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.

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

Gomo Rinpoche (1921–85)

A lay lama and guru of both Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Gomo Rinpoche taught at many FPMT centers, especially in Italy. He passed away in 1985 and reincarnated in Canada.

gompa (Tib)

dgon pa (Wyl)

Usually refers to the main meditation hall, or temple, within a monastery.

graduated path

lamrim (Tib); lam rim (Wyl)

A presentation of Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings in a form suitable for the step-by-step training of a disciple. The lamrim was first formulated by the great Indian teacher Atisha when he came to Tibet in 1042. See also three principal aspects of the path.

graduated path of the three capable beings

kye bu sum gyi lam gyi rim pa (Tib); skyes bu gsum gyi lam gyi rim pa (Wyl)

The three levels of practice of the lower, middle and higher capable being, based on the motivations of trying to attain a better future rebirth, liberation or enlightenment. Also known as the three scopes.

grounds and paths

sa lam (Tib); sa lam (Wyl)

Various advanced mental states that are achieved through meditation and practice. The mark of entry onto the five paths of both the Hinayana and Mahayana is effortless renunciation, whereas the specific mark of entry onto the five Mahayana paths is effortless bodhicitta. Of these five paths, the third and fourth are further subdivided into the ten bodhisattva grounds or stages, achieved through a more profound meditative insight into emptiness. The fifth Mahayana path is the omniscient mind of a buddha. 

Guhyasamaja (Skt)

Sangwa Dupa (Tib); gsang ba ‘dus pa (Wyl)

Male meditational deity from the father class of Highest Yoga Tantra; a manifestation of the Buddha Akshobhya.

Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, A

Bodhicaryavatara (Skt); jangchub sempäi chöpa la jugpa OR chöjug (Tib); byang chub sems dpa'i spyod pa la 'jug pa OR spyod 'jug (Wyl)

The inspirational text written by the eighth-century Indian master, Shantideva.


A seventh century Indian scholar and disciple of Vasubandhu, Gunaprabha is best known for the root text Vinayasutra. He is usually thought to be one of the Two Supreme Ones.

Gungtang Rinpoche (1762–1823)

Könchog Tenpai Drönme. A disciple of the first incarnation of the great Jamyang Shepa; known for his eloquent spiritual poetry and philosophical works.

guru (Skt)

lama (Tib); bla ma (Wyl)

A spiritual guide or teacher. One who shows a disciple the path to liberation and enlightenment. Literally, heavy—heavy with knowledge of Dharma. In tantra, one's teacher is seen as inseparable from the meditational deity and the Three Rare Sublime Ones (the Three Jewels of refuge). See also root guru.

guru devotion

After finding a fully qualified spiritual teacher and establishing a connection, the disciple trains in devotion using logical reasoning. The correct way to rely on the guru is through thought—seeing the guru as a buddha and remembering their kindness; and through action—carrying out the guru's advice, offering respect and service, and making material offerings.

Guru Puja (Skt)

Lama Chöpa (Tib); bla ma mchod pa (Wyl)

A special Highest Yoga Tantra guru yoga practice composed by Panchen Losang Chökyi Gyaltsen.


The inseparability of the deity and the spiritual master; a fundamental practice of tantra.

Gyaltsab Je (1364–1432)

Gyaltsab Darma Rinchen was one of the two main disciples of Lama Tsongkhapa, with Khedrub Je. After Lama Tsongkhapa died he became his successor as abbot of Ganden Monastery.

Gyalwa Ensapa (1505–66)

rgyal bad ben sa pa (Wyl)

A disciple of Chökyi Dorje, Gyalwa Ensapa achieved enlightenment within a few years without bearing much hardship. He was predecessor of the Panchen Lamas and a guru of Khedrub Sangye Yeshe.

Gyüme (Lower Tantric College)

Gyü me da tsang (Tib); rgyud smad grva tshang (Wyl)

One of the five major monasteries of the Gelug school in or around Lhasa; it was founded in 1433 by Je Sherab Senge, a disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa. Originally located in lower Central Tibet and then Lhasa, it has now been re-established in Hunsur, south India. See also Gyüto (Upper Tantric College).