Indo-Tibetan Lexical Resource (Beta version)

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The “Indo-Tibetan Lexical Resource” (ITLR) is a collaborative lexical project undertaken by the Khyentse Center for Tibetan Buddhist Textual Scholarship (KC-TBTS) at the Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies, Asien-Afrika-Institut, Universität Hamburg, the International Institute of Digital Humanities (DHII), Tokyo, and SAT Daizōkyō Text Database at the Digital Humanities Initiative, Center for Evolving Humanities, Graduate School of the Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo. The ITLR is built around Sanskrit headwords which are ordered as 1) words/terms/phrases, 2) names of places and persons, and 3) titles of scriptures/treatises. It aims to provide attested Tibetan translations of these lexical items, occurrences of them in primary sources, modern renderings, and references to them in discussions in academic works.



Individual Contributors

Collaborating Projects

Visiting Scholars

Core Institutions

Collaborative Institutions


The ITLR has been planned as a digital platform for researchers from the fields of classical Indology, Tibetology, and Buddhology. It accumulates and stores lexical items that are (a) the products (or by-products) of research done within the framework of selected projects devoted to the investigation of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist literature, and (b) the by-products of the research of individual scholars, which in many cases end up tucked away in scholarly footnotes. It is intended to provide scholars with information about Sanskrit/Indic-Tibetan lexical items, and in the long term will be able to provide the necessary infrastructure for collaborative research and other forms of cooperation, including cooperations between traditional and modern academics. The ITLR aims to become a digital treasury of reliable Indo-Tibetan lexical data that serves the broad scholarly community interested in Indian and Tibetan texts and thought.


Although the idea of the ITLR had been conceived years earlier, it was significantly developed during the “Brainstorming Session: Indo-Tibetan Lexical Resource (ITLR)” held at the University of Hamburg on November 24, 2009. The subsequent exploration of possibilities for financial and technical support was met with two exciting opportunities for progress. The first came in the form of offers for collaboration and technical expertise from the International Institute for Digital Humanities (DHII) and SAT [Saṃgaṇikīkṛtam Taiśotripiṭakam] Daizōkyō Text Database, both situated in Tokyo. The second was the Khyentse Foundation’s approval of a grant application for the establishment of a research center for Tibetan Buddhist textual scholarship, which would have the ITLR as its core component. On January 6, 2011, the Khyentse Center for Tibetan Buddhist Textual Scholarship (KC-TBTS) was officially established, and activities to create the ITLR began.

In the years since the commencement of the collaboration between the KC-TBTS and DHII/SAT, the Hamburg–Tokyo team has conducted many workshops and repeatedly met to plan, develop, and improve the database and its content. Members of the team have additionally presented the project to interested scholars and potential collaborators/contributors at a number of universities and international conferences. The project’s editors, ITLR fellows, and other individuals continue to input and enhance the quality of the ITLR data. In the months and years to come, the focus will be on (a) increasing the number of entries and augmenting or adding details to existing entries, and (b) editing the substantial mass of data already entered.

Place Name
bauddha city/town/village country/land hell
monastery mountain region river
Personal Name
ṛṣi Buddhist scholar Non-Buddhist scholar Tantric
Tibetan bauddha bodhisattva brāhmaṇa
buddha deity devaputra epic figure
epithet/byname lay person monk mādhyamika
nun nāga patron prince
protecting deity trader/merchant translator / translation collaborator tāntrika
woman ācārya śrāvaka
Mahāyānic anthology bauddha commentary
scripture sūtra tantra tantric
Abhidharma Brahmanic philosophy Buddhist school/system MS culture
Madhyamaka Mahāyāna Mīmāṃsā Nikāya Buddhism
Non-Buddhist school/system Sāṃkhya Veda anatomy
architecture armament/weaponry arts & crafts bauddha
bodily discharge bodily substance botany buddhology
cardinal direction class of being clothing/garment condition/situation
cosmetics cosmology deity dharma theory
entity entomology epithet ethics
function word(s)/phrase furniture gastronomy/nutrition gemology
gender & sexuality geography/topography gnoseology goods
graha heavenly body heavenly body (personified) household items
human being human goal instrument/implement jyotiṣa
kinship kāmaśāstra kāvya/alaṃkāraśāstra literary genre
literature locus logic/epistemology/debate maṇḍala
matter (rūpa) medicine mental factor (caitta) metal
mudrā musical instrument mythology natural phenomenon
non-human being numbers & figures object occupation
ontology/reality ornithology pathology person (pudgala)
personal items philosophy/doctrine physiology pigment
posture prognostics proponent prosody
quality/characteristic ritual ritual object samādhi/ meditation theory & practice
scripture social groups soteriology subtle physiology
tantra temporality text/work things/belongings
utensil varṇa/jāti vidyāsthāna (field of knowledge) vyākaraṇa (grammar)
weather phenomenon weights & measures zoology
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