Arsha Vidya UK

Vedanta Glossary

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abādhitaNot subject to negation; unimpeded; unobstructed; unrefuted.
abhāvaḥNon-existence; complete absence.
abhayamFearlessness; peace; security.
abhedaḥNon-difference; non-division; non-breaking; see bhedaḥ.
abhimānī Firmly identified with the mind and body, proudly arrogating their attributes and capacities to oneself; conceited; haughty.
abhiniveśaḥ Tenaciously clinging to (investing in) the ephemeral body and worldly life, believing them to be enduring; see kleśaḥ.
abhyāsaḥRepeated practice – primarily, in vedāntaḥ, repeatedly recognising a fact and so continually avoiding or refraining from error.
acala Unmoving; unagitated.
ācāraḥ Conduct; behaviour.
ācāryaḥA teacher; someone who understands and follows, and makes others understand and follow; "not only by words, but by example, do others understand and follow"*; also see guru.
ācāryopāsanam Expressing gratitude to and respect for the teacher and the teaching by serving the teacher as best one may; with an honourable and true teacher there is no exploitation, only the student gains.
acintya Beyond any mental construct; beyond thought.
acyuta Ever-present; never slips away.
adambhitvam Absence of pretence; free from hypocrisy, posturing and self-glorification.
adhi Centred on; concerning; related to.
ādhāraḥ Support; base; foundation.
adharmaḥNot in line with the inherent, natural order of dharmaḥ; unwise; action leading to an unfavourable outcome.
ādhibhautika-tāpaḥObstacle (tāpaḥ) arising from local circumstances e.g. heavy traffic, store closure, machine failure; also see ādhyātmika, ādhidaivika.
adhibhūtam Centred on a (transient) being, element or entity; centred on all that is perishable; Īśvaraḥ, when considered as the material cause, upādāna-kāraṇam (otherwise known as māyā), is referred to as adhibhūtam.
adhidaivamCentred on the devāḥ, on the gods (the myriad natural forces that manifest and operate the world and its interacting and inter-dependent systems – including Nature, all the sciences, etc. – and hence centred on the natural events that arise from them); 'devaḥ' or 'adhidaivam' may alternatively refer to or imply their ruling intelligence, Īśvaraḥ, as the nimitta-kāraṇam, the one puruṣaḥ; also see Hiraṇyagarbhaḥ.
ādhidaivika tāpaḥObstacle (tāpaḥ) arising from natural events such as the weather, earthquake, flood, etc (produced through the devāḥ, see adhidaivam, above); also see ādhyātmika, ādhibhautika.
adhikaraṇam Substratum; location.
adhikārī Qualified aspirant (especially for self-knowledge); see sādhana-catuṣṭayam.
adhiṣṭhānam Substance of which something is made; basis.
adhiyajñaḥ Centred on ritual; the one on whom the ritual is centred i.e. antaryāmīśvaraḥ (Īśvaraḥ, the unmanifest cause of all, the subject of ritual).
adhyāropaḥSuperimposition (due to erroneous perception, adhyāsaḥ) in which the characteristic(s) of one thing are either seemingly or falsely attributed, āropaḥ, to another; leads, for example, to a mistaken notion of the self, ahaṅkāraḥ.
adhyāsaḥErroneous perception: taking something to be what it is not (due to ignorance, avidyā); leads to adhyāropaḥ.
adhyātmam Centred on, concerning, belonging to, the self, namely whatever is taken to be the self, be it the body (dehaḥ), jīvaḥ, or ātmā.
adhyātma-jñānam Knowledge centred on the self; knowledge whose object is the self.
adhyātma-jñāna-nityatvamUnderstanding the ultimate validity of self-knowledge.
ādhyātmika Centred on the self.
ādhyātmika tāpaḥObstacle (tāpaḥ) arising from oneself e.g. agitation, illness, physical impairment, etc; also see ādhidaivika, ādhibhautika.
adhyāyaḥ A chapter; a lesson; a reading.
ādi Beginning (with); etcetera; indicates others of the same group.
adṛṣṭa Unseen; invisible; not experienced; unobserved – especially in relation to the accumulation of puṇya-pāpam
advaya Not two
advitīya Without a second.
āgāmi-karma New karma, formed due to action here in this present life and stored in sañcita to await fructification and manifestation in a subsequent life as (what will then be) prārabdha-karma; also see prārabdha-karma, sañcita-karma.
agniḥ Deity of fire; the element Fire; also see pañcabhūtam the five elements – ākāśaḥ, space; vāyuḥ, air; agniḥ, fire; āpaḥ, water; pṛthivī, earth.
agnihotram A very simple, twice-daily Vedic fire ritual, with oblations and mantras, to be performed only by married people; generates puṇyam.
agocara Not available for perception or inference; beyond the power of words.
agotra Having no lineage.
agrīya Foremost; best; excellent.
aham 'I', 'I am'.
ahaṃ-brahmāsmi 'I am Brahman' Bṛhadāraṇyaka 1.4.10; – see mahāvākyam and also tattvamasi, ayam-ātmā-brahma, prajñānaṃ-brahma.
ahaṅkāraḥSense of 'I', 'me' and 'mine'; mistaken notion of the self; the misplacement of the sense of 'I' in the body-mind-sense complex, and especially in the sense of doership; part of antaḥ-karaṇam and hence of sūkṣma-śarīram.
ahiṃsā Abstaining from hurting, harming or killing anyone or anything in thought, word or deed; harmlessness; the primary virtue, the one from which all others flow.
aikyam Oneness
ājyam Ghee
ākāraḥ In the form of; formed of; expressing the form of.
ākāśaḥ The element Space; also see pañcabhūtam, the five elements – ākāśaḥ, space; vāyuḥ, air; agniḥ, fire; āpaḥ, water; pṛthivī, earth.
akhaṇḍa Undivided; unbroken; whole.
akhaṇḍa-ākāra-vṛttiḥA vṛtti, a thought, expressing the undivided nature of the self, the ātmā, which, when properly understood or appreciated, there shines a liberating recognition of the truth of oneself being limitless, whole. In common with all knowledge, that appreciation, that recognition of meaning, is silent. When words stop, having been heard, their silent meaning remains, just like the meaning remains after the words "It's ten o'clock" have gone – and that meaning, that knowledge of the time, is silent but present – similarly with self-knowledge.
akṣara Indestructible; imperishable; immutable; a vowel.
akṣata Unbroken (rice, coloured yellow by mixing it with Turmeric) – used in ritual, worship.
alam Enough
ālambanam Symbol; support.
alpa Small; little.
amānitvam Absence of conceit; not demanding respect, even when respect could be due.
amṛtam Immortal; nectar of immortality; ambrosia.
amṛtatvam Immortality
aṃśaḥ Portion; aspect.
anabhiṣvaṅgaḥ Absence of intense attachment to possessions, etc. – such attachment being due to emotional dependence.
anadhigata That which cannot be arrived at (by perception and/or inference).
anādi Beginningless
anahaṅkāraḥ Absence of pride and arrogance; understanding that 'what I have accomplished is really nothing'.
analpa Infinite in all respects (alpa, small).
ānandaḥ Limitlessness (synonym of ananta). Unhappiness being due to a limit, true happiness is limitlessness – hence, ānandaḥ indicates happiness without limit, not "bliss".
ānandamaya-kośaḥ The kośaḥ that abides in beginningless avidyā, in the form of the causal body of impure sattvam, knows varying degrees of ānandaḥ (priya, modaḥ, pramodaḥ); also see annamaya-kośaḥ, prāṇamaya-kośaḥ, manomaya-kośaḥ, vijñānamaya-kośaḥ.
ananta Endless (anta, end).
anirvacanīya Not categorically definable (but not inexplicable!); understood by implication only.
anitya Timebound; limited; impermanent.
annam Food
annamaya-koṣaḥ The kośaḥ made of food i.e. the physical body; also see prāṇamaya-kośaḥ, manomaya-kośaḥ, vijñānamaya-kośaḥ, ānandamaya-kośaḥ.
antaḥ-karaṇam Mind (antaḥ, inner; karaṇam, instrument); consists of vṛttis, thoughts, of which there are four categories: manas, buddhiḥ, cittam, ahaṅkāraḥ; the antaḥ-karaṇam's function is to transact with the world, jagat; the mind is a product of previous action, karma; see sūkṣma-śarīram.
antaḥ-karaṇa-naiścalyamSteadiness of mind; essential prerequisite for śravanam as only a focussed, steady mind hears fully; attained through meditation, dhyānam and upāsanām.
antaḥ-karaṇa-śuddhiḥPurification of the mind, meaning mastery over one's binding rāga-dveṣas (likes and dislikes); if not somewhat mastered they will 'run the show' preventing steady adherence to dharmaḥ; mastery is attained through a life of karma-yogaḥ (which includes following dharmaḥ); antaḥ-karaṇa-śuddhiḥ is an essential prerequisite for śravanam as only an unattached, unprejudiced mind hears without distortion or addition.
antaryāmī Inner controller; Īśvaraḥ as the cause of all, as the totality (samaṣṭiḥ) of all causal bodies; the individual (vyaṣṭiḥ) counterpart, is prājñaḥ – see Hiraṇyagarbha, Vaiśvānaraḥ, Virāt.
anu After; alongside; along with; together with.
anubandhaḥ Binding or fastening on; connection to;.
anubhanda-catuṣtayaThe four-fold requisites that, combined, make a text worth studying are an adhikāri (a person of appropriate understanding for the text), viṣayaḥ (the subject matter's suitability), sambandhaḥ (the connection of the text to the overall aim of the adhikāri), prayojana (the particular benefit from studying the text).
anubhavaḥ Knowledge of the world, derived from own personal observation (experience).
anudarśanam Seeing again and again, very clearly, very intimately, the limitations of the human condition, and hence not wasting time in trivia, but energetically pursuing what matters, mokśa.
anudātta The low tone in chanting, shown in the text by a short horizontal line below the vowel; also see svaraḥ, udātta, svarita.
anugrahaḥ Grace
anumānamInference from immediate perception, e.g. knowledge of fire is inferred from smoke; one of the six pramāṇas – see the others: anupalabdhiḥ, arthāpattiḥ, pratyakṣa, śabdaḥ, upamānam.
anupalabdhiḥ Knowledge of non-presence (non-existence) of an object is known from its absence (non-availability) e.g. seeing there are no plates available on the table is knowledge of their absence; one of the six pramāṇas – see the others: anumānam, arthāpattiḥ, pratyakṣa, śabdaḥ, upamānam.
anusandhānam Inquiry; examination; investigation (into the nature of Brahman).
anuvākaḥ Chapter or section of a Veda.
anvayaḥFollowing; succession – implies anuvṛttiḥ, continuance; see vyatirekaḥ.
anvaya-vyatirekaḥProof by assertion and negation; a logical procedure for determining truth from what is always co-present or co-absent; anvayaḥ focusses on presence, vyatirekaḥ on absence. For example: a pot and clay are co-present. When the pot breaks clay remains present (anvayaḥ) and so is real, satyam, but the pot does not (vyatirekaḥ) and so is merely apparent, mithyā.
anyaOther; different; other than; different from; opposed to.
anyonyādhyāsaḥ Inter-superimposition of attributes, for example, the red-hot iron ball. A cold, heavy, solid, iron ball, when put in a fire, apparently becomes radiantly hot, whereas it is fire alone that is hot. Heat and brilliance – properties belonging to fire – are mistakenly seen to belong to the iron ball. Seeing the ball as hot (when it is not) is adhyāsa. When removed from the fire, the ball’s natural attributes seem to slowly reappear. But they were never lost or absent, only overlaid in our perception with those of the fire. Error-caused superimposition, adhyāropaḥ, made heat and radiance seem to belong to the iron ball rather than to fire alone. Often, adhyāsa works both ways: as well as a cold, iron ball being mistaken for what it is not – hot and radiant – fire too is mistaken here for what it is not: it appears solid, weighty and spherical. Such mutual wrong perception is called anyonyādhyāsa, the most obvious example of which is between the body-mind and ātmā, where the qualities of each are mutually superimposed so that the body-mind seems alive and ātmā seems to have a form.
āpaḥ The element Water; also see pañcabhūtam the five elements – ākāśaḥ, space; vāyuḥ, air; agniḥ, fire; āpaḥ, water; pṛthivī, earth.
apānaḥ The elimination aspect of prāṇaḥ, seated in the kidneys; also see samānaḥ, digestion; vyānaḥ, circulation; udānaḥ, upward breath.
aparā-prakṛtiḥLower nature of the self; see parā-prakṛtiḥ.
aparā-vidyā Lower knowledge, meaning any and all knowledge other than self-knowledge, other than pure consciousness – even the Veda is aparā-vidyā; see parā-vidyā.
aparokṣa-jñānamImmediate (not distant) knowledge; knowledge of the self-evident, i.e. oneself.
apauruṣeya Of non-human (divine) origin; hallmark of the Vedas.
apavādaḥRefutation; sublation; rejection; negation; e.g. rejection of the apparent snake for the rope.
apekṣāDependence; connection of cause with effect or of individual with species; expectation; necessity.
āptiḥ Attainment; one of the four possible results of action (karma); also see utpādyam, production; vikāraḥ, modification; sanskāraḥ, refinement.
aratiḥ janasaṁsadiNo-longer craving social interaction; ever comfortabe in one's own company.
arcakaḥ Honouring; worshipping; a worshipper.
arcanam Offering; ritual; worship.
ārjavam Straight-forwardness; honesty; truthfulness; alignment of thought, word and deed.
āropaḥAttributing the characteristics of one thing to another; see adhyāropaḥ.
arpaṇam Entrusting; offering.
arthaḥAim; meaning; purpose; object; security.
arthāpattiḥKnowledge from presumption about what is not perceived, derived from what is perceived e.g. the man seen each day claims to be fasting but is getting fatter, so it is presumed he must be eating at night; one of the six pramāṇas – see the others: anumānam, anupalabdhiḥ, pratyakṣa, śabdaḥ, upamānam.
asaktiḥAbsence of a sense of ownership; recognising that although I possess a few things, I actually own nothing; also see saktiḥ.
āsanamPosture; seat; part of the aṣṭāṅga-yogaḥ, the eight-fold discipline of yogaḥ.
āsanāyāHunger; see ūrmiḥ.
asmitāEgoism; excessive self-concern, with or without exaggerated feelings of self-importance; see kleśaḥ.
āśramaḥDwelling place of religious devotees; the four stages of Vedic religious life – brahmacarya, studentship; gṛhasthaḥ, householder; vānaprastha, withdrawal; sannyāsaḥ, renunciation.
āśrama-dharmaḥDuties pertaining to the four orders or stages of life.
āśrayaḥ That upon which anything depends or rests; locus.
aṣṭāṅga-yogaḥPatañjali's Aṣṭāṅga Yogaḥ is an eight-fold discipline consisting of yama, prohibitions; niyama, injunctions; āsana, posture; prāṇāyāma, breath control; pratyāhāra, sense control; dhāraṇā, concentration; dhyānam, meditation; samādhiḥ, absorption. It has its place in preparing the mind for knowledge to take place.
āstikaḥA person who accepts the Veda as a pramāṇa – a nāstikaḥ does not.
asuraḥSomeone who goes against dharmaḥ in pursuit of sensory pleasure; predominant guṇaḥ is tamas; see rākṣasa.
ātmā Self; true self; that which is distinct from the gross, subtle and causal bodies (sthūla, sūkṣma, kāraṇa-śarīrāḥ); beyond the five levels of experience (pañca-kośāḥ); witness, sākṣī, of the three states of experience (avasthā-trayāḥ); that which ever remains as existence, consciousness, fullness (saccidānandaḥ).
ātma-bodhaḥ Becoming conscious of, awakening to, knowledge of the self; the blossoming of self-knowledge.
ātma-jñānamKnowledge of the truth of oneself; see jñāna-yogaḥ.
ātmanSelf; (vocative – and also uninflected or base form – of ātmā, self).
ātma-vicāraḥEnquiry into the nature of the self.
ātma-vidyāSelf-knowledge; knowledge of one's true nature.
ātma-vinigrahaḥMastery over the body-mind-sense complex by, for example, overcoming slothfulness.
atra Here
āvaraṇam Covering; obscuring.
āvaraṇa-śaktiḥ Concealing power of māyā (a synonym of avidyā), which initiates the arising of the vikṣepa-śaktiḥ of māyā that leads successively to adhyāsa, adhyāropaḥ, ahaṅkāraḥ, kāmaḥ, karma and saṁsāraḥ.
avasthā State; condition;.
avasthā-trayāḥThe three states of experience; see jāgrad-avasthā, waking state; svapna-avasthā, dream state; suṣupti-avasthā, deep-sleep state; and also see turīya, 'fourth' (not a state).
avasthā-traya-prakriyāMethod of analysis demonstrating that ātmā is not limited to any of the three states (waking, dream and sleep); see prakriyā.
avatāraḥ Descent; the divine, descended and manifest in bhū-lokaḥ.
avidyāBeginningless ignorance; manifest only in the waking (jāgrad-avasthā) and dream (svapna-avasthā) states, while ever-unmanifest in the deep-sleep state suṣupti-avasthā; avidyā is not in itself a problem, it's only a problem when it leads to adhyāsa, the cause of saṁsāraḥ; also see kleśaḥ.
avikārya Unchanging
aviruddha Unopposed
avyabhicārinī-bhaktiḥUnswerving devotion.
avyākṛta Undifferentiated; primal; undeveloped; māyā prior to its manifestation of sṛṣṭiḥ.
avyakta Unmanifest; synonym of māyā.
avyaya Undecaying; indeclinable; unchanging.
ayam This one.
ayam-ātmā-brahma'This self is Brahman' Bṛhadāraṇyaka 2.5.19; this one, this very self here, myself, is Brahman! – see mahāvākyam and also tattvamasi, ahaṃ-brahmāsmi, prajñānaṃ-brahma.
āyatanamAbode; sanctuary; resting place; support; altar.
bādhaḥNegation; objection; contradiction.
bahu Many
bāhuḥ Arm
bahudhā In many ways.
bāhya External
bāla Young; not mature; not fully grown.
balam Strength; force.
bandhaḥ Bound; bondage.
bhadra Auspicious
bhagaḥ All wealth; all virtues; excellence.
bhāgaḥ Part; fraction.
bhagavad-gītā A famous smṛtiḥ in which Lord Kṛṣṇa teaches Arjuna ātma-jñānam; part of the prasthāna-trayam.
bhagavān Lord
bhaktaḥ Devotee – recognising that the Lord is the giver of the fruits of action makes a person a devotee.
bhaktiḥ Devotion; love; attachment; trust; homage; worship; piety; faith; since bhakti is expressed through action it comes within karma-yogaḥ and so bhakti-mārga is not a separate path.
bhāsaḥ Light; lustre; brightness; impression made on the mind; see cidābhāsaḥ.
bhāṣyam Written commentary, typically on the Upaniṣads, Bhagavad Gītā, etc; the method is to quote a word and next to it offer one or two in explanation; the greatest and most famous are by Ādi Śaṅkara.
bhāvaḥ Existence; state of being; manner of being; nature; temperament; character; any state of mind or body; way of thinking or feeling; sentiment; opinion; disposition; intention.
bhāvanāAttitude; conception; understanding; imagination; supposition; fancy; thought; meditation.
bhāvarogaḥDisease of existence.
bhāva-vikāraḥModification of one's state of being; there are six such modifications – asti, existence in the womb; jāyate, birth; vardhate, growth; vipariṇāmate, maturing; apakṣīyate, decline and decay; vināśyati, destruction, death.
bhayam Fear
bhedaḥ Difference; three kinds: svagata-bhedaḥ differences between parts of the same object (e.g. between a leaf and a branch of the same tree), svajātīya-bhedaḥ differences between objects of the same kind or species (e.g. between two trees), vijātīya-bhedaḥ differences between objects of different species (e.g. between a tree and a cow).
bhikṣā Alms
bhogaḥ Enjoyment; experience.
bhogya Object of enjoyment or experience.
bhoktā Enjoyer; experiencer.
bhramaḥ Confusion; perplexity; error; mistake; giddiness.
bhrāntiḥ Confusion; doubt; error; false opinion; false impression of.
bhūmiḥ The element Earth.
bhūḥ The Earth; known as the world of becoming as it is the only lokaḥ where change can occur, where new karma may be formed; the world of mortals; lowest of the seven heavens; also known as bhū-lokaḥ; see vyāhṛtiḥ, bhuvaḥ, svaḥ.
bhūtam A (transient) element, being or entity; that which has come into being and will later cease to be.
bhūta-yajñaḥ Worship of the Lord by feeding hungry domestic animals in one's home or feeding birds that visit the garden; one of the five pañcamahā-yajñas – also see devayajñaḥ, sacrifice to the gods; pitṛyajñaḥ, sacrifice to the manes; ṛṣiyajñaḥ, sacrifice to the ṛṣis; nṛyajñaḥ, feeding the hungry.
bhuvaḥAir, atmosphere; forms the bhuvar-lokaḥ, world of Air; the world above, i.e. the heavens; the sixth-lowest of the seven heavens; see vyāhṛtiḥ and also see bhuḥ, svaḥ.
bījam Seed; source; cause.
bimbaḥ Reflection; manifestation.
bodhaḥ Knowledge; awareness .
brahmā Īśvaraḥ as the creator of the universe; see Viṣṇuḥ, Śivaḥ, hiraṇyagarbha.
brahmacarya Earliest of the four āśramas or stages of Vedic life – studentship; also see gṛhasthaḥ, householder; vānaprastha, withdrawal; sannyāsaḥ, renunciation; taken as a discipline, brahmacarya means refraining from inappropriate (prohibited) sexual activity in thought, word and deed.
brahman Supreme Reality; absolute Reality; absolute Truth – hence, anirvacanīya, not categorically definable (but not inexplicable).
brāhmaṇaḥ A person born into the first varṇaḥ – a priest, teacher, doctor, lawyer, etc.; also see kṣatriyaḥ, soldier; vaiśyaḥ, businessman; śūdraḥ, labourer.
brahma-niṣṭhā One established in knowledge of Brahman, in knowledge of absolute Reality; a jñāni – also see śrotriyaḥ.
brahma-sūtram Third text in the prasthāna-trayam; written by Vyāsa, it is an advanced text consisting of logical refutations of opposing views to vedāntaḥ.
brahmātmā The fact of the self being Brahman, absolute Reality.
brahma-yajñaḥ Studying śastram and living what one understands; a form of worship; regular, systematic śravanam.
buddhiḥIntellect – the power to reason, decide, know, recognise, will, deliberate; part of antaḥ-karaṇam and hence of sūkṣma-śarīram.
caitanyamConsciousness; awareness.
cakṣuḥ Eye
caturyugam The four ages of the world-cycle: kṛta-yugam (kali-yugam x 4 = 1,728,000 years), tretā-yugam (kali-yugam x 3 = 1,296,000 years), dvāpara-yugam (kali-yugam x 2 = 864,000 years), kali-yugam 432,000 years; the catur-yugam (four yugas combined) is also known as a mahā-yugam (kali-yugam x 10 = 4,320,000 years); see kalpaḥ, yugam.
catuṣṭaya Four-fold.
cetana Alive; sentient.
chandasScience of metre; one of the six auxiliary texts, Vedāṅgas, of the Vedas – also see śikṣā, vyākaraṇam, niruktam, jyotiṣaḥ, kalpaḥ.
cidābhāsaḥManifestation or reflection of consciousness from the perspective of the individual; one who identifies the consciousness manifest in the body-mind-sense complex as 'I' is called a jīvaḥ or cidābhāsaḥ (the ornament is emphasised, not the gold); also see pratibimbaḥ; cidābhāsaḥ and pratibimbaḥ are the same consciousness viewed from different perspectives, hence the different terms.
cintana Thinking; reflecting.
cit Limitless, unconditioned, unmanifest consciousness; pure knowledge; pure intelligence; object-free awareness.
cit-svarūpam Of the very form of (of the very nature of) pure knowledge, pure consciousness.
cittamMind-stuff; subconscious mind; memory; power of recollection; part of antaḥ-karaṇam and hence of sūkṣma-śarīram.
cūḍāCrest; top; summit.
dakṣiṇaAble; skilful; expert; right (side); southern.
dakṣiṇā An offering, gift or honorarium to brāhmaṇas or one's guru.
dakṣiṇāmūrtiḥ Īśvaraḥ in the rôle of teacher; the first guru; pure knowledge being silent, he is said to have taught in silence, but that is only to indicate that he taught so well that his disciples understood to the depth of pure knowledge itself.
damaḥMastery over the organs (powers) of sense and action; see ṣaṭka-sampattiḥ – also see śamaḥ, uparamaḥ, titikṣā, śraddhā, samādhānam.
dāraḥWife – as in, 'to take a wife', 'to wish to marry'; see patnī.
darśanam Seeing
dayā Compassion; empathy.
dehaḥSubject to cremation (the body); also see kāyaḥ, śarīram.
dehī Indweller of the body; synonym for jīvaḥ.
deśaḥ Place; spot; country.
devaḥA god; power; effulgent; wives of gods; general term for a divine being or power, each of which is an aspect of Īśvaraḥ's power and knowledge; that same power and knowledge is intrinsic to the myriad natural forces that manifest and operate the world and its systems – including Nature and all the sciences; 'devaḥ' may alternatively refer to the overall ruling intelligence of all those forces, i.e. to the one puruṣaḥ, hiraṇyagarbha.
devatāA divinity; a goddess; a powerful divine being; the deity that receives worship and gives what is desired; used, for example, with reference to the sense powers, as in 'the devatā of sight'.
deva-yajñaḥWorship of the Lord in any natural phenomenon, such as a rock, mountain, tree, sunset, river, lake, in gratitude for the prosperity the Lord bestows through natural phenomena; one of the five pañcamahā-yajñas – also see pitṛyajñaḥ, sacrifice to the manes; ṛṣiyajñaḥ, sacrifice to the ṛṣis; nṛyajñaḥ, feeding the hungry; bhūta-yajñaḥ, feeding hungry animals and birds.
dhairyam Courage; strength.
dhanam Wealth; property; treasure.
dhāraṇā Concentration of mind.
dharmaḥLaw; order; justice; virtue; right action; attribute.
dhātuḥ Element or constituent of the body e.g. phlegm, blood, marrow; vital force in man; metal; verbal root.
dhīḥ All thought; subtle body; mind; intellect.
dhīraḥ A wise person.
dhṛtiḥ Resolution; perseverance; patience; firmness; fortitude.
dhruva Firm; fixed; permanent; unchanging.
dhyānamMeditation whose object is saguṇa-brahman; useful for calming and steadying the mind; "meditation will not reveal ātmā because the meditator is atma, and therefore, whatever you know about yourself will be the ātmâ that is meditated upon."*.
dīkṣā Initiation; consecration.
dīpaḥ A light; lamp; lantern.
dīrghaLong; two short measures of sound; also see hrasva short, pluta extended.
doṣaḥ Defect; fault; deficiency; damage; transgression.
dravyam An object; substance; material ingredient.
dravya-śaktiḥ Power of inertia; tamo-guṇaḥ, see guṇaḥ.
dṛg-dṛśya-viveka-prakriyāMethod of analysis demonstrating that the seer can never be the seen; corrects the identifying of ātmā with what it is not; see prakriyā.
dṛk The seer; the one who sees.
dṛṣṭāntaḥ An example; illustration.
dṛṣṭiḥ Vision; conclusion.
dṛśyam The seen; the object of sight.
duḥkhamSorrow; uneasiness; misery; pain; grief; trouble – see śokaḥ.
duritam Obstacle; difficulty; danger.
durlabha Difficult to attain or accomplish.
duṣkṛtam Evil act; misdeed; see pāpam; adharmaḥ.
dvandvam Pair of opposites.
dvayam Two-fold nature; pair.
dveśahAversion; dislike; distaste; hatred; repugnance; enmity; see rāgaḥ, kleśaḥ.
dvijaḥTwice-born – a brāhmaṇaḥ, kṣatriyaḥ, or vaiśyaḥ.
ekādaśī Eleventh day of the lunar fortnight.
ekāgraḥ One-pointed – referring to a focussed state of attention.
ekāgrata One-pointedness (of the mind); concentration; intentness in the pursuit of one object.
ekānta Solitude
eṣaḥ This
eṣaṇamImpulse; ardent desire; solicitation; begging; also see icchā, kāmaḥ.
eṣaṇa-trayam The three common, strong desires: dāraḥ, desire for a wife; putraḥ, desire for a son; vittaḥ, desire for wealth.
etad This here.
evamThus, so, in this manner.
gadāClub; mace; one of the weapons of Lord Viṣṇuḥ.
gadādhāraḥ 'Wielder of the gadā', an epithet for Lord Viṣṇuḥ.
gaganam Sky; firmament; heaven.
gagana-ravindamSky-lotus; a term denoting an unreal or non-existent thing; the world.
gambhīra Lying deep; profound; magnanimous; dignified; grand; imperious; grave; deep voice.
gāmbhīrya Gravity of demeanor; depth or profundity of character; depth of meaning (in a deep, recondite sense).
gaṇapatiḥ Lord Gaṇeśa (son of Lord Śivaḥ and Pārvatī); lord of multitudes; remover of obstacles; success-bestowing aspect of Īśvaraḥ; always the first to be worshipped on entering a temple.
gandhaḥThe sense object (viṣayaḥ) known as smell, scent or odour.
gandha-tanmātramSubtle principle or root element of odour.
gatiḥ That which you go towards (that which you actually want); what you get/obtain; position; state.
gauṇa Metaphorical; having qualities.
gauṇa-vṛttiḥ Metaphorical or secondary sense as in: "He is as brave as a lion", "She is brilliant, she is on fire"; a secondary power or śaktiḥ of words.
gāyatrī-mantraḥFamous, sacred mantraḥ; said to be all four Vedas in condensed form; chanted 108 times thrice daily for contemplation on one's true nature; chanting it burnishes the buddhiḥ.
ghaṇa-prajñāḥ Massive (i.e. infinite, limitless), undifferentiated consciousness.
ghaṭaḥ Clay pot; earthen water-jar.
ghaṭākāśaḥ Space bounded by (apparently contained within) a clay pot.
go A cow; earth; word.
golakamPhysical form of each organ of perception, thus distinguishing the eye from its power of sight, the ear from the power of hearing, etc.
gotram Family name; tribe; lineage; genus; species; cow shed.
grahaḥ Grip; grasp; planet.
grāhya Admissible; fit to be received, picked up, gathered, taken, observed; sense organ.
grahaṇam Grasping; acquiring; comprehending; recognising; perception; eclipse.
grāmaḥ Village; hamlet; inhabitants; community; multitude; collection.
granthaḥ Book; treatise; verse; composition.
granthiḥ Knot; tie; joint; difficulty.
gṛhasthaḥHouseholder; second of the four āśramas of Vedic life – a married householder; also see brahmacarya, studentship; vānaprastha, withdrawal; sannyāsaḥ, renunciation.
gūdha Covered; hidden; concealed; private; mystery.
guhā A cave; the heart.
guhya Secret; mysterious.
guṇaḥAttribute; property; quality; the three-fold power of māyā, namely sattvam, rajas, tamas. Intrinsic to, and arising from cit, pure awareness, is the power to know, called sattvam or jñāna-śaktiḥ. Knowing is an action and is the very essence of all activity – the very essence of the power to act – that power to act is known as rajas or kriyā-śaktiḥ. To be aware is to know, to know is to conclude; the power to conclude, to come to a stop, is known as tamas, the dravya-śaktiḥ – also known as the power of inertia in which all comes to rest. The power of inertia needs to fade or subside for a new beginning to occur (in sattvam) and for the interplay of the guṇas to continue. This interplay is the play of ever-shifting guṇaḥ balances within guṇa balances. There are myriad levels upon levels of such interplay within any system, physical or mental, sentient or insentient, resulting in one overall, but temporary, guṇaḥ balance for that system at any one moment. Only the guṇas act.
guṇātīta Not under the thrall of the guṇas.
guruDispeller of darkness (of ignorance of one's true nature); a śrotriyaḥ and a brahma-niṣṭhā; preceptor; ācāryaḥ of ātma-vidyā: see śiṣyaḥ, guru-śiṣya-paramparā, sampradāyaḥ, paramparā.
gurukṛpā Guru's grace or blessings.
gurukulam An āśramaḥ where students study vedāntaḥ (and Sanskṛta) systematically with the guru, living as a family.
guru-śiṣya-paramparāGuru-disciple lineage in which knowledge is passed successively over millennia; see paramparā, sampradāyaḥ, guru, śiṣyaḥ.
halantaA consonant, vyañjana, without its vowel, svara.
hanuman Embodiment of dharmaḥ and bhakti; great, powerful, famous devotee of Srī Rāma.
harṣaḥ Elation; joy; delight; pleasure.
hastaḥ Hand
haviḥ Offering; oblation.
hetuḥ Cause; reason for; motive; impulse.
HiraṇyagarbhaḥĪśvaraḥ as the entire subtle universe; the sum-total, samaṣṭiḥ, of all subtle phenomena and subtle bodies; cosmic or universal mind; the highest created being through whom Īśvaraḥ manifests the subtle aspect of the universe; Hiraṇyagarbhaḥ is also known as Brahmā; its individual or vyaṣṭiḥ aspect is taijasaḥ – see antaryāmi, Vaiśvānaraḥ, Virāt.
hrasvaShort measure of sound; also see dīrgha, long; pluta, extended.
hṛdaya-granthiḥThe three-stranded knot of the heart: avidyā, kāmaḥ, karma.
hṛdayam The heart
hotramSacrifice; oblation with fire.
icchāDesire; wish; inclination; see eṣaṇam, kāmaḥ.
idam This
idamta This-ness.
indraḥLord of the senses; chief of the celestials; ruler of heaven; rain-god.
indriyaḥInner (subtle) organ; two types: the (five) senses and the (five) organs of action.
indriyam Subtle power (indriyam) of an indriyaḥ, an organ of perception or action. For example, a jñānendriyam is an inner (subtle) organ of knowledge, namely a sense power such as seeing, hearing; a karmendriyam is an inner (subtle) organ of action, a motor power such as talking, handling. It must be emphasised that the indriyas are the power to see, the power to talk, etc, (dependent on the respective devatā and on prāṇaḥ) and are not to be equated with the physical organ (golakam).
indriya-jñānam Sense-perception; sensory knowledge.
indriya-artheṣu-vairāgyam Dispassion towards sense-objects.
īśta-devatā Favourite or tutelary deity.
īśvaraḥSaguṇa-Brahman manifest as the entire universe, sṛṣṭiḥ, in all its causal, subtle and gross (physical) aspects – see antaryāmi, Hiraṇyagarbhaḥ, Brahmā, Śivaḥ, Viṣṇuḥ, Vaiśvānaraḥ, Virāt, devaḥ.
īśvara-prayatnaḥGod's will.
iti Thus; so; accordingly; lays stress on what precedes; also marks end of a quotation, definition, etc.
itihāsaḥ"So indeed it was"; epic; legend; traditional account of former events describing the life and adventures of a hero or heroes e.g. Lord Rāma of the Rāmāyaṇa, and the five Pāṇḍavāḥ of the Mahābhārata.
jaḍamInsentient; inert; lifeless; inanimate; motionless.
jagad-guruWorld guru; world preceptor; an honorific title given by disciples to express reverence and appreciation for their guru.
jagatUniverse (product of the power of māyā); moving; changing; just as a coiled rope appears in low light to be a snake, the jagat is an ever-changing appearance of Īśvaraḥ made manifest by the vikṣepa-śaktiḥ of māyā – it is not an illusion, it very much exists (although it is not absolutely real).
jagat-kāraṇamCause of creation; Īśvaraḥ, with his śaktiḥ known as māyā, is the means of manifestation, but the actual cause is the ripe karma of jīvas, requiring expression.
jāgrad-avasthā Waking state in which the gross world of physical objects is experienced; also see svapna-avasthā, dream state; suṣupti-avasthā, deep-sleep state; turīya, 'fourth'.
jalpa-vādaḥA discussion in which both sides are convinced they are right and are only interested in being right; neither has any real regard for the truth; the purpose is only to convert the other party; also see samvādaḥ, vādaḥ, vitaṇḍa-vādaḥ.
janmaBirth; embodiment; the four sources of 'birth' are jarāyuja, womb-born; aṇḍaja, egg-born; svedaja, sweat-born; udbhijja, born from earth.
japaḥChanting a mantraḥ (typically 108 times per session).
jarā Old age; infirmity; decay; see ūrmiḥ.
jarāyu Womb
jihvā Tongue
jijñāsā Desire/thirst for knowledge.
jījñāsuḥ Desirer of knowledge.
jītendriyaḥ One who controls (i.e. manages) the indriyāni, senses.
jīvaḥApparent individual; a person; the ātmā identified as (assumed or thought to be) the gross physical body (sthūla-śarīram), but who is in truth a reflection, cidābhāsaḥ, of Brahman; he who tends not to inquire into his real nature, svarūpam, and who thinks (assumes) God is different from himself or does not even exist; see jīvan-mukta.
jīvan-muktaLiberation from apparent individuality, in fact a recognition that the ātman is ever-liberated. The actor is ever the actor, not the rôle; see mokṣaḥ.
jīvanmuktiḥLiberation while living (liberation after death, kramamuktiḥ, is extremely rare).
jīvātmāĀtmā appearing to be an individual or person.
jīvatvamThe state or condition of being a jīvaḥ; jīva-hood.
jñānābhyāsaḥA term generally used for the vedāntaḥ form of sādhanam – see abhyāsaḥ.
jñāna-kāṇḍhaḥ Upaniṣads – that (latter) part of the Vedas that deals with self-knowledge.
jñānamKnowledge that is not negatable and is free from doubt; truth; object of the verb 'to know'.
jñāna-niṣṭhāAbiding in the knowledge that is limitless wholeness.
jñāna-śaktiḥ The power to know; see sattvam, guṇaḥ.
jñāna-yajñaḥSacred act of dissemination of knowledge via a series of (often public) talks; sādhanam in praise of (and for the attainment of) knowledge, conceived of as an offering or divine sacrifice.
jñāna-yogaḥThe path of knowledge; constantly and seriously listening (śravanam), for a length of time, to the guru unfold the Upaniṣads, then removing doubts and misunderstandings from what has been heard (mananam) and, finally, dwelling upon what is properly understood of the true nature of the self (nididhyāsanam) as taught by the guru; a life devoted to knowledge of the self, ātmā-jñānam; a synonym for the sannyāsaḥ life-style; see karma-yogaḥ.
jñānendriyāni The five subtle sense-powers (hearing, touch, sight, taste, smell); part of sūkṣma-śarīram and vijñāṇamaya-kośaḥ.
jñāniKnower (of Brahman, of absolute Reality).
jñātā Knower; subject of the verb 'to know'.
jñeya Adjective, meaning 'knowable, that which has the characteristic of being knowable, that which is capable of being known or understood'; in some contexts it can also mean 'to be known, to be learnt or understood'.
jyotiṣaḥScience of astronomy and astrology; one of the six auxiliary texts, Vedāṅgas, of the Vedas – also see śikṣā, chandas, vyākaraṇam, niruktam, kalpaḥ.
kalpaḥDay of Brahmāji (1,000 Mahā Yugas or 4,320,000,000 years, and the night is of equal length); rule; resolve; procedure – as Methods of Ritual it is one of the six auxiliary texts, Vedāṅgas, of the Vedas – the others are śikṣā, chandas, vyākaraṇam, niruktam, jyotiṣaḥ.
kaivalyam Absolute unity; absolute loneness; limitless independence; mokṣaḥ; advaitam; final beatitude; emancipation.
kalpanam Imagining; forming in the imagination; creating in the mind.
kalpita Projected; imagined; fabricated; artificial; composed; invented; supposed.
kāmaḥ Desire; longing; love for; pleasure in; lust; kāmaḥ leads to krodhaḥ, anger, when unfulfilled; see the six malas, impurities; also see eṣaṇa, icchā.
kāmya-karma Action (ritual) done for producing a desired result.
kāṇḍaḥ Section; chapter; part; portion.
kāraṇa-kārya-prakriyāMethod of analysis distinguishing between cause and effect; see prakriyā.
karaṇam Instrument of an action.
kāraṇamCause of an action or phenomenon – also see sthūla, sūkṣma.
kāraṇa-śarīramCausal body; consisting of beginningless avidyā and impure sattvam; see sthūla-śarīram, sūkṣma-śarīram, and suṣupti-avasthā.
karmaAction from free will; result of action (destiny); that which causes the production of bodies (new births); duty; object of an action; the four results of action – utpādyam, production; vikāraḥ, modification; āptiḥ, attainment; sanskāraḥ, refinement.
karma-kāṇḍaḥ The early part of the Veda, dealing with rituals and results.
karma-phaladātāĪśvaraḥ as the giver of the fruits of action.
karma-yogaḥ A prayerful, disciplined, householder life, lived in line with dharmaḥ, in which all actions are performed in the recognition that all that is here is Īśvaraḥ. Intrinsic to this recognition is a natural attitude of offering or entrusting all one's actions to Īśvaraḥ (Īśvara-arpaṇa-buddhiḥ) – since all action is, essentially, in and of Īśvaraḥ. Thus, a life of karma-yogaḥ is a life lived attempting to keep all one's actions aligned with what is perceived of the orderliness that is dharmaḥ, Īśvaraḥ. As best one may, one's actions then become unopposed to what is appreciated of dharmaḥ, (dharma -aviruddha-karma). Natural to this order is the law-ordained result of action, which is accepted as prasādaḥ, a gift from Īśvaraḥ (îśvara-prasâda-buddhiḥ). That acceptance brings evenness and equanimity of mind (samatvam) when results appear.

This way of life purifies the mind in preparation for jñānam since it may often entail foregoing personal bias in the form of rāga-dveṣas, binding attachments and aversions, when putting dharmaḥ first. This putting dharmaḥ first (following dharma's lead) requires discretion in action (yogaḥ-karmasu-kauśalam) which helps develop subtlety of mind. With all this comes dissociation from association with sorrow, duḥkha-saṃyoga-viyogam. Then, when śravanam occurs in such an open, unagitated, self-disciplined, worshipful mind, there is little to impede it and freedom from saṁsāraḥ follows. (There is much more to karma-yogaḥ than sevā, service!); see jñāna-yogaḥ.
karmendriyāni The five subtle powers of action – evident in speaking, handling, moving, reproducing and eliminating; part of sūkṣma-śarīram and prāṇamaya-kośaḥ.
kartā Doer; subject of an action.
karuṇā Compassion; empathy.
kāryam Effect; product; correlate of kāraṇam, cause.
kārya-kāraṇa-sambhandaḥCause-effect relationship.
kaṣāyaḥ Stain; impurity; a dullness of mind arising from poor or incomplete spiritual endeavour, creating a misleading sense of success to which the person feels attached; result of impure sattvam.
kauśalam Discretion, good judgement in one's choice of action; capacity to interpret correctly with reference to norms for human interaction; in the context of karma-yogaḥ (yogaḥ-karmasu-kauśalam) it does not mean skilfulness.
katham How
kaviḥ Poet; seer (ṛṣi).
kāyaḥThe body; trunk of a tree; assemblage; collection; capital; habitation; also see dehaḥ, śarīram.
kāyika Relating to the body.
kendram Centre
keśaḥ Hair
kevala Absolute; unconnected with anything else; pure; simple; non-dual.
kim What
kīrtanam Singing the glory of God.
kleśaḥ Five worldly afflictions that impair our recognition of Īśvaraḥavidyā, ignorance; asmitā, egoism; rāgaḥ, attachment; dveṣaḥ, aversion; abhiniveśaḥ, clinging to the body and to earthly life.
kośaḥOne of the five areas of the kāraṇa-kārya-saṅghāta, the body-mind-sense complex, providing the potential for self-misidentification; see pañca-kośāḥ.
krama-muktiḥ Gradual liberation (in higher realms after death).
kriyā Physical action.
kriyā-śaktiḥ Power to do or act; rajo-guṇaḥ (doing also implies the power to desire, icchā-śaktiḥ, and prior to that, the power to know, jñāna-śaktiḥ); see guṇaḥ.
krodhaḥAnger; wrath; passion; also see the six malas, impurities.
kṛpā Mercy; grace; blessing; pity; tenderness.
kṛpaṇaḥ Poor; a beggar; miserly; stingy.
kṛṣṇaLord Viṣṇuḥ, teacher of the Bhagavad Gītā.
kṣama Patient; enduring; forgiving; competent.
kṣaṇika Momentary; transient.
kṣāntiḥ An accommodating, appropriate, non-reactive, non-judgemental response to others' behaviour.
kṣatriyaḥ A holder of kṣatra, authority; a person born into the second varṇaḥ – a soldier, governor, administrator, landowner, etc.; also see brāhmana, priest; vaiśyaḥ, businessman; śūdraḥ, labourer.
kṣayaḥ Decay; loss; disease.
kṣetrajña Field-knower; knower of the field of experience, of all that is observable; a synonym for ātmā as the sākṣī.
kṣetram Field of experience i.e. the jagat (including one's mind).
kṣipta Scattered mind; distracted attention.
kulam Family; community.
kuṇḍaḥ Pot; pitcher.
kūṭastha Immovable; ever the same; synonym for ātmā.
kuṭīraḥHut or cottage.
laghuLight; easy.
lakṣaṇā Indication; definition; description; symbol.
lakṣyārthaḥ Indicated or implied meaning of word(s).
laukika Worldly; pertaining to empirical phenomena.
layaḥ Mental absorption with return, as in deep sleep; sloth; dissolution as part of cycle of creation.
līlā Play; sport; diversion; pleasure.
liṅgam Clue; mark; indication; gender.
liṅga-dehaḥ Subtle body; astral body.
liṅga-śarīram Subtle body; becomes particularly active during the dream state by creating a world of its own; constituted of prāṇamaya-kośaḥ, manomaya-kośaḥ and vijñānamaya-kośaḥ.
lobhaḥGreed; covetousness; cupidity; avarice; impatience; eager desire for, or longing after; perplexity; also see the six malas, impurities.
lokaḥPlace; region; result; of the 14 temporary abodes, lokas, the seven lower ones are forms of hell, narakaḥ, and are only for the exhaustion of pāpam. The seven higher are forms of heaven, svargaḥ, and are only for the exhaustion of puṇyam (with the exception of the turning point, bhū-lokaḥ, this Earth, in which change takes place and puṇyam and pāpam are both acquired and exhausted). Bhū-lokaḥ is the only place with free will and so the only lokaḥ where change or development or becoming is possible, hence the name bhūḥ. The seven higher lokas begin with this Earth, bhūḥ, and in ascending order are bhūḥ, bhuvaḥ, svaḥ, mahaḥ, janaḥ, tapaḥ, with satyam the highest. In descending order, the seven lower are: atalam, vitalam, sutalam, talātalam, rasātalam, mahātalam with pātālam lowest of all.
madaḥPride; arrogance; presumption; conceit; excitement; intoxication; also see the six malas, impurities.
madhyamaMiddle; third (middle, intermediate) stage of emergence of speech. When a person is inclined to speak, the power goes upwards from parā and paśyantī to another power centre, manipūrakam, located at the navel. As it enters into the heart power centre, anāhata, the same unmanifest power, parā, assumes by association with the intellect a specific word form, madhyama. see parā, paśyantī, vaikharī.
mahatGreat; intellect; first product of prakṛtiḥ.
mahat-tattvamThe great principle; principle of intelligence or buddhiḥ; Hiraṇyagarbhaḥ or Brahmā.
mahāvākyamGreat statement from the Upaniṣads revealing the self; there are many, but the four most famous are: tattvamasi, ahaṃ-brahmāsmi, ayam-ātmā-brahma, prajñānaṃ-brahma.
mālāGarland; string of beads for japa.
malaḥDirt; impurity – six kinds: kāmaḥ, lust; krodhaḥ, anger; lobhaḥ, greed; mohaḥ, delusion; madaḥ, pride; mātsaryam, jealousy; also see the six vairis, enemies.
mamatvam'My-ness'; sense of ownership.
mananamResolving doubts, following śravaṇam, until understanding is flawless and complete; see nididhyāsanam, sākṣātkāraḥ.
manasMind; the power to think, feel; formed of vṛttis alone, which undergo constant change; typified by saṅkalpa-vikalpaḥ, desires and doubts, options and alternatives; since the power to think and feel includes notions of identity (ahaṅkāraḥ), as well as memories (cittam) and decisions (buddhiḥ), manas is used both to mean a specific function of the mind (thinking and feeling) as well as to represent the mind as a whole; see antaḥ-karaṇam, sūkṣma-śarīram.
maṅgalamPrayer; good fortune; blessing; auspicious beginning.
maṅiḥJewel; gem; ornament.
manomaya-kośaḥThe kośaḥ consisting of the five senses plus the mind (manas and cittam); also see annamaya-kośaḥ, prāṇamaya-kośaḥ, vijñānamaya-kośaḥ, ānandamaya-kośaḥ.
mano nigrahaḥ Mastery of one's ways of thinking.
mantraḥThat whose repetition protects the mind; Vedic prayers; verses of the non-prose Upaniṣads.
manuṣyaḥ Human being.
maraṇam Death; cessation; refuge.
mārgaḥ Way; path; course; route.
mārutaḥ A name of Viṣṇuḥ and Rudra; deity of the wind.
matam Vision; thought; creed; advice; intention.
maṭhaḥ Monastery; temple.
mātṛ Mother
mātsaryamJealousy; displeasure; dissatisfaction; also see the six malas, impurities.
māyā Power of Īśvaraḥ ; manifests the jagat ; similarly to the three strands of one rope, māyā has three aspects or attributes: sattvam, rajas, tamas; māyā does not mean 'illusion' (see jagat); this three-fold creative power of māyā manifests as the jñāna-śaktiḥ (capacity to know) of sattvam, the kriyā-śaktiḥ (capacity to act) of rajas, and the dravya-śaktiḥ (capacity for inertia) of tamas – see guṇaḥ.
medhā-śaktiḥPower of intellection – ability to unfailingly attend (focus), properly understand, ever retain, fully ascertain and completely assimilate what is taught.
mithyā Apparently (and dependently) real or existent, not absolutely real; whatever has the status of being mithyā is dependent for its reality on its substratum, just as a clay pot depends on clay, or a gold ornament on gold; see satyam, tuccham.
modaḥHappy; a degree of happpiness: a desired object is obtained; also see priya, pramodaḥ.
mohaḥDelusion; bewilderment; perplexity; loss of consciousness; distraction; infatuation; mohaḥ, delusion, is a consequence of krodhaḥ, anger; also see the six ūrmis, evils, and the six malas, impurities.
mokṣaḥLiberation from jīvatvam – from the state of being a conditioned jīvaḥ – and hence from saṁsāraḥ.
mṛtyuḥ Death; see ūrmiḥ.
mudrā Name for certain hand and finger positions.
mukhyārthaḥ Primary or literal meaning of a word or sentence. 'On the face of it …'.
mukta Free; released.
muktiḥ Freedom
mūlam Root; source; basis; principle.
mūlāvidyā Original or primal ignorance (of the self); epithet for māyā.
mumukṣuḥ Desirer of liberation.
mumukṣutvam State of being desirous of liberation, mokṣaḥ.
muniḥ A sage, ascetic, hermit who may have taken a vow of silence.
mūrtiḥForm; visible shape; personification; idol; statue.
nāda-śabdaḥLoud, roaring, bellowing sound; primal sound; first vibration from which all creation has emanated; first manifestation of the unmanifested Absolute.
nāḍī System of subtle nerves that runs throughout the subtle body and converges on the heart.
naimittika-karmamOccasional (not daily) duty.
naiścalyam Immovability; solidity; fixity.
naiṣkarmyam Actionlessness; perfection; self-knowledge.
naivedyam Food (symbolically) offered to a deity.
nāman Name
nāma-rūpam Name and form; this insubtantial world is mere name and form, whose only substance is satyam.
namaḥ Salutations – namaste, 'salutations to you'.
nanu An objection or question.
narakaḥ Hell; the seven lower regions; in descending order, they are: atalam, vitalam, sutalam, talātalam, rasātalam, mahātalam with pātālam lowest of all.
nārāyaṇaḥ Supports and pervades all; Lord Viṣṇuḥ.
nāśaḥ Destruction; disappearance.
nāsikā Nose; nostril.
nāsikāgram End or tip of the nose.
nāstikaḥDoes not recognise the Veda as a pramāṇam; see āstikaḥ.
neti-neti "Not this, not this" (lit. "No! No!"); progressively negating all names and forms to arrive at timeless, absolute Truth.
nididhyāsanamRemoval of viparīta-bhāvanā by constantly dwelling on what has been correctly understood from śravaṇam and mananam; this 'dwelling' is not a formal practice but a spontaneous and natural consequence of true understanding, it is what is, by now, a clear vision of the Truth as the essential nature of the very knower 'I'; see sākṣātkāraḥ.
nidrā Sleep; a general term for either svapna (dreaming sleep) or suṣupti (deep sleep).
nigrahaḥ Restraint; obstruction; mastery.
nilayaḥ Support; resting-place; dwelling-place; den; lair; nest; house; abode.
nimittam Reason; motive; target.
nimitta-kāraṇamInstrumental or efficient cause; also see upādāna-kāraṇam.
nirañjana Untainted; spotless; pure; devoid of passion; simple.
niratiṣaya Unsurpassed; unrivalled; unequalled.
nirguṇaḥ Free from all attributes.
nirodhaḥ Control; restraint; obstruction.
niruktamThe discipline of Vedic etymology; one of the six auxiliary texts, Vedāṅgas, of the Vedas – also see śikṣā, chandas, vyākaraṇam, jyotiṣaḥ, kalpaḥ.
nirupādhika Without any limiting adjunct; see upādhiḥ.
nirvāṇam Liberation; emancipation; extinguished.
nirvikalpaḥ Absence of distinction between knower-knowledge-known (not 'absence of thought'); without modifications of the mind.
nirvikalpa-samādhiḥ"A state of absorption, without modifications of the mind, in which there is no second thing at all; a samādhiḥ in which there is absence of distinction between knower-knowledge-known, as in deep sleep, but, unlike sleep, the mind is awake, meaning there are vṛttis and so the state will be displaced by thought; being a state of mind, any samādhiḥ is transient; nirvikalpa-samādhiḥ is not, and cannot, be an experience of ātmā as ātmā is not experienceable; some say that after you come out of nirvikalpa-samādhiḥ you will see the world entirely differently, but that is not correct because how you see the world depends purely on your vision of reality; having experienced nirvikalpa-samādhiḥ you have to interpret that experience, and to interpret the experience you must have a pramāṇa, a means of knowledge"*; see savikalpa-samādhiḥ.
nirvikāra Unchanged; unchangeable; uniform.
nirviśeṣa Without any attributes or distinguishing characteristics.
nirvṛttiḥ Development; completion; termination; mokṣaḥ.
niścayaḥ Conviction; definiteness; firm resolve.
niṣedhaḥ Prohibition; forbidden by scripture.
niṣiddha-karma Forbidden action.
niṣkāmaḥ Free from (binding) desire.
niṣṭhā Firmness; steadiness; freedom from doubt or vagueness.
nitya Timeless; not subject to time.
nityakarma Any daily duty, but especially religious ones.
nivṛttiḥAbstinence; cessation; giving primacy to śreyas rather than preyas – see its opposite pravṛttiḥ.
niyatam Regularly
niyatātmā Disciplined-minded; having a self-disciplined mind.
nṛyajñaḥWorship of the Lord by feeding hungry people who visit one's home; one of the five pañcamahā-yajñas – also see devayajñaḥ, sacrifice to the gods; pitṛyajñaḥ, sacrifice to the manes; ṛṣiyajñaḥ, sacrifice to the ṛṣis; bhūta-yajñaḥ, feeding hungry animals and birds.
omSacred sound symbol (pratīkaḥ) of Brahman; the whole Veda can be reduced to Om.
oṣadhiḥPlant; herb.
pādaḥFourth part of a stanza; a quarter of anything.
padam Step; foot; word; that which is to be reached or accomplished; that by which an object is reached or known.
padārthaḥ Meaning of a word.
pañcabhūtam Five-element model of creation – see ākāśaḥ, space; vāyuḥ, air; agniḥ, fire; āpaḥ, water; pṛthivī, earth.
pañca-kośāḥ The five areas of the kāraṇa-kārya-saṅghāta, the body-mind-sense complex, that provide the potential for self-misidentification; see annamaya-kośaḥ, prāṇamaya-kośaḥ, manomaya-kośaḥ, vijñānamaya-kośaḥ, ānandamaya-kośaḥ.
pañca-kośa-prakriyāMethod of analysis for correcting the mistaking of five common levels of experience for ātmā; see prakriyā.
pañca-mahā-yajñaḥThe five great sacrifices or forms of worship – devayajñaḥ, sacrifice to the gods; pitṛyajñaḥ, sacrifice to the manes; ṛṣiyajñaḥ, sacrifice to the ṛṣis; nṛyajñaḥ, feeding the hungry; bhūta-yajñaḥ, feeding hungry animals and birds.
pañcīkaraṇamGrossification of the five subtle elements (tanmātras); one half of each is combined with one eighth of each of the other four.
paṇḍita Learned; wise.
paṇḍitaḥ Scholar; sage.
pāṇiḥ Hand
pāpamThat part of bad or inappropriate karma, done previously, whose result remains unseen (adṛṣṭa) until manifesting later as an unfavourable, unpleasant situation; see puṇyam, vāsanā, sanskāraḥ, adharmaḥ.
parāSupreme; absolute; origin of all, including speech; the unmanifest and undifferentiated power of speech, known as parā, is latent in the individual and found at the base of the spine, at the power centre (cakra) called mūlādhāra – also see paśyantī, madhyama, vaikharī.
param Supreme; highest.
paramārthaḥ Highest truth or meaning; absolute reality; knowledge that is brahmātmā.
parambrahma Brahman; supreme Reality.
parameśvaraḥ The Lord; Īṣvara manifest as the creation.
paramparā Unbroken lineage of teachers in which the passing of knowledge from teacher to student over millenia ensures the preservation of the sampradāyaḥ, teaching traditon; see guru-śiṣya-paramparā
parā-prakṛtiḥ Higher nature of the self; pure knowledge; pure consciousness; see saccidānandaḥ, aparā-prakṛtiḥ.
parā-vidyāSelf-knowledge; supreme knowledge; pure consciousness alone; absolute Truth; ever unmanifest; ever alone (ever without a second); also called Higher knowledge; see aparā-vidyā.
pārāyaṇam Reading/chanting a text aloud.
paricchinna Cut off; confined; limited; circumscribed.
pariṇāmaḥ A change that occurs via a change in the very substance or material itself e.g. churned milk becomes butter, burnt wood becomes smoke and ash; effect; fruit; product; result; see upādāna-kāraṇam, vivartaḥ.
parokṣa-jñānam Indirect (out of sight) knowledge; knowledge not from direct perception e.g. "He said the shop is closed." See aparokṣa-jñānam.
pārvatīWife of Lord Śivaḥ; daughter of Himāvat; also known as Durgā, Satī, Umā.
paśuḥ Animal; cow; cattle.
paśyantīSeeing; second stage of emergence of speech or sound; the power of speech, after arising from parā, when differentiated by and remaining with a specific emotion becomes known as paśyantī̄ – also see parā, madhyama, vaikharī.
paṭaḥ Cloth; garment.
patiḥLord; Indra; husband.
patram Leaf; page.
pauruṣeya śāstramScripture that is of human, not divine, authorship e.g. smṛtiḥ.
phalam Fruit; result of action.
pipāsāThirst (as in 'thirst for water'; for thirst as in 'anguish or greed', see tṛṣṇa); also see ūrmiḥ.
pippalaḥ Sacred fig tree; Ficus Religiosa, commonly called Peepal.
pitṛ-yajñaḥ Sacrifice to the manes (ancestors) offering rice balls and water, which satisfies them and incurs a blessing for those descendants who perform this sacrifice; one of the five pañcamahā-yajñas – also see devayajñaḥ, sacrifice to the gods; ṛṣiyajñaḥ, sacrifice to the ṛṣis; nṛyajñaḥ, feeding the hungry; bhūta-yajñaḥ, feeding hungry animals and birds.
plutaLengthened vowel in chanting, held for three or more short measures; also see hrasva, short; dīrgha, long.
prabhāvaḥ Brilliance; splendour; glory; majesty.
prabhuḥ Lord; master.
pradakṣiṇa Reverential, clockwise circumambulation of a holy place or person (placing on one's right is a token of respect).
pradhānam Primary, unevolved source of universe; undifferentiated matter; synonym of prakṛtiḥ and māyā.
prajā Offspring; progeny; mankind.
prajāpatiḥ Lord of all beings; the creator; Brahmāji, Parameśvara.
prajñāConsciousness; awareness; knowledge; wisdom; discernment.
prājñaḥA term for an individual, a jīvaḥ, as an experiencer of the deep-sleep state, suṣupti-avasthā; the universal or samaṣṭiḥ equivalent is antaryāmi – also see taijasaḥ, viśvaḥ.
prajñāna-ghanaḥ Mass of sentiency; one of the terms used in the Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad (verse 7) to declare what Brahman is not.
prajñānaṃ-brahma'Consciousness is Brahman' Aitareya 3.1.3; – see mahāvākyam and also tattvamasi, ahaṃ-brahmāsmi, ayam-ātmā-brahma.
prakaraṇam A text, treatise, book or chapter expounding a topic.
prakaraṇa-granthaḥA text or treatise (prakaraṇa) that ties or strings together (grantha), meaningfully and approachably, the concepts and terminology used in the śāstram – e.g. ātma-bodha, tattva-bodha, vākya-vṛtti.
prakāśaḥ Light; clearness; brightness; splendour; lustre.
prakriyāMethod of enquiry, analysis, correcting confusion about ātmā; see śarīra-traya-prakriyā, pañca-kośa-prakriyā, dṛg-dṛśya-viveka-prakriyā; avasthā-traya-prakriyā; kāraṇa-kārya-prakriyā.
prakṛtiḥNature; material cause; origin; a synonym of the three-fold power, māyā, i.e. that which is available for and capable of creation; consists of the three guṇas.
pralayaḥ Complete resolution/cessation of universe.
pramā Knowledge
pramādaḥ Inadvertence; mechanicalness; inattention; carelessness.
pramāṇam Means of knowledge; there are six – anumana, anupalabdhiḥ, arthāpattiḥ, pratyakṣa, śabdaḥ, upamānam.
pramātā Knower
prameyam The object known.
pramodaḥ Joy; pleasure; delight; degree of happiness: a desired object is enjoyed; also see priya, modaḥ.
prāṇaḥ A five-fold vital force accounting for all physiological functioning; also see apānaḥ, elimination; vyānaḥ, circulation; samānaḥ, digestion; udānaḥ, upward breath. When mentioned separately from the other four, prāṇaḥ is purely respiration; part of sūkṣma-śarīram.
prāṇamaya-kośaḥ The kośaḥ that is the modification of air and is the five physiological functions (prāṇaḥ, apānaḥ, vyānaḥ, samānaḥ, udānaḥ) and the five karmendriyas, powers of action (evident in speaking, handling, moving, reproducing, eliminating); also see annamaya-kośaḥ, manomaya-kośaḥ, vijñānamaya-kośaḥ, ānandamaya-kośaḥ.
praṇavaḥThe sacred syllable Om is a well-known symbol (pratīkaḥ) for Brahman, the whole Veda can be reduced to Om.
prāṇāyāmaḥ Control of the breath; see prāṇaḥ.
praṇidhānam Meditation upon a deity.
prapañcaḥ Manifest universe; the five subtle elements manifest as the universe; also see pañcabhūtam.
prāptiḥ Attainment; gain; reaching.
prārabdha-karmaThe portion of sañcita fructifying and manifesting ('rolling forward') as this present life, thereby exhausting some puṇyam and pāpam in the form of sukha, pleasant or favourable, and duḥkham, unpleasant or unfavourable experiences; known colloquially as 'my fate or destiny'; see āgāmi-karma, sañcita-karma.
prārthanam Prayer; entreaty; request; supplication; desire.
prasādaḥGift from Bhagavān; since all that is here is Bhagavān, all actions and their results are Bhagavān, which means all results are a gift from Bhagavān; see karma-yogaḥ.
prasaktaḥAttachment in which the mind is strongly stuck; confusion due to fixed adherence to an idea or belief.
prasthāna-trayamThe three source texts of vedāntaḥUpaniṣads, Bhagavad Gītā, Brahma-Sūtra.
pratibandhaḥ That which binds; any impediment or obstruction to mokṣaḥ, e.g. sorrow, delusion, inertia, lust, attachment, etc; prayer, vicāraḥ and sādhanam are the primary means for their removal.
prātibhāsika Subjective view; that which appears to be so to me.
pratibimbaḥConsciousness (brahman) obtaining in the antaḥ-karaṇam etc, manifests there, just as gold manifests (is reflected in) an ornament; see cidābhāsaḥ; cidābhāsaḥ and pratibimbaḥ are the same manifestation of consciousness viewed from different perspectives, hence the different terms.
pratīkaḥA sound symbol for the Lord.
pratimāA form symbol for the Lord.
pratipakṣa-bhāvanā Dealing with an adverse tendency in oneself by deliberately cultivating its opposite.
pratiṣedhaḥNegation to eliminate or ward off or prevent error; negation of what is not true as a means to what is true.
pratiṣiddha-karmaActions forbidden or prohibited by (actions that go against the specific prescription of) dharmaḥ; also called niṣiddha-karma (restrained, checked, prevented action).
pratiṣṭhā Abidance; steadfastness; stability.
pratiṣṭhitā Established; rooted; fixed; well-founded; thriving.
pratyagātmā Innermost self.
pratyakṣamSensory perception; one of the six pramāṇas – see the others: anumānam, anupalabdhiḥ, arthāpattiḥ, śabdaḥ, upamānam.
pratyayaḥ Notion; idea; cognition; conviction.
pravṛttiḥFull participation in the world; full involvement in worldly life; giving primacy to preyas rather than śreyas – see nivṛttiḥ.
prāyaścitta-karmaAn expiatory karma – a formal ritual done wishing to neutralise the results of previous wrong action.
prayatnaḥ Perseverance; continued effort; will.
prayojanam Purpose; object; gain; benefit.
premaḥ Love; love is the first response to the world (even if immediately displaced by something else).
preyasProsperity; any desired result other than mokṣaḥ – see sreyas.
priyaPleased; a degree of happiness: a desired object is seen; also see modaḥ, pramodaḥ.
pṛthivīThe element Earth; also see pañcabhūtam the five elements – ākāśaḥ, space; vāyuḥ, air; agniḥ, fire; āpaḥ, water; pṛthivī, earth.
pūjā Formal worship.
pūjya Revered; venerable.
punaḥ Again; once again.
puṇyamThat part of good or appropriate karma, done previously, whose result remains unseen (adṛṣṭa) until manifesting later as a pleasant, favourable situation; see pāpam, vāsanā, sanskāraḥ, dharmaḥ.
puṇya-pāpamOverall, combined consideration of previous (or future) beneficial or adverse karma and its manifest (or potential) result.
purāṇam Huge body of ancient, inspirational and highly informative Hindu mythology with the status of smṛtiḥ. A very wide variety of topics are covered by many authors in hundreds of thousands of verses.
pūrṇa Full; whole; entire; complete.
purohitaḥ A person who performs prayers or rituals, before, purā, in advance, for the well-being, hitam, of others; commissioned; appointed; a family priest.
puruṣaḥOriginal source of creation; the Supreme Being; the very self, ātmā, of a human being, who dwells in the city, (pura), of nine gates (two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, mouth, genitals, anus).
puruṣārthaḥ Human aim; see arthaḥ, kāmaḥ, dharmaḥ, mokṣaḥ.
puruṣārtha-niścayaḥDefiniteness, complete clarity and certainty, about the true and ultimate aim of my life being mokṣaḥ, freedom from suffering; this certainty brings a shift in perspective, and with it an unnerring focus, commitment and some dispassion to life.
puruṣottama Highest (uttama) of the puruṣas; epithet for Brahman to distinguish Brahman from the human being.
pūrvapakṣī One who presents an alternative view in a discussion; an objector.
puṣpam Flower
puṣṭiḥ Well-nourished condition; increase; wealth; prosperity; completeness.
rāgaḥAttachment; passion; strong liking; red colour; inflammation; see dveṣaḥ, kleśaḥ.
rāga-dveṣaḥBinding attachment and aversion; since likes and dislikes (desires) originate from ahaṅkāraḥ – the erroneous and varying ideas of oneself, which in turn arise from avidyārāga-dveṣas are regarded as impurities and so are handled carefully; (note: non-binding attachments and aversions are not a problem); see karma-yogaḥ.
rahasya Secret; private.
rahita Separated from; deprived of; abandoned.
rāhityam Absence; being without anything; destitute; being free from.
rājaḥ King
rajasGuṇaḥ signifying activity, passion; also see sattvam, tamas.
rajjuḥ Rope
rakṣā Care; protection; defence.
rākṣasaDemoniacal; one who goes against dharmaḥ in pursuit of wealth, power, position, etc.; predominant guṇaḥ is rajas – see asuraḥ.
rāmāyaṇam Vālmīki's epic describing the adventures of Lord Rāma.
rasaḥSense object (viṣayaḥ) known as 'taste'; aesthetic sentiment; essence of enjoyment; subjective value.
ṛṣiḥSeer of Truth; inspired sage.
ṛṣiyajñaḥSacrifice to the Rishis or sages by studying and chanting the Vedas given to mankind; one of the five pañcamahā-yajñas – also see devayajñaḥ, sacrifice to the gods; pitṛyajñaḥ, sacrifice to the manes; nṛyajñaḥ, feeding the hungry; bhūta-yajñaḥ, feeding hungry animals and birds.
ṛtamTruth; the two words, ṛtam and satyam, have the same meaning: truth. However, when they come together they differ in what they express. Ṛtam then stands for ascertained, assimilated, clear knowledge gained by scriptural study. Satyam stands for that same knowledge reflected in thought, word and deed.
rudraTerrible; formidable.
rudraḥName of Śivaḥ; a hymn addressed to Rudra, deity of ahaṅkāraḥ.
rūpamForm; appearance; nature; a sense object (viṣayaḥ) known as 'form, shape'.
śabdaḥSound; word; a sense object (viṣayaḥ) known as 'sound'.
śabda-pramāṇam‘Word’ (as a) means of knowledge; the importance and significance of the words of the śāstram, known as vedāntaḥ, being the means to mokṣaḥ cannot be overstated; since the self-evident ātmā is ever being experienced (as the knower, the sākṣī) no further experience is needed, hence, the only means to its full and clear ascertainment are the words of the śāstram unfolded by one who is both a śrotriyaḥ and a brahma-niṣṭhā; knowledge in the form of words from a reliable and authoritative source, śāstram, constitutes one of the six pramāṇas – see the others: anumānam, anupalabdhiḥ, arthāpattiḥ, pratyakṣa, upamānam.
saccidānandaḥLimitless existence (sat), object-free awareness (cit), unrestricted happiness (ānandaḥ) – indications of the intrinsic nature, svarūpam, of ātmā; sat – essence of the instinct to live, to survive; cit – essence of the desire to know, to not be ignorant; ānandaḥ – essence of the desire to be happy everywhere, with everyone, at all times.
sādhakaḥA disciplined aspirant.
sādhana-catuṣṭayamThe four-fold qualification needed for ātmajñānam or mokṣaḥvivekaḥ, vairāgyam, ṣaṭka-sampattiḥ, mumukṣutvam.
sādhanamMeans (for accomplishing the goal of liberation); the principal means are śravanam, mananam, nididhyāsanam on the words of the śāstram, unfolded by a competent and knowledgeable ācāryaḥ who is a śrotriya, brahma-niṣṭhā and sampradāyavit.
sādhuḥ Renunciate; a pious, highly disciplined, virtuous aspirant; a sannyāsiḥ.
sādhyam Goal to be accomplished.
sadṛṣyapariṇāmaḥHomogeneous change; change within its own given conditions; a change which is not different from the original, like gold into an earring.
sāgaraḥ Ocean
saguṇa With qualities; having attributes.
saguṇa-brahman Brahman regarded as having qualities; a synonym for Īśvaraḥ; Īśvaraḥ as the jagat-kāraṇam, cause of the creation; Īśvaraḥ manifest as the entire creation.
sahaja Natural; inborn.
sahasram Thousand
sajātīya Of the same kind; similar.
śākhā Branch, clan or tradition passing down a Vedic text of the same name.
sākṣāt Evidently; visibly.
sākṣātkāraḥClear vision of the Truth as the essential nature of the very knower 'I'; evident or intuitive perception that all that is here is the one self; it is both the nature and culmination of nididhyāsanam, which naturally follows śravanam and mananam.
sākṣīWitness; seer; passive observer of the body, mind, senses and world.
saktiḥAttachment, in general; 'stickiness'; longing; sense of ownership; also see asaktiḥ.
śaktiḥPower; faculty.
samacittatvam Equanimity; sameness of mind in the gain of the desirable and the undesirable; capacity to retain composure.
samādhānamFocused intent; continually dwelling on the true nature of the self; see ṣaṭka-sampattiḥ – also see śamaḥ, damaḥ, uparamaḥ, titikṣā, śraddhā.
samādhiḥAbsorption; no matter the experience in samādhiḥ, the consciousness by which every experience is revealed is ever-present and needs no special experience to be known; being the substratum and reality of all experience it is never absent, never not known, and simply needs to be recognised as such, rather than experienced; see savikalpa-samādhiḥ, nirvikalpa-samādhiḥ.
śamaḥResolution or management of the mind to rest and refine it, and prevent it 'running the show'; see ṣaṭka-sampattiḥ – also see damaḥ, uparamaḥ, titikṣā, śraddhā, samādhānam.
samāmnāyaḥMentioned together; a collection or compilation of sacred texts.
samānaḥThe aspect of prāṇaḥ that aids digestion; also see apānaḥ, elimination; vyānaḥ, circulation; udānaḥ, upward breath.
sāmānya Common to all; universal; general.
sāmānya-dharmaḥUniversal ethics; universal values.
samaṣṭiḥ Universal perspective; a forest seen as one whole, not as individual trees; see vyaṣṭiḥ.
samatvam Evenness; sameness; equanimity of mind in all aspects of life, but especially towards results of action.
sambandhaḥ Connection; association; relationship.
sampattiḥ Prosperity; good fortune; accomplishment; fulfilment; success.
sampradāyaḥ Teaching tradition; established doctrine; transmitted from one teacher to another over millennia via the guru-śiṣya-paramparā, guru-disciple lineage; see paramparā
sampradāyavitOne who knows thoroughly the teaching tradition, having learnt it from his/her guru.
saṁsāraḥTransmigratory life; the endless cycle of becoming, of repeated births and deaths; often characterised as a treacherous ocean the jīvaḥ is struggling to cross; freedom from it is only in recognising and fully ascertaining one's identity with Brahman.
saṁśayaḥ Doubt; indecision.
saṁśrayaḥ Help; protection; guidance; resting place; refuge.
saṃvādaḥDialogue imparting knowledge from teacher to student; teacher-student discourse with the sole aim of learning the truth; also see vādaḥ, jalpa-vādaḥ, vitaṇḍa-vādaḥ.
sanātana Eternal; permanent; ancient.
sañcita-karmaUmanifest, unexpired aggregate of all prior karma; when ripe it will manifest as prārabdha-karma later; sancita is also the store for the āgāmi being produced now, in this life (which, when ripe, will manifest as prārabdha-karma later...); see āgāmi-karma, prārabdha-karma.
saṅghaḥAttachment due to close contact; association; community; company; friendship
saṅghātaḥAssemblage; combination; collection; cluster; aggregate; compressed together.
saṅkalpaḥDecision as to worth, value, need, etc; resolve; will; fancy; thought; determination; the impetus (in the form of a conviction as to worth) running through every desire, driving it to fulfilment.
śaṅkaraḥ Famous, revered teacher; author of Upaniṣad bhāṣyams; believed by many to be an avatāraḥ of Śivaḥ.
sāṅkhyam A philosophical system ascribed to the sage Kapilaḥ.
sannyāsaḥRenunciation; a vow of ahiṃsā, a life committed to knowledge, free of life's rôles; fourth of the four āśramas of Vedic life – brahmacarya, studentship; gṛhasthaḥ, householder; vānaprastha, withdrawal; sannyāsaḥ, renunciation.
sannyāsiḥA renunciate; one who, dressed in ochre robes, has taken the vows of sannyāsaḥ, has left aside gṛhasthaḥ, householder life and its rôles, and, living on alms, pursues ātma-jñānam alone; there are two types of sannyāsiḥ – a vidvat-sannyāsiḥ is a jñāni, a liberated being, and a vividiṣā-sannyāsiḥ desires to know the self as Brahman.
sanskāraḥPutting together; forming well; impression on the mind; disposition; degree of refinement of a person in terms of accumulation of better or worse vāsanās; sanskāraḥ also means refinement via action (one of the four possible results of karma) – hence see āptiḥ, attainment; utpādyam, production; vikāraḥ, modification.
sanskṛtamWell formed; refined; highly elaborated; the Sanskrit language.
śāntiḥ Peace; calmness; cessation.
santoṣaḥ Contentment; happiness; satisfaction.
śaraṇam Refuge; protection; place of shelter.
śaraṇāgatiḥ Seeking refuge in the Lord.
sarasvatī Goddess of knowledge and music; wife of Brahmā.
śarīramProne to disintegration (the body); see sthula-śarīram, sūkṣma-śarīram, kāraṇa-śarīram; also see dehaḥ, kāyaḥ.
śarīra-traya-prakriyāMethod of analysis for recognising that ātmā is independependent of the three bodies (gross, subtle and causal); see prakriyā.
sarpaḥ Snake
sarvagata All-pervading
sarvajñaḥ Omniscience; knowledge of all in general; all knowledge of everything, everwhere; used to indicate the completely unlimited nature of Īśvara's knowledge.
sarvaṅ-khalvidaṃ-brahma'All this is indeed Brahman' Chāndogya 3.14.1; – see mahāvākyam.
sarvaśaktimān All-powerful; a name of Īśvaraḥ.
sarvavit Omniscience; knowledge of all in particular; a term indicating the knowledge enjoyed by a jñāni – he recognises the one self in all, but does not have all knowledge of everything (as Īśvaraḥ does), i.e. if, for example, he did not know Organic Chemistry prior to enlightenment, he will still not know it.
śāstramSacred body of knowledge for growing towards one's full stature; includes both śrutiḥ and smṛtiḥ, but the former is chiefly meant.
sat Limitless existence; absolute truth.
ṣaṭkaḥ Six, as in ṣaṭka-sampattiḥ, six accomplishments.
satkāryavādaḥA Sāṅkhyam vādaḥ, a Sāṅkhyam view or contention, accepted by Vedāntins, that the effect is ever inherent in the cause, prior to the effect's manifestation, and is only a change or modification of the cause – and both are mithyā. See upādāna-kāraṇam, pariṇāmaḥ, vivartaḥ and also nimitta-kāraṇam.
ṣaṭka-sampattiḥA group of six accomplishments (also known as śamādi-ṣaṭka-sampattiḥ, a group of six accomplishments beginning with śamaḥ), which form part of sādhana-catuṣṭayamśamaḥ, damaḥ, uparamaḥ, titikṣā, śraddhā, samādhānam.
satsaṅgaḥ Company (saṅgaḥ) of the wise, of truth (sat); good company; usually treated as a general question and answer time, i.e. a meeting with the teacher, ācāryaḥ, with no specific topic.
sattā Existence; being; reality; there are three kinds of reality or existence – paramārthika-sattā (absolutely real or existent), vyavahārika-sattā (phenomenally real), prātibhāsika-sattā (apparently or subjectively real or existent).
sattvamGuṇaḥ signifying purity, knowledge, inception; also see rajas, tamas.
satyamExistent; true; non-negatable; independently real; also the name of the highest of the seven heavens (see svargaḥ); also see mithyā, tuccham.
śaucamCleanness, both inner and outer; purity of mind.
savikalpaḥ Having distinguishing attributes, e.g. knower, known.
savikalpa-samādhiḥSamādhiḥ in which there remains a distinction between knower-knowledge-known; modifications of the mind are present; being a state of mind, it is transient and will be lost; see nirvikalpa-samādhiḥ.
śeṣam Remainder; balance.
sevā Service; homage; worship.
siddha Accomplished; established; gained.
siddhiḥ Accomplishment
śikṣāScience of proper articulation and pronunciation of Vedic texts; one of the six auxiliary texts, Vedāṅgas, of the Vedas – also see chandas, vyākaraṇam, niruktam, jyotiṣaḥ, kalpaḥ.
śiṣyaḥDisciple of a guru; a committed, serious student of jñāna-yogaḥ who recognises the guru as a guru, carefully following the guidance received, and has been accepted as a disciple; see guru-śiṣya-paramparā, sampradāyaḥ.
śivaḥAuspicious; pure; propitious; Īśvaraḥ as the resolver of the universe; see Brahmā, Viṣṇuḥ.
ślokaḥ Verse
smaraṇam Recollection; remembering.
smṛtiḥMemory (in general); also a term for (recalled, authored) texts on the Vedas; part of pauruṣeya-śāstram (secondary literature).
snānam Bathing
snehaḥ Attachment; fondness; affection; stickiness.
śokaḥSorrow; anguish; grief; affliction; pain; trouble; see duḥkham, ūrmiḥ.
sparśaḥTouch; the sense object (viṣayaḥ) known as 'touch'.
śraddhāAcceptance by firm judgement as true what the guru and śāstram instruct; see ṣaṭka-sampattiḥ – also see śamaḥ, damaḥ, uparamaḥ, titikṣā, samādhānam.
śravaṇamSystematic, intent listening for a length of time to an ācāryaḥ unfolding the prasthāna-trayam; see mananam, nididhyāsanam, sākṣātkāraḥ.
śreyasHighest good; mokṣaḥ – see preyas.
śrī Lakṣmī, goddess of wealth and wife (śaktiḥ) of Viṣṇuḥ; wealth; a respectful salutation.
śrotram Ear
śrotriyaḥSomeone well-versed in the śāstram – also see brahma-niṣṭhā
sṛṣṭiḥManifestation of the world.
śrutiḥRevealed (heard) sacred scripture, the Vedas. The Vedas were 'heard', 'divined' (not created or formulated) by the ancient Rishis of yore and so are apauruṣeya, not of human origin.
stavaḥ Song of praise.
sthairyam Steadfastness; constancy; perseverance; steadiness; firmness; calmness.
sthāṇu Firm; motionless.
sthita Steady; abiding; ascertained.
sthitadhī Steady-minded; firm; unmoved; calm.
sthita-prajñaḥ A person of steady, unshakeable wisdom and firm judgement; abiding in wisdom; a jñāni.
sthūlaGross; physical – also see sūkṣma, kāraṇam.
sthūla-śarīramGross body; physical body; also known as bāhya-karaṇam outer instrument; also see sūkṣma-śarīram, kāraṇa-śarīram.
stotram Hymn of praise.
śubham Splendid; good; auspicious; agreeable; beautiful; useful; fortunate; righteous; virtuous.
śuddha Pure; faultless; free from error.
śūdraḥA person born into the fourth varṇaḥ – an artisan, labourer, servant, etc; also see brāhmaṇaḥ, priest; kṣatriyaḥ, soldier; vaiśyaḥ, businessman.
sukham Happiness; usually refers to transient, experiential happiness.
sukṛta Well-made
sūkṣmaSubtle; fine; penetrating – also see sthūla, kāraṇam.
sūkṣma-śarīramSubtle body; consists of five karmendriyas, five jñānendriyas, five prāṇas, and the antaḥ-karaṇam whose chief aspects are buddhiḥ, cittam, manas, ahaṅkāraḥ – also see sthūla-śarīram, kāraṇa-śarīram, indriyam.
sulabha Easily obtainable; feasible.
sundara Beautiful; lovely.
śūnya Void; empty.
sūryaḥ The Sun; devatā (deity) of sight.
susukham Easy; pleasurable.
suṣupti-avasthāDeep-sleep state in which the intellect, mind and senses resume an unmanifest potential condition and yet absence of experience is experienced ("I knew nothing"); also see jāgrad-avasthā waking state, svapna-avasthā dream state, turīya 'fourth'.
sūtram Verse; thread; an aphorism with minimum words and maximum sense; a terse sentence.
sutrātmā Epithet for Hiraṇyagarbhaḥ who 'runs through all like a thread'.
svabhāvaḥAcquired, earned, non-intrinsic nature e.g. the gold ornament, not the gold; see svarūpam.
svadharmaḥ One's own duty.
svādhyāyaḥŚāstram study under the care of a competent ācāryaḥ.
svagata To oneself; of itself.
svaḥ Third of the vyāhṛtis; abode of the gods and the blessed; the vault of heaven; region of the planets; fifth lowest of the seven heavens – also see bhūḥ, bhuvaḥ.
svāhā Praise be to thee; an exclamation while offering ritual oblations.
svāmiḥ Lord or master of oneself; spiritual preceptor; title of monks who have taken the vows of sannyāsaḥ (female, svāminī).
svapna-avasthā Dream state in which the dream world of subtle phenomena is experienced; also see jāgrad-avasthā, waking state; suṣupti-avasthā, deep-sleep state; turīya, 'fourth'.
svapnaḥDream; dreaming.
svaraḥA vowel; a chanting accent – see vyañjanam, and also udāttaḥ, anudāttaḥ, svaritam.
svargaḥHeaven; the seven heavens begin with this Earth, bhūḥ, and in ascending order are bhūḥ, bhuvaḥ, svaḥ, mahaḥ, janaḥ, tapaḥ, satyam.
svaritamA high or raised tone in chanting, shown in the text by a short vertical line above the vowel; also see svaraḥ, udāttaḥ, anudāttaḥ.
svarūpa-lakṣaṇamAn indication or description of a vastu's intrinsic, real, essential nature; an indication of how things really are; see taṭastha-lakṣaṇam.
svarūpamIntrinsic, essential nature; that which is inherent, natural to the object or person; the gold, not the gold ornament; see svabhāvaḥ.
svatantraIndependent; free; self-dependent.
svayambhūSelf-existing; self-created; self-born.
taijasaḥA term for an individual, a jīvaḥ, as an experiencer of subtle phenomena in the dream state, svapna-avasthā; the universal or samaṣṭiḥ equivalent is Vaiśvānaraḥ – also see prājñaḥ, viśvaḥ.
tamasGuṇaḥ signifying conclusion, dullness, inertia; also see sattvam, rajas.
tanmātram Subtle, pure, uncombined element, prior to grossification, pañcīkaraṇam.
tāpaḥObstacle; affliction; difficulty; heat.
tapas"Committed, relevant action in line with dharmaḥ"*; purificatory austerity.
tapasvi Ascetic; one who practises austerity, tapas.
taraṅgaḥ Wave (of water).
tarkaḥ Reasoning; conjecture; logic.
tasmāt Therefore; hence; on that account; for that reason.
tat That
taṭastha-lakṣaṇamApparent (not essential) nature; that property of an object that is distinct from its essential nature, and yet is the property by which it is known; see svarūpa-lakṣaṇam.
tātparyam Purport; meaning; intention.
tattva-jñānam Knowledge of Brahman; synonym of brahma-jñānam.
tattva-jñānartha-darśanam Commitment to self-knowledge.
tattvam Synonym for Reality (lit. 'that-ness'); element; truth; essence; principle.
tattvamasi'You are that' Chāndogya 6.8.7; – see mahāvākyam and also ahaṃ-brahmāsmi, ayam-ātmā-brahma, prajñānaṃ-brahma.
tattvavit Knower of the essence of things; a sage or ātmajñāni.
tejas Brightness, lustre of countenance; light; the subtle aspect of the Fire element.
ṭīkā Word-by-word explanatory commentary on a bhaṣyam, commentary.
tīrtham Pilgrimage site; holy place; teacher.
titikṣāCheerful forbearance; endurance; bearing opposites with equanimity; see ṣaṭka-sampattiḥ – also see śamaḥ, damaḥ, uparamaḥ, śraddhā, samādhānam.
tīvra Intense; strong; ardent; acute; keen; sharp; tīvra-mumukṣuḥ – a person with an intense desire for freedom.
tripuṭa Three-fold; a triad (e.g. of seer, sight, seen).
tṛptiḥ Satisfaction; contentment.
tṛṣṇāThirst; strong desire; lust; avidity; greed; also see pipāsā.
tuccham Non-existent; unreal; never can exist e.g. a square circle, horn of a rabbit, son of an infertile man or woman; see satyam, mithyā.
tulya Equal to; of the same kind or class or number or value; similar; comparable.
turīya'The Fourth' – pure consciousness; named The Fourth solely to differentiate it from the waking, dream and deep-sleep states; it is not a state; also see jāgrad-avasthā, waking state; svapna-avasthā, dream state; suṣupti-avasthā, deep-sleep state.
tuṣṭa Pleased; contented.
tvak Skin
tvam You
tyāgaḥLeaving; abandoning; forsaking; giving up.
udānaḥUpward breath; an aspect of prāṇaḥ that reverses a process; the means by which the jīvaḥ exits the body on death; vomiting; hiccups; coughing; sneezing; also see apānaḥ, elimination; samānaḥ, digestion; vyānaḥ, circulation.
udaram Belly; stomach; abdomen.
udāratā Nobility; generosity; liberality.
udāsīna Sitting apart; indifferent; free from affection; inert; inactive; neutral; one who is neither friend nor foe; a stoic.
udāttaḥNeutral; neither a high nor a low tone in chanting; no line appears above or below the vowel in the text; also see svaraḥ, svaritam, anudāttaḥ.
udayaḥ Good fortune (lit. go up, rise); used as a greeting, as in "Mahodaya - Great good fortune (to you)!".
udgīthaḥ Om; praṇava; sung; announced; celebrated; a sonorous prayer, prescribed in the Sāma Vedaḥ to be sung aloud.
umā Splendour; tranquility; wife of Śivaḥ – also known as Pārvatī.
upacāraḥ Figurative; a figure of speech.
upādānam Material; appropriation; allowing; offering; taking.
upādāna-kāraṇamA material cause is of two types: when it undergoes a change to become an effect, it is called a pariṇāmi-upādāna-kāraṇam, for example, churned milk becoming butter. If it does not undergo any change to become an effect, it is called a vivarta-upādāna-kāraṇam, for example, a rope 'becoming' a snake. Brahman is the upādāna-kāraṇam of the jagat in the latter, unchanging sense i.e. vivarta-upādāna-kāraṇam – see pariṇāmaḥ and vivartaḥ, and also see nimitta-kāraṇam and satkāryavādaḥ.
upadeśaḥTeaching; instruction; "The meaning of the teaching has to be conveyed with such clarity that both the person and the words disappear and the meaning alone remains.".
upādhiḥA limiting adjunct; that which seemingly transfers its attribute(s) to a nearby upahitam.
upahitamThat upon which an upādhiḥ subsists; ātmā associated with an upādhiḥ is said to be an upahitam – the two cannot be distanced physically.
upamānamKnowledge arising from comparison and similarity e.g. on handling a shirt it is remembered to be similar to another shirt seen earlier – the remembered shirt is similar to the present shirt; one of the six pramāṇas – see the others: anumānam, anupalabdhiḥ, arthāpattiḥ, pratyakṣam, śabdaḥ.
upanayanam Thread ceremony; a child's initiation into the Veda at ages 8-12.
upaniṣadForms the jñāna-kāṇḍaḥ, knowledge section, of each Vedaḥ.
uparamaḥPeaceful; free from emotional conflict; able to happily do what needs to be done as identification with thought is minimal due to śamaḥ – see ṣaṭka-sampattiḥ, śamaḥ, damaḥ, titikṣā, śraddhā, samādhānam.
upāsakaḥ Intent upon; occupied with; meditates or dwells upon.
upasamhāraḥ Summing up; conclusion.
upāsanamMeditating or dwelling upon in homage or worship.
upekṣaḥ Disregard; negligence; indifference; contempt; abandonment.
ūrdhva Heading upwards; elevated.
ūrmiḥ A wave of pain or sorrow in the ocean of saṁsāraḥ due to one or more of the six evils: āśanāyā, hunger; pipāsā, thirst; śokaḥ, grief; mohaḥ, delusion; jarā, old age; mṛtyuḥ, death.
ūrṇanābhiḥ Spider – an example of an entity being both the material cause upādāna-kāraṇam and instrumental cause nimitta-kāraṇam, in this case of its web; ūrṇam (thread), nābhiḥ (stomach), 'one who has thread in the stomach'.
utkarṣa Superior; eminent.
utkrāntiḥ 'Proceeding up'; passing away; dying; departure of the soul from the body.
utpādyamProduction – one of the four possible results of karma – also see āptiḥ, attainment; vikāraḥ, modification; sanskāraḥ, refinement.
utpattiḥ Arising; giving rise to; origin; genesis; birth; production.
utsāhaḥ Power; strength; strength of will; resolution; perseverance; strenuous and continuous exertion.
utsavaḥ Festival; banquet; ceremony.
uttamaHighest; best.
vācyārthaḥLiteral or immediate meaning of word(s).
vādaḥ Speech; discourse; statement; thesis; proposition; doctrine; discussion; open-minded, unbiased discussion between equals to resolve a disagreement and establish the truth – both think they are right, yet are ready to listen to and accept the other’s view; also see samvādaḥ, jalpa-vādaḥ, vitaṇḍa-vādaḥ.
vaidika Related to or of the Vedaḥ.
vaikharīFourth and final stage of the manifestation of speech or sound: when the power that is parā reaches the power centre (cakra) called viśuddhi (at the throat) it assumes a final spoken word form, vaikhari, and articulated sound emerges from the mouth – also see parā, paśyantī, madhyama.
vaikuṇṭhaḥHeaven of Lord Viṣṇuḥ.
vairāgyamDispassion (free from rāgaḥ, passion); absence of desire in enjoyments here and hereafter; objectivity.
vairiḥEnemy; there are six enemies for the aspirant: kāmaḥ, desire; krodhaḥ, anger; lobhaḥ, greed; mohaḥ, delusion; madaḥ, pride; mātsaryam, jealousy; also see the six impurities, malas.
vaiśamya-avasthā State of 'unuven-ness or disproportion' in which the equilibrium of the three guṇas is disturbed; a state opposite to śamya-avasthâ, in which they are in equilibrium.
vaiśvānaraḥ Vaiśvānaraḥ is the totality of all physical, living beings; his sphere of activity is the waking state, jāgrad-avasthā. He is Īśvaraḥ, regarded from the collective or samaṣṭiḥ perspective, as the very form and being of all sentient beings; the equivalent individual or vyaṣṭiḥ sentient being, or jīvaḥ, is referred to as viśvaḥ, an individual knower or experiencer of the world; (Vaiśvānaraḥ is also the deity of the digestive fire); see antaryāmi, Hiraṇyagarbhaḥ, Virāt.
vaiśyaḥ A person born into the third varṇaḥ – a businessman, trader, farmer, accountant, etc.; also see brāhmaṇaḥ, priest; kṣatriyaḥ, soldier; śūdraḥ, labourer.
vajraḥ Thunderbolt
vāk Speech, i.e. the power or faculty of speech.
vāksiddhiḥ Perfection in speech, in which whatever is spoken turns out to be true; result of observance of truthfulness.
vākyam Sentence; statement; mode of expression; command; assertion.
vālmīkiḥ Author of the Rāmāyaṇa.
vanam Forest; woods.
vānaprasthaḥ Third of the four āśramas of Vedic life – retirement to the forest; a withdrawal from the participation and engagement that is typical of gṛhasthaḥ and entry into a quieter, more reflective period of life in preparation for sannyāsaḥ; also see brahmacarya, studentship; gṛhasthaḥ, householder; sannyāsaḥ, renunciation.
varcaḥ Brilliance; energy; lustre.
vardhaḥ Increase; growth; augmentation; see bhāva-vikāraḥ.
variṣṭha Beyond perception and inference; highest.
varṇaḥCover; cloak; outward appearance; colour; species; class; tribe; character; nature; letter; sound; syllable.
varṇāśramaḥClass of people; caste; see brāhmaṇaḥ, priest; kṣatriyaḥ, soldier; vaiśyaḥ, businessman; śūdraḥ, labourer.
vārttikam Independent exposition of a bhāṣyam, commentary, in verse.
varuṇaḥ Presiding deity of water.
vāsanāTendencies and impressions, held in the subtle body (in the subconscious) that are respectively resulting from and created by karma, action (including thought and speech); these ever-unseen (adṛṣṭa), subtle impressions, inclinations and influences, developed previously, induce a person to initiate or avoid actions or to seek or prevent their repetition, thereby affecting his or her degree of refinement, sanskāraḥ – also see puṇyam, pāpam, dharmaḥ.
vasiṣṭhaḥ Name of a very great, celebrated and justly famous sage of legendary adventures and wisdom; preceptor of Lord Rāma and owner of Nandinī, the cow of plenty.
vastu Reality itself and hence the very being of any creature or object manifest from it.
vāsudevaḥ A name of Kṛṣṇa; son of Vasudevaḥ.
vaṭa-vṛkṣaḥ Banyan tree.
vāyuḥGod of wind; the element Air; also see pañcabhūtam, the five elements – ākāśaḥ, space; vāyuḥ, air; agniḥ, fire; āpaḥ, water; pṛthivī, earth.
vedaḥRevealed knowledge in four sacred, ancient scriptures that are apauruṣeya, not of human origin – Ṛgveda, Sāmaveda, Yajurveda, Atharvaveda..
vedāṅgaḥSix auxiliary texts of the Vedaḥ that aid its use and interpretation (śikṣā, chandas, vyākaraṇam, niruktam, jyotiṣaḥ, kalpaḥ).
vedāntaḥEnd, anta, (literally and metaphorically) of Vedaḥ; summit and final aim of the Vedaḥ; the jñāna-kāṇḍaḥ, the section of the Veda that deals with self-knowledge; the earlier part of the Vedaḥ is in preparation for this; vedāntaḥ enshrines śabda-pramāṇam, the ultimate and primary means to mokṣaḥ.
vegaḥ Force; momentum.
vibhu All-pervasive; not spatially limited; powerful.
vibhūtiḥ A manifest exression of the glory and greatness of the Lord e.g. a flower, a painting.
vicāraḥEnquiry; investigation into the reality of oneself and the world, chiefly by śravanam, etc, with the help of a competent ācāryaḥ.
videhaḥ Free from the body; dead.
videhamuktiḥ On the death of a jīvan-mukta there occurs a spontaneous merging of the elements of the mind, body, etc with their universal aspects, making further births impossible.
vidhiḥ Rule; mandate; injunction.
vidvān Scholar; sage; especially one who knows the true nature of the self.
vidvat-sannyāsiḥA sannyāsiḥ who is a liberated sage, a jñāni, a jīvan-mukta – see vividiṣā-sannyāsiḥ.
vidyā Knowledge; it is two-fold: parā-vidyā and aparā-vidyā.
vighnaḥ Obstacle; impediment; hindrance.
vihitam Order; command.
vijātīya Of a different species; unlike.
vijñānam Pure knowledge; truth itself; pure intelligence; assimilated knowledge; secular knowledge.
vijñānamaya-kośaḥThe kośaḥ consisting of the intellect, buddhiḥ, together with the five powers of perception, jñānendriyāni (hearing, touching, seeing, tasting, smelling); also see annamaya-kośaḥ, prāṇamaya-kośaḥ, manomaya-kośaḥ, ānandamaya-kośaḥ.
vikalpaḥ Doubt; alternative idea or option; imagination; division.
vikāraḥModification; one of the four possible results of karma – also see āptiḥ, attainment; utpādyam, production; sanskāraḥ, refinement.
vikriyā Transformation; modification; change for the worse.
vikṛtiḥ Changed condition of body or mind; alteration; modification; excitement.
vikṣepaḥScattering; dispersing; tossing – creating agitation, distraction, inattention, unconnected thoughts; leads to vikṣipta.
vikṣepa-śaktiḥProjecting power of māyā that powers vikṣepaḥ; creates the appearance of an external world, mistaken for what it is not in adhyāsaḥ – also see āvaraṇa-śaktiḥ.
vikṣipta Distracted, scattered attention; unfocussed thought; bewilderment – all caused by vikṣepa-śaktiḥ.
vilakṣaṇam Having various marks or indications, but no clearly distinguishing ones, hence, not allowing exact definition.
vimarṣaḥ Irritation; displeasure; impatience; dissatisfaction.
vināśaḥ Destruction; annihilation.
viparināmaḥ Ripening; maturing; see bhāva-vikāraḥ.
viparīta Contrary; perverse; wrong; false; erroneous; the very opposite of the truth.
viparīta-bhāvanāDeep-rooted (mostly subliminal) habitual errors due to past orientation, vāsanā; it is this form of error that prevents the fulfilment and enjoyment of what has been understood through śravanam and mananam; see nididhyāsanam and sākṣātkāraḥ.
vipaścita Learned; wise.
virāgaḥ Passionless
virāṭ Virāt is the entire material world of so-called 'inert' matter; in inert gross matter, consciousness is experienced only as existence, not sentience – the consciousness that is Virāt is present as the very existence and form of a table, for example, but due to the table not having the capacity or means (i.e. a subtle body) to manifest consciousness, it exhibits only the existence aspect of consciousness, and so the table is known only to have existence; see antaryāmi, Hiraṇyagarbhaḥ, Vaiśvānaraḥ.
virodhaḥ Opposition
vīryam Strength; capacity; power.
viṣādaḥ Dejection; depression; despondency; disappointment; despair.
visargaḥ Setting forth; letting go; voiding; dismissal; action of offering during a fire ritual;.
viṣayaḥSense object; there are, essentially, only five – śabdaḥ, sparśaḥ, rūpam, rasaḥ, gandhaḥ.
viśeṣaḥ Attribute; distinguishing quality; peculiarity.
viśiṣṭa Distinguished; pre-eminent; excellent; excelling in or distinguished by; chief or best.
viṣṇuḥĪśvaraḥ as the sustainer of the manifest universe; see Brahmā, Śivaḥ.
vistāraḥ Spreading; expansion; extent; width; becoming large or great.
viśvaḥA term for an individual, a jīvaḥ, as an experiencer in the waking state, jāgrad-avasthā; the universal or samaṣṭiḥ counterpart is Vaiśvānaraḥ – also see prājñaḥ, taijasaḥ.
viśvamAll; everyone; all-pervading; whole; entire; universal; omni-present; an epithet for Viṣṇuḥ (and hence for Īśvaraḥ).
viśvarūpamCosmic form of Īśvaraḥ.
viśvāsaḥ Trust; faith; confidence; reliance.
vitaṇḍa-vādaḥ Discussion with the sole purpose of defeating the opponent; no intention to learn; no regard for truth; also see samvādaḥ, vādaḥ, jalpa-vādaḥ.
vittamAcquisition; wealth; property; goods; substance; money; power; anything found.
vivāhaḥ Marriage
vivartaḥ Change of one object or material into another without any change in the original item itself; modification; alteration; transformation; for example, a dimly lit coiled rope is 'changed' into a snake; see upādāna-kāraṇam, pariṇāmaḥ.
vivekaḥDiscrimination – the timeless infinite vastu is one, all else is time-bound, finite.
vividiṣā-sannyāsiḥA sannyāsiḥ who desires to know Brahman – see vidvat-sannyāsiḥ.
vivikta Isolated; solitary; separated.
vivikta-deśaḥ A quiet, undisturbed place that is by nature free from causes for fear; one who tends to go there is called a vivikta-deśa-sevitvī and his state of mind is vivikta-deśa-sevitvam .
viyukta Free from; detached.
vratam A solemn vow carried out under strict rules on food, sleep, etc.
vṛddhiḥ Growth; increase; success.
vṛkṣaḥ Tree
vṛttam Conduct; good behaviour; rule; usage.
vṛttiḥThought; mood; mental disposition; being; character; behaviour; nature.
vṛtti-jñānamAny form of knowledge manifest in the mind as a thought, feeling or understanding.
vyabhicāraḥ Going astray; deviation; transgression; a contradiction; fallacious or erroneous reasoning.
vyāhṛtiḥThree sacred utterances used in ritual and always preceded by oṃ – see bhūḥ, bhuvaḥ, svaḥ.
vyākaraṇamSanskrit grammar; one of the six auxiliary texts, Vedāṅgas, of the Vedas – also see śikṣā, chandas, niruktam, jyotiṣaḥ, kalpaḥ.
vyākhyānam Exposition; explanation; communication.
vyakta Manifest
vyaktiḥ Manifestation; appearance; discrimination; distinctness.
vyānaḥ Circulation in the body – an aspect of prāṇaḥ; also see apānaḥ, elimination; samānaḥ, digestion; udānaḥ, upward breath.
vyañjanamA consonant; a letter of the alphabet other than a vowel; that by which the qualities of a vowel are made manifest or are restrained, tempered or enhanced; a vyañjana or consonant is soundless without its vowel, hence the English word 'consonant', 'sounding with', it can be sounded only with or by means of a vowel; in Sanskrit the soundless vyañjana is known as halanta; see svaraḥ, halanta.
vyāpaka All-pervasive; widely spread; invariably concomitant.
vyāptiḥ Pervasiveness; invariable co-presence.
vyartha Useless; futile; meaningless.
vyāsaḥ Greatly venerated sage who compiled the Vedas and authored the Mahābhārata and other texts.
vyaṣṭiḥ Individual perspective; a forest seen as a collection of individual trees rather than as one whole entity; opposite of universal view – see samaṣṭiḥ.
vyatirekaḥ Contrast – implies vyāvṛttiḥ, discontinuance; removal; cessation; exclusion; see anvayaḥ.
vyatiriktaḥ Distinct; separate.
vyavahāraḥWorldly transactional life; empirical world.
yadWho; which; what; whichever; whatever.
yadāWhen; whenever; at what time.
yajamānaḥSacrificer; sponsor of a ritual.
yajñaḥSacrifice; ritual worship; devotional act; e.g. formal dissemination of knowledge via a jñāna-yajñaḥ.
yakṣaḥ Class of demigods; spirits.
yaśas Fame; renown; beauty; glory; splendour.
yasmāt Because
yatiḥ One of proper and adequate effort; restraint; guidance; a sannyāsiḥ.
yatnaḥ Effort; will; volition.
yātrā Pilgrimage
yogaḥ Yoking; joining; means for accomplishing something; conforming with the order that is dharmaḥ.
yogārūḍha Established in yogaḥ, union.
yoniḥ Womb; any place of origin; a generating cause.
yugamAstronomical time period; see caturyugam, kalpaḥ.
yukta Endowed with; engaged in; connected with; united with; prepared for.
yuktiḥ Reasoning; logic.
*Swami Dayananda
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