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Alex Grey (born November 29, 1953) is an American artist specializing in spiritual and psychedelic art
(or visionary art) that is sometimes associated with the New Age movement. Grey is a Vajrayana
practitioner. His body of work spans a variety of forms including performance art, process art, installation
art, sculpture, visionary art, and painting. Grey is a member of the Integral Institute. He is also on the
board of advisors for the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, and is the Chair of Wisdom
University's Sacred Art Department. He and his wife Allyson Grey are the co-founders of the Chapel of
Sacred Mirrors, a non-profit institution supporting Visionary Culture in New York City.
Vajrayāna Buddhism (Devanagari: वज्रयान; Mongolian: Очирт хөлгөн, Ochirt Hölgön) is also known
as Tantric Buddhism, Tantrayāna, Mantrayāna, Secret Mantra, Esoteric Buddhism and the
Diamond Vehicle. The period of Vajrayana Buddhism has been classified as the fifth[1] or final[2] period
of Indian Buddhism. Vajrayana is a complex and multifaceted system which evolved over several
centuries and reveals much inconsistency and a variety of opinions.[2] Vajrayana probably came into
existence in the 6th or 7th century CE,[1] while the term Vajrayana first came into evidence in the 8th
century CE.[2] Its scriptures are called the Tantras.[2] The distinctive feature of Vajrayana Buddhism is
ritual, which is used as a substitute or alternative for the earlier abstract meditations.[3][4]
Vajrayana scriptures say that Vajrayana refers to one of three routes to enlightenment, the other two being
Hinayana and Mahayana.
The term "vajra" denoted the thunderbolt, a legendary weapon and divine attribute that was made from an
adamantine, or indestructible, substance and which could therefore pierce and penetrate any obstacle or
obfuscation. As a secondary meaning, "vajra" refers to this indestructible substance, and so is sometimes
translated as "adamantine" or "diamond". So the Vajrayana is sometimes rendered in English as "The
Adamantine Vehicle" or "The Diamond Vehicle".
A vajra is also a scepter-like ritual object, which has a sphere (and sometimes a gankyil) at its centre, and
a variable number of spokes (depending on the sadhana), enfolding either end of the rod. The vajra is
often traditionally employed in tantric rituals in combination with the bell or ghanta; symbolically, the
vajra may represent method as well as great bliss and the bell stands for wisdom, specifically the wisdom
realizing emptiness or lack of inherent existence.
[edit] Terms for practitioners of Vajrayana
As scholar Isabelle Onians explains:
“Tantric Buddhism” . . . is not the transcription of a native term, but a rather modern coinage, if not totally
occidental. For the equivalent Sanskrit tāntrika is found, but not in Buddhist texts. Tāntrika is a term denoting
someone who follows the teachings of scriptures known as Tantras, but only in Saivism, not Buddhism (although
cf. the single known occurrence in a copper-plate inscription from Nālandā made in the name of the Javanese king
Devapāla in the ninth century AD:, tāntrikabodhisattvaganasya; SIRCAR 1983:II .37-38; ref. provided by
Sanderson). Indeed, Alexis Sanderson has noted that it is usually used of followers of another tradition, by
proponents of the Trika of practitioners of the Bhairava tantras, for example, and thus with a slightly pejorative
tone, unlike the simple noun tantra (personal communication). Tantric Buddhism is a name for a phenomenon
which calls itself, in Sanskrit, Mantranaya, Vajrayāna, Mantrayāna or Mantramahāyāna (and apparently never
Tantrayāna). Its practitioners are known as mantrins, yogis, or sādhakas. Thus, our use of the anglicised adjective
“Tantric” for the Buddhist religion taught in Tantras is not native to the tradition, but is a borrowed term which
serves its purpose.[5]
[edit] Difficulties of the academic study of Vajrayana
Serious academic study of Vajrayana is still in its early stages, because of a number of problems that
make research difficult:[6]
1. Although a large number of Tantric scriptures are extant, they have not been put into any kind of
2. Because Vajrayana was influenced by Hinduism, further research into Hinduism is necessary.
3. Ritual as well as doctrine need to be investigated.
[edit] Classifying Vajrayana
[edit] Vajrayana as a newly composed teaching
The literature of Vajrayana is absent from the oldest Buddhist literature of the Pali Canon and the
Vajrayana claims that its teachings were first expounded by the Buddha 16 years after his enlightenment.
Historians have identified an early stage of Mantrayana beginning in the 4th century CE, and claim that
assigning the teachings to the historical Buddha is 'patently absurd'[7].
Only from 7th[7] or the beginning of the 8th century CE, tantric techniques and approaches increasingly
dominated Buddhist practice in India.[8]
The first tantric (Vajrayana Buddhist) texts appeared in the 3rd century CE, and continued to appear until
the 12th century CE.[9]
[edit] Vajrayana as evolved from the local conditions of Medieval India
Although the Vajrayana claims to be as ancient and authentic as any other Buddhist school, it evidently
grew up gradually in an environment with previously existing texts such as the mahasannipata and the
ratnaketudharani[10]. The basic position of Vajrayana is still the same as the early Buddhist position of
not-self: there is nothing which is eternal[11]. The changes that took place agreed with the changing
society of medieval India: the presentation has changed, the techniques of the way to enlightenment have
changed, the outward appearance of Buddhism came to be dominated by ritualism and the array of
Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and gods and goddesses.[12]
[edit] Classification based on Vajrayana scriptures and commentaries
The tantric scriptures and its commentaries provide three strategies to discuss the theoretical nature of
Vajrayana Buddhism:[2]
1. Vajrayana as a subset of Mahayana Buddhism
2. Vajrayana as a fruitional or advanced vehicle (where Mahayana is a prelude to Vajrayana)
3. Vajrayana as the sorcerer’s discipline (vidyadharasamvara)
[edit] Vajrayana as a subset of Mahayana Buddhism
According to this schema, Indian Mahayana revealed two vehicles (yana) or methods for attaining
enlightenment: the method of the perfections (Paramitayana) and the method of mantra (Mantrayana).[13]
The Paramitayana consists of the six or ten paramitas, of which the scriptures say that it takes three
incalculable aeons to lead one to Buddhahood. The tantra literature, however, claims that the Mantrayana
leads one to Buddhahood in one single life.[14] According to the literature, the mantra is an easy path
without the difficulties innate to the Paramitanaya.[15] Mantrayana is sometimes portrayed as a method
for those of inferior abilities.[16] However the practitioner of the mantra still has to adhere to the vows of
the Bodhisattva.[17]
When viewed as a subset of Mahayana, it is one of two paths of practice: the Sutrayana method of
perfecting good qualities and the Vajrayāna method of taking the intended outcome of Buddhahood as the
path. Vajrayana techniques are aimed at making it possible to experience Buddha-nature prior to full
enlightenment. In order to transmit these experiences, a body of esoteric knowledge has been
accumulated by Buddhist tantric yogis and is passed via lineages of transmission. In order to access this
knowledge, the practitioner requires initiation from a skilled spiritual teacher or guru.[18]
[edit] Vajrayana as fruitional vehicle
According to the Vajrayana theory, Vajrayana refers to one of the three routes to enlightenment, the other
two being Hinayana and Mahayana. According to this view, there were three "turnings of the wheel of
1. In the first turning Shakyamuni Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths at Varanasi in the 5th
century BC, which led to the founding of Buddhism and the later early Buddhist schools. Details
of the first turning are described in the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta. The oldest scriptures do not
mention any further turnings other than this first turning.
2. The Mahayana tradition claims that there was a second turning in which the Perfection of Wisdom
sutras were taught at Vulture's Peak, which led to the Mahayana schools. Generally, scholars
conclude that the Mahayana scriptures (including the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras) were
composed from the first century CE onwards.[19]
3. According to the Vajrayana tradition, there was a third turning which took place at Dhanyakataka
sixteen years after the Buddha's enlightenment. Scholars have strongly denied that Vajrayana
appeared at that time,[7] and placed it at a much later time. The first tantric (Vajrayana Buddhist)
texts appeared in the 3rd century CE, and they continued to appear until the 12th century CE.[20]
[edit] Vajrayana as an esoteric discipline
Vajrayana teaches that in order to access esoteric knowledge, the practitioner requires initiation from a
skilled spiritual teacher or guru.[21]
[edit] Vajrayana textual tradition
Harunaga Isaacson, a leading scholar of Vajrayana Buddhism, remarks:
"though we do not know precisely at present just how many Indian tantric Buddhist texts survive today in the
language in which they were written, their number is certainly over one thousand five hundred; I suspect indeed
over two thousand. A large part of this body of texts has also been translated into Tibetan, and a smaller part into
Chinese. Aside from these, there are perhaps another two thousand or more works that are known today only from
such translations. We can be certain as well that many others are lost to us forever, in whatever form. Of the texts
that survive a very small proportion has been published; an almost insignificant percentage has been edited or
translated reliably."[22]
Isaacson notes that Vajrayana texts exhibit a wide range of literary characteristics—usually a mix of verse
and prose, almost always in a Sanskrit that "transgresses frequently against classical norms of grammar
and usage," although also occasionally in various Middle Indic dialects or elegant classical Sanskrit.
[edit] Dunhuang: Tibetan tantric documents recovered from the Mogao Caves
Dalton and Schaik (2007, revised) provide an excellent online catalogue listing 350 Tibetan Tantric
Manuscripts from Dunhuang in the Stein Collection of the British Library which is currently fully
accessible online in discrete digitized manuscripts; with the Wylie transcription of the manuscripts to be
made discoverable online in future. [23] The 350 texts is just a small number compared to the vast cache of
the Dunhuang manuscripts.
[edit] Key features of Vajrayana
A Buddhist ceremony in Ladakh.
The distinction between traditions is not always rigid. For example, the tantra sections of the Tibetan
Buddhist canon of texts sometimes include material not usually thought of as tantric outside the Tibetan
Buddhist tradition, such as the Heart Sutra[24] and even versions of some material found in the Pali
[edit] Ritual
The distinctive feature of Vajrayana Buddhism is ritual, which is used as a substitute or alternative for the
earlier abstract meditations.[27][4] For Vajrayana Tibetan death rituals, see phowa.
[edit] Goal and motivation
The goal of spiritual practice within the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions is to become a bodhisattva,
whereas the goal for Theravada practice is not specific to which type of enlightened being to become. As
with the Mahayana, motivation is a vital component of Vajrayana practice, and Vajrayana teaches that all
practices are to be undertaken with the motivation to achieve Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient
[edit] Upaya
The Vajrayana is based on the concept of "skillful means" (Sanskrit: upaya) as formulated in Mahayana
Buddhism. It is a system of lineages, whereby those who successfully receive an initiation (permission to
practice) are seen to share in the mindstream of the realisation of a particular skillful means of the vajra
Master. In the Vajrayana these skillful means mainly relate to tantric, Mahamudra or Dzogchen practices.
Vajrayana teaches that the Vajrayana techniques provide an accelerated path to enlightenment.[citation needed]
[edit] Two Truths Doctrine
Vajrayana subscribes to the two truths doctrine of conventional and ultimate truths, which is present in all
Buddhist tenet systems. [28][29] The two truths doctrine is a central concept in the Vajrayana path of
practice and is the philosophical basis for its methods. The two truths identifies conventional a.k.a.
relative - and absolute a.k.a. nirvana. Conventional truth is the truth of consensus reality, common-sense
notions of what does and does not exist. Ultimate truth is reality as viewed by an awakened, or
enlightened mind.
In the Sutrayana practice, a path of Mahayana, the "path of the cause" is taken, whereby a practitioner
starts with his or her potential Buddha-nature and nurtures it to produce the fruit of Buddhahood. In the
Vajrayana the "path of the fruit" is taken whereby the practitioner takes his or her innate Buddha-nature
as the means of practice. The premise is that since we innately have an enlightened mind, practicing
seeing the world in terms of ultimate truth can help us to attain our full Buddha-nature.[30]
Experiencing ultimate truth is said to be the purpose of all the various tantric techniques practiced in the
Vajrayana. Apart from the advanced meditation practices such as Dzogchen and Mahamudra, which aim
to experience the empty nature of the enlightened mind that can see ultimate truth, all practices are aimed
in some way at purifying the impure perception of the practitioner to allow ultimate truth to be seen.
These may be ngondro, or preliminary practices, or the more advanced techniques of the tantric sadhana.
[edit] Vows and behaviour
Main article: Samaya
In general, practitioners of the Vajrayana need to abide by various tantric vows or samaya of behaviour.
These are extensions of the rules of the Pratimoksha vows and Bodhisattva vows for the lower levels of
tantra, and are taken during initiations into the empowerment for a particular Anuttarayoga tantra. The
special tantric vows vary depending on the specific mandala practice for which the initiation is received,
and also depending on the level of initiation.
A tantric guru, or teacher, is expected to keep his or her samaya vows in the same way as his students.
Proper conduct is considered especially necessary for a qualified Vajrayana guru. For example, the
Ornament for the Essence of Manjushrikirti states:[31]
Distance yourself from Vajra Masters who are not keeping the three vows
who keep on with a root downfall, who are miserly with the Dharma,
and who engage in actions that should be forsaken.
Those who worship them go to hell and so on as a result.
The Ngagpa Yogis from the Nyingma school keep a special lay ordination.
[edit] Esoteric transmission
Main article: Esoteric transmission
Vajrayana Buddhism is esoteric, in the sense that the transmission of certain teachings only occurs
directly from teacher to student during an initiation or empowerment and cannot be simply learned from a
book. Many techniques are also commonly said to be secret, but some Vajrayana teachers have responded
that secrecy itself is not important and only a side-effect of the reality that the techniques have no validity
outside the teacher-student lineage.[32] In order to engage in Vajrayana practice, a student should have
received such an initiation or permission.
Reginald Ray writes that "If these techniques are not practiced properly, practitioners may harm
themselves physically and mentally. In order to avoid these dangers, the practice is kept "secret" outside
the teacher/student relationship. Secrecy and the commitment of the student to the vajra guru are aspects
of the samaya (Tib. damtsig), or "sacred bond", that protects both the practitioner and the integrity of the
The teachings may also be considered "self-secret", meaning that even if they were to be told directly to a
person, that person would not necessarily understand the teachings without proper context. In this way the
teachings are "secret" to the minds of those who are not following the path with more than a simple sense
of curiosity.[33][34]
The esoteric transmission framework can take varying forms. The Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism
uses a method called Dzogchen. The Tibetan Kagyu school and the Shingon school in Japan use an
alternative method called Mahamudra.
[edit] Sub-schools
Although there is historical evidence for Vajrayana Buddhism in Southeast Asia and elsewhere (see
History of Vajrayana below), today the Vajrayana exists primarily in the form of two major sub-schools,
with one minor subschool.
[edit] Tibetan Buddhism
Part of a series on Tibetan
Main article: Tibetan Buddhism
The Tibetan Buddhist schools, based on the lineages and textual traditions of the Kangyur and Tengyur of
Tibet, are found in Tibet, Bhutan, northern India, Nepal, southwestern and northern China, Mongolia and
various constituent republics of Russia that are adjacent to the area, such as Amur Oblast, Buryatia, Chita
Oblast, the Tuva Republic and Khabarovsk Krai. Tibetan Buddhism is also the main religion in
Vajrayana Buddhism was established in Tibet in the 8th Century when Śāntarakṣita was brought to Tibet
from India at the instigation of the Dharma King Trisong Detsen, some time before 767 CE. He
established the basis of what later came to be known as the Nyingma school. As a Tantric Mahasiddha
Padmasambhava's contribution ensured that Tibetan Buddhism became part of the Vajrayana tradition.
While Vajrayana Buddhism is a part of Tibetan Buddhism in that it forms a core part of every major
Tibetan Buddhist school, it is not identical with it. Buddhist scholar Alexander Berzin refers to "the
Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions of Tibetan Buddhism".[35] Training in the "common paths" of Sutra
(including Lamrim) are said to be the foundation for the "uncommon path" of Vajrayana.[36] The
Vajrayana techniques add 'skillful means' to the general Mahayana teachings for advanced students. The
'skillful means' of the Vajrayana in Tibetan Buddhism refers to tantra techniques, Dzogchen
(Tibetan:maha-ati) and Mahamudra (Tibetan:Chagchen).
[edit] Shugendo Buddhism
Main article: Shugendō
Founded 1300 years ago in Japan by the ascetic En no Gyōja, and based on the Queen's Peacocks Sutra,
Shugendo is considered as the foundation of Vajrayana in Japan.[citation needed] Vajrayana of Shugendo
(shugen mikkyo) is a Dharma teaching wherein the mountain is considered as the "supernatural mandala."
[edit] Shingon Buddhism
Tendai • Shingon
Pure Land • Zen
Saichō • Kūkai
Hōnen • Shinran
Dōgen • Eisai • Ingen
Sacred Texts
Avatamsaka Sutra
Lotus Sutra
Heart Sutra
Infinite Life Sutra
Mahavairocana Tantra
Vajrasekhara Sutra
Glossary of
Japanese Buddhism
view • talk • edit
Main article: Shingon Buddhism
The Shingon school is found in Japan and includes practices, known in Japan as Mikkyo, which are
similar in concept to those in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. The lineage for Shingon Buddhism differs
from that of Tibetan Vajrayana, having emerged from India and Central Asia (via China) and is based on
earlier versions of the Indian texts than the Tibetan lineage. Shingon shares material with Tibetan
Buddhism–-such as the esoteric sutras (called Tantras in Tibetan Buddhism) and mandalas – but the
actual practices are not related. The primary texts of Shingon Buddhism are the Mahavairocana Sutra and
Vajrasekhara Sutra. The founder of Shingon Buddhism was Kukai, a Japanese monk who studied in
China in the 9th century during the Tang Dynasty and brought back Vajrayana scriptures, techniques and
mandalas then popular in China. The school mostly died out or was merged into other schools in China
towards the end of the Tang Dynasty but flourished in Japan. Shingon is one of the few remaining
branches of Buddhism in the world that continues to use the siddham script of the Sanskrit language.
[edit] Tendai Buddhism
Main article: Tendai
Although the Tendai school in China and Japan does employ some esoteric practices, these rituals came
to be considered of equal importance with the exoteric teachings of the Lotus Sutra. By chanting mantras,
maintaining mudras, or practicing certain forms of meditation, Tendai maintains that one is able to
understand sense experiences as taught by the Buddha, have faith that one is innately an enlightened
being, and that one can attain enlightenment within the current lifetime.
[edit] Newar Buddhism
Main article: Newar Buddhism
Newar Buddhism is practiced by Newars in Nepal. This is the only form of Vajrayana Buddhism in which
the scriptures are written in Sanskrit. Its priests do not follow celibacy and are called Vajracharyas.
[edit] Tantra techniques
Main article: Tantra techniques (Vajrayana)
According to the Vajrayana tradition,[37] at certain times the bodymind[38] is in a very subtle state which
can be used by advanced practitioners to transform the mindstream. Such liminal times are known in
Tibetan Buddhism as Bardo states and include such transitional states as during meditation, dreaming, sex
and death.
[edit] Deity yoga
Deity yoga (Tibetan: lha'i rnal 'byor; Sanskrit: Devata) is the fundamental Vajrayana practice, often
involving a sadhana liturgy and form, in which practitioners visualize themselves as the meditation
Buddha or yidam. The purpose of Deity yoga is to bring the meditator to the realization that the deity and
the practitioner are in essence the same, and non-dual. By visualizing oneself and one's environment
entirely as a projection of mind, it helps the practitioner to become familiar with the mind's ability and
habit of projecting conceptual layers over all experience. This experience undermines a habitual belief
that views of reality and self are solid and fixed. Deity yoga enables the practitioner to release, or 'purify'
him or herself from spiritual obscurations (Sanskrit: klesha) and to practice compassion and wisdom
Beer (2004: p. 142) states:[39]
Deity Yoga employs highly refined techniques of creative imagination, visualisation, and photism in order to selfidentify with the divine form and qualities of a particular deity as the union of method or skilful means and
wisdom. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, "In brief, the body of a Buddha is attained through meditating on
The realization of Deity yoga is attained as a result of pure concentration on bringing the three bodies into
the path, in which the practitioner mentally generates themselves as a Tantric Deity (Sanskrit: Yidam) and
their surroundings as the Deity's mandala. The purpose of doing this is to overcome ordinary appearances
and conceptions which, according to Vajrayana, are the obstructions to nirvana and omniscience.[40]
Recent studies indicate that Deity yoga yields quantifiable improvements in the practitioner's ability to
process visuospatial information, specifically those involved in working visuospatial memory.[41]
[edit] Four complete purities
Four Purities (Tibetan: yongs su dag pa bzhi; yongs dag bzhi)[42] In defining Vajrayana, Yuthok et al.
identify the "Four Purities" which define the principal Tantric methodology of Deity Yoga that
distinguishes it from the rest of Buddhism:[43] a subdivision of Mahayana, which may be divided into Sutrayana and Vajrayana (or Tantrayana).
Vajrayana is regarded as a swifter path and is considered superior to Sutrayana. Whereas Sutrayana focuses on the
causal method, Vajrayana teaches the Resultant method [sic] because it includes the 'four purities': (1) purity of
environment (2) purity of body (3) purity of resources and (4) purity of deeds.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso explains:
Tantra is defined as an inner realization that functions to prevent ordinary appearances and conceptions and to
accomplish the four complete purities... The four complete purities are the pure environment, body, enjoyments and
activities of a Buddha.[44]
Kalachakranet identifies and defines the "Four Purities" in a complementary though different fashion:[45]
The main tantric practices can be summarised in the "Four Purities":
1. Seeing one's body as the body of the deity
2. Seeing one's environment as the pure land or mandala of the deity
3. Perceiving one's enjoyments as bliss of the deity, free from attachment
4. Performing one's actions only for the benefit of others (bodhichitta motivation, altruism)[46]
Imagery and ritual in deity yoga: representations of the deity, such as a statues (murti), paintings
(thangka), or mandala, are often employed as an aid to visualization, in Deity yoga. Mandalas are sacred
enclosures, sacred architecture that house and contain the uncontainable essence of a yidam. In the book
The World of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama describes mandalas thus: "This is the celestial mansion,
the pure residence of the deity."
In the same context, all ritual in Vajrayana practice can be seen as aiding in this process of visualization
and identification. The practitioner can use various hand implements such as a vajra, bell, hand-drum
(damaru) or a ritual dagger (phurba), but also ritual hand gestures (mudras) can be made, special
chanting techniques can be used, and in elaborate offering rituals or initiations, many more ritual
implements and tools are used, each with an elaborate symbolic meaning to create a special environment
for practice. Vajrayana has thus become a major inspiration in traditional Tibetan art.
[edit] Guru yoga
Guru yoga (or teacher practice) (Tibetan: bla ma'i rnal 'byor)[47] is a practice that has many variations, but
may be understood as a tantric devotional process whereby the practitioners unite their mindstream with
the mindstream of the guru. The guru is engaged as yidam, as a nirmanakaya manifestation of a Buddha.
The process of guru yoga might entail visualization of an entire lineage of masters (refuge tree) as an
invocation of the lineage. It usually involves visualization of the guru above or in front of the practitioner.
Guru yoga may entail a liturgy or mantra such as the Prayer in Seven Lines. (Tibetan: tshig bdun gsol
The Guru or spiritual teacher is essential as a guide during tantric practice, as without their example,
blessings and grace, genuine progress is held to be impossible for all but the most keen and gifted. Many
tantric texts qualify the Three Jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha thus: "The Guru is Buddha, the
Guru is Dharma, the Guru is also Sangha"[49] to reflect their importance for the disciple. The guru is
considered even more compassionate and more potent than the Buddha because we can have a direct
relationship with the guru. The guru therefore appears with the yidam and dakini in the Three Roots
refuge formulation of the three factors essential for tantric attainments.
[edit] Death yoga
Death yoga (or "bringing the three bodies into the path of death, intermediate state (bardo) and
rebirth"[50]) is another important aspect of Tantra techniques. Although it is sometimes called "death
yoga," it is mainly practiced during life, in meditation. It can be practiced first according to generation
stage, and then according to completion stage. The accumulation of meditative practice helps to prepare
the practitioner for what they need to do at the time of death. At the time of death the mind is in a subtle
state (clear light) that can open the mind to enlightenment if it is skilfully used to meditate on emptiness
(shunyata). During completion stage meditation it is possible to manifest a similar clear light mind and to
use it to meditate on emptiness. This meditation causes dualistic appearances to subside into emptiness
and enables the practitioner to destroy their ignorance and the imprints of ignorance that are the
obstructions to omniscience. It is said that masters like Lama Tsong Khapa used these techniques to
achieve enlightenment during the death process. Actually, there are three stages at which it is possible to
do this: at the end of the death process, during the bardo (or 'in between period') and during the process of
rebirth. During these stages, the mind is in a very subtle state, and an advanced practitioner can use these
natural states to make significant progress on the spiritual path. The Tibetan Book of the Dead is an
important commentary for this kind of traditional practice.
This death yoga should not be confused with the non-Tantric meditation on impermanence and death,
which is a common practice within Buddhist traditions used to overcome desirous attachment.
Another Tibetan ritual practice related to death is phowa (transference of one's consciousness), which can
be done by oneself at the moment of death or by ritual specialists, phowa-lamas, on behalf of the dead.
For the Anuttarayoga Tantras (Tib. rnal-’byor bla-med-kyi-rgyud), transfering one’s consciousness
constitutes one of the two ways to separate the coarse and subtle bodies through meditation. Daniel
Cozort explains that ’pho-ba (phowa) merely separates the coarse and subtle bodies without leading to the
attainment of an “illusory body” (Tib. sgyu-lus). On the other hand, during the perfection type meditation,
known as the “final mental isolation” (Tibetan: sems-dben) because it necessitates the presence of an
“actual consort” (Tib. las-rgya), “the winds are totally dissolved in the indestructible drop” and “the
fundamental wind naturally rises into an illusory body”[51]
[edit] Generation and completion stage practice in the annutarayoga tantras
Main article: Generation stage
Main article: Completion stage
In the highest class of tantra, two stages of practice are distinguished. In the first stage of generation, one
practices oneself in the identification with the meditational Buddha (yidam), generally until one can
meditate single-pointedly on 'being' the deity (see above, deity yoga). In the next stage of completion, one
engages in practices with the subtle energy system of the body (chakras and energy channels etc.) to
actualize the physical and mental transformation into the meditation Buddha. (Similar practices are also
found in Hindu tantra and yoga.) In some Buddhist tantras, both stages can be practiced simultaneously,
whereas in others, one first actualizes the generation stage before continuing with the completion stage
Details of these practices are normally only explained to practitioners by their teachers after receiving an
initiation or 'permission to practice'.
[edit] Classifications of tantra
[edit] By scholars
The scholar J.M. Kitagawa says that Tantrayana may be divided into three main types of tantra[7]:
1. Vajrayana - established the symbolic terminology and the liturgy that would characterize all forms
of the tradition.[7]
2. Sahajayana - was dominated by long-haired, wandering siddhas who openly challenged and
ridiculed the Buddhist establishment.[7]
3. Kalachakra Tantra - is farthest removed from the earlier Buddhist traditions, and incorporates
concepts of messianism and astrology not present elsewhere in Buddhist literature.[7]
[edit] By the New Translation Schools
The Sarma or New Translation schools of Tibetan Buddhism (Gelug, Sakya, and Kagyu) divide the
Tantras into four hierarchical categories, namely:
Kriyayoga (action tantra)
Charyayoga (performance tantra)
Yogatantra (yoga tantra)
Anuttarayogatantra (highest yoga tantra)
o further divided into "mother", "father" and "non-dual" tantras.
[edit] By the Ancient Translation School
A different division is used by the Nyingma or Ancient school:
Three Outer Tantras:
o Kriyayoga
o Charyayoga
o Yogatantra
Three Inner Tantras, which correspond to the Anuttarayogatantra:
o Mahayoga
o Anuyoga
o Atiyoga (Tib. Dzogchen)
 The practice of Atiyoga is further divided into three classes: Mental SemDe,
Spatial LongDe, and Esoteric Instructional MenNgagDe.
[edit] History of Vajrayana
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[edit] India
There are differing views as to where in the Indian sub-continent Vajrayana began. Some believe it
originated in Bengal,[52] now divided between the Republic of India and Bangladesh, with others claiming
it began in Uddiyana, located by some scholars in the modern day Swat Valley in Pakistan, or in South
India. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, it is claimed that the historical Shakyamuni Buddha taught tantra,
but that since these are 'secret' teachings, confined to the guru/disciple relationship, they were generally
written down long after the Buddha's other teachings, the Pali Canon and the Mahayana sutras.
The earliest texts appeared around the early 4th century. Nalanda University in eastern India became a
center for the development of Vajrayana theory, although it is likely that the university followed, rather
than led, the early Tantric movement. India would continue as the source of leading-edge Vajrayana
practices up until the 11th century producing many renowned Mahasiddha.
(Vajrayana) Buddhism had mostly died out in India by the 13th century, and tantric religions of
Buddhism and Hinduism were also experiencing pressure from invading Islamic armies. By that time, the
vast majority of the practices were also available in Tibet, where they were preserved until recently.
In the second half of the 20th century a sizable number of Tibetan exiles fled the oppressive, antireligious rule of the Communist Chinese to establish Tibetan Buddhist communities in northern India,
particularly around Dharamsala. They remain the primary practitioners of Tantric Buddhism in India and
the entire world.
[edit] Sambalpur
Indrabhuti, the oldest known king of Sambalpur founded vajrayana, while his sister, who was married to
yuvaraja Jalendra of Lankapuri (Suvarnapur), founded Sahajayana. These new Tantric cults of Buddhism
introduced Mantra, Mudra and Mandala along with six Tantric Abhicharas (practices) such as Marana,
Stambhana, Sammohana, Vidvesan, Uchchatana and Vajikarana. The Tantric Buddhist sects made efforts
to raise the dignity of the lowest of the low of the society to a higher plane. It revived primitive beliefs
and practices, a simpler and less formal approach to the personal god, a liberal and respectful attitude
towards women, and a denial of the caste system.
From the seventh century A.D. onwards, many popular religious elements of heterogenous nature were
incorporated into Mahayana Buddhism which finally resulted in the origin of Vajrayana, Kalachakrayana
and Sahajayana Tantric Buddhism. Tantric Buddhism first developed in Uddiyana, a country which was
divided into two kingdoms, Sambhala and Lankapuri.Sambhala has been identified with Sambalpur and
Lankapuri with Suvarnapura (Sonepur).
Many celebrated Vajrayana Acharyas like Sarah, Hadipa, Dombi, Heruka, Tantipa and Luipa came from
the so-called "despised classes." The cult exerted a tremendous influence over the tribal and despised
classes of people of Sambalpur Bolangir region. It was in the 9th/10th century A.D. that there appeared
seven famous Tantric maidens at Patna (Patnagarh) region which was then called Kuanri-Patana. These
maidens are popularly known as Satvaheni (Seven sisters), namely, Gyanadei Maluni, Luhakuti,
Luhuruni, Nitei Dhobani, Sukuti Chamaruni, Patrapindhi Savaruni, Gangi Gauduni and sua Teluni. They
hailed from the so-called low castes of society and were followers of Lakshminkara. Because of their
miraculous power and feats, they were later on deified and worshipped by the folk people.
A systematic analysis of the trend of religious development of the period under review, and circumstantial
evidence, reveals that Chakra Sambar Tantricism of Tantric Buddhism gained popularity in the
Gandhagiri region. The chief deity of Chakra Sambara Tantra is Buddha Sambara, the deity whose
worship is still popular in China and Tibet. According to Sadhanamala, god Buddha Sambara is onefaced and two-armed. He appears terrible with his garment of tiger-skin, garland of heads, a string of
skulls round the head, three eyes and in Âlidhamudrâ, he tramples upon kalaratri. A number of texts
relating to the procedures of worship of god Buddha Sambara have been composed by siddhacharyas like
Darikapa, Santideva, Jayadratha and others. King Indrabhuti of Shambala (Sambalpur) composed the
Chakra Sambara Stotra, Chakra Sambara Anubandha Samgraha, Chakra Sambara Tantraraga, the
Chakra Sambara Samuchchaya Nama Brutti, and others. The philosopher-king Indrabhuti became the
source and inspiration for the adherents of Tantric Buddhist cults in Western Orissa, including in the
Gandhagiri region.
Indrabhuti and Laksminkara, the two royal Buddhist Acharyas, attracted a mass of followers to their cults.
In the 9th-10th century A.D., the worship and Sadhana of Buddha Sambara, the presiding deity of Chakra
Sambara Tantra, gained popularity in the Gandhagiri region. In Gandhagiri which also contains a large
number of caves and rock-shelters, apparently of the Vajrayanists and Sahajayanists, the adherents of the
cults used to live in seclusion and practice Kaya Sadhana or Yogic practices, along with worshipping god
Buddha Sambara.
[edit] China
Vajrayana followed the same route into northern China as Buddhism itself, arriving from India via the
Silk Road some time during the first half of the 7th century C.E. (Tang Dynasty). According to Tripitaka
Master Shramana Hsuan Hua,[53], the most popular example of "Chinese Secret School", still practiced in
many Chan monasteries of China, Korea, Vietnam and Japan, is the Shurangama Sutra with its
Shurangama Mantra and the Dharani Sutra with its Great Compassion Mantra with its 42 Hands and Eyes
Mantras. These "secret school" mantrayana practices arrived just as Buddhism was reaching its zenith in
China, receiving sanction from the emperors of the Tang Dynasty. The Tang capital at Chang'an (modernday Xi'an) became an important center for Buddhist studies (especially the Nalanda tradition, and
Vajrayana ideas no doubt received great attention as pilgrim monks returned from India with the latest
texts and methods from major centers of learning like Nalanda Monastery. (see Buddhism in China,
Journey to the West).
According to American Buddhist Monk Losang Jinpa, who is from both the Chinese Chan and Tibetan
Nalanda traditions:[54]
"There is a common misconception among Tibetan Buddhists that the Vajrayana either no
longer exists in Chinese Buddhism or never existed in Chinese Buddhism in the first
place. In daily practice, this is not the case. Thanks to the pervasive and timeless
popularity of the required Chinese 'Morning Ceremony' (Zao ke) with its 40 minutes of
chanting the Shurangama Mantra, Great Compassion Mantra and the Ten Small Mantras,
one can observe that most monastic practitioners at Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhism
Vietnamese Buddhist Monasteries (such as City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and Jen Chen
temples) in the USA and Taiwan practicing daily mantra sadhana practice combined with
mandala visualization and meditation on emptiness as 'clear light'. However, these
practices are not publicly spoken of and 'advertised' like they are in Tibetan Buddhism,
since they are, after all, 'Secret School' practices."
[edit] Tibet and other Himalayan kingdoms
In 747 the Indian master Padmasambhava traveled from Afghanistan to bring Vajrayana Buddhism to
Tibet and Bhutan, at the request of the king of Tibet. This was the original transmission which anchors
the lineage of the Nyingma school. During the 11th century and early 12th century a second important
transmission occurred with the lineages of Atisa, Marpa and Brogmi, giving rise to the other schools of
Tibetan Buddhism, namely Kadam, Kagyu, Sakya, and Geluk (the school of the Dalai Lama).
[edit] Japan
During the Tang Dynasty in China, when esoteric Buddhist practices reached their peak, Japan was
actively importing Buddhism, its texts and teachings, by sending monks on risky missions across the sea
to stay in China for two years or more. Depending on where the monk stay and trained, they might bring
esoteric Buddhist material and training back to Japan, or not.
In 804, monk Saicho came back from China with teachings from the Tiantai sect, but was also trained in
esoteric lineages. When he later founded the Japanese Tendai sect, esoteric practices were integrated with
the larger Tendai teachings, but Tendai is not an exclusively esoteric sect. Subsequent disciples of Saicho
also returned from China in later years with further esoteric training, which helped to flesh out the lineage
in Japan.
On the same mission in 804, Emperor Kammu also sent monk Kūkai to the Tang Dynasty capital at
Chang'an (present-day Xi'an). Kūkai absorbed the Vajrayana thinking from eminent Indian and Chinese
Vajrayana teachers at the time, and synthesized a version of which he took back with him to Japan, where
he founded the Shingon school of Buddhism, a school which continues to this day. Unlike Tendai,
Shingon is a purely esoteric sect.
[edit] Indonesian Archipelago
The empire of Srivijaya in southeast Sumatra was already a center of Vajrayana learning when the monk
I-Tsing resided there for six months in 671 CE, long before Padmasambhava brought the method to Tibet.
In the 11th century CE, Atisha studied in Srivijaya under Serlingpa, an eminent Buddhist scholar and a
prince of the Srivijayan ruling house.
Through early economic relationships with the Srivijaya Empire, the Philippines came under the
influence of Vajrayana.[citation needed] Vajrayana Buddhism also influenced the construction of Borobudur, a
three-dimensional mandala, in central Java circa 800 CE.
[edit] Mongolia
Young Monk in Shalu Monastery, Shigatse, Tibet
In the 13th century CE the Tibetan Buddhist teachers of the Sakya school, led by Sakya Pandita Kunga
Gyaltsen took part in a religious debate with Christians and Muslims before the Mongolian royal court.
As a result the Mongolian Prince Godan adopted Tibetan Buddhism as his personal religion, although not
requiring it of his subjects. Drogön Chögyal Phagpa, Sakya Pandita's nephew, eventually converted
Kublai Khan to Buddhism. Since the Khan conquered China and established the Yuan Dynasty which
lasted from 1271 to 1368, this led to the renewal in China of the Tantric practices which had died out
there many years earlier. Vajrayana practice declined in China and Mongolia with the fall of the Yuan
Dynasty, although Mongolia saw another revival of Vajrayana in the 17th century, with the establishment
of ties between the Dalai Lama in Tibet and the Mongolian princedoms. This revived the historic pattern
of the spiritual leaders of Tibet acting as priests to the rulers of the Mongol empire. Having survived
suppression by the Communists, Buddhism in Mongolia is today primarily of the Gelug school of Tibetan
Buddhism and is being re-invigorated following the fall of the Communist government.
[edit] See also
Buddhism in Bhutan
Buddhism in Russia
Tibetan Buddhist teachers
Gyuto Order
Pure Land Buddhism (Vajrayana Pure Land Buddhism, Tibet)
Great Compassion Mantra -- Most popular form of Chinese Mantrayana
Shurangama Mantra - Popular form of Chinese Vajrayana or "Secret School"
42 Hands and Eyes Mantras - Chinese Secret School Bodhichitta Dharani practice of Guanyin
[edit] Notes
1. ^ a b History of Indian Buddhism - Hirakawa Akira (translated and edited by Paul Groner) Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Delhi, 1993, p. 9
2. ^ a b c d e Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 875-876
3. ^ Indian Buddhism, A.K.Warder, 1999, p.466
4. ^ a b Hawkins, Bradley K. Buddhism, p. 24. Routledge, 1999. ISBN 0-415-21162-X
5. ^ Isabelle Onians, "Tantric Buddhist Apologetics, or Antinomianism as a Norm," D.Phil.
dissertation, Oxford, Trinity Term 2001 pg 8
6. ^ History of Indian Buddhism - Hirakawa Akira (translated and edited by Paul Groner) - Motilal
Banarsidass Publishers, Delhi, 1993, p. 9
7. ^ a b c d e f g h Kitagawa, Joseph Mitsuo. The Religious Traditions of Asia: Religion, History, and
Culture, p. 80. Routledge, 2002. ISBN 0-7007-1762-5
8. ^ Buddhist Thought: A complete introduction to the Indian tradition by Paul Williams with
Anthony Tribe. Routledge, 2000. ISBN 0-203-18593-5 pg 194
9. ^ Buddhist Thought: A complete introduction to the Indian tradition by Paul Williams with
Anthony Tribe. Routledge, 2000. ISBN 0-203-18593-5 pg 194
10. ^ Indian Buddhism, A.K.Warder, 1999, p.459-461
11. ^ Indian Buddhism, A.K.Warder, 1999, p.477
12. ^ A.K.Warder, Indian Buddhism, 1999, p.477
13. ^ Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 875.
14. ^ Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 875.
15. ^ Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 875.
16. ^ Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 875.
17. ^ Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 875.
18. ^ Hawkins, Bradley K. Buddhism, p. 25. Routledge, 1999. ISBN 0-415-21162-X
19. ^ Large numbers of Mahayana sutras were being composed in the period between the beginning
of the common era and the fifth century. MacMillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 494
20. ^ Paul Williams and Anthony Tribe, Buddhist Thought: A complete introduction to the Indian
tradition, Routledge, 2000. ISBN 0-203-18593-5 pg 194.
21. ^ a b Ray, Reginald A. Secret of the Vajra World: The Tantric Buddhism of Tibet. Shambhala
Publications, Boston: 2001
22. ^ Tantric Buddhism in India (from c. A.D. 800 to c. A.D. 1200). In: Buddhismus in Geschichte
und Gegenwart. Band II. Hamburg. pp.23–49. (Internal publication of Hamburg University.) pg
23. ^ Dalton, Jacob & van Schaik, Sam (2007). Catalogue of the Tibetan Tantric Manuscripts from
Dunhuang in the Stein Collection [Online]. Second electronic edition. International Dunhuang
Project. Source: [2] (accessed: Tuesday February 2, 2010)
24. ^ Conze, The Prajnaparamita Literature
25. ^ Skilling, Mahasutras, volume I, parts I & II, 1997, Pali Text Society, page 78, speaks of the
tantra divisions of some editions of the Kangyur as including Sravakayana, Mahayana and
Vajrayana texts
26. ^ Peter Skilling, Mahasutras, volume I, 1994, Pali Text Society[3], Lancaster, page xxiv
27. ^ Indian Buddhism, A.K.Warder, 1999, p.466
28. ^ Williams, Paul. Buddhism: Critical Concepts in Religious Studies, p. 315. Routledge, 2006.
ISBN 0-415-33226-5
29. ^ Berzin, Alexander (2007). The Two Truths in Vaibhashika and Sautrantika. March 2001;
revised September 2002 and July 2006. Source: [4] (accessed: January 2, 2008).
30. ^ Palmo, Tenzin (2002). Reflections on a Mountain Lake:Teachings on Practical Buddhism. Snow
Lion Publications. pp. 224–5. ISBN 1-55939-175-8.
31. ^ Tsongkhapa , Tantric Ethics: An Explanation of the Precepts for Buddhist Vajrayana Practice
ISBN 0-86171-290-0, page 46.
32. ^ Dhammasaavaka. The Buddhism Primer: An Introduction to Buddhism, p. 79. ISBN 1-41166334-9
33. ^ Morreale, Don (1998) The Complete Guide to Buddhist America ISBN 1-57062-270-1 p.215
34. ^ Trungpa, Chögyam and Chödzin, Sherab (1992) The Lion's Roar: An Introduction to Tantra
ISBN 0-87773-654-5 p. 144.
35. ^ "Berzin Archives". Retrieved 2008-06-22.
36. ^ Tantric Grounds and Paths: How to Enter, Progress on, and Complete the Vajrayana Path,
page 1, Tharpa Publications (1994) ISBN 978-0-948006-33-3
37. ^ Luminous Emptiness. 2001. Francesca Fremantle. Boston: Shambala Publications. ISBN 157062-450-X
38. ^ Arpaia, Joseph & D. Lobsang Rapgay (2004). Tibetan Wisdom for Modern Life. Delhi, Motilal
Banarsidass. ISBN 81-208-1955-1.
39. ^ Beer, Robert (2004). The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs. Serindia Publications,
Inc. ISBN 1-932476-10-5. p.142. Source: [5] (accessed: January 9, 2008)
40. ^ Guide to Dakini Land, Tharpa Publications (2nd. ed., 1996) ISBN 978-0-948006-39-5
41. ^ M. Kozhevnikov, O. Louchakova, Z. Josipovic, and M.A. Motes (2009). ""The Enhancement of
Visuospatial Processing Efficiency Through Buddhist Deity Meditation"". Psychological Science.
42. ^ Source: [6] (accessed: January 3, 2008)
43. ^ Yuthok, Choedak (1997) p.27. Lamdre: Dawn of Enlightenment. (Transcribed and edited by
Pauline Westwood with valued assistance from Ot Rastsaphong, Rob Small, Brett Wagland and
Whitethorn. Cover Design: Rob Small) Canberra, Australia: Gorum Publications. ISBN 0
9587085 0 9. Source: [7] (accessed: January 3, 2008)
44. ^ Mahamudra Tantra, page 19, Tharpa Publications (2005) ISBN 978-0-948006-93-7
45. ^ Kalachakranet (2006). Tantric Practice. Source: [8] (Source: January 3, 2008)
46. ^ Guide to Dakini Land: The Highest Yoga Tantra Practice of Buddha Vajrayogini, page 148ff
Tharpa Publications (2nd. ed., 1996) ISBN 978-0-948006-39-5
47. ^ Rinpoche, Patrul (author); Brown, Kerry (ed.); and Sharma, Sima (ed.)(1994). The Words of My
Perfect Teacher (Tibetan title: kunzang lama'i shelung). Translated by the Padmakara Translation
Group. With a forward by the Dalai Lama. San Francisco, California, USA:
HarperCollinsPublishers. ISBN 0-06-066449-5 (cloth: alk. paper). P.416
48. ^ Rinpoche, Patrul (author); Brown, Kerry (ed.); and Sharma, Sima (ed.)(1994). The Words of My
Perfect Teacher (Tibetan title: kunzang lama'i shelung). Translated by the Padmakara Translation
Group. With a forward by the Dalai Lama. San Francisco, California, USA:
HarperCollinsPublishers. ISBN 0-06-066449-5 (cloth: alk. paper). P.442
49. ^ Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen, Offering to the Spiritual Guide (Tib. Lama Chopa), Tharpa
Publications, p. 12
50. ^ Guide to Dakini Land, pages 109-119, Tharpa Publications (2nd. ed., 1996) ISBN 978-0948006-39-5
51. ^ Highest Yoga Tantra: An Introduction to the Esoteric Buddhism of Tibet. Ithaca: Snow Lion,
1986: p. 98.
52. ^ Banerjee, S. C. Tantra in Bengal: A Study in Its Origin, Development and Influence. Manohar.
ISBN 81-85425-63-9.
53. ^ [|Hua, Gold Mountain Shramana Tripitaka Master Hsuan]; Bhikshuni Rev. Heng Chih,
Bhikshuni Rev. Heng Hsien, David Rounds, Ron Epstein, et al (2003). The Shurangama Sutra Sutra Text and Supplements with Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua - First
Edition. Burlingame, California: Buddhist Text Translation Society. ISBN 0881399493., Volume 1, pp. 68-71
54. ^ October 2008 Buddhist Healing Seminar by Venerable Losang Jinpa at Tse Chen Ling, San Francisco FPMT Center
[edit] Further reading
Tantric Ethics: An Explanation of the Precepts for Buddhist Vajrayana Practice by Tson-Kha-Pa,
ISBN 0-86171-290-0
Perfect Conduct: Ascertaining the Three Vows by Ngari Panchen, Dudjom Rinpoche, ISBN 086171-083-5
Buddhist Ethics (Treasury of Knowledge) by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye, ISBN 1-55939-191-X
Āryadeva's Lamp that Integrates the Practices (Caryāmelāpakapradīpa): The Gradual Path of
Vajrayāna Buddhism according to the Esoteric Community Noble Tradition, ed. and trans by
Christian K. Wedemeyer (New York: AIBS/Columbia Univ. Press, 2007). ISBN 978-0-97537345-3
Tantra in Bengal: A Study of Its Origin, Development and Influence by S. C. Banerji
A Study of Traditional Vajrayana Buddhism of Nepal
Gyatso, Geshe Kelsang (2003). Tantric Grounds and Paths. Glen Spey: Tharpa Publications ISBN
Gyatso, Geshe Kelsang (2005). Mahamudra Tantra. Glen Spey: Tharpa Publications ISBN 978-0948006-93-7.
Arnold, Edward A. on behalf of Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies, fore. by Robert
A. F. Thurman. As Long As Space Endures: Essays on the Kalacakra Tantra in Honor of H.H. the
Dalai Lama Snow Lion Publications, 2009.
[edit] External links
Examples of Vajrayana Buddhist Mantras
Trikaya del Lama Kunsal Kassapa
The Berzin archive. Archive on texts and teachings of Vajrayana, Tibetan Buddhism, Islam and
Love and Passion in Tantric Buddhist Art
A Buddhist View on Tantra
About Tantra Introduction and explanation of Buddhist Tantra
List of English words of Sanskrit origin
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This is a list of English words of Sanskrit origin. Many of these words were not directly borrowed from
Sanskrit. The meanings of some words have changed slightly after being borrowed.
Top of page — See also — External links
[edit] A
The ten avatars of Vishnu.
from Sanskrit आदित्य āditya, the Vedic sun god.[1]
Via Greek: ἀήρ ("air") δρόμος (" race course") which originated in Sanskrit: वाति (vā́ ti), “‘to
blow’”) and द्राति (drāti), “‘to run’”).
"Land of the Afghans"; from Arabic: Afġān (‫ )ناغفا‬via Prakit: Avagānā (आभगन) which is
derived from the Sanskrit tribal name Aśvaka (अश्वक) meaning "horseman", as the country was
noted for its fine breed of horses; and the Persian suffix ‫ـ ـ ـــ‬-stan meaning "land". This
name was used in reference to the Kambojas in antiquity.
from Sanskrit अग्नन Agnih, which means "fire".[2]
from Sanksrit आगणन means lack of knowledge or ignorance, from root word gnan in Sanskrit which
means knowledge or wisdom;
from Sanskrit अद स
िं ा ahimsā, which means "not-harmful".[3]
through Sinhalese: ඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇ ultimately from Sanskrit: अम्बरे ल्ला, a kind of tree.[4]
from Sanskrit अमि
ृ म ् amrtam, nectar of everlasting life.[5]
through German: Anilin, French: Aniline and Portuguese: Anil from Arabic ‫ لينلا‬al-nili,
ultimately from Sanskrit नीली nili.[6]
from Sanskrit: अन्नपण
ू ाा, consort of Shiva and an aspect of Devi.[7]
Argentinum and Argentina
via Latin: Argentum ("silver") and Ancient Greek: ἀργήντος (argēntos), gen. of ἀργήεις (argēeis),
"white, shining" [8] and 'Αργεντινός (argentinos; "silvery") [9] which are all derived from Sanskrit
ा arjuna, meaning who has the charm of silver .
from Sanskrit आया ārya.[10]
from Latin Ariana, from Greek Ἀριά Aria, ultimately from Sanskrit आया Arya-s "noble,
from Sanskrit आसन āsanam which means "seat", a term describing yoga postures.[12]
ultimately from Sanskrit आश्रम āsramah, a religious hermitage.[13]
from Sanskrit असजर a-sura, which means "negation of sura [god]", i.e. someone who have
demonish qualities or someone who is against God.[14] "Sura" in Sanskrit also means liquor /
alcoholic drink. A-sura means the one who does not drink liquor.
through Maldivean: ‫ލަތއ‬
probably ultimately from Sanskrit अिंिला antala.[15]
from Catalan alberginera, via Arabic (‫ نا ْج ِنذان‬al-badinjan) and Persian (‫ ناجنداب‬badin-gan)
ultimately from Sanskrit वातिगगम vātinganah.[16]
from Sanskrit अविार avatarana, which means "descent".[17]
from Sanskrit आयव
ज ेि āyurvedah, which means "knowledge of life".[18]
[edit] B
A handcoloured engraving of Brahma.
from Hindi बन्धन bandhnu, ultimately from Sanskrit बध्नाति badhnati, "binds".[19]
from Sanskrit वाणणर् vanija, which means "a merchant".[20]
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit वास vāsah.[21]
from Sanskrit ब ज व्रीद bahuvrīhih, a composite word.[22]
from Old French beryl, via Latin beryllus, Greek βήρυλλος and Prakrit वेलजररय (veruliya)
ultimately from Sanskrit वैडूया vaidurya-, of Dravidian origin, maybe from the name of Belur.[23]
from Sanskrit: भगवद्गीिा, which means "song of the sublime".[24]
from Sanskrit: भगवान,् one loyal to Bhagavat.[25]
from Sanskrit भग्ति bhakti, which means "loyalty".[26]
from Hindi भािंग bhang, which is from Sanskrit भङ्ग bhangah "hemp".[27]
from Sanskrit भरि bhārata meaning "to be maintained".[28]
through Hindi बीडी ultimately from Sanskrit ववतिकम vītikam.[29]
from Sanskrit ब्रह्मा brahmā, which means "a prayer".[30]
from Sanskrit ब्रह्मन ् brāhmana.[31]
from Sanskrit राह्मण brahmana-s, from brahman.[32]
from Persian ‫ ناجنداب‬badingān, probably from Sanskrit भण्टाकी vātingana.[33]
from Sanskrit बजद्ध buddha, which means "awakened, enligtened", refers to Siddhartha Gautama,
founder of Buddhism[34] Also refers to one who is enlightened in accordance with the teachings of
Buddha or a likeness of Buddha[35]
[edit] C
A cheetah.
The country's former name is Kampuchea (Khmer: ඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇඇ Preăh
Réachéa Nachâk Kâmpŭchea; literally: "Kingdom of Cambodia") which is derived from Sanskrit:
Kambujadesa (कम्बोर्िे श; land of Kambuja).
imported from Old English candel "lamp or lantern", whoch was imported from Latin "candela"
and Ancient Greek κάνδαρος kandaros, “charcoal”, which originated in Sanskrit चन्द्र candrá,
from Old French sucre candi, via Arabic: ‫ يدنق‬qandi and Persian: ‫ دنق‬qand probably ultimately
from Sanskrit खड्
ज khanda "sugar", perhaps from Dravidian.[37]
from French carmin, via Middle Latin from Arabic: ‫ زمرق‬qirmiz "crimson", which is from
Sanskrit क्रिममगा krimiga.[38]
from Portuguese caixa, from Tamil காசு kAcu, which is from Sanskrit कर्ा karsha, a weight of
gold or silver. This is the proper noun related with the miscellaneous coins of small value,
common noun "cash" is not of Sanskrit origin.[39]
from Kashmir, the Himalayan region where this wool is from.[40] The name Kashmere is derived
from Ka (का; "water") and shimir (मशममरर; "to desiccate").
through Urdu and Persian ‫ رداچ‬ultimately from Sanskrit छत्रम ् chattram.[41]
from Sanskrit चििं cakra, which means "a circle, a wheel".[42]
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit काम्पका campaka, an evergreen tree.[43]
from Hindi चचिा chita "a leopard", from Sanskrit चचराका chitraka, which means "speckled".[44]
from Hindi छ िंट chint, which is from Sanskrit चचरस chitra-s "clear, bright".[45]
from Hindi चचट्ठ chitthi "a letter, note", which is from Sanskrit चचरस chitra-s "uniquely
through Urdu tirksnaS morf yletamitlu ‫چادر‬छत्रम ् chattram.[47]
via Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit चकोर cakorah.[48]
from Hindi चतकर chakkar, from Sanskrit चि cakra, "a circle, a wheel".[49]
from Sanskrit चचति पति citi-pati, which means "a funeral pyre lord".[50]
from Hindi ख़ि khat "a couch", which is from Sanskrit खट्वा khatva.[51]
from Hindi and Urdu kauri (कजरी; ‫)بدتمک‬, which is from Sanskrit कपिा kaparda, probably related
to Tamil.[52]
from Old Spanish cremesin, via Middle Latin from Arabic ‫ زمرق‬qirmiz "a kermes", which is
ultimately from Sanskrit कृममर् krmi-ja.[53]
[edit] D
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit िल dalah, meaning cotyledon of a pea pod, a type of
Indian food, also refers to lentil in the US.[54]
from Sanskrit िासा daasa, a slave or servant.[55]
through Latin and Hindi: धिूरा ultimately from Sanskrit धत्तरज dhattūrāh, a kind of flowering
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit िे विारु devadāru, a kind of tree.[57]
Deva, Diva
from Sanskrit िे वी deva, which means "a god", akin to Latin deus, "god". Diva means day like in
divakara, sun who makes the day.[58]
from Sanskrit िे वी devi, which means "a goddess".[59]
from Pali धम्म dhamma and Sanskrit: धमा, which means "law, justice".[60]
through Hindi: धोिी ultimately from Sanskrit धन
ज ोति dhūnoti, traditional garment of men's wear in
from Hindi दिन्गी dingi "a tiny boat", probably from Sanskrit द्रोणम drona-m.[62]
[edit] E
from Latin smaragdus, via Greek: σμάραγδος ultimately from Semitic ‫אזמרגד‬izmargad or from
Sanskrit मरकन marakata, "emerald".[63][64]
[edit] F
from Arabic: ‫الفالف‬, perhaps ultimately from Sanskrit वपप्पल pippalī.[65]
[edit] G
A ginger field
via Hindi: गणेश Gaŋeś ultimately from Sanskrit गणेश Gaŋeśa.[66]
via Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit गािंर्ा gāñjyā, which means "of hemp".[67]
via Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit गौर gaurah.[68]
through French and Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit घिंतिक ghantikah, a kind of crocodile.[69]
perhaps ultimately from Sanskrit गौ gauh via Bengali, a kind of animal.[70]
perhaps finally from Sanskrit गिा gartah via Hindi: गाडी, a kind of vehicle.[71]
through Hindi: घी ultimately from Sanskrit: घि
ृ िं ghritam.
from Middle Latin gingiber via Latin giniger and Greek ζιγγίβερις zingiberis from Prakrit
मसग्न्गभेर singabera, ultimately from Sanskrit स्र्ङवॆरम ् srngaveram, which means "body of a horn",
perhaps a Sanskrit folk etymology, an ancient Dravidian etymology is probable.[73]
means knowledge perhaps may explain why the word "knowledge" may have been pronounced with a
"K" at one time.
through Hindi गार ultimately from Sanskrit गॊपमल gopālī, an annual legume.[74]
via Hindi गोनी ultimately from Sanskrit गोणी goni "sack".[75]
from Sanskrit गजप्िा goptri, the name of a Hindu dynasty.[76]
via Nepalese गोखाा ultimately from Sanskrit गोरतसा goraksah, "a cowherd".[77]
via Hindi गजरु ultimately from Sanskrit गजरु guru-s, which means "a teacher".[78]
[edit] H
through Hindi from Sanskrit Hanuman ( नम
ज ान ्), a kind of small monkey, Hindu mythological
Hare Krishna
from Sanskrit Hare ( रर) and Krishna (कृष्ण).[80]
from Sanskrit द मालय himalayah, which means "place of snow".[81]
from Hindi द ि
िं Hind, via Persian: ‫ ودنح‬Nilou; Hindu "Sind" ultimately from Sanskrit मसन्धज
sindhu, which means "a river".[82]
via Persian: ‫ ودنح‬Nilou; Hindu ultimately from Sanskrit मसन्धज sindhu, which means "a river".[83]
[edit] I
Sanskrit: इन्द्र; a prominent Vedic god, in charge of rain and thunder.
indra ia a god of rain and thunder like seyus . He is the leader of all gods like god of air (वायज िे व ् vaayu
dev), water (वरुण िे व ् varuna dev), fire (अग्नन िे व ् agni dev) and lives in devalookam (swargam,
[edit] J
from Turkish çakal, from Persian ‫ ش غال‬shaghal, from Middle Indic shagal, ultimately from
Sanskrit सग
ृ ाल srgalah "the howler".
via Portuguese perhaps ultimately from Sanskrit शकारा sarkara.[86]
Jain or Jaina
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit र्ैन jaina, which means "concerning the saints".[87]
through Hindi र्िंगल jangal "a desert, forest" ultimately from Sanskrit र्िंगल jangala-s, which
means "arid".[88]
through Hindi र्गन्नाथ jagannath ultimately from Sanskrit र्गन्नाथ jagat-natha-s, which means
"lord of the world".[89]
via Bengali পাট jhuto ultimately from Sanskrit र्जिास juta-s, which means "twisted hair".[90]
[edit] K
from Sanskrit काली kali.[91]
Kama Sutra
from Sanskrit कामसूर Kāma Sutra, which means kāma "desire" and sutra.[92]
from Sanskrit कमा karman, which means "work, fate".[93]
probably ultimately from Sanskrit सार krśarah.[94]
perhaps ultimately from Sanskrit: कृममर् via French: Kermès and Arabic: ‫زمرق‬.[95]
through Hindi कोस kos ultimately from Sanskrit रोस krosah, which means "a call, a shout".[96]
through Hindi probably ultimately from Sanskrit: काराइट, a kind of snake.[97]
from Sanskrit कृष्ण krshnah, which means "black one", an avatar of Vishnu.[98] Krishna is the
Supreme Personality of Godhead from whom all other avataras emanate.[99]
Khaki Hindi
ख़ाकी meaning 'of the dust'
[edit] L
through Urdu, Persian and Hindi ‫( ــ ــ‬Urdu); ‫( ــ ـ‬Persian); लाख (Hindi) lakh from Prakrit
लतख lakkha, ultimately from Sanskrit लक्षिं laksha.[100]
through French: Laque and Portuguese: Laca from Arabic ‫ كل‬lakk, via Prakrit ultimately from
Sanskrit लक्षिं laksha.[101]
through Hindi probably ultimately from Sanskrit लिंगजलम langūlam.[102]
via Arabic ‫ كلل‬lilak from Persian ‫ کلین‬nilak meaning "bluish", ultimately from Sanskrit नील
nila, which means "dark blue".[103]
ultimately from Sanskrit लण्
ज टा lota-m through Hindi, which means "a booty, stolen thing".[104]
[edit] M
from Sanskrit म ाभारििं Mahābhāratam, great story of the Bhāratas.[105]
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit म ा रार्न ् maha-rājān, which means "a great king".[106]
through Hindi finally from Sanskrit म ा रानी mahārājnī, which means "consort of a
from Sanskrit म वर्ा maha-rishi, which means "a great sage".[108]
from Sanskrit म ात्मा mahatman, which means "a great breath, soul".[109]
from Sanskrit म ायान maha-yana, which means "a great vehicle".[110]
via Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit म मरह् mahāmātrah.[111]
from Sanskrit मण्डल mandala, which means "a disc, circle".[112]
via Portuguese mandarim, Dutch mandorijn, Malay mantri, and Hindi मिंरी mantri "a councillor"
ultimately from Sanskrit मग्न्रन ् mantri, which means "an advisor".[113]
from Sanskrit मन्र mantra-s which means "a holy message or text".[114]
from Sanskrit म ाराष्र Maharastra, which means "a great country".[115]
from Sanskrit: मरुि, a group of storm gods, sons of Rudra.[116]
from Sanskrit माया māyā, a religious term related with illusion.[117]
from Dutch meerkat, or probably through Hindi मरकि markat ultimately from Sanskrit मकाट
markata meaning "an ape".[118]
from Sanskrit ममर Mitrah, which means "a friend".[119]
from Sanskrit मोक्ष moksha, liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth.[120]
from Sanskrit मजसक musaka, meaning mouse.[105]
from Sanskrit मरुि दठरुति maruta thiruti, to turn around .
via Hindi and Urdu ultimately from Sanskrit मकर makara ("sea creature"), like a crocodile, which
attacks stealthily.[121]
Mung bean
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit मजनिह् mudgah, a kind of bean.[122]
via Middle English Muske, Middle French Musc, Late Latin Muscus and Late Greek μόσχος
moskhos from Persian ‫ کشوم‬mushk, ultimately from Sanskrit मजस्कस ् muska-s meaning "a
testicle", from a diminutive of मजस mus ("mouse").[123][124][125]
through Hindi मैना maina ultimately from Sanskrit मिन madana-s, which means "love".[126]
[edit] N
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit नयनम्सजख ् nayanam-sukh, a kind of fabric.[127]
route unknown ultimately from Sanskrit नामन ् nama, which means "a word used to call
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit नमस्िे namas-te, which means "I bow to you".[128]
through Old French and Latin from Greek νάρδος nardos, perhaps ultimately from Sanskrit
णलिम ् naladam.[129]
through French and Persian ‫ هليگران‬nārghīleh ultimately from Sanskrit नाररकेला nārikelah.[130]
probably from Romany nak "a nose", via Hindi नक् nak ultimately from Sanskrit नि nakra.[131]
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit तनम्बह् nimbah, a kind of tree.[132]
through latin nova ultimately from Sanskrit नव nava, something not old.[132]
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit तनलगौह् nīla-gauh, an ox-like animal.[133]
from Sanskrit तनवााण nirvana-s which means "extinction, blowing out".[134]
[edit] O
through Latin from Greek, probably ultimately from Sanskrit औपल upalah.[135]
through Old French orenge, Middle Latin orenge and Italian arancia from Arabic ‫ جنران‬naranj,
via Persian ‫ گنران‬narang and Sanskrit नारङ्ग naranga-s meaning "an orange tree", ultimately
from Tamil அரு aru and அஞு anju meaning six and five, referring to the eleven segments of the
orange's fruit.[136]
[edit] R
via Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit राग rāgah, melodic modes used in Indian classical music.[137]
ultimately from Sanskrit via Hindi रायिा rāytā, a south Asian condiment and side dish made of
yogurt and vegetables.[138]
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit रार्ा rājā, which means "a king". Raj means kingdom or
domain of a ruler.[139]
through Hindi from Sanskrit रार्न ् rājān, which means "a king".[140]
from Sanskrit राम Ramah, which means "pretty".[141]
from Sanskrit रामायण Rāmāyanam, which means "the gait of Rama".[142]
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit रमतिलह् rāmatilah, which means "a dark sesame".[143]
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit रानी rājnī, consort of a rajah.[144]
via Old French and Italian from Latin oriza, which is from Greek ὄρυζα oryza, through an IndoIranian tongue finally from Sanskrit रीद vrihi-s "rice", Tamil origin is also possible.[145] Tamil
word is அரிசி "arisi".[citation needed]
from Sanskrit ऋनवेि rigveda, which means "knowledge of praise".[146]
from Sanskrit: रुद्र, father of the storm gods.[147]
From Persian ‫ خر‬rokh; ultimately from रि rath "chariot."
through Hindi रुपया rupiyā ultimately from Sanskrit रूप्यकम ् rūpyakam, an Indian silver coin.[148]
via Romani from Sanskrit रार्ा rājā, rye is used to define a gypsy person.[149]
[edit] S
Saccharovia Latin Saccharon and Greek σάκχαρα from Pali सतखर sakkharā, ultimately from Sanskrit
शकारा sarkarā.[150]
ultimately from Sanskrit साधज sādhu.[151]
from Sanskrit समाचध samadhi, which means "putting together".[152]
through Malay and Tamil ultimately from Sanskrit सम्बार sambhārei.[153]
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit सिंभारह् śambarah, a kind of Asian deer.[154]
from Sanskrit सिंसार samsAra, which means "passing through".[155]
via Old French and Arabic ultimately from Sanskrit चन्िनम ् candanam, this is the word
sandalwood, not related to sandals which is a type of footwear.[156]
ultimately from Sanskrit सिंचध samdhih, a wide variety of phonological processes.[157]
from Sanskrit सिंघ saṅgha, a community of Buddhist monks and nuns.[158]
from Sanskrit सिंस्कृिम ् samskrtam "put together, well-formed".[159]
via Latin sapphirus and Greek σάπφειρος sappheiros from a Semitic tongue (c.f. Hebrew: ‫ריפס‬
sapir), but probably finally from Sanskrit शतनविय sanipriya.[160]
from Sanskrit सरस्विी Sarasvati, name of a holy stream.[161]
through Hindi साडी sari and Prakrit सदि sadi, finally from Sanskrit र्ाटी sati "garment".[162]
from Sanskrit सत्याग्र satyagraha, which means "insisting on truth".[163]
from Sanskrit सत्त्व sattvah, which means "truth".[164]
through Russian шама́н from Tungus shaman, perhaps from Chinese 萨满 sha men, via Prakrit
समन finally from Sanskrit श्रमण sramana-s "a Buddhist monk".[165]
via Hindi चााँपो champo probably from Sanskrit चााँपना capayati, which means "kneads".[166]
from Persian ‫ لاش‬shal, finally from Sanskrit सत्ल ् satI, which means "a strip of cloth".[167]
Shiva or Siva
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit मशव Sivah, which means "gracious".[168]
from Sanskrit मसद्ध siddhah, which means "achieved, accomplished".[169]
through Hindi मसख sikh "a disciple", ultimately from Sanskrit मशतशिे siksati which means
via Hindi Singh finally from Sanskrit मसिं simhah which means "a lion".[171]
via Malay ultimately from Sanskrit मसिंगापोर Simhapuram, literally "the lion city".[172]
from Sanskrit मसिं ल Simhala which means "Sri Lanka".[173]
from Sanskrit मसिं ल simhala which means "of lions".[174]
Sri Lanka
from Sanskrit: री लिंका which means "venerable island."
from Sanskrit समथाह् samarthah, which means "one who is very talented or better 'smart', "
donated by Manish, kerala.[175]
from Sanskrit स्िप
ू stūpah which means "crown of the head".[176]
from Sanskrit सोनजह् soonuh, the meaning is "sun and son" (interestingly soonuh means both 'son'
and 'sun') donated by Manish, kerala.[177]
from Sanskrit सोनजह् soonuh, the meaning is "son and sun" (interestingly soonuh means both 'son'
and 'sun') donated by Manish, kerala.[177]
from Sanskrit स्िूप stūpah which means "crown of the head".[178]
from Sanskrit शद्र
ू śūdrah.[179]
through Middle Latin succarum, Arabic: ‫ ركس‬sukkar and Persian: ‫ رکش‬shakar ultimately from
Sanskrit शकारा sharkara which means "sugar".[180]
from Latin sulfur, perhaps ultimately from Sanskrit गन्धक sulvari.[181][182][183]
via Hindi: सजन्न ultimately from Sanskrit: सन sāna, a kind of Asian plant.[184]
from Sanskrit सूर sutram which means "a rule".[185]
through Hindi finally from Sanskrit सिी sati, which means "an honorable woman".[186]
through Hindi स्वामी swami ultimately from Sanskrit svami, which means "a master".[187]
from Sanskrit स्वग्स्िक svastika, which means "one associated with well-being, a lucky
[edit] T
via Bengali: টাকা from Sanskrit िन्कह् tankah.[189]
through Hindi from Sanskrit tālapattram, a kind of tree.[190]
via Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit िालपत्रम ् tainduka.[191]
from Sanskrit िन्र tantram, which means "weave".[192]
via Hindi तिपाई tipāi and Urdu ‫ت پائ ي‬tipāʼī,which originated as a Sanskrit compound: त्रर (trí,
“three”) and पाि (pā́ da, “foot”).
through Marathi and Hindi ठग thag probably ultimately from Sanskrit स्थग sthaga, which means
"a scoundrel".[193]
from Sanskrit तिल tilah, a kind of plant.[194]
through Hindi िरी tari ultimately from Sanskrit िल tala-s, a Dravidian origin is also probable.[195]
via Hindi: िोला ultimately from Sanskrit िजला tulā, a traditional Indian unit of mass.[196]
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit िन्
ज नह् tunnah, a kind of tree.[197]
through Hindi probably from Prakrit थप
ज ो thūpo, finally from Sanskrit स्िूप stūpah.[198]
through Hindi finally from Sanskrit िसरम ् tasaram, a large moth.[199]
through Old French, Arabic and Persian ultimately from Sanskrit िजत्थम ् tuttham, a Dravidian
origin is also probable.[200]
[edit] V
from Sanskrit वरुण varunah, the lord of oceans.[201]
from Sanskrit वेि veda, which means "knowledge, holy book".[202]
from Sanskrit ववमान vimana meaning plane, also referred to the top of the temple tower, sanctum
ultimately from Sanskrit through Hindi (वीणा), a kind of instrument.[204]
from Sanskrit ववष्णज Vishnu, a chief Hindu deity.[205]
ृ ्; "the enveloper" a snake-demon and the leader of the Danavas.[206]
A verandah or veranda is a roofed opened gallery or porch वरण्डः.[207]
[edit] W
From Sanskrit वा न 'vAhan' meaning a vehicle
through Sinhalese: ඇඇඇඇඇඇඇ finally from Sanskrit वानर vānarah, a kind of monkey.[208]
via Thai: วัด ultimately from Sanskrit वाि vātah.[209]
[edit] Y
From Sanskrit: Sanskrit: यमान्िक Yamāntaka which means "Yama's terminator."
through Hindi ultimately from Sanskrit योग yoga-s, which means "yoke, union".[210]
through Hindi योगी yogi from Sanskrit योग yoga, one who practices yoga or ascetic.[211]
यचथ yathih, which means "great sage, holyman" (this might have come to use as one might have
mistaken a sage for the real Yeti) donated by Manish, kerala.[212]
[edit] Z
through Japanese 禅 and Chinese 禪 Chán ultimately from Pali झन jhāna and Sanskrit ध्यान
dhyana, which means "a meditation".[213]
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
[edit] See also
Indian English
List of Hindu deities
Lists of English words of international origin
[edit] External links
 - Sanskrit
[edit] References
^ - Aditya
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Agni
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Ahimsa
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Ambarella
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Amrita
^ Merriam-Webster Online - Aniline
^ - Annapurna
^ Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert (1940). A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford: Clarendon
Press. ISBN 0198642261.
bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D%2314776. Retrieved 2009-0901.
9. ^ Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert (1940). A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford: Clarendon
Press. ISBN 0198642261. Retrieved 2009-0901.
10. ^ Merriam-Webster Online - Arya
11. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Aryan". Online Etymology Dictionary.
12. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Asana
13. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Ashram
14. ^ - Asura
15. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Atoll
16. ^ Harper, Douglas. "aubergine". Online Etymology Dictionary.
17. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Avatar". Online Etymology Dictionary.
18. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Ayurveda
19. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Bandana". Online Etymology Dictionary.
20. ^ Harper, Douglas. "banyan". Online Etymology Dictionary.
21. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Basmati rice
22. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Bahuvrihi
23. ^ Harper, Douglas. "beryl". Online Etymology Dictionary.
24. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Bhagavad-Gita". Online Etymology Dictionary.
25. ^ Merriam-Webster Online - Bhagavata
26. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Bhakti
27. ^ Harper, Douglas. "bhang". Online Etymology Dictionary.
28. ^ Merriam-Webster Online - Bharata
29. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Bidi
30. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Brahma
31. ^ - Brahman
32. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Brahmin". Online Etymology Dictionary.
33. ^ Merriam-Webster Online - Brinjal
34. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Buddha
35. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Buddha
36. ^
37. ^ Harper, Douglas. "candy". Online Etymology Dictionary.
38. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Carmine". Online Etymology Dictionary.
39. ^ Merriam-Webster Online - Cash, see definition 4
40. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Cashmere". Online Etymology Dictionary.
41. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Chador
42. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Chakra". Online Etymology Dictionary.
43. ^ Merriam-Webster Online - Champac
44. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Cheetah". Online Etymology Dictionary.
45. ^ Harper, Douglas. "chintz". Online Etymology Dictionary.
46. ^ Harper, Douglas. "chit". Online Etymology Dictionary.
47. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Chuddar
48. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Chukar
49. ^ Harper, Douglas. "chukker". Online Etymology Dictionary.
50. ^ - Citipati
51. ^ Harper, Douglas. "cot". Online Etymology Dictionary.
52. ^ Harper, Douglas. "cowrie". Online Etymology Dictionary.
53. ^ Harper, Douglas. "crimson". Online Etymology Dictionary.
54. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Dahl
55. ^ Merriam-Webster Unabridged - Das
56. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Datura
57. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Deodar
58. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Deva". Online Etymology Dictionary.
59. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Devi
60. ^ Harper, Douglas. "dharma". Online Etymology Dictionary.
61. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Dhoti
62. ^ Harper, Douglas. "dinghy". Online Etymology Dictionary.
63. ^ - Emerald
64. ^ Jewish Daily Forward - Emerald
65. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Falafel
66. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Ganesh
67. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Ganja
68. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Gaur
69. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Gavial
70. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Gayal
71. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Gharry
72. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Ghee
73. ^ Harper, Douglas. "ginger". Online Etymology Dictionary.
74. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Guar
75. ^ Harper, Douglas. "gunny". Online Etymology Dictionary.
76. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Gupta
77. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Gurkha
78. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Guru". Online Etymology Dictionary.
79. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Hanuman
80. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Hare Krishna
81. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Himalaya". Online Etymology Dictionary.
82. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Hindi
83. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Hindu". Online Etymology Dictionary.
84. ^ - Indra
85. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Jackal". Online Etymology Dictionary.
86. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Jaggery
87. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Jain
88. ^ Harper, Douglas. "jungle". Online Etymology Dictionary.
89. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Juggernaut". Online Etymology Dictionary.
90. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Jute". Online Etymology Dictionary.
91. ^ Merriam-Webster Online - Kali
92. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Kama Sutra". Online Etymology Dictionary.
93. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Karma". Online Etymology Dictionary.
94. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Kedgeree
95. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Kermes
96. ^ Harper, Douglas. "kos". Online Etymology Dictionary.
97. ^ American Heritage Dictionary - Krait
98. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Krishna". Online Etymology Dictionary.
99. ^ Bhagavata Purana 1.3.28: (ete camsa-kalah pumsah / krsnas tu bhagavan svayam / indrarivyakulam lokam / mrdayanti yuge yuge)
^ Harper, Douglas. "lac". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Lacquer
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Langur
^ Merriam-Webster Online - Lilac
^ Harper, Douglas. "loot". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ a b American Heritage Dictionary - Mahabharata
^ Harper, Douglas. "Maharajah". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Maharani
^ Harper, Douglas. "maharishi". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "mahatma". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "Mahayana". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Mahout
^ Harper, Douglas. "Mandala". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "mandarin". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "Mantra". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "Maratha". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ - Marut
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Maya
^ Harper, Douglas. "meerkat". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Mitra
^ - Moksha
^ Merriam-Webster Online - Mugger
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Mung bean
^ Harper, Douglas. "musk". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ "Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: musk". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
^ Chantraine, Pierre (1990). Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque. Klincksieck.
pp. 715. ISBN 2-252-03277-4.
^ Harper, Douglas. "mynah". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Nainsook
^ a b Harper, Douglas. "Namaste". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Nard
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Narghile
^ Harper, Douglas. "nark". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ a b American Heritage Dictionary - Neem
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Nilgai
^ Harper, Douglas. "nirvana". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Opal
^ Harper, Douglas. "orange". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Raga
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Raita
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Raj
^ Harper, Douglas. "Rajah". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "Rama". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Ramayana
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Ramtil
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Rani
^ Harper, Douglas. "rice". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "Rig veda". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ - Rudra
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Rupee
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Rye
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Saccharo151.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Sadhu
^ Harper, Douglas. "samadhi". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Sambal
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Sambar
^ Merriam-Webster Online - Samsara
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Sandal
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Sandhi
^ - Sangha
^ Harper, Douglas. "Sanskrit". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "sapphire". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Sarasvati
^ Merriam-Webster Online - Sari
^ Harper, Douglas. "satyagraha". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "sattva". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Merriam-Webster Online - Shaman
^ Harper, Douglas. "shampoo". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Shawl
^ Harper, Douglas. "Siva". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "siddha". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "Sikh". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "Singh". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "Singapore". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Merriam-Webster Online - Sinhala
^ Harper, Douglas. "Sinhalese". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "Smart". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Stupa
^ a b Harper, Douglas. "son". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Stupa
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Sudra
^ Harper, Douglas. "sugar". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ The Concise Dictionary of English Etymology - Sulfur
^ The Origin of Medical Terms - Sulphur
^ Magill's Survey of Science - Sulfur
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Sunn
^ Harper, Douglas. "Sutra". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "Suttee". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "swami". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "Swastika". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Taka
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Talipot
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Tendu
^ Harper, Douglas. "tantra". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "thug". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Til
^ Harper, Douglas. "toddy". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Tola
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Toon
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Tope
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Tussah
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Tutty
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Varuna
^ Harper, Douglas. "Veda". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ - Vimana
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Vina
^ Harper, Douglas. "Vishnu". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ - Vritra
^ Veranda
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Wanderoo
^ American Heritage Dictionary - Wat
^ Harper, Douglas. "Yoga". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "Yogi". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "yeti". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Harper, Douglas. "Zen". Online Etymology Dictionary.
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