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35 Buddhas of Confession
35 Buddhas of Confession
Glossary

Thirty-five Buddhas of Confession. See the books: Confession of Downfalls and Taking the Bodhisattva Vow
Abhayadatta
Glossary

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

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

Glossary

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:
Abhidharma
Abhidharma
Glossary

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

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.
Absolute Truth
Glossary

Also ultimate truth
See Two Truths
Acala
Acala
Glossary

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

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
Glossary


By Dendar Lharampa
acharya
acharya
Glossary

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.
Action Seal or Seal of Action
Action Seal or Seal of Action
Glossary

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
Glossary

Also incidental.
Afflicted Consciousness
Afflicted Consciousness
Glossary

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
Glossary

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

"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
Glossary

See Skandha
Ahimsa
Ahimsa
Glossary

non-harming
Ajantajaya
Ajantajaya
Glossary

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
Glossary

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

"Unconquerable" Name of Maitreya
Ajitasena
Ajitasena
Glossary

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

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
Glossary

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
Glossary

One of the sixteen bodhisattvas.
Akshobhya
Glossary

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.
Alaya Consciousness
Alaya Consciousness
Glossary

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.
Amitabha
Amitabha
Glossary

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.
Amitayus
Glossary

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.
Amoghasiddhi
Glossary

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.
Amrita
Amrita
Glossary

ambrosia, liquids, blessed during ceremomies.
Ananda
Ananda
Glossary

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.
Ananyagamin
Ananyagamin
Glossary

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

see Six Realms
Aniruddha
Aniruddha
Glossary

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.)
Glossary

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
Glossary

ri dvags lpags = doeskin, antelope skin
Antidote
Glossary

Also remedy
Anuruddha
Anuruddha
Glossary

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
Glossary

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
Glossary

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

Appearence of Stainless Fine Gold
Appearance of Stainless Fine Gold
Glossary

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

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
Glossary

A hermit sage under whom Budddha Shakyamuni studied.
Arhat
Arhat
Glossary

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 texts and traditions. In Tibetan tradition their number is usually sixteen.
Arisal of the Vow of Supreme Happiness
Arisal of the Vow of Supreme Happiness
Glossary

Arrow
Arrow
Glossary

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

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

Innumerable. Limitless number.
Asamskrita
Asamskrita
Glossary

Unproduced; unconditioned; quality of Nirvana
Asanga
Asanga
Glossary

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.
Asha
Asha
Glossary

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
Glossary

King of India from 273-236 BC.
Ashokashri
Ashokashri
Glossary

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).
Ashvagosha
Ashvagosha
Glossary

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.
Ashvajit
Ashvajit
Glossary

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

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
Glossary

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

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
Glossary

Asura Realm
Asura Realm
Glossary

See six realms
Asura, Demi Gods
Asura, Demi Gods
Glossary

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
Glossary

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
Glossary

very, exceedingly, surpassing
Ati Yoga
Ati Yoga
Glossary

See dzokchen.
Atisha
Atisha
Glossary

Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana (982 -1055 CE) was a renowned Buddhist scholar and teacher at the monastic university, Vikramashila, in India. 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, which teaches the gradual path to enlightenment.
Avadhuti
Avadhuti
Glossary

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

See Chenrezik.
Avatamsaka Sutra
Glossary

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

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

Ignorance.
bachog
bachog
Glossary

Gaming table
Bakula
Bakula
Glossary

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
Glossary

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

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

Intermediate state or interval; most often referring to the period between death and rebirth. There are six bardos.
Bases of Perception
Bases of Perception
Glossary

The fifth link of the Twelve Links of Interdependence
Becoming
Becoming
Glossary

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

thok ma med nas = From beginningless time
Beings
Beings
Glossary

Bell
Bell
Glossary

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

Benefit of Beings
Benefit of Beings
Glossary

For the benfit of (all) beings
Benza
Benza
Glossary

Tibetan transliteration of the Sanskrit word vajra.
Bhaddiya
Bhaddiya
Glossary

Cousin of Buddha Shakyamuni.
Bhadra
Bhadra
Glossary

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.
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.
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.