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:
|Tibetan||English||Sanskrit / Pali||Definition|
The disturbing emotion that exaggerates the good qualities of an object that one possesses and does not wish to let go of it.
|chags-pa||sticky attachment||Skt: sneha|
The disturbing emotion that exaggerates the good qualities of an object that one possesses, that clings to it like glue, and does not wish to let go.
|chags-pa med-pa||detachment||Skt: asanga|
The constructive mental factor of bored disgust with and thus lack of longing desire for compulsive existence and objects of compulsive existence. Also translated as "nonattachment."
|ched-du brjod-pa||special verses||Skt: udana|
Praises that Buddha uttered with joy for the sake of the long life of his teachings, and not for the sake of specific individuals. One of the twelve scriptural categories.
(1) Preventive measures which, if one puts into practice or achieves, prevent the experience of future suffering. (2) Buddha's teachings. (3) Any phenomenon or "thing."
A validly knowable object that holds its own individual self-nature.
A member of the set of phenomena possessing a certain property, such as voidness as its actual nature.
|chos-dbyings ye-shes||deep awareness of reality||Skt: dharmadhatu-jnana|
One of the five types of deep awareness that all beings have as an aspect of Buddha-nature. The deep awareness of the superficial truth of something -- namely, awareness of what it is. When developed on the spiritual path, this deep awareness may also be of the deepest truth of something -- namely, its voidness. Also called: deep awareness of the sphere of reality.
|chos-kyi bdag||impossible "soul" of all phenomenon||Skt: dharma-atman|
An impossible mode of existence that establishes the existence of a phenomenon by the power of something findable inside that phenomenon.
|chos-kyi bdag-med||lack of an impossible "soul" of all phenomena||Skt: dharma-anatman|
The total absence (voidness) of an impossible mode of existence that establishes the existence of a phenomenon by the power of something findable inside that phenomenon. Often translated by others as "selflessness of all phenomena" or "identitylessness of all phenomena."
|chos-kyi sdom-pa bzhi||four hallmarks of the Dharma|
Four points which, if contained in a system of teachings, indicate that the system is a Buddhist one: (1) all affected (conditioned) phenomena are nonstatic (impermanent), (2) all tainted phenomena are problematic (suffering), (3) all phenomena are devoid and lacking an impossible "soul," while (4) a nirvana release is a pacification and something constructive. Also called "four sealing points for labeling an outlook as being based on enlightening words."
|chos-kyi skye-mched||cognitive stimulators that are (all) phenomena|
All validly knowable phenomena, all of which may be validly cognized by mental consciousness.
|chos-kyi skye-mched-pa'i gzugs||forms of physical phenomena included (only) among the cognitive stimulators that are (all) phenomena|
Forms of physical phenomena that are not knowable by sensory consciousness, but are only knowable by mental consciousness. These include (1) those that make up other things by amassing together, (2) those existing in actual situations, (3) those arising from clearly taking them on, (4) totally imaginary forms, and (5) those arising from gaining control over the elements.
|chos-kyi spyan||extrasensory eye of the Dharma|
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). (1) According to the Gelug explanation, cognition that is able to understand the mental capacities of others, in order to be able to teach them appropriately. (2) According to the Karma Kagyu explanation, a Buddha's omniscient awareness that possesses the ten forces that enable a Buddha to lead all beings to enlightenment.
|chos-nyid||actual nature||Skt: dharmata|
A synonym for voidness (emptiness) or, in some mahamudra and dzogchen systems, the nature of everything as the play of inseparable awareness and voidness.
|chos-sku||Corpus Encompassing Everything||Skt: dharmakaya|
The omniscient mind of a Buddha
A class of forceful beings, tamed by Buddha or a spiritual lineage master such as Guru Rinpoche, and made to take an oath to protect the Dharma and its practitioners. They may be either ordinary worldly beings (non-aryas) or highly realized aryas. In some cases, they are emanations of a Buddha, appearing in the form of a Dharma-protector.