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200KeySanskritYogaTerms

Discerningdharmafromkharmaorbhaktifromshaktiisanimportantlessonforallyoga
studentswhetheryouareabeginneroralongtimeyogi.
ByGeorgFeuerstein
Excerptedwithpermissionfromtheauthor:www.traditionalyogastudies.com.Copyright1999byGeorgFeuerstein
a
Abhyasa:practice;cf.vairagya
Acarya(sometimesspelledAcharyainEnglish):apreceptor,instructor;cf.guru
Advaita("nonduality"):thetruthandteachingthatthereisonlyOneReality(Atman,
Brahman),especiallyasfoundintheUpanishads;seealsoVedanta
Ahamkara("Imaker"):theindividuationprinciple,orego,whichmustbetranscended;cf.
asmita;seealsobuddhi,manas
Ahimsa("nonharming"):thesinglemostimportantmoraldiscipline(yama)
Akasha("ether/space"):thefirstofthefivematerialelementsofwhichthephysical
universeiscomposed;alsousedtodesignate"inner"space,thatis,thespaceof
consciousness(calledcidakasha)
Amrita("immortal/immortality"):adesignationofthedeathlessSpirit(atman,purusha);
alsothenectarofimmortalitythatoozesfromthepsychoenergeticcenteratthecrownof
thehead(seesahasraracakra)whenitisactivatedandtransformsthebodyintoa"divine
body"(divyadeha)
Ananda("bliss"):theconditionofutterjoy,whichisanessentialqualityoftheultimate
Reality(tattva)
Anga("limb"):afundamentalcategoryoftheyogicpath,suchasasana,dharana,dhyana,
niyama,pranayama,pratyahara,samadhi,yama;alsothebody(deha,sharira)
Arjuna("White"):oneofthefivePandavaprinceswhofoughtinthegreatwardepictedin
theMahabharata,discipleoftheGodmanKrishnawhoseteachingscanbefoundinthe
BhagavadGita
Asana("seat"):aphysicalposture(seealsoanga,mudra);thethirdlimb(anga)ofPatanjali's
eightfoldpath(asthaangayoga);originallythismeantonlymeditationposture,but
subsequently,inhathayoga,thisaspectoftheyogicpathwasgreatlydeveloped
Ashrama("thatwhereeffortismade"):ahermitage;alsoastageoflife,suchas
brahmacharya,householder,forestdweller,andcompleterenouncer(samnyasin)
Ashtaangayoga,ashtangayoga("eightlimbedunion"):theeightfoldyogaofPatanjali,
consistingofmoraldiscipline(yama),selfrestraint(niyama),posture(asana),breath
control(pranayama),sensoryinhibition(pratyahara),concentration(dharana),meditation
(dhyana),andecstasy(samadhi),leadingtoliberation(kaivalya)
Asmita("Iamness"):aconceptofPatanjali'seightlimbedyoga,roughlysynonymouswith
ahamkara
Atman("self"):thetranscendentalSelf,orSpirit,whichiseternalandsuperconscious;our
truenatureoridentity;sometimesadistinctionismadebetweentheatmanasthe
individualselfandtheparamaatmanasthetranscendentalSelf;seealsopurusha;cf.
brahman
Avadhuta("hewhohasshed[everything]"):aradicaltypeofrenouncer(samnyasin)who
oftenengagesinunconventionalbehavior
Avidya("ignorance"):therootcauseofsuffering(duhkha);alsocalledajnana;cf.vidya
Ayurveda,Ayurveda("lifescience"):oneofIndia'straditionalsystemsofmedicine,the
otherbeingSouthIndia'sSiddhamedicine
b
Bandha("bond/bondage"):thefactthathumanbeingsaretypicallyboundbyignorance
(avidya),whichcausesthemtoleadalifegovernedbykarmichabitratherthaninner
freedomgeneratedthroughwisdom(vidya,jnana)
BhagavadGita("Lord'sSong"):theoldestfullfledgedyogabookfoundembeddedinthe
Mahabharataandcontainingtheteachingsonkarmayoga(thepathofselftranscending
action),samkhyayoga(thepathofdiscerningtheprinciplesofexistencecorrectly),and
bhaktiyoga(thepathofdevotion),asgivenbytheGodmanKrishnatoPrinceArjunaonthe
battlefield3,500yearsormoreago
BhagavataPurana("Ancient[Tradition]oftheBhagavatas"):avoluminoustenthcentury
scriptureheldsacredbythedevoteesoftheDivineintheformofVishnu,especiallyinhis
incarnateformasKrishna;alsocalledShrimadBhagavata
Bhakta("devotee"):adisciplepracticingbhaktiyoga
Bhakti("devotion/love"):theloveofthebhaktatowardtheDivineortheguruasa
manifestationoftheDivine;alsotheloveoftheDivinetowardthedevotee
BhaktiSutra("AphorismsonDevotion"):anaphoristicworkondevotionalyogaauthoredby
SageNarada;anothertextbythesametitleisascribedtoSageShandilya
BhaktiYoga("Yogaofdevotion"):amajorbranchoftheyogatradition,utilizingthefeeling
capacitytoconnectwiththeultimateRealityconceivedasasupremePerson(uttama
purusha)
Bindu("seed/point"):thecreativepotencyofanythingwhereallenergiesarefocused;the
dot(alsocalledtilaka)wornontheforeheadasindicativeofthethirdeye
Bodhi("enlightenment"):thestateoftheawakenedmaster,orbuddha
Bodhisattva("enlightenmentbeing"):inMahayanaBuddhistyoga,theindividualwho,
motivatedbycompassion(karuna),iscommittedtoachievingenlightenmentforthesakeof
allotherbeings
Brahma("hewhohasgrownexpansive"):theCreatoroftheuniverse,thefirstprinciple
(tattva)toemergeoutoftheultimateReality(brahman)
Brahmacharya(frombrahmaandacarya"brahmicconduct"):thedisciplineofchastity,
whichproducesojas
Brahman("thatwhichhasgrownexpansive"):theultimateReality(cf.atman,purusha)
Brahmana:abrahmin,amemberofthehighestsocialclassoftraditionalIndiansociety;also
anearlytypeofritualtextexplicatingtheritualsandmythologyofthefourVedas;cf.
Aranyaka,Upanishad,Veda
Buddha("awakened"):adesignationofthepersonwhohasattainedenlightenment(bodhi)
andthereforeinnerfreedom;honorifictitleofGautama,thefounderofBuddhism,who
livedinthesixthcenturyB.C.E.
Buddhi("shewhoisconscious,awake"):thehighermind,whichistheseatofwisdom
(vidya,jnana);cf.manas
c
CakraorChakra("wheel"):literally,thewheelofawagon;metaphorically,oneofthe
psychoenergeticcentersofthesubtlebody(sukshmasharira);inBuddhistyoga,fivesuch
centersareknown,whileinHinduyogaoftensevenormoresuchcentersarementioned:
mulaadharacakra(muladharacakra)atthebaseofthespine,svadhishthanacakraatthe
genitals,manipuracakraatthenavel,anahatacakraattheheart,vishuddhacakraor
vishuddhicakraatthethroat,ajnacakrainthemiddleofthehead,andsahasraracakraat
thetopofthehead
Cinmudra("consciousnessseal"):acommonhandgesture(mudra)inmeditation(dhyana),
whichisformedbybringingthetipsoftheindexfingerandthethumbtogether,whilethe
remainingfingersarekeptstraight
Cit("consciousness"):thesuperconsciousultimateReality(seeatman,brahman)
Citta("thatwhichisconscious"):ordinaryconsciousness,themind,asopposedtocit
d
Darshana("seeing"):visionintheliteralandmetaphoricalsense;asystemofphilosophy,
suchastheyogadarshanaofPatanjali;cf.drishti
Deva("hewhoisshining"):amaledeity,suchasShiva,Vishnu,orKrishna,eitherinthe
senseoftheultimateRealityorahighangelicbeing
Devi("shewhoisshining"):afemaledeitysuchasParvati,Lakshmi,orRadha,eitherinthe
senseoftheultimateReality(initsfemininepole)orahighangelicbeing
Dharana("holding"):concentration,thesixthlimb(anga)ofPatanjali'seightlimbedyoga
Dharma("bearer"):atermofnumerousmeanings;oftenusedinthesenseof"law,"
"lawfulness,""virtue,""righteousness,""norm"
Dhyana("ideating"):meditation,theseventhlimb(anga)ofPatanjali'seightlimbedyoga
Diksha("initiation"):theactandconditionofinductionintothehiddenaspectsofyogaora
particularlineageofteachers;alltraditionalyogaisinitiatory
Drishti("view/sight"):yogicgazing,suchasatthetipofthenoseorthespotbetweenthe
eyebrows;cf.darshana
Duhkha("badaxlespace"):suffering,afundamentalfactoflife,causedbyignorance
(avidya)ofourtruenature(i.e.,theSelforatman)
g
Gayatrimantra:afamousVedicmantrarecitedparticularlyatsunrise:tatsaviturvarenyam
bhargodevasyadhimahidhiyoyonahpracodayat,"
GherandaSamhita("[Sage]Gheranda'sCompendium"):oneofthreemajormanualsof
classicalhathayoga,composedintheseventeenthcentury;cf.HathaYogaPradipika,Shiva
Samhita
Goraksha("CowProtector"):traditionallysaidtobethefoundingadeptofhathayoga,a
discipleofMatsyendra
Granthi("knot"):anyoneofthreecommonblockagesinthecentralpathway(sushumna
nadi)preventingthefullascentoftheserpentpower(kundalinishakti);thethreeknotsare
knownasbrahmagranthi(atthelowestpsychoenergeticcenterofthesubtlebody),the
vishnugranthi(attheheart),andtherudragranthi(attheeyebrowcenter)
Guna("quality"):atermthathasnumerousmeanings,including"virtue";oftenreferstoany
ofthethreeprimary"qualities"orconstituentsofnature(prakriti):tamas(theprincipleof
inertia),rajas(thedynamicprinciple),andsattva(theprincipleoflucidity)
Guru("hewhoisheavy,weighty"):aspiritualteacher;cf.acarya
Gurubhakti("teacherdevotion"):adisciple'sselftranscendingdevotiontotheguru;see
alsobhakti
GuruGita("Guru'sSong"):atextinpraiseoftheguru,oftenchantedinashramas
GuruYoga("Yoga[relatingto]theteacher"):ayogicapproachthatmakestheguruthe
fulcrumofadisciple'spractice;alltraditionalformsofyogacontainastrongelementof
guruyoga
h
Hamsa("swan/gander"):apartfromtheliteralmeaning,thistermalsoreferstothebreath
(prana)asitmoveswithinthebody;theindividuatedconsciousness(jiva)propelledbythe
breath;seejivaatman;seealsoparamahamsa
HathaYoga("ForcefulYoga"):amajorbranchofyoga,developedbyGorakshaandother
adeptsc.1000C.E.,andemphasizingthephysicalaspectsofthetransformativepath,
notablypostures(asana)andcleansingtechniques(shodhana),butalsobreathcontrol
(pranayama)
HathaYogaPradipika("LightonHathaYoga"):oneofthreeclassicalmanualsonhatha
yoga,authoredbySvatmaramaYogendrainthefourteenthcentury
Hiranyagarbha("GoldenGerm"):themythicalfounderofyoga;thefirstcosmological
principle(tattva)toemergeoutoftheinfiniteReality;alsocalledBrahma
i
Idanadi("paleconduit"):thepranacurrentorarcascendingontheleftsideofthecentral
channel(sushumnanadi)associatedwiththeparasympatheticnervoussystemandhavinga
coolingorcalmingeffectonthemindwhenactivated;cf.pingalanadi
Ishvara("ruler"):theLord;referringeithertotheCreator(seeBrahma)or,inPatanjali's
yogadarshana,toaspecialtranscendentalSelf(purusha)
Ishvarapranidhana("dedicationtotheLord"):inPatanjali'seightlimbedyogaoneofthe
practicesofselfrestraint(niyama);seealsobhaktiyoga
j
Jaina(sometimesJain):pertainingtothejinas("conquerors"),theliberatedadeptsof
Jainism;amemberofJainism,thespiritualtraditionfoundedbyVardhamanaMahavira,a
contemporaryofGautamatheBuddha
Japa("muttering"):therecitationofmantras
Jivaatman,jivatman("individualself"):theindividuatedconsciousness,asopposedtothe
ultimateSelf(paramaatman)
Jivanmukta("hewhoisliberatedwhilealive"):anadeptwho,whilestillembodied,has
attainedliberation(moksha)
Jivanmukti("livingliberation"):thestateofliberationwhilebeingembodied;cf.videha
mukti
Jnana("knowledge/wisdom"):bothworldlyknowledgeorworldtranscendingwisdom,
dependingonthecontext;seealsoprajna;cf.avidya
JnanaYoga("Yogaofwisdom"):thepathtoliberationbasedonwisdom,orthedirect
intuitionofthetranscendentalSelf(atman)throughthesteadyapplicationofdiscernment
betweentheRealandtheunrealandrenunciationofwhathasbeenidentifiedasunreal(or
inconsequentialtotheachievementofliberation)
k
Kaivalya("isolation"):thestateofabsolutefreedomfromconditionedexistence,as
explainedinashtaangayoga;inthenondualistic(advaita)traditionsofIndia,thisisusually
calledmokshaormukti(meaning"release"fromthefettersofignorance,oravidya)
Kali:aGoddessembodyingthefierce(dissolving)aspectoftheDivine
Kaliyuga:thedarkageofspiritualandmoraldecline,saidtobecurrentnow;kalidoesnot
refertotheGoddessKalibuttothelosingthrowofadie
Kama("desire"):theappetiteforsensualpleasureblockingthepathtotruebliss(ananda);
theonlydesireconducivetofreedomistheimpulsetowardliberation,calledmumukshutva
Kapila("Hewhoisred"):agreatsage,thequasimythicalfounderoftheSamkhyatradition,
whoissaidtohavecomposedtheSamkhyaSutra(which,however,appearstobeofamuch
laterdate)
Karman,karma("action"):activityofanykind,includingritualacts;saidtobebindingonly
solongasengagedinaselfcenteredway;the"karmic"consequenceofone'sactions;
destiny
KarmaYoga("Yogaofaction"):theliberatingpathofselftranscendingaction
Karuna("compassion"):universalsympathy;inBuddhistyogathecomplementofwisdom
(prajna)
Khecarimudra("spacewalkingseal"):theTantricpracticeofcurlingthetongueback
againsttheupperpalateinordertosealthelifeenergy(prana);seealsomudra
Kosha("casing"):anyoneoffive"envelopes"surroundingthetranscendentalSelf(atman)
andthusblockingitslight:annamayakosha("envelopemadeoffood,"thephysicalbody),
pranamayakosha("envelopemadeoflifeforce"),manomayakosha("envelopemadeof
mind"),vijnanamayakosha("envelopemadeofconsciousness"),andanandamayakosha
("envelopemadeofbliss");someoldertraditionsregardthelastkoshaasidenticalwiththe
Self(atman)
Krishna("Puller"):anincarnationofGodVishnu,theGodmanwhoseteachingscanbe
foundintheBhagavadGitaandtheBhagavataPurana
Kumbhaka("potlike"):breathretention;cf.puraka,recaka
Kundalinishakti("coiledpower"):accordingtoTantraandhathayoga,theserpentpower
orspiritualenergy,whichexistsinpotentialformatthelowestpsychoenergeticcenterof
thebody(i.e.,themulaadharacakra)andwhichmustbeawakenedandguidedtothe
centeratthecrown(i.e.,thesahasraracakra)forfullenlightenmenttooccur
KundaliniYoga:theyogicpathfocusingonthekundaliniprocessasameansofliberation
l
LayaYoga("Yogaofdissolution"):anadvancedformorprocessofTantricyogabywhichthe
energiesassociatedwiththevariouspsychoenergeticcenters(cakra)ofthesubtlebodyare
graduallydissolvedthroughtheascentoftheserpentpower(kundalinishakti)
Linga("mark"):thephallusasaprincipleofcreativity;asymbolofGodShiva;cf.yoni
m
Mahabharata("GreatBharata"):oneofIndia'stwogreatancientepicstellingofthegreat
warbetweenthePandavasandtheKauravasandservingasarepositoryformanyspiritual
andmoralteachings
Mahatma(frommahaatman,"greatself"):anhonorifictitle(meaningsomethinglike"a
greatsoul")bestowedonparticularlymeritoriousindividuals,suchasGandhi
Maithuna("twinning"):theTantricsexualritualinwhichtheparticipantsvieweachotheras
ShivaandShaktirespectively
Manas("mind"):thelowermind,whichisboundtothesensesandyieldsinformation
(vijnana)ratherthanwisdom(jnana,vidya);cf.buddhi
Mandala("circle"):acirculardesignsymbolizingthecosmosandspecifictoadeity
Mantra(fromtheverbalrootman"tothink"):asacredsoundorphrase,suchasom,hum,
oromnamahshivaya,thathasatransformativeeffectonthemindoftheindividualreciting
it;tobeultimatelyeffective,amantraneedstobegiveninaninitiatorycontext(diksha)
MantraYoga:theyogicpathutilizingmantrasastheprimarymeansofliberation
Marman("lethal[spot]"):inAyurvedaandyoga,avitalspotonthephysicalbodywhere
energyisconcentratedorblocked;cf.granthi
Matsyendra("LordofFish"):anearlyTantricmasterwhofoundedtheYoginiKaulaschool
andisrememberedasateacherofGoraksha
Maya("shewhomeasures"):thedeludingorillusivepoweroftheworld;illusionbywhich
theworldisseenasseparatefromtheultimatesingularReality(atman)
Moksha("release"):theconditionoffreedomfromignorance(avidya)andthebinding
effectofkarma;alsocalledmukti,kaivalya
Mudra("seal"):ahandgesture(suchascinmudra)orwholebodygesture(suchasviparita
karanimudra);alsoadesignationofthefemininepartnerintheTantricsexualritual
Muni("hewhoissilent"):asage
n
Nada("sound"):theinnersound,asitcanbeheardthroughthepracticeofnadayogaor
kundaliniyoga
NadaYoga("Yogaofthe[inner]sound"):theyogaorprocessofproducingandintently
listeningtotheinnersoundasameansofconcentrationandecstaticselftranscendence
Nadi("conduit"):oneof72,000ormoresubtlechannelsalongorthroughwhichthelife
force(prana)circulates,ofwhichthethreemostimportantonesaretheidanadi,pingala
nadi,andsushumnanadi
Nadishodhana("channelcleansing"):thepracticeofpurifyingtheconduits,especiallyby
meansofbreathcontrol(pranayama)
Narada:agreatsageassociatedwithmusic,whotaughtbhaktiyogaandisattributedwith
theauthorshipofoneoftwoBhaktiSutras
Natha("lord"):appellationofmanyNorthIndianmastersofyoga,inparticularadeptsofthe
Kanphata("Splitear")schoolallegedlyfoundedbyGoraksha
Netineti("notthus,notthus"):anUpanishadicexpressionmeanttoconveythatthe
ultimateRealityisneitherthisnorthat,thatis,isbeyondalldescription
Nirodha("restriction"):inPatanjali'seightlimbedyoga,theverybasisoftheprocessof
concentration,meditation,andecstasy;inthefirstinstance,therestrictionofthe"whirlsof
themind"(cittavritti)
Niyama("[self]restraint"):thesecondlimbofPatanjali'seightfoldpath,whichconsistsof
purity(saucha),contentment(samtosha),austerity(tapas),study(svadhyaya),and
dedicationtotheLord(ishvarapranidhana)
Nyasa("placing"):theTantricpracticeofinfusingvariousbodypartswithlifeforce(prana)
bytouchingorthinkingoftherespectivephysicalarea
o
Ojas("vitality"):thesubtleenergyproducedthroughpractice,especiallythedisciplineof
chastity(brahmacharya)
Om:theoriginalmantrasymbolizingtheultimateReality,whichisprefixedtomanymantric
utterances
p
Paramaatmanorparamatman("supremeself"):thetranscendentalSelf,whichissingular,
asopposedtotheindividuatedself(jivaatman)thatexistsincountlessnumbersintheform
oflivingbeings
Paramahamsa,paramahansa("supremeswan"):anhonorifictitlegiventogreatadepts,
suchasRamakrishnaandYogananda
Patanjali:compileroftheYogaSutra,wholivedc.150C.E.
Pingalanadi("reddishconduit"):thepranacurrentorarcascendingontherightsideofthe
centralchannel(sushumnanadi)andassociatedwiththesympatheticnervoussystemand
havinganenergizingeffectonthemindwhenactivated;cf.idanadi
Prajna("wisdom"):theoppositeofspiritualignorance(ajnana,avidya);oneoftwomeans
ofliberationinBuddhistyoga,theotherbeingskillfulmeans(upaya),i.e.,compassion
(karuna)
Prakriti("creatrix"):nature,whichismultileveland,accordingtoPatanjali'syogadarshana,
consistsofaneternaldimension(calledpradhanaor"foundation"),levelsofsubtle
existence(calledsukshmaparvan),andthephysicalorcoarserealm(calledsthulaparvan);
allofnatureisdeemedunconscious(acit),andthereforeitisviewedasbeinginopposition
tothetranscendentalSelforSpirit(purusha)
Prakritilaya("mergingintoNature"):ahighlevelstateofexistencethatfallsshortofactual
liberation(kaivalya);thebeingwhohasattainedthatstate
Prana("life/breath"):lifeingeneral;thelifeforcesustainingthebody;thebreathasan
externalmanifestationofthesubtlelifeforce
Pranayama(frompranaandayama,"life/breathextension"):breathcontrol,thefourth
limb(anga)ofPatanjali'seigthfoldpath,consistingofconsciousinhalation(puraka),
retention(kumbhaka),andexhalation(recaka);atanadvancedstate,breathretention
occursspontaneouslyforlongerperiodsoftime
Prasada("grace/clarity"):divinegrace;mentalclarity
Pratyahara("withdrawal"):sensoryinhibition,thefifthlimb(anga)ofPatanjali'seightfold
path
Puja("worship"):ritualworship,whichisanimportantaspectofmanyformsofyoga,
notablybhaktiyogaandTantra
Puraka("fillingin"):inhalation,anaspectofbreathcontrol(pranayama)
Purana("Ancient[History]"):atypeofpopularencyclopediadealingwithroyalgenealogy,
cosmology,philosophy,andritual;thereareeighteenmajorandmanymoreminorworksof
thisnature
Purusha("male"):thetranscendentalSelf(atman)orSpirit,adesignationthatismostly
usedinSamkhyaandPatanjali'syogadarshana
r
Radha:theGodmanKrishna'sspouse;anameofthedivineMother
RajaYoga("RoyalYoga"):alatemedievaldesignationofPatanjali'seightfoldyoga
darshana,alsoknownasclassicalyoga
Rama:anincarnationofGodVishnuprecedingKrishna;theprincipalherooftheRamayana
Ramayana("Rama'slife"):oneofIndia'stwogreatnationalepicstellingthestoryofRama;
cf.Mahabharata
Recaka("expulsion"):exhalation,anaspectofbreathcontrol(pranayama)
RigVeda;seeVeda
Rishi("seer"):acategoryofVedicsage;anhonorifictitleofcertainveneratedmasters,such
astheSouthIndiansageRamana,whoisknownasmaharshi(frommahameaning"great"
andrishi);cf.muni
s
Sadhana("accomplishing"):spiritualdisciplineleadingtosiddhi("perfection"or
"accomplishment");thetermisspecificallyusedinTantra
Sahaja("togetherborn"):amedievaltermdenotingthefactthatthetranscendentalReality
andtheempiricalrealityarenottrulyseparatebutcoexist,orwiththelatterbeingan
aspectormisperceptionoftheformer;oftenrenderedas"spontaneous"or"spontaneity";
thesahajastateisthenaturalcondition,thatis,enlightenmentorrealization
Samadhi("puttingtogether"):theecstaticorunitivestateinwhichthemeditatorbecomes
onewiththeobjectofmeditation,theeighthandfinallimb(anga)ofPatanjali'seightfold
path;therearemanytypesofsamadhi,themostsignificantdistinctionbeingbetween
samprajnata(conscious)andasamprajnata(supraconscious)ecstasy;onlythelatterleads
tothedissolutionofthekarmicfactorsdeepwithinthemind;beyondbothtypesofecstasy
isenlightenment,whichisalsosometimescalledsahajasamadhiortheconditionof
"natural"or"spontaneous"ecstasy,wherethereisperfectcontinuityofsuperconscious
throughoutwaking,dreaming,andsleeping
Samatvaorsamata("evenness"):thementalconditionofharmony,balance
Samkhya("Number"):oneofthemaintraditionsofHinduism,whichisconcernedwiththe
classificationoftheprinciples(tattva)ofexistenceandtheirproperdiscernmentinorderto
distinguishbetweenSpirit(purusha)andthevariousaspectsofNature(prakriti);this
influentialsystemgrewoutoftheancient(preBuddhist)SamkhyaYogatraditionandwas
codifiedintheSamkhyaKarikaofIshvaraKrishna(c.350C.E.)
Samnyasa("castingoff"):thestateofrenunciation,whichisthefourthandfinalstageoflife
(seeashrama)andconsistingprimarilyinaninnerturningawayfromwhatisunderstoodto
befiniteandsecondarilyinanexternallettinggooffinitethings;cf.vairagya
Samnyasin("hewhohascastoff"):arenouncer
Samprajnatasamadhi;seesamadhi
Samsara("confluence"):thefiniteworldofchange,asopposedtotheultimateReality
(brahmanornirvana)
Samskara("activator"):thesubconsciousimpressionleftbehindbyeachactofvolition,
which,inturn,leadstorenewedpsychomentalactivity;thecountlesssamskarashiddenin
thedepthofthemindareultimatelyeliminatedonlyinasamprajnatasamadhi(see
samadhi)
Samyama("constraint"):thecombinedpracticeofconcentration(dharana),meditation
(dhyana),andecstasy(samadhi)inregardtothesameobject
Sat("being/reality/truth"):theultimateReality(atmanorbrahman)
Satsanga("truecompany/companyofTruth"):thepracticeoffrequentingthegood
companyofsaints,sages,Selfrealizedadepts,andtheirdisciples,inwhosecompanythe
ultimateRealitycanbefeltmorepalpably
Satya("truth/truthfulness"):truth,adesignationoftheultimateReality;alsothepracticeof
truthfulness,whichisanaspectofmoraldiscipline(yama)
Shakti("power"):theultimateRealityinitsfeminineaspect,orthepowerpoleofthe
Divine;seealsokundalinishakti
Shaktipata("descentofpower"):theprocessofinitiation,orspiritualbaptism,bymeansof
thebenigntransmissionofanadvancedorevenenlightenedadept(siddha),whichawakens
theshaktiwithinadisciple,therebyinitiatingorenhancingtheprocessofliberation
Shankara("Hewhoisbenevolent"):theeighthcenturyadeptwhowasthegreatest
proponentofnondualism(AdvaitaVedanta)andwhosephilosophicalschoolwasprobably
responsibleforthedeclineofBuddhisminIndia
Shishya("student/disciple"):theinitiateddiscipleofaguru
Shiva("Hewhoisbenign"):theDivine;adeitythathasservedyoginsasanarchetypal
modelthroughouttheages
ShivaSutra("Shiva'sAphorisms"):liketheYogaSutraofPatanjali,aclassicalworkonyoga,
astaughtintheShaivismofKashmir;authoredbyVasugupta(ninthcenturyC.E.)
Shodhana("cleansing/purification"):afundamentalaspectofallyogicpaths;acategoryof
purificationpracticesinhathayoga
Shraddha("faith"):anessentialdispositionontheyogicpath,whichmustbedistinguished
frommerebelief
Shuddhi("purification/purity"):thestateofpurity;asynonymofshodhana
Siddha("accomplished"):anadept,oftenofTantra;iffullySelfrealized,thedesignation
mahasiddhaor"greatadept"isoftenused
SiddhaYoga("Yogaoftheadepts"):adesignationappliedespeciallytotheyogaofKashmiri
Shaivism,astaughtbySwamiMuktananda(twentiethcentury)
Siddhi("accomplishment/perfection"):spiritualperfection,theattainmentofflawless
identitywiththeultimateReality(atmanorbrahman);paranormalability,ofwhichtheyoga
traditionknowsmanykinds
Spanda("vibration"):akeyconceptofKashmir'sShaivismaccordingtowhichtheultimate
Realityitself"quivers,"thatis,isinherentlycreativeratherthanstatic(asconceivedin
AdvaitaVedanta)
Sushumnanadi("verygraciouschannel"):thecentralpranacurrentorarcinoralongwhich
theserpentpower(kundalinishakti)mustascendtowardthepsychoenergeticcenter
(cakra)atthecrownoftheheadinordertoattainliberation(moksha)
Sutra("thread"):anaphoristicstatement;aworkconsistingofaphoristicstatements,such
asPatanjali'sYogaSutraorVasugupta'sShivaSutra
Svadhyaya("one'sowngoinginto"):study,animportantaspectoftheyogicpath,listed
amongthepracticesofselfrestraint(niyama)inPatanjali'seightfoldyoga;therecitationof
mantras(seealsojapa)
t
Tantra("Loom"):atypeofSanskritworkcontainingTantricteachings;thetraditionof
Tantrism,whichfocusesontheshaktisideofspirituallifeandwhichoriginatedintheearly
postChristianeraandachieveditsclassicalfeaturesaround1000C.E.;Tantrismhasa"right
hand"(dakshina)orconservativeanda"lefthand"(vama)orunconventional/antinomian
branch,withthelatterutilizing,amongotherthings,sexualrituals
Tapas("glow/heat"):austerity,penance,whichisaningredientofallyogicapproaches,
sincetheyallinvolveselftranscendence
Tattva("thatness"):afactorreality;aparticularcategoryofexistencesuchasthe
ahamkara,buddhi,manas;theultimateReality(seealsoatman,brahman)
Turiya("fourth"),alsocalledcathurtha:thetranscendentalReality,whichexceedsthethree
conventionalstatesofconsciousness,namelywaking,sleeping,anddreaming
u
Upanishad("sittingnear"):atypeofscripturerepresentingtheconcludingportionofthe
revealedliteratureofHinduism,hencethedesignationVedantafortheteachingsofthese
sacredworks;cf.Aranyaka,Brahmana,Veda
Upaya("means"):inBuddhistyoga,thepracticeofcompassion(karuna);cf.prajna
v
Vairagya("dispassion"):theattitudeofinnerren