Sanskrit A

A Abhava: Nonexistence; absence; negation; nothing. Abhaya(m): “Without fear;” fearlessness; a state of steadfastness in which one is not swayed by fear of any kind. Abheda: Non-difference; non-duality. Abhedananda, Swami: A direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, who spent many years travelling and teaching Vedanta and Yoga in America. Abhimana: Egoism; conceit; attachment; I-sense; pride; the…

Sanskrit U – Y

U Uchchaishravas: The name of Indra’s horse (or the horse of the Sun god, Surya), that was born of the amrita that was churned from the ocean by the gods. The name means “high-sounding” and refers to the power of mantra. Uchchishta[m]: The remnants of food eaten by others, the actual leavings from someone’s plate,…

Sanskrit S – T

Sabha: Assembly; congregation; public audience. Sabija: “With seed;” with attributes; producing samskaras or subtle karmas. Sabija samadhi: Savikalpa samadhi wherein the seeds of samskaras or karmas are not destroyed, and which produces the highest and subtlest of samskaras or karmas. Sadachara: Morality; right behavior. Sadashiva: Eternally auspicious; eternally happy; eternally prosperous. A title of Shiva,…

Sanskrit N – P

N A Brief Sanskrit Glossary now available in print at Amazon.com Nada: Sound; the resonance of sound; mystic inner sound; the primal sound or first vibration from which all creation has emanated; the first manifestation of the unmanifested Absolute; Omkara or Shabda Brahman. The inner sound of Om experienced in meditation. Nadi: A channel in…

Sanskrit K – M

K Kabir: An Indian mystic of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Kailash(a): “Crystalline;” the name of the mountain home of Siva–a mountain peak in the Himalayas (in present-day Tibet) revered as the abode of Shiva, that is a famous place of pilgrimage. Kaivalya: Transcendental state of Absolute Independence; Moksha; isolation; final beatitude; emancipation. Kaivalya-mukti: Liberation….

Sanskrit E – J

E Eka: One; unique; Reality. Ekadashi: “The eleventh.” The eleventh day of each half of the lunar month (that is, the eleventh day after the new and full moons) that is devoted to the worship of Vishnu and his avataras. Ekadashi Vrata: Observing ekadhashi (the eleventh day after the new and full moons, sacred to…

Sanskrit D

  D Dacoit: A violent thief who preys on travellers, sometimes killing them. Daityas: Demons who constantly war with the gods. Sometimes “races” or nationalities who acted contrary to dharma and fought against the “aryas” were also called demons (daityas or asuras). Daivim: The state of a deva or “shining one;” the quality of those…

Sanskrit C

C Caste: See Varna. Chaitanya: Consciousness; intelligence; awareness; the consciousness that knows itself and knows others; Pure Consciousness. Chakra: Wheel. Plexus; center of psychic energy in the human system, particularly in the spine or head. Chakradhara: “Holder/Wielder of the Chakras,” a yogic practice in which the mantra So’ham is mentally intoned at each of the…

Sanskrit B

B Badarayana: “Inhabitant of Badarika Ashrama” a title of the sage Vyasa. Badrinath: One of the major centers of Hindu pilgrimage, sacred to Vishnu, located in the heart of the Himalayas. Bahya: External; outward. Bala brahmacharya: Brahmacharya observed from childhood (bala). Balarama: Sri Krishna’s elder brother, also called “Balai.” Bandha: “Lock;” bond; bondage; tie or…