Glossary


Advaita Non-duality; unicity: also a sub-division of Vedanta philosophy.
Aham 'I'.
Aham-vritti The 'I-thought', the limited feeling of 'I-ness'.
Ahamkara Ego.
Ajnana Ignorance of one's own true nature.
Ajnani One who is ignorant of his true nature.
Ananda Bliss: happiness; joy.
Asana Posture, especially a posture adopted for meditation.
Atma-Vichara Self-enquiry, the practice of scrutinizing or attending to the feeling 'I' in order to find out 'who am I'.
Atman Self, the true spiritual Self, as opposed to body-mind identity.
Avatar Divine incarnation.
Bhajan Singing of devotional songs.
Bhakti Devotion; love( of God)
Bhakti-yoga The discipline or path of devotion; the practice of loving devotion to God as the Supreme Being of Love, Peace and Grace.
Brahman Supreme Being: The Ultimate Reality; The Absolute.
Chakra One of the main yogic centers in the body.
Chit Universal consciousness.
Chitananda The bliss of pure consciousness.
Darshan The blessing derived from being in the presence of a holy person. Grace of the Self.
Dharma Teaching.
Dhyana Meditation; contemplation.
Gita Song.
Gunas The basic attributes or energetic/material qualities that underlie and operate the world process: Satva, Rajas and Tamas.
Guru A true spiritual teacher, who is one with God or the real Self.
Guru-kripa The Grace of the Guru.
Hridayam The Heart, which is the real Self.
Ishwara God; The supreme personal God of Hinduism. The Inner Being and guide.
Jagrat Waking state or waking condition.
Jagrat-sushupti The state of wakeful sleep, in which there are no thoughts but in which there is full awareness of the existence-consciousness 'I am'.
Japa Repeating the name of God; repetition of a mantra.
Jiva Self, as conditioned by body-mind; individual soul.
Jivan mukta One liberated while still alive.
Jnana Knowledge, particularly spiritual knowledge. Knowledge of the Self.
Jnani 'One who knows'; a liberated or enlightened one. It is not an experience of true Knowledge, it is Knowledge itself.
'There are no jnanis, only jnana'- Sri Ramana Maharshi.
Kama Desire; lust.
Karma Three principle meanings:
  1. action,
  2. consequences of actions,
  3. destiny.
Karma-yogi One whose actions are not motivated by desire for personal benefit or by any other kind of attachment.
Kevala nirvikalpa Samadhi A temporary state of Samadhi or Self-absorption.
Kosa Sheath; covering.
Kundalini The primordial cosmic energy located in the individual.
Lila or Leela The sport or Play of God.
Maharshi A great Sage.
Mantra A sacred formula used for japa or repetition.
Mauna Silence.
Maya Illusion.
The illusory power of appearance. The force which projects the entire world of duality and causes us to loose consciousness of our nature as Brahman, the Absolute.
The world appearance itself, and more particularly the primordial illusion of identification with the body-mind.
Moksha In Indian philosophy, the emancipated state of the jiva or individual soul; Release; freedom from the rounds of rebirth (samsara); Self-realization.
Muni Silent one; sage; jnani.
Nama Name.
Namaskar The act of obeisance.
Neti-neti 'Not this, not this', negating all names and forms in order to arrive at the eternal underlying truth.
Nirguna Without attributes.
Nirvana The state of liberation or egolessness.
Nirvikalpa Samadhi The state of Self-absorption.
Om According to Hinduism, it is the primordial sound from which all creation springs. It is the most important element in most mantras.
Pandit A learned man; a scholar; a man of wisdom.
Para Supreme.
Parabrahman The Supreme Absolute.
Prana Vital energy; vital breath.
Prarabdha Destiny, the portion of the fruit of one's actions which are allotted to be experienced in this lifetime.
Prem Divine love (for God).
Puja Worship.
Purusha The Self which abides in the heart of all beings.
Rajas One of the three aspects of cosmic energy; passion; creativity; restlessness.
Rishi A Sage.
Sadhana Spiritual practice.
Sadhu Wandering ascetic; monk.
Sahaja Natural state.
Sahaja jnani One who abides in the natural state, having attained self-knowledge.
Sahaja nirvikalpa Samadhi The permanent and natural state of Samadhi or complete Self-absorption.
Samadhi The state of Self-absorption, in which ( as defined by Sri Ramana Maharshi ) ' there is only the feeling 'I am' and no other thoughts'.
Samsara The state of mundane activity or worldly existence.
Samskara A mental impression or tendency continuing from former lives.
Sannyasa Renunciation.
Sannyasin A renunciate.
Sat Existence; Being; reality.
Sat-chit Existence-consciousness.
Sat-Guru The true teacher, no different from ones true Self; the highest Guru. The inmost Reality.
Satsang Association with the wise; being in the presence of someone who has realised the self.
Satva or Satwa Light; purity; loving kindness; compassion.
Shakti Energy; power; force of The Supreme Being.
Shanti Peace.
Siddha A perfected Yogi.
Siddhis Occult powers.
Susupti Deep sleep state.
Svapna Dream.
Swarupa Essence; essential nature; true nature of being.
Tamas The guna or quality of inertia, resistance, stupidity, ignorance; also the claiming of doer-ship; one of the three gunas.
Tattva jnani One who knows the Reality.
Turiya The state transcending waking, dreaming and sleeping; superconscious state; also called the fourth state.
Turiyatita Transcending the fourth state.
Upanishads The later and more philosophical portion of the the Vedas ( the oldest of the Hindu scriptures).
Vairagya Desirelessness; dispassion.
Vasana Mental tendencies. Latent tendencies, repressed subconscious identification; subtle desire.
Veda A scripture of the Hindus.
Vedanta The end of the Vedas.
Vichara Self-enquiry; inquiry into the nature of the Self. The quest 'Who am I?'; see 'atma-vichara'.
Vichara marga The path of self-enquiry.
Viveka Discrimination between the Real and the unreal.
Vritti Thought, activity of the mind.
Yoga Union; spiritual discipline, practice designed to purify one's mind and bring one closer to Self-realization.
Yoga-maya The power to veil the nature of something and to create an illusory appearance.
Yoga-vasishtha A renowned sacred text which expounds the path of knowledge or jnana yoga.
Yogi An adept in yoga.
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