Buddhist and Mongolian Glossary




West Mongolian war hero
Avalokiteshvara (sans)
Also: Avoliciteshwara (other transcription) Chenrezi (tib), Janraisig, Ariyabalo? (mon).
The most important mantra "Om Mani Bad Me Hom" is dedicated to this deity. The Dalai Lama is supposed to be a reincarnation of this deity. 
In Tibet he would also be known as Spyan-ras gzigs (With a Pitying Look) and in Mongolia as Nidü-ber üjegci (He Who Looks With the Eyes). He is the only Mahayana Buddhist deity commonly worshipped in Theravada (Way of the Elders) countries that base their worship on the Pali canon and do not normally recognize the concept of bodhisattvas. In Sri Lanka he is known as Natha-deva (often mistakenly confused with Maitreya, the Buddha yet to come).
See also stamps.
Altan Khaan (1507-1582), Altan Khan
Mongolian emperor who adopted the Gelugpa doctrine and introduced the title of Dalai Lama


Branzii lodoi (mon)
[wisdom of honey] Mohamed, the founder of Islam
An ambulant, nomadic monk that would not necessarily belong to a certain monastery.
Bituun Baldanlham
A local god that is said to ride around on a mule during Tsagaan Sar, and people leave three pieces of ice for her.



Tendzin Pönjunang (dpon ju nang), a Mongolian Qoshot prince, who initiated the establishment of Labrang Tashi Chil as a new religious centre in Amdo.
Chinggis Khaan (1162-1227), or Djengis Khan
Mongolian conqueror and ruler who united the Central Asian tribes.
A Tibetan word meaning "land of books" and a common ending to the name of monasteries.


name of the capital Beijing during the time of The Mongol-Chinese Yuan dynasty. 
Dargye (dar rgyas),
Mongol prince of Sogwo Arig in central Amdo 
Female deity in Northern Buddhism
Dalai Lama
Title in Tibetan Buddhism, originating from the Mongolian word for ocean. The present Dalai Lama (14th) is the religious and worldly leader of the Tibetan people and is living in exile in Dharamsala. Though belonging to the Gelug sect he is not their actual leader. Also in Mongolia however he is seen as the leader of Buddhism although there is some conflict with some practitioners. 
Also: Tushegoun.
Considered himself incarnation of Amursana. He was a Kalmyk from the Volga region, but was greatly honoured in West Mongolia. Mentioned in Ferdinand Ossendowski's Beasts, Men and Gods.
Danzan Ravjaa
the fifth Ravjaa Khutgtu (Noyon Khotagt Danjanravjaa). Rebilious monk, was proclaimed the Fifth Gobi King in 1809. It is said that he was assassinated by the Gelugpa.
a Tibetan word for school
Djengis Khan
see Chinggis Khaan
Dolon-nor, or Dolonnor,
formerly a large monastic complex and crafts centre in Inner Mongolia and Mongolia’s most famous bronze workshop
Döndrub Gyatsho (don grub rgya mtsho),
Mongolian vice-administrator of Rgolong and founder of Ser---khog Monastery in Tsongkha


Enkhbayar, N.
21st Prime Minister of Mongolia, from 2000 to present. Was head of the Government Commission on the Erection of the Statue of Avalokiteshvara (Janraisig) Buddhisattva, which was responsible for the reerection of the large standing stutue in the Migjid Jainraisig Temple of Gandan Monastery.



Gampo Karpo (sgam or rgan po dkar po),
the ‘White Old Man’, name of a popular protector deity among Tibetan and Mongolian faithful 
Gandan Monastery
Also: Gandantegchinleng, Gandantegchinlen, Gandan Tegchilen, Gandantagcheling etc.
Located in Ulaanbaatar and at this moment the largest and most influential monastery in Mongolia
Also see: more information
Ganlin horn
Horn (musical instrument) made from human tigh bones and used by head monks to call and exorcise evil spirits. To drive out demons. Used within the Jononba sect (NI) Gelugpa sect.
Gelug (-pa) (tib)
("Model of Virtue") Also spelled Dge-lugs-pa. One of schools, or sects, of Tibetan Buddhism. Sometimes referred to as the sect of the yellow hats. Founded by Tsong Khapa, it emphasizes solid scholastic preparation before Tantric practice. The Dalai Lama is part of the Gelugpa, but the official leader is the head of the, Tibetan, Gandan monastery. 
Ger (mon)
Also: yurt (Rus).
Traditional housing of the Mongolians. A round, felt tent. Especially in the countryside this is the most comen housing
Gompa (tib)
Spiritual community; often but not necessarily a community of celibate monks or nuns living close together (usually in individual houses, sometimes in communal buildings).
Gurragcha (mon)
Mongolia's first astronaut (see image) Born on 5 December 1947, Went on a mission on 22 March 1981 - Soyuz 39: Manned two crew. Docked with Salyut 6. Transported to the Salyut-6 orbital station the eighth international crew under the INTERCOSMOS programme, comprising V A Dzhanibekov (USSR) and Z. Gurragchi (Mongolian People's Republic) to conduct scientific investigations and experiments.
Information taken from Astronautix.com.
Guru Deva Rinpoche
Lobsang Tenzin Gyatso Pal Sangpo, The Lord of Dharma. Born in Inner Mongolia (Ordos), he has lived in Tibet and Mongolia and has amongst others helped to establish the Palace of the Dalai Lama. In 1992 he returned to Mongolia and is now is formerly the abbot of Amarbayasgalant and in that extend has been raising money for the restoration of the temple. He is one of the 84 Siddha´s emanation. By Bareja-Starzynska and Havnevik (2001) he is seen as the only Mongolian reincarnated lama and one of the initiators of the revival of Buddhism in Mongolia. At present he seems to be involved in a conflict with the Dalai lama, about the practise of Dorchen Shupten
Gushri Khan (1586-1655),
Mongolian prince of the Kokonor tribes, conquered Tibet in 1642 and made himself the King of Tibet, although establishing the 5th Dalai Lama in position of power 


Henan (Tib. Arig Sogwo),
county in central Amdo with a Tibetanized Mongolian population
Henan Qinwang,
the Mongol prince of the southern Yellow River region
not well defined Tibetan ethnic term relating to either Mongolian, Turkic or other populations
indefinite Tib. geographical term, at times designating Turkestan, sometimes Mongolia 


Mongolian chieftain (14th to 15th centuries) who led the first Mongolian groups to move further southwest into Tibet
Ikh Khuree
Monastery located where nowadays the capital Ulaanbaatar can be found. In 1990 Dashi Choiling Monastery was established on the previous location of Ikh Khuree.
See image.


See Avalokiteshvara
Jebtzun Damba (or Living Buddha)
hemgum Also: Jebtsündampa Khutuktu (rje btsun dam pa ho thog thu), ‘Holy Venerable Lord’. The most prominent reincarnation in Mongolian Buddhism and ranked as the third most important in Tibetan, after the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama. He is a reincarnation of the Jonangpa lama and scholar Taranatha, the highest incarnation line of Mongolian Lamaism (Gelugpa), seen as a manifestation of bodhisattva Maitreya,
Jononba . Jonangpa
Tradition in Mongolia, Tibet and India. Entered Mongolia at around 1200 and was there merged with shamanism. Because of this Mongolian and Tibetan Jononba traditions would be rather different.
Majig Lavdonma (1055-1137) is the Dākinī of Mahāmudrā Three eyed woman lived in Tibet. The name translates in Only one Mother of oil lamp. Dākinī of Mahāmudrā [big arm] small sect in Mahayana tradition. Connecting Indian Buddhism with Bön pa .



("wheel of time") tsagiin khuurdnii nomlol (wgunay hoj;yna ykblkl)  (mon), Duinhor (tib) `The Kalachakra Tantra contains a comprehensive cosmology and represents a Buddhist system of exercises for the development of awareness. The aim of these is the attainment of enlightenment, a spiritual state beyond all our worries.´
karma (san)
("deed" or "action")  the universal law of cause and effect
A ceremonial scarf, in Mongolia often blue.Used to tie to sacred objects or to offer gifts to people or deities.
Mayor ethnic in Mongolia
Khubilai, or Kublai Khan (1215-1294),
Mongolian ruler and emperor of the Mongol-Chinese Yuan dynasty
Khustai Nuruu
National Park where the Takh wild horses are being reintroduced, west of Ulaanbaatar
khutuktu (mon)
tulkus (tib) reincarnated lama


("the stages of the path to enlightenment") a text by about the teachings of Buddha
Lhazang Khan,
Mongolian ruler who was nominally king of Tibet in 1677-1717
Ligdan Khan (1592-1634),
between 1604 and 1634 was prince of the Chakhar tribes in Inner Mongolia, tried to establish again a Great Khanate modelled after the example of Chenggis and Khubilai Khan



Maitreya (san)
The future Buddha, or the Buddha of the next world age. He is commonly represented sitting on a raised seat with his feet resting on the ground as a sign to arise from his seat and appear in the world.
Manzushiri (san)
Jamyan (tib), Zoolon Eqshigtu (mon) 



a Mongolian chieftain who fled from Mongolia to Kukunor in 1633 
Northern Buddhism
Term used for the Diamant Path (Vajrayana) Buddhism of Mongolia and Tibet.


Mongolian ethnic group mainly found in western Mongolia and northern Xinjiang (Altai region)
An Ovoo, heap or cairn, is the Lamaist equivalent of a shamanists´ sheree. This is a heap of bones formed on the stone altar by the remains of sacrificed animals at the tailgan. They would be inhabited by spirits of the locality (Humphrey 1983: 485 n67). According to Kanjurwa Khutughtu it is a `shrine to the "Dragon King" (loos), our Mongolian people's local deities (nibdagh and shiddagh).' (Hyer and Jagchid 1983: 89)
Ossendowski, Ferdinand
Author of Beast, Men and Gods (1924) an exploration of mystic Mongolia.


Pönjunang (dpon ju nang)
Mongolian Qoshot prince who initiated the establishment of Labrang Gompa
see takh




The cycle of existence and its reincarnation and temporary needs
Setsen Gung (16th century),
Mongolian chieftain or khan
Mentioned in the Kalachakra tantra. A heavenly nation. There are to be 25 kings. At the present moment the 17th is in power.  The 25th king Rigden dagva is to attack the Islam world 2227 after this only Buddhism in the world.
Shakyamuni (san)
Shakyatuw (tib), Burkhan Bagshi (mon). The historical Buddha.
chöten (tib), sobraga (ve.jgug) (mon)


Also: takhi, or Przewalski horse. The only surviving wild horse in the world indigenous to Mongolia and now being reintroduced in its natural habitat at Khustai Nuruu.
("eternal river of continuity")
scroll paintings
Tendzin Wangchug (18th century),
Mongol prince of the southern Tibetan Ma Chu region
Tsagaan Sar
Lit. White month or moon. Name of the first short month of the lunar Mongolian new year and the New Years celebration that than takes place.
Lama Tsenpo (bla ma btsan po, ?-1839), or Tsenpo Döndrub Gyatsho (don grub rgya mtsho),
Mongolian vice-administrator of Rgolong and founder of Ser---khog Monastery in Tsongkha, composed the only all-comprehensive geography of Tibet as a whole 
Tsongkapa (1357-1419)
Bogd Zonkhoba (.ku; pkyhk.g) Initiatar of Gelupa school. Born in Utai Gumbum palace in Tibet. 
See Dambijantsan
Tüsiyetü Khan Gömbodorji,
Prince of Khalkha Mongolia



Old name of Mongolia's current capital Ulaanbaatar
Ul Boov
Pile with an odd number of layers of ceremonial breads topped with sweats used for special offerings including the celbration of Tsagaan Sar
Also: Ulan Bator, Ulaan Bataar, in slang UB. Current capital of Mongolia
Previous names include: Nislel, Urga


Vajrayana Buddhism
Buddhism of the Diamant Path practised in, among others, Mongolia and Tibet.
There are three kind of vows: genen, getsel and gelen. 



Wangden Dorje Palanmu*
Qoshot-Mongol prince of the Sogwo Arig region in central Amdo



Damjan Choial (tib), Yamaharadja (mon). the ruler of the hell. Together with his sister Yamī
Yamaharadja (mon)
See Yama.



Zanabazar (mon)
The first reincarnation of Jebtzun Damba and first Bogd Gegen of Mongolia (spiritual and worldly leader). He is especially known for his great sculpturing as can been seen in the Museum of Fine Arts named after him. He was born in 1635 and died in 1723. 
Ziluba Pandita
is supposed to be the first to write about the Shambala war in the seventh century. He brought three things back from Shambala. The Tsam dance, Kalachakra Tantra Book and he was the one to introduce the Tibetan Horoscope. 
The ritual of respectful greeting at the Tsagaan Sar celebration in general consisting of a seated elder or more respected person that is greeted by a younger or less respected kin. Both may or may not hold a khadag and pronounce the the question "Amar sain uu?"(is everything well and peacefull?)

pal = Pali  |  san = Sanskrit  |  tib = Tibetan |  mon = Mongolian 


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