Tibetan Buddhism Teachings

Buddhas – How many we know?!

The term Buddha, literally “awakened one,” is one of many Indian epithets applied to the founder of the Buddhist religion. A Buddha is defined, first and foremost, as one who has undergone the profoundly transformative experience known as Nirvāṇa and who, as a result, will never be subject to the cycle of birth and death again. Buddhists came to believe that other such Buddhas would

Buddhahood and Buddha Bodies

The term Buddhahood (Buddhatva) refers to the unique attainment of Buddhas that distinguishes them from all other kinds of holy being. Buddhahood is described in 2 closely related ways: 1) in terms of its distinctive characteristics, and 2) in terms of Buddha “bodies.” The Indic term kāya refers to the physical body of a living being. It therefore carries the secondary meaning of a collection

Bodhisattvas Mahā-sattvas

The term Bodhisattva refers to a sattva (person) on a Buddhist mārga (path) in pursuit of Bodhi (awakening) or one whose nature is awakening. In the Mahāyāna tradition, a Bodhisattva is a practitioner who, by habituating himself in the practice of the Pāramitā (perfection), aspires to become a Buddha in the future by seeking complete, perfect awakening through Prajñā (wisdom) and by benefiting all sentient

Mainstream Buddhist Schools

Mainstream Buddhist Schools By several centuries after the death of the Buddha, the itinerant mendicants following his way had formed settled communities and had changed irrevocably their received methods of both teaching and praxis: Most sources agree that the first schism in early Buddhist community occurred with the separation of the Mahāsaṁghika School, or “those of the great community,” from those referred to as Sthāviras,

Monasticism in Buddhism

The majority of Buddhist monastics are not hermits or solitary wanderers. Monastics, even those who may choose to take up a solitary life from time to time, belong to the Buddhist Saṅgha or community. Buddhist monastic communities include everything from extremely large and wealthy urban monasteries, to mid-size and small village monasteries, to forest, cave, and mountain monasteries. Buddhist monasticism dates back to the Śākyamuni

Buddhist Monks

While terms for Monk in the Buddhist tradition (Sanskrit, Bhikṣu or Śramaṇa; Pāli, Bhikkhu or Samaṇa) are rooted in words connoting mendicancy and austerity, the Buddhist Monk is more generally understood as a member of a community of religious renunciants (the Saṅgha in Pāli, Saṁgha in Sanskrit) who has undergone a formal Ordination ceremony conducted by a quorum of fully ordained Monks. Novice Monks (Śrāmaṇera)

Pāramitā (Perfection) | Definition

Pāramitā (Perfection) | Definition Pāramitā (Pāli, pāramī;) refers to the spiritual practice accomplished by a Bodhisattva. The term has been interpreted variously as meaning, for example, “perfection,” “to reach the other shore,” or “to cross over.” Traditionally, the term Pāramitā comprises 4 groups: a) the group of 6 Pāramitās; b) the group of 10 Pāramitās; c) the group of 4 Pāramitās; d) the perfections of

Ḍākinīs | Definition

Ḍākinīs | Definition. In Tibet, Ḍākinī can refer either: a) to a living woman Buddhist teacher or b) to a spirit of ambivalent nature. Regarding the latter type, the idea has persisted that Ḍākinīs are attracted by Buddhist practitioners, drawn in swarms to powerful meditators like mosquitoes to blood. Tibetans further distinguish 2 kinds of Ḍākinīs: 1) gnostic (ye shes), “otherworldly” and 2) flesh-eating (sha

Commentaries on the Tibetan Book of the Dead

Here you can read the commentaries of highly respected Buddhist Lama Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, otherwise known as Bardo Thödol. Tibetan Book of the Dead is not only for those who are going to die or who are already dead, it is also for those who are already born; birth and death apply to everybody constantly, at this very

Schools of Buddhism | Introduction

We will give next a general historical account of the chief branches of Buddhist thought in India such as Vaibhasikas, Sautrantikas, Yogacaras and Madhyamikas and briefly show their relation to the central teachings of the Buddha such as three fundamental principles of Impermanence (anitya), Sorrow (duhkha), and Non-self (anātman).