Self; as opposed to anatman (no-self), the Buddha’s explanation of selflessness in the Four Noble Truths Sutra.
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 Please see our Content Disclaimer regarding English terms in LYWA publications that may be outdated and should be considered in context.
A disturbing thought that exaggerates the positive qualities of an object and wishes to possess it; one of the six root delusions.
Also known as excitement, this is a mental factor which disrupts concentration through the force of attachment and is one of the three kinds of scattering. At a gross level, the meditator loses the object of meditation altogether. At a more subtle level, the mind holds the object of meditation, but a part of the mind is distracted by another object. See also sinking thought and lethargy.
The buddha of compassion. A male meditational deity embodying fully enlightened compassion.
The lowest level of hell.
A tip or bribe to expedite getting what one wants. The term (and the custom) is common throughout Asia.
A Ladakhi lama, the reincarnation of one of the sixteen arhats, who served for many years in the Indian parliament and as Indian ambassador to Mongolia.
Also called “basis of designation” or “basis for labeling”, the object or valid base on which a label is placed as part of the third and most subtle level of dependent arising.
Since the continuity of the mind has no beginning, our rebirths in samsara also have no beginning.
A Kadampa practitioner and follower of Atisha, he was a robber before he renounced his life of crime and became ordained.
Epithet for a buddha; sometimes translated as Lord, Blessed One and so forth. One who has destroyed (chom) all the defilements, possesses all qualities (den) and has transcended the world (dä).
The small town in the state of Bihar in north India where Shakyamuni Buddha became enlightened.
The vows taken when one enters the bodhisattva path.
The religion in Tibet that preceded Buddhism. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has recognized Bön as the fifth tradition along with the four major traditions of Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyü and Gelug. Practitioners of Bön are called Bönpos.
A village just outside Kathmandu that is built around the Boudhanath Stupa, a famous Buddhist pilgrimage site.
The Hindu god of creation, one of the principal three deities with Vishnu and Shiva.
A member of the priest caste of Indian society.
The clear light nature of mind possessed by all sentient beings; the potential for all sentient beings to become enlightened by removing the two obscurations: to liberation and omniscience.
The eighth century Indian teacher who founded one of the Guhyasamaja systems; studied the Perfection of Wisdom teachings with Haribhadra.
One who has taken refuge in the Three Jewels of Refuge, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and who accepts the philosophical world view of the four seals: that all composite phenomena are impermanent, all contaminated phenomena are in the nature of suffering, all things and events are devoid of self-existence, and nirvana is true peace.
A ritual vase with a spout used in ceremonies and initiations.