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Home > Glossary > Glossary Tibetan Terms

Tibetan 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 G K L M N P R S T Y Z everything

TibetanEnglishSanskritDefinition
sabhumi-mindSkt: bhumi

A level of mind of an arya bodhisattva with either a seeing or an accustoming pathway mind. Some translators render the term as "bodhisattva stage" or simply as "stage" or "ground."


J. Hopkins' translation: "ground/earth."

sa-bcuten levels of highly realized mindsSkt: dasha-bhumi

also translated as: ten bhumi minds


J. Hopkins' translation: "ten grounds."

sa-bonkarmic legacySkt: bija

A general term for all karmic aftermath that ripen into a result intermittently -- namely, karmic potentials and karmic tendencies.


J. Hopkins' translation: "seed."

sa-bonkarmic tendencySkt: bija

A type of karmic aftermath that is ethically neutral (unspecified as being either constructive or destructive), which is imputable on one's mental continuum after having committed a karmic action, and which ripens into a result only intermittently. Literally, a "karmic seed."


J. Hopkins' translation: "seed."

sa-bon-gyi ngo-bor gyur-bakarmic force that has taken on the essential nature of a karmic tendency

A synonym for "karmic potential."

sangs-rgyasBuddhaSkt: buddha

A fully enlightened being; someone who has totally eliminated, forever, from his or her mental continuum both the emotional and cognitive obscurations.

sangs-rgyas-kyi rigsBuddha-nature

Literally: Buddha caste-trait, Buddha family-trait. A factor imputable on the stained mind of a limited being (sentient being) that transforms into or allows for the attainment of enlightenment.


J. Hopkins' translation: "Buddha lineage."

sangs-rgyas-kyi zhingBuddha-fieldSkt: Buddhakshetra

A non-samsaric realm in which the circumstances are the most conducive for uninterrupted intense spiritual practice for gaining Buddhahood. It is a field in the sense of being a place in which one can grow or develop a tremendous amount of positive force (merit). It is synonymous with a pure-land.


J. Hopkins' translation: "Buddha field."

Sar-maNew Translation

An adjective referring to (1) the period of the second transmission of the Dharma from India to Tibet, (2) one of the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism founded during this period -- namely, Kagyu, Sakya, Kadam or Gelug, (3) a text translated during this period.

sbom-pothick actions

A set of eight actions that, at either a yoga or anuttarayoga empowerment, one vows to avoid and which, if committed, weaken meditation practice and hamper progress along the tantra path. Also called: secondary tantric vows.


J. Hopkins' translation: "gross contravention."

sbyin-pagenerositySkt: dana

(1) In Theravada, the mental factor of wishing to give material things to all beings, so that they may be happy, without investigating whether or not they are worthy to receive them. (2) In Mahayana, the mental urge that leads one to wish to give to others all that is one's own – one's body, material wealth, and the roots of one's constructive actions. When conjoined with a bodhichitta aim, it becomes a far-reaching attitude. Also translated as "giving."


J. Hopkins' translation: "donation; verb: give; bestow; present noun: giving; gift; present; alms."

sbyin-sregfire-puja

A tantric ritual, performed mostly upon completion of a mantra-recitation retreat of a Buddha-figure for which one has received an empowerment, during which one tosses into a fire a large number of specific substances, accompanied by elaborate visualizations. It is mostly performed in order to purify any mistakes one has made during the retreat.


J. Hopkins' translation: "burnt offering."

sbyor-ba bzhifour sets of applied realizations

Also translated as: four yogas

sbyor-bcas dbyer-medjoined inseparability

The relationship between two items that do not naturally occur simultaneously and inseparably, but are made to do so through the power of meditation. Once the attainments of both are joined, then whenever one is the case or is occurring, so is the other.

sbyor-lamapplying pathway mindSkt: prayogamarga

The level of mind of shravakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas with which they apply the joined pair of shamatha and vipashyana, focused conceptually on voidness -- or, in general, on the sixteen aspects of the four noble truths -- and which they gained with a building-up pathway mind, to gaining a nonconceptual focus on voidness. Other translators often render this term as "path of preparation."


J. Hopkins' translation: "path of preparation."

sdig-panegative karmic forceSkt: papa

The type of karmic force associated with a destructive action and which ripens intermittently into unhappiness and the suffering of problems and pain. Also called: "negative karmic potential." Some translators render it as "sin." See: karmic force.


J. Hopkins' translation: "sin; moral wrong-doing; scorpion."

sdom-pavowSkt: samvara

(1) In the Sautrantika, Chittamatra, and Madhyamaka schools other than Gelug Prasangika, the subsidiary awareness (mental factor) to restrain from a certain type of detrimental behavior, which, during a specific ceremony, one has formally promised to restrain from. (2) In the Vaibhashika and Gelug-Prasangika systems, a non-revealing form on a person's mental continuum that performs the same function as in (1) by shaping one's behavior.


J. Hopkins' translation: "vow/discipline."

sdug-bsngal-bamiserable phenomenaSkt: du:kha (duhkha)

One of the four aspects of true sufferings. The five aggregate factors from the point of view of their being under the control of the true origins (true causes) of suffering and thus are subject to one or more of the three types of suffering without any break.


J. Hopkins' translation: "miserable{N}; suffering."

sdug-bsngal-gyi sdug bsnalsuffering of suffering

The suffering of gross pain or unhappiness.

sel-baexclude

to eliminate


J. Hopkins' translation: "exclusion [=gzhan sel]; clear away; remove; throw off; eliminate; avoid."

semsmindSkt: chitta

The cognitive activity of merely giving rise to an appearance or mental hologram of something knowable and cognitively engaging with it.

semssem

All levels of awareness (levels of mind) that are tainted with the fleeting stains of the emotional and cognitive obscurations. All levels of awareness other than rigpa. Translated as "limited awareness."


J. Hopkins' translation: "mind."

sems-byungsubsidiary awarenessSkt: caitika

A way of cognizing an object that accompanies a primary consciousness, sharing five things in common with that consciousness, and which qualifies or helps with the cognition of the object. Also called "mental factor."


J. Hopkins' translation: "mental factor."

sems-canlimited beingSkt: sattva

A being still having limited awareness. Any being other than a Buddha. Often rendered as "sentient being."


J. Hopkins' translation: "sentient being."

sems-nyidmind-itself

In the Kagyu and Nyingma systems, the deepest nature of the mind.


J. Hopkins' translation: "intrinsic mind."

sems-pamental urgeSkt: cetana

The subsidiary awareness (mental factor) that causes the mental activity to face an object or to go in its direction. In general, it moves a mental continuum to cognitively take an object. It is equivalent to mental karma and, according to Sautrantika, Chittamatra, Svatantrika-Madhyamaka, and the non-Gelug Prasangika-Madhyamaka schools, it is equivalent to physical and verbal karmas as well.


J. Hopkins' translation: "attention/intention/intentionality/will."

sems phra-mosubtle mind

Mental consciousness, both conceptual and nonconceptual.

sems-rgyudmental continuumSkt: santana

The stream of continuity of mental activity (mind, awareness) of an individual being, which has no beginning, which continues even into Buddhahood, and, according to Mahayana, has no end. According to the Hinayana tenets, it comes to an end when an arhat or Buddha dies at the end of the lifetime in which the person attains liberation or enlightenment. Also called a "mind-stream."

sems-sdemind division

The division of treasure texts, deriving from the Indian texts translated into Tibetan by Vairochana, that emphasizes pure awareness as the basis for all. Often referred to by the transliterated Tibetan "semdey."

sems-sdesemdey

See: mind division

sems shin-tu phra-mosubtlest mind

See: clear light awareness

Sems-tsam-paChittamatra

A Mahayana school of Indian Buddhism that does not assert external phenomena, but which does assert the true existence of dependent phenomena. One of the four Indian Buddhist tenet systems studied by all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism; the Mind-Only School.


J. Hopkins' translation: "Chittamātra/Mind-Only School."

sgommeditationSkt: bhavana

The repeated practice of generating and focusing on a beneficial state of mind in order to build it up as a habit.


J. Hopkins' translation: "1. meditate; meditation; cultivate; cultivation; 2. analytical meditation."

sgom-lamaccustoming pathway mindSkt: bhavanamarga

The level of mind of arya shravakas, arya pratyekabuddhas, and arya bodhisattvas with which they accustom themselves to the joined pair of shamatha and vipashyana focused nonconceptually on voidness -- or, in general, on the sixteen aspects of the four noble truths -- and thereby rid themselves of either one or both sets of automatically arising obscurations. Other translators usually render it as "path of meditation."


J. Hopkins' translation: "path of meditation."

sgrasoundSkt: shabda

An object explicitly cognized by ear consciousness.


J. Hopkins' translation: "sound/term."

sgra-spyiaudio category

The conceptual category of the sound of a word or name, in which the sound of all individual pronunciations of the word or name fit, regardless of the voice, volume, or pronunciation with which it is spoken.


J. Hopkins' translation: "sound generality."

sgribobscurationSkt: avarana

A fleeting stain that temporarily "covers" or accompanies mental activity (more precisely, clear light mental activity), thereby preventing the mental activity from cognizing objects without suffering or other limitations. Some translators render the term as "obstacle."


J. Hopkins' translation: "obstruct; defile; obstruction; defilement."

sgrib-pa lngafive obscurations

A set of five mental factors that prevent the attainment of the three higher trainings, in ethical self-discipline, absorbed concentration, and discriminating awareness. According to Nagarjuna's Letter to a Friend, (1) flightiness of mind and regret, (2) foggy-mindedness, (3) indecisive wavering, (4) intentions toward sensory objects, and (5) malice. According to the Kalachakra Tantra, (1) regret, (2) foggy-mindedness, (3) sleepiness, (4) flightiness of mind, and (5) indecisive wavering. Also called: five obstacles.

sgro-'dogsinterpolation

The projection or superimposition, onto an object, of a quality or a conventional or ultimate identity that it doesn't have. For instance, to superimpose true existence onto the conventionally existent "me." Literally, the term means "sticking feathers on to something." Some translators render it as "exaggeration," but it is not the exaggeration of something present. Rather, it is the adding of something that is not there, as if it were present.


J. Hopkins' translation: "superimposition; exaggeration; reification; overestimation; that which superimposes/exaggerates/ reifies/overestimates."

sgrub-paaccomplishment

The attainment of a spiritual goal.


J. Hopkins' translation: "positive/positive phenomenon."

sgrub-paactualize

To attain a spiritual goal. To make the attainment of a spiritual goal really (actually) happen. Also translated as "attain" and "attainment."


J. Hopkins' translation: "positive/positive phenomenon."

sgrub-paaffirmation phenomenon

An item, or a truth about an item, defined in terms of the establishment of something, without an object to be negated being explicitly precluded by the sounds that express it.


J. Hopkins' translation: "positive/positive phenomenon."

sgrub-thabssadhanaSkt: sadhana

Literally, a method of actualization, namely a meditation method for actualizing oneself as a Buddha-figure for which one has received empowerment. Performing a sadhana entails recitation of a ritual meditation text describing the self-visualization process and a complex series of further practices based on that self-generation, such as reciting mantras and making offerings. Synonymous with "self-generation" and "antecedent practice for realization."


J. Hopkins' translation: "means of achievement."

sha'i spyanextrasensory flesh eye

Cognition that is able to see great distances without obstruction, to see through solid objects such as walls, to see in all directions at the same time, and so on. One of the five extrasensory eyes gained as a byproduct of the attainment of an actual state of the first level of mental stability (the first dhyana).


J. Hopkins' translation: "fleshly eye."

shakya'i thub-paShakyamuniSkt: Shakyamuni

The Able One of the Shakya Clan, the Sage of the Shakya Clan, an epithet of Buddha

shar-badawn

A verb used for the arising of a cognitive appearance on a mental continuum, in analogy with the sun rising at dawn, except that the cognitive appearance is not already existing somewhere hidden in the mind in some unconscious manner and then comes up to consciousness when it dawns. Also translated as "to arise."


J. Hopkins' translation: "appear/manifest/dawn."

shes-byavalidly knowable phenomena

Phenomena that can be the objects of valid cognition. Synonymous with "existents."


J. Hopkins' translation: "object of knowledge."

shes-bzhinalertnessSkt: samprajanya

The subsidiary awareness (mental factor) that checks the condition of mindfulness's mental hold on the object of focus. It sees if the mental hold has been lost or is too weak or too tight due to flightiness of mind or mental dullness. It is more, however, than just reflexive awareness or implicit apprehension, which merely notices what is happening with the meditation. It resembles an alarm system to trigger a response with restoring attention to correct any faults.


J. Hopkins' translation: "introspection."

shes-pacognition

(1) The act of cognizing or knowing something, but without necessarily knowing what it is or what it means. It may be either valid or invalid, conceptual or nonconceptual . This is the most general term for knowing something. (2) The "package" of a primary consciousness, its accompanying mental factors (subsidiary awarenesses), and the cognitive object shared by all of them. According to some systems, a cognition also includes reflexive awareness.


J. Hopkins' translation: "consciousness."

shes-paways of being aware of something

One of the three kinds of nonstatic phenomena -- all types of mental activity cognizing an object.


J. Hopkins' translation: "consciousness."

shes-pa mngon-gyur-bamanifest cognition

A cognition in which the consciousness gives rise to a mental hologram of a cognitive object and, in which, the cognitive object appears, through that hologram, both to the person and to the consciousness of the manifest cognition. Both the person and the manifest consciousness cognitively take it _ both cognize or "know" it. See also: subliminal cognition.

shes-rabdiscriminating awarenessSkt: prajna

The mental factor that decisively discriminates between what is correct and what is incorrect, or between what is helpful and what is harmful, or between what is appropriate or what is inappropriate, or between what is reality and what is not reality. When conjoined with a bodhichitta aim, it becomes a far-reaching attitude.


J. Hopkins' translation: "wisdom."

shes-rab-kyi pha-rol-tu phyin-pafar-reaching discriminating awarenessSkt: prajnaparamita

The discriminating awareness of voidness that is conjoined with a bodhichitta aim. Most translators render it as "perfection of wisdom." Compare: discriminating awareness.


J. Hopkins' translation: "Perfection of Wisdom."

shes-rab-kyi spyanextrasensory eye of discriminating awareness

Cognition that is able to "see" voidness nonconceptually. One of the five extrasensory eyes gained as a byproduct of the attainment of an actual state of the first level of mental stability (the first dhyana)..


J. Hopkins' translation: "eye of wisdom."

shes-sgribcognitive obscurationsSkt: jneyavarana

Fleeting stains that temporarily "cover" or accompany mental activity (more precisely, clear light mental activity), thereby preventing the mental activity from simultaneously cognizing the two truths about all phenomena. Also translated as "obscurations about all knowables" and "obscurations preventing omniscience."


J. Hopkins' translation: "obstructions to omniscience."

shin-sbyangssense of fitness

The subsidiary awareness (mental factor) of feeling totally fit to do something, and which is both exhilarating and blissful, physically and mentally, but in a nondisturbing way.


J. Hopkins' translation: "pliancy."

shin-tu lkog-gyurextremely obscure phenomenon

A validly knowable phenomenon that can be apprehended through authoritative texts or speech, such as the enlightening words of the Buddha, or that can be apprehended through the words of persons who are valid sources of information.


J. Hopkins' translation: "very hidden phenomenon."

shin-tu rgyas-paepic presentationsSkt: vaipulya

Presentations of the vast and profound aspects of such topics as the six far-reaching attitudes (six perfections) and ten arya bodhisattva levels of bhumi-mind (ten bhumis) of The Basket of the Mahayana or Bodhisattva Sutras. One of the twelve scriptural categories.


J. Hopkins' translation: "Very Extensive [Sūtras]."

shugs-la rtogs-paimplicit apprehension

In the Gelug system, apprehension of a cognitive object in which a cognitive appearance (mental hologram) of the involved object itself does not arise; only a cognitive appearance of the basis for imputation of the involved object arises. Compare: explicit apprehension.

shugs-la shes-paindirect cognition

According to the non-Gelug presentation, the type of cognition that a present moment of sensory consciousness has of the immediately preceding moment of an external sense object, which no longer exists. Compare: direct cognition.

skad-cigmomentSkt: kshana

The smallest unit of time.


J. Hopkins' translation: "moment; instant; period."

skad-cigphase

The first part of a process, especially one in meditation, which may last a variable length of time.


J. Hopkins' translation: "moment; instant; period."

skal-mnyam-gyi rgyuequal status cause

Causes for which the results are later moments in the same category of phenomena as they are -- either in the same ethical category or on the same plane of existence.


J. Hopkins' translation: "cause of equal lot; cause of similar lot."

skuCorpus of a BuddhaSkt: kaya

A network of enlightening features or aspects of a Buddha, such as those of a Buddha's body, speech, or mind, which are attained with enlightenment and which help to lead others to enlightenment.


J. Hopkins' translation: "body (hon.); image; statue."

sku-bzhiFour Corpuses of a Buddha

(1) A Corpus of Emanations (Nirmanakaya), (2) Corpus of Full Use (Sambhogakaya), (3) Corpus of Deep Awareness Encompassing Everything (Jnanadharmakaya), and (4) Corpus of Essential Nature of a Buddha.

sku-gnyisTwo Corpuses of a Buddha

(1) A Corpus of Forms (Rupakaya) and (2) Corpus Encompassing Everything (Dharmakaya) of a Buddha.

sku-gsumThree Corpuses of a BuddhaSkt: trikaya

(1) A Corpus of Emanations (Nirmanakaya), (2) Corpus of Full Use (Sambhogakaya), and (3) Corpus Encompassing Everything (Dharmakaya) of a Buddha.


J. Hopkins' translation: "the three exalted bodies [of a Buddha."

sku-lngaFive Corpuses of a Buddha

(I) In some presentations, (1) A Corpus of Emanations (Nirmanakaya), (2) Corpus of Full Use (Sambhogakaya), (3) Corpus of Deep Awareness Encompassing Everything (Jnanadharmakaya), (4) Corpus of Essential Nature of a Buddha (Svabhavakaya), and Vajra Corpus (Vajrakaya) of a Buddha. (II) In other presentations, (1) A Corpus of Emanations (Nirmanakaya), (2) Corpus of Full Use (Sambhogakaya), (3) Corpus of Deep Awareness Encompassing Everything (Jnanadharmakaya), (4) Corpus of Essential Nature (Svabhavakaya), and Corpus of Great Bliss (Mahasukhakaya) of a Buddha. (III) In other presentations, (1) A Corpus of Emanations (Nirmanakaya), (2) Corpus of Full Use (Sambhogakaya), (3) Corpus of Deep Awareness Encompassing Everything (Jnanadharmakaya), (4) Corpus of Essential Nature (Svabhavakaya), and (5) Corpus of Deep Awareness' Enlightening Influence of a Buddha. (IV) In yet other systems, (1) A Corpus of Emanations (Nirmanakaya), (2) Corpus of Full Use (Sambhogakaya), (3) Corpus of Deep Awareness Encompassing Everything (Jnanadharmakaya), (4) Vajra Corpus (Vajrakaya), and (5) Corpus of Manifest Enlightenment (Abhisambhodhikaya) of a Buddha.

skur-'debsrepudiation

A conceptual denial of something that is true or is present.


J. Hopkins' translation: "deprecation; depreciation; denial; underestimation."

skyab-'gro tsam-pa-bamere taking of safe direction

Synonymous with "causal taking of safe direction."

skyabssafe directionSkt: sharana

A direction that one puts in one's life that will protect one from true suffering and its true causes, and, when one reaches the goal of this direction, allows one to avoid true suffering and its true causes forever. Some translators render this as "refuge."


J. Hopkins' translation: "refuge."

skyabs-'grotake safe direction

To put a direction in one's life, which, when one goes in it, protects one from true suffering and its true causes and which, when one reaches its endpoint, allows one to avoid true suffering and its true causes forever. Some translators render this as "take refuge," but it has no connotation of merely opening up and passively receiving protection.

skyabs-'gro khyad-par-baspecial taking of safe direction

Synonym for "resultant taking of safe direction."

skyabs-yulobjects that indicate a safe direction

A general term for the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

skye-baconception

(1) The moment when the consciousness of a bardo being enters its next rebirth. In the case of rebirth as a human or an animal, the moment in which it enters the sperm and egg of its next parents. (2) See: concept.


J. Hopkins' translation: "birth."

skye-ba'i yan-laglink of conceptionSkt: jaty-anga

The eleventh of the twelve links of dependent arising, equivalent to the first moment of the link of nameable mental faculties with or without gross form. The moment when the consciousness of a bardo being enters its next rebirth. In the case of rebirth as a human or an animal, the moment in which it enters the sperm and egg of its next parents.

skye-mchedstimulators of cognitionSkt: ayatana

The focal conditions and dominating conditions that give rise to the six types of cognition -- namely, the cognitive objects and cognitive sensors of each of the six cognitive faculties. In the case of the five sensory faculties, the objects and sensors are forms of physical phenomena, such as sights and photosensitive cells. In the case of the mental faculty, the objects may be any validly knowable phenomenon, while the sensors are the immediately preceding moments of mental cognition. Usually counted as the twelve stimulators of cognition, but in the list of the twelve links of dependent arising, referred to as the six stimulators of cognition, in which case the two cognitive stimulators of each cognitive faculty are counted as one.


J. Hopkins' translation: "sense-sphere,sphere."

skye-mched bcu-gnyistwelve stimulators of cognitionSkt: dvadasha ayatana

The twelve classes of nonstatic phenomena that serve as focal and dominating conditions for the six types of cognition -- namely, (1) sights, (2) eye sensors, (3) sounds, (4) ear sensors, (5) smells, (6) nose sensors, (7) tastes, (8) tongue sensors, (9) physical sensations, (10) body sensors, (11) (all) phenomena, and (12) mnd sensors.

skye-mched-kyi yan-laglink of stimulators of cognitionSkt: ayatana-anga

The fifth of the twelve links of dependent arising. The stimulators of cognition during the period of time in the development of a fetus from when the six different stimulators of cognition are differentiated up until but just before the aggregate of distinguishing is differentiated.

skyes-bu byed-pa'i 'bras-buman-made resultSkt: purushakaraphalam

A result that arises as the direct result of the effort of a limited being, but which does not ripen from karma.


J. Hopkins' translation: "personally made effect."

skyes-pa'i rabspast life accountsSkt: jataka

Accounts of the difficult ascetic practices that Buddha performed in his previous lives while engaging in the conduct of the bodhisattvas. One of the twelve scriptural categories.


J. Hopkins' translation: "life stories; discourses on [Buddha's previous] births."

skye-sridconception existence

The period of time in the mental continuum of an individual limited being during which they experience conception. It lasts only one moment. Some translators render the term as "birth existence."


J. Hopkins' translation: "birth-state."

smin-paripenSkt: vipaka

(1) A karmic cause developing or growing to the point at which it can bear fruit, which means produce its result. This is ripening in its definitional sense. (2) A karmic causal factor on a mental continuum exhausting and finishing its presence there as it produces its fruit.


J. Hopkins' translation: "ripen; mature; fructify; maturation; ripening; matured; ripened."

smin-paripeningSkt: vipaka

The process whereby a karmic cause gives rise to its result. See: ripen.


J. Hopkins' translation: "ripen; mature; fructify; maturation; ripening; matured; ripened."

smon-lamaspirational prayerSkt: pranidhana

(1) A prayer for the attainment of a spiritual goal or of the circumstances conducive for reaching that goal. (2) In the context of the ten Mahayana far-reaching attitudes, a special discriminating awareness concerning phenomena toward which to aspire. This discriminating awareness is in connection with the aspiration never to be parted from a bodhichitta aim in all one's lifetimes and for the continuity of one's far-reaching activities for benefiting all beings never to be broken.

smon-pa med-palack of a hope

The voidness or total lack of truly existent results of any phenomenon; literally, the lack of any truly existent results that one could hope for from a phenomenon.


J. Hopkins' translation: "wishlessness{N}."

smon-semsaspiring bodhichitta

A mind of bodhichitta which, when focused on one's own individual future enlightenment, is accompanied by the aspiration or wish to attain that enlightenment.


J. Hopkins' translation: "attitude of aspiration [to full enlightenment]; aspirational mind of enlightenment."

smon-sems dam-bca'-canpledged state of aspiring bodhichitta

The advanced level of aspiring bodhichitta, with which one focuses on one's own not-yet-happening enlightenment, imputable on the bais of the Buddha-nature factors oon one's mental continuum, with the intention to attain that enlightenment and to benefit all beings by means of it, and then pledges never to give up this bodhichitta aim until one reaches that enlightenment. Abbreviated as: pledged aspiring bodhichitta.

smon-sems smon-pa-tsammerely aspiring state of aspiring bodhichitta

The initial state of aspiring bodhichitta, with which one focuses on one's own future enlightenment and merely has the intention to attain it and to benefit all beings by means of it. Also called: the mere state of aspiring bodhichitta.

snangappearance congealment

Also translated as: appearance, white appearance


J. Hopkins' translation: "to appear; perceive; light; illuminate; appearance."

snang-baappearance

The mental hologram (mental representation) of any external or internal object of cognition, which arises in the mind. Also called "cognitive appearance."

snang-baappearance-congealing

One of the three subtle appearance-making minds.


J. Hopkins' translation: "appearance."

snang-baappearance-making

The aspect of mental activity that gives rise to (makes) a mental hologram of an object of cognition.


J. Hopkins' translation: "appearance."

snang-bacognitive arising

A cognitive appearance that has arisen on a mental continuum.


J. Hopkins' translation: "appearance."

snang-baconceptual representation

The static conceptually isolated items that are the type of "nothing-other-than" that arises in conceptual cognition. (1) According to Gelug, they represent the actual involved object of the conceptual cognition, for instance of a table, and are fully transparent so that, through them, one directly cognizes the fully transparent mental aspect (the mental hologram of a table) and, through that, an external phenomenon (the table) as the involved object. (2) According to non-Gelug, they are the categories, such as a commonsense table, that are the appearing objects of conceptual cognition.


J. Hopkins' translation: "appearance."

snang-bamental representation

Something that appears in a conceptual cognition. (1) In Gelug, a static, fully transparent conceptually isolated item through which the cognition cognizes the external object that the hologram resembles; equivalent to a mental aspect. (2) In non-Gelug, a static, partially transparent mentally synthesized commonsense object and category through which the cognition cognizes a conceptually isolated item (a mental aspect) that stands for a commonsense object.


J. Hopkins' translation: "appearance."

snang-la ma-nges-panondetermining cognition

A cognition of an object, in which (a) the involved object is an objective entity, (b) a mental aspect (mental hologram) of the involved object arises, but (c) there is no ascertainment (certainty, decisiveness) of what the involved object is or that the cognition of it has occurred. Also called: inattentive cognition.


J. Hopkins' translation: "awareness to which an object appears but is not ascertained."

snang-yulappearing object

The mental hologram (mental representation) of any external or internal object of cognition, which a cognition gives rise to. Equivalent to the cognitively taken object. Sometimes used interchangeably with "mental aspect," and sometimes differentiated from "mental aspect" in the sense that a cognition takes on the "mental aspect" of its appearing object.

sna-thung spu-sud-kyi nges-'byungshort-lived all-excited renunciation

The enthusiastic and fanatic giving up of everything worldly, often based on blind faith that an external source will save us.

sngagsmantraSkt: mantra

Sets of syllables and, often, additional Sanskrit words and phrases, all of which represent enlightening speech and which, when repeated, protect the mind from destructive states. While repeating the mantras of a Buddha-figure, one imagines having the abilities to communicate perfectly to everyone the complete means for eliminating suffering and reaching enlightenment. Mantras shape the breath, and consequently the subtle energy-winds, enabling one to bring the winds under control for use in meditation practice.


J. Hopkins' translation: "spell; mantra; general word for tantra."

sngags-btusmantra-gathering

A tantric ritual for giving disciples confidence in the accuracy of a mantra, in which the vowels and consonants of the Sanskrit alphabet are written with colored powder in a grid on the surface of a metal mirror and the tantric master reads out, one by one, the grid location of the consonant and vowel for each syllable of the main mantra. After each specification of the consonant and vowel of a syllable, an assistant takes some colored powder from the mirror and uses it to write the syllable on the surface of another metal mirror.

sngags-kyi phyag-chenmantra mahamudra

Meditations on the nature of the mind with regard to the subtlest mind, clear light.

sngon-'gropreliminary practices

Practices, such as prostration, usually repeated 100,000 times, done as a method to build up positive force and cleanse negative force so as to have more success in tantra practice. Also called "ngondro."

sngon-dus-kyi srid-papredeath existence

The period of time in the mental continuum of an individual limited being starting from the moment immediately after conception until the moment immediately before death.


J. Hopkins' translation: "prior state [from the second moment until death; usually the longest of the four states]."

sngon-gnas rjes-dran-gyi mngon-shesadvanced awareness of recollection of past situations

Cognition of past lives. One of the six types of advanced awareness gained as a byproduct of the attainment of an actual state of the first level of mental constancy (the first dhyana).

snying-po'i phyag-chenessence mahamudra

A pathway of mahamudra practice concerning the nature of the mind in which specially qualified disciples receive the inspiration of the realizations all the lineage masters through receiving a vajra deep awareness empowerment and thereby achieve realization of mind-itself, equivalent to a seeing pathway mind. As "those for whom it happens all at once," they achieve enlightenment simultaneously with this realization. Also known as "the singular sufficient white panacea."

snying-rjecompassionSkt: karuna

The wish for someone to be free from suffering and from the causes for suffering.

snying-rje chen-pogreat compassionSkt: mahakaruna

The wish for everyone to be free from suffering and from the causes for suffering.

snying-thigheart essence division

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

snying-thigheart essence teachings

Teachings emphasizing the primal purity aspect of pure awareness.

so-mafresh and clean

Arising anew in each moment without being stained by any mental constructs -- descriptive of pure awareness (rig-pa) in the dzogchen systems.

sor-rtog ye-shesindividualizing deep awareness

One of the five types of deep awareness that all beings have as an aspect of Buddha-nature. The deep awareness that singles out an object and is aware of it as a unique, individual item. Also called: deep awareness of the individuality of things.

so-so'i skye-boordinary being

A limited being who has not yet attained the state of an arya. In other words, someone who has not yet attained nonconceptual cognition of the four noble truths.


J. Hopkins' translation: "common being."

so-thar sdom-papratimoksha vowsSkt: pratimokshasamvara

The vows of either a layman or laywoman, a novice or full monk, or a provisional, novice, or full nun. The ethical self-discipline of keeping them purely provides the basis for the individual being keeping them to attain liberation from samsara.

spong-bariddanceSkt: hani

A static state in which an emotional obscuration or a cognitive obscuration has been removed forever from a mental continuum. Equivalent to a true stopping (true cessation). Translated by others as "abandonment."


J. Hopkins' translation: "abandon; eliminate; give up; dispel; abandonment{N}."

spro-bazestful vigorSkt: utsaha

The mental factor of taking joy and pleasure in being constructive, which accompanies joyful perseverance.


J. Hopkins' translation: "elaborate; spread out; spread; go out; proceed; be enthusiastic for."

spros-bralstate parted from mental fabrication

The state of mind that is parted from conceptual constructs.


J. Hopkins' translation: "free from elaborations{N}."

spros-pamental fabricationSkt: prapanca

An appearance of truly established existence that mental activity in a conceptual cognition produces and projects due to the habits of grasping for truly established existence.


J. Hopkins' translation: "proliferation."

sprul-skuCorpus of EmanationsSkt: nirmanakaya

The network of grosser forms, which are emanations of a Buddha's Corpus of Full Use, and in which a Buddha appears in order to teach ordinary beings with the karma to be able to meet with them. Also translated sometimes as "Emanation Body."


J. Hopkins' translation: "Emanation Body."

spyicategory

A phenomenon shared in common by the individuals on which it is imputed. Some translators render the term as "universal" or "generality." For a fuller definition, see: conceptual category.


J. Hopkins' translation: "generality; general; all; universal."

spyiconceptual category

(1) A general term for both audio categories and meaning/object categories. Some translators render the term as "universal" or "generality." (2) A set to which individual items sharing a common defining characteristic belong. It is mentally constructed (mentally fabricated) by a mental synthesis of individual items that are instances of it, or by a mental synthesis of the spatial, sensorial, and/or temporal parts on which it is imputed (labeled). Sometimes translated as "mental synthesis" or just "synthesis."


J. Hopkins' translation: "generality; general; all; universal."

spyimental synthesis

The imputation of a conceptual category in which the bases for imputation are the individual sensibilia of a commonsense object, the parts of any of the sensibilia of a commonsense object, the moments in the continuum of a commonsense object, or items sharing a common defining characteristic. Synonymous with "conceptual category" and "category."


J. Hopkins' translation: "generality; general; all; universal."

spyi-ldogitems conceptually isolated by categories

In Gelug, a synonym for a conceptually isolated item, namely one that distinguishes a specific phenomenon in terms of its conceptual identity.


J. Hopkins' translation: "general-isolate."

spyi-mtshanmetaphysical entitiesSkt: samanyalakshana

In the Sautrantika and Chittamatra tenet systems, those phenomena, the existence of which is established by their being merely imputed by conceptual cognition and which are superficial (relative, conventional) true phenomena. According to Sautrantika, they include all static phenomena; according to Chittamatra, they include all static phenomena other than voidnesses, true stoppings, and nirvanas. (1) In the Gelug system, they are the appearing objects of only conceptual cognitions, although they are not the actual cognitive appearances in those cognitions. They may be validly cognized not only by valid conceptual cognition, but also implicitly by valid nonconceptual cognition. (2) In the non-Gelug systems, they can only be validly cognized by valid conceptual cognition. Also translated as "generally characterized phenomena."


J. Hopkins' translation: "generally characterized phenomenon."

sred-pacravingSkt: trshna

The subsidiary awareness (mental factor) of a strong longing desire to experience something in the future that one may or may not be experiencing at present. The Sanskrit term means, literally, "thirst."


J. Hopkins' translation: "attachment."

sred-pa'i yan-laglink of cravingSkt: trshna-anga

The eighth of the twelve links of dependent arising, one of the mental factors that activate the karmic aftermath of throwing karma at the time of death. The three types of craving that occur at the time of death: (1) craving in relation to what is desirable, (2) craving because of fear, (3) craving in relation to further existence.

srid-pacompulsive existence

Existence under the control of karma and disturbing emotions and attitudes. Synonym for uncontrollably recurring existence, samsara.


J. Hopkins' translation: "existence."

srid-pafurther existenceSkt: bhava

See: karmic impulse that actualizes a further existence


J. Hopkins' translation: "existence."

srid-pavalid phenomenon

A phenomenon that is validly knowalble now.


J. Hopkins' translation: "existence."

srid-pa'i yan-laglink of further existenceSkt: bhava-anga

The tenth of the twelve links of dependent arising. A karmic impulse, brought on by craving and an obtainer disturbing emotion or attitude, that activates the karmic aftermath of throwing karma just before one dies, thus enabling that throwing karma to ripen into the bardo existence, conception existence, predeath existence, and death existence of a next rebirth.

srid-sredcraving in relation to further existence

One of the three types of craving specified particularly in terms of the time of death. (1) A strong longing desire for a neutral feeling, which one is experiencing, to continue surviving and not degenerate. (2) A strong longing desire for one's own body composed of five aggregates to continue surviving as a basis for craving in relation to what is desirable and craving because of fear. (3) Holding on to objects of the future.

stobsstrengtheningSkt: bala

The special discriminating awareness employed for expanding one's discriminating awareness and not letting it be crushed by countering factors, such as attachment to anything. One of the ten Mahayana far-reaching attitudes (ten perfections).


J. Hopkins' translation: "power."

stongdevoid

Totally lacking something, in the sense that something never has in the past, never does in the present, and never will in the future possess a certain characteristic, whether that characteristic is a possibly existing one or an impossible one.


J. Hopkins' translation: "thousand; 1,000; empty; empty of; vacuity."

stongtotally devoid

Totally lacking something, in the sense that something never has in the past, never does in the present, and never will in the future possess a certain characteristic that is impossible for anything to possess, because that characteristic does not exist at all.


J. Hopkins' translation: "thousand; 1,000; empty; empty of; vacuity."

stong-gzugsdevoid form

A form of physical phenomenon that is devoid of atoms and is the natural play of the clear light mind or of pure awareness (rigpa). Discussed in both Kalachakra and dzogchen, advanced practice enables devoid forms to become the cause for the Form Bodies of a Buddha.

stong-nyid rtogs-parealize voidness

To gain a stable, correct understanding of voidness, either conceptually or nonconceptually, such that it brings about a lasting attainment and change in the person who has it.

stong-pastarkness

The quality of something standing out sharply and dramatically in its appearance, without anything adorning it (like a rock mountain in a desert, totally devoid of any vegetation); the quality of being barren.


J. Hopkins' translation: "empty."

stong-pa-nyidvoidnessSkt: shunyata

An absence of an impossible way of existing. The impossible way of existing has never existed at all. Translators often render the term as "emptiness."


J. Hopkins' translation: "emptiness."

stong-sangbare absence

The natural state of being without concepts or conceptual cognition, which is the natural state or nature of awareness (mind). Also translated as "bareness."


J. Hopkins' translation: "clear emptiness; [empty-pure]."

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