Yoga Terms 200 Key Sanskrit words

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Yoga Terms 200 Key Sanskrit words

Yoga Terms 200 Key Sanskrit words

Yoga Terms 200 Key Sanskrit words : Have you heard your teacher say a pose name in a different language? They were probably speaking in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the classical Indian language and is used in yoga to define poses and practices.

Abhyasa: practice; cf. vairagya

Acarya (sometimes spelled Acharya in English): a preceptor, instructor; cf. guru

Advaita (“nonduality”): the truth and teaching that there is only One Reality (Atman, Brahman), especially as found in the Upanishads; see also Vedanta

Ahamkara (“I-maker”): the individuation principle, or ego, which must be transcended; cf. asmita; see also buddhi, manas

Ahimsa (“nonharming”): the single most important moral discipline (yama)

Akasha (“ether/space”): the first of the five material elements of which the physical universe is composed; also used to designate “inner” space, that is, the space of consciousness (called cid-akasha)

Amrita (“immortal/immortality”): a designation of the deathless Spirit (atman, purusha); also the nectar of immortality that oozes from the psychoenergetic center at the crown of the head (see sahasrara-cakra) when it is activated and transforms the body into a “divine body” (divya-deha)

Ananda (“bliss”): the condition of utter joy, which is an essential quality of the ultimate Reality (tattva)

Anga (“limb”): a fundamental category of the yogic path, such as asana, dharana, dhyana, niyama, pranayama, pratyahara, samadhi, yama; also the body (deha, sharira)

Arjuna (“White”): one of the five Pandava princes who fought in the great war depicted in the Mahabharata, disciple of the God-man Krishna whose teachings can be found in the Bhagavad Gita

Asana (“seat”): a physical posture (see also anga, mudra); the third limb (anga) of Patanjali’s eightfold path (astha-anga-yoga); originally this meant only meditation posture, but subsequently, in hatha yoga, this aspect of the yogic path was greatly developed

Ashrama (“that where effort is made”): a hermitage; also a stage of life, such as brahmacharya, householder, forest dweller, and complete renouncer (samnyasin)

Ashta-anga-yoga, ashtanga-yoga (“eight-limbed union”): the eightfold yoga of Patanjali, consisting of moral discipline (yama), self-restraint (niyama), posture (asana), breath control (pranayama), sensory inhibition (pratyahara), concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and ecstasy (samadhi), leading to liberation (kaivalya)

Asmita (“I-am-ness”): a concept of Patanjali’s eight-limbed yoga, roughly synonymous with ahamkara

Atman (“self”): the transcendental Self, or Spirit, which is eternal and superconscious; our true nature or identity; sometimes a distinction is made between the atman as the individual self and the parama-atmanas the transcendental Self; see also purusha; cf. brahman

Avadhuta (“he who has shed [everything]“): a radical type of renouncer (samnyasin) who often engages in unconventional behavior

Avidya (“ignorance”): the root cause of suffering (duhkha); also calledajnana; cf. vidya

Ayurveda, Ayur-veda (“life science”): one of India’s traditional systems of medicine, the other being South India’s Siddha medicine

Bandha (“bond/bondage”): the fact that human beings are typically bound by ignorance (avidya), which causes them to lead a life governed by karmic habit rather than inner freedom generated through wisdom (vidya, jnana)

Bhagavad Gita (“Lord’s Song”): the oldest full-fledged yoga book found embedded in the Mahabharata and containing the teachings on karma yoga (the path of self-transcending action), samkhya yoga (the path of discerning the principles of existence correctly), and bhakti yoga (the path of devotion), as given by the God-man Krishna to Prince Arjuna on the battlefield 3,500 years or more ago

Bhagavata-Purana (“Ancient [Tradition] of the Bhagavatas”): a voluminous tenth-century scripture held sacred by the devotees of the Divine in the form of Vishnu, especially in his incarnate form as Krishna; also called Shrimad-Bhagavata

Bhakta (“devotee”): a disciple practicing bhakti yoga

Bhakti (“devotion/love”): the love of the bhakta toward the Divine or the guru as a manifestation of the Divine; also the love of the Divine toward the devotee

Bhakti-Sutra (“Aphorisms on Devotion”): an aphoristic work on devotional yoga authored by Sage Narada; another text by the same title is ascribed to Sage Shandilya

Bhakti Yoga (“Yoga of devotion”): a major branch of the yoga tradition, utilizing the feeling capacity to connect with the ultimate Reality conceived as a supreme Person (uttama-purusha)

Bindu (“seed/point”): the creative potency of anything where all energies are focused; the dot (also called tilaka) worn on the forehead as indicative of the third eye

Bodhi (“enlightenment”): the state of the awakened master, or buddha

Bodhisattva (“enlightenment being”): in Mahayana Buddhist yoga, the individual who, motivated by compassion (karuna), is committed to achieving enlightenment for the sake of all other beings

Brahma (“he who has grown expansive”): the Creator of the universe, the first principle (tattva) to emerge out of the ultimate Reality (brahman)

Brahmacharya (from brahma and acarya “brahmic conduct”): the discipline of chastity, which produces
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