Kadampa (T): lit. 'the school of oral instruction', Bound by command" school of Tibetan Buddhism. Tradition transmitted by Atisha's students, c. 1050. Among its most important teachings were the lo-jong, a course in mind training which continues strong to this day. While this school no longer exists, its wisdom and transmissions were absorbed by other schools especially the Gelugpas. Among two of the best known texts associated with the Kadampa masters are "Eight Verses on Training the Mind" and "Seven Points of Mind Training" (Geshe Langri Thangpa). The Kadampa lineages: Lamrim; Menga; Shung; and Gelug, the "Virtuous Doctrine, from about 1409.
Kagyu (T): Kagyü-pa. Oral Transmission Lineage. One of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, headed by His Holiness Karmapa. One of the three Sarma, or New Translation Schools, that is closest in practice to the Nyingma School The pinnacle teachings of this order is the Mahamudra (S. 'great seal' T. Chagya Chenpo) transmission in the same way that the Dzogchen teachings are at the peak of the Nyingmapa transmissions. The teachings came to Tibet around 1050 and were in the following century organized into the Kagyu Sect. It descended from Vajradhara Buddha through the Indian Masters Tilopa and Naropa, who passed it on to Marpa, Milarepa, and Gampopa. After Gampopa, the Kagyuü lineage was also called Takpo Kagyu and divided into the so-called four great and eight lesser lineages. The four great lineages date back to Gampopa's main students :
Kalu Rinpoche was an eminent spiritual leader of the Kagyu sect in the late 20th Century. He was an incarnation of the famous Tibetan scholar, Jamgon Kongtrul.
The Kagyu lineages:
A. Shangpa - c. 1050
B. Dagpo (the "Four Golden Lineages") - 1125
1. Barom; or Baram
2. Karma Kamtsang, or Karmapa - 1147 - founded by the first Karmapa
3. Pagtru, founded by Phagmo Drupa, c. 1158
Drikung; Drugpa; Martsang; Shungseb; Taglung; Tropu; Yamsang; Yelpa
4. Tsalpa - 1175 founded by Ongom Tsultrim Nyingpo and his student Zhang Darma Drak
Orgyanpa, or Ugyen Nyendrup - 14th/15th century
Rimay, i.e. non-sectarian - 19th century
Kailash Mt. Kailas (lit. 'silver mountain') is a the sacred mountain venerated by half a billion people in India, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. It is variously considered as the abode of a deity, the source of great rivers, a cosmic axis and a planetary temple. To the Hindus it has long been held to be a dwelling place of Lord Shiva. Standing 22,028 feet near the source of four major rivers (including the Indus, Brahmaputra.) To Tibetan Buddhists, it stands at the center of a huge mandala and is regarded as the most sacred mountain on Earth. It is the scene for Milarepa's climbing contest with Naro the Bön priest. Tibetans regard it as a place of deities or saints, and modern pilgrims circumambulate the mountain clockwise, taking three days to walk completely around it, making offerings at the many shrines along the way.
Kalachakra (S): Wheel of Time. Both the name of a deity (Tibetan: Du-kyi Khorlo or Dukhor) and the name of one of the four Highest Tantra Yoga practices. Among the most complex practices of the Buddhist Tantra, it contains a complex cosmology, including an apocalyptic theory of social reality involving a great war at the end of history, and triumph in the mythical Kingdom of Shambhala. The deity Kalachakra is a yidam of the Highest Tantra. In the hidden Land of Shambhala, it is said the inhabitants practice Tantric Buddhism based on the Kalachakra system. He fuses time and timelessness into a non-dualistic view of absolute reality. This Tantric practice is most important to the Gelukpa sect with whom it is most closely associated. He embraces his consort Visvamata who is yellow in color with four faces and eight arms.
Kali Yuga (S): Dark Age. The Kali Yuga is the last age in the repetitive cycle of four phases of time the universe passes through. It is comparable to the darkest part of the night, as the forces of ignorance are in full power and many of the subtle faculties of the mind are obscured.
Kalinga The name of the people that King Asoka conquered just before he became a Buddhist. In 260 BC King Asoka's armies attacked Kalinga (modern Orissa) in an attempt to expand the already huge Mauryan empire. It was the brutality and extreme violence of this campaign that turned the King's mind toward the Dharma.
kalpa (S): An aeon, world cycle, vast stretch of time.
Kanjur (T): The major section of the Tibetan Buddhist canon containing the words of the Buddha Shakyamuni. The 108 volumes were translated from Sanskrit. The Kanjur contains nine sections of 1,115 teachings by Buddha. These sections are:
Vinaya - Cause and effect (karma), guidelines for action.
Prajnaparamita - Perfection of Wisdom
Avatamsaka - Resplendent Fields of Buddha Realms
Ratnakuta - Wondrous Jeweled Spheres of the Buddha
Sutra - The Collection of Brief Essential Teachings
Tantra - Mantrayana Teachings
Pratantras - Ancient Nyingma Tantras
Kalacakra - Wheel of Time
Dharani - Sacred Healing Syllables
karma: (S): Tibetan: ley. Action, or deed. One of the most important principles in Hindu and Buddhist thought, 1. any act or deed; 2) the law of cause and effect; 3) consequence or "fruit of action" (karmaphala) or "after effect" (uttaraphala), which sooner or later returns upon the doer. Selfish, hateful acts will bring suffering. Benevolent actions will bring loving reactions. Karma is a neutral, self-sustaining law of the inner cosmos, much as gravity is an impersonal law of the outer cosmos. Karma is threefold: accumulated actions (sum of all karmas of this life and past lives); actions begun; in motion or thrown karma (karma bearing fruit and shaping the events and conditions of the current life, including the nature of one's bodies, personal tendencies and associations); and karma being made added in this life by thoughts, words and actions, or in the inner worlds between lives. Some of this bears fruit in the current life, others are stored for future births.
Karmamudra This has been concisely defined as "the practice performed with a maiden possessing the physical attributes of a woman, such as beautiful hair and so forth, with whom one has a strong karmic link" - written by Gendun Drub, the First Dalai Lama (one of Tsongkhapa's direct disciples). Je Tsongkhapa says that both oneself and the yogic "partner" must have received initiation, keep all the vows and pledges, and have mastery of all the 64 arts described in the Indian Kamasutra. As well, Tsongkhapa says: "All the authoritative tantric scriptures and treatises point out that the practice of Karmamudra is only to be performed by those who are qualified. To engage in it on any other basis only opens the door to the lower realms. The practice itself should be learned from a qualified master holding the authentic oral tradition." The physical application of sexual practice was largely internalized in adapting to the primarily monastic traditions of Tibet.
Karmapa (S): Literally, "Buddha-Activity Man." The spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu branch of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Also known as the Black Hat lama. The first Karmapa was born in 1110, making this the longest lived line of Tibetan Tulkus. The Karmapas' traditional residence is at Tsurphu Monastery near Lhasa. Presently, he is in his 17th incarnation. The 16th Karmapa died in a Chicago hospital in 1981. A successor was enthroned at Tsurphu in 1993, although some Karma Kagyupa members still support a rival candidate. The Karmapas embody all buddha activity. This is expressed in the name itself, since karma means "activity." The first Karmapa, Tsum Khyepa (1110-1193) was Gampopa's main disciple. Before his death, he left behind a letter explaining the precise circumstances of his next rebirth. In accordance with his description, the second Karmapa, Karma Pakshi (1206-1283) was born deliberately as an incarnation of the first. He was the first incarnation to be recognized in Tibetan history. Since that time, the Kagyu lineage has been transmitted by the Karmapas, with each successive Karmapa leaving behind specific instructions concerning his next incarnation.
Still central to the transmission of the Kagyu lineage,the present Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje is the 17th incarnation of the Karmapa. This was the first time the Communist government allowed the recognition of any reincarnate lama. On January 1, 2000, as the Western calendar marked a new millennium, His Holiness had begun a new journey. Just a few days earlier, on December 28, the fourteen year old Ugyen Trinley Dorje, left Tolung Tsurphu Monastery with a handful of attendants, and traveling on foot escaped from Tibet. On January 5, 2000, he arrived safely in Dharamsala, India where he was met by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. In February 2001, he was granted refugee status by the government of India.
karma yoga (S): Union through action. The path of selfless service. One who does such acts of service while seeking no rewards, following the Hindu karma yoga path is a karma yogi.
karmic pattern: One's individual pattern of living based on all experiences from this and previous lives, the culmination of which is the shape of present and future circumsatnces.
karuna (S): Compassion. T: thug-je. The will to free others from suffering, based on an empathetic sensitivity to that suffering.
kata (T): Long white honorific silk scarf which one offers to ones teacher, or on great occasions.
kayas (S) Tibetan: Ku The three bodies of the Buddha: the nirmanakaya, sambhogakaya and dharmakaya. The dharmakaya (Tibetan: chö ku) also called the "truth body," or "enlightenment body" is complete wisdom of the Buddha which is unoriginated wisdom beyond form; it is the nature of mind, or emptiness, and is meaningful for oneself. Form manifests in the sambhogakaya (Tibetan: long ku) and the nirmanakaya (Tibetan: trul- ku) . The sambhogakaya, also called the "enjoyment body," is a realm in which the Buddha manifests only to bodhisattvas. The Buddha manifests in the world as a seemingly ordinary being who became known as the historical Buddha. These buddhas manifest out of compassion for the benefit of beings and are meaningful for the liberation of others. Sambhogakaya buddhas such as Vajrasattva can only be experienced directly by realized bodhisattvas, whereas nirmanakayas such as Shakyamuni Buddha manifest as human and can be perceived by beings with no particular realization. The unity of the three kayas is called the svabhavikakaya (Tibetan: Ngo wo nyi-kyi ku).
Khadroma (T): Sanskrit: Dakini. Sky-dancer.
Kham (T): Region of eastern Tibet. Also known to Tibetans as the province of Domae. Western Kham is now in the Tibetan Autonomous Republic, while eastern Kham is in China's Sichuan (Szechwan) province.
Khandro Nyingtig (T): Heart Essence of the Dakinis. A Nyingma transmission lineage of Dzogchen teachings that goes back to Padmasambhava who passed these teachings to princess Pema Sal and to his consort Yeshe Tsogyal. Also known as Heart-Drop of the Dakinis, the Khandro Nyingtig constitutes a terma revealed by Pema Ledrel Tsal which was later included in the famous Nyingtig Yabshi by Longchenpa. These Nyingtig teachings based on Padmasambhava are sometimes called Padma Nyingtig. The expression "Mother and Son Khandro Nyingtig" refers to the combination of the Khandro Nyingtig text (the mother) and the commentary (the son) known as Khandro Yangtig, the latter of which is by Longchenpa and part of the Nyingtig Yabshi.
Khenpo (T): Title of the chief instructor or spiritual authority in a monastery. Though the word is often translated as "abbot," the khenpo is not usually the administrator of the monastery. The title is also accorded to Lamas of great learning. A khenpo in charge of more than one monastery is referred to in the plural-indicative form, "Khenchen."
khorde rushan (T): "Khor," transmigration; "de," beyond, which is understood as nirvana; "rushan" means to separate or distinguish. In this context it means to go beyond the relative condition, i.e., the mind (transmigration) and its fundamental nature (nirvana). There are specific practices of khorde rushan.
Khyungpo Naljor (978-1127): Mastered both Ancient Tibetan lineages and had more than 150 teachers. He founded the Shangpa lineage.
koan (J): A riddle, tale, or short statement, often intellectually confounding, used by Zen masters to bring insight to their students. According to one old master, this practice leads to a condition which is somewhat like a mosquitoe attempting to bite an iron bull.
kriya (S): Action. In a general sense, kriya can refer to doing of any kind. Specifically, it names religious action, especially rites or ceremonies. In yoga terminology, kriya refers to involuntary physical movements caused by the arousal of the kundalini.
Kusinagara After teaching for forty-five years, at the age of eighty, in the year 543 B.C. the Buddha fell ill while on his way to Kusinagara, capital of the Malla State. Even in the face of death his mind moved towards others. He told Ananda, his faithful attendant, to console Cunda, the poor blacksmith from whose house the Buddha ate his last meal of indigestible pork, (some accounts say it was not pork, but poisonous mushrooms), that his food-offering was of great merit and that he should not blame himself for the Buddhas indigestion. On his deathbed under two Sala trees in the Grove of the Mallas, he explained to his disciples that they would not be left without the Teacher for "The Doctrine and Discipline I have taught you, that shall be your Teacher, when I am gone." His last words were; "Behold now, monks, I exhort you. Subject to decay are all component things. Work out your salvation with diligence."
Under the oversight of Ananda, the Buddha's favorite disciple, the body was cremated by his friends in Kusinagara castle. Seven of the neighboring rulers under the lead of King Ajatasatru demanded that the ashes be divided among them. The King of the Kusinagara castle at first refused and the dispute even threatened to end in war, but by the advice of a wise man named Dona, the crises passed and the ashes were divided and buried under eight great monuments. Even the embers of the fire and the earthen jar that had held the ashes were divided and given to two others to be likewise honored. The Buddha mentioned that those who shall die with a believing heart, in the course of their pilgrimage to this, one of four sacred places, will be reborn in a heavenly state on the
dissolution of their body after death.
ksanti (S): Patience or forbearance, one of the six Paramitas.
Ksitigarbha (S): Earth-Store Bodhisattva and guardian of the earth. Depicted with the alarum staff with its six rings, he is accredited with power over the hells and is devoted to the saving of all creatures between the Nirvana of Shakyamuni and the advent of Maitreya. He vows that while the hell is not empty, he will not attain Buddhahood. As his vow is the greatest, he is also known as The Great Vow Bodhisattva.
Kuan Yin (C): "She Who Hears the Cries of the World." Derived from Avalokitesvara, the Indian Bodhisattva of Compassion (Tibetan: Chenrezi) depicted as a young male, and emanation of Amitabha Buddha. In Chinese Buddhism, Kuan Yin (an Amitabha emanation and the Bodhisattva of Compassion) is among the most important Bodhisattvas.. Kuan Yin is usually depicted as female in China and Japan, and as male in other parts of Asia. In Southeast Asia, she is QuanAm; in Japan, Kannon.
Kum Nye (T): "Mind-Body-Emotions Balancing." A holistic healing system discovered in 8th century Tibet which vitalizes body, mind and senses by means of breathing exercises, massage and movement. Derived from Indian hatha yoga, Kum Nye originated in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
kundalini (S): "She who is coiled; serpent power." In Hinduism, the primordial cosmic energy in every individual which, at first, lies coiled like a serpent at the base of the spine and eventually, through the practice of yoga, rises up the sushumna nadi. As it rises, the kundalini awakens each successive chakra. Nirvikalpa samadhi, enlightenment beyond forms, occurs as the force pierces through the door of Brahman at the core of the sahasrara and enters.
Kurukulla (S): Tibetan: Rikjema. An aspect of Tara who represents the perception of enlightened power overwhelming and overpowering all dualistic perception. This binds and resolves mind and mental events into the unity of pure enlightened perception and experience. She causes negative action to become powerless and repatterned into wholesome, virtuous activity. She is bright red in color and like a tantric Cupid, her primary symbol is a drawn bow and flowery arrow which causes ordinary perception to be concentrated, piercing the experiential unity of the primordially pure nature. In the Mahakala teaching, Kurukulla is one of the Three Great Red Deities central to the lineage of the Sakya tradition.