This glossary contains an alphabetical list of Buddhist terms that you may find on this website. Many of the terms now include phoneticized Sanskrit (Skt) as well as two forms of Tibetan—the phonetic version (Tib), which is a guide to pronunciation, and transliteration using the Wylie method (Wyl). Search for the term you want by entering it in the search box or browse through the listing by clicking on the letters below. Please see our Content Disclaimer regarding English terms in LYWA publications that may be outdated and should be considered in context.

Glossary terms for "G"

All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z

Gampopa (1074–1153)

The "sun-like" disciple of Milarepa and author of The Jewel Ornament of Liberation; also known as "The Physician from Dakpo"; guru of the first Karmapa.

Ganden Monastery

The first of the three great Gelugpa monastic universities near Lhasa, founded in 1409 by Lama Tsongkhapa. It was badly damaged in the 1960s and has now been re-established in exile in south India.

Ganden Tripa

"Holder of the Throne of Ganden," Lama Tsongkhapa's representative, head of the Gelug tradition.


driza (Tib); dri za (Wyl)

A celestial musician, often depicted holding a sitar-like instrument and having a horse’s head.

garuda (Skt)

khyung (Tib, Wyl)

A deity associated with Vajrapani; a bird-like being with a snake in its mouth, symbolizing its ability to protect sentient beings from naga harm.

gegtor (Tib)

bgegs gtor (Wyl)

A torma offering to harmful spirits or negative forces, often done at the beginning of an initiation.

gekö (Tib)

dge bskos (Wyl)

A disciplinarian in a Tibetan monastery.

Gelek Rimpoche (1939–2017)

A Gelug lama and lharampa geshe from Drepung Monastery, Gelek Rimpoche was born in Tibet and was a friend of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Gelek Rimpoche was the founder and president of the Jewel Heart Dharma centers and programs. He passed away on February 15, 2017.

gelobma (Tib)

siksamana (Skt); dge slob ma (Wyl)

A probationary nun, between the novice (Tib: getsulma) with 36 vows and the fully-ordained nun (Tib; gelongma) with 364 vows.

Gelug (Tib)

dge lugs (Wyl)

The Virtuous Order. The order of Tibetan Buddhism founded by Lama Tsongkhapa and his disciples in the early fifteenth century and the most recent of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Developed from the Kadam School founded by Atisha and Dromtönpa. Cf Nyingma, Kagyü and Sakya.

Gen (Tib)

rgan (Wyl)

Literally, elder. A title of respect.

geshe (Tib)

kalyanamitra (Skt); dbge bshes (Wyl)

Literally, a virtuous friend; derived from the Tibetan ge wä she nyen. The title conferred on those who have completed extensive studies and examinations at Gelug monastic universities on these five topics: Abdhidharma, Vinaya, Madhyamaka, Pramana and Prajnaparamita. The highest level of geshe is the lharampa.

glance meditation

In Tibetan Buddhism, a meditation that reviews the overall points of a broad lamrim subject, rather than going into detail.