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 "T"

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

tsatsa (Tib)

A print of a buddha’s image made in clay or plaster from a carved mold.

tsenshab (Tib)

The title given to master debating partners of the Dalai Lama.

tsog (Tib)

ganachakra (Skt); tshogs (Wyl)

Literally, gathering—a gathering of offering substances and a gathering of disciples to make the offering.


A region in Nepal, where Geshe Lama Konchog (and his reincarnation) was born.

tulku (Tib)

sprul sku (Wyl)

A reincarnated lama; one who through the mind of bodhicitta can choose where to be reborn in order to best serve all sentient beings. The title given to such a lama in most Tibetan traditions. (In the Gelug tradition the term used is Rinpoche.)

Tushita (Skt)

Ganden (Tib); dga’ ldan (Wyl)

The Joyous Land. There are two Tushita realms. One is the pure land of the thousand buddhas of this eon, where the future buddha, Maitreya, and Lama Tsongkhapa reside. The other is the abode of one of the six divisions of desire realm gods (Tib: död lha rig drug; Wyl: 'dod lha rigs drug). See also the six abodes of the desire realm gods.

twelve deeds of the Buddha

The twelve deeds that Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and all buddhas perform. They are : descending from Tushita Heaven, entering his mother's womb, birth, studying arts and handicrafts, enjoying life in the palace, renunciation, undertaking ascetic practices, going to Bodhgaya, defeating the negative forces (Mara), attaining enlightenment, turning the wheel of Dharma, entering parinirvana.

twelve links of dependent origination

pratitya samutpada (Skt); ten drel yen lag chu nyi (Tib); rten ‘brel yan lag bcu gnyis (Wyl)

Also called the twelve dependent-related limbs or branches; the twelve steps in the evolution of cyclic existence: 1) ignorance; 2) karmic formation; 3) consciousness; 4) name and form; 5) sensory fields; 6) contact; 7) feelings; 8) craving; 9) grasping; 10) becoming (existence); 11) birth; 12) and aging and death. This is Shakyamuni Buddha’s explanation of how delusion and karma bind sentient beings to samsara, causing them to be reborn into suffering again and again; depicted pictorially in the Wheel of Life.

twenty-five absorptions

The various visions that a person sees at the time of death, due to the winds (subtle energies) absorbing into the central channel. They are: the four elements, the five aggregates, the six sense sources, the five external sense objects and the five base-time transcendental wisdoms.

two accumulations

sambharadvaya (Skt); tsog nyi (Tib); tshogs gnyis (Wyl)

Also called the two collections or two types of merit, they are: the merit of virtue, which develops the method side of the path by practicing generosity and so forth, and the merit of (transcendental) wisdom, which develops the wisdom side of the path by meditation on emptiness and so forth. See also merit.

two bodies of a buddha

sang gye kyis ku nyi (Tib); sangs rgyas kyi sku gnyis (Wyl)

The truth body or dharmakaya, the result of the wisdom side of the practice and the form body or rupakaya, the result of the method side of the practice.

two extremes

tha nyi (Tib); mtha' gnyis (Wyl)

Eternalism, seeing things as having an intrinsic reality, and nihilism, seeing things as having no reality at all.