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The Buddhist Archives of Dr. Alexander Berzin

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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:

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The mental factor of wishing to benefit others, wishing others well. Often translated by others as "altruism."

pha-rol-tu phyin-pafar-reaching attitudeSkt: paramita

A mental factor that brings one to the far shore of samsara, either to liberation or to enlightenment. There are either six or ten far-reaching attitudes. Also called "perfection." Theravada and Mahayana give slightly different lists of these. According to Mahayana, the six are the far-reaching attitudes of (1) generosity, (2) ethical self-discipline, (3) patience, (4) joyful perseverance, (5) mental stability, and (6) discriminating awareness (wisdom). The Mahayana list of ten adds the far-reaching attitudes of (7) skill in means, (8) aspirational prayer, (9) strengthening, and (10) deep awareness.

J. Hopkins' translation: "perfection."


Also called: transference of consciousness.

phrag-dogjealousySkt: irshya

A disturbing emotion that focuses on other peoples' accomplishments – such as their good qualities, possessions, or success – and is the inability to bear their accomplishments, due to excessive attachment to one's own gain or to the respect one receives. Also translated as "envy."

phung-poaggregateSkt: skandha

A network of many items, all of which are nonstatic phenomena. See also: aggregate factors of experience.

phung-poaggregate factors of experienceSkt: skandha

The five networks (five aggregates) that constitute all the nonstatic phenomena that make up each moment of the mental continuum of each limited being.

J. Hopkins' translation: "aggregate."

phung-po lngafive aggregate factorsSkt: pancaskandha

The five networks that constitute all the nonstatic phenomena that could make up each moment of the mental continuum of each limited being: the aggregates of (1) forms of physical phenomena, (2) feelings of levels of happiness, (3) distinguishing, (4) other affecting variables, and (5) primary consciousnesses.

J. Hopkins' translation: "five aggregates."

phyag-rgya chen-pomahamudraSkt: mahamudra

Literally, "the great seal," a Mahayana meditation practice that focuses on the nature of the mind.

J. Hopkins' translation: "great seal."

phyi'i dkyil-'khorouter mandala

A round, flat-bottomed bowl, held bottom side up, with three mounds of grain, placed one atop the other on its surface and contained within progressively smaller concentric metal rings, and crowned with an ornamental diadem. It is used as an offering to a spiritual master in request for a teaching, the conferring of a set of vows, and for the conferring of a tantric empowerment. It is also used as an offering of appreciation at the conclusion of these three occasions. It is also offered 100,000 times as a preliminary practice for building up positive force for success in the practice of tantra.

phyi'i mchod-paouter offerings

Offerings of specially consecrated external objects such as water, flowers, incense, and so on.

phyi-donexternal phenomenonSkt: bahyartha

A nonstatic phenomenon that arises from a natal source different from the natal source of the consciousness that cognizes it -- namely, from a natal source that is not connected with the mental continuum of the individual who cognizes it.

J. Hopkins' translation: "external object; external object{N}."

' A B C D G K L M N P R S T Y Z everything