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Advaita Non-dual; without a second. This refers to the Absolute Brahman or the Vedic philosophy that expounds the theory of non-dual Brahman.
 
AgniFire. There are many meanings of the word agni, or fire, forty of which are most prominent. Depending on  context, agni means a Brahmin, a man of wisdom, the fire of light, life breath; prana; heat; leader.
 
AhamkaraLoosely translated as ego; together, manas, buddhi, and ahamkara comprise the inner instrument known as antahakarana. It is through this inner faculty that one identifies oneself with the objects of the world, such as \"I am this body\" or \" That is my chair \". More strictly, in Shamkhya and Yoga philosophy it is the \"I-maker\". It refers to a function of mind through which pure consciousness, purusha, falsely identifies itself with non-self, material objects.
 
AjnaThe centre (chakra) between the eyebrows; the seat of mind; the centre of consciousness that receives the wisdom from the higher chakra, sahasrara.
 
AkashaSpace or aether; the fifth of the five tattvas or gross elements (earth, water, fire, air, space/aether).
 
AnahataThe heart centre , associated with the air element ; the centre located between the upper and lower hemispheres of the body ,in the region of the heart. Students of the Mishra school of Tantra perform their mental worship at this chakra.
 
Ananda

Happiness, bliss, joy, sensual pleasure, \"pure happiness\", one of the three attributes of Atman or Brahman in the Vedanta philosophy Vedantas.

 
Androgyne ANDROGYNE the combined total of all complementary forces perfectly united. The word androgyne is related to the Greek „androgynos“ (woman and man in one being), coming from the roots „andros“ (from the genitive „ander“, man) and „gyne“ (woman).

 
Annamaya kosha

The physical body. The same as Sthula Sharira or the physical body. It is the first \"sheath\" of the five sheaths accepted by the Vedantins, a sheath being the same as that which is called \"principle\" in Theosophy.

 
AntahkaranaThe psychological apparatus (the \"inner organ\") of the individual.
 
ApanaDownward moving pranic force; function of prana that tends to move downward. Also identified with exhalation.
 
Archetype

Primordial and original divine model, ideal and causal of the beings and sensitive objects.

The word archetype is linked to the Greek archetypon (original model) formed through the Greek root arché (first, original, ancient) and typos (model, type). From the spiritual point, the archetypes are divine principles, original universal „images”, which can be transposed in conscious formulas, transmitted traditionally within some doctrines or initiations.

 
Aspiration A ferm intention, an inclination that is well realized with an increased quote of performance and self realisation, psyho-mental, emotional stability-voluntary, focused value, presenting an ideal layout design.
 
Astral “The Astral” or “Astral Level” is a subtle vibratory universe having the predominant subtle frequency vibration more elevated than that of the physical universe, but lower than that of the causal universe. The astral Universe is reflected in the human being MICROCOSM , among others, in the  dynamics of emotions, desires, thoughts and feelings that fall within the scope of individuality.
 
Astral body This is the subtle extension or SUBTLE SPHERE of influence of the energetical subtle body. It is successfully used – amongst others – in the distant psychic percerption, where can be suddently transferred through ASTRAL DE-DUBING. As much so as the physical and etherical body, the astral body has a complex cover of fine channels (NADIS).
 
Atharva VedaThe fourth book of the Vedas which, in addition to spiritual wisdom, also focuses on modern sciences of the Mundaka Upanishad.
 
Atman

1. The divine element in man; the real Self of everyone.

2. Pure Consciousness, the pure Self, the unchanging, eternal Truth that is beyond the entire manifest world.

 
AUMSound that represents the Absolute Brahman . According to the Upanishads , the word AUM consists of three letters \"A ,U, and M\" representing waking , dreaming ,and deep sleep .After the word AUM , there comes a state of silence that represents Absolute or transcendent Reality, Brahman.
 
AvidyaIgnorance, lack of knowledge, mistaking the unreal for the real. The words avidya and maya in Vedanta philosophy refer to the force through which the universe evolves. At the individual level, it is called avidya; at the cosmic level, it is called maya. It is through this force that the pure, infinite, and immortal soul considers itself to be limited.
 
BhaktiLove and devotion; love for God. Bhakti is of two kinds: lower bhakti and higher bhakti. The lower bhakti consists of chanting the name of the lord, doing japa, reciting holy scriptures, serving God through one\\\'s thought, speech and action; the higher bhakti is a state of ecstasy in which the yogi remains infused with the love of the divine. Bhakti yoga is considered to be one of the major paths of yoga, since it places its main emphasis on love for God. All other disciplines are secondary to love and devotion to God.
 
BhavaEmotion, mood, devotional state of mind, feeling. This refers to the aspirant\'s emotional life, which in the practice of jnana or raja yoga, is controlled in order to transcend the spheres of the mind and intellect. In bhakti yoga, however, bhava is neither controlled nor suppressed, but is transformed into devotion and channelled to the Lord.
 
Bija Mantra Seed subtle sounds which make possible the vibration in “sintonance\\\", and which are received directly from a competent spiritual guide. The mysterious essence of a particular aspect of the Supreme Reality is found concentrated in the phonemes of a BIJA-MANTRA which takes the form of a symbol sound. These symbolic sounds always rely on subtle connections and analog correlation between man and the Universe bear with them certain specific energy, subtle, cosmic that can be perceived, acquired or used by the yogi who uses adequately and properly these BIJA MANTRA-e.
 
BrahmaThe Creator. According to Indian philosophy, the first evolute of unmanifest Brahman, the Absolute Reality, is Brahma, who through his sankalpa shakti brings forward all of creation.  He is also the first teacher, the one who imparted the first spiritual wisdom to the sages.
 
Brahmacharya

The word brahmacharya is understood in yoga as \\\"sexual continence\\\", which can be understood as being applicable in relation to preserving and sublimating sexual energy rather than losing it through mens ejaculation or through the explosive loss of orgasmic secretions in women.

In yoga, the term brahmacharya tends to take on a connotation of disciplining the use of and preserving sexual energy. Brahmacharya is discussed in Patanjali\\\'s Yoga Sutras as one of the 5 Yamas, the foundational commitments for the practice of yoga. According to the Yoga Sutras, the end-result or fruit of Brahmacharya practised to perfection is unbounded energy or vitality.

 
BrahmanThe absolute Reality, pure consciousness or the Truth that lies beyond names and forms. The Brahman of the Upanishads transcends the concept of God as found in most religions, being a pure witness and the only Reality. The universe emerges from Brahman and ultimately merges into Brahman. Throughout, Brahman is uninvolved and eternal - the underlying unitary Truth behind all diversities. The word Ishvara, or God, is the manifest state of Brahman. However, metaphysically, Brahman transcends the whole manifest world, including God.
 
BrahmanaBrahmana should not be confused with the word Brahman, from which it is derived. Brahman has two meanings: 1) it refers to a class of people who are inclined to spiritual study and practice, who devote their lives to attain Brahman realization; 2) a group of Sanskrit texts devoted to the interpretation of Vedic hymns. In contrast to Upanishadic literature, brahmana texts provide a ritualistic interpretation and application of Vedic mantras.
 
Brahmarandra \"The divine (BRAHMA-ic) opening (RANDHRA)\" of the being; this actually represents the superior opening of the essential subtle energy channel of the human being (SUSHUMNA NADI), which is located in the area of the crown of the head (in subtle level), at the level of the FONTANEL.
 
BrahminDuring the Vedic period, this word meant \"knower of Brahman\" or \"one who had devoted his entire life to the study of the Vedas and the realisation of Brahman\". In later periods, it referred to the priestly class in Indian society.
 
BudhiIntellect; the faculty of discrimination. One of the aspects of the antahakarana, the inner faculty through which a human being makes decisions.
 
Chakra

Secret subtle power centre

Literally, in the Sanskrit language, the word CHAKRA means „wheel” or „circle”. In YOGA the term CHAKRA defines the enigmatic reality of a secret subtle power centre, through which the vital subtle energy (PRANA) flows. When it is awakened in an adequate way, through a secret power centre (CHAKRA) can pass even the enigmatic energy KUNDALINI, which influences both the HUMAN BODY, and the astral and causal body of the human being. The secret subtle power centres (CHAKRA-s) are focal meeting points and interconnections of the physical with the psychic, mental and causal plans. These fundamental power centres accumulate, transform and redistribute the modulated subtle energy which travels through them. Even though the CHAKRA-s influences in a certain way the endocrine glands and some physical organs (as for example the heart and solar plexus), it is good to not confuse them with these organs, because CHAKRA-s belong to another level of the phenomenal world.

 
ChittaMind. The word chitta is a general term used for mind, which includes manas (lower mind), ahamkara (ego), and buddhi (intellect). Sometimes it is used in the sense of the unconscious mind, the storehouse of all the subtle impressions of one\'s thoughts, speech and actions.
 
CitConciousness Absolute.
 
Conscience According to the non-dualist YOGA schools, this supreme Conscience (part or sparkle from GOD) is totally blissful (ANANDA) and overwhelmingly real (SAT). About it Jesus says: “Know the TRUTH as only the TRUTH will set you free”. It cannot be known from outside but it can be realised from inside. The full realisation or the real revelation of the Eternal Self (ATMAN) is the Alfa and Omega of all forms of YOGA.
 
DakshinaOfferings made in return for spiritual teaching, or at traditional ceremonies.
 
DarshanaA vision, revelation, or a philosophy; to have a glance at a respected person, such as a sage.
 
DevaCelestial being, a bright being. According to the Upanishads, the powers of the senses are devas since they illuminate the objects of the world and bring them into the realm of experience and awareness. Indra, the god of the devas, is the mind, which presides over the other devas (the senses).
 
DevasThe lesser gods; deities presiding over the individual forces of Nature.
 
DharmaDuty; virtuous deeds, righteous acts, rules and laws that help one sustain personal as well as interpersonal well- being.
 
DhyanaMeditation; one-pointed state of mind that is not disturbed by any thought constructs.
 
DurgaThe consort of Shiva.
 
DvaishaAversion.
 
DvaitaDuality
 
Dvapara yugaThe third of the four cycles of creation, in which the rituals first started and were considered the means to liberation.
 
GandharvasThe celestial musicians.
 
GayatriThe most sacred prayer of the Vedas.
 
Gayatri mantraThe famous mantra that first appears in the Yajur Veda, it is considered to be the mother of all of the Vedas.
 
GovindA name of Shri Krishna.
 
GunaIntrinsic characteristics of prakriti, primordial nature; there are three gunas: sattva, rajas, and tamas.
 
GuruSpiritual teacher. Gu means ignorance, ru means one who dispels.Thus a guru is a learned master who dispels the darkness of a student\'s ignorance.
 
HiranyagarbhaThe shining being in whom the whole universe lives in its dormant state. Hiranyagarbha is also known as Brahma, the creator.
 
IshvaraGod; inner controller; the Lord. In Vedanta philosophy, Brahman accompanied by maya is called Ishvara. Therefore, Ishvara is called saguna Brahman.
 
IshvarapranidhanaSurrender to God. One of the components of the path of kriya yoga as outlined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. However, according to bhakti yoga, surrender to God alone can lead one to the highest state of realisation.
 
JagatThe Creation; literally \"the moving thing\".
 
JapaRepetition of one\'s mantra; constant japa is a great technique of makingthe mind one-pointed. Japa as a practice is complete in itself provided it is done with knowledge and with full devotion.
 
JivaThe embodied soul.
 
Jivan-muktaA freed jiva; one who has attained release from the bondage of sansara during his life.
 
JivatmanThe individual soul is called jivatman as long as it uses the vehicle of the mind which, in association with ignorance (avidya), conceives itself to be limited.
 
Jnana YogaThe path of pure intallect; it is possible only when an aspirant purifies the higher buddhi.
 
Joy Intense state of mental and emotional satisfaction that can occur due to internal or external reasons, getting amplified in the human being due to the resonatory process and the assimilation in the human being Microcosm, of the subtle specific energies of the joy and satisfaction from MACROCOSMS.
 
KamaThe last of the four yugas (ages) in the cycle of creation, characterised by a decline of virtues and righteousness; faith and devotion are the means to liberation in the kali yuga.
 
KarmaAction. Karma includes the law of actions and reactions, the driving forces of one\'s present and future. According to yoga traditions, karma that is performed with a selfish motive brings about bondage, while performing the same karma selflessly for the sake of duty alone brings freedom.
 
Karma yogaPath of selflessness. The \"discipline of action\" in which selfless action without desire for personal gain is cultivated. In this way one gradually cuts back on the number of new impressions (the seeds of future action and of rebirth). One\'s actions are gradually purified as meditation is slowly brought into active life.
 
Karma yogiOne who has learned to do his or her duties as selfless actions and with attention constantly fixed on the centre of consciousness within.
 
KaulaA school of Tantra that emphasises external rituals or uses external objects as means for spiritual achievement.
 
KoshaSheath. The five levels of human existance. The five koshas or sheaths cover the effulgent Brahman or atman. They are the annamaya kosha (physical body), pranamaya Kosha (energy sheath), manomaya kosha (mental or emotional sheath), jnanamaya kosha (intellectual sheath ) and the anandamaya kosha (blissful sheath).
 
KrishnaThe divine incarnation whose life is described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam. His boyhood and youth were spent amidst the groves of Brindavan. He is often represented playing a flute, mystically representing his creative power.
 
KriyaAction, activity, as kriya yoga - a path of action. In hatha and kundalini yoga, kriya refers to certain pranayama and cleansing techniques; in Patanjali\'s system of yoga, it refers to the practice of austerity, self-study, and surrender to God.
 
KundaliniThe inner fire, the dormant fire , coiled energy. Kundalini in its dormant state resides at the base of the spine in an area called the kunda. By following a systematic discipline of pranayama, meditation and mantra japa , one prepares oneself for kundalini awakening . At the completion of preparation, with the help of a competant master, this force is awakened and led to the sahasara chakra where jivatman , the individual self, unites with Brahman.
 
LingamSign, symbol. Lingam also refers to the oval shaped light that resides in the cave of the heart. In an external sense, it also refers to the shiva lingam. Symbolically, the shape of the individual soul is said to be like a lingam. Since Brahman is Absolute, without name or form, it is called alingam.
 
MahabharataFamous epic written in Sanskrit, consisting of 100,000 verses.
 
ManasMind. One of the inner instruments that receive information from the external world with the help of the senses and present it to the higher faculty of intellect. This particular faculty is characterised by doubt.
 
ManipuraThe chakra that is \"filled with jewels\"; naval centre; the centre of the fire element; the solar plexus.
 
Manomaya koshaThe mental or emotional sheath. One of the five sheaths or koshas that cover the effulgent Brahman or Atman.
 
MantraThere are two meanings for mantra: 1) Divine seed syllables which, through constant repetition and remembrance, lead students toward higher spiritual achievement. A set of syllables, sounds, or words received from the teacher during initiation for meditation and spiritual advancement, and 2) the earliest part of Vedic literature, called mantra, or hymns, which is collected into four books , the Rig, Yajur, Sama , and Atharva Vedas.
 
MayaThe power of Brahman through which its infinity is veiled and the finite world is projected. On a cosmic level it is maya, on the individual level it is avidya.
 
MokshaLiberation; freedom from bondage. According to the Upanishads, the final stage of liberation can be attained only through knowledge of the Absolute, para vidya.
 
MuladharaThe root chakra at the base of the spine; the centre for the earth element; the centre that is the base of worship for the Kaula school of Tantra.
 
NadiEnergy channel; one of the subtle channels of the body.
 
NirgunaWithout attributes; pure transcendent Brahman, as opposed to saguna Brahman, Brahman with attribute.
 
ParamatmanThe highest Self, the Absolute Self, Brahman, the soul at the cosmic level, in contrast to jivatman, the soul at the individual level.
 
ParvatiEternal consort of Shiva; another name of Shakti.
 
PrakritiPrimordial substance. The stuff out of which both mind and matter have been evolved.
 
PramadaInertia, laziness or sloth, and carelessness, which are the prime enemies of a sadhaka.
 
PranaThe life force. In the yogic tradition, the life force prana is said to be tenfold, depending on its nature and function. Of the ten, prana and apana are the most important. Prana is ordinarily identified with inhalation and exhalation. According to the Bhagavad Gita, a yogi should balance and control the movement of prana and apana in order to have control over the modifications of the mind and thus attain samadhi.
 
Pranamaya koshaEnergy sheath. On of the five sheaths, or koshas, that cover the effulgent Brahman or Atman.
 
PranayamaExpansion of, or voluntary control over the pranic force. Breath control; breathing exercise; the fourth rung of raja yoga. The science of gradually lengthening and controlling the physical breath in order to gain control over the movements of prana through the subtle body in higher stages of the practice. It is the fourth of the eight steps of yoga described by Patanjali.
 
PrasadConsecrated food which is distributed after a traditional ceremony.
 
PuranasHindu epic poems.
 
PurushaPure Consciousness,\"One who sleeps in the city of life\" \"That which fills all, that which dwells in the body (puranatvat)\", The cosmic Self.
 
RagaDesire under the form of attachment.
 
Raja yogaRoyal path; the eightfold path of yoga as described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras.
 
RajasOne of the three gunas that compose the universe and all in it: The rajastic aspect refers to the human aspect in man ,in contrast to the animal and divine aspects in him. The rajastic guna is characterised by vibration, activity, and motion.
 
RamaThe divine incarnation whose story is told in the Ramayana.
 
Rig VedaThe earliest section of the Vedas, also known as Rigveda Samhita. The other three, the Yajur, Sama, and Artharva Vedas, derive more than half of their contents from the Rig Veda. This is the section that concerns itself with the mantras, along with the rules for their pronunciation and recitation.
 
SadhanaPractice, spiritual endeavor. Literally, \"accomplishing\" or \"fulfilling\". Sadhana is the word for a student\'s sincere efforts along a particular path of practice toward self- realisation.
 
SahasraraThe crown chakra; the thousand- petalled lotus, located at the crown of the head.
 
SamadhiSpiritual absorption; the eighth rung of raja yoga. The state in which the yogi is aware of the process of meditation, and the meditator, is samadhi with seed. When the yogi merges into unitary consciousness, it is samadhi without seed.
 
SamskaraSubtle impressions of one\'s own past karmas, or actions. The innermost wall of the city of life is constructed by the samskaras that hold the aspirant\'s attachments and pleasure-seeking desires.
 
SannyasinA monk who has given up the pleasure of illusion.
 
Satya yugaThe first of the four yugas (ages) in a cycle of creation. In the satya yuga, knowledge was the means to liberation.
 
Sexual continence

Superior capacity to fully control the creative-sexual potential

THE SEXUAL CONTINENCE - represents a superior attitude of refraining, restraint and control fully aware of the sexual function, both by man and woman by implying sexual contact with the attainment of a number of orgasms by those two (in unison or separately) but not completed by male ejaculation or by losing explosively the creative potential specifically for female. This superior way to live the sexual act, without exhaustion, allows TRANSMUTATION of the biological sexual, creative potential in higher forms of vital, emotional, mental and spiritual energy, because of the ineffable processes of inner SUBLIMATION.

 
ShaktiDivine force, power of Brahman, creative force of the Absolute Truth.
 
Shankara AcharyaThe famous Shankaracharya during his short life established four great monastries in the North , South , East and West of India . These are still in existence , and the Abbot of each is known as the Shankara Acharya
 
ShantiSpiritual peace.
 
ShastraA scripture, or revealed Text.
 
ShivaGod in his aspect as Destroyer of the Universe; also the Lord of Yogis and the Destroyer of ignorance. Supreme Consciousness without any attributes.
 
SiddhiAccomplishment, perfection, achievement. In practicing yoga, as one progresses toward the centre of consciousness, several supernatural capacities unfold, which can be very attractive and distracting. The goal of yoga is to not become caught by the siddhis, but to go beyond.
 
SomaAn aspect of life-sustaining energy; that which fuels the fire of life. In the Upanishads, soma is said to drip from sahasrara chakra; it is imbibed by the coiled energy -kundalini shakti- at muladhara , intoxicating her.
 
Spiritual path The spiritual path of a human being which aspires sincerely towards GOD is almost always conceived as a road or a path that always starts from the individual state of ignorance (AVIDYA) and in an ascendant way it goes (leads) towards the true reaching of divine wisdom and perfect spiritual illumination.
 
StotraA vers.
 
SuryaThe sun; solar energy.
 
SushumnaThe central energy channel or nadi that runs along the spinal column from the baseto the brahmarandra, at the crown of the head.
 
SwadhisthanaThe sexual power centre.
 
SwadhyayaSelf study, study of the Self, study by oneself, constant japa of the mantra received from a teacher, contemplating the meaning of the mahavakyas, the great sentences of the Upanishads.
 
Swami(ji)Monk or devotee, adept of the spiritual order of swami.
 
TamasOne of the attributes of primordial nature, prakriti. Energy that tends to move downward. Its qualities are stability, stagnation, dullness, inertia, darkness, stasis, stupor.
 
TapasLoosely translated as austerities or penance, the word tapas literally means to shine, to glow, and heat. In a spiritual tradition, this word refers to the discipline that helps one to attain control over one\'s senses and mind, become vibrant, and overcome one\'s weaknesses. It is certainly different from penance or even austerity which, in religious contexts, usually implies self-mortification. The basic purpose of tapas is to transcend the pairs of opposites such as heat/cold and pleasure/pain, and at a physical level, unfold the hidden potentials of body, mind and senses in order to become more creative in life.
 
TattvaElement. There are five elements: earth, water, fire, air and space.
 
Treta yugaThe second of the four yugas (ages) in a cycle of creation, characterised by the performance of tapas as a means to liberation.
 
TuriyaThe fourth, highest , transcendent state of consciousness, transcending the ordinary states: waking, dreaming and deep sleep. This refers to the experience of samadhi or the state of spiritual illumination.
 
UpanishadsThe last phase of the development of Vedic literature. The section of Vedic literature that emphasizes the path of knowledge.
 
VasudevaA name of God personified: literally \"God of the Real\" - the Real Indweller, the Supreme Self. Also the name of Shri Krishna\'s father.
 
VayuAir; vital energy; breath. Vayu also refers to practices related to pranayama.
 
VedantaThe system of Indian philosophy that expounds the theory of non-dualism. The philosophy of the Vedas, contained in the Upanishads.
 
Vedanta SutrasFirst systematic written record of the Vedas as a philosophy, compiled by Vyasa.
 
VedasThe revealed scriptures of Hinduis.
 
VicharaContemplation, right thinking, discrimination.
 
VidyaKnowledge. There are two kinds of vidya: para vidya, higher knowledge of Brahman, and apara vidya, the lower knowledge of the manifest aspect of reality.
 
VishnuGod, the Preserver and Sustainer of the Universe.
 
VishuddhaThroat centre; centre of the space element.
 
VrittiA technical term meaning a modification of the mind. An idea or thought complex. Mental life is composed of a succession of such thoughts continually rising into consciousness from the unconscious region, where they remain latent as sanskaras, impressions.
 
VyasaThe famous sage and philosopher who is considered to be the author of all the Puranas, the Brahma Sutras and who also first compiled and organised Vedantic mantras. According to some scholars, Vyasa is the name of a tradition or institution devoted to philosophical and spiritual studies.
 
Yajur VedaThe section of the Vedas that is devoted mainly to ritual ceremonies and external worship.
 
YugaA measurement of time consisting of several thousand years.
 


Definition