REALIZATION see INDIFFERENTIATION OF SAMSARA-NIRVANA
The supreme realization consists of the understanding that there is neither a bad Samsara to reject nor a good Nirvana to obtain, but that they are only two facettes of which the union is indivisible, of the primordial and natural state of the mind. Therefore there neither exists a "badness" of the wheel to reject, nor beatitude of a so-called liberation for which to aspire. Realization is the result of a development which permits the clearing away of the veils of negative impulses and of conceptual knowledge, where all that needs to be purified and developed has been purified and developed. The dissipation of the darkness of ignorance permits the development of intelligence and of knowledge through the practice of virtue and wisdom.
REFUGE Refuge is the initial engagement with the buddhist community in every school. The practioner searches an infallible refuge against all suffering of existence that troubles him personally or that which he sees others fighting against in vain. He turns from all illusory refuge in the strong ones of this world of whose protection is not perfect. He turns towards the only one which can lead him beyond suffering, that is to say the three jewels, the three "Rare and Sublime" which are: - the Buddhas - the Dharma - the Sangha or Community of the faithful. If he chooses the illustrous path of Vajrayana, he understands that his root Lama is the indispensible prism through which he can receive the blessings of the Buddhas and he first of all, takes refuge in him. He then places himself in all circumstances, either happy or sad, in the hands of the Lama, the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, confident in their compassion to guide him infallibly. REINCARNATION, REBIRTH AND EMANATION
There are two manners in which one can become reincarnated or reborn: the manner of ordinary beings in virtue of their karma, and the manner of the Lamas (Tulkous) who are reincarnated voluntarily out of compassion.
(tib. Droup thap "Method for realization")
This refers to a text which collects the set of stages of a practice guiding one to realization. Saddhanas have very different lengths. They depend on the practice of one particular deity. SAMADHI A state of profound meditation in which the mind becomes stable, concentrated on a unique object, for example the Samadhi of love. SAMAYA see VOWS, ENGAGEMENTS Vows of the sacred bond which link the disciple to the master and, through him, to the divinity of initiation. The respect of the vows condition the obtaining of buddhood whereas their rupture provokes very harmful karmic consequences. SAMSARA or WHEEL OF EXISTENCE The ignorance of beings leads them to believe in the reality of an ego. This grasping at an ego leads to an attachment to this notion from which arise unceasing floods of negative impulses associated with the three poisons. These negative impulses induce karmic penchants or tendancies which force one to experience without end different and varying existences in the wheel of existence. As long as the ignorance lasts, one will turn without end in this cycle of human and nonhuman rebirths experiencing suffering. Samsara can be separated in three spheres and six states of existence. Among the three spheres, one distinguishes that of desire, that of subtle form and the sphere without form. The six states of existence are: the hells where tortured beings live, the realms of hungrys/greedy (minds, spirits, ghosts) where one endures without end insatiable hunger and thirst; the world of animals is overwhelmed by mental obscurity, fear and suffering of exploitation of their strength, their hair, their skin, etc... The world of gods live without care and the pleasures which must sadly end someday, cause infinities of suffering; The world of the demi-gods who are jealous of the wealth which the gods possess and who are incessantly engaged in battles with them, which they always lose; The world of humans who suffer from impermanence and other unpleasant experiences. SANGHA This refers to the assembly of those who teach and practice the Dharma. The constitution of the Sangha differs according to the vehicles. In Vajrayana, it implies the inclusion of all those who have taken refuge before oneself. PROFOUND SENSE see INDIFFERENTIATION OF SAMSARA-NIRVANA SIDDHA
This name, derived from Siddhi which signifies power or realization, denotes those great sages who have obtained the realizations.
SHRAVAKA see ARHAT or AUDITOR SIDDHIS SIDDHIS-POWERS
These powers, fruits of meditation are of two sorts; ordinary such as different worldy powers and supreme such as the obtaining of the state of Buddha. Ordinary Siddhis carry with them certain supernormal faculties such as clairvoyance, clear audience, telepathy, levitation... These powers can be attained by accomplished beings having obtained a certain degree of spiritual realization; one finds them also among others who aren't in this category but who have developed certain forms of concentration and certain particular practices. These powers aren't always the sign of spiritual realization; one should neither particularily cultivate them nor demonstrate them, except on exceptional occasions. The supreme accomplishment emerges in the indifferentation of Samsara and Nirvana or Mahamudra, the 13th land (level) of Dorje Chang. Thus, the Siddhas have powers and supernatural capacities which are a result of their practice of the path.
SILWAI TSAL "Park of freshness" This refers to a cemetary which became a place of pilgramage, situated not far from Bodhgaya. THE SIX SENSES see CONSCIOUSNESS
The sixth sense is that of mentality having thoughts as object.
This is a monument generally destined to contain relics of the Buhhdas or of great saints. There are eight different forms which symbolize the awakening of the Buddhas.
SUGATA Term attributed to the Buddhas, which signifies "The one who goes in happiness". SUPPORTS,TIES Chain of cause and effect or interdependent causes; it's the principle of production of all dharmas which are empty of inherent existence or independence yet which, on the contrary, arise out of a dependence on various causes and conditions. SUTRA This refers to the discourses of the Buddha. All these discourses are grouped in a Collection, that of the Sutras, accompanying the Vinaya, the Abidharma and the Tantras in the Kandjiour or sacred collection in tibetan of around 100 volumes of all the words of the Buddhas. TANJIOUR Sacred collection reuniting the collection of translations of the commentaries of the Sutras and the Tantras, written by indian masters. In addition, within this collection one finds later theories and practices in accordance with the Dharma. It consists of more than 200 volumes. TANTRA The word itself signifies "network"; it refers to a collection of texts establishing a network of symbolic correspondance between the exterior and interior universe, or still between the deities and the ordinary beings, that is to say the non-liberated. Tantras teach a rapid path towards liberation; they are, for this and other reasons, particularily appropriate in this degenerate age. They depend on purification of the energies and their (transmutation). The Tantras are the manuals of ritual practice, of yoga and identification of the individual make up in the cosmos, in a profound sense of supreme reality. There are four classes of Tantras: - The Kriya Tantras, depending on ritual and exterior modes of purification for the accumulation of merit. - The Carya Tantras contain ritual instructions and practices for the development of the mind. - The Yoga Tantras contain more instructions on the interior sense for the practices of meditation. - The Anuttura Yoga Tantras address practicioners with very active faculties. They are uniquely turned towards the interior sense of the practices and the nature of the mind. THILE see CANALS, WINDS, NECTARS Drop of vital fluid, vital nectar. THREE THOUSAND The universe of Three Thousand is thus named because it is said that it is made of three times one thousand universes (that which signifies, in essence, an infinity of universes). The first Thousand contains 1000 universes as the basis, the second Thousand is piled on the first Thousand and the third Thousand, 1000 piled on the second Thousand. THREE POISONS These are the three fundamendal negative impulses of desire-passion, of hatred-aversion and of ignorance. These three impulses are the profound motivations driving the accumulation of bad behavior in action, speech and thought which, in their turn, lock beings up in the prison of the wheel of existence and the bad states of rebirth. THREE DOORS These are represented by the body, speech and mind. THREE SPHERES These are the spheres of desire, of subtle form and the formless. The sphere of desire, the grossest, includes six states of existence which are dominated by desire. Then, with the extinction of the more gross desires, comes the world of subtle form where diverse celestial beings reside. Even form does not exist in the sphere without form where pure spirits reside. One should not confuse the inhabitants of these mundane paradises with the paradise of the Buddhas where realization is established. All beings within the three spheres are subject to reincarnation according to their karma within the wheel of existence. THREE TIMES
The past, the present and the future.
TORMA This most often refers to an offering, very ornate and colored. It is made from a mixture of butter and barley flour, and is offered to the deities which are invoked during a ritual. The Torma is therefore like food of which the form and the colors are supposed to particularily please such and such a type of deity. In other rituals, such as iniation, they can also be the symbolic form of the very deity. By its use, the Lama transfers to the disciple protection and security against adverse forces. TRAINING There are three principal trainings or disciplines in which the teachings of the Buddha are regrouped. These are the discipline of ethics, the discipline of Samadhi (experience of interior realization) and that of consciousness. TRUTH (THE FOUR NOBLE) see DOCTRINE, DHARMA This refers to the first cycle of teachings given by the Buddha Shakyamuni at Sarnath which analysed the character of suffering inherent in ordinary conditioned existence, and which gave the methods leading to the cessation of suffering. There is above all the universality of the truth of suffering from which none escape. Desire which clouds our mind and confuses it is the unquestionable cause. The possibility of liberating oneself constitutes the cessation of suffering which is the result of "The Noble Eightfold Path", which expresses the rules to be applied in life towards liberation from suffering and the attainment of Nirvana. The Noble Eightfold Path is; - Right View - Right Though - Right Speech - Right Action - Right Livelihood - Right Effort - Right Mindfulness - Right Concentration TUMO Practice of yoga destined to give rise to an intense internal heat associated with a blissful experience. UNDIFFERENTIATION OF SAMSARA AND NIRVANA At first glance, these two sanskrit terms appear to designate two opposing realities. Samsara or the "wheel of existence" is the world of those who are subject to reincarnation as a function of the tendancies of their karma, in one of the three spheres of existence where none escape suffering. Nirvana designates the haven of peace and of bliss for those who have come to liberate themselves from the wheel of existence. Nevertheless, these two terms which appear to be opposites actually designate two facets of a single reality: The sage sees Nirvana there where the ignorant see only Samsara. There is therefore no Nirvana outside of Samsara and no Samsara outside of Nirvana. There is not a bad Samsara which one should try to reject while searching elsewhere for a good Nirvana. Such is the profound vision of realization which one calls the undifferentiatedness of Samsara and Nirvana, or Mahamudra, Great Seal, Great Completion, Dzochen, etc... UNION OF CREATION AND COMPLETION STAGES This refers to two essential stages in the process of meditation. First, the process of creation where the disciple, by his identification with the deity being practiced, acquires the very virtues (attributes,qualities) of that deity. After having purified his ordinary form, he also purifies the attachment to all form (aussi pure soit-elle) in the process of completion where all manifestation is absorbed into vacuity which is its essence. To meditate in the union of these two stages is a characertistic of Tantric buddhism. In the techniques of meditation of the processes of creation-completion, the meditator proceeds with the transmutation of the sensorial world in its three manifestations: physical, verbal and mental; his own become the actual physical activity, verbal and mental of the divinity being practiced. This divinity of which the essence is the union of clarity-emptiness is never lost sight of, and ultimately absorbs into emptiness. UNION OF METHOD AND WISDOM The union of these two elements, respectively symbolized by the Dorje and the bell, signify the union of great compassion and wisdom which is the knowledge of emptiness; it is indispensable for the obtaining of buddhood. VAJRAYANA see MAHAYANA VEHICULE (great or lesser) see DOCTRINE Hinayana is the vehicle of the Auditors, and of Pratieka-buddhas. One also called this the lesser vehicle because of the motivation of personal liberation and of spiritual practice turned on oneself. The great vehicle is the Mahayana which includes the practice of the six Paramitas as well as the Vajrayana. The qualification of "great" is justified by the motivation of the practicioner who aspires to buddahood for the benefit of all beings. VIRTUE Any act of thought, word or deed which is motivated for the benefit of others. Ten principal virtues are outlined: abstain from killing, from stealing, improper sexual behavior, lying, slander, harmful speech, vanity, covetousness, of unkindness and false views. These ten virtues comprise the object of the taking of a vow. VISION OF TRUTH Penetrating vision is the faculty of discernment and of analysis of dharmas or objects of knowledge. It blooms at the stage of serene stability of mind which permits investigation and recognition. Absolute truth is the recognition of the undifferentiatedness of Samsara and Nirvana, whereas relative truth refers to the perception of appearances of non-realized beings. This latter, which guides towards absolute truth, also called truth "which guides beings" (tib. Trang Dene), because these beings, plunged in ignorance and illusion, have need of purification to attain ultimate knowledge, which is possible thanks to the relative truth of the path of the practice of virtue. In conclusion, from the perspective of absolute truth, the mind of all beings is Buddha, but to be able to recognize this, it is necessary to engage in the practice of the path which includes relative truth. VOW see MONK, VEHICLE The three vows which may also be called the three ordinations, exist only in relation with the three vehicles to which they are associated. In the Hinayana, where one takes the vow of personal liberation, one insists on the observance of perfect ethics. The essence of this type of vow is reiterated in the Vinaya or monastic code and is centered on the respect of five precepts which are: not to kill, not to steal, not to have improper sexual behavior, not to lie, not to consume intoxicants; the essential principle here is to abstain from harming others. In the Mahayana, one takes the Bodhisattva vows which are based on compassion and Bodhicitta. Independantly from the vows of personal liberation which are contained in the Lesser Vehicle, to be maintained whatever the circumstances, the Bodhisattva vows are a committment before the Buddhas, to help beings arrive at this state. This consciousness should be maintained throughout the course of practice. If one abandons or loses courage, the vows are broken. They can be retaken, if one still aspires for liberation. The essential principle of these vows is the committment for the benefit of others. In the Vajrayana, one takes vows which are uniquely tantric. In this path which regroups very motivated beings by the compassion towards others, the yogi identifies himself with the deity that he should realize. The deity assembles all the qualities and characteristics of the Buddhas and its initiation can only be conferred by a Lama that one must view as being undifferentiated with the deity, because this is the very esence of the vows of Vajrayana. Keeping the tantric vows insures the pure vision towards the world and the Lama. It is said that the tantric vehicle concentrates the essence of the three vows and therefore the essence of all the buddhist vehicles, because iniation demands the committment of respect of the three vows. WHEEL OF LIFE see THREE SPHERES AND SAMSARA WISDOM This single english word corresponds to two distict words in both tibetan and sanskrit. There is YESHE (skt. JNANA) which is moreso an intuitive wisdom and which corresponds nearly to the word gnosis. It is the prerogative of the spiritual realization which reveals the knowledge of ultimate and primordial truth. Then there is SHERAP (skt. PRAJNA) which one uses to designate a faculty of analytic intelligence being able to be used in mundane know-how or perhaps, from its highest level, the perception, the direct knowledge of the very essence of the emptiness of all things, transcending their appearance and the dualism of subject-object. YIDAM see DIVINITY, TANTRA The Yidam or tutelary deity is an emanation of the mind of the buddhas. The power of this deity as well as the possibility of obtaining the realization in dependence upon the practice, is conferred at the time of the initiation by the Lama. The name of the tutelary deity is justified by the tie which attaches the mind of the initiated with the deity, because it's under his tutelage that he realizes his Buddha nature. Each being has hisparticularity, each Yidam manifests the nature of Buddha through one of their multiple aspects. The meditation on the Yidams and on the yogas which are associated with them, is one of the skilful methods utilized in Vajrayana to rapidly reach liberation. In this manner, one frees oneself from Samsara by using exactly the means which enchain oneself; the mind is committed to the practice of the Yidam by the engagement of the yogi to meditate on his body, his speech and his mind as being the same as that of the Yidam. In this manner, the three doors of the practicioner are progressively transformed through the practice of the yogas linked with the four consecrations, into the three doors of the Buddhas of which the disciple realizes the four bodies thanks to the spiritual influence of the Yidam of which the essence is the Lama, present manifestation of all the Buddhas. YOGA
This word is a sanskrit term which expresses the idea of "linking up". In Buddhism, it designates all practice aimed at a spiritual experience which links the ultimate sense of all things. All religous practice accomplished by the body, speech or mind, can therefore be called yoga. One speaks of mental yogas, physical yogas, or yogas of recitation.
YOGA OF THE LAMA or GURU YOGA The Buddha taught on many occasions, that in the future time period called "degenerate", he would take the form of the Lama (skt. Guru). One should therefore honor the Lama with this view. Therefore, this is how the purpose of Guru Yoga is to be understood: to realize Mahamudra, one must arrive at the union of ones own mind and that of the Lama, who is the essence concentrating all the other Lamas of the lineage and the deity Yidam. The devotion to the Lama is one of the principle vows of initiation: it should manifest itself in the thoughts, the words and actions; the most important is to develop the firm conviction that the Lama is the Buddha Dorje Tchang himself. To see only these qualties in ones Lama is the best way to obtain them oneself. On the contrary, if one thinks of perceiving insufficiencies or faults, no realization can be obtained. ZAMBULING
In Buddhist cosmology, this is the name given to the Southern continent which is one of four described. Through extension, this name applies to our Earth.