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

  • མཆོད་རྟེན།

  • mchod rten
  • stūpa
  • caitya
  • cetiya
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Publications: 64

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

A caitya, although often synonymous with stūpa, can also refer to any site, sanctuary or shrine that is made for veneration, and may or may not contain relics.

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.