Anuttarayoga (Tibetan: la me gyu): the highest classification of the four sets of tantras. There are three sub divisions: Non-dual, Wisdom (mother) and Method (father). The three lower tantra classifications are Kriya, Charya and Yoga. [See Tantra Classifications].

Bari Gyatsa: The One Hundred Teachings of Bari Lotsawa Rinchen Drag. A collection of almost one-hundred initiations collected by Bari the Translor while studying in India in the 11th century. This collection forms the basis of the common Tantric meditations found in the Sakya Tradition, such as Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara, Tara, Marichi, etc. Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub wrote a condensed text which is commonly used today. [See Contents List].

Bhutadamara Vajrapani (Tibetan: chung bu dul she, chag na dor je): meditational deity - a wrathful form of the bodhisattva Vajrapani associated with the Hevajra Tantra. Other forms of Bhutadamara can also be found in the three lower tantras. [See Image].

Birwapa: (Sanskrit: vi rupa) the Prakrit language pronunciation for the name of mahasiddha Virupa (Ugly One), vi = ugly, rupa = form. Virupa is the Indian Tantric Buddhist teacher who originated the Path Together with the Result teachings based on the Hevajra Tantra. [See Image].

Blessing (Tib.: jin lap): as a technical term - a supplementary initiation into a specific deity yoga based on having already received a major empowerment. For example - Vajrayogini initiation is a 'Blessing' based on the Chakrasamvara or Hevajra empowerments. An individual must receive the empowerment first before receiving the 'Blessing' initiation.

Bodhisattva: (Tib.: jang chub sem pa): idealized beings in the appearance of youthful heavenly gods, generally male and richly attired in silks and jewels. They represent the principal students of the Buddha according to the Mahayana literature (sutras) of Northern Buddhism. [Full definition].

Brahmarupa: (see Chaturmukha Mahakala). [See Image].

Bulug: the sub-school maintaining the tradition of Buton Rinchen Drub, more commonly known as the Shalupa (no longer extant as a separate school).

Chakrasamvara (Tib.: kor lo dom pa): the principal meditation deity of the Chakrasamvara cycle of tantras. Numerous lineages of practice are found in Sakya, the foremost being the traditions of Luipa, Krishnacharya and Ghantapada (lu nag dril sum). [See Image].

Chakrasamvara Tantras (Tib.: kor lo dom pa gyu): the name of a group of related texts forming the principal anuttarayoga tantra class for the Wisdom (mother) classification. The Sakya Tradition maintains three principal lineages of Chakrasamvara (Luipa, Nagpopa, Ghantapa) and many minor traditions. There are over fifty lineages of Chakrasamvara practice in Tibet. [See Image].

Chag Me Nam Shi: (see The Four not to Leave the Walls of Sakya).

Chaturmukha (Tib.: shal shi pa. English: Four Faced One): the form of Mahakala related to the Guhyasamaja Tantra and a principal protector of the Sakya School. He is usually shown in the form known as Brahmarupa (Tib.: dram ze) Mahakala. [See Image].

Dagchen Rinpoche (the Great One, Precious One): a title used in reference to the Sakya Trizin or any high ranking Khon Lama - currently used for Jigdral Rinpoche of the Phuntsok Podrang. [See Image].

Dagmema: [See Images].

Dagtri Rinpoche (the Great One of the Throne): an alternate title for the Sakya Trizin.

Dege Gonchen: A Ngor monastery in Kham, Eastern Tibet, founded by Tang Tong Gyalpo, famous for having a large printing works. [See Image].

Deity Yoga (Tibetan: lhai nal jor): the special meditation practice of Vajrayana comprising the two yoga stages of Generation and Perfection.

Dharmapala: (religious protectors) - there are two types; worldly (lokapala) and beyond worldly (jnanapala). Only the second category of the Beyond Worldly can be relied upon as they are enlightened Buddhas. [Outline page and images].

Dom Sum Rab Ye: The Elucidation of the three Vows by Sakya Pandita. [Bibliographic Reference].

Drolma Podrang: (Tara, or Liberation Palace) - a physical residence and the name of one of the two remaining branches of the Khon family. The current Sakya Trizin belongs to this palace. [See Palace].

Drub Tab Kun Tu: (the Collection of All Methods of Accomplishment) - a collection of meditation texts considered special in the Sakya School compiled in the 19th century by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Loter Wangpo. [View Contents].

Dung Se: (the regent son) - a Tibetan title used for all male Khon descendents during adolescents and youth. As adults the term is replaced by Gongma Rinpoche, or a given name followed by 'rinpoche.'

Dzongsar Gompa: the Ngorpa monastery of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and the succeeding Dzongsar Khyentse incarnations. Located in Kham province, East Tibet. [See Webpage].

Empowerment (Tib.: wang kur): a formal and often complex initiation into a specific practice of deity yoga, using a mandala, and lasting from 1 to 3 days.

Father Tantra: (Tib.: pa gyu - see Method Tantra). [View images].

The Four Not to Leave the Walls of Sakya: (Tib.: chag me nam shi) - four special 'methods of accomplishment' (see - Sadhana) always to be practiced by lamas and monks of Sakya: lamdu, lamsap, birsrung, naljorma. This classification become popular at the time of Ngorchen. Prior to this there was the set of Four Golden Dharmas: lamdu, lamsap, birsrung, and nampar jompa.

Geshe: (Sanskrit: kalyanamitra, English: virtuous friend - see Lharampa).

Gigu Gompa: a large Ngorpa monastery in the Gaba region of Eastern Tibet. [See website].

Gongkar: an early sub-school of Sakya, now no longer extant. The main Gongkar monastery is still active and located on the Tsangpo river upstream from Lhasa.[Shalu Association Website].

Gongma Rinpoche: (Superior Precious One), a Tibetan title used for all male Khon descendents.

Guhyasamaja (Tib.: sang wa du pa, Eng.: the secret assembly): the principal anuttarayoga tantra of the method (father) classification. Sakya maintains two principal lineages; Akshobhyavajra of Nagarjuna (Phag Lug) and Manjuvajra of Jnanapada (Yeshe Lug).

Guru: the technical term used for a 'teacher' of Tantra in the Vajrayana vehicle. The 'Root Guru' is the individual from whom one has received a major anuttarayoga empowerment containing all four sections. (See - Lama).

Guru Lineage: (Tib.: la ma gyu pa - see Lineage). [Chogyal Pagpa Text].

Guruyoga: (Tib.: la ma'i nal jor). A meditation and devotional practice focussing on the spiritual teacher (guru) in an idealized form. These forms can be based on accepted traditional images or on revelation experiences of previous spiritual teachers. Paintings and sculpture depicting forms of idealized teachers are commonplace in Himalayan art. [Examples].

Gyu De Kun Tu: (the Collection of All Tantras) - a 30 volume set of books for bestowing major empowerments predominantly of the anuttaryoga class compiled in the 19th century by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Loter Wangpo. The last 10 volumes contain basic commentaries on the important tantras. [View Contents].

Gyu de shi: (the Four Tantras), the most important tantra texts of the Sakya School - Hevajra, Chakrasamvara, Guhyasamaja and Vajrabhairava.

Hevajra (Tib.: gye pa dor je): the principal meditation deity of the Hevajra Tantra and the Lamdre cycle of teachings. [See Image].

Hevajra Tantra (Tib.: gye pa dor je gyu): the most important and profound of the non-dual anuttarayoga tantras. [Bibliographic Reference].

Indra Khachod: the meditation deity Vajrayogini/Varahi from the lineage of King Indrabhuti, included in the Marmo Kor Sum of the Thirteen Golden Dharmas. [View image].

Initiation: a term used with reference to the tantras and specific to Vajrayana practice. An initiation is the formalized permission and introduction to the practice of deity yoga. There are three main types; 'empowerment' (Tib.: wang kur), 'blessing' (Tib.: jin lap) and 'permission' (Tib.: je nang).

Jetsun Gongma Nga: (the Five Reverend Superior Ones) - Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, Sonam Tsemo, Dragpa Gyaltsen, Sakya Pandita and Chogyal Pagpa. [See Image].

Jetsunma: (Reverend Mother) - a Tibetan title used in reference to all female Khon descendents.

Jnanapala: (wisdom protectors) - enlightened Buddhas appearing as religious protectors such as Mahakala and Shri Devi. [See outline page].

Jnanatilika Tantra: belonging to the Hevajra cycle of tantras. [Bibliographic Reference].

Jonangpa: an early Buddhist tradition of Tibet closely associated with Sakya. The Gelugpa government of the Fifth Dalai Lama forcibly closed or converted all of the Jonangpa monasteries of Central Tibet save for one that was personally owned by the Khon family of Sakya. Jonangpa establishments continued in far eastern Tibet such as Dzamthang, Golok. [See Jonang Foundation website].

Karpo Nam Sum: (Three White Ones) - designating the three lay people from the set of the Jetsun Gongma Nga: Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, Sonam Tsemo and Dragpa Gyaltsen. The white refers to the lower robe. [Example].

Khamje Shedrup Ling: the name of the academic college of Dzongsar Monastery in East Tibet. [See Webpage].

Khangsar Labrang: one of the four ruling monastic houses of Ngor Ewam Monastery.

Khon: (to quarrel or argue) - the second name of the hereditary family of Sakya known by the three names of Lharig, Khon and Sakya. The word 'khon' arises from the time of an altercation with a raksha daemon. [See Khon Lineage].

Khyabgon Rinpoche: (Lord of Refuge, Precious One), a title used for Khon Lamas and specifically for the Sakya Trizin.

Khor de yer me: (see the Non-differentiation of Samsara and Nirvana).

Krishna Yamari (Tibetan. shin je she nag - see Yamari). [See examples].

Kriya Tantra (Tib.: cha gyu): the first and lowest of the 4 tantra sets. There are three divisions: Tatagata, Vajra and Lotus Family. [See images].

Lama: (Skt.: guru) - a teacher, capable of giving initiations and guiding students along the Vajrayana path. There are three basic catagories, only the first adheres to the strict definition. [1] In Sakya all members of the Khon family are regarded as lamas, along with Abbots and Tulkus. [2] If a Dharma student has shown proficiency in academic study and recieved a degree or completed a course of tantric study, and or completed a series of specific retreats, and possibly a three year retreat - the title of lama may be conferred by a senior Lama of the Sakya School. [3] Commonly in Central Asia and India, any monk, or possibly a nun, practicing the Vajrayana Tradition might be referred to as a lama by the general population. A monk living and providing services in a remote community would also be called a lama. Having the title of 'lama' does not automatically imply the ability to give initiations or even to teach the basics of Buddhism. (In the tradition of the Palpung monastery of the Kagyupa School, specifically under the guidance of Jamgon Kongtrul, the tradition was to bestow the title of lama on any monk who completed a three year retreat program).

Lamdre: (The Path and Result) - the essential teaching of mahasiddha Virupa presenting a model for reaching enlightenment based on the Hevajra Tantra, the supreme teaching of the Sakya School. [Read Overview, View Contents].

Lha Rig: (Heavenly Race) - the first name of the Khon family referring to their descent from the heavens to begin an earthly lineage for the benefit of sentient beings. [See Lineage].

Lhakang Chenmo: the south monastery of Sakya specializing in Sutrayana. Construction was started during the lifetime of Chogyal Pagpa. This structure still stands today and houses one of Tibet's largest religious libraries. [See Image].

Lharampa: a title signifying academic achievement, the highest of four levels, based on certain years of study and proficiency in examinations, bestowed by an established Sakya academic body such as Sakya College in India, Lhakang Chenmo in Sakya, Tibet, or Khamje Shedrup Ling at Dzongsar Monastery East Tibet. Proficiency at any of the four levels is also referred to as a Geshe degree - traditionally a word used by the Kadampa and Gelugpa.

Lineage: the chronological enumeration of teachers belonging to a specific family line, academic, tantric or spiritual practice. [Example: Khon Lineage and various Initiaton and Teaching Lineages].

Lobshe: (the Teaching for Students) - a teaching of the Lamdre in a detailed manner given to a select group of sincere students.

Lokapala: (worldly protectors) - any religious protector deities that have not reached complete enlightenment. [See outline page].

Luding Labrang: one of the four ruling monastic houses of Ngor Ewam Monastery founded by Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo.

Mahakala (Tib.: nag po chen po, Eng.: Great Black One) - a meditation deity of the non-dual anuttarayoga classification from the tradition of the Indian pandita Vararuchi. Mahakala is also a category of wisdom Dharma protector within the Vajrayana path. [See Panjarnata, Chaturmukha, Outline Page].

Mahamudratilika Tantra: belonging to the Hevajra cycle of tantras. [Bibliographic Reference].

Mahasiddha: (Tib. drubtob chenpo): great (maha) accomplished one (siddha), or great [spiritually] accomplished one, also known as Indian Adepts, the principal Indian teachers of Hindu and Buddhist Tantra, or any great religious teacher that is credited with having special attaiments and powers. [Mahasiddha Bibliography].

Maitri Khachod: the meditation deity Vajrayogini from the lineage of mahasiddha Maitripa, included in the Marmo Kor Sum.

Manjushri (Tib. jam pe yang, Eng.: the One with a Melodious Voice): the bodhisattva of wisdom - unofficial patron deity of the Sakya lineage. [See Images, Outline Page and Bibliography].

Marchung Kor Sum: The Three Small Red Ones, Kurukulla-Tara, Tinuma and Red Vasudhara (see the Thirteen Golden Dharmas).

Marmo Kor Sum: The Three Female Red Ones, Naro Kachod, Indra Kachod and Maitri Kachod (see the Thirteen Golden Dharmas). [Examples].

Marpo Kor Sum: The Three Red Ones, Kurukalla, Takkiraja and Ganapati (see the Thirteen Golden Dharmas). [Examples].

Marpo Nam Nyi: (Two Red Ones) - designating the two monastic followers from the set of the Jetsun Gongma Nga; Sakya Pandita and Chogyal Pagpa. The red refers to the monastic robes. [See image].

Method Tantra (Tib.: tab gyu): also known as Father Tantra, one of the three inner divisions of the Anuttarayoga classification of tantra. Examples: foremost is the Guhyasamaja cycle of tantras, Vajrabhairava, Yamari, etc. [Examples].

Mother Tantra: (ma gyu - see Wisdom Tantra). [Examples].

Nairatmya (Tib.: dag me ma): the consort of the deity Hevajra and a teacher of Virupa. She is also a meditation deity found in the Hevajra Tantra. [See Images].

Naro Khachod: the meditation deity Vajrayogini from the lineage of mahasiddha Naropa, included in the Marmo Kor Sum. [See Image].

Ngor: a sub-school of Sakya founded by Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo. The main monastery is Ngor Ewam Choden.

Ngor Ewam: the main monastery of the Ngor School located in Tsang Province, Tibet. A second Ngor Ewam is now established in Manduwala, U.P. India. [See Image: Tibet, India].

Non-differentiation of Samsara and Nirvana: the name of the special presentation on the ultimate view of reality associated with the Lamdre cycle of practice.

Non-dual Tantra (Tib.: la me gyu): one of the divisions of Anuttarayoga tantra. Examples: Hevajra, Kalachakra, Mahakala, etc. [Examples].

Ordination: the three levels of 'vows' are [1] the Shravakayana with lay, noviciate monastic and full monastic ordination. [2] For the Sutra path of Mahayana is the bodhisattva ordination having as a basis the enlightenment thought. [3] For the Vajrayana path are the various sets of 14 root and 8 branch vows.

Pa shu: (pandita hat) - the red hat of a scholar, with long lappets, as worn by Sakya Pandita and others. The Sa shu hat worn by most hign Sakya lamas is identical to the sa shu except the lappets are turned upwards and draped across the crown of the hat. [See example of a pa shu and sa shu.

Panjarnata: (Lord of the Pavilion, Tib.: gur gyi gon po) - the form of Mahakala described in the Hevajra Tantra and a principal protector of the Sakya School. [See Image].

Permission (Tib.: je nang): as a technical word - a minor initiation into the practice of deity yoga based on the blessings of body, speech and mind. Examples: Arapachana Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara, Green Tara, etc.

Phende Labrang: one of the four ruling monastic houses of Ngor Ewam Monastery. [See website].

Phuntsok Podrang: (Marvelous Palace) - a physical residence and the name of one of the two remaining branches of the Khon family. [See website].

Podrang: (palace) a term used to differentiate lines of Khon descendents. Currently there are two Podrangs (palaces) the Drolma and the Puntsok.

Rakta Yamari (Tibetan. shin je she mar. see Yamari). [See examples].

Rinpoche: (precious one) a term of endearment used respectfully for Tibetan religious teachers. It does not have a technical meaning, or imply a ranking, or level of hierarchy amongst lineage teachers.

Sa shu: (Sakya Hat) - sometimes referred to as the Sakya crown. A red pandita hat with the lappets folded upwards and over the crown of the hat. [See example of a pa shu and sa shu].

Sadhana: (Tib.: drup tab) 'method of accomplishment,' a highly structured technical text focussing on Deity Yoga using various meditation and recitation techniques. This is the basic tool for practicing the Two Stages of yoga - Generation and Perfection.

Sakya: (whitish, greyish or earth coloured) - the name of the geographic location, a white patch of earth on the side of Ponpori mountain, where Khon Konchog Gyalpo established a religious centre - later to become the Sakya School and the town of Sakya. [See image].

Sakya Ka bum: (the collection of Sakya words [writings]) - the early collection of the writings of the Jetsun Gongma Nga. Later the writings of Mati Panchen, Ngorchen and Gorampa would also be added.

Sakya Legshe: (Elegant Sayings) - by Sakya Pandita. A collection of wise and elegant sayings directed towards both lay and religious Buddhists.

Sakya Trizin: (the Throne Holder of Sakya), the title of the religious and secular leader of the Sakya School and the Sakya Autonomous Region of Tsang Province in Tibet.

Samputa Tantra: a shared commentary tantra to the Hevajra and Chakrasamvara Tantras.

Separation from the Four Attachments: (Tib.: zhen pa shi drel). A four line teaching spoken by the bodhisattva Manjushri while appearing to a 12 year old Sachen Kunga Nyingpo. It is considered to be a special direct 'Mind Training' teaching of the Sakya School. [View Text].

Shab Drung: (regent) - the title applied to the young designated abbots of all four of the Labrangs of Ngor Ewam monastery.

Shalu: the main monastery of the Shalupa sub-school (no longer extant), principal seat of Buton Rinchen Drub. [See website].

Thartse Labrang: one of the four ruling monastic houses of Ngor Ewam Monastery. [Singapore Webpage].

Thirteen Golden Dharmas (Tib.: ser cho chu sum): there are several sets or enumerations that make up the Thirteen. The deities standard to all sets are the Three Red Ones (Marmo Kor Sum); Vajrayogini of Naropa, Vajrayogini of Indrabhuti and Vajrayogini of Maitripa - all from the Chakrasamvara cycle of Tantras. The Three Great Red Ones (Marpo Kor Sum); Kurukulle of the Hevajra Tantra, Takkiraja of the Guhyasamaja and Maharakta Ganapati associated with the Chakrasamvara. The Three Small Red Ones (Marchung Kor Sum); Kurukulle-Tara, Red Vasudhara and Tinuma. The four standard remaining deities are Black Manjushri, Sabala Garuda from the Kalachakra Tantra, Simhanada Avalokiteshvara from it's own tantra and Red Jambhala from the Chakrasamvara. Alternates are the dakini Simhamukha associated with the Chakrasamvara, Amaravajradevi of the Chakrasamvara and Amitayus from its own Tantra. [Image group].

Three Jewels: (Tib.: kon chog sum), the three objects of refuge in Buddhism: the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Sometimes referred to as the 'Triple Gem' in English.

Three Tantras (Tib.: gyu sum): - the main teaching of the Lamdre system. A presentation of the two stages of the Vajrayana path according to the special model of Virupa's 'Vajra Verses': the Base Tantra, Path Tantra and Result Tantra.

Three Visions (Tib.: nang sum): - the preliminary teaching of the Lamdre. A presentation of the Shravakayana and Sutrayana paths according to the special model of Virupa's 'Vajra Verses': the Impure Vision, Path Vision and Pure Vision.

Three Vows: (Tib.: dom pa sum - see Ordination).

Tubpai Gong Sal: (Illuminating the Sage's Intent) by Sakya Pandita, a presentation of the basic Sutrayana path. [Bibliographic Reference].

Torma: (Skt.: balimta), stylized food offerings usually in the shape of a cone or pyramid, adorned with small and large 'buttons' and of various colours. Often the shape of a torma is deity specific. During certain Vajrayana initiations the torma is used to represent the deity. [See examples].

Tsar: a sub-school of Sakya founded by Tsarchen Losal Gyatso.

Tsembupa: a Tibetan teacher named Nyen Dharma O of the 13th/14th century that had a vision of Vajrayogini in which he recieved the complete generation and perfection stage teachings based on the practice of Avalokiteshvara (mar tri). [See Lineage Painting].

Tsogshe: (the Teaching for Gatherings) - a teaching of the Lamdre designed in a general presentation for a large group of students.

Two Stages (Tib.: rim nyi): the divisions of Detiy Yoga. The two special forms of meditation unique to the Vajrayana path: Generation Stage and Perfection Stage.

Vajrabhairava (Tib.: dor je jig je): a principal meditation deity of the anuttarayoga tantra in the Method (father) classification, from the Yamari cycle of tantras. [See Images].

Vajrakila: (Tibetan: dor je pur ba) - a meditation deity belonging to the mahayoga class of the Nyingma Kama tradition. This practice was given by Padmasambhava to Khon Lui Wangpo Srungwa in the 8th century and it has continued in the Khon family up to the present time. [See specific Sakya image and all Vajrakila images].

Vajrapanjara Tantra (Tib.: dor je gur, Eng.: Vajra Pavilion): an exclusive explanatory tantra to the Hevajra cycle of Tantras. [Bibliographic Reference].

Vajrayogini (Tib.: dor je nal jor ma): a meditation deity of the anuttarayoga tantra Wisdom (mother) classification, the principal consort of Chakrasamvara. The Sakya tradition maintains numerous Vajrayogini lineages the most important of which are the Marmo Kor Sum contained included among the Thirteen Golden Dharmas of Sakya; Naro Kachod, Indra Kachod, and Maitri Kachod. [See See all Vajrayogini images and Outline Page].

Virupa: the Lord of Yoga (Tib.: nal jor wang chug), one of the most outstanding mahasiddhas from the sets of 84 catalogued by Vajrasana, Abhayadatta and others. Living in 8th century India, he is most famous for teachings on the Hevajra Tantra, Vajrayogini and the Rakta Yamari cycles of practice. [See Images].

Wangkur: (see Empowerment).

Wisdom Tantra (Tib.: she rab gyu): also know as the Mother Tantras, one of the three inner divisions of Anuttarayoga Tantra. Examples: foremost is the Chakrasamvara cycle, Mahamaya, Buddhakapala, Chaturpitha, etc. [See Images].

Yamari (Tib.: shin je she): a meditation deity of the anuttarayoga tantra method (father) classification. There are three types; Krishna Yamari, Rakta Yamari and Vajrabhairava. [See examples].

Zenpa Zidrel: [See the Separation from the Four Attachments].

Zimchi Karpo: the first temple established by Khon Konchog Gyalpo at the location of Sakya, 1073.


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Copyright © 1996- Jeff Watt - Web Author