What does the Telugu word Anta mean


Here we present a selection of the central terms of Buddhism.

Click on one of the letters and the terms starting with the corresponding letter will be displayed.



A-ni (Tibetan) (a ni)

Nun. Female equivalent of Traba.

A-ni-la (Tibetan) (a ni lags)

Polite, very popular form of address for nuns. Important: You never use the particle “lags” for yourself. If you are asked for your name, you answer with “Ani so and so”, but never with “Anila so and so”.

Abhidhamma / Abhidharma

Literal meaning: "higher teaching". Third part of the Tipitaka (three-basket) of the Pali canon, to which Theravada Buddhism is primarily based. Systematisation of Buddhist teaching. The earliest compendium of Buddhist philosophy and psychology, in which the teachings of the Buddha and his main disciples were analyzed, ordered and systematized. All mental and physical-material processes are explained with the help of the “Dhammas”, ultimate realities, and brought into a logical, comprehensible and practically applicable cause-and-effect relationship. The Abhidhamma consists of 7 books, is written in Pali and is particularly popular in Myanmar (Burma). The Abhidharma of the Sarvastivada school (a later Hinayana or Dhammayana school at the transition to Mahayana), written in Sanskrit, like the Abdidhamma, also consists of 7 books, some of which differ considerably from this one. It is only preserved in Tibetan and Chinese translations.

Eightfold path

Practically all of the teaching of the Buddha, to which he devoted himself for 45 years, has in some way to do with the eightfold path. It is a practical guide to the complete abolition of suffering - nirvana - when all of the following eight elements are successfully mastered by oneself:

  • Right view (Samma Ditthi)
  • Right Thought (Samma Sankappo)
  • Right Speech (Samma Vaca)
  • Right action (Samma Kammanto)
  • Right livelihood (Samma Ajivo)
  • Right Effort (Samma Vayamo)
  • Right Mindfulness (Samma Sati)
  • Right Concentration (Samma Samadhi)

In another, more compact form, the path is represented in three parts:

  • Wisdom (Panna): This includes right view and right thought.
  • Ethics (Sila): This includes right speech, right action and right livelihood.
  • Collection (Samadhi): This includes Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.

Ajahn (Thai)

acariya (pali) = teacher; Use as a title and salutation for older, teaching monks and nuns, in general if they have been in the order for more than ten years, but also for educated lay people of both sexes in the teaching field.

Anagarika (pali)

literally: homeless person. A man or woman who goes into homelessness without formally joining the Buddhist order. Someone who accepts eight or ten rules.

Arahant / Arhant

Arahat (Pali) or Arhant (Sanskrit) means "The liberated, holy, enlightened one". He has erased all defilements and passions, overcome the fetters of existence, dies one last death and is no longer reborn. One of the goals of salvation in Dhammayana or Hinayana.

Ashin / Shin (Burmese)

Monk, bhikkhu (not as a salutation; especially when a monk speaks of himself or signs).

Ashinma / Shinma (Burmese)

Nun (not as a salutation; especially when a nun speaks of herself or signs).

Ayya ​​(pali)

the feminine equivalent of Bhante; respectful form of address for bhikkhunis and samaneris.



The Buddhist creed was first drawn up and coordinated by the DBU in 1984. In the DBU general meeting of 2004 the confession was revised linguistically and the timelessly valid messages of the Buddha about impermanence (anicca), suffering (dukkha), not-me (anatta) and liberation (nirvana) were named as important components of the core teaching. The jointly found consensus in the confession makes it clear that all Buddhist traditions are united in the core teaching of Buddhism.

Bhante (pali)

originally: Bhaddanta; Venerable; Respectful form of address for bhikkhus and samaneras by laypeople and for younger monks to religious elders.

Bhikkhu (pali)

Fully ordained monk or monk with the higher ordination (upasampada) and 227 rules as laid down in the Vinaya.

Bhikkhuni (pali)

Fully ordained nun or nun with the higher ordination (upasampada) and 311 rules as laid down in the Vinaya.

Bhikshuni (Sanskrit)


Bodhisattva / Bodhisatta

Bodhisattva (Sanskrit) or Bodhisatta (Pali) literally means "being of enlightenment". A Bodhisattva is a being who strives for Buddhahood through the systematic exercise of the perfect virtues (paramita). In Mahayana it is said that he refrains from entering into complete nirvana until all beings are redeemed. The quality that determines his actions is compassion (karuna), carried by wisdom (prajna).


Buddha (Pali) literally means "The Enlightened One" or "The Awakened One".


Daw (Burmese)

Salutation for all women from around 40 years of age and also for nuns, always followed by the name (it would be impolite to mention the name alone).


the vehicle (Yana) of teaching (Dhamma). Schools of Buddhism in which the teaching of the Buddha is in the foreground: Theravada, early Buddhism. Also called original Buddhism, Pali Buddhism or Hinayana. (See also schools)

Dharma / Dhamma

Dharma (Sanskrit) or Dhamma (Pali) literally means "that which carries". What is meant is the teaching of the Buddha, the truth and law that the Buddha recognized, applied and taught. The essence of the teaching is summarized in the Four Noble Truths. The characteristics of the universal teaching are described as realistic, visible, timeless, liberating, applicable and comprehensible by wise men.

Dorje-Lobpön (Tibetan) (rdo rje slob dpon; vajraacarya): Vajra teacher

  1. Title of a tantric teacher, less often a tantric teacher, who has given you an initiation (empowerment) with entry into the mandala.
  2. Temporary title for the duration of a ritual, e.g. B. the Lama Choepa (bla ma mchod pa; gurupuja). If the master is absent, the oldest student takes over this function, usually the person who has been initiated the longest and is most familiar with the ritual.


Suffering / suffering of being. A distinction is made between three types: 1. the physical or mental feeling of suffering; 2. The oppression of all forms of existence through the constant arising and passing away; 3. Suffering as a result of the fact that all pleasant and happy feelings, through their impermanence, carry the seeds of suffering within them. The main root of suffering is desire (Tanha).



Respectful form of address for bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, samaneras and samaneris.

Unity in diversity

Unity of Buddhists means that Buddhists agree on core teaching. This is also expressed in the common confession. The emphasis on diversity in unity means that the different approaches to practice that have developed in the different traditions of Buddhism - Theravada and Mahayana - are seen as enriching. They are all based on the same teaching and are means on the common path to liberation.

Your Eminence, His

Abbreviated with S. E. This honorary title is usually used in Tibetan Buddhism for masters of a high incarnation in public by third parties for the named person.


Ge-jong (Tibetan) (dge sbyong; sramana)

all male and female members of the Sangha.

Ge-lob-ma (Tibetan) (dge slob ma; siksamana; sikkhamana)

Learning nun. Preliminary stage for bhiksuni after ordination as a novice. She belongs to the Bhiksuni Sangha.

Ge-long- (pa) (Tibetan) (dge slong pha; bhiksu; bhikkhu)

fully ordained Buddhist monk.

Ge-long-ma (Tibetan) (dge slong ma; bhiksuni; bhikkhuni)

fully ordained Buddhist nun.

Ge-nyen- (pa) (Tibetan) (dge bsnyen (pha); upasaka; ~)

male layman. Usually lay people who have taken all five rules, also known as “complete lay people” (yongsrdzogs dge bsnyen). There are also genealogies who have only "taken refuge" or not all of the rules.

Ge-nyen-ma (Tibetan) (dge bsnyen ma; upasika; ~)

female equivalent of Gen-yen.

Ge-tsül- (pa) (Tibetan) (dge tshul (pha), sramanera; samanera)

Novice of a Buddhist order (dge ‘dun; sangha; ~) who, in contrast to the Catholic novice, has already taken a lifelong vow. He belongs to the Bhiksu-Sangha and may z. B. with alms walk.

Ge-tsül-ma (Tibetan) (dge tshul ma; sramanerika; samaneri)

Novice. Female equivalent of Getsül.

Gen (Tibetan) (rgan)

The usual form of address in the monastery for teachers, monks and nuns who have been (fully) ordained longer than you yourself or whose personal religious name you do not know. In schools and craft training centers, this form of address is also used for lay teachers.

Gen Rinpoche (Tibetan) (rgan rin po che)

Particularly polite address to the personal spiritual teacher, especially if there is a teacher-student relationship according to the Vajrayana.

Gen-dag (Tibetan) (rgan bdag)

Tutor. Title for advanced students who supervise new students, supervise a class or (on behalf of) teach for the teacher.

Gen-la (Tibetan) (rgan lags)

Polite form of address to a (personal) teacher.

Geshe (Tibetan) (dge bshes; abbreviation of: dge ba’i bshes gnyen; kalyanamitra; kalyanamitta)

  1. Spiritual teacher
  2. Scholar
  3. Scholarly title from Tibetan monastery universities for fully ordained monks. The highest scholarly title within the Gelug tradition (today sometimes also across traditions) is that of Lharam Geshe. It is recognized as a doctorate or PhD at some universities and includes studies, written and public debate exams on the main texts on the five subjects Pramana, Prajnaparamita, Madhyamaka, Abhidharma and Vinaya. There are many other scholars and Geshe titles known in particular from the Sakya and / or Gelug tradition such as Ngagrampa, Sertri, Dorampa, Lingse, Rigrampa, Tsogrampa, Kachupa and Rabjampa. It happens that monks leave the order, i. H. returning the vow after gaining a title. These titles do not yet exist for nuns. Corresponding courses of study were established in several nunneries at the end of the 1980s.

Geshe Rinpoche (Tibetan) (dge bshes rin po che)

Particularly polite designation of a Geshe, often a personal, mostly venerable teacher or high dignitary.

Geshe-la (Tibetan) (dge bshes lags)

Polite form of address to a Geshe.

Gomi-Genyen (Tibetan)

Male or female lay students who live in the “quasi-homelessness” and who take the eight-part vow of “fasting” (upavasa), which is usually valid for one day, for their entire life and wear the robes of a monk or a nun.


"(Venerable) teacher", "spiritual master", who knows the way and who can explain the meaning and purpose of existence to a searching person, as well as the way to self-realization, but who also shows the dangers and obstacles and is helpful in overcoming them stands by your side.


Hamuduruwo (Sinhala)

Respectful salutation for bhikkhus in Sri Lanka (hamuduru: very revered).


"Small vehicle" or "inferior" vehicle - disparaging expression used by followers of Mahayana for the schools of original or Pali Buddhism (see also Dhammayana). Hinayana is also sometimes referred to as "southern Buddhism" because it is particularly widespread in the southern countries of Asia: Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia. Of 18 original Hinayana schools, Theravada is the only continuous tradition that exists today that has authentically preserved and disseminated the original teachings. In Hinayana, the focus is on individual redemption through one's own effort, which can best be achieved on the monastic path. The Buddha is only seen as a teacher and guide - everyone has to walk the path himself. The ideal of the arahant is emphasized and with it the goal of extinction, enlightenment, liberation (Nibbana / Nirvana).

Ho-myo (Japanese Zen)

Dharma name of the disciple who took refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. They are given a Buddhist Dharma name from their teacher or master. This name says nothing about education or qualifications. In Japan lay people / believers receive this name only after death. With the Dharma name the endeavor of the believer is confirmed to have practiced the doctrine and to have kept the Silas.


Kamma / karma

“Working, deed, intention”, in short: the wholesome or unwholesome will that creates a rebirth or influences the character and skill of beings, as well as the mental factors associated with it. It works through deeds, words or even just thoughts, and what happens to you is the result, the "fruit" of what was previously worked.

Kancho (Japanese Zen)

Head of a main line of Zen (Myoshin-ji, Tenryu-ji, Tofukuji, Nanzen-ji, ...). Sensei and Roshi are probably the best-known titles in the West and probably therefore the terms that are often used with pleasure.


“Compassion” is one of the four divine abiding states (brahmavihara).

Khen Rinpoche (mkhan rin po che)

Polite form of address for an abbot, less often an abbess.

Khenmo (Tibetan) (mkhan mo; upadhyay-a / i (ka); upajjhay-a / ini)

  1. Abbess in the sense of Vinaya:
    1. Abbess who is admitted to the monastery;
    2. Abbess who presides over the ordination ritual of a Gelobma;
    3. Abbess who leads the ritual of full ordination; she must be fully ordained for at least twelve years, know the ritual, and know most of the ritual by heart.
  2. Abbess of a nunnery who is elected by the nunsangha or appointed by a higher authority and who remains in office for a certain period of service in accordance with the respective monastery rules.

Khenpo (Tibetan) (mkhan po; upadhyaya; upajjhaya)

  1. Abbot in the sense of Vinaya:
    1. who is accepted into the monastery (rab byung; pravrajita; pabbajja);
    2. before which one takes the vow of full ordination (bsnyen par rdzogs pa’i mkhan po). He leads the ritual of higher consecration (bsnyen par rdzogs pa; upasampada; ~) and must be fully ordained for at least ten years, know the ritual and largely know it by heart.
  2. Abbot of a monastery who is elected by the monk sangha or appointed by a higher authority and who remains in office for a certain period of service in accordance with the respective monastery order (bca ’yig).
  3. Scholarly title of Tibetan monastery seminars, so-called Schedra (bshad grwa) of the Kagyu and Nyingma tradition. In the Nyingma tradition, the title is given to fully ordained monks with teaching experience some time after the exam. The highest Khenpo is called Khen-chen (mkhan chen) by seniority or special achievement. It happens that monks leave the order, i. H. return the vow after gaining the title. This title does not yet exist for nuns; comparable courses of study have been set up in some nunneries in recent years.

Khensur (Tibetan) (mkhan zur)

Former abbot, more rarely a former abbess.

Koyin (Burmese)

Samanera; is used as a nickname without a name extension.

Kruba (Thai)

Common form of address for forest monks in northeast Thailand.


Lama (Tibetan) (bla ma; guru; garu)

Teacher, less often a teacher, also active in the sense of a priest or pastor. Mediator of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

  1. Title for a male or female tulku, Rinpoche.
  2. Head of a tradition.
  3. Kind master (Lobpön), spiritual teacher. A person who qualifies according to the Mahayanasutralamkara by ten qualities, i.e. H. In summary: Flawlessly practiced the three trainings and has compassion or at least a good understanding of it. Lamas can, but do not have to be, ordained and / or scholarly degrees.
  4. Ordained or lay people who have completed a 3-year exam in the Kagyu or Nyingma tradition and have thus done at least one intensive practice that they can pass on.
  5. Ordained or lay people who have more qualities than you yourself or in whom you see so many qualities that you choose them as guides for your own practice. In some areas, everyone who wears religious clothing is referred to as a lama, monks, and sometimes nuns.

Teaching of the buddha (universal)

Buddha's universal teaching (dharma) is realistic, visible at all times, timelessly effective, liberating, applicable and understandable by wise men from their own experience and strength.True to reality means that they realistically follow the laws of origin and liberation from suffering, i. H. describes in accordance with reality. Visible at all times means that it is visible from personal experience and can be understood using the reality of existence available to us at any time. The teaching is timeless because its core statements refer to laws of existence that are not tied to any time. The label "liberating" means that if used correctly, it will lead one to liberation. Applicable means that it can be used by anyone who is willing to do so. Internally comprehensible by wise men on their own means that it is not connected with any claim to ownership, but can be understood internally from one's own experience and strength, if one has developed a corresponding wisdom in one's mind. The core content of the teaching is described in the Four Noble Truths.

Lob-pön (Tibetan) (slop dpon, acarya, acariya)

  1. Ritual salutation or title for a teacher in the sense of Vinaya. There are five or eight types of praise that give lay, monk or nun vows, teach one to read and write, or take care of one in the permanent residence. Monks and nuns who have been fully ordained for at least ten or twelve years can e.g. B. in a full ordination as a ritual leader (las kyi slob dpon; karmaacarya) or teacher in secret (gsang ste ston pa; raho'nusasaka / ~ ika) and for ten or twelve years, but also lifelong, teacher of new bhiksus or To be bhiksunis and support them with Dharma and material goods.
  2. Title of a Dorje Lobpön.
  3. Title of a learned layperson (e.g. in the Nyingma tradition).
  4. Scholarly title, which today is also awarded to male and female laypeople in exile, e. B. at the Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies (India) and Sakya College (Kathmandu); corresponds to an M.A.

Loku-Hamuduruwo (Sinhala)

Like Hamuduruwo, but only for the head monk of a Buddhist temple (loku: prefix for head, head or senior citizen).

Luang Pi (Thai)

Venerable older brother; Younger version by Luang Por, usually only used by laypeople.

Luang Por (Thai)

Venerable father; used less formally for someone aged 35-40, by monks and lay people.

Luang Ta (Thai)

Venerable grandfather; older version by Luang Por, used by monks and lay people.


Ma (Burmese)

Salutation for all girls and young women (up to about 40 years of age) and also for young nuns, always followed by the name (it would be impolite to mention the name alone).


Literal meaning: "Representative of the Middle Way". Mahayana Buddhist school founded by Nagarjuna and Aryadeva. It is the middle way in terms of the being or non-being of things. The illusionary character and the relativity of all appearances are shown. Since all phenomena arise depending on certain conditions, they have no being of their own and are devoid of an imperishable self. A key concept of the Madhyamika school is voidness (sunyata): it is the voidness of self and redemption. Realizing emptiness is gaining liberation.

Maeji (Thai)

Nuns with mostly eight, rarely ten rules in Thailand - they have no pabbajja ordination and are considered upasikas (lay followers). Dressed in white.


Members of the large community. Split 100 years after the Buddha's death (383 BC) from the Theravadins (members of the school of the ancients) and claimed to be in the majority. The Mahasanghikas are considered to be the forerunners of the Mahayana.

Mahathera (pali)

Name for a bhikkhu who has been a member of the order for more than twenty years.

Mahathera (pali)

Name for a bhikkhu who has been a member of the order for more than twenty years.

Mahatheri (pali)

feminine equivalent of Mahathera and applies to bhikkhunis.


"Big vehicle". Developed around the turn of the times from the school of the Mahasanghikas. It is also called “large vehicle” because, through its diversity, it opens the way to redemption for a large number of people, yes, wants to redeem all beings. The Mahayana is also sometimes referred to as "Northern Buddhism", as it is particularly widespread in the northern countries of Asia: Tibet, Mongolia, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam. In Mahayana less emphasis is placed on a monastic life; Here even laypeople can simply realize nirvana, whereby they can count on the active help of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. The Mahayana has the conception of the transcendent character of the Buddha. The bodhisattva ideal and the concept of emptiness (sunyata) are emphasized. (See also schools)


"Circle". The mandala is a symbolic representation of cosmic forces, which plays a major role in Tibetan Buddhism and is also often depicted on scrolls (thangkhas). Mandalas are used as a meditation aid and are also important for certain visualizations. One can see the entire outer world as well as the body and consciousness as a mandala. It is understood as the bringing together of numerous different elements into a unity, brought about by meditation.


A word, a syllable or a saying that stimulates energy. It can express certain aspects of a Buddha or is a name of one. One form of meditation is the constant repetition of this syllable (s). In Tibetan Buddhism, the mantra also functions as a helping or protective device.


A monk is a member of the order, i.e. a member of the Saṅgha, who has accepted the monastic rules. This includes ethical and ascetic rules such as B. celibacy. The rules for monks are documented in the Vinaya of the Pāḷikanon (see palikanon.com: Vinaya). The aim of monk life is to intensify the practice of spiritual liberation through a way of life that is separated from the worldly life. In Saṅgha there is a higher and lower ordination in the form of bhikkhu and sāṇera.


"Seal, Sign". The mudra is a typical posture or symbolic gesture with which a Buddha figure is represented in Buddhist iconography. Some of these gestures represent natural postures or they symbolize certain aspects of Buddhist teaching. Mudras have a special meaning in Mahayana, where they accompany ritual acts together with the recitation of mantras. You can help to realize certain inner states by anticipating their physical expressions. They also help to establish a connection between the practicing person and the Buddha visualized in the respective exercise.


Nä-Lama (Tibetan) (gnas bla ma)

Llama in permanent abode. A praise or a nath or nead ma on which bhiksus and bhiksunis rely for at least ten or twelve years after their ordination. A Nä-Lama can be the abbot or the abbess or a teacher who has ordained one. In any case, it must have three qualities: learned, venerable and stable. Taught means taught in all three scriptures of the Buddha's teachings, especially the Vinaya. Venerable means keeping the vow pure; i.e. H. at least not have committed any major misconduct. Stable means to be fully ordained for at least ten or twelve years, in exceptional cases five years. In order to teach a fully ordained nun, a bhiksu must have been fully ordained for twenty years.

Nä-ten- (pa) (Tibetan) (gnas brtan (pa); sthavira; thera / sthera)

Elder (brother), venerable (English Venerable). Salutation for a fully ordained monk who has kept the vow longer than oneself and at least ten years. Nowadays mostly only used in rituals, e.g. B. So-jong, the 14-day "confessional" (gso sbyong; (u) posadha; (u) posatha), if there is no personal teacher-student relationship.

Nä-ten-ma (Tibetan) (gnas brtan ma; sthavirika; theri)

Elderly (sister), venerable (English Venerable). Salutation for a fully ordained nun who has kept the vow longer than yourself and for at least twelve years. Feminine equivalent to sutures.

Nibbana / Nirvana

Nibbana (Pali) or Nirvana (Sanskrit) means "going out". Ultimate and ultimate goal in Buddhism. Nibbana is an ultimate, transcendent reality, free of arising and passing away, to be experienced. It is the complete, irreversible liberation from all fetters and unwholesome roots, especially from greed, hatred and delusion, the absolute freedom from suffering. Nibbana is the exit from samsara, the cycle of rebirth. Nibbana can be achieved during one's lifetime - then it is the extinction of defilements and passions - and in death it is the complete extinction of all groups of existence or all mental and physical processes. In addition, nirvana in Mahayana also means freedom from ties to illusions and desires, experience of being one with the absolute, the unity of samsara with the transcendent, cessation of all distinctions and all separations.


A nun is a member of the order, i.e. a member of the Saṅgha, who has accepted the nuns' rules. This includes ethical and ascetic rules such as B. celibacy. The rules for nuns are documented in the Vinaya of the Pāḷikanon (see palikanon.com: Vinaya). The aim of the nun's life is to intensify the spiritual liberation practice through a way of life separated from the worldly life. In Saṅgha there is a higher and lower ordination in the form of Bhikkhunī and Sāṇerī. Special features: After the line of ordination of the Bhikkhunī was torn off, special forms such as Sī (Myanmar), (Thailand), Sīā (Sri Lanka) developed in the various Theravābuddhist countries, which are not counted as members of the Saṅgha. The higher ordination to Bhikkhunī has only recently been re-established in Sri Lanka and is, however, controversial or not (yet) recognized in other traditional Theravā countries such as Myanmar and Thailand.

Novice / novice

A novice is a probationer who has not yet taken public vows. Since there is no ordination in the sense of Vinaya, novices are not to be equated with the ordination form of Sāṇera and Sāṇerī.


Osho / Dai-Osho (Japanese Zen)

Reverend. This title is bestowed on priests after their formation in the monastery if they are given permission to teach and / or are entrusted with the management of a temple or a congregation. Also used for Zen Masters and Patriarchs of the Dharma Line. An Osho is normally not addressed as , but . Since all shaved Buddhist clergymen walking around in black robes cannot be distinguished according to their rank, it is customary in Japan to address every priest with Osho. E.g. Osho-san or Osho-sama (very polite).


Pali canon

Basic work of the Theravada school and the Dhammayana. The oldest written fixation of Buddhism from the first century BC, written on palm leaves in the Pali language and in Sinhala characters. Pali is believed to be the language in which the Buddha taught. The Pali canon is divided into three areas or baskets (see Tipitaka): 1. Vinaya (religious rules), 2. Suttanta (discourses), 3. Abhidhamma (systematized, higher teaching).

Panna / Prajna

"Realization, insight, knowledge, wisdom" encompasses a wide area. The specific Buddhist knowledge belonging to the eightfold path is called the so-called clairvoyance knowledge (vipassana-panna), i.e. the perception of all forms of existence as transitory, painful and impersonal.

Paramita / Parami

"(Highest) perfections", i.e. the virtues that a bodhisattva perfects during his career. The perfections are covered in the Commentaries and later works. They are: willingness to give (dana), morality (sila), patience (khanti), energy (viriya), meditation (jhana), wisdom (pannâ).


"Conditional arising" is the doctrine of the conditionality of all physical and mental phenomena that make up the so-called individual existence. It is an indispensable prerequisite for the actual understanding of Buddhist teaching. The mostly used twelve-part formula of the conditioned emergence is briefly: The karma formations are conditioned by ignorance, thereby the consciousness, thereby the physical-spiritual, thereby the six bases, thereby the consciousness impression, thereby the feeling, thereby the desire, thereby the clinging, through it the process of becoming, through it rebirth and through it aging and dying. The Buddha taught the conditional coming together to show that this present existence and suffering has come about through ignorance and delusion, and how after the cessation of ignorance and the consequent desire and clinging there is no new rebirth, and so on The process of being comes to a standstill and all suffering is extinguished. There is therefore no such thing as blind coincidence in Buddhist teaching. Everything that happens is lawful, i.e. it happens depending on conditions. On the other hand, the doctrine of dependent arising should not be construed as fatalism.

Pra (Thai)

the most commonly used term for a monk; followed by the name.

Puttaro (Burmese)

Anagarika; Homeless man with eight or ten rules.


Rab-jung (Tibetan) (rab byung)

A person who has been drawn into homelessness from family life (rab tu byung ba; pravrajita; pabbajja), i.e. H. entered the monastery, shaved her hair and put on a religious robe. If it is someone in the preliminary stages of the novitiate, the person lives according to the rules of a Tsangtschö or Gomi genyen. Also a general term for novices, learning nuns and fully ordained monks and nuns.

Roshi / Rotaishi (Japanese Zen)

old Zen master. In Rinzai Zen this is only bestowed and confirmed after completing the traditional monastery training and verification and recognition (of enlightenment) by other Roshi. In Rinzai Zen, the Roshi is the Dharma line holder. One cannot call oneself a roshi. A roshi is usually not addressed as sensei, but as roshi. The correct form of address in public or in writing is the full name, e.g. B. Hozumi Gensho Roshi. In the Soto school, the has a different meaning and weighting. Every older clergyman, whether monk, nun or person of respect, is addressed with Roshi.


Samanera (pali)

Monk with the pabbajja ordination with ten rules (and in addition the 75 rules of practice), as laid down in the Vinaya. Mostly as a preparatory stage for bhikkhu for applicants under 20 years of age.

Samaneri (pali)

Nun with the pabbajja ordination with ten rules (and in addition the 75 rules of practice), as laid down in the Vinaya. Mostly as a preparatory stage for bhikkhuni for applicants under 20 years of age.


Literally: "hike". Cycle of existences or rebirths. Through the law of cause and effect of karma, we are bound to the unsatisfactory, painful cycle of existence. The law is explained in the "dependent arising" (Paticca-Samuppada). An exit is only possible through the resolution of the causes (greed, hatred, delusion), or in other words through the attainment of nibbana / nirvana.


“The Sangha means: the order or the community of the realized.” The object of refuge is the community of all realized ones who have experienced forms of enlightenment and thereby either safely approach liberation or are already liberated. Another meaning of Sangha is the order of the ordained monks and nuns who live according to the Vinaya rules of the Buddha. In the broadest sense, the Sangha also includes the community of all practitioners.

Sanskrit canon

Basic work of all Mahayana schools and some no longer existing Hinayana schools. The Sanskrit canon was written down in the Sanskrit language, a learned language of the Brahmins from ancient India, but most of it is no longer preserved. Translations into Chinese and Tibetan are available.

Sayadaw (Burmese)

Respectful salutation for monks in Myanmar (Burma), especially older and teaching monks and the abbots of the monasteries - with or without the name after them; or the place or monastery name in front of it.

Sayagji (Burmese)

Respectful salutation for nuns in Myanmar (Burma), especially older and teaching nuns and the abbesses of the nunnery (rarely used).

Sayalay (Burmese)

Salutation for all nuns in Myanmar (Burma) - with or without the name after them.

Sensei (Japanese Zen)

Madam teacher, mister teacher. Salutation for persons of respect, such as doctors, professors, but also for the kindergarten teacher, an old man or the sports trainer.You don't call yourself a sensei. Sensei is not a title that can be bestowed, nor is it used on letterhead.

Siladhara (pali)

like Silamata. Literally: mother of Sila. Term for nuns in Sri Lanka who do not have a pabbajja ordination, but who live according to the ten rules (less often eight). They are generally considered to be upasikas (lay followers).

Silamata (pali)

literally: mother of Sila. Term for nuns in Sri Lanka who do not have a pabbajja ordination, but who live according to the ten rules (less often eight). They are generally considered to be upasikas (lay followers).

Silashin (Burmese)

Nuns with mostly eight, less often nine or ten rules in Myanmar (Burma) - they have no pabbajja ordination and are generally regarded as Upasikas (lay followers).


"Emptiness" should mean that all forms of existence are empty, i.e. that they ultimately lack stability, true happiness, personality and are not desirable.

Sutta / sutra

The Suttas (Pali) or Sutras (Sanskrit) are the discourses of the Buddha or - less often - one of his main students, given to a certain person or group of people on a certain occasion. Second part of the Tipitaka (three-basket) of the Pali Canon. The suttas / sutras were collected and written down in five different collections (nikayas).


Tan (Thai)

Politeness pronouns; used for monks.

Tan Ajahn (Thai)

Veteran ajahn; often the oldest monk and head of a community (somewhat formal).


"Desire". It is the main root of suffering and the continual cycle of rebirths. With regard to the sense objects, there are six types of desire: shapes, tones, smells, tastes, body impressions and spirit objects. In addition to the sensual desire, there is also the desire for a subtle existence and the desire for an incorporeal existence.


“Continuum, system” is the name for various types of texts in Tibetan Buddhism, but is mostly used as a generic term for the basic works of Vajrayana and the meditation systems it describes. It is a tradition oriented towards human experience, which describes the spiritual development in terms of the categories base, path and fruit. The base is the practitioner, the path consists of the meditative paths that purify that base, and the fruit is the state that these practices bring about.

Thera (pali)

Name for a bhikkhu who has been a member of the order for more than ten years.


"School of the Order Elders". Old school or school of original Buddhism. The only consistently preserved tradition of the 18 Hinayana schools. Today mainly in the countries of South Asia: Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia. The teaching is anchored in the Pali Canon and was confirmed in a total of 6 councils (see also schools)

Theri (pali)

female counterpart to Thera and applies to bhikkhunis who have been members of the order for more than twenty years.

Tipitaka / Tripitaka

Tipitaka (Pali) or Tripitaka (Sanskrit) means "three basket". The three areas of the Pali canon as they are handed down to us in Pali on palm leaves:

  • Vinaya-Pitaka: basket of religious discipline (rules for monks and nuns)
  • Sutta-Pitaka: basket of suttas, i.e. the teachings of the Buddha or his disciples
  • Abhidhamma-Pitaka: basket of the "higher" teaching with a systematization of teaching.

Titles and Salutations in Tibetan Buddhism

In the Tibetan tradition, some titles are common not only for ordained but also for lay people. These are also listed here. The scientific transliteration is in brackets without diacritical marks (Tibetan; Sanskrit; Pali). Basically, a distinction must be made between salutations, permanent and temporary titles, as well as titles and designations of honor that are acquired through consecration, study or appreciation of inner qualities. Some titles are used by students out of trust in their personal teachers.

Tra-ba (Tibetan) (grwa pa)

Monk. General term for a male Sangha member, d. H. a getsül or gelong.

Tsang-chö (Tibetan) (tshangs spyod; brahmacarin; brahmacharia)

Men or women who lead a chaste way of life as long as they live. This term refers to monks and nuns, but also to lay people in a chaste way of life (Tsangtschö-Genyen).

Tsün-ma (Tibetan) (btsun ma)

Honorable. Polite term for Ani. Female equivalent to Tsünpa.

Tsün-pa (Tibetan) (btsun pa; bhadanta; bhad (d) anta)

Honorable. Polite term for traba and salutation in the ritual for a fully ordained monk who has not kept his vows for as long as you do.

Tulku (Tibetan) (sprul sku; nirmanakaya)

literally: emanation body, d. H. one of the two form-bodies of a fully enlightened Buddha; Title for rebirth, Tib. Yangsi (yang srid), a great lama. Every tulku has the title “Rinpoche”, but especially in the Kagyu tradition, not every Rinpoche is a tulku.


U (Burmese)

Salutation for all men and also for monks, always followed by the name (to state the name alone would be impolite).

Umdse (Tibetan) (dbu mdzad)

Ritual leader in the sense of a cantor. He or she initiates the recitation and, if necessary, in coordination with the spiritual direction, determines what is recited; The basin (sil snyan) is often used as the main instrument in rituals.

Unsui (Japanese Zen)

Novice / monk in training, lives in the monastery. Is not a title and is not used as a salutation.


"Attachment / Attachment". A strong degree of desire. There are 5 groups of attachment: physicality (rupa), feeling (vedana), perception (sanna), mental formations (sankhara) and consciousness (vinnana).



Literally: "Diamond Vehicle". School of Mahayana Buddhism, which was formed around the middle of the 1st millennium, especially in northeast and northwest India. Today mainly represented in Tibet (see Tibetan Buddhism), Nepal, China and Japan. Pronounced rituals, mantras (“sacred” syllables or formulas), mudras (ritual gestures), visualizations, mandalas. Inclusion of pre-Buddhist “magical” practices, close relationship with the teacher (guru), initiations, “secret” practices and practice obligations. Written fixation in the tantras.


More venerable, respectful form of address for bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, samaneras and samaneris; international use.

Four noble truths

The core of the Buddha's teaching are the four noble truths, which he explained to his former companions, the five ascetics, in his very first speech in Isipatana (today's Sarnath) near Benares.

    The four noble truths are:
  • Truth of suffering: life in the cycle of existence is ultimately painful. This can be seen through. (Dukkha Sacca)
  • Truth of the cause of suffering: The causes of suffering are greed, hatred, and delusion. You have to be overcome. (Samudaya Sacca)
  • Truth of the cessation of suffering: If the causes are extinguished, suffering is extinguished. This can be done. (Nirodha Sacca)
  • Truth of the way to the abolition of suffering: There is a way to extinguish suffering, the Noble Eightfold Path. He is about to go. (Magga Sacca)

The four noble truths can also be taken as the shortest expression of the entire teaching of the Buddha and as the common denominator of all Buddhist schools or schools. The first truth is that all worldly forms of existence are inadequate, can never fully satisfy us and are therefore suffering. It is the diagnosis of our existence. The second truth is root cause analysis. The cause of suffering is found in our own mind: desire. The third truth teaches that in the quenching of desire there must necessarily be quenching of suffering. The fourth truth describes the practical path that leads to overcoming suffering. This path is described as the eightfold path.


Order discipline. Part of the Tipitaka (three-basket) of the Pali Canon. The rules of life and behavior given by Buddha himself for the monks and nuns in his order. For the monks 227 rules (Bhikkhu-Patimokkha) were given, for the nuns 311 (Bhikkhuni-Patimokkha). The development of the order is documented in the Vinaya, the individual rules are listed and explained and the history of their origins is listed.

Vipassana meditation

Vipassana meditation is mainly based on the Satipatthana Sutta of the Buddha. In its present form, it developed in Burma at the end of the 19th century. At that time the monks and nuns were mainly occupied with studying the Buddhist scriptures and exercising socio-cultural duties. In their meditation, most of them were devoted to developing concentration, samatha. Only a few monks and nuns tried vipassana, the development of insight and wisdom, in their meditation.

While everyone who practices Vipassana meditation refers to the Satipatthana Sutta, everyone developed their own particular approach. There are currently over fifty different forms of Vipassana meditation in Burma. The best known representatives of the Vipassana practice include Ledi Sayadaw and Mahasi Sayadaw.

One of Ledi Sayadaw's most influential students was the layman U Ba Khin, who emphasized body awareness. His most important students include S. N. Goenka and Ruth Denison.

Mahasi Sayadaw learned meditation from Mingun Jetavun. In its form of Vipassana meditation, in addition to physical sensations, mental experiences are also included, such as feelings and mental states including thought phenomena. Important students of Mahasi Sayadaw were U Pandita, U Janaka, U Kundala and the Indian Anagarika Munindra, who remained a layman throughout his life.

Soon afterwards Westerners came into contact with the latter representatives, in particular Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg and Fred von Allmen. Together with other Westerners like Jack Kornfield and Christopher Tittmuss, who had learned about similar mindfulness-based meditation methods in the monasteries of Thailand, they founded the first Vipassana meditation centers in Great Britain and the USA, Gaia House and Insight Meditation Society (IMS). Spirit Rock and the Beatenberg Meditation Center in Switzerland were added later.



“Yoke” is the name given to every path to a fundamental knowledge, not just physical or breathing exercises. The tantric practices of Tibetan Buddhism are also known as yoga.


Literally: "the practice of yoga". A Mahayana school founded by Maitreyanatha, Asanga and Vasubandhu that teaches knowledge. Everything that is perceptible is viewed as “only spirit”. There is no real object outside of experience and no subject of experience. The perception process is explained with the help of a postulated "memory consciousness" (Alaya-Vijnana). Doctrine of an absolute or moderate idealism. It flourished in the 6th century, especially in the Indian monastic university of Nalanda.


Zenji (Japanese Zen)

in the Rinzai school: The says that this monk belongs to the Rinzai-shu. The is used for Zen Masters and Patriarchs of the Dharma Line. This honorary title is used to address others, mainly in writing, but not for oneself. In the Soto school, the title Zenji is only used for the incumbent head and his predecessors.

Zenni (Japanese Zen)

like Zenji, applies to nuns.