Glossary of Sanskrit Words and Phrases

Frequently used Sanskrit words by Ma

Chidananda Rupam: embodiment of pure joy, love and consciousness by Adi Shankaracharya from Nirvana Shatakam
Atmabhava: knowing and realizing the cosmic nature of one’s soul.
Jagat Atmabhava: recognizing the soul of the world.
Parma Atmabhava: Recognizing one’s own supreme luminous self as THAT.
Sarva AtmaBhava: being and going beyond all categories and distinctions. Realizing that self is one and all inclusive.

Glossary of Sanskrit Words and Phrases

(Compiled from Maharishi’s Gospel and Ma’s definitions. Words commonly used in Satsang are in bold)

Abhyasa: spiritual practice
Advaita: non-duality; also the doctrine of non-dualism
Anubhava: experience, especially the experience of Self-knowledge
Ananda: joy
Asana: posture, especially a posture adopted for meditation
Atman: the real Self
Atma-jnani: a person who has attained Self-knowledge.
Atma-vichara: Self-enquiry, the practice of scrutinizing or attending to the feeling ‘I’ in order to find out ‘Who am I?’

Bhava: feeling
Bhajana: singing of devotional songs
Bhakta: devotee.
Bhakti: devotion
Brahman: the absolute, non-dual reality, which is the Self or Atman
Bhagawan: Supreme Being
Buddhi: wisdom

Chakra: one of the six main yogic centres in the body
Chidananda: the bliss of pure consciousness.
Chit: pure consciousness, which is the nature of the real Self

Dehatma-buddhi: the feeling ‘I am this body’
Dhyana: meditation
Diksha: initiation
Dvaita: duality; also the doctrine of dualism

Gita: the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most renowned Hindu scriptures
Giri-pradakshina:  Pradakshina is the circuit that is made of any holy object or place, walking round with one’s right side inward. Giri is hill. So, giri-pradakshina is going round the hill, which here refers to mountain Arunachala
Gopika /Gopis: The female cowherds of Vrandavan who played and danced with Lord Krishna; they are held to be paradigms of loving devotion
Gunas: The three fundamental qualities – gunas or tendencies which underlie all manifestations are: sattva, rajas and tamas. The sattva represents purity and is free from all evils. A sattvic person is wise, helpful and has equanimity. The raja is activity. A rajasic person relentlessly pursues his goals; he is ambitious. Tamas is born out of ignorance. It makes one work under the compulsion of the body, without applying power of judgment. A tamasic person is averse to work or activity. It is the mix of the gunas which differentiate one person from another
Guru-kripa: the Grace of the Guru

Hridhaya kamalam: lotus of the heart

Ishwara: God

Japa: Repetition of a sacred word or syllable for invoking grace or vision of a deity, or for acquiring Self-knowledge
Jivanmukta: One who is liberated while still alive; one who is not affected by the natural tendencies of a human being while living
Jagrat: the waking state
Jagrat-sushupti: the state of wakeful sleep, in which there are no thoughts but in which there is full awareness of the existence-consciousness ‘I am’

Karma-yogi: a person whose actions are not motivated by desire for personal benefit or by any other kind of attachment
Karma: The destiny based on the law of cause and effect
Kripa samudram: ocean of compassion

Lila (Leela): Sport, play of God
Linga (m): A round vertical column of stone with rounded upper end, which is installed in Siva temples and is regarded as a physical manifestation of the deity

Maharshi: a great Sage
Mantra: a sacred formula used for japa or repetition
Marga: a spiritual path
Maya: delusion
Moksha: liberation
Mauna: silence
Mahatma: A holy person or sage; also a title as in Mahatma
Mandasanam: throne

Namaskaram: Salutations; a traditional Indian gesture of greeting made by bringing the palms together before the chest and bowing
Nirvana: extinction; deliverance from repeated births
Nirvikalpa samadhi: The supreme super-conscious state; great ecstasy
Nama: a name (of God)

Om: According to the Hindus it is the primordial sound from which all creation springs. (It is an important element in all mantras of Hinduism.)

Prana: The breath of life; the spirit or soul as opposed to the body
Pranams: Salutations Pranayama A system of breathing exercises
Prarabdha: Fate; destiny’ the portion of the fruit of one’s past actions which are allotted to be experienced in this lifetime.
Prarthana: Prayer, earnest request; entreaty
Prasada: A sanctified present; food offered to a deity or guru, a prasadam part of which is returned to the devotee who has offered it
Puja/pooja: Ritualistic worship performed by the Hindus
Puranas: Works dealing with Hindu mythology; literally, ancient or old
Prajnana: pure consciousness

Rishi: a Sage

Sadasiva: Lord Siva
Sadhana: a spiritual practice, a means adopted for spiritual progress.
Sadhaka: a person who practises sadhana.
Sadhu: One who has renounced home and property in quest of God
Sadguru: Literally ‘true teacher’; a fully enlightened guru; the highest of gurus
Sahaja jnani: a person who abides in his natural state, having attained Self-knowledge
Sahasrara: the brain, described metaphorically as a thousand-petalled lotus.
Sakti: In spiritual context – divine power
Samadhi: the state of Self-absorption, in which there is only the feeling I am’ and no thoughts”.
Samsara: the state of mundane activity or worldly existence.
Samskara: a mental impression or tendency continuing from former lives.
Sannyasa: renunciation
Sannyasin: a renunciate
Sastras: the scriptures. Sat: true existence or being.
Sat-chit: existence-consciousness
Siddhi: Supernatural power
Sloka: A stanza or verse in Sanskrit literature/ texts
Sushupti: dreamless sleep
Svapna: dream

Tapas: meditation

Upanishads: the later and more philosophical portions of the Vedas.
Upavasam: Fast – abstaining from food/drink

Vairagya: discrimination, dispassion
Vasana: a mental tendency continuing from former lives
Vedas: the oldest of the Hindu scriptures.
Vedanta: the philosophy of the Upanishads.
Vibhuti: Holy ash; it is applied to the forehead and smeared to the body to remind ourselves of the mortality of our bodies
Vichara: enquiry or scrutiny, that is, the practice Self -enquiry or atma vichara.

Yatra: Pilgrimage
Yoga: The discipline aimed at training the consciousness for state of perfect spiritual insight and union with the Universal Spirit
Yogi: One who practises yoga; a spiritually advanced or freed soul