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Sanskrit – English glossary

This started off as a private reference document that I constructed while I was doing my teacher’s training. I wish I’d kept better track of the sources for these  definitions. They’re from I don’t know how many books and how many websites. If I’ve cribbed yours without attribution, please contact me and I’ll correct that.

Please, don’t print this off. Printed in two columns, it comes to over 36 pages (at last count) and this is a very popular page. If everyone who visits, prints it, we’ve just killed a lot of trees. Besides, it’s always being updated.

Please note: I’m not a Sanskrit scholar. These glossary translations are crude, unsophisticated and don’t capture all the nuances of the words. What it is meant to be is a quick and dirty reference to keep myself on track while I’m reading various texts and commentaries.

updated ug 17, 2011

Sanskrit—English Glossary



~a – prefix “to negate”.

~an~ – prefix meaning “un-“, form of negation

~as – root word “to sit”.

~jiv – root word “to breathe”, has the same Indo-European root as the Latin word “vivus” – alive.

~klish – root word “to cause trouble”

~stha – root word “to stand”


A – until, up to YSP 2.28

Aarti — a Hindu religious ritual of worship, a form of puja, in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor is offered to one or more deities. Aartis also refer to the songs sung in praise of the deity, when offering of lamps is being offered. The most commonly sung aarti is that is dedicated to all deities is Om Jai Jagdish Hare, known as “The Universal Aarti”

Abhava / Abhavash / Abhavah – absence, non-existence, disappearance, removal, gradual absence, reduction, destruction, non-occurrence, negation, voidness, nothingness, the cause, disappearance, dissolution. YSP 1.10, YSP 1.29, YSP 2.25

Abhavat — due to its disappearance, lack or absence (refers to a previously mentioned item) YSP 2.25

Abhaya-mudra – gesture of fearlessness, usually with right arm bent, palm facing outward, fingers together.

Abhijatasyatransparent, purified, of quality YSP 1.41

Abhimanan – attachment, pride, identification with the body, delusion of “me” and “mine”.

Upasaya – diagnosis

Abhimataone’s own predisposition, choice, desire, want, like, familiarity, agreeableness, wished for, desired YSP 1.39

Abhinivesa – fear of death; 4th branch of avidya, instinctive urge for survival at all costs, resistance to loss, fear of death of identity, desire for continuity, clinging to the life of YSP 2.3, YSP 2.9

Abhyanga – massage

Abhyantara – internal YSP 2.50, YSP 2.51

Abhyasa / Abhyasah – by or with practice, repeated practice, by way of persevering practice exercise, practice, persevering practice, cultivating that habit,. YSP 1.12, expanded in YSP 1.13, YSP 1.14, also YSP 1.18, YSP 1.32

Abhyasayoga — Yoga, or union with God, through sustained spiritual practice

Acha – I agree or I understand

Achara — Right conduct, custom, practice, external observance of established rules and laws.

Acharana — Observance of right conduct.

Acharya — teacher, literally “one who walks with”

Acuncha / Akunchana – contraction

Adara — with respect, zeal, care YSP 1.14

Adayah – et cetera, and so forth. YSP 2.34

Adharma –the opposite of dharma. Mostly the term is used in the sense of unrighteousness, impiety or non-performance of duty.

Adhi – disease of the mind

Adhibhautika Taapa — Pain caused by the Bhutas, as scorpion-sting, snake-bite, etc.; nature-extrinsic suffering.

Adhidaivika Taapa — Pain caused by gods or the heavens as thunder, rain, flood, etc.

Adhigamahunderstanding, realization, attainment, attainment of, achievement YSP 1.29

Adhikarin — one who is considered fit to receive the teachings of yoga and capable of walking the spiritual path.

Adhimatra / Adhimatrah(because of temperament) intense, strong, rapid, intense, extreme YSP 1.22, YSP 2.34

Adho — downward

Adhyatmaspiritual, regarding the atman or true Self, of the supreme being, YSP 1.47

Adrishta — unseen, invisible, only experienced unconsciously, future.  see also drishta  YSP 2.12

Advaita concept of non-duality; that individual self and the cosmic SELF are one and the same; as different from the concepts of dvaita and visistadvaita, which consider self and SELF to be mutually exclusive

Adyatmika – spiritual matters; relating to the true self

Agamah – authority, testimony worthy of our faith, validation, competent evidence. The word agama primary designates the sacred texts as opposed to just any testimony. One of the 3 types of correct knowledge YSP 1.7

Agamin – literally “impending” or “approaching” the type of samkara that is generated in reaction to current situations and will not bear fruit until sometime in the future.

Agni – fire, metabolism specifically, the digestive fire. Also — Vedic god of fire.  ; generally fire as a cosmic principle

Agnikarma — heat therapy

Agra – pointedness, intentness YSP 2.41

Aham – I am; the ego.

Ahamika egotism, pride.

Ahamkara / Amakara – I-former. Controls the immune system. Amakara identifies itself with each of the cells in the body, reminding each of identity to the entity of self. All alien elements are destroyed. Considered to be feminine, a fraction of the Divine Mother. Disease arises when ahamkara (and hence immunity) is weakened. Also egoism or self-conceit. Rajasika ahamkara — Dynamic egoism with passion and pride. Sattvika ahamkara — Egoism composed in the sense of goodness and virtue. Tamasika ahamkara — Egoism as expressed in ignorance and inertia.

Ahamkara-tyaga — Renunciation of egoism.

Ahara — food; also with reference to sensory inputs as in pratyahara,  foundation

Ahimsa — non-violence, non-harming, non-injury; 1st yamas. YSP 2.30, YSP 2.35

Ajana — ignorance (a = without; jnana = knowledge) YSP 2.34

Ajapa — The Mantra “Soham” (I am He) which is produced by the breath itself, without any conscious effort at repeating it — the inhalation sounding ‘So’ and the exhalation ‘ham’.

Ajna — “to perceive, to command”. 6th chakra; third eye, carotid plexus; pituitary, indigo, Sham. “I See”. Clairvoyance, memory, dreams, vision, colour.

Ajnana-avrita-ananda — Ananda or Bliss enveloped by ignorance; the bliss that you get in deep sleep.

Ajnani – one who ignorant of Self, unenlightened.

Akarma – Inaction

Akhanda — Indivisible, unbroken.

Akhanda-mauna — Unbroken silence.

Akleestha – my reaction (to other people) see YSP 1.33.

Aklishta – not coloured, not producing suffering, not painful, not distressing, not imbued with Kleshas root a=without, or in the absence of YSP 1.5

Akrodha – freedom from anger

Akshepi — going beyond, surpassing, setting aside YSP 2.51

Alabdhabhurnikatvafailing to attain stages of practice (alabdha = not obtaining; bhumikatva = stage, state, firm ground), in capacity to reach a new stage One of the 9 obstacles to yoga/practice.  YSP 1.30

Alambana(m) – support, substratum, leaning on, dependent upon, having as a base or foundation having as support for attention, object of concentration, support, prop, rest. YSP 1.10, YSP 1.38

Alasyasloth, languor, laziness, apathy, indolence, mental and physical sluggishness One of the 9 obstacles to yoga/practice. YSP 1.30

Alingawithout a mark or trace, unmanifest prakriti (subtlest matter), in the absence of marking, beyond distinctive signs YSP 1.45

Alingani – without even a mark or trace, undifferentiated subtle matter. YSP 2.19

Alochaka – pitta in the eyes

Ama – that which harms, weakens; sticky, toxic residue.  Toxins in the digestive tract as opposed to the doshas which are more specific toxins.

Amrita — immortal; nectar of Life; fuel

Amrita-nadi — A special psychic nerve branching from the heart.

Anabhighata — unimpeded freedom from suffering, without effect or impact, cessation of disturbance YSP 2.48

Anadi-ananta — Without beginning and end; Infinite; Brahman.

Anagatam — Which has not yet come, in the future YSP 2.16

Anahata — “unstruck”, sound of nothing fighting, 4th chakra; heart chakra; cardiac plexus, thymus, green, centre of peace and balance. Yam. “I Love”.

Ananda — bliss, unshakable joy, well-being that results from the experience of the ultimate reality, ecstasy, of beatitude, felicity, joy. YSP 1.17

Anandamayakosha – Literally, “the body sheath made of bliss, which is an illusion” (ananda = bliss; maya = illusion; kosha = body sheath) Bliss layer of the human being. Related to essential nature, beyond time, space, or mental activity. This body is composed of happiness and seal in a small secret chamber in the interior heart to the right of the physical heart.

Ananta — infinite, unending, endlessness (an = un; anta = ending) YSP 2.34, YSP 2.47

Anastam – that with is not ceased, not dissolved, not finished, not destroyed. See Nastam YSP 2.22

Anatman /Anatmasu – non-self, non-atman YSP 2.5

Anavachchhinnah / Anavadchchhedatnot limited, not limited by or subjected to (time), no break or division, continuous YSP 1.26, YSP 2.31

Anavasthitatvafalling away from yogic states attained,  instability, slipping down, inability to maintain, impossibility of remaining at the same level, instability, instability One of the 9 obstacles to yoga/practice. YSP 1.30

Anga — The body; a limb or a part of the body; a constituent part; rungs, limbs, accessories, components, steps, parts, members, constituents YSP 2.28

Angam-ejayatva — shakiness, unsteadiness, movement, tremor of the limbs or body (anga = limbs or body), physical agitation, trembling YSP 1.31

Angamejayatva – unsteadiness of the body

Angani — rungs, limbs, accessories, components, steps, parts, members, constituents. YSP 2.29

Angula — finger

Anguli – finger unit (used in measuring marma points)

Angustha — big toe


Anjali mudra – gesture of highest devotion performed by cupping the palms together with a cavity in between them and placing them in front of the forehead, high above the head or in front of the sternum. Also referred to as “Namaste hands”.


Anna(m) — Food; matter.

Annamayakosha – Literally, the “body sheath made of food, which is an illusion” anna – food, maya = illusion, kosha = body. The “food body” is the physical layer of the human being. Any material substances in the body – bones, flesh, blood, mucous, sweat, etc. – belong to this layer.

Annavaha srotas – channels carrying food or the digestive system

Anrita — Falsehood or untruth.

Anta / Antahend, extending to, limit, edge, ending YSP 1.40

Antakarana – overall functioning of the mind; the seat of thought and feeling. Consists of separate functions of manas, buddhi, chitta and ahankara.

Antaraya(h)of obstacles or impediments, of obstacles, of hindrances; Intruders in the path of yoga; obstacles. There are 9 of them — vyadhi, styana, samsaya, pramada, alasya, avirati, bhrantidarsana, alabdha-bhumikatva; anavasthitatva. YSP 1.29, YSP 1.30

Antiya – non-eternal, impermanent, ephemeral YSP 2.4, 2.5

Anu – most minute, atom, smallest, also oral tradition YSP 1.1, YSP 1.40

Anubhuta – lived, perceived experience. YSP 1.11

Anugamat — accompanied by, associated with, following, passing by YSP 1.17

Anugraha — Grace.

Anukarah — imitate, resemble, follow, be engaged with YSP 2.54

Anuloma — with the flow

Anumanainference, reasoning, deduction, induction One of the 3 types of correct knowledge YSP 1.7, YSP 1.49

Anumoditah — consented to, approved of (when done by others) YSP 2.34

Anupashyah – appearing to see. YSP 2.20

Anupati – following, in sequence, depending upon, formed of.  YSP 1.9

Anuraga — Intense prema or love (towards God).

Anushanasanam – an oral tradition, outline, teaching, doctrine. YSP 1.1

Anushayi — sequential attraction to, closely following, secondary accompaniment, resting on YSP 2.7, YSP 2.8

Anushravika — revealed, scriptural, heard in tradition, revealed inner universe YSP 1.15

Anusthanad — by the sustained practice, observance, performance YSP 2.28

Anuttamah — unexcelled, extreme, supreme YSP 2.42

Anya – different, other, for others. YSP 1.18 YSP 1.49, YSP 1.50, YSP 2.22

Anya-vishaya — having different objects (anya = different; vishaya = objects, fields, realms, domains, coming from an object) YSP 1.49

Ap/Apah — Water; one of the five elements, from which the sense of taste (rasa) arises.

Apana — dirt; bodily wastes.  Life force that goes down. Also one of the vital airs which move in the sphere of the lower abdomen; lunar energy, primary characteristics are cooling, silvery, reflective, inhibiting and feminine.

Apana vayu — governs elimination of waste products, and, more generally, all that which pushes things down and out from the body (giving birth is also facilitated by Apana vayu, for example). Seated in the area of the pelvis.

Apara — Other; relative; lower; inferior.

Aparigraha – non-possessiveness, non-holding through senses, non-greed, non-grasping, non-indulgence, non-acquisitiveness. 5th yama. YSP 2.30, YSP 2.39

Apas – water

Apavarga — liberation, freedom, emancipation YSP 2.18

Apialso, as well, again YSP 1.22, YSP 1.26, YSP 1.29, YSP 1.51, YSP 2.9, YSP 2.20, YSP 2.22

Aprakasha Bindu — the respiratory centre (medulla oblongata) situated in the pons and medulla of the human brainstem; it governs autonomic breathing.

Apramristahuntouched, unsmeared, unaffected YSP 1.24

Apunya — Non-meritorious; sinful

Apunyanon-virtuous, vice, bad, wicked, evil, bad, demerit, non-meritorious, YSP 1.33, YSP 2.14

Ardha — half

Arekha – asymmetrical

Arhat – enlightened person

Aroha — Ascent.

Artha – money. Acquisition of wealth.

Artha(m) – meaning, purpose; wealth, not to be understood solely as material assets, but all kinds of wealth including non-tangibles such as knowledge, friendship and love. Artha is one of the four purusarthas or “goals of life” the others being dharma, kama and moksa. for, for the purpose of, in order to, with the aim YSP 1.28, YSP 1.32. YSP 1.42, YSP 2.21, YSP 2.22

Arthah / Artham – for the purpose of; for the sake of, object of. YSP 2.2 YSP 2.18

Arthamatraonly the object (artha = object; matra = only) YSP 1.43

Arthatvatfrom its ability to grasp the very  nature of, intrinsic reality YSP 1.49

Arupa — Formless.

Arya(n) — One who is an Arya–literally, “one who strives upward.” Both Arya and Aryan are exclusively psychological terms having nothing whatsoever to do with birth, race, or nationality. In his teachings Buddha habitually referred to spiritually qualified people as “the Aryas.”

Asampramsoah — not being stolen, not being lost, not having addition, the fact of remembering, retention without loss YSP 1.11

Asamprayoge — not coming into contact with, non-conjunction, cessation of engagement. See also samprayogah YSP 2.54

Asamsargah — cessation of contact, non-association YSP 2.40

Asana / Asanam – seat, seated, posture. meditation posture (from the root ~as, which means “to sit”). YSP 2.29, YSP 2.46

Asanaya — Hunger; food-carrier.

Asanga — Non-attachment.

Asanga-bhavana — Feeling or attitude of the mind, of non-attachment.

Asannahvery close, near, speedy YSP 1.21

Asat — That which is not; non-existent; non-being as opposed to Sat or Being or existence or Reality; unreal.

Asevitah – nourished by, frequented by pursued, practiced, cultivated, attended to, done with assiduous attention YSP 1.14

Ashaya /Ashayaihby the vehicles, resting place, storage of traces, propensities, accumulations, permeation, mental deposits in the unconscious, traces, repository, accumulation, deposit, vehicle, reservoir, womb YSP 1.24, YSP 2.12

Ashram – hermitage. Also a stage of life. In Hinduism life is divided ideally into four stages (ashramas) — 1) the celibate student life (brahmacharya); 2) the married household life (grihastha); 3) the life of retirement (seclusion) and contemplation (vanaprastha); 4) the life of total renunciation (sannyasa).

Ashrayatvam — come as a result of, are dependent on, are subservient to (the Yogi) YSP 2.36

Ashtanga – 8 limbs

Ashtau – eight. YSP 2.29

Ashuddhi – impurities. YSP 2.28, YSP 2.43

Ashva – horse.

Asmita — ego; 1st branch of avidya I-ness, individuality, of consciousness of “I”, sentiment of existing; YSP 1.17, YSP 2.3, YSP 2.6,

Asteya – non-stealing, abstention from theft, non-coveting; 3rd yamas. YSP 2.30, YSP 2.37

Asthi — bone

Asthivaha srotas – channels carrying bone or skeletal system

Astika – orthodox schools of thought, also known as darshanas which accept the Vedas as supremely revealed scripture. See darshana for details.  See also nastika.

Asu — Any pursuit for the maintenance of life; breath of life; the Prana-vayu or the five pranas.

Asuchi – impure YSP 2.5

Asuddhi – impurity, unclean, doesn’t belong in the system

Asyaof this, of his or hers; who has, of this latter YSP 1.40

Atad – not its own, not that, used in the context of atadrupa. YSP 1.8.

Atadrupa – on a form different from what it really is. YSP 1.8

Atha – Now, here and now, also a first step. In the Bhagavad-Gita, synonym for God. Frequently used to open yogic texts. The knowledge is here anytime you wish to access it. YSP 1.1

Atma(n) – Self. I AM; Principle of life and sensation, subjective moment of consciousness. has many meanings in Sanskrit that include — soul, breath, the Self, one’s self (as a reflexive pronoun), mind, body, the Supreme Soul, etc. individual Self; part of the universal Brahman, essence, being, existence, centre of consciousness. YSP 2.5, YSP 2.21, YSP 2.41

Atma-anatma-viveka — Discrimination between the Self and the not-Self.

Atma-ghata — Slaughter of the self; suicide, physical or otherwise; worldliness; ignorance ofthe nature of the Self.

Atmakam — consisting of (elements and senses) YSP 2.18

Atman jnana – self-realization

Atmata – selfness. YSP 2.6

Atmavicara – reflection upon the Self, examination of Atman

Aum — Like the Latin word ‘Omne’, the Sanskrit word ‘Aum’ means ‘all’ and conveys concepts of ‘Omniscience’, ‘Omnipresence’ and ‘Omnipotence’.

Avarana / Avaranam — Veil of ignorance veil, covering YSP 2.51

Avarana-abhava — Absence of the covering veil of ignorance.

Avarana-bhanga– Destruction of the veil of ignorance.

Avarana-sakti — Veiling power of Maya; Avidya the individual.

Avaroha — Descent,

Avasthanam – the establishment, setting in place, stability, settling, remaining, being in the state. Root — Stha – to stand YSP 1.3

Avatar – “descent” (from heaven to earth), is the deliberate descent of a deity from heaven to earth. The term is most associated with Vishnu.

Avidya – “to not know”. Incorrect comprehension; ignorance of our true nature; opposite of Bodhi, spiritual forgetting, ignorance, veiling, nescience; YSP 2.3, YSP 2.4, 2.5, YSP 2.24

Avidyasakti — The power of ignorance (avidya).

Aviplava — undisturbed, without vacillation, uninterrupted YSP 2.26

Aviratisensuality, want of non-attachment, non-abstention, craving, intemperance, excessive sensuality One of the 9 obstacles to yoga/practice.  YSP 1.30

Avishesha – undiversified, unparticularized, unspecialized, having no differences. See also vishesha.  YSP 2.19.

Avisvasa — Distrust; suspicion.

Aviveka — Non-discrimination.

Avritta-chakshuh — One whose gaze is turned inwards.

Avyabhicharini-bkakti — Devotion to one thing alone; unswerving love to any particular aspect of the Lord.

Ayus — span of life, lifetime YSP 2.13


Baddha – bound, fettered, bondage

Badhane — disturbed by, inhibited by YSP 2.33

Bahya – external YSP 2.50, YSP 2.51

Bahya-karana — Outer instrument as the eye, ear, etc.

Bahya-vishaya-pratyaksha — External objective perception; direct cognition of sense-objects.

Baka   — crane

Bala — child

Bandha – to bind; lock

Basti – bladder. Marma point between the pubic symphisis and umbilicus in the region of the lower abdomen, the surface area above the bladder. Also, enema therapy, bathing an area with herbs or oils.

Bhakti — devotion

Bhakti marga – path of devotion

Bhakti yogi – One who strives to attain union with God through the prescribed spiritual discipline of the path of devotion.

Bhara – bearer of, YSP 1.48

Bharadvaja – sage

Bhashya – commentary or exposition, frequently in conjunction with sacred or religious texts. Typically, they are an interpretation of a sutra or other classical work and the individual point of the commentator, known as a Bhyashakara.

Bhaumah – parts, spheres YSP 2.31

Bhavaobjective existence, becoming, concerning being, of existing YSP 1.19

Bhavana /Bhavanamcultivate, habituate, thought of, contemplate on, reflect on, understanding with feeling, absorbing, dwelling upon, realization. YSP 1.28, YSP 2.22, YSP 2.33, YSP 2.34

Bhavanatahby cultivating habits, by constant reflection, developing attitude, cultivating, impressing on oneself, because of the mental attitude YSP 1.33

Bhava-roga (bhaava-roga) — Disease of worldliness.

Bhaya — Fear; terror.

Bheka   — frog

Bhogah — having experience, resulting enjoyment YSP 2.13, YSP 2.18

Bhogi – one who indulges in material enjoyment without restriction; one who seeks material enjoyment as his life’s aspiration. Fr root word — bhoga (desires).

Bhramara   — black bee

BhramsaA definite fall from the principle of Yoga.

BhrantiDelusion; wrong notion; false idea or impression.

Bhrantidarshanafalse views or perception, confusion of philosophies (bhranti = false; darshana = views, perception), slip of judgment, unjustified feelings of superiority or inferiority One of the 9 obstacles to yoga/practice. YSP 1.30

BhrukutiSpace between the eyebrows.

Bhrumadhya-drishti — Gaze at the space midway between the eyebrows.

Bhuja — shoulder

Bhuja-pida — Pressure on the arm or shoulder.

Bhumih – foundation, ground, stage, level, degree YSP 1.14, YSP 2.27

Bhuta — The elements (water, fire, air, earth, space) YSP 2.18

Bija Mantra — A “seed” mantra from which realization grows as a tree from a seed; usually a single-syllable mantra that is called “seed” because of its small size as a dot or point of sound.

Bijah / Bijam – seed, origin, source YSP 1.25 YSP 1.51

Bindu — Point; dot; seed; source; the point from which the subtle Omkara arises that is experienced in meditation

Bodhi – enlightenment; full illumination; opposite of avidya

BrahmaThe God of creation in the Hindu Trinity of Brahma (Creator), Visnhu (Preserver) and Siva (Rejuvinator)

Brahmachari – a celibate; student stage of life

Brahmacharya – celibacy, wise and appropriate use of energy; walking in awareness of the highest reality, continence, remembering the divine, practicing the presence of God– 4th yama. YSP 2.30, YSP 2.38

Brahman — derived from the Sanskrit root brmh meaning to grow, to expand, to bellow, to roar. The word brahman refers to the Supreme Principle regarded as impersonal and divested of all qualities. This form of brahman is sometimes designated as nirguna-brahman, brahman devoid of qualities. In contrast there is saguna-brahman, brahman invested with qualities. (See saguna-brahman). Brahman is the essence from which all created beings are produced and into which they are absorbed. This word is neuter and not to be confused with the masculine word Brahma, the creator god. Brahman is sometimes used to denote the syllable Om or the Vedas in general.

Brmhana – expansion, inhale

Buddhi – intellect; determinative faculty controlling the sense organs. The organ of mind responsible for discrimination and judgement.


Ca / Chaand, also YSP 1.29, YSP 1.44, YSP 1.45; YSP 2.2, YSP 2.15, YSP 2.41, YSP 2.53

Candra – moon

Chakra – wheel; energy center or vortex

Chakshuh — Eye; the subtle organ of sight; visual sense.

Chara – pouring or dripping of oils onto a particular site, usually the forehead.

Charaka – important ancient Ayurvedic teacher

Chatur – four

Chaturthah – the fourth YSP 2.51

Chela — student; disciple of the guru

Chetanaconsciousness YSP 1.29

Chittamind field, consciousness, of the mind YSP 1.33

Chitta- vikshepa distractions of the mind (chitta = mind field; vikshepa = distractions, diversions) YSP 1.30

Chittamof the consciousness of the mind-field YSP 1.37

Chittasya — of the mind field YSP 2.54

Cikitsa – treatment

Cit / Chit  — consciousness, Absolute Intelligence, universal consciousness

Citta (Chitta) — The mind in its total or collective sense, being composed of three categories — (a) Mind, having the faculty of attention, selection and rejection; (b) Reason, the decisive state which determines the distinction between things and (c) Ego, the I-maker. Used in YSP 1.2 because of its relationship with root Chit, that which perceives.

Citta (chitta) nirodha – control of mind

Citta suddhi / chitta suddhi – purity of mind


Dama – self-restraint over the senses

Danda   — staff; straighten

Darshana – 6 fundamental schools of Indian thought. They are Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Purva Mimamsa, Vedanta, Samkhya and Yoga.

Darshana — realization, seeing, experiencing YSP 2.41

Darshana-shaktyah — the instrument of seeing, power of intellect or buddhi to observe (darshana = seeing; shakti = power) YSP 2.6

Daurmanasyasadness, despair, dejection, frustration, depression, anguish, prostration, neurasthenia YSP 1.31

Desha — space, place; where the mind is placed during pranayama. YSP 2.31, YSP 2.50

Devi – goddess, synonymous with Shakti, the female aspect of the divine. She is the female counterpart without which the male aspect of consciousness and discrimination remains impotent and void. Also called Prakriti as she balances the male aspect of Purusha. Lakshmi is the female counterpart of Vishnu; Parvati, the female counterpart of Shiva.

Dhamani – vessel, generally nerve

Dhanu — bow

Dharana – “to hold or maintain”, state of mind where mind is oriented towards one point, development of mental concentration. YSP 2.29

Dharanasu — for concentration, for dharana YSP 2.53

Dharma – “bearer”, duty; ethical value; righteousness, justice, law, duty. Virtuous deeds, harmonious life; that which upholds or sustains the universe. Dharma also employs the meaning of law, religion, virtue, and ethics as things that uphold and sustain the proper functioning of human society. In philosophy dharma refers to the defining quality of an object. For instance, liquidity is one of the essential dharmas of water; coldness is a dharma of ice. In this case we can think that the existence of an object is sustained or defined by its essential attributes, dharmas.

Dharmasankat – trouble with the law (dharma = law, duty; sankat = trouble, problem), implies a moral or ethical quandary where choosing any of serval options would result in a breach of one’s duty. There are no good options.

Dharmayudda — made up of two roots: dharma meaning righteousness, and yuddha meaning warfare. The rules of war – essentially, equal fights equal.

Dhatu – tissues. Anything that provides firmness. 7 bodily dhatusrasa, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow, shukra.

Dhyana – “to contemplate”, meditative stabilization YSP 2.11, YSP 2.29

Dhyanatmeditate on, because of meditation YSP 1.39

Diptih — light, brilliance, shining, radiance YSP 2.28

Dirga / Dirgha  – long and steady, made long, prolonged, slow. YSP 1.14, YSP 2.50

Diwi – two

Dosha — Defect; imperfection; blemish; fault; shortcoming. In Yoga philosophy there are five doshas — lust (kama), anger (krodha), greed (lobha), delusion (moha), and envy (matsarya).

Dosha drishti — Seeing the defects in samsara and samsaric life.

Drashta / Drashtuh – The seer’s, soul, witness, Atman, Self. Root drsh — to see , of the inner being, of the seeing entity, of the witness. YSP 1.3, YSP 2.20

Drashtri — of the seer, knower, apprehender YSP 2.17

Dridha – Firm, unshaken  YSP 1.14

DridhabhumiWell-grounded in any state or state of Yoga.

DridhasamskaraWell-grounded mental impression.

DridhasushuptiDeep sleep state.


DrikSeer; perceiver; vision.

Drishi – seeing, of the knower, the force of seeing YSP 2.20, YSP 2.25

Drishi-matrah — power of seeing (drishi = seeing; matrah = power) YSP 2.20

Drishta — seen, visible, experienced consciously, present that which is perceived. YSP 2.12

DrishtantaInstance; illustration; example

Drishti — Seeing; sight; vision; view; inner sight; opinion; gaze; perception.

Drishyam — the seen, the knowable. YSP 2.18

Drishyasya / Drishyayoh – of the seen, knowable YSP 2.17, YSP 2.21

Drista — seen, perceived, the visible universe, perceptible. YSP 1.15

Duhka / Duhkha / Dukha “bad axle space”, suffering caused by ignorance of our true nature (avidya),  pain, misery, suffering, sorrow, oppression,  misery, painful, sorrowful, suffering YSP 1.31, YSP 1.33 YSP 2.5, YSP 2.8, YSP 2.34

Duhkhaih — by reason of suffering, sorrows YSP 2.15

Duhkham – because of the pain, suffering, sorrow YSP 2.15, YSP 2.16

Dvandva Pair of opposites.

Dvandva — the pairs of opposites, the dualities, dichotomies YSP 2.48

DvandvataState of duality.

DvandvatitaBeyond the pairs of opposites, like heat and cold, hunger and thirst, pleasure and pain, etc.

Dvesha – aversion; pushing away, hatred. 3rd branch of avidya YSP 2.3, YSP 2.8

Dwi-hasta  –Two hands

Dwi-pada  — Two feet or legs


Eka – one, single, of a, of one YSP 1.32, YSP 2.6, YSP 2.41

Ekagra – one-pointedness (eka = one; agra = pointedness, intentness) YSP 2.41

Ekakshara — A common term for Om meaning “the Single Syllable” or “the Single Letter.”

Ekatmata — identity, with oneself (eka = one; atmata = selfness) YSP 2.6

Etayaby this, by these latter; YSP 1.44

Evaalso, precisely, exactly, only YSP 1.44, YSP 1.46, YSP 2.15, YSP 2.21


GadaDisease or fever.

Galava – sage

Ganda — cheek

GandhaSmell; scent.

Ganesha – elephant God; remover of obstacles, Lord of Beginnings

Garuda – an eagle

Gati — of the uncontrolled movements YSP 2.49

Gharba – child; see also Bala.

Gheranda – sage

Ghrita – ghee, clarified butter

Gita – sacred song

Go   — cow

Grahanaprocess of knowing or apprehending, instrument of knowing, in the instrument of perception YSP 1.41

Grahitrithe knower, apprehender, observer, in one who sees and knows YSP 1.41

Grahyeshuthe knowable, knowledge, apprehended object, in the object glimpsed, known YSP 1.41

Griha – house

Grihasta / GrhasthaA householder; a married person; from the word griha meaning house

Gu — First syllable in the word ‘Guru’, meaning darkness.

Guda — Anus.

Gudha — Hidden.

Gudhavasana — Hidden subtle desire.

Guha — Cave.

Guhya — Secret; genital.

Guna-parvani — state of the gunas (guna = of the qualities, gunas of prakriti; parvani = state, stage, level) YSP 2.19

Gunas – literally “a single strand or thread of a cord or twine”. It originates in Samkhya philosophy and refers to basic qualities of nature. Quality, attribute, or characteristic arising from nature (Prakriti) itself; a mode of energy behaviour. As a rule, when “guna” is used it is in reference to the three qualities of Prakriti, the three modes of energy behaviour that are the basic qualities of nature, and which determine the inherent characteristics of all created things. They are — 1) sattva–purity, light, harmony, preservation; 2) rajas–activity, passion, creation; and 3) tamas–dullness, inertia, destruction and ignorance. The entire process of creation and evolution is carried out through these three gunas. YSP 1.16, YSP 2.15, YSP 2.19

Guru(h) — Spiritual preceptor, one who illumines the darkness of spiritual doubt; teacher, mentor, guide, YSP 1.26

Guruparampara — A serial line of teachers, the lineage of gurus.


Ha   — moon

Hala — plow

Hana — of removal, of avoidance YSP 2.26

Hanam — removal, cessation, abandonment YSP 2.25

Hanuman   — powerful monkey – Hindu deity who was an ardent devotee of Rama and a central character in the Indian epic Ramayana. Famous for having leapt from India to Sri Lanka in a single bound, which is why the ‘splits’ is called Hanumanasana – Hanuman’s posture.

Hasta — hand

Hatha yoga — system of Yoga consisting of physical exercises, postures, and breathing exercises for gaining control over the physical body and prana.

Hetu – cause or reason.

Hetuh – the cause, the reason, that which brings about YSP 2.17, YSP 2.23, YSP 2.24

Hetutvat – having as their cause YSP 2.14

Heyah / Heyam — to be overcome, reduced, abandoned, destroyed, eliminated,  To be discarded, avoided, prevented YSP 2.10, YSP 2.11, YSP 2.16, YSP 2.17

Himsa – harmful. YSP 2.34

Himsadayah — harmful and the others (himsa = harmful; adayah = et cetera, and so forth) YSP 2.34

Hird roga – heart disease

Hlada – pleasure, delight YSP 2.14

Hlada-paritapa-phalah — experiencing pleasure and pain as fruits (hlada = pleasure, delight; paritapa = pain, agony, anguish; phalah = fruits) YSP 2.14

Hridaya – heart. General region of the heart, meddle of sternum, a large marma region. The Heart within the heart, essential centre.

HridayadhautiCleaning of the heart; cleaning the throat and the chest.

HridayagranthiThe knot of the heart, viz., Avidya, Kama, and Karma.

HridayaguhaThe cave or chamber of the heart.

HridayakamalaLotus of the heart.

Hridayam — the heart-light, the representation of the inner light.


Iccha – desire

Ida / Ida-nadi – literally — pale conduit.  Left nadi, terminating in left nostril. Associated with parasympathetic nervous system, having a cooling or calming effect when activated.

Indriya – “sense organ”. Can be used to describe either organs which perceive sensory information (eyes, ears, skin, etc.), or organs which carry out some action of output/volition – the throat for speech, the anus for waste elimination, etc.); powers of action and sensation, instruments, mental sense organs YSP 2.18, YSP 2.41, YSP 2.43

Indriya-jaya — control of the senses (indriya = active and cognitive senses; jaya = control, regulation, mastery) YSP 2.41

Indriyanam — mental organs of actions and senses (indriyas) YSP 2.54, YSP 2.55

Isa — literally lord, master, or controller

Ishta — that which is preferred, chosen, predisposed towards YSP 2.44

Ishvara“ruler”, universal consciousness creative source, pure consciousness, purusha, God, supreme Guru or teacher, Lord – from Is — to be master of, power to be able), reign, causal field,  YSP 1.23, 1.24, 2.1, YSP 2.32, YSP 2.44

Ishvara pranidana — surrender to God YSP 2.1, YSP 2.32, YSP 2.44

Itaratra – otherwise, elsewhere, without which, at other times, when not in that state of realization YSP 1.4

Itareshamof other people, for others. YSP 1.20

Iti – thus YSP 2.34

Iva — like, as if, so to say, as it were, apparently, appearing to be. YSP 1.41, YSP 1.43, YSP 2.6, YSP 2.54


JagratWaking condition.

Jah — born of, engendered by YSP 1.50

Jai – victory

JalaNot real; a net; a snare; illusion.

Jala — Water.

Jalandharabandha where the chin rests in the notch between the collar bones

Janma – in births, birth, incarnation YSP 2.12, YSP 2.39

Janu — knee

Japa(h) – “muttering”, mantra recitation, repeated remembrance, repetition YSP 1.28

JaraOld age.


Jathara — abdomen

Jatharagni – digestive fire

Jati — type of birth, species, state of life YSP 2.13, YSP 2.31

Javotishmati the bright effulgence, lucidity, luminosity, inner light, supreme or divine light, luminous, full of light YSP 1.36

Jaya – control, regulation, mastery YSP 2.41

Jiva – individual soul or ego, a living being, specifically the immortal essence of a living organism (animal, human, fish or plant) that survives physical death. Similar to atma which refers to the cosmic Self, jiva refers to an individual living entity. Described in BG as immutable, eternal, numberless and indestructible. At the point of death, it takes on a new physical form based on karma and necessities.

Jivamukta – realized soul

Jivanmukti – liberation while alive

Jivatman – individual soul

Jnana / Jnanam – knowledge, study, investigation, awareness, observation, by knowledge, knowing. Refers to ‘true knowledge’ that one’s self (atman) is identical with Ultimate Reality (Brahman). YSP 1.8, YSP 1.9, YSP 1.38, YSP 1.42, YSP 2.28 YSP 2.34

Jnana Shakti – power of knowledge

Jnana yoga – path of the mind/intellect; realizing the Absolute through knowledge

Jnani – individual practitioner of jnana yoga

Jugupsa — disinclined, distanced from, drawn away from YSP 2.40

Jyot — light

Jyotis – root — spirituality, divine energy (jyot = light; ish = from ishvara) YSP 1.36. also Vedic astrology


KaalaTime; death or Yama.

KaalachakraWheel of time.

KaalatitaBeyond time.

Kaivalya Liberation; same as moksha, nirvana

Kaivalyam — absolute freedom, liberation, enlightenment YSP 2.25

Kala — Time measure, as in the time required to recite a mantra. It also sometimes means levels of creation or manifested being. Also star. Perfume, ray, essence, unguent, part or division of one whole process or thing. Also time ratio in pranayama. See also YSP 1 — 26 – idea that consciousness is not defined by constraint of time; Time, for a certain time, duration YSP 1.14. YSP 2.31, YSP 2.50

Kalenaby time, through time YSP 1.26

Kali Yuga — the last of the four Yugas, or ages, which began in 3102 BC with the death of Lord Krishna. It is characterized as a time of “darkness” in which mankind has sunk to its lowest level of consciousness.

Kalpa – one day in the life of Brahma, the Creator.

Kalyanakta – happiness

Kama – “desire”, appetite for sensual pleasure, lust

KampanaShaking or trembling; twisting of muscles; tremor in the body or limbs.

Kanatha — throat

Kanda – The nexus of all energetic channels in the subtle body. Different texts vary in describing its location, but kanda is most likely located in the lower belly, a few inches below the navel and slightly under the surface of the skin.  The root; the source of all Nadis; the egg-shaped centre of nerves located below the region of the navel.

KandamulaRoots and tubers.

Kandarpa vayu – Governs the energies flowing out from kanda, the root of the nadis in the human body.

KanthamulaThe base of the neck (throat).

Kapha – biological water humour; phlegm

Kapota   — pigeon

Karana — cause

Karita – caused to be done (by others) YSP 2.34

Karma — action with reaction; law of causality. There are three forms of karma — sanchita, agami, and prarabdha. Sanchita karma is the vast store of accumulated actions done in the past, the fruits of which have not yet been reaped. Agami karma is the action that will be done by the individual in the future. Prarabdha karma is the action that has begun to fructify, the fruit of which is being reaped in this life. It is the Karma operating through the law of cause and effect binding the Jiva or the individual soul to the wheel of birth and death.YSP 1.24, YSP 2.12

Karma yoga – path of selfless service

Karma-ashaya — repository of karma (karma = actions stemming from the deep impressions of samskaras; ashaya = repository, accumulation, deposit, vehicle, reservoir, womb) YSP 2.12

KarmabandhaBondage caused by Karma.

KarmayogaThe Yoga of selfless action; performance of one’s own duty; indifference to the body and the world; service of humanity.

Karmayogi —  One going through the scheduled spiritual discipline of the path of action.

Karna — ear

Karunacompassion, mercy, pity YSP 1.33

Kathanta — how and from where YSP 2.39

Kaya – body, of the physical body YSP 2.43

KayasiddhiPerfection of the body through Yoga.

Kha – in the heart

Khyateh / Khyatih — through knowledge, vision, discernment, (because of) the awareness, becoming aware, correct cognition, clarity, awareness, taking to be, supposing to be, seeing as if YSP 1.16 YSP 2.5, 2.26

Kirtan – chanting

Kleshaimpurities of mind, coloured, painful, afflicted, impure, cause of suffering, torment; the root klish means to cause trouble, YSP 1.24, YSP 2.2, YSP 2.3, YSP 2.12

Klesha-mula — having colorings as its origin (klesha = colored, painful, afflicted, impure; mula = origin, root) YSP 2.12

Klishta – coloured, painful, afflicted, impure, producing suffering, painful, distressing. Root — klish = to cause trouble YSP 1.5. Klesha is the noun form. Used in reference to samskara

Kona – angle

Kosha – “sheath” Describes any aspect of the being – physical, energetic, mental, etc – which the Yoga system views as a distinct layer of the overall Self. Described in the Taittirya Upanishad. 5 koshas are — Annamayakosha, Pranamayakosha Manomayakosha, Vijnanamayakosha, Anadamayakosha. These 5 sheaths serve to hide our true nature from our perception because our Self is enclosed within.

KramaOrder; rules regarding rituals.

Krauncha — heron

Krita – accomplished, committed by oneself, YSP 2.22, YSP 2.34

Krita-artham — one whose purpose has been accomplished (krita = accomplished; artham = purpose) YSP 2.22

Kriya – action, a cleaning process; hatha yoga; physical action; action without reaction (unlike karma), of activity. YSP 2.18, YSP 2.36

Kriya yoga – body yoga; yoga of purifying action as taught by Patanjali; YSP 2.1

KriyanivrittiRelief from action; emancipation.

KriyasaktiThe power or faculty of acting.

KriyayogaYoga of action; Yoga of self-purification through external service or worship.

Krodha – anger YSP 2.34

KshanaMoment in time; refers to time between two thoughts

Kshayat — removal, destruction, elimination YSP 2.43

Kshaye — with the elimination, destruction YSP 2.28

Kshetram — field, breeding ground; YSP 2.4

Kshinna – weakened YSP 1.41

Kshinna-vrittiwith modifications of mind weakened (kshinna = weakened; vritti = modifications of mind) YSP 1.41

Kshiyate — is destroyed, thinned, diminishes, vanishes YSP 2.51

KuladharmaThe respective duty pertaining to the family.

Kumbhaka — Retention of breath; suspension of breath.

Kundala – coiled

Kundalini – literally “coiled” or “coiled energy”. Refers to primordial cosmic energy located in the individual; yogic principle of serpent power. The Kundalini is divine cosmic energy. This force or energy is symbolized as a coiled serpent sleeping in the lowest nerve centre at the base of the spinal column, the Muladhara-chakra. This latent energy has to be aroused and made to ascend the main spinal channel, the Susumna piercing the chakras right up to the Sahasrara, the thousand-petalled lotus in the head. Then the Yogi is in union with the Supreme Universal Soul.

Kurma– support, also, tortoise


Labhah — is acquired, attained, gained. YSP 2.38, YSP 2.42

LaghavaLightness of body through practice of meditation.

Laksha – points on the body which can be meditated upon.

Layanamdissolved, merged into YSP 1.19

Linga – mark, trace gender; sign; symbol..YSP 2.19

LingadehaThe astral body; the subtle body.

Linga-matra — undifferentiated, only a mark or trace (linga = mark, trace; matra = only) YSP 2.19.

LingasariraThe subtle or psychic body that become particularly active during the dream state by creating a world of its own; the three sheaths of intelligence, mind and vital energy constitute this body.

LingatmanThe subtle self.

Lobha – greed, desire YSP 2.34

Lokas – penis. A symbol of Shiva.


Ma – to measure

Madhyamedium, middling, intermediary, moderate YSP 1.22, YSP 2.34

MadhyamavairagyaMiddle type of Vairagya; not intense Vairagya.

Madovaha srotas – channels carrying fat or the adipose system

Maha – great. YSP 2.31

Mahasamadhi – tomb

Mahattva – greatness, vastness YSP 1.40

Maha-vratam — great vow (maha = great; vratam = vow) YSP 2.31

Maithuna / Mithuna / Mithunam – sexual intercourse, copulation, sexual union, most frequently in reference to sacred sexual union where the couple become the divine beings of Shakti and Shiva. It can also occur without physical union where the shiva and shakti energies transfer via the subtle bodies only.

Maitrifriendliness, pleasantness, lovingness, friendship, love YSP 1.33


MalaImpurity of the mind; one of the three defects of the mind, waste material, also a garland, a necklace; rudraksha mala is a necklace made of the seeds of the rudraksha tree.

MalavasanarahitaFree from impurities and subtle desires.

MalinasattvaImpure Sattva; nescience; Avidya in the individual.

MamakaraMineness; the thought “this is mine” in relation to the body and the things connected with it, such as wife, children, relations, friends, home, wealth and the like.


Mamsa – muscle tissue

ManaRespect; sense of self-respect.

Manana – meditation on the inner meaning; reflecting upon what has been heard (shravana). The second stage of the classical spiritual path, to remove any doubts about the knowledge that has been received via shravana. See also samshaya, shravana, nididhyasana.

Manasahmind, mental, manas, of thought YSP 1.35, YSP 2.53

Manehof a crystal, the precious stone, jewel or gem YSP 1.41

Mani – jewel

Mano – thought

Manomaya kosha – Literally “the body sheath made of thought, which is an illusion” (mano = thought; maya = illusion; kosha = body sheath).

Mantra chikitsa – mantra therapy

Mardana – acupressure or pressure-based massage

Marga — Way; path; street; approach to God-realization (bhakti marga, jnana marga, karma marga, yoga marga, etc.)

Marichi – sage

Marma – sensitive body point used in Ayurvedic treatment, a power zone on the body, said to number 108.

Marma chikitsamarma therapy

Marma vidya – science of marma

Mati – thinking power

Matra – only YSP 1.43, YSP 2.19

Matrah – power YSP 2.20

Matsarya – envy, jealousy.

Matsya   — fish

Matsyendra – person

Mauna – silence

Maya – illusion, not real. The power of Brahman manifested in the world by veiling and projecting the power of the universe. Buddha encountered the demon Maya before his enlightenment. According to Advaita darshana, all life is maya.

Mayashakti – the power of illusion

Mayura   — peacock

Meda – fat tissue

Meru — movement, The mountain, of supreme height, on which the gods dwell, or the mountain on which Shiva is ever seated in meditation. Said to be the center of the world, supporting heaven itself. Obviously a yogic symbol. The central bead on a japa mala.

MerudandaThe spinal column.

MimamsaAn enquiry into the nature of a thing; the science of philosophical logic enquiring into Vedic knowledge; Purvamimamsa or Uttaramimamsa.

MitaharaModerate diet.

Mithya – of the unreal, of the false, erroneous, illusory YSP 1.8

MithyabhimanaFalse egoism.

MithyacharaSinful conduct; hypocrisy.

MithyadrishtiThe vision that this world is unreal.

Moha — delusion YSP 2.34

Moksha – “release”, liberation; spiritual liberation

Mounam – silence

Mridumild, slow, gentle, tender YSP 1.22, YSP 2.34

Mridya (Vairagya) — Mild form of dispassion; intermittent, vague and weak.

Muditagladness, goodwill, joy YSP 1.33

Mudra – seal, symbol, Common mudras include anjali mudra (Namaste hands), Hridaya Mudra, laying hands flat across the heart portion of the chest and Devi Mudra – Seal of the Goddess of Radiant Light — placing palms down against the torso with thumb and forefingers joined to create a triangle

Mukha — face

Mula / Moola – root; origin; base YSP 2.12

Muladhara — 1st chakra; root chakra; coccygeal plexus under the sacrum, adrenals, red, Lam.

Mule – to be at the root YSP 2.13

Muni — “Silent one” (one observing the vow of silence (mauna); sage; ascetic

Muni – sage


Nabhi – navel. The navel and surrounding region, behind and around the umbilicus. A large marma region.

Nadi – “tube, pipe”, channel, energy conduit, yogic “nerves”.

Naga – snake

Nairantarya — without interruption, continually, with continuity YSP 1.14

Nakra — crocodile

Nama – name of God

Nama japa — repetition of the name of God

Nama sankirtan – singing the names of God

Nama smarana – remembering and repeating the names of God.

Namarupa – name and form; the nature of the world

Namaskar/Namaskara – homage or prostration before God or guru.

Nanda – unbound

Nari – woman

Nashtam — Ceased, dissolved, finished, destroyed YSP 2.22

Nasika — Nose.

Nasikagra — Tip of the nose.

Nasikagradrishti — Gaze directed toward the tip of the nose.

Nastika – three heterodox schools of Indian thought which do not accept the Vedas as supremely revealed scripture. They are Buddhism, Jainism and Carvaka (lost in antiquity).

Nasya – nasal applications of herbs, oils or liquids

Nava – boat

Nava – new

Nididhyasana — meditating upon the essence of what has now been intellectually understood until there is total conviction. The third stage of the classical spiritual path. See also shravana and manana.

Nidi-dhyasana (nidhi-dhyaasana) — Inner concentration, profound meditation.

Nidra – deep sleep, dreamless sleep, restorative sleep. One of the five manifestations of mind. Absence of all other manifestations of consciousness. YSP 1.6, expanded YSP 1.10, YSP 1.38

Nir – without YSP 1.43, YSP 1.51

NiradharaWithout support.

Niralamba — unsupported

Nirandhanifirmly establishes, causes, seals, holds, bound, linked, links, which binds YSP 1.35

Niratishayamunsurpassed, not exceeded by any others, limitless, unequalled YSP 1.25

Nirbhasa — illuminative, shining brightly, manifestation, appearance, brilliance YSP 1.43

Nirbhaya — Fearlessness.

Nirbija / Nirbijahwithout a seed, seedless without Samskaras (nir = without; bijah = seed) YSP 1.51

Nirodhah — control, regulation, channelling, mastery, integration, coordination, understanding, stilling, quieting, setting aside of, orientation, YSP 1.2, YSP 1.12

Nirodhatthrough nirodhah (nirodhah = control, regulation, channelling, mastery, integration, coordination, understanding, stilling, quieting, setting aside of) YSP 1.51

Nirodhereceding, mastery, coordination, control, regulation, setting aside of, in the cessation YSP 1.51

Nirvicharadevoid of subtle thoughts (nir = without; vichara = subtle thoughts), contemplation beyond subtle grasp, over and above correct intuition YSP 1.44, YSP 1.47

Nirvitarkawithout a gross thought (nir = without; vitarka = gross thought) YSP 1.43

Nitya – eternal, everlasting YSP 2.5

Niyama / Niyamah – observances, practices, self-training. Observances towards ourselves; personal discipline. The second rung of Raj yoga. YSP 2.29, 2.32

Nyasa – placing, applying, touching, specifically the conscious act of touching or placing the fingers or hands on sacred, sensitive, or medicinally active points of the body. It creates mind-body connections by linking together neural networks, merging physical sensation in the body with thoughts and feelings of sanctity, joy, devotion, protection, and warmth.

Nyaya –the oldest darshanas, characterized by a system of logic that is the foundation for much of Indian thought that follows (much like Aristotelian logic provides the foundation of Western science). Nyaya differs from Aristotelian logic in that its followers believe that knowledge was the only way to be released from suffering. It postulates there are 4 sources of knowledge — perception, inference, comparison and testimony.


Ojas — Vitality; vigor; luster; splendor; energy; spiritual energy. The highest form of energy in the human body. In the spiritual aspirant who constantly practices continence and purity, other forms of energy are transmuted into ojas and stored in the brain, manifesting as spiritual and intellectual power.


Pada — foot, leg

Padangustha — big toe

Padiprikia – treatise

Padma   — lotus

Padmasana — Lotus posture; considered by many to be the best posture for meditation; however, frequently unsuitable for Western practitioners due to strain it imposes on the knee joint.

Pancatayah – fivefold and of two kinds Panca = 5. YSP 1.5

Pancha – five; YSP 2.3

PanditaA learned man; a scholar; a man of wisdom (Pundit).

PandityaErudition; learning; intellectual mastery.

Papa /Papam – Sin; a wicked action; evil; demerit, unhappiness, vices, sinful reaction, sinful act, disgrace, criminal action, a sinful person.

Param/ Parama — is higher, superior, supreme, transcendent, extreme, at its highest degree. Ultimate, maximum, highest, supreme,  perfected YSP 1.16 YSP 1.40, YSP 2.55

Parama-mahattvaultimate magnitude (parama = ultimate, maximum; mahattva = greatness, vastness) YSP 1.40

ParamanuA sub-atomic particle, such as electron.

Paramatman – the Absolute Atman, or Supreme Soul, one of the aspects of Brahman, situated in every individual jiva in the macrocosm. It is the ultimate observer.

Paramhansa — Literally — Supreme Swan, a person of the highest spiritual realization. Mythically, a swan can separate milk from water and is therefore an apt symbol for one who has discarded the unreal for the Real, the darkness for the Light, and mortality for the Immortal, having separated himself fully from all that is not God and joined himself totally to the Divine, becoming a veritable embodiment of Divinity manifested in humanity.

Parasakti – Universal Energy, Divinity, the feminine aspect of Purusha

Paravritti – redirection, reorientation

Pari – upon YSP 1.43

Pariah — and with that of others YSP 2.40

Paribandhiimpeding, obstructing, reducing, opposing, inhibiting YSP 1.50

Paridrishtah — regulated by, observed by YSP 2.50

Parigha — bolt

Parinama — of change, transformation, result, consequence, mutative effect, alteration YSP 2.15

Paripurna – complete

Pari-shuddhauupon purification (pari = upon; shuddhau = purification), in complete purification YSP 1.43

Paritapa – pain, agony, anguish YSP 2.14

Parivrtta — revolved

Parma – most YSP 1.40

Parma-anu — from the most minute (parma = most; anu = atom, smallest), infinitely small, an infinitesimal part YSP 1.40

Parshva —side

Parvani – state, level, stage. YSP 2.19

Parvata   — mountain

Paryanka   — bed

Paryavasanamextending up to, ending at, its final stage, finishing YSP 1.45

Pasa   — noose

Paschima – posterior stretch, west, back

Pashimatana — interiorizing, grounding, apana

Patanjali – compiler of the Yoga Sutras

Pavanrnuktasana – preparatory exercises.

Phalah – fruits, charisms, a gift or spiritual grace that flows from devoted practice. The results of an act. YSP 2.14, YSP 2.34, YSP 2.36

Phalasruti — refers to result of worship – fruits of practice

Pida — pressure

Pincha — feather; chin

Pingali / pingali-nadi – lit. reddish tube. The ascending right nadi, terminating in right nostril. Associated with sympathetic nervous system. Energizing and stimulating when activated.

Pitta – biological fire humour; bile

Prachchhardanagentle exhalation through the nostrils, breathing out YSP 1.34

Pradanakriyaasana – purpose or heart of the sequence

Prajnaliterally “wise, clever man”; Refers to wisdom, discernment, super cognitive, highest knowledge, discrimination, insight, wisdom, cognizing consciousness. The ‘deep sleep ego’ in the deep sleep state of consciousness, sushupti.. See also visva, taijasa. YSP 1.20, YSP 1.48, YSP 2.27

Prajnabhyamfrom those kinds of knowledge, (of two) correct forms of knowledge YSP 1.49

Prajnaparadha – (lit. “crimes against wisdom”) deliberate, willful indulgence in unhealthy practices.

Prakasha – illumination, light. YSP 2.18, YSP 2.51

Prakriti — primordial matter; the fundamental power (shakti) of God from which the entire cosmos is formed; the root base of all elements; undifferentiated matter; the material cause of the world. Also known as Pradhana. creative cause, subtlest material cause, nature, those subsisting in constituent elements YSP 1.19

Prakriya – a method of action; technique

Pramadacarelessness, negligence, effervescence, lack of concentration, heedlessness.  One of the 9 obstacles to yoga/practice. YSP 1.30

Pramana / Pramanani – the means of obtaining knowledge; Real or valid cognition, right knowledge, valid proof, seeing clearly, correct understanding, real knowledge (root — pra – level; ma – to measure) YSP 1.6, expanded at YSP 1.7

Prana – breath, energy, life force

Prana vayu — governs the beating of the heart, as well as breathing. Seated in the area of the chest.

Pranamayakosha – Literally, the “body sheath made of prana, which is an illusion”. Bio-energetic layer of the human being. Prana, or life energy, makes up the essence of this layer. This layer is also where the chakras, nadis, and other energetic structures are housed.

Pranasyaof the breath YSP 1.34

Pranava japa – the incantation of Om

Pranavahthe mantra AUM or OM, the sacred syllable YSP 1.27

Pranayama /Pranayamah – regulated breath technique. Expansion of breath and prana, regulation, control. YSP 2.29, YSP 2.49

Pranidana / Pranidhanapracticing the presence, sincerity, dedication, devotion, surrender of fruits of practice, by particular, active devotion. YSP 1.23, YSP 2.32 YSP 2.44

Pranta – final, ultimate YSP 2.27

Prasadahpurity, luminosity, illumination, clearness, serenity, clarity, illumination YSP 1.47

Prasadanampurified, clear, serene, pleasant, pacified, undisturbed, peaceful, calm, purification, tranquility YSP 1.33

Prasarita — expanded

Prashvasahexhalation, expiration (implying irregular exhalation) YSP 1.31, YSP 2.49

Prasupta – dormant, latent, seed; YSP 2.4

Pratayayahmental experience YSP 1.19

Prati – towards, with regards to YSP 2.22

Pratikriyaasana – neutralizing posture

Pratipaksha — to the contrary, opposite thoughts or principles YSP 2.33, YSP 2.34

Pratipasava — involution, resolving back into the cause from which they arose YSP 2.10

Pratisedhaprevention, negation, neutralizing, prohibition, opposing, voiding, removal, elimination YSP 1.32

Pratistham – based on, possessing, established, occupying, steadfast, standing. YSP 1.8

Pratisthayam — having firmly established, being well grounded in YSP 2.35, YSP 2.36, YSP 2.37, YSP 2.38

Pratyahara /Prataharah — literally “staying away from food”, withdrawal of the indriyas (the senses), bringing inward YSP 2.29, YSP 2.54

Pratyakindividual, turning inwards YSP 1.29

Pratyaksha – direct sensory perception or cognition, divided into 2 types — laulika (outside the body, exterior, material, objective world) and alaulika (interior sensory perception of body and mind such as aches or sentiments). One of the 3 types of correct knowledge YSP 1.7

Pratyaya — cause, cognitive principle, content of mind, cognition, of mental experience, YSP 1.10, YSP 1.18, YSP 2.20

Pravrittihigher perception, activity, inclinations, development YSP 1.35

Prayatna –intelligent effort, tension or effort (related to trying to do the posture) YSP 2.47

PremaDivine love (for God).

PremabhavaFeeling of love.

Puja – reverence, honour, adoration, worship, religious ritual performed by offerings to various deities. They take place both in the home and in temples and public ceremonies.

Punyamerit, virtuous, meritorious, benevolent, good action, justice YSP 1.33, YSP 2.14,

Pura – city

Puraka –“filling in”, inhalation

PurnayogiA full-blown Yogi.

Purusha – soul, Cosmic Man, the ‘self’ that pervades the universe. The Vedic divinities are considered to be the human mind’s interpretations of the many facets of Purusha. Purusha is pure consciousness. It is thought to be our true identity, to be contrasted with Prakrti, or the material world, which contains all of our organs, senses, and intellectual faculties. the consciousness that observes, witnesses, watches, and supervises Prakrti. It is the spiritual energy or the efficient cause of the universe. The transcendental Self (âtman). Pure consciousness, Self, of the spiritual principle inherent in every one). See also parashakti YSP 1.16

Purusha-visheshaconsciousness, a special or distinct purusha (purusha = a consciousness; vishesha = special, distinct) YSP 1.24

Purva Mimamsa – literally “the prior inquiry”, a darshana that established rigid formulation for the rules of interpretation for priestly ritualism of Vedic texts. The core tenets of Pūrva Mīmāṃsā are ritualism (orthopraxy), anti-asceticism and anti-mysticism. Credited largely for the decline of Buddhism in India but itself has fallen into decline and been eclipsed by Vedanta.

Purva(h) / Purvakahpreceding, coming before, prerequisite, preceded by, anterior YSP 1.18 YSP 1.20, YSP 2.34

Purvakriyaasana – beginning postures

Purvata — opening stretch; stimulating, invigorating, revitalizing; qualities associated with the inhale; energizing, fortifying

Purveshamof the first, former, earlier, ancient, for the ancients, those who came before.  YSP 1.26

Putra – son;

Putri – daughter


Raga(h)- greed; 2nd branch of avidya; craving, addiction; YSP 2.3, YSP 2.7

Raj(a) – king, royal

Raja — attachment, desires, attraction YSP 1.37

Rajas – energy, movement

Rajasika ahamkara — Dynamic egoism with passion and pride.

Rakshana – armour, protection

Rasa – “sap, juice”. Sense of taste. See also sarva rasa. Also one of 7 dhatus – tissue fluids including chyle, lymph, plasma. Also, inclination, momentum YSP 2.9

Rasana – tongue; organ of taste

Ratna – jewels, treasures YSP 2.37

Rechaka – “expulsion”, exhalation

Rekha – symmetrical

Rishi – “seer”, Vedic sage.

Ritam – the highest truth, justice, religious law YSP 1.48

Ritambharafilled with higher truth, essence, supreme cognition (Ritam = the highest truth, justice, religious law; Bhara = bearer of) YSP 1.48

Roga – illness

Rogi – an ill person. Fr root roga – illness.

Ru – light

Rudhah – firmly established YSP 2.9

Rupa – form, shape, appearance, sight, vision, nature, general refers to material objects, particularly in regard to their appearance. YSP 1.8 see also svarupa.. YSP 1.17


Sa – with. YSP 1.42, YSP 1.44

Sabda / Shabda – sound, utterance in the sense of linguistic performance, word, verbal expression, speech, verb, name YSP 1.9, YSP 1.42

Sabijahwith seed, seeded, source, origin YSP 1.46

Sadhaka – spiritual aspirant; seeker of the highest truth, student on the spiritual path, practitioner, one who skillfully applies mind and body to a spiritual goal.

Sadhana / Sadhanan – literally “a means of accomplishing something”, a practice especially as spiritual practice.

Sadharanatvat — being common to others, due to commonness YSP 2.22

Sadhu – “good person” , usually an ascetic

Sah – that, this, the latter YSP 1.14

Sahabhuvacompanions, accompaniments, correlates, produced simultaneously, accompanies, symptoms YSP 1.31

SahamShe I am (Mantra of Saktas).

Sahaswara — “thousand-fold”. 7th chakra; cerebral cortex, pineal gland, violet, Aum. Thought, “I Know”, information, understanding, awareness, consciousness, pattern, and meditiation.

SaktaOne who worships the Divine Mother Sakti as the most supreme deity; pertaining to Sakti.

SaktiPower; energy; force; the Divine Power of becoming;

Saktyoh – of the powers YSP 2.23

Salabha   — locust

Salamba — supported

Sama – equal; upright; tranquil; mental calmness, equanimity

Samadhi(h)“state of no mind” (adhi = original; sama = becoming that). Liberation, enlightened state, state of meditation where only the object of meditation is apparent; super consciousness. Complete absorption into the absolute. deep absorption of meditation, ecstasy, contemplation, perfect concentration, meditation in its higher state, deep absorption of meditation, the state of perfected concentration YSP 1.20, YSP 1.46, YSP 1.51, YSP 2.2, YSP 2.29, YSP 2.44

Samana vayu — Governs digestion and metabolism, also the regulation of body heat. Seated in the area of the abdomen.

Samanya – ordinary

Samapattibhyam — by focusing attention on, by coalescence, coincidence, merging YSP 2.47

Samapattihengrossment, coincidence, complete absorption, transmute into likeness, total balance, contemplation YSP 1.41, YSP 1.42

SamataBalanced state of mind.

SamatvaEquanimity (under all conditions); equanimity of outlook (making no distinction between friend and foe, pleasure and pain, etc.)

Samavrittipranayama where phases of breath are equal; stabilizing

Samaya — circumstance, condition, consideration YSP 2.31

SambhavimudraThe vacant externalised gaze of a Hatha Yogi where the mind is directed inwards; the Yogi appears to be looking at external objects but is not actually perceiving them as his mind is indrawn.

Sambodhah — complete knowledge of YSP 2.39

Samgati – unity; unification

Samhara – sunset; elderly

Samjna – discernment

Samjnana – awareness, perception

Samkhya — number — number of breaths in pranayama

Samprajnatahcognitive absorption, lower samadhi, contemplation with consciousness of an object. YSP 1.17

Samprayogah — connected with, in contact, communion YSP 2.44

Samsara — reincarnation. Life through repeated births and deaths; the wheel of birth and death; the process of earthly life.

Samshayaindecision, doubt, equivocation One of the 9 obstacles to yoga/practice.  YSP 1.30

Samskara / Sanskara – latent impression in subconscious, mental “grooves”, unconscious habit; patterns of conditioned behaviour. Impression in the mind produced by previous action or experience; prenatal tendency. deepest habits, subliminal activators, traces, mental residue of past acts, mental permeation. Not entities with substance or shape, nor are they forces, but are understood in psychological terms only. YSP 1.18 See Vasana. YSP 1.50, YSP 2.15

Samskrta – the impermanent.

Samvegastate of disillusionment with mundane life, longing to investigate workings of mind and self. momentum, force, vigour, conviction, enthusiasm, impulsion, vehemence YSP 1.21

SamyamaComplete concentration

Samyogah – union, conjunction YSP 2.17, YSP 2.23, YSP 2.25

Sanga / Sangha — Attachment; company; association; collection; community, brotherhood.

Sanjnaawareness, consciousness, knowing, the fact of becoming perfectly conscious. YSP 1.15

Sankalpa – will, purpose, determination, a committed resolution, a definite intention, decision Thought, desire; imagination.

SankalpamatraMere thought; existing in thought only.

SankalparahitaWithout thought; without idea.

SankalpasunyaDevoid of thought.

Sankalpavikalpa —  Thought and doubt.

Sankat – trouble, problem

Sankhya /Samkhyathe oldest darshana that postulates that everything in reality stems from Purusha (conscousness) and prakriti (phenomenal realm of matter) but denies the existence of God or any form of exterior influence. Knowledge comes from three sources — direct sense perception, logical inference and verbal testimony. Differs from Western dualism in that the West divides between mind and body whereas Sankhya distinguishes between the Self and matter.

Sankhyabhih — by these three, number, count of YSP 2.50

Sankirnamixed with, commingled, interspersed, mixed, composed of YSP 1.42

Sannyasi – renunciate stage of life

Sant – from the Sanskrit verbs “to be good” and “to be real”, refers to those who sing the name of God and worship him, in particular bhakti poets.

Santosha – contentment. 2nd niyamas. YSP 2.32, YSP 2.42

Saptadha – sevenfold YSP 2.27

SaranagatiSelf-surrender; coming under refuge.

Saranagatiyoga — Yoga of self-surrender; Bhakti Yoga.


Sarupym – Similarity, assimilation, appearance of, indentification with, that which has the same form, that which is alike. Root sa = with; rupa = form. YSP 1.4 see svarupa

Sarva / Sarvamall, of all, whole.  YSP 1.51, YSP 2.15, YSP 2.31, YSP 2.37

Sarva rasa – (lit “all tastes”.) Salty.

Sarva-bhaumah — universal, in all parts (sarva = all; bhaumah = parts, spheres) YSP 2.31

Sarvajnaall knowing (sarva = all; jna = knowing), of omniscience YSP 1.25

Sarvangasa — body

Satguru –  literally, “true guru”. Term distinguishes between other forms of guru, such as musical instructors, teachers, parents. Title is given only to rishi or sants whose life purpose is to guide individuals along the spiritual path.

Sati — since being here, being present, existing, being accomplished YSP 2.13, YSP 2.49

Satkara — with devotion, sincerity, respect, reverence, positive attitude, right action, with seriousness, rectitude, act rightly, kindly, reverently, carefully, honourably, considerably, attentively, enthusiastically, passionately, skilfully. In the right manner, with confidence, with purity and faith. Displaying or demonstrating proficiency and a desire to advance root — sat – truthful; kara – to do, to make.  YSP 1.14

Satsang(a) – literally “true company”, association with the wise, a gathering of persons who talk, listen and assimilate truths.

Sattva – space, clarity, purest of subtle essence, internal being YSP 2.41

Sattvika ahamkara — Egoism composed in the sense of goodness and virtue.

Satya – truthfulness, honesty; 2nd yamas. YSP 2.30, YSP 2.36

Saucha /Shaucha – cleanliness, purity of mind and body; 1st niyamas. YSP 2.32

Sauchat — by cleanliness, purification (of body and mind) YSP 2.40

Saumanasya — high-mindedness, cheerfulness, clarity, pleasantness, goodness, gladness YSP 2.41

Sava – corpse

Savicharaaccompanied by subtle thoughts (sa = with; vichara = subtle thoughts), contemplation with a subtle grasp, correct intuition YSP 1.44

Savitarkaaccompanied with gross thoughts (sa = with; vitarka = gross thoughts), with analytical knowledge, deductive YSP 1.42

Setu   — bridge

Seva — selfless service, performed without attachment; the purpose of Karma Yoga

Shad – six

Shaithilya — by relaxing, loosening, lessening, slackening, effortlessness YSP 2.47

            Shaktai / Shakti — energy, intelligent energy, see parasakti . female creative power; Divine Mother

Shaktyah – Power. YSP 2.6

Shanasanam – instruction, discipline, training. YSP 1.1

Shanti / Shantih – peace

Shesharesidual, subliminal, the remainder, YSP 1.18

Shikshana – learning

Shilam — Having the nature of (what comes before). YSP 2.18.

Shiva / Siva Rejuvenator in the Trinity; Shiva also means ‘Causeless Auspiciousness’; in this sense, Shivaratri, the day when Shiva is worshipped is that moment when the power of this Causeless Auspiciousness is intense.

Shodana – purification

Shraddhaunconditional faith, trust, confidence, sincere belief, certainty, conviction,  YSP 1.20

Shravana — hearing the truth from a sage or reading about it in such works as the Upanishads. See manana, nididhyasana.

Shrishti – sunrise; youth

Shrutatestimony, heard, learned, from tradition, understood, testimony, revelation from a master YSP 1.49

Shuddah / Suddhah / Shuchi  – pure YSP 2.5, YSP 2.20,

Shuddhau / Shuddhi – purification YSP 1.43 YSP 2.41

Shukra – male or female sexual fluids. One of the 7 dhatus. Function is reproduction and production of Ojas – fluid that generates aura and immunity.

Shunya(h) — devoid, without, empty, unoccupied, deserted. YSP 1.9, YSP 1.43

Shvasainhalation, inspiration (implying irregular inhalation), YSP 1.31, YSP 2.49

Siddha – “accomplished”, a sage

Siddhi / Siddhih — Extraordinary powers attained through spiritual practice, attainment, mastery, perfection YSP 2.43. YSP 2.44

Simha — lion

Simha Swapna — nightmare

Sirsa — head

Smritayah – memory, remembering. One of the five manifestations of mind. YSP 1.6, expanded in YSP 1.11

Smriti(h)memory, intentful remembrance, mindfulness, study, remembering YSP 1.11, YSP 1.20, YSP 1.43

Soham – “I am He” – mantra.


Stambha — holding, restraint, suspension, stationary, retention, cessation, transition YSP 2.50

Sthairye — upon being steady in, stability YSP 2.39

Sthira – steadiness and alertness, steady, stable, motionless YSP 2.46

Sthitau — stability, steadiness, stable tranquility, undisturbed calmness, in stability, the establishment. YSP 1.13

Sthitistability, steadiness, stable tranquility, undisturbed calmness, stasis, inertia, static, standing, day, middle age YSP 1.35, YSP 2.18

Styanamental laziness, inefficiency, idleness, procrastination, dullness, inertia, lethargy, mental sluggishness, sloth One of the 9 obstacles to yoga/practice. YSP 1.30

Sukha – happiness, pleasure, pleasant, happy, comfortable, joyous, at ease, SP 1.33, YSP 2.5, YSP 2.7, YSP 2.42

Sukham – lightness and comfort, comfortable, ease filled, YSP 2.46

Sukshma / Sukshmah – smooth, subtle, fine YSP 1.44, 1.45, YSP 2.10, YSP 2.50

Sukshma-vishayahaving subtle for their objects (sukshma = subtle; vishaya = objects) YSP 1.44

Supta – lying down; reclining

Surya – sun; sun god

SuryanadiAnother name for the psychic nerve, Pingala.

Sushupti — the deep-sleep state of consciousness. The ‘sleeper ego’ is called prajna. See jagrat, prajna, svapna, turiya.

Susumma – central energy channel

Sutra — thread; aphorism

Sva – self, of being owned, their own YSP 2.23 YSP 2.54

Sva-anga — one’s own body (sva = one’s; anga = limbs, body) YSP 2.40

Svadhisthana — “Sweetness”. 2nd chakra; lumbar plexus; reproductive glands, orange, Vam. “I Feel; I want”. Polarity, movement, sexuality, pleasure, emotion, water, change.

Svadhyaya / Svadhyayat – self-study; self-reflection, self-study in the context of teachings, remembrance of sacred word or mantra, reflection upon sacred words. 4th niyama. YSP 2.32, YSP 2.44

Svami — of being owner, master, the one who possesses YSP 2.23

Svana   — dog

Svapna / Swapnadream (focusing on the nature of the state of dreaming itself, not the content of dreams), of sleep with dreams, dream, reverie . It is the discipline of dreams, dream-work and dreaming. In this state of consciousness, the dreamer cannot perceive the external universe with the senses. He enjoys another universe of his own creation that contains everything in the physical universe and more. This other universe is created by withdrawing from the physical world and emanating into the self-created one. The universe disappears upon waking. Considered to be similar to the state of consciousness of REM sleep. Contrast – Simha swapna – nightmare; nidra — dreamless sleep YSP 1.38

Sva-rasa-vahi — flowing on its own momentum (sva = own; rasa = inclination, momentum, potency; vahi = flowing) YSP 2.9

Svarupa-shunyadevoid of its own nature (shunya = devoid; svarupa = its own nature), emptiness, lacking YSP 1.43

Svarupe – own form, essence, in its own nature, in its true shape. Sva – self; rupa – form. YSP 1.3, YSP 2.23, YSP 2.54

Svasa — Breath.

Svastha – healthy. (sva = self; stha = established) established in the self (the ego – power of individual identity)

Svatantra – autonomy; self-reliance, freedom

Swami – mystic or yoga; one in control of himself; one’s own master

Swami(n) — Literally, “I am mine”–in the sense of absolute self-mastership. It could be legitimately translated — “He who is one with his Self [Swa].” It is often used in the sense of “lord” or owner as well as a spiritual guide or authority. God Himself is the ultimate Swami. As a matter of respect it is always used in reference to sannyasis, since they have vowed themselves to pursue the knowledge of the Self, or those considered to be of spiritual advancement.


Tad – that YSP 2.21

Tada – a mountain

Tada – then, at that time, at the time of concentration, implies continuation from the previous YSP 1.3

Tad-artha — the purpose for that, to serve as. YSP 2.21

Taijasa  — the individual “dreamer ego” in the dream state of consciousness, svapna. See also visva, prajna

Tajjaharising or producing from that (tad = this, the latter; Jah = born of, engendered by)  YSP 1.50

Tamah – inertia, incomprehension, torpor, unconsciousness. YSP 1.10

Tamas – matter, heaviness, one of the three gunas. See also Gunas

Tamasika ahamkara — Egoism as expressed in ignorance and inertia.

Tamasika Tapas — Extreme austerity of an unnecessary, fearful and dire type; self-torture practised by an ignorant person mistaking it for real Tapas.

Tan — stretch

TandraDrowsiness; half-sleepy state; an obstacle in meditation.

Tanhu – thirst for living

Tantra – to weave

Tantra yoga – path of physicality, embraces the body

Tanu – attenuated, weakened; YSP 2.4

Tanu-karana — minimize, to make fine, attenuate, weaken; YSP 2.2

Tapa — anxiety, anguish, pain, suffering, misery, torment YSP 2.15

Tapah / Tapasah — training the senses, austerities, ascesis. 3rd niyamas. YSP 2.32, YSP 2.43

Tapas – to cook, heat; process of removing impurities; elimination, accepting the purifying aspects of painful experience, purifying action, training the senses YSP 2.1

Tapasya — Austerity, practical (i.e., result-producing) spiritual discipline; spiritual force. Literally it means the generation of heat or energy, but is always used in a symbolic manner, referring to spiritual practice and its effect, especially the roasting of karmic seeds, the burning up of karma.

Tapatraya — Sufferings or afflictions of three kinds, to which mortals are subject — 1) those caused by one’s own body (adhyatmika), 2) those caused by beings around him (adhibhautika), and 3) those caused by devas (adhidaivika).

Tasmin – upon that (refers to item mention previously) YSP 2.49

Tasyaof that, of this one, to one, to such a person (refers back to a previously mentioned item) YSP 2.24, YSP 2.27

Tatits, regarding, of, this latter, of God, that, of his or her.  YSP 1.27, YSP 1.28, YSP 1.32, YSP 1.50, YSP 1.46, YSP 1.51, YSP 2.11, YSP 2.13, YSP 2.22, YSP 2.25, YSP 2.35

Tatahthence, then, from then on, starting from. YSP 1.22, YSP 1.29, YSP 2.48, YSP 2.52, YSP 2.55

Tat-anjanata — taking on the coloring of that, coalescing with, appearing to take the shape of the object, taking on the characteristics YSP 1.41

Tatha – the same way YSP 2.9

Tatra — there, in that case, among these, in that place, at that moment. YSP 1.13, YSP 1.25, YSP 1.42, YSP 1.48

Tat-stha — remaining in it, being stable on them, on which it stays or rests, being firmly set in that (the object). YSP 1.41

Tattvatruth, principle, subject, reality, essential principle, essence of a thing YSP 1.32

Tethey are, these are, these, the aforesaid YSP 1.30, YSP 2.10. YSP 2.14

Tha   — sun

Tittibha   — firefly

Tivra rate is fast, speedy, intense, ardent YSP 1.21

TratakaSteady gazing; the process of fixing the gaze on asmall dot, point, etc. In Hatha Yoga, the Yogi gazes without winking at some minute object until tears flow profusely from his eyes; by this the celestial vision is acquired.

Tri – three

TrikalaAll three time states, past, present and future; see trikalajnani

Trikalajnanione who can see all three elements of time at the same time; an enlightened being beyond time and space

Trikona – a triangle

Tu – and, but, however. YSP 1.14

Turiyastate of samadhi, no mind

Tyaga – abandon, give up. YSP 2.35


Ubhaya – both

Udana – the vital air controlling the intake of food and air

Udana vayu — governs the vocal chords and vocal expression – speaking, singing, laughing, crying. Represents the upward-rising energies in the body. Seated in the throat and head.

Udaranam – fully active, aroused, sustained YSP 2.4

Uddiyana – a fetter or binding involving the raising of the diaphragm

UddiyanaA Hatha Yogic Kriya; it is a Yogic exercise for raising the diaphragm; it starts with a complete exhalation; the muscles of the abdomen are then fully relaxed and pushed well under the ribs.

Ujjayi – victory; breath technique inhaling/exhaling through slightly restricted throat

Umani — literally means no mind or without mind; state of Samadhi; consciousness devoid of finite mind.

Upalabdhi – recognition YSP 2.23

Upanishads – inner or mystic teaching. Literally, to “sit down near”, referencing disciples sitting near their guru to hear these teachings. Over 200 exist and form the core of Hindu teaching, setting forth the fundamental principles of karma, atman, moksa, samsara, Brahman.

Upastha — Genital

Upasthanam — appear, come, approach to him or her, are available, present themselves YSP 2.37

Upavistha — seated

Upayah — the means, way, method YSP 2.26

Upekshanamacceptance, equanimity, indifference, disregard, neutrality YSP 1.33

Urdhva – upward

Ustra   — camel

Ut — intense

Utkata – fierce, powerful

Utpannaarising, appearing, manifesting, produced by YSP 1.35

Uttama — Best

Uttarakriyaasana — ending postures in a sequence

Uttaresham – for the others; YSP 2.4

Utthita — extended


Vaor, or else. YSP 1.23, YSP 1.34, YSP 1.35, YSP 1.36. YSP 1.37, YSP 1.38, YSP 1.39

Vachakahdesignator, signifier, indicator, term, that which signifies, expresses, designates YSP 1.27

Vachyartha — literal meaning.

Vahi – flowing YSP 2.9


Vaira – hostility, enmity, aggression YSP 2.35

Vairagya(m) – drying of passions; detachment, dispassion, renunciation

vairagyabhyam — non-attachment, by desirelessness or dispassion, neutrality or absence of coloring, without attraction or aversion. By the way of non-attachment, non-involvement. YSP 1.12, expanded 1.15, 1.16.

Vaira-tyagah — give up hostilities (vaira = hostility, enmity, aggression; tyaga = abandon, give up) YSP 2.35

VaishamyavasthaA state wherein the equilibrium of the three Gunas is disturbed; a state opposite to Samyavastha which is a state of equilibrium of the three Gunas.

Vaisharadyewith undisturbed flow, in maturity, expert YSP 1.47

Vaisheshika – a darshana that postulates atomic pluralism, and believes that all physical objects in the universe are reducible to a finite number of atoms. Eventually, it merged with Nyaya.

Vaitrshnyamstate of freedom from desire or craving (for the gunas), absence of desire. YSP 1.16

Vajra   — thunderbolt

Vakra – crooked.

Vama – left side

Vana – forest, a forest plant, a dense forest,

Vanaprastha – forest dweller stage of life

Vasana — A bundle or aggregate of similar samskaras. Subtle desire; a tendency created in a person by the doing of an action or by enjoyment; it induces the person to repeat the action or to seek a repetition of the enjoyment; the subtle impression in the mind capable of developing itself into action; it is the cause of birth and experience in general; the impression of actions that remains unconsciously in the mind. the subtle essence of memories and desires, samskara, that get carried forward from birth to birth

Vashikara(h)supreme, mastery, total control, submission to the will YSP 1.15, YSP 1.40

Vashyata — mastery, control, being willed YSP 2.55

Vasistha – sage

Vastu – a reality, real object, existent, of substance, of matter. YSP 1.9

Vata – biological air humour

Vayu – God of wind; also, vital wind; prana (incoming breath), apana (outgoing breath) vyana (retained breath), undana (ascending breath), samana (equalizing breath) and 5 auxiliary vayusnaga, kurma, krkara, devadatta and dhananjaya. Each governs crucial bodily functions.

Veda / Vedas – a large body of Indian texts which constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. the sacred scriptures of the Hindus. Literally “knowledge”; refers to ancient Hindu scriptures, believed to have been received by enlightened rishi at the being level; also called sruti, along with Upanishad. Largely divided into four — Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, Artharvaveda

Vedaniyah – to be experienced YSP 2.12

Vedanta – one of the darshanas that draws on Vedic hymns and philosophy and focuses on meditation, self-discipline, and spiritual connectivity over ritualistic injunctions. Most significant contribution is the idea that Self-consciousness is continuous with Universal Consciousness.

Vicchinna — distanced, separated, cut off, intercepted, alternated; YSP 2.4

Vichara — subtle thought, concerning the subtle, intuitive grasp, reflection, YSP 1.17, YSP 1.44

Vichchhedah — slowing, softening or braking of the force behind YSP 2.49

Videhabodiless, disembodied, without a body, disincarnate YSP 1.19

Vidharanabhyamexpansion or regulation, control, holding the breath, apnea YSP 1.34

Vidushah – in the wise or learned person YSP 2.9

Vidya – correct understanding, science

Vijnanamaya – Literally, “the body sheath made of wisdom, which is an illusion” (vijnana = wisdom; maya = illusion; kosha = body sheath). It is made of transcendent thoughts and is accessed through meditation, reflection, and is properly nourished through good company, spiritual literature, and selfless service to others (seva).

Vijnanamayakosha – Higher mental layer of the human being. Related to deep mental patterns, collective consciousness, and personal karmic structures.

Vikalpa – imagination, verbal misconception, oscillation of the mind or delusion, fantasy, hallucination, illusion, ideation. One of the five manifestations of mind. YSP 1.6, expanded in YSP 1.9, with options, imagination, ideation, representation, mental constructions YSP 1.42

VikaraModification or change, generally with reference to the modification of the mind, individually or cosmically.

Vikshepadistractions, cause of dispersion, YSP 1.31

VimarshaDissatisfaction, displeasure; impatience.



VinayaHumility or sense of propriety; manners; education; mental culture and refinement.


Vinyasa – flow

Vinyasa krama – correctly organized asanas progressing towards desired goal

Vipaka / Vipakahfruits of, maturing, ripening, results, ripening, fruition, maturation YSP 1.24, YSP 2.13

ViparitaContrary; perverted.

Viparita – inversion

Viparyaya – Unreal cognition, indiscrimination, misconception, wrong knowledge, incorrect knowing, not seeing clearly, error. One of the five manifestations of mind YSP 1.6, expanded at YSP 1.8.

Vira — hero

Virama — cessation, stopping, receding, concerning the cessation, renouncing YSP 1.18

Virodhat — because of reasoning the contradictory YSP 2.15

Viryaenergy, vigour, vitality, strength of will, courage YSP 1.20, YSP 2.38

Visaya / Vishaya — object perceived, objects of experience, impressions, objects, subjects, matters of experience, objects of the senses, region, spheres, realms, fields   YSP 1.11, YSP 1.15, YSP 1.37, YSP 1.44, YSP 1.48, YSP 2.51, YSP 2.54

Vishayanamregarding those subjects, in relation to those objects YSP 1.33, YSP 1.45

Vishayavatiof the sensing experience, highly objective perception YSP 1.35

Visheshadifferentiation, distinction, difference, extraordinary, YSP 1.22, specificity, particularity with a sense of superiority YSP 1.49, diversified, particularized, having differences; YSP 2.19

Vishesha-arthatvatrelating to particular objects, purpose, or significance (Vishesha = specificity, particularity with a sense of superiority; Arthatvat = from its ability to grasp the very nature of, intrinsic reality YSP 1.49

VishnuPreserver in the Trinity; His incarnations include Krishna, Rama etc.; also means ‘all encompassing’

Vishokastate free from pain, grief, sorrow, or suffering, serenity, absence of pain YSP 1.36

VishwarupaUniversal Form

VismritiLoss of memory; forgetfulness.


Visuddha – “purification”. Throat chakra. Colour — bright blue. “I Speak”. Sound, vibration, communication, creativity.

Visva – universal

Vita – without YSP 1.37

Vita-raga — Whose passions are appeased  (vita= without, devoid of;  raja= attachment, desires, attraction)  YSP 1.37

Vitarka — gross thought or reasoning, of reasoning YSP 1.17, YSP 1.42, YSP 1.43, YSP 2.33, YSP 2.34,

Vitrishnasyaof one who is free from desire or craving, of the absence of desire YSP 1.15

Viveka – discriminative, discernment YSP 2.26

Viveka – khayatih — discriminative knowledge (viveka = discriminative, discernment; khyatih = knowledge, correct cognition, clarity, awareness YSP 2.26, YSP 2.28

Vivekinah – to one who discriminates, discerns YSP 2.15

Vratam – vow YSP 2.31

VrittijnanaSecular science; knowledge obtained through the mind; experience of the world.

Vrksa — tree

Vrschika — scorpion

Vrtti / Vritti /Vrittih /Vrittayah – (mental) activities, dynamic, operations, activities, fluctuations, modifications, changes, or various forms of the mind-field YSP 1.2. implies unwanted mental (activity) YSP 1.4, YSP 1.10YSP 1.5, YSP 2.11, YSP 2.15, YSP 2.50

Vyadhidisease of the body, illness, sickness, upset, any functional disorder. One of the 9 obstacles to yoga/practice.  YSP 1.30

Vyadhikshamatva – (lit. forgiveness of disease). Immunity. Health remains only so long as we forgive our stresses, shrug off adversity and adapt to new situations.

Vyakhyataexplained, described, defined, YSP 1.44

VyanaOne of the five functions of Prana, i.e., circulation of blood; one of the five vital forces that pervades the whole body.

Vyana vayu — governs the movement of the musculature, also the circulation of energy in the limbs and extremities. Seated throughout the entire body.


Yama — The Hindu god of Justice and Death; death

Yamas –codes of restraint, abstinences, self-regulations. The first of the eight means of attaining yoga. Yamas are universal moral self-control or ethical disciplines transcending creeds, countries, age and time. YSP 2.29, YSP 2.30

Yantra – “tool for change”, geometric meditation device

Yathaas, according to, conforming with,  YSP 1.39

Yatnah — effort, persistent exertion, sustained struggle, endeavour, and tenacious effort YSP 1.13

Yoga – union, integration, absorption into samadhi. Also, a school of darshana, characterized by emphasis on practice and reflection. YSP 1.1, also YSP 1.2

Yoga Drishthi – the yogic view; perception according to the yogic way of understanding

Yoga marga – the yogic path

Yoga Vidya – science of yoga; yogic knowledge

Yoga-anga – rungs of yoga (yoga = yoga; anga = rungs, limbs, accessories, components, steps, parts, members, constituents) YSP 2.28

YogamudraThe symbol of Yoga. The word Mudra means ‘symbol’. This exercise awakens the spiritual forces dormant in man. It is especially useful in liberating the serpent power called Kundalini.

YoganidraA state of half-contemplation and half-sleep; light Yogic sleep when the individual retains slight awareness; state between sleep and wakefulness, particularly the sleep of Vishnu at the end of a Kalpa.

Yogarudha – one who has attained or is established in the state of yoga.

Yogi / yogin – someone adept at yoga; One in possession of yoga. Follower of the path of yoga. (f) yogini

YogigamyaAttainable only by a Yogi.

Yogyata — fitness, preparedness, qualification, capability YSP 2.53

Yogyatvani — to be fit for, qualified for YSP 2.41

YojanaA measure of distance said to be equivalent to 8 or10 miles.

YoniSource; womb.

YonimudraThat mudra in which one closes the ears, eyes, nose and mouth with the thumbs and fingers of the hands to enable one hear the Anahata sounds.

Yuga – age, era


2 responses »

  1. Thank you for the Information.

  2. Michel (Maitraya)

    Thank you for having given access to your work it has saved me some fumbling and helped a lot in understanding postures and finer elements of our search, plus it also gives an insight in your studies.
    OM shanti


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