Dictionary of Key Spiritual Terms

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Wylie | Tibetan


See also confess, forgive, repent


[lit. sin + confess]

Biblical: to confess sin: མི་​སྡེའི་​སྡིག་​བཤགས་​ཀྱི་​ཕྱིར་​དུ། in order to make atonement for the sins of the people (Heb. 2:17), ཁོང་​ནི་​ང་​ཚོའི་​སྡིག་​པའི་​སྡིག་​བཤགས་​ཡིན། he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 Jn. 2:2), ཉིད་​ཀྱི་​སྲས་​ང་​ཚོའི་​སྡིག་​བཤགས་​ལ་​གནང་​བ་​དེ་​ཡིན། gave his son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 Jn. 4:10).

Buddhist: སྡིག་​བཤགས། is admission and repentance of non-virtues by confession to one's spiritual teacher, who points out the fault and encourages better behaviour in the future: སྡིག་​པ་​བཤགས་​པའི་​སྟོབས་​བཞི། the four powers of confession [reliance, renouncing faults, turning away from faults, overcoming adversaries]. Ultimately one must "carry the burden of one's own sin" སྡིག་​བསགས་​རང་​ཁུར། (TDC 1463). The Tibetan Dhammapada says: གང་​དུ་​སྡིག་​པའི་​ལས་​ཀྱིས་​མི་​ཚུགས་​པའི། །ས་​ཕྱོགས་​དེ་​ནི་​ཡོད་​པ་​མ་​ཡིན། where can we go where our sins will not touch us? There is no such place (DMP 67) [cf. Ps. 103:12].