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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
rang bces-par 'dzin-paself-cherishing

The attitude with which one considers oneself as the most important being and has affection for and takes care of only oneself.

rang-byung ye-shesself-arising deep awareness

In Nyingma, the aspect of pure awareness (rigpa) that automatically arises with awareness of its own two truths or its own threefold nature. Synonymous with reflexive deep awareness.


J. Hopkins' translation: "self-arisen pristine wisdom."

rang-bzhinfunctional nature

The nature of a phenomenon defined in terms of the function that the phenomenon performs.


J. Hopkins' translation: "nature/inherent existence/inherent nature."

rang-bzhinself-nature

Something on the side of an object or phenomenon that (1) establishes the existence, in general, of the object or phenomenon and (2) establishes, as well, what the object or phenomenon is. A self-nature may do this either by its own power alone, or by its own power in conjunction with mental labeling. The term may also be translated as "self-establishing nature."


J. Hopkins' translation: "nature/inherent existence/inherent nature."

rang-bzhin dbyer-mednatural inseparability

The relationship between two items, in which when one is the case or is occurring, then automatically so is the other.

rang-bzhin gnas-rigsnaturally abiding family-traits

(1) In the Chittamatra system, the seeds that, without beginning, are imputable on the basis of the stained mind of each limited being and which serve as factors allowing that being to attain one of the three purified states. (2) In the Madhyamaka systems, the voidnesses imputable on the basis of the stained mind of each limited being.


J. Hopkins' translation: "natural lineage."

rang-bzhin-gyi dri-maself-established stain

Something, the existence of which is established by its own power, independently of anything else, and which obscures the realization of Buddha-nature on one's mental continuum. This refers to an impossible manner of existence of the mind, and does not exist at all.


J. Hopkins' translation: "natural defilements."

rang-bzhin-gyi kha-na ma-tho-banaturally uncommendable action

A negative action which, because it is destructive by nature, ripens into the experience of suffering by anyone who commits it.

rang-bzhin-gyi mya-ngan 'dasnatural nirvana

Equivalent to voidness (emptiness), the natural state of all phenomena being released from impossible ways of existing. Asserted only by the Mahayana tenet systems.

rang-bzhin-gyis grub-paexistence established by self-nature

Existence of something established or proven by the fact that the referent object of the imputation of it can be found upon searching for it. For example, the existence of a table established or proven by the fact that when one searches for the object that the mental label "table" refers to, one can find the object, a "table." Also translated as "self-established existence," it is often translated by others as "inherent existence."


J. Hopkins' translation: "inherent existence, inherently established."

rang-gi mtshan-nyidindividual defining characteristic markSkt: svalakshana

Something findable on the side of an object that establishes the identity or features of that object and which serves as the basis for that object being labeled by the names, words, and concepts for it, as well as for its qualities.


J. Hopkins' translation: "own-character, specific character, specifically characterized phenomenon."

rang-grolautomatically releases itself in its own place

The quality of a conceptual thought or cognition that it ceases or dissolves simultaneously with its arisal, without any effort required to make it cease. Also called: automatically liberates itself in its own place.


J. Hopkins' translation: "self-release."

rang-ldogitems conceptually isolated by themselves

In Gelug, a synonym for a conceptually isolated item, namely one that distinguishes a specific phenomenon in and of itself.


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

rang-mtshanobjective entitiesSkt: svalakshana

In the Sautrantika and Chittamatra tenet systems, those phenomena, the existence of which is established by their not being merely imputed by conceptual cognition. They include all nonstatic phenomena. According to Sautrantika, they include all nonstatic phenomena and are deepest true phenomena; according to Chittamatra, they include not only all nonstatic superficial true phenomena, but also the static deepest true phenomena of voidnesses, true stoppings, and nirvanas. (1) In the Gelug tradition, the appearing objects of only valid nonconceptual cognitions, although they are what actually appears and can be validly cognized in both valid nonconceptual and conceptual cognition. (2) In the non-Gelug systems, they can only be validly cognized by valid nonconceptual cognition. Also translated as "individually characterized phenomena."


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

rang-ngoown face

The manner of existence and good qualities of pure awareness (rig-pa) as can be cognized by reflexive deep awareness.

rang-ngo shes-paawareness of its own face

The nonconceptual cognition, by rigpa (pure awareness), of its own nature.

rang-rgyalpratyekabuddhaSkt: pratyekabuddha

Literally, "self-realizers" or "self-evolvers" - practitioners of the Hinayana vehicle who, motivated by renunciation, strive to attain liberation from uncontrollably recurring rebirth (samsara) and to become an arhat (liberated being). They live during dark ages when the teachings of a Buddha are no longer available. They do not study with Buddhist spiritual teachers, because there are none at such times, and they teach others only subtly, through gestures, since people are not receptive. Living either singly ("like a rhinoceros") or in small groups, they must rely on their instincts from previous lives to recall and master the Dharma. Some translators render the term as "solitary Buddhas."


J. Hopkins' translation: "Solitary Realizer."

rang-rgyal 'phags-paarya pratyekabuddhaSkt: arya prtatyekabuddha

A pratyekabuddha that has attained nonconceptual cognition of the four noble truths. See also: pratyekabuddha.

rang-rgyal dgra-bcompratyekabuddha arhatSkt: pratyekabuddha arhat

A pratyekabuddha that has attained liberation. See also: pratyekabuddha.

rang-rgyud-paSvatantrika

A subdivision of the Madhyamaka school within the Indian Buddhist tenet systems that refutes truly established existence by relying on lines of reasoning the members of which have existence established from their own sides. Gelug adds to this definition that it also asserts that all phenomena lack existence established by an essential nature, but nevertheless conventionally have existence established by their individual defining characteristic marks.


J. Hopkins' translation: "Autonomy School, Svātantrika."

rang-rigreflexive awareness

(1) The cognitive faculty within a cognition, asserted in the Sautrantika and Chittamatra tenet systems, that takes as its cognitive object the consciousness within the cognition that it is part of. It also cognizes the validity or invalidity of the cognition that it is part of, and accounts for the ability to recall the cognition. (2) In the non-Gelug schools, this cognitive faculty becomes reflexive deep awareness -- that part of an arya's nonconceptual cognition of voidness that cognizes the two truths of that nonconceptual cognition.


J. Hopkins' translation: "self-knowing."

rang-rig ye-shesreflexive deep awareness

(1) In Kagyu and Sakya, that aspect of an arya's nonconceptual cognition of voidness that cognizes its own two-truth nature. (2) In Nyingma, that aspect of pure awareness (rigpa) that cognizes its own two truths or its own threefold nature. Synonymous with self-arising deep awareness.

rang-rkya thub-pa'i rdzas-yodself-sufficiently knowable

A validly knowable phenomenon that, when actually cognized, does not rely on actual cognition of or by something else, for instance actual cognition of the object's basis for labeling.

rang-rkya thub-pa'i rdzas-yodself-sufficiently knowable phenomenon

A validly knowable phenomenon that, when actually cognized, does not rely on actual cognition of or by something else, for instance actual cognition of the object's basis for labeling.

rang-snangreflexive appearance

An appearance of a cognitive object that arises automatically from a person's clear light mind itself. Such an appearance may be either impure (with an appearance of truly established existence) or pure (without such an appearance).

rang-stongself-voidness

The absence of any phenomenon existing, by "self"-nature, in an impossible manner.


J. Hopkins' translation: "emptiness of self."

ras-bris-kyi dkyil-'khorcloth mandala

A two-dimensional representation, painted on cloth, which is like an architectural blueprint of the three-dimensional palace, environment, and Buddha-figures of a symbolic world system, and used for conferring a tantric empowerment.

rdo-rje-i skuVajra CorpusSkt: vajrakaya

In some dzogchen systems, the voidness factor of the deep awareness of a Buddha's pure awareness (rigpa); the unchanging nature of the other corpuses of a Buddha. Also called Vajra Body.

rdo-rje slob-dpontantric masterSkt: vajracarya

A spiritual mentor who confers on disciples tantric vows. According to some commentaries, a spiritual mentor who confers on disciples empowerments and subsequent permissions from any of the classes of tantra.


J. Hopkins' translation: "vajra master."

rdo-rje theg-paVajrayanaSkt: vajrayana

The Diamond-strong Vehicle of Mind, within Mahayana, that makes use of the tantra methods. Synonymous with "Mantrayana" and "Tantrayana."


J. Hopkins' translation: "Vajra Vehicle."

rdul-phran-gyi dkyil-'khorpowdered sand mandala

A two-dimensional representation, made of powdered colored minerals, which is like an architectural blueprint of the three-dimensional palace, environment, and Buddha-figures of a symbolic world system, and used for conferring a tantric empowerment.

rdzasnatal sourceSkt: dravya

That which gives rise to something, such as a womb for a baby or an oven for a loaf of bread.


J. Hopkins' translation: "substantial entity."

rdzogs-byed-kyi lascompleting karma

A mental urge or impulse having a relatively weak accompanying motivation and therefore having the strength to ripen, as its result, into only the circumstances that will complete the conditions of a future rebirth.

rdzogs-chendzogchen

A Mahayana system of practice, found in the Nyingma, Bon, Karma Kagyu, Drugpa Kagyu, and Drigung Kagyu traditions, that entails accessing rigpa, one's own pure awareness, and realizing that it is complete with all good qualities. Translated as "the great completeness."


J. Hopkins' translation: "Great Completeness."

rdzogs-rimcomplete stageSkt: sampannakrama

(1) The second stage of anuttarayoga tantra practice, in which everything is now complete for engaging in the practices that act as the immediate causes for reaching enlightenment. These practices entail working with the chakras, channels, and winds of the subtle body. (2) In some non-Gelug texts, nonconceptual meditation on the voidness of the visualizations generated during the first stage of anuttarayoga tantra practice. This meditation on a nondenumerable ultimate phenomenon is done simultaneously with the visualizations, on the same stage of practice, and makes the practice of visualization complete. Many translators render this term as "completion stage."


J. Hopkins' translation: "stage of completion."

rdzu-'phrulextraphysical emanationsSkt: rddhi

Physical bodies having abilities that are beyond the usual capacity of the body -- such as the ability to run great distances at an incredible speed, to fly, to increase or decrease in size, to multiply, to walk on water, to pass beneath the earth, and so on -- which are produced (emanated) from karma, recitation of mantra, the power of specially consecrated substances, or the power of an actual state of the first level of mental stability (the first dhyana).


J. Hopkins' translation: "[deceive-magic]; magical emanation; magical power; magical illusion; miracle."

rdzu-'phrul-gyi mngon-shesadvanced awareness for extraphysical emanation

Cognition that is able to produce many different simultaneous emanations that are any one of three types: (1) physical emanations made of the five elements of earth, water, fire, wind, and space, (2) verbal emanations - speaking in such a way that various people can understand the words in their own languages and at their own levels of understanding, or (3) mental emanations of thoughts and levels of mind, such as awareness of many levels of meaning of a Dharma passage. 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).

reg-pacontacting awarenessSkt: sparsha

The subsidiary awareness (mental factor) that differentiates that the object of a cognition is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, and thus serves as the foundation for experiencing it with a feeling of happiness, unhappiness, or a neutral feeling.


J. Hopkins' translation: "contact."

reg-pa'i yan-laglink of contacting awarenessSkt: sparsha-anga

The sixth of the twelve links of dependent arising. The subsidiary awareness (mental factor) of contacting awareness during the period of time in the development of a foetus when the distinguishing aggregate and such other affecting variables as contacting awareness are functioning, but the feeling aggregate is not yet functioning. During this period, one experiences contacting awareness of objects as pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, but does not feel happy, unhappy, or neutral in response to this.

rga-shiaging and dying

In a particular rebirth, the period starting immediately after the moment of conception and ending with the moment of death.


J. Hopkins' translation: "aging and/or death."

rga-shi'i yan-laglink of aging and dyingSkt: jara-marana-anga

The twelfth of the twelve links of dependent arsing. In a particular rebirth, the period starting immediately after the moment of conception and ending with the moment of death.

rgod-paflightiness of mind

The mental factor with which the mind wanders to an object of attraction, due to desire for it or attachment, and which faults the mental abiding of mindfulness's mental hold on an object of focus. Sometimes translated as "mental agitation."


J. Hopkins' translation: "excitement."

rgyal-baTriumphant OneSkt: jina

An epithet of a Buddha - one who has triumphed over the emotional and cognitive obscurations. Some translators render the term as "Victorious One."


J. Hopkins' translation: "conqueror; victor; epithet of Buddha."

rgyanfiligreeSkt: alamkara

A piece of jewelry made of fine, intricately intertwined wires. A word used in the titles of many Buddhist texts to indicate that the subject matter is presented in a manner resembling a filigree, in which the various topics are intricately intertwined, resulting in a beautiful, elegant presentation of the material. Usually translated by others as "ornament."


J. Hopkins' translation: "ornament."

rgyas-'gyur-gyi rigsevolving family-traits

(1) In the Chittamatra system, the tendencies (seeds) that, newly gained by listening, contemplating and meditating on Buddha's teachings, are imputable on the basis of the stained minds of each limited being and which serve as factors allowing that being to attain arya pathway minds. (2) In the Svatantrika-Madhyamaka system, the factors, imputable on the basis of the stained mind of each limited being, that are fit to become the essential nature of a deep awareness Dharmakaya. (3) In the Prasangika-Madhyamaka system, the factors imputable on the basis of the stained mind of each limited being that are fit to become the essential natures of a Corpus of Forms and a deep awareness Dharmakaya of a Buddha.


J. Hopkins' translation: "developmental lineage."

rgyas-pastimulating others' good qualities

Also translated as "increase."


J. Hopkins' translation: "verb: extend; fill; spread; increase; further adjective: extensive; broad; wide; full."

rgyucauseSkt: hetu

A nonstatic phenomenon able to bring about the production or arising of something.

rgyu-'bras man-ngag bdunseven-part cause and effect quintessence teaching for developing bodhichitta

One of the two methods for developing a bodhichitta aim. Based on the development of equanimity, (1) mother-awareness, (2) remembering kindness, (3) repaying kindness, (4) love, (5) compassion, (6) exceptional resolve, (7) a bodhichitta aim. The first six, developed consecutively, function as the causes for the seventh as the result.


J. Hopkins' translation: "seven cause-and-effect quintessential instructions."

rgyu'i kun-slongcausal motivating aim

What someone intends or aims to do just before starting to do something and which causes the person to do it.


J. Hopkins' translation: "causal motivation."

rgyu'i rkyencausal conditionsSkt: hetupratyaya

All the causes that have the power to produce a specific result.

rgyu'i skyabs-'grocausal taking of safe direction

A taking of safe direction (refuge) in which the sources of that safe direction are the persons or phenomena that act as causes for one's our own attainments of the Three Gems, namely the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha already attained by others. Synonymous with "mere taking of safe direction."

rgyudtantraSkt: tantra

(1) An everlasting stream of continuity. On the causal level, the mental continuum, with its various aspects of Buddha-nature. On the pathway level, the continuity of practices involving Buddha-figures. On the resultant level, the continuity of the various corpuses or bodies of a Buddha. (2) The texts that discuss the above topics.


J. Hopkins' translation: "continuum."

rgyu-dus-kyi rnam-shes-kyi yan-laglink of loaded consciousness at the time of the cause

The first phase of the third of the twelve links of dependent arising, the link of loaded consciousness. A mental continuum containing the karmic aftermath of throwing karma during the lifetime in which the karmic action producing it has occurred. The first part of the third link of dependent arising, the link of loaded consciousness.

rgyu-mthun-gyi 'bras-buresult that corresponds to its causeSkt: nishyandaphalam

A result that in some way resembles its cause, either in the wish to repeat its causal action or in the experience of something happening back to one that resembles what one did.


J. Hopkins' translation: "causally concordant effect."

rgyunstream of continuity

A succession of moments of something.


J. Hopkins' translation: "continuation; continuum; mental continuum; life continuum; stream; continuity."

rig-gnas lngafive major fields of knowledge

The major topics of study in the ancient Indian Buddhist monasteries: (1) art and craftsmanship, (2) medicine, (3) languages and grammar, (4) logic, and (5) inner or exceptional self-knowledge

rig-papure awareness

In the dozgchen system, the subtlest level of awareness, which is totally untainted by any of the fleeting stains of mental obscurations. It is devoid of all grosser levels of awareness and yet permeates all of them, and it spontaneously establishes pure appearances. Often left untranslated as "rigpa."


J. Hopkins' translation: "intrinsic awareness; knower."

rigs-'dra'I rgyusimilar family causeSkt: sajatiyakaranam

A cause that is in the same family or category of phenomenon as is the result. For example, a model of a vase is the similar family cause for a vase that one is now making.

rigs-nges-pa'i byang-semsbodhisattva arhats of definite lineage

Bodhisattvas who have been definite about their lineage as bodhisattvas from before attaining arhatship and thus who have attained arhatship as bodhisattvas and not as shravakas or pratyekabuddhas before developing bodhichitta.

rigs-pa bzhifour axioms

The four axioms for examining a Dharma teaching in order to accept its validity: (1) dependency, (2) functionality, (3) establishment by reason, and (4) the nature of things.

rigs-spyikind mental synthesis

The type of phenomenon that a specific individual item is an instance of, such as "a table" imputed on a specific instance of something having legs and a flat surface. This is equivalent to the conventional identity of something.


J. Hopkins' translation: "type generality; type-generality."

ring-brgyuddistant lineage

The lineage of a teaching that began with Buddha himself.

rjes-dpaginferential cognitionSkt: anumana

A valid conceptual way of cognizing an obscure object through reliance on a correct line of reasoning as its basis.


J. Hopkins' translation: "inference, inferential cognition."

rjes-snangsubsequent permission

A tantric ritual for a specific Buddha-figure, received in order to strengthen further the Buddha-nature factors that were previously activated with a full empowerment. Usually called by its Tibetan name, "jenang."

rjes-thobsubsequent attainment

A state of mind having the joined pair of shamatha and vipashyana, and in which absorbed concentration is focused single-pointedly on a voidness that is like an illusion. It is attained only upon rising from total absorption on space-like voidness and may occur either while still in meditation or after arising from meditation. It may be either conceptual or nonconceptual. Sometimes translated as "subsequent realization." Other translators often render the term as "post-meditation."


J. Hopkins' translation: "state subsequent to meditative equipoise, attainment subsequent [to meditative equipoise]."

rkyenconditionSkt: pratyaya

A nonstatic phenomenon that helps shape the conventional identity of something that is produced or arises from causes.

rlungenergy-windSkt: prana

Also called: energy-wind breaths


J. Hopkins' translation: "wind."

rlung phra-mosubtle energy-winds

Subtle forms of energy that move within the subtle energy-channels of the subtle body and which are the "mount" (the physical basis) for consciousness, either in nonconceptual or conceptual cognition, transporting it through the subtle body. Through anuttarayoga complete stage practices, one can cause them to enter, abide, and dissolve in the central energy-channel and thereby make manifest the subtlest clear light mind.

rmad-du byung-bafabulous accountsSkt: adbhutadharma

Descriptions of such marvelous, wondrous things as the wisdom, extra-physical powers and saintly deeds of the Buddhas, pratyekabuddhas (self-realizers), and shravakas (listeners). One of the twelve scriptural categories.


J. Hopkins' translation: "marvelous."

rmongs-chadumbfoundedness

In the dzogchen system, a nominal disturbing attitude, equivalent to automatically arising unawareness regarding phenomena, which obscures rigpa's (pure awareness's) knowing its own nature. Some translators render it as "bedazzlement" or "stupidity," but it has nothing to do with intelligence.

rmongs-pabewilderment

A naive state of mind of not know what is happening.


J. Hopkins' translation: "obscuration; delusion; confusion; ignorance; dullness."

rmugs-pafoggy-mindedness

The subsidiary awareness (mental factor) of a heavy feeling of body and mind that makes the mind unclear, unserviceable, and incapable either of giving rise to a cognitive appearance of its object or of apprehending the object correctly.


J. Hopkins' translation: "lethargy."

rNal-'byor spyod-paYogachara

Another name for the Chittamatra school of Indian Buddhism.


J. Hopkins' translation: "Yogāchāra."

rNal-'byor spyod-pa'i dbu-ma rang-rgyud-paYogachara-Svatantrika

According to Gelug, a subdivision of the Svatantrika Madhyamaka tenet system that does not assert extermal phenomena, but which does assert reflexive awareness.


J. Hopkins' translation: "YogAcara-SvAtantrika-MAdhyamika; Yogic Autonomy Middle Way School."

rnam-'phrulmiraculous emanationsSkt: vikurvana

(1) In mahamudra and dzogchen texts, a descriptive synonym for the mental aspects (mental appearances, mental holograms) that are produced by the clarity aspect of the mind and which are directly cognized by conceptual or nonconceptual cognition. (2) A synonym for extraphysical emanations.

rnam-g.yengmental wandering

A subsidiary awareness (mental factor) that causes the mind to lose concentration and to go on and on, uncontrollably from one object to another, due to any reason.


J. Hopkins' translation: "distraction."

rnam-grangs ma-yin-pa'I don-damnondenumerable ultimate phenomenon

Voidnesses that are validly cognized nonconceptually. They are "nondenumerable" in the sense that they cannot be counted among what appears to minds validly cognizing phenomena through mentally labeling them with words and concepts, thus they are voidnesses that are "beyond words and beyond concepts."

rnam-grangs-pa'I don-damdenumerable ultimate phenomenon

Voidnesses that are validly cognized conceptually. They are "denumerable" in the sense that they can be counted among what appears to minds validly cognizing phenomena through mentally labeling them with words and concepts.

rnam-pamental aspectSkt: akara

A nonstatic mental hologram, asserted by all Indian Buddhist tenet systems other than Vaibhashika, that is a likeness of an object of cognition, and which both conceptual and nonconceptual mental activity produces in order to cognize the object; the "mental shape" of the appearing object of a cognition. (1) According to Gelug, except in the case of Chittamatra and Yogachara Svatantrika, they are fully transparent so that through them, one directly cognizes external objects. (2) According to non-Gelug, they are opaque and thus allow only indirect cognition of external objects.


J. Hopkins' translation: "aspect, subjective aspect, representation."

rnam-par rig-byed-kyi gzugsrevealing formSkt: vijnaptirupa

A form of physical phenomenon, asserted in the Vaibhashika and Gelug Prasangika schools, that shows (reveals) the motivation behind it, and which may be a constructive, destructive or unspecified phenomenon. Examples are the shape of one's body when performing an action, the sound of the words when one speaks, the expression on someone's face, and so on. In general, such a phenomenon may be either one of the five sensory objects or one of the five sensory cognitive sensors.

rnam-par rig-byed ma-yin-pa'i gzugsnonrevealing formSkt: avijnaptirupa

A subtle form of physical phenomenon, asserted only by the Vaibhashika and Gelug Prasangika schools, that is caused by a strong constructive or destructive motivation, but which does not show ("reveal") that motivation. Such a phenomenon is part of a mental continuum, but is not felt on that continuum; it does not degenerate from moment to moment; it can only be an object of mental cognition; and it must be either constructive or destructive. Examples are vows and one aspect of karmic impulses.


J. Hopkins' translation: "non-revelatory form."

rnam-shesconsciousnessSkt: vijnana

A class of ways of being aware of something that cognizes merely the essential nature of its object, such as its being a sight, a sound, a mental object, etc. Consciousness may be either sensory or mental, and there are either six or eight types. The term has nothing to do with the Western concept of conscious versus unconscious.

rnam-shesdividing consciousness

A consciousness that makes dualistic appearances, dividing a moment of experience into an appearance of independently existing consciousness (subject) and object. It is a Kagyu/Nyingma explanation. The Tibetan is rnam-shes, the same as the usual word for consciousness. It is defined like this only in some very special places.


J. Hopkins' translation: "consciousness."

rnam-shesprimary consciousnessSkt: vijnana

Within a cognition of an object, the awareness of merely the essential nature of the object that the cognition focuses on. Primary consciousness has the identity-nature of being an individualizing awareness.


J. Hopkins' translation: "consciousness."

rnam-shesspecific awarenessSkt: vijnana

In the Karma Kagyu system, the aspect of mental activity that is aware of the specific type of awareness of an object that has arisen and the specific object that it is aware of. In a looser sense, awareness of the details that have arisen and one is aware of in a cognition.


J. Hopkins' translation: "consciousness."

rnam-shes-kyi phung-poaggregate of primary consciousnessesSkt: vijnana-skandha

One of the five aggregate factors of experience. The network of all instances of mental consciousness or of any of the five types of sensory consciousness that could be part of any moment of experience on someone's mental continuum. It also includes the network of all instances of deluded awareness and all-encompassing foundation consciousness in those systems that assert these two. Also called: "aggregate of consciousness."

rnam-shes-kyi yan-laglink of loaded consciousnessSkt: vijnana-anga

The third of the twelve links of dependent arising. A mental continuum containing the karmic aftermath of throwing karma, both during the lifetime in which the karmic action producing it has occurred. and during the future lifetime produced by that throwing karma.

rnam-smin-gyi 'bras-buripened resultSkt: vipakaphalam

A nonobstructive unspecified item conjoined with the mental continuum of a limited being, such as the body, consciousness, and feelings of happiness and unhappiness, and which comes from a ripening cause that was also conjoined with his or her mental continuum.


J. Hopkins' translation: "fruitional effect."

rnam-smin-gyi rgyuripening causeSkt: vipakahetu

A destructive or tainted constructive phenomenon that, unless one has rid one's mental continuum forever of craving, has the power to produce the nonobstructive unspecified items contained in the five aggregate factors of future rebirth states, such as the body, the types of consciousness, and the feelings.


J. Hopkins' translation: "fruitional cause."

rNying-maNyingma

The Old Translation Period tradition of Tibetan Buddhism deriving from Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava.


J. Hopkins' translation: "Nying-ma."

rNying-maOld Translation

An adjective referring to (1) the period of the first transmission of the Dharma from India to Tibet, (2) the Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism founded during this period, (3) a text translated during this period.


J. Hopkins' translation: "Nying-ma."

rNying-ma-paNyingmapa

A follower of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.


J. Hopkins' translation: "Nying-ma-ba (Old Translation) Order."

rtag-pastaticnessSkt: nitya

The noncongruent affecting variable of not changing from moment to moment. Sometimes translated as "permanence."


J. Hopkins' translation: "permanent phenomenon; permanence."

rtag-pastatic phenomenonSkt: nitya

Phenomena that are unaffected by causes and circumstances and, consequently, do not change from moment to moment and do not produce any effects. Somewhat similar to unchanging facts, they are imputed about some validly knowable phenomenon and only exist and can be validly known so long as the basis for their imputation lasts. Sometimes translated as "static abstractions." Some translators render the term as "permanent phenomena."


J. Hopkins' translation: "permanent phenomenon; permanence."

rtensomething that supports something else

Something that serves as the foundation or container for something else, for instance a house in relation to the people living inside it. Also translated as "what supports" or simply as "support."


J. Hopkins' translation: "basis/support."

rtensupport

(1) An individual defining characteristic mark findable on the side of a knowable object, upon which a word or label for the object is set. (2) See: "something that supports something else."


J. Hopkins' translation: "basis/support."

rten-'breldependent arising tradition

The dependent arising tradition transmitted in Drugpa Kagyu.


J. Hopkins' translation: "[depend-connect]; dependent-arising; interdependence."

rten-'brel yan-lag bcu-gnyistwelve links of dependent arising

The twelve-part mechanism whereby the existence of all samsaric phenomena, especially those of future rebirth, are established by reliance on unawareness: (1) unawareness, (2) affecting impulses, (3) loaded consciousness, (4) nameable mental faculties with or without gross form, (5) stimulators of cognition, (6) contacting awareness, (7) feeling a level of happiness, (8) craving, (9) an obtainer, (10) further existence, (11) conception, and (12) aging and dying.


J. Hopkins' translation: "twelve branches of dependent arising."

rten-cing 'brel-bar 'byung-badependent arisingSkt: pratityasamutpada

The reliance of something on something other than itself for establishing its existence. (1) The reliance of all samsaric phenomena on unawareness for establishing their existence; (2) the reliance of all functional, nonstatic phenomena on causes and conditions for establishing their existence; (3) the reliance of both static and nonstatic phenomena on their parts for establishing their existence; (4) the reliance of all phenomena on mental labeling for establishing their existence. Also translated as "dependent origination."


J. Hopkins' translation: "dependent-arising."

rten-pa'i dkyil-'khorsupporting mandala

The immeasurably magnificent palace of a symbolic world system, together with the environment around it, visualized in tantra practice.

rtog-bcasconceptual

Together with a concept.

rtog-med shes-panonconceptual cognition

Cognition of an object, without that cognition being through the medium of a universal, a category, or a mental label.

rtog-paconcept

A general term for a universal, a category, or a mental label. A concept of something need not be verbal. For example, one has a concept of what a pretty face looks like, what one's mother looks like, what a good soup tastes like, what a properly tuned guitar sounds like, what a valid line of reasoning is, what one plus one equals, and so on.


J. Hopkins' translation: "conceptual consciousness; thought; investigation."

rtog-paconceptual cognition

The cognition of an object through the medium of a metaphysical entity, namely a universal, a category, or a mental label. Conceptual cognition imputes (mentally labels) a metaphysical entity on the object that the mental aspect it assumes resembles, and mixes and confuses the two.


J. Hopkins' translation: "conceptual consciousness; thought; investigation."

rtog-pagross detection

The subsidiary awareness (mental factor) that investigates something roughly, such as detecting if there are mistakes on a page. According to Asanga, one of the four changeable subsidiary awarenesses. Also translated as "investigation."


J. Hopkins' translation: "conceptual consciousness; thought; investigation."

rtogs-paapprehend

To cognitively take an object of cognition both correctly and decisively.


J. Hopkins' translation: "realization."

rtogs-parealization

A stable, correct understanding of some point in the Dharma, such as voidness, which brings about a lasting attainment and change in the person who has it. Compare: "attainment".

rtogs-pastable realization

In mahamudra meditation, the state of mind in which the meditator has nonconceptual bare cognition of there being no dualism of meditator and meditation.


J. Hopkins' translation: "realization."

rtogs-par brjod-paillustrative accountsSkt: avadana

Teachings of Buddha given with examples for ease of comprehension by the listener. One of the twelve scriptural categories.

rton-pa bzhifour placements of confidence

Don’t place your confidence on the person, place it on his or her teachings; don’t place your confidence on his or her words, place it on their meanings; don’t place your confidence on their interpretable meanings, place it on their definitive meanings; (to understand them) don’t place your confidence on your dividing consciousness, place it on your deep awareness.


J. Hopkins' translation: "four reliances{N}."

rtsa-ba'i bla-maroot guru

The spiritual teacher that inspires one the most, such that his or her inspiration serves as the root giving sustenance to one's spiritual growth.

rtsal-gyi rig-paeffulgent rigpa

Pure awareness (rigpa) from the point of view of its aspect of spontaneously establishing appearances. Synonymous with the term "appearance-making basis rigpa."

rtsa-ltungroot downfall

A transgression of a root bodhisattva or root tantric vow, which, if it is a full transgression, acts as a root for falling to rebirth in one of the worse rebirth states.

rtsol-bcaslabored

A state of mind, such as bodhichitta, generated by working oneself up to it, with deliberate effort, through a series of steps, each of which entails a line of reasoning.

rtsol-medunlabored

A state of mind, such as bodhichitta, generated instantly without needing to work oneself up to it, with deliberate effort, through a series of steps, each of which entails a line of reasoning.

rtsol-med byang-semsunlabored bodhichitta

A bodhichitta aim that arises automatically and effortlessly, without need to build up to it through steps or by relying on lines of reasoning.

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