Dictionary of Key Spiritual Terms

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Wylie | Tibetan


See also atonement, gift, offering

mchod pa/ 

Biblical: an offering or sacrifice: nga ni mchod par mi dga' snying rjer dga'/  I desire mercy, not sacrifice (Mt. 9:13), khyed kyi lus ni gson po dang /,,dam pa dang /,,dkon mchog thugs mnyes pa'i mchod par phul zhig offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God (Rom. 12:1), ma shi ka'ang mang po'i sdig pa bzhes pa'i phyir lan gcig mchod par gyur te/  Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people (Heb. 9:28).

Buddhist: 1) sacrifice of oneself. Tales of the sacrifice of various body parts are common in the Bst. scriptures; those making such sacrifices are thought to have great merit (thus the rationale for "sky burial"). The story of Aryadeva is typical: khyed kyi spyan la chags nas 'brengs pa yin pas spyan dgos zer ba la/,,slob dpon gyis rang gi spyan g.yas pa bton nas de la byin pas/  "I am bound by attachment to your eye, give it to me" the [woman] said, and the master took out his right eye and gave it to her (BLI 337); the Buddha is also depicted as a king who sacrificed his life for his people in a previous rebirth (JPG 436); 2) animal sacrifice, which is condemned in Bsm: gti mug gis gsod pa ni/,,sems can bsad nas mchod sbyin byas na dge ba yin par bsams nas gsod pa lta bu red/  to kill on account of ignorance is, say, to kill with the thought that it is a virtue if, having killed a living creature, one makes of it a religious offering (TRC 243). See offering.

Cognates: 1) mchod par phul/  [lit. to give as an offering] to sacrifice, to make an offering of human or animal life: i sag mchod par 'bul/  offered Isaac as a sacrifice (Heb. 11:17), de la mchod pa phul/  they sacrificed to [the golden calf] (Acts 7:41); 2) dmar mchod/  [lit. red + offering] blood sacrifice, sacrifice which takes the life of that which is offered: spyin sreg dang /,,dmar mchod/  burnt offerings and sacrifices (Mk. 12:33), lu gu dmar mchod du phul ba'i pe sag gi nyin mo/  the day on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed (Lk. 22:7), rang gi sdig pa'i ched du'ang dmar mchod 'bul/  to offer sacrifices for his own sins (Heb. 5:3).