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GLOSSARY



Let there be peace and love among all beings of the universe. OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

A | B | C | D | E | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | Y

A
abhasa. reflected consciousness; appearance
abhava. non-existence; absence; negation; nothing
abhavana. non-thought
abhaya[m]. fearlessness; offering shelter to one who seeks refuge
abhayam brahma. "Fearless is Brahman"
abheda. non-difference; non-duality; no "otherness" [the exponent of abheda regards God as the Absolute or Infinite apart from which there can be no other]
abheda bhava. sense of non-separateness
abheda buddhi. concept-free; free from ideas of difference
abhimana. egoism; conceit; attachment; "I"-sense; pride; the function of the ego; the delusion of "me" and "mine"; identification with the body [the
imperishable Self is very hard to reach for those who are attached to their bodies, because their restless minds will not be able to get fixed on the attributeless Self]
abhimata. desired; favourite; attractive; agreeable, appealing; object of choice
abhimukti. turned toward liberation; stage in which liberation is assured
abhinivesha. the will to live; false identification of the Self with the body or mind; an instinctive clinging to life and a dread of death
abhishekam. the sacred bath of water, milk, curd... given to a deity
abhyantara. internal; inward
abhyasa. sustained spiritual practice; right effort
achala. immovable; standing still; firm; steady; fixed unwavering; without change; also signifies "hill"
achala manas. an unwavering, steady mind
achara.
immobile
acharya. great preceptor; a wiçdely respected teacher; spiritual master
achetana. unconscious; non-conscious; inanimate; inert; matter
achintya. unthinkable; inconceivable; incomprehensible; inexplicable
achintya shakti. inscrutable power; ineffable force
achit. insentient; inert; unconscious; non-conscious; inanimate phenomenal object
achyuta. imperishable One
adhama. inferior
adhar[a]. to support; to prop up; substratum
adharma. wrong action; unrighteousness; irreligious; lawlessness; that which hurls
you into the abyss of ignorance; that which drags one into worldliness; failure to perform one's proper duty; absence of virtue
adhi. greater; above; further; also means disease of the mind or psychic disorder
adhibhuta. the primal being; primal element; primordial being; pertaining to the elements; governing principle of the material manifestation
adhikari[n]. an eligible or qualified person; a worthy person
adhishthana[m]. basis; seat; substratum; ground; background; underlying essence; abode [the body as the abode of the subtle bodies and the Self]
adhvaryu. officiating priest
adhiyajna. the primal sacrifice; supreme sacrifice
adhyaropa. the superimposition of something unreal on something real [in vedanta, it is the superimposition of the world on Brahman]
adhyasa. superimposition or false attribution of properties of one thing on another thing
adhyatma. the supreme Self
adhyatma vidya. study of the Self
adhyatmika [adhyatmic]. pertaining to the supreme Self
adhyaya. chapter; section
adi. first; origin; beginning; original
adi guru. the ancient or primordial or original Guru; divine Source from which the power of initiation and guidance descends to a line of Gurus; an epithet of Sri Shankaracharya and sometimes also of Dakshinamurti

adishakti. the primal power; primal energy
aditi. boundless; infinite; in the Vedas, she is the Mother of the gods from whose cosmic matrix the heavenly bodies were born [as celestial Mother of every existing form and being, the synthesis of all things, she is associated with space and with mystic speech]
adityas. solar deities
aditya hridayam. the Lotus Heart; supreme seat of the Self, the consciousness from which everything else emerges
adrishta[m]. unseen; invisible; unperceived
adrishya. invisible; that which cannot be perceived by the physical eye
advaita. non-duality; literally "not two"; no "other"; the direct non-dualistic path; philosophical viewpoint that the ultimate Reality is but a single essence or God from which all life and manifest existence arises, abides in, returns to, and cannot be seperated from [he who practises
this teaching attains supreme bliss and immortality, by realising the Self and getting absorbed back into That which is his Source and real Self, becoming one with the Final Reality]
advaita jnana. non-dual knowledge
advaitic. non-dual; pertaining to advaita
advaitin. one who lives in non-duality
advityia. "without a second"
adyashanti. primordial peace
agamas. Saiva scriptures that describe the rules and procedures for image worship, which include temple construction, installation and consecration of the deities, methods of performing pujas in the temples, philosophy, recitation of mantras, worship involving figures or yantras and bhakti yoga
agami karma. current karma being freshly performed by the individual; new karma accumulated in the present lifetime, added to the store of sanchita karma and carried forward into future lives; actions good and bad, expected to bear fruit in future births
agni. the fire element; vedic God of fire
aham. "I am"; the Source of the "I"; supreme "I"-awareness, "I"-consciousness; the supreme Heart
aham bhava. the "I am" sense
aham brahmasmi. "I am Brahman"; "I am absolute Reality"; "The core of my being is the ultimate Reality, the root and ground of the universe, the Source of all that exists"; one of the Mahavakyas to be found in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad of the Yajur Veda
aham sphurana. the throb of Self-bliss in the Heart
aham sphurti. Self-manifestation
aham swarupa. one's true nature
aham vritti. the "I"-thought; the limited feeling of "I"-ness or "I am"-ness [Sri Ramana says that the "I"-thought is equally and essentially related to each and every thought of the mind. Without the "I"-thought there can be no other thought, but the "I"-thought can subsist by itself without depending on any other thought of the mind. The "I"-thought is therefore fundamentally different from other thoughts. So then, the search for the Source of the "I"-thought is not merely the search for the basis of one of the forms of the ego but for the very Source Itself from which arises the "I am"-ness. In other words, the quest for and the realisation of the Source of the ego in the form of the "I"-thought necessarily implies the transcendence of the ego in every one of its possible forms]
ahamkara [ahankara]. literally "I-maker"; ego-self; thz "I am" or ego; the sense of doership, ownership; limited ego-consciousness
ahimsa. non-violence; non-injury in thought, word and deed; harmlessness
aishwarya. lordship; divine glory; majesty
aja. unborn
ajanma. "without birth"; uncreated; beginingless; the unborn
ajara[m].
decayless; ageless; without old age
ajara amara avinashi atma. the ageless, immortal, imperishable Self
ajata. "non-creation"; not created or not caused
ajnana. ignorance [of one's own true Self]; lack of knowledge
ajnani. an unenlightened person; a person who is ignorant of his true nature
akal. the timeless; the immortal; the non-temporal
akala. without parts; an attribute of the divine being
akash[a] [akasa]. the ether or space element; the void; not visible; sky; empy space; all-pervading continuum; the very first element created from the astral world [air, fire, water, earth are the other four in sequence]; the basis and essence of all things in the material world
akashaja. born of space or ether
akhanda. unbroken; indivisible; undivided; whole
akila para sakti. the all-encompassing supreme power
akincanabhava. transcendence of the Self
aklishta. unafflicted; non-afflicted; unmoved
akshara. the imperishable; the indestructible; the immutable; the Self
akshaya. undecaying; everlasting
akula. without form; formless
alak. non-attention
alasya.
laziness; idleness; apathy; sloth
alata chakra. the illusory circle of fire produced by rapidly waving around a stick that is burning at one end; symbol of the illusory nature of relative existence
alayavijnana. "All-encompassing foundation consciousness" which induces transmigration or rebirth, causing the origination of a new existence; the storehouse-consciousness that accumulates all potential energy for the mental and physical manifestation of one's existence [namarupa]
alinga. without any attribute, characteristic or mark; noumenal
amala. without defect; pure; immaculate
amalam. free from the impurity of illusory appearance
amara. immortal; deathless
amrita. nectar; that which makes one immortal; ambrosia
amritam. immortality
anadi. beginningless; eternal
ananda. bliss [that is a consequence of experiencing the Self]; beatitude; transcendent joy; delight
ananda maya kosha. the sheath of bliss; the causal body; dreamless sleep; the borderline of the Self
ananda mayi. filled with bliss; consisting of bliss
ananda yatnam.
empire of bliss
ananta[m]. infinite; without end; endless
ananya bhakti. whole-hearted devotion
anartha. unhappiness; worthless; evil
anavashtitatvani. unsteadiness; instability of mind; inability to find a footing
aneka. "not one"; many
anishta. undesirable; bad
anitya. impermanent; transient
annamalai. the most common Tamil name for Arunachala, the holy hill at Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu
anta. the end; extremity
antahkarana. psyche; the inner instruments such as mind and
intellect; instruments of inner perception; the inner mind or inner cause; four-fold mind [mind, intellect, ego and subconscious mind]; refers to the totality of two levels of mind, namely the buddhi, the intellect or higher mind, and the manas, the middle levels of mind which exist as or include the mental body; the link between the middle and higher mind, the reincarnating part of the mind; the "seat of consciousness" that is the spark, or genesis of subtle manifestation arising out of formlessness; the origin of the assertion of objectivity; the mind at its most subtle form
antara. internal; interior; inside
antaratman. the indwelling Self; inner soul
antariksha. sky; firmament; atmosphere
antarmukha drishti. inward vision or perception
antaryami. the Controller within; Reality
anubhava. direct experience, especially the experience of Self-knowledge or "I"-principle
anugraha[m]. Grace; blessing
anusandhana. enquiry or investigation into the nature of Reality
anushthana. observance; religious exercise
anuttara. beyond which there is nothing; the Highest; the Supreme; the Absolute
anya. other than oneself
apana. "downwards"; the second of the five vital airs responsible for the withdrawal and elimination of energy from the body [pelvic region]; the air that travels down; exhalation; the prevalent element is water
aparigraha. non-attachment; non-possessiveness; non-covetousness; non-greed; living in the world, but not being of the world
aparoksha. immediate; direct
aparokshanubhuti. direct experience of Self-knowledge; Self-realisation [single-minded devotion, which
consists of ceaselessly remembering the supreme being, is the surest and most potent means of attaining Self-realisation]
apavada. the refutation of ignorance through Self-enquiry; introspection based on right discrimination between the real Brahman and the unreal appearance of the universe
apavarga. liberation; release; escape from pain; release from the bondage of embodiment
aprana. beyond manifest life; devoid of life
apunya. demerit; vice; non-meritorious acts; unvirtuous deeds; sinful
aradhana. worship of the divine Reality; adoration; self-surrender
arama. rest; ease
arambha. origin; cause; original; causal
arati. the waving of lights before a sacred image of the divine Reality
archa. worship; adoration
arjava. honesty; straightforwardness; renouncing deception and wrongdoing
artha. the acquisition of wealth; pursuit of prosperity
artha vada. explanatory argument given to suit a particular purpose
artharthi. one who desires material gain
arthika. true substance of a thing; real
arupa. formless
arupa manas. mind which has no form or concept
aruna. light; bright like fire; signifies the fire of wisdom, which is neither hot nor cold
arunachala. hill of wisdom; hill of light; symbol of light; its significance for the individual is that when one gets beyond body-consciousness, the inner Self shines pure and clear; [Ramana Maharshi states, "The Self is Arunachala"]
arya. adorable person
asakta.
unattached; resigned; unselfish
asambhava.
impossibility
asamhita.
unsteady
asamprajnata.
altered state of consciousness, silent and alert mind
asamprajnata samadhi. highest superconscious state where the mind and the ego-sense are completely annihilated
asamsakti. non-attachment; unaffected by anything and performing one's necessary duties without a sense of involvement; the fifth stage in the path of Self-knowledge
asamvedana[m]. non-receptivity of the mind; non-thinking
asana. yogic posture, especially a posture adopted for meditation; integration of mind and body through physical activity; the third of the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga
asanga. non-attachment; without attachment
asat. unreal; non-being; non-existence; illusory; false; falsehood [whatever sacrifice, austerity or charity done without being dedicated
to the Lord will be of no avail to the doer in this earthly life here or in the life beyond hereafter]
asatya. unreal; untrue
ascaryam. the marvel of the infinite Self beyond nature
ashanti. absence of peace of mind; restlessness; distraction
ashirvad [ashirwad]. blessing; benediction
ashta. eight
ashtanga yoga.
the eight limbs of raja yoga that lead to absolute mental control through a progressive series of steps or disciplines that purify the body and mind, ultimately leading to enlightenment [these eight limbs are: 1. yamas, 2. niyamas, 3. asanas, 4. pranayama, 5. pratyahara, 6. dharana, 7. dhyana, and 8. samadhi]
ashtavadhana. the ability to attend to eight different matters simutlaneously
ashtavakra. "one having eight bends"; a sage born with eight different deformities of the body; the author of the Ashtavakra Gita, a treatise on the instruction by the sage Ashtavakra to King Janaka about the Self
ashuddha. impure; unpurified; incorrect
asmita. "I"-ness; the sense that "I exist"; sense of individuality
asramam. the abode of a sage; the establishment or colony that grows up around a sage or Guru; the Tamil word for "ashram"
asramas. the four orders of life – student life, household life, retired life and renounced life
asteya. non-stealing
asuras. a group of power-seeking deities or demons, sometimes considered naturalists or nature-beings, which are the forces of chaos that are in constant battle with the devas
asuric. diabolical; evil
asvins [ashvins].
two vedic gods, represented as humans with the head of a horse, that symbolise the shining of sunrise and sunset; they appear in the sky before the dawn in a golden chariot, bring treasures to men and avert misfortune and sickness; doctors of gods and are devas of ayurvedic medicine
atharvan.
an ancient rishi
atharvaveda. the fourth of the four Vedas, dating from 1000 BC, consisting of spells, prayers, charms, and hymns [there are prayers to protect crops from lightning and drought, charms against venomous serpents, love spells, healing spells, hundreds of verses, some derived from the Rigveda, all very ancient]
atma[n]. the supreme Self which is eternal, indestructible, changeless and present everywhere in everyone and everything; the true Guru or master [there is no difference between Guru, Self and You]; the spirit which is never born and never dies; the underlying Reality which supports the appearance of the three temporary states of waking, dream and
sleep; the Source of manifestation and mind [Sri Ramana defines It by saying that the real Self or real "I" is, contrary to perceptible experience, not an experience of individuality but a non-personal, all-inclusive awareness. You can neither think about It nor forget It. He maintained that It is always present and always experienced but he emphasised that one is only consciously aware of It as It really is when the self-limiting tendencies of the mind have ceased]
atma bhakti. worship of the Supreme; to focus so intensely on the Supreme that the worshipper becomes the worshiped
atma bhava. the nature of the Self; awareness of the Self; the feeling "I am the Self"
atma darsan[am]. vision of the true Self; Self-realisation
atma dhyana. contemplation on the Self
atma drishti. the seeing or sight of the Self; the vision of the Self; knowledge of the Self through direct vision or knowing
atma jnana. direct knowledge of the Self
atma jnani. a person who has attained Self-knowledge
atma nishta. unitary state of abidance in the Self
atma prakash. the light of the Self
atma prajna. Self-consciousness
atma sakshatkaram. perceiving or realising the Self directly
atma swarupa. the true nature of one's own Self; "the form of the spirit"; the Self shining as "I"; being-consciousness; a term used to indicate that the universe has no intrinsic reality but exists only as a manifestation of the Self
atma vichara. enquiry into the Self; the practice of scrutinising or attending to the feeling "I" in order to find out "Who am I?"
atma vidya. teaching about the Self and Reality
atma vyavahara. the act of communion with the Self; remaining inwardly still
atmadvaita. Self in all and all in the Self
atman brahman. "Self is Reality"; the unity of one's true Self with the transcendent Self, or Reality; Self-Reality; the unity of all living things with the Supreme; [if Self is Reality in a pot [the body], then one need merely break the pot to fully realise the primordial unity of the individual soul with the plentitude of the Absolute]
atmanusandhana.
constancy in the Self; the cultivation of equanimity in the Self; unwavering, perpetual meditation
atmaram. rejoicing the Self; united with peace and dwelling in the glory of one's own realised Self
atyanta shunyata. absolute emptiness
avacchinna. separated; detached; limited
avadhut[a]. liberated being; one who has renounced all worldly attachments and cares and lives in a state beyond body consciousness; a mystic or saint who is beyond ego-consciousness, duality and common worldly concerns and acts without consideration for standard social etiquette
avarna. one who does not belong to the hindu caste [varna] system; outcastes
avarana[m]. obstruction; concealment; the veiling power of ignorance; Self-forgetfulness
avasthas. the three alternating states of waking, dreaming and sleeping
avatar[a]. "descent"; a divine incarnation; appearance or manifestation; descent of Reality in a worldly form; deliberate descent of a deity from heaven to earth; descent of the supreme being
avichara buddhi. lack of discerning enquiry
avidya. "to know not"; nescience; inexplicable ignorance that lulls the spiritual being away from its true nature
avinashi. indestructible; imperishable
avirati. hankering after objects; non-dispassion; sensual indulgence; lack of control; non-restraint
avyakta. the impersonal; unmanifest; transcendental; the universal and real pure "I"
avyakto akshara. the Supreme state; unmanifest imperishable
avyavahara. free from worldly activities or concern
ayam. "this"
ayam atma brahma. "This Self is Brahman"; "Atman and Brahman are the same"; "The Self is one and the same with the Absolute"; one of the Mahavakyas to be found in the Mandukya Upanishad of the Atharva Veda
ayur. life or vital force which is permanently moving
ayurveda. "Science of Life"; a 5000 year old vedic system of natural medecine which seeks to balance the three humors within the body, known as kapha [water], pitta [fire] and vata [wind];

B
baba. a sadhu, particularly from the north of India; wise man
bahirmukha drishti. outward-turned consciousness
bahya.
external; outward
bala. strength
bandha. lock or seal; bondage; conditioned; binding; knot
bandhas. body locks; a sustained contraction of a group of muscles that assists the practitioner not only in retaining a yogic posture but also in moving in and out of it; muscle locking/contraction, which focuses energy in the body and is closely tied to the breath; there are three bandhas which are considered our internal body locks – Mula, Uddiyana and Jalandhara
baraka. a blessing from God in the form of spiritual wisdom or divine presence; spiritual power believed to be possessed by certain persons, objects and tombs
bhadra. blessing; happy; well
bhag. splendor and power
bhagavad gita. Song of the Bhagavan or Song of the Lord; a 700-verse episode composed about 200 BC and incorporated into the hindu epic Mahabharata in which Sri Krishna, the 8th Avatar of Vishnu, expounds the doctrine of selfless action done as duty, not for profit or recognition, but in a spirit of dedication to the one supreme being
bhagavan. the Lord; a commonly used name for Reality or Self; a title used for one like Sri Ramana who is recognised as having realised his identity with the Self
bhagavata. a devotee of Reality; Bhagavan
bhagavati. goddess; the feminine form of Bhagavan
bhajan. singing devotional songs in chorus; devotional practice, prayer
bhakta. a devotee; a follower of the path of bhakti; one who wants to please the Guru
bhakti. adoration; divine love; true devotion to absolute Reality, where the devotee focuses so much that he and the Reality become one [if you sing the glories and attributes of the Lord, you will develop love for Him and then your mind will be ever fixed on Him. Intense love for the Lord is real devotion. With this you must surely get full knowledge of the Self]
bhakti marg[a]. the spiritual path of devotion leading to union with Reality [man attains Perfection by worshipping the Lord through the
performance of his own duty, that is, he becomes qualified for the dawn of Self-knowledge]
bhakti yoga. the yoga of devotion chosen primarily by those of an emotional nature; the yoga motivated chiefly by seeing God as the embodiment of love; through prayer, worship and ritual one surrenders to God, channelling and transmuting one's emotions into unconditional love or devotion; one of the four paths of yoga
bhakti yogi. the one who strives to attain union with God through the path of devotion
bhakti rasa. the joy of bhakti
bhargo. radiance; luster; glory; splendour; effulgence; destroyer of ignorance
bhati. shines; manifests; is aware
bhava. conviction; conditional state; subjective state of being; mental attitude or feeling; state of realisation in the Heart or mind
bhava mukha. an exalted state of spiritual experience, in which the aspirant keeps his mind on the borderline between the Absolute and the relative, contemplating the ineffable and attributeless Reality and also participating in the activities of the relative world, seeing in it the manifestation of Reality alone
bhava samadhi. superconscious state attained by devotees through intense divine emotion in which the devotee retains his ego and enjoys communion with the Self
bhava samsuddhi. purity of thought
bhavan. house; hall
bhavana.
spiritual cultivation; fixing the mind; firm conviction through steady concentration; mental attitude
bheda. difference; distinction; disjunction; otherness [the exponent of bheda regards himself as "other than God"]
bheda bhava. a sense of separateness
bhiksha. the food offered to begging ascetics in charity; a feast given to ascetics and other religious persons
bhoga. worldly pursuits of joys and sorrows; worldly affairs; transactions between physical bodies; worldly experience
bhoga kshetra. a place of enjoyment
bhoga marg[a]. the path of worldly pursuits, of joys and of sorrows; path of ease
bhogi. one who seeks happiness without; wordly enjoyer; one involved in worldly joys and sorrows
bhogya. object of experience or enjoyment
bhokta. enjoyer; experiencer; subject of experience or enjoyment
bhranti. delusion; wrong notion; false idea or impression
bhrantija. born of delusion or misconception
bhrantimatra. mere illusion or delusion
bhudeva. the Lord of the earth
bhuloka.
the material emptiness or plane of atomic matter
bhuma. the unconditioned Infinite; Reality
bhumi. ground; foundation
bhumika [bhoomika].
step or stage; state; degree
bhur. the gross or physical world; the earth and material realm of existence made up of the five elements
bhur bhuvah swah. the three worlds or realms of existence – physical, astral and heavenly
bhuta [bhoota]. element; that which has come into being; an entity as opposed to the unmanifest; any of the five elementary constituents of the universe – ether, air, fire, water and earth [akasa, vayu, agni, jala and prithivi]; ghost-like
bhuvah [bhuvana]. the subtle or astral world; the atmosphere; the subtle realm of existence
bija. seed; source; the seed of all incarnations
bija jagrat. "seed of wakefulness"; the consciousness, which is nameless and pure, but in which the jiva, etc., exist potentially, associated with their corresponding concepts and names
bindu. a dot; in yoga, the dot over OM symbolising Turiya
bodha. spiritual wisdom; intelligence; to be awake
bodha lingam. manifest consciousness; manifest Self-awareness
bodhi.
awakened; enlightenment; buddhahood
brahma. God as the creator; one of the hindu trinity
brahma anubhava. direct personal experience of Brahman
brahma chintana. constant meditation on Brahman; constant awareness of Reality
brahma jnana. the realisation of Brahman; direct knowledge of Reality; divine wisdom [Sri Ramana says that Brahma jnana is not a knowledge to be acquired, so that acquiring it one may obtain happiness. It is one's ignorant outlook that one should give up. All that is necessary is to surrender the ego completely to the Guru, to surrender the notion of "I" and "mine". If the ego is surrendered what remains is the Reality]
brahma nirvana. absolute freedom; Brahmic bliss
brahma satyam jagan mithya. "Brahman is real; the world is unreal"; one of the Mahavakyas
brahma sutras. a treatise by Vyasa on vedanta philosophy in the form of aphorisms
brahma upadesa. initiation into the spiritual path of Brahman-realisation
brahmachari. one who observes continence; a religious student in the first stage of life who devotes himself to spiritual practices and to service, and observes strict celibacy
brahmacharya. the first stage of life, the stage of the religious studentship with celibacy; moderation in all things; freedom from craving for all sensual enjoyments; self-restraint on all levels; dwelling in Brahman
brahmaivaham. "Brahman alone am I"
brahmajyoti. the light of God
brahmakasam. absolute space
brahmamaya[m]. formed of Brahman; filled with Brahman; of the nature of Brahman
brahman. the impersonal, non-dual, Final Reality; infinite consciousness; the eternal witness; the absolute Self of all beings; oneness; the supreme Reality that is one and indivisible, uncreated, infinite and eternal; witnessing awareness; all-pervading, all-embracing, changeless existence that is entirely complete within Itself; the Supreme state which is attained here in this life by clear Self-enquiry, which arises in the Heart when association with a Satguru is gained [as Brahman is the cause of all the worlds, He is
beginningless. As He is the Source of all the gods and the great sages, so there is no Source for His own existence. As He is beginningless, He is unborn. He is the great Lord of all the worlds]
brahmana [brahmin]. the first and highest of the four castes of hindu social order consisting of priests, pandits, philosophers, and religious leaders; a wise one
brahmanas. commentaries on the meaning and the use of the vedic hymns contained in the four Vedas, detailing the proper performance of rituals
brahmananda.
the bliss of communion with Brahman, the Final Reality; the experience of one's own being, of the vision of one's own Self and the eventual peace that is unparalleled
brahmanishtha. remaining steadfast in the Absolute; one who is firmly established in the supreme being, in the direct knowledge of the absolute Reality
brahmanubhava. Self-realisation; God-realisation; absolute experience
brahmavichara. enquiry into the Reality; enquiry for Truth through the differentiation between the Real and the unreal
brahmavid. "knower of Brahman"
brahmavidya. science of Brahman; knowledge of Brahman, the supreme Reality; using reasoning to attain the absolute Truth
brahmic. pertaining to the divine Reality
brindavan [vrindavan]. sacred forest on the banks of the river Yamuna, near Mathura, birthplace of Krishna; a particularly holy site for the Vaishnava [worshippers of Lord Vishnu], as well as for worshippers of Krishna
budh. to enlighten; to know
buddha. an awakened one
buddhi. the intellect or higher mind; one of the four aspects of the internal organ; reason; understanding; the intuitive mind; the seat of wisdom; the discriminating faculty
buddhi yoga. the yoga of intelligence spoken of in the Bhagavad Gita which later came to be called jnana yoga, the yoga of knowledge

C
chaitanya [chetana]. the formless consciousness which knows itself and knows others; life-energy; sentience; consciousness occupied with an object; it is this consciousness that Buddha rejected as an obstacle
chakrapani. Diety with eight arms and a blissful embodiment of Lord Vishnu
chakras. the six main yogic centres in the body; points or knots in the subtle human body located at the physical counterparts of the major plexuses of arteries, veins and nerves; meeting points of the subtle, non-physical energy channels, called nadis
chakshuh. eye; the subtle organ of sight; visual sense
chalana. movement
chandala. outcaste
chandra. the moon; the presiding deity of the moon or the astral lunar world
charan-amrita. "nectar of the Lord's feet"; bliss of the Self; perfumed "holy water" sanctified by the feet of a deity or of a holy man
charya.
follow; regular observance of rites; activity; mode of behavior; a way of life
chattram. a place of free lodging for pilgrims and travellers
chela. disciple; one who wants to become the reflection of the Guru
chidabhasa. the false appearance or reflection of consciousness; the ego; the "other"
chidakash [cidakasa]. universal mind; pure consciousness; clear space of awareness; the ether or space of consciousness which is devoid of the ego-sense; the infinite, all-pervading expanse of consciousness; the true Heart of all things; limitless knowledge; unbounded intelligence
chidananda. the bliss of pure consciousness
chidrupa. Self as pure and radiant intelligence
chinmaya. full of consciousness; formed of consciousness
chinmudra. the hand-pose indicating illumination
chinta. enquiry; thought; discussion
chintana. thinking; reflecting
chiranjivi. one who lives forever
chit. pure unitary consciousness, which is the nature of the real Self; absolute consciousness; intelligent awareness
chit jada granthi. the ego-knot between the Self, which is pure consciousness, and the physical body, which is inert and insentient; also refers to bondage, individual self, subtle-body, samsara and mind
chit shakti. power of consciousness or intelligence
chitrambalam. the expanse of consciousness
chitta[m]. memory; the mental mode turned towards objects; that aspect of the mind in which impressions are stored
chitta suddhi. purity of mind; purification of the mind; purity of conscience
chitta vritti nirodha. cessation of the modifications of the mind; control of thoughts
crore. ten million

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D
dahara vidya. contemplation of the deity in the cavity of the Heart
daivika sampatti. the divine qualities
dakshina. a monetary gift traditionally given to a Guru by a disciple
dakshinamurti. name for Lord Shiva as the silent teacher; the Vedas declare that in every cycle of creation Reality manifests as Dakshinamurti and becomes the Guru of the first human beings, those who were most spiritually evolved in the previous creation, teaching them the path to liberation
dalits. modern term used in India to describe those people who are regarded as outcastes or untouchables; people who are considered left out from the four hindu caste classifications and who live on the fringes of the society
dama. self-control; control of the sense organs; restraint of the external functions of the senses
dana. a giving; an offering that a disciple gives to his Guru [Sri Ramana says that the only effective dana is giving the mind to the Guru, and remaining in silence thereafter]
darshan. "sight of" or "seeing"; to see or be seen by a Guru or holy being as well as the blessing received by seeing such a one
dasbodh. 17th century advaita vedanta spiritual text orally narrated in 1654 by Saint Samarth Ramdas [1608-1681] to his disciple, Kalyan Swami, and provides readers with spiritual guidance on matters such as devotion and acquiring Self-knowledge; means "advice to the disciple" in Marathi
dasya.
the attitude of being a servant of Reality
daya. mercy; compassion; empathy; conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings
daivaim. fate; also means God
deepa [dipa]. a wick lamp fed by oil or ghee; a flame in a lamp
deepam [karthigai]. one of the oldest festivals celebrated by the Tamil/Keralite people on the full moon day [purnima] of the month of Karthigai, as per South Indian calendar [on Karthigai day in Tiruvannamalai, a huge fire lamp is lit up on the hill Arunachala and hindu devotees pray to Lord Shiva]
dehadhyasa. false identification with the body
deha[m]. body; state
dehatma buddhi. the feeling "I am this body"
deva. a God or celestial being; spirit being
devasya. "of the Divine"; Grace; the light of the effulgent God
devata. a deity
devi. the divine mother; goddess
dhama [dhaam]. abode; dwelling; place of residence
dharana. concentration; one-pointedness of mind; the sixth of the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga
dharma. "to carry", "to hold"; characteristic; feature; virtuous deeds; harmonious life; inherent qualities; inner principle; the means that elevates a man and helps him to reach the goal of life [realising his innate divinity]
dharma megha samadhi. the final state of one-pointedness, when an individual becomes disinterested even in omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence; when all vasanas are entirely destroyed
dhatri [dhatar]. solar deity; God of health and happiness
dhatu. original element; core; constituent; the vital force in the human being
dhi. intellect
dhimahi.
"we meditate upon"; meditation or knowledge of the Absolute
dhira. steadfast; strong; bold; courageous
dhiyo. intellect; mind; intelligence; understanding of Reality
dhoti. a long piece of material worn around the waist by traditionally-dressed men in India, rather like a long skirt
dhrita. steadfastness; constancy; sustained effort; firmness; patience; endurance
dhriti. steadfast; constant; overcoming non-perseverance, fear, and indecision; seeing each task through to completion; sustaining effort; firmness; patience; endurance
dhyana. deep meditation; a state of pure thought and absorption in the object of meditation [when Ramana Maharshi uses this term he is generally referring to meditation that consists on concentration on a form or a particular thought; the highest dhyana is transcendent and discriminative in character and can come about only when the ego-consciousness is dissolved]; the seventh of the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga
dhyeya. object of meditation or worship; purpose behind action
diksha [deeksha]. formal initiation into spiritual life, effected through the Grace of the Guru who represents the divine Reality; [Sri Ramana stated that silence is the best and most potent initiation]
divya. celestial; divine nature; luminous; supernatural
divya chakshuh. the heavenly eye; divine eye; wisdom
divya shakti. divine energy or power
dosha[m]. defect; imperfection; blemish; fault; shortcoming
dosha drishti. seeing the defects in samsara and samsaric life
drashta. seer; perceiver
dravya. "substance"; material ingredients; living or non-living matter
dravyaguna. complete science of herbal plants, which includes pharmacognosy, pharmacology and therapeutic use of plants; ayurvedic system of pharmacology; science of the attributes of substances
drik. subject
drishta. the visible; see; that which is perceived
drishti. insight; inner sight; seeing; vision; view; gaze; perception
drishti srishti. perception followed by creation
drisya [drishya]. object seen; perceived; the visible; objects of consciousness; the world
drishyam. the seen; the object seen; the seeable; visible; perceptible; object of consciousness; nature
dukha[m]. pain; suffering; misery; sorrow; grief; unhappiness; stress or distress
durga. the divine Mother as Protector and Fosterer
dvaita. duality; the dualistic path; multiplicity; the dvaitists worship a personal god separate from the worshipper
dvapara yuga. the age where is there is an increased decline in the Truth and religious values; this yuga {age] lasts 864,000 years and the lifespan of humans is 1,000 years; the third of four yugas
dwandwa[s]. the pairs of opposites in nature such as pleasure and pain, hot and cold, light and darkness, gain and loss, victory and defeat, love and hatred
dwandwamoha. the delusion of the pairs of opposites
dwesha. aversion; avoidance for something, implying a dislike for it

E
eka. the One; the Unique
eka swarupa. the one Reality
ekagrata. one-pointedness of the mind; concentration; close attention
ekakshara. a common term for OM meaning the single syllable
ekam eva advitiyam. "The only Reality, the One without a second"
ekam evadvitiyam brahma. "Brahman is one, without a second"; "There is one absolute Reality, without any secondary parts"; one of the Mahavakyas
ekarnava. one boundless sea in which state the universe is described figuratively to exist during the dissolution – the potential causes of the next creation being described as the waters of this all-pervading sea
ekata. oneness; homogeneity; absoluteness
ekatva. unity; oneness
ekayana. union of thoughts; monotheism
ekoham bahusyam. "May I, the One, become many"; this describes the primal idea which manifested itself from the One undivided being prior to creation
eshanatrayam. three kinds of desires – desire for wealth, son and wife
eva[m]. only; in fact; thus; so; in this manner; without limitation

G
gaja. elephant
gambhira. deep; magnanimous; dignified; grand; imperious; grave
ganapati. the elder son of Lord Shiva, the remover of obstacles; the same as Lord Ganesha
gandha. the sense of smell
ganesh[a]. the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati; the remover of obstacles; God of wisdom; God of beginnings
gatha. verse; stanza
gaudapada. the Guru of Shankara's Guru, Govindapada
gaya. vital energies
gayatri. the name for a Sanskrit poetical meter that contains three lines of eight syllables each
gayatri mantra. a sacred Sanskrit mantra or hymn from the Rigveda invoking the solar powers of evolution and enlightenment, recited daily by hindus of the three upper castes for the unfoldment of the intellectual powers leading to enlightenment
ghat. a bathing-place; a stairway leading down to a river, pond, or water reservoir
giri. mountain; one of the ten branches of the Shankara Order
giri pradakshina. walking around a holy hill or mountain
gita [geeta]. song; often refers to the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most renowned hindu scriptures, even though there are many other Sanskrit Gitas
gita dhyanam.
nine verses that are recited before reading the Bhagavad Gita; these verses offer salutations to a variety of sacred scriptures, figures, and entities, characterise the relationship of the Bhagavad Gita to the Upanishads, and affirm the power of divine assistance
gopala.
cowherd; a title of Krishna, both as baby and young boy
gopi. milkmaid; childhood companions and devotees of Krishna
grihastha dharma.  according to the hindu system, human life is divided into four successive stages or asramas looked at from the viewpoint of the pilgrim on the spiritual path; the grihastha dharma of the married householder is the second stage, preceded by brahmacharya, the stage of the celibate student
guha. cave
guhya. secret; secret place
guna. fundamental operating principle or quality; mode of nature; attribute; property
gunas. a cosmic quality of which there are three fundamental operating principles – rajas, sattva and tamas – that constitute the mind and physical manifestation and are associated with creation [rajas], preservation [sattva] and destruction [tamas]; the three gunas explain not only the multiplicity and variation seen in the physical universe but the aspects of creation prior to the physical manifestation as well; the dynamic forces of cosmic manifestation [prakriti]
gunamaya. full of qualities or attributes
gunasamya. a state where the three gunas are found in equilibrium; the supreme Absolute
gunatita. beyond the gunas; the state of transcendence of the gunas – freedom from their conditionings
guru. a true spiritual guide and teacher, who is one with Reality, the real Self [there is no difference between Guru, Self and You]; one who disperses darkness [gu means "shadows", and ru means "He who disperses them"]; according to the hindu tradition, the candidate for admission into the spiritual life has to place himself under the guidance of a competent master; in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna speaks to his friend Arjuna of the importance of finding a Guru, "Acquire the transcendental knowledge from a Self-realised master by humble reverence, by sincere enquiry, and by service. The wise ones who have realised the supreme Truth will impart the true knowledge to you."
guru bandhu or guru bhai. co-disciple; having same Guru
guru kripa. the Grace of the Guru; that Self-awareness that is one's own true nature
guru purnima. annual festival traditionally celebrated by hindus and buddhists [generally in July] in which disciples offer worship or pay respect to their Guru
guru stuti. praise of the Guru; verses in praise of the Guru

H
hansa. swan; superconscious
hansa deha. the superconscious state of Self; the highest state of consciousness where Self is associated with supreme Self [Paramatman] and enjoys supreme bliss
hanuman. hindu deity in the form of a monkey who plays a central character in the Indian epic Ramayana; an ardent devotee of Rama, he is considered as the perfect servant of God
hara. "one who takes away"; a title of Shiva; the destroyer; the remover
hari. "I pray to"; "praise to"; the Lord
hari om tat sat. "Glory to Thee, that eternal Truth"; a very ancient mantra from the Vedas
harsha. joy; exhilaration; excitement
hasta diksha. spiritual initiation in which the Guru places his hand on the head of the disciple
hatha yoga. a form of yoga involving difficult bodily postures and breathing techniques
hatha yogi. the one who uses relaxation and other practices such as yamas, niyamas, mudras, bandhas etc.. to gain control of the physical body and the subtle life force [prana]
hiranyagarbha. "golden womb" or "golden egg"; the Source of the creation of the universe or the manifested cosmos in Indian philosophy; the soul of the universe; creative intelligence
homa [havan]. sacrifice offered in the sacred fire; sacred offering in specially prepared fire
hotar. presiding priest
hridaya[m]. "this is the centre"; the Heart essence, which is the very core of one's being without which there is nothing; the Self, as the centre of one's being; the place where Reality shines; the seat of consciousness at the right side of the chest, as experienced and expounded by Ramana Maharshi [Sri Ramana does not imply that there is a particular location or centre for the Self, he is merely indicating that the Self is the Source from which all appearances manifested. It alone is]
hridaya guha. the Heart cave; the core of our being wherein the Self dwells
hridi. the centre

I
iccha. desire; will; wish; divine will; free will
iccha sakti. omnipotent desire-force
ida. the subtle channel that extends from the base of the spine to the medulla on the left side of the spine
idam. "this"; "here"; used to denote objects that are seen or thought of by aham, the perceiving "I"
ihamutrartha phala
bhoga viraga. absence of desire for the enjoyment of the fruits of one's actions in this world and the next
indriyas. the senses
irai pani nittral. living in the service of Reality
isa [isha]. the supreme Lord
ishana. the all-enjoyer; the Lord of everything; the Lord of space
ishta. beloved; the chosen  deity one worships; the particular aspect of the divine Reality with which the disciple will have to be in perfect communion before the supreme Gnosis becomes possible; the Self that is beyond name and form; the Supreme in its aspect of bliss
ishwara [ishvara]. God, as immortal and formless; the name of the supreme Lord indicating his lordship of the worlds; godhood; ultimate Reality; natural dissolution of the mind; the powers of omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience [Sri Ramana maintains that the universe is sustained by the power of the Self. Since theists normally attribute this power to God [Ishwara] he often used the word God as a synonym for the Self. He also used the words Brahman, the supreme being of hinduism, and Shiva, a hindu name for God, in the same way. Sri Ramana's God is not a personal god, He is the formless being which sustains the universe. He is not the creator of the universe, the universe is merely a manifestation of His inherent power; He is inseparable from it, but he is not affected by its appearance or its disappearance]
ishwara maya. the illusory appearance produced by Reality
ishwara pranidhana. constantly living with an awareness of the divine presence; surrender to God's will
ishwara swarupa. the nature of Reality
ishwara vadi. one who expounds the doctrine of a personal god

J
jada. the inert; insentient; unconscious; matter
jaganmaya. the mystery of the world appearance
jagadguru. world Guru
jagat. world; cosmos
jagrat. the waking state of consciousness; the first of the four states of consciousness in which the pure, natural, and unperverted notions of "I" and "mine" arise for the first time
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"
jagrat svapna. "the waking dream"; the state where the mind is totally occupied by the objects of perception, whether they are gross or subtle, and when this mind is constantly busy creating images in itself, which it believes to be real
jagri. to be awake
jaina. a follower of the jain religion which prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings and emphasises the necessity of self-effort to move the self towards divine consciousness and liberation: a soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state of supreme being [jaini is derived from the word "jinah" which can mean saint, conqueror, victor or overcomer]
jala[m]. the earth element
jalandhara bandha. a throat lock achieved by lowering the chin slightly while raising the sternum and the palate bringing the gaze to the tip of the nose
janardana. the Lord of the universe; another name of Vishnu, or God; He who inflicts suffering on evil men; He to whom all devotees pray for worldly success and liberation
janma. birth
japa. incantation; a spiritual discipline involving the meditative repetition of the Lord's name or a mantra as a means to a continual recollection of His presence; uttering the names of the gods or sacred mantras, like OM, either mentally or spoken softly as a method of spiritual practice
jaya. victory; victorious; mastery; hail; salutations
jayanti. the birthday of a god or a holy person; victorious; conquering
jitendriya. one who has controlled the senses
jiva. the individual self, ego or "I"-sense; ego-self which is subject to birth and death; individuality; the illusory person or self that is essentially non-existent, being a fabrication of the mind which obscures the true experience of the real Self; the appearance or illusion of a separate individual consciousness; limited consciousness which appears "as if" it is an embodied soul [birth is the root cause of the modifications of change, growth, decay
and death, but the other changes of state manifest after the birth of the body. Reality is changeless and He is birthless, decayless and deathless]
jivanmukta. "free while alive"; one who is liberated even while living in the body; a realised being free from rebirth
jivanmukti. liberation while alive; the state of jivanmukta; natural samadhi
jivatma[n]. the individual self; individual spirit
jna. to know
jnana[m].
true knowledge; direct knowledge of the non-dual Reality that is the Self; awakened wisdom; Truth consciousness; a pure knowledge inseparable from the total experience of Reality; the Eternel, unbroken, natural state of abiding in the Self; permanent and continuous Self-awareness that remains when the mind and all its activities of objective thought have been eradicated [this term should not be taken to mean that there is a person who has knowledge of the Self, because in the state of Self-awareness there is no localised knower and there is nothing that is separate from the Self that can be known. True knowledge is not an object of experience, nor is it an understanding of a state which is different and apart from the subject knower. It is a direct and knowing awareness of the one Reality in which subjects and objects have ceased to exist]; the annihilation of the mind in which it is made to assume the form of the Self through the constant practice of Self-enquiry
jnana bandhu. a pseudo-jnani
jnana bhumika. stage of Self-knowledge [there are seven steps of Self-knowledge and the one who has ascended them does no once again get caught in the mire of delusion: 1. subheccha, 2. vicarana, 3. tanumanasa, 4. sattvapatti, 5. asamsakti, 6. padarthabhavana, and 7. turyaga]
jnana drishti. the "wisdom-insight" of remaining quiet
jnana kanda. knowledge in the pursuit of Truth
jnana guru. one who initiates a disciple into jnana; one who grants true knowledge; the supreme Self that reveals its own Truth in every Heart; one who has realised the Truth
jnana marg[a]. the path of discriminative knowledge leading to union with thoughtless Reality
jnana mudra. the joining of the thumb and the forefinger of a raised right hand signifying the union of the Paramatman and the jivatman, hereby showing their identity
jnana nistha. firmly rooted unshakable Self-knowledge
jnana sakti. the power of knowledge
jnana siddha. liberated or Self-realised being
jnana swarupa. the embodiment of spiritual wisdom; pure awareness that is free of conceptual encumbrances
jnana vichara. Self-enquiry; enquiry leading to true Self-knowledge
jnana yoga. the yoga of knowledge or wisdom is the most difficult path, requiring tremendous strength of will and intellect, which leads the aspirant to experience his unity with God directly by dissolving the veils of ignorance; constantly and seriously thinking on the true nature of the Self as taught by the Upanishads; one of the four paths of yoga [before practicing jnana yoga, the aspirant needs to have integrated the lessons of the other yogic paths – for without selflessness and love of God, strength of body and mind, the search for Self-realisation can become mere idle speculation]
jnana yogi. the one who uses his mind to enquire into its own nature through the path of knowledge
jnanendriya. the five organs of perception – ear, skin, eye, tongue, and nose
jnani [gnani]. knower of Truth; one who has attained Self-realisation through the path of knowledge; enlightened sage; wise one; a Self-realised being; one who knows "I am"; one who has a direct awareness of himself as the true Self and always remains as a witness of the activities of the senses; one who does not rejoice when he attains desirable objects, does not grieve
when he parts with his cherished objects, and who does not desire the unattained
jnanopadesha. instruction in wisdom
jnata. the "knowing" principle
jnatri. one who knows or understands.
jyoti[h]. light; flame; illumination; luminosity; effulgence
jyoti maya. full of effulgence
jyotish[a]. astronomy; astrology

K
kailash[a]. a mountain in the Himalaya reputed to be the abode of Lord Shiva
kaivalya[m]. absolute oneness; absolute aloneness of the Self; final emancipation [man attains unity with the Supreme when he knows or realises
through intuition that all these manifold forms are rooted in the One. Like waves in water, like rays in the sun, so also all forms are rooted in the One]; one of the 108 Upanishads
kaivalya deha. conscious state where an individual being still deludes itself with the false belief of "I am God"
kaivalya mukti. liberation
kala. time; a unit of time; part; aspect; bit; death; fate; black
kali yuga. the age of strife, discord, quarrel, contention, irreligion and inexplicable ignorance; the last of the four cycles beginning in 3102 BC which the earth is currently passing through [it is said that in the first few thousand years there will be many religions, which will gradually completely disappear from the face of the earth one by one, and after 15,000 years, 99.9% of the humans in the world will become atheistic. There will be very few followers of Truth, and things will get so bad, such that parents will eat their own children]; this yuga [age] lasts 432,000 years and the lifespan of humans is up to 100 years; the fourth of four yugas
kalottara jnana. the knowledge to be revealed at the final stage of maturity
kalpa. cosmic cycle; an aeon; the longest age in hindu philosophy lasting several billion years [the concept is first mentioned in the Mahabharata, and is later found in the Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana]
kalpana. imagination of the mind; the association of name and permanence to objects; presumptive knowledge; assumption; creation
kalpanta. end of an era; end of an eon
kalpita. imaginary; dreamt; unreal creation; mere imagination
kalyana. excellence; auspicious; blessed
kama. lust; desire for physical love; passion
kama sakti. the power of desire
kamala.
lotus; rose colored
karana. the cause; causal; the reason; the seed of all seeds; the original cause of creation; the subtle cause of everything; the unmanifested potential cause that, in due time, takes shape as the visible effect; that which brings the joy of Reality
karana deha. the causal body; a state of pure forgetfulness, ignorance, where there is no thought of well-being nor of the gross and subtle bodies; a state of forgetfulness where nothing can exist; the "knowing" principle
karana jagat. causal world
karana salila. primeval waters; the potential condition of the cosmic energy described figuratively as the water of an all-pervading ocean
karana sarira. the causal body [where the individual rests during sound, deep, dreamless sleep, the intellect, mind and senses being reduced to an unmanifested potential condition]; this is the proximate cover of the soul, known as the sheath of bliss
karani. "in action"
karika. commentary; treatise
karma. action, activity or movement; fate; destiny [it is the karma operating through the law of cause and effect which binds the individual soul to the wheel of birth and death. The defect in karma is not in the action itself but in attachment and expectation of a reward. Nature, and your own nature, too, will urge you to do actions. You will
have to abandon the idea of agency and the fruits of actions. Then no action will bind you]
karma bandha. bondage caused by karma
karma kanda. fruitive activities; activities for sense gratification; activities under vedic injunction, which gradually purify one to understand his true position [once this karma is finished, then the chance for spiritual realisation is offered]
karma marg[a].
the path of ritual, religious duties and action
karma yoga. the yoga of action chosen primarily by those of an outgoing nature; the yoga of selfless devotion of all inner and outer activities as a sacrifice to the Lord; selfless service to God without any intention for gain or reward; one of the four paths of yoga
karma yogi. the one whose actions are not motivated by desire for personal benefit or by any other kind of attachment
karmaphala. the fruit of actions; the consequence of a deed
karta. the doer; the agent, specifically of action
kartruta. the "I am the doer" idea; the feeling that there is a person who is performing the actions that the body engages in
karuna. mercy; compassion; kindness
karyam. to be done; to be performed; a duty
kashaya. taint; impurity
katha. speech; narration; fable; style of religious storytelling
kattalai.
offerings made to a temple at regular times by a devotee
kevala. alone; single; absolute; independent; perfect
kevala advaita. the pure non-dualistic school of vedanta of which the great sage Adi Shankara was an adept
kevala kumbhaka. retention of breath leading to stilling of the mind without inhalation or exhalation
kevala nirvikalpa samadhi. a temporary state of Self-absorption
khyati. apprehension; discernment; knowledge; vision
kirtan[a]. devotional song; the chanting or singing of the names or glories of the Lord
koham. "Who am I?"
kosha [kosa]. sheath; bag; scabbard; a sheath enclosing the soul; body
kratu. sacrifice; action
kripa. Grace; blessing; compassion
krishna. dark; dark-blue; symbol for infinite space; supreme being; the consciousness without form, rules and regulations; central figure of hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita; a historical individual who participated in the events of the Mahabharata
kriya. a purificatory action, practice, exercise or rite; activity; movement
kriya sakti. the power of action
kriya yoga. the yoga of purification
krodha. anger; wrath; fury
kshama. forgiveness; patience; forbearance; functioning in the now
kshatra. rule or authority
kshatriya.
the second of the four castes of hindu social order constituting the ruling and military elite, such as warriors, administrators and law enforcers, who are in charge of the protection of the society by fighting in wartime and governing in peacetime [in a Kshatriya, rajas predominates, and he possesses prowess, splendour, firmness, dexterity, generosity and rulership]
kshetra. a sacred place of pilgrimage; city or the field of body
kshetrajna. the conscious principle known in the field of the body; the absolute witness aware of the three states of the self; waking, dream, and sleep
kshobha. shaking; agitated; disturbed; emotion
kula. possessing a form
kumari. virgin; a formal title of address for an unmarried woman
kumbha. pot; water vessel
kumbha mela. a great spiritual fair held every twelve years
kumbhaka. breath retention; suspension of breath
kundalini. the primordial cosmic energy located in the individual; the yogic principle of serpent power; ascending air
kutastha. the immutable witness; thoughtless witness; the immutable Self; the witness which is absolutely changeless
kutastha chaitanya. inner Self; the witness consciousness that remains uncontaminated
kutastha nitya. the Eternal; without undergoing change; the changelessly permanent Self
kuvalaya. lotus

L
lakshya. target on which attention is focussed; that which is kept in view
laya. dissolution; stages of dissolution of consciousness; annihilation; absorption; absorption of breath and mind in the Heart
lila [leela]. play; sport; the cosmos looked upon as a divine play; movements and activities of the supreme being that are free by nature and not subject to laws
lilamayi. the magical play of the creative power; the divine force whom creation and dissolution are mere play or sport
lilavilasa. the splendour of divine sport
lina. dissolved; merged; lost
linga[m]. a vertical column of stone with a rounded upper end which symbolises the unmanifest Shiva; symbol of the shapeless universal consciousness; mark; gender; sign
linga deha. the astral body; the subtle body
linga sarira. the subtle or psychic body that become particularly active during the dream state by creating a world of its own; the three sheaths of intelligence, mind and vital energy constitute this body
lobha. greed; covetousness
loka. "world"; there are fourteen worlds in the universe – seven higher ones [swarga] and seven lower ones [patala]
lokaishana. desire for fame

M
mada. pride; conceit; intoxication; exhilaration; dementia
madhu. honey; enjoyment
madhura. sweet; honey-like
madhwada. one who enjoys the good and bad things in the world; the jiva
madhya. centre; middle; central
maha. great; mighty; powerful; lofty; noble
mahabharata. the world's longest epic poem comprising of 110,00 verses about the Mahabharata [Great Indian] War that took place about 3000 years ago; also includes the Bhagavad Gita, the most popular sacred text of hinduism
mahabhutas. the great or gross elements; the five primordial elements [ether, air, fire, water and earth] that are responsible for the structure of everything in the universe, animate and inanimate; the building blocks of the material world
mahadakash. material world
mahadeva. Shiva
mahajagrat. "the great wakefulness"; the state in which "the other", and such notions as "I am so and so" and "This is mine" arises
mahajiva. Brahman; cosmic soul
mahakarana. primordial; Turiya or "fourth" state that transcends the three states of waking, dream state and deep sleep
mahakarana deha. the supra-causal body; prime causal state; "I am"-ness or pure consciousness; eternal witness; luminous Self; the pure knowledge "I am"; Turiya
mahan. the Great One; that One which is impossible to adequately praise
mahamaya. "the great illusion"; "the grand illusion"
mahamounam.
stillness of body, speech and mind; peace of total stillness
mahapralaya. the final cosmic dissolution; the dissolution of all the worlds of relativity until nothing but the Absolute remains
mahaprana. the important life-force
mahapurusha. a great person; a great soul; a sage; the supreme Lord
maharajji. "great king"
maharshi. a great sage; the sage who rejoices in his own Self and who knows he does not gain anything by doing any action [to him no real purpose is served by engaging in any action, no evil can touch him as a result of inaction and he does not lose anything by being inactive]
mahasamadhi. the Great Union; a sage's conscious departure from the physical body at death
mahashakti. great power; divine creative energy
mahasunya. the great void; the great emptiness; the formless Absolute
mahat. the great principle of cosmic intelligence; cosmic consciousness
mahat tattva.
first transformation of primordial nature which contains all the other elements in their subtle, unmanifest forms; the physical universe
mahatma. a great soul; highly spiritual person; a master in tune with the Infinite
mahavakya [mahavyahrti]. "great utterance" or "great statement"; specifically four key statement from the Upanishads that declares the nature of Reality and one's identity with It – "Tat Tvam Asi" ["Thou art That"], "Ayam Atma Brahma" ["This Self is Brahman"], "Prajnanam Brahma" ["Brahman is pure consciousness"] and "Aham Brahmasmi" ["I am Brahman"] [vedantic sayings are of two kinds – chief and secondary. The texts
which propound the nature of the jiva and Brahman are secondary texts and produce indirect [intellectual] knowledge. The chief texts propound the identity of the jiva and Brahman and produce direct knowledge]
mahima. greatness; glory; magnification; extensive magnitude; miracle
maitri. friendliness; friendship; love
mala. taint; impurity; defilement; defect; ignorance; limitation of consciousness; also a flower garland or string of beads, usually 108, used to count off repetitions of a mantra
malina. impure; defective
mamakara. treating
things as "mine"
mana[h]. mental; the perceiving faculty that receives the messages of the senses
manana. deep contemplation; subtle enquiry; hearing and profound reflection; meditation on the eternal verities; second of the three stages of vedantic realisation
manas. mind; reason; mentality; the middle levels of mind which exist as or include the mental body [the mind ever changes its point of concentration from one object to another, so it is always restless. It is not only restless but also turbulent and impetuous, strong and obstinate. It produces agitation in the body and senses and is even more difficult to control than the wind]
manasika. pertaining to the mind; mental; mental action
mandala. realm; encirclement; circle; zone
mandir[a]. temple; abode
mangala[m]. auspicious
mani. jewel
manolaya. temporary stillness of thought; temporary suspension of all mental faculties; involution and dissolution of the mind into its cause
manonasa. extinction of the mind; complete and permanent destruction of the mind; remaining permanently as one is without the rising of any doubt or thought such as, "Nothing is known" or "Something is known"
manonirodha. control or annihilation of the mind
mantra[m]. a word or utterance of great potency taken from the Vedas which is believed to have a special spiritual power; sacred syllable[s] or formula through the repetition and reflection of which one attains Perfection or Self-realisation [man means the "mind" and tra means "to cross", so a mantra is an utterance that "crosses the mind" into silence]
mantraksharas. potent sound syllables for the worship of deities
mara. the embodiment of the power of cosmic evil and delusion
marana. causing destruction through the use of certain mantras
marg[a]. a spiritual path; approach to Self-realisation
maruts. belonging to the warrior caste, they are restless, warlike young men feared by everyone; the Brahmanda Purana explains that the seven groups of seven Maruts dwell respectively in seven spheres known as the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the planets, the Seven Seers [Great Bear], and the Changeless Star [Polestar]
mata.
mother
math[a]. a meeting place and abode of sadhu; a monastery
mati. thought; view; opinion; faith; religion; doctrine; tradition; conviction
matsarya. envy
mauna [mouna]. silence; still silence; abidance in stillness; intense activity which is performed with the entire mind and without break; the only intense activity which completely destroys maya; one of Ramana Maharshi's favourite synonyms for the silent thought-free experience of the Self of undisturbed peace and total stillness
mauna diksha. silent initiation
mauna paravak. silent transcendental speech
maya.
"that which is not"; "that which does not exist"; the superimposition without beginning; the illusion; the illusive power of Brahman that makes the false appearance of the unreal world appear to be real; illusory creation; the veiling and the projecting power of the universe; time and space; doubt; the sense-world of manifold phenomena which conceals the unity of absolute being [by the power of maya the supreme Lord playfully creates multiple worlds and deludes all beings, who are in essence non-different from Him]medha. power of understanding; intelligence or intellect
mela. a fair; large religious gathering
mimamsa. "investigation"; an orthodox school of hindu philosophy whose primary enquiry is into the nature of dharma based on close hermeneutics of the Vedas [the nature of dharma is not accessible to reason or observation, and must be inferred from the authority of the revelation contained in the Vedas]
mitahara. moderate appetite, neither eating too much nor too little; nor consuming meat, fish, shellfish, fowl or eggs
mithya. appearance; the false; unreal; illusory; untrue; incorrect
mitra. friend; companion; associate; vedic God of harmony
moha[m]. delusion; obsession based on a false perception and evaluation of an object
moksha. final liberation from birth, death and re-birth; the state of abiding as the Self; complete freedom – physical, mental and spiritual; the supreme awakening of the infinite "I"-consciousness eliminating the limited, contracted egotistic existence
moksha dhaam. final abode; the place of complete freedom; the pathless path
mrityu[m].
dead; death
mritya manas.
dead mind; mind devoid of thoughts and turned inward
mudita.
joy; happiness
mudras. gestures which are
adopted in order to fix the mind on the deities residing in holy places and temples; hand-pose in worship and dance
mukta. one who has attained spiritual liberation
muktajiva. a liberated individual spirit
mukti. spiritual liberation; the state of enlightenment; release
mula [moola]. the origin; the root; the source; the base; the prime
mula bandha. the root lock is performed by tightening the muscles around the pelvic and perineum area; a posture where the body from the anus to the navel is contracted and lifted up and towards the spine
mula prakriti. the primary essence from which all things are formed
mula purusha. the primordial Supreme
mula sthula. the distinction of manifest-unmanifest
mula swarupa.
the ultimate Source
mumukshu. one who desires to be liberated
mumukshutva. the desire for liberation; one of the four prerequisites for qualification as a spiritual aspirant of vedanta
muni [mouni]. a silent one; one observing the vow of silence; sage; ascetic
murta. divine spirit
murti. embodiment; an image that expresses a divine spirit; a god-aspect; a representation of a divinity, made usually of stone, wood, or metal, which serves as a means through which a divinity may be worshiped; a statue representing the transcendental "otherness" of the Divine; idol; figure

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N
nada. sound; the resonance of sound; mystic inner sound; the sound represented by OM
nadi. psychic nerve current; a channel in the subtle body through which subtle psychic energy [prana] flows
nah[a]. "our"; "of us"
naham. "I am not the body"
nama. the spiritual or essential properties of an object or being
nama archanas.
worship
of deities by reciting sacred names
namajapa. repetition of a name of God
namarupa. name and form
namaskar [namaste]. "I bow to [your] form"; "My greetings, salutations, prostration to you", a respectful act of obeisance
nana. diversity
nara.
man
narada.
a primeval sage to whom some of the verses of the Rigveda are attributed
narayana. supreme God; Lord Vishnu
nasha. destruction
nataraja. "King of the Dance"; a title of Shiva, as the cosmic dancer
natha. ruler; protector; Lord
navaneeta. butter
neti-neti. "not this, not this"; "it is neither knowledge nor ignorance"; analytical process of progressively negating all names and forms in order to arrive at the eternal underlying Truth [Sri Ramana says that "after negating all as not this, not this, the awareness of the Self of all remains, and That I am"]
nididhyasana. constancy in the Self; one-pointedness of the mind; cultivation of equanimity in the Self; unwavering, perpetual meditation; third of the three stages of vedantic realisation
nidra. sleep; either dreaming or deep sleep state
nirakara. without form
niranjana. without blemish; spotless
nirasa. desirelessness
nirguna. unmanifested; without form, quality or attribute
nirguna brahman. the supreme Reality, without form, quality or attribute; invisible, unmanifest Brahman; the Brahman that pervades the universe; the impersonal, attributeless Absolute beyond all description or designation
nirmala. pure; without impurity; without defect or blemish
nirodha. restraint; restriction; suppression; dissolution; cessation; disappearance
nirvana. the state of liberation or egolessness; final emancipation; absolute experience
nirveda. indifference
nirvikalpa. indeterminate; non-conceptual; without the modifications of the mind; the undifferentiating man
nirvikalpa samadhi. the state of Self-absorption; transcendental awareness; a state in which all differences between the individual self and Reality cease to exist, because the distinction between knower, knowledge and known is lost; beyond all duality; the state free from ideation in which nothing is perceived
nirvikara. without transformation, modifications, or change; changeless
nischala bhava. immobility; steadfastness; eternity
nishkama karma. desireless action; disinterested action; action dedicated to Reality without personal desire for the fruits of the action; selfless action
nishkamya punya. the spiritual merit that accumulates from doing good deeds that are performed without any particular motive
nishta. steady abidance in the Self; firmly established in one's own essential nature
nirvedam. indifference; non-reaction; non-susceptibility; the state of being unmoved or not influenced by something
nirvedya. unknowable
nirvichara samadhi. a stage in samadhi wherein only pure awareness remains without deliberation, reasoning or enquiry
nitya. eternal; permanent; ever-free; unchanging; the ultimate Reality; the eternal Absolute
nityanitya vastu viveka. discrimination between what is eternal and
what is fleeting
nitya shuddha. eternally pure
nivritti. negation; the path of turning away from activity; withdrawal; renunciation
nivritti marg[a]. the path of renunciation, of withdrawal from the world
niyamas. self-purification and study; religious observances divided into five disciplines that should all be practiced in word, thought and deed – purity, contentment, austerity, study of the sacred texts and constantly living with an awareness of the divine presence; the "shall-do" in dealings with the inner world; the second of the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga
nyasas. the assignment of different parts of the body to various deities, with mantras and gestures

O
ojas. vitality; vigour; luster; inner light; splendour; spiritual energy
om [aum].
  the sacred syllable which represents the non-dual supreme Reality [Parabrahman]; the primordial sound vibration from which all sounds emerge; unity of all that is visible and invisible
om tat. That eternal God
omkara. the sound manifestation of the highest consciousness or highest light called Brahman

P
padam. "the foot"; feet; the ultimate support; a synonym for the Self
padartha.
substance; material
padarthabhavana.
knowledge of the Truth; seeing Brahman everywhere; perceiving the inner essence and not the outer physical form of things, as the separation between subject and a distinct object has dissolved; when external things do not appear to exist and tasks get performed without any sense of doership; the sixth stage in the path of Self-knowledge
padma. lotus; a yoga posture in which the right foot is placed on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh; a synonym for the Self
padmasana[m]. the lotus-posture of sitting for meditation
pakva. fit; proper; mature
panch. five
panchabhuta [panchabhoota].
the five elements – ether, air, fire, water and earth [akasa, vayu, agni, jala and prithivi]
panchama. "the fifth" caste; those people considered to be left out from the four hindu caste classifications
pancharatra. the Vaishnava Sanskrit texts dedicated to worship of Narayana and which form part of the Agamas
panchikarana. five-fold self-division and mutual combination; quintuplication
pandavas. the five sons of King Pandu – Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva – whose lives are described in the Mahabharata
pandit. scholar; pundit; learned individual
papam. vices; sins; sinful actions; full of sinful activities; disgrace
para[m].
 highest; transcendental; supreme; supra; great
parabhakti. supreme devotion
parabrahma. supreme Reality; supreme Lord that assumes unlimited forms; beyond Brahma; that stage of knowledge from where no one can return
parama. Highest
paramaguru. the Guru's Guru
paramakasam. supreme or infinite space
paramakash. spiritual world; pure being
paramananda. supreme bliss; great beatitude
paramapada. the supreme abode
paramartha. the highest attainment, purpose or goal; the understanding of Final Reality; absolute Truth
paramarthika. Self; the only real or true existence; an epithet of Arjuna, meaning "He who destroys his enemy"
paramarthika jiva. ego in deep sleep state; the ego which comes in front of Self and forgets everything, knowing that everything is unreal; identical with Brahman;
paramarthika satya. absolute Reality; the eternal Reality which pervades everything at all times; the permanent state of existence where object and subject have merged together
paramatma[n]. the absolute Self identical with Brahman; the supreme primordial Self at the core of every individual being which remains in one and the same form with its consciousness not undergoing any change; pure unlimited consciousness; eternal existence
paramatma swarupa. the true nature of the Self which is attribute-free consciousness; embodiment of the supreme Absolute
parameshwara [parameswara]. the supreme Lord; the supreme God; refers to the sole deity in monotheism
parameshwara shakti. the power of the supreme Lord
parampara. tradition; one following another; lineage; uninterrupted succession
parampurusha. the imperishable Self; the supreme spirit
paranirvana. the Supreme; Final Nirvana; when the perfectly enlightened individual is released from physical embodiment, never to return to birth in any world, high or low
parasamvit. supreme knowledge; supreme consciousness; the supreme experiencing Principle; Self-luminous knowledge; pure consciousness
parashakti. supreme power
paravak. supreme word; transcendental speech; unspoken word
parayana.
the chanting of the Vedas
pardharma. a path that is alien to the Self and devoted to non-Self
parinami.
 change; modification; transformation; evolution; development
parinami nitya. changing permanent; changing eternal; maya
paripurna[m]. the perfect state; all-full; self-contained
parivrajaka. one who wanders; a roaming ascetic; one who has renounced the world; a sannyasin
parvati. the daughter of King Himalaya; the consort of Shiva
patala. the seven lower regions of the universe, which are located under the earth; underworld or netherworld
patanjali.
a yogi of ancient India; the author of the Yoga Sutras
pavitra. holy; pure; purified; can also mean purifier or sanctifier
payasa[m]. a sweet rice pudding made from rice, milk, ghee, sugar and spices
pingala. solar power or energy; a solar nadi or psychic nerve current which terminates in the right nostril; it is heating in its effect
pitha. seat; throne; chair; a place where something is centred or established
pitru karmas. oblations,
etc., carried out for the sake of forefathers to help them reach a high state
prachodayat [pracodayat]. "may enlighten"; "may guide"; "may stimulate"; "may inspire"; "may sharpen"; "may illuminate"; "may unfold"
pradakshina. walking around a sacred place, object or person in a clockwise direction, signifying that the Lord is the Centre and Source of life
pradhana. the potential but unmanifest ingredients of the material world; prakriti; the chief; the root base of all elements; undifferentiated matter; the material cause of the world in the Sankhya philosophy, corresponding to maya in vedanta [it, however, differs from maya in the following points: it is real, while maya is unreal or phenomenal; it is independent of spirit, while maya is dependent on God]
prajna[nam]. deep sleep; consciousness as essence of the Self or pure consciousness; wisdom; dreamless sleep, where there are no desires nor any dreams; undivided state consisting of bliss; enjoyer of bliss
prajnanam brahma. "Consciousness is Brahman"; "Brahman is the supreme knowledge"; "Knowing absolute Reality is the supreme knowledge"; one of the Mahavakyas to be found in the Aitareya Upanishad of the Rigveda
prajnavastha. transcendental state of consciousness in which the dichotomy between grossness and subtlety disappears in superconsciousness; the pure consciousness of divinity in which the differentiating and diversifying faculties of the mind become inoperative and all mundane desires and dreams wishes are sublimated into the bliss of spiritual experience
prakarana. a subject, topic; chapter; treatise; discussion
prakash[a].
shining; luminous; effulgence; illumination; luminosity; brightness
prakriyas. basic teaching methodologies used in teaching vedanta
prakriti [prakruti]. "nature"; causal matter; primordial substance out of which all things are created; the cause of illusive creation, the delusion; the primal nature without an "I"-sense; primordial unmanifest essence; that state in which the three gunas exist in equilibrium [when this equilibrium is disturbed, creation begins and the body, senses and mind are formed. The man who is deluded by egoism identifies the Self with the body, mind, the life-force and the senses, and ascribes to the Self all the attributes of the body and the senses. In fact, the gunas of nature perform all actions]
prakritilaya. absorbed or merged in prakriti
prakrteh parah. irrelevance of dissolution of consciousness; beyond this material world
pralaya. dissolution; destruction; annihilation
prama. valid knowledge; true knowledge; knowledge of the Real; knowledge free from error and above doubt
pramada. swerving from abidance in the Absolute; the forgetfulness of one's Self
pramana. the means of knowledge
pramanya[m]. truth; validity; proof
prana. the subtle life-force; breath or vital force; inhalation; positive animating energy and vitality in life; the first of the five vital airs centred in the Heart [chest region]; the vital air that maintains the elements of the body in balance and controls their function; the ability to move and to develop; the prevalent element is air
prana pratishtha. when an image of a deity is consecrated for worship, a connection is established with the particular aspect of the Divine which it represents and its image therefore becomes a live focus for the transmission of divine power and blessing
pranam. to bow; to greet with respect; respectful or reverential gesture made by putting the hands together palm-to-palm in front of the chest
pranava. a title of OM, meaning life-ness or life-giver.
pranava japa. incantation of OM
pranayama. yogic breathing exercises; control of the subtle life-force by means of special modes of breathing; regulation of breath leading to integration of mind and body; the fourth of the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga
prapancha. the world; the five elements; the illusory world appearance [this world is only relatively real and the real Self is not affected by it]
prarabdha. karmic "seeds" that have begun to sprout
prarabdha karma. the destined acts that one has to undergo in one's present life; the action that has begun to fructify, the fruit of which is being reaped in this life [Ramana Maharshi presents another viewpoint when he says, "If the agent, upon whom the karma depends, namely the ego, which has come into existence between the body and the Self, merges in its Source and loses its form, how can the karma, which depends upon it, survive? When there is no "I" there is no karma"]
prasad[a]. a consecrated offering; anything offered to a deity or Guru becomes prasad when some or all of it is accepted, blessed and returned to the donor or distributed publicly
pratibhasika. apparent or illusory life based on imagination alone; personal world; the level in which appearances are actually false, like the illusion of a snake over a rope, or a dream; having neither basis, nor any existence; unreality
pratibhasika jiva. ego in the dream state which says this world is illusory
pratibhasika satya. apparent or illusory reality which appears to an individual; the experience of the dreaming state
pratibha. special mental power; imaginative insight; intelligence; splendour of knowledge; intuition; ever-creative activity or consciousness
pratima. image; symbol; reflection; idol; figure
pratyagatman. the Self, whose existence is directly experienced only by turning one's vision inward; the indwelling Self
pratyahara. abstraction or withdrawal of the mind and senses from their objects in order to still the mind; the absorption of the mind in the supreme consciousness by realising the Self in all objects; the fifth of the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga
pratyaksha. perception; directly perceived; immediate perception
pravritti. action; endeavour; to turn forth
pravritti marg[a]. the path of active involvement in the world
prayag. modern-day Allahabad; site of the confluence of the three sacred rivers [triveni] – Ganges, Yamuna and underground Saraswati
prayatna. effort; attempt; conscious activity
prema. love, both human and Divine; in the latter sense, an ecstatic experience
premabhakti. intense love of Reality; to be one with Reality
premakash. universal heart
prithivi. the earth element from which the sense of smell arises
priya[m]. dear; beloved; pleasing; also means the happiness or joy felt when seeing a beloved object
puja [pooja]. worship; ceremonial worship with flowers, water... of a hindu deity; ritual; offering of various articles representing aspects of oneself to the object of adoration
pujari. one who performs ritualistic worship
punarjanma. taking birth again; rebirth; reincarnation
pundit. scholar; learned individual
punya. merit; virtue; meritorious acts; the result of virtuous deeds
puraka. inhalation
purana [puratana]. the ancient; the old
puranas. a number of ancient scriptures attributed to the sage Vyasa that teach spiritual principles and practices through stories about sacred historical personages which often include their teachings given in conversations
purna[m] [poornam]. complete; fullness
purnima. full moon day
purusha. the supreme Self which pervades the universe; conscious spirit; the living Principle; cosmic being whose mind is the moon, whose eyes are the sun and whose breath is the wind; That which fills the whole world with the form of sat-chit-ananda
purushartha. that which is sought by man; refers to a goal, end or aim of human existence; there are generally considered to be four such objectives worthy of human pursuit – wealth [artha], desire [kama], righteousness [dharma] and liberation [moksha]
purushottama. the best of men; an epithet of Reality
puryastaka. cosmic subtle body; the reflection of consciousness within itself

R
radha. the most celebrated of the gopis, the dearest to Krishna
raga. attachment; affinity for something, implying a desire for it; greed; passion
raga bhakti. supreme Love, making one attached only to Reality
raga dwesha. the continual cycle of desire and aversion, like and dislike
raja. king; royal
raja yoga. the yoga of physical and mental control; often called the royal yoga, it offers a comprehensive method for controlling the waves of thought by turning mental and physical energy into spiritual energy through meditation and contemplation; one of the four paths of yoga
raja yogi. the one who practices samyama [the combined practice of one-pointedness of mind, meditation and staying quiet in blissful awareness at one and the same time]
rajas. qualities of restlessness, passion, activity, excitability, aggressiveness and emotion; the principle of dynamism in nature bringing about all changes; through this is protected the relative appearance of the Absolute as the universe; second of the three qualities [gunas] of nature associated with motion, energy and preservation
rajasa ahamkara. egoism born of passion and activity
rajasic. passionate; active; restless; pertaining to rajas; the rajasic intellect is not able to distinguish between
righteous and unrighteous actions
rajasika. passionate; active; restless
rajoguna. restless activity; passion; desire for an object or goal; transformation and change; evolution; basis of pulsations, vibrations, oscillations, and fluctuations in nature; symmetry breaking tendency; originating from desires and attachments, it leads to anticipations and attachments of results; hostile force that pulls one down into samsara
rakshasa. unrighteous spirit; evil spirit; demon; can even have the appearance of a spiritual guide
rama lila. dramatic folk re-enactment celebrating the life of Ram
ram mantra. repetition of the name of Ram, a name for God
rama. an incarnation of God; the king of ancient Ayodhya in north-central India
ramana. enjoyer; one who enjoys or delights in something
ramayana. the great hindu epic poem by Valmiki describing the life of Rama and his consort
rani. queen
rasa. taste; essence; savour; juice; nectar of delight
rati. pleasure
rechaka. exhalation
riddhi. highest experiential delight; increase; growth; prosperity; success; wealth
rigveda. the most ancient collection of hindu sacred verses and the first of the four Vedas, dating from 2000 BC or earlier, consisting of several mythological and poetical accounts of the origin of the world, hymns praising the gods, and ancient prayers for life and prosperity; "praise verse"
rishi. a sage; seer of the Truth
rita[m]. law; right; order; Truth; the natural order of things
rudra. Lord Shiva in one of his five aspects; God as destroyer; He who drives away sin or suffering
rudras. vedic deities of destruction for renewal, the chief of which is Shiva; associated with the ten vital energies [rudra prana] in the body and the eleventh being the Self; they are at times identified with the Maruts, while at other times considered distinct from them
runa. bondage
rupa. physical; form; body: the physical presence that an object or being manifests

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S
sabija. with seed; with attributes; producing samskaras or subtle karmas
sabija samadhi. savikalpa samadhi wherein the seeds of samskaras or karmas are not destroyed, and which produces the highest and subtlest of samskaras or karmas
sadachara. morality; right behavior
sadashiva. eternally auspicious; eternally happy; eternally prosperous; a title of Shiva, the eternally auspicious One
sadguru [satguru]. a fully enlightened Guru who is established in Truth, the underlying existence of Reality; the great master; true Guru, or the Guru who reveals the Real
sadhak[a]. an aspirant; spiritual disciple or devotee; one who practices a spiritual discipline, particularly meditation
sadhana. spiritual discipline; spiritual practice performed for the purpose of preparing oneself for Self-realisation; the means by which liberation is attained [it is difficult to conquer desire because it is of a highly complex and incomprehensible nature, but a man of discrimination and dispassion, who does constant and intense sadhana, can conquer it quite easily]
sadhana chatushtaya. the four-fold aids to spiritual practice [1. the ability to discriminate between the transient and the Eternal | 2. the absence of desire for securing pleasure or pain either here or elsewhere | 3. the attainment of calmness, temperance, spirit of renunciation, fortitude, power of concentration of mind, and faith | 4. an intense desire for liberation]
sadhu. a noble person, or one who has realised the Self; an ascetic or one who has renounced the world in quest of liberation; seeker of Truth; one who is practising spiritual disciplines; one who has dedicated his life to spiritual endeavour; engaged in the pursuit and enjoyment of the bliss of the Self
sadhu seva. serving a sadhu or a mendicant
sadhvi. a female sadhu
sadhyas. deities who guard rites and prayers to the more important Gods
sagar[a]. sea; ocean
saguna. manifested; possessing attributes or qualities
saguna brahman. the Absolute with qualities; manifest Brahman; the Absolute conceived as the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe; the highest attainment which is eternal and undecaying
sahaja. natural; used by Ramana Maharshi to designate the permanent and highest level of experiencing the Self
sahaja jnani. a person who abides in his natural state, having attained Self-knowledge
sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi. the permanent and natural state of absorption in one's Self without concepts; remaining alertly aware and thought-free, with a still mind devoid of differentiation of Self and non-Self even while being engaged in the activities of worldly life
sahaja nishta. being established in the natural state of the Self after completely discarding sense objects; one's own true experience; the natural state
sahaja samadhi. functioning naturally from the Self; natural and permanent abidance in Self
sahaja sthiti. the natural state
sahasrara. the lotus of the thousand petals in the crown of the head
sahasrara chakra. the topmost yogic centre situated in the head; the highest centre of consciousness
sahitya. association; connection; society; combination; harmony
saiva [shaiva]. the devotion or worship of Lord Shiva; pertaining to Shiva; a devotee of Shiva
sakara. "with form"
sakshatakara. Self-realisation; direct perception; direct experience; experience of the Absolute
sakshi [saksi]. the witness; the witness Self which passively observes the actions of the body and the senses without any contact with activity; the intuitive seer of Truth; the vision of the Self as the all-pervading witness
sakshichaitanya. the witness consciousness or intelligence
sama. control of the mind; abandonment of desires at all times; tranquility
samadarshana. equal vision; seeing all things equally; equal-sightedness; equanimity
samadhana. perfect concentration of the mind on the one Reality; concentration and contemplation upon the vedantic texts and the words of the Guru
samadhi. transcendental awareness; the quiet state of blissful awareness; oneness; union with Brahman; the goal of all yogic practice, which is attained when the yogi constantly sees the supreme Self in his Heart; a direct but temporary absorption in the Self in which there is only the feeling "I am" and no thoughts; the state of superconsciousness where Reality is experienced attended with all-knowledge and joy [when prana and apana flow together through the central passage of the spinal column to the top of the head, the experience of samadhi takes place]; here the mind becomes identified with the object of meditation and the meditator and the meditated, thinker and thought become one in perfect absorption of the mind; the eighth of the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga; the term is also used to describe the tomb of a saint
samadrishti. an
equality of vision
samana. the third of the five vital airs which controls the ability to balance, hold and contract; the general force of digestion [abdominal region]; circulation; the prevalent element is fire
samarasa. homogeneity; even essence; equilibrium; the process of bringing the body into a harmonious resonance with Reality
samarasya. the oneness which results from the elimination of all differences
samasti. cosmic; collective; an integrated whole of the same class of entity
samata. equality; impartiality; equanimity
samaveda. the third of the four Vedas, dating from 1700 BC, consisting of hymns, portions of hymns, and detached verses to be sung [using specifically indicated melodies] by the udgatar priests at sacrifices in which the juice of the soma plant, clarified and mixed with milk and other ingredients, is offered in libation to various deities; "melody"
samhara. destruction; dissolution
samhita. "compilation of knowledge"; a collection of vedic mantras or hymns mainly concerned with nature and deities; the Samhitas form the first part of each of the four Vedas; one of the two primary sections of each of the Vedas, containing hymns and sacred formulae, the other section being the Brahmanas
sampradaya. tradition; school; doctrine; handed-down instruction
samprajnata samadhi. meditation with concepts; contemplation
samprajuata. silent mind in meditation
samprayoga. contact of the senses with their objects; communication; interchange; uniting; connecting
samsaktti. attachment; selfimposed conditioning where the infinite Self is taken to be identical with the physical body
samsangam. contact; attachment
samsara. repetitive history; worldly bondage; earthly suffering; the continuous round of birth and death to which the individual is subjected until it attains liberation; earthly suffering
samsari. person entangled in this material world; materially contaminated; materialist
samshaya. doubt; suspicion
samskara. innate tendency; impression; a mental impression or tendency continuing from the past
samudra[m]. ocean,
samvedana[m]. thinking; cognition; comprehension; feeling; experience; knowledge
samvit. knowledge; consciousness; awareness; intelligence
samyama. the three disciplines of one-pointedness of mind, meditation and staying quiet in blissful awareness all practiced simultaneously; an all-complete condition of balance and repose
sanatana. eternal; everlasting; ancient; primeval
sanchita karma. all the accumulated actions of all previous births that still remains to be experienced; the store of karmic debts accumulated from the past or previous births
sandhya. juncture; junction point; transitional period
sanga [sangha]. association or assembly; company or community with a common goal, vision or purpose
sankalpa [samkalpa]. volition; a wish that something should happen; desire; intention; imagination; mental activity; idea; tendency and attachment
sankhya [samkhya]. original vedic philosophy which teaches that liberation and true knowledge are attained in the supreme consciousness; one of the six orthodox systems of hindu philosophy whose originator is the sage Kapila
sankhya yoga. the union of the body and mind
sannyasa [samnyasa]. renunciation; monastic life; the fourth and last stage of life in which a man renounces family, possessions, caste, social position – everything to which he is attached – and surrenders himself to the divine Reality [technically, it is of two kinds: vividisa sannyasa preceded by a sense of detachment from the world; and the other is vidvat sannyasa, which is sannyasa par excellence, preceded by the dawn of the realisation of Reality. In the former, certain rules of discipline have to be observed. The latter is total freedom]
sannyasin [samnyasin]. one who has renounced the world; one who has neither attachment nor aversion to anything; one who has renounced egoism and desires
santa[m]. tranquility; tranquil and boundless ocean of the Self; pacified; peaceful; neutrality
santa vak. in silence
santodanta. one who is calm and self-controlled
santosha. contentment; peacefulness
sapthaha. pilgrimage
sarangati dharma. self-surrender; surrendering all actions to the Divine with the thought, "I perform all actions for the sake of the Lord only"
saraswati. goddess of speech, wisdom, learning and the arts
sariram. body
sarva. all; everything; complete
sarvajna. knowing everything; omniscience
sarvajnatva. omniscience
sarvam khalvidam brahma. "All of this is Brahman"; "All of this, including me, is that absolute Reality"; one of the Mahavakyas
sarvasunya. the state devoid of all sense objects
sarvatma bhava. the state of experiencing the Self as all; abidance in oneness
sarvamatma. knower and the non-knower of the Self
sat. the underlying existence of Reality; the Truth; the Supreme; the Real; true existence; pure being that is undistorted by bias, prejudice, or belief systems
satachara. the observance of Reality
satbodham. being-consciousness
sat-chit-ananda. the natural state of being-knowledge-bliss; Truth being in bliss; Truth being in bliss; the Source of knowledge or consciousness; pure knowledge [Sri Ramana teaches that the Self is pure being, a subjective awareness of "I am" which is completely devoid of the feeling "I am this" or "I am that". There are no subjects or objects in the Self, only an awareness of being. Because this awareness is conscious, It is also known as consciousness. The direct experience of this consciousness is, according to Sri Ramana, a state of unbroken happiness and so the term ananda or bliss is also used to describe it. These three aspects, being, consciousness and bliss, are experienced as a unitary Whole and not as separate attributes of the Self. They are inseparable in the same way that wetness, transparency and liquidity are inseparable properties of water]
satguru [sadguru]. the supreme Self; divine consciousness in the form of an enlightened sage who guides initiated disciples along the spiritual path, the summation of which is the realisation of the Self; true dispeller of darkness and revealer of light; a perfect master who teaches the perfect knowledge and love of Reality
satkarma. good or meritorious acts
satsang[a]. company with Truth; keeping conscious company; association with one's true nature; association with the wise; the practice of the presence of Reality that removes association with worldly objects and destroys all attachments or tendencies of the mind
sattva [sattwa]. qualities of harmony, goodness, purity, intelligence, serenity and light; first of the three qualities [gunas] of nature associated with preservation
sattvaguna. the single principle which leads to happiness, sentience, unity and unification, symmetry, salvation and liberation; resistance to binding action and to both positive and negative space-time curvatures; facilitates the reflection of consciousness and is favourable for the attainment of liberation; it's effect is Brahmavichara [enquiry for Truth through the differentiation between the Real and the unreal]
sattvapatti. purity of Heart; attaining Reality; the passage of the mind in Truth; a state of mind wherein the mind is full of purity and light; when the aspirant begins to feel the being of the real Self within him; the fourth stage in the path of Self-knowledge
sattvasamsuddhi. purity of heart; purity of feeling; increase of light and purity
sattvic. pure; harmonious; steady; pertaining to sattva
satya[m].
truthfulness; honesty, the Truth
satyam-shivam-sundaram. "The True, God and the Beautifull"
satya grahin. seeker of Truth
satya kama. he who longs or desires for Truth
satya narayana. supreme Truth
satya sankalpa. true intentions; good intentions; whatever he desires is fulfilled by the Lord's Grace [first of all, he does not desire anything for his material benefit, and secondly if he desires anything at all, he simply desires to serve the supreme Lord. That desire is fulfilled by the Lord's Grace]
satya yuga. the age of the Truth, where everyone in the world is truthful; "golden age": this yuga [age] lasts 1,728 million years and the lifespan of humans is up to 100,000 years; the first of four yugas
savikalpa. possessing variety or admitting of distinctions
savikalpa samadhi. a state of consciousness in which the distinction between knower, knowledge and known is not lost; a state of samadhi in which one's consciousness temporarily dissolves into Reality; absorption in Reality where the consciousness of duality and multiplicity still remains
savitri. name for the sun – the protector, the luminous, life-giving energy; deity associated with the Gayatri mantra
savitur. the radiating Source of all creation with the brightness of the sun; the spiritual light that destroys ignorance and bestows wisdom, bliss and eternity; divine illumination
sayujya. becoming one with Reality; united with Reality; union; merging
seva. selfless service
shabda. sound; word
shabdakshara. sound syllable; OM
shak [sak]. "to be able"; "to have power"
shakta [sakta]. the worship of shakti; powerful
shakti [sakti].
power; potency; the force, energy or activity of the Divine; more specifically, the power through which the universe is created and sustained; cosmic energy; the apparent dynamic aspect of eternal beingness; pure blissful consciousness; the entire creation is shakti's thought
shaktipat[a]. direct transmission of spiritual energy
shama. calmness; tranquility; control of the internal sense organs; same; equal
shambho. the beneficient; auspicious; origin of bliss; bestower of happiness
shankara. the auspicious One; beneficent One; Adi [the first] Shankaracharya; the great reformer and re-establisher of vedic religion in India around 300 BC
shantam [santam]. peaceful
shanti [santi].
tranquillity; calm; contentment; peace, the peace of mind that one experiences when one is directly experiencing the Self
sharanam. refuge; protection; shelter
sharira. body
shastra [sastra]. sacred hindu analytical scripture; spiritual treatise
shastri [sastri]. one who is a scholar and master of the scriptures
shatkasampatti [satkasampatti]. the six great virtues [1. control of the mind | 2. control of the sense organs | 3. cessation of activities related to caste, creed and family | 4. patient forbearance of suffering | 5. faith in the holy scriptures and trust in the Guru | 6. concentration and contemplation upon the vedantic texts and the words of the Guru]; one of the four prerequisites for qualification as a spiritual aspirant of vedanta
shaucha [saucha]. purity; internal and external cleanliness; avoidance of impurity in body, mind and speech
shesha. the endless; infinite
shiksha. teaching; instruction
shila. conduct; good behavior; right discipline; morality; quality or property; stone; rock
shishya. disciple; student; also means a mirror
shrotra. ear; the sense or faculty of hearing
shruti [sruti]. sacred scripture; that which is heard or revealed; revealed scripture in the sense of divine communication with the original impusle "I am"; generally applied to the Vedas and Upanishads
shubha. auspicious; fortunate
shuddha. pure; clear; clean; untainted
shukshma deha. the subtle or astral body, which possess nineteen properties – five vital breaths, ten organs and four inner sense organs; the body for enjoying worldly pleasures
siddha.
one who has attained Self-realisation; one who has become Self; a seer of Truth; accomplished being; a perfected yogi; the one who has become Self or All; those without attachments or aversions
siddhaloka. the highest realm of existence in which the fully liberated live
siddhanta. the doctrine; the final statement; the tradition; the goal; the conclusion
siddhasana. eternal Reality; also a particular Yogic posture
siddhi.
realisation; attainment; accomplishment; achievement; mastery
siddhi yoga. yogic attainment which can only be attained and sustained by effort, and that when the effort lapses, the "attainment" disappears
siddhis. supernatural powers attained through mantra, meditation, or other yogic practices; miracle
sita.
the consort of Rama and daughter of King Janaka
siva [shiva]. a hindu name for God; God as the destroyer or transformer; one of the hindu trinity; the supreme Lord; He who is all bliss and the giver of happiness to all
siva bodha. God-knowledge or existence-consciousness
siva jnana. the mind-free natural state
siva lingam. the symbol of Shiva which is an object of worship; a column-like or egg-shaped symbol of Shiva, usually made of stone
sivam [shivam]. the true consciousness of Shiva; the Self; the highest and most abstract tattva or principle
sivoham. the incantation "I am Shiva"
skandha. group; aggregate
sloka. a stanza in Sanskrit poetry
smarana[m]. remembrance [of Reality]
smriti [smrti]. "what is remembered"; authoritative "remembered" scriptures composed after the Vedas around 500 BC; a codified component of hindu laws on dharma [this is seen in the Ramayana, in which the traditions of the main characters portray a strict adherence to or observance of dharma]; seen as secondary in authority to sruti
snana. ritual bath in a sacred river, pond, lake, or ocean
soham. "I am He" [Reality]; "That am I"
soma. "elixir of immortality"; a ancient vedic ritual drink prepared by extracting juice from the stalks of a ephedra plant; in the Vedas, the drink and the plant refer to the same entity, and is perceived as a giver of immortality, a healthy and long life, offspring, happiness, courage, strength, victory over enemies, wisdom, understanding and creativity
spanda. vibration; expanding vibration; flutter; throb; movement; pulsation; creative pulsation; the principle of apparent movement from the state of absolute unity to the plurality of the world
sparsha. touch; sense contact
sphurana. vibration; a throbbing; a pulsation; [Ramana Maharshi generally associated it with aham, the "I", in which context it means the continuously experienced emanation of the real "I", the Self]
sraddha. earnestness; faith; faith in the scriptures and the Guru; confidence or assurance that arises from personal experience
srauta. a vedic tradition that places more emphasis on the performance of rituals [yajnas], rather than having a set of beliefs
sravana [shravana]. hearing, especially the sacred Truth from the master; devoted attention to the precepts of the Guru; first of the three stages of vedantic realisation
sri [shri]. holy; sacred; excellent; venerable; blessedness
srimad bhagavat. one of the main 18 Puranas, dealing with the avataras of Vishnu, especially and in great detail with the life of Lord Krishna
srishti. creation; projection or gradual unfoldment of what exists potentially in the cause; evolution of the universe from its seed state
srishti drishti. creation followed by perception
sruti. "what is heard"; pitch; vedic text directly revealed in meditation to the vedic seers of Truth, comprising the central canon of hinduism and is one of the three main sources of dharma
sthala. abode; place; hall
sthambana. freezing one's capabilities
sthira. fixed; firm; still; steady; stable; enduring
sthitaprajna. one who firmly abides in the state of Self-knowledge; the unshakable man who is calm, full of wisdom and rooted in God; a Self-realised sage
sthiti. steadiness; stability; subsistence; continued existence; immobility; firm
sthula [sthoola]. gross; physical or gross form; the manifest; big or heavy; thick; coarse; bulky
sthula deha.
the gross body; the physical body made up of the five essential elements; lowest state of consciousness
stotra[m]. a hymn in praise of Reality
stuti. singing the praises of the Lord with a great feeling of devotion
subha. auspicious; blessed
subheccha. good desire for enlightenment; longing for the Truth; noble wish or desire which arises in the heart of one who aspires to cross samsara; when the individual having come to the consciousness of the evils of the earthly living aspires to transcend it; the first stage in the path of Self-knowledge
suchi. pure; untainted
suddha. purity
suddha manas. pure mind; mind without concepts
suddha sattva. uncontaminated purity
sudra [shudra]. the fourth and lowest of the four castes of hindu social order consisting of laborers, artisans and servants [in a Sudra, tamas predominates and he renders service to the other three castes]
sukha. happiness; ease; joy; happy; pleasant; agreeable
sukshma. subtle; fine or subtle form
sukshma deha. the subtle body
summa iru. "be quiet"; "be still"
sundara[m]. beautiful
sunya [shunya].  void; nothingness; non-existence; vacuity; nullity; the interval or gap between every two persons, things, feelings, thoughts and ideas which of necessity exists in the world of duality
sunyabhava. thought-free state of emptiness; the state where the individual is only aware of his conscious being while everything else is like a void, without existence
sunya adin.
an atheist; one who denies the existence of God or ultimate Reality
surya. the name for the sun while it is above the horizon; the presiding deity of the sun, sometimes identified with Vishnu or the absolute Reality
susumna [sushumna]. the important psychic nerve current that passes through the spinal column; the amrita, or eternal channel
sushupti. "deep dreamless sleep"; the state in which a person is wrapped in profound self-oblivion and both the mind and body are dormant
susuptam. "deep sleep"; the total inertia state in which the seeds of sorrow are still present and where the world vanishes into dense darkness
sutra.
aphoristic words with minimum words and maximum sense; literally, a "thread"
suttarivu. the false consciousness that divides itself into someone who sees and objects that are seen
sutratma. the silver cord in metaphysical literature, also known as the life thread of the antahkarana, refers to a life-giving linkage from the higher Self down to the physical body; it also refers to an extended synthesis of this thread and a second [the consciousness thread, passing from the soul to the physical body] that connects the physical body to the etheric body, onwards to the astral body and finally to the mental body
swabhava [svabhava]. one's own inherent nature or potentiality; innate nature; ascent of contemplation
swabhavasthiti. the natural state
swadharma. one's duty or path to one's own true nature of Self; the natural path that leads to Self-knowledge, Self-realisation
swadhyaya.
personal study; study of the sacred texts
swah [svah]. the celestial or spiritual world; the causal realm of existence; the heavens
swaha.
"it is offered"; a mantra used when offering oblations to the sacrificial fire
swamahima [svamahima]. Majesty of the Self; "in His own glory"
swami. literally, "I am mine", in the sense of absolute Self mastership; He who is one with his Self
swanubhava. one's own experience
swapna [svapna]. "dream sleep"; a dream state characterised by the experience of division and diversity, which, though illusory, appear to be real on account of repeated indulgence, and which are later remembered in the waking state as having been seen in the dream
swapna jagrat. "dream wakefulness"; the state in which the memories of the distant past are revived and experienced as if "now"
swaprakasha. Self-luminous; Self-illumined; Self-revealing
swarga [svarga]. heaven; the celestial region; a place of light and happiness; the seven upper regions of the universe
swarupa. real form or real nature; one's true nature; the Self; one's actual or essential nature; the underlining Reality that pervades and supports all manifestation
swarupa nishta. steady abidance in the Self; continuous attention to the Self until one becomes wholly absorbed in It
swasthya [svasthya]. Self-abidance through obliteration of the world
swasti. an expression of salutation meaning "may it be well with you"; successful; fortune; well-being
swastika. sign of auspiciousness
swayambhu. self-existent or self-generated
swayamjyoti. Self-luminous; Self-illumined
swatantra. independent; absolutely free; freedom; self-rule

T
taijasa. consciousness turned inward; an individual in the subtle state, as in a dream; when the Self, identified with the experiencer, is veiled and coloured by an individual's subtle body; enjoyer of subtle dream-objects
tamas. qualities of darkness, dullness, error, ignorance, delusion, inactivity, sluggishness, heaviness, inertia, folly and evil; last and lowest of the three qualities [gunas] of nature associated with destruction and diseases, and is seen as a form of inexplicable ignorance that lulls the spiritual being away from his true nature
tamasa [tamasha]. overwhelmed by the darkness of ignorance; transactions between physical bodies
tamoguna.
action which is limiting, localising, encircling, internalising and confining; absorbed by the quality of ignorance; gross, inert and visible; basis of all mental and physical forms and forces; originating from ignorance, it leads to extremes or slothfulness
tanmatras. atoms; the pure, rudimentary elements; the subtle essence of the five elements
tantra. a manual of or a particular path of sadhana laying great stress upon japa of a mantra and other esoteric practices relating to the powers latent in the human complex of physical, astral, and causal bodies in relation to the cosmic power usually thought of as the divine feminine
tanumanasa. thread-like or "weakened" state of mind which arises from disinterestedness in the pleasure of the senses; a thinning out of mental activities; when on account of the knowledge of its ultimate unreality revealed by philosophical thinking and analysis, the mind becomes less and less assertive, eventually abandoning the many and remaining fixed on the One; the third stage in the path of Self-knowledge
tapa. trouble; acute anxiety; anguish; suffering
tapas [tapasya]. austerities; purificatory actions; penance; an intense spiritual effort, often involving some sort of bodily mortification, whose aim is to burn off karma and spiritual impurities; severe spiritual discipline; Self-attention
tapatraya. the three miseries to which mortals are subject – daiva, bhuta and atma [daiva is the painful condition where one has no control in material life; bhuta is the painful condition caused by other living entities; atma is the painful mental condition of troubles and anxieties pertaining to body and mind]
tarbodham. self-conceit
tarka. reasoning; logic; argumentation; debate
tarka shastra. a science of dialectics, logic and reasoning, and art of debate that analyses the nature of knowledge and its validity
tat. supreme Reality; that one Reality; That; that One; Brahman; boundless Self; God
tat tvam asi. "Thou art That"; "You are Reality"; "That absolute Reality is the essence of what you really are"; one of the Mahavakyas to be found in the Chandogya Upanishad of the Sama Veda
tattva [tattwa]. the Truth; the Reality
tattva jnana. knowledge of Reality or Self
tattva jnani. a person who knows the Reality as himself
tejas. splendor; radiance; brilliancy; the element of fire; luster; effulgence
thanmaya nishta. the state of absolutely being That in truth
tirtha.
a sacred place of pilgrimage; a river or body of water in which it is auspicious and spiritual beneficial to bathe; the water offered in ritual worship and then sprinkled on or drunk by the devotees
titiksha. fortitude; patient forbearance of suffering; patient endurance of all sorrow or pain which is conducive to happiness; endurance of opposites; tolerance
tivra mumukshutva. intense, earnest and consuming desire for liberation
trailokyanatha. the Lord of of the three worlds
trayate. preserves; protects; gives deliverance; grants liberation
treta yuga. the age where there is the introduction of ignorance; this yuga [age] lasts 1,296 million years and the lifespan of humans is up to 10,000 years; the second of four yugas
trigunas. the three gunas or qualities – sattva, rajas, and tamas
trigunatita. beyond the three gunas
triloka. the three worlds of existence [1. bhuloka – "earth world", the physical plane | 2. antarloka – "inner or in-between world", the subtle or astral plane | 3. sivaloka – "world of Shiva" and of the gods and highly evolved souls, the causal plane]; the triple world of samsara
trimurti. the three forms – Brahman, Vishnu and Shiva; the hindu trinity
triputis. the triple form; the trinities of seer-seeing-seen and knower-knowing-known
trishna. thirst; craving; desire
turiya [turyaga]. the "fourth"; the fourth state which underlies the three alternating states of realitive consciousness – waking, dream and deep sleep [dreamless]; superconsciousness; perpetual samadhi; witness consciousness, ever-present, undivided and unchanging; transcendental awareness; oneness; when the mystic experience of being one with the Reality is realised in consciousness; the one who attains this state is called a jivanmukta and does not perform activities, either by his will or the promptings of others
turiya ananda. bliss experienced in the state of Turiya, the fourth state
turiyatita. "transcending the fourth"; beyond Turiya [Sri Ramana occasionally used the word Turiyatita to indicate that there are not really four states but only one real transcendental state]
turiyavastha. the highest state of consciousness in which the essential nature of the Self is experienced; the pure, tranquil and steady state of superconsciousness in which all discriminating and differentiating attributes are transcended and dissolved in the eternal Reality of Brahman [Sri Ramana stated that the Self was the underlying Reality which supported the appearance of the other three temporary states, and because of this, he sometimes called the Self as "Turiyavastha"]
tushti[s]. contentment; satisfaction; happiness with the status quo
tyaga. abandonment; renunciation; rejection; giving up
tyagi. a renouncer; an ascetic

U
uchadana. driving one out with the force of mantras
udana. the fifth of the five vital airs, whose seat is in the neck, which is responsible for controlling the ability to ascend, rise up and grow; the general force of assimilation that rules the region of the body above the larynx and governs the use of the special inner sense of intuition; associated with the upward movement of the kundalini in the subtle body; its prevalent element is ether
uddhava. "conviction becoming firm"
uddiyana bandha. a lower abdominal lock often described as bringing the navel to the base of the spine; most important bandha as it supports the breathing and encourages the development of strong core muscles
ujji. "to be victorious"
ujjayi. "victorious breath"; a breathing technique performed with breath-synchronised movements [vinyasa] which consists of inhalation and exhalation; the ujjayi breath is typically done in association with yigic postures
upadesa. "of this instruction"; the spiritual guidance or teaching given by a Guru; spiritual instruction; teaching; initiation
upadhi. "limited by"; limitation; external imposition; a term used in vedanta philosophy for any superimposition that gives a limited view of the true Reality and makes It appear as the relative, like the body of a man or animal is the upadhi of its spirit; one of many conditions of body and mind obscuring the true Self which needs to be removed for the attainment of liberation
upadhi ananda. bliss rising from something external and limited
upalakshita. "indicated by"
upanishads. philosophical writings of the ancient sages of India on the knowledge of absolute Reality, forming the final part of the Vedas
uparati. renunciation of activities that are not duties; cessation of activities related to caste, creed or family; the power to ensure that the senses may not once again be drawn toward worldly objects; indifference toward the enjoyment of sense-objects; total calmness; tranquillity
upasana. "sitting near" or "drawing near"; worship; adoration; devout meditation; uninterrupted meditation upon a deity or a form or a word like
OM until one becomes that deity or form or word [it is a technique which is not generally followed nowadays and its modern equivalent is bhakti or devotion]; experience of the natural state during spiritual practice
utpatti. coming into existence; arising; occurrence; birth; origin
utsava. festival; celebration
uttama. superior; highest; best

V
vac. mystic speech
vada.
"doctrine"; "way"
vaidika dharma.
a diverse body of religion, philosophy, and cultural practice native to and predominant in India, characterised by a belief in reincarnation and a supreme being of many forms and natures, by the view that opposing theories are aspects of one eternal Truth, and by a desire for liberation from earthly evils
vaikunta. the paradise of Vishnu
vairagi. a renunciate
vairagya. dispassion; absence of worldly desires; detachment; desirelessness; disinterest; indifference towards and disgust for all worldly things and enjoyments; one of the four prerequisites for qualification as a spiritual aspirant of vedanta
vaishnava. the devotion or worship of Lord Vishnu, or his associated Avatars such as Lord Rama and Lord Krishna; a devotee of Vishnu
vaisya [vaishya]. the third of the four castes of hindu social order consisting of agriculturists, cattle raisers and traders, but over time they came to be landowners, traders and money-lenders [in a Vaisya, rajas predominates, and he does the duty of ploughing, protection of cattle and trade]
vaisvanara. the cosmic man in the field of the waking state; consciousness turned outward; the cosmic being, the person who feels, and has the consciousness that He is all this cosmos; the nature of the waking consciousness, both in its individual and cosmic aspects; the Self reigning supreme in the physical cosmos; enjoyer of gross objects
vakra.
bend; deformity
vakya. word or statement
valmiki. the first poet of India, author of the Ramayana and the Yoga Vasistha
van. having; possessing; master
vanaprastha. a forest dweller; also the third stage of life in which, leaving home and children, the husband and wife dwell together in seclusion and contemplation as a preparation to taking sannyasa
varenyam. the most adorable; finest; beloved; the excellent one; worthy of worship; worthy of being sought
varistha. the most excellent or best; most preferable among; widest; broadest; largest; most extensive
varna[s].
caste; social order; in traditional hindu society there were four divisions or castes according to the individual's nature and aptitude – Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra – and this division is according to the guna and karma
varuna. a vedic deity considered the sustainer of the universe and also the presiding deity of the oceans and water
varuni. pertaining to water
varuni dharana.
contemplation of Lord Varuna
vasana. latent tendency; an inherent tendency and inclination due to conditioning which impels the mind to project and witness an illusory world; subtle impressions that lead to desires; mental conditioning or habit, such as like and dislike, that make the mind behave the way it does; subtle desire which is the cause of birth and experience in general
vasanakshaya. the destruction of all latent tendencies; annihilation of subtle desires and impressions
vashikara. mastery; control, especially complete control; power
vasistha. one of the most famous of vedic seers of Truth
vastu. the ultimate substance
vastu-tattvam. the underlying existence of Reality
vasudeva. "He who dwells in the hearts of all things"
vasu. dweller or dwelling
vasus.
eight elemental gods representing aspects of nature, representing cosmic natural phenomenon [Agni, Prithvi, Varu, Antariksha, Aditya, Dyaus, Chandramas and Nakstrani]; attendant deities of Indra and Vishnu
vayu.
the air element; air current related to the "airy" vital forces of the body; vedic God of the wind; the vayus or air currents exist both in the physical and subtle bodies, functioning through the body, mind and senses [the five major vayus are prana, apana, samana, udana and vyana]
veda. knowledge; wisdom; understanding; revealed scripture
vedanta. "the end of the Vedas"; the philosophy based primarily on the Upanishads which leads to the end of knowledge; there are three main schools of vedanta – dvaita, advaita and kevala advaita; the vedantic essence is – "God only is real. The world is unreal. The individual is none other than God." [the practice of vedanta is to destroy ignorance by exercising the will over attachment to the unreal, and by overcoming fear and anxiety by finding the bliss in the Eternal. The aspirant is guided by a realised Guru, until he/she attains the final understanding that there is no duality between Guru and God. The beauty of vedanta is that it transcends dry philosophy and mere intellectual concept. Vedanta is an actual life experience, a philosophy in practice]
vedantin. a follower of vedanta
vedas.
the most ancient Hindu scriptures which state that all matter is derived from consciousness; the system of knowledge which perceives the universe as an intelligent, conscious whole; the four Vedas are the Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda
vibhu. all-pervasive; great
vibhuti. sacred ash from a fire sacrifice; manifestations of divine power or glory; prosperity; splendor; greatness; quality of all-pervasiveness
vichara[na] [vicarana]. enquiry into the nature of Self, Reality or Truth [when Ramana Maharshi used this term he refers specifically to the practice of Self-enquiry]; the inner quest; discrimination between the Real and the unreal; ever-present reflection on the why and wherefore of things; process of transcending illusion of persona as separate from Self; the second stage in the path of Self-knowledge
vichara marg[a]. the path of Self-enquiry
vichara shakti. power of enquiry
videha. bodiless
videhi. one without a body; living in the world of objects and bodies, but not being of the world
videhamukta. one who is liberated at death; liberated one who has no body
videhamukti. liberation after death; Self-realisation after leaving the body
vidvan. a knower; usually applied to a knower of the Self as distinct from the body; one who is learned
vidvat sannyasa. renunciation after the attainment of the knowledge of Reality; renunciation by the wise
vidveshana. causing mutual hatred between friends
vidya. knowledge; both spiritual knowledge and mundane knowledge
vihara. a secluded place in which to walk; dwelling or refuge used by wandering monks during the rainy season; shrine
vijaya[m]. victory; triumph
vijnana. perfect knowledge of the Self; primary consciousness; Final Reality; pure intelligence
vijnana marg[a]. the path of discriminate knowledge; discriminating the Real from the unreal
vijnanavada. "Doctrine of Consciousness"; one of two major schools of Mahayana buddhism which holds that Reality is consciousness only and all that exists are minds and their experiences [the mind is real but the world of objects does not have an existence independent from consciousness]
vijnanavadin. a follower of Vijnanavada; one who regards mental activity as itself the Final Reality
vikalpa. conditioned mind; doubt; wrong concept; imagination; fantasy; mental construct; abstraction
vikara. change; change of form; modification, generally with reference to the modification of the mind
vikshepa. distractions; dispersion; scattering; illusory projection; the tossing of the mind which obstructs concentration; consequent bewilderment or perplexity bringing agitation; the mental activity which brings upon the screen of the Self enveloping illusions producing the apparently real appearance of an external world
vimala. purity; unblemished; without stain or defect
vimarsha. consideration; examination; test; reasoning; discussion; knowledge; intelligence; reflection
vinaya. humility; sense of propriety; manners; rule of conduct; education; mental culture and refinement; discipline
vinyasa. the linking of body movement with breath; a specific sequence of breath-synchronised movements used to transition between sustained postures
vinyasa yoga. a series of poses that move through the power of inhaling and exhaling; smoothly flowing movements that interlink postures
vipaka. a type of transformation; ripening; resultant; fruition
viparita. inverted; reversed; contrary
viparita buddhi. a wrong conception
viparita karani. "Legs-Up-the-Wall" yogic posture [asana]
viparyaya. erroneous cognition; wrong knowledge; illusion; misapprehension; distraction of mind
viraj. the macrocosm; the manifested universe; the world man – the masculine potency in nature in contradistinction to the feminine potency
virat. the cosmic form of the Self, as the cause of the gross world; the all-pervading spirit in the form of the universe
virodhat. opposition; conflict; contradiction
virya. creative power or might; strength; energy; courage
visha. poison
vishaya. sense object; object of perception or enjoyment; subject matter; content; areas; range; field-object domain; sphere; realm, scope; matters of enjoyment or experience; doubt
vishaya chaitanya. consciousness as objects; the object known; the consciousness determined by the object cognised
vishaya vasanas. predisposition towards sense enjoyments
vishaya vritti. thought of sensual objects
vishesha. special; distinctive qualification; distinguishable; particularity; propriety
vishishta. "qualified by" particularity
vishishtadvaita. the doctrine of qualified non-dualism
vishnu. God as the preserver and sustainer of the universe; the all-pervading; one of the hindu trinity
vishoka. blissful; serene; free of grief, suffering or sorrow
vishuddha. goally pure; totally pure
vishwa [visva]. "of the universe"; cosmos; all-pervasive; the Self identified with the experiencer of the waking state
vishwarupa. universal, cosmic form; having all forms
visvedevas. the various vedic gods taken together as a whole
vitaraga. free from attachment; one who has abandoned desire and attachment; a sannyasi
vitarka. thought; reasoning; cogitation with sense perception; discussion; debate; logical argument
vittaishana. desire for wealth
vivarta. illusory appearance; doctrine of creation as an illusory manifestation of the Absolute; seeming change; superimposition; dream appearance
viveka. wisdom; discrimination between the Real and the unreal, between the Self and the non-Self, between the permanent and the impermanent; right intuitive discrimination; one of the four prerequisites for qualification as a spiritual aspirant of vedanta; the foremost quality required for a fruitful enquiry
viveka-vairagya. intelligent detachment
viveki. a man of discrimination
vividisha sannyasa. renunciation for the purpose of knowing Reality
viyoga. separation
vrata. a rite; an observance; vow; a resolution; rule of conduct
vritti. an idea; a thought; activity of the mind; thought-wave; a way of behaviour; a tendency which gives scope for the mind to express a variety of feelings and emotions; a result of past actions and experiences that has left an imprint on the mind
vyadhi. disease of the body
vyavaharika [the empirical Self]
vyakta. manifested; having form; the super-personal; revealed; evident; reflection in consciousness as "I am"
vyakta bhuk. controlling all physical movement
vyakti. the personal; the individual; the totality of physical and vital processes
vyakti samsthatvam. individuality
vyana. the fourth of the five vital airs responsible for the circulation of blood and controlling the capacity for self-expression [legs and arms region]; the prevalent element is earth
vyarama. discomfort and disease
vyasa. one of the greatest sages of India, commentator on the Yoga Sutras, author of the Mahabharata [which includes the Bhagavad Gita], the Brahma Sutras, and the codifier of the Vedas
vyasti. finite; individual; microcosm
vyavaharika [vyavahara]. the empirical Self; phenomenal or empirical world; relative worldly activity
vyavaharika jiva. the reflection of consciousness in the mind which considers itself as "I" because of identification with the mind and takes the world as real in the waking state; full of ego and entrapped in samsara
vyavaharika satya. the relative appearance of the world experienced in the waking condition; empirical reality; world reflection; wordly affairs; transaction; the dual state of reference as opposed to absolute being
vyavasayatmika. one with resolution and determination
vyoma. ether; the sky
vyutthana. rising up; awakening; emergence; externalisation; outgoing; rising; waking state; a stage in yoga

Y
yajna [yagna]. a ritual of sacrifice performed to please the gods or to attain certain wishes; ceremony in which an essential element is the sacrificial fire into which oblations are poured, as everything that is offered into the fire is believed to reach the gods; offering
yajurveda. the second of the four Vedas, dating from between 1400-1000 BC, consisting of formulas [mantras] to be recited by the officiating priest during sacrifices; "sacrificial formula"
yakshas. a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots; beings controlled by Kubera, the God of wealth
yama. the Lord of death
yamas. self-restraint; moral codes of conduct divided into five injuctions that should all be practiced in word, thought and deed – non-violence, truthfulness, moderation in all things [also referes to celibacy], non-stealing and non-covetousness; the "shall-not" in dealings with the external world; the first of the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga
yantra. objects for ritualistic worship; geometrical designs of the energy patterns made by mantras when they are recited or which, when concentrated on produce the effects of the corresponding mantras
yathasukham. transcendent bliss
yatna. effort; activity of will
yati. a wanderer; a wandering ascetic
yatra. pilgrimage
yatri. a pilgrim
yo. "He who"; "the one who"; "You"
yoga. "union"; union with the Reality; fusion of individual self with the universal Self; spiritual practice designed to purify one's mind and bring one closer to Self-realisation; the practice of stilling the mind, whereby thoughts, memories, emotions, associations and perceptions are refocused onto the Reality and where a natural disgarding takes place; there are four main paths of yoga – karma, bhakti, raja and jnana
yogasana. yogic poses
yoga marg[a]. the path of meditation and inner purification leading to union with Reality; path of effort
yoga maya. the power to veil the nature of something and to create an illusory appearance; the power of manifestation
yoga nidra. a state of half-contemplation and half-sleep; light yogic sleep when the individual retains slight awareness; a state between sleep and wakefulness
yoga shakti. cosmic energy
yoga siddhi. spiritual psychic power resulting from the practice of yoga
yoga sutras. the oldest known writing on the subject of yoga, written by the sage Patanjali, a yogi of ancient India, and considered to be the most authoritative text on yoga; also known as Yoga Darshana, it is the basis of the yoga philosophy which is based on the philosophical system known as Sankhya
yoga vasistha. a classical treatise on yoga, containing the instructions of the rishi Vasistha to Lord Rama on meditation and spiritual life, which is divided into six parts – dispassion, qualifications of the seeker, creation, existence, dissolution and liberation
yoga yogi. those who have reached the state of bodiless consciousness through pranayama
yogi[n].
perfect renouncer; one who seeks happiness within; one who practices yoga; one who strives earnestly for union with Reality [they who know through the eye of intuition opened by meditation and
the instructions of the Guru and the scriptures, that the self is insentient, the doer, changing and finite, and that the true Self is pure consciousness, the non-doer, unchanging and infinite, and who also perceive the non-existence of nature, ignorance, the unmanifested, the material cause of being – they attain the Supreme]
yuga. age or cycle in which we keep circulating one after another; aeon; world era; a several million year long period of hindu cosmology which is subdivided into four smaller units – Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali Yugas – and we are currently 5000 years into the Kali Yuga

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