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 Please see our Content Disclaimer regarding English terms in LYWA publications that may be outdated and should be considered in context.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 "V"
The ancient capital of the Licchavis, located in modern Bihar. The Buddha visited the city many times and it was here that he turned the final wheel of Dharma.
Literally, "adamantine", often translated as "thunderbolt" but usually left untranslated, the vajra is the four- or five-spoke implement used in tantric practice.
Male meditational deity; the form through which Shakyamuni Buddha revealed the teachings of secret mantra.
The buddha of power. A male meditational deity embodying the power of all enlightened beings to accomplish their goals.
The adamantine vehicle; the second of the two Mahayana paths. It is also called Tantrayana or Mantrayana. This is the quickest vehicle of Buddhism as it allows certain practitioners to attain enlightenment within a single lifetime. See also tantra.
A new non-deceptive outer cognition directly generated in dependence on its support, a correct reason.
The holiest town in India for Hindus; on the Ganges, very close to Sarnath, where the Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths Sutra.
Positive karma; that which results in happiness.
One of the six groups of mental factors, the virtuous mental factors are positive qualities of the mind that counteract the non-virtuous mental factors—the root delusions and secondary delusions. There are eleven: faith, shame (or self-respect), embarrassment (or consideration for others), non-attachment, non-hatred, non-ignorance, effort, pliancy, conscientiousness, equanimity, and non-harmfulness.
Precepts taken on the basis of refuge at all levels of Buddhist practice. The pratimoksha vows (individual liberation vows) include the five lay vows and the vows taken by monks and nuns. There are also the eight Mahayana precepts, as well as bodhisattva vows, which are given in various Mahayana contexts, and tantric vows, which are given only with Highest Yoga Tantra initiations.
The mountain near Rajgir, India, where the Buddha taught the Heart Sutra.