Sanskrit Terms of Spiritual Philosophy (1)

The “page” titled Sanskrit Terms of Spiritual Philosophy contains all installments.

Sanskrit Pronunciation Key

a = “a” in “mica”
= “a” in “father”
c = “ch” in “channel”
e = “e” in “cachet”
ae = “ai” in “kaiser”
i = “i” in “folio”
ii = somewhat prolonged i
o = “o” in open
ao = “au” in “sauerkraut”
= cerebral “s”, “sh” in “shall” or “ss” in “issue”
u = “u” in “lute”
ú = somewhat prolonged u
(preceded by vowel other than i or u) = nasalization of vowel
jiṋá = as gyá
iṋa = nasalized “ya”
uṋa = nasalized “wa”
ḿ   = pronounced like “ng”
= at the beginning of a word it is pronounced as “j” as in “jump”, in the middle of the word it is pronounced as “y” as in “you.”
= aspirated version of “k” (expelling breadth)
= cerebral “t” (tip of tongue touches center of palate)
= cerebral “n” (tip of tongue touches center of palate)
= dental “t” (tip of tongue touches the upper teeth)
= dental “d” (tip of tongue touches the upper teeth)

First installment

Ánanda: Divine Bliss, Absolute Being, Brahma

Nirguna Brahma: Absolute Being, Godhead, Pure Consciousness, Ananda, Ein Sof, Alam-i Hahut, Zat, Öz.

Nirguna Brahma is indescribable. In attribute-free unmanifested state Nirguna Brahma is endless, formless, limitless, dimensionless, unbounded, uncountable, innumerable, immeasurable and eternal.  Nirguna Brahma is beyond the bounds of time, space and person. Nirguna Brahma does not come within the scope of measurement.

Saguna Brahma: Supreme Being, Qualified Consciousness,  Infinite Life, Eternal Life, Living God, Yah, Haq, Reality.

Infinite potential of Nirguna Brahma is transformed into infinite life known as Saguna Brahma.

Parama Purua: Cosmic Consciousness, Self, One, Source, Paramatman, Puruśottoma.

Puruottoma: Cosmic Nucleus, Cosmic Center, Divine Center, Cosmic Soul, Parama Puruśa.

Liila: Cosmic Drama

Why does Absolute Being allow itself to be confined and then escape bondage through Infinite Life? We don’t know why! It appears as a play, a drama perhaps, but that’s all we can say on the question of why.

Iishvara: One of the names of God in Sanskrit. The literal meanings of the word Ishvara is “Controller of the Cosmos.”  Shrii Shrii Anandamurti explains that Ishvara is the Cosmic Consciousness qualified by the static principle.

Prakrti: Prakrti is the cosmic operative principle of Consciousness. Prakrti is the binding principle which is the root cause of all manifestation. In its Liila, Pure Consciousness allows itself to be confined by its own immanent creative principle (Prakrti) thereby manifesting the cognitive and operative aspects of existence.

My: Shrii Shrii Anandamurti explains that Máyá is the name for the non-equilibrium phase of Prakrti.

Vidyámáyá: Introversial force; aspect of the Cosmic Operative Principle which guides movements from the crude to the subtle.

Avidyámáyá: Extroversial force; aspect of the Cosmic Operative Principle which guides movements from the subtle to the crude.

Vidy: introversive principle; divine attraction; centripetal or introversial force; force of attraction to the Nucleus Consciousness; aspect of the Cosmic Operative Principle which guides movements from the crude to the subtle

Avidy: extroversive principle; ignorance; centrifugal or extroversial force; force of repulsion from the Nucleus Consciousness; aspect of the Cosmic Operative Principle which guides movements from the subtle to the crude.

Paravidy: knowledge of the supramundane world

Aparavidy: knowledge of the mundane world

Brahmacakra: Cosmic Cycle, Divine Progression

Absolute Being (Godhead, Nirguna Brahma, Pure Consciousness, Ananda) —>  Divine Center (Cosmic Soul, Cosmic Consciousness, Parama Puruśha)  —>  Reality (Manifested Consciousness, Saguna Brahma)  —>  Cosmic Mind (Divine Mind, Mind of God)  —> Cosmos  (totality of spiritual, mental, physical realms)  —> primordial fabric  —>  space-time-matter  —> galaxies —> planets —> organisms —> individual mind (encapsulating the individual soul which is a reflection of the Cosmic Soul) —> expansion of the individual mind  —> merger of the individual mind with the Cosmic Mind  —>  identification of the individual soul with the Cosmic Soul  —> Absolute Being (Godhead, Nirguna Brahma, Pure Consciousness, Ananda)

Saincara: involution: the first phase of the Cosmic Cycle, the stages before the appearance of organisms.

Prati saincara: evolution: the second phase of the Cosmic Cycle, the stages after the appearance of organisms.

Citta: Done “I”, objective “I”, objective mind, mind-stuff. Primordial fabric of the universe. The physical universe is created out of the Cosmic Citta. All particles and forces, atoms and molecules are condensed states of the Cosmic Citta. At the later stages of Brahmacakra when life emerges, a type of reverse-objectivation takes place and unit minds are created. The unit citta emerges from the matter but matter was citta in the first place.The unit minds of the primitive organisms are purely citta. Later, the higher functions of the mind develop as portions of the unit citta are converted to even subtler realities.

Cittnú: According to the hints given by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, the Citta at the cosmic level and unit citta at the individual level are quantized. This is similar to the quantization of space-time-matter. The manifestation stage just before the space-time-matter is also quantized. The distortions of the primordial fabric appear as primordial particles (cittánú). The collective motion of cittanú acquire wavelike properties. The so-called “thought waves” are waves in collective cittánú. Shrii Shrii Anandamurti referred to cittánú as “ectoplasmic particles” and “mind-atoms” in some of his discourses.

Guńa: Binding principle; attribute; quality. Prakrti, the Cosmic Operative Principle, is composed of: sattvaguńa, the sentient principle; rajoguńa, the mutative principle; and tamoguńa, the static principle.

Rajogua: The mutative principle. The principle of transformation and change. The principle of action. The principle of evolution. Basis of pulsations, vibrations, oscillations, and fluctuations in nature. Basis of time. Basis of energy. Basis of quantum mechanical nature. Symmetry breaking tendency.

Tamogua: The static principle. Limiting, localizing, encircling, internalizing, confining action. Basis of dualities. Basis of all forms (mental and physical). The principle of stability and staticity. Structure forming tendency. The origin of coupling and interaction. The source of all physical forces: gravitation, electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force. Nonlinearity (outcome of coupling/interaction). Curvature (outcome of nonlinearity). Scale (emerges from curvature and nonlinearity). Space (a manifestation of scale)

Sattvagua: The sentient principle. The soul principle. The principle of sentience. Principle of unity and unification. Principle of symmetry. Freedom, salvation, liberation. Resistance to binding action. Resistance to curvatures in general. Facilitates the reflection of Consciousness in the unit structure (whether the unit is the most basic unit of matter or whether it is the most advanced organism).

Loka: According to Tantra Yoga as explained by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, Cosmos has 7 realms. The traditional names for these realms are: Bhurloka, Bhuvarloka, Svarloka, Maharloka, Janahloka, Tapahloka, Satyaloka.  Cosmos is a formation within the Cosmic Mind therefore the realms of Cosmos are macroscopic expressions of the layers of the Cosmic Mind.

Koa: Mind layers are known as kośas in the Tantra Yoga terminology. Cosmic Mind has 5 layers:  Kamamaya Kośa, Manomaya Kośa, Atimanas Kośa, Vijinanamaya Kośa, Hiranmaya Kośa. Human mind has 5 layers too. They have the same names. The implication is that the layers of the human mind and the layers of the Cosmic Mind are connected.

Satyaloka: The realm beyond Cosmos. The realm of the Cosmic Soul.

Tapahloka: The spiritual realm of the Cosmos. Tapah Loka is the first layer around the Cosmic Soul. Tapah Loka is the realm of Divine Love.

Janahloka: The realm of true knowledge and wisdom.

Maharloka: The realm of ideas and abstractions.

Svarloka: The realm of feelings and memory.

Bhuvarloka: The primordial fabric (Cosmic Citta). The stage before the physical manifestation. This is also the realm of vital currents and microvita.

Bhurloka: Physical universes are embedded in this realm.

Kamamaya Koa: The material body including the brain and the nervous system is controlled by the Kamamaya Kośa which is also known as the “subtle body.” The vital airs (flows of vital energy) in our subtle body are part of the Kamamaya Kośa. The Ancient Egpytians referred to the Kamamaya Kośa as Ka. In the Western literature Kamamaya Kośa is known as the “etheric body.”

Manomaya Koa: The Manomaya layer of the human mind contains the mental structures: ego, intellect, memory as well as emotions and feelings. The dreams during sleep take place in the Manomaya Kośa as well. Manomaya Kośa is the psyche. The waking consciousness, dreaming consciousness and the “subconscious” of the Freudian psychology belong to this layer. The “thinking mind” is in this layer as well. Manomaya Kośa is derived from Svarloka.

Atimanas Koa: The contemplative faculty of the human mind. Atimanas Kośa is derived from Maharloka. In the Atimanas Kośa there is a thin wall of ego. There are also very refined desires still left. Even when all desires are resolved, the idea of desire still exists in this layer. The idea of desire can easily turn into a seed of desire and grow into a fully formed desire in the lower Manomaya level. The opposite is true as well. The burning of the karmic seeds takes place in the Atimanas layer.

Vijinanamaya Koa: The intuitional faculty of the human mind. Human beings attain true knowledge through the intuitional faculty when their ego is perfectly transparent. Intuitional knowledge grows as the ways of ego are known and its demands are controlled. The human being who is established in true knowledge is not egoless but the ego is perfectly transparent. You cannot see the ego but it is still there to hold the knowledge.

Hiranmaya Koa: Hiranmaya Kosha is the seat of the soul. Humans experience Divine Love and true happiness in the Hiranmaya Kosha. In some spiritual traditions the Hiranmaya Kosha is known as the Heart. This is the layer of the mind that we have to cultivate to achieve Self-realization. Hiranmaya Kosha is derived from Tapah Loka.

Bháva: ideation, mental flow, a feeling involving love and devotion. In Sanskrit Bháva also means “reactive momentum,” as the factor causing rebirth.

Bhúta: the 5 fundamental factors (bhútas) mentioned in Brahmacakra  refer to the stages of creation where the physical universe emerges from the Cosmic Citta (primordial fabric). In the emergence of the physical universe from the Cosmic Citta, the rudimental factor known as the Ethereal Factor or ksha tattva came into being first. In Tantra Yoga the Ethereal Factor is said to be able to carry the subtle primordial vibration known as Onmkra. As the binding effects of tamoguna (localizing, internalizing, limiting, symmetry breaking tendency)  increased, a portion of the Ethereal Factor was transformed into vayu tattva or Aerial Factor. Then came the tejas tattva or Luminous Factor. Following the luminous factor there was the creation of the Liquid Factor, apa tattva. The last factor to be created was the Solid Factor or kśiti tattva.

Tanmátra: Bhúta is known by its tanmátra. In Sanskrit tat means “that”, mátra means “minutest quantity”. Hence the term tanmátra denotes a microscopic fraction of “that” (of “that bhúta.” It is also translated “generic essence” or “inferential wave.”

Bhútas are rather abstract. Shrii Shrii Anandamurti refers to them as eternal flows. The tanmátras are the tangibles. We perceive the tanmátras not the bhútas. Physics can be considered as the science of tanmátras. The bhutas which are the “flows” behind these tanmátras cannot be perceived directly.

Oṋm or Oṋḿkára: The sound of the first vibration of creation; the biija mantra (acoustic root) of the expressed universe. Oṋḿkára literally means “the sound oṋm”.

Oṋḿkára is the Primordial Vibration. Tanmatrás are substantited by the seed of all vibrations known as onmkára.

Tattva: theory, it also means “essence of.”

Tanmátratattva: Theory of tanmátras.


About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
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