Glossary Of Terms


Advaita: nonduality, teaching that there is only one singular reality.
Ahimsa: nonharming, a moral discipline (yama)
Akasha: ether, space, the first of five elements that compose universe.
Amrita: immortal, the nectar of immortality, when activated at the crown chakra, transforms the body into Divine body.
Ananda: bliss, utter joy, essential state.
Arjuna: a warrior in Bhagavad Gita
Asana: seat, a physical posture
Ashrama: that where the effort is made, a hermitage.
Asmita: I-am-ness
Atman: self, the transcendental Self or Spirit, eternal and superconscious
Avadhuta: a radical renouncer
Avidya: ignorance
Ayurveda: India’s traditional systems of medicine.


Bandha: energy locks used to regulate the flow of prana
Bhagavad Gita: important yogic text containing the teachings on Karma yoga through self transcending action.
Bhakti yoga: yoga of devotion that is utilizing the capacity to feel to realize the ultimate Reality.
Bindu: seed, point, the creative potency of everything, all energies focused.
Brahmacharya: the discipline of chastity.
Buddha: “awakened” title of Guatama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
Buddhi: the higher mind, the seat of wisdom.


Chakra: wheel, the psychoenergetic centers of the subtle body.
Cit: the superconscious ultimate Reality
Citta: ordinary consciousness


Dharana: holding, concentration
Dharma: used in the sense of law, virtue, righteous
Dhyana: meditation
Diksha: initiation, all traditional yoga is initiatory
Drishti: view, sight, gazing such as the spot between the eyebrows.
Dukha: suffering caused by ignorance of our true nature.


Gayatri Mantra: a vedic mantra saying let us contemplate the most excellent splendors of God Savitri so he may inspire our visions.
Guna: quality, any of the three primary qualities
Guru: a spiritual teacher
Guru Gita: a text in praise of the guru.


Hatha Yoga: branch of yoga emphasizing physical aspects of transformation, using asanas, breath control and cleansing practices.
Hatha Yoga Pradipika: a classical manual on Hatha Yoga.


Ida Nadi: the prana current ascending on the left side of the central channel associated with parasympathetic nervous system. When activated, calming the mind.
Ishvara Pravidhana: “dedication to the Lord” one of the practices in eight limbed yoga.


Japa: mantra recitation
Jivan Mukti: living liberation while in the body.
Jnana Yoga: based on wisdom and steady application of discernment between the Real and unreal. Rhat which is unreal is inconsequential to the goal of liberation.


Karma: desire, the appetite for sensual pleasure blocking the the pathway to true bliss; the only desire conducive to freedom is the desire for liberation.
Karma Yoga: yoga of action, liberation through self transcending action.
Kosha: “casing”, the five sheeths surrounding the transcendental Self.
Kumbhaka: breath retention.
Kudalini Shakti: a spiritual energy power existing in potential form at the base of the spine, must be awakened and guided to the sahasrara at the crown of head for full enlightenment.