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 Please see our Content Disclaimer regarding English terms in LYWA publications that may be outdated and should be considered in context.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 "W"

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

waking yoga

nyingyi näljor (Tib); nyin gyi rnal 'byor (Wyl)

A Highest Yoga Tantra practice where the practitioner awakens visualizing themselves as the guru-deity in the mandala in order to make it easier to attain the clear light mind. In the generation stage, without the realization of emptiness, this is called "with fabrication" or "with sign"; in the completion stage, with a realization of emptiness, this is called "without fabrication" or "without sign." See also sleeping yoga.

Wheel of Life

bhavachakra (Skt); si pä khor lo (Tib); srid pa’i ‘khor lo (Wyl)

The depiction of cyclic existence, showing the six realms cycling around the hub of ignorance, greed and hatred symbolized by a pig, a rooster and a snake, with the twelve links of dependent origination as the outer rim, all in the jaws and claws of Yama, the Lord of Death.

wheel-turning days

There are four days of the Tibetan lunar calendar considered especially auspicious, when extensive prayers are made. They are: the Day of Miracles, two weeks after the Tibetan New Year, Saka Dawa on the 15th of the fourth month, commemorating Shakyamuni Buddha's birth, enlightenment and parinirvana, the First Turning of the Dharma Wheel on the 4th of the sixth month and the Buddha's Descent from Heaven on the 15th of the ninth month.

wheel-turning king

chakravartin (Skt); khor lo gyu wä gyel po (Tib); ‘khor los bsgyur ba’i rgyal po (Wyl)

A king who rules over all four continents, according to Buddhist cosmology, with love and ethics, according to the Dharma. Ashoka is a prime example of a wheel-turning king.

White Umbrella Deity

Arya Sitatapatra (Skt); du kar (Tib); gdugs dkar (Wyl)

A female form of Avalokiteshvara, the buddha of compassion. She has a thousand eyes that watch over living beings and a thousand arms that protect and assist them, thus she symbolizes the power of active compassion. The White Umbrella Deity practice is recommended for healing sickness, dispelling spirit harm and bringing auspiciousness.


lung (Tib); rlung (Wyl)

Energy-winds. Subtle energies that flow in the channels in the body, which enable the body to function and which are associated with different levels of mind. See also lung (wind disease).


Different levels of insight into the nature of reality. There are, for example, the three wisdoms of hearing, contemplation and meditation. Ultimately, there is the wisdom realizing emptiness, which frees us from cyclic existence and eventually brings us to enlightenment. The complete and perfect accumulation of wisdom results in dharmakaya. In order to attain buddhahood, practitioners must engage in both wisdom and method.

wisdom mother

sherabma (Tib); shes rab ma (Wyl)

A tantric consort.

wish-granting jewel

cintamani (Skt); yizhin norbu (Tib); yid bzhin nor bu (Wyl)

Also called "wish-fulfilling jewel". A jewel that brings its possessor everything that they desire.

wrong view

mithya-drishti (Skt); logta (Tib); log lta (Wyl)

A mistaken or deluded understanding that leads to suffering. In Buddhism there are various ways of defining wrong views. The most common one is as the last of the ten nonvirtues, also known as heresy, but it can also be either all five of the afflicted views among the unwholesome mental factors—the view of the transitory aggregates, extreme views, views of superiority of belief, the views of superiority of morality and discipline, and mistaken or wrong views—or the last one alone.