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.

Glossary

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

Dharamsala

A village in the north-west of India, in Himachal Pradesh. The residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Dhargyey, Geshe Ngawang (1921–95)

A tutor to many Gelugpa tulkus and resident teacher at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, India, before leaving to establish his own centers in New Zealand, where he passed away.

Dharma (Skt)

chö (Tib); chos (Wyl)

The second refuge jewel. Literally, “that which is established” but generally etymologized as “that which holds or protects (us from suffering)” and hence brings happiness and leads us towards liberation and enlightenment. In Buddhism, absolute Dharma is the realizations attained along the path to liberation and enlightenment, and conventional Dharma is seen as both the teachings of the Buddha and virtuous actions.

dharmadhatu wisdom

dharmadhatu-jnana (Skt); chö kyi ying kyi yeshe (Tib); chos kyi dbyings kyi ye shes (Wyl)

One of the five transcendental wisdoms, the wisdom that apprehends the nature of phenomena. The other wisdoms are: mirror-like wisdom, wisdom of equality, all-accomplishing wisdom and wisdom of analysis.

Dharmakirti

chökyi dragpa (Tib); chos kyi grags pa (Wyl)

A seventh-century Indian scholar and author of Seven Treatises of Valid Cognition. He is one of six great Indian scholars, known as the Six Ornaments.

Dharmarakshita (Skt)

A ninth-century Indian scholar and author of the mind training text Wheel of Sharp Weapons.

Diamond Cutter Sutra

Arya vajra-chedika prajnaparamita mahayanasutra (Skt); pak pa she rab pa röl tu chin pa dor je chö pa she ja tek pa chen pö do (Tib)

Also known as the Diamond Sutra or Vajra Cutter Sutra, one of the most popular of the Prajnaparamita, or Perfection of Wisdom sutras. The Tibetan title is often abbreviated to Dorje Chöpa.

Dignaga

Choglang (Tib); phyogs glang (Wyl)

A sixth-century Indian scholar and disciple of Vasubandhu, Dignaga composed the Compendium of Valid Cognition (Skt: Pramana-samuccaya). He is one of six great Indian scholars, known as the Six Ornaments.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910–91)

A great scholar and author of many popular works such as Enlightened Courage: An Explanation of Atisha's Seven-Point Mind Training and The Excellent Path to Enlightenment, Rinpoche was the head of the Nyingma school from 1987 until his death in Bhutan in 1991.

dingwa (Tib)

ding ba (Wyl)

Cloth meditation seat cover used by the Sangha.

divine pride

lhe ngargyäl (Tib); lha'i nga rgyal (Wyl)

The non-deluded pride in deity yoga practice, where the appearance of oneself as the deity is held, as an antidote to ordinary appearance. See generation stage.

dob dob (Tib)

ldob ldob (Wyl)

A monk within the Gelug monasteries in Tibet who had less interest in studying and more in worldly matters such as appearance, sport and fighting. Dob dobs usually did much of the manual labor, as well as cooking, serving tea in assemblies and caring for elderly monks.

Doga, Geshe (b. 1935)

Resident teacher for more than thirty years at Tara Institute, the FPMT center in Melbourne, Australia.

Domo Geshe Rinpoche (d. 1936)

A famous ascetic meditator in his early life who later established monastic communities in the Tibet-Nepal border area and in Darjeeling; the guru of Lama Govinda, who wrote The Way of the White Clouds.

dorje (Tib)

vajra (Skt); rdo rje (Wyl)

The magical weapon of the Vedic god Indra, made of metal and very sharp and hard; adamantine. A thunderbolt. A tantric implement symbolizing method (compassion or bliss), held in the right hand (the male side), usually in conjunction with a bell, which symbolizes wisdom and is held in the left hand (the female side).

Drepung Monastery

The largest of the three major Gelugpa monasteries; founded near Lhasa by one of Lama Tsongkhapa's disciples. Now re-established in exile in south India.

Drogön Tsangpa Gyare (1161–1211)

The Kagyü lama, a disciple of Lingrepa, who was the founder of a branch of the Drukpa Kagyü and of many monasteries, including in Bhutan.

drops

bindu, tilaka(Skt); tig le, jang sem (Tib)

Subtle substances that permeate the body, caused by the coalescing of the mind and its accompanying wind at certain parts of the body. Said to have originated from the original white drop from the father and the red drop from the mother, drops are an important element in Vajrayana practice.

drubkhang (Tib)

sgrub khang (Wyl)

Attaining house, a place where a meditation practice or retreat is done; so called because here attainments can be achieved.

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