(byang chub kyi sems)
|Glossary of Buddhism|
Etymologically, the word is a combination of the Sanskrit words bodhi and citta. Bodhi means "awakening" or "enlightenment". Citta derives from the Sanskrit root cit, and means "that which is conscious" (i.e., mind or consciousness). Bodhicitta may be translated as "awakening mind" or "mind of enlightenment".
Bodhicitta is a spontaneous wish to attain enlightenment motivated by great compassion for all sentient beings, accompanied by a falling away of the attachment to the illusion of an inherently existing self.
The mind of great compassion and bodhicitta motivates one to attain enlightenment Buddhahood, as quickly as possible and benefit infinite sentient beings through their emanations and other skillful means. Bodhicitta is a felt need to replace others' suffering with bliss. Since the ultimate end of suffering is nirvana, bodhicitta necessarily involves a motivation to help others to awaken (to find bodhi).
A person who has a spontaneous realization or motivation of bodhicitta is called a bodhisattva.
Different schools may demonstrate alternative understandings of bodhicitta.
Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche and Surya Das, both Nyingma masters of the non-sectarian Rime movement, distinguish between relative and absolute (or ultimate) bodhicitta. Relative bodhicitta is a state of mind in which the practitioner works for the good of all beings as if it were their own. Absolute bodhicitta is the wisdom of shunyata (śunyatā, a Sanskrit term often translated as "emptiness", though the alternatives "vast expanse" or "openness" or "spaciousness" probably convey the idea better to Westerners). The concept of śunyatā in Buddhism also implies freedom from attachments[b] and from fixed ideas about the world and how it should be.[c]
Some bodhicitta practices emphasize the absolute (e.g. vipaśyanā), while others emphasize the relative (e.g. metta), but both aspects are seen in all Mahāyāna practice as essential to enlightenment, especially in the Tibetan practices of tonglen and lojong. Without the absolute, the relative can degenerate into pity and sentimentality, whereas the absolute without the relative can lead to nihilism and lack of desire to engage other sentient beings for their benefit.
In his book Words of My Perfect Teacher, the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Patrul Rinpoche describes three degrees of bodhicitta: The way of the King, who primarily seeks his own benefit but who recognizes that his benefit depends crucially on that of his kingdom and his subjects. The path of the boatman, who ferries his passengers across the river and simultaneously, of course, ferries himself as well, and finally that of the shepherd, who makes sure that all his sheep arrive safely ahead of him and places their welfare above his own.
Describing use of the term bodhicitta in Tibetan Buddhism, Paul Williams writes that the term is used differently in early Mahāyāna works, referring to a state of mind in which a bodhisattva carries out actions:
We are describing here the late systematized Indo-Tibetan Mahāyāna. It seems that in the relatively early Ugraparipṛcchā Sūtra, for example, the bodhicitta is a much vaguer concept, more "a certain state of mind" in which a Bodhisattva acts (Nattier 2003a: 148). [...] Pagel points out that many Mahāyāna sūtras, including the Bodhisattvapiṭaka, hold that the arising of bodhicitta (bodhicittotpāda) is not simply a static thing that occurs just at the beginning of the Bodhisattva path. Rather it is continuously retaken and evolves through practice.
Among the most important later source texts on bodhicitta, used by traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, are:
Mahāyāna Buddhism teaches that the broader motivation of achieving one's own enlightenment "in order to help all sentient beings" is the best possible motivation one can have for any action, whether it be working in one's vocation, teaching others, or even making an incense offering. The Six Perfections (Pāramitās) of Buddhism only become true "perfections" when they are done with the motivation of bodhicitta. Thus, the action of giving (Skt. dāna) can be done in a mundane sense, or it can be a Pāramitā if it is conjoined with bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is the primary positive factor to be cultivated.
The Mahāyāna-tradition provides specific methods for the intentional cultivation of both absolute and relative bodhicitta. This cultivation is considered to be one of the most difficult aspects of the path to complete awakening. Practitioners of the Mahāyāna make it their primary goal to develop a genuine, uncontrived bodhicitta which remains within their mindstreams continuously without having to rely on conscious effort.
Among the many methods for developing uncontrived Bodhicitta given in Mahāyāna teachings are:
Tibetan Buddhists maintain that there are two main ways to cultivate Bodhichitta, the "Seven Causes and Effects" that originates from Maitreya and was taught by Atisha, and "Exchanging Self and Others," taught by Shantideva and originally by Manjushri.
According to Tsongkapa the seven causes and effects are thus:
The practice and realization of bodhicitta are independent of sectarian considerations, since they are fundamentally a part of the human experience. Bodhisattvas are not only recognized in the Theravāda school of Buddhism, but in all other religious traditions and among those of no formal religious tradition. The present fourteenth Dalai Lama, for instance, regarded Mother Teresa as one of the greatest modern bodhisattvas.
The Abhidharmadīpa or Lamp of Abhidharma is an Abhidharma text thought to have been authored by Vasumitra as a response to Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakośakārikā.
The text consists of verse and prose commentary. It currently survives as an incomplete collection of Sanskrit fragments. However, the text is valuable insofar as it confirms the identity of Vasubandhu as author of the Abhidharmakośakārikā.Bodhisattva
In Buddhism, a bodhisattva ( BOH-dee-SUT-və) is any person who is on the path towards Buddhahood.
In the Early Buddhist schools as well as modern Theravada Buddhism, a bodhisattva (Pali: bodhisatta) refers to anyone who has made a resolution to become a Buddha and has also received a confirmation or prediction from a living Buddha that this will be so.In Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva refers to anyone who has generated bodhicitta, a spontaneous wish and compassionate mind to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.Bodhisattva vow
The Bodhisattva vow is the vow taken by Mahayana Buddhists to liberate all sentient beings. One who has taken the vow is nominally known as a Bodhisattva. This can be done by venerating all Buddhas and by cultivating supreme moral and spiritual perfection, to be placed in the service of others. In particular, Bodhisattvas promise to practice the six perfections of giving, moral discipline, patience, effort, concentration and wisdom in order to fulfill their bodhicitta aim of attaining enlightenment for the sake of all beings. Whereas the Prātimokṣa vows cease at death, the Bodhisattva vow extends into future lives.Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra
The Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra or Bodhicaryāvatāra (Tib. བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའི་སྤྱོད་པ་ལ་འཇུག་པ་ byang chub sems dpa'i spyod pa la 'jug pa), sometimes translated into English as A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, is a Mahāyāna Buddhist text written c. 700 AD in Sanskrit verse by Shantideva (Śāntideva), a Buddhist monk at Nālandā Monastic University in India.Dajyur
Dajyur or the Damxung Horse Festival is a Tibetan festival that takes place at the beginning of the eighth month of the lunar calendar (solar September) throughout southern Tibet. The festivities last for ten days with events such as horse racing, bicycle riding contests, and rock-carrying competitions contributing to a time of merriment and celebration.Geshe
Geshe (Tib. dge bshes, short for dge-ba'i bshes-gnyen, "virtuous friend"; translation of Skt. kalyāņamitra) or geshema is a Tibetan Buddhist academic degree for monks and nuns. The degree is emphasized primarily by the Gelug lineage, but is also awarded in the Sakya and Bön traditions. The geshema degree is the same as a geshe degree, but is called a geshema degree because it is awarded to women.Kadam (Tibetan Buddhism)
The Kadam school (Tibetan: བཀའ་གདམས་པ་, Wylie: bka' gdams pa) of Tibetan Buddhism was founded by Dromtön (1005–1064), a Tibetan lay master and the foremost disciple of the great Bengali master Atiśa (982-1054). The Kadampa were quite famous and respected for their proper and earnest Dharma practice. The most evident teachings of that tradition were the teachings on bodhicitta. Later, these special presentations became known as lojong and lamrim by Atiśa.
Kadam instructional influence lingered long after the school disappeared:
The Bka' gdams was responsible for the distinctive Tibetan Bstan rim (tenrim) ("stages of teaching") genre, based on Atiśa's seminal work, the Bodhipathapradīpa. This genre was later adapted and popularized by Tsong kha pa in his influential Lam rim chen mo.Karuṇā
Karuṇā (in both Sanskrit and Pali) is generally translated as compassion and self-compassion. It is part of the spiritual path of both Buddhism and Jainism.Lama
Lama (Tibetan: བླ་མ་, Wylie: bla-ma; "chief" or "high priest") is a title for a teacher of the Dharma in Tibetan Buddhism. The name is similar to the Sanskrit term guru and in use it is similar, but not identical to the western monastic rank of abbot.Historically, the term was used for venerated spiritual masters or heads of monasteries. Today the title can be used as an honorific title conferred on a monk, nun or (in the Nyingma, Kagyu and Sakya schools) advanced tantric practitioner to designate a level of spiritual attainment and authority to teach, or may be part of a title such as Dalai Lama or Panchen Lama applied to a lineage of reincarnate lamas (Tulkus).
Perhaps due to misunderstandings by early western scholars attempting to understand Tibetan Buddhism, the term lama has historically been erroneously applied to Tibetan monks in general. Similarly, Tibetan Buddhism was referred to as "Lamaism" by early western scholars and travelers who perhaps did not understand that what they were witnessing was a form of Buddhism; they may also have been unaware of the distinction between Tibetan Buddhism and Bön. The term Lamaism is now considered by some to be derogatory.In the Vajrayana path of Tibetan Buddhism, the lama is often the tantric spiritual guide, the guru to the aspiring Buddhist yogi or yogini. As such, the lama will then appear as one of the Three Roots (a variant of the Three Jewels), alongside the yidam and protector (who may be a dakini, dharmapala or other Buddhist deity figure).List of suttas
Suttas from the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon.
List of Digha Nikaya suttas
List of Majjhima Nikaya suttas
List of Samyutta Nikaya suttas
List of Anguttara Nikaya suttas
List of Khuddaka Nikaya suttasLojong
Lojong (Tib. བློ་སྦྱོང་,Wylie: blo sbyong) is a mind training practice in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition based on a set of aphorisms formulated in Tibet in the 12th century by Chekawa Yeshe Dorje. The practice involves refining and purifying one's motivations and attitudes.
The fifty-nine or so slogans that form the root text of the mind training practice are designed as a set of antidotes to undesired mental habits that cause suffering. They contain both methods to expand one's viewpoint towards absolute bodhicitta, such as "Find the consciousness you had before you were born" and "Treat everything you perceive as a dream", and methods for relating to the world in a more constructive way with relative bodhicitta, such as "Be grateful to everyone" and "When everything goes wrong, treat disaster as a way to wake up."
Prominent teachers who have popularized this practice in the West include Pema Chödrön, Ken McLeod, Alan Wallace, Chögyam Trungpa, Sogyal Rinpoche, Kelsang Gyatso, Norman Fischer and the 14th Dalai Lama.Longchenpa
Longchen Rabjampa, Drimé Özer (Wylie: klong chen rab 'byams pa dri med 'od zer), commonly abbreviated to Longchenpa (1308–1364), was a major teacher in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Along with Sakya Pandita and Je Tsongkhapa, he is commonly recognized as one of the three main manifestations of Manjushri to have taught in Central Tibet. His major work is the Seven Treasuries, which encapsulates the previous 600 years of Buddhist thought in Tibet. Longchenpa was a critical link in the exoteric and esoteric transmission of the Dzogchen teachings. He was abbot of Samye, one of Tibet's most important monasteries and the first Buddhist monastery established in the Himalaya, but spent most of his life travelling or in retreat.Luminous mind
Luminous mind (Skt: prabhāsvara-citta or ābhāsvara-citta, Pali: pabhassara citta; T. ’od gsal gyi sems; C. guangmingxin; J. kōmyōshin; K. kwangmyŏngsim) is a Buddhist term which appears in a sutta of the Pali Anguttara Nikaya as well as numerous Mahayana texts and Buddhist tantras. It is variously translated as "brightly shining mind", or "mind of clear light" while the related term luminosity (Skt. prabhāsvaratā; Tib.’od gsal ba; Ch. guāng míng; Jpn. kōmyō; Kor. kwangmyōng) is also translated as "clear light" in Tibetan Buddhist contexts or, "purity" in East Asian contexts. The term is usually used to describe the mind or consciousness in different ways.
This term is given no direct doctrinal explanation in the Pali discourses, but later Buddhist schools explained it using various concepts developed by them. The Theravada school identifies the "luminous mind" with the bhavanga, a concept first proposed in the Theravada Abhidhamma. The later schools of the Mahayana identify it with both the Mahayana concepts of bodhicitta and tathagatagarbha. The notion is of central importance in the philosophy and practice of Dzogchen.Rinpoche
Rinpoche, also spelled Rimboche and Rinboku (Tibetan: རིན་པོ་ཆེ་, Wylie: rin po che, THL: Rinpoché, ZYPY: Rinboqê), is an honorific term used in the Tibetan language. It literally means "precious one", and may be used to refer to a person, place, or thing--like the words "gem" or "jewel" (Sanskrit Ratna).
The word consists of rin(value) and po(nominative suffix) and chen(big).
The word is used in the context of Tibetan Buddhism as a way of showing respect when addressing those recognized as reincarnated, older, respected, notable, learned and/or an accomplished Lamas or teachers of the Dharma. It is also used as an honorific for abbots of monasteries.Tara (Buddhism)
Tara (Sanskrit: तारा, tārā; Tib. སྒྲོལ་མ, Dölma), Ārya Tārā, or White Tara, also known as Jetsun Dölma (Tibetan language: rje btsun sgrol ma) in Tibetan Buddhism, is an important figure in Buddhism. She appears as a female bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism, and as a female Buddha in Vajrayana Buddhism. She is known as the "mother of liberation", and represents the virtues of success in work and achievements. She is known as Tara Bosatsu (多羅菩薩) in Japan, and occasionally as Duōluó Púsà (多羅菩薩) in Chinese Buddhism.Tārā is a meditation deity worshiped by practitioners of the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism to develop certain inner qualities and to understand outer, inner and secret teachings such as karuṇā (compassion), mettā (loving-kindness), and shunyata (emptiness). Tārā may more properly be understood as different aspects of the same quality, as bodhisattvas are often considered metaphors for Buddhist virtues.
There is also recognition in some schools of Buddhism of twenty-one Tārās. A practice text entitled Praises to the Twenty-One Taras, is the most important text on Tara in Tibetan Buddhism. Another key text is the Tantra Which is the Source for All the Functions of Tara, Mother of All the Tathagatas.The main Tārā mantra is the same for Buddhists and Hindus alike: oṃ tāre tuttāre ture svāhā. It is pronounced by Tibetans and Buddhists who follow the Tibetan traditions as oṃ tāre tu tāre ture soha. The literal translation would be “Oṃ O Tārā, I pray O Tārā, O Swift One, So Be It!”Tengyur
The Tengyur or Tanjur or Bstan-’gyur (Tibetan: "Translation of Teachings") is the Tibetan collection of commentaries to the Buddhist teachings, or "Translated Treatises".Tonglen
Tonglen (Tibetan: གཏོང་ལེན་, Wylie: gtong len, or tonglen) is Tibetan for 'giving and taking' (or sending and receiving), and refers to a meditation practice found in Tibetan Buddhism.Unconditional love
Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions. This term is sometimes associated with other terms such as true altruism or complete love. Each area of expertise has a certain way of describing unconditional love, but most will agree that it is that type of love which has no bounds and is unchanging.
In Christianity, unconditional love is thought to be part of the Four Loves; affection, friendship, eros, and charity. In ethology, or the study of animal behavior, unconditional love would refer to altruism which in turn refers to the behavior by individuals that increases the fitness of another while decreasing the fitness of the individual committing the act. In psychology, unconditional love refers to a state of mind in which one has the goal of increasing the welfare of another, despite any evidence of benefit for oneself. The term is also widely used in family and couples counseling manuals. Dogs are often considered to be examples of animals displaying unconditional love.Yudra Nyingpo
Yudra Nyingpo (Tibetan: གཡུ་སྒྲ་སྙིང་པོ, Wylie: g.yu sgra snying po) was one of the chief disciples of Vairotsana and one of the principal lotsawa "translators" of the first translation stage of texts into Tibetan.
Yudra Nyingpo became one of the greatest masters of Nyingma Dzogchen Semde and Longde teachings:
"Yudra Nyingpo was a prince of Gyalmo Tsawe Rong (Gyarong) in Eastern Tibet. In Gyarong, Yudra Nyingpo received teachings from Vairocana, who was exiled in the area for a certain period of time. Studying with Vairocana, Yudra Nyingpo became a great scholar and translator. Later he traveled to Central Tibet and received teachings from Guru Rinpoche and he became one of the greatest masters of semde and longde teachings of Dzogpa Chenpo in Tibet."
Yudra Nyingpo translated many works, including the 'Thirteen Later Translations' (Wylie: phyi 'gyur bcu gsum) of the 'Eighteen Major Scriptural Transmissions of the Mind Series' (Wylie: sems sde lung chen po bco brgyad):
Tsemo Chung-gyal (Supreme Peak) (Tibetan: རྩེ་མོ་བྱུང་རྒྱལ, Wylie: rtse mo byung rgyal)
Namkha'i Gyalpo (King of Space) (Tibetan: རྣམ་ མཁའི་རྒྱལ་ རྒྱལ་པོ, Wylie: rnam mkha'i rgyal po)
Dewa Thrulkod (Jewel-Encrusted Bliss Ornament) (Tibetan: བདེ་བ་འཕྲུལ་བཀོད, Wylie: bde ba 'phrul bkod)
Dzogpa Chiching (All-Encompassing Perfection) (Tibetan: རྫོགས་པ་སྤྱི་ཆིངས, Wylie: rdzogs pa spyi chings)
Changchub Semtig (Essence of Bodhicitta) (Tibetan: བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་ཏིག, Wylie: byang chub sems tig)
Dewa Rabjam (Infinite Bliss) (Tibetan: བདེ་བ་རབ་འབྱམས, Wylie: bde ba rab 'byams)
Sog-gi Khorlo (Wheel of Life) (Tibetan: སྲོག་གི་འཁོར་ལ, Wylie: srog gi 'khor lo)
Thigle Trugpa (Six Spheres) (Wylie: thig le drug pa)
Dzogpa Chichod (All-Penetrating Perfection) (Tibetan: རྫོགས་པ་སྤྱི་སྤྱོད, Wylie: rdzogs pa spyi spyod)
Yidzhin Norbu (Wish-Fulfilling Jewel) (Tibetan: ཡིད་བཞིན་ནོར་བུ, Wylie: yid bzhin nor bu)
Kundu Rigpa (All-unifying Pure Presence) (Tibetan: ཀུན་ཏུ་རིག་པ, Wylie: kun tu rig pa)
Jetsun Tampa (Supreme Lord) (Tibetan: རྗེ་བཙན་དམ་པ་, Wylie: rje btsan dam pa)
Gonpa Tontrub (The Realization of the True Meaning of Meditation) (Tibetan: སྒོམ་པ་དོན་གྲུབ, Wylie: sgom pa don grub)Liljenberg (2009: p. 51) holds that there are variances in the listing of the Thirteen Later Translations:
"The earliest lists of titles of the Thirteen Later Translations are found in the writings of the twelfth century treasure revealer Nyang Ral Nyi ma 'od zer. He gives two lists, one in his Zangs gling ma biography of Padmasambhava, and the other in his religious history, the Me tog snying po. There are significant differences between the two lists, however, and subsequent lists drawn up by
various authors also show marked variations, symptomatic of continuing fluidity in the composition of this group of texts."
Topics in Buddhism