Dictionary of Key Spiritual Terms

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  1. བླ་​ཆེན།

    [lit. priest + great] [var. བླ་​མ་​ཆེན་​པོ།]

    Biblical: chief priest or high priest: 1) chief priest: བླ་​ཆེན་​དང་​མཁན་​པོ། chief priests and teachers of the law (Mt. 2:4), རྒན་​མི་​དང་​བླ་​ཆེན་​དང་​མཁན་​པོ་​རྣམས། elders, chief priests, and teachers of the law (Mt. 16:21), བླ་​ཆེན་​དང་​ཕ་​རུ་​ཤི་​པ་​རྣམས། chief priests and Pharisees (Mt. 21:45); 2) high priest: བླ་​ཆེན་​ཨབ་​ཡ་​ཐར། Abiathar the high priest (Mk. 2:26), ཡེ་​ཤུ་​བླ་​ཆེན་​གྱི་​རྩར་​གདན་​དྲངས་​ནས། they took Jesus to the high priest (Mk. 14:53); 3) used also of Jesus' high priesthood: སྐུ་​ཚབ་​དང་​བླ་​ཆེན་​ཡེ་​ཤུ་​ལ་​སོམ་​ཞིག fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest (Heb. 3:1), མལ་​ཀི་​ཚེ་​དེག་​གི་​རིམ་​པར་​བླ་​ཆེན། high priest in the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 5:10), དཀོན་​མཆོག་​གིས་​ཁོང་​ལ་​མེལ་​ཀི་​ཚེ་​དེག་​གི་​ལུགས་​སུ་​བླ་​མ་​ཆེན་​པོ་​ཞེས་​པའི་​མཚན་​གནང་​ངོ་​། (Heb. 5:10 SV).

    Buddhist: a head lama or religious leader: བླ་​ཆེན། a great living Buddha (e.g. the Dalai Lama) (AMD), ཨ་​མདོ་​བླ་​མ་​ཆེན་​པོ། a great lama from Amdo (DPD), བླ་​ཆེན་​དགོངས་​པ་​རབ་​གསལ། the great lama Gongpa Rabsel (TRC 115), བླ་​ཆེན་​གྱི་​སྐུ་​དྲུང་​ནས་​སྡོམ་​པ་​བླངས། received their vows from the great lama (TRC 115).

  2. བླ་​མ།

    Biblical: priest: ཟ་​ཀར་​ཡ་​བྱ་​བའི་​བླ་​མ་​ཞིག a priest named Zechariah (Lk. 1:5), བླ་​མ་​ལ་​སྟོན་​ཞིག go show [yourselves] to the priests (Lk. 17:14), བླ་​མ་​དང་​མཆོད་​གཡོག་​པ། priests and Levites (Jn. 1:19), ཁྱེད་​ནི་​གཏན་​གྱི་​བླ་​མ་​ཡིན། you are a priest forever (Heb. 7:21).

    Buddhist: 1) བླ་​མ། a Tibetan Bst. priest who is the intermediary between the believer and the spiritual powers of the Buddhas. The lama is thought to be the source of all spiritual progress. Complete reliance on one's lama for one moment is said to create the same amount of merit as a thousand aeons of practicing the six perfections; and making offerings to even one hair of the lama is said to make more merit than offerings to all the Buddhas. Devotion to lamas བླ་​མའི་​རྣལ་​འབྱོར། is said to help progress towards enlightenment, to delight all the Buddhas, to give protection from demons, and to fulfill all wishes (JPG 99). Hence tantric disciples are expected to ཅི་​མཛད་​ལེགས་​མཐོང་​། see whatever one's teacher does as good (TQP 85). On the other hand, breaking the bond of commitment བླ་​སློབ་​ཀྱི་​དམ་​ཚིག (TQP 151) with one's lama is said to destroy all good karma, cause sickness, possession by evil spirits, and rebirth in hell (JPG 105); 2) the founder of a guru-to-disciple teaching lineage: རྩ་​བའི་​བླ་​མ་​མགོན་​པོ། the root lama of a teaching lineage (HTE 180); 3) a tantric religious teacher: རྒྱ་​གར་​དང་​བལ་​པོའི་​བླ་​མ་​བརྒྱ་​དང་​ལྔ་​བཅུ། 150 Indian and Nepalese gurus (TRC 137).

    Cognates: བླ་​མ་​དབུ་​མཛད། a lead lama, one who has passed an examination in sutra and tantra (TRC 53).

  3. དགེ་​འདུན།

    Biblical: priesthood: དགེ་​འདུན་​དམ་​པ། a holy priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5,6), རྒྱལ་​སྲིད་​དང་​དགེ་​འདུན་​དུ་​མཛད་​པ། made us to be a kingdom and priests [lit. a priesthood] (Rev. 1:6).

    Buddhist: see church.

  4. མཆོད་​ཤོམས་​པ།

    Biblical: priest: རང་​གི་​ལུས་​མཆོད་​ཤོམས་​པ་​ལ་​བསྟན། show yourself to the priest (Mt. 8:4).

    Buddhist: a མཆོད་​ཤོམས་​པ། is a person who arranges a religious service and places offerings before the lama or deity to be worshipped (AMD).

  5. མཆོད་​དཔོན།

    [lit. offering + master]

    Biblical: priest: མཆོད་​དཔོན་​ཟ་​དོག Zadok the priest (2 Sam. 15:35 NTV).