Dictionary of Key Spiritual Terms

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Wylie | Tibetan


  1. tshe/ 

    Biblical: 1) ordinary, outwardly visible life; lifespan or length of life: tshe 'di'i sems khral/  the worries of this life (Lk. 8:14), tshe ring ba/  long life (Eph. 6:3), 'tsho ba'i tshe/  the life [you once] lived (Col. 3:7); 2) the life to come: tshe phyi ma/  the next life [in heaven] (Lk. 18:30); 3) used figuratively in the RV for spiritual life: tshe mtha' med pa thob pa'i phyir sems 'gyur ba/  repentance unto life (Acts 11:18), tshe'i zhal chad/  the promise of life (2 Tim. 1:1), tshe mtha' med pa'i cod pan/  the crown of life (Jas. 1:12), tshe'i ljon shing /  the tree of life (Rev. 2:7), tshe mtha' med pa'i mdo/  the book of life (Phil. 4:3), tshe'i chu/  the water of life (Rev. 22:17), tshe'i bag leb/  the bread of life (Jn. 6:35), tshe'i 'od/  the light of life (Jn. 8:12). The Revised NT uses only compounds of tshe/  for "eternal life": tshe mtha' med pa/  (Mt. 19:16) or mtha' med pa'i tshe/  (Ti. 1:2); while the SV uses srog mtha' med pa/  (Rom. 2:7) and mtha' med pa'i srog (1 Jn. 3:15). The term tshe mtha' med pa/  implies eternal length of life with God, while srog emphasizes the life that is lived with God. In this context the two terms have similar meanings, but srog also implies the Hindu and Bst. concept of an impersonal "life-force" (see srog below).

    Buddhist: life, lifetime, the duration of life [compare srog below]. Length of life is considered an important blessing in Bst. culture: tshe ring /  long life (a common name), tshe ring drug skor/  the six symbols of longevity (TRI 218), tshe lha rnam gsum/  three longevity deities (TRI 219). Certain tantric rituals are believed to have the power to prolong life (JPG 164). 1) natural human life, one's present life: tshe 'di'i bde skyid/  the happiness of this life (TRC 167), tshe la dbang ba/  the ability to control the length of one's own life (KBT 79), nyin re'i mi tshe/  everyday life (DLP 19), tshe 'dir mi dge bcu spod gi tshul khrims ma srung pa/  to avoid the ten non-virtues during this lifetime (TRC 165); 2) future lives or rebirths: tshe phyi ma/  a future life, a future rebirth (TRC 277), tshe 'dir dge ba byas pa las tshe phyi ma bde ba dang /,,tshe 'dir mi dge ba byas pa las sdug bsngal byung ba mi bden zer ba la sogs pa'i lta ngan de zer gyi red/  wrong view is . . a bad viewpoint stating that the happiness of future lives does not arise from good deeds done in this life, and that the bad deeds done in this life will not cause suffering in the future (TRC 245), mi lta bu la skye na'ang tshe thung ba yong gi yod pa red/  even though one is born as a human, one will have a short life (TRC 245), tshe gcig lus gcig one body for each life time (KTM); 3) earlier or later lives or births: tshe snga ma/  earlier lives (TRC 287), tshe gzhan/  other (former) lives (TRC 258), tshe stod la bsags pa'i las kyi 'bras bu tshe smad la smin pa lta bu la zer/  like the fruition in later life of the results of works accumulated in earlier life (TRC 287); 4) lifespan, length of life: tshe ha cang ring po red/  the lifespan [of the worldly gods] is extremely long (TRC 230).

    Cognates: 1) tshe rabs/  a past or future series of lives (HTE 170); 2) life expectancy: bod mi rnams kyi sku tshe/  the lifespan of the Tibetan people (BFT 19).

  2. srog

    Biblical: 1) physical or biological life: nga tsho'i phyir nyid kyi sku srog gnang bas/  [Jesus Christ] laid down his life for us (1 Jn. 3:16), srog la brngams pa rnams/  those who sought the child's life (Mt. 2:20), srog skyob chog gam gcod/  to save life or to kill (Mk. 3:4); 2) one's conduct, daily affairs: srog gi phyir ma tsher zhig do not worry about your life (Lk. 12:22), rang srog skyob mkhan des brlag par 'gyur/  the one who saves his life will lose it (Mt. 10:39), rang srog gtong ba/  to lay down one's own life (Jn. 15:13); 3) life in an abstract sense: srog gi bdag po/  the Lord of life (Acts 3:15), srog gi bka'/  the Word of life (1 Jn. 1:1,2).

    Buddhist: 1) According to the Bst. scriptures, srog is the impersonal life-force [Skt. prana] that enables a person to live, do things, and think. The srog maintains the connection between the mind and the body (JPG 342), and is compared to the wick of a butter-lamp, the tshe/  to the butter in the bowl, and the bla/  to the flame. Just as the lamp will burn only as long as the butter in the bowl lasts, so there is life only during the tshe/  or lifespan. Just as the wick supports the flame, so the life force makes it possible for the bla/  to exist. If the srog is cut off (to kill = srog gcod/ ) then there is no tshe/  (TRI 289). lus srog = life force: tshe 'di'i lus srog bral bar byed thub pa/  able to separate the life-force from the body (TRC 286), tshe 'di'i lus srog bral bar byed thub pa/  being able to deprive the vital force of this life (TRC 286), srog 'dzin gyi rlung /  a "life-supporting energy wind" that makes memory and intelligence possible (TRI 290); 2) life as opposed to death; one's existence: rang gi srog las kyang gces par byas/  holding [it] dearer than one's own life (TRC 330), rang rang gi rtsa che'i srog la'ang srung skyob med pa/  one's precious life is not safe (DLP 1), srog la gnod pa'i 'jigs nyen/  dangers that threaten life (DLP 8), srog la bab kyang /  even if one's life is at stake (GSL 10); 3) the astrological life-pattern of a person (TRI 289).

    Related Terms: 1) srog chags/  [lit. "having life"] animals, living creatures: srog chags kyi rigs ha cad mang po yod/  there are very many kinds of living creatures (TRC 50); 2) lus srog life force (TRC 286); 3) lus srog gtong ba/  to ransom: nga lus srog blos gtong gi yin/  I will ransom you (TRC 153).

  3. gson pa/ 

    [lit. to live]

    Biblical: 1) life, existence, living: khong gi nang na gson pa ste/,,/gson pa mi yi 'od de yin/  in him was life, and that life was the light of men (Jn. 1:4), lang ba dang gson pa nyid ni nga yin/  I am the resurrection and the life (Jn. 11:25), thugs nyid kyis ni gson par mdzad do/  the Spirit gives life [lit. makes alive] (2 Cor. 3:6), gson pa nyid gnang ba'i thugs nyid/  a life-giving spirit (1 Cor. 15:45), 'chi ba nas gson pa la phyin to/  gone from death to life (Jn. 5:24), gson pa nyid kyi shing /  the tree of life (Gen. 2:9), gson pa nyid kyi bka'i gtam/  the Word of Life (1 Jn. 1:1); 2) lifetime, lifespan: rang nyid gson por yod dus/  during his lifetime (2 Sam. 18:18 NTV).

    Buddhist: Having life (srog); one who is alive or who has physical life (AMD); living: gson pa'i tshe/  during this life (TRC 270), su yang gson por 'tsho sdod thub thabs med/  no way for anyone to remain alive (DLP 7), shi yang gson yang /  whether one lives or dies (HTE 180).

    Related Terms: 1) 'tsho mdzad pa/  give life to dngos po thams cad kyi 'tsho mdzad lags pa'i dkon mchog God who gives life to everything (1 Tim. 6:13); 2) spyod lam/  way of life sngon gyi spyod lam/  your former way of life (Eph. 4:22), snying po med pa'i spyod lam/  empty way of life (1 Pet. 1:18).