advaita: non-duality, often incorrectly termed `monism'
agami karma: actions good and bad, expected to bear fruit in future births
aham: I; embodied self; soul
aham sphurana: the throb of Self-bliss in the Heart
aham svarupa: one's true nature
ahamkara (or ahankara): the ego-self
ajnana: ignorance; knowledge of diversity
ananda: bliss
anartha: evil, worthless
antahkarana: instruments of inner perception
antarmukha drishti: inward vision
apana: one of the five vital airs
aprana: beyond manifest life; devoid of life
asana: yogic posture
astanga-yoga: yoga consisting of eight stages of discipline
atman (or atma): self; principle of life and sensation
atma dhyana: Contemplation on the Self
atmanusandhana: - do -
atma vichara: enquiry into the Self
avidya: nescience, ignorance
Bhagavan: a commonly used name for God; a title used for one like Sri Ramana who is recognized as having realized his identity with the Self
bahirmukha drishti: outward-turned consciousness
bhakta: a devotee
bhakti: devotion and love
Bharata: a form of address used by Sri Krishna towards Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, meaning a shining soul
bhavana: continued meditation; steady concentration of mind
Brahma: Lord of Creation; God as the Creator
Brahman: the Absolute
buddhi: intellect; one of the four aspects of the internal organ
chakra: a wheel, a yogic centre of concentration
Chandrayana: expiatory fast for a full month, commencing from the full moon, food being diminished every day by one handful during the dark fortnight, and increased in like manner during the bright fortnight
chit: absolute intelligence or consciousness
Chitta: the mental mode turned towards objects; that aspect of the mind in which impressions are stored
dahara vidya: contemplation of the deity in the cavity of the Heart
deva: a god or celestial being
devata: a deity
Devi: the Divine Mother or a goddess
dharma: virtuous deeds; harmonious life; a person's natural duty; inherent qualities
dhyana: contemplation; the seventh rung in the ladder of eightfold yoga
drik: subject
drisya: object
Ganapati: the elder son of Lord Siva, the remover of obstacles; the same as Lord Ganesa, the chief of Lord Siva's hosts
Gudakesa: an epithet of Arjuna for having conquered sleep; Lord Krishna uses this term in addressing Arjuna
gunas: the three fundamental qualities, tendencies, or stresses which underlie all manifestation; sattva, rajas, and tamas, characterized as white, red and black respectively
homa: sacrifice in fire
hridayam: the Heart (hridi + ayam = centre + this); the seat of Consciousness at the right side of the chest, as experienced and expounded by Sri Ramana Maharshi
Indra: the Lord of the devas; the first student of Brahma Vidya; the Divine Mother was his teacher
Isa: the supreme Lord
Ishvara: the name of the supreme Lord indicating his lordship of the worlds
Jaganmaya: the mystery of the world
jiva: the individual soul or ego
jivan mukta: one who has realized the supreme identity while still in the body
jivan mukti: deliverance while yet in this life
jnana: knowledge of the Absolute transcending form and formlessness
jnana marga: the path of knowledge
jnani: a Self-realized person, a sage; one who has attained realization by the path of knowledge
Kailas: a mountain in the Himalayas reputed to be the abode of Lord Siva
kaivalya: absolute Oneness; final emancipation; one of the 108 Upanishads
kali yuga: the last of four ages of the world, namely Krita, Treta, Dwapara, and Kali; Kali is reckoned as having begun in 3102 B.C.
kama: desire; physical love
karma: action, work, deeds; also fruits of action accumulating in three ways as sanchita, prarabdha, and agami; destiny
karma marga: the path of ritual, religious duties, and action
kevala kumbhaka: retention of breath leading to stilling of the mind, without inhalation or exhalation
kshetra: a sacred place of pilgrimage; in yoga, city, or the field of body
kshetrajna: the conscious principle (known) in the field of the body; the absolute witness aware of the three states of the self: waking, dream, and sleep
kundalini: the mystic circle of three-and-a-half coils situated in the umbilical region; the yogic principle of serpent power; primal maya
laya: absorption; in yoga, absorption of breath and mind in the Heart
lingam: a vertical column of stone with a rounded end, symbol of the unmanifest Siva
Maharshi (maha rishi): great rishi or sage
mahat: the intellectual principle as source of ahamkara -- from the Absolute emanates the unmanifest, from it mahat and from mahat the ahamkara
mahatma: a lofty soul; highly spiritual person; master in tune with the infinite
mahavakya: the four main sentences, proclaiming the truth of Brahman, one each from the Itareya (Aitareya) Upanishad of Rig Veda, Brihadaranyaka of Yajur Veda, Chhandogya of Sama Veda and Mandukya of Atharva Veda; one of the 108 Upanishads explaining the mahavakyas
Maheswara: one of the five aspects of Lord Siva, as veiling the truth from souls, till their karma is completely worked out
manana: contemplation; the second of the three stages of Vedantic realization
manas: mind, reason, mentality; also used for the aggregate of Chitta, buddhi, manas, and ahamkara
mantram (mantra): cosmic sound forms of the Vedas, used for worship and prayer; seed letters for meditation on the form of the Lord; ritualistic incantation
marana: the art of causing death through supernatural powers
math: a meeting place and abode of sadhus
maya: illusion, false appearance; manifestation or illusion personified
mithya: the false
moksha: liberation; final emancipation; release from transmigration
mouna: silence; the inexpressible; truth of Brahman, expressed by the Brahman-knower by his mere abidance in stillness
mudra: hand-pose in worship and dance
mukta: a liberated person
mukti: liberation
mutt: see math
nadi: the 72,000 nerves of the body conveying the life force, of which ida, pingala and sushumna are the three main ones; in the state of samadhi all of them are merged in the single para or amrita nadi
nasha: destruction
nididhyasana: the last of the three stages of Vedantic realization; uninterrupted contemplation
nirasa: desirelessness
nirvikalpa samadhi: the highest state of concentration, in which the soul loses all sense of being different from the Universal Self, but a temporary state from which there is return to ego-consciousness
nischala bhava: immobility; steadfastness; eternity
nishtha: abidance in firm meditation
niyama: discipline; religious duties as ordained for the second of the eight stages of yoga
padma: lotus; a yoga posture in which the right foot is placed on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh
paramapada: the supreme state
paramarthika: an epithet of Arjuna, meaning he who destroys his enemy
Paramatman: the true Self
Partha: Arjuna, the son of Pritha; another name for Kunti, his mother
prajnana ghana: Brahman; the Absolute, immutable knowledge
prakriti: primordial substance out of which all things are created; the primal nature
pramada: swerving from abidance in the Absolute
prana: the first of the five vital airs centred in the Heart
pranava japa: incantation of Om
pranayama: breath control
prarabdha karma: that part of destiny due to past action (karma) which bears fruit in the present birth
Prasthana Traya: the triple cannon of Vedanta; the three Vedantic scriptural authorities: Upanishads, Brahma Sutras, Bhagavad Gita
pratyahara: withdrawal of the senses from objectivity: the fifth rung in the ladder of yoga
Puranas: eighteen sacred books ascribed to Vyasa, dealing with primary and secondary creation, genealogy of kings, etc.
purnam: fullness, infinite
Purusha: spirit, soul, the living principle
Purushartha: human ends; objectives worthy of human pursuit, dharma, artha, kama and moksha
Raghava: an epithet of Sri Rama as belonging to the line of Raghu
raja yoga: the principal system of yoga as taught by Patanjali
rajas: one of the three primal qualities, described as red, the principle of activity (see guna)
rishi: sage (see also maharshi)I
Rudra: Lord Siva in one of his five aspects; God as destroyer
Sada Siva: the supreme Lord as eternal goodness
sadguru: the great Master, the true or perfect Guru
sadhana: a spiritual quest or path towards liberation; the technique of spiritual effort
sadhu: an ascetic or one who has renounced the world in quest of liberation
sahasradala: the thousand-petalled lotus; the centre of illumination experienced in the crown of the head on the yogic path
sakshi: witness
samana: one of the five vital airs
sanchita karma: accumulated karma of former births that still remains to be experienced
sankalpa: volition, mental activity, thought, tendencies, and attachment
sankhya: one of the systems of Indian philosophy
sannyasa: renunciation
sannyasin: one who has renounced the world
santodanta: one who is calm and self-controlled
sarvatma bhava: the state of experiencing the Self as all; abidance in the oneness of Being
sastras: scriptures
sat: existence; pure Being
Satchidananda: Being-Consciousness-Bliss
sattva: tendency to purity; one of the three gunas
savikalpa samadhi: a state of consciousness in which the distinction between knower, knowledge and known is not yet lost
Shakti (or Sakti): the manifesting energy of a divine aspect, represented mythologically as the wife of a God
siddha: one endowed with supernatural powers and capable of performing miracles; one who has accomplished the end
siddhi: realization, attainment; also supernatural powers
Siva: the supreme Lord; one of the Hindu Trinity
Sivoham: the incantation `I am Siva'
Skanda: the younger son of Lord Siva; the leader of the divine hosts; the same as Lord Subrahmanya
Smriti: authoritative Hindu scriptures other than the Vedas (Sruti)
sraddha: earnestness, faith; a faithful acquisition of theoretical knowledge of Truth
sravana: hearing of the truth, from the Master
Sruti: Vedas, heard by the sages in their transcendental state and transmitted to disciples by word of mouth
sushupti: deep sleep
svarupa nishta: abidance in the Self
tamas: darkness, ignorance; one of the three gunas
tanmaya nishta: abidance in the Self
tapas: religious austerities
tat: That; Brahman
tattva jnana: knowledge of Brahman or Atman
tat-tvam-asi: `That thou Art'
turiya: the fourth state; the witness Consciousness -- ever present and unchanging as against the changing states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep
udana: one of the five vital airs, whose seat is in the neck
Upadesa: the spiritual guidance or teaching given by a Guru
Upanishads: philosophical writings forming part of the Vedas
Vaikunta: the heaven of Vishnu
vairagya: freedom from worldly desires; dispassion
vasanas: predispositions, tendencies, or propensities of the mind in the present life due to the experiences of former lives
Vasudeva: Lord Krishna, as the son of Vasudeva, the Lord whose manifestation all this world is; one of the 108 Upanishads showing the path of Vasudeva
Veda: the sacred books of the Hindus: Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva, revealed through the rishis
Vedanta: the absolute Truth as established by the Upanishads, Brahma Sutras, and Bhagavad Gita as interpreted by Sri Vyasa; the end or consummation of the Vedas
veena: a string instrument
vichara: enquiry into the truth of the Self
videhamukta: a liberated being after he has left the body
videhamukti: Self-realization after leaving the body
vijnana: knowledge; discriminating the real from the unreal
vijnanamarga: the path of discriminate knowledge
Vishnu: God as preserver; one of the Hindu Trinity
vishaya vasanas: predisposition towards sense enjoyments
viveka: discrimination
viyoga: separation
vyana: one of the five vital airs, causing the circulation of blood and pervading all the body
vyavaharika: the phenomenal or empirical
yama: self-control, the first rung in the ladder of the eightfold yoga: abstention from lying, killing, theft, lust, covetousness

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