was a common "dharma"
relating all fire. The Abhidharma's approach led to many fascinating
insights, including an anticipation of Newton's colour theory

(specifying that white light is composed of coloured light, and then
explaining those primary colours in terms of "lakshana" and "dharma")
Mahadeva: Asked, in the 3rd Council, 267 BC: An Arhan, was
he/she still subject to: sexual desire; ignorance; doubt; further
instruction? Could a person become enlightened by hearing an
exclamation or a sudden sound? Answer: Yes to all. -> Split Hinayana
& Mahayana.
Mahakala (Skt.): 'great black one.' Chief dharma protector of
special importance to the Kagyu lineage. Mahakala is wrathful and
visualized either as black or blue in colour.
Mahakaruna: Embracing love
Mahamatti: Bhodisattva whose nature is compassion
Mahamudra (Skt.): 'the great symbol' or 'the great seal.' A term
in Vajrayana Buddhism for the realization of the true nature of mind.
Mahamudra means both the ordered series of practices and
meditations and the awakened state of enlightenment to which they
lead. This is a central teaching of the Kagyu lineage.
Mahasanghikas: Deviators, 7 Mahayana Madhymika Yogacara
Mahasattva (Skt.): Literally, 'great being.' One who has attained
the realization of wisdom and compassion. Earlier applied to "lions".
Mahasattva: Previous life of Buddha Shakyamuni (Jatakas -
here he is called Mahavasattva in providing himself as food for hungry
Mahasattva: Thus becoming the supporter of all beings like
the Earth - As the great Earth is the supporter of all beings so is the
Bhodisattva - Mahasattva.
Mahasiddas: 8 - Naropa (Marpa) a Tantric enlightened one.
Buddhists 8th-11th C.Tilopa - Marpa unconventional wisdom. Early
Bhuddhist Tantrikas. Crazy wisdom.
Mahasiddha (Skt.): A realized meditation master in the tantric
tradition who typically manifests unconventional behavior also known
as crazy wisdom. Also, refers to great Indian tantric masters of the 6th
through 10th centuries, renowned for effecting changes in the
phenomenal world through spiritual powers.
Mahayana (Skt.): Literally, 'great vehicle.' Although Mahayana
practice is founded on the Hinayana ideal to personally liberate
oneself from suffering, the motivation in Mahayana practice is to
strive to reach enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. Mahayana
is also referred to as the bodhisattvayana.
Mahayana: Literally, 'great vehicle.' One of the three major
forms of Buddhism, Mahayana is considered the more liberal and
practical. Its scriptures are written in Sanskrit. See also Theravada
and Vajrayana.
Mahayana: Greater vehicle. Bhodisattva ideal saving all
sentient beings. Ch'an school of Mahayana holds a direct jump from
diligent practice to experience of wisdom possible. Precepts-
>samadhi->wisdom (1 jump not 2). The goal of gogan & huatu
(Japanese terms) practice. Counting breaths 1st->deeper methods ie
gogan & huatu -> great mass of doubt -> breaks into direct wisdom.
Gogan - stories about enlightenment, actual cases. Huata - single
phrase "who am I " The concentration (non-mind), leads to the mass of
doubt. Either it subsides or explodes (via concentration). Although
experiencing state of the Arhat, for the Bhodisattva, the return carries
the aspect of "wonderful wisdom". An automatic response tailored to
the needs of individual sentient being (individuals of individual
sentient beings). Emphasis on enlightenment-4 vows: deliver
innumerable sentient beings; cut-off vexations; master limitless
approaches to Dharma; attain supreme Buddhahood.
Mahayana: There are 5 immediacies: murder of mother
(desire-anger); murder of father (ignorance); murder of Arhat
(extermination of passions anger etc.) breaking of the brotherhood
(break-up of skandas); injuring the body of the Tathagata - causing
bleeding as by malice (break up of vijanas) (Lank)
Mahayana: Greater vehicle
Maitreya (Skt.): One of the eight great bodhisattvas of
Shakyamuni Buddha, Maitreya is the future Buddha to come, the fifth
Buddha that will appear in this kalpa.
Maitreya Buddha (K. Miruk Bul): The Future Buddha, is the embodiment of
love and compassion. He lives in the Tusita Heaven where he waits to
be born on this earth. A Chinese Maitreya, is often depicted as the

"laughing Buddha". The Korean counterpart is thin and identified in
the "posture of reflection." He sits with his right elbow resting on his
right knee. His right foot or ankle is on his left knee. The left hand
rests on his right ankle or foot.
Maitreya: Literally, 'Friendly One.' The Bodhisattva who
embodies the virtues of wisdom and eloquence.
Maitri (Skt.): Loving-kindness to oneself; the prerequisite of
compassion for others.
Major and minor marks: The 32 major and 80 minor physical marks
of a Buddha all or some of which should be identifiable. Yet it remains
that material characteristics are not in fact characteristics.
Mala (Skt.): Rosary or prayer beads used for counting
Manas & enlightenment: when, in Manas, there takes place a
"turning-back" (paravritti), the entire arrangement of things in the
Vijnanakaya or Cittakalpa changes. With one swing of the sword, the
pleuralities (Gorgan's knot) are cut asunder and the Alaya is seen in
its native form (svalakshana), that is as solitary reality (vivikadharma)
which is from the first, beyond discrimination. The Alaya is absolutly
one, but this oneness gains significance only when it is realised by the
Manas and recognised as its own supporter (alamba). This relationship
is too subtle to be seen by ordinary minds that are found to be choked
with defilements and false ideas since beginningless time. With the
"turning-back" in the Alaya, the Manas so intimatly in relation with it
also experiences transformation in attitude to the vijnanas. The latter
are no more regarded as reporters of an external world characterised
by individuality and manifold representation but are seen instead as a
mere reflection of the Alaya.
Manas: Manas is conscious of the presence behind itself of
the Alaya and also of the latter's uninterrupted working on the entire
system of the Vijnanas. Reflecting on the Alaya and imagining it to be
an ego, Manas clings to it as if it were reality and disposes of the
reports of the Vijanas accordingly. In other words Manas is the
individual will to live and the principle of discrimination. The notion of
an ego-substance is herein established, and also the acceptance of a
world external to itself. It is Manas that sits and receives the
unvarnished reports from the 6 Vijanas. For it is "he" who shifts and
arranges the reports according to his own will and intelligence. The
orders are then faithfully executed. For the Manas, one face looks to
the Alaya and one face looks to the Vijanas and not understanding
what the Alaya really is, seeing the multude (through discrimination)
he clings to it as final, bound to a world of particulars. Thus desire is
mother and ignorance is father. Lank
Mandala (Skt. / Tib. kyilkhor): Literally, 'centre' and 'circumference.' 1)
Representation of a universe with a deity's palace at the center that is
often depicted ichnographically in sand paintings and thangkas. 2) The
mandala offering present in many rituals. 3) The basis for the third
preliminary practice, a symbolic offering of the entire universe.
Mandala: A painting or tapestry with images of Buddha,
bodhisattvas, and other images. Used as a focus of meditation for
monks and as an object of worship for many.
Manjushri (Skt.): One of the eight great bodhisattvas of
Shakyamuni Buddha. Depicted with a sword and a book, Manjushri is
the embodiment of all the knowledge and wisdom of the Buddhas.
Bodhisattva of Wisdom. Wisdom (prajna), along with Compassion,
represents the two main concepts of Mahayana Buddhism. See Prajna
and Avalokiteshvara.
Manomayakaya: Mind-made body
Manovijnana: Discerns and attaches via habit-energy
(memory) which nourishes Alayavijana (see vijana) [Lank]
Manovijnana: Conceptual Consciousness
Mantra(s) (Skt.): Literally, 'mind-protection.' Expressions of
enlightened speech, mantras are recited in order to protect the mind
of the practitioner from ordinary perceptions by identifying with the
wisdom speech of the deity (yidam).
Mantra(s): Said to have power to give birth to a new state of
consciousness i.e. the particular mantras associated with say, Kali,
Tara, Durga, Sarasvati, Lakshmi.
Mantra: Ritual sound, word, or phrase used to evoke a
certain religious effect.

Mantra: Mantra for male entity.
Mantra: Protector of thoughts. Same as amulet but mind
rather than body.
Mara (Skt.): Any negative influences that obstruct spiritual
practice and development.
Mara: The personification of evil. The god of death.
Marga: Path
Marks of Existence: Anicca (impermanence), anatta
(ungovernable, not-self), dukkha (suffering)
Marpa Lotsawa (Tib.): (1012-1097). Considered the father of the
Kagyu lineage, Marpa The Translator, was the supreme disciple of
Naropa and the primary teacher of Milarepa. Marpa is renowned for
bringing and translating many profound tantric teachings from India to
Tibet in particular the mahamudra texts and the six yogas of Naropa.
Maya: Queen Maya, mother of Buddha. Also "illusion"
Maya: After giving birth to Buddha died one week later.
Reborn as Santushita on top Mt Sumeru in Trayatrishna Heaven.
Buddha spent one rainy-season teaching the Abidharma to her. The
way things appeared to the mind of the Buddha. A diminished form of
the instruction then passed to Shariputra "below" on Earth.
Meditation: The practices of mindfulness and awareness that
form the core of spiritual development. See shamatha and vipashyana
& jhana.
Meditation: catvari, smiriti-upasthani. Form, sensations,
mind, dharmaas (formal constructs of the mind).
Merit (Skt. punya / Tib. sonam): The accumulation of positive tendencies in
the mindstream derived from virtuous actions of the body, speech and
Metta (Pali) a: Literally means, 'Friendship' but often translated
as 'Loving Kindness'. In a general sense it has the mood of friendliness
as its characteristic; its natural function is to promote friendliness
between beings. It is manifested by the disappearance of ill-will. When
it succeeds in establishing its footing of general friendliness and
affection for other beings it eliminates ill-will from one's thoughts and
character. When it fails, it degenerates into selfish affectionate desire.
The true 'feeling' of Metta cannot be easily defined in a single English
term; Perhaps if one were to try and imagine the feeling experienced
by a young Mother for her new born first baby - which is so powerful
that she would willingly give her life to save the child; that feeling
would be very close to Metta.
Metta (Pali) b: Metta, in Buddhist Doctrine is the feeling one
must first have towards one's self; not in a narcissistic sense but in a
sense of being content with who and what one is and assured that
every effort has been made to exercise love and compassion towards
all fellow beings. Then, and only then, can one spread the feeling
towards all other beings in the universe.
Milarepa (Tib.): (1040-1123). Considered Tibet's greatest poet
and one its most beloved yogis, Mila was the supreme disciple of
Marpa and the primary teacher of Gampopa. The Kagyu master is
renowned for having undergone immense hardships in order to attain
enlightenment in one lifetime. Milarepa's biography and spiritual
songs are some of the most loved works in Tibetan Buddhism.
Mind: Essence is buddhi
Mind: Mind is not born of the visible world therefore mind
is not visible. Habit-energy brings forth body, property & abode. Mind
is neither a being nor non-being & does not reveal itself because of
habit energy. Mind is invisible when veiled in error - dirt is revealed
within purity but purity itself is not stained.[Lank]
Mind: Citta, manas, vijana, alaya
Mindstream: The succession of moments of consciousness
proceeding endlessly from lifetime to lifetime.
Moksha: Literally, 'release.' An idea originally developed
from Upanishadic teachers. By leading a highly spiritual life (or several
lives), a soul could be reunited with Brahman, the Ultimate Reality.
Mt. Meru (Tib.): In Buddhist cosmology, the symbolic center of
the universe, wider at the top than bottom, around which the four
continents are situated.
Mudra (Skt.): Literally, 'symbol.' A symbolic hand gesture used
in tantric rituals.

Mudra: Hand gestures often depicted on statues of the
Buddha. The gestures symbolize different meaning (meditation, etc).
Myopama: A maya-like samhadi
Nadi(s) (Skt.): In Buddhist yoga, channels in the subtle body in
which the energy circulates.
Naga (Skt.): Snakelike beings of the animal realm that may be
benevolent or malicious are often considered guardians of the
underworld, earth treasures and esoteric secrets.
Nagajuna: Says: The Dharma of Buddhism is immense, like
the ocean. Depending on the aptitude of beings, it is expounded in
various ways. It can speak of existence or non-existence, eternity or
impermanance, happiness or suffering, the self or not-self.
Nagarjuna (Skt.): The 2nd century Indian philosopher who
founded the madhyamika school of emptiness, which systematized the
prajnaparamita teachings. Nargajuna's many texts are still of great
importance today.
Nagarjuna: Among the critics of the Sarvastivada was
Nagarjuna (c. 150 - 250 CE) an Indian philosopher, the founder of the
Madhyamaka (Middle Path) school of Mahayana Buddhism, and
arguably the most influential Indian Buddhist thinker after the
Gautama Buddha himself. His writings were the basis for the formation
of the Madhyamaka (Middle Way) school, which was transmitted to
China under the name of the Three Treatise (Sanlun) School. He is
credited with developing the philosophy of the Prajnaparamita sutras,
and was closely associated with the Buddhist university of Nalanda.
Nagarjuna completely repudiated the Sarvastivada interpretation of
the Buddha's teaching as implying atom-like unities at the basis of
visible phenomena, and many of the other features of the philosophy,
such as a complex theory of causality and time.
Nalanda University: Established by the 5th century BC (6th century
BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC - other centuries) , and the
Buddha is thought to have visited it. Later it became an important
centre of learning, at its peak accommodating up to 10,000 students.
Among the famous teachers there was Nagarjuna His writings were
the basis for the formation of the Madhyamaka (Middle Way) school,
which was transmitted to China under the name of the Three Treatise
(Sanlun) School. He is credited with developing the philosophy of the
Prajnaparamita sutras.
Namu Amida Butsa: Literally, 'Praise to the Buddha Amitabha'. In
Japanese Pure Land sect, this is the phrase used to call on Amitabha
Buddha. See Nembutsu
Namu Amida Butsu: Japanese pronounciation of the original
Sanskrit phrase, Namo'mitabhaya buddhaya
Naropa: (1016-1100). A forefather of the Kagyu lineage,
this great Indian siddha was the disciple of Tilopa and the teacher of
Marpa. He left his position as abbot of Nalanda, the great Buddhist
university in search of his yogic teacher Tilopa. On the path to
complete enlightenment, Naropa endured extreme hardships that are
now known as the twelve trials of Naropa.
Negative action: An action that produces unhappiness and
Nembutsu (Jap): Name of the Buddha, Namu Amida Butsu, which
means 'I take refuge in Amida Buddha'.
Nembutsu: Short form of 'Namu Amida Butsa'. See Namu
Amida Butsa
New Translation School(s) (Tib. Sarma): Contrasted to the Nyingma or Old
School, the three reformation lineages Kagyu, Sakya and Gelugpa, or
'New Schools' arose in Tibet between the 12th and 14th centuries.
Ngondro (Tib.): Literally, 'to go before' or 'preliminary.'
Contemplations of the four reminders that turn the mind towards the
dharma are called the outer preliminaries. In the Kagyu School, the
profoundly transformative extraordinary preliminaries of refuge and
prostrations, vajrasattva mantra, mandala and guru yoga are
generally performed 100,000 times each.
Niamata: Self-regulating
Nimitta: Form
Nirmana-kaya: The body manifested by the Buddha for use in
teaching others. Still subject to karma & is not a Buddha’s real body

Nirmanakaya (Skt. / Tib. tulku): Literally, 'body of emanation.' One of the
Trikaya, the three bodies of the Buddha. Nirmanakaya is the physical,
tangible aspect of the Buddhas or other great beings that manifest out
of compassion specifically to benefit all sentient beings.
Nirmanakaya: The purity of consciousness manifested in the
physical as capacity - pure speech, ideals (rain) and the like.
Manifested through compassion.
Nirmita-Nirmita-Buddha: Buddha of transformation
Nirodha: Cessation of suffering (one of 4 noble truths)
Nirodha: (cessation, extinction) Complete cessation of all
psychomental activity; complete suppression of all samsaric
conditionality; complete tranquillity on the edge of the world
without, however, going over to Nirvana. Can last several days.
Nirodha is attained after passing through the four formless
absorptions - only an Arahant can achieve Nirodha.
Nirodha: Ni (without) - rodha (prison, confine, obstacle,
wall, impediment): without impediment, free of confinement. The word
Nirodha has often been translated as cessation. For the most part this
standard translation is for the sake of convenience. The rendering of
the word Nirodha as ceased can in many instances be a miss-
rendering. Generally speaking, the word "cease" means to do away
with something which has already arisen, or the stopping of something
which has already begun.
Nirodha: in the teaching of Dependent Origination (as also
in dukkhanirodha, the third of the Four Noble Truths) means the non-
arising, or non-existence, of something because the cause of its
arising is done away with. For example, the phrase when avijja is
Nirodha, sankhara are also Nirodha, which is usually taken to mean
with the cessation of ignorance, volitional impulses cease, should be
taken as when there is no ignorance, or no arising of ignorance .
Nirvana (Skt.): The state of peace transcending the misery of
samsara; the goal of a practitioner seeking one's own personal
liberation. Nirvana is not a synonym for enlightenment in the
Mahayana system.
Nirvana: Literally, 'extinction.' The ultimate goal of
Buddhists, characterized as the extinction of both craving and the
separate 'ego.' The state of peace and quietude attained by
extinguishing all illusions.
Nirvana: Getting rid of the discriminating Manovijana (8
vijanas established) and Manovigana is the cause and support of the
others. I enter into Nirvana when the vijanawhich is caused by
discrimination ceases. With the manovijana as its cause & support, the
manas secures its use -> the vijnana causes the citta to function & is
supported by it. The vijnana system (as a great flood dried up) ceases
to work when there is anihilation of the manovijnana. (Lank)
Nirvana: Nir (negative prefix), va (blow), or van (desire),
cessation of birth (blow-out), cessation of desire. Nirvana the flame of
passion blown-out. Early Bhuddist Mahayana replaced this image by
‘enlightenment’. Vana( path of transmigration, ‘stench’ of defilement,
‘forest’ of the skandhas, ‘thread’ of karma. Nir (negative prefix),
vri(root – to cover, obstruct etc. Nir-vana (no walls of the mind). Walls
= avarana from vri.
Nirvana: Shariputra: permanent cessation of desire, anger,
ignorance, all passions – the way along the 8-fold noble path (right
views – right meditation).
Nirvanas: There are four (4). 1) The self-nature of all things
seen as non-entity; 2) varieties of individual marks characterising all
things seen as non-entities; 3) recognitionof the non-existence of a
being endowed with its own specific attributes; 4) severence of
bonding-conditioning the continuation of individuality & generality of
the skandas (Lank)
Nishpanna: Perfect knowledge
Nishyanda - Nirmana: (Buddha) - the Dharma cannot be spoken
(Shakyamuni Buddha)
Nitvritti: The state into which Bhodisattvas do not retire (but
vow to remain in samsara etc.)
No-birth: The elements, being rejected, there is no birth of
things, but as the elements as appearances are always the mind, one
understands what is meant by no-birth. (Lank)

Noble Truth 1 Life means suffering.: To live means to suffer, because the
human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During
our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as
pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; and we
have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration,
disappointment, and depression. Although there are different degrees
of suffering and there are also positive experiences in life that we
perceive as the opposite of suffering, such as ease, comfort and
happiness, life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete, because our
world is subject to impermanence. This means we are never able to
keep permanently what we strive for, and just as happy moments pass
by, we ourselves and our loved ones will pass away one day, too.
Noble Truth 2 Origin of suffering is attachment: The origin of suffering is attachment
to transient things and the ignorance thereof. Transient things do not
only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and
-in a greater sense- all objects of our perception. Ignorance is the lack
of understanding of how our mind is attached to impermanent things.
The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, ardor, pursue of wealth
and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short: craving and
clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are transient, their
loss is inevitable, thus suffering will necessarily follow. Objects of
attachment also include the idea of a "self" which is a delusion,
because there is no abiding self. What we call "self" is just an
imagined entity, and we are merely a part of the ceaseless becoming
of the universe.
Noble Truth 3 Cessation of suffering is attainable The cessation of suffering can be
attained through nirodha. Nirodha means the unmaking of sensual
craving and conceptual attachment. The third noble truth expresses
the idea that suffering can be ended by attaining dispassion. Nirodha
extinguishes all forms of clinging and attachment. This means that
suffering can be overcome through human activity, simply by
removing the cause of suffering. Attaining and perfecting dispassion is
a process of many levels that ultimately results in the state of
Nirvana. Nirvana means freedom from all worries, troubles,
complexes, fabrications and ideas. Nirvana is not comprehensible for
those who have not attained it.
Noble Truth 4 Path to cessation of suffering: There is a path to the end of
suffering - a gradual path of self-improvement, which is described
more detailed in the Eightfold Path. It is the middle way between the
two extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive
self-mortification (asceticism); and it leads to the end of the cycle of
rebirth. The latter quality discerns it from other paths which are
merely "wandering on the wheel of becoming", because these do not
have a final object. The path to the end of suffering can extend over
many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to
karmic conditioning. Craving, ignorance, delusions, and its effects will
disappear gradually, as progress is made on the path.
Non-thought: A calm state in meditation in which there are no
Nuna: Not complete .. (increase?)
Nyingma (Tib.): Literally, 'ancient ones.' The oldest school of
Tibetan Buddhism founded in the 8th century by Padmasambhava. See
Nyingmapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism (Red): The Ancient Ones, began around
750 AD with Padmambhava. Name means "old" - the oldest sect in
Tibet. The Nyingmapa sect was also called the Red sect because
Nyingmapa lamas wore red robes and hats. Loosely organised it
focuses on mantras. The lamas can be married and they usually live in
small groups. Nyingmapa lamas believe that one's mind is pure and
that one can be a Buddha through the Buddhist cultivation, that is,
prevention of external disturbances or conflicts. Formally founded in
the 11th century the sect paid great attention to absorbing the fine
points of the Bon religion and, at the same time, did its best to locate
Buddhist sutras secreted away when Darma moved to suppress
Buddhism. Based on its practice of Buddhism deeply rooted in the
Tubo Kingdom of the 8th century. They mainly advocate Tantrism. Its
theory was strongly influenced by Han Chinese language Buddhism,
and is quite similar with the theory of Ch'an School of Buddhism in
China's hinterland.

Obscurations: There are two primary obscurations, the first is
the obscuration of conflicting emotions (belief in a 'self') and the
second is the misconception of the nature of reality (belief in 'other,'
objects external to self).
Offerings: A method of accumulating merit in the Mahayana
system as part of the perfection of generosity.
Paamartha-satya: Transcendental truth - the end
Pada: Sentance
Padma: Literally, 'lotus.' A mystical symbol for purity and a
symbol of femininity.
Padmasambhava (Skt.): Literally, 'lotus-born.' Padmasambhava, an
Indian mahasiddha, is regarded as the founder of Tibetan Buddhism in
general and of the Nyingma lineage in particular. During the 8th
century, King Trisong Detsen invited Padmasambhava to subjugate
evil forces obstructing the propagation of Buddhism in Tibet. He
spread the Vajrayana teachings and hid countless spiritual treasures
(terma) for the sake of generations to come. Padmasambhava is also
referred to as Guru Rinpoche.
Panchakrityas: 5 srishti (creation), sthiti (preservation),
samhara (destruction), tirodhana (veiling), anugraha (blessing)
Para-gate: Into the gone beyond, into the understanding
Para-san-gate: Gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond.
Into the understanding completely beyond.
Para: Beyond.
Parakalpita: False imagination
Paramartha: Ultimate truth
Paramartha: Absolute - non origination at all times. Nirvana-
Paramarthsatya: Absolute truth
Paramita(s) (Skt.): Literally, 'gone beyond' or 'to go to the other
shore.' Perfecting the six paramitas of generosity, discipline, patience,
perseverance, meditation and wisdom, enables one to transcend
samsara and Nirvana in order to attain enlightenment.
Paramita: Parama- highest point, paramita- perfection. The
paramita of morality is the keel, deep enough to hold the boat upright
but not so deep that it drags the shoals or holds the boat back, of
"forbearance" the hull wide enough to hold a deck but not so it cannot
cut the waves etc etc.
Paramita: Perfection, generosity, wisdom, morality,
meditation. (generosity as wood, light enough to float but not so that
it floats away.)
Paratantra: That which exists only through a dependent or
causal connection (rajasic truth)
Paratantra: Relativity aspect arising from the separation of
subject & object
Paratantra: Not perfect knowledge, relative knowledge,
viewpoint, dualistic view, false imagination, words, meaning,
individual marks, property, self-nature, cause, philosophical views,
reasoning, birth, non-birth, dependence, bondage, emancipation etc.
Paratantra: Dependence on another - adhering to what is
seen of the mind itself.[Lank]
Paravritti: To obtain ultimate reality ie. turning-up, turning-
back, change ie. spiritual change or transformation.[Lank]
Paravritti: Is purification - visuddhi ie. alya is 'washed clean'
of its dualistic accretion or 'outflow'.[Lank]
Paravritti: Turning back, beyond thought.[Lank]
Parikalpa: Imagined discrimination
Parikalpita: The error of believing something to exist which
does not exist (unreal)
Parikalpita: False imagination (i.e. name & form).[Lank]
Parinayaka: Guide
Parinirvana (Skt.): 'Beyond Nirvana.' The death of a Buddha or
highly realized being. In general, when a great being dies, it is
considered an auspicious time as his blessings become more available
to disciples' minds at his passing.
Parinirvana: Death of the Buddha.
Parinishpanna: Perfect knowledge.
Paripurna: Deficient .. (Decrease?)

Pashu: Animal nature
Pashyaka: Seer
Pashyati: To see
Perfect Knowledge: Cast aside discriminations relating to form,
name, reality & character. Inner realisation by noble wisdom.
Personal consciousness; A temporary focus within a focus.
Phowa (Tib.): One of the six yogas of Naropa, a practice
whereby one's consciousness is ejected from the body.
Piti: Bliss
Positive action: A virtuous action that ultimately results in
Pradhana: Original source
Pragnapati: Thought construction.
Prajna (Skt. / Tib. yeshe): Discriminating wisdom, that capacity of mind
that perceives emptiness as well as discerns each and every cause and
effect distinctly.
Prajna-Paramita Sutra: Collection of 40 Mahayana sutras dealing
with Prajna and its attainment.
Prajna: Literally, Wisdom. This term represents the wisdom
obtained during enlightenment, and one of the key insight is
emptiness. Transcendental wisdom or transcendental knowledge.
Prajna: Wisdom, pra- before, jna- to know. "What comes
before knowledge", "beginner's mind". 1) Mundane; 2) metaphysical
(permanent to be impermanent, pure to be impure, self as non-self
etc.); 3) Transcendental wisdom (all neither permanent nor
impermanent, having neither self nor not-self etc. Prajna-Paramita.
Prajna: Three kinds: as "true appearance" - the mind of all
beings; as "insight" "the light of the mind"; as "language" - insight into
the words of ancients to dispel darkness. Wisdom - to dwell on the
"other shore", body and mind do not exist. Delusion - to dwell on this
shore, body and mind exist.
Prajna: If shallow persons seen as empty. If deep Dharmas
seen as empty.
Prajna: A synonym for satori-enlightenment, the perfection
of wisdom
Prajnaparamita (Skt.): The perfection of wisdom, a name for the
body of Mahayana sutras expounding the doctrine of emptiness.
Among the most famous of these are the Heart Sutra and the Diamond
Prajnaparamita: Heart Sutra early version.
Prajnaparamita: Perfection of wisdom. Para- before, ita- gone,
paramita- "what has gone beyond", what is transcendent, what leads
us to the other shore of samsara, the great deep ocean of suffering.
Prajnaparamita: Personified goddess, the goddess of wisdom.
Prajnaparamita: Teaching giving rise to Mahayana Buddhism.
(see Lao-Tzu).
Prajnaparamita: The wisdom that is the mother of all Buddhas
(Dharmakaya, the embodiment of Dharma)
Prajnaparamitta: Fa-tsang: ‘The Buddhas of the past, present &
future take no other road & use only this gate’
Prajnapati: Mental images
Prana (Skt.): The subtle energy that circulates throughout the
channels that is an object of meditation in yogic practices.
Prapanca: Delusion
Prapti: Attainment
Prashamana: To heal, calm.
Pratipad: Path
Pratitya Samutpada: Dependent origination. No origination nor
cessation; permanence/impermanence; unity/diversity; coming
in/going out. Non origination = Sunyata.
Pratitya-Samutpada: Twelve links of dependent organisation
Pratitya-samutpada: Explains worldly phenomena
Pratyekabuddhas: Lone or solitary Buddhas - self-enlightened
but not helping others. Lack compassion to share with others.
Originally used to describe Jains (Mahavira)
Pratyekabuddhas: Lone or solitary Buddhas obtaining spiritual
enlightenment for themselves but have not helped others ie. with no
help from Buddha or one of his. Originally applied to Jains, later to
those learned in the 12-fold wheel of causality. Proceeding to Arhat,
master of the ego -> liberation. The Buddha urges the Dharma be

taught. The 2 vehicles (Pratyekabuddhas & Arhats), are those
concerned with own liberation as opposed to the Bhodisattvas.
Attainment of Pratyekabuddas higher than Arhat or Sravakas but not
yet the level of the Buddha.
Preliminary practices: Also called ngondro, which literally means, 'to
go before' or 'preliminary.' Contemplations of the four reminders that
turn the mind towards the dharma are called the outer preliminaries.
In the Kagyu tradition, the profoundly transformative extraordinary
preliminaries of refuge and prostrations, vajrasattva mantra, mandala
and guru yoga are generally performed 100,000 times each.
Primary Elements: There are 4: (vacidity [water], enery [fire],
motility [air], divisibility [earth] - as thought-constructions, these are
non-existent and unborn. Stasis [space] is not used. The primary
elements (as response-expectations) are really unborn but due to
ignorance and the accretion of "incorrect truths" they give rise to the
secondary elements.(see secondary elements, skandhas)
Pudgala: Ego-soul
Pudgala: The Sanskrit term pudgala is used by Jains and by
Buddhists conferring the same meaning as "person". However, it
actually connotes a temporary entity that is prone to separation into
parts and then, to assimilation rather than representing a solid whole,
an indivisible entity (as the term person does in English). Instead the
entity 'pudgala' is viewed as made up of five different aspects called
the 5 Skandhas or Five Aggregates. These are not physical
components, but rather an agglomeration or coming together of
subliminal inclinations or tendencies. (see Skandhas)
Puja (Tib. / Skt. sadhana): Refers to a Vajrayana ritual text as well as
the actual meditation practice related to a particular deity.
Punya: Merit (see merit)
Pure Land: A sect of Mahayana Buddhism founded by
Amitabha Buddha. The Pure Land is a paradise in the 'west' where
people can go when they die. People must call on Amitabha to enter
this paradise. See Namu Amidha Butsu
Pure Land: The meaning of being born in the Pure Land is
that you are going to move away from Hell. But only those who have
fallen into hell are going to be saved to move towards the Pure Land !
Therefore the statement that Pure Land 'equals' Hell forms the very
structure of shinjin. I, the being creating hell in my life, am the same
being who is saved by Amida Buddha.
Purkalpita: False imagination
Purvadharmasthitita: Something that has been in existence since
the very begining
Rahula: 1. Literally, 'fetter' or 'impediment.' 2. Son of
Rajah: Chief or king
Rasa: Taste
Ratna: Jewel, gem - Hindi. root: everything that gives
happiness, also a name of god, ocean-like ratna-garbah. Bhagavan
protects his devotees like jewels & assists them to self-realization.
One of the 5 wisdom-energies: Buddha (white), Vagra (green), Ratna
(yellow), Padma (red), Karma (green). Tibetian Buddhism in the
Drikung Kagyu tradition - drop of ambrosia
Refuge: Refers to both the initial step of commitment to
the Buddhist path and clarifying one's ongoing practice in the lineage.
The practice of taking refuge in the three jewels, the Buddha, the
dharma and the sangha.
Relative truth: The apparent truth as perceived as real by the
dualistic mind.
Rigpa: Awareness
Rime (Tib.): 'Without bias.' The non-sectarian reform
movement in 19th century Tibet made famous by the great spiritual
masters Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye,
Lama Mipham, Chogyur Lingpa and Patrul Rinpoche. It is characterized
by a respect and appreciation for all the teachings and schools of
Tibetan Buddhism.
Rinpoche (Tib.): Literally, 'precious one.' An honorific title given
to incarnate lamas and eminent spiritual teachers. It is used as both a
term of address and as the last element of the name.
Rishi: Ascetic

Root lama or guru: A teacher from whom one has received the
empowerments, instructions and precepts that form the core of one's
Rudra (Skt.): Historically, Rudra was a student who perverted
the teachings and eventually killed his teacher. Rudrahood is the
opposite of Buddhahood.
Rupa: Form
Rupina: Objects
Sadhana (Skt./ Tib. puja): Refers to a Vajrayana ritual text as well as
the actual meditation practice related to a particular deity.
Sagya SectTibetan Buddhism.: Sagya means "white land" in the Tibetan
language. The Sagya Sect, founded in 1703, derived its name from the
fact that the Sagya Monastery, the sect's most important monastery,
is grayish white in color. Enclosures in the sect's monasteries are
painted with red, white and black stripes, which respectively
symbolize the Wisdom Buddha, the Goddess of Mercy and the Diamond
Hand Buddha. Hence, the sect is also known as the Stripe Sect.
(Absorbed by Gelug?)
Sakkayaditthi: The 'heresy or delusion of individuality' (see
Sakya (Tib.): One of the four great schools of Tibetan
Buddhism founded by Khon Konchok Gyalpo in the 11th century.
Sakyamuni 1. Sage of the Sakyas, 2. Another name of the
Sakyamuni (Shakyamuni): This is the name given to the historical
Buddha and means 'Sage of the Sakyas', Sakya being the clan that the
Buddha was born into. In the Lotus Sutra, however, Sakyamuni is
portrayed more as a supernatural figure who proclaimed that he
achieved enlightenment many eons ago. The historical Buddha is
viewed as one of a number of projections of Sakyamuni that have
appeared in the world to lead beings to enlightenment.
Sakyapa Sect Tibetan Buddhism.: Named after the Sakya Monastery and
was established in 1073 AD. The sect governed the whole of Tibet for
some time. Because the wall of the monastery was painted in red,
white and black strips, it was colloquially called the colourful sect.
Sakyapa's doctrines persuaded people to do good deeds to gain good
incarnation in the next samsara. It also teaches the abandonment of
an individual's temporal desires to be relieved from pain. (see Sagya)
Samadhi (Skt.): The state of meditative absorption whereby the
mind rests unwaveringly. There are many different kinds of samadhi
with different degrees of insight that can manifest. (see jhana)
Samadhi: Deep concentration to reveal wisdom
Samapatti: A form of samadhi c.f. Patanjali
Samaropa: Proposition
Samatha: Meditation (also shamatha). There are
sometimes said to be two distinct types of meditation: one leading to
insight and the other to the development of jhana or concentration
through tranquillity. If insight developed deeply enough, eventually
comes tranquillity. And if tranquillity is developed deeply enough,
eventually comes insight. (see jhana)
Samaya (Skt. / Tib. damtsig): Literally, 'promise.' The sacred vow which
binds the Vajrayana practitioner to his or her teacher and yidam. The
practitioner pledges and commits to keep certain vows and perform
certain practices.
Sambhogakaya (Skt.): 'body of perfect enjoyment.' One of the
trikaya, the three bodies of a Buddha perceptible only to highly
realized bodhisattvas that manifests in order to benefit sentient
beings. The visionary and communicative aspect of Buddha-nature.
Sambhogakaya: Non-physical state of the associated aspects
of pure consciousness accompanying the incarnated manifest self.
Said to be unceasing bliss, manifest in no-place (clouds) "tuning in".
Manifested through compassion.
Sambodhi: Enlightenment. Sam (complete), bodhi
Samgraha: Reception of the Dharma
Samhara: Destruction
Samkalpa: General discrimination
Samnibham: Resembling (something)
Sampanakrama (Skt. / Tib. dzog rim): Also referred to as completion stage.
One of the two stages of tantric practice based upon absolute or

ultimate truth. In the Kagyu tradition, the six yogas of Naropa are
completion stage practices. See development stage.
Samsara (Skt.): The continuous cycle of birth, death, and rebirth
(reincarnation). Literally, 'wheel' or 'cycle.' Hence, the endless cycle of
existence throughout the six realms that is marked by birth, old age,
sickness and death. The confused state of suffering caused by the
karmic force of one's actions.
Samskara: Mental formative. Knowledge that is the cause of
the samskara is not to be described by the samskara, knowledge that
is known as the samskara siezes the samskara-path. Delusion itself is
no more than truth, truth is neither in samskara nor anywhere else but
it is where samskara is observed (in its proper setting). [Lank] Also:
deep emotional wounds (in this or a past life) from which arise "mental
tendencies". See 4th skandha.
Samskrita: Effect-producing objects
Samsthana: Body form
Samsthanam: Form - matter differs in no way from Karma
Samudaya: Cause of suffering (one of 4 noble truths)
Samvritti-satya: Transcendental truth - means
Samvritti: Conventional truth
Samvrittisatya: Relative truth.
Samyak: Perfect
Sanbhoga-kaya: Buddha’s body of realisation – is an empty
image, reflection of the moon, not-real but can be used as a guide to
what is real, the pure Dharma-kaya.
Sanbhoga-kaya: The body created by every Bhodisattva or
Buddha upon vowing to liberate all beings – not fully realised until
enlightenment. Still subject to karma so not a Buddha’s real body.
Sangha: Refers to the monastic community, the assembly
of realized beings or simply the community of those who practice the
Dharma (Dharma community). The company of heavenly Bodhisattvas
& humans. An organized assembly of Buddhist monks.
Sanjna: Perception
Sanskara: See Samskara
Sansthana: Forms - If karma is form (rupa) it will be the
cause of the skandhas (form, sensation, thought etc) & the objective
world; beings without attachment will not be abiding [even] in the
world of formlessness. Egolessness is the true doctrine and follows
from the non-existence of beings; the advocate of non-ego is a
destroyer causing even the cessation of the vijana (relative
Santushita: Perfect bliss.
Sanudacara-varijitan: Devoid of purposelessness
Saravastivadins: Held 10 truths – 1) 4 noble truths applied to
realm of desire, 2) 4 noble truths applied to realms of forms &
formlessness, 3) Knowledge of ‘no more views’ & knowledge of ‘no
further rebirth’ (these last 2 together = Nirvana). All 10 dissolve in
the light of prajnaparamita i.e. no suffering = no liberation from
suffering, therefore no knowledge of 4 truths & therefore no
attainment (prapati) or non-attainment (aprapti).
Sarvajnata: All knowing, the knowing of unknowing
Sarvastivada: School of Buddhist Philosophy is a contraction of
the Sanskrit "Sarvam asti", meaning "All of them exist" --a reference
to one of the distinguishing doctrines of the school, the existence of
dharmas in all of "the three times" (past, present, and future).
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of
Siddhartha Gautama (Sanskrit; in Pali, Siddhattha Gotama), who lived
between approximately 563 and 483 BCE. Originating in India,
Buddhism gradually spread throughout Asia to Central Asia, Tibet, Sri
Lanka, Southeast Asia, as well as the East Asian countries of China,
Mongolia, Korea, and Japan. The Sarvastivada are one of only two of
the "Early Schools" of Buddhism?to have their written works survive in
substantial, whole books unto the present day. Among the defining
canonical texts composed by the Sarvastivada was the Maha-vaibhasa-
Sarvastivadins: Belief in doctrine: vade, that all: sarva, dharmas
exist: asti, self existence: svabhava. Believed in the doctrine that all
dharmas exist & that selfexistence of dharmas traverses the 3 periods
of time. Not willing to admit the skahndas completely empty.
Satyata: Truth itself

Sautrantikas: Believed the skandha of consciousness to be
Secondary Elements: There are 5 (earth, air, fire, water, space) &
they have their cause in the primary elements
Secondary Elements: Water (from vicidity) or the expectation
thereof, fire (from energy), air (from motility), earth (from divisibility).
(see primary elements, skandhas). Thus secondary elements are also
"thought constructions".
Sects in Tibet: Gelukpa - Gelug (Yellow) Tsongkhapa, founder of
the Gelug Sect; Kagyupa - Kabrgyud (white); Sagya - Sakyapa (Flower,
Variegated); Nyingmapa - Nyingma (Red); Kagdams Sect
Seed syllable: In Vajrayana practices, a single syllable is
visualized as the source from which arise an entire world that includes
specific meditation deities, their mandalas and mantras.
Sentient being(s) (Skt. bhuta): All beings that have mind and are born
into the six realms of existence or samsara.
Seven branch prayer: A prayer in the Mahayana system comprised
of prostration, offering, confession, rejoicing, requesting the teachers
to teach, requesting them not to pass into Nirvana and dedication of
Seven point mandala: A mandala comprised of Mt. Meru, the four
continents, the sun and the moon.
Shabdya: Sound
Shaiksha: Disciples of Buddha in training.
Shakyamuni Buddha (K. Sogamuni Bul).: He is the historical Buddha, born
prince Siddhartha Gautama of the Shakya clan in northeastern India in
the fifth century BCE. The hand position or mudra, which is most often
associated with Shakyamuni Buddha, is "calling the earth to witness."
The right hand hangs over the right knee, with the fingers pointing
towards the earth, while the left hand lays palm up in his lap. Just
after his enlightenment Buddha was challenged as to his right to sit on
the small piece of ground that he was occupying. He called the earth
to witness his many good deeds of past lives and so justified his seat
in that place.
Shakyamuni Buddha (Skt.): The historical Buddha who appeared in our
time around the 5th century B.C. The fourth of the 1000 Buddhas to
appear in this kalpa.
Shamarpa (Tib.): The 'Red Hat Lamas' of the Karma Kagyu sect
of Tibetan Buddhism. The Shamarpa lineage is a line of incarnate
lamas who have been reborn as students and teachers of the Gyalwa
Karmapas since the 14th century. The present day 14th Kunzig
Shamar Rinpoche is the principal teacher of the17th Karmapa Thaye
Dorje and is the founder of the BodhiPath Buddhist Centers.
Shamatha (Skt. / Tib. shinay): 'Calm abiding.' One of the two basic
meditations in all traditions of Buddhism, the other being vipashyana
or insight meditation. Through the practice of shamatha of using the
breath or other objects as a support, one develops the ability to pacify
and focus the mind.
Shariputra Skt. / Sharadwatibu Tib. Arhat Shariputra (plus Maha
Moggallana), the Enlightened One's two chief Disciples (often found
with Buddha Image in Sri Lanka on right and left respectivly).
Shariputra was second only to the Budha in ability to teach & in the
depth and range of his understading. Title: Dharma Senapatti -
Marshal of the Dharma.
Shariputra: Produced 2 texts on Abidharma, Sangiti paryaya
(a comment on the Sangiti-Sutra " collection of precepts culled from
sayings of Buddha later systematised with explanation in Sagiti
paryaya which then evolved further), later & Dharma-Skanda he also
produced Dharmaskandha containg more complete explanations.
Shiksha: System of training - early Buddhists.
Shin Buddhism: Jodo Shinshu. Originated in Japan with Shinran
- 'all beings have the potential of becoming Buddha' means that all
beings in the universe are embraced and enfolded in the Great
Compassion of Amida Buddha. In Shin Buddhism, the act of returning
to this world to assist sentient beings in gaining enlightenment after
having attained it for oneself is known as genso eko. The proximate
focus for Shin Buddhists is nembutsu, the Name of the Buddha, Namu
Amida Butsu, which means 'I take refuge in Amida Buddha'. Shinran
gives a very succinct definition of Shin Buddhism which we find in
several places, for example in his poems (wasan): 'Nembutsu jobutsu

kore Shinshu'; 'Attaining Buddhahood through the nembutsu is the
true essence (Shinshu) of the Pure Land way'.
Shinjin: In shinjin, we are embraced by Amida's light and
suffused with his mind of wisdom and compassion. It is both our total
trust in the power of Amida's Vow to save all beings and the
recognition that our limited and imperfect ego can contribute nothing
to our own enlightenment, let alone that of others. In Shin Buddhism'
the arising of shinjin is the sole condition for attaining birth in the
Pure Land at the time of death and realizing Nirvana, because it is
none other than our awakening to Amida's mind itself within us.
Shinjin is not enlightenment but rather its guarantee in the life to
Shinran: Called shinjin 'wisdom.' Shinran emphasizes the
side of ordinary beings.
Shinran: Shinran (1173-1262), claimed to be Honen's true
disciple, is regarded as the founder of the most important of all 'Pure
Land' sects. Shinran's utter reliance on the power of Amida is
emphasized by his reinterpretation of the Nembutsu. A single, sincere
invocation is enough, said Shinran, and any additional recitation of the
Name should merely be an expression of thanksgiving to Amida.The
dimension emphasized by Shinran is the common ordinary life of
samsara, where illusions are spun, thus emphasis is on wisdom, on
this side, the side of ordinary beings.
Shinran: Born into the aristocratic Hino family, a branch of
the Fujiwara clan, and his father, Arinori, at one time served at court.
At the age of nine Shinran entered the Tendai temple on Mt. Hiei.
After twenty years, he despaired of ever attaining awakening through
such discipline and study. Eearlier, Honen Shonin (1133-1212) had
descended Mt. Hiei and begun teaching a radically new understanding
of religious practice, declaring that all self-generated efforts toward
enlightenment were tainted by attachments and therefore
meaningless. Instead of such practice, one should simply say the
nembutsu, not as a contemplative exercise or means of gaining merit,
but by way of wholly entrusting oneself to Amida's Vow to bring all
beings to enlightenment. Shinran abandoned his former Tendai
practices and joined Honen's movement.
Shravaka (Skt.): One who seeks to attain personal liberation
from samsara on the level of an arhat.
Shuddhodana: King Shuddhodana, father of Buddha.
Shunyata (Skt.): Also called emptiness. The absence of self or
ego in the mind and in its external projections. Refers to the fact that
all conceptual frameworks are empty of any reality, of a solid and
unchanging essence. Also refers to the absolute and pure quality of
mind. Emptiness is taught as the central theme of prajnaparamita
texts and madhyamika philosophy.
Shunyata: Emptiness, ‘not space’ but just the opposite - the
absence of the falsely conceived space between the entities of the
mind or those of the material world created by discrimination.
Shunyata: In the Mahayana, emptiness refers to the absence
of self or ego in the mind and in its external projections. Refers to the
fact that all conceptual frameworks are empty of any reality, of a solid
and unchanging essence. Also refers to the absolute and pure quality
of mind. Emptiness is taught as the central theme of prajnaparamita
texts and madhyamika philosophy. The meaning is thus ?not space?
but something like the opposite. That is, the absence of the falsely
conceived space between entities of the mind or those of the material
world created by discrimination.
Siddha (Skt.): A practitioner who has attained spiritual
realization and supernatural powers. See mahasiddha.
Siddhartha 1. He whose aim is accomplished, 2. Birth name
of the Buddha
Sidhartha: was born (c. 563 BC; Kapilavastu, Nepal) into the
Gautama family of the Shakaya clan. The Shakayas were members of
the priestly-warrior caste. In fact, Sidhartha's father was the head of
the tribe so Sidhartha was a prince. "Shakyamuni" (sage of the
Sila: Moral precepts, morality
Six realms of existence or samsara: All living beings belong to one of the
projected realms of confused or dualistic mind. The cause of rebirth
into a particular realm is due to the effect of one's actions based on a

predominant conflicting emotion or klesha. The six realms and their
predominant conflicting emotions are: hells/aggression; hungry
ghosts/craving or impoverishment; animals/ignorance;
humans/passion, desire or attachment; jealous gods/jealousy, envy or
paranoia; and gods/pride or the ignorance of bliss.
Six sense consciousness: Sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch and
mental consciousness. According to Abhidharma, the mind is
considered one of the sense organs.
Skandha 1st: Rupa - The "appearance of an object". Not
necessarily "concrete". Form is a mask that cannot be removed
without revealing its identity i.e. the mask of a table, of a coin (rupee)
etc. It is a subjective or conceptual category to give meaning to mind.
Earth, air, fire, water (space no relevance for phenomenological
approach). Nama 'means by which we know things', Rup- things know
as "outside".
Skandha 2nd: Vedena "sensation". Vid- to know, experience
(evaluation of form)
Skandha 3rd: Sanja - perception. San- together, jna- to know
(depends on form and sensation)
Skandha 4th: Sanskara - "memory". San- together, kri- to
make i.e. to put together (replaces volition- cetana & attention-
manikara in "Nama". Mental conformation (invented term),
predisposition, Karmic Genome, the faculty of memory, mental
impressions, recollection, impressions on the mind of acts done in
former existence, reproductive imagination, mental conformations on
creation of the mind (as in external world regarded as real though
actually non-existent), prefabricated set of guidelines from the past
(intelligence, belief, shame, confidence, indolence, pride, anger, envy,
sloth, repentance, doubt)
Skandha 5th: Vijana- consciousness. Vi- to divide. Knowledge
that results from division, separate discrimination,
Skandha(s) (Skt. / Tib. phung po): Translated as 'aggregate' or 'heap.' The
collection or aggregates that form the notion of 'self ' are form,
feeling, perception, formation (of impulses, thought, etc. as from
samskaras) and consciousness.
Skandha(s) 1st Skandha: The 5 skandhas are: [1. form], [2.
sensation-apperception], [3. perception-cognition], [4. karmic
conditioning, predispositions, re-cognition, response (the area [of
mind] sometimes called will or volition)], [5. consciousness] and also
described as: (form, sensation, thought conformation, consciousness).
The term "Form" (the first skhanda) belongs to what is made of the 4
secondary elements, water, fire, air, earth) which are, in turn,
extracted from (have their cause in) the 4 primary elements (vacidity
[->water], energy [->fire], motility [->air], divisibility [->earth]. These
4 primary elements may be termed "interpretive sensations", are thus
described as "unborn" and, through the attachment of "expectations"
induced by "habit-energy" they give rise to the resulting secondary
elements (water, fire, air, earth). The first skandha is therefore not
extant or non-extant, as is space. (see Skandha(s) 2nd - 4th
Skandha(s) 2nd-4th Skandha(s): The remaining 4 skandhas, not including
[form] are: [sensation-apperception], [perception-cognition], [karmic
conditioning, predispositions, re-cognition, response (the area [of
mind] sometimes unwisely called 'will' or 'volition')], [consciousness]
and can also be described as: (form, sensation, thought conformation,
consciousness). Note the overlap in meanings -, are clearly without
form (being mental constructs) they are therefore also as space. Not
extant or non-extant. The wise see the aggregate of the 5 skandhas as
thought constructions, non-duel, they thus obstruct the noble
(ultimate) vision. Hence the interpretation, Skanda: having self-
nature. (see Skandha(s) 1st Skandha)
Skandha: Specifically "trunk of a tree", wooden pile. Banyan
tree, Ficus indica, multiple trunks, the tree that walks, may look like a
person from distance. 5 skandhas " 5 viewpoints of person-being. The
outside world or rather the appearance thereof..
Skandhas 5: The limit of reality, in aggregate.
Skandhas and rebirth: "Enqiry: What becomes of the other, the
lower Skandhas of the personality, after the death of the body? Are
they quite destroyed? Answer: They are destroyed as the working
stock in hand of the personality; they remain as karmic effects, as

germs, hanging in the atmosphere of the terrestrial plane, ready to
come to life, as so many avenging fiends, to attach themselves to the
new personality of the Ego when it reincarnates."(see skandhas,
Skandhas: There are 5 skandhas, and the attachment of
incorrect truths thereto results in an aggregation which constitutes
the personality along with the integrated body.
Skandhas: There are five "aggregates" or "collective-
elements" composing each individual.
Skandhas: Skandhas (Sanskrit, "trunk or group"; Pali,
khandha) is, in Buddhism, the five aggregations that constitute the
human appearance (nama-rupa - name & form), which are (i) rupa,
material composition; (ii) vedana, sensing, including sensing through
the sixth sense of mental impressions; samjna (Pali, sanna),
perception; (iv) samskara (pali, sankhara), mental formations,
producing character, karmic conditioning, mental formations, habits,
predispositions (re-cognitions), sometimes broadly & misleadingly
translated as 'will'; (v) vijana (Pali, vinnana), consciousness. The
skandhas are constantly in the process of change, and do not
constitute self (Anatta [anatman]). The five skandhas are also grouped
into three: rupa, cetasika (conditioning factors of consciousness, (ii),
(iii) and (iv) above), and citta (state of consciousness); or even simply
as rupa plus nama, that is, rupanama) (form & name). (see Pudgala)
Skillful means (Skt. upaya): The Vajrayana notion of compassion,
denoting the spontaneous activity arising from a realized being for the
benefit of others.
Soma: Moon
Somagupta: The moon-protected
Soto Zen: Dogen, the founder of Soto Zen, also made the
equation shinjin = 'wisdom'. Yet, though he and Shinran share the
same meaning in this, Dogen places the emphasis on the side of the
Buddha, whereas Shinran emphasizes the side of ordinary beings.
Dogen's path was that of the monk. His was the realization gained on
becoming a Buddha. This is why Zen's emphasis is on the side of the
Sparsha: Feeling
Spiritual friend (Skt. kalyanamitra): Refers to the teacher in the Mahayana
Sravakas: Hearers of the voice - original students of the
Buddha - Agra Savakas (chief) others Maha Savakas.
Sravakas: Realisation of states of emptiness, egoless-ness,
suffering, impermanence (to serene truth), annihilating notions of
externalities & insight into reality. Entering this state, the Sravakas
will attain the blissful abode of EXHALTED SELF REALISATION with: 1
the emancipation of a dhyana, the path and fruit of Samadhi,
deliverance of a Samapatti. But, no discarding of habit-energy, no
escape from the unperceivable transformation of DEATH. This is the
Sravakas' exalted state of self-realisation.
Sravakas: Hearers of the truth, the original disciples of the
Buddha. Sariputra & Maudgalyayana (chiefs), rest Maha Sravakas -
Great disciples. Later disciples of the Bhuddhist path learning directly
from a teacher with lineage striving to become an Arhat - one worthy
of alms.
Sravakas: Also, later, Mahayana: those students of
Bhuddhism who seek personal enlightenment via penetration of the 4
truths, the goal: entry to Nirvana & leave samsara forever. In this
sense they are equivalent to Arhats. Sarvastivadins etc.
Srishti: Creation
Srota-apama: One who reaches the river of impermanence - 1
of three insights necessary for liberation (plus suffering & absence of
Srotta-apanna: First of 4 stages on Shravaka path to nirvana.
'To find the river', the river of impermanence.
Sthaviravidins: Ancestors of Theravadins - 75 Dharmas in matrix
of reality
Sthiti: Preservation
Sthitita Dharmata: The ever enduring reality.
Sthitita: Eternally abiding reality

Stupa (Skt. / Tib. chorten): Sacred monuments containing precious relics
of enlightened beings and/or religious texts. Stupas represent the
presence of the Buddha's mind.
Stupa: A dome, or pagoda, in which sacred relics are
Suchness: Transcendental Reality, object without a subject.
Suddha Chaitanya: Brahman etc.
Suffering and the Skandhas: "Everything is suffering [Skt. dukkha,
pron. dook-ha]" is the 1st 'Noble' Truth (aryasatya) Noble > arya which
here means supreme, ultimate.) Suffering is unsatisfactory having a
character depending largely on the impermanent nature of phenomena
[things, events and states]. This is said to be due in part to the fact
that such phenomena are composed of temporary assemblages or
skandhas. (see skandas, pudgala)
Suffering: The confused state of being caused by the karmic
force of one's actions. Also, one of the three marks of existence.
Suffering: There is no suffering, source, relief or path.
Suffering does not rise so how can it exist? Its source produces
nothing so how can it be cut-off? Its relief relieves nothing so how can
it be practiced? If there is someone who can practice then there must
be a path to practice. But there is no person and no path for both
individuals and Dharmas are empty in the light of Prajnaparamita. If
the person does not exist where can there be suffering? To see this is
to realise the truth of ‘suchness’ (transcendence, enlightenment etc.)
Sukha: Happiness - As a factor of the first jhana, sukha
signifies pleasant feeling. The word is explicitly defined in the sense
by the Vibhanga in its analysis of the first jhana: "Therein, what is
happiness Mental pleasure and happiness born of mind-contact, the
felt pleasure and happiness born of mind-contact, pleasurable and
happy feeling born of mind contact -- this is called 'happiness' "
(Vbh.257). The Visuddhimagga explains that happiness in the first
jhana has the characteristic of gratifying, the function of intensifying
associated states, and as manifestation, the rendering of aid to its
associated states (Vism. 145; PP.151).
Sumeru: Mountain forming the axis of every world. The
Sunpurna: Deficient
Sunyata: Emptiness - of all phenomena.
Sutra(s) (Skt.): The concise teachings given by the Buddha
Shakyamuni. Sutras are one of the tripitaka of the Buddhist canon.
Sutra: Literally, 'thread' or 'string.' A scripture containing
the teachings of Buddha.
Sutta: See Sutra
Sva-Bhava: Self existence or self-existing existence. Any
given entity can only be defined in terms of other entities in time or
space or mind etc. Nothing exists by itself or as itself -> there is no
such thing as self. Greatest delusion: the belief that something exists.
The Skandas are empty (Shunya) i.e. hollow, void, zero with respect to
existence of a self. If no self-existence then also no non-existence, no
not-self existence. 2nd illusion: The belief that nothing exists.
Sva: Self
Svabharva: 3. being, non-being,
Svabhava: Self-hood, self-nature, after purification thence
to remain therein.
Svabhavas (3): Parikalpita (one); Paritantra (mutuality);
Parinishpanna (suchness)
Svabhuddi: Self-knowledge
Svastha: Self abiding.
Svbhava: Own becoming - inborn self-nature, real nature
Svjnana: Self-knowledge
Synata: Absolute nirguna Brahman (Nagajuna)
Tantra(s) (Skt. / Tib. gyu): Literally, 'thread' or 'continuity.' Root
scriptures of Vajrayana Buddhism, this esoteric collection of texts are
ascribed to the Buddha Shakyamuni in certain of his manifestations.
Each usually describes the mandala and practice associated with a
particular yidam. Tantra also is a synonym for Vajrayana.
Tara (Skt. / Tib. Drolma): A female bodhisattva of compassion, born
from a tear of Avalokiteshvara, Tara is especially associated with the
ability to protect her devotees from suffering, fears and dangers.

Tathagata (Skt.): Literally, 'he who has gone beyond,' or 'he who
as attained suchness', an epithet for a Buddha.
Tathagata Garbha: Bound by attachments: the womb of the
Tathagata. Unbounded by attachments: the body of reality or Dharma
Tathagata-Svabhavakusala: Self-nature of the Tathagata.
Tathagata: The one who has come from the world of absolute
Tathagatagarbha (Skt.): 'Buddha-nature,' the enlightened basic
nature of all beings; the primordially awake essential nature of every
being. Obscured by ignorance and kleshas, this nature can be
actualized by the various practices of Buddhism.
Tathagatagharba: Originally in its self-nature, immaculate.
Because of external dirt (agantuklesa) it is soiled - the state generally
found in all sentient beings - an intuitive penetration (pratyyaksha) is
impossible. Thus the Garbha is believed sometimes to be a creator
(karana) and sometimes to be an ego-substance (atman). As it is so
believed, it allows itself to be transmigrated through the 6 paths of
existence. Let there be an intuitive penetration into the primitive
purity (prakritiparisuddhi) of the Tathagta-garbha and the whole
system of Vijanans goes through a revolution. This is only possible
because the Tathagata-gharba or Alya-vignana is a mixture of purity
and defilement (good & evil). It is only that the Gharba or Alaya, while
absolutly neutral or colorless in itself, yet harbours a certain
irrationality, that any sentient being may become a Buddha.
Tathata: Ultimate and unchanging reality of all phenomena.
Truth as it always is. Mind of pure SELF, Buddha nature,
Tathata: Suchness of things, suchness
Tathatva: True nature
Tattva: Truth as it is
Ten Stages Sutra: (Sanskrit Dasabhumikasutra-sastra,
Dasabhumikabhasya; Chinese; pinyin shi di jing lun; also known as the
Sutra on the Ten Stages) is an influential Mahayana Buddhist scripture
written by Vasubandhu in Sanskrit and translated in to Chinese by
Bodhiruci and others during the 6th century.)
Ten directions: The four cardinal points, the four intermediate
ones, the zenith and the nadir.
Terma(s) (Tib.): 'spiritual treasure(s).' From the Nyingma
tradition, termas are teachings, texts and/or religious objects
concealed in the past by great spiritual masters. Hidden in the earth,
rocks, lakes, trees, space and mind, termas are to be miraculously
revealed by 'tertons,' treasure finders, at a time in the future when it
could be of the greatest benefit.
Terton (Tib.): One who reveals hidden treasures or teachings,
usually an incarnate lama.
Thangka (Tib.): A scroll painting usually on cloth that allows it
to be easily rolled up and transported. Thangkas play an important
role in Tibetan Buddhist rituals by providing support during the
process of visualization.
The Buddha's path to Enlightenment 1: 1) Suffering ?: caused by old age &
death i.e. loss of the body. 2) Old age & Death?: caused by birth (jati)
i.e. obtaining a body. 3) Birth?: caused by existence (bhava) i.e.
consists of existence in the realms of form & formlessness. 4)
Existence?: caused by attachment (upadana); attachment to desires,
views, rules, & a self. 5) Attachment?: caused by thirst (trishna); thirst
for the realms of desire, form, and the formless. 6) Thirst?: caused by
sensation (vedena); pleasureable, painful & neutral. 7) Sensation?:
caused by contact (sparsha); 6 kinds of sensory contact. 8) Contact?:
caused by the abodes (ayatana); the 6 senses.
The Buddha's path to Enlightenment 2: 9) Abodes?: caused by name & form
(nama-rupa); the skanda of form & the 4 formless skandhas (see
above). 10) Name & Form?: caused by consciousness (vijnana); the 6
forms of sensory consciousness (hearing, taste, touch, vision, smell,
thought). 11) Consciousness?: caused by memory (Samskara); habitual
patterns of speech, action & thought. 12) Memory?: caused by
ignorance (avidya). Ignorance of cause & effect & also the way things
The Thirty Verses on Consciousness-only: (Sanskrit: Trisika; Chinese: Weishi
Sanshi Lun) is a brief poetic treatise by the Indian Buddhist scholar
Vasubandhu. It was composed in the 4th century CE and is one of the

core texts of the Yogacara school. It was translated into Chinese by
Xuanzang in 648 at Hongfu Monastery.
The four noble truths: 1 Life means suffering.: 2 Origin of suffering
is attachment: 3 Cessation of suffering is attainable.: 4 There is a path
to cessation of suffering:, are negated. Why? Because from the
viewpoint of Prajnaparamita the mind is already (and always has been)
pure and requires no improvement. Thus no external doctrines exist
nor are they required since they are already contained within our very
Theravada: Literally, 'School of the Elders.' Aso known as
Hinayana. One of the three major forms of Buddhism, Theravada is
considered to be the original and orthodox form of Buddhism. See also
Hinayana and Vajrayana.
Theravadins - Sthaviravadins: Orthodox 11
Thought Only: Transcendental Reality viewed from the
subjective side.
Thought: In general, whatever arises in the dualistic mind.
Three Poisons: Ignorance, attachment, anger. (Vajrayana)
Three gates: Body, speech and mind the gates through which
one relates to the phenomenal world.
Three jewels: The three objects of refuge the Buddha, the
dharma and the sangha. The Buddha represents an example of one
who has attained enlightenment; the Dharma represents the
teachings; and the Sangha refers to the assembly of realized beings
and fellow practitioners on the path.
Three marks of existence: Suffering, impermanence and egolessness.
Three poisons: The three main disturbing emotions or kleshas
of passion, aggression and ignorance. Sometimes expanded into five
by adding jealousy and pride.
Three poisons: Greed, hatred, stupidity
Three times: Past, present and future.
Tibet: Vajrayana; 4 main sects in Tibet: Yellow, Red,
White, Flower
Tilopa (Skt.): (988-1069). One of the great Mahasiddas of India
and the supreme teacher of Naropa. Tilopa was self-realized in that he
received the highest teaching of the nature of mind, not through a
human teacher, but through the inspiration of his meditation. Tilopa is
the originator of the Kagyu lineage.
Tirodhana: Veiling
Tonglen (Tib.): 'Literally, 'sending and taking.' The Mahayana
Buddhist practice of giving away all that is positive and good and
taking in all that is negative and harmful. Used as a meditation
technique to develop equanimity and compassion in the practitioner.
Tonglen: Tibetan meditation technique related to the
breath. Many people meditate to expel negative energy thereby
leaving behind the positive, which of course leaves you feeling
charged up but at the expense of blowing your negativism back into
the world for others to deal with. In Tonglen, you suck in everyone
else's negative energy, transform it to positive energy through your
overwhelming compassionate radiance, and expel the positive energy
back into the world. You become like a Boddhisattva who accepts the
woes of the world to relieve it of suffering so that others may find
Nirvana. Idea is to have overwhelming compassion for others such that
you accept their suffering ... in turn, because you have such
overwhelming compassion, you can transform anything into positive
Torma (Tib.): Ritual figures generally made of dough used as
offerings or representations of deities in tantric practices.
Tranquillity: (samatha or shamatha): the practice of one-
pointed mental attention. NOTE: It is said that the path of tranquillity-
concentration-absorption can lead to supernormal powers (e.g.,
extrasensory perception, knowledge of previous lives). All of the
attainments of this path, however, are considered samsaric. Buddhism
holds that absorption by itself cannot lead to Nirvana. It is, rather, the
path of Mindfulness-Insight that is said to lead to Nirvana. The
mastery of access concentration, however, is said to be an effective
means to more stable mindfulness, and the mastery of the higher
absorptive states is said to be an effective means to deeper insight.
Trayattrinsha: Name of the 2nd of 6 heavens in the realm of
desire. Located on summit of Mt Semeru. Residence of Indra.

Tri Vidya: Three insights
Tripitaka (Skt.): Literally, 'three baskets.' The three collections of
the Buddha's teachings the vinaya, sutra and abhidharma were
originally written on palm leaves and stored in baskets.
Tripitaka: Literally, 'Three Baskets.' According to Buddhist
belief, the scriptures were stored in three baskets, dividing Buddha's
teachings into the code of discipline for monks, his sermons and
discourses, and the higher doctrine (Buddhist philosophy and
Trishna: Desire or thirst for life.
Tulku (Tib. / Skt. nirmanakaya): An honorific title bestowed on recognized
incarnations of spiritual masters.
Turn the wheel of Dharma: A phrase meaning to teach the Dharma.
Tushita: A 'god' realm (Mahayana) cf. Bhodisattva Maitreya
Two accumulations: Accumulation of merit and wisdom.
Two obscurations or veils: There are two classes of obscurations
Two truths: Absolute and relative truths.
Uddiyana (Skt.): The birthplace of Padmasambhava thought to
be located somewhere between Afghanistan and Kashmir.
Unuttara Mantro: The unexcelled mantra. There is nothing
beyond it – it is the beyond.
Upasaka: Followers of Buddhism that believed in Buddha's
teachings, but did not follow the strict rule of the Sangha.
Upaya (Skt.): Also called skilful means. The Vajrayana notion of
compassion, denoting the spontaneous activity arising from a realized
being for the benefit of others.
Upaya: Skilful means
Urna: A mark on the Buddha's forehead, between his
eyebrows, that signifies his great intuition.
Ushanisha: A protuberance atop Buddha's head that signifies
his great wisdom.
Utpatikrama (Skt. / Tib. kye rim): Also referred to as development stage.
One of the two stages of tantric practice based upon relative truth,
usually referring to various practices of visualization. See completion
Vairocana Buddha (K. Birojana Bul): The Cosmic Buddha who spreads the
light of Buddhist Truth in every direction. The Buddha who embodies
the Wisdom of Universal Law, Vairocana is the central figure of a
trinity that includes the bodhisattvas Manjusri and Samantabhadra,
who attend him. Vairocana is usually depicted with his hands in the
mudra of the "knowledge fist." The right hand forms the "diamond
fist" and the left index finger, called the "diamond finger" is inserted
into the right fist. The mudra of the "knowledge fist" dispels darkness.
The left index finger represents the world of sentient beings, and the
surrounding right hand, the protection of the world of Buddhas.
Vairocana: 'Vairocana' means the 'Resplendent One' or
'Shining Out' and represents the dharma or transcendent truth of the
Buddhist message. In the three-body doctrine of Mahayana Buddhism,
he represents the dharma-body and is also associated with the Adi
Buddha who embodies the essence of the teaching and the final goal.
Vajra (Skt. / Tib. dorje): Generally symbolizing indestructibility or
adamantine quality, the vajra or dorje is a ritual object used together
with a bell or ghanta. The vajra represents skilful means or
compassion and the bell symbolizes wisdom.
Vajra brothers and sisters: Students who have received Vajrayana
teachings from the same guru.
Vajra master (Skt. vajracharya / Tib. dorje l Refers to the spiritual teacher in the
Vajrayana system.
Vajra posture: Full lotus position: posture with legs crossed
and the feet resting on the thighs.
Vajra pride: The confidence that arises from the practice of a
Vajra seat (Skt. vajrasana): The place in India (Bodh Gaya) where all
Buddhas of this kalpa are to attain enlightenment.
Vajradhara (Skt. / Tib. Dorje Chang): Literally, 'vajra holder.' The name of the
dharmakaya Buddha who is of particular importance to the Kagyu
lineage. The ultimate source of tantric teachings, he is of dark blue
color and crosses his arms while holding a bell and dorje, symbolizing
the inseparability of wisdom and skilful means.

Vajrasattva (Skt. / Tib. Dorje Sempa): Literally, 'vajra being.' The Buddha of
purification. One of the four preliminary practices using the recitation
of the 100-syllable mantra, Vajrasattva practice involves
acknowledging and regretting all one's negative actions with the aim
to purify the habitual tendencies from which they arise. Vajrasattva is
visualized as white in color and represents the intrinsic capacity of the
mind to recognize its own primordial purity.
Vajrayana (Skt.): Literally, 'adamantine' or 'indestructible
vehicle.' The third of the three vehicles or yanas, Vajrayana is an
extension of the Mahayana that emphasizes special skilful means for
transforming negativity. Synonymous with tantra, Vajrayana is also
called the 'sudden path,' because through its practice enlightenment
can be attained in one lifetime.
Vajrayana: Literally, 'diamond vehicle.' One of the three
major forms of Buddhism, Vajrayana is popular in Tibet. See also
Theravada and Mahayana. Adamantine or indestructible vehicle. An
extension of Mahayana - rely on skilful means of transformation
(ignorance, passion, desire, attachment)->wisdom and compassion.
Tantra, sudden path in one lifetime.
Vajrayogini (Skt. / Tib. Dorje Phagmo): A semi-wrathful deity visualized as red
in color, Vajrayogini represents the transformation of ignorance and
passion (desire or attachment) into wisdom and compassion. An
important tantric deity, a key yidam of the Kagyu tradition that is
generally practiced after completion of ngondro or the preliminary
Vastu: Reality
Vasubandhu: One of Nagarjuna's followers, put the
Sarvastivada philosophy into the form in which it is most read (and
used) in Buddhist religious practice today: the Abhidharma-kosa.
Vasubandhu (Sanskrit. Chinese. Korean) was an Indian Buddhist
scholar-monk, and along with his brother Asaga, one of the main
founders of the Indian Yogacara school. Vasubandhu is one of the
most influential figures in the entire history of Buddhism. Born in
Gandhara in the fourth century, he was at first a Sarvastivadin and
wrote the Abhidharmakosa-bhasya. He later converted to Mahayana
and composed many other treatises. Most influential in the East Asian
Buddhism tradition was probably his Thirty Verses on Consciousness-
only as well as a commentary to the Mahayana-sagraha, the
Dasabhumikabhasya, Catuhsataka-sastra, Mahayana satadharma-
prakasamukha sastra, Amitayus sutropadesa, Discourse on the Pure
Land .
Vedana: Sensation
Vehicles (Skt. yana): The teachings that provide the method for
travelling the path to enlightenment. See Hinayana, Mahayana and
Vicara: Sustained Thought. Vicara represents a more
developed phase of the thought process than vitakka, having the
characteristic of continued pressure on the object. Sustained thought
is described as the act of anchoring the mind on the object, the subtle
phase of continued mental pressure. Applied thought brings the mind
to the object, sustained thought fixes and anchors it there. Sustained
thought examines and inspects the focus i.e. sustains the
concentration by keeping the mind anchored on that object.
Buddhaghosa illustrates the relationship thus: Applied thought is like
striking a bell, sustained thought like the ringing; applied thought is
like a bee's flying towards a flower, sustained thought like its buzzing
around the flower; applied thought is like a compass pin that stays
fixed to the centre of a circle, sustained thought like the pin that
revolves around (Vism. 142-43; PP.148-49). Applied thought and
sustained thought functionally associated, perform different
Vichara: Subtle thoughts
Vid: To understand.
Vidya-adhipati: Bestower of spells (Avalokiteshvara)
Vidya: ’Mantra’ for female entity.
Vidyadhara (Skt.): 'Knowledge holder' who possesses some
miracle powers.
View: Real knowledge of the natural state of all
Vihara: Cave dwellings for monks.

Viharaty acitta avaranah: And live without walls of the mind
(prajnaparamita – the refuge without walls)
Vijnana(s): Vi - to divide, jna (root) - to perceive, to know. The
faculty of distinguishing, discerning or judging. Eye-vijnana
determines a "red" apple etc., manovijnana distinguishes ideas and so
on. There are 6 forms for distinguishing the world. Manovijnana is
directly related to Manas (roughly the mind) as an organ of thought
having strong powers of attachment to the results of thinking. The
manas first wills, then discrimination takes place (in judgment). To
judge is to divide and the dividing ends up in the dualistic viewpoint
being established. Hence the tenacious attachment to the dualistic
interpretation of existence.
Vijnana: Consciousness (see manovijana, alyavijana)
Vijnana: Relative knowledge
Vijnanas - alternate classification: According to their Lakshana or modes of
being (3): evolving (pravritti), performing deeds (karma); retaining
their own original nature (jati). All the vijnanas are thus evolving and
deed-performing Vijanas except the Alaya which always abides in its
Vijnapti: Representations
Vikalpa: Discrimination, imagination. Particular
Vilalakirti Sutra: Sutra produced by a layman of the same name.
Vinaya (Skt.): The Buddhist scriptures concerned with monastic
discipline and moral conduct; rules for the behaviour of the monks and
nuns. One of the tripitaka of the Buddhist canon.
Vinayaka: Remover
Vipaka: A result of Karma.
Viparyasa: What is contrary to the way things are. Four
delusions: permanent/not permanent; is self existent claiming it is not
self existent; is pure/not pure; pleasurable/not pleasurable (as
concerning: permanence, pleasure, self-existence & purity) are used to
establish the reality of the mundane world (samsaraa – birth & death).
Vipashyana (Skt. / Tib. lhagthong): Meditation that develops insight into the
nature of mind and is sometimes described as analytical meditation. It
is one of the two types of meditation found in all Buddhist traditions,
the other being tranquillity meditation or shamatha.
Vipassana: Meditation (Insight meditation):,The Insight
Knowledge resultant from the practice of Vipassana Meditation are: 0.
Impermanence (Aniccanupassana - Pali). 1. Suffering
(Dukkhanupassana - Pali). 2. No self (Anattanupassana). 3. Aversion
(Nibiddanupassana). 4. Detachment (Viraganupassana). 5. Extinction
(Nirodhanupassana). 6. Abandoning (Patinissagganupassana). 7.
Waning (Khayanupassana). 8. Vanishing (Vayanupassana). 9. Change
(Viparinamanupassana). 10. The unconditioned or sign-less
(Animittanupassana). 11. Desirelessness (Apanihitanupassana). 12.
Emptiness (Sunnatanupassana). 13. Insight into phenomena which is
higher wisdom (Addhi Panna-dhamma Vipassana). 14. Knowledge and
vision according to reality (Yatha-bhuta-nana-dassana). 15. Misery or
danger (Adinavanupassana). 16. Reflection Contemplation
(Patisankhanupassana). 17. Turning away (Vivattananupassana).
Viragya: The victor (The Buddha)
Virya: Vigor
Visamyukta: Disjoined
Vishaya: Domain
Vitakka: Applied Thought. Vitakka frequently appears in the
texts in conjunction with the word vicara (sustained thought). In both
the suttas and the Abhidhamma applied thought is defined as the
application of the mind to its object (cetaso abhiniropana). The
Atthasalini illustrates thus: Just as someone ascends the king's palace
in dependence on a relative of friend dear to the king, so the mind
ascends the object in dependence on applied thought. This function of
applying the mind to the object is common to the wide variety of
modes in which the mental factor of applied thought occurs, ranging
from sense discrimination to imagination, reasoning and deliberation
and to the practice of concentration culminating in the first jhana.
Applied thought can be unwholesome as in thoughts of sensual
pleasure, ill will and cruelty, or wholesome as in thoughts of
renunciation, benevolence and compassion. Applied thought is
described as the first impact of the mind on the object.

Vitarka: Gross thoughts
Vivikta: Itself
Vivikta: Meaning is alone with itself.
Viviktadharma: The truth of solitude, the absolute.
Viviktadharma: The truth of absolute solitude. Self-realisation
(11th stage), absolute purity. The highest station of mahesvara,
Viviktadharma: a thing of solitude (Reality)
Vyahritani: Inexplicables
Vyana: Length of two outstretched arms
Vyarigana: Syllables
Vyayam: Going, not seeing (of the effect)
Wheel of dharma: Symbol of the Buddha's teachings. The
Buddha gave three major series of teachings during his lifetime, the
Hinayana, the Mahayana and the Vajrayana that are referred to as the
first, second and third turnings of the wheel.
Wisdom (Skt. jnana / Tib. yeshe): Refers to the fundamental nature of
mind; not something developed or created, but ever-present and
Wish fulfilling jewel: A mystical jewel found in the god or naga
realms that fulfills all of one's wishes.
Wrong view: A false belief or misunderstanding of the nature
of reality that ignores karmic consequences and typically causes harm
to others and oneself.
Yakshas: Semi divine, 1/2 god 1/2 demon
Yama (Skt.): Refers to 'Lord of Death,' or can mean the forces
of death.
Yana(s) (Skt.): 'path' or 'vehicle'. The means for travelling the
path to enlightenment. See Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana.
Yasodhara: Wife of Buddha
Yathabhuta: (Reality of) suchness. Single vehicle - triple
vehicle (teaching higher purposes). Freed from habit-energy & NOT
intoxicated by the samadhis - loosing himself in the attainment of the
samadhi-body he is not at all awakened even to the end of Kalpas
Yeshe (Tib. / Skt. jnana): Refers to the fundamental nature of mind;
not something developed or created, but ever-present and
Yidam (Tib.): A meditation deity who is the embodiment of a
particular aspect of enlightenment.
Yoga (Skt.): Literally 'union'. In Buddhism, a method for
becoming one with the natural state.
Yogacara: Mahayana, mind alone (Lankavatata)
Yogi (Skt.): A male practitioner.
Yogini (Skt.): A female practitioner.
Zen: Forms of Mahayana Buddhism in Japan. Chinese
version is called Ch'an. See also Ch'an
Zen: Views wisdom as 'who the Buddha is,' while Shin
views wisdom as 'who I am.'

Date 20-01-05