Glossary for Blazing Splendor, the memoirs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche being developed during 2005

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main authors of masters quoted in Rangjung Yeshe books, with brief biographical outlines
biographical sources related to Blazing Splendor, the lineage of the New Treasures of Chokgyur Lingpa, and the lineage masters
Glossary for Blazing Splendor, the memoirs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
lineages, scriptures, deities, sacred places, etc.
Blazing Blog, an ongoing weblog with pictures and articles, reviews and comments


  abra - local type of mouse-hare or prairie dog.
Abum Rinchen Pungpa - Mount Abum; situated eight hours' drive on dirt roads from Sharda in Nangchen. The mountain where Dechen Ling is situated.
  accomplishment - realization; signs of accomplishment include clairvoyant abilities, miraculous powers, and the inner heat of tummo .
Achen - the highly respected prince of Nangchen, whose life was saved as an infant by Samten Gyatso. He was alive into the late 1980s, in spite of having spent many years in prison camps.
Adeu Rinpoche - guru of the Nangchen kings whose monastery, Tsechu, is located next to the former royal palace.
Adzom Drukpa (1842-1924) - Drodul Pawo Dorje; one of the great Dzogchen masters of the early part of the twentieth Century, a terton and a disciple both of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Paltrul Rinpoche.
  all-ground - alaya, a sentient being's basic state of mind; 'expanse of the all-ground' refers to the vastness of basic being.
  amban - Chinese ambassador in Lhasa.
  Amdo - one of the provinces of Kham.
  Amnye - region of East Tibet.
  amrita - nectar of immortality; drink of the gods; tantric rituals often use blessed liquor or fruit juice.
  Angi Tendar - yogi from Nangchen; disciple of the first Tsoknyi.
  Anu or Anu Yoga - second of the three inner tantras corresponding to the eighth of the nine vehicles; emphasizes knowledge (prajna ) rather than means (upaya ) and the completion stage rather than the development stage. The view of Anu Yoga is that liberation is attained through growing accustomed to the insight into the nondual nature of space and wisdom.
  Argong - see Ngaktrin of Argong.
  arhats, sixteen - disciples of the Buddha who vowed to preserve the Dharma until the coming of Maitreya, the future awakened one.
Nubchen Sangye Yeshe  Armor Against Darkness - Munpey Gocha; commentary on Anu Yoga in more than 1,400 pages by Sangye Yeshe of Nub, according to an original tantra known as the Scripture of the Great Assemblage. The Armor has since been published in Delhi, India, as part of Dudjom Rinpoche's monumental publishing effort to preserve the early teachings of the Nyingma school. It is in volume 50-51 of his Nyingma Kahma edition.
Asura or Asura Cave - sacred place where the Lotus-Born master subdued the evil forces of afflicting negative conditions on Nepal through the practice of Vajra Kilaya and manifested the Mahamudra Vidyadhara level. Situated near Pharping in the Kathmandu valley.
  Ati or Ati Yoga - third of the three inner tantras; emphasizes, according to Jamgon Kongtrul the First, the view that liberation is attained through growing accustomed to insight into the nature of primordial enlightenment, free from accepting and rejecting, hope and fear. The more common word for Ati Yoga nowadays is 'Dzogchen,' the Great Perfection.
Atisha - great Indian master who visited Tibet; from him springs the Kadampa and then the Gelugpa lineages.
  Avalokiteshvara - bodhisattva of compassion, often depicted with four arms.
  Banyak Ating - Rai Bahadur Burmiok Athing (1902-1988), chief minister of Sikkim and benefactor of Tulku Urgyen.
  bardo - intermediate state between death and the next rebirth.
  Barom Kagyu lineage - begins with Dharma Wangchuk of Barom, a disciple of Gampopa.
Barwey Dorje/Barway Dorje - master based in Raktrul Monastery in Sharda, Nangchen. Present incarnation (third) is Bardor Tulku Rinpoche, living in the USA. His spiritual biography, Precious Essence, is recently published from KTD in Woodstock, NY.
  basic nature of reality - dharmata; unformed and unconditioned nature of things which can be realized in personal experience.
  basic space - fundamental nature of experience.
Benchen monastery - one of the main Kagyu monasteries in Nangchen; seat of the Sangye Nyenpa incarnations, Chimey tulkus and Tenga Rinpoches. (Click on the color picture to see an old photo of Benchen, from Alexandra David-Neel's collection, 217 kB)
Black Crown ceremony - ritual of 'liberation through seeing' during which the Karmapa wears the crown exclusively worn by the Gyalwang Karmapas.
  Black Vajra Yogini - important female deity.
Bodhgaya - site where Lord Buddha attained complete enlightenment situated in Bihar, India.
  bodhisattva vow - pledge to bring every sentient being to liberation and enlightenment.
Bomta Khenpo - (Polo Khenpo Dorje), disciple of Khenpo Ngakchung.
  Bonpo - religion prevalent in Tibet before the establishment of Buddhism in the 9th Century.
Boudha; Boudhanath - location of the Great Stupa in the Kathmandu Valley.
  Brahma realm - celestial world of the god Brahma within the Realms of Form.
  buddha activity - activity of an enlightened one to influence other beings and guide them to liberation and enlightenment.
Buddha Shakyamuni - the historical Buddha, regarded as the chief teacher of our present age.
  Buddha - enlightened or awakened one who has completely abandoned all obscurations and perfected every good quality. A perfected bodhisattva after attaining true and complete enlightenment is known as a buddha. The Buddha generally referred to is Shakyamuni Buddha, the buddha of this era, who lived in India around the 6th century B.C. There have been innumerable buddhas in past eons who manifested the way to enlightenment. In the current Good Aeon - from the beginning to the end of human beings - there will be one thousand buddhas of which Buddha Shakyamuni is the fourth.
  buddhafield - see pure lands
Buddhaguhya - renowned Indian master who visited Mount Kailash at the time of King Trisong Deutsen and transmitted the Guhyagarbha tantra to the Tibetan translator Jnana Kumara of Nyag.
  buddhahood - state of true and complete enlightenment, endowed with the ability to benefit countless other beings.
  Bumtang Valley - sacred valley in mid-Eastern Bhutan, traditional home to the master Pema Lingpa.
  Calling the Guru from Afar - famous devotional chant written by Jamgon Kongtrul.
  Chakrasamvara - main yidam deity and tantra of the New Schools.
  Chamdo - province south of Nangchen, presently included within the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Chandali, the Mother of Longevity - consort of Buddha Amitayus; in Blazing Splendor a mind treasure of the first Khyentse, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
  chang - Tibetan beer brewed primarily from barley.
Manjushri  Chanting the Names of Manjushri - Manjushri Nama Sangirti Expressed in Songs of Praise. A tantra in six hundred verses belonging to Kriya Yoga known to all Tibetan Buddhists as Jampal Tsenjo. It is text number 424 in the Tsamdrag edition of Collected Nyingma Tantras (Nyingma Gybum). Translated as Chanting the Names of Manjushri, A. Wayman, Shambhala Publications.
  Chetsun Nyingtig - see Heart Essence of Chetsun.
Chetsun Senge Wangchuk Chetsun Senge Wangchuk (11th-12th cent.) - great master of the Nyingma lineage. As a result of his high level of realization, his physical body disappeared in rainbow light at the time of death. See also Heart Essence of Chetsun.
  Chimey Dorje (1884-1948?) - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's father and an adept Cho practitioner.
  chinghu - religious dignity which is one rank below goshir but still higher than a wang. See also tishi .
  Chini Lama - lama of Chinese descent who was the custodian of the Great Stupa of Boudhanath.
  Chogyal Dorje - the first Tsoknyi's guru.
  Chogyal Pakpa (1235-1280) - Sakya master and nephew of Sakya Pandita; ruled Tibet and was preceptor to the Mongolian Kublai Khan.
Chokgyur Lingpa (1829-1870) - important revealer of hidden treasure from Padmasambhava; Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's great-grandfather.
  Chokling of Tsikey - Tsikey Chokling; the incarnations of Chokgyur Lingpa residing at Tsikey monastery. Presently there are two, one in Boudhanath, Nepal and one in Tsikey monastery, Tibet.
  Chokling - short for Chokgyur Lingpa; see also Chokling of Tsikey, Chokling of Neten.
Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche - oldest son of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, and abbot of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery in Boudha, Nepal.
  Chokyong Gongdu - terma revealed by Chokgyur Lingpa related to the protectors of the Dharma.
  Cho - The practice of cutting through attachment to body and ego. See also Machik's Complete Explanation: Clarifying the Meaning of Chod by Sarah Harding, Snow Lion Publications.
Chowang Tulku - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's immediate former life.
  chuba - traditional Tibetan dress used by lay people for both men and women, but with different style and folds.
  cognitive obscuration - most subtle veil that covers our buddha nature; consists of holding notions of subject, object and interaction. See also emotional obscuration.
  collapse of delusion - disappearance of erroneous ideas and concepts; rather than saying that someone "attained realization" the phrase shows realization's the real nature - that something extraneous has vanished, just like when the sun is cleared from clouds.
  Collected Nyingma Tantras - Nyingma Gyubum; Literally the One Hundred Thousand Nyingma Tantras. The website for The Collected Tantras of the Ancients at Virginia University lists around 388 different titles.
  composure - state of meditation or equanimity; often opposed to post-meditation, the state of involvement in daily activities.
Dabzang Rinpoche  Dabzang Rinpoche (?-1992) - Dilyak Dabzang; master at Dilyak monastery in Nangchen and an emanation of Gampopa. The late Dabzang Rinpoche counted Kyungtrul Kargyam as one of his main teachers.
  Dagger of the Sevenfold Profundity - Zabdun Purpa, belongs to the cycle of Kilaya, which is one of the seven sets of revelations among the Sevenfold Profundity, a terma treasure revealed by Chokgyur Lingpa. "Dagger" stands for Kilaya. This practice was also performed at Tsurphu.
  dakini script - code script, symbolic script or writing used by the dakinis.
  dakini - goddess or female tantric deities who protect and serve the tantric doctrine.
Gampopa  Dakpo Kagyu - synonym for the Kagyu lineages, since Gampopa became known as the master from Dakpo.
  Darma Wangchuk - Gampopa's disciple who founded the Barom monastery in northern Lato and who is regarded as the father of the lineage. The Barom ('Ba-rom) Kagyu was founded by Barom Darma Wangchuk. He built Barom monastery, from which the tradition took its name.
Dartsedo - Chinese name:Ta-Chien-Lu/ Kangding; the old border town between Kham and China.
Dechen Ling - hermitage where Chimey Dorje spent half his life.
  Denkhog - district located in the Derge province.
* Depuk Rinpoche - master from south-western Tibet; built a monastery in Solu Khumbhu, Nepal.
  Derge - large independent kingdom in Kham that used to occupy the present-day counties of Jomda, Derge, Palyul, and Sershul.
  development and completion - two main aspects of Vajrayana practice; development stage means positive mental fabrication while completion stage means resting in the unfabricated nature of mind.
  Deypa Tulku - one of Chokgyur Lingpa's four close disciples who spread his teachings in eastern Tibet.
Dezhin Shekpa (1384-1415) - the fifth Karmapa, who performed numerous miracles in China and was given the famous black crown by Emperor Yunglo (Yongle) after converting him to Buddhism.
Dharma protector - nonhumans who vow to protect and guard the teachings of the Buddha and its followers; can be either 'mundane' i.e. virtuous samsaric beings or 'wisdom protectors' who are emanations of buddhas or bodhisattvas.
  Dharmadhatu - realm of phenomena; the suchness in which emptiness and dependent origination are inseparable; nature of mind and phenomena that lies beyond arising, dwelling and ceasing.
  dharmakaya - see kayas.
  Dharmaraja - religious rulers, Dharma kings.
  Dharma - teaching of the Buddha.
Dilgo Khyentse (1910-1991) - one the five immediate re-embodiments of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. Regarded by followers of all four schools as one of the foremost recent masters of Tibetan Buddhism. In the early days of his life, Tulku Urgyen first knew him as Tulku Salgah or Rabsel Dawa.
  Dilyak Drubpon (1908-1963) - accomplished meditator who completed numerous three year retreats at Dilyak monastery; retreat master at Tsurphu.
  Dilyak monastery - Dabzang Rinpoche's monastery in Nangchen, founded by the first Dabzang Rinpoche.
Do Khyentse
Dorje Ziji - one of the names of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (Old Khyentse); means Indestructible Resplendence.
Drag Yerpa - One of five sacred places blessed by Padmasambhava. Situated 30 km north-east of Lhasa, it is famous for caves used for meditation by the Lotus-Born master and his consort Yeshe Tsogyal, as well as by the 10th century scholar Atisha.
  Drakda - birthplace of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche near the Life-Lake of Yeshe Tsogyal (Tsogyal Lhatso), situated at Drakda some 20 km from Samye.
  drasho - rank of government official in Bhutan.
  Drepung - one of the three major Gelukpa monasteries around Lhasa.
  Drigung - major branch of the Kagyu lineage, founded by Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon (1143-1217), a disciple of Phamo Drupa.
  Drimey Dashar - one of Padmasambhava's twenty-five disciples.
  Droma - a sweet root used as a delicacy; sweet potato of Tibet.
  Drong Gompa - the monastery of Lama Tendzin Dorje, Chokyi Nyima's previous life - which is situated several days' journey north of Lhasa on the route to Kham through Nakchukha. Drong means wild yak. Other names includes Drong-ngur, Bong.
  Dronyer - an attendant in charge of receiving guests.
Marpa Chokyi Lodro  Drowo - Valley of Birches, residence of Marpa the Translator, presently in Lhodrak county in southern Tibet. Read more.
  drubchen - "great accomplishment practice"; an elaborate tantric practice undertaken by a group of people which goes on uninterruptedly for seven days.
  drubdra - the "practice center" where the traditional three-year retreat takes place.
Druk Sang-Ngak Choling - The seat of the Drukchen Jamgon. Literally, the "Dharma Garden of Secret Mantrayana" at Jar in southern Tibet was built by the fourth Drukchen, Pema Karpo (1527-1592) who transferred the seat of the Drukpa Order to this place.
Drukchen - respectfully referred to as the Drukchen Jamgon. His monastery's name is Druk Sang-Ngak Choling. The Drukchen incarnation in residence at Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche early childhood was Mipham Chokyi Wangpo (1884-1930) whose principal guru was the great siddha, Drubwang Shakya Shri.
  Drukpa Kagyu - The Kagyu teachings transmitted from Gampopa through Phamo Drubpa to Lingje Repa.
Drukpa Yongdzin Rinpoche - a prominent Drukpa Kagyu master of Central Tibet.
Dudjom Rinpoche (1904-1987) - incarnation of the great treasure revealer Dudjom Lingpa. He was the supreme head of the Nyingma lineage after exile from Tibet and is regarded as one of the most prominent scholars of our time.
  Dudul - Samten Gyatso's attendant and Tulku Urgyen's childhood friend.
  dur - ritual performed after someone's death to disengage certain spirits from the vital energy of the deceased which otherwise can slow down or create obstacles to liberation in the bardo.
  duruka - negative influences mentioned in old prophecies as three kinds: invading armies, infectious diseases, and material substances.
Dusolma - protector; a female guardian protector of the Buddhist teachings.
Dusum Khyenpa (1110-1193) - first Karmapa and disciple of Gampopa.
  Dzigar Kongtrul - one of the main an incarnations of Jamgon Kongtrul the first. His present tulku is the youngest son of Neten Chokling.
Garab Dorje  Dzogchen - Also known as Great Perfection and Ati Yoga. The highest teachings of the Nyingma School of the Early Translations. The early lineage masters include Garab Dorje, Manjushrimitra, Shri Singha, Jnanasutra, Vimalamitra, Padmasambhava and Vairotsana. Numerous Dzogchen teachings were concealed as termas treasures by these masters and revealed through the following centuries. These teachings are embodied in the oral instructions one receives personally from a qualified master.
Dzongsar Khyentse (1893-1959) - Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro of Dzongsar monastery; one of the five immediate reincarnations of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. He upheld the Rimey (nonsectarian) tradition, and was one of the two main root gurus of Dilgo Khyentse.
Dzongsar monastery - the seat of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo in Derge county, home of the famous Buddhist college and subsequently the seat of the successor, Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro.
  Dzongsho - also Sugata Assemblage of Dzongsho, the sacred place of hidden qualities where Chokgyur Lingpa revealed implements belonging to the master Padmasambhava, the abbot Shantarakshita and the king Trisong Deutsen. The great terton also revealed a guidebook explaining the lay-out and benefits of practicing there.
  earth terma - A revelation based on physical substance, often in the form of dakini script, a vajra, a statue, etc. See also 'mind terma.'
  egolessness - the fact that the seemingly real identity in a person or phenomenon cannot be found to be of a permanent, partless and independent nature.
  eight classes of spirits - the sutras mention: devas, nagas, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, and mahoragas. All of them were able to receive and practice the teachings of the Buddha. These eight classes can also refer to various types of mundane spirits who can cause either help or harm, but remain invisible to normal human beings: ging, mara, tsen, yaksha, raksha, mamo, rahula, and naga. On a subtle level, they are regarded as the impure manifestation of the eight types of consciousness.
  eight herukas - eight wrathful manifestations of the eight main bodhisattvas. They symbolize the transformation of the eight consciousnesses.
  Eight Sadhana Teachings - Eight Commands; eight chief yidam deities of Mahayoga and their corresponding tantras and sadhanas: Manjushri Body, Lotus Speech, Vishuddha Mind, Nectar Quality, Kilaya Activity, Liberating Sorcery of Mother Deities, Maledictory Fierce Mantra, and Mundane Worship.
  Eighteen Mahayoga Tantras - eighteen important scriptures translated into Tibetan during the time of the king Trisong Deutsen.
  emanation basis - the enlightened being in a buddhafield who emanates or 'incarnates' into the world.
  emanation - a magical creation or divinely manifested rebirth of a buddha or past enlightened master.
Embodiment of Realization - (Tukdrub Gongpa Kundu) A terma treasure revealed by Chokgyur Lingpa that combines all levels of guru sadhana.
  empowerment for the play of awareness - The empowerment for practicing Dzogchen or Mahamudra. Sometimes it also refers to a stage of realization achieved through Dzogchen practice.
  empowerment - The conferring of power or authorization to practice the Vajrayana teachings, the indispensable entrance door to tantric practice. Empowerment gives control over one's innate vajra body, vajra speech and vajra mind and the authority to regard forms as deity, sounds as mantra and thoughts as wisdom.
  emptiness - The fact that phenomena and the ego are empty of, or lack, independent true existence.
  entrustment - for instance to the life force of Tseringma; a short empowerment ritual, usually for receiving the blessings of the body, speech and mind of the deity.
  eruption test - a local spirit may challenge the yogi's stability in meditation by creating magical apparitions of varying degrees of intensity.
  Essence Manual of Oral Instruction - (Sheldam Nyingjang Yishin Norbu) the first volume of Chokgyur Lingpa's New Treasures and the major scripture in the Tukdrub Barchey Kunsel cycle. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche regarded this important text as being a tantra in itself.
  essence, nature, and capacity - The three aspects buddha nature according to the Dzogchen system. Essence is the primordially pure wisdom of emptiness. The nature is the spontaneously present wisdom of cognizance. The capacity is the all-pervasive wisdom of indivisibility. This is, ultimately, the identity of the Three Roots, the Three Jewels and the three kayas.
  evil influence - the influence of mischievous spirits that can cause misfortune and/or disease.
  exhaustion of concepts and phenomena - the fourth of four levels of realization in Dzogchen practice. To quote Tsele Natsok Rangdrol: "the body, experiences, sense faculties and all thought forms become exhausted, so there is no way one can avoid attaining enlightenment and dissolving into the space of dharmata beyond thought and description."
  five sciences - language; dialectics; science of medicine; science of arts and crafts; religious philosophy.
Fortress Peak - Dzong-Go Ling, the lofty hermitage of Samten Gyatso and Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche administrated by Lachab monastery, which lies one day's horse ride away. In recent years it has been rebuilt by the incarnation of Samten Gyatso.
  Four Branches of Heart Essence, the - (Nyingtig Yabzhi), one of the most famous collections of Dzogchen scriptures, in which Longchenpa combined the streams of teachings from Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra together with his own mind treasures.
  four levels of Dzogchen and Mahamudra - four visions in Dzogchen practice: dharmata in actuality, increase in experience, culmination of awareness and exhaustion of phenomena. Four stages in Mahamudra practice: one-pointedness, simplicity, one taste, and nonmeditation.
  four mind-changings - The reflections of the four mind-changings cover the topics of precious human body, impermanence, karma and samsaric suffering. These contemplations are like loosening up the hard soil and preparing a field to be fertile and ready to grow the seeds of enlightenment.
  four modes and six limits - The indispensable keys for unlocking the meaning of the tantras. The four modes are the literal, general, hidden, and the ultimate. The six limits are the views of the expedient and definitive meaning, the implied and the not implied, the literal and the not literal.
  Four-Armed Mahakala - guardian protector of the teachings.
Ga Lotsawa - great siddha and translator who visited India; also known as Palchen Galo ['Galo' is an abbreviation of Ga Lotsawa, or "the translator of the Ga clan"]. He stayed at Nalanda monastery and meditated in the Cool Grove Charnel Ground, where he had a vision of a wisdom-protector and received predictions. [tur]
  Galo - see Ga Lotsawa.
  Gampo or Dakla Gampo - the mountain where Gampopa lived, in the southeastern part of Central Tibet.
Gampopa (1079-1153) - forefather of all the Kagyu lineages; foremost disciple of Milarepa who possessed both supreme realization and great scholarship. He was the author of The Jewel Ornament of Liberation. More details can be found in The Life of Milarepa and The Rain of Wisdom, Shambhala Publications.
  Ganapati - a monkey-faced guardian of the Buddha's teachings.
  Ganden - major Gelukpa monastery near Lhasa, founded in 1409 by Tsongkhapa.[map]
  Gangtok - capital of the former (up to 1975) independent kingdom Sikkim, situated between Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, and India.
  Gar Drubchen - A Tibetan accomplished master of the Drigung Kagyu school who was an emanation of Nagarjuna and also Phamo Drupa (1110-70), one of the three foremost disciples of Gampopa.
Garab Dorje - Prahevajra; incarnation of a god who earlier had been empowered by the buddhas. Immaculately conceived, his mother was a nun, the daughter of King Dhahena Talo of Uddiyana. Garab Dorje received all the tantras, scriptures and oral instructions of Dzogchen from Vajrasattva and Vajrapani in person and became the first human master in the Dzogchen lineage. Having reached the state of complete enlightenment through the effortless Great Perfection, Garab Dorje 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.'
garuda - The mythological bird, able to travel from one end of the universe to the other with a single movement of its wings. It is also known to hatch from the egg fully developed and ready to soar through the sky.
Dzongsar Monastery  Gathering Palace of Sugatas - (Deshek Dupey Podrang). The hermitage of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo above Dzongsar monastery. Sugata is a synonym for a buddha.
Gebchak - gompa, monastery. Retreat center and nunnery founded by Tsang-Yang Gyatso, half a day's horse ride from Fortress Peak or Lachab.
  Gelug - The Tibetan school of Buddhism founded by Tsongkhapa as a reformation of the tradition of Atisha Dipamkara.
  genyen - the twenty-one genyen, guardian spirits of the Dharma who, when Padmasambhava was in Tibet, were bound under oath to protect the Buddha's teachings.
  Geshe Chayulwa (1075-1138) - a master in the old Kadam tradition who was also one of the teachers of Gampopa, the great Kagyu master.
  geshe - a learned Buddhist scholar or teacher.
Glorious Copper-Colored Mountain - the terrestrial pure land of Padmasambhava.
  Golden Garland Chronicles, the - the extensive biography of the Lotus-Born master, Padmasambhava; a terma revealed by Sangye Lingpa (1340-1396).
  Golok - large province in northeastern Kham.
Gomde, the Land of Meditators - a name for Nangchen.
  gomdra - meditation retreat, often for groups staying three years in seclusion, where the practice is focused on Dzogchen or Mahamudra. Compare with drubdra.
  Gompa - a monastery or temple hall connected to a hermitage.
  gonchung - a shrine room, often small for the Dharma protectors.
  Gongdu - Assemblage of Realization, or 'gathering all the intentions into one'; a name used for certain revealed treasures, for instance Yidam Gongdu.
  gonla - the lama in charge of the chants for the protectors.
  goshir - religious rank, see tishi.
  Great Mother of Transcendent Knowledge, the - the twelve thick volumes of the Prajnaparamita scriptures, one of the most famous sutras in Mahayana.
Buddha-Samantabhadra Great Perfection - Dzogchen; the third of the three inner tantras of the Nyingma School. The Great Perfection is the ultimate of all the 84,000 profound and extensive sections of the Dharma, the realization of Buddha Samantabhadra, exactly as it is. Synonym for 'Dzogchen' or 'Ati Yoga.'
  Great Scroll Depicting the Hundred Wondrous Deeds - the famous Tsurphu Scroll an early Ming dynasty silk-backed painting with Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian, Uighur and Arabic inscriptions. It depicts the miracles performed by the Fifth Karmapa Dezhin Shekpa during his 22-day visit to the Yunglo (Yongle) emperor in Nanjing in 1407. The emperor also offered the Karmapa the famous Black Hat, which he had seen in a vision during a religious ceremony.
Great Stupa of Boudha - The Jarung Khashor Stupa at Boudhanath, Nepal, situated in the Kathmandu Valley. For details, see Keith Dowman, The Legend of the Great Stupa.
  Guhyagarbha - the Tantra on the Essence of Secrets, which is the most vital of all the tantras in the Old School (Nyingma) of Tibetan Buddhism.
  gungtreng - the Chinese name for communists.
Guru Chowang (1212-1270) - one of the five terton kings and former life of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. For details, see Dudjom Rinpoche's The Nyingma Lineage, its History and Fundamentals, pages 760-70.
  Guru Mahasukha - Great Bliss Master, a peaceful form of Padmasambhava, usually depicted as wearing the pandita hat and with hands in equanimity.
  guru yoga - the final and most important part of the preliminary practices. The practice of supplicating for blessings and mingling the mind of an enlightened master with one's own mind.
  gyaling - a reed instrument close to the Persian shanai and one of the principal ritual instruments in Tibetan Buddhism.
  Gyalpo Pehar - a powerful spirit and guardian of the Dharma; the Dharma protector of Samye.
Gyalwa Cho-Yang - one of Padmasambhava's twenty-five disciples.
  Gyalwang - King of All the Buddhas, a special title for certain lamas such as the Karmapa or the Drukchen.
  Hayagriva - Tantric deity shown with a horse's head within his flaming hair; wrathful aspect of Buddha Amitabha. Identical with Padma Heruka, Lotus Speech, among the Eight Sadhana Teachings .
  hearing lineage - given from the master's voice to the disciple's ears, and only to one person at a time, rather than being a printed text.
  Heart Essence of Chetsun - (Chetsun Nyingtig), one of the most important Dzogchen instructions of recent times, revealed by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
Buddha-Samantabhadra  Heart Essence of Samantabhadra - (Kunzang Tuktig), one of the most important Dzogchen instructions of recent times, revealed by Chokgyur Lingpa.
Vimalamitra  Heart Essence of the Great Perfection - (Dzogchen Nyingtig ), teachings of Dzogchen brought to Tibet by Vimalamitra and Padmasambhava as for instance arranged by Longchenpa in the Four Branches of Heart Essence, the Nyingtig Yabzhi.
  Heru Gompa - a monastery in Nangchen near Tana south of Lachab; the seat of Kyungtrul Kargyam.
  heruka - a wrathful deity, for instance Hayagriva or Vajra Kilaya.
  Hinayana; Mahayana; Vajrayana - the three levels of the Buddha's teachings.
  Hinayana - The vehicles focused on contemplation of the four noble truths and the twelve links of dependent origination, the practice of which brings liberation from cyclic existence, samsara.
  hundred peaceful and wrathful deities - The 42 peaceful and 58 wrathful deities. The are often related to the after-death experience of the bardo state. The details are found in the Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo .
  hungry ghost - One of the six classes of sentient beings, tormented by their own impure karmic perception, which causes them to suffer tremendously from craving, hunger and thirst.
  Inexhaustible Garland of Lightning - a petition chant to the guardians of the Dharma, especially those who protect the Dzogchen teachings.
  inner heat, blissful - see tummo yoga
  Jambhala, Black - a particular manifestation of Jambhala, the god of wealth.
  Jamdrak - Dru Jamyang Drakpa. A close disciple of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and a very learned master. one of the destined disciples predicted in the root text Lamrim Yeshe Nyingpo. We have a delightful story of him in Blazing Splendor on pages 219-225 with a short excerpt. Tricycle Magazine also featured him in the article "Modest Master", August, 2005, p 46.
Jamgon Kongtrul - Lodro Thaye (1813-1899); prophesized by the Buddha Shakyamuni in the King of Samadhi Sutra and by Padmasambhava in many of his termas. He studied and mastered all the Buddha's teachings. His primary teachers were the Fourteenth Karmapa, Situ Pema Nyinje Wangpo and the Great Khyentse. He became the teacher of the fifteenth Karmapa, Khakyab Dorje. He is renowned as an accomplished master, scholar, writer, poet, and artist, and authored and compiled more than 100 volumes of scriptures. Among these, the best known is the Five Treasuries. In Splendor he is referred to as Old Kongtrul or simply Kongtrul.
  Jamgon: loving protector - a title used for the greatest masters, for instance the first Kongtrul or the Drukchen.
  Jampal Tsultrim - one of the fifteenth Karmapa's chief disciples.
Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820-92) - the first Khyentse; great master of the last century. He was the last of the Five Great Tertons and was regarded as the combined reincarnation of Vimalamitra and King Trisong Deutsen. 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.' In this book he is referred to as Old Khyentse or simply Khyentse.
  Jangchub Shonnu - Lumey Dorje's nephew and successor; early master in the Barom Kagyu lineage.
  Jatson Nyingpo (1585-1656) - revealer of terma, especially known for the Konchok Chidu teachings.
3rd Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje  Jewel Garland, the - a long collection of Cho songs composed by the third Karmapa and codified by Karma Chagmey.
Jigmey Lingpa (1729-1798) - reincarnation of Longchenpa, revealed the famous Nyingtig cycle, the Innermost Essence. Among his immediate reincarnations are counted Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Paltrul Rinpoche and Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje.
Jokhang - the famous temple and most important pilgrimage site in Lhasa, houses the Jowo statue of Buddha Shakyamuni.
  Jokyab - the gifted khenpo sent to receive teachings on Lamrim Yeshe Nyingpo from Jamdrak Rinpoche; one of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's teachers.
Kalachakra mandala in the Potala palace  Jordruk - One of the Eight Practice Lineages. Literally it means "Six Unions" and is according to the system of Kalachakra.
Jowo - the Jowo Rinpoche or Jowo Shakyamuni in the Jokhang, the main temple of Lhasa originally called Rasa Trulnang Temple. This statue is said to have been made while Buddha Shakyamuni was still alive and personally blessed by him.
  Kadampa - a follower of the Kadam lineage.
  Kadam - tradition; one of the eight chariots of the practice lineages, brought to Tibet by Atisha Dipamkara in the eleventh century.
  Kagyu - The lineage of teachings brought to Tibet by Lord Marpa, received from the dharmakaya buddha Vajradhara by the Indian siddha Tilopa, Saraha, and others. Transmitted by Naropa and Maitripa to the Tibetan translator Marpa, the lineage was passed on to Milarepa, Gampopa, Karmapa and others. The main emphasis is on the path of means which is the Six doctrines of Naropa, and the path of liberation which is the Mahamudra instructions of Maitripa.
  Kahma - the "long lineage" of the Nyingma school, the canonical scriptures, which has been transmitted in an uninterrupted way from master to disciple since Padmasambhava and before.
  Kailash - the sacred mountain in west Tibet.
Kalachakra - 'Wheel of Time.' A tantra and a Vajrayana system taught by Buddha Shakyamuni himself, showing the interrelationship between the phenomenal world, the physical body and the mind.
  Kalimpong - city near Darjeeling in northern India, the old trading post between Calcutta and Lhasa.
  Kalpa - Chowang Tulku's attendant.
  Kangsar Khenpo - a Sakya teacher from the Ngor monastery.
  Kangsar - see Mount Kangsar; Samten Kangsar.
Kangyur - the translated words of the Buddha; the 103 or 104 volumes of the Tibetan canonical scriptures that contain the direct words of Buddha Shakyamuni.
Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling monastery - founded by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche at the great stupa of Boudhanath in Nepal; abbot and vajra master are Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and Chokling Rinpoche.
  Kargah - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's nickname.
  Karma Chagmey (1613-1678) - great saint and terton, belonging to both the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions. His monastery was Neydo (Nemdho) Tashi Choling in Chamdo. Known for his Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen .
Karma Gon - The monastic seat of the Karmapa incarnations in Kham, situated in Lhato, on the road between Surmang and Chamdo, south of Nangchen. Seat of the first incarnations of Situ Rinpoche.
  Karma Gyaltsen - Kyungtrul Kargyam's main name.
  Karma Lingpa - 14th cent. Terton mostly known for revealing the text now famous as The Tibetan Book of the Dead or more correctly The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo.
Karma Pakshi (1204-1283) - second Karmapa and therefore the first Karmapa tulku.
Karmapa - the Karmapa incarnation line. Chokgyur Lingpa predicted the names of the first twenty-five. The present is the seventeenth.
  Karmey Khenpo - Karmey Khenpo's full name was Karmey Khenpo Rinchen Dargye. My teacher, Samten Gyatso, described Karmey Khenpo as "the great terton's disciple, who was a reincarnation of Khenpo Bodhisattva and repeatedly certified by the great masters Khyentse, Kongtrul, and Chokling, and an outstanding master in his own right." [tur]
  Karmey Khentrul - the reincarnation of Karmey Khenpo, the cousin of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.
  Karpo Sabchu - yogi and attendant of Chokgyur Lingpa.
  Karsa Yuri - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's mother.
Karsey Kongtrul (1904-1953) - alias Jamgon Palden Khyentse Özer, the immediate reincarnation of Old Kongtrul, reborn as the son of the 15th Karmapa. One of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's root gurus.
  Kathmandu - the capital of Nepal.
  Katok monastery - one of the four main monasteries of the Nyingma tradition in Kham. Situated south of Derge, near Palyul.
  Katok Situ (1880-1925) - Chokyi Gyatso; a great scholar from Katok monastery. One of the teachers of Uncle Tersey.
  kayas - the three kayas: dharmakaya, sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya. Dharmakaya is the 'body' of enlightened qualities, which is devoid of constructs, like space. Can be either an aspect of the yogi's experience or of final enlightenment. Sambhogakaya is the sublime form of as buddha in the buddhafields endowed with the 'major and minor marks'. Nirmanakaya is the incarnations to influence and benefit sentient beings.
Kechu River - one of the rivers between Nangchen and Derge; it joins the Tsichu River in front of the Tsikey monastery.
Khakyab Dorje (1871-1922) - fifteenth Karmapa; disciple of the old Kongtrul and teacher of Karsey Kongtrul.
Khala Rong-go - the place where Chokgyur Lingpa revealed the terma treasure Tukdrub Barchey Kunsel. Situated in Nangchen on the road between Jekundu and Sharda.
  Kham - independent kingdoms east of Chamdo, including Nangchen, Derge Amdo and Golok; presently occupies parts of the TAR (Tibetan Autonomous Region), Yunnan, Qinghai and Sichuan provinces. It is known as eastern Tibet among non-Tibetans.
  Khampa Gomchen - an eccentric meditator and doctor who passed away in Nepal in the '80s.
  Khampa - a person from one of the regions in Kham.
  Khamtrul Tenpey Nyima (right) (1849-1907) - one of the main masters of the Drukpa Kagyu lineages. His present incarnation resides in Tashi Jong, Himachal Pradesh, India.
Khandro Chenmo - the Great Dakini of Tsurphu; consort of the fifteenth Karmapa. Her reincarnation, Khandro Rinpoche, lives in Himachal Pradesh, India, but teaches around the world.
  Kharsha Rinpoche - a master from Kharsha (Lahoul) in northern India.
  khenchen - great scholar/khenpo; a title only given to teachers of the highest degree of learning.
  Khenpa Valley - a small hidden place in Bhutan.
Khenpo Bodhisattva - Usually known under the name Shantarakshita. The Indian pandita and abbot of Vikramashila in India and of Samye who ordained the first Tibetan monks.
  Khenpo Lekshey - teacher at Tsurphu between the fifteenth and sixteenth Karmapas.
Khenpo Ngakchung (1879-1941) - scholar-teacher at Katok monastic college and a very important reviver of the scholastic lineage of expounding the Dzogchen scriptures. Considered to be incarnation of both Vimalamitra and Longchenpa. Chatral Sangye Dorje is one of his last living disciples. Khenpo Ngakchung got his name because there was an older khenpo with the name Ngawang, so he became the "Younger Khenpo Ngawang." One of his works is available in English with a short biography in the introduction: Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang, A Guide to the Words of My Perfect Teacher (Shambhala Publications, 2004).
  khenpo - a learned teacher in a monastery or the one who gives precepts of monastic ordination.
  Khenpo - see Bomta Khenpo; Kangsar Khenpo; Karmey Khenpo; Khenpo Bodhisattva.
  Khentrul - "Khenpo's reincarnation" here in this book refers to Karmey Khentrul, the tulku of Karmey Khenpo.
Khunu Rinpoche (1885-1977) - Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen; lama from India who travelled all over Tibet and Kham and became a teacher of the Dalai Lama. For more details, see his book on bodhichitta in English: Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea. He also met Jamdrak and received the Light of Wisdom.
  Khunu - a province in the northern part of Himachal Pradesh, India.
Khyentse of Palpung - reincarnation of Old Khyentse residing at Palpung monastery.
  Khyentse - see Dilgo Khyentse; Dzongsar Khyentse; Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo; Khyentse of Palpung.
  kilaya dagger - same as kilaya.
  kilaya - dagger used in tantric rituals, often the blade has three sides.
  Kilaya - deity usually known as Vajra Kilaya or Vajra Kumara; wrathful form of Vajrasattva.
King Jah - Indian king who received the eighteen Mahayoga tantras on the roof of his palace approximately one hundred years after Buddha Shakyamuni's passing. The lineage of these teachings continues to the present day.
  King Nyatri - first ruler of all of Tibet, took the throne in 247 BC.
King Trisong Deutsen (790-844) - second great Dharma king of Tibet who invited Padmasambhava, Shantarakshita, Vimalamitra, and many other Buddhist teachers to Tibet; built Samye, the great monastery and teaching center modeled after Odantapuri, established Buddhism as the state religion of Tibet, and during his reign the first monks were ordained. He arranged for panditas and lotsawas to translate sacred texts, and he established centers for teaching and practice. Among his later incarnations are Nyang Ral Nyima Özer (1124-1192), Guru Chowang (1212-1270), Jigmey Lingpa (1729-1798), and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820-1892).
  Konchok Gyurmey Tenpey Gyaltsen - second Chokling of Tsikey.
  Konchok Paldron (1858?-1939?) - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's grandmother; daughter of Chokgyur Lingpa. Her name means Precious Lamp of Splendor.
  Kongpo - province near the Indian border, straight east of Lhasa, and southwest of Nangchen.
  Kongtrul - Jamgon Kongtrul; see also Karsey Kongtrul; Dzigar Kongtrul.
  kudung - sacred remains of a master's body, either before or after cremation. Sometimes the entire body was embalmed an enshrined in a stupa, as was the case with Chokgyur Lingpa.
  Kungo Kalsang - son of Chimey Dorje; Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's half brother.
Kunsang Dechen - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's consort; mother of Chokyi Nyima and Chokling Rinpoches.
  Kunzang Dorje - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's youngest brother; supposedly an incarnation of Neten Chokling.
  Kunzang Tuktig - Heart Essence of Samantabhadra; collection of terma teachings revealed by Chokgyur Lingpa focused on the peaceful and wrathful deities as the development stage and on Trekcho and Togal as the completion stage.
  Kutsab Lhakhang - shrine room dedicated to a special statue representing Padmasambhava.
  kutsab - representative, usually refers to a statue of the Lotus-Born master, Padmasambhava.
  Kyasu Terton - treasure revealer of the Kyasu clan; Kyasu being Chokgyur Lingpa's family name. One wall of Kyasu mansion is still visible an hour's walk from Tsechu monastery in Nangchen.
  Kyipuk - retreat encampment of the great master Shakya Shri, near Druk Sang-Ngak Choling, at Jar in southern Tibet.
  Kyirong - southwest of Lhasa, on the old border of Nepal directly north of Kathmandu.
  Kyungpo clan - same family line as Milarepa; rulers of west Tibet in the days of the early king Songtsen Gampo.
  Kyungpo Naljor (1002-1064) - Tibetan master who brought teachings back from India later known as the Shangpa Kagyu and is thus regarded as its founder; disciple of the female siddha Niguma.
  Kyungpo region - presently situated in Tenchen county, south of Nangchen one the road between Chamdo and Lhasa. Kyungpo is the name of a district in Kham and means garuda.
  Kyungtrul Kargyam - Karma Gyaltsen; one of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's teachers and regarded as one of the emanations of Jamgon Kongtrul the first. Kargyam is an abbreviation of Karma Gyaltsen. The king of Nangchen had four gurus; one of them, Kyungtrul's father, resided at Heru Gompa.
Lachab monastery/Gompa - Lachab Jangchub Nordzin Choling; main monastery of Samten Gyatso and Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche in Nangchen.
  lachen - title of grand master, imperial priest.
  Ladakh - area to the far west of Tibet, presently in India, north of Kashmir.
  Lady Degah - Dechen Chodron; Chokgyur Lingpa's consort and Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's great-grandmother. Her name means Dharma Lamp of Great Bliss.
  Lake Manasarovar - famous lake and pilgrimage site near Mount Kailash in west Tibet.
  Lama Latsey - one of Karmey Khenpo's disciples; important holder of the monastic precepts in Kham.
  Lama Putse - learned disciple of the third Chokling of Neten and of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
  Lama Sangdu - terma treasure revealed by Guru Chowang.
  Lamdrey - (Path and Fruit) vital teachings of the Sakya tradition that come from the India master Virupa.
  Lamrim Yeshe Nyingpo - spontaneous song by the ninth-century Indian master Padmasambhava, covering the entire Buddhist path to enlightenment, especially that of Vajrayana. Its commentary is the Light of Wisdom .
  Langdarma (king 841-6) - evil oppressor who almost succeeded in eradicating Buddhism in Tibet; brother of King Ralpachen; assassinated by Palgyi Dorje in 906.
  Lhabsang - one of the two potential successors to the fifth Dalai Lama, the other being Sangye Gyamtso.
  Lhacham Kuchok - Her Ladyship; polite way to address the wife of a dignitary.
  Lhagsam - Chokgyur Lingpa's cook.
  Lhakhang - shrine room.
  Lhasa - capital of Tibet.
  Lhodrak - district south of Lhasa, north of Bhutan.
  Lhundrub Teng - Palace of Spontaneous Perfection in Derge; founded by Tangtong Gyalpo (1361-1485); since then the main temple for the Derge Kings.
  Light of Wisdom - famous set of teachings covering the entire Buddhist path to enlightenment, especially that of Vajrayana. Based on Lamrim Yeshe Nyingpo, a spontaneous song by the ninth-century Indian master Padmasambhava, this scripture is highly revered and played a pivotal role in Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's education and personal practice. He knew the entire root text by heart and referred to it continually in his own teaching throughout his life.
  lineage holder - disciple who receives a teaching and/or empowerment, realizes its intent and is capable of passing it on to others. A lama may hold many lineages of teaching.
  lineage masters - teachers through whom a certain teaching and/or empowerment has been transmitted.
  Lingpa - title usually referring to a revealer of hidden treasures, for instance Sangye Lingpa, Ratna Lingpa, Chokgyur Lingpa.
  Lion-faced Dakini - one of the chief deities for averting obstacles and negative forces.
  Longchen Nyingtig - Heart-Essence of the Vast Expanse; mind treasure of mystical teachings discovered by the great scholar and adept Jigmey Lingpa, transmitted to him by Longchenpa; lineage of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. See Masters of Meditation and Miracles: Lives of the Great Buddhist Masters of India and Tibet, Tulku Thondup, Shambhala Publications 1999.
  Longchenpa (1308-1363) - major lineage master and writer of the Nyingma lineage; an incarnation of Princess Pema Sal, the daughter of King Trisong Deutsen, to whom Guru Rinpoche had entrusted his own lineage of Dzogchen known as Khandro Nyingtig. 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 Nyingtig Yabzhi. A more detailed account of his life and teachings is found in Buddha Mind by Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, Snow Lion, 1989.
  longevity practice - practices for restoring vital energy that has been degenerated and dissipated which causes illness, aging and death to occur.
  Loter Wangpo (1847-1914) - lama from the Ngor monastery in the Tsang province of Central Tibet; one of the principal disciples of both Khyentse and Kongtrul.
  lotsawa - translator of the canonical texts; usually worked with Indian panditas.
  Lotus Essence Tantra - (Pema Nyingpo Gyu), short tantra that gives liberation through hearing or reading.
  Lotus Garuda Fortress - Pema Kyung Dzong, retreat place high up on the mountain above Tsurphu.
Lotus-Born master - English translation of Padmasambhava.
  Lumey Dorje - of the Tsangsar clan; one of the masters in the Barom Kagyu lineage; Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's ancestor.
  Lungtok of Nyoshul (1829-1901/2) - one of Paltrul Rinpoche's disciples; main teacher of Khenpo Ngakchung.
  Lungtok - childhood name of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's second son. The sixteenth Karmapa later recognized him as the fourth Chokling of Tsikey.
Machen Pomra - the mighty Amnye Machen Range, also called Magyal Pomra; sacred mountain said to be the abode of Machen Pomra, powerful protector of the Dharma in Tibet.
* Machik Labdron (1055-1153) - great female master and incarnation of Yeshe Tsogyal who set down the Cho practice of cutting through ego-clinging. Machik Labdron means 'Only Mother Lamp of Dharma.'
  Maha, Anu, and Ati Yoga - short for Mahayoga, Anu Yoga and Ati Yoga; the three inner tantras of the Nyingma school.
  Mahakala - one of the main Dharma protectors; a wrathful form of Avalokiteshvara.
  Mahamudra - literally, 'great seal,' one of the most direct practices for realizing one's buddha nature; system of teachings which is the basic view of Vajrayana practice according to the Sarma or New schools of Kagyu, Gelug, and Sakya - just as Dzogchen is for the Nyingma school.
  Maha - short for Mahayoga; the first of the three inner tantras: Maha, Anu, and Ati Yoga.
  Mahayana - 'greater vehicle;' connotation of 'greater' or 'lesser' refers to scope of aspiration, methods applied and depth of insight. Central to Mahayana practice is the bodhisattva vow to liberate all sentient beings through compassion and insight into emptiness.
  Mahayoga tantras - primarily the eighteen main tantras now contained in the Nyingma Gyubum, chief of which is Guhyagarbha Tantra .
  Mahayoga, Anu Yoga and Ati Yoga - the three inner tantras of the Nyingma school; profound methods for awakening to buddhahood in one lifetime.
  Mahayoga - first of the three inner tantras of the Nyingma school; emphasizes sadhana practice and the view that liberation is attained through growing accustomed to the insight into the indivisibility of the superior two truths - purity and equality. The pure natures of the aggregates, elements and sense factors are the male and female buddhas and bodhisattvas. At the same time, everything that appears and exists is of the equal nature of emptiness.
  Manang - district in northwestern Nepal.
  mandala offering - an offering visualized as the entire universe, as well as the arrangement of offerings in tantric ritual, often placed as a circular, ornate plate. To present a teaching "as a mandala offering" shows the utmost respect for the recipient.
  Mandala - 'center and surrounding;' usually a deity along with its surrounding environment. A mandala is often a symbolic, graphic representation of a tantric deity's realm of existence.
  mani stones - stones carved or engraved with the mani mantra of Avalokiteshvara: OM MANI PADME HUNG. They are often made under commission by a devotee to increase the merit of the living or the dead and placed where other people can benefit from seeing or circumambulating them.
Manjushri - one of eight main bodhisattvas; personification of the perfection of transcendent knowledge.
  Mao Tse-tung - helmsman of Communism in China; seen by many Tibetans as possessed by a demonic force bent on destroying the Dharma and happiness of sentient beings.
  Mara - demon of obstacles; anything that distracts a practitioner from the Dharma and the pursuit of lasting happiness and liberation.
  Maratika - sacred cave where Padmasambhava and Mandarava attained immortality; these days believed to be in southeastern Nepal.
  Margyenma - one of King Trisong Deutsen's queens who made obstacles for Vairotsana, resulting in his exile.
Marpa - great forefather of the Kagyu lineage. See Life of Marpa the Translator.
  means and liberation - refer, in the Kagyu context, to Naropa's Six Doctrines and Mahamudra.
  meditative composure - see composure.
  Melemchi - village in the Helambu region (Yolmo), three days walk north of Kathmandu.
  mendrub - sacred medicine made from herbs and relics and consecrated in a particular ritual known as mendrub drubchen .
  metsa - old-fashion fire kit using flint, steel and dry moss or bark.
Milarepa (1040-1123) - one of the most famous yogis and poets in Tibetan religious history; much of the teachings of the Karma Kagyu schools passed through him. See The Life of Milarepa and The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa. His name means 'Cotton-clad Mila.'
  mind essence - nature of mind. Pointing out the mind essence: the main aim of the 'pointing-out instruction' is to make obvious to the meditator what it is that knows and thinks - not as a theory but a direct experience. See pointing-out instruction.
Manjushrimitra  Mind Section; Space Section; Instruction Section - the Three Sections of the Great Perfection; after Garab Dorje established the six million four hundred thousand tantras of Dzogchen in the human world, his chief disciple, Manjushrimitra, arranged these tantras into three categories: the Mind Section emphasizing luminosity, the Space Section emphasizing emptiness, and the Instruction Section emphasizing their inseparability. They represent the most profound or subtle spiritual literature present in this world.
  mind treasure or terma - revelation directly within the mind of a great master, without the need for a terma of material substance. The teachings revealed in this way were implanted within the 'indestructible sphere' at the time when the master in a former life was one of Padmasambhava's disciples.
Mindrolling - one of the two primary Nyingma monasteries in Central Tibet (founded in 1670, by Terdag Lingpa), the other being Dorje Drag.
  mind-stream - individual continuity of consciousness; like the stream of a river, it is neither permanent nor interrupted.
  Mingyur Chodron - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's sister.
  Mingyur Dorje - the tulku of Yongey Mingyur Dorje; he was a disciple of Chokgyur Lingpa and though being a tulku himself was the terton's servant.
Mipham (1846-1912) - student of Jamgon Kongtrul, 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, the root guru of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
  momo - Chinese style dumplings, filled with meat or cottage cheese.
  Monkey-Faced Ganapati - a protector of the Dharma.
  Mount Dakpo - Dakla Gampo; eight-peaked mountain in the region in Southern Central Tibet.
  Mount Gegyal - presumably in the Gegyal Riwo district southwest of Nangchen, west of Tengchen on the main road from Chamdo to Lhasa.
  Mount Kailash - sacred mountain in west Tibet.
  Mount Kangsar - mountain on the old route between Nangchen and Lhasa.
  Mount Karma - sacred mountain south of Nangchen on the way to Chamdo.
  Mount Sumeru - mythological mountain of giant proportions at the center of our world-system surrounded by the four continents; abode of gods of the Desire Realms. It is encircled by chains of lesser mountains, lakes, continents, and oceans and is said to rise 84,000 leagues above sea-level. Our present world is situated on the southern continent called Jambudvipa.
  mudra - sacred gesture; symbolic hand gesture.
  naga - powerful long-lived serpent-like beings who inhabit bodies of water and often guard great treasure. Nagas belong half to the animal realm and half to the god realm. They generally live in the form of snakes, but many can change into human form.
Nagi Gompa - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's hermitage on the northern slope of the Kathmandu valley.
  name-burning - ritual that guides the dead to a better rebirth; can only be performed by a realized master.
Namkhai Nyingpo - one of the twenty-five close disciples of the Lotus-Born master.
  Nangchen - independent kingdom in eastern Tibet; presently situated in the southern part of the Qinghai province.
  Nangso Chenmo - monastery built by Lumey Dorje of Tsangsar, one of the early Barom Kagyu masters; the ruins are situated on a small hill a half a day's walk south from Tsechu Gompa.
Naropa - siddha of India, chief disciple of Tilopa and guru of Marpa in the Kagyu Lineage. See Rain of Wisdom and The Life of Marpa .
  nature of mind - synonym for mind-essence or buddha nature; should be distinguished from the thinking mind (sem), which refers to ordinary discursive thinking based on ignorance. This nature is the basic space from and within which these thoughts take place.
  Nenang - Pawo Rinpoche's monastery in Central Tibet, 60 km from Lhasa on the way to Tsurphu.
  Nendo - (Neydo) one of the branches within the Karma Kagyu lineage; originates from Karma Chagmey. The main monastery (Nemdho Tashi Choling) is in Chamdo south of Nangchen.
Neten Chokling - see Chokling of Neten.
  Neten monastery - one of the three main 'seats' of Chokgyur Lingpa. When the terton came there, he had a vision of the Sixteen Arhats or the Sixteen Elders. "Neten" means "elders" in Tibetan. It is situated on the border between Nangchen (Qinghai) and Chamdo (Tibet Autonomous Region) near Tsechu Gompa.
  Neuring Senge Dzong - Lion Fortress Meadow, one of the five principal retreat places of Padmasambhava, situated just inside the border of Bhutan north of Lhuntse Dzong.
  New Schools of the Later Translations - see Sarma schools.
  New Treasures - Chokling Tersar; collection of termas in the forty thick volumes revealed by Chokgyur Lingpa together with connected teachings, arrangement texts and commentaries written primarily by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Jamgon Kongtrul, Khakyab Dorje, Tsewang Norbu, Tersey Tulku and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
  neydag - lord of the locality, local spirit.
  Ngabo - high government official in the nineteen fifties' Lhasa.
Ngadrama - likeness; statue or painting that is supposed to look exactly like the person depicted.
Ngakchung, Khenpo (1879-1941) - see Khenpo Ngakchung.
  ngakpa - practitioner of Vajrayana who keeps long hair, a different robe than monks, and can be married.
  Ngaktrin of Argong - second Ngaktrin Tulku; disciple of the twelfth Karmapa, Jangchub Dorje (1703-1733) and the eighth Situ, Chokyi Jungney.
  Ngaktrin - Ngawang Trinley; incarnation line of Samten Gyatso who was the fourth Ngaktrin tulku.
  Ngari - provinces in the western part of Tibet.
  Ngawang Trinley - contemporary of the eleventh Karmapa, Yeshe Dorje (1675-1702); former life of Samten Gyatso; first of the Ngaktrin incarnations who built Lachab monastery.
Ngedon Ösel Ling - one of the monasteries built by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche situated on the hilltop behind Swayambhu in the Kathmandu valley; now the seat of Tsoknyi Rinpoche in Nepal.
  Ngor monastery - Sakya monastery in the Tsang province of Central Tibet.
  nine vehicles - nine gradual vehicles of the Nyingma school: Shravaka, Pratyekabuddha, Bodhisattva, Kriya, Upa, Yoga, Maha, Anu, and Ati. They are meant to be alternative approaches to liberation and enlightenment for people of various types of capacity and inclinations.
  nondual awareness - (especially in the context of the pointing-out instruction to the awakened state) state of consciousness that is totally free from ignorance and clinging to the duality of perceiver and perceived. It is consequently free from selfish emotions and the creation of unvirtuous karma. The recognition of and training in this nondual awareness is the central issue in Dzogchen and Mahamudra.
  nonmeditation - fourth of four levels of Mahamudra. For more details, see Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, Clarifying the Natural State. (Rangjung Yeshe Publications).
  Norbu Lingka Park - summer palace of the Dalai Lamas in the vicinity of Lhasa.
  Nubri - situated in Ganesh Himal, northwestern part of Nepal.
Nyagla Pema Dudul (1816-1872) - master who attained rainbow body.
Nyang-Ral Nyima Özer (1124-1192) - first of five king-like tertons and a reincarnation of King Trisong Deutsen. Several of his revealed treasures are included in the Rinchen Terdzo, among which the most well known is the Kabgye Deshek Dupa, a cycle of teachings focusing on the Eight Commands, and the biography of Guru Rinpoche called Sanglingma, now published as The Lotus-Born. Nyang Ral means 'Braided one from Nyang,' and Nyima Özer means 'Ray of sun light.'
  Nyemo - area southwest of, but close to, Lhasa.
  Nyenchen Tanglha - important protector of the Nyingma teachings, regarded as a bodhisattva on the eighth level; name of mountain range north of Lhasa.
  Nyendrub - Three Vajra Practices of Approach and Accomplishment; one of the eight chariots of the Practice Lineage brought to Tibet by the master Orgyenpa (1230-1309) who had traveled to the terrestrial pure land Uddiyana where he met the female buddha Vajra Varahi.
  nyerpa - steward managing the affairs of a monastic household in both secular and ritual matters.
  Nyingma Kahma - Oral Transmissions of the Old School; 56 volumes in the expanded edition published by Dudjom Rinpoche. The predominant number of scriptures concern the three inner tantras.
  Nyingma school - teachings brought to Tibet and translated mainly during the reign of King Trisong Deutsen and in the subsequent period up to Rinchen Zangpo in the ninth century, chiefly by the great masters Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, Shantarakshita, and Vairotsana. The two main types of transmission are Kahma and Terma. Practices are based on both the outer and inner tantras with emphasis on the practice of the inner tantras of Mahayoga, Anu Yoga and Ati Yoga.
  Nyingtig Yabzhi - see Four Branches of Heart Essence .
  Nyingtig - heart essence; usually refers to the innermost aspect of the Dzogchen teachings, such as the instructions of Vimalamitra or Padmasambhava.
Nyoshul Khen (1932 -1999) - one of the greatest recent khenpos of the Nyingma tradition; renowned for his spontaneous poetry and songs of realization; disciple of Shedrub Tenpey Nyima and one of the holders of the Hearing Lineage of Nyingtig which came through Jigmey Lingpa and Paltrul Rinpoche.
Old Khyentse - in this book, short of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
Old Kongtrul - in this book, short for Jamgon Kongtrul the First.
  om mani peme hung - famous mantra of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.
  One Hundred Cho empowerments - Chowang Gyatsa; collection of one hundred empowerments for the practice of Cho.
  Orgyen Chopel - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's paternal grandfather.
Orgyen Tobgyal - oldest son of the third Neten Chokling. Lives in Bir, Himachal Pradesh in Northern India, where he has rebuilt Neten monastery.
Padmasambhava - the Lotus-Born master who brought Vajrayana to Tibet in the eight century; also referred to as Guru Rinpoche, the precious teacher. For more details on this master's life, see The Lotus-Born.
Padmasattva - chief deity in a mind treasure revealed by Old Khyentse after Chokgyur Lingpa's passing. In a vision, he saw the great terton in his sambhogakaya form and, receiving an empowerment and teachings, wrote them down.
  pakshi - see under tishi.
  Palbar - Tibetan word translated here as Blazing Splendor.
Palpung - large Kagyu monastery near Derge in Kham; seat of the Situ incarnations; founded in 1717 by Situ Chokyi Jungney.
Paltrul Rinpoche (1808-1887) - one of the foremost masters of his time known not only for his scholarship and learning but also for his example of renunciation and compassion. His most famous works include Words of my Perfect Teacher (Kunsang Lamey Shellung) and his commentary on Three Words Striking the Vital Point (Tsiksum Nedek), the quintessence of the Dzogchen teachings.
  Palyul - Namgyal Jangchub Ling, one of the four main Nyingma monasteries in Kham; founded in 1665 by Rigdzin Kunsang Sherab.
  Panchen Lama - incarnation line of the abbots of Tashi Lhunpo monastery, established in the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama; first Panchen Lama was Lobzang Chogyen (1570-1662).
  pandita - learned master, scholar, professor in Buddhist philosophy.
  Paro - famous pilgrimage site in Bhutan, ninety minutes drive from the capital Thimphu.
Pawo Rinpoche (1912-1991) - Tsuklag Nangwa Wangchuk; one of the main masters of the Kagyu lineage in recent times.
  peaceful and wrathful deities - 42 peaceful and 58 wrathful deities representing the basic qualities of buddha nature, the transformation of samsaric traits on the path, and the perfect virtues of complete enlightenment. The practice connected to their mandala is very popular in the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions.
Pema Kyung Dzong - see Lotus Garuda Fortress.
Pema Ösel Do-Ngak Lingpa - Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo's (Old Khyentse) terton title, given by Padmasambhava.
  Pema Trinley - the great terton's servant; told many stories to Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.
  Pemako - region in southern Tibet famous for its hidden land of sacred places; one third is inside Tibet and two-thirds in Arunachal Pradesh of India.
  Penjik - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche older half-brother.
  Phakchok - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's grandson; Tsikey Chokling's oldest son. See also Sey Phakchok.
  PHAT - sacred, tantric syllable used in the practices of phowa, Cho or Trekcho
  phey - an exclamation used in Cho practice; same as PHAT but with different pronunciation.
  phowa - tantric practice of ejection of consciousness through the crown of the head at the time of death to effectuate a rebirth in a buddhafield. This is often accompanied by visible sign of success.
  pith instructions - practical and concise advice on how to carry out a spiritual practice in the most simple and effective way.
  pointing-out instruction - direct introduction to the nature of mind, of paramount importance in Dzogchen and Mahamudra; given by a root guru so that the disciple recognizes the nature of mind.
* Ponlop Rinpoche - incarnation line of masters connected to Dzogchen monastery in Kham. The sixth Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Tubten Jigdral Tsewang Dorje (1925-62), was the brother of the sixteenth Karmapa.
  ponpo - local chieftain, similar to district governor.
Potala - famous palace of the Dalai Lamas and the landmark of Lhasa.
  Prajnaparamita sutras - teachings that describe insight, transcendent knowledge, and other practices of a bodhisattva, as well as a buddha's omniscient state of enlightenment. These sutras exists in varying degree of details, the shortest being the famous Heart Sutra memorized by most monks and nuns and the longest being the Hundred Thousand in twelve large volumes.
  Prajnaparamita - transcendent knowledge; Mahayana teachings on insight into emptiness, transcending the fixation of subject, object and action; associated with the Buddha's second turning of the wheel of Dharma. Since Prajnaparamita eliminates the most subtle obscuration, this insight is often called Mother of All Buddhas.
  preliminary practices of the four times hundred thousand - (four foundations), traditional basis for a Vajrayana practitioner's development: refuge and bodhisattva vow, Vajrasattva recitation, mandala offering and guru yoga, each of which are repeated one hundred thousand times.
* Prince Murub - second son of King Trisong Deutsen; close disciple of Padmasambhava, attained enlightenment and took the vow to come back repeatedly to reveal the hidden treasures of the Lotus-Born master; later incarnated as Chokgyur Lingpa.
  protectors - guardians of the Dharma teachings.
  Puntsok Wangdu - Bhutanese dignitary of the drasho rank; father of one of the incarnations of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
  pure realm or lands - buddhafields; manifested through the aspirations of a bodhisattva in conjunction with the merit of sentient beings. According to the tantras, a buddhafield is an expression of the awakened state. A practitioner can take rebirth in Sukhavati, the pure land of Buddha Amitabha, at the moment of death or during the bardo through a combination of pure faith, sufficient merit, and one-pointed determination.
  Rabjam - see Shechen Rabjam; Longchen Rabjam/ Longchenpa.
Rabsel Dawa - one of the names of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
  rainbow body - at the time of death of a practitioner who has reached the exhaustion of all dualistic clinging through the Dzogchen practice of Togal, the five gross elements which form the physical body, dissolve back into their essences, five-colored light. Sometimes the only remainder is the hair and the nails are left behind. In the chapter on Accomplishment, Rainbow Painting, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche gives a fascinating account of an old nun attaining rainbow body in the shed of a benefactors house. [epk]
  rakta vessel - sacred implement in tantric rituals.
  Ralpachen - great religious ruler and grandson of Trisong Deutsen; also known as the third of the great Dharma kings who established Buddhism in Tibet.
Jowo statue in the Ramoche temple  Ramoche - temple in Lhasa; contains one of the two most famous Buddha statues in all of Tibet.
Ratna Lingpa (1403-1478) - one of the major revealers of treasures whose termas are still practiced today in Nangchen.
  reading transmission - authorization to study a scripture by listening to it being read aloud.
  Realization Directly Revealed - teachings on the Great Perfection entitled Samantabhadra's Realization Directly Revealed (Kuntu Zangpo Gongpa Sangtal du Tenpa) from the great revealer of hidden treasures Rigdzin Godem's tradition of Northern Treasures.
  Reding - (Reting), regent between the thirteenth and fourteenth (present) Dalai Lamas.
  rediscovered treasure - terma that is brought forth after having been revealed in the past, even centuries before.
  refuge - source of protection, place of trust, object of support.
  reliquary box - (gau), amulet box to carry around ones next or place on the shrine; may contain relics from past master.
  Repa Karpo - early master in the Barom Kagyu lineage; Tishi Repa's chief disciple.
  representations of enlightened body, speech and mind - shrine objects; statues, scriptures and stupas.
Rigdzin Godem (1337-1408) - one of the five king-like tertons; great treasure revealer of the tradition of Northern Treasures. Among his termas are the Dzogchen teachings Gongpa Sangtal.
Rigpey Dorje (1924-1981) - sixteenth Karmapa; disciple of the eleventh Situ and Karsey Kongtrul; established numerous monasteries and Dharma centers outside of Tibet and was profoundly instrumental in preserving the Buddha's teachings.
  Rinchen Lingpa (1295-1375) - one of the eleven great revealers of hidden treasures with the name Lingpa.
  Rinchen Namgyal - master-scholar and disciple of Jamgon Kongtrul and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
  Rinchen Terdzo - see Treasury of Precious Termas.
  Rinchen Zangpo (957-1055) - important translator at the time of Atisha; known as the first lotsawa of the New Schools.
  ringsel - pills, tiny white pearls; often found among the ashes of sublime people and great mediators.
  Rinpoche - venerable; respectful way of addressing one's guru, abbot of Buddhist teacher.
  ritual of burnt food - (sur), smoke produced by burning flour mixed with pure food and sacred substances; can nourish bardo spirits and hungry ghosts.
Riwoche monastery - important monastic center for the Taklung branch of the Kagyu lineage, situated to the south of Nangchen a little more than one hundred kilometers from Chamdo.
  rolang - Tibetan-style zombie; walking dead or a re-animated corpse. This unbelievable type of resurrection is believed to be a goblin that occupies a dead body, rather than the deceased spirit coming back to life in his own body.
  root guru - vajra master who confers empowerment, who bestows reading transmission, or who explains the meaning of the tantras. A practitioner of Vajrayana can have several types of root guru. The ultimate root guru is the master who gives the pointing-out instruction so that one recognizes the nature of mind.
  ropani - measurement for land in Nepal; eight ropanis are approximately one acre, sixteen one hectare.
Rumtek - chief seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage established in Sikkim, India, by the sixteenth Karmapa.
  Sabchu Rinpoche - lama from Dilyak monastery in Nangchen.
  Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158) - one of the five forefathers of the Sakya lineage.
  sadhana - means of accomplishment; tantric liturgy and procedure for practice. The typical sadhana structure involves a preliminary part including the taking of refuge and arousing bodhichitta, a main part involving visualization of a buddha and recitation of the mantra, and a concluding part with dedication of merit to all sentient beings.
  Sahor - kingdom in ancient India; believed to be identical with Mandi, Himachal Pradesh.
  Sakya lineage - one of the four major schools of Buddhism in Tibet; began in the eleventh century when Drogmi Lotsawa 993-1050), disciple of the Indian master Virupa, brought his teachings back to Tibet.
  Sakya Pandita (1182-1251) - Kunga Gyaltsen; renowned scholar and Tibetan statesman; staved off a Mongolian invasion (1244) by converting Emperor Godan Khan to Buddhism.
Sakya monastery - one of the main seats of the lineage in Central Tibet.
  samadhi - state of undistracted concentration or meditative state; in the context of Vajrayana can refer to either the development stage or the completion stage. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche often uses it to means stability in the awakened state.
Buddha-Samantabhadra Samantabhadra - primordial buddha who awakened to enlightenment many eons before this world was formed; forefather of the Dzogchen teachings.
  samaya - sacred pledges, precepts or commitments of Vajrayana practice; essentially consist of maintaining harmonious relationship with the vajra master and Dharma siblings and not straying from the continuity of the practice. A samaya violator is someone with severely damaged or broken samaya, comparable to a traitor or demon.
  Samgya - abbreviation of Samten Gyatso.
  Samsara - 'cyclic existence,' 'vicious circle' or 'round' of birth and death and rebirth within the six realms; characterized by suffering, impermanence, and ignorance; the state of ordinary sentient beings fettered by ignorance and dualistic perception, karma and disturbing emotions. It also means ordinary reality, an endless cycle of frustration and suffering generated as the result of karma.
  Samten Gyatso (1880-1944?) - master of the Barom and New Treasures lineages; based at Lachab monastery in Nangchen; Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's uncle & root guru.
  Samten Kangsar - powerful spirit and guardian of the Dharma.
Samye - temple complex and monastery in Central Tibet founded by Padmasambhava, King Trisong Deutsen, and Shantarakshita; center of the early transmission.
  Sangha - community of practitioners usually the fully ordained monks and nuns or the ngakpas, tantric practitioners distinguished by their long braided hair, white skirts, and striped shawls.
  Sang-Ngak - (Uncle Sang-Ngak); the uncle of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.
  Sangwa Yeshe - (Secret Wisdom), enlightened dakini.
  Sangye Gyamtso (1653-1703/5) - regent-king after the fifth Dalai Lama, and one of Chokgyur Lingpa's former lives.
  Sangye Lama (990?-1070) - earliest terton in Tibet.
Sangye Lingpa - reincarnation of the second son of King Trisong Deutsen; major terton and revealer of the Lama Gongdu cycle in 13 volumes.
Sangye Yeshe of Nub - Nubchen Sangye Yeshe; one of the twenty-five disciples of Padmasambhava; chief recipient of the Anu Yoga teachings and visited India and Nepal seven times. When the evil king Langdarma attempted to destroy Buddhism in Tibet, Sangye Yeshe instilled fear in the king by causing an enormous scorpion, the size of nine yaks, to magically appear by a single gesture of his right hand. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche is considered one of his reincarnations.
  Sarma schools - New schools: Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelug as well as Shijey and Cho, Jordruk, Shangpa Kagyu, and Nyendrub (Kalachakra).
  Sarnath - sacred site near Varanasi where Buddha Shakyamuni gave the first teaching on the four noble truths.
  Scripture of the Great Assemblage - (Do Gongdu), fundamental tantra in the Anu Yoga category.
  Secret Essence Kilaya - (Sangtik Purpa), terma revelation of Chokgyur Lingpa.
  Secret Mantra - synonym for Vajrayana.
  self-appeared - images, syllables, etc. The Himalayan region abounds with divine images that supposedly are not made by human hand.
  semtri - guidance in understanding and experiencing the nature of mind; vital part of Mahamudra and Dzogchen.
  Seven Treasuries - seven profound writings by Longchenpa.
  Sevenfold Cycle of Profundity - (Zabpa Kordun), a most extensive set of revelations by Chokgyur Lingpa; contains the sadhana of the Lotus-Dakini, Kilaya, etc.
Sey Phakchok - son of Shakya Shri who continued his teaching and encampment.
Shabdrung Rinpoche - early name for Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (Old Khyentse).
  shabdrung - vajra master in charge of tantric ceremonies, a religious rank two steps below the highest hierarch of the Sakya school.
Shabkar Tsokdrug Rangdrol (1781-1851) - great master-bodhisattva; see Life of Shabkar .
Shakya Shri - Tibetan mahasiddha of the nineteenth century; belonged chiefly to the Drukpa Kagyu lineage.
Shakyamuni - the historical Buddha, regarded as the chief teacher of our present age.
  shamatha and vipashyana - stillness and insight; two basic meditation practices common to most schools of Buddhism.
  Shangpa Kagyu - one of the eight practice lineages; brought to Tibet by Kyungpo Naljor (1002-1064).
Shantarakshita - abbot of Vikramashila who ordained the first Tibetan monks at the invitation of King Trisong Deutsen.
Shantideva (685-763) - one of the eighty-four mahasiddhas of India; composed the famous Bodhisattva Charya Avatara (The Way of the Bodhisattva).
Shechen Kongtrul (1901-1960) - Pema Drimey; one of the incarnations of Jamgon Kongtrul (Old Kongtrul); guru of Chogyam Trungpa.
  Shechen monastery - one of the four main Nyingma monasteries in Kham: Shechen, Dzogchen, Katok, and Palyul.
  Shechen Rabjam (1910-1959?) - one of the main masters at Shechen monastery.
  Shigatse - (Zhigatse), Tibet's second largest town, location of Tashi Lhunpo, seat of the Panchen Lamas.
  Shijey - one of the eight practice lineages; brought to Tibet by Padampa Sangye.
  Shri Singha College - school of higher Buddhist studies at Dzogchen monastery.
Shri Singha - chief disciple and successor of Manjushrimitra in the lineage of the Dzogchen teachings; born in Khotan; his disciples were four outstanding masters: Jnanasutra, Vimalamitra, Padmasambhava and the Tibetan translator Vairochana; the latter three were responsible for bringing the canonical scriptures of Dzogchen to Tibet.
  siddha - perfected one, realized one, adept who has attained realization.
  Side Ornament to the Light of Wisdom - Jokyab's collected notes on Light of Wisdom which he received from Jamyang Drakpa of Dru.
  Sikkim - (until 1975) independent kingdom in the Himalayas, between Nepal and Bhutan. Official website of Sikkim:
  sindhura - red or deep orange substance often used in tantric rituals.
  Single Child of the Buddhas (Sangye Seychig) - primordial tantra that give liberation through hearing, touching, or tasting.
  Single Seat Session - short liturgy text for Cho practice by Jamgon Kongtrul.
Situ Chokyi Jungney (1700-1774) - eighth in the line of Situ incarnations; great scholar and visionary, doctor and painter; founded Palpung in 1727.
  Situ Pema Nyinje Wangpo (1774-1853) - ninth Tai Situ; root-teacher of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great.
Situ Pema Wangchok Gyalpo (1886-1953) - enthroned by the fifteenth Karmapa and studied with Jamgon Kongtrul and the great scholar Zhenga. He later enthroned and offered the transmission of the Kagyu lineage to the sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpey Dorje.
  Six Doctrines of Naropa - tummo, illusory body, dream, luminosity, bardo, and phowa; subtle yogic practices usually undertaken after yidam practice.
  sixteen arhats - disciples of the Buddha who vowed to preserve the Dharma until the coming of Maitreya.
  Smritijnana - Indian master-scholar who entered Tibet early in the eleventh century.
* Sogyal Rinpoche - incarnation of the treasure revealer Lerab Lingpa, based in France; author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying .
  Solu Khumbu - district in the northeastern mountains of Nepal.
  Sonam Yeshe of Tsangsar - former life of Chimey Dorje, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's father; founder of Lhalam monastery in Nangchen.
Songtsen Gampo, King (617-698) - first great Dharma King, who prepared the way for transmission of the teachings; 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 Dharma principles, and had his minister Tonmi Sambhota develop the Tibetan script. During his reign the translation of Buddhist texts into Tibetan began.
  Sontar Chonchok - teacher of Chimey Dorje and close friend of Samten Gyatso.
  Spontaneous Fulfillment of Wishes - terma treasure of Chokgyur Lingpa that contains a supplication to Padmasambhava famous under the same name.
  Stupa - dome-shaped monument housing relics of the Buddha or an accomplished master.
  Subjugator of All Appearance and Existence - one of the names of Padmasambhava.
  Summary of Logic - scholastic text composed by Mipham.
  Surmang monastery - (Zurmang), refers in Blazing Splendor to the Namgyal Tse in east Nangchen near Tsikey monastery.
  Surmang Tentrul - learned and accomplished master at Surmang Namgyal Tse; gave later most of the New Treasures to the sixteenth Karmapa.
  Sutra and Tantra - Sutra refers to the teachings of both Hinayana and Mahayana; Tantra refers to Vajrayana.
  Sutra system - exoteric teachings belonging to Hinayana and Mahayana that regard the path as the cause of enlightenment, as opposed to the esoteric, tantric teachings.
Swayambhu - one of the three main stupas of the Kathmandu valley.
  swift walking or swift feet - yogic ability to walk extremely fast, covering huge distances in a short time, through control over the inner currents of energy.
  Taklung - Kagyu monastery 150 km northwest of Lhasa founded in the twelfth century.
  Taklung Tsetrul - lama of Taklung monastery.
  Taksham Lingpa (b1682-?) - also known as Nuden Dorje or Samten Lingpa; terton and emanation of Atsara Sale, Yeshe Tsogyal's Nepalese consort.
* Taktsang - Tiger's Nest, sacred place of Padmasambhava above the Paro Valley of Bhutan.
  Tana - monastery in Nangchen originally Yelpa Kagyu, named Horse-Eared after distinctively shaped mountain peaks above it; site of Ling Gesar's tomb.
  tangka - sacred painting on cloth; can be rolled up as a scroll.
  Tantra on the Essence of Secrets - see Guhyagarbha Tantra.
  Tantra system - canonical scripture in which the Buddha taught Vajrayana in his sambhogakaya form. The real sense of tantra is 'continuity,' the innate buddha nature, which is known as the 'tantra of the expressed meaning.' The general sense of tantra is the extraordinary tantric scriptures also known as the 'tantra of the expressing words.' Can also refer to all the resultant teachings of Vajrayana as a whole.
  tantric - of or pertaining to Vajrayana.
  tantric ornaments - jewelry and garments of silk for a peaceful deity and bone-ornaments for a wrathful.
  tantrika - person who has received empowerment, continues the sadhana practice and keeps the commitments; could be a monk or nun but refers mainly to lay practitioners.
* Tarthang Tulku - Nyingma master based in the United States; prolific publisher of sacred scriptures.
  Tashi Chimey - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's aunt.
  Tashi Gang - two days east from Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.
  Tashi Lhunpo - monastery, seat of the Panchen Lama in Shigatse; founded in 1447 by Gedun Drub (1391-1475), Tsongkhapa's nephew and disciple; used to house up to four thousand monks.
  Tashi Özer, Khenchen (1836-1910) - abbot of Paljor and Palpung monasteries and a student of Jamgon Kongtrul.
  Tendzin Dorje - previous life of Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche; lama at Drong monastery near Nagchukha.
  Tendzin Rabgye - healer and accomplished master from one of the old temples of the Barom Kagyu.
Tenga Rinpoche of Benchen  Tenga Rinpoche - master from Benchen monastery in Nangchen; close friend of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.
  Tenga Tulku - brother of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.
Tengyur - collection of translated commentaries by Indian masters on the Buddha's teachings; second part of the Tibetan Canon in 213 volumes.
  Tenpa Tsering - King of Derge at the time of Situ Chokyi Jungney.
  Tentrul of Surmang - see Surmang Tentrul.
Terdag Lingpa Terdag Lingpa (1646-1714) - Gyurmey Dorje, built Mindrol Ling in Central Tibet, one of the most important Nyingma monasteries.
  terdag - guardian deity of a specific terma treasure.
  terma objects - concealed treasures of many kinds, including texts, ritual objects, relics, and natural objects.
  terma - transmission through concealed treasures hidden, mainly by Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal, to be discovered at the proper time by a terton for the benefit of future disciples; one of the two chief traditions of the Nyingma school, the other being Kahma; said to continue even long after the Vinaya of the Buddha has disappeared.
  Tersey Tulku (1887/9-1955/7) - see Uncle Tersey.
  terton - revealer of hidden treasures, concealed mainly by Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal.
* Thrangu monastery - one of the main Kagyu monasteries in Nangchen; seat of the Tralek Jamgon and Thrangu Rinpoche incarnations.
  three inner tantras - Mahayoga, Anu Yoga, and Ati Yoga.
  three kayas of buddhahood - dharmakaya (body of enlightened qualities), the first of the three kayas, is devoid of constructs, like space. Sambhogakaya (body of perfect enjoyment) is the semi-manifest form of the buddhas endowed with five perfections: perfect teacher, retinue, place, teaching and time; perceptible only to bodhisattvas on the ten levels. Nirmanakaya (emanation body or form of magical apparition) is the aspect of enlightenment that can be perceived by ordinary beings.
  three levels of precepts - see triple-vow vajra holder.
  Three Roots - guru, yidam and dakini. The guru is the root of blessings, the yidam of accomplishment, and the dakini of activity. They are usually three types of sadhana practice.
  Three Sections of the Great Perfection - (Dzogchen Desum); terma revealed by Chokgyur Lingpa. See also Mind, Space and Instruction Sections.
  three times - past, present and future.
  throne holder - current head of a major monastery.
Tilopa - great Indian siddha, teacher of Naropa, and father of the Kagyu lineage.
  Tishi Repa - Darma Wangchuk's disciple; early master in the Barom Kagyu lineage.
  tishi - imperial preceptor; Chinese title for highest religious rank. Below the tishi are two masters of the pakshi rank, and each pakshi oversees two dignitaries with the position known as goshir. [tur]
  tokden - full-time meditators who never cut their braided hair; often they are monks.
  Tolung valley - location of Tsurphu in Central Tibet, some 70 km west of Lhasa.
  torma - implement used in tantric ceremonies; can also refer to a food offering to protectors of the Dharma or unfortunate spirits.
  town yogi - lay practitioner.
Tsadra Rinchen Drak - The hermitage of Jamgon Kongtrul above Palpung monastery in Kham.
  Tramdruk - (Traduk), early temple in the Yarlung valley near Lhasa, built by Songtsen Gampo.
  transmission - direct imparting of knowledge from master to student in an unbroken line of succession spanning centuries.
  treasure revealer - see terton.
Treasury of Dharmadhatu - one of Longchenpa's famous Seven Treasuries. Translated by Richard Barron as: Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena and a Treasure Trove of Scriptural Transmission, (Padma Publishing).
Treasury of Knowledge - (Sheja Dzo/Sheja Kunkyab), Jamgon Kongtrul's unique encyclopedic masterpiece embodying the entire range of Buddhist teachings. See Myriad Worlds, (Snow Lion Publications).
  Treasury of Nyingma Songs - compilation by Kyungtrul of spiritual songs by masters of the Nyingma lineage.
  Treasury of Oral Instructions - Jamgon Kongtrul's compilation of the most vital instructions from the eight chariots of the Practice Lineage.
  Treasury of Precious Termas - (Rinchen Terdzo), Jamgon Kongtrul's collection in 63 volumes of the most important revealed termas of Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, Vairotsana and their closest disciples; gathered by with the help of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
  triple-vow vajra holder - outer level of ethical precepts, inner level of bodhisattva trainings, and innermost tantric level of a vidyadhara. Someone who observes all three is a 'vajra holder of the threefold precepts'.
Trisong Deutsen - see King Trisong Deutsen.
  tromter - terma treasure revealed in full public.
Trulshik Rinpoche - chief disciple of Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche; monastery (Tubten Choling) in the Solu Khumbu, northeastern Nepal.
  Tsagah - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's sister.
  tsampa - staple of Tibetan diet comprised of roasted barley flour.
  Tsangsar Dranang - the homeland of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, accessible only by horse, one day from Lachab, Fortress Peak, or Dechen Ling.
Tsangsar - family name of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and an ancient kingdom in Nangchen.
Tsang-Yang Gyamtso - (Gebchak Tokden), chief disciple of the first Tsoknyi; founded numerous nunneries in Nangchen.
Tsari-like Jewel Rock - (Tsadra Rinchen Drak), located on the slope above the Palpung monastery in Kham; extensively described in The Autobiography of Jamgon Kongtrul's and in Ngawang Zangpo, Sacred Ground: Jamgon Kongtrul on "Pilgrimage and Sacred Geography," (Snow Lion Publications).
  tsa-tsa - small clay image of a buddha or stupa, stamped from a mold.
Tsechu - monastery adjacent to the royal palace in Nangchen; seat of the Trulshik Adeu and the Tsoknyi incarnations.
  Tsele Natsok Rangdrol - (b. 1608) master of the Kagyu and Nyingma schools; reincarnation of Vairotsana; author of Mirror of Mindfulness and Lamp of Mahamudra.
Tseringma - female guardian of Chokgyur Lingpa's treasures; often depicted with her four sisters riding on various animals.
  Tsewang Drakpa - see Wangchok Dorje, the second son of Chokgyur Lingpa.
  Tsewang Norbu (1856-1915/6) - Chokgyur Lingpa's first son and lineage holder; teacher of Samten Gyatso.
  Tsichu River - flows between Tsikey and Surmang monasteries in Nangchen.
  Tsikey Chokling - see Chokling of Tsikey.
Tsikey monastery - one of the three main 'seats' of Chokgyur Lingpa; located at the confluence of the Tsichu and Kechu rivers ten minutes inside the Tibetan Autonomous Region east of Nangchen (Qinghai).
  tsiu - spirit of recurring calamity.
  Tsogyal Lhatso - Life-Lake of Yeshe Tsogyal; situated at Drakda some 20 km from Samye.
Tsogyal - see Yeshe Tsogyal.
Tsoknyi (1828/1849-1904) - Drubwang Tsoknyi the first; an emanation of Milarepa's disciple, Rechungpa, and the terton Ratna Lingpa; contemporary of Khyentse, Kongtrul and Chokling.
  Tsurphu monastery - (pronounced tsur-pu), monastic seat of the Karmapa incarnations in Central Tibet, situated in 65 km west of Lhasa.
Tukdrub Barchey Kunsel - Chokgyur Lingpa's most famous terma, revealed with Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, consisting of more than ten volumes.
  Tukdrub Trinley Nyingpo - sadhana of Padmasambhava.
  Tukdrub - short for Tukdrub Barchey Kunsel.
  Tulku Pema Wangyal - Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche; Nyingma master living in Dordogne, France.
  tulku - incarnation, manifesting the spiritual qualities of a previous enlightened teacher.
  tummo or tummo yoga - practice to develop the blissful inner heat to refine the subtle vajra body, consume obscurations and to bring forth realization. One of the Six Doctrines of Naropa; practiced primarily in the Kagyu lineage.
  Uddiyana - country to the north-west of ancient India where Padmasambhava was born on a lotus flower.
  Uncle Sang-Ngak (1885/6-1949?) - uncle of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.
  Uncle Tersey (1887/9-1955/7) - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's uncle; Tersey means son of the terton.
  Universal Panacea (Karpo Chiktub) - tantra that give liberation through hearing, touching, or tasting.
  Vairochana - of the five families, the chief buddha of the tathagata family.
  Vairotsana Dzogchen - (Heart Essence of Vairotsana; Vairo Nyingtig ), synonyms for Dzogchen Desum.
Vairotsana - sublime and matchless translator of numerous texts of sutra and tantra at the time of King Trisong Deutsen.
  Vajra Club of the Lord of Secrets - (Sangdag Dorje Bechon), the deity Vajrapani from Chokgyur Lingpa's termas.
  vajra holder - of the threefold precepts: see triple-vow vajra holder.
  vajra master - master adept in the rituals and meaning of Vajrayana, from whom one receives tantric teaching and empowerment; can also refer to the master who presides over a tantric ritual.
  Vajra Varahi - female buddha; sambhogakaya manifestation of Samantabhadri; one of the chief yidam deities of the Sarma Schools, as well as a wisdom dakini.
vajra - as adjective connotes adamantine, diamond, indestructible; specifically it means of or pertaining to Vajrayana.
Vajradhara - dharmakaya buddha of the Sarma Schools; refers also to one's personal teacher of Vajrayana or to the all-embracing buddha nature.
Vajrapani - one of the eight great bodhisattvas; chief compiler of the Vajrayana teachings; also known as Lord of Secrets.
  Vajrasattva recitation - chanting of the mantra in hundred syllables; one of the preliminary practices.
Vajrasattva - sambhogakaya buddha who embodies all the five families; source of purification practices.
  Vajrayana - vehicle of tantric teachings; training in seeing phenomena as display of primordial purity. The six classes of Vajrayana tantras teach this in an increasingly direct and profound way. The gateway to the Vajrayana is the empowerment, which is given by the spiritual master.
  victory banner of realization - sign of having overcome all veils that cover the buddha-nature.
  vidyadhara - realized master on one of four stages on the tantric path of Mahayoga.
  view of the inner yogas - body is deity, voice mantra, and mind is samadhi.
  view, meditation and conduct (and fruition) - the philosophical orientation, the act of growing accustomed to that, the implementation of that insight during the activities of daily life, and the final outcome resulting from such training. Each of the nine vehicles has its particular definition of view, meditation, conduct and fruition.
Vimalamitra - Dzogchen master who was invited to Tibet by King Trisong Deutsen; one of three main forefathers of the Dzogchen teachings, especially Nyingtig, in Tibet. Vimalamitra means 'Flawless Kinsman.'
  vivid presence - clear visualization of the deity.
  wakefulness, original, luminous - (yeshe), intrinsic quality of knowing and its ways of functioning as the five wisdoms.
  Wangchok Dorje (1860/2-86) - son of Chokgyur Lingpa; incarnation of the Indian king Jah.
  Wangchuk Dorje (1556-1603) - the ninth Karmapa.
  Wangdu - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's brother-in-law; a Central Tibetan aristocrat.
  wang - religious dignity; see tishi.
  Way of a Bodhisattva - The Indian master Shantideva's famous work on Mahayana training and realization.
  wisdom protector - enlightened Dharma protector.
  wisdom-body - ethereal form, beyond the confines of a material body.
  Wish-Fulfilling Jewel - highly honorific way of addressing the Karmapa; also shows one's deep respect and devotion.
  Yarlung valley - south of Lhasa in Central Tibet; associated with the early kings; cradle of Tibetan civilization.
Yeshe Tsogyal - close female disciple of Padmasambhava and compiler of his teachings.
  yidam - deity used in tantric practice; could be Avalokiteshvara or Vajrasattva.
  yidam practice - training in all sights, sounds and thoughts as being deity, mantra and samadhi.
  Yolmo - (Helambhu), sacred valley three days walk north of Kathmandu.
  Yonga - close disciple of Old Khyentse.
Yongdzin - Druk Kharag Yongdzin Rinpoche, aka Tokden Paksam Gyatso. Drukpa Kagyu master. Among his living disciples is Soktse Rinpoche.
  Yongey Mingyur Dorje (1628/41-1708) - terton at the time of the tenth Karmapa, Choying Dorje (1605-74).
Yudra Nyingpo - Vairotsana's chief lineage holder; one of Padmasambhava's twenty-five disciples. The reincarnation of Lekdrub of Tsang, born in the region of Gyalmo Tsawarong, he was brought up by Vairotsana and reached perfection in both learning and yogic accomplishment. He is counted among the 108 lotsawas and is one of the main lineage holders of the Mind Section of Dzogchen.
  Yutok Gonpo (708-833) - famous Tibetan physician and writer.
  zhidag - local deity; powerful spirit of the region.
  Ziling - Travelogues variously spell this city on Nangchen's north-eastern frontier of with China as Sining, Xining, or Xilling.