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The Buddhist Archives of Dr. Alexander Berzin

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Home > Glossary > Glossary English Terms

English Glossary of Buddhist Terms

This glossary is only a partial list of technical terms found on the pages of the website. From time to time, as work progresses on the glossary project, new terms will be added to the list. Sanskrit equivalents for Tibetan terms have been provided only for select terms and all diacritical marks for transliterated Sanskrit have been omitted, for ease of display on all browsers.

Choose one of the letters below to see the glossary entries that start with this letter:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z everything

EnglishDefinitionTibetan / Sanskrit
habit, karmic constant

See: karmic constant habit

hallmarks of the Dharma, four

See: four hallmarks of the Dharma


Pure and worthy of the highest respect; sacred.

J. Hopkins' translation: "ultimate."

Tib: dam-pa
happening, no-longer

See: no-longer-happening

happening, not-yet

See: not-yet-happening

happening, passed

See: no-longer-happening

happening, present

See: present-happening


That feeling which, when it stops, we wish to meet with it again.

J. Hopkins' translation: "bliss, happiness, pleasure."

Tib: bde-ba
Skt: sukha
happiness, mental

See: mental happiness


See: shravaka

heart essence division

Another name for the quintessence teachings division of treasure texts, and for the texts contained in this division.

Tib: snying-thig
heart essence teachings

Teachings emphasizing the primal purity aspect of pure awareness.

Tib: snying-thig
heartwarming love

The subsidiary awareness (mental factor) with which one has a feeling of closeness and warmth toward anyone one meets.

Tib: yid-'ong byams-pa
heavenly musician

See: those who sustain themselves on fragrances

heightened awareness

See: advanced awareness

hidden mandala

See: secret mandala

hidden mantra

Synonymous with "mantra."

J. Hopkins' translation: "mantra; secret mantra."

Tib: gsang-sngags
Skt: guhyamantra
hidden offering

An offering of one's blissful awareness or of one's blissful awareness of voidness, visualized in the form of an offering goddess.

Tib: gsang-mchod
hidden path of sutra

The mahamudra teachings concealed in the Mahayana sutras and passed down in lineage from Maitripa to Marpa to Milarepa to Gampopa.

Tib: mdo'i gsang-lam
highly accomplished

Someone who has attained a spiritual goal.

highly realized being

See: arya

highly realized practitioner

See: arya


Literally, a "Modest Vehicle of Mind" -- levels and states of mind with a modest motivation - renunciation - and, with modest methods, lead to the modest goal of liberation. Some translators render the term as "Lesser Vehicle."

J. Hopkins' translation: "Lesser Vehicle/Hīnayāna."

Tib: theg-dman
Skt: hinayana
hold, mental

See: mental hold

holding a deluded outlook as supreme

(1) According to Asanga, the disturbing attitude that regards as supreme any one of the three deluded outlooks -- a deluded outlook of a transitory network, an extreme outlook, or a distorted outlook -- and the samsara-perpetuating aggregates based on which the deluded outlook is produced. (2) According to Vasubandhu, the disturbing attitude that regards the samsara-perpetuating aggregates, based on which any of the three above-mentioned deluded outlooks is produced, with the discordant attention that they are totally clean by nature or a source of true happiness.

Tib: lta-ba mchog-tu 'dzin-pa
holding deluded morality or conduct as supreme

The disturbing attitude that regards as purified, liberated, and definitely delivered some deluded morality, some deluded conduct, and the samsara-perpetuating aggregate factors that give rise to the deluded morality and conduct.

J. Hopkins' translation: "conception of ethics and modes of conduct as supreme."

Tib: tshul-khrims-dang brtul-zhugs mchog-tu 'dzin-pa
horizontal mental synthesis

A kind mental synthesis that extends over many instances of the same type of phenomenon, such as many tables.

Tib: thad-ka'i spyi

A subcategory of anger: anger directed primarily, although not exclusively, at limited beings. One of the three poisonous emotions and attitudes. See: anger.

J. Hopkins' translation: "hatred."

Tib: zhe-sdang
Skt: dvesha

Someone who is neither a monk nor a nun.

J. Hopkins' translation: "worldly; mundane."

Tib: 'jig-rten-pa
how things are

Also called: thusness.

J. Hopkins' translation: "suchness."

Tib: de-nyid

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z everything