The Yogic Glossary

An encyclopedia of yogic terminology and sanskrit words. (In progress.)

Adhibhuta The consciousness immanent in physical creatures and the physical cosmos. It is the physical world, both the universe as a whole and the individual parts and beings of it.

Adhidaiva The consciousness manifests in astral bodies and in the astral cosmos.

Adhiyagya The Supreme Creative and Cognizing Spirit; God. It is both the causal world (the world of thought where the most advanced souls go before becoming one with God) and God Himself, without the illusion of the physical or astral worlds.

Adhyatma Oversoul; God manifested as the soul of all beings.

Affirmation An affirmation is a statement of truth which one aspires to absorb into his life.

Ahankara Ego, or ego-consciousness; causative self-awareness.

Ahimsa Non-violence or non-injury; an attitude of harmlessness and a feeling of universal benevolence.

Apana The outgoing breath; descending energy in the astral (energetic, as opposed to physical) spine.

Aparaprakriti The outer world that we can experience through the senses.

Ashtanga Ashtanga Yoga (literally "eight-limbed yoga") is a system developed by the ancient yogic sage Patanjali oulined in his yoga sutras. It consists of eight progressive stages on the path to Self-Realization.

Avatar “Divine descent,” typically used to describe an incarnation of God such as Jesus Christ, Buddha, or Krishna.

Bandha Literally "lock" or "closed." A particular type of yogic technique for raising the kundalini energy in the spine, which helps one to attain Self-realization.

Bhav Spiritual feeling or attitude; devotion; the religious attitude of immersing oneself in the thought of God.

Brahman Brahman is the Indestructible and Supreme Spirit. It is in every atom of creation, but remains there as the Viewer, meaning it is not affected by the physical matter it is in. The individual soul is a part of Brahman.

Brahmanadi The causal (deepest) spine. Raising one's energy through the brahmanadi is the last test a yogi must go through to attain full union with the Divine.

Brahmisthiti Absolute oneness with the Infinite.

Chela Disciple; from Sanskrit verb root, “to serve.” Close student.

Chitta Chitta is feeling, centered in the heart. It is subjectivity, one's emotional reaction, affected by what it sees and it's own nature.

Ego A soul attached to a body. The ego divides the world into “mine” and “not mine.”

Maya Cosmic illusion; literally, ‘the measurer.” Maya is the power in creation by which limitations and divisions seem to exist in the Oneness that is true reality.

Soul The Spirit of God in each individual, which is ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss. The soul has the same qualities as God.