Nagarjuna (150-250) (Long-shu): Famous Indian Dharma King from the first or second to third centuries. Founded the Madhyamaka School. One of the “seventeen great panditas.” Wrote Treatise on the Middle Way. Often portrayed with a halo of snakes, symbolizing the nagas from whom he obtained the great Prajnaparamita Sutras. See Kadampa Lineage Chart.
nagas (long): One of the eight types of celestial beings. Chinese term means dragon. Non-human being not normally visible to humans. Nagas usually live in the oceans of the world. They are very powerful, some being benevolent and some malevolent. Their upper half is said to be human while their lower half serpent. Virupaksa is their king. When a thunderstorm broke out, a naga king, Mucalinda, came and protected the Buddha while he was meditating in Bodhgaya. This is the significance of the art depicting a hooded cobra poised over the Buddha. It was to the nagas that the Buddha entrusted the great prajnaparamita and other teachings. The great Dharma King Nagarjuna was so named because he is said to have gone to the land of the nagas to retrieve certain of these scriptures. His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III has said that 70% of the Buddha-dharma possessed by Shakyamuni Buddha can be found at the Palace of the Naga King. His Holiness also told us that while living on this earth 2500 years ago Shakyamuni Buddha only transmitted 30% of the Buddha-dharma He possessed.
naked truth body: See “svabhavikakaya.”
Nalanda (Na-lan-tuo): Great Buddhist University founded in second century near Bodhgaya, India. It was destroyed in the 12th century by the invading Muslims. See “methods” used at Nalanda to teach dharma.
Namju Wangden (Shilunxu): Symbol for the kalachakra. See “Kalachakra.”
Naropa (1016-1100) (Da-fa-cheng-jiu Na-luo-ba): Great Mahasiddha and disciple of Tilopa and teacher of Marpa. Xiazhu Qiuyang Rinpoche of the Geluk Sect is a current nirmanakaya incarnation on Naropa.
nayuta: A nayuta is a Sanskrit numeral for ten billion. It is a thousand koñis.
nectar, true (gan-lu): Also called ambrosia or amitra. A transcendental substance emanated by enlightened deities, which confers such benefits as purification, realizations, long life, etc. The Chinese term literally means “sweet dew” as it is described in the Lotus Sutra. It is truly an extraterrestrial substance from another dimension. It is an essential component of higher inner-tantric initiations. See section on Holy Manifestations for more information.
nectar pills, ordinary, or nectar, man-made: Also called Five Nectar Pills. This is nectar made from certain worldly ingredients, such as betel nuts and saffron to which is added five different types of meat. There are five dirty things and five pure things. After all of these ingredients are combined, the nectar mantra, as well as other mantras, are recited. The dharma is practiced to empower these kinds of nectar pills. Sometimes shariras or clothing or other artifacts from holy beings or fine medicinal herbs are added. It is not at all like the holy nectar pills made from true nectar bestowed from the land of the Buddhas. These pills are called nectar because ordinary people have labeled them as such. This is Outer-Tantric Nectar that is made from outer-tantra practices. They are merely pills made from medicinal herbs, things from a human body, things from an animal’s body, etc. Sometimes there is reference to the essence of ancient nectar pills being added to these pills. These might have been made from true nectar, but nowhere can you find evidence that true nectar is being manifested in modern times except by His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III and Female Dharma King Dorje Pa Mu. When people speak of nectar or nectar pills, they are generally referring to this type of man-made nectar pill. See also “precious pills.”
nectar rain: See “dharma rain.”
negative (black) karma: That which is produced by evil thoughts or bad speech and actions.
Nigantha Nataputta: An influential non-Buddhist thinker during Shakyamuni’s time. See “Abhaya Sutta.”
Niguma (tenth-eleventh centuries) (Ni-gu-ma): A formidable mahasiddha and one of two female holy beings who received the dharma of the Shangpa Kagyu lineage directly from Dorje Chang Buddha. A sister of Naropa and a Wisdom Dakini, she appeared to the founder of the Shangpa Kagyu, Khyungpo Naljor and later to others in his lineage including Dharma King Tangtong Gyalpo. She founded the practice known as The Six Yogas of Niguma. See Shangpa Lineage Chart.
nihilism (ucchedanta): An extreme viewpoint rejected by Buddhism whereby one views things—even the delusory manifestations of the world—as not existing in any sense. One also believes that nothing continues after death. Nihilists deny the doctrines of reincarnation and cause and effect.
ninda: Blame or criticism. One of the “eight winds.”
nirmanakaya (hua-shen) or emanation body is the form a buddha takes that is visible to most humans. Also called the transformation body. A buddha can appear in many forms to save living beings, both human and non-human, and even as inanimate objects like a bridge or tree. See also “four bodies,” “three bodies,” and “tulkus.”
nirvana (nibbana, nie-pan): The state of liberation from the suffering of cyclic existence. The goal of spiritual practice in all branches of Buddhism. However, the concept of nirvana differs in lessor vehicle, mahayana, and vajrayana Buddhism. See “amata.”
Noble Eight-fold Path: See “eight-fold path.”
Noble Ones (arya or ariya): those who have reached any of the four stages of supra-mundane attainment leading irreversibly to nirvana. See “arya-marga,” ARHAT.
nonsectarianism: See also Rime.
non-sentient beings are beings who do not have life, feelings, or consciousness and those with life but who do not have feelings or consciousness, like plants. Some plants have feelings and consciousness, but their consciousness is not active. They can only think like a human vegetable. They are not mobile. This is the result of their particular karma which has been planted over many lifetimes and eons. See “beings.”
nun (bhiksuni): See “monk.”
Nyingma Sect (ning-ma): One of the five major sects of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded by Master Shantarakshita and Master Padmasambhava in the 8th century. Also called the ancient school, as it is the oldest of the four major Tibetan sects. They are known as the Red Hats or Red Sect to the Chinese.