ABHIMANA: Egoism, identification with the body.
ABHYASA: Spiritual practice.
ADHIKARI: A qualified person.
ADHISHTHANA: Substratum, support.
ADHYASA: Superimposition or false attribution of properties of one thing on another thing.
AHIMSA: Non-injury in thought, word and deed. Click here for a more detailed explanation.
AISVARYA: Divine powers.
AJARAM: Without old age.
ALABDHABHUMIKATVA: The feeling that it is impossible to see reality.
AMARA-PURUSHA: Immortal being.
ANAHATA: Mystic sound heard by Yogis.
ANANDA: Bliss, happiness, joy.
ANANDA-GHANA: Cloud of bliss.
ANANDA-SVARUPA: Of the form of bliss.
ANANDAMAYA: Full of great happiness.
ANTAHKARANA: Internal instrument such as mind, intellect, ego and the subconscious mind.
ANTARATMAN: Inner Self.
ANTARYAMIN: Inner witness.
ARHATA: A perfected Soul.
ASAMPRAJNATA: Highest superconscious state where the mind is completely annihilated and Reality experienced.
ASANA: A bodily pose or posture.
ASHRAM: A hermitage; monastery.
ASHTANGA: Eight limbs. Click here for a discourse on Raja Yoga / Ashtanga Yoga.
ATMA-JNANA: Knowledge of the Self.
ATMA-SVARUP: The essential nature of the Self.
ATMAN: The Self.
AVADHUTA: A naked sage.
AVARANA: Veil of ignorance.
AYURVEDA: The ancient Indian science of medicine.
BENARES: A holy pilgrimage centre of Hindus, now called Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India.
BHAGAVAD-GITA: A scripture containing Lord Krishna’s teachings.Click here to view an online version.
BHAGAVATA: Name of a Purana (sacred work dealing with the doctrines of creation, etc.)
BHAJAN: Devotional song
BHAKTA: Devotee of God
BHAVA(NA): Feeling; mental attitude.
BHAYANAKA-SABDA: A fear inducing sound.
BHUMA: The Unconditioned, the Great Infinite, Brahman.
BHUTA-SIDDHI: A psychic power by which mastery is gained over the elements.
BODHISATTVA: A being who, having developed the Awakening Mind (a mind infused with the aspiration to attain the state of Buddhahood), devotes his life to the task of achieving Buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings.
BRAHMA-CHINTANA: Constant thinking of Brahman.
BRAHMA-JNANA: Direct Knowledge of Brahman.
BRAHMA-NISHTHA: One who is established in the Knowledge of Brahman.
BRAHMA-SROTRI: One who has knowledge of the Vedas and the Upanishads.
BRAHMA-SUTRAS: Classical Vedantic scripture.
BRAHMA-TEJAS: Spiritual halo.
BRAHMA-VIDYA: The science of Brahman, knowledge of Brahman, learning pertaining to Brahman or the Absolute Reality. Click here for an essay on Brahma Vidya.
BRAHMACHARYA: Practice of celibacy. Purity in thought, word and deed. Click here for a discourse on Brahmacharya.
BRAHMAMUHURTA: Period from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.
BRAHMAN: The Absolute Reality; God.
BRIHADARANYAKA: Name of an Upanishad.
BUDDHA: One who is totally purified from all defilements and who has realized all that can be known.
CHAITANYA: Pure Consciousness.
CHAKRAS: Centres of energy in the human system.
CHANDOGYA: Name of an Upanishad.
CHIRANJIVI: One who has gained eternal life.
CHITTA: Subconscious mind.
DAMA: Control of senses.
DEVAS: Celestial beings.
DHARMA: Righteous way of living as enjoined by the sacred scriptures, virtue.
DIVYA-DRISHTI: Divine perception.
DVESHA: Repulsion; hatred; dislike.
EKADASI: Eleventh day of the Hindu lunar fortnight. Click here for a discourse on the significance of Ekadasi.
GANGA: River Ganges.
GAYATRI: One of the most sacred Vedic Mantras; goddess.
GITA: Renowned sacred text “Bhagavad-Gita”. Click here to view an online version.
GUNA: Quality born of nature.
GURU: Teacher; preceptor. Click here for a more detailed explanation.
HAVAN: Sacred oblations.
HIRANYAGARBHA: Cosmic intelligence; the supreme lord of the universe; cosmic mind.
INDRA: The Lord of gods; the ruler of heaven.
ISHVARA: Lord; God.
JAPA: Repetition of the Lord’s Name.
JIVA: Individual Soul.
JIVANMUKTA: One who is liberated in this life.
JNANA: Knowledge; wisdom.
JNANA-INDRIYAS: Organs of knowledge or perception.
JNANI: (Pronounced Nyani) A wise person.
KAIVALYA: Emancipation; state of absolute independence.
KARMA: Actions operating through the law of cause and effect. Click here for a discourse on Karma Yoga.
KARMA-INDRIYAS: Organs of action – tongue, hands, feet, genital organ and anus.
KARMA-KANDI: One who observes strictly the duties ordained in the scriptures.
KARMASRAYA: Receptacle of actions.
KASHAYA: Hidden desires.
KIRTAN: Singing devotional songs.
KRIYA: A type of of exercise in Hatha Yoga.
KUNDALINI: The primordial cosmic energy located in the individual.
KUTIR: A small cottage; hut.
LAYA: Merging; dissolution.
LINGA-SARIRA: The subtle body, the astral body.
MAHABHARATA: A Hindu epic.
MAHANT: Great sage
MAHAPURUSHA: A great soul.
MAHARISHI: Great sage
MAHASAMADHI: The departure of a Self-realized saint from his mortal coil.
MAHATMA: Great soul
MANONASA: Destruction of mind.
MANTRA: Sacred syllable or word, or set of words through the repetition and reflection of which one attains perfection.
MAYA: The illusive power of God. Click here for a more thorough explanation.
MOUNA: Vow of silence.
MOUNI: One who observes silence.
MUMUKSHU: One who aspires after moksha or liberation.
MUNI: An ascetic.
NADA: Mystic sound.
NIRODHA: Control or restraint.
NIRVANA: Liberation; final emancipation.
NIRVIKALPA-SAMADHI: Superconscious state where there is no modification of the mind or Triputi.
NITYA-SIDDHA: A liberated soul of marvellous powers who is ever present on the astral plane.
NIYAMA: The second step in Raja Yoga; observance – purity, contentment, austerities, etc.
OJAS: Spiritual energy.
OM: The sacred monosyllable which symbolizes Brahman.
OORDHVARETA: A Yogi who has stored up the seminal energy in the brain after sublimating the same into spiritual energy.
PARIVRAJAKA: Wandering monk.
PARAM-DHAMA: Supreme abode.
PARAMAHAMSA: The highest class of Sannyasins.
PASU-SVABHAVA: Animal nature; bestial nature.
PATANJALI: The author of Yoga-Sutras. Click here for a discourse on Patanjali’s Raja Yoga / Ashtanga Yoga.
PRAKRITI: Mother Nature, causal matter.
PRANA: Vital energy; life-breath.
PRANAVA: The sacred monosyllable Om.
PRANAYAMA: Practice of breath-control.
PRATYAHARA: Abstraction of senses; fifth step in Raja Yoga.
PREMA: Divine Love.
PURANA: Hindu myths and legends.
PURNA-JNANI: A full-blown sage.
PURNA-YOGI: A full-blown yogi.
PURUSHA: The Supreme Being.
RAJAS: One of the three qualities of Prakriti which generates passion and restlessness.
RAJA-YOGA: A system of Yoga generally taken to be the one propounded by Patanjali Maharishi, i.e., Ashtanga Yoga. Click here for a discourse on Raja Yoga/Ashtanga Yoga.
RAJASUYA-YAJNA: A sacrifice performed by a monarch as a mark of his subduing all other kings.
RAMAYANA: A holy narative of Lord Rama.
RASASVADA: Tasting the bliss of lower Samadhi.
RISHIKESH: A sacred place in the Himalayas.
SADHAKA: Spiritual aspirant.
SADHANA: Spiritual practice. Click here for a discourse on Sadhana.
SADHU: Pious man; Sannyasin.
SAHASRANAMA: The thousand Names of the Lord.
SAKTI: Power; the feminine aspect of Divinity.
SAKTI-SANCHAR: Transference of power by a developed Yogi.
SAMA: Serenity; control of mind.
SAMADHI: The state of superconsciousness where Absoluteness is experienced attended with all-knowledge and joy. Oneness.
SAMSARA: The process of worldly life.
SAMSKARAS: Impressions in the subconscious mind.
SAMYAMA: Perfect restraint, an all-complete condition of balance and repose, concentration, meditation and Samadhi.
SANKARA: The well known teacher of Vedanta philosophy. Click here for a biography.
SANKIRTAN: Singing of divine songs.
SANNYASINS: Those who have embraced the life of complete renunciation.
SATCHIDANANDA: Existence absolute(Sat), Knowledge absolute(Chid), Bliss absolute(Ananda).
SATSANG: Association with the wise.
SATTVA: Purity-one of the three qualities of nature.
SATYA-YUGA: the Age of Truth, the first of the four Hindu time-cycles.
SIDDHI: Psychic power.
SIVA: Lord Siva – bestower of auspiciousness on His devotees.
SRI: Auspiciousness-a name is qualified by putting “Sri” before it as a mark of courtesy and auspiciousness.
SUSHUMNA: The chief among astral tubes in the human body running inside the spinal column.
SVADHYAYA: Study of scriptures.
SVARUPA: Essential nature; Reality.
TAMAS: One of the three qualities of nature which generates inertia, laziness, dullness and infatuation.
TANMATRA: Subtle, undifferentiated root elements of matter.
TAPASCHARYA: Practice of austerity.
TATTVA: Essence; principle.
TEHSILDAR: Revenue officer.
TRIPUTI: The triad-seer, sight and seen.
TURIYA: The state of superconsciousness, the fourth state transcending the waking, dreaming and deep sleep states.
TYAGA: Renunciation (of egoism, desires and the world).
UDDALAKA: A great sage of yore.
UPADESA: Spiritual advice.
UPANISHADS: Revelation; text dealing with Ultimate Truth and Its Realization.
VASANAS: Subtle desires.
VEDANTA: The school of Hindu thoughts (based primarily on the Upanishads).
VEDANTIN: One who follows the path of Vedanta
VEDAS: The most ancient authentic scripture of the Hindus, a revealed scripture and therefore free from imperfections.
VEERYA: Seminal energy.
VICHARA: Enquiry into the nature of the Self, Truth, Absolute, Brahman.
VIKSHEPA: The tossing of mind.
VRITTI: A wave in the mind-lake.
VYAVAHARA: (Worldly) activity.
YAJNAVALKYA: A great sage of yore.
YAMA: First step in Raja Yoga; Eternal vows – non-violence, truthfulness, etc.
YOGA: Union; union with the Supreme Being – any course that makes for such union. Click here for a discourse on Yoga.
YOGI (N): One who practices Yoga; one who is established in Yoga.