84000 Glossary of Terms

Our trilingual glossary combining entries from all of our publications into one useful resource, giving translations and definitions of thousands of terms, people, places, and texts from the Buddhist canon.

མཆོད་རྟེན། | Glossary of Terms


    mchod rten


  • Term
Publications: 37

The Tibetan translates both stūpa and caitya with the same word, mchod rten, meaning “basis” or “recipient” of offerings. Pali: cetiya.

A caitya, although sometimes synonymous with stūpa, can also in certain contexts refer to a temple that may or may not contain a stūpa, or to any place or sacred object, such as a relic, that is worthy of veneration.

A stūpa, literally “heap” or “mound,” is a mounded or circular structure usually containing relics of the Buddha or the masters of the past. It is considered to be a sacred object representing the awakened mind of a buddha, but the symbolism of the stūpa is complex, and its design varies throughout the Buddhist world. Stūpas continue to be erected today as objects of veneration and merit making.