Foreign Words | Proper Names

Proper Names

AmitayusAmitayus is an emanation of the Buddha Amithaba. He is one of Bhutan's most venerated deities.
AmithabaBuddha Amithaba, represented in red, is part of the group of the »Five Tathagatas«. He embodies the wisdom of essential equality.
AmoghasiddhaBuddha Amoghasiddha is part of the group of the »Five Tathagatas«. He embodies the wisdom that all karma requires for its completion.
AvalokiteshvaraAvalokiteshvara is an emanation of the Buddha Amithaba and is highly venerated as bodhisattva of the present era.
CakrasamvaraCakrasamvara is the protective deity of a high yoga level. He protects the one meditating from all evil influences on his spiritual way.
Dalai LamaTitle of the highest lama of the Tibetan Gelugpa school of Buddhism. Until the Chinese take-over of power, the Dalai Lamas were the leaders of Tibet.
GarudaThe mythical bird of the gods is venerated as tamer of evil snake deities.
GautamaBuddha was called Gautama in his years as ascetic travelling monk.
GyaThe founder of the state, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, was a descendant of the Tibetan Gya family.
HayagrivaThe protective deity Hayagriva is a wrathful form of appearance of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.
Jokhang TempleImportant temple in Tibet's capital.
KanjurKanjur is the name of the collection of texts of the »translation of the Buddha's word«.
KuberaKubera is an originally Indian deity and is venerated as the keeper and supporter of wealth.
MahakalaMahakala is one of the most important protective deities of the Himalaya region. He was the personal protective deity of the founder of the state, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The royal family also calls upon him.
MaitreyaThe Buddha of the next era also appears as bodhisattva on a certain level of being.
ManjusriBodhisattva Manjusri is venerated as embodiement of wisdom.
NagaNagas are originally Indian snake-like deities who mainly live in water and grant fertility, but can also function detrimentally.
PadmasambhavaPadmasambhava - »The one born from a lotus « - is Guru Rinpoche's sanskrit name.
Panchen LamaTitle of the line of the highest lamas in the Tashilhnpo monastery in Tibet.
PrajnaparamitaPhilosophical text from the second century AD, which is the basis of a new understanding of Buddhism. The »Complete Wisdom« is embodied by a deity.
RatnasambhavaBuddha Ratnasambhava is one of the »Five Tathagatas« and embodies the wisdom of distinction.
Buddha ShakyamuniThe name of the historical Buddha means »wise man of the Shakya family«. He offered people a way of meditative practice to leave the cycle of rebirths.
SiddhartaThe Buddha's name before he left his father's palace.
TenjurCollection of the commentaries to the Buddha's sermons.
UddiyanaGuru Rinpoche's original home country, presumably situated in what is presently Northern Pakistan.
VairocanaAs one of the »Five Tathagatas«, Vairocana embodies omniscience.
Yeshe TshogyelEmbodiment of a dakini of the highest level. She was a tantric female partner of Guru Rinpoche's and is seen as the author of his life story.

Foreign Words

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Adi-BuddhaThe Adibuddha embodies the Buddha principle in itself. He is the origin and the source of all being.
ArhatAn arhat - »one who defeats his internal enemies« - is seen as a normal mortal being, on the one hand, and, on the other, as an emanation of the historical Buddha. Arhats are represented on many walls of Bhutan's monasteries.
atsaraMonks dressed up as clowns entertain the spectators during performaces of sacred dances.
barIn the three-partite image of the world, bar denotes the middle level and is inhabited by people and specific classes of deities.
bardoArea between death and rebirth.
BodhisattvaBodhisattvas are the Buddha's radiations on the »level of co-enjoyment «, so that they can be effctive for the good of all living beings. The trait of all-encompassing compassion is characteristic for them.
bnBn denotes the pre-buddhist religion in Bhutan.
chamReligious dance, performed by monks.
chimiElected member of the National Assembly
chReligion, which means Buddhism in Bhutan.
chjeHead of a religious line, frequently married.
chortenBuddhist monument which is often used as relic shrine and is seen as the symbol of the Buddha's spirit.
chsiReligious and secular government
chsi nyidenReligious and secular government
DakiniDakinis are female beings, equipped with magic powers who offer initiation into secret teachings to those spiritually seeking. They embody the highest wisdom.
dashoHonorary title awared by the king for special merits.
DesiTitle of Bhutan's secular ruler before the monarchy.
dharmaThe Buddha's teaching.
driglam namzhaThe »basic rules of well-mannered behaviour « go back to the founder of the state, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. They have now been elevated to laws.
drukpa-kagypaBuddhist school, Bhutan's state religion.
dungHonorary title of the nobility of Bumthang and Kheng.
dzongFortress-monastery, monastery and seat of administration.
gelugpaReformed and youngest Buddhist school.
goNational costume of Bhutanese men.
hinayanaThe oldest form of Buddhism; nowadays found mainly in Sri Lanka and Sout-East Asia.
je khenpoBhutan's head abbot.
kiraNational costume of Bhutanese women.
lalitavistara sutraA religious text, which recounts the life story of the historical Buddha.
lamaCleric; name of one's personal guide on the path to enlightenment.
lhaCover term for various types of gods and numens.
lha bsangName or a ceremony which is mainly directed at the protective gods of a specific religion.
luA demonic being in the form of a snake, which can bring detriment but also fertility.
mahayanaA form of Buddhismus which, contrary to the Hinayana Buddhism, teaches that the believer aims to achieve enlightenment for the good of all living beings.
mandalaA geometrically built structure which represents a deity's palace or sphere of being. It is visualised in meditation.
mantraMantras form the phonetic level of forces which pictorially find their expression as deities. According to popular understanding different goals are aimed for by reciting them.
nirvanaTerm for a level of consciousness, which is free of all suffering and therefore greatest joy. This is the state into which people change after leaving the cycle of rebirths.
nyingmapaThe »School of the old« focuses on the magic and mystic practices of Buddhism.
prajnaWisdom which results from directly experiencing the true reality.
samsaraCycle of rebirths; philosophically seen, the world of appearances seen as unreal.
shabdrungThe unifier of the state and his incarnations had this tile, which means »the one before whom one prostrates oneself«.
shibdagDemonic »owner of the earth«; a certain category of local deities.
shinje yab yumDance of the deity of death, which shows the Bodhisattva Manjusri as Lord of Death.
sunyataIn the philosophy of Buddhism, emptiness marks the being of the highest nature of reality. It lies far beyond what human thinking can imagine.
tantrayanaA Buddhist holistic doctrince of insights, which starts out from the viewpoint of the inseparability of the relative and the absolute. Its aim is the blending of the individual with the absolute.
tathagataA Buddha from the group of the »Five Thus Gone«, which are radiations of the absolute Buddha. They embody fundamental principles of the Buddhist philosophy.
termaReligious treasure; mostly texts, which were hidden to be rediscovered at a time when humanity is mature enough for it.
tertnReligious »treasure finder«, who is destined to find hidden sacred scriptures or objects.
thangkaReligious painting, usually on cloth.
tormaDough figure als ritual sacrifice or ritual decoration. In rituals every deity is represented with its own special torma.
trikayaThe religious doctrine of the three levels of being of the universe.
tsenA category of local deities who live in the human area of being and are often illustrated as warriors.
tsenkhangChapel for Tsen deities, which serves as their place of residence.
tshechuDance celebration honouring Guru Rinpoche.
tusitaParadise of the East.
upayaThe »method« which leads to enlightenment, entails turning lovingly to all living beings.
utseThe central tower of a dzong which hosts the most important temples.
vajraRitual object which symbolises the unchangeability of the true nature of reality. In the ritual it symbolises the »method« of turning lovingly to all living beings.
vajrayanaThe »vehicle of diamonds«. A form of Buddhism, which seeks enlightenment through yogic and meditative practices within one life.
yl lhaDeity of the land; protective deity which is mostly embodied as a mountain.
zorig chusumThe thirteen traditional arts.
Proper Names
Foreign Words


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