dagoba(dadaba): See “stupa.”
dakini (kongxing-mu, khandroma): Literally, a “female sky-goer.” Female wisdom beings who help arouse blissful energy in qualified esoteric Buddhism practitioners and who are particularly associated with the transmission of secret teachings to esoteric Buddhism practitioners. She may be a human being who has attained high realizations of the fully enlightened mind or a non-human manifestation of the enlightened mind of a meditational deity such as a female dharma protector who is usually depicted as a wrathful or semi-wrathful form. “Vajravarahi” is the leader of the Dakinis although she is not a Dakini. See Know the True Doctrine.
Dalai Lama: Dalai is a Mongolian term for “ocean” while lama is a Tibetan term for “guru” or teacher. Since the 17th century the Dalai Lama has been the head of the Tibetan government, administering a large portion of the country from the capital Lhasa. The Dalai Lama is not the spiritual head of all Tibetans or even the Geluk sect as is commonly thought. The current and 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso (1935- ), has lived in exile in Dharmasala India since 1959.
Daoism (Taoism, Dàojiào): Indigenous Chinese religion.
darshana-marga or darsana-marga: The third of the five bodhisattva paths (panca-marga) to buddhahood–the path of seeing which leads one from mere blind trust in the four noble truths up to actual comprehension of them. At this stage uncertainty (vicikitsa), false views (drsti), and spiritual defilements (klesha) are eliminated.
dasa-bala: The ten powers of a buddha consisting of knowledge relating to 1) what is and is not possible in any given situation: 2) the ripening of needs and the maturation of karma; 3) the superior and inferior qualities of beings; 4) the various tendencies of beings; 5) the manifold constituents of the world; 6) the paths leading to the various realms of existence; 7) pure and impure behavior; 8) the arising of meditative states and related attainments; 9) the death and rebirth of beings; 10) liberation through the destruction of outflows “asravas.”
Dasabhumika Sutra: Also known as the 26th chapter of the Avatamsaka Sutra or the Sutra on the Ten Stages. See “bodhisattva levels.”
dasa-kusala-karmapatha: See “ten good characteristics.”
dasa-sila: See “ten shamanera precepts.”
death: See “cycle of birth and death.”
dedicating merit (parinamana): Usually done as part of reiterating one’s intention in practicing the dharma—to become enlightened so that you may help other beings also become liberated. That is, you are expressing your desire to share with all living beings any merit you might have accrued during your practice.
Deer Park: Site of the first turning of the wheel of Dharma where the Buddha gave His first sermon on the Four Noble Truth at Isipatana (Sarnath) near Bernares (Varanasi). One of the four pilgrimage sites mentioned in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.
defilements (klesha, fan-nao, nyon mong): Refers to the passions and ignorance that cause one to wander repeatedly in samsara and hinder one from attaining enlightenment. Vices, negative psychological tendencies or afflictions. The three most common and the root of all others are greed (raga) and desire or lust; hatred (dvesa), anger, or aversion to what one does not want or like; and ignorance (avidya). Others include conceit or arrogance (mana), doubt (vicikitsa) and false views or opinonatedness (drsti). Delusion (moha), laxity (styana), excitability (auddhatya), shamelessness (ahrika), and recklessness (anapatrapya) are also listed. These are the emotional obscurations in contrast to the intellectual obscurations. Also referred to as disturbing emotions or poisons. See also “afflictions” and SEVEN JEWELS.
>definitive teachings (nedon): Teachings of the Buddha that give the direct meaning of dharma and are not changed or simplified to meet the capacity of the listener. The Buddha taught to all level of beings and he mostly taught by answering the questions of those who came to Him. When someone came with high intelligence and great faith and devotion and a desire to practice and asked questions from that point of view, the Buddha gave them the definitive or highest teachings. Others who had little faith, devotion or a great yearning for the dharma would only receive “provisional teachings” that would require interpretation. The sutras (suttas) contain both types of teachings. This is why there are 84,000 dharma methods. See also “dharma doors” and “four perspectives.”
deity: See “devas”.
deliberate behavior: Unconventional behavior of highly advanced yogins that was often taken to be that of a madman. There were three types: avadhuti (sinful behavior), totally good (nondual behavior), and completely victorious (behavior that makes everyone tremble). These eccentric actions of mad yogins served to enhance their realization, which was also referred to as a state of “sameness” or “equal taste.” Padmasambhava, Virupa, Manjusrimitra, Tsang Nyon Heruka, and Tangtong Gyalpo were all practitioners of deliberate behavior. Their actions, often counter to the precepts of non-tantric Buddhism, required proper motivation and a high level of realization. If they were not performed with pure intent to help living beings by someone lacking in sufficient realization they would result in the practitioner going to the lowest hells. Certain Zen hermit-monks, like the “Tian-tai Trio” and Monk Ji-gong also exhibited similar sorts of eccentric behavior. See “Emptiness.”
delusion: A form of ignorance (avidya). Along with anger and desire, it is one of the three forces that cause reincarnation.
demons (mo): Anything or anyone who serves as an obstacle to realizing your Buddha-nature. There are two types—internal and external demons. Internal demons are created by your own mind and are the most numerous and most difficult to expel. See “skandha-mara,” Shurangama Sutra.
demons of the five aggregates (skandha-mara, wu-yin-mo) Internal demons of form, feelings, perceptions, formations, consciousness.”
dependent origination (pratitya-samutpada, shi-er yin-yuan): Also referred to as dependent co-arising or the “Chain of Conditioned Arising.” Also referred to as “twelve links’ or nidanas of dependant co-arising or the chain of conditioned arising. They are ignorance, compositional factors, consciousness, name and form, six senses, contact, feeling, craving, clinging or grasping, becoming, rebirth, and old age and death. See: “pratyekabuddhas,” Maha-Nidana Sutta.
desire sphere or world (kamadhatu, yu-jie): The material and lowest of the three spheres of the universe (samsara). It is so named because beings therein are characterized by gaining pleasure from sensual experience such as seeing objects, hearing sounds, and so forth. The sphere of desire where sexual and other forms of desire predominate. Within this sphere are the hell realms, the animal realm, the preta or hungry ghost realm, the human realm, the asura realm, and the first six levels of the heavenly realms. The Paranirmita Heaven or sixth heaven, the abode of Mara, is the highest heaven in the material sphere.
dharani: Literally means retention. Refers to high levels of mindfulness (smriti) and insight (prajna) derived from spiritual practice. Term also used to denote longer mantras where the meaning can more or less be understood from the sounds. The four categories or doors of dharani relate to the retention of patience, mantra, words, and meaning.
dharma (dhamma or fa) has three main meanings. It refers to the natural order or universal laws that underpin the operation of the universe. It also refers to the holy teachings of the Buddhas since these accurately describe and explain these laws so that individuals may live in harmony with them (the term is sometimes capitalized when used in this way). Dharma is also used to describe all phenomena, visible and invisible, including psychological processes and traits of character. See also Dharma.
dharma doors: The Buddha taught using two doors–the Dharma-Door of Level Equality, which is the true or definitive dharma, and the Expedient Door, which is the provisional dharma to prepare people for the true dharma. See Shurangama Sutra and “four perspectives.”
Dharma-Ending Age: See INTRODUCTION.
dharma instructions (sadhana): Tantra meditation practice text or booklet that contains the rituals, diagrams, mantras, and other instructions to be followed in practicing a particular dharma. Sadhana literally means spiritual exertion towards an intended goal.
dharma instruments (fa-qi): Holy items used in vajrayana rituals like the ghanta (bell), dorje (vajra), dharmaru (drum), dharmachakra (dharma wheel), bhumpa (ritual vase), etc.
Dharma King (dharmaraja, fa-wang): Someone who “rules the dharma.” There are two types of dharma kings, worldly dharma kings and true dharma kings. Worldly dharma kings are so named by worldly sources while true dharma kings are so designated by the Buddhas and have the full power of the Buddha-dharma with which they can help living beings. True dharma kings have mastery of the five types of Inner Tantric Initiation as well as the five vidyas and the sutras and tantras. See H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and “Listing of Famous Dharma Kings” from True Stories About a Holy Monk. Worldly rulers like King Ashoka who ruled according to the principles of Buddhism are also referred to as “Dharma Kings,” but that is not what is meant here.
dharma methods: Any of the 84,000 methods taught by the Buddha to lead living beings to liberation. Examples would be the Zen method or the Kalachakra method or the Great Perfection method, etc. They are sometimes classified into three types of teachings according to the first, second, or third turning of the wheel of dharma or the three vehicles of the hinayana, mahayana, and vajrayana.
dharma protectors (dharmapalas, hufashen): Beings who act to protect or guard the dharma and its adherents from all negative forces. If holy dharma protectors are properly evoked by one who practices the correct dharma, they can also bestow blessings and empowerment that will enable one to quickly become an enlightened holy being. They may be either holy “vajra beings” or unenlightened supernatural beings from the heavenly (devic), asura, ghost, or animal realms who are “oath bound” to protect the dharma and those who follow the dharma. See “Ten Dharma Protectors,” “Eight Guardians of the Law,” “Tantra and “eight types of celestial beings.”
dharma rewards: See “Buddhist resources.”
dharma wheel (dharmachakra, falun cho chi khor lo): A symbol of the Buddha’s teachings represented in the form of a wheel usually with eight spokes representing the eight-fold path. Also a holy object held by very high dharma kings that has magical powers. Sometimes refers to the three “turnings of the wheel” of dharma that correspond to what became the various systems of dharma.
Dharma Wheel Mandalas: circular light beings recorded on photos from another dimension; often reported in all sorts of photos as ‘orbs.’ Some claim they are the souls of departed beings, others claim they are aliens from another world, but we recognize them as being auspicious and illusory phenomena that seem to be most visible when the dharma is being or about to be propagated. Some of these orbs are Dharma Wheel Mandalas. See “holy events” for examples.
dharma, receiving: The sutras teach that when attending a Dharma lecture, a practitioner should concentrate on listening and learning the Dharma. He should avoid personal reactions to the teacher, such as, the teacher 1) has/has not violated the precepts; 2) comes from a poor/wealthy background; 3) has a pleasant/unpleasant physical appearance; 4) has good diction/a speech impediment; 5) has a melodious/harsh voice. See Quick Path to Enlightenment.
dharmadhatu (fa-jie, cho ying) has several meanings: 1) The content of the mind; 2) all-encompassing space (matrix) in which all phenomena of any sort arise and fall, without beginning or end; or 3) the universe itself with all its world-systems and societies of beings. It is also used to express absolute reality or the emptiness that is the essence of phenomena.
dharmakaya (Fa-shen, cho ku): This aspect of a buddha represents the mind of a buddha or the truth of the universe and is experienced by those who obtain the direct realization of emptiness. It has no form, does not come or go, is boundless. It is sometimes also called the Truth Body. Synonymous with “enlightenment” or “original nature” or “sambodhi.”
Dharmakirti (7th century, Facheng) : One of the “six jewels of India” and famed logician. Wrote Commentary on Valid Perception. Student of Ishvarasena, a student of Dignaga. See Pramana and Kadampa Lineage Chart.
dharmamegha-bhumi: The Cloud of the Dharma Bhumi, the tenth level of the bodhisattva path when, according to the Mahayana tradition, the Bodhisattva reaches the full perfection of a buddha.
dharmata (zhenrú, cho nyi): Phenomena as it really is or as seen by a completely enlightened being without any distortion or obscuration. True or absolute “reality.” Often translated as “true suchness” or the “true nature of things.” See also “bhuta-tathata” and “Distinguishing Dharma and Dharmata.”
dharmavicaya: Aspiration or discriminative knowledge. One of the seven limbs of enlightenment.
dhatu: See “elements.”
dhuta: See “asceticism.”
dhyana (jhana, ch’an, sam ten): Literally trance or absorption. A deep meditative state or absorption characterized by lucid awareness and achieved by focusing the mind on a single object. General word for meditation or concentration and the fifth of the six paramitas. The Sanskrit word that was transliterated by the Chinese into Ch’an and then from the Chinese by the Japanese into Zen. Also used to refer to the four levels of concentration. A meditative absorption state. See “meditation” and the “Shurangama Sutra” for a description of the four dhyanas and the “Cula-suññata Sutta” for a description of the four formless dhyanas or jhanas. See also “Thirty-one Planes of Existence.”
Dignaga (480-540, Chennei): One of the “six jewels of India” and famed logician. Wrote Compendium on Valid Perception. See Kadampa Lineage Chart.
diligence (virya, jing-jin): Exertion, perseverance, effort, energy. One of the six paramitas and one of the eight fundamental right views of cultivation.
Dipankara (Dipamkara) Buddha (Ran-deng-gu Fo/Dingguang For): “Lamp Bearer” or “Maker of Light.” Ancient Buddha from another world system who predicted that Shakyamuni Buddha would become a Buddha. He was the master of Shakyamuni Buddha and a manifestation of Dorje Chang Buddha. Sometimes depicted wearing a robe of leaves. See “Sainthood.”
disciples (dizi): One who follows a particular master or Buddha. The ten most frequently mentioned disciples (in the mahayana sutras) of the Buddha were: Sariputra (wisdom), Mahamaudgalyayana (superpowers), Aniruddha or Anuruddha (heaven-eye), Subhuti (expounder of emptiness), Mahakasayapa (accomplishments), Purna (expounder of Dharma), Katyayana or Mahakatyana (discussion & exegesis), Upali (discipline), Rahula (son and esoteric activities), and Ananda (assistant who heard much).
divine ear: Clairaudience or divyamsrotam. See “six supernormal powers.”
divine eye: Clairvoyance or divyamcaksu. See “six supernormal powers.”
divine pride: Unification with the yidam. Literally “insulting the Buddhas.”
Dodrupchen I, Jigme Thrinle Oser (1745-1821): Principal student of Jigme Lingpa and holder of the Longchen Nyingthik lineage.
Dodrupchen III, Jikmé Tenpé Nyima (1865-1926) – one of the most outstanding Tibetan masters of his time and the teacher of many great lamas, including Jamyang Khyentsé Chökyi Lodrö. See “discourses.”
Dolpopa, Kunkhyen (1292-1361): Famous Jonang Dharma King who had also trained in the Sakya tradition and author of Mountain Doctrine: An Ocean of Definitive Meaning (Tibet’s Fundamental Treatise on Other Emptiness and the Buddha Matrix). Developed and clarified the “shentong” system for understanding other-emptiness.
dorje: See “vajra.”
Dorje Chang Buddha: The ancient Buddha in charge of all esoteric and exoteric Buddhism. Also known as the blue sambhogakaya emanation of the Adharma Buddha, usually portrayed with arms crossed holding a dorje (vajra) and ghanta (bell). He is the master of the Five Transcendent Buddhas and Vajrasattva Mahasattva. See Buddha Vajradhara.
Dorje Drolo: A ferocious manifestation of Padmasambhava and a subduer of demons who arose in a wrathful form in order to subdue the negative and demonic forces of these degenerate times. He stands amidst a mass of primordial wisdom fire upon the back of a pregnant tigress who is the wrathful form of his Wisdom Consort of enlightened activity, Tashi Kye Dren, whose ferocity is unpredictable and wild. He wears a garland of severed heads representing the cutting of the 52 levels of dualistic mind-concepts. In his right hand he holds a vajra aloft emitting lightening bolts, and in his left a kila-purba that severs the three poisons that are the source of all suffering.
Dorje Sempa: Tibetan name for Vajrasattva.
dragons: They are powerful living beings who unlike humans can exist in different realms with some belonging to the heavenly realms and some to either the animal or spirit realms. There are both beneficial and malevolent types. See “nagas.”
Drokmi Lotsawa (992-1074): Tibetan translator who went to India and received the Lambre teaching lineage of Virupa and transmitted them to the founder of the Sakya tradition, Khon Konchok Gyalpo.
drsti: (ditti) False views, especially the belief in a self (atman), belief that the self is eternal, or belief that the self is destroyed at death.
Dudjom Lingpa (1835-1904): Great Nyingma master who had thirteen disciples attain the rainbow body. See “Tharchin Rinpoche.”
Dudjom Rin Jikdrel Yeshe Dorke Rinpoche(1904-1987)(Dengzhu Renboqie): Dharma King of the Nyingma Sect and the first supreme head of the Nyingma sect in India.
dukha (dukka or tong-ka) is usually translated as suffering or stressful, but is meant to represent the unsatisfactoriness of life in samsara. The first of the Four Noble Truths taught by the Buddha. The eight types of dukha are: 1) birth; 2) aging; 3) death; 4) sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair; 5) association with what one does not want; 6) separation from what one loves; 7) not getting what one wants; and 8) intrinsic to existence (the five skandhas or aggregates). One of the “eight winds.” See Maha-satipatthana Sutta.
Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, H.H.: See Thinley Norbu Rinpoche. Eldest son of H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche.
duramgama-bhumi: Going Far Bhumi, the seventh stage or level on the bodhisattva path where the bodhisattva attains the power of skilful means (upayakausalya).
dvesa (dosa): Hatred.
Dzogchen (mahasandhi, da hua-jing Fo-fa): Highest dharma of Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Also called Atiyoga and the Great Perfection Dharma. Within this Dharma are methods for realizing the “rainbow body.”
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche (1961- ): The son of H.H. Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, grandson of H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, and the main incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro and the Khyentse lineage of Dzongsar Monastery in Derge, Kham (Eastern Tibet). He is both a Sakya practitioner and committed to the furtherance of Rime. He is also well known as a movie producer and film maker.