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Glossary

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Term Definition
Bardo

(skt.: antarabhava; tib.: bar do) Literally, interval between the two or intermediate state. Usually term bardo refers to the period between death and the next rebirth.

Bell

(skt.: ghanta; tib.: dril bu) A tantric implement symbolizing wisdom which is held in the left hand (the female side), usually in conjunction with vajra, which symbolizes method (compassion or bliss), held in the right hand (the male side).

Bhagavan

(skt.: bhagavan/bhagavat; tib.: chom den de) One of the ten honorable titles of a Buddha. Bhagavat means possessing fortune, venerable, or holy. In Buddhism, it is used as an epithet for a Buddha and is often translated as blessed one.

Bhumi

(skt.: bhumi; tib.: sa) Literally ground. A stage of realization and activity of a Bodhisattva on the path to Buddhahood. Usually ten such levels are recognized. Chandrakirti says in the Bodhisattva-Avatara Shastra that the aspiration to climb the Bodhisattva Bhumis is reached by practicing the 6 Paramitas, which are then successively lead to perfection through the first six Bhumis.

Bodhichitta

(skt.: bodhichitta; tib.: jang chub kyi sem) Usually translated as Wish for Enlightenment or Awakening Mind. Bodhichitta is defined as the wish to achieve Buddhahood for the benefit of others. Bodhichitta is the main mind and not a mental factor and it is an underlying motivation of practitioners of Mahayana Buddhism. Beings who have realized Bodhichitta are called Bodhisattvas.

Bodhisattva

(skt.: bodhisattva; tib.: jang chub sem pa) Literally means being (sattva) of Enlightenment (bodhi). It refers to a Mahayana practitioner who has developed Bodhichitta, the aspiration to attain Enlightenment, in order to benefit all sentient beings. There are two types of Bodhisattvas: aspiring Bodhisattvas and realized Bodhisattvas. A practitioner becomes a realized Bodhisattva when he reaches the path of seeing i.e. the first bhumi. Driven by Bodhichitta and having realized Emptiness, a Bodhisattva devotes his entire life to reaching Enlightenment, for the sake of benefiting every single sentient being.

Bön

(tib.: bön) The indigenous religion of Tibet. A form of nature-worship and shamanism, which through time merged with Buddhism to the extent that now His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama counts it as the fifth main school of Tibetan Buddhism. Some elements of the Bön religion can be traced also in the contemporary Buddhism, particularly in the Nyingma school.

Brahma

(skt.: brahma; tib.: tshang pa) A chief god in the form realm. Sometimes called also Mahabrahma, the great heavenly king Brahma. A god said to live in the first and lowest of the four meditation heavens in the world of form above Mount Sumeru. Also one of the three major deities of Hinduism. He is said to be the first being to appear when new world is formed.

Brahmin

(skt.: brahman/brahmin; tib.: dram ze) Member of the priestly caste, the highest of the four hindu castes.

Buddha
(skt.: Buddha; tib.: sangye) The word Buddha usually refers to: 
1. To the Shakyamuni Buddha. Before He attained Enlightenment He was called Prince Siddharta, but after He attained it He was called Shakyamuni Buddha. This happened about 2600 years ago. 
2. The word Buddha can also refer to the State one obtains at the end of the spiritual Path described as Buddha-Dharma or Buddhism.
Buddha bodies
There are four ways how to divide the bodies of a Buddha:
- Two bodies: Dharmakaya, Rupakaya
- Three bodies: Nirmanakaya, Sambhogakaya, Dharmakaya
- Four bodies: Svabhavakaya, Jnanadharmakaya, Nirmanakaya, Sambhogakaya
- Five bodies: Svabhavakaya, Jnanadharmakaya, Nirmanakaya, Sambhogakaya and according to different traditions the fifth body is Vajrakaya, Mahasukhakaya or Abhisambhodikaya.
Buddha nature

(skt.: tathagatagarbha; tib.: de shin shek pe nying po) The clear light nature of mind possessed by all sentient beings, which is the potential for all sentient beings to become enlightened by removing the two obscurations: the obscuration to liberation and the obscuration to omniscience.

Buddhahood
(skt: bodhi; tib.: jang chub) Awakening; Buddhahood. The ultimate goal of Buddhist practice, attained when all limitations have been removed from the mind and all ones positive potential has been realized. It is a state characterized by unlimited compassion, skill, and wisdom (omniscience). There are three types of Enlightenment, though the first two are not real Enlightenment, but only Nirvana:
1. Hinayana Enlightenment (Nirvana) of the Listeneres
2. Hinayana Enlightnement (Nirvana) of the Self Made Buddhas
3. Mahayana Enlightenment, which is the highest

Language

Words of Wisdom

"True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason."
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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