Sanskrit Glossary

 

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Glossary of Sanskrit Terms

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Sanskrit Pronunciation Guide

 

A

abhasa [pronunciation: aabhaas]: reflection of consciousness
abhijna [ubhij^na]: direct perception
abhimana [ubhimaan]: attachment
abhyasa [ubhyaas]: practice
abhyasi [ubhyaasi]: one who practices
achala [uchul]: unmoving; hill or mountain
achit [uchit]: not sentient
acharya [uchurya]: scholar, learned man; a term of respect
adhama [ ]: lowest grade
adhara [aadhaar]: support
adhishtana [udhishthaan]: substratum
adhridha [udhr^dh]: weak; not firm
adhyaropa [udhyaarop]: superimposition
adhyasika [udhyaasik]: superimposed
advaita [udvait]: non-duality; incorrectly termed monism; a system of thought and a vedantist sect founded by Shankara
advaitin [ ]: non-dualist
adya [aadyaa]: primordial; original
adyatmika sakti [aadyaatmik sh^akti]: power of the Self
agami (a. karma) [aagaami karm]: actions of the present life expected to bear fruit in future births
agni [ ]: fire
aham [uhum]: embodied self; soul; the ego; the sense of "I"
aham Brahmasmi [uhum bruhmaasmi]: I am Brahman
aham sphurana [uhum sphurun]: the throb of Self-bliss in the heart
aham svarupa [uhum svuroop]: one's true nature
aham vritti [vr^tti]: the 'I'-thought
ahankara [uhunkaar]: 'I' sense; ego-self; 'the doer'
ahimsa [uhimsaa]: nonviolence
ajna [aaj^naa]: direction; injunction
ajnana [uj^naan]: ignorance; knowledge of diversity
ajnani [uj^naani]: one who has not realized the Self; unenlightened; ignorant of the Self
akara [aakaar]: form or shape
akasa (akasha) [aakaash^]: ether; space
akritopasaka [ukritopaasuk]: one who has not done upasana or meditation
alayavijnana [ ]: pure, self-existent consciousness
amrita [umrit]: immortal
amritanadi [umritunaadi]: the channel for the flow of consciousness from the Heart (Source) to the mind; the path by which it travels is termed archis
anadi [unaadi]: without beginning
ananda [aanund]: bliss; happiness; joy; Transcendence attained primarily through the affections manifests more as Bliss than as Knowledge
anandatman [aanundutmun]: self in the state of bliss
ananta [ununt]: endless; infinite
anartha [unurtha]: evil; worthless
anatman [unaatmun]: non-Self
anava [aanuv]: limitation
anichcha [unichchh; conjunct 'ch' and 'chh', pronounced without any vowel between; good luck!]: involuntary
anitya [unitya]: transitory
antah (antar) [untuH (untur)]: internal
antah karanam (antahkarana) [untuH kurun(uM)]: means of perception; the mind; the ego; the thinking power
antah pranayama [untuH praanaayaam]: internal breath-regulation
antardhana [unturdhaan]: disappearance from sight
antarmukha drishti [unturmukh dr^shti]: inward vision
antarmukti manas [unturmukti munus]: inward-turned mind; mind retained in the Heart
anu [unu]: atom
anubhava [unubhuv]: experience; realization
anushthana [unushthaan]: practice; attainment of knowledge
anuttara samyak sambodhi [unuttur sumyuk sumbodhi]: see samyak sambodhi
ap [aap]: water
apana [upaan]: the life-force that goes down
apara [upur]: the lower; inferior
aparoksha [upurok^sh]: direct; immediate; direct experience (as opposed to sensory experience)
apavada [upuvaad]: removal
aprana [upraan]: beyond manifest life; devoid of life
arati [ ]: divine service performed in the early morning or at dusk
archis [ ]: see amritanadi
artha [urtha]: money
arudha [aarudh]: attainment
aruna [urun]: red
arupa [uroop]: formless; timeless being
asamsakti [usumsh^ukti]: non-attachment; one of the seven stages of enlightenment
asamskrta [usunskr^t]: not pertaining to the impermanent; Chinese wu wei
asana [aasun]: yogic posture
asat [usut]: unreal
asesha sakshi [ush^esh saak^shi]: witness of all
ashram [ ]: hermitage
ashtanga Yoga [ushtaang yog]: Yoga consisting of eight stages of discipline
asrama [aash^rum]: one of the four life-stages of a spiritual seeker; the dwelling of a sage and his followers
asraya [ ]: ground of Reality (as opposed to movement)
asthira [usthira]: unsteady
asuddha [ush^uddh]: bliss
asukavi [usukuvi]: one who can versify impromptu
asura [usur]: demon; similar to a Titan or fallen angel
ati jagrat [uti jaagrut]: beyond waking
ati sunya [uti sh^oonya]: beyond the void
atiasrama (atyasrama) [utiaash^rum]: above the four stages of life
atita [uteet]: beyond
atma (atman) [aatm(un)]: the Self; principle of life and sensation; I AM; subjective moment of consciousness; in the highest sense, the Universal Spirit or the Supreme Soul of the Universe (see Paramatman)
atma dhyana [aatma dhyaan]: contemplation on the Self
atma jnani [aatma j^naani]: one who has realized the Self
atma nishta [aatma nisht]: abiding in the Self
atma prajna [aatma pruj^naa]: innate Self-consciousness
atma prema [aatma prem]: Self-love
atma sakti [aatma sh^ukti]: power of the Self
atma siddhi [aatma siddhi]: Self-realization
atma vichara [aatma vichaar]: inquiry into the Self
atma vidya [aatma vidya]: knowledge of the Self
atmasakshatkara [ ]: Self-realization; enlightenment
atmanusandhana [aatmunusundhun]: thinking constantly of the Self
atyanta vairagyam [utyunt vairugyum]: total dispassion
avarana [aavurun]: covering
avastha traya [uvusthaa truya]: the three states of consciousness, namely waking, dream and sleep
avatar [uvutaar]: incarnation of God
avidya [uvidyaa]: nescience; ignorance of our true nature; all consciousness or knowledge, so long as it is restricted to the subject-object manifold
avritta chakshus [aavr^tt chuk^shus]: introverted look
ayatana [aayutun]: repository

B
Return to Index

bahir pranayamam [buhir praanaayaam]: external breath regulation
bahir mukha drishti [buhir mukh dr^shti]: outward turned consciousness
bahir mukhi manas [buhir mukh munus]: letting the mind go out of the Heart; externalization
bahudaka [buhooduk]: a sannyasin who wanders about
bahya [baahya]: external
bala [baal]: child
bandha [bundh]: bondage
bandha hetu [bundh hetu]: cause of bondage
beeja [beej]: seed (see bija)
Bhagavad-gita [bhuguvud geet]: Hindu religious scripture, "almost wholly in the form of a dialogue between Krishna, who represents the Self, the Atman, or Cosmic Consciousness, and Arjuna, who symbolizes the egoistic man of action. It gives a brief resume of the Roads by which Union or Yoga may be attained. This is one of the most important manuals that point the Way to Cosmic Consciousness." (Franklin Merrell-Wolff)
bhagavan [bhuguvun]: God; the Lord; one who has realized his identity with the Self
bhagwan (see bhagavan)
bhajan (bhajana) [bhujun]: worship (of the Lord); singing God's praises, esp. in chorus
bhakta [bhukt]: devotee
bhakti [bhukti]: devotion; love (of God)
bhakti marga [bhukti maarg]: path of devotion
bharata [bhurut]: shining soul
bhashyakara [bhaashyukur]: commentator
bhavana [bhaavun]: contemplation of a personified deity with great emotion
bheda [bhed]: difference; differentiation
bhikshu [bhik^shu]: Buddhist monk, literally beggar
bhoga [bhog]: enjoyment
bhogya vasta [ ]: child
bhogyam [bhogyuM]: that which is enjoyed
bhokta [bhokt]: enjoyer
bhuma [bhoomaa]: all-comprehensive; the Absolute
bhumika [bhoomikaa]: stage
bhutatathata [ ]: the Absolute viewed as the universal womb [see Tung-shan]
bija [beej]: seed; source
bija-mantra [beej muntra]: a one-word seed-mantra or exclamation of power
bodha [bodh]: knowledge; Truth
bodhi [bodhi]: enlightenment; full illumination; the opposite of avidya
bodhisattva [bodhisuttva]: destined for enlightenment but wants to take all beings along
bodhikaya [bodhikaaya]: the body of the Absolute viewed as the fruit of enlightenment
Brahma [bruhm]: Lord of Creation; God as the Creator; "I am present"
brahmachari [bruhmuchaari]: a celibate; student stage of life
brahmacharya [bruhmuchurya]: celibacy
Brahmaivaham [bruhmaivaahuM]: Brahman am I
Brahmajnana [bruhmuj^naan]: realization of one's absolute being
Brahmajnani [bruhmuj^naani]: one who has realized the Self
brahmakaravritti [bruhmaakaaruvr^tti]: concept in the form of Brahman
Brahman [bruhmun]: the Universal Self; the Absolute
Brahmanishta [bruhmaanishtha]: one who is established in Brahman
Brahmarandhra [ ]: Brahma-aperature; opening in the crown of the head; fontanelle; "the tiniest of aperatures, in which is the silent, primordial sound, which gives you the impression that you are, but you really are not" (Nisargadatta)
Brahmavid [bruhmuvid]: one who has realized Brahman
Buddha [buddh]: one who is aware; a synonym for the Buddhakaya or Absolute state, where the Real Self is known for what it is
buddhi [same]: intellect; one of the four aspects of the internal organ; the determinative faculty controlling the sense organs; "It is also Compassion, in the highest sense, the very Soul of the Law of Harmony or Equilibrium" (Franklin Merrell-Wolff)

C
Index

chaitanya [chaitunya]: consciousness
chakra [chukra]: wheel; subtle center of energy in the body
chakshus [chuk^shus]: eye
chanchala [chunchula]: changing, fickle
chandrayana [ ]: particular method of expiatory fasting
chela [ ]: student; disicple
chidabhasa [chidaabhaas]: reflected consciousness
chidakash [ ]: consciousness
chidananda [chidaanund]: bliss of the Self
chidvyoman (chitt vyoman) [chidvyomun]: expanse of consciousness
chinmaya [chinmuya]: full of consciousness
chinta [chintaa]: thought, idea
chintamani [chintaamuni]: wish-fulfilling gem
chit [same]: Absolute Intelligence, universal consciousness
chitakasa [ ]: Mental ether (all-pervading)
chit jada granthi [chit jud grunthi]: the knot between pure consciousness and the insentient body; the ego
chitta [chitt]: memory aspect of mind; the mental mode turned towards objects
chitta nirodha [chitt nirodh]: control of mind
chitta suddhi [chitt sh^uddhi]: purity of mind
chitta vilasa [chitt vilaas]: play of mind
chittaikograta [chittaikogrutaa]: one-pointedness of mind

D
Index

dahara vidya [duhuraa vidyaa]: contemplation of the deity in the heart
dana [daan]: gift; alms; relinquishment
darsan(a), darshan [dursh^un]: seeing; vision
dasi [daasee]: courtesan
deha(m) [deha(M)]: body; existence
'deham, naham, koham, soham' I am the body; I am not the body; who am I? I am He.
dehatma buddhi [dehaatma buddhi]: I-am-the-body
dehavasana [dehuvaasunaa]: attachment to the body
deva [devaaH]: a god or celestial being
devakanya [ ]: a class of minor female divinity
devata [devutaa]: a goddess
Devi [same]: the Divine Mother; a goddess
dharana [dhaarunaa]: concentration of mind; one of the eight stages of Raja Yoga
dharma [dhurmuH]: teaching of Buddha; universal law; way or path; an entity of any sort - thing, idea, concept, etc; virtuous deeds; harmonious life; natural duty; inherent qualities
dharmakaya [dhurmukaayaa]: the Dharma-Body or the Absolute, viewed as the Ultimate Reality with which Buddhas or Enlightened Beings are one and indivisible
dharma dhatu [dhurm dhaatu]: the Absolute, i.e. the Dharma-Realm
Dharma Raja [dhurm raaj]: the Buddha
dharma sastri [dhurm sh^aastri]: one well-versed in the scriptures relating to dharma
dhatu(s) [dhaatu]: humors; constituent elements of the body
dhriti [dhr^tiM]: steadfastness
dhyana [dhyaan]: meditation; contemplation; the seventh rung in the eightfold ladder of yoga
dhyana siddhi [dhyaan siddhi]: successful meditation
dikpalas [dikpulus]: gods who protect the various quarters
diksha [dik^sh]: spiritual initiation
divya chakshus [divya chuk^shus]: divine eye
drashta [drushtaa]: seer
dridha [dr^dh]: firm
drik [dr^k]: he who sees; the subject
drishti [dr^shti]: look; seeing
drishti srishti [dr^shti sr^shti]: simultaneous creation
drisya [dr^sh^ya]: that which is seen; the object
drisya vilaya [dr^sh^ya viluya]: disappearance of the objective world
drisyanuviddha [dr^sh^yaanuviddh]: associated with something seen
dukha [dukh]: misery; frustration
dvaita [dvait]: duality
dvandva [dvundv]: pair of opposites
dvividha (dwividha) [dvividh]: two-fold

E
Index

eka [ek]: one
ekagrata [ekaagrutaa]: concentration
ekanta vasa [ekaant vaas]: free from mental concepts; "dwelling in mental solitude"

G
Index

Ganapati [gunuputi]: the elder son of Siva, the remover of obstacles; same as Ganesha, the chief of Siva's hosts
ganapati [gunuputi]: consciousness
ganesan [ ]: darkness
ganja [gunj]: a narcotic; hashish
gate [guta]: gone
gatha [ ]: a verse, usually of a sacred kind
Gayatri [gaayutri]: a sacred Vedic mantra
gita [geet]: song
gnana [j^naan]: see jnana
gnani [j^naani]: see jnani
gopuram [same]: temple tower
granthi [grunthi]: knot
granthi nasam [grunthi naash^um]: destruction of the knot (of ignorance)
grihastha [gr^husthaaH]: householder
grihini [gr^hini]: housewife
guna(s) [gun]: the three fundamental qualities, tendencies or stresses that underlie all manifestations: sattva, rajas and tamas
gunatita [gunaateet]: one who has transcended the gunas
guru [same]: a spiritual master
guru kripa [guru kr^puH]: guru's grace

H
Index

hamsa [hums]: advanced sannyasi
Hanuman [ ]: a powerful deity, son of the Wind god; great devotee of Sri Rama; famous monkey who helped Rama in his fight with Ravana
hasta [hust]: hand
hatha yoga [hutha yog]: a form of yoga involving body postures, and for gaining control over Prana
hetu [same]: cause, reason
hinayana [heenuyaan]: one of the two major divisions of Buddhism; prevalent in Southeast Asia
hiranyagarbha [hirunyugurbh]: universal consciousness; cosmic mind; cosmic egg; the Unmanifested mind (see mahat tattva), the "golden womb"
homa [hom]: sacrifice in fire
hridaya(m) [hr^duya(M)]: heart; spiritual center of the body
hridaya granthi [hr^duya grunthi]: knot of the heart; the idea that one is one's body
hrit [hr^t]: heart
hrit pundarika [hr^t pundureek]: the heart lotus

I
Index

ichcha [ichchh; conjunct 'ch' and 'chh', pronounced without any vowel between]: desire; will
idam [idum]: this
Indra [indraa]: Lord of the devas; first student of Brahma vidya
indriya(s) [indriyuH]: senses
Isa [eesh^]: Supreme Lord
ishta devata [isht devutaa]: the god one likes to worship
Isvara (Iswara) [eesh^vur]: God; the Supreme Being in His aspect of Lord of the worlds
Isvara anugraha [eesh^vur unugruha]: God's grace
Isvara drishti [eesh^vur dr^shti]: seeing everything as God
Isvara prasada [eesh^vur prusaad]: God's grace
Isvara svarupa [eesh^vur svuroop]: the true form of God

J
Index

jada [jud]: insentient
jaganmaya [jugunmaaya]: the mystery of the world
jagat [jugut]: world; changing
jagrat [jaagrut]: waking state
jagrat sushupti [jaagrut sushuptiH]: aware or awake while asleep; being aware but not concerned
jai [same]: victory
jala [jula]: water
janma [junma]: birth
japa [jup]: repetition of a sacred word or syllable or name of God
japa karta [jup kurtaa]: one who does japa
jirna [jeern]: decayed
jiva [jeev]: individual soul or ego
jivanmukta [jeevunmukt]: realized soul
jivanmukti [jeevunmukti]: liberation while alive
jivatman [jeevaatmun]: the individual self
jnana(m) [j^naan(aM)]: knowledge of the Absolute; enlightenment; Supreme Knowledge; Self-realization
jnana bhumika(s) [j^naan bhoomikaa]: stages of knowledge (seven)
jnana chakshus [j^naan chuk^shus]: eye of wisdom
jnana drishti [j^naan dr^shti]: wisdom-insight
jnana grantha [j^naan gruntha]: Vedantic works
jnana lakshana [j^naan luk^shun]: sign of wisdom
jnana marga [j^naan maarg]: path of knowledge
jnana vichara [j^naan vichaar]: inquiry regarding knowledge
jnana yoga [j^naan yog]: the method of realizing the Absolute through knowledge
jnanagni [j^naanaagni]: fire of wisdom
jnanameva chakshus [ ]: All-seeing eyes
jnanendriya [j^nunendriya]: sense organ
jnani [j^naani]: sage; one who has realized the Self
jothi (jyoti) [jyotiH]: light; effulgence

K
Index

Kailas [kailaas]: a mountain in the Himalayas reputed to be the home of Siva
kaivalya [kaivulya]: Absolute Oneness; final emancipation
kali yuga [kuli yug]: the last of the four ages of the world
kalpana [kulpunaa]: idea; imagination of the mind; creation
kama [kaam]: desire; physical love; lust
kantha [kuntha]: throat
kanthabharana [kunthaabhurun]: neck ornament
kanya [kunyaa]: virgin
kara [ ]: a combining form meaning achieved or achievement
karana [kaarun]: cause
karana sarira [kaarun sh^ureer]: causal body
karma [kurm]: action; work; deeds; also the result of action
karma marga [kurm maarg]: path of ritual, religious duties, and action
karma samya [kurm saamya]: good and bad actions in equal proportions
karma traya [kurm truya]: the three kinds of karma, namely sanchita, agami and prarabdha
karma yoga [kurm yog]: the spiritual path of action
karmendriya [kurmendriya]: organ of action
karpura arati [kurpoor aaruti]: the waving of lighted camphor during puja
karta [kurtaa]: he who does an act; doer
kartrtva [kurtr^tva]: doership
kartrtva buddhi [kurtr^tva buddhi]: sense of being the doer
kashaya [kushaaya]: latent impurity
kashaya [kaashaaya]: ochre-colored garment
kayakalpa [kaayukulp]: medicinal preparation for prolonging life
kayasiddhi [kaayusiddhi]: making the body proof against injury
kendra [ ]: center; heart
kevala kumbhaka [kevul kumbhuk]: retention of breath leading to stilling of the mind
kevala nirvikalpa [kevul nirvikulp]: the state of remaining without concepts; bliss of vijnana
kevala samadhi [kevul sumaadhi]: samadhi in which activities of body and mind are only merged
khanda [khund]: division
khyati [khyaati]: theory
klesa [klesh^]: a defilement, passion etc.
kousalam [koush^ulum]: skill
kosa [ ]: sheath
krama mukti [krum mukti]: liberation by degrees
krama srishti [krum sr^shti]: gradual creation
krida [kr^d]: play; pastime
kritopasaka [kritopaasuk]: one who has done upasana or meditation
kriya [ ]: physical action
krodha [krodh]: anger
kshanti [k^shunti]: forebearance
kshetra [k^shetra]: temple; in Yoga, field of the body
Kshetrajna [k^shetruj^na]: the conscious principle (Knower) in the field of the body; the absolute witness of the three states of the self - waking, dream and sleep
kshipta [k^shipt]: active
kumbha [kumbh]: pot used for keeping water
kumbhaka [kumbhuk]: retention of breath
kumkuma [same]: vermilion powder applied to the forehead
kundalini [kundulini]: primordial cosmic energy located in the individual; mystic circle of three and a half coils situated in the umbilical region; yogic principle of serpent power
kutichaka [kuteechuk]: a sannyasin who lives permanently in a hut
kuvasana [kuvaasun]: bad tendency

L
Index

laghu [lughu]: light; easy
lakshana [luk^shun]: sign; definition
lakshya [luk^shya]: aim; target; goal; attention
lakshyartha [luk^shyaartha]: implied meaning
laya [luya]: dissolution; merging; in Yoga, absorption of breath and mind in the heart
lila (leela) [leela]: play or sport
linga [ling]: symbol
linga sarira [ling sh^ureer]: subtle body
loka [lok]: world; that which is seen
loukika [loukik]: worldly

M
Index

madhya [mudhya]: center; mixed; middling
madhyama [mudhyum]: a stage in uttering sounds; middle grade
mahadakash [ ]: the entire universe; world of action
maha [ ]: great
maharshi (Maha Rishi) [muhur^shi]: great rishi or sage
mahaparinirvana [muhaapurinirvaan?]: ultimate Nirvana (Nirvana can be achieved in this lifetime; ultimate Nirvana then follows at death)
mahasunya [muhaash^oonya]: great void
mahat [muhut]: intellectual principle as source of ahankara
mahat tattva (mahattava) [muhaat tuttva]: essential principle of being; the great principle (from the Absolute emantes the Unmanifest, from it Mahat, and from Mahat the ahankara)
mahatma [muhaatmaa]: lofty soul; highly spiritual person
mahavakya(s) [muhaavaakyaa]: the four main sentences proclaiming the truth of Brahman, one from each Veda
mahayana [muhaayaan]: one of the two major divisions of Buddhism, prevalent in the more northerly countries of Asia - China, Tibet, Japan etc.
Mahesvara [muhesh^vuraH]: one of the five aspects of Siva, as veiling the Truth from souls till their karma is completely worked out; also, Siva as Para-Brahman, the Absolute
malaparipaka [mulupuripaak]: complete removal of impurity
malina [mulin]: impure
manana [munan]: constant thinking over what has been heard; reflection; meditation; the second of the three stages of Vedantic realization
manas [munus]: mind, reason, mentality; also used for the aggregate of chitta, buddhi, manas and ahankara
mani [muni]: jewel
manolaya [munoluya]: (temporary) subsidence of the mind; dissolution of the mind into its cause
manomaya kosa [munomaaya kosh^]: sheath of mind
manonasa [munonaash^]: extinction of the mind
manonigraha [munonigruha]: rendering the mind quiescent
manta [muntaa]: thinker
mantra (mantram) [muntra(M)]: sacred syllable(s) used in meditation
mantra japa [muntra jap]: repetition of a mantra
marana [muruN]: causing death through supernatural powers
marga [maarg]: path
maru marichika [muru mureechikaa]: mirage seen in a desert
math (mutt) [ ]: meeting place; abode of Sadhus
mati [muti]: thinking power
mauna [same]: see mouna
maya [maayaa]: illusion; the power of Brahman by which it manifests the world; the veiling and projecting power of the universe
maya vada [maayaa vaad]: the doctrine of maya
mayavadi [ ]: one who says the world is an illusion
mayasakti [maayaash^ukti]: the power of maya
medha [medhaa]: intellect
mitha [ ]: non-existent
mithya [mithyaa]: the false; unreal
moda [mod]: joy which is higher than priya
moksha [mok^sh]: Liberation; freedom from transmigration
moodha [moodh]: dull
moola [mool]: root; source
mooladhara [moolaadhaar]: one of the yogic centers of the body
mouna (mauna) [same]: Silence; the Truth of Brahman, expressed by the Brahman-knower by his mere abidence in stillness
mouna diksha [ ]: initiation by silence
mriga trishna [mr^g tr^shn]: water of a mirage
mudra [mudraa]: hand pose in worship and dance
mukta [same]: one who is liberated
mukti [same]: Liberation
mula [ ]: origin; root; base
mulavidya [moolaavidyaa]: primal ignorance
mumukshu [mumuk^shu]: one who aspires to Liberation; the first stage, when the seeker feels that there is something beyond this material universe but is still identified with his body-mind; the next stage is that of the sadhaka
mumukshutva [mumuk^shutva]: desire for Liberation
muni [same]: sage; austere person
murti [same]: idol

N

na medhaya [nuh medhuya]: not by the intellect
nada [naad]: mystic sound; subtle sound accompanied by an effulgence
nadasvaram [naadusvurum]: the pipe of the South Indian piper
nadi(s) [naadi]: yogic nerves conveying the life force; main ones are Ida, Pingala and Sushumna
naham [naahum]: I am not
naishtika brahmacharya [naishtik bruhmuchurya]: lifelong celibacy
nama [naam]: name; the name of God
nama japa [naam jup]: repetition of the name of God
nama sankirtan [naam sungkeertun]: singing the names of God
nama smarana [naam smurun]: remembering and repeating the name of God
namarupa [numurup]: name and form; the nature of the world
namaskar(a) [numuskaar]: homage; prostration before God or Guru
nana [naanaa]: diversity
naraka [nuruk]: hell
nasa [naash^]: destruction
nava [nuv]: new
neti-neti [same]: "not this, not this"; negating all names and forms in order to arrive at the eternal underlying truth
nididhyasana [nididhyaasun]: the last of the three stages of vedantic realization; uninterrupted contemplation
nijananda [nijaanund]: true bliss
nirakara upasana [niraakaar upaasunaa]: meditation on the formless
nirasa [niraash^]: desirelessness
nirguna [nirgun]: without attributes
Nirgunabrahman [ ]: the impersonal, attributeless Absolute
nirguna upasana [nirgun upaasunaa]: meditation on the attributeless Brahman
nirmanakaya [ ]: the Body of Transformation in which Buddhas and Bodhisattvas take on physical characteristics similar to those of ordinary beings for the purpose of delivering such beings
nirodha [nirodh]: control
nirvana [nirvaan]: Liberation; the final state into which beings enter when, becoming Enlightened, they are no longer bound by the consciousness of an illusory ego; release from samsara
nirvikalpa samadhi [nirvikulp sumaadhi]: the highest state of concentration, in which the soul loses all sense of being different from the universal Self, but a temporary state from which there is a return to ego-consciousness
nirvikappa [ ]: without the modifications of the mind
nisarga [ ]: nature
nischala bhava [nishchulaa bhuv]: steadfastness; Eternity
nishkama, niskama [nishkaam]: desirelessness
nishkama karma [nishkaam kurm]: acts done without a motive
nishta [nishtha]: abidance in firm meditation
nitya [same]: eternal
nitya siddha [nitya siddh]: ever present
nivritti [nivr^tti]: destruction; cessation of activity
nivritti marga [nivr^tti maarg]: path of renunciation
niyama [niyum]: law, rule, discipline as ordained for the second of eight yogic stages

O
Index

om [same]: a mystic syllable, used as a mantra
owpacharika (aupacharika) [aupuchaarik]: in a worldly sense

P
Index

padarthabhavini [pudaarthaa bhaavinee]: absolute nonperception of objects; one of the seven stages of enlightenment
padmasana [pudmaasun]: the 'lotus' yogic posture
panchakshari [punchaak^shaari]: a mantra of five syllables sacred to Siva
pandit [pundeet]: learned man; scholar; man of wisdom
para [puraa]: higher; supreme; other; in Tantricism, unmanifest sound
para bhakti [puraa bhukti]: supreme devotion
para nadi [puraa naadi]: a yogic nerve
para vibhuti [puraa vibhooti]: superior vibhuti
parabraham [purubruhm]: the Absolute
Parabrahman [ ]: the Supreme Absolute
param [purum]: transcendental
paramahamsa [purumuhums]: a sannyasin who has attained Self-realization
paramakash [purumukush]: the Absolute
paramapada [purumupaad]: Supreme state
paramarthika [paarumaarthik]: Absolute; true Self
paramarthika satyam (p. satyan) [paarumaarthik sutyum]: absolute reality
paramatma(n) [purumaatma(n)]: the Supreme Self; Universal Brahman
paramita [purumit]: a means of crossing to the further shore, thereby entering Nirvana
paranchi khani [puraanchi khaani]: outgoing
parantapa [puruntup]: Arjuna, as 'he who destroys his enemy'
pareccha [purechchhaa; conjunct 'ch' and 'chh', pronounced with no vowel between]: by another's will
parinama vada [purinaam vaad]: the theory of Brahman changing into the world
parinirvana [purinirvaan]: beyond nirvana; used to indicate that the concept of nirvana as the blissful opposite of samsara doesn't point to the final realization
paripurnam [puripoornum]: the perfect state
paroksha [purok^sh]: hearsay; indirect
phala [phul; NOT ful]: fruit; the result of an act
phala chaitanyam [phul chaitunyum]: knowledge
phala data [phul daataa]: dispenser of the results of our acts
phala sruti [phul sh^ruti]: description of the result of an act
pisacha(s) [pish^uchaa]: demon(s)
pooja (see puja)
poorna (see purna)
pradakshina [pruduk^shin]: going around a sacred person or place
pradeepta [prudeept]: shining brightly
prajna [praaj^na]: consciousness; awareness; highest wisdom, transcendent wisdom; also employed as a synonym for the universal 'substance'
prajnana [pruj^naan]: full consciousness
prajnana ghana [pruj^naan ghun]: Brahman, the Absolute; immutable Knowledge
prakriti [prukriti]: nature; primal substance out of which all things are created; Maya; causal matter; also called shakti
pralaya [pruluya]: complete merging; dissolution (of the world)
pramada [prumaad]: swerving from abidance in the Absolute
pramana [prumaan]: means of valid knowledge
pramata(r) [prumaat(ur)]: knower, cognizer
pramoda [prumod]: joy higher than moda
prana [praan]: life-force, breath, vital air that goes up
pranasakti [praanush^ukti]: the power of the vital forces
pranava [prunuv]: another term for Om
pranava japa [prunuv jup]: incantation of Om
pranayama [praanaayum]: breath control
prapatti [pruputti]: surrender
prapti [praapti]: attainment
prarabdha [praarubdh]: the part of one's karma (destiny) to be worked out in this life
prasad(a) [prusaad(a)]: divine blessing; food which has been offered to God and afterwards distributed among the devotees
prasthana traya [prusthaan truya]: the threefold canon of Vedanta (Upanishads, Brahma Sutras, and Bhagavad Gita)
pratibhasika satya [praatibhaasik sutya]: illusory reality as it appears to an individual
pratikam [pruteekum]: symbol
pratikriya [prutikriyaa]: remedy
pratyabhijna [prutyubhij^na]: recognition
pratyahara [prutyaahaar]: withdrawal of senses from objectivity; fifth rung in the Raja Yoga ladder
pratyaksha [prutyuk^sh]: direct, immediate
Pratyeka-Buddha [prutyek buddh]: one who achieves Enlightenment on his own and who does not then go forth to preach the Dharma
pravritti [pruvr^tti]: pursuing what is desirable
pravritti marga [pruvr^tti maarg]: path of action
prayaschitta [praayush^chitt]: a rite for expiating sin
prayatna [pruyutna]: proper and adequate effort
prema [prem]: divine love [for God]
preta [pret]: a hungry, tantalized ghost, led by evil karma into that sad but temporary state of existence
prithvi (prthvi) [pr^thvi]: earth
priya [same]: joy; dear
puja [pooj]: reverence, honour, adoration, or worship; ceremonial worship with flowers, water, etc.
punya [same]: merit
puraka [pooruk]: inhalation
purana [puraan]: old; eighteen ancient books of stories embodying religious symbolism, attributed to Vyasa
puri [puree]: city
puriashtaka [puriushtuk]: subtle body consisting of eight phases
purna (purnam) [poorn(uM)]: full; infinite; complete
purusha (purusa) [purush]: man; spirit, soul; applied sometimes to God as the living principle; the Self which abides in the heart of all things
purushakara [purushukaar]: personal effort
purushartha [purushaartha]: human ends; objectives worthy of human pursuit (dharma, artha, kama and moksha)
purushottama [ ]: Supreme Divine Being
purva [poorv]: previous
purva paksha [poorv puk^sh]: arguments advanced by the opponent
purva samskara [poorv sumskaar]: latent tendencies

R
Index

Raja Yoga [raaj yog]: the principle system of Yoga as taught by Patanjali
rajas [rujus]: one of the three primal qualities - described as red, the principle of activity; energy; passion; restlessness
rajju-sarpa [rujju surp]: rope-snake; a rope looking like a snake in a dim light
randhra [ ]: aperature; see Brahmarandhra
rasa [rus]: bliss
rasasvada [rusaasvaad]: taste of bliss in the absence of thoughts
ravi marga [ruvi maarg]: path of the sun
rechaka [rechuk]: exhalation
rishi (rshi) [r^shi]: a seer; a sage
Rudra [rudruH]: Siva in his aspect as Destroyer
rupa [roop]: beautiful form

S
Index

sabdanuviddha [sh^ubdunuviddh]: associated with sound
sad guru [sud guru]: true guru
Sada Siva [sudaa sh^iv]: Siva as eternal goodness
sadhak(a) [saadhuk]: a spiritual aspirant; one who follows a method of spiritual discipline; the stage following mumuksku, where the seeker becomes convinced that he is the beingness or consciousness
sadhana [saadhun]: method of spiritual practice; path
sadhana-chatushtaya [saadhun chutushtuya]: the four qualifications expected in an aspirant
sadhu [saadhu]: ascetic; sage; pious or righteous man; a sanyasin
sadhu seva [saadhu sev]: service rendered to sages
sadhya [ ]: thing to be accomplished
sadsisya [sudsh^ishya]: true disciple
sadyomukti [sudyomukti]: immediate Liberation
saguna [sugun]: with attributes
saguna upasana [sugun upaasun]: meditation on Brahman with attributes
Sagunabrahman [sugunubruhm]: the Absolute conceived of as endowed with qualities
sahaja [suhuj]: natural; one's natural state
sahaja jnani [suhuj j^naani]: sage in the state of sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi
sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi [suhuj nirvikulp sumaadhi]: natural state of absorption in the Self with no concepts
sahaja samadhi [suhuj sumaadhi]: samadhi which comes naturally and is present always
sahasradala [ ]: the thousand petalled lotus; center of illumination in crown of the head
sahasrara [suhusraar]: the highest yogic center located in the brain
sajatiya [sujaateeya]: of the same kind
sakama [sukaam]: with desire
sakshat [suk^shaat]: here and now
sakshatkaram [suk^shaatkaarum]: direct realization
sakshi(n) [suk^shi(n)]: witness; the Self
sakti (shakti) [sh^ukti]: power; energy; force
sakti pata [sh^ukti paat]: descent of divine power on a person
sama [sum]: equal, common
samadhi [sumaadhi]: advanced state of meditation; absorption in the Self; Oneness; the mind becoming identified with the object of meditation
samana [ ]: one of the ten vital airs
samanya [saamaanya]: common, general, ordinary
samasta [sumust]: whole
samatva [sumutva]: equality
sambodhi [sumbodhi]: Supreme Enlightenment
sambogakaya [ ]: the body in which Enlightened Beings enjoy the rewards of liberation from worldly things and in which they can appear to other beings in insubstantial form
samjna [sumj^na]: discernment
samjnana [sumj^naan]: awareness; perception
samkalpa(s) [sumkulp]: fancies
samrajya [saamraajya]: empire
samsara [sumsaar]: the realm of relativity, transience and illusion; the process of worldly life; the bondage of life, death and rebirth
samskara(s) [sumskaar]: innate tendencies; impressions created by previous actions and thoughts
samskrta [sumskr^t]: the impermanent; Chinese yu wei
samvid [ ]: true awareness
samvit [sumvit]: consciousness; knowledge
samyak-sambodhi [sumyuk sumbodhi]: Supreme Enlightenment
samyamana [ ]: one-pointedness of mind
sanchita (s. karma) [sunchit kurm]: accumulated karma of former births that still remains to be experienced
sandeha [sundeha]: doubt
sanga [sung]: association; brotherhood
sangsara [sumsaar]: see samsara
sankalpa [ ]: intention; thought; desire; imagination; volition, mental activity, tendencies and attachments
Sankhya [saankhya]: one of the six systems of Indian philosophy
sannidhi [sunnidhi]: presence
sannyasa (sanyasa) [sunnyaas]: asceticism, renunciation
sannyasasrama [sunnyusaash^rum]: the last of the four stations of life
sannyasi(n) [sunnyaasi(n)]: an ascetic; one who belongs to the fourth stage of life
santi [sh^aanti]: peace
santodanta [ ]: one who is calm and self-controlled
sanyasin [sunnyaasin]: see sannyasin
sarira [sh^ureer]: body
sariri [sh^ureeri]: dweller in the body
sarira traya [sh^ureer truya]: the three bodies, namely the physical, subtle and causal
sarupa [ ]: with form; having form
sarva [surv]: all
sarvajna [survuj^na]: omniscient
sarvajnatvam [survuj^nutvum]: omniscience
sarvatma bhava [survaatma bhaav]: abidance in Oneness
Sarvesvara [survesh^vur]: the supreme Lord
sastra (shastra) [sh^aastra]: scripture; science; a sacred treatise or a commentary on a sutra
sat [sut]: good; existence; being; reality
sat-chit-ananda [sut chit aanund]: being-consciousness-bliss
satsang(a) [sutsung]: association with the wise
sattva (satva, sattwa) [suttva]: purity; one of the three primal qualities of prakriti - described as white
sattvapatti [sutvaaputti]: realization; one of the seven stages of enlightenment
sattvic [saattvik]: pure
satya [sutya]: Truth; the real
savikalpa samadhi [suvikulp sumaadhi]: a state of concentration in which the distinction between the knower, knowledge and known is not yet lost
sayujya [saayujya]: union; identity
shadadhara [shudaadhaar]: the six yogic centers
Shakti [sh^ukti]: see sakti, prakriti; represented mythologically as the wife of a god; Reality; Self; Power of Creation
shastra [sh^aastra]: see sastra
siddha [same]: one who has acquired supernatural powers and is capable of working miracles; a perfected Yogi
siddhi [same]: supernatural power; realization; attainment
sila [sh^eel]: the moral precepts observed by Buddhism
sishya [sh^ishya]: disciple; fit student
Siva [sh^iv]: God as destroyer and restorer of worlds
Sivoham [sh^ivohum]: I am Siva
sloka [sh^lok]: a stanza in Sanskrit; a verse of praise
Skanda [skunduH]: younger son of Siva; leader of the divine hosts
skandha [ ]: one of the five components (skandhas) of personality; inherited tendencies, physical and mental
smriti [smr^ti]: memory; scriptures other than the Vedas
soham [sohum]: I am He (Brahman)
sparsa [spursh^]: touch
sphurana (sphurna) [sphurun]: manifestation; throbbing or breaking; bursting forth; vibration
sraddha [sh^ruddhaa]: faith; earnestness
sravaka [sh^ruvuk?]: one who approaches the Dharma as a result of hearing it preached
sravana [sh^ruvun]: hearing of the Truth, from the Guru
srishti drishti [sr^shti dr^shti]: gradual creation
srota [sh^rot]: hearer
srotra [sh^rotra]: ear
sruti [sh^ruti]: sacred text; Vedas, heard by sages in their transcendental state and transmitted to disciples by word of mouth
sthitaprajna [sthitupraaj^na?]: one established in wisdom
sthiti [same]: being; existing
sthula [sthool]: gross
sthula sarira [sthool sh^ureer]: physical body
stotram [stotrum]: hymn of praise
stuti [same]: devotional singing
subhechcha [sh^ubechchh; conjunct 'ch' and 'chh']: desire for enlightenment; one of the seven stages of enlightenment
suddha [sh^uddh]: pure
suddha sattva [sh^uddh suttva]: essentially pure
suddha sattva svarupa [sh^uddh suttva svuroop]: the form of purity
sukha [same]: happiness
sukha asana [sukh aasun]: easy and comfortable sitting posture
sukshma [sook^shm]: subtle
sukshma sarira [sook^shm sh^ureer]: subtle body
sunya [sh^oonya]: blank; the Void
sunyata [ ]: the emptiness of all separate things; the impermanence and unreality of all forms
sunyavadin [sh^oonuvaadin]: nihilist
sushumna (susumna) [sushumn]: one of the yogic nerves, through which the kundalini rises
sushupti (susupti) [sushupti]: dreamless sleep
sutra [sootra]: string; aphorism; actual teaching attributed to Gautama Buddha or very occasionally someone else
suvasana [suvaasunaa]: good tendency
svagata [svugut]: within itself
svami [svaami]: see swami
svapna [svupna]: dream; dreaming state
svarga [svurg]: heaven
svaroopa (swarupa) [svuroop]: essential nature; true nature of Being; real form, unconditioned by rajas (activity) and tamas (inertia)
svarupa nishta [svuroop nishtha]: abidance in the Self
swami [svaami]: mystic or yogi; one who is in control of himself; one's own master
swaraj [svuraaj]: independence
swatantra [svutuntra]: independence
swechcha [svechchh; conjunct 'ch' and 'chh']: of one's own will

T
Index

tadakaranilai [tudaakaarunilai]: abiding in the form of That (the Self)
taijasa [taijus]: the individual being in dream; brilliance
tamas [tumus]: inertia; darkness; ignorance; ego; one of the three primal qualities - described as black
tanha [tunhaa]: thirst (for living)
tanmatra(s) [tunmaatra]: elements in their subtle forms
tanmaya [tunmuya]: full of the Self
tanmaya nishta [tunmuya nishtha]: abidance in the Self
tanumanasa [tunumaanus]: tenuous mind; one of the seven stages of enlightenment
tapas (tapasya) [tupus (tupusyaa)]: austerity
tapobhrashta [tupobhrusht]: one who has fallen away from his auterities
tapta-aya-pindavat [tupt uya pinduvut]: like a red-hot iron ball
Tat [tut]: That; Brahman
Tat tvam asi [tut tvum usi]: 'That thou art'
Tathagata [tuthaagut]: a Buddha, literally the Thus-Gone; the Suchness of all Dharmas
tathata [ ]: Suchness; essence of mind; Buddha-nature; Tao; true Self
tattva [tuttva]: truth; essence of a thing
tattva bhoda [tuttva bodh]: knowledge of the Truth
tattva jnana [tuttva j^naan]: knowledge of Brahman or Atman
tattvam [tuttvuM]: Reality; Truth
tejas [tejus]: effulgence
tejo rupa [tejo rup]: of the form of light
tejomaya [tejomuya]: full of light
tirtha [teertha]: a sacred river or tank
Tripitaka [ ]: the entire collection of Buddhist scriptures
triputi [same]: triad like seer, seen and seeing
turavu (Tamil) [turuvu]: renunciation
turiyatita (turiwateeta) [tureeyaatit]: beyond the fourth state; the Self
turya (turiya) [same]: the fourth state beyond waking, dreaming and deep sleep; ever present and unchanging witness-Consciousness
turyaga [turyugaa]: beyond words; one of the seven stages of enlightenment
tyaga [tyaag]: giving up

U
Index

udana [udaan]: one of the vital airs, having its seat in the neck, controlling the intake of food and air
udasinam [udaaseenum]: indifference
upadesa [upudesh^]: instruction or guidance of a Guru
upadhi [upaadhi]: limiting adjunct; subtitle; body-related
Upanisad(s) [upunishud]: philosophical writings forming part of the Vedas; knowledge portion of the Vedas
upasaka [upaasuk]: meditator; layman who lives according to certain strict rules
upasana [upaasun]: meditation; contemplation
upasana sthana [upaasun sthaan]: seat of meditation
uttama [ ]: highest grade

V
Index

vac (vak) [vaac]: speech
vachyartha [vaachyaartha]: literal meaning
vada [vaad]: theory; disputation
vaikhari [vaikhuri]: audible sound
Vaikuntha [vaikuntha]: the abode of Vishnu
vairagya [vairaagya]: dispassion; nonattachment
Vaishnavite (Vaishnav) [vaishnuv]: worshipper of Vishnu
vajra [vujra]: imperishable, real, ultimate; literally diamond or adamantine
Vajrayana [ ]: the school of Mahayana Buddhism prevalent in Tibet and Mongolia, commonly called Lamaism in the West
varistha [vurishtha]: the most excellent
varnasrama dharma [vurnaash^rum dhurm]: dharma of the various castes and stages of life
vasana [vaasun]: habit of the mind; latent tendency, impression or predisposition due to experiences of former lives; subtle desire
vasana kshaya [vaasun k^shuya]: cessation of vasanas
vastu [vustu]: substance; reality
vastutah [vustutuH]: in reality
Vasudeva [vaasudev]: Krishna as the son of Vasudeva, the Lord who created the world
vayu [vaayuH]: air; vital breath; the Wind god
Veda [ved]: sacred lore; scriptures revealed through the Rishis (Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Vedas)
vedana [vedunaa]: reception of sensation
Vedanta [vedaant]: absolute Truth as established by the Upanishads, Brahma Sutras, and Bhagavad Gita as interpreted by Vyasa; the end or consummation of the Vedas
veena [veen]: a stringed instrument
vibhakti [vibhukti]: separation
vibhuti [vibhooti]: sacred ashes; God's glory; supernatural power
vichara [vichaar]: inquiry into the true nature of the Self
vichara marga [vichaar maarg]: spiritual path of inquiry
vicharana [vichaarun]: investigation; one of the seven stages of enlightenment
videha mukta [videha mukt]: a liberated being after he has left the body
videha mukti [videha mukti]: Self-realization after leaving the body
vidya [vidyaa]: knowledge (of Brahman)
vijatiya [vijaatiya]: of a different kind
vijnana [vij^naan]: spiritual knowledge; discriminating the real from the unreal; principle of pure intelligence
vijnanamaya kosa [vij^naanumuya kosh^]: sheath of the intellect
vijnanatma [vij^nunutma]: the ignorant self
vijnata [vij^naataa]: knower
vikalpa(s) [vikulp]: doubt(s)
vikshepa [vik^shep]: diversity
vikshipta [vik^shipt]: distracted
vinaya [vinuya]: the discipline practiced by Buddhist monks; humility
viparita [vipureet]: contrary
virat [viraat]: macrocosm; totality of gross beings; the physical world
virya [veerya]: zeal; vitality
visesha [vish^esh]: particular; special
vishaya [vishuya]: object
Vishnu [vishnu]: God as preserver
vishya vasana(s) [-?- vaasun]: predisposition toward sense enjoyments
visishta [vish^isht]: qualified
visishtadvaitin [vish^ishtaadvaitin]: one who believes in a modified form of non-duality
visranti [vish^raanti]: repose
visva [visva]: the individual being in the waking state; the all
visvarupa (v. darsana) [visvuroop dursh^un]: God seen as the universe
vivarta vada [vivurt vaad]: theory that Brahman appears as the world, soul and God, like a rope appears as a snake, without itself undergoing any change
vivechana [vivechun]: discrimination
viveka [vivek]: wisdom; discrimination between the Real and the unreal; disciminative inquiry
viyoga [viyog]: separation
vritti [vr^tti]: modification of the mind; mental concept; thought-wave
vyakta [ ]: the karma-bound individuality
vyakti [ ]: the transient personality
vyana [vyaan]: one of the ten vital airs, causing the circulation of the blood
vyaptam [vyaaptum]: pervaded
Vyasa [ ]: the great sage who wrote the Brahma Sutras
vyashti [vyushti]: part
vyavahara (vyavaharika) [vyuvuhaar (vyaavuhaarik)]: empirical
vyavahara satya [vyuvuhaar sutya]: phenomenal existence

Y
Index

yaga [yaag]: ritualistic sacrifice
yajna [yuj^na]: sacrifice
yama [ ]: self-control; the first rung in the ladder of eightfold yoga (abstention from lying, killing, theft, lust, covetousness etc.); also, the god of death (Yama)
yoga [yog]: union (with the Supreme); literally, a yoke or discipline; the technique of meditation whereby the individual brings himself into unity with the Ultimate Reality; the four paths to this union are jnana, the path of knowledge, karma, the path of action, bhakti, the path of devotion, and raja, the royal path, which is a synthesis of the other three; the philosophy of the sage Patanjali
yoga marga(s) [yog maarg]: yogic path(s)
yoga maya [yog maayaa]: magical power
yogabhrashta [yogubhrusht]: one who has slipped from yoga
yogarudha [yogaaroodh]: one who has attained yoga
yogi [same]: follower of a path of yoga
Yogiraja [yogiraaj]: king of yogis; Sri Vasudeva
yugapat srishti [yuguput sr^shti]: simultaneous creation

 


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