achala Tib. "sister" Honorary term for sister.
amala Tib. "mother"

Honorary term for mother. Used as an honorific for any senior woman who is in that role to the person.

amban Manchu "minister of state" (Chinese "ta-ch'en")

Ambans lived in Tibet as representatives of the Manchu government.

Adi-Buddha Skt.  

The original, essential, primeval Buddha. He is Svayam-Bhu, self-existent, i.e., his existence is not conditioned by matter, time or space. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref


The Dhyani-Buddhas, and later all the Buddha and Bodhisattva essences emanated, or manifested, from him. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

"The Adi-buddha arose as a flame springing up from a lotus flower." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Akshobhya Skt.  

The second of the Dhyani-Buddhas (Five-fold buddhas), and also of the Seven-fold Buddhas.

He represents the spiritual element vijnana. He represents the winter season of introvert reflection, and the color blue. His spiritual son is Vajrapani. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Amida Jap.  

Japanese Amitabha, Buddha in his incarnation of compassionate spirituality. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Amitabha Skt.  

The oldest of the Dhyani-Buddhas. (Five-fold buddhas), and also one of the Seven-fold Buddhas. He resides in Sukhavati, the Happy Land of Eternal Bliss, presiding silently over our present kalpa, the Bhadrakalpa. He represents the cosmic element of insight, sanjna, self-knowledge, which leads to compassion with other human souls. This is the vital fluid in soul and society, so Amitabha represents the summer season, vital for the fruits, and the color red. it was Amitabha (Japanese: Amida) who incarnated in Gautama. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Amoghasiddhi Skt.  

The fifth of the five Dhyani-Buddhas (Five-fold buddhas), and also of the Seven-fold Buddhas. He represents the important philosophical concept of sanskara, composition, synthesis. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

The embodiment of "All-accomplishing Wisdom" (Tibetan: "work-accomplishing wisdom"); "Realizer of the Aim"; related to karma, the path of action.

Amrita Surabhi Skt.  

The original begging bowl of the Buddha, which provided food for him and his followers.

The country where it was taken would always have enough water and food. But most of the time it is hidden in the water of a lake, from which it emerges annually on Buddha's birthday. it rises up and flies toward the virtuous lady, Manimekhalai, who will receive it and gtravel with it to a town where there are many desitute people because of ddrought, disease and other disasters. At once, Indrda will order rain to fall so the crops cwill grow. Out of the one bowl, Manimekhalai will feed all the hungry townspeople, and all the sick and usffering will be healthy and happy as soon as they touch the bowl.

Similar concept the the Western Holy Grail, which word comes ultimately from the Greek krater, mixing bowl. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Ananda Skt. "joy, happiness"

Ananda (also called Nanda "bull") was a half-brother of the Buddha who became his bosom friend. One day Ananda told Gautama that there would soon be a feast when he would marry. The Buddha told him that for him his whole life was a feast since he had overcome all desires and acquired enlightenment, so that he knew, saw and heard more than ever before; indeed he knew Absolute Truth. Ananda was converted and remained a lifelong friend and follower, becoming the Buddha's most devoted disciple, to whom the Buddha addressed many sermons. Ananda never married, but slept in the woods together with the Buddha. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Also, an epithet of Shiva.

ani Tib. "auntie"

Buddhist nun

Annapurna Skt. "food-filled"

Filled with food, Goddess of Daily Bread.

Shiva as a mendicant priest, was very hungry. He was given food by his wife Parvati, or Ambi Annapurna, the mountain-goddess who is identified with the mountain Annapurna. He was so grateful that he embraced her until he became one with her. This unity in love has been represented in sculptures known as Ardhanari. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Ardhanari Skt. "half-woman"

Half-man, half-woman: Shiva together with Parvati (Sita, Durga, the impenetrable fortress, also the loving mother Ambi Annapurna), Shiva embraced with Parvati in happines after receiving food from her. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Ardhanari-Ishvara Skt. "half-woman Lord"

"The lord who is both male and female". While Braham was engaged in creating the universe, the earth, the animals, demons and human beings, he perceived that for the creation of lving beings male gods were not adequate. Thus he called Shiva, who appeared to him as Ardha-nari with the left side as a woman, the right side as a man. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Arupa Loka Skt. "The World of the Formless" (rupa = "form")

One of 10 heavens where only the Arhats and Buddhas live who are exempt from returning in physical form. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Avalokita Skt. "looking down, looking around"

Looking down with compassion to earth. Compassion personified, and in Mahayana Buddhism, deified, as Avalokiteshvara, or the Bodhisattva biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Avici Skt.   In Buddhist cosmology, the lowest hell for those who mock Buddha and dharma. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
bhikku bhiksu bhikshu tib: gelong Skt. beggar
from bhiksh - "to beg for alms"

A disciple studying Buddhism
Buddhist monk; student of scripture, has taken vows of celibacy and follow other rules.
A monk who has received the higher ordination, a full member of the Sangha. biblio: Trungparef

bhikkuni Skt., Tib.   Buddhist nun; student of scripture; Literally, a disciple studying Buddhism Also, ani.
Bhu Skt. the earth The Earth. A goddess who, before Creation, rested at the bottom of the primeval ocean. here Brahma found her and raised her to the surface in the shape of a many-petalled lotus flower.
Brahma Prajapati the Creator, is often depicted seated on the rising lotus absorbed in meditation. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Bodhidharma Skt. "awakening law" A Buddhist scholar, the first to leave India to teach dhyana in China. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Bodhisattva   "enlightenment- destined" Someone who has attained nirvana, achieved bodhi, but reincarnates to help others attain it.
"The Bodhisattva ideal is the aspiration to practice infinite compassion with infinite wisdom".
-- XIV Dalai Lama biblio: The Jew in the Lotusref
The most prominent Bodhisattvas, with the primal Bodhisattva, or Dhyani Buddha, of whom he is an emanation:
Samantabhadra   Vairocana
Vajrapani   Akshobhya
Ratnapani   Ratnasambhava
Padmapani/ Avalokiteshvara   Amitabha
Vishvapani   Amogasiddhi

The last of the Bodhisattvas is Maitreya who lives in "heaven" and will descend on earth when the end of times is approaching, to lead all people to salvation.
The Bodhisattvas are the saviours of humanity because of their charity (karuna). They help us because their merit is transferred to lesser humans, and their bodhi helps others to find their way. the basic philosophy feeding this belief is the concept of identity (tat tvam asi) according to which we all form part of a cosmic system of merits and faults in which the merits or demerits (i.e., the karma) of one being affects those of all the others. (See mahayana.) biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Brahmavihara Skt. "brahma dwelling" Divine dwelling. The state to which a Buddhist would aspire, by following the four rules of metta, karuna, mudita, upekkha. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Buddha knower buddho   "awakened"

The awakened one

The historic Buddha, Gautama.


First of the Three Jewels

"Mahayana Buddhism contemplates many incarnations and manifestations of the Buddha." biblio: The Jew in the Lotusref

Some believe he is the Buddha-Avatara, one of the 10 incarnations of the god Vishnu biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Buddha-Avatara   "the awakened one descended" The concept of the Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu. This concept is not acceptable to the Buddhists. They regard it as a misguided attempt to fit Buddhism into a small compartment of Hinduism, whereas in fact Buddhism has an entirely different philosophy, in which the many gods play only a subordinate role. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Chenresig chenresi avalokitesvara kwan-se um-bosal kwan yin Tib.  

The most prominent of the Bodhisattvas, the fourth Buddha, of Compassion.

The Dalai Lama is a reincarnation of Chenresig.


From the Avalokiteshvara tradition:

He is the manifestation of the Dhyani-Buddha Amitabha on earth.

Brought into existence by Amitabha as Padmapani-Avalokiteshvara.

For the present time he is ruler of our world and its living Buddha, though not living in the earthly sense. For that he would have to incarnate, which, according to some schools, he does from time to time. It should be stressed that, as with the Hindu deities, the spiritual essence of the buddhas and Bodhisattvas is always identical. Thus, Avalokiteshvara is described as "the Bhagavan", (i.e., the Lord), who takes the form of a Bodhisattva and whose duty it is to "look around" for the purpose of the welfare and happiness of the people on earth, and to teach them the way towards enlightenment.

There are 9 Bodhisattvas, of whom Avalokiteshvara is the most revered. He in turn is presented in sculptured form in 15 different rupas (shapes). Some say there are 333 known incarnations of Avalokiteshvara during the past 2,500 years since Gautama buddha went into paranirvana.

Avalokiteshvara has been worshipped as a god from perhaps as early as the third century CE. Hymns have been composed in his honor, describing his numerous appearances. Avaolkiteshvara is often depicted accompanied by the goddess Tara.

Avalokiteshvara has vowed that he will not accept the eternal peace of Nirvana until all human souls have found enlightement, because he decided that it would be selfish to enjoy peace and knowledge while the people are still suffering in ignorance. Their misery is his misery. He sheds tears in his sorrow for their pain.

Chogyal of Sikkim Tib.   The title of the former sovereign of Sikkim.
chola jhola Tib.   Honorary term for eldest brother.
dakini   "She who goes in the sky" A feminine aspect of divinity; a goddess. In the largest sense, a symbol of shunyata
Dalai Lama   "Ocean of Wisdom", "Ocean Teacher" Honorific for the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, and leader of Buddhism, especially mahayana Buddhism. Head of the Gelukpa School, but also studies the teachings of the three other schools.
Dharma Skt.   Husband of Shraddha, Faith, and father of Kamadeva, the God of Love. Also see the concept of dharma. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Dharmaketu Skt. "righteous banner" "Whose Banner is Justice", praise-name of Buddha. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Dhyani-Buddhas Skt. "meditation buddha" Buddhas of Meditation. They also represent the attitudes of beneficence, instruction, and protection, and the Pancha-Tathagata (Five-fold Buddha).
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They emanate from (are manifestations of) the Adi-Buddha.

There are five, representing the five cosmic elements, (not including Adi-Buddha): 1st: Vairocana, 2nd: Akshobhya, 3rd: Ratnasambhava, 4th: Amitabha, 5th: Amoghasiddhi biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Each Dhyani-Buddha inspires a cycle of world-evolution (kalpa), and they may incarnate as a Buddha living on earth in each of these periods of history, through manifestation as a Bodhisattva, a Dhyani-Bodhisattva. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Represented in sculptures as absorbed in meditation. They sit in the lotus position in dhyanamudra, with or without a cup resting on the opened hands, signifying receptivity. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Dhyani-Bodhisattva Skt.    
Dolma Tib.   Tara. A goddess accompanying Avalokiteshvara. Created from a tear from his eye. Sometimes perceived as his shakti.
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Like Avalokiteshvara, she too appears in a confusing number of different forms, including the so-called "Color Taras": green, yellow, white, red and blue.

One of her many names is Vidyarajni, "Queen of Knowledge". She is full of compassion and devoted to alleviating the suffering of people on earth. Indeed, gradually she became the personification of compassion (karuna) and love (maitri). So, Tara was elevatd to the status of mother of all the Buddhas, shown with the royal vajra in her hand and a crown on her head. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Shveta Tara, White Tara, Tara of the White Lotus, is the spouse of Avalokiteshvara. pictured with a wheel on her chest, and playing the lute.

Tara Utpala, Green Tara, the green of the closed lotus, the goddess who helps us at night. Shown with a rosary and a book, leading us across the dark Ocean of Existence.

Tara-Amba, Tara the mother,

Nila Tara, Blue Tara, the Shakti of Akshobhya, the second Dhyani Buddha. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Dorje Drakden Tib.  

A protector deity of the Dalai Lama. It serves as the state oracle, the Nechung Oracle. He manifests in a monk called the kuten.

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He is actually a set of five figures, the heads of the five Buddha families. This has one figure within them which is the collection of the essence of them, and which speaks through the kuten.

Five-fold Buddha     The Pancha-tathagata, also, Dhyani-Buddhas
gegen Tib. "teacher"
Also genla.
gelong Tib. "fully ordained Buddhist monk" Buddhist monk; student of scripture, has taken vows of celibacy and follow other rules. a full member of the Sangha. (Sanskrit bhikku)
genyen     "One who has received the primariy ordination [of Buddhism]; this is imparted at one level to lay adherents, and at another to celibates training for an eventual monastic ordination in the full sense." (to become bhikkus.) biblio: Trungparef
Future Buddha     The Maitreya Buddha
geshe Tib.  

One who has completed advanced study in Tibetan Buddhist teachings.

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A Tibetan Buddhist monk who has completed successfully the study of the 5 topics: Abhidharma Vinaya Madhyamaka Pramana Prajnaparamita. @FPMT_Nalanda.

"The highest scholastic qualification in the Gelukpa and Sakyapa orders; a 'doctorate' in religious studies." biblio: Trungparef
There are different grades, such as tsokrampa and lharampa.

getsül Tib.   "A novice Tibetan Buddhist monk." biblio: Trungparef
gönpo Tib. "Protective Divinity one" A protective aspect of Divinity. biblio: Trungparef
Gyalwa Karmapa Tib. "Victorious Buddha-action"

The head lama, Karmapa Lama, of the Karma Kagyü Order, (Kagyud School).

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Gyalwa is a title meaning victorious. Karma means action and here refers to the activities of a Buddha. biblio: Trungparef

The First Gyalwa Karmapa lived in the 12th c CE.

The present Karmapa Lama is Orgyen Trinley Dorje. His website is

Gyalwa Rinpoche Tib. "Precious Protector' Honorific for the Dalai Lama.
Gyalyap Tib.   Honorary term for the Dalai Lama's father.
Gyalyum Tib.   Honorary term for the Dalai Lama's mother.
Harihara Skt.  

One great god formed of the merging of Vishnu and Shiva, signifying the oneness of the divine essence and the illusion of reality.

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"The twin-gods Vishnu and Shiva, merged into one great god, signifying the oneness of the divine essence. When Shiva saw Vishnu in his appearance as Mohini, even he fell in love with that beautiful woman, so he embraced her and merged with her, i.e., with Vishnu, who at that moment resumed his 'true' form.

This myth illustrates again the Hindu philosophy that multiplicity is an illusion of the human mind, but that all forms are delusive, whereas unity of essence is the only true principle." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Hemakuta Skt. "golden peaks" A mythical mountain range, lying to the north of the Himalayas towards Mount Meru. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Hors Tib.   Tibetan tribe living in the region of Kham.
Ida/Ila Skt. "food", and by extension "praise" (food for the soul)

Ida became the goddess of food, of offerings and of eloquence; the goddess of law, because eating and apportioning of food need to be regulated. And also of the earth, i.e., the cultivated field.

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In one myth, she is Manu's daughter and married Budha, the planetary god Mercury.

She led a double life, being a woman for one month (Ida), and then changing in one night and living as a mamn (Ila) during the next month.

This double life may symbolize the alternating phases of the moon. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref


"The god of wealth in the Buddhist tradition. (Kubera in the Hindu tradition.)

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Carrying a bag of gold, sometimes holding a mongoose (the animal that fights snakes, nagas.

The nagas are the keepers of the treasures in the earth, so Jambhala wins gold with his mongoose.

He also holds a jambhara, a lemon; its seeds are the seeds of the world." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref


A Buddhist serpent-goddess; one of the oldest goddesses in India.

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"The Buddhist serpent-goddess who is recognizable in sculpture by a sarpa-kundala, an ear ornament of a coiled cobra in each ear, and a sarpa-mekhala, a snake-necklace. She is also shown playing with a long cobra.

She cures snakebites and can prevent them. Special mantras are dedicated to her, which can extract snake poison if properly recited.

She plays the vina or other musical instrument. Her colors are white and gold.

She is one of the oldest goddesses of India." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Kailasa Skt. "silver mountain" Where Shiva has his palace, Mount Kailash
Kalachakra Tib.   "Divinity of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism and his related teachings." biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref
Kalon Tib.   Minister, or Deputy, of the Tibetan Kashag.
Kama Skt. "passion"

The god of love (kama, 'desire', Greek Eros, Roman Cupid).

The Veda says that Kama was the cause of life because it was desire that made the first being move."

His father was Dharma (ultimate truth) and his mother was Shraddha (faith). biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Karmapa Lama Tib.   The leader of the Kagyud school of Buddhism; the Gyalwa Karmapa. His present incarnation is Orgyen Trödul. biblio: Trungparef
Kashag Tib.   Council of ministers (kalons) of the Tibetan government in exile.
Kashyapa Skt.   Kasyapa.
"The third Manushi Buddha, who lived on earth for 20,000 years preceding Gautama Buddha. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
kundun Tib. "presence" Another honorific for the Dalai Lama. Also kundam.
lama guru teacher? ācariya อาจารย์ajahn Tib. "master" "spiritual teacher"

A Tibetan Buddhist sage and teacher.

Sanskrit "guru": A teacher; especially spiritual master, one's personal spiritual guide.

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rinpoche: 'Important lamas, often incarnate ones, are accorded the title Rinpoche, meaning "precious one". Many lamas, though by no means all, are monks ... Conversely, there are many monks who would not necessarily be considered lamas, even though the use of the word is often extended in everyday speech as a polite form of address for any senior monk.' Ricard

Ajahn (อาจารย์) at Wikipedia.

lharampa Tib.   Highest Tibetan Buddhist doctorate awarded to monks at the end of their studies.
Lokeshvara Skt.  

One of the Seven-fold Buddhas.

Form of Avalokiteshvara, compassion?

lonchen Tib.   minister (in government).
Mahasattva Skt. "great truth" One of the manfestations of the bodhisattva, in which he laid down near a hungry tigress inviting her to eat him, to save her from her suffering.
Maitreya maitri mila-fu sri lanka: metteya mongolia, manchuria: maidari Skt. from mitri, "one who has friendship" The Buddha to come, a representative of the Dhyani Buddha of Amoghasiddhi. The last of the five great Bodhisattvas.

He will come to earth to bring peace, in about 5,000 years after Gautama Buddha.

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He is now living in Tushita heaven, since the time when he "died" on earth as Gautama Buddha.

When he comes to earth, 5,000 years after Gautama Buddha (or 4,000, or 3,000 according to some), all the people of the earth will follow him, peace will prevail, and humanity will end as all souls will be merged in nirvana.

Since Maitreya exists now, he can be communed with and give advice.

In images he has a stupa in his hair (symbol of future life), the flask of amrita in one hand (symbol of his life in heaven), and a lotus flower in the other, (symbol of self-creation), since the Bodhisattvas emanated from Adi Buddha via the Dhyani-Buddhas.


"The oldest of the Bodhisattvas, in terms of worship. He confers wisdom, memory, intelligence, and eloquence."

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"In the beginning, he lived on Mount Panchashirsha ('five peaks') in the far north. One night he saw to the south a great flame of fire on a lotus. His intuition told him that this must signify the birth of the Adi Buddha. At once he set out to find the source of the light, and discovered that it burnt below the surface of a great lake surrounded by mountains. He drew his sword and carved a deep trench through the rocks. The water flowed away and exposed the becautiful valley which is now called Nepal, through which the River Baghmati still flows.

"Another legend relates that Buddha himself emitted a ray of light from his forehead. This ray hit a jambu tree from which at once a lotus flower sprouted. From the inner pistil 'sprouted a man, the beginning of the great master Manjushri, prince of sages'.

"Some Buddhists call him the founder of culture and learning in Nepal. He is venerated by some as the architect of the universe and the god of agriculture to whom the first day of the year is dedicated." biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

The goddess Saraswati is sometimes his shakti.

Manushi Buddha     "A Buddha who has (temporarily) taken the shape of a man in order to live and work in the world," out of compassion for the suffering of living beings. "There are seven: Vipasyin, Sikhi, Vishvabhu, Krakucchanda, Kanakamuni, Kasyapa, Shakyamuni (Gautama). The last four belong to our present Kalpa. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Mara Skt.   The god of death, physical love, seduction, and temptation. The personification of the ego. He sent his shapely daughters to dance in front of the Buddha Gautama as he sat in meditation.
mola Tib.   Grandmother.

Mother is our first teacher of compassion, and is the earth from which we come.

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"Mother is the first lama/Guru of compassion. Our spiritual lamas come later in life. The foundation of love and compassion built by our first lama or mother determines our propensity and ability to internalize these values when they are taught to us later in life by our spritual lamas.

"Take the case of we Tibetans, our Mahayana lamas may teach us the values of compassion. But that comes later in life, when we are at least about 15 years old. On the other hand, our mother teaches us the power and value of compassion right from our birth, and that too through its sheer practice and application."

— His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, in a speech to the Tibetan Women's Association biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

Mount Meru    

The center of the world, the hub of the World Lotus from which the continents stretch out as the petals, resting on the surface of the seven oceans.

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Supposed to be in the central Himalayas.

The continent called Jambu-dwipa, 'rose-apple land', is the Indian/Asian continent. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Also called Deva-parata, Sumeru, Ratansanu. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

naga Skt. snake
  1. A snake, mostly the Cobra Capella.
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  1. An elephant, so-called because its trunk is reminiscent of a snake.
  2. A mythical intelligent being with a human face and a long tail like a reptile. The Nagas are the descendants of Kadru, wife of Kasyapa. Their purpose in life is to inhabit the region of Patala under the earth. They have splendid palaces there and live in luxury. Some of their daughters have a completely human aspect and can even be beautiful, like Ulupi, who married Arjuna.
  3. A member of a tribe or nation still living in eastern India.
  4. A historical people, a clan or dynasty of kings who once ruled Naga-Dwipa.
biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Nechung Oracle Tib.   The state oracle of the Tibetan government. The oracle is a deity named Dorje Drakden.
nyönpa Tib. sMyonPa - "madman" crazy yogin. A tradition in 14th and 15 c. Tibet, and maybe other times/places?
Padmapani Skt.  

Manifestation of Avalokiteshvara.

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One day when Amitabha's meditation was particularly intense, a ray of white light issued from his right eye which brought Padmapani-Avalokiteshvara into existence. Amitabha blessed him, whereupon Avalokiteshvara pronounced his first prayer: om mani padme hum, which means: The Jewel of Creation in the Lotus.

Avalokiteshvara is thus the child of Amitabha and his shakti Pandara.

Together with his "parents", he presides over the present kalpa called Bhadrakalpa, "the Age of Prosperity". he will rule the universe from the Paranirvana of the Buddha Gautama to the appearance of the future Buddha, Maitreya, five thousand yers later, when this, the Fourth World, will have come to an end. Then Vishvapani will create the Fifth World and become its ruler as Maitreya, when all people will acquire bodhi.

He, Padmapani, created this world himself: from between his shoulders sprang Brahma, from his two eyes the sun and the moon, from his mouth the wind, from his navel the water, from his knees Lakshmi (the earth), from his hair Indra, from his teeth Sarasvati. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

pala Tib. "father" Honorary term for father. Used as an honorific for any senior man who is in that role to the person.
Pancha-Tathagata Five-fold Buddha Skt. "five path-walkers"

The Five-fold Buddha, i.e., the Dhyani Buddhas.

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The five types of knowledge needed for perfect bodhi:

  1. pure knowledge of the dharma
  2. knowledge which reflects facts like a mirror.
  3. awareness that all existing things are appearances of the essential sameness.
  4. perceptive knowledge.
  5. knowledge of what is necessary, both of things and activities. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Panchen Lama   "Great Scholar" The first Panchen Lama was recognized in Tibet in the 17th c. CE under the Fourth Dalai Lama, in Lozang Chosgyan. [ref]
The current Panchen Lama is being held prisoner by the Chinese government. [ref]
Pandara     Shakti or "wife" of the Dhyani Buddha, Amitabha. Spiritual mother of Avalokiteshvara.
Parvati Skt. "mountain goddess", "daughter of the mountains" Devi-Uma, Durga ("impenetrable fortress"), Girija, Adrija (both "mountain-born"), Pithasthana, Sati, Kali, Uma ("mother"). Goddess of the Himalayas; consort of Shiva, who she lives with on Mount Kailash.
Prajnaparamita Skt. "highest wisdom", Saraswati merged with him.
Ratnasambhava Skt. "excellence ..." The third of the Dhyani-Buddhas (Buddhas of Meditation, Five-fold buddhas), and also of the Seven-fold Buddhas. Represents the spritual element of vedana, sensation, feeling, the gateway of knowledge. Presides over the spring season when new life begins. his color is yellow. He is represented with a ratna, a jewel called a cintimani.
Sakyamuni Skt., Tib. "Sage of Sakya" Praise-name of Gautama Buddha.
Samantaka Skt. "The destroyer of peace"` Another name for Kama.
Samsara-Guru Skt. "The teacher of the world"` Kama as guru. Another name for Kama, the god of love.
Saraswati Skt.  

A Hindu goddess of the arts.

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Originally, the holy river flowing from the Himalayas along the borders between Punjab and Haryana into the Indian Ocean.
Inventor of Sanskrit.
In Buddhism, she is shakti of Manjushri, the god of learning, as goddess of poetry and music.
She has three eyes, a book, and a white lotus, and the moon in her crown.
She gives buddhi (intelligence), medha (memory), prajna (wisdom),
Also called Sarasvati; also associated with Vajravina and Prajnaparamita.
She is Arya Sarasvati in Tantric Buddhism. Her Tantric form has three faces and six arms, and is bright red and belligerent.
In Japan she is called Benten. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Seven-fold Buddha     The Buddhas Vairocana, Akshobhya, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, Amoghasiddhi, (the Dhyani Buddhas), and Vajrapani and Lokeshvara. Vajrapani is a Bodhisattva. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Shakti Skt. "the power" Another name for Uma, Parvati, or Kali. Associated with Tantra. Same word as the concept of shakti? biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Shraddha Skt. "faith" Wife of Dharma, the God of Justice, and mother of Kamadeva, the God of Love. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Siddartha Skt. "the one who has achieved his purpose" Praise-name of Gautama Buddha. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Sugata Skt. "going well" i.e., "walking the right path"; a name for the Buddha. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref
Tara Skt.   Tibetan: Dolma.
Tathagata Skt. "path goer", "path walker"

«The Buddha called himself Tathagata, 'coming from suchness'.»

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«The Buddha called himself Tathagata,
'coming from suchness (reality as it is)',
'going to suchness,'
'one who comes from nowhere and goes nowhere,'
because suchness cannot be confined to coming or going.» biblio: Cultivating the Mind of Love: Thich Nhat Hanhref

teacher Eng.   See gegen, geshe, guru, lama, togden.
togden Tib.   Spritually advanced teacher.
See also gegen, geshe, guru, lama.
Trungpa Tulku Tib.   Tulku of the Kagyud school, abbot of Surmang. The tenth was XXX, and the eleventh was Chögyam Trungpa. biblio: Trungparef
Tsi-Pon Tib.   Minister of Finance, in Tibetan government.
tsokrampa Tib.  

Second-class geshe (doctor). Examination results are announced during the Tsokchoe festival.

Mong. gegeen, huhuktu
Eng. reincarnation
Tib.   A reincarnation of a highly-realized master. Also called a rinpoche.

"A highly-realized master has the ability to be reborn in whatever body will most help suffering sentient beings." biblio: The Jew in the Lotusref

A bodhisattva.

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«A life becomes the result of a previous one through a kind of kinetic energy.

»Any individual who has reached a high level of spiritual development is supposed to be able to direct this energy in a special way at the time of his death, so that it gives birth to a tulku - a reincarnated lama.

»The tulku is not the same person as the prevous lama, but represents the active continuation of his positive qualities, wisdom and blessings.

»The phenomenon always existed in Buddhism, but no particular attention was given to it. It was not until the eleventh century that a Tibetan lama, Karmapa, talked about his tulku. The tulku was given the same name as his predecessor, thus initiating the first lineage of reincarnation.

«As the sytem proved to be useful at both spiritual and material levels, it developed over the course of the centuries, giving birth, in the fifteenth century, to the lineage of the Dalai Lama, and to that of the Panchen Lama in the seventeenth century.» biblio: Jetsun Pema, Tibet My Storyref

«Multiple incarnations ... most frequently occur in fives, [posibly related to five-fold buddha?] of which one in particular will embody the visible presence of the departed Lama, another his powers of speech, and yet another his powers of thought; again, one will represent his activities and another his qualities." biblio: Trungparef

«Lamas ... are embodiments of particular spiritual influences. One such influence may in fact manifest itself through several individuals at once ..." biblio: Trungparef

«When such a child is recognized -- most all tulkus are male -- he is taken into a monastery and trained to assume his position.» biblio: The Jew in the Lotusref

Tushita     The heaven where the Buddhas live.
Vairocana Skt.   In Nepal the first, in India the fourth, of the Buddhas of meditation, the Dhyani-Buddhas (Five-fold buddhas), and also of the Seven-fold Buddhas.

In Nepal he resides in the inner sanctum of the stupa. His color is white, his season his autumn. he represents the philosophical concept of rupa, form. Without form there is no individual existence. Autumn is the season of disintegration of forms, which teaches us that we must distinguish form from essence. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Vajrapani Skt.   One of the Seven-fold Buddhas.

Also, one of the eight principal Bodhisattvas. The spiritual son of the Dhyani-Buddha Akshobhya and his shakti Mamaki. His mantra is om vajrapani hum. He carries a vajra and a lotus. His color is white. biblio: Indian Mythology, Jan Knappertref

Vajravina     A form of Saraswati. In medieval sculpture, holds the vina in her right hand.
Yama     God of the Dead. Holds the Wheel of Life,
yi-dag Tib.   Pretas, hungry ghosts -- "living spirits who are afflicted constantly with the miseries of huger and thirst" [ref]

One of the Six Worlds in the Wheel of Life

yidam     A deity visualized in deity yoga.
yogin     A person practicing yoga.