This glossary contains an alphabetical list of Buddhist terms that you may find on this website. The glossary includes English, Sanskrit and Tibetan terms. The list of terms is expanding and new listings are added regularly. Search for the term you want by entering it in the search box, or browse through the listing by clicking on the letters below.

Literally, noble. One who has realized the wisdom of emptiness.

Third century Indian Buddhist philosopher and leading early proponent of Nagarjuna's Prasangika-Madhyamaka philosophy. He is one of six great Indian scholars, known as the Six Ornaments.

The fourth-century Indian master who received directly from Maitreya Buddha the extensive, or method, lineage of Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings. Said to have founded the Cittamatra School of Buddhist philosophy. He is one of six great Indian scholars, known as the Six Ornaments.

The third-century Indian master, renowned for his scholarship and poetry, who is the author of Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion.

The second of four classes of tantra, also called Performance Tantra because it emphasizes rituals and recitation.

(Tib: pak-pa shä rap-pa röl-tu chin-pa dorje chö pa-she ja-tek pa-chen pö-do.) Aka Diamond Sutra or Vajra Cutter Sutra, one of the most popular of the prajnaparamita, or perfection of wisdom sutras.

Also called the five uninterrupted negative karmas or actions, the five heinous crimes, the five actions without break or the five actions of immediate retribution. The five actions that are so heavy that they cause one to be reborn in hell immediately after death. They are (1) killing one's mother; (2) killing one's father; (3) killing an arhat; (4) maliciously drawing blood from a buddha; and (5) creating a schism in the Sangha.

Also called the five parallel actions of immediate retribution. The five actions that are similar to the five immediate negativities in that they cause rebirth in hell immediately after death. They are: defiling one’s mother or a female arhat through sexual misconduct; killing one definitely abiding as a bodhisattva; killing an arya who has not yet reached the arhat stage; stealing the property of the Sangha; and destroying a stupa. Rinpoche mentions that acts such as stepping over the guru’s robes, shadow or seat without permission, stepping on the shadow of a stupa or removing relics from a stupa without a Dharma reason are also heavily negative.

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

Also known as Krishnachari and Kanhapa; one of the eighty-four mahasiddhas.

They are: faith, ethics, study, generosity, shame, conscientiousness and wisdom.

A female form of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva 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.