tanha (S): craving, desire, thirst

Tanjur (T): Also "Tangyur." Part of the Tibetan canon, comprises about 225 volumes of commentaries on the Kanjur and related Buddhist literature translated from the Sanskrit. The Tanjur contains 17 sections of 3,387 commentaries by 700 scholars.

tantra (S): Loom, weave, T. gyu; continuity. The Tibetan word for tantra is "gyud," which means continuum, transmission, and secret teaching. The term Tantra has two clearly defined ways of usage: 1, a particular religious tradition with its roots in 5th century India; spreading soon to Tibet, China, and Japan -- and more recently to Europe and the North America in the form of "neo-Tantra;" 2, a sacred text of that tradition. The Tibetan tantric writings give advanced, often cryptic directions of advanced yoga and meditation.

Tara (S): Tibetan: Drolma. "The Liberator" or "One Who Saves." Tara, the "Wisdom Mother," embodies the compassionate activity of all the Buddhas, and is invoked in times of personal difficulties, health problems, travelling and when there is need for quick, wise action. She manifests in 21 different forms to benefit all beings. To recite the Praises to the 21 Taras is considered helpful in all adverse circumstances. In the aspect of Cittamani Tara (the Green one, also called She of the Rosewood Forest) she quickly benefits quickly the minds of those who pray to her. White Tara is especially associated with long life and wisdom. Unlike the green form of this deity, White Tara has seven eyes -- one in each hand and foot, and a third eye on her face -- to show that she sees and responds to suffering throughout the universe; and she sits in full lotus posture. Her right hand is held in the mudra (gesture) of giving, and her left hand holds the stem of a pink-tinged white lotus in a gesture signifying the Three Jewels. The third eye on Tara's forehead symbolises her realisation of non-duality and her ability to see past, present and future. Her expression is maternally gentle and loving.

Tashi Lhunpo : (T: bKra shis lhun po) is a major Gelugpa monastery founded in 1447 near Shigatse by Gendun Drupa, one of Tsongkhapa's disciples. He served as abbot, and was posthumously appointed HHDL I. This monastery came to be the principal residence of the Panchen Lamas, the second highest spiritual leader of Tibet.

Tathagata (S): Thus Come or Thus Gone One. Moving as Thatness (T. de kho na nyid), name of Buddha; one who comes forth Thus, One who is of Suchness (T. de bzhin nyid), having realized What Isness, etc., the nature of a buddha who has followed in the steps of his predecessors.

Tathagatagarbha (S): The seed, germ or womb of Enlightenment, the potential for Buddhahood in every sentient being.

Tathatgatas (S): Also Transcendental Buddhas. Most commonly referred to as Dhyani Buddhas; they are emanations of Adi buddha and serve as the meditation Buddhas, occupying the cardinal directions in the primary tantric mandala. These Tathagatas are the Lords of five buddha families which are ultimately inseparable, representing different aspects of the relative world as well as the wondrous qualities of Buddhahood. Each Buddha is related to one of the skandhas or an emotional poison as well as an aspect of wisdom by which these can be transformed. These five Buddhas are also known as Jinas (Conquerors). They are invariably seated and each displays a different body color and hand gestures (mudras) reflecting their respective dispositions. Variochana occupies the center with Akshobya in the East, Ratnasambhava in the South, Amitabha in the West and Amogasiddhi in the North.

tattva: "That-ness" or "essential nature." Tattvas are the primary principles, elements, states or categories of existence, the building blocks of the universe. Rishis describe this emanational process as the unfoldment of tattvas, stages or evolutes of manifestation, descending from subtle to gross.

Ten Directions: The 10 directions of space -- the eight points of the compass plus the nadir and zenith. A term used in scripture to indicate all-pervasiveness.

Ten Powers.: T. stobs bcu. Those powers developed by bodhisattvas are 1) reflection, {bsam pa'i stobs} or aashayabala 2) superior reflection, {lhag bsam} or adhyaasa 3) acquisition {sbyor ba} or pratipatti 4) discriminative awareness, {shes rab} or prajnaa 5) aspiration {smon lam} or pra.nidhaana 6) vehicle {theg pa}. or yana 7) conduct {spyod pa}. or charyaa 8) transformation {rnam par 'phrul pa} or vikurvana 9) enlightenment {byang chub kyi sems} or bodhicitta, and 10) turning the doctrinal wheel {chos kyi 'khor lo bskor ba} or dharma-chakra-pravartana. The ten powers of a tathagata: 1) power of knowing what is possible and impossible; 2) power of knowing how actions will ripen; 3) power of knowing the different dispositions of human beings; 4) the power of knowing different elements; 5) power of knowing the supreme and lesser powers of human beings; 6) power of knowing the path that leads everywhere; 7) omniscience regarding the original of all suffering and which leads to dhyana, liberation, samadhi, and samapatti; 8)-power of knowledge that remembers former abodes 9) power of knowing death, transmigration, and birth 10)?

Terdak Lingpa c.1640-1714: Born Minling Terchen Gyurme at Dargye Choling monastery in Dranang, central Tibet. An incarnation of Vairocana, he began his religious training at four, attained realization at nine, and discovered his first terma at 17. A year earlier he became a disciple of the Fifth Dalai Lama, later to become one of his teachers. In this way a strong spiritual tie developed between them. It is said that once while giving His Holiness esoteric initiation, flowers fell from the heavens, and upon another occasion, was healed on advice of His Holiness to take a consort. He died amid auspicious signs at 68. Uniting kama and terma lineages, he revitalized and restored Nyingma teachings to their original prominence.

Terma (T): "Mother treasure." A name for so-called "secret treasures" in the form of hidden teachings, texts or objects; intended to be re-discovered at a future time by an inspired terton (see below). According to the Vajrayana tradition, such texts were most often prepared, sealed and hidden by Padmasambhava and/or Yeshe Tsogyal during the time that monastic Buddhism, after a relatively short flowering, was outlawed in Tibet. Termas are subdivided into different types: Sa-Ter (earth-treasure): a text or sacred object actually discovered as a material treasure; for example in caves, lakes, trees, temple pillars, and even the sky where they are stored to be discovered at the right time by a qualified person, a terton. Tertons are special individuals who were once students of Padmasambhava and having already received these instructions, they are merely re-presenting it in this time and space for the benefit of those who require training.; and Gong-Ter (mind treasure): a text revealed to a terton by a non-human agency, usually a Dakini or Buddha. The Nyingmapas possess the most voluminous terma literature derived mainly from Padmasambhava and his consort Yeshe Tsogyal. They left thousands of teachings for future times, which have been revealed again and again by many great teachers. During the 10th and 14th centuries many terma were discovered through dreams and visions.

terton (T): "Revealer of treasure." Term for an individual who discovers or reveals one or more previously hidden terma ("treasures"), hidden for the sake of future generations and/or because certain teachings were judged too advanced for the then living. Althought there are examples of this process at earlier times in Indian Buddhism, it became especially associated with the early Nyingmapa who used this "hide and recover" method for the transmission of advanced teachings.

thangka (T): A thangka is a complicated, composite three-dimensional object consisting of: a picture panel which is painted or embroidered, a textile mounting; and one or more of the following: a silk cover, leather corners, wooden dowels at the top and bottom and metal or wooden decorative knobs on the bottom dowel. Thangkas are intended to serve as a record of, and guide for contemplative experience. For example, you might be instructed by your teacher to imagine yourself as a specific figure in a specific setting. You could use a thangka as a reference for the details of posture, attitude, colour, clothing. etc., of a figure located in a field, or in a palace, possibly surrounded by many other figures of meditation teachers, your family, etc.

Theravada: Main Branch of Buddhism. Means "teachings of the elders," but is also called Hinayana "the little vessel" by the followers of Mahayana. According to Theravada Buddhism, the individual has been given the teachings which allow one to work toward freedom from the suffering in the world. An elder is a monk who has been ordained for a minimum of 10 years and who is acknowledged to have attained insight. Officially, the Theravada school is based only on what has been transmitted by these elders down through the ages. This body of teachings have been preserved in a Pali, a word that means a straight line. The English word "canon" comes from a Greek word meaning a straight line or a straight-edge, so early translators of Buddhist texts translated the word "pali" as "canon" and redundantly named the works of this school the Pali Canon. The language in which that canon is preserved is called the Pali language. While many Theravadin teachers admire and study and refer to individuals and writings that are not in the Pali canon, the framework within which all teachings are interpreted is provided by the Pali canon.  Theravada school exists nowadays in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and parts of Vietnam. Theravada is therefore also called the Southern Buddhism.

third eye: The inner organ of psychic vision associated with wisdom, located above and between the two physical eyes at the location of the ajna chakra. See: chakra.

Thousand Buddhas Empowerment: Shakyamuni Buddha prophesied that in this eon of time, a thousand Buddhas would arise to relieve sentient beings from suffering and guide them to enlightenment. This empowerment creates a karmic connection such that those who receive it will be present during the lives and teachings of the future Buddhas of this eon. The transmission takes place through the mandala of Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who embodies the active compassion of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout time. This connection matures through the intention to do no harm to other beings and the commitment to hold all life as sacred.

Three Marks: Impermanence, suffering and no self, which are the characteristics which pervade conditional existence and serve as the foundation of the Abidharmapitaka.

Three Times: The past, present and future.

Three Poisons: Craving, aversion and delusion; symbolized respectively by the cock, snake and pig in the center of the Wheel of Life. also, these are termed the three roots of unskillfull actions.

Three Realms of Samsara: Tibetan: Kham Sum. The desire realm, the form realm, and the formless realm. To the realm of desire belong the hell, hungry ghost, animal, human, jealous god, and "lower" god realms; in these realms, sensations are the most important element of one's existential experience. The other two realms correspond to the higher levels of the god realms. In the form realm, one still experiences the illusion of a subtle body, as opposed to the formless realm which is purely mental.

Throma Nagmo (T): The practice or sadhana of the wrathful black dakini T'hröma Nagmo was revealed by Dudjom Lingpa as a treasure of Guru Padmasambhava Rinpoche and Saraha inseparable. In a vision, Yeshe Tsogyal was told by a dakini that Guru Rinpoche held the lineage of the T'hröma practice. Yeshe Tsogyal requested the practice from Guru Rinpoche and then concealed it as a terma (hidden treasure teaching).

Tibetan Buddhism - Schools, Lineages, or Traditions:

Tibetan calendar: The Tibetan calendar is divided into major cycles of 60 years duration. These cycles are further divided into five minor 12-year cycles, each year of which is identified by the name of an animal, bird or reptile. Moreover, each year in the 12-year cycle is consecutively paired with one of five distinguishing elements, which changes every two years. This yields a cycle of sixty years ie; Isaiah (b. 1975) and Gertrude (b. 1915) are both earth-rabbits. Each of the elements has alternating male and female attributes. Based on the lunar month, the Tibetan year consists of 355 days. LOSAR? SEE LUNAR CALENDAR

T'ien T'ai: Sect of Chinese Buddhism, initiated by Hui Man in the dynasty of Bei-Chai, and promoted by Chi-Hai in Tsui Dynasty. Mainly based on the Lotus Sutra, Tien Tai explains all universal phenomena with the "Three Dogmas." Its practices emphasize cutting off the "Three Delusions," and advocate the "Three Meditations of One Mind."

Tilopa (988 - 1069): Wild yogin (mahasiddha) who lived like a beggar; Tilopa collected the full Vajrayana transmissions. Passing them to his main disciple, Naropa, he thus planted the seeds of the Kagyu Lineage.

tingsha (T): A pair of small brass cymbals (2-3 inches diameter) united by a leather tong. Tingshas are a sonorous aid to relaxation and a centered, balanced state of mind. The edges of the tingsha are struck together to produce a pure, resonating sound.

tonglen (T): Sending and taking. A meditation practice in which the practitioner takes in all the world's sorrow on the in-breath and sends out light and happiness to all beings on the out-breath.

torma (T): Sanskrit: Balingta. Ritual figurine made of flour and butter which is used to either represent a deity or to be used as offering. Torma are usually formed in the shape of a cone and adorned with small and large 'buttons' and of various colors. During certain Vajrayana initiations the torma is used to represent the deity. This most often refers to an offering, very ornate and colored. It is made from a mixture of butter and barley flour, and is offered to the deities which are invoked during a ritual. The Torma is therefore like food of which the form and the colors are supposed to particularily please such and such a type of deity. In other rituals, such as iniation, they can also be the symbolic form of the very deity. By its use, the Lama transfers to the disciple protection and security against adverse forces.

training: There are three principal trainings or disciplines in which the teachings of the Buddha are regrouped according to the three vehicles. These are the discipline of ethics, the discipline of samadhi and that of wisdom.

tranquillity and insight: S. samatha/vipassana, T. zhi-né/lhag tong. All meditative practice can be categorized as one or the other of these disciplines. Asanga defined tranquillity as "Close contraction or binding of the mind, tranquillity, unification, and composure." The qualities he associated with insight are inquiry, search, complete thought, and investigation of mind and mental activities. "By the power of calm, thought becomes unshakeable in relation to its own object, like a lamp in still air. By the power of insight, the light of right knowledge arises as a result of understaning the reality of dharmas as they are. All obstructions are thereby removed, just as darkness is removed by the appearance of light." -Kamalasila, heart-student of Khenpo Santarakshita

tri-gug (T): Sanskrit: Dargu. Skull chopper. An elaborate ritual chopping knife, the hooked knife of the Dakinis that represents the power of wisdom to cut through ego-clinging.

Tripitaka: Literally, (S.) 'Three Baskets' canon of Buddhist scriptures. Tripitaka

These three collections are the parts of the Buddhist canon and, in one form or another, used by all Buddhists:

Trisong Deutsen (790 — 858): One of the Three Religious Kings, young Tibetan monarch who invited the scholar Shantarakshita to Tibet, and with his help sought to establish the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery. Shantarakshita was a bit too scholarly for local tastes and was naturally disturbed by local suspicions, ghosts and demons throughout the project. He therefore advised the King to invite the Indian master Lobpon (T. teacher) Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) to help. King Trisong Deutsen followed his advice. With the aid of Guru Rinpoche who was able to convert some of the local demons into a labor force, they were finally able to build Samye (T. inconceivable) monastery. Trisong Deutsen invited many Indian scholars to Tibet. Under his regime Tibetan translators were well educated and he undertook the translation of all important Buddhist texts available into Tibetan. Believed to be an emanation of Vajra Manjusri, King Trisong Deutsen was a great devotee of Guru Rinpoche. Wisdom Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal was offered as a gift from King Trisong Deutsen to his teacher, the Buddha of the Three Times.

Troma Nakmo (T): Dakini, wrathful form of Vajrayogini and Yeshe Tosgyal, principal meditiational deity of the Chod teachings. With great splendor of original nature, she suppresses demonic forces as the Black Dakini, the female wisdom energy who severs attachment and cuts through extremes. In some texts, the dakini is red or black, or at first red and then black; sometime she holds the curved blade in her right hand; sometimes the damaru in her right hand and a thigh bone in her left; sometimes she is holding a curved blade in her right hand and a skull in her left. See Chod, Vajrayogini, Yeshe Tsogyal

tsampa (T): Roasted barley flour; a Tibetan staple food.

Tsang-tsen (T): One of the protective deities in the Nyingma tradition, who has the reputation of being easily irritated.

tsok (T): Literally, gathering -- a gathering of offering substances and a gathering of disciples to make the offering.

Tsongkhapa (T): 1357-1419. One of Tibet's greatest lamas; founder of the Gelug order.

tulku (T): A reincarnated lama who is confirmed after certain tests. Although these sages do not need to be reborn again, they do so out of compassion for sentient beings. Some tulkus have reincarnated many times. The Dalai and Panchen Lamas are Tibet's best-known tulkus.

tulkuma: Female incarnation.

Tummo (T): Inner fire. Practice of tsa-lung yoga associated with the pot-shaped (S. kumbhak) generating an intense internal heat associated with a blissful experience.

Turning the Wheel of the Dharma: Shakyamuni Buddha turned the wheel of dharma three times; the second and third turnings represent Mahayana teachings, the latter of these being a further articulation known as Tathagatagarbha texts. Turning the "Wheel of the Dharma" means that the Buddha not only taught those disciples who were able to meet him personally, but that his teachings from that time onwards would remain available in ages to come.

Close to Varanasi, India there was a Deer Park in a suburb called Sarnath. In his first turning of the wheel, explained to five old friends how to practice positive actions and avoid negative actions; the Four Noble Truths, etc. He spoke of the relationship between cause and effect, and how it functions to create samsara or is understood to realize nirvana. The path to enlightenment was indicated. During the second turning at Vulture Peak, the Buddha emphasized the concept-free, sky-like emptiness (sunyata) of ultimate reality. During the third turning, the Buddha revealed the absolute nature, the luminous quality of the ground awareness and via the tantric transmissions, he taught the inseparability of emptiness and appearances.

The second turning of the wheel is identified with the Prajnaparamita teachings which emphasize the emptiness not simply of self, but of all conditioned things. The resultant Mahayana path is characterized by great compassion and a deeper understanding of emptiness. One is able to work effectively for the benefit of all beings. By means of the original turning one is able to purify grosser obscurations and reach a state of peace, but this is mainly concerned with one's own benefit. It is very difficult to change this way of thinking, i.e. to think of others before oneself, but at least, as an arhat, one has removed the primary obscurations, the gross suffering. Furthering beyond this way station in the foothills, a bodhisattva goes on to the greater range where he accomplishes the liberating actions (paramitas), and develops beyond this initial wisdom where he knows the emptiness, not only of self but also of all conditioned phenomena which would otherwise limit or define the scope of what is truly possible. This insight into the true nature gives rise to a confidence and fearlessness that sustains bodhisattvas working in the depths of samsara, fulfilling their vow to work for all suffering sentient beings.

The third turning of the Wheel of Dharma took place at various locations (including Vaisali and Sravasti). The Buddha gave teachings according to the capacities of his listeners and only taught Secret Mantra to very advanced students - those who had great confidence in his realization and were familiar with the nature of their own minds. When turning the wheel the first two times, the Teacher gave only the provisional or relative meaning. At the third turning, he taught the definitive or absolute meaning, explaining the Buddha-nature which is present within all beings, replete with all the perfected qualities of enlightenment. These teachings enable us, by means of identification with the Buddha - to develop those qualities in ourselves, and with the necessary causes and conditions being present, to reach full enlightenment within one lifetime.

SUMMARY: At the first turning of the Wheel of Dharma, the Buddha taught how to accumulate merit, to practice harmlessness (S. ahimsa) how to give up negative actions, etc., in order to attain liberation. In this context he talked about existence as if karma existed. Having initiated certain actions, one will experience certain results. The second turning addressed the emptiness of all phenomena in order for beings to overcome any attachment to sublte forms of existence and formulas of knowledge. Here he spoke about the ground of non-existence, the fact that phenomena arise interdependently are individually empty of a true or permanent self-nature. In order to avoid falling into the extremes of either existence (first turning realism) or non-existence (second turning nihilism), he turned the Wheel of Dharma a third time. Here he explained the ultimate meaning, the Buddha Nature, Sugatagarbha, Tathagatagarbha, free from all extremes, the primordial wisdom beyond concepts which is the ultimate reality of self and world.

Twelve Links of Dependent Origination: S: Pratityasamutpãda. T: ten drel. Interdependent Arisings. The way that the self and all phenomena exist conventionally. They come into being in dependence upon: (1) causes and conditions, (2) their parts, (3) most subtly, the mind imputing or labelling them. Dependent origination means that the arising or the becoming of a phenomenon is dependent on the coming together of conditions and/or other phenomena. When conditions are ripe, a phenomena arises; when these conditions change, the phenomenon ceases to be. The 12 phenomena (links) of dependent origination illustrate the causal relationship and interdependence of the 12 links, which together constitute the existence and continuation of life. The forward cycle of these 12 links is the unending transmigration of a living being in the cycle of rebirth. On the other hand, the backward cycle implies that once this interdependent chain is broken, liberation is attained. These 12 links are: Ignorance; Volition; Consciousness; Body/mind; the six senses; Contact; Sensation; Desire; Attachment; Existence (becoming); Birth; Aging and Death. See Law of Dependent Origination