Englishalt. translationsབོད་ཡིགphoneticsTib. WylieSanskritNotes
Abhidharma (Skt)ཆོས་མངོན་པ་chö ngön pachos mngon paabhidharmaA class of Buddhist scriptures presenting the Buddha's doctrine in scholastic and systematic way.
The main focus of the Abhidharma is the conventional level of reality.
afflicted mindཉོན་མོངས་པ་ཅན་གྱི་ཡིད་, ཉོན་ཡིད་ nyön mong pa chen gyi yi,
nyön yi
nyon mongs pa can gyi yidkliṣṭamanasThe afflicted mind is a subtle aspect of consciousness which focuses on the continuum of the all-base consciousness, apprehending it as the self.
It is the seventh type of consciousness in the eight consciousness model of the mind according to Yogācāra.
afflictions, mental afflictionsdefilementsཉོན་མོངས་པ་nyön mong panyon mongs pakleśa
The states of mind that cause unrest and obstruct the realisation of ultimate reality. The six root affl ictions are ignorance, desire, anger, pride, doubt, and wrong views. The Abhidharma teachings list a further twenty secondary afflictions.
afflictive obscurationveil of afflictionsཉོན་མོངས་པའི་སྒྲིབ་པ་nyön mong pé drip panyon mongs pa’i sgrib pakleśāvaraṇaSee veil of afflictions.
aggregatesཕུང་པོ་phung pophung poskandhaSee skandha.
Akaniṣṭa (Skt)འོག་མིན་og minog minakaniṣṭa The name of the pure land, or dimension, of the sambhogakaya forms of a buddha.
ālaya (Skt), all-baseཀུན་གཞི་kün zhikun gzhiālayaIn the Lamdré teachings, the term ālaya refers to the basis for all appearances of samsara and nirvana: the union of awareness--i.e. the mind's cognitive aspect--and emptiness, its ultimate nature.
In a more general context, the term is sometimes used as an abbreviation for ālayavijñāna, or all-base consciousness. Also see ālayavijñāna.
all-base consciousnessstorehouse consciousness, substratum consciousness, ground-of-all consciousnessཀུན་གཞི་རྣམ་ཤེས་kün zhi nam shékun gzhi rnam shesālaya-vijñāna
The all-base consciousness is the eighth aspect of consciousness in the eight consciousness model of the mind according to Yogācāra. According to this system, consciousness that is not based on sense perception has three aspects: (1) the common mental consciousness, which operates on the basis of discursive thought ('mental consciousness'); (2) an innate identification with the subtle continuum of experience ('afflicted mind'); and (3) the subtle continuum of mind itself ('all-base consciousness'). The all-base consciousness is so called because it is the basis for storing the latencies generated by actions of body, speech, and mind, and thus functions as the basis for the experience of their results. It comprises two aspects: a causal aspect composed of seeds and latencies; and a resultant aspect that is the all-base itself, the support the seeds are placed in. The existence of this consciousness is accepted only by the Mahāyāna schools (Madhyamaka and Cittamātra).
apprehending inherent identity in phenomenaconceiving a self of phenomenaཆོས་ཀྱི་བདག་འཛིན་chö kyi dag dzinchos kyi bdag ‘dzindharma-atma-grāha
Generally, conceptual thoughts apprehending any phenomenon (dharmas) as truly existent. According to Gorampa it refers to conceptual thoughts apprehending phenomena in any of the four conceptually possible ways, i.e. as existent, as nonexistent, as both existent and nonexistent, or as neither existent nor nonexistent.
apprehending a self in the individual conceiving a self of personགང་ཟག་གི་བདག་འཛིན་gang zag gi dag dzingang zag gi bdag ‘dzinpudgala-ātma-grāhaConceptual thought conceiving a truly existent.self or ‘I’ which has been imputed on the basis of the skandhas.
apprehending as truly existent, apprehension of ‘true existence’conceiving as realབདེན་པར་འཛིན་པ་den par dzin pabden par ‘dzin pasatya-grāhaThe conceptual thought which conceives the individual or phenomena as truly existent.
arhat (Skt)དགྲ་བཅོམ་པ་dra chom padgra bcom paarhatA person who has achieved the spiritual goal of liberation from the cycle of existence. The Sanskrit term literally means “worthy one,” whereas the Tibetan term means “foe destroyer.”
ārya (Skt), noble oneའཕགས་པ་phag paphags paārya
An individual on the Buddhist path who has attained the exalted state of those who gained direct insight into ultimate reality and thereby removed the afflictions obstructing liberation. There are four kinds of ārya beings: śrāvaka ārya, pratyeka ārya, bodhisattva ārya and the fully awakened ārya or buddha.
awakeningenlightenmentབྱང་ཆུབ་jang chupbyang chubbodhi
The goal of Buddhist practice, attained by the elimination of ignorance. Three types of awakening are: śrāvaka arhatship, pratyekabuddhahood and the complete and perfect awakening of the Mahāyāna. Complete awakening is the state of buddhahood, when all veils obstructing ultimate freedom and omniscience are forever removed from the mind. The two veils are the veil of mental afflictions and the cognitive veil of the latencies of these afflictions. See also two veils.
āyatana (Skt), basis of perceptionsphere of perceptionསྐྱེ་མཆེད་kyé chéskye mchedāyatana
The āyatanas are ‘doors’ through which consciousness arises. They consist of the six inner sense powers (i.e. the five sense faculties plus the mind) and their six corresponding objects (i.e. form, sound, odour, taste, tangible objects and phenomena or objects of mental consciousness). Thus, there are twelve bases of perception.
bardo (Tib), intermediate stateབར་དོ་bardobar doantarābhava
Lit. 'in-between.' This term usually denotes the state in-between two lives: after death and before the next rebirth. In this state the mind can still have various experiences which can be anything from extremely pleasant and of great clarity to utterly terrifying and confusing, depending on one’s latent tendencies.
bases of mastery (eight)bases of subjugation, spheres of masteryཟིལ་གྱིས་གནོན་པའི་སྐྱེ་མཆེད་བརྒྱད་zilgyi nönpe kyéché gyézil gyis gnon pa’i skye mched brgyadaṣṭābhibhavāyatanaSee eight bases of mastery.
bases of totality (ten)spheres of totalizationཟད་པར་གྱི་སྐྱེ་མཆེད་བཅུ་zepar gyi kyéché chuzad par gyi skye mched bcukṛtsnāyatanaSee ten bases of totality.
belief in a permanent identitypersonality view, view of perishing collectionའཇིག་ཚོགས་ལ་ལྟ་བ་jig tsog la tawajig tshogs la lta basatkāyadṛṣṭiThe view apprehending an inherent, permanent identity, or self, imputed on the basis of the skandhas, which are a collection of impermanent phenomena.
Bhagavān (Skt), Blessed Oneབཅོམ་ལྡན་འདས་chom den débcom ldan ’dasbhagavānEpithet of the Buddha.
bhūmi (Skt), groundས་sasabhūmi
The levels of spiritual attainment traversed gradually by a bodhisattva on the path to awakening. According to the Mahāyāna path, there are ten stages or bhūmis, each corresponding to the attainment of one of the ten perfections (see perfections), by which advanced trainees progress on the path. The first bhūmi, called Supreme Joy, is attained with the initial insight into ultimate reality.The following stages are known as (2) Stainless; (3) Luminous; (4) Radiant; (5) Difficult to Train in, (6) Directly Approaching, (7) Gone Far, (8) Immoveable; (9) Excellent Intelligence; and (10) Cloud of Dharma.The attainment of perfect buddhahood, which is the ultimate goal, is also referred to as the eleventh bhūmi.
bodhicitta (Skt), mind of awakening/enlightenmentབྱང་ཆུབ་ཀྱི་སེམས་jang chup kyi sembyang chub kyi semsbodhicitta
Bodhicitta is of two types: relative and ultimate. Relative bodhicitta (Tib. kun rdzob byang sems) refers to the resolve to attain buddhahood for the sake of all beings and the practices motivated by this intention, whereas ultimate bodhicitta (Tib. don dam pa’i byang sems) refers to the realization of emptiness or ultimate reality.
bodhisattva (Skt)བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའ་jang chup sem pabyang chub sems dpa’bodhisattva Lit. “heroic being with an awakened mind.” Name given to an individual who has generated the resolve to attain the state of complete buddhahood for the sake of other beings and traverses the stages of the bodhisattva path.
bodhisattva vowsབྱང་སེམས་སྡོམ་པ་jang sem dom pabyang sems sdom pabodhisattva-saṃvara The formal commitment made by an individual who is intent on attaining buddhahood for the sake of all beings. It entails the observance of a number of precepts to ensure a steady progress on the path.
buddha (Skt), Awakened Oneསངས་རྒྱས་sangyésangs rgyasbuddha
A person who has attained buddhahood (i.e., true and complete awakening), perfectly free of all obscurations and endowed with perfect wisdom, compassion and the ability to help others. One of the Three Jewels or objects of refuge for Buddhists.
buddhahoodསངས་རྒྱས་པ་sangyé pasangs rgyas paThe aim to be achieved in the Mahāyāna; the state of true and complete enlightenment obtained by the purification of the two veils, i.e., the veil of mental affl ictions and the cognitive veil.
buddha natureབདེ་གཤེགས་སྙིང་པོ་dé shek nying pobde gshegs snying potathāgatagarbhaThe true nature of all sentient beings, concealed by the mental afflictions and conceptual thought. It refers to the union of the mind's luminosity and emptiness, which represents the natural potential for all beings to fully awaken.
Brahmā (Skt)ཚངས་པ་tsang patshangs pabrahmāGreatly powerful Hindu deity who resides in the form-realm.
calm abidingquiscienceཞི་གནས་zhi nézhi gnasśamathaCalm abiding meditation, aimed at developing stability and clarity of mind. Paired with special insight it becomes a powerful tool to uproot ignorance, the root cause of all suffering.
Cittamātra (Skt), Mind Onlyསེམས་ཙམ་sem tsamsems tsamcittamātra
One of the four main Indian Buddhist schools of thought, the Mind Only school belongs to the Mahāyāna tradition. It is also known as Vijñānavāda (School of Consciousness) or Vijñaptimātra (Cognition-Only). Related to the Yogācāra tradition founded by the Indian masters Asaṅga and Vasubandhu, the Cittamātra school is based on the sūtras of the third turning of the Dharma wheel and the teachings of the Bodhisattva Maitreya. The unique approach of this school consists in aiming to demonstrate that everything in the world is nothing but mind; in other words, the objects one relates to are nothing but mental representations devoid of external independent existence. Hence the name Mind Only. From the perspective of the Madhyamaka, the Cittamātra still maintains a realist view, albeit the most subtle one from among the four major tenets.
cognitionrepresentationརྣམ་པར་རིག་པ་nam par rik parnam par rig pavijñaptiThe mental cognitions on the basis of which the deluded mind projects the duality of apprehended and apprehender.
cognitive veilobscuration to omniscience, obscuration to knowledgeཤེས་བྱའི་སྒྲིབ་པ་shé jé drip pashes bya’i sgrib pajñeyāvaraṇa
The cognitive veil comprises the latencies, or subtle traces, the mental afflictions leave on the mind, including the subtle clinging to dualistic appearances. It is the obscuration preventing the attainment of omniscience or buddhahood. It is gradually removed on the subsequent bhūmis by the repeated familiarization with the realization of emptiness. Also see veils.
collective engagerསྒྲུབ་འཇུག་drup jugsgrub ‘jugvidhipravṛtti
This is the mode of perceiving by non-conceptual subjective perception, through any one of the six sense consciousnesses. It perceives whatever appears to it without any process of elimination, in contrast to conceptual subjective mind, which produces a generic image of the object by a process of elimination and is thus known as "eliminative engager."
complete purificationརྣམ་པར་བྱང་བ་nam par jangwarnam par byang bavyavadānaAll dharmas belonging to nirvāṇa and the path.
conceived objectཞེན་ཡུལ་zhen yülzhen yuladhyavasāyaThe direct object of the conceptual subjective mind, one of the four "objects" explained in logic texts.
contradictory consequenceའགལ་བརྗོད་ཐལ་འགྱུར་gel jö thel gyur‘gal brjod thal ‘gyurprasaṅga
This term refers to pointing out the logical absurdity in the proponent’s argument. Identifying the contradictory consequences or logical absurdities in the proponent’s argument without putting forward its own proposition, is the main method of disputation utilized by the Prāsaṅgika Madhyamaka school when debating against both the inner (Buddhist) and outer (non-Buddhist) realist schools concerning ultimate reality.
conventional realityrelative truthཀུན་རྫོབ་བདེན་པ་kün dzob den pakun rdzob bden pasaṃvṛti-satya See two realities.
definite emergenceངེས་འབྱུང་ngé jungnges 'byungniḥsaraṇaIt refers to the fourth feature of the noble truth of cessation, the definite emergence from cyclic existence.
definitely uprootingངེས་འབྱིན་ngé jinnges ‘byinnairyāṇikaThis is a feature of the exalted path, realization - the fourth aspect of the noble truth of path.
dependent arisingdependent origination, interdepedenceརྟེན་ཅིང་འབྲེལ་བར་འབྱུང་བ་ten ching drelwar jungwarten cing ’brel bar ’byung bapratītyasamutpāda
The process of the arising of conditioned phenomena. In term of the conditioned existence of sentient beings, it refers to the process of rebirth based on ignorance which is described in twelve steps: ignorance, karmic formations, consciousness, name and form, sense bases, contact, sensation, craving, clinging, becoming, birth, and aging and death.
dependent (nature)other-dependentགཞན་དབང་zhen wanggzhan dbangparatantraSee three natures.
Dharma (Skt)ཆོས་chöchosdharma
When capitalized, this term refers to the Buddha’s teachings and the path of practice and experience based on them. In this sense it it one of the Three Jewels or objects of refuge for Buddhists. In general, however, the term dharma has more than ten different meanings, including phenomenon and religious tradition.
dharma (Skt), phenomenonreferentཆོས་chöchosdharmaAnything that can be the object of mental consciousness: all compounded and uncompounded phenomena.
dharmadhātu (Skt)ཆོས་དབྱིངས་chö yingchos dbyingsdharmadhātuLit. 'dharma expanse'. Synonym of ultimate reality, also used for buddha-nature. It is explained to be the cause for the properties of an ārya, since by taking it as the focal object of meditation one attains the exalted state.
dharmakāya (Skt)ཆོས་ཀྱི་སྐུ་chö kyi kuchos kyi skudharmakāya
According to the Madhyamaka scholars who assert that there are three kāyas in the Pāramitāyāna, it refers to non-differentiation of complete cessation and omniscient realization of complete Buddha and it is a synonym of svabhāvakāya. See also: kāya.
dharmatā (Skt)ཆོས་ཉིད་chö nyichos nyiddharmatāThe true nature of things, synonym for ultimate reality and emptiness.
dharmin (Skt)ཆོས་ཅན་chö chenchos candharminIn the context of philosophical debate, the dharmin is the basis of the argument or refutation. For example, in the establishing statement: “Vase is impermanent because it is compounded,” the dharmin or basis of argument is “vase.”
dhātu (Skt), element of perceptionཁམས་khamkhamsdhātu
There are eighteen elements of perception, comprising the twelve bases of perception (āyatanas), consisting of the six sense faculties and the six sense objects; and the related six types of consciousness, i.e., the consciousness of the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind. For an instance of perception to take place, the related bases of perception and consciousness have to function together. For example, the sensory basis of the eye, the sense object form, and the consciousness of the eye
cooperate to produce a visual perception of an object. The dhātus comprise all the compounded and uncompounded phenomena, in terms of being either the object, the supporting base or the primary causes of perception.
dhātu (Skt), (buddha-)elementཁམས་khamkhamsdhātuSynonym for buddha-nature.
dhyāna (Skt), meditative absorptionSee meditative absorption.
dormant latenciesབག་ལ་ཉལ་bag la nyelbag la nyalanuśayaThe traces or residues of afflictions left behind in the mind stream. They belong to the cognitive obscurations and are removed through the path of cultivation.
dualistic perceptiondualistic appearancesགཉིས་སྣང་nyi nanggnyis snangdvayābhatāSeparate appearance of subjective and objective aspects.
eight bases of masterybases of subjugation, spheres of masteryཟིལ་གྱིས་གནོན་པའི་སྐྱེ་མཆེད་བརྒྱད་zilgyi nönpe kyé ché gyézil gyis gnon pa’i skye mched brgyadaṣṭābhibhvāyatana
Eight meditative attainments based on the first three of the eight liberations. They are called "bases of mastery," because they enable the meditator to overcome and master sense perceptions, thus creating the conditions to enter deep states of absorption. The first four are based on the first two liberations: (1) while discerning internal forms, one sees a limited number of external forms, both beautiful and repulsive; (2) while discerning internal forms, one sees an unlimited number of external forms; (3) while not discerning internal forms, one sees a limited number of external forms; and (4) while not discerning internal forms, one sees an unlimited number of external forms. The last four are based on the third liberation: (5-8) while not discerning internal forms, one sees external forms that are blue, yellow, red and white. For more details consult the eighth chapter of Vasubandhu’s Treasury of Abhidharma (Abhidharmakośa) and section 2 of the second chapter of Asaṅga's Compendium of Abhidharma (Abhidharmasamuccaya). See eight liberations.
eight liberationseight emancipationརྣམ་ཐར་བརྒྱད་namthar gyé rnam thar brgyadsaṣṭa-vimokṣa
Eight increasingly advanced meditative attainments based on various levels of absorption. They are called liberations because they free the mind from afflictions. They are: (1) “liberation of observing (external) form while discerning (internal) form,” in which the meditator enters absorption based on repulsiveness, where both the meditator’s own form as well as external bodies are visualized in a certain way; (2) “liberation of observing (external) form while not discerning (internal) form,” where one enters absorption based on external forms only; (3) “liberation of beauty,” where a beautiful object of meditation is observed as the basis for absorption; (4-7) the four formless absorptions; and (8) the attainment of cessation. Consult the Abhidharmakośa and the Abhidharmasamuccaya for more details.
eight worldly concernseight worldly dharmasའཇིག་རྟེན་ཆོས་བརྒྱད་jig ten chö gyéjig rten chos brgyadlokikadharmā
The eight main concerns with which human beings are preoccupied, an attachment to which represents a serious obstacle on the path of liberation. The eight concerns are happiness, gain, praise, and good reputation, and their counterparts (i.e., suffering, loss, blame, and bad reputation).
elaborationconceptual proliferationསྤྲོས་པ་tö paspros paprapañcaMental fabrication.
eliminative engagerསེལ་འཇུག་sel jugsel ‘jugapohapravṛtti
This is the mode of perceiving engaged in by the conceptual mind in order to produce an image of its object. For example, the concept of tree is arrived at by eliminating non-tree. It is said that what we perceive directly through the conceptual mind is a generic image of an object rather than the specifically characterized object itself.
empowermentདབང་བསྐུར་wang kurdbang bskurabhiśekaA ritual that enables the participant to enter the path of Secret Mantra Vehicle or Vajrayana.
emptinessvoidnessསྟོང་པ་ཉིད་tong pa nyistong pa nyidśūnyatā
A name for ultimate reality. It generally refers to the fact that since phenomena arise depending on causes and conditions, they lack an inherent substantial nature of their own. The insight into this reality functions as the gateway to the freedom from conceptual proliferations, which are at the root of karma and the afflictions. In the Yogācāra tradition, emptiness is defined in terms of the three natures as the non-existence of the imputed nature in the dependent nature, the realisation of which is the perfected nature. It is the existence of the non-existence of the dualistic entities of apprehended objects and the apprehending mind within imagination of the unreal.
emptiness devoid of others’ nature, shentongshentong or other-emptinessགཞན་གི་ངོ་བོས་སྟོང་པ་ཉིད་zhen gi ngo wö tong pa nyi,
gzhan gi ngo bos stong pa nyid, gzhan stongSee shentong.
emptiness devoid of self-nature, rangtongརང་གི་ངོ་བོས་སྟོང་པ་ཉིད་, རང་སྟོང་rang gi ngo wö tong pa nyi,
rang gi ngo pos stong pa nyid, rang stongsvabhāva-śūnyatā The definition of emptiness according to non-shentong Tibetan schools. The short form of this term is rang stong (self-emptiness).
enlightenmentawakeningབྱང་ཆུབ་jang chupbyang chubbodhiSee awakening.
entity, functional phenomenonདངོས་པོ་ngö podngos povastu, bhāvaA phenomenon that performs a function. Functional phenomena are impermanent and compounded.
entity of extinctionཞིག་པ་དངོས་པོ་zhig pa ngö pozhig pa dngos poUnique philosophical term introduced by Tsongkhapa, who maintains that the extinction of actions is a compounded phenomenon.
eternalismbelief in eternity, view of permanenceརྟག་པའི་ལྟ་བ་tag pé tawartag pa'i lta baśāśvata-darśana
The belief in an unchanging, independent essential nature of some sort (i.e. a permanent god, a unchanging soul, the essence of physical matter, or the mind). With regard to the individual person, it is the belief in the existence of a personal self, a permanent, unitary, and independent identity. From the Madhyamaka perspective, it is also the view asserting the inherent existence of the perfected nature (see three natures).
Five signs symptomatic of the degenerate age we live in, in which the Buddha’s teaching is in decline. They are the degenerations of (1) time—the degeneration of outer conditions and the increase in wars, famines, and natural catastrophes; (2) beings—the increase in beings’ physical and mental abnormalities; (3) lifespan—the decline of beings’ life force; (4) afflictions—the intensification of mental afflictions in beings; and (5) views—the proliferation of wrong views.
སྙིགས་མ་ལྔ་nyig ma ngasnyigs ma lnga
Five signs symptomatic of the degenerate age we live in, in which the Buddha’s teaching is in decline. They are the degenerations of (1) time—the degeneration of outer conditions and the increase in wars, famines, and natural catastrophes; (2) beings—the increase in beings’ physical and mental abnormalities; (3) lifespan—the decline of beings’ life force; (4) afflictions—the intensifi cation of mental afflictions in beings; and (5) views—the proliferation of wrong views.
five deeds of immediate retributionfive heinous deeds, inexpiable sinsམཚམས་མེད་པ་ལྔ་tsham mépa nga mtshams med pa lngapañcānantarya
Five actions, the negativity of which are so severe, that they bring about certain rebirth in the hell realm in the next life, without that being going through the experience of the intermediate state. They are: (1) intentionally killing one's father; (2) intentionally killing one's mother; (3) intentionally killing an arhat; (4) maliciously drawing blood from the body of a tathāgata; and (5) intentionally creating a schism in the Sangha.
five pathsལམ་ལྔ་lam ngalam lngapañca-mārgaThe five stages of the path to awakening: path of accumulation, path of joining, path of seeing, path of cultivation, and path of no further training. See individual entries for each path.
form matterགཟུགས་zuggzugsrūpa
One of the five skandhas. Form encompasses the physical dimension of experience and consists of the five sense faculties and their respective objects. It fundamentally consists of the four elements (earth, water, fire and wind) and comprises everything that arises on the basis of these elements. Also see skandhas.
formative factorsformations, compositional factors, conditioning forcesའདུ་བྱེད་du jédu byedsaṃskāra
One of the five skandhas, it includes all phenomena not listed under form, sensations, perceptions and consciousness. Generally, it refers to the forces acting on compounded phenomena, responsible for shaping events. Two types of formative factors are distinguished: those associated with mind, which are the mental factors, and those not associated with mind. Formative factors not associated with mind are 14 or 23 different forces, depending on the tradition, including factors like obtainment, nonobtainment, homogeneity, etc. Only the Sarvāstivāda tradition accepts these as real phenomena. According to the Mahayana schools, they are merely designations. Also see mental factors, skandhas.
four elementsའབྱུང་བ་བཞི་jungwa zhi‘byung ba bzhimahābhūtāniThe building blocks of physical matter: earth, water, fire and wind. They constitute the objects of the sense faculty of touch.
four extremes view of arisingམཐའ་བཞིའི་སྐྱེ་བ་tha zhi kyéwamtha’ bzhi’i skye ba
Four ways the arising of a real entity can be conceived: arising from itself, from something other, from both itself and other, or without a cause. In analysis, each of these four ways is seen to be untenable. The correct view is that of dependent arising, free of extremes.
four immeasurablesཚད་མེད་བཞི་tshé mé zhitshad med bzhi apramāṇāni
The four altruistic attitudes of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. They are immeasurable in the sense that they are generated towards the infinite number of sentient beings, thus making the mind cultivating them immeasurable. In the Theravada tradition, they are known as the four brahmavihāras (“abodes of Brahmā”) because their cultivation can lead to rebirth in the divine realm of Brahmā.
four Indian Buddhist schoolsགྲུབ་མཐའ་བཞི་drub tha zhigrub mtha’ bzhisiddhāntha
These are Vaibhāṣika, Sautrāntika, Cittamātra and Madhyamaka. They are differentiated largely by their differing definitions of the two realities. Vaibhāṣika asserts that the indivisible atom and the smallest fraction of time are ultimate reality; Sautrāntika asserts that ‘functioning thing’ is ultimate reality and Cittamātra asserts that among functioning things, only mind exists absolutely. On the other hand, although the Mādhayamika school accepts phenomena at the relative level, it does not accept any existence whatsoever at the ultimate level.
functional phenomenon, entityདངོས་པོ་ngö podngos pobhāva, vastuSee entity.
Gelug (Tib), ‘the Way of Virtue’དགེ་ལུགས་gé lugdge lugs
The youngest of the four main traditions of Buddhism established in Tibet, also known as the Ganden School. Th is tradition follows the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa Lobsang Dragpa (1357-1419). It is particularly renowned for its emphasis on monastic training and its rigorous scholastic education.
generally characterized phenomenonuniversal, generally characterized, categoryསྤྱིའི་མཚན་ཉིད་chi'i tsen nyispyi'i mtshan nyidsāmānyalakṣaṇa
A generally characterized phenomenon is a mentailly created abstraction. The concept 'table', for instance, is a generally characterized phenomenon, while the specific table that is seen or touched is a specifically characteristized phenomenon (svalakṣaṇa, rang mtshan). The process by which a generally characterized phenomenon is generated is by exclusion. As it not possible to generate a conceptual category that includes all specific instances of tables, everything that does not qualify as a table is excluded at the same time, and this abstract category of exclusion is then laballed 'table.'
generic imageabstraction, abstract notion དོན་སྤྱི་dön chidon spyiarthasāmānya
The generic image is the mental image object, which is superimposed by conceptual thought and which is its direct object. For instance, when we think of emptiness, the concept of emptiness is arrived at by eliminating non-emptiness. That emptiness is the generic image of emptiness, not the actual emptiness.
geshe (Tib), ‘virtuous spiritual friend’དགེ་བའི་བཤེས་གཉེན་gewé shé nyendge ba'i bshes gnyenkalyāṇamitraName given to the masters of the Kadam tradition. It later became a title bestowed on monks upon completion of the monastic academic curriculum in the Gelug and Sakya schools. It is nowadays used only in the Gelug tradition.
gotra (Skt), spiritual dispositionspiritual propensity/potentialརིགས་rigrigsgotra
The spiritual affinity of an individual. It refers to natural affinity with a specific spiritual path and the potential to accomplish its result. According to the Yogācāra tradition there are five types of beings: those with a śrāvaka gotra, those with a pratyekabuddha gotra, those with a Mahāyāna gotra, those with an undefined gotra, and those with a cut-off gotra. According to Madhyamaka, this presentation is only an expedient means, as all beings eventually reach the perfect awakening of buddhahood.
great charioteersཤིང་རྟའི་སྲོལ་འབྱེད་shing té söl jéshing rta'i srol 'byedThis term refers to two great Indian masters, Nāgārjuna and Asaṅga, who independently clarified the meaning of the Mahāyāna sūtras.
higher realmsམཐོ་རིས་tho rimtho rissvarga
The three types of existence in saṃsāra characterised by less obvious forms of suff ering than in the lower realms, and by the possibility of attaining liberation. They are the human realm, the realm of demi-gods, and the realm of divine beings.
higher trainings, threeབསླབ་པ་གསུམ་lab pa sumbslab pa gsumtriśikṣaThe essence of the Buddhist path, consisting of the training in discipline (śīla; tshul khrims), meditative concentration (samādhi; ting nge ’dzin) and wisdom (prajñā; shes rab).
Hīnayāna (Skt), 'Lesser Vehicle"ཐེག་དམན་theg mentheg dmanhīnayāna
The foundational Buddhist system of theory and practice based on the first turning of the Dharma wheel (i.e., the teaching of the Four Noble Truths). It is also defined as the path of individual liberation, emphasizing renunciation and taken by individuals of lesser abilities who are concerned mainly with their own liberation from suffering. Thus, in terms of doctrine and tenets, the term Hinayāna refers to the teachings of the two lower schools of the four Indian Buddhist tenets (i.e. Vaibhāṣika and Sautrāntika). In terms of causes and results, it refers to the śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha paths and their respective results. In this sense, it should not be conflated with the Theravada path, which may be practiced with the motivation to attain buddhahood for the sake of all beings.
ignoranceམ་རིག་པ་ma rig pama rig paavidyā
Two types of ignorance are distinguished: the first is an incorrect understanding of the principle of karma, cause and effect, and thus leads to the accumulation of the causes of suffering. This is the ignorance that is one of the three mental poisons (desire, hatred and ignorance). The second kind of ignorance is a misunderstanding of the reality. It is twofold: the ignorance apprehending a self in the individual, which is the first of the twelve links of dependent arising, and the more subtle ignorance apprehending inherent identity in phenomena, which is the root of the twelve links. The latter is the most fundamental form of ignorance which gives rise to all other aspects of confusion and suffering.
imputed (nature)imaginedཀུན་བརྟགས་kün tagkun brtagsparikalpitaSee three natures.
inference (or syllogism) known to other/opponent གཞན་ལ་གྲགས་ཀྱི་རྗེས་དཔག་zhen la drag kyi jé pakgzhan la grags kyi rjes dpagpara-prasiddha-anumānaIn the context of philosophical debate, this refers to the reasoning accepted by the realists. This is one of the four unique ultimate analyses of Prāsaṅgika.
inferential cognitionརྗེས་དཔག་ཚད་མ་jé pag tsé marjes dpag tshad maanumāna pramānaCognition based on deduction or logical reasoning; one of the two valid cognitions.
Jain (Skt)རྒྱལ་བ་པ་gyal wa pargyal ba pajaina
The Jain tradition is an ancient Indian spiritual tradition, originating around the same time as Buddhism about 2,600 years ago. It is particularly known for its ascetic practices, such as the rejection of wearing clothes by the ascetics of the Digambara or Nirgrantha school (Tib. gcer bu pa).
jñāna (Skt), awakened awarenesspristine awareness, gnosis, transcendental wisdom, primordial wisdomཡེ་ཤེས་yé shéye shesjñānaThe direct cognition of ultimate reality of an ārya being.
Kadampa (Tib), ‘Those Who Follow the Words and
བཀའ་གདམས་པ་ka dam pabka' gdams pa
One of the earliest schools of Tibetan Buddhism established during the second dissemination of the Dharma. The tradition was founded by disciples of Dromtönpa (1005-1064), who was himself a student of Atiśa. The emphasis in the Kadam tradition is on the practice of mind training (Tib. blo sbyong) and on the secrecy of tantric practice. Although it vanished as an independent school a long time ago, its teachings are preserved and cherished by all Tibetan traditions.
Kagyü (Tib), ‘School of the Oral Lineage’བཀའ་བརྒྱུད་ka gyübka' brgyud
One of the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, also known as the Practice Lineage (Tib. grub brgyud), established during the period of the second dissemination of the Dharma in Tibet. The teachings of this tradition go back to the translator Marpa (1012-1097), his foremost disciple, the celebrated yogin Milarepa (1040-1123), and the latter’s student Gampopa (1079-1173). The school is famous for its Mahāmudrā (‘Great Seal’) teachings on the nature of mind, and its yogic practices including the Six Yogas of Nāropa.
karma (Skt), actionལས་laskarmaThe natural law of actions and their results. According to the Buddha’s teaching, it is mainly the intention behind an action which determines whether it is wholesome, unwholesome, or neutral.
kāya(s) (Skt), ‘bodies’ of perfect enlightenmentསྐུ་kuskukāya
A buddha’s awakening has three dimensions or levels of manifestation, called kāyas. These are (1) the dharmakāya or dharma-body (Tib. chos sku), which is a buddha’s perfect realisation of ultimate reality, and is not perceptible to others; (2) the saṃbhogakāya or body of enjoyment (Tib. longs sku) – the pure manifestation of this realisation in forms perceptible to bodhisattvas on the highest level of realisation; and (3) the nirmāṇakāya or emanation body (Tib. sprul sku) – the manifestation of enlightenment accessible to ordinary beings. Sometimes a fourth kāya is added: the svabhāvikakāya or essence body (Tib. ngo bo nyid kyi sku), which refers to the inseparability of the three kāyas.
khenchen (Tib.)མཁན་ཆེན་khenchenmkhan chenHonorary title conferred to monks of great scholarly accomplishments.
khenpo (Tib)མཁན་པོ་khenpomkhan poTitle for an abbot or principal of a monastic institution in the Tibetan tradition, or for a monk distinguished on the basis of his academic achievements.
lama (Tib)བླ་མ་lamabla maguruSpiritual guide or teacher.
Lamdré (Tib), ‘The Path together with Its Result'ལམ་འབྲས་lamdrélam 'brasA cycle of teachings unique to the Sakya tradition. The Lamdré teachings are based on the Hevajratantra and originated with the
Indian adept Mahasiddha Virūpa. They comprise the entire range of Buddhist teachings, from sutra to tantra.
latencyimprints, habitual tendencies, karmic propensities, dispositionsབག་ཆགས་bag chagbag chagsvāsanā
The imprints of deeds (of body, speech and mind) left on the all-base consciousness. It includes the seeds and the dormant latencies. Like seeds, latencies have the potential to produce specific results in accordance with their individual nature, but lie inactive, until the causes and conditions for them to ripen are met. They then manifest in the form of the various objects of the six senses (pleasant, unpleasant or neutral in accordance with the nature of the deeds they originate from), which in turn produces the impulse to act and thus produce new latencies. In this way, the vicious circle of samsara is kept alive, until the production of latencies is stopped by realising that these objects are nothing but mental projections and therefore not real.