Rahula (S): Literally, "fetter" or "impediment." The son of Siddhartha Gautama born shortly before he chose to leave the palace as a homeless wandere and seek enlightenment. Rahula later became a buddhist monk.

Rainbow body: This term relates to one of the highest attainments when, upon dying, the corporeal form is transformed into a body of light, primordial awareness, a 'light without shadow.' At the time of death the adept's physical body and mind are dissolved into the pure radiance of deathless awareness. The only worldly remains left behind are bits of hair and nails. Reports of the attainment of rainbow bodies persist throughout the history of Vajrayana Buddhism up until the present time, both in Tibet and India.

Raja Yoga: "King of yogas." Also known as ashtanga yoga, "eight-limbed yoga." The classical yoga system of eight progressive stages to Illumination as described in various yoga Upanishads, the Tirumantiram and, most notably, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The eight stages are: yama (restraints), niyama (observances), asana (posture), pranayama (breath control) pratyahara (withdrawal), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (enstasy, mystic oneness).

Ratnasambhava (S): Jewel-born. Tibetan: Rinchen Jung-né. The third of the five Transcendental Buddhas, associated with the southern direction. With his right hand he makes the mudra of generosity. Seated upon a throne supported by horses, his body is a rich golden yellow and represents the primordial wisdom of equality. He is associated with the skandha of feeling-sensation and the transformation of pride.. His consort is called Mamaki, (T. She who makes mine).

Refuge: Tibetan: kyab. A reorientation towards values that can be trusted. One takes refuge in the state of Buddha as the goal, in the Dharma - the teachings - as the way, and in the Sangha - the practitioners - as one's friends and companions on the way. These are called the Three Jewels. To practice Vajrayana, one needs the additional Refuge in the Three Roots, which are Lama, Yidam and Protector. They are the sources of blessing, inspiration and protection along the way.

reincarnation: Sanskrit: Punarjanma. "Re-entering the flesh." In the Hindu systems, it is the process wherein souls take on a physical body through through the birth-death cycle. In Hinduism, the cycle ends when karma has been resolved and the Self God (Parashiva) has been realized. This condition of release is called moksha (liberation). The soul continues to evolve and mature, but without the need to return to physical existence. In Buddhism, the cycle ends when one awakens to one's true nature, also called "enlightenment." Technically though, in Buddhadharma, there is no actual being who moves in and out of the flesh, but rather a continuity (S. santana) of causes and effects which is sometimes expressed physically. Therefore, the term rebirth (as a step in a cyclic process) rather than reincarnation (implying an entity who is returning to the flesh) is preferred. In Mahayana Buddhism, practitioners vow to seek enlightenment and take rebirth in the cycle until all other sentient beings have been liberated. Such practitioners are termed Bodhisattvas.

Rimé : Lit. "unbiased" -the term applied to the current in Tibetan Buddhism that originated in eastern Tibet in the 19th century. It arose from the need to overcome closed-minded sectarian biases in the evaluation of the doctrinal traditions of the various schools and to accept each tradition on its own merits, emphasizing the generally broad common ground shared by all the schools. The movement was initiated by Jigme Lingpa and championed by the Sakyapa teacher Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820-1892). Among his students, the most important were Chögyur Dechen Lingpa (1829-1870) and Jamgon Kongtrul the Great (1811-1899). The fundamental attitude of unbiasedness in this movement was most evident in the person and work of Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye. The rimé movement attracted several outstanding scholars whose writings comprise the authoritative texts used by many modern Tibetan teachers, especially those of the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions. The influence of the Rimé teachers and succeeding generations of their students was a clear structuring of doctrinal and practical materials, based on the example of the Gelugpa school. The process within the Rimé movement of reviving transmissions of teachings that had been thought lost and providing them with fresh commentary also embraced the traditions of the other schools. Works of the Kagyüpa, Sakyapa, Kadampa (a.k.a. Gelugpa) and Chöd lineages are also found in the Rimé collection of texts. Additionally, the Rimé teachers advocated revival of the Bön teachings. Besides their religious activities, they also found time to be politically active as mediators with the central government in Lhasa.

rinpoche (T): Honorific title used by Tibetans for highly respected spiritual teachers; literally, "Precious Jewel," or "Great Precious One." Reserved properly for incarnate lamas and eminent spiritual teachers. It is used as both a term of address, and as the last element of the name.

Rinzai (J): One of the three remaining schools of Zen in Japan, it was founded by Rinzai Gigen in China during the Tang Dynasty. It is known for the use of koans as a way to enlightenment.

Riwoche (T): A non-sectarian monastery in Kham (eastern Tibet) where both Kagyu and Nyingma traditions were practiced. The original Riwoche Monastery in the Riwoche region of Kham in eastern Tibet was home to 1,000 resident monks and was famous for the strength of its teaching and practice, its history filled with many wondrous and miraculous events. Trinley Jampa Jungne, the seventh Jedrung Rinpoche, was a high-ranking teacher at Riwoche Monastery and an important Nyingma lama. Jedrung Rinpoche also was a terton -- his terma name was Dudjom Namkhai Dorje - and was one of the three principle root gurus of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, the late Jigdral Yeshe Dorje. Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche was trained at Riwoche. Riwoche was occupied in 1911 and temporarily served as a garrison for Chinese troops during a short-lived invasion of Tibet. The monastery was greatly damaged in the early 1960s during Red Chinese occupation.

Root Lama: Or root guru, root teacher. Tibetan: Tsa-wai Lama. Teacher from whom one has learned the most about ; from whom one has received empowerments, instructions, and precepts which form the core of one's own practice.

Roots, Three Roots: Tibetan: tsa-wa sum. Guru, yidam, and dharmapalas; an expanded form of refuge invoked in the vajrayana. The guru is the source of inspiration and enables one to experience the nature of one's own mind. The yidams are the source of siddhis. Yidams are sambhogakaya forms - subtle manifestations of dharmakaya - only directly experienced by realized bodhisattva. In the vajrayana they are visualized as objects of meditation. As meditational deities, yidams embody the practitioner's enlightened nature. The dharmapalas and dakinis are also sambhogakaya forms. They are the source of actions and protect the practitioner from obstacles along the way to buddhahood. Both yidams and dharmapalas are in their essence inseparable from the guru.

Roshi (J): An honorific title given to a Zen Buddhist master. Literally "old man," this title is also denotes a lineage holder.

Rudra : The word rudra is sometimes used for wrathful herukas in the Akanistha pure realm who appear standing on top of the bodies of different beings in order to subjugate them, or for emanations of buddhas or bodhisattvas in the fields of those needing training, in accordance with that particular field. It is more commonly used to designate a being born in a malignant form as a result of broken tantric commitments in previous lives. This type of rudra is usually accompanied by a retinue of other beings of less power but similar karma. Their main activity is to cause obstacles to the propagation of the teaching of the secret mantrayana. For this reason, special practices to slay and liberate rudras are performed before important ceremonies. The practices to subjugate rudras are always wrathful, as peaceful means are ineffective in this regard. The Vajrakilaya tantras were given to us by Guru Padmasambhava because he realized we would experience obstacles to our practice of the secret mantrayana by these malignant forces.

rudraksha (S): "Eye of Rudra; or red-eyed." Refers to the third eye, or ajna chakra. Marble-sized, multi-faced, reddish-brown seeds from the Eleocarpus ganitrus, or blue marble tree, which are sacred to Siva and a symbol of His compassion for humanity. Garlands, rudraksha mala, of larger seeds are worn around the neck by monks, and nonmonastics, both men and women, often wear a single bead on a cord at the throat. Smaller beads (usually numbering 108) are strung together as a mala, or rosary, for mantra meditations and chanting. Rudrashka malas are also used by Tibetan Buddhists.

rupa (S): Tibetan: zug. Body. Also Buddharupa. Statue or image of a buddha or other enlightened being. Also, in the system of interdependent origination, rupa is half of the fourth nidana, the other being name, together comprising nama-rupa or name and form, a reference to the five skandhas, one of which is form (rupa), the other four being mental faculties (nama).