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Glossary

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Term Definition
Sakya

(tib.: sa kya) Name means place of white earth. Khon Konchok Gyelpo (1034-1102) was the founder of the Sakya order. The leader of Sakya is His Holiness Sakya Trizin. This is the second newest of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism (nyingma, kagyu, sakya, gelug).

Samadhi

(skt.: samadhi; tib.: ting nge dzin) One pointed state of mind. Ability of the mind to concentrate on an object single pointedly without losing it. The highest evolution of samadhi is shine (shamatha, calm abiding).

Sambhogakaya

(tib.: long ku) Enjoyment body. Body in form of a deity, subtle and pure body made of light, celestial body.

Samsara

(skt.: samsara; tib.: khor wa) Cyclic existence. It is the beginningless, recurring cycle of death and rebirth and the nature of it is suffering due to our past bad karma, mental delusions and ignorance. Through the force of karma motivated by ignorance, desire and anger one is forced to take on the impure aggregates and circle the wheel of existence until liberation.

Sangha
(skt.: sangha; tib.: ge dun) Literally harmonious community. It has two meanings:
1. Relative Sangha: according to the sutra of Buddha Shakyamuni, sangha stands for a group of at least four fully ordained monks or nuns.
2. Arya Sangha or Bodhisattva Sangha, also Ultimate Sangha: these are realized beings who have seen emptiness directly. Its members may be either lay or ordained people. It is the third of the Three Jewels of refuge.
Self

(skt.: atman; tib.: dag) Self. Simply put, self can be compared to unchanging eternal soul. Buddhism does not accept such a self.

Self Made Buddha

(skt.: pratyekabuddha; tib.: rang gyel, rang sang gye) Usually translated as Self Made Buddha or Solitarily Enlightened one. It refers to those Hinayana practitioners who, with the motivation of renouncing the Samsara and to achieve permanent happines for themselves, strive to reach Nirvana. They do not rely on a teacher in that lifetime to reach their aim. However, they had been taught by teachers in previous lifetimes. They attain Nirvana mainly through contemplation on the Twelve links of dependant origination in reverse order. 

Sentient being

(tib.: sem chen) Any living being, not just human, in samsara who has not yet attained liberation.

Seven branch prayer

(tib.: yan lag dun/dag pa dun) Seven Branch or Seven Limb Prayer serves as the basic structure of many Buddhist prayers, sadhanas and pujas.

Shakyamuni Buddha
(tib.: Shakya Thubpa) Shakyamuni Buddha (563-483 BC) was an Indian prince, born to queen Mahamaya and king Shudhodana, belonging to the Shakya clan in northern India. Before he became enlightened his name was Prince Siddharta. He had a very nice life as a prince, full of luxuries, he married a beautiful woman called Yasodhara and they had a son, whom they named Rahula. But at the age of 29 when he was travelling outside the palace, Prince Siddharta saw a sick man, an old man, a corpse and a spiritual seeker. Accustomed to the pleasures of the royal life, he was struck when he saw how much suffering exists in this world and he decided that he will find a way to stop all suffering. Therefore he renounced his royal life and became an ascetic and engaged in very austere practices, but after six years he realized that this is not the path to liberation. He walked to Bodhgaya, sat down under a tree and meditated until he became fully enlightened. Then he began teaching and turned the wheel of Dharma three times and continued to teach until his passing in parinirvana at the age of 80 in Kushinagar.
 
He is the fourth of the one thousand Buddhas of this fortunate eon.
Shamatha

(skt.: shamatha; tib.: shi ne) Also translated as mental quietness. It is a stilled and peaceful state of mind, without any obstacles to concentration and it is settled single pointedly on an object for as long as we wish. In addition, it has a further mental factor accompanying it: a sense of physical and mental fitness (tib.: shin jang; pliability, flexibility), which is both exhilarating and blissful, but in a nondisturbing way. As a side product, shamatha brings extrasensory awareness, such as the ability to see and hear things at a great distance and to be aware of others thoughts. In Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (Lam Dron), the late tenth-century Indian master Atisha emphasizes the importance of gaining these abilities to be better able to help others.

Shantideva

(skt.: Shantideva; tib.: Zhi Wa Lha) Master Shantideva was born at around 700 AD in India, the west of Bodhgaya. His father was a king named Armor of Virtue, and his mother was said to be an emanation of Vajra Yogini. He was able to choose the details of his birth, and when he was born he was given the name Armor of Peace.

Shine

(skt.: shamatha; tib.: shi ne) Also translated as mental quietness. It is a stilled and peaceful state of mind, without any obstacles to concentration and it is settled single pointedly on an object for as long as we wish. In addition, it has a further mental factor accompanying it: a sense of physical and mental fitness (tib.: shin jang; pliability, flexibility), which is both exhilarating and blissful, but in a nondisturbing way. As a side product, shamatha brings extrasensory awareness, such as the ability to see and hear things at a great distance and to be aware of others thoughts. In Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (Lam Dron), the late tenth-century Indian master Atisha emphasizes the importance of gaining these abilities to be better able to help others.

Shravaka

(skt.: shravaka; tib.: nyen tho) Shravaka literally means Hearer or Listener. It refers to those Hinayana practitioners who, with the motivation of renouncing the Samsara and to achieve permanent happines for themselves, strive to reach Nirvana. They focus on the Four Noble Truths and on understanding that there is no independent self. In this process they listen to the teachings of a Buddha, and achieve this goal by realizing the nonexistence of personal self.

Shunyata

(skt.: shunyata; tib.: tong pa nyi) Emptiness (sometimes also translated as voidness) is a Buddhist idea which states that all phenomena are empty of any kind of self existence or inherent existence. Emptiness is the reality of the existence of ourselves and all the phenomena around us.

Language

Words of Wisdom

"The nature of mind is clear light, defilements are only adventitious."
- Dharmakirti

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