Dictionary of Key Spiritual Terms

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Wylie | Tibetan

death [dead, die]

See also kill
  1. 'chi ba/ 

    p. shi/  f. 'chi/ 

    Biblical: to die. In the Bib. sense includes not only physical death, but spiritual death, or separation from God. 1) physical death: nga khyed mnyam du 'chi dgos na'ang /  even if I have to die with you (Mt. 26:35), mo yang khong gi zhabs drung du 'gyel te shi ba/  she also fell at his feet and died (Acts 5:10), nad 'di 'chi ba'i rgyu ma yin/  this sickness will not cause death (Jn. 11:4), 'chi ba mi myong /  will not experience death (Mk. 9:1), he ro de ma shi ba'i bar du/  until the death of Herod (Mt. 2:15); 2) figurative death: 'chi ba'i yul dang grib ma la/,,/sdod pa rnams la 'od shar ro/  on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned (Mt. 4:16); 3) physically dead: khye'u chung 'di'i srog la brngams pa rnams shi bas/  those who sought this child's life are dead (Mt. 2:20), kho shi yang dad pa'i sgo nas da dung gtam byed do/  though he is dead, through faith he still speaks (Heb. 11:4), 4) figuratively dead: nga'i bu 'di shi nas gson/  this son of mine was dead and is alive again (Lk. 15:24).

    Buddhist: Death is thought to be heralded by definite physical signs (JPG 341) and to be caused by exhaustion of one's karma, merit, or life force (JPG 342). For the Bst. layman, death is a transition to the next rebirth: shi yang gson yang tshe 'dis ci/,,/phyi ma'i chos tsam 'grub na de ga rang /  whether you live or die right now, what does this life matter? Just practice dharma for the next life - that's the point (HTE 180). After death, the person's karmic stream must dwell in the intermediate state or bar do/  before taking rebirth: mi shi nas nyin zhag bzhi bcu zhe dgu'i ring bar der 'khyams nas sdod kyi yod par bshad pas/,,de'i ring la bar do'i lha tshogs zhi ba dang khro bo mang po mthong snang du 'jigs skrags skyed/  it is said that when someone dies, they must wander [in the bardo] for 49 days, and during that time, they are terrified by the appearance of [various gods] of the bardo (DPD). The concept of death is intimately linked with rebirth and the action of karma, as seen in the following story: snga ma mi tshang zhig gi rgyab tu chu rdzing yod pa dang /,,de'i pa yas rdzing de'i nang nas rtag par nya bsad nas za gi yod pa red/,,pa pha shi nas sngar nya la chags pa'i dbang gis rjes su khang pa'i rgyab kyi rdzing der nya la skyes/,,a ma de mi tshang la chags ba'i stobs kyis shi nas mi tshang de'i khyi ru skyes/,,mi tshang gi dgra lte ba de mi tshang gi mna' ma la chags te shi ba'i rjes su mna' ma de'i pu gur skyes byas yod dus/,,nyin gcig mi tshang gi chung ma'i khyo ga des kho rang gi pha khang rgyab kyi rdzing du nyar skyes pa de bsad nas nya sha bzas/,,kho rang gi a ma'i skye ba khyi des nya rus za stangs byed dus khyi de brdungs pa dang /,,kho rang tsho'i dgra'i skye ba pu gu de pang du 'khyer nas gang min tshad kyis byams po byas te bsdad yod pa red/,,de bcom ldan 'das kyi nyan thos sha ri'i bu zhu ba des mngon mkhyen gyis gzigs nas 'di 'dra zer gsungs pa red/,,pha sha za zhing ma la 'tshog,,bsad pa'i dgra bo pang du khur/,,chung mas khyo yi rus pa 'cha'/,,'khor ba'i chos la gad mo bro/  (TRC 259) Once there was a pool in the back of a family's house, and the father of the family was constantly killing and eating the fish in that pool. When the father died, on account of his former attachment to fish, he was born as a fish in the pool behind the house. The mother, because of the force of her attachment to the family, was reborn as the family dog. The principal enemy of the family was attached to the family's daughter in law. When this had occurred, one day the husband of the daughter in law killed his father who had been born as a fish in the pool and ate the flesh. The mother who had been born as a dog was beaten when she tried to eat the fish bones; their enemy who was born as an infant, they carried on their lap and fondled affectionately without any measure. Then a disciple of the Buddha named Sariputra, seeing with his supernatural knowledge, said: "A father's flesh is eaten and a mother beaten, a mortal enemy carried on the lap, a wife gnaws her husband's bones; the law of the round [i.e. karma] draws a laugh." Death is a frequent topic in the preaching of the lamas, and a common subject of meditation: skye rga na 'chi'i sdug bsngal/  the sufferings of birth, old age, sickness, and death (SGN 7), 'chi 'pho ba dang skye ba mkhyen pa'i stobs/  the power of knowing deaths and births - one of the powers of the Buddhas (KBT 76), sems can shi ba/  the death of a living creature (TRC 94), 'chi ba'i tshe chos ma gtogs gang gis kyang mi phan pa/  at the time of death, nothing but dharma can help (TRC 225), 'chi ba mi rtag pa/  the impermanence of death (TRC 226), 'chi ltas lnga/  the five signs of the impending death of a god (TRC 272), shi ba'i 'og tu gang du skye ba/  where they will be born after death (TRC 273), 'chi ba'i 'jigs pa las thar thabs med/  no way of escape from the fear of death (SGN 20).

    Proverbs: 1) rgyal po gser khri'i steng du bzhugs pa dang /,,sprang phrug ben po'i 'og tu sdod pa gnyis/,,mi rtag 'chi ba byung dus 'dra 'dra red/  as far as death is concerned, there is no difference between a king on his throne and a beggar; both will die (KPU 6); 2) 'di phyi gnyis kyi dbu 'phang mtho dgos na/,,mi rtag 'chi ba ma brjed thugs la zhog if you want to have reputation here and hereafter, always remember death (KPU 16). See also: list of Euphemisms, below.

  2. 'grongs pa/ 

    p. 'grongs/  or grong /  [hon.], [var. grongs/  'grong /  or bkrongs/ ]

    Biblical: to die: 1) physical death: gtso bo la dad cing 'grongs pa rnams bde'o/  blessed are the dead who die in the Lord (Rev. 14:13), khong bkrong ba'i rgyu rkyen ci'ang ma brnyed/  they found no proper ground for a death sentence (Acts 13:28), grongs pa tsam du bka' 'bangs mdzad/  became obedient to death (Phil. 2:8), rgyang shing khar bkrongs pa yin/  put him to death on the cross (Acts 2:23); 2) figurative death: ye shu'i grongs pa de'ang rtag tu rang gi lus nang 'khur ro/  we always carry around in our body the death of Jesus (2 Cor. 4:10); 3) physically dead: grongs zin pa la pi la tu ngo mtshar du gyur te/  Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead (Mk. 15:44), grongs pa yin bsnyams nas/  thinking [he] was already dead (Acts 14:19).

    Buddhist: gzhan rnams sa chu ma 'phrod pas grongs/  the other [monks] died of unsuitable conditions (TRC 116), yum sgyu ma lha mdzes grongs/  the Buddha's mother died (SGN 2).

  3. gsod pa/ 

    p. bsad pa/  f. gsad pa/  imp. sod/ 

    Biblical: to kill, to put out or extinguish: 1) to die: gsod 'os so/  he must die [lit. worthy of being killed] (Jn. 19:7), gsod rgyu'i mi dang 'dra bar/  like men condemned to die (1 Cor. 4:9); 2) death: (put to death) gsod pa'i khrims gcad nas/  condemn him to death (Mt. 20:18), khong tsho gsod par 'dod do/  wanted to put them to death (Acts 5:33); 3) dead: mo'i phru gu rnams gsod par bya'o/  I will strike her children dead (Rev. 2:23).

    Buddhist: sems can gsod pa/  killing animals (TRC 152); see also kill.

  4. gshin po/ 

    Biblical: those who have died, the dead: nad pa gsos/,,gshin po slong /  heal the sick, raise the dead (Mt. 10:8), khrus gsol mkhan yo ha nan gshin po'i khrod nas langs te/  John the Baptist has been raised from among the dead (Mk. 6:14), mi gcig gi rkyen gyis gshin po las lang ba'ang byung ngo /  by one man also came the resurrection from the dead (1 Cor. 15:21), gson gshin gnyis kyi zhal che gcod/  judge the living and the dead (1 Pet. 4:5).

    Buddhist: gshin po'i dge rdzogs ngang nas/  consumating all positive actions done for the sake of the dead (HTE 186).

    Cognates: 1) gshin rje/  the Bst. Lord of Death, often depicted as holding the "wheel of life" 'chi bdag gshin rje'i zhags pa'i 'ching ba/  bound up by the Lord of Death (SGN 7), 2) gshin rgyal skar ma/  the planet Pluto.

  5. srog gtong / 

    p. btang /  f. gtang /  imp. thong / 

    Biblical: to give up one's life voluntarily: ye ru sha lem du srog gtong ba la'ang gral sgrig yod/  I am ready to die in Jerusalem (Acts 21:13), mi bzang po zhig gi phyir srog gtong /  to die for a righteous man (Rom. 5:7). An honorific form of this construction would be sku srog phul ba/  to give life khong rang gi sku srog phul ba'i sgo nas/  by giving up the life of his Son (Rom. 5:10 SV).

    Buddhist: There are many examples of self-sacrifice in the Bst. scriptures (see sacrifice): chos kyi phyir lus srog btang /  to give up one's life for the sake of the doctrine (TRC 154).