Sanskrit Terms of Spiritual Philosophy (2)

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)

Second installment

ÁCÁRYA: Spiritual teacher qualified to teach all lessons of meditation.

ADHARMA: That which goes against DHARMA.

ADVAETA: Non-duality.

AESHVARYAS: Eight occult powers: ańimá, to become small (small enough to enter any physical particle or any crevice of another’s mind); mahimá, to become large (an expanded mind is omniscient, and feels love for the universe); laghimá, to become light (a light body can fly through air, a light mind can study the minds of others); prápti, to obtain any desired object; iishitva, to control (this supreme control may be used to guide others’ minds); vashitva, to psychically dominate others; prakámya, to materialize the desired outcome of events; and antaryámitva, to know the inner thought-wave and the inner need of any entity. These powers are also called vibhúti.

AGRYÁBUDDHI: Pointed intellect.

AHAḾTATTVA: Doer “I”, ego, second mental subjectivity.

AHIḾSÁ: One of the points of morality: to refrain from purposefully inflicting pain or hurt on anybody by thought, word or action.

APARÁJIṊÁNA: Mundane, or worldly, knowledge.

APAROKŚA ÁNUBHÚTI: Direct experience.

ANÁHATA CAKRA: Fourth psychic-spiritual center, or plexus; the “yogic heart”.

ÁTMAJIṊÁNA: Self-knowledge.

ÁTMÁ or ÁTMAN: Soul, Consciousness, PARAMA PURUŚA, pure cognition. The átman of the Cosmos is Paramátman, and that of the unit is the jiivátman.

AVADHÚTA (male) or AVADHÚTIKÁ (female): Literally, “one who is thoroughly cleansed mentally and spiritually”; a monk or nun of an order close to the tradition of SHAEVA TANTRA.

AVATÁRA: Incarnation.

ÁYURVEDA: The Vedic system of medicine.

BHAGA: Bhaga is a collection of six attributes: AESHVARYA; viirya – valour, command; yasha – fame, reputation; shrii – charm; jiṋána – knowledge, especially Self-knowledge; and vaerágya – renunciation.

BHAGAVÁNA: The owner of BHAGA, one who has fully imbibed the six qualities; Lord.

BHÁGAVATA DHARMA: The DHARMA to attain the Supreme.

BHAJAN: Devotional song.

BHAKTA: Devotee.

BHAKTI: Devotion.

BHAKTITATTVA: The cult of devotion.

BHAKTI YOGA: Devotional form of spiritual practice.

BHÚTASHUDDHI, ÁSANASHUDDHI, CITTASHUDDHI: In meditation, stages of withdrawing the mind from the physical world and directing it toward the Supreme. The ácárya will teach.

BHÁVA SÁDHANÁ: Spiritual practice of auto-suggestion.

BUDDHI: Intellect.

CAKRA: Cycle or circle; psycho-spiritual centre, or plexus. The cakras in the human body are all located along the suśumná canal which passes through the length of the spinal column and extends up to the crown of the head. Some cakras, however, are associated with external concentration points. The concentration points for the cakras: (1) for the múládhára cakra, the base of the spine, above the perineum; (2) for the svádhiśt́hána, the base of the genital organ; (3) for the mańipura, the navel; (4) for the anáhata, the mid-point of the chest; (5) for the vishuddha, the throat; (6) for the ájiṋá, between the eyebrows; and (7) for the sahasrára, the crown of the head.

CITISHAKTI: Cognitive Principle, PURUŚA, Pure Consciousness.

DÁSYA BHÁVA: The devotional attitude of looking upon oneself as the servant of the Lord.

DEVA: Mythologically, a god, a deity. Philosophically, any vibration, or expression, emanating from the Cosmic Nucleus.

DEVII: A goddess, a female deity.

DHARMA: Characteristic property; spirituality; the path of righteousness in social affairs.

DHÁRAŃÁ: Restricting the flow of mind; conception; e.g., Tattva Dhárańá is restriction of the flow of mind to, or conception of, the fundamental factors.

DHYÁNA: Meditation.

DVAETA: Duality.

DVAETÁDVAETA: Dualistic non-duality

GUŃADHIINA: Under the bondage of the guńas.

GUŃÁDHIISHA: Beyond the periphery of the guńas.

GUŃASRIŚT́A: Created by the guńas.

INDRIYA: One of the ten sensory and motor organs (eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin; and hands, feet, vocal cord, genital organ and excretory organ). The eye indriya (for example) comprises the eye itself, the optical nerve, the fluid in the nerve, and the location in the brain at which the visual stimulus is transmitted to the citta.

INDRIYATATTVA: Theory of the indriyas.

IISHVARA PRAŃIDHÁNA: Surrender to Iishvara (God) through meditation.

IŚT́A: Goal; one’s personal deity or goal in life.

IŚT́A MANTRA: The mantra leading one to the Supreme Goal. The ácárya will teach.

JAD́A: Condensed energy, solid matter.

JAGAT: World, universe.

JAPA: Repetition of mantra.

JIIVA: An individual being.

JIIVABHÁVA: Finite subjectivity, feeling of the unit state, sense of the unit identity, microcosmic bearing.


JIṊÁNA: Knowledge; understanding.

JIṊÁNA YOGA: A form of spiritual practice which emphasizes discrimination or intellectual understanding.

JIṊÁNII: A SÁDHAKA who follows the path of knowledge or discrimination.

KAEVALYA: Oneness with Parama Puruśa.

KARMA: Action; sometimes, positive or negative action which produces SAḾSKÁRAs.

KARMA YOGA: A form of spiritual practice which emphasizes selfless action.

KAOLA: One who practises kula sádhaná and is adept at raising one’s own KUŃD́ALINII.

MAHABHARATA: “Great India”; the name of a military campaign guided by Lord Krśńa around 1500 BCE to unify India; the epic poem written by Maharshi Vyasa about this campaign.

MAHÁKAOLA: A Tantric guru who can raise not only his own kuńd́alinii, but those of others also; in Buddhist Tantra, Mahákaola is sometimes symbolic of PARAMA PURUŚA.

MAHÁPURUŚA: A person highly evolved psychically and spiritually, especially one who has consequently developed a charisma felt by other people.

MAHÁSAMBHÚTI: When TÁRAKA BRAHMA utilizes the five fundamental factors to express Himself through a body, this is known as His Mahásambhúti.


MAHÁTTATTVA: “I” (“I am,” “I exist”) feeling, existential “I”.

MANTRA: A sound or collection of sounds which, when meditated upon, will lead to spiritual liberation. A mantra is incantative, pulsative, and ideative.

MANAH: Mind.

MÁNUŚA: Human being, living being with developed mind.

MITHYÁ: False, unreal.

MOHANA VIJIṊÁNA: Supra-aesthetic science.

MOKŚA: Spiritual emancipation, non-qualified liberation.

MUKTI: Spiritual liberation.

MÚLÁDHÁRA CAKRA: Lowest, or basal, psycho-spiritual centre, or plexus, located just above the base of the spine.

MUDRÁ: Gesture

NÁD́II: Psychic-energy channel; nerve.

NIITI: Principles leading to one’s spiritual welfare.

NITYA: Eternal.


PAIṊCABHÚTAS: Five fundamental factors.

PARÁJIṊÁNA: Spiritual knowledge.

PARÁ SHÁNTI: Absolute peace, supreme beatitude.

PARAMÁ PRAKRTI: Supreme Operative Principle.

PARAMÁTMÁ or PARAMÁTMAN: Supreme Consciousness in the role of witness of His own macropsychic conation. Paramátman comprises: (1) Puruśottama, the Macrocosmic Nucleus; (2) Puruśottama’s association with all creation in His extroversial movement (prota yoga); and (3) Puruśottama’s association with each unit creation individually (ota yoga) and (4) with all collectively (prota yoga) in His introversial movement.

PRÁŃÁH: Vital energy.

PRÁŃA: Energy.

PRÁŃÁYÁMA: Science of controlling vital energy by controlling the breath.


PRAŃÁSHA: Dissolution, total annihilation.

PRAPATTI: “Whatever is taking place in the universe is all due to the Cosmic will”.

PREYA: Extroversive tendency of the mind.

PROTA YOGA: The association of PURUŚOTTAMA with all creation in His extroversive movement and with all the unit creations collectively in His introversive movement.

PURÁŃA: Mythological story with a moral import; educative fiction.

PURANIC AGE: The medieval period, about 500-1300 CE when Hinduism was dominated by the PURÁŃAS.

PURUŚABHÁVA: Cognitive bearing, stance or aspect of Consciousness.

PURUŚADEHA: The entire created substance, causal, subtle and crude, of the Macrocosm; Cosmic “I” + Cosmic Doer “I” + Cosmic done “I”.

PUŃYA: Virtue.

RÁJASIKA: Mutative.

RÁMÁYAŃA: An epic poem of India. It is the story of King Rama, or Ramchandra.

RASA: Cosmic flow; taste.

RASA: Any fluid, specifically the digested essence of food.

RŚI: Sage; one who, by inventing new things, broadens the path of progress of human society.

RÚPA TANMÁTRA: Inferential waves conveying vision, i.e., the sense of form.

SÁDHAKA: Spiritual practitioner.

SÁDHANÁ: Literally, “sustained effort”; spiritual practice; meditation.

SÁDHU: Virtuous person, spiritual aspirant.

SAHASRÁRA CAKRA: Highest, or pineal, psycho-spiritual centre, or plexus, located at the crown of the head. See also CAKRA.

SAMÁJA CAKRA: Social cycle.

SAḾSKÁRA: Mental reactive momentum, potential mental reaction.

SÁḾKHYA: The oldest school of philosophy, first propounded by Maharshi Kapila. The word sáḿkhya means “that which is related to saḿkhyá, or numerals”.

SAMÁDHI: “Absorption” of the unit mind into the Cosmic Mind (savikalpa samádhi) or into the ÁTMAN (nirvikalpa samádhi).

SAMÁJA CAKRA: Social cycle.

SAMÁJA: Society.

SANNYÁSII: One who ensconces oneself in Sat, the Unchangeable Entity.

SAT, SATYA, SATYAM: “That which undergoes no change”; Absolute Reality.

SATSAUṊGA: Good company.

SÁTTVIKA: Sentient.

SHÁSTRA: Scripture.

SHAEVA, SHAIVITE adj: Following or pertaining to Lord SHIVA and his teachings.

SHAEVA n. Shaivite: a follower of Lord SHIVA.

SHAEVA DHARMA: Shaivism; the theoretical or philosophical side of spirituality as taught by Lord Shiva.

SHAEVA TANTRA: Shiva Tantra; the applied, or practical, side of spirituality as taught by Lord Shiva.

SHIVA, SADÁSHIVA: A great Tantric guru of 5000 BCE who guided society while His mind was absorbed in Consciousness.

SHLOKA: A Sanskrit couplet expressing one idea.

SHRUTI: Literally, “ear”; hence, a composition learned by hearing (before the invention of script).

SIDDHI: Self-realization; spiritual attainment; one of the eight occult powers.

SUBHÁŚITA SAḾGRAHA: Collected Discourses.

SVABHÁVA: Characteristics, one’s own nature.


TANTRA: A spiritual tradition which originated in India in prehistoric times and was first systematized by Shiva. It emphasizes the development of human vigour, both through meditation and through confrontation of difficult external situations, to overcome all fears and weaknesses. Also, a scripture expounding that tradition.

TÁRAKA BRAHMA: Supreme Consciousness in Its liberating aspect.

TÁTTVIKA: A spiritual teacher qualified to give initiation.

TRIKUT́I: The ájiṋá cakra.

VIVEKA: Conscience, power of discrimination between good and evil.

VRAJA: The spirit of joyful movement.

VRAJAGOPÁLA: Vraja Krśńa as “that entity who takes people forward through joy, amidst various expressions of bliss”.

VRTTI: Mental propensity.

YAMA AND NIYAMA: Moral code.

YOGA: Spiritual practice leading to unification of the unit ÁTMAN with PARAMÁTMAN.

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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