The Tibetan Independence Movement: Political, Religious and Gandhian Perspective

By Jane Ardley | Go to book overview

GLOSSARY
ahimsa (Sanskrit) Refers generally to Gandhi’s doctrine of non-violence. It literally means ‘non-harming’, and was interpreted by Gandhi as active rather than passive. It is a doctrine common to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Atman (Sanskrit) ‘Soul’ or ‘self’. In Hinduism it refers to God within oneself.
Bhagavad-Gita (Sanskrit) Part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. It consists of a dialogue between the god Krishna and the warrior prince Arjuna, on the eve of the great battle that is the focus of the Mahabharata. Although ostensibly about the rights and wrongs of war and violence, the Gita concerns itself with discussions about the nature of God, and the best way for mankind to serve God.
bhakti (Sanskrit) ‘Devotion’. The act of bhakti (bhaktiyoga) is presented in the
Bhagavad-Gita as one of the most effective ways of knowing God.
bodhicitta (Sanskrit) (Tibetan: byang chub kyi sems) In Mahayana Buddhism, the intention to become enlightened for the benefit of others.
bodhisattva (Sanskrit) (Tibetan: byang chub sems dpa’) A Sanskrit term meaning ‘enlightenment being’. In Mahayana Buddhism the bodhisattva has attained the enlightenment of a Buddha, but chooses not to enter Nirvana so as to stay on Earth to help others attain enlightenment. The Dalai Lama is thought to be a human manifestation of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Tibetan: Chenrezig).
Bon (Tibetan) The indigenous pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet. It is still practised alongside Buddhism, as Tibetan Buddhism incorporates many of its characteristics.
Brahman (Sanskrit) In Hinduism, the absolute principle, or God. The Atman is God within oneself; Brahman pervades the whole universe.
chigyab khembo (Tibetan: spyi khyab mkhan po) The Lord Chamberlain of the traditional Tibetan government.
chos srid gnyis ldan (Tibetan) The political ideology of the traditional Tibetan government, meaning ‘religion and politics combined’ (chos meaning religion).
Chushi Gangdruk (Tibetan: chu bzhi sgang drug) One of the guerrilla movements to emerge from the east Tibetan province of Kham during the 1950s. Its name is taken from a traditional name for Kham, meaning ‘Four Rivers, Six Ranges’.
dharma (Sanskrit) (Tibetan: chos) A term in both Hinduism and Buddhism. In Buddhism it refers to the teaching of Buddha, while in Hinduism it can be taken to mean law or sacred order.

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