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Last updated Dec/2020
Commonly used Sanskrit words for Yoga and Dharma studies
Sanskrit is thought to be the world's first language from which all have evolved or been influenced by. The sounds are primal and focused on describing a world view based on the intrinsic nature of matter, and an internal world view describing the nature of mankind.
"Buddha" is the name which was awarded to Siddhartha due to his "awakened" "enlightened" state and so he became "Buddha" the "awakened one". The Sanskrit "Bud" and "Buddha" meaning "awakened" is seen throughout the European languages - Bulgaria - Budya - Serbian - Budan - Slovenia - Buden - Croatia - Budna - Lithuania - Budrus - Bosnia - Buden - Macedonia - Buden - Polish - Budzik - Russian - Budit - Slovak - Pre-budit - Czech - Pro-budit - Belorussia - A-budzany - Ukraine - Budyty - All meaning "awake" and all reflecting this Sanskrit "Bud" and "Buddha" meaning "awakened" "enlightened".Buddhi: the intellect that functions - thinks in relation to all stored memories - "intelligence" "reason" "perception" "realisation". In the Vedas we have "Buddhi yoga" meaning "one who links to the Supreme through intelligence"
Chakra: a nerve center along the confluence of the nadis within the human body.
Channeling: the process of receiving communication from an infinite number of dimensional realities. This communication can be expressed via writing, verbal relay, artwork, music composition, and any creative expression.
Chidakasha: a psychic space in front of the closed eyes, just behind the forehead.
Chin mudra: hand gesture in which the first finger is kept at the root of the thumb, the last three fingers are unfolded.
Chitta: mind without memory or pure intelligence. It connects to the basis of creation within you connecting you with your consciousness and may be referred to as cosmic intelligence. Chitta maintains our autonomic nervous system - breath, heart etc.
Chit Shakti: The power of chitta. If you are in touch with your chitta, this will make your life flow beautifully.
Dakini: Yogini or female Tantrica, attendant to the Goddess, commonly used to describe a sexual Priestess (Daka would be a male priest)
Darshana: inner vision; to be in the presence of the divine
Danda dhauti: one of the cleansing techniques (shatkarmas), used to clean the oesophagus with a stick.
Danta dhauti teeth cleansing technique
Deva: A god, deity or cosmic power
Devi: A goddess, deity or cosmic power
Dhanurasana: bow' pose; backward bending yoga pose
Dharana: practice of concentration, mental effort involved in selecting one object out of many for concentration.
Dharma: divine duty, or individual spiritual purpose, righteous path
Dhauti: shatkarmas for cleansing techniques for the eyes, ears, tongue, forehead, oesophagus, stomach, colon and rectum.
Dhvani: 'sound' or 'echo,' defined as the incomparable meaningful impression of a feature of a poem/line which strikes you only after the first read.
Dhyana meditation; single-pointed focus of mind on either a form, thought or sound.
Diksha initiation given by the guru.
Dosha: an ayurvedic term relating to the three humours of the body; kapha, pitta & vata.
Dugdha neti: nasal irrigation or cleansing technique using milk
Durga: the warrior or wrathful Goddess
Garima: power to be as heavy as anything.
Ghrita neti: neti (nasal cleansing technique) performed with ghee
Gomukhasana: cow's face' posture
Guna: a thing of sense. All matter in the universe arises from the fundamental substrate called Prakriti. From this ethereal Prakriti the three primary gunas (qualities) emerge creating the essential aspects of all nature-energy, matter and consciousness. These three gunas are tamas (darkness), rajas (activity), and sattva (beingness). All three gunas are always present in all beings and objects surrounding us but vary in their relative amounts. We humans have the unique ability to consciously alter the levels of the gunas in our bodies and minds though diet, right though and right actions.
Gorakshasana: Yogi Gorakhnath's' pose
Guptasana the 'secret' pose.
Guru: spriritual teacher or leader.
Hatha: literally the "Sun joins the Moon" symbolically translates to the soul's connection with the body.
Hatha Yoga: system of Yoga for care of the body; physical Yoga.
Hridaya akasha: psychic space of the heart centre
Ida: left nostril:
Ida nadi: one of the main energy channels running on the left side of the spine from the mooladhara (base) chakra to the ajna chakra in the head, left nostril.
Isha: The Feminine Principal
Isvarapranaidana: devotion - or the divine principal working for you.
Ishvara: the supreme soul or Siva, nature of existence.
Isvata: power to create.
Jala basti: the yoga technique of enema using water - one of the yoga shatkarma
Jna: that which knows or discriminates.
Jala neti: a shatkarma technique of cleansing the nasal passages with water.
Jalandhara bandha: throat lock' to restrict the flow of bereath through the throat - done by resting the chin on the upper sternum (chest).
Japa: continuous chanting orrepetition of a mantra
Jihva dhauti: one of the shatkarma techniques for cleansing the tongue.
Jnana: knowledge, understanding or wisdom
Jnana mudra: in this mudra the index finger is bent so that its tip is joined with the tip of the thumb, the other three fingers are spread out as a gesture of knowledge.
Jnana yoga: an intellectual pursuit of yoga through self-analysis and investigation.
Kali: a deity representing the divine feminine. Also written as Kalika.
Kapal: skull or cerebrum
Kaivalya: state of oneness.
Kalpavriksha: a wishing tree - a longer explanation.
Kama: love, pleasure, desire.
Kanda: point below the navel from which 72,000 nadis issue.
Kapalbhati pranayama: a breathing technique aimed at cleaning the frontal part of the brain; also called skull polishing - done through rapid breaths with more force on exhalation.
Karma: memory - a cosmic operation of a form of retributive justice, under which a person's status in life is determined by her/his own deeds in previous incarnations. As one gives, so shall one receive. Or; what goes around comes around. Karma denotes balance and is a principle carried within the soul's energy from lifetime to lifetime. The old way of understanding was that karma was balanced through "an eye for an eye." A more multidimensional perspective claims that karma is superseded by the exercising of free will and choice along with the commitment to the practising of one's highest truths. Karma can be carried by an individual, a group, a species, or a mass consciousness.
Karma yoga: the yoga of action, principly service to generate positive karma
Karma-nadi: a nerve in which the vital air is supposed to reside.
Karna dhauti: one of the shatkarma which involves cleansing the ears.
Kati chakrasana: waist rotating' pose.
Klesha: afflictions or tensions
Kevala kumbhaka: spontaneous cessation of breath without any conscious effort.
Koormasana: a yoga asana or tortoise' pose.
Kosha: sheath or body.
Kriya: a system of internal purification, a cleansing process.
Kriya yoga: through the practices of self purification, kundalini awakens.
Kumbhaka: retention or suspension of the breath.
Kukkutasana: yoga asana, cock pose
Laghima: power to be as light as cotton or any similar thing.
Laghoo shankhaprakshalana: a shatkarma technique - also referred as the short intestinal wash. Involves the drinking of several glasses of water and the expelling it through stool after a series of exercises (asanas); in the process a thorough cleansing of the colon takes place.
Lakshmi: The Goddess of abundance, wealth, happiness and prosperity. The consort of Lord Vishnu
Laya yoga: union with the supreme consciousness through pranayama or devotion. Literally, union by absorption.
Lingam or linga: a phallus like object and a container of power representing Siva that is found temples. Also a common name for the male penis. See Dhyanalinga
Mahavideha: condition in which knowledge of every description is within easy reach of the ascetic and obtainable without effort.
Maha bandha: combines the three locks; moola bandha, jalandhara bandha and uddiyana bandha with breath retention.
Maha mudra: combines the practice of moola bandha, shambhavi and khechari mudras.
Maha nadi: another word for 'sushumna'
Mahima: power to expand oneself into space.
Maha samadhi: a super conscious state of leaving the body and one no longer exists as an individual. It is a freedom from existence and may also be referred to as nirvana.
Mahakala: a dimension of Siva, or that which is not. Ref
Mahilāमहिला : woman
Maithuna: A tantric ritual usually culminating in union
Makarasana: crocodile' pose
Mantra: repetition of a name of God ond/or a phrase representing higher consciousness. This is based on the premise that thinking is based on what we normally think. So if we speak the name of God, our thinking will become divine.
Manas: (manomaya kosha) means brain or mind in a broad sense. It includes cellular memory and intellegence.
Manas chakra: the energy center above the ajna chakra.
Mandala: meaning circle and representing the universe, the pattern symbolising the interconnection of life.
Manipura chakra: the energy centre in the spinal column located behind the navel corresponding to the solar plexus.
Mitahara: moderation in diet.
Moksha: state of bliss.
Mudra: one of the higher practices of Yoga; a psycho-physiological practice or exercise.
Mukti: salvation; deliverance; emancipation from rebirth.
Matsyendrasana: a spine twisting pose
Mayurasana: peacock pose.
Moksha: liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
Moola bandha energy lock created by the contraction of the perineum in the male and the cervix in the female.
Mooladhara: chakra lowest energy centre in the human body where the kundalini shakti resides.
Moorchha pranayama: fainting or swooning breath.
Mudra: a gesture to expresses and channel energy.
Nadi: nerves or channels of the subtle body.
Namaste: a social greeting - I salute the godness within you
Namaskar: a social greeting - I salute the godness within you. The difference between Namaste and Namaskar is regional.
Navratri: also known as Durga Puja.
"Navaratri is dedicated to the feminine nature of the Divine. Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati are symbols of the three dimensions of the feminine. They also represent the three basic qualities of existence - tamas, rajas, and sattva. Tamas means inertia, rajas means activity and passion. Sattva, in a way, is the breaking of boundaries, dissolution, melting and merging. Among the three celestial objects, with which the very making of our bodies is very deeply connected - the earth, the sun, and the moon. Mother Earth is considered tamas, the Sun is rajas, the Moon is sattva," Sadhguru.Nirodha: annihilation or non existence
Nirvana: non existence where one is free even from from freedom but is not death.
Nivritti marg" the "path of transcendence" one which turns "vritti" away from the world. The "ni" or "na" means "no" indeed its the source of the English "no" and combined with "vritti" it means "no ( ni ) more turning ( vritti )" a path which extinguishes material life and puts an end to the wheel of samsara.
Niṣṭhā निष्ठा : Devotion
Niyama: yoga ethic relating to cleanliness, contentment, self study and deification to good.
Numbers: १ एक- eka- "one"
२ द्व- dva- "two"
३ त्रि- tri- "three"
४ चतुर catur- "four"
५ पञ्च- pañca- "five"
६ षष- ṣaṣ- "six"
७ सप्त- sapta- "seven" ८ अष्ट- aṣṭa- "eight"
९ नव- nava- "nine"
१० दश- daśa- "ten"
Ojas: subtle vital force within the body
Om or AUM: the universal sound. Please play the video for a longer explanation.
Om Namah; Shivay: ॐ नमः शिवाय:
Its translation is "salutations (namas) to Śhiva", preceded by the mystical syllable "Aum". Om Namah Shivaya mantra is chanted by devotees in prayers and recited by yogis in meditation. It is associated with qualities of prayer, divine-love, grace, truth and blissfulness.P.
Pada: foot, a section of a literary work
Padma: a nerve center.
Padmasana: the classical seated cross legs lotus posture
Pingala: right nostril; also, anything conducting a positive electrical current in the human body.
Pancha makara: the five indulgent tantric practices of mansa (meat), madhya(wine), matsya (fish), mudra(grain), and maithuna (sexual copulation)
Pancha tattwa: the five elements; earth, water, fire, air and ether
Prarabdha: that portion of one's past karma which is responsible for their present body
Param: the highest or supreme.
Paramatma: the supreme atma or God
Parichaya: avastha stage of perception of nada
Paschimottanasana: back stretching pose
Patanjali: author of the Yoga Sutras and preacher of the eight-fold (ashtanga) yoga
Payaswini nadi: energy channel terminating at the right big toe, between poosha and pingala channels.
Pingala nadi: one of the main energy channels running on the right side of the spine from the mooladhara (base) chakra to the ajna chakra in the head by intersecting the chakras.
Plavini pranayama: breathing technique which involves gulping air and swallowing it into the stomach and retaining it.
Poornima: night of the full moon.
Prana: life; vitality; breath; infinite, the omnipresent energy of the universe. Veda describes how within the body there are five vital breaths known as "Vayus". The first is "prana" which means "forward ( pra ) breath ( ana )" it enters the body through the mouth and the nostrils distributing life giving energy to the cells of the body
Pranayama: regulation of the respiratory movements as a means to control the vital forces.
Prakamya: power of having all wishes, of whatever description, realized.
Prakamya: fulfillment of desire
Prakasha: inner light
Prakriti प्रकृति : nature
Prapti: power of reaching anywhere, even to the moon.
Puruṣaḥ पुरु षः man.
Puruṣāḥ पुरु षाः men.
Pranayama: techniques of breathing and breath control and regulating energy flow.
Prasad: an offering usually food to and from the guru or higher power
Pratyahara sense withdrawal; first stage of concentrating on the mind during meditation
Pratyahara: restraining or withholding the senses or introspection.
Pravritti: that which elevates us materially is called "pravritti" the "pra" means "forward" "before" "forth" it becomes the English "pro" as seen in words such as "progress" "proceed" "produce" "promote" ect. The second part of the word is "vritti" from the root "vrt" meaning to "turn" and this becomes the English "vert" meaning to "turn". This is seen in words such as "invert" meaning "to turn inwards" and "divert" meaning "to turn in a different direction" and "revert" meaning "to turn back to how it was". Other words are "subvert" "convert" "pervert" "introvert" "extravert" all reflecting this Sanskrit "vrt" meaning to "turn". ~ James Robinson Cooper
Prithvi tattwa: the earth element
Puja: a cycle of worship
Puranas: eighteen ancient books consisting of legends and mythological narrations dealing with creation, recreation and the genealogies of sages and rulers.
Purusha: pure consciousness
Purushartha: purpose in consciousness, of man's existence, the four basic needs or desires, arth, kaama, dharma, moksha
Raja Yoga: a more intellectual approach to Yoga.
Rajas: activity and passion
Rakta bindu: red bindu, same as beeja(seed) bindu, shakti bindu; the potentially creative bindu from which creation springs; often refers to the ovum.
Rudra: Lord Shiva or Rudra is said to have sprung from Brahma's forehead and is one of the holy trinity
Sahasrara chakra: highest energy centre located at the crown of the head also know as Sahasradala: brain (literally, "the thousand-petaled lotus").
Samadhi: a goal of yoga, perfect unity in superconsciousness. Break it down and it means saamand dhi - sama meaning equanimity and dhi meaning buddhi or the intellect.
Samatva: freedom from emotion.
Samskara: the impressions/illusions stored in the mind from our social/collective karma that form the basis of our beliefs, attitudes and personality.
Samyama: contemplation, absorption, trance; a way to several occult powers which conducts the Yogi to conscious samadhi.
Sankalpa: one's spiritual resolve.
Sankya Yoga: Yoga of the mind.
Sannyasi, sannyasin, one who has renounced the world in seek of self-realization.
Santosha: ayoga ethic relating to contentment.
Saraswati Goddess who bestows knowledge of fine arts and power of speech
Sarvangasana: shoulderstand - an inverted posture
Sanskari - Cultural
Satguru guru: who has attained self-realization
Sattwa guna: quality unwavering purity.
Sattva: the breaking of boundaries, dissolution, melting and merging
Satya: a yoga ethic relating to truth.
Seetkari pranayama Breathing technique which involves hissing leading to a cooling effect upon the whole body.
Shabda Brahman cosmic causal state.
Shakti: vital force or energy perhaps equating to prana.
Shakti is energy. Shakti is power. Shakti is consciousness in action. Shakti is the feminine principle which is at the core of every living thing.Shaktipat: transmission of spiritual energy usually given by a guru.
Shambhavi mudra: a yoga gesture in which one focusses at the mid-eyebrow centre.
Shambol: one of the many names of Lord Siva. It means abode of Joy. Sometimes written as Shambo.
Shashankasana: moon pose.
Shatkarma: the six yogic techniques of purification of the body, viz. neti, dhauti, nauli, basti, trataka, kapalbhati.
Sheetali pranayama: cooling breath' - a pranayama technique that lowers the body temperature by inhaling through the mouth while letting the breath flow in over the tongue.
Shishya: disciple or student.
Shiva: The Adiyoi or first yogi who is recorded as the first person to describe the technology of being human and how to master that technology as in describing the art of yoga.
Siddha: a master of Yoga.
Siddha yoni: asana the female counterpart performing siddhasana in which the left heel presses the entrance to the vagina.
Siddhasana: a meditative seating posture in which the left heel presses the perineum (stimulating the mooladhara chakra); also called as the adept's pose or the 'pose of perfection'.
Siddhi: one of several miraculous powers.
Sirshasana: the 'headstand' pose.
Siv or Shiv: The essence or no-thingness from which creation was manifest not to be confused with Shiva the first yogi. Shiva and Shakti principle: wherever the linga and yoni are presented, it is the inside of the womb that you are seeing. That is why the female part, the avudaiyar, is at the base and the linga is inside. When you enter the Dhyanalinga space, you are inside the womb and the linga is inside the womb - that is how it is shown.
Soham: represents a mantra in meditation; literally means, 'I am That'. Represents the Psychic sound with the sound 'so' during inhalation and 'ham' during exhalation..
Soma chakra: sixteen petalled chakra situated above ajna and manas chakras.
Stilhi: state in which the mind is at a standstill.
Sukhasana: easy cross-legged pose.
Sunyaka: suspension of the breath.
Susumna: spinal cord.
Sutras: writings of a sage.
Surya bheda: pranayama breathing technique in which inhalation is done through the right nostril ; increases vitality
Surya nadi: see 'pingala nadi'.
Sushumna nadi: main energy channel in yoga, in the centre of the spinal cord through which kundalini shakti flows.
Sutras: writings of a sage
Sutra neti: yogic technique to cleanse the nasal passages using a special cotton thread.
Swadhisthana chakra: second chakra in the spinal column, above the mooladhara.
Swastikasana: a posture similar to siddhasana
Some of the many words for sword: