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A chödak (Tib. ཆོས་བདག, Wyl. chos bdag), or custodian of a terma cycle, is the master who is prophesied in the terma prophecy as the principal person who will uphold the tradition of the tertön by studying, teaching and practising his or her terma teachings.[1]

According to Tulku Thondup, "a chödak is the chief receiver and holder of a terma, and the most important figure in the lineage after the tertön himself".[2]

A chödak is also responsible for the spreading of the terma cycle, and is often involved in the sponsoring of the printing of its different texts. A chödak is sometimes responsible as well for writing commentaries to the different practices of that particular terma cycle.

Alternate Translations

  • holder of the terma teachings


  1. Dodrupchen Jikmé Tenpé Nyima, Wonder Ocean, translated by Tulku Thondup in Hidden Teachings of Tibet: An Explanation of the Terma Tradition of the Nyingma School of Buddhism (Boston: Wisdom, reprint edition 1997), p.162-163.
  2. Tulku Thondup, Hidden Teachings of Tibet (Boston: Wisdom, reprint edition 1997), notes, page 226.