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35 Buddhas of Confession
35 Buddhas of Confession
Glossary


Thirty-five Buddhas of Confession:
Shakyamuni, Vajragarbhapramardin, Ratnarchis, Nageshvararaja, Viresena, Viranandin, Ratnagni, Ratnachandraprabha, Amoghadarshin, Ratnachandra, Vimala, Shuradatta, Brahman, Brahmadatta, Varuna, Varunadeva, Bharadrashri, Chandashri, Anantaujas, Prabhasashri Ashokashri, Narayana, Kusumashri Brahmajyotirvikriditabhijna, Padmamajyotirvikriditabhijna, Dhanashri, Smritishri, Suparikirtitanamashri, Indraketudhvajaraja, Suvikrantashri, Yuddhajaya, Vikrantagamishri, Samantavabhasavyuhashri, Ratnapadmavikramin, Shailendraraja.

See the books: Confession of Downfalls and Taking the Bodhisattva Vow
Abhayadatta


The author of "The Lives of the 84 Mahasiddhas." Three translations of this text are:
Masters of Mahamudra
Buddhist Masters of Enchantment
Buddha's Lions, The Lives of The Eighty - Four Siddhas
Abheda


One of the sixteen Arhats.
He holds a bodhi stupa (byang chub mchod rten) in his hands.
Abhibhayatana
Abhibhayatana



abhibhayatana (Skt.). The 'eight masteries', or eight fields of the mastery or control of perception. These are meditational exercises described in the *Pali Canon similar to those using coloured objects (*kasina) but in this case based on features or areas of one's own body as the focus of concentration in order to transcend the Desire Realm (*kama-dhatu). The eight masteries are:
(1) perception of forms (colours and shapes) externally on one's body and limited forms beyond it;
(2) perception of forms externally on one's body and of unlimited external forms beyond it;
(3) the non-perception of forms on one's own body and the perception of small external forms;
(4) the non-perception of forms on one's body and the perception of large external forms;
(5)-(8) no forms are perceived on one's own body but the colours blue, yellow, white, and red are perceived in that order.
Items (5)-(8) are identical with kasina exercises (5)-(8), and with the third stage of the eight liberations (*ashta-vimoksha).
Abhidharma
Abhidharma


Higher Dharma. The part of the Tripitaka that contains the scholarly analysis of phenomena. See also Tripitaka.
Abhirati


Meaning 'Land of Delight.' The eastern paradise, pure realm of Akshobhya . Abhirati distinguishes itself from other pure realms by the leading role of women. Here Akshobya teaches the dharma to women.
Great masters like Vimalakirti and Milarepa dwell in this pure land.
Milarepa's disciple visited Abhirati. It is said in the Vimalakirti Nirdesha Sutra that Vimalakirti came from this realm.
Dakinis carried the crystal stupa and relics of Milarepa to Abhirati.
Absolute Truth


Also ultimate truth
See Two Truths
Acala
Acala


Meaning 'Immovable.'
Accomplishing the Meaning of Meditation
Accomplishing the Meaning of Meditation


Account that Establishes that the Teacher is a Person of Authority; the Jeweled Staircase Ascending to the Palace of Great Happiness
Account that Establishes that the Teacher is a Person of Authority; the Jeweled Staircase Ascending to the Palace of Great Happiness



By Dendar Lharampa
acharya
acharya


Title given to teachers, masters and authors.
Nowadays the term is used to refer to the academic degree of "Master." In Tibetan writings atsara is commonly used to refer to itinerant Indian yogins, much the way the word sadhu is used nowadays.

Atsara is a corruption of the Sanskrit word acharya.
Action Seal or Seal of Action
Action Seal or Seal of Action


One of the four seals (mudra).
Tantric consort' female partner of a male tantrci practitioner. Completion stage (rdzogs rim) practice.
Also a hand gesture (mudra) symbolizing enlightened activity ('phrin las)
Adventitious


Also incidental.
Afflicted Consciousness
Afflicted Consciousness


The seventh consciousness. As used here it has two aspects: the immediate consciousness which monitors the other consciousness making them continuous and the klesha consciousness which is the continuous presence of self.
See Eight Consciousnesses.
Afflictive Emotions
Afflictive Emotions


see Kleshas
Agama (Skt.)
Agama (Skt.)


"That which has come down" from the past to the present. A class of sutras of the early Buddhist schools that were later preserved in the mahayana tradition.
Aggregates
Aggregates


See Skandha
Ahimsa
Ahimsa


non-harming
Ajantajaya
Ajantajaya


He is the 24th of the 25  Kulika Kings of Shambhala, in the Kalachakra tradtion. In his left hand he holds a vajra and in his right hand a bell.
Ajatashatru
Ajatashatru


King of Magadha and son of king of Bimbisara. Later in his life he became a Buddhist.
Ajita
Ajita


"Unconquerable" Name of Maitreya
Ajitasena
Ajitasena


One of the teachers the young Buddha Shakyamuni met in his search for enlightenment.
Ajnata Kaundinya
Ajnata Kaundinya


One of the five ascetics who became the first disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni. In the Lotus Sutra, chapter eight, it is predicted that he will become a Buddha called Universal Brightness.
Akashagarbha
Akashagarbha


A bodhisattva. Meaning "Essence of space,' he is the counterpart of Ksitigarbha (Essence of Earth)  and one of the eight bodhisattvas attending Amitabha.
Akshayamati
Akshayamati


One of the sixteen bodhisattvas.
Akshobhya


One of the Five Buddha Families or also called dhyani Buddhas.  He is of the vajra family and his related wisdom is mirror-like wisdom, and the related confused emotion is aggression. His right hand is in bhumi sparsha mudra and his left hand in dhyana mudra. Sometimes he holds a vajra in his left hand. He can be depicted as a nirmanakaya buddha, in that case he wears simple monk robes. Or in samboghakaya he wears a crown and ornaments.
Sometimes he is depicted with a begging bowl instead of a vajra, or completely empty handed, this is very common with statues.
Alaya Consciousness
Alaya Consciousness


Of the eight classes of consciousness, this is the undifferentiated, primordial continuum that underlies the other seven. This all-basis is the repository for all previously accumulated karmic imprints and habitual tendencies.

According to the Chittamatra school this is the eighth consciousness and is often called the ground consciousness or store-house consciousness. See alo Eight Consciousness
Amitabha
Amitabha


Buddha of Boundless Light. One of the Five Buddha Families or dhyana buddhas. He presides over the pure realm of Sukhavati (dewachen) and is lord of the Lotus family. Rebirth in his pure land guarantees complete enlightenment in one lifetime.
As a nirmanakaya Buddha he wears simple monk robes. His hands hold a begging bowl and are in dhyana mudra, His body color is red.

Amitabha sits on a throne with a lotus and full moon disc, which is upheld by eight peacocks. The peacocks symbolize enchanting beauty, for which we ordinarily develop passion and attachment. The aggregate associated with attachmant/passion is the aggregate of perception. The wisdom realized through transforming is discriminating wisdom.
The lotus with its smooth pedals symbolizes that hte practice of amitabha soothes the mind of the practitioner. And secondly, a lotus grows in muddy waters and the lotus itself is untouched, unstainted by the mud, so through the practice we free ourselves from the causes of pain and suffering of the swap-like samsara.
Amitayus


The Buddha of infinite life. As a sambhogakaya Buddha he wears ornaments and a crown. He is red and his hands hold a long life vase (amrita kalasha) with on top a twig of the Ashoka tree and his hands are in dhyana mudra.
Amitayus, White Tara and Namgyalma form together the Three Long Life Deities.

Other representations of him have Amitayus depicted in nirmakaya form, holding the long life vase or a begging bowl. In this last case he looks like Amitabha.
Amoghasiddhi


He is one of the Five Buddha Families . He belongs to the Karma family and symbolises wisdom that accomplishes all actions. He is green in color, as a nirmakaya Buddha he wears simple monk robes. His right hand is in abhaya mudra, which symbolises great compassion and the removal of suffering. His left hand is in dhyana mudra, resting on his lap and palm open upwards.

The symbolic animal upholding the throne of Amogasiddhi varies according to the different sadhanas, and this difference is important. One of these animals symbolizes the mental affliction of jealousy, and the other symbolizes the transformation of jealousy as the all-accomplishing quality of Amogasiddhi's activity. One of these animals is the water buffalo. This animal runs in herds abd always competes for the first place at the front of the herd. Thus it symbolizes the mental affliction of jealousy that goads us to compete and be supreme above all others. Sometimes the throne of Amogasiddhi is upheld by the mythological creatures called SHANG SHANG, having a human body, wings like a bird and antlers or horns. In ancient times people used to go to the ocean in search of precious gems, and it was said that to even hear the voice of this bird-like creature would mean the fulfillment of all one's wishes. The potent effect of this creature's voice represents the quality of the energy of Amogasiddhi, which realizes all goals and accomplishes all wishes.
Amogasiddhi is green i color. The color green is a mixture of different colors, this signifies the combination of many accomplishing activities. The double vajra in his right hand represents the four directions, meaning in this case that theres is nothing Amogasiddhi cannot accomplish in any of the four directions.
Amrita
Amrita


ambrosia, liquids, blessed during ceremomies.
Ananda
Ananda


One of the ten major disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni, and his personal attendant and received more teachings than any other disciple. He was a cousin of the Buddha and Devadatta was his brother. Ananda was known for his excellent memory. He recited the collection of sutra teachings at the first council held in Rajagriha. He attained enlightenment under the guidance of Mahakashyapa.
Ananyagamin
Ananyagamin


He was the 29th of the 53 teachers the young Shakyamuni Buddha met on his way to enlightenment.
Animal Real
Animal Realm


see Six Realms
Aniruddha
Aniruddha


A cousin of the Buddha, and one of the ten foremost disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni.
One of the sixteen Shravakas.
Also the name of one of the 25 Kulika kings of Shambhala.
Annuttara Yoga
Annuttara Yoga (Skt.)


The highest of the four categories of tantra in Tibetan Buddhism. The characteristic feature of annuttara yoga tantra is that the yidam or wisdom deity is not seen as being external to the practitioner. It is seen as the embodiment of the practitioner's own mind itself, and therefore called the inner level of tantra because the deity is understood as being internal.
antelope
antelope


ri dvags lpags = doeskin, antelope skin
Antidote


Also remedy
Anuruddha
Anuruddha


A  cousin of  and one of the ten foremost disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha. He was known for his divine insight.
Anuttara Yoga Tantra
Anuttara Yoga Tantra


The highest of the four categories of tantra in the sarma, or New Translation school, of Tibetan Buddhism. Examples of anuttara yoga are the Karma Pakshi, Hevajra, Chakrasamvara, and kalachakra tantras.

Apalala nagaraja
Apalala nagaraja


Commonly know as Varuna, the king of nagas. He plays a role in weather making rituals. Different representations of him are known.
Appearance
Appearance


Appearence of Stainless Fine Gold
Appearance of Stainless Fine Gold


One of the seven Medicine Buddhas
Appearance, Increase, and Attainment
Appearance, Increase, and Attainment


In the first phase of the bardo, this threefold shutdown process or subtle dissolution normally occurs when the dying person's outer breath has stopped but the inner winds have not yet ceased. This sequence follows the coarse dissolution of the elements and precedes the direct experience of the ground clear light.
Arada Kalama
Arada Kalama


A hermit sage under whom Budddha Shakyamuni studied.
Arhat
Arhat


Worthy one, or "free from four maras," or foe destroyer. An arhat, having exhausted all defilements and mental afflictions, passes into nirvana. Their number and names may vary in different texys and traditions. In Tibetan tradition their number is usually 16.
The sixteen arhats are:
1. Pindola bharadvaja
2. Kanakavatsa
3. Kanaka bharadvja
4. Subindha (Nandimitra)
5. Nakula
6. Bhadra
7. Kalika
8. Vajriputra
9. Gopaka (Jivaka)
10. Panthaka
11. Rahula
12. Nagasena
13. Angaja
14. Vanavasin
15. Ajita
16. Cuda panthaka
Arhati is female.
Arisal of the Vow of Supreme Happiness
Arisal of the Vow of Supreme Happiness


Arrow
Arrow


A ritual implement.
The Thousand-armed Cherezik holds an arrow in one of his hands.
Arrow Banner
Arrow Banner


Arrow with colored banners attached to it. Ritual implement used during empowerments, marriage and fertility ceremonies, and harvesting festivals.
Asamkhya
Asamkhya


Innumerable. Limitless number.
Asamskrita
Asamskrita


Unproduced; unconditioned; quality of Nirvana
Asanga
Asanga


Asanga lived in India during the fourth century CE and established the Yogachara school with his younger brother, Vasubandhu. he was born in a kausika brahmana family of Purushapuran (Peshawar). After twelve years of retreat, he received a vision of Maitreya and subsequently wrote the five Maitreya texts, which have had a profound impact on mahayana Buddhism.

Five texts by Asanga, revealed to him by Maitreya:
1. Ornament for Clear Realization, mngon par rtogs pa'i rgyan, abhisamayalankara
2. Ornament for the Mahayana Sutras, theg pa chen po'i mdo sde'i rgyan, mahayanasutralankara
3.Sublime Continuum of the Mahayana, theg pa chen po rgyud bla ma'i bstan, mahayanottaratantrashastra, ratnagotravibhaga
4. Distinguishing Phenomena and Pure Being (Nature of Phenomena), chos dang chos nyid rnam par 'byed pa, dharmadharmatavibhanga
5. Distinguishing the Middle and the Extremes, dbus dang mtha' rnam par 'byed pa, madhyantavibhanga.
These texts are know as the "Five Treasises of Maitreya." (byams chos sde lnga)
Asha
Asha


The 8th of the 52 teachers the young Buddha Shakyamuni met on his quest to enlightenment. She  was the first female teacher. She resides in the Forest of Universal Splendor, and was queen of king Suprabha.
Ashoka
Ashoka


King of India from 273-236 BC.
Ashokashri
Ashokashri


One of the Thirty-five Buddhas of confession. He is dressed in monk robes (chos gos). His hands are in dharmachakra mudra (teaching mudra) and he is seated in varjasana or dhyanasana. His head is surrounded by a nimbus (dbu’i ‘od ‘khor) adorned with seven serpents, his hair is in tight curls with a topknot (ushnisha) He rests on a lotus seat (padmasana).

Different representation: Same as above with the exceptions that he is holding the stem of an Ashoka tree in both hands and his hands are not in dharmachakra mudra.
Ashvagosha
Ashvagosha


He lived in the second century at the time of King Kanishka. He was a native of Shravasti (Middle India). At first he criticized Buddhism, but was later refuted by Parshva and became a buddhist. His most famous work is the Buddhacarita, the life story of Buddha Shakyamuni in prose. Other works by him:
Fifty Verses on Guru Devotion, bla ma lnga bcu pa
Mahayana sutralamkara shastra
Saundarananda kavya
Shariputra prakarana (a drama).
Ashvajit
Ashvajit


One of the five ascetics who became the first disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni.
Asita
Asita


He prophesied that if Shakyamuni stayed home he would become a great chakravartin (wordly king), and if he would leave he would become a buddha.
Aspect
Aspect


subjective aspect, grahakara, 'dzin rnam
objective aspect, grahyakara, bzung rnam
Aspiration for the Bardo
Aspiration for the Bardo


An aspirational liturgy for liberation in the bardo, composed in verse by Chokyi Wangchuk, and found in the communal liturgy Dharma Practices of the Karma Kagyu (kam tshang chos spyod)
Assembly of Noble Ones
Assembly of Noble Ones


Asura Realm
Asura Realm


See six realms
Asura, Demi Gods
Asura, Demi Gods


One of the six existences.  The asuras are dominated by jealousy and envy and suffer as a result of their constant quarreling and fighting.
Asura, Demi Gods


One of the six existences.  The asuras are dominated by jealousy and envy and suffer as a result of their constant quarreling and fighting.
Ati


very, exceedingly, surpassing
Ati Yoga
Ati Yoga


See dzokchen.
Atisha
Atisha


Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana (982–1055 CE) was a renowned Buddhist scholar and teacher at the monastic university, Vikramashila, in India. He was born in a royal family in Bengal. He was invited to Tibet in 1043 (1042?) by the Kings Yeshe O (ye she 'od) and Jang Chub O (byang chub 'od), where he founded the kadampa school and wrote his most influential work, The Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (Bodhipathapradipa), which teaches the gradual path to enlightenment. He introduced the cult of Tara, who was his tutelary deity (yidam), in Tibet. He is also known by the name of Jowo Je. His main disciple was Drom Tonpa ('drom ston pa). Another chief disciple was the translator Ngog Legpa Sherab (sngog legs pa'i shes rab). He died at Nyethang (nye thang)
Avadhuti
Avadhuti


Central channel; a subtle channel of the body, running from the base of the spineto the crown of the head.
Avalokiteshvara
Avalokiteshvara


See Chenrezik.
Avatamsaka Sutra


Flower Garland Sutra, the longer title is Buddha Avatamsaka Sutra.
Quoted in the following books:
The Adornment of the Middle Way
Avici
Avici


One of the eight hot hells,  the most severe one.
Avidya
Avidya


Ignorance.
bachog
bachog


Gaming table
Bakula
Bakula


One of the sixteen or eighteen Arhats. He led a solitary life in Uttakura, without any disciples. He symbolizes freedom from spiritual poverty.
He is depicted with a mongoose, holding with both hands.
Bamboo Grove
Bamboo Grove


The grove where the first Buddhist monastery was built by King Bimbisara.
Banner of Victory
Banner of Victory


One of the eight auspicious symbols. The banner symbolizes the Buddha's having conquered all negativity and limitations.
Bardo
Bardo


Intermediate state or interval; most often referring to the period between death and rebirth.
There are six bardos:
1. Bardo of birth, skye ba'i bar do
2. Bardo of dreams, mi lam bardo
3. Bardo of meditation, sam gtan gi bar do
4. Bardo of the moment before death, 'chi kha'i bar do
5. Bardo of dharmata or suchness, chos nyi bar do
6. Bardo of becoming, srid pa'i bar do

See books on death & dying
Bases of Perception
Bases of Perception


The fifth link of the Twelve Links of Interdependence
Becoming
Becoming


The tenth link of the Twelve Links of Interdependence
Beginningless Time
Beginningless Time


thok ma med nas = From beginningless time
Beings
Beings


Bell
Bell


Musical instrument used during certain practices.
below, lower
below, lower


Benefit of Beings
Benefit of Beings


For the benfit of (all) beings
Benza
Benza


Tibetan transliteration of the Sanskrit word vajra.


Bhaddiya
Bhaddiya


Cousin of Buddha Shakyamuni.
Bhadra
Bhadra


One of the eighteen arhats, a cousin of Buddha Shakyamuni
Bhadra
Bhadra


Disciple of the Buddha and wife of Maha Kashyapa.
Bhadra Kalpa
Bhadra Kalpa


"Good aeon" The present kalpa, a 1000 buddhas will appear during this aeon
Bhadrakalpa


A period of time during which a thousand buddhas will appear. Shakyamuni Buddha is the fourth, Maitreya the fifth. 702nd: Buddha of a Multitude of Qualities and Universal Light (yon tan mchog ma kun gyi 'od). 744th Sherap Chetek (shes rab che stegs).
Bhadrapada
Bhadrapada


One of the 84 Mahasiddhas, according to text by Abhayadatta.
He was a rich brahman who once prevented a yogi who was carrying a skull cup from entering his premises to beg for alms. The brahman considered the yogi an unclean person. The yogi answered: "Unclean are those whose mind, body, and speech are morally corrupt. Seek the immaculate purity of those whose sins have been purified by the teachings of the great gurus." Hearing this the brahman could not help coming to the cementery with offerings of wine and meat to recieve the yogi's teachings. After six years of meditation he attained supreme siddhi.
Bhadrapala
Bhadrapala


A bodhisattva
Bhadrika
Bhadrika


One of the five ascetics who became the first disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni.
Bhavaviveka or Bhavya
Bhavaviveka or Bhavya


Bhavaviveka (500-578) was born in a ksatriya family in south India. He studied with Sangharakshita the Mahayana sutras and texts by Nagarjuna. He is the founder of the Svatantrika Madhyamika and refuted the view held by Buddhapalita.
Texts by Bhavaviveka:
Prajna Pradipa Mulamadhyamaka vritti, dbu ma rtsa ba'i 'grel pa shes rab sgron ma, Wisdom Lamp
Madhyamaka ratna pradipa Madhyamaka hridaya vritti Tarka jvala
Madhyamakartha sangraha, dbu ma'i don dsdus pa
Pradipoddyotana vishamapada panjika nama, sgron ma gsal bar byed dka' ba btus pa'i 'grel pa shes bya ba
Bhikshu

See gelong.
Bhikshu
Bhikshu


See gelong.
Bhumi
Bhumi


A level in the series of stages of spiritual development of a bodhisattva on the path to buddhahood. The mahayana tradition recognizes ten such levels, often called the bodhisattva levels; the vajrayana recognizes thirteen.
Bhumisparsha Mudra


A gesture, hand pose, which denotes the calling of the earth to witness the defect of evil as represented by Mara, by Buddha Shakyamuni. This during the forty days of meditation under the Bodhi tree. The right is bent at the wrist over the knee and touches the ground. The left hand rests in the lap, palm facing upwards (dhyana mudra).
Bilva Fruit
Bilva Fruit


Biography of Purna


Purna was a merchant from western India who became a disciple of the Buddha.