adhibhūta - अधिभूत

The consciousness immanent in physical creatures and the physical cosmos.

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

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adhiyaGYa - अधियज्ञ

The Supreme Creative and Cognizing Spirit; God; both the causal world and God Himself, without the illusion of the physical or astral worlds.

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aḍhyāṭma - अध्यात्म

Oversoul; God manifested as the soul of all beings.

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A statement of truth which one aspires to absorb into his life.

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Agya Chakra

आज्ञा - ājñā

The sixth chakra or highest spinal center. The center of consciousness of enlightened beings.

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अहंकार - ahaṃkāra

Ego, or ego-consciousness. The root cause of self-awareness.

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a-hiṃsā - अहिंसा

Non-harmfulness (harmlessness). To not wish harm to any living creature—not even to any lifeless object.

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Anahata Chakra

अनाहत - anāhata

The fourth chakra or heart center. Expresses as love, for either the divine or the material world.

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Ānanda - आनन्द

Bliss or Divine Joy; also the name of a worldwide movement based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda and founded by Swami Kriyananda.

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āpaṇa - आपण

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

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अपरप्रकृति - aparāprakṛti

The outer world that we can experience through the senses.

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/ˈɑːsənə/ - आसन

The Meaning of Asana Asana (the third “limb” of Ashtanga Yoga outlined by the sage Patanjali) means to be seated in a firm, pleasant, and relaxed position. Paramhansa Yogananda said that asana means keeping the spine straight and the body relaxed. “Asana is a stage one must attain if he would continue upward to control the inner energy. One has truly … Read More

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Ashtanga Yoga


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.

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Astral Body

/ˈastrəl ˈbädē/

The astral body is the type of body one possesses in the astral world, where most beings go after death. It is made of prana, or life force.

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Astral World

/ˈastrəl wərld/

A world of energy rather than physical matter made of vibrations of light and color, where most physical beings go after death and before reincarnating. It is also full of astral beings, and is hundreds of times larger and more beautiful and joyous than the physical world.

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Astrological Bangle

/ˌastrəˈläjikl ˈbaNGɡəl/

An astrological bangle is a band worn next to the skin which counteracts negative energy from the planets. Astrology is the study of humanity’s response to the planetary stimuli, the positive and negative radiations from the planets. Planets do not in themselves help or harm, but they act as a channel for people’s karma. Children are born at a time … Read More

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आत्मन् - ˈɑːtmən

Spirit or soul. The Supreme Self that is immortal and ever-changeless.

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What Is the Meaning of AUM? Aum (ॐ) is the vibration by which the Supreme Spirit brings all things into manifestation. It is the Holy Ghost of the Christian Trinity. Paramhansa Yogananda has explained that everything — all matter, all energy, all thoughts — exists in Aum. All major religions recognize this creative vibration, though they call it by different … Read More

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/avə-tär/ - अवतार

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

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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.

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Bhakti Yoga

/bhākti/ - भक्ति

Bhakti yoga is union with God through devotion. A bhakti yogi thinks of God in personal terms. This helps the bhakti yogi to awaken love for God.

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bhāv or bhāva - भाव

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

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Bishuddha Chakra

विशुद्ध - bees shoo duh

The fifth chakra or throat center. Controls the voice and speech, and allows one to break through the veils of delusion.

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/ˈbrɑːmən/ - ब्रह्मन्

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.

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brahmanāḍi - ब्रह्मनाडि

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.

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BrAhmi-sthiti - ब्राह्मी स्तिथि

Absolute oneness with the Infinite.

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ब्राह्मण - ˈbrɑːmənə

A person who knows God; a priest. One of the four Hindu castes.

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बुद्धि - bʊd̪ˈd̪ʱiː

Intellect; discernment. One of the four aspects of consciousness.

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Caste System

kæst ˈsɪstəm

System of four true castes or “races” of man. Based not on birth but on man’s natural capacities and goals of life.

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Causal Body

/ˈkôzəl ˈbädē/

A body made of thought or ideas, rather than physical matter. A causal body is very similar to an individual soul.

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Causal World

/ˈkôzəl wərld/

The world of ideas or thoughts. It is the most subtle of the three worlds, or the closest one to God.

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चक्र - C̣akra

Literally means “wheel”. Refers to centers of energy in the astral spine.

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tʃeɪlə - चेल

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

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chit-uh - छित्त

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

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दर्शन- dahr-shahn

The blessing which flows from the mere sight of a saint.

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Day of Brahma

ब्रह्मा - deɪ əv ˈbrəhmɑː

A period of one kalpa or a thousand mahayugas during which creation is manifested.

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Dhāraṇā - धारणा

One-pointed concentration, fixing one’ s full attention on one place, object, or idea at a time. It is the sixth limb, or requirement, to attain full Self-realization as outlined in the Yoga Sutras attributed to the sage Patanjali.

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diˈyänə - ध्यान

Absorption; union. It is the seventh limb, or requirement, to attain full Self-realization as outlined in the Yoga Sutras attributed to the sage Patanjali, who says that it is “concentration on higher aspects of reality.”

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

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गृहस्थ - gr̥hastha

The householder stage of life. The second of four ashrams or stages of life in Hindu philosophy.

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Gyana (Jnana) Yoga

/jñāna ˈjoʊɡə - ज्ञान योग

Union with the Divine through wisdom or knowledge of the Divine. It is also sometimes referred to as the path of discrimination.

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Hatha Yoga

/ˌhäTHə ˈyōɡə/

What is Hatha Yoga? Hatha Yoga, which literally means “union through discipline of force”, is a school of Yoga that stresses mastery of the body as a way of attaining a state of spiritual perfection in which the mind is withdrawn from external objects. Hatha Yoga has grown in popularity in the West as a form of exercise that develops strength, … Read More

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ईडा - Idā

On either side of the (astral or energetic, not physical) spine there is an energetic nerve channel, or nadi : ida on the left and pingala on the right. Energy automatically moves up the ida nadi, and down the pingala nadi, along with the breath. When prana, or energy, travels upward through the ida nadi, the breath is automatically drawn … Read More

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Jivan Mukta

jīvan mukta - जीवन्मुक्त

One who is inwardly free while living in this world.

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Kali Yuga

kɑːli ˈyʊg ə - कलियुग

A 2,400-year age of darkness during which consciousness is limited to gross matter.

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[ˈkərmə] - कर्म

The law of cause and effect. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” — The Book of Galatians

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कोश - kośa

Sheath. That which encloses the pure consciousness of Spirit in its material manifestations.

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क्षत्रिय - ˈkʃat.ɹi.ə

A person who surrenders his ego consciousness to God; a warrior or nobleman. One of the four Hindu castes.

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कुण्डलिनी - kuṇḍalinī

Energy at the base of the spine. Can be awakened for true spiritual unfoldment in aspirants.

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Spiritually, the force of God to attract and Satan to repel.

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मनस् - mAH-nuhs

The perceiving mind. One of the four aspects of consciousness. Also known as mon.

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Manipura Chakra

मणिपूर - maṇipūra

The third chakra or lumbar center. Expresses as anger or fiery self-control.

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Potent vibratory chant. The literal translation of Sanskrit mantra is “instrument of thought,” signifying the ideal, inaudible sounds which represent one aspect of creation; when vocalized as syllables, a mantra constitutes a universal terminology. The infinite powers of sound derive from AUM, the “Word” or creative hum of the Cosmic Motor.

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maun - मौन

Complete silence; the spiritual practice of perpetual silence.

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māyā - माया

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.

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The perceiving mind, which shows us an image as it appears to us through the senses; the mind alone, however, cannot qualify or define that image. Centered at the top of the head.

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Muladhara Chakra

मूलाधार - mūlādhāra

The first chakra or coccyx center. Supports an attitude of either perseverance or stubbornness.

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Night of Brahma

ब्रह्मा - naɪt əv ˈbrəhmɑː

A period of one kalpa or a thousand mahayugas during which creation is unmanifested.

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Nishkam Karma

niṣkāmakarma - निष्काम कर्म

Action without desire for the fruits of action that allows one to gradually and ultimately free oneself from the bondage of karma.

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Niyama is the second stage of the spiritual path as outlined by the ancient sage Patanjali in his yoga sutras. It lists five things you should do to make spiritual progress.

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Param Mukta


A supremely free soul that has been liberated from the actions committed by his soul in delusion during all incarnations.

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Patañjali - पतञ्जलि

Who is Patanjali? Who is Patanjali and what does Patanjali mean to the practitioners of Yoga? Patanjali in an ancient exponent of raja yoga and the author of the Yoga Sutras, a series of verses about the eight steps needed to attain Self-realization. No one knows when he lived or much about his life, although there are stories. Although Patanajali … Read More

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Pilgrim Vow

ˈpɪlɡrɪm vaʊ

Taken by one who wishes to make a greater commitment to God.

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piṅgala - पिङ्गल

The Meaning of Pingala On either side of the (astral or energetic, not physical) spine there is an energetic nerve channel, or nadi : ida on the left and pingala on the right. Energy automatically moves up the ida nadi, and down the pingala nadi, along with the breath. When apana, or downward-moving energy, travels down through the pingala nadi, … Read More

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prāṇa - प्राण

What Is Prana? What is the definition of prana? Prana can refer to energy, life, or breath. In other traditions, it is called chi or qui. Pranayama is a technique of breath control.  Paramhansa Yogananda states in his Advanced Course on Practical Metaphysics: Prana means Life Energy. There are two kinds of Prana: Cosmic Energy, the source of all living … Read More

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ˌpränəˈyämə - प्राणायाम

The Definition of Pranayama Pranayama (prana = energy + yama = control) is a type of meditation technique that involves various ways of controlling the breathing, with the goal being to withdraw ones senses from the outside world. This helps one to raise one’s prana (or Kundalini energy in this case) up the deep spine to the spiritual eye or … Read More

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Pratyahara is the withdrawing of the mind and senses from the objects of the senses. It is the fifth limb, or requirement, to attain full Self-realization as outlined in the Yoga Sutras attributed to the sage Patanjali.

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पुरुष - puruṣa

The positive principle of the universe.

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Rajas (or Rajoguna)

रजस् - ruhj-uh s

The activating element of nature. That which represents movement between the two opposing sides of duality.

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साधु - ˈsɑˌdu

A holy man; one who is deeply devoted to the spiritual search.

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Sahasrara Chakra

सहस्रार - sahasrāra

The seventh chakra or crown center. The center at which one attains liberation.

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समाधि - səˈmaːd̪ʱi

Perfect union of the individualized soul with infinite spirit. A state of oneness; complete absorption.

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संसार - sʌmˈsɑɹə

The outward play of maya or delusion. The world of delusion in which we all live.

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संघ - suhng-guh

Association, especially of spiritual practitioners.

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संन्यासिन् - saṃnyāsa

The stage of complete renunciation. One of the four ashrams or stages of life in Hindu philosophy.

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सत्सङ्ग - ˈsætsæŋ

Wholesome and uplifting company. Good company, especially on the spiritual path.

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Sevaka Order

सेवक - seː.ʋək ˈɔrdər

A monastic order in relation to Ananda communities. Membership is comprised of single people as well as householders.

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śakti - शक्ति

The feminine aspect of nature known as Cosmic Vibration.

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ˈsɪdʌ - सिद्ध

A perfected being who has worked out all past karma and freed himself from entanglement in the world of maya.

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In its root form smriti means “memory” or “remembrance.” In spiritual terms, it is the or memory of our soul nature — thus it also means “divine memory.” Smriti is referred to in the Bible, which says, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring … Read More

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

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सूड्र - ˈsu drə

A person at the lowest stage of consciousness; a peasant. Sudra is one of the four Hindu castes.

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suṣumṇa - सुषुम्ण

The deep (astral or energetic, not physical) spine, through which Kundalini energy rises as a person advances spiritually. Generally, energy is not rising in the sushumna, but going outward through the senses. However, when one redirects this energy through pranayama techniques, it rises us through the sushumna to the spiritual eye, giving enlightenment. Kriya Yoga, a technique made popular by … Read More

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Swadisthana Chakra

स्वाधिष्ठान - svādhiṣṭhāna

The second chakra or sacral center. Controls sexual energy and creativity.

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तमस् - tuhm-uh s

The darkening quality of nature. That which obscures the underlying unity of life.

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təˈri yə - तुरीय

The state beyond deep, dreamless sleep, in which the superconscious becomes overtly active.

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वैश्य - ˈvʌɪsjə

A person characterized by cleverness, creativity, and selfish motivations; a merchant. One of the four Hindu castes.

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वनप्रस्थ - ˌvənəˈprəstə

The stage of partial retirement from worldly life. The third of four ashrams or stages of life in Hindu philosophy.

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वेदांत - vedānta

One of the three main systems of Indian thought, which describes the nature of Brahman or divine consciousness.

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विष्णु - vɪʂɳu

The preserving aspect of the cosmic vibration AUM. Also the personification of this aspect.

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वृत्ति - vṛtti

Vortex, eddy, whirlpool. Cyclical movements of energy in the spine.

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Yagya (Yajña)


What Is the Meaning of Yagya? A sacrificial rite or performance of duty. It should be offered with devotion, without any desire for personal gain, and with firm belief in its rightness. Traditional yagas in Vedic culture were offerings of food, money, or cows for milk. They also were performed according to instructions written in Vedic scriptures. They were accompanied … Read More

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Yama is the first stage of the spiritual path as outlined by the ancient sage Patanjali in his yoga sutras. Yama is also sometimes called “the five restraints”, because it lists the “do nots” of the spiritual path, such as “do not lie” and “do not covet”.

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/ˈjoʊɡə/ - योग

Yoga literally means “union”. This can be taken many different ways, but most commonly is taken to mean the union of the little self, the individual, with the divine consciousness.

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/ˈyōɡē/ - योगि

Anyone who practices a scientific technique of God-contact is a yogi.

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