I have heard that there is a Tibetan word that roughly translates to "The truth that we deny" and sounded close to the English word "gotcha."

I however cannot locate this word or a source of it. Can anyone provide a source?

It is possible that it translates to either "The truth that I deny" or "The truth that you deny." I am not sure if "we" was the right pronoun. I think it might have been used in debates within the monasteries.

  • Is it Tibetan Buddhism or does it figure in Tibetan culture or in other Tibetan religions like Bön?
    – Buddho
    Jul 1, 2015 at 10:40
  • @Buddho I just know that the word or phrase is Tibetan. I am not sure of origin. I originally heard about it through a talk on Tibetan Buddhism.
    – hellyale
    Jul 1, 2015 at 15:16
  • Can yu please elaborate your question in a better way/words ? Like what is your curiousity for this phrase in actual !
    – jitin
    Jul 7, 2015 at 6:57
  • @jitin I just want to know if the word/phrase meaning indeed exists in the Tibetan language, and if it does indeed sound like the English word gotcha when pronounced correctly. Also it would be cool if it was paired with the Tibetan alphabet character(s) that signify it. I heard about it from a secondary source, I'd like a Primary source.
    – hellyale
    Jul 25, 2015 at 14:48

3 Answers 3


The word, as spelled in english, is "gak-cha," and it refers to the object whose existence we deny.

The idea is that things, including our selves, do not exist "out there, independently," or "from their own side." Such a thing, according to Mahayana buddhism, could never exist. When we catch our mind falling prey to relating to some thing (including our "self") as if it really existed independently from our perceiving mind, then we have located the "gak-cha."

There's a transcription of a talk by Lama Yeshe that goes into some depth: Lama Yeshe Archive

  • Thanks, any chance you know where to find the Tibetan characters for it? Finally have a primary source though. =)
    – hellyale
    Sep 18, 2015 at 2:32
  • Took me a bit to track this down, but I found it online. The Tibetan for "Gakja" is shown on the last page (page 8) of the following pdf from the Asian Classics Institute: acidharma.org/aci/online/_media/text/course1/C01Tibetan.pdf
    – Michael
    Nov 8, 2016 at 23:30

Pron.: gakja
Wil.: dgag bya
Unicode: དགག་བྱ།

Usually translated by Jeffrey Hopkins as 'object of negation'. Although the object of negation is twofold: (1) the objective aspect (true existence) and (2) the subjective aspect (ignorance), 'object of negation' usually refers to true existence.

It is explained at length in the 'Special Insight' chapter of the Lam Rim:

  • Third volume of Tsongkhapa's the Lam Rim Chen Mo
  • 5th chapter of Tsongkhapa's Middle-Length Lam Rim

It is also explained at length in the following:

  • Tsongkhapa's Final Exposition of Wisdom
  • Khedrup Je's A dose of Emptiness

The object of negation is a 'truth to be denied' or a 'concealer truth'. It is true existence, or inherent existence according to Prasangika-Madhyamika.

Since true existence appears as if existing but is actually utterly non-existent, why do we call it a truth? What is the meaning of 'truth' in 'truth for a concealer'? It is called a [concealer] truth because although it is not a truth (since it doesn't exist the way it appears) it is true in relation to ignorance.
This is explained in the Explanation of Candrakīrti’s Commentary on the ‘Middle Way’ as well:

That which appears truly existent and inherently separate due to a concealer while not existing inherently is true for a worldly, mistaken concealer.

Strictly speaking, a truth is an object that exists the way it appears (its mode of existence is concordant with its mode of existence). Example: emptiness is an [ultimate] truth, and is an actual truth, because it exists the way it appears to the mind directly realizing it. However, a conventional truth is a truth only in relation to ignorance. A concealer truth is also a truth only in relation to ignorance: it is not an actual truth.


"The truth that we deny"

According to Buddhist concepts "All are in illusion".(pali:Avijja)-"Fault view".
That is "I' or "My Self" or "Mine" like concepts.
So your Word 'gotcha' may relate those ideas.

Another area may be
The "Word is" is another concept.(The matter exists)
Based on permenent( opposite- Annichcha), good(op- Dukka), Arthma(op -anathma).

Better Try with similar words.

hay it may be Avidyā (Sanskrit; Pāli: avijjā; Tibetan phonetic: ma rigpa)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .