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 buddhakṣetra city/town/village country/land
hell hermitage monastery mountain
region river world-sphere
Personal Name
ṛṣi (mahā)siddha Buddha’s disciple Buddhist scholar
Non-Buddhist scholar Tantric Tibetan Yogācāra
author bauddha bodhisattva brāhmaṇa
buddha commentator deity devaputra
epic figure epithet/byname king/ruler lay person
logician/epistemologist monk mādhyamika mīmāṃsaka
nun nāga patron prince
protecting deity rākṣasī rātridevatā satpuruṣa
scribe sāṃkhya trader/merchant translator / translation collaborator
tāntrika vedāntin yoga school exegete ācārya
Mahāyānic anthology bauddha commentary
mīmāṃsā narrative literature pramāṇa scripture
sādhana sūtra tantra tantric
yogācāra śāstra
Abhidharma Brahmanic philosophy Buddhist school/system MS culture
Madhyamaka Mahāyāna Mīmāṃsā Nikāya Buddhism
Non-Buddhist school/system Prajñāpāramitā Sāṃkhya Tantric
Veda Vinaya Yogācāra anatomy
architecture armament/weaponry asceticism bauddha
bhūtasaṃkhyā bodhisattva bodily discharge bodily substance
botany buddhology cardinal direction class of being
class of being / their realm / spiritual status clothing/garment communication condition/situation
cosmetics cosmology deity dharma theory
disease/illness element entity entomology
epistemology epithet epithet of the/a Buddha ethical-ascetical discipline
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
jaina jyotiṣa kinship kāmaśāstra
kāvya/alaṃkāraśāstra language 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 psychology
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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