Glossary from A Tibetan Buddhist Companion

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Glossary & Biographies from "A Tibetan Buddhist Companion"

A - D

  • aggregates - (see skandhas) five aspects which comprise the physical and mental constituents of a sentient being: physical forms, sensations, conceptions, formations, and consciousnesses. [RY]
  • Amitabha - the buddha who resides in the pure land Sukhavati. He is red in color, wears the monk's robes and sits in meditation posture. [RY]
  • Aryadeva - One of the important Buddhist philosophers of India and a disciple of Nagarjuna whose writings he explained extensively. [RY]
  • Asura - one of the six classes of sentient beings. They live within sight of the gods but are always consumed with envy battle-mentality. [RY]
  • Ati Yoga - the highest of the six tantric vehicles of Tibet's oldest school. Ati means both perfect and effortless. It teaches that liberation is attained through growing accustomed to insight into the nature of primordial enlightenment. Often synonymous with Great Perfection. [RY]
  • Atisha - Eleventh century Indian pandita from Vikramashila who spent the last twelve years of his life in Tibet. Founding forefather of the Kadampa School of Tibetan Buddhism and is also known as Dipamkara Shrijnana. [RY]
  • Avalokiteshvara - the bodhisattva of compassion. Often depicted in a white form with four arms. [RY]
  • Barawa - (1310-1391) Early Kagyü master of the Drukpa school. [RY]
  • bardo - the intermediate state; usually between death and the next rebirth. [RY]
  • bodhichitta - awakened mind. The aspiration to attain enlightenment for the sake of all beings. [RY]
  • bodhisattva - a practitioner of the Mahayana path who has developed 'bodhichitta', the aspiration to attain enlightenment to benefit all sentient beings. [RY]
  • Buddha Samantabhadra - The primordially enlightened state of buddhahood from whom all other buddhas of the peaceful and wrathful mandalas emanate. This buddha principle is the ultimate source of all the tantras of Vajrayana. [RY]
  • Buddha Shakyamuni - litt. 'the Sage of the Shakyas,' is our historical buddha. He was born in Lumbini near the foothill of the Himalayas in what is now Nepal, attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya, turned the wheel of the Dharma in Sarnath, and passed away in Kushinagar. For a detailed account of his life, please read Lalitavistara, Dharma Publishing. [RY]
  • buddhafield - the pure realm manifested by a fully enlightened buddha. Other beings can aspire to take rebirth there in order to quickly reach enlightenment. [RY]
  • channels, energies and essences - subtle veins within our body in which circulate the various energies that carry the essences. These can promote the three samsaric emotions of attachment, hatred and ignorance, or be related to the three kayas. They are the interphase between body and mind. [RY]
  • Chokgyur Lingpa - (1829-1870). A visionary and revealer of hidden treasures. Regarded as one of the major tertöns in Tibetan history, his treasures are widely practiced by both the Kagyü and Nyingma schools. For more details see The Life and Teachings of Chokgyur Lingpa (Rangjung Yeshe Publications). Chokgyur Lingpa means 'Sanctuary of Eminence.' [RY]
  • Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche - the oldest son of the late Dzogchen master Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, and the author of Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, and Present Fresh Wakefulness, Rangjung Yeshe Publications. He is the abbot of one of the largest Buddhist monasteries in Nepal, located at the sacred Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal. [RY]
  • completion stage - usually means to settle within the unfabricated nature of mind. [RY]
  • Dagnyima - Indian female master in the early Dzogchen lineage. [RY]
  • dakinis - spiritual beings who fulfill the enlightened activities; female tantric deities who protect and serve the Buddhist doctrine and practitioners. One of the 'Three Roots'. [RY]
  • Dakpo Tashi Namgyal - (1513-1587). Important master in the Kagyü lineage. [RY]
  • deity - in the context of deity, mantra and samadhi, is the principle that everything we see is insubstantial and therefore indivisible from emptiness. In order to grow accustomed to this fact, the Vajrayana practitioner visualizes the rainbow-like form of the deity. [RY]
  • development stage - training in perceiving the world, sounds and beings as pure and sacred, which means to regard sights, sounds and thoughts as deity, mantra and samadhi. Requires 'empowerment'. [RY]
  • Dharma protectors - beings who vow to guard the Buddha's teachings and its followers. They can be either virtuous samsaric beings or enlightened buddhas and bodhisattvas. [RY]
  • Dharma wheel - set of teachings given by Buddha Shakyamuni who taught three such cycles, known as the Three Turnings of the Wheel of the Dharma. To turn the wheel of Dharma is poetic for giving teachings. [RY]
  • dharmadhatu - the 'realm of phenomena;' our basic nature in which emptiness and dependent origination are indivisible. Often translated as basic space. It is the field within which all experience unfolds. [RY]
  • dharmakaya - the 'body' of enlightened qualities. It is the mind-aspect of enlightenment, which is unconstructed just like space. Often counted as the first of the 'three kayas'. [RY]
  • dharmas - phenomena, mental objects, constituents of experience. [RY]
  • Dignaga - Fifth century author of Abhidharma Kosha. Disciple of Vasubandhu, famed for his contributions to pramana, logic and epistemology. Counted among the most important Indian masters for valid cognition. [RY]
  • Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche - (b. 1910). Regarded by followers of all four schools as one of the foremost masters of Tibetan Buddhism. His collected works fill numerous volumes. [RY]
  • Drikung Kyobpa - (1143-1217) A great master in the early Drigung Kagyu lineage. [RY]
  • Drubwang Tsoknyi - (1849-1904) A great master of the Nangchen province in East Tibet. His two main gurus were Chogyal Dorje, a yogi who could fly, and Chokgyur Lingpa. Under his supervision were more than 500 nunneries. [RY]
  • Düsum Khyenpa - the first Karmapa (1110-1193). One of the main disciples of Gampopa. [RY]
  • Dzogchen - Also known as Great Perfection and Ati Yoga. The highest teachings of the Nyingma School of the Early Translations. Compare with 'Mahamudra.' [RY]
  • Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö - a great master upholding the Rimey (nonsectarian) tradition, as well as being one of the two main root gurus of Dilgo Khyentse. [RY]

E - J

  • eightfold noble path - eight aspects of the path: right view, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration. [RY]
  • emaho - an exclamation of wonder and amazement. [RY]
  • empowerment - a ritual for conferring authorization to practice the Vajrayana teachings. It is the indispensable entrance door to tantric practice. [RY]
  • five topics of knowledge - language, dialectics, healing, arts and crafts, and religious philosophy. [RY]
  • four mind-changings - reflections on: 1) the freedoms and riches comprising the precious human body that are so difficult to find; 2) impermanence and death; 3) karma, the law of cause and effect; and 4) the sufferings of samsara. Reflecting on these four topics regarding the facts of life, causes one's mind to change direction from mundane, trivial pursuits and instead be oriented towards spiritual practice. [RY]
  • four noble truths - the truth of suffering, origin, path, and cessation. The four most basic teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni. [RY]
  • four roots - murder, theft, sexual abuse and deception. [RY]
  • freedoms and riches - conditions for being able to practice the sacred Dharma in a human body. They describe the precious human body. [RY]
  • Gampopa - (1079-1153). Foremost disciple of Milarepa and known for his The Jewel Ornament of Liberation. At the age of 32 he met Jetsün Milarepa. Among his main disciples were the first Karmapa Düsum Khyenpa and Phagmo Drubpa. [RY]
  • gandharvas - class of celestial spirits, noted for their musical talents. [RY]
  • Garab Dorje - (Skt. Surati Vajra, Prahevajra, Pramoda Vajra). Immaculately conceived to the daughter of King of Uddiyana. He received all the tantras, scriptures and oral instructions of Dzogchen from Buddha Vajrasattva in person and became the first human master in the Dzogchen lineage. Having reached complete enlightenment, he transmitted the teachings to his retinue of exceptional beings. Manjushrimitra is regarded as his chief disciple. Padmasambhava is also known to have received the transmission of the Dzogchen tantras directly from Garab Dorje's wisdom form. Garab Dorje means 'Indestructible joy.' [RY]
  • Great Perfection - the English translation for 'Dzogchen'. [RY]
  • Guru Rinpoche - literally, the 'Precious Master' who established Buddhism in Tibet in the 9th century. He hid innumerable Dharma treasures throughout Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan to be revealed by destined disciples in the centuries to come. He is also known under the names Padmasambhava or Padmakara. [RY]
  • guru yoga - a practice for receiving inspirational blessings and mingling with the enlightened state of mind. One of the 'preliminary practices' and a prelude for Mahamudra and Dzogchen. [RY]
  • heruka - an enlightened wrathful deity; personifies the wakefulness that consumes ignorance and ego-clinging. [RY]
  • Hinayana - the vehicles focused on contemplation of the four noble truths and the twelve links of dependent origination. [RY]
  • individual liberation - sets of precepts for ordained and lay people; basic code of morality that are the common foundation for all Buddhist practice. [RY]
  • Jamgön Kongtrül the Great - (1813-1899). Also known as Lodrö Thaye. He was one of the most prominent Buddhist masters in the 19th century and placed special focus upon a non-sectarian attitude. Renowned as an accomplished master, scholar and writer, he authored more than 100 volumes of scriptures. The most well known are his Five Treasuries, among which are the 63 volumes of the Rinchen Terdzö, the terma literature of the one hundred great tertöns. [RY]
  • Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche - (1846-1912) A student of Jamgön Kongtrül, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Paltrul Rinpoche. Blessed by Manjushri, he became one of the greatest scholars of his time. His collected works fill more than 30 volumes. His chief disciple was Shechen Gyaltsab Pema Namgyal. Mipham was regarded as a direct emanation of Manjushri. [RY]
  • Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo - (1820-1892). He became the master and teacher of all the Buddhist schools of Tibet and the founder of the Rimey movement. There are ten volumes of his works in addition to his termas. Jamyang means 'Manjushri, gentle melodiousness,' Khyentse Wangpo means 'Lord of loving wisdom.' [RY]
  • Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, Dudjom Rinpoche - (1904-1987) The reincarnation of the great treasure revealer Dudjom Lingpa. His Holiness was the supreme head of the Nyingma lineage after exile from Tibet. He is regarded as one of the most prominent scholars and enlightened masters of our time. [RY]
  • Jigmey Lingpa - (1729-1798) The great master of the Nyingtig tradition who had three visions of Longchenpa and received his direct lineage renowned as the Longchen Nyingtig. He collected and organized the Nyingma tantras. Among his immediate reincarnations are counted Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Paltrul Rinpoche and Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje. [RY]

K - O

  • Karma Chagmey - (1613-1678) A great master of both to the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions. His many writings include instructions for retreat practice. [RY]
  • Khakyab Dorje - (1871-1922). The fifteenth Karmapa. For his biography, The History of the Karmapas, Prajna Press. [RY]
  • [[Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, see Jigdrel Yeshe Dorje. [RY]
  • Lama Shabkar]] - (1781-1851) Literally, 'White Feet.' The name of Tsogdruk Rangdrol given to him because wherever he placed his feet the area became 'white' or virtuous. His autobiography, The Life of Shabkar, is a must-read. [RY]
  • List of masters whose bios should be included in A TIBETAN BUDDHIST COMPANION [RY]
  • Longchen Rabjam - A major lineage master and writer of the Nyingma lineage. He is single-handedly regarded as the most important writer on Dzogchen teachings. His works include the Seven Great Treasuries, the Three Trilogies and his commentaries in the Nyingthig Yabshi. A more detailed account of his life and teachings is found in Dzogchen/Buddha Mind by Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, Snow Lion. [RY]
  • Lorepa - (1187-1250). A great master of the Drukpa Kagyü school. [RY]
  • luminosity - 'free from the darkness of unknowing and endowed with the ability to know.' Car refer to 'empty luminosity,' like a clear open sky, which is the wakeful quality of the nature of mind; or 'manifest luminosity,' such as five-colored lights, images, deities and so forth. [RY]
  • Machik Labdrön - (1031-1129). The great female master who set down the Chö practice, cutting through ego-clinging. Disciple and consort of the Indian master Phadampa Sangye. Machig Labdrön means 'Only Mother Lamp of Dharma.' [RY]
  • Mahamudra - literally the Great Seal, is a very direct practice for realizing our basic nature. This system of teachings is the basic view of Vajrayana training in the Kagyü, Gelug and Sakya schools. Its quality is a directness and simplicity which allows the practitioner to connect with his or her basic nature of mind which in identity is indivisible from the awakened state of all Buddhas. The training then is a matter of maintaining that until it becomes an unbroken continuity. [RY]
  • mahasattva - great beings. [RY]
  • mahasiddha - realized tantric practitioner. [RY]
  • Mahayana - lit. 'Great Vehicle'; the way of those who follow the bodhisattva ideal, intent on achieving liberation for the purpose of freeing all beings from the misery of samsara. [RY]
  • Maitreya - 'The Loving One.' The bodhisattva regent of Buddha Shakyamuni, presently residing in the Tushita heaven until becoming the fifth buddha of this aeon. [RY]
  • major and minor marks - the thirty-two major and eighty minor marks of excellence that characterize the perfect physical form of a nirmanakaya or sambhogakaya buddha. [RY]
  • Manjushri - One of the eight main bodhisattva disciples of the Buddha Shakyamuni. He is the personification of the perfection of transcendent knowledge. [RY]
  • Manjushrimitra - An Indian master of the Dzogchen lineage and disciple of Garab Dorje. [RY]
  • mara - demon or demonic influence that creates obstacles for practice and enlightenment. For the spiritual practitioner, mara symbolizes one's ego-clinging and preoccupation with worldly concerns. [RY]
  • means and knowledge - buddhahood is attained by uniting these. In Mahayana, they are compassion and emptiness; and in Vajrayana, the stages of development and completion. [RY]
  • Milarepa - (1040-1123) was one of the most famous yogis and poets in Tibetan religious history. Much of the teachings of the Karma Kagyü schools passed through him. For more details read The Life of Milarepa and The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, both from Shambhala Publications. [RY]
  • Mount Sumeru - world axis; the mountain at the center of a world system, ringed by chains of lesser mountains lakes, continents, and oceans. [RY]
  • Nagarjuna - Great Indian scholar at Nalanda university and founder of the Madhyamika school of Buddhist philosophy. [RY]
  • Namchö Mingyur Dorje - (1645-1667), of the Namchö tradition. Revealer of treasure teachings. [RY]
  • Naropa - The great mahasiddha of India, chief disciple of Tilopa and the guru of Marpa in the Kagyü Lineage. See Rain of Wisdom and The Life of Marpa, Shambhala Publications. [RY]
  • nine gradual vehicles - the paths and teachings for Shravaka, Pratyekabuddha, Bodhisattva, Kriya, Upa, Yoga, Maha Yoga, Anu Yoga, and Ati Yoga. The first two are Hinayana; the third is Mahayana; the next three are the Three Outer Tantras; and the last three are called the Three Inner Tantras. [RY]
  • nirvana - extinguishing the causes for samsaric existence. The lesser nirvana refers to the liberation from cyclic existence attained by a Hinayana practitioner. For a buddha, 'nirvana' is the great non-dwelling state of enlightenment which falls neither into the extreme of samsaric existence nor into the passive state of cessation. [RY]
  • obscurations - the veils of negative emotions and dualistic knowing that cover one's buddha nature, preventing the full attainment of enlightenment. [RY]
  • one taste - the insight into or the fact that all phenomena, the contents of experience, are equally illusory and intangible. [RY]
  • Orgyenpa - (1230-1309). A disciple of Gyalwa Götsangpa Gönpo Dorje and Karma Pakshi, the second Karmapa (1204-1283). He travelled to the terrestrial pure land Uddiyana where he met the female buddha Vajra Varahi who transmitted special teachings to him. Teacher of the third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje. [RY]

P - S

  • Padmasambhava - the miraculous great master who brought Vajrayana to Tibet in the eight century. He is also referred to as Guru Rinpoche, the precious teacher. For his biography, please read The Lotus-Born, Shambhala Publications, and the Life & Times of Padmasambhava, Snow Lion. [RY]
  • pandita - Indian title conferred on especially learned masters; learned master, scholar or professor in Buddhist philosophy. [RY]
  • Patrul Rinpoche - a great nonsectarian Tibetan master of the nineteenth century and one of the foremost scholars of his time. He was known not only for his scholarship and learning but also for his example of renunciation and compassion. His most famous works include The Words of My Perfect Teacher and his commentary on Three Words Striking the Vital Point (Tsigsum Nedeg), the epitome of the Dzogchen teachings. [RY]
  • Pengarwa Jampal Sangpo - early master in the Kagyü lineage. [RY]
  • Phadampa Sangye - A great Indian siddha who visited Tibet five times, the last time in 1098, where he taught the Shije system. His chief Tibetan disciple was the yogini Machik Labdron. [RY]
  • preliminary practices (ngöndro) - covers the general outer preliminaries, the 'four mind-changings': reflections on precious human body, impermanence and death, cause and effect of karma, and the shortcomings of samsaric existence. The special inner preliminaries are the 'four times hundred thousand practices' of refuge and bodhichitta, Vajrasattva recitation, mandala offering, and guru yoga. They are preliminary and necessary in the same way as the foundation is for building a house or loosening the soil is for farming. [RY]
  • Pundarika - the second King of Shambhala. [RY]
  • Rangjung Dorje - (1284-1334) The third holder of the title Karmapa, he was a great siddha and scholar and a propagator of both the Mahamudra and Dzogchen teachings to such an extent that he is also counted among the lineage gurus in the Nyingma tradition. [RY]
  • Rangjung Rigpey Dorje - (1924-1981) The 16th Karmapa. Founder of Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim and countless Dharma centers around the world. [RY]
  • Sakya Pandita - (1182-1251) One of the Five Sakya Forefathers. He also exercised political power in Tibet on behalf of the Mongols. [RY]
  • samadhi - a state of undistracted concentration which in the context of Vajrayana can refer to either the development stage or the completion stage. [RY]
  • Samantabhadra - The 'Ever-excellent One.' 1) The primordial dharmakaya buddha. 2) The bodhisattva Samantabhadra used as the example for the perfection of increasing an offering infinitely. [RY]
  • samsara - 'cyclic existence,' 'vicious circle' of birth and death and rebirth within the six realms, characterized by suffering, impermanence, and ignorance. This is the state of all ordinary sentient beings who are bound by ignorance and dualistic perception, karma and disturbing emotions. Samsara also refers to ordinary reality, an endless cycle of frustration and suffering generated as the result of karma. [RY]
  • Saraha - One of the great siddhas of India and a master in the Mahamudra lineage. He is well known for his three cycles of spiritual songs. [RY]
  • Secret Mantra - Synonymous with Vajrayana or tantric teachings. Secret means both concealed and self-secret. 'Mantra' in this context can either mean 'eminent, excellent, and praiseworthy' or 'that which protects the mind'. [RY]
  • seven precious substances - ruby, sapphire, lapis, emerald, diamond, pearl and coral. Sometimes the list includes gold, silver, and crystal. [RY]
  • Shambhala - a fabulous kingdom of spirituality situated on this planet. [RY]
  • Shantarakshita - 'Guardian of Peace.' The Indian scholar and abbot of Vikramashila and of Samye who ordained the first Tibetan monks. He is the founder of philosophical school combining the Middle Way and Mind Only. This tradition was reestablished and clarified by Mipham Rinpoche in his commentary on the Ornament of the Middle Way. [RY]
  • Shantideva - a seventh century master at Nalanda monastic university in India. He is regarded as one of the 84 Siddhas; author of the Bodhicharyavatara, published in English as The Way of the Bodhisattva, Shambhala Publications. [RY]
  • Shavaripa - A great Indian master and the guru of Saraha. [RY]
  • shravaka - a 'hearer' or 'listener.' Hinayana practitioner of the Buddha's first turning of the Dharma wheel on the four noble truths. [RY]
  • Shri Singha - The chief disciple and successor of Manjushrimitra in the lineage of the Dzogchen teachings. He was born in the city of Shokyam in Khotan and studied with the masters Hatibhala and Bhelakirti. Among Shri Singha's disciples were four outstanding masters: Jnanasutra, Vimalamitra, Padmasambhava and the Tibetan translator Vairochana. [RY]
  • siddhi - special powers or accomplishments. The supreme siddhi is enlightenment. [RY]
  • six classes of sentient beings - gods, demigods, human beings, animals, hungry ghosts, and hell beings. [RY]
  • six collections - the five sense consciousnesses and the mind consciousness. They covers every type of ordinary experience. [RY]
  • skandhas - gathering or aggregation of many parts. See aggregates. [RY]
  • Songtsen Gampo - The king of Tibet in the seventh century Tibetan who prepared the way for transmission of the teachings. He is regarded as an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara. He married Bhrikuti of Nepal and Wen Cheng of China who each brought a sacred statue of Buddha Shakyamuni to Lhasa. Songtsen Gampo built the first Buddhist temples in Tibet, established a code of laws based on spiritual principles, and had his minister Thönmi Sambhota develop the Tibetan script. During his reign the translation of Buddhist texts into Tibetan began. [RY]
  • stupa - a dome-shaped monument housing relics of the Buddha or an accomplished master. The shape of the stupa embodies an elaborate symbolism. [RY]
  • sugata essence - another word for buddha nature, the enlightened essence inherent in sentient beings. [RY]
  • Sutra - 1) A discourse by or inspired by the Buddha. 2) A scripture within the Tripitaka. 3) All exoteric teachings of Buddhism belonging to Hinayana and Mahayana, the causal teachings that regard the path as the cause of enlightenment, as opposed to the esoteric, tantric teachings. [RY]

T - Z

  • Tantra - The Vajrayana teachings given by the Buddha in his sambhogakaya form. Can also refer to all the resultant teachings of Vajrayana as a whole. [RY]
  • tathagata - lit. 'thus gone' or 'thus come'; one of a buddha's traditional titles. [RY]
  • Terdag Lingpa Gyurme Dorje - (1646-1714) Outstanding Nyingma master who built Mindrolling in central Tibet, one of the most important Nyingma monasteries. [RY]
  • terma - concealed treasures of various kinds, including texts, ritual objects, and relics. [RY]
  • Theravada - the school of Buddhism that predominates in Southeast Asia, tracing its lineage to the early disciples of the Buddha. [RY]
  • three kinds of knowledge - the understanding and insights we gain when hearing teachings, reflecting on them and applying them in practice. [RY]
  • three lower realms - the worlds of hell beings, hungry ghosts, and animals. [RY]
  • three precepts - The Hinayana vows of individual liberation, the Mahayana trainings of a bodhisattva, and the Vajrayana samayas of a knowledge-holder, a tantric practitioner. [RY]
  • three realms of samsara - the realms of desire, form and formlessness. They cover every possibility of samsaric existence. [RY]
  • Three Roots - guru, yidam and dakini. the guru is the root of blessings, the yidam of accomplishment, and the dakini of activity. [RY]
  • three spheres - three 'spheres' or concepts of subject, object and action. For instance, while meditating, the mind may maintain the notions of meditator, meditation object, and the act of meditating. [RY]
  • Tilopa - (988-1069). Indian mahasiddha, the teacher of Naropa and forefather of the Kagyü lineage in Tibet. [RY]
  • Tripitaka - The three collections of Buddha Shakyamuni's teachings: Vinaya, Sutra, and Abhidharma. Their purpose is the development of the three trainings of discipline, concentration and discriminating knowledge while their function is to remedy the three poisons of desire, anger and delusion. The Tibetan version of the Tripitaka fills more than one hundred large volumes, each with more than 600 large pages. In a wider sense all of the Dharma, both Sutra and Tantra, is contained within the three collections and three trainings. [RY]
  • Trisong Deutsen - (790-844) The second great Dharma king of Tibet who invited Guru Rinpoche, Shantarakshita, Vimalamitra, and many other Buddhist teachers. Until the age of seventeen he was chiefly engaged in ruling the kingdom. He built Samye, the great monastery and teaching center modeled after Odantapuri in India, established Buddhism as the state religion of Tibet, and during his reign the first monks were ordained. He arranged for scholar and translators to render into Tibetan innumerable sacred texts, and he established a large number of centers for teaching and practice. Among his later incarnations are Nyang Ral Nyima Özer (1124-1192), Guru Chöwang (1212-1270), Jigmey Lingpa (1729-1798), and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820-1892). [RY]
  • Tsele Natsok Rangdröl - (b. 1608) Important master of the Kagyü and Nyingma schools. He is also the author of Mirror of Mindfulness and Lamp of Mahamudra. [RY]
  • Tsikey Chokling II - (20th Cent.) the reincarnation of Chokgyur Lingpa. He resided at Tsikey monastery and was one of the teachers of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. [RY]
  • Tsongkhapa - (1357-1419) Fifteenth century outstanding scholar and founder of Gelugpa school. [RY]
  • Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche - famed for his profound meditative realization and for the lucid and humorous style with which he imparted the essence of the Buddhist teachings. His method of teaching was 'instruction through one's own experience.' Using few words, this way of teaching pointed out the nature of mind, revealing a natural simplicity of wakefulness that enabled the student to actually touch the heart of awakened mind. Author of Rainbow Painting. [RY]
  • Vairotsana - The great translator during the reign of King Trisong Deutsen. Among the first seven Tibetan monks, he was sent to India to study with Shri Singha. Along with Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra, he was one of the three main masters to bring the Dzogchen teachings to Tibet. [RY]
  • vajra (adj): vajra body, vajra speech, vajra mind - 'diamond,' 'king of stones.' As an adjective it means indestructible, invincible, firm, etc. The conventional vajra is the ritual implement of material substance; the ultimate vajra is emptiness. [RY]
  • vajra master - a tantric master who is adept in the rituals and meaning of Vajrayana. The master from whom one receives tantric teaching and empowerment. Can also mean the master who presides over a tantric ritual. [RY]
  • Vajradhara - 'vajra-holder.' The dharmakaya buddha. Can also refer to one's personal teacher of Vajrayana or to the all-embracing buddha nature. [RY]
  • Vajrayana - The 'vajra vehicle.' The practices of taking the result as the path. Same as 'Secret Mantra' and 'Tantra'. [RY]
  • Victorious One(s) - Same as buddhas and tathagata. [RY]
  • Vimalakirti - enlightened master and lay person at the time of Buddha Shakyamuni. A very subtle sutra, in which he instructs the Buddha's chief disciples, is translated into English in several versions. [RY]
  • Vimalamitra - An early master in the Dzogchen lineage and disciple of Shri Singha and Jnanasutra. Vimalamitra is regarded as one of the three main forefathers for establishing the Dzogchen teachings in Tibet, in the ninth century. [RY]
  • Yeshe Tsogyal - The chief Tibetan female disciple of Guru Rinpoche who received almost all the transmissions he passed on in Tibet and later compiled his teachings. [RY]

Published in A Tibetan Buddhist Companion