Annotated Sanskrit to English Yoga Glossary

Yoga_GlossaryAn annotated Yoga glossary focused mainly on Patanjali’s  Yoga Sutras and Hatha Yoga in general. Yoga Sutras references are displayed by Roman numerals (chapter numbers) followed by standard numerals indicating chapter and verse references. This is an ongoing work in progress.


A: not, devoid of, empty, free from, or neutral such in apara, abhava, asteya, asatya, alinga, ahimsa, or aklishta, etc..

Abhasa: IV.19

Abhava: Absence. Absence of feeling or awareness. The feeling of absence, lack of intentionality or coherent feeling. Non-being. Technically for a samkhya dualist abhava means non-existence and a subjective state of non-feeling indifference. Abhava is not yoga, but is negation, and as such is associated with citta-vrtti. I.10. II.25 (See bhava)

Abhava-pratyaya: An aborted`intention producing unstable/wavering contents of the mind. Lacking in a coherent intention, focus, or mental content such as found in sleep. I.10 Compare with bhava-pratyayo (I.19).

Abhi: a prefix to verbs and nouns , expressing to, towards, in the direction of, into, over, upon. Used as a prefix to verbs of motion expressing the the notion or going towards, approaching, etc. As a prefix to nouns not derived from verbs it expresses superiority, intensity.

Abhibhava: Overpowering in the direction of whence it came. Disappearing, emanating. submergence III.9

Abhighatah: The state of being assailed, attacked, or struck. Experiencing conflict, stress, angst, anxiety attacks, or assault. II.48

Abhijatasya: unblemished, well born, pure born. noble. I.41

Abhimata: toward what is agreeable, suitable, or what one is drwan to; inclination; customized according to what is most suitable. I.39

Abhinivesah: Fear (dvesa) of death or attachment (raga) to temporal or physical existence. Attachment to impermanence. Attachment to the false idea that true imperishable self resides exclusively in the physical body. Attachment to the concept of ego as self. desire for continuity. Abhinivesa is due to the absence of integrating creation with creativity, nature and spirit, shakti and shiva, muladhara and sahasrara. Lack of that continuity creates a continuity obsession; a deep feeling of insecurity which results from grasping onto a false and limited substitute identifications, be it body, ego, identification with place, time, things, societal status, artificial systems or temporal systems (changing phenomena). A tertiary klesha built upon raga and dvesa, which in turn is based upon asmita (the egoic error of separate self) and avidya (lack of clear vision). The fifth of the principle 5 kleshas.  II.3, II.9.

Abhivyaktir: leading toward becoming distinct; bringing into the field of perception; leading toward discernment. IV.8

Abhiyantara: Internal- inward (see antar). II.50

Abhyasa: A sustained effort; focused and continuous conscious intent. Continuity in a focused application of yogic intent. At first this continuity is diffcult to sustain. ith practice over time, practice becomes easier and effortless — self sustaining. Focused and passionate endeavor for unconditional release (in abhyasa-vairagyabhyam). In yoga all practice (sadhana) are effected by focused conscious application without attachment to results. This results in being present which releases the yogi from all false identifications (samyoga) and all the citta-vrtti. A consistent sustained practice and dedicated self discipline (sadhana) that is “process oriented” (versus goal oriemnted) in achieving Now awareness; i.e., practice without attachment to results, but rather selfless service (service of, by, and to the Universal Self). Described together as abhyasa-vairgyabhyam in Sutra I.12 as a single practice of sustained effortlessness while allowing continuous flow. This is thus the practice of being totally present HERE and NOW. It is elaborated upon in especially in I.13, whereas I.14 suggests establishing abhyasa-vairagyabhyam over a long time, until freedom from all craving is realized (spiritual love) I.15-16 which leads to non-dual realization I.17-19. When dualistic attachment is realized, then temporal/neurotic love is over. Sri Patanjali gives the practice of abhyasa-vairagyabhyam in eight sutras between I.12-19 and also III.50. For more on abhyasa also see I.32

Acintya: inconceivable. See nirvikalpa, nisprapanca, acintya, aprapancita, and aprapanca

Adarsa: III.36

Adesa (adesha): inner or divine command; spiritual instruction by the teacher/guide of yoga; life’s spiritual purpose or destiny which is heard and acknowledged. “In our relative thought we distinguish between Atman, Paramatman, and Jiva. The Truth is that these three are one and a realization of it is called Adesha.” Attributed to Sri Gorakhnath.

Adi: others; more. III.45

Adi: Supreme, primordial, or original (see ati)

Adi-nath: The original teacher of yoga — the great master, Siva or Maheshvara (isvara). Sometimes attributed to Dattatreya or Hirayangarbha.

Adhara (adhar): base, root, foundation. location. a vessel, receptacle; support; the container in which the consciousness resides, the psychophysical system comprising the inner instrument comprised of subtle prana (antah karana) and the coarse body (sthula deha); a physical object or sensation serving as a support or background for rupa dristhi (form/object gazing) .

Adhi: Health (Also see vyadhi. I.30.

Adhigama: Attainment, accomplishment, or realization. I.29

Adhimatra: Extreme. Intense. I.23; II.34

Adhisthatritvam: the quality of mastery; literally the quality of over standing. III.39

Adho: Downward. Toward the earth.

Adhyatma: The transpersonal natural original non-dual self; the authentic non-dual true self beyond the limitations of and artifices of personality. I.47

Adhyatma yoga: A method of realizing Brahman, not knowing by the mind, but knowing by being. It is an expansion of consciousness from individuality to the absolute, not merely an intellectually or emotionally satisfying background idea. Compare this description with yoga as the evolution and expansion of consciousness from the undifferentiated unborn universal seed source (isvara) to the individual specific jiva (atman).

Adi: Primordial, original, topmost, supreme, highest.

Adimatra: very intense: strong; very keen. I.22

Adinath. Supreme and primordial master (nath) of yoga. An honorific title given to Shiva.

Adisu: and so forth. etc.. III.23, 24, 39, 45

Adrsta: That which is not seen or known — unknown. II.12

Advaita (advaya): Non-dual, literally not two. (see dvaita)

Agama: One of the three constituents of pramana. Authoritative; revealed authority. scriptural authority; testimony of a religious authority whom one trusts;   Witnessed by or reliable testimony that attests to a things verity or validity. I.7

Agama has come to mean that which is affirmed, verified or vouched for as correct or right by an accepted external authority system such as the rishis, saints, guru, or scripture. Agama as used in the Yoga Sutras is one element in establishing pramana (belief systems and doctrine). See: Sutra I.7. 

In classical Indian philosophy the agamas refer to the non-Vedic and pre-Aryan orthodox traditions that was indigenous to Bharat (India) maintained in oral traditions in forms of stories or wisdom “myths”.  The agamas as a body of literature include the works of the Tantras, Kaula, and much of the Puranas, in distinction to Vedas and Upanishads. The history of Bharat (India) is a matter of controversy especially among Indian scholars) but what is being differentiated here is the difference between the Vedic and Sanskrit literature and that of an indigenous culture and religion.  In the Agamas, Shiva is usually paramount and is often credited as its source. Classical hatha yoga unquestionably can be understood as Agamic versus Vedic or Samkhya. In Agama shakti asks Shiva questions, but in Nigamas, Shakti is the Source. In the yoga Sutra I.7

Agrya: Focused intent II.41

Ahamkara: self grasping. Grasping onto a separate identity as if it stood independent and apart from anything else. This Sanskrit term is *not* found anywhere in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, however classical samkhya interpreters insist that it is an implied necessity.

Ahimsa: Non-violence, non-harmfulness, the act of not only refraining from harm but the act of removing and eliminating harm (himsa). Thus the thought and action that honors well being, happiness, life, and the life force (prana). Living a life honoring and respecting all life forms including acting responsibly so to one’s physical body.. II.30, 35.

Ajapa japa: Japa means repetition of the vibratory sounds of a mantra. Ajapa is a more silent repetition usually made by consciously shaping the sounds made by inhalation and exhalation without use of the vocal chords. Hence it combines breath awareness, sound awareness, vibratory awareness, energetic awareness, neuro-physiology, and mental concentration all at once. The most common ajapa japas are Ham-sa and So-ham.

There are many variations possible, each one having a unique affect. Alternatives are ah (inhalation and (ho) exhale). Another is Ho hum for relaxation 🙂 Also “AH” (inhale) and hung (exhale) or the reverse. Similarly Ah So, with AH on the inhale and SO (like in Soha) on the exhale Many variants exist.  Similarly AH HA, etc. Each one  have their own particular qualities and effects. This practice can be very centering and balancing when practiced with energetic awareness in conjunction with the nadis and nares.

There is also a practice called the vajra breath which is a silent mantra done with the breathing (like ajapa japa or hamsa). Some Buddhist sects use Aum on the inhalation. Use Ah for a short hold, and hung on the exhalation. On the Aum phase, visualize the white color in the crown. For AH use the red color at the throat. For Hung use the blue or green color at the heart chakra. Use the bandhas to release any tension at the chakras. Allow the chakras to be flushed with consciousness and light while doing the practice. This is called the vajra breath. Even if the sound is silent release any tension by keeping the mouth slightly open, and the throat, jaw, tongue, eyes, shoulders and chest relaxed. Imagine that you are pumping pure wisdom light into the bodymind and are being filled with a buoyant, amorphous, and fluid luminosity.

Ajna: the third eye. The place of the spiritually opened eye of non-dual gnosis. The spiritual center located between the eyebrows in front of the pineal gland in human beings. The opened visionary authority of an authentic spiritual preceptor. Authentic non-dual wisdom beyond ordinary dualistic knowledge.

Ajnatam: not known by the observer. the knower in the state of ignoring an object; that which is unknown by a so called independent knower. Unrecognized by the observer. (see also jnata). IV.17

Akara: form; shape.IV.22

Akasa (akasha): The most subtle element of the five element system(mahabhuta) translated as ether (aether) in English. Akasha resides at the throat chakra. It is often described as the connecting element between formless space and matter and pictured as a light emitting plasmic lava (or liquid light) of the most refined and subtle density sometimes referred to as space and sometimes light (or light in space). In the big bang theory, the universe (the elements), out of space, was created all at once but through dharana (contemplation) on akasha, that evolutionary transition between empty or formless space and creation is seen (known), hence akasha dharana or cid-akasha practices are undertaken to effect that transition consciously. In Buddhism akasa is not a mahabhuta (element) but a mahadhatu as open or clear sky — limitless space, or that which shines by its own uninflected light. From akasha the other elements are born. Also see vyoma panchacaka, mahakasha, paramakasha, paravyoma, and vyoma. (III.41, 42).

Akasayoh: Etheric, pertaining to aether. III.42

Akasha Mudra: An unfocused lightly held gazing activity into open space (usually with the head tilted back). Sky gazing.

Aklishta (aklista): Devoid of kleshic association. Producing no kleshas or afflictions: Free or neutral in respect to being afflictive. Non-afflictive, harmless, or benign.  Not associated with any kleshas (mental/emotional afflictions neither leading toward kleshas and duhkha nor arising out of kleshas). Patanjali in I.5 might be implying that some aklishta mind fields can not only be harmless or neutral regarding harm, but perhaps an antidote to the kleshas, such as the generation of positive thoughts and the like, such as found in many yoga practices. Technically we can not read that from the word, aklishta. Regardless it can be said with certainty that any chitta-vrtti whatsoever must eventually be dissolved and cease (nirodha) operation in the mind field in order for union (yoga) to dawn – in order for the fruits of yoga to be fully realized. So doubtless according to the way Patanjali defines the vrttis and the goal of yoga, then any such activities of the mind filed that reduce and tend to dissolve the vrttis (in nirodha) are themselves not vrttis. Hence the four boundless minds (karuna, maitri, mudita, and upeksha), mantra, yantra, yams/niyams, and other authentic yogic activities of body, speech, and/or mind would not be considered a vrtti, but rather serve to create union (yoga). Pada I.5 (also see klishta and klesha)

Akrsnam: not black or not stained/darkened. See Krsna. IV.7

Aksepi: putting or casting aside; withdrawing or suspending. II.51

Alabdha-bhumikatva: Clueless, vacantness; chronic fickleness of mind. ungroundedness, poiselessness, the inability to make up one’s own mind, a flailing lack of focus, a wandering, state of being lost in transition from the preceding thought to the succeeding thought, non-presence and inattentiveness, losing one’s train of thought, spaced out, chronic denial or missing the point; not being present anywhere; agitated, scattered, bipolar, unstable, unbalanced, the inability to rest or return to in one’s core energy, base, ground, or poise. I.30

Alambana: based on an external support: conditional or dependent upon something in the general sense.  I.10, 39 (See salambana). I.10, 38; IV.11

Alasya: physical laziness, languor, sloth, dullness. I.30

Alinga: Unmanifest; Devoid of any distinguishable qualities, formless, undesignated, attributeless, undifferentiated, defies description. Unconditioned, natural, primal latent potentia. Vyasa says that alinga refers to the most subtle cause of prakrti, thus unmodified prakrti but others say that it simply relates to the unmanifest param-purusa or isvara. I.45 (see Linga)

Alpam: very little or small IV.31

Aloka: Light, radiance, and splendor not dependent upon temporal existence — emanating from the formless void.III.5, 25.

Amaroli: A hatha yoga practice where the inner nectar is generated and absorbed. Some say it is an actual drink which one swallows through the mouth. 

Amrita. That which is immortal. Nectar of the Gods. (See soma)

An: Not or free from.

Anabhighatah: Free from conflict, stress, angst, anxiety attacks, or assault. II.48 (see abhighatah)

Anaditvam: beginningless; unborn. IV 10

Anagatam: That which is yet to come; In the future. II.16

Ananda. Bliss or great joy (also see mahasukha). An honorific suffix appended to Swamis in most Swami traditions.  I.17

Anandamaya Kosha: the innermost sheath or core in the five kosha system (panchakosha). When pierced is experienced as  pure bliss. In some systems the Hiranyagarbha kosha is considered to lie inside the anandamaya kosha.

Ananta: The infinite or endless. The name of Vishnu’s serpent whom he would sleep on. II.47

Ananta asana: A hatha yoga asana that mimics Vishnu resting upon ananta, his serpent.

Ananta-samapattibhyam; Aligning or synchronizing with Unlimited Space, the endless or Infinite Mind: The Great Integrity.II.47 (See samapattibhyam)

Anantaryam: succession; link; causal chain IV.9

Anastam: not made to disappear: not destroyed. See nasta II.22

Anasayam: free from residues and impression i.e., devoid of samskaras. (see asaya) IV.6

Anavaccheda: unlimited. infinite. unbound, boundless, unbroken. II.31

An-avasthitatvani: instability, imbalance, falling backward, regressive, ungrounded, poiseless, insecure, uncentered, the inability to rest or return to in one’s core energy or poise,. flighty, manic/depressive, or bi-polar, a feeling of sliding don a slippery slope to one’s doom. In general not being able to be still and stay focused. I.30

Anekesam: many or diverse. IV.5

Anga: limb or integral component of a system, such as in astanga (eight limbs). II.28, 29

Anima The siddhi of becoming smaller than an atom. One of the eight great siddhis. (see mahima)

Anjanata: Reflecting its surrounding conditions, a coalescence or coming together as one quality such as a container and its objects taken as a whole reflects a quality of its own as distinct from its individual contents. I.41.

Annamaya Kosha: Literally the food sheath. The dimension of matter and physicality.  The physical body, manifest body, emanation body. (see nirmanakaya as the emanation body of a Buddha.

Antar: inner, internal: II.50

Antar Dharana: Inner looking: Inner visualizations: Inner vision.

Antar Mouna: Inner silence; mental silence

Antara Kumbhaka: Internal retention of breath and prana. Also called puraka kumbhaka. See abhyantara. II.50; IV.2

Antarangam: The process of moving inward. Interiorization. III.7

Antarani: near, intimate, close, interior, contained within, associated with. IV.27

Antaraya: obstacle, obstruction, blockage, covering over, occlusion, obstacle. (see citta-viksepa) I.29

Anu: Small, very fine, minute

Anu: A prefix meaning , within this, following from. Simply “within”.

Anubhuta: That which has been experienced despite if it is perceived accurately or understood. I.11

Anugamat: Accompanied by I.17

Anugunanam: lending itself toward a specific or suitable quality (measured qualitatively by the gunas); qualitative conditions IV.8.

Anukara: imitation or resemblance; like a projection of an image upon a screen. A projection in likeness but not the real thing; a symbolic representation or image. like a projection of an image upon a screen or a shadow upon the earth. Like a mirage. Phantom like. Like a clear crystal, when the light is removed, the light appears to settle back, coalesce, or dissolve back inside the crystal. II.54 (See vasikara)

Anumana: Inference, logic deduction. Inferential processes leading to a conclusion; One of the components of pramana. I.7

Anumoditah: permitted, approved. II.34

Anupati: sequentially; lineal I.9.

Anupasyah: To be taken as I.20

Anusayi:That which closely accompanies or is associated with some object, event, or phenomena; attached to; concomitant; An attachment process which closely accompanies with some object. associated with; a clinging toward; dependent upon; addicted to; obsessive process; dependent upon, intertwined with, addicted to an obsessive process; attached to the results of; connected to in a limited way, concomitant with. An attachment process which closely accompanies with some object, event, or circumstance. A positive association or attraction (promising “pleasure”) constitutes raga; while a negative attraction or repulsion (duhkha) constitutes devsa. II.7, II.8.

Anushasanam: Instruction, guidance, exposition, teachings, clarification, explication, or revelation    I.1

Anusravika: Tradition: scripture, or authoritative source. I.15

Anusthana: following through; that which follows or proceeds from as a result. completing; practice II.28

Anuttamah: unsurpassed; sublime. II.42

Anuttaratantra: Unsurpassed tantra.

Anvayo: Connection; following in succession; a conjunction from one thing to the next; A pervasive association or continuum. III.9

Anyah: other or different from. I.18

Apana: The downward moving vector, prana (energy), or vayu (wind) that operates within the body. Apana is responsible for the processes of elimination, relaxation, menstruation, evacuation, exhalation, and is associated with the left nadi (chandra nadi or ida nadi) which is cooling and soothing. (see prana or pingala forthe counter-balancing force of inspiration, heating, solar (surya), stimulating, or heating vector. Apana thus can be associated with the parasympathetic nervous system, while prana is associated with teh sympathic nervous system. In yoga these systems are brought into a profound state of balance, harmony, integration, and synchronicity.

Apara: not transcendent: lower or limited: Para means supreme or superior. Placing an “a” before para, makes it not superior or lower than. Para can also man far away (transcendent) so that apara may mean then close (rarer).

Apara-vairagya: Apara vairagya is the lower vairagya which relates to worldly objects and objects in general (and hence samprajnata), while para vairagya relates to the highest vairagya beyond dualistic ways of subject/object duality (and hence is associated with asamprajnata samadhi). In an indirect way all aversion (dvesa) fear, hatred, dislike, repulsion, and the like are also due to raga. In dvesa (aversion) there is always an underlying preference involved (like and hence dislike) — an attachment to results. So aversion is impossible without raga, and vairagya takes care of both. Apara-vairagya still involves a grasper (asmita) who grasps onto coarse (vitarka) or subtle (vicara) forms (rupa) from which one takes pleasure (ananda). This is distinct from para-vairagya free from association with dualistic form or content (free from processes of pratyaya).

Apari: to stand away from. To stand aback. To be free from. To go beyond. I.39

Aparigraha: To be beyond grasping. Literally non-grasping. Non-greed, non-covetousness, non-miserliness, and non-clutter of both the mind (mental objects) and physical objects. The attitude of enough, completeness, sufficiency or fulfillment unconditionally (that is, not being a result of an indulgence being satiated – a pleasure achieved at the prompting of desire. As a heightened state, a abiding in the sphere of non-dual unconditional happiness at peace with one’s present situation without any desire for more; non-accumulation, non-craving. Generosity and gratitude are the antidotes for grasping. Aparigraha thus is a characteristic of being fully present here and now, thus it is spontaneously unforced, natural, and effortless. See also santosha for comparison. II.39

Aparamrsta: untouched: not touched, unaffected.

Apattau: arising; manifestation; a condition. IV.22

Apatti: IV.22

Apetasya: free from; gone beyond; departed IV.31

Api: Also, even, though. IV.9

Aprapanca (apapanca, Pali): Transconceptual thinking. Non-dual direct perception. Asamprajnata or nirvikalpa. (see nisprapanca, nirvikalpa, acintya, and prapanca)

Aprapancita: Inconceiveable; transconceptual. Not dependent upon words or logical construction. Similarly see nirvikalpa. Also see asamaprajnata, acintya, nisprapanca, aprapanca, prapancita

Apratiasamkramayas: undivided; unfragmented, unbroken; incorrupt able, pure. IV.22

Aprayokakam (aprayojakam): not initiating; not able to create momentum by itself. Also see prayojakam. IV.3:

Apunya: devoid or empty of merit. Non-meritorious action. II14 (See punya).

Apura: . flowing forth of abundance IV.2

Ardhanareswara Half Shiva and half Shakti in one body.  Sometimes described as the androgynous form of Siva – both male and female.  

Artha. Purpose, meaning, aim, motivation, object of intention, direction.or goal. Origin: Cultivation or gathering together for sustenance, i.e. food, wealth, etc. IV. 23, IV.24, IV.32.

Arthamatra: Sole meaning and purpose in life. Personal (jiva) code or personal dharma. Artha means purpose or meaning while matra means entire, only, unequivocal, lone, or sole. III.3

Arthatvat: Due to its purpose. A reference to the quality of its purpose or intention. I.49

Arupa: formless (See rupa and sarupya).

Arupadhatu: the formless realm usually equated as the dharmadhatu, except to note that the dharmadhatu is not merely the absence of form, but rather the realm which is not limited by form Also see rupadhatu and rupakaya.

Asamprajnata: Acognitive/non-cognitive or transcognitive; Devoid of the limitations of I/it object relations (pratyaya). The end of pratyaya (dualistic cognition). Free from ordinary dualistic modes of cognition. Asamprajnata occurs when the vrttis entirely cease to function. This state requires no support (alambana). Asamprajnata is an objectless undefiled open samadhi. There are many kinds of asamprajnata, but two categories may be useful to delineate. One is asamprajnata with seed (samskaras) such as is defined as sabija samadhi (samadhi with seed).The other is nirbija samadhi (samadhi without seed) and devoid of samskaras. Here samskaras can no longer produce kleshas, karma, or further duhkha.

Asamprajnata; I.18 (asamprajnata) occurs follows naturally after I.17 as its perfection. It is the perefct state of non-dual awareness. Asamprajnata occurs when the chitta-vrtti finally come to rest and then non-dual transpersonal great awareness becomes activated (self awakens). Asamprajnata interjects a formless awareness such as practiced by advanced yogis as emptiness meditation where the mind is no longer preoccupied or fixated with “individual” or limited content/objects of thought; nor does even the ideation of a separate observer who observes the object veils one’s conscious awareness. In asamprajnata the sublime emptiness of separate existence is realized so that subject/object duality is entirely eradicated and the seer rests as total integration (yoga). In comparison, samprajnata (cognition with content) is a limited state of cognition. Asamprajnata samadhi is the end of striving where the mind opens to the timeless and the timeless is seen in all of primordial creation as primordial wisdom dawns.

Asamprajnata as the non-dual transpersonal boundless cognition is effected at first by samprajnana (self awareness) meditation practices such in unsupported shamata (shiney) emptiness meditation, where the meditator lets go of all mental grasping/attachment(vairagyam). An elementary phase of this awareness is achieved through vipassana (awareness or insight) meditation, where the meditator becomes aware of one’s own state of mind, ( samprajnana or sampajanna -Pali). One recognizes the content of one’s mind (pratyaya) and then lets that go (releases mental grasping and dualistic fixation) in samatha meditation, The exact identity of the contents and characteristics of the contents of the fixated dualistic mind is secondary to simply releasing it. Then what remains is pure awareness — awareness of awareness, and absolute clarity. Also see nirvikalpa, aprapancita, nisprapanca, and aprapanca). The presentation of asamprajnata first appears in I.18 (Also see samprajnata I.17).

Asampramosah: retention; a lingering memory: the act of holding or recollection; not being lost or stolen away. I.11.

Asamprayoge: Disentanglement; decoupling, disengagement, unbinding, disjunction. Asamprayoge decouples the false associations with objects of attachment ( samyoga as false identification) caused by habituation to the citta-vrtti. The remedial process applied to samyoga freeing the practitioner from asmita-raga and asmita-dvesa, while facilitating swarupa (unconditioned true self nature). It is the mechanism where the yogi decouples from the false (false associations/identifications) while samprayoga is the association process of connecting with the real. Both asamprayoge and samprayoga are useful activities when directed by the self swarupa or headed in that direction (swadhyaya), whereas samyoga is the false identification governed by asmita (the sense of separate self or ego ownership) . (See samprayoga and samyoga) II.54

Asamsarga: non-contact: dissociation; non-infection; decoupling; disengagement; indifference; immunity. freedom from association, II.40

Asana: Seat,  posture, attitude, stance in life,  or position (mental or physical). In meditation the seated posture for meditation. In hatha yoga the various psychophysical movements which activate the innate latent evolutionary potential (kundalini). II.29, 46

Asanga: free from attachment. not-related; disconnected; Name of a Mahayana Buddhist sage who wrote the Uttara Tantra which promulgated the Tathagatagarbha (Buddha-nature) doctrine. III.39

Asannah: Imminent presence; very near or close. I.21

Asaya (ashaya): domain, seat, abode, dwelling. A resting place or storehouse. I.24, II.12

Asevito: Assiduously undertaken for a sustained duration. I.14

Asisa: passion: impulse or desire [for continuity]. IV.10

Asmita: Literally I-am-ness.Also the idea of ownership. Identification with form and objects as an independent self. One of the five chief kleshas (afflictions). Self involvement; Self centeredness; Limited ego consciousness where one’s view of the world i tainted by the bias of a separate self. The delusion of asmita produces a basic insecurity as the kleshic separate self is impermanent and hence a e need to feel better about oneself (self aggrandizement, pride, status, fame, power, greed, etc., are the results. Ego attachment, delusion of separate self;  the dualistic fixation on a separate self, vanity, and arrogance is the basic delusion that separates the grasper (grahitir) from union (samadhi). Instead of being an integral part OF creation/creativity, one separates oneself as being apart FROM it. I.17

Asmita has many other side manifestations such as close-mindedness, provincialism, parochialism, narrow-mindedness,  indifference, snobbishness, rudeness, disdain, arrogance,  aloofness, above it all haughtiness, fullness of self,  judgmental, condemnational, distance, chilliness, like a cold fish, cold hearted, coldness, egotistical, snobbish, snooty, snotty, stuck-up, supercilious, superior, uppity, aloof, forbidding, hard-boiled, hard-hearted, incuriousness, laid-back, offish, on ice, reserved, standoffish, stuck up, supercilious, thick-skinned, unapproachable, unconcerned, unfriendly, uninterested, unresponsive, unsociable, unsympathetic, uppity, withdrawn, blue-blooded, courtly, holier than thou, assuming, audacious, autocratic, biggety, bossy, bragging, cavalier, cheeky, cocky, cold shoulder, conceited, contemptuous, cool, flippant, domineering, high-handed, imperious, know-it-all, lordly, overbearing, peremptory, pompous, presumptuous, pretentious, proud, puffed up, self-important, smarty, boastful, sniffy, snippy, stuck up, superior, swaggering, uppity, vain, domineering, rude, presumptuous, pushy, curt, high-and-mighty, insolent, lofty, lordly, offhand, dismissive, pedantic, contumelious, cheeky, upstaging, headstrong, inflexible,  intractable, intransigent, irreconcilable, obdurate, perverse, pig-headed, dogmatic, tyrannical, controlling,  impolite, stern, autocratic, vainglorious, egomaniacal, putting on airs, affectation, etc.   I.17; II.3, II.6; IV.4.

Asraya IV.11

Asrayatva: Respective correspondence or an alignment in a relationship, interdependence. II.36

Asteya: Literally, free from steya (theft), misappropriation, or dishonesty. One of the five yams in ashtanga yoga.  Non-stealing, non-expropriation; honesty; integrity, not taking anything without it being given or being paid back (reciprocated in kind). Such as giving thanks or being grateful to the Great Mother as an example. Asteya represents the non-predatory mindset. Steya, thievery has many forms but on the level of the mind it looks at things and people as objects to be exploited, manipulated for the satisfaction of the ego. Asteya on the other hand cultivates the transpersonal non-dual self realized being and eventually becomes its natural spontaneous expression. In the beginning a newbie simply acknowledges, reduces, and slowly restrains ones accumulated habits of steya eventually acknowledging their source. As these tendencies are weakened, then the spontaneous expression of Self more freely manifests naturally. II.30, 37. 

Asti: IV.12

Asukla: not white, not pure. IV.7 (see sukla)

Asya: I.40

Asuddhi (ashuddhi): not pure, sullied. (see suddhi) II.28, II.43

Atha: Now. Atha: Now. Used at the beginning of a very profound or precious/sacred and timeless treatise dear to the heart. Atha connotes a profound beginning or timeless intimacy such as a sacred presence. Atha can be postulated as a NOW awareness — the presence of a primordial intelligence beyond the ordinary imposed limitations of a fragmented or flat plane linear sense of place or sequential ordering of time — multi and trans-dimensional.  I.1

Atadrupa: Not in its own original form; modified or corrupted; perverted . I.8

Ati (adhi): Primordial, Supreme.

Atiyoga: The Supreme Yoga. The highest form of yoga in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism used almost synonymously with Dzogchen (Mahasandhi).

Atma(n). Sometimes translated as the soul. When understood as *not* existing as an  independent ego or jiva (as a disconnected self)  apart from Brahman the eternal absolute Self), then the truth of this Atman and Brahman being inseparable is Truth (So ham). For Patanjali the idea of the false self or ego (asmita) is not atman, but rather the true nature of atman is swarupa — the true nature of “self’. When the yogi knows this as the innate true self (swarupa) when the citta-vrtti are annulled) then he/she recognizes this truth transpersonally in all — in all our relations.

Shiva (as Paratman) embodied and manifested through the soul can also be labeled as Atman. It is the clothing (Maya) of Brahman which covers or occludes Brahman self luminous effulgence and thus obstructs the realization of the jiva (in jivamukti or liberation in the body). Thus confusing Brahman with Maya the Para (Paratman) is obscured, but in pure vision there is no difference between Atman and Paramatman as the veil has become dissolved. The Atman is not necessarily embodied in material form. The pure form (material or energetic) of Brahman when consciousness and energy are supremely wedded. (See: Brahman and Jivamuktan) II.5, 21, 41: IV.13, 25.

Atmata: quality of appearing as a single entity or self. Pertaining to the unitive awareness or presence. Inseparable unity. (see atma) II.6

AUM: The pranava or primordial sound vibration of isvara which contains all the sounds and energy vibrations of the universe. See OM.  Pada I

Aushadhi (Osadhi): Herbs, medicine   The Goddess as Mother of Herbs and medicine. IV.1

Avarana: covering, veil, obstacle, blockage, concealment. II.52; III.43; IV.31

Avastha: condition

Avasthana: abiding: residing, resting inside, dwelling, settling in, being, standing on its own without need for any external support.  I.3,  I:14

Avesa: entrance III.38

Avidya. The primary klesha (spiritual obscuration, hindrance, or obstruction) normally translated as “ignorance”. The opposite of vidya (pure vision). Thus the absence of vision.

When we lose our vision, then the darkness of neurotic life and suffering prevails. The act of ignoring or denying reality as-it-is, thus spiritual blindness, delusion, confusion, ambiguity, dullness, or stupidity. Avidya in the yogic sense is not a lack of book knowledge or material data, but a lack of awareness and attention to the true nature of mind — pure unobstructed vision. It is thus also a distraction from true vision (vidya) and thus obstructs the realization of pure being. From avidya stem the myriad misconceptions/confusions of self (Asmita) as separate from an it (the primordial split) and hence the illusory predicament of “I am” (asmita) as being separate from the whole. thus “I crave” completion/union (desire or raga), “I fear or hate” (dvesa, and so on for all of the 840,000 permutations of the kleshas. In hatha yoga avidya occurs energetically when the central channel (sunya or sushumna)  is blocked. When the obscurations are removed, then kundalini is activated and flows effortlessly. Avidya blocks and dams up the pure natural expression of our collective vision. See vidya.

Aviplava: unbroken, continuous, uninterrupted, steady. II.26

Avirati: Self centeredness, narcissistic, and selfish addiction and self obsession which cuts one off from creative generative source of life. An imbalanced and dissipative inclination toward the extreme of over indulgence in external sensual gratification; extreme dissipation or obsession in the realm of worldly temporal pleasure as a serious distraction, dissipation of energy and consciousness into neurotic sense indulgence or similar distractions, attraction to superficial externals, frivolous, materialism, necrophilia, or the involvement in the illusory world of subject/object duality (“I/it” delusion) in search of an illusory union or neurotic satisfaction; vicarious living, a meaningless, compromised, and neurotic life style which is separated from the well springs of Self empowerment and love; Indifference, fear, or dismay toward life. An externalized and compromised materialistic consciousness [the opposite of uparati which is the first stage of vairagya). Also the opposite of pratyhara. I.30

Ayur (Ayuh, Ayus): Vital power, life, life time. II.13

Ayurveda: Many thousand year old wholistic healing system indigenous to India which employs wholistic energetic models of healing based on purification and harmonization. Ayurveda utilizes marma therapy, oils (oleation), herbs, massage, fasting, sweating, and other purification, balancing,  strengthening methods. Its philosophy is usually described in both tantric and samkhya terms. Ayurveda is very similar to yogic healing models (with subtle differences).      


Bahir: external III.8

Bahirangam: external component III.8

Bahya: external, outward, usually referring to the out- breath. See rechaka, prasvasa, and pracchardana. II.50 (also see antar)

Bahya Kumbhaka: Holding the breath outward. Also see Rechaka Kumbhaka. II.50

Bandha: To gather together, to bind, seal a leak, to gate and redirect. A bandha acts a bounded gate, a valve or levee.. III.1, 38.

Bhakta. A devotee (see also prem).

Bhakti Yoga. Often associated with chanting or praising the benevolence of gods such as chanting. Communing with god through devotional acts, prayer, offerings, music, praise, and/or dance. The path of spiritual or divine love and devotion. Acting as the arms, legs, voice and hands of love. See also: Seva and  Karma yoga  

Bhasma. Ash. Also see: Vibhuti).

Bhasya: A commentary. Regarding the Yoga Sutras a commentary or amplification that render the sutras comprehensible usually having a specific agenda.

Bhaumah: Strengthened form of bhumi. Relating to an event, a stage, platform, plain, or the earth. II.31 See Bhumi

Bhava: Intent. In bhakti yoga a loving/devotional intent or the setting of the mood. Because intent is often causal in shaping an outcome (in the process of becoming), it is also thus linked to the definition of the process of coming into existence/becoming, and hence even extended to the existence of a state being (already having come into existence). However on a causal level feeling bhava should first be recognized as intent, a spiritual mood, disposition, demeanor, a reflection of our present experience, feeling presence, or a spiritual aura which ia generated or held by a devotee or container of truth (a yogi). A pwoerful aspect of spiritual bhava is that it is transcognitive (asamprajnata) as it is capable of propelling one instanteously beyond subject/object duailsm where objects or content of the mind (pratyaya) appear to exist. . Thus it is capable of t destroying pratyaya/asamprajnata thinking. Bhava can be immediately accssed as an experiential and intelligent state or *feeling* — as a spiritual intention coming from the Heartmind or entering into the Heartmind as a divine resonance — a shift into a state of transpersonal absorption, like the bhava of spiritual love, devotion, and purpose not necessarily being capable of being articulated with words or explained through linear/logical concepts.

A state of beingness and continuity which includes the subjective state, but not necessarily excludes objective ability. Divine countenance — the face and presence of divine love both as an aspiration and its expression/manifestation; hence its reflection as in giving darshan. The visage of isvara/Maheshvara or the param-purusa. Being consciousness as manifested in love/bliss (SatChitAnanda). The evidence of consciousness. Conscious Experience of Being, Conscious beingness.

Bhava is the seat and its expression of the transverbal and transcognitive spiritual feelings, spiritual affections, spiritual love, the heart, and imperishable soul. As such it can come from a communion with beingness as an intimate part of nature ( prakrti-layanam) — as *advice* from the cosmic mother as the divine creatrix clothing and revealing the purusa which is beginningless and and self luminous, or it can come directly from purusa if one is disembodied. Here one could say that this bhava is the countenance of purusa. Bhava is spiritual purport — the uninterrupted continuum of transverbal, transconceptual (nirvikalpa) , and transcognitive (asamprajnata) “heart-sense” due to arriving home to the seat of pure being, swarupa, abiding in our true original unconditioned place (svasthanam) or true beingness as Sat — as in Sat-Chit-Ananda (chit here representing purusa).

For the philosophical dualist. intellectual, or reductionist however bhava is reduced merely as *existence* and *being* as well as “lower” feelings are most often considered both inferior, disturbing, and undesirable — one may even feel repulsed or afraid of such. So in that framework their common definition of bhava often is a dead material existence lacking innate intelligence implying an attachment to an existential world and/or the body as inferior, while their preference is non-existence, which they associate with liberation from existence. I.19, I.28, I.29, I.33, III.48, 49. See also II.25 (abhava) and I.10 Abhava-pratyaya.

Bhava-pratyayo: An acognitive (asamprajnata) samadhi which remediates dualistic cognition transforming ordinary objective awareness, by aligning it with the practitioner’s true non-dual purpose or intent. The non-dual union of Sat-Cit-Ananda. I.19. Also see bhava and abhava (I.10).

Bhavana: to bring forth: to fructify, to cultivate. Cultivated intent. Focused concentration on an object so that one absorbs it, or is absorbed into it. The result of such absorption or focused intent. Mentally, a state of reflection or contemplation refelcting one’s underlying intent One’s demeanor or affective/subjective experience I.28, 33. (also ee bhava)

Bhaya: Fear.

Bhedah: separation, distinction, division, to remove or separate. IV.3, IV.5

Bhoga. Pleasurable experience. Enjoyment of the senses or sensual pleasure. Considered by some renunciates to be an obscuration, but to a tantric it is a path to liberation as one confronts the mechanism of attachment and becomes liberated by it. To a tantric every thing is a part of the divine manifestation (Self) — the Self penetrating the entire cosmos II.13, 18

Bhranti-darshana: Blind faith, addiction to made up or false views, false beliefs, false identifications, a stickler for false conclusions, adherence to blind and/or stubborn beliefs, delusions, or hopeless confusion by stubbornly holding on to one’s unexamined dogma or delusion. I.30

Bhukti:  The path of enjoyment and liberation. (See bhoga).

Bhumi: plateau, stage, plane, level, ground, basis, strata, graduated step, phase, field, dimension, interspace, platform, or gate. II.27, III.6

Bhur: earth

Bhuvana: The cosmos; the created world or universe: sky, heavens, atmosphere, phenomena, existence.. III.26

Bhuta. Elementals. Most notably the five (pancha) primary (pancha-mahabhutas) elements, space (akasha), air (vayu), fire (tejas), water (apas), and earth (prithvi).  (See tattvas and doshas) II.18

Bindu: The point within all points,  dot,  drop, point, dot,  semen, endocrine and/or glandular secretions, substance. Thigle in Tibetan, inner juice. In the body body and Ayurveda associated with semen, and hence ojas and virya. . In tantra the precedence for Nada (cosmic sound).

Bija: Seed. Seed point, hence origin or beginning. In mantra a seed syllable or sound. I.25

Bodhi: awoke

Bodhicitta: The mind or intent to awake. The awakening mind. In Buddhism the intent to awake in order to awake all sentient beings. Bodhicitta is normally broken down into two. One is the innate or absolute bodhicitta which is normally obscured with kleshas and the relative bodhicitta which is generated as willful intent to achieve liberation in order to liberate others. The former is a ntaural sponateneous expression, while the latter is cultivated. Evetually they merge as one — as the expression of a liberated being — a Buddha.

Bodhisattva: One who incorporates or embodies the bodhicitta. One who is dedicated toward liberation and awakening in order to liberate and awaken others. This is the Mahayana Buddhist ideal. Literally an awakened being.

Brahma: The creator god of the Cosmos — the great progenitor. The first god principle of the Hindu Trinity (trimurt). . Brahma is self-born The God of creation/generation. Hence the source of the generative force. Father of the eleven Prajapatis, the fathers of man(see Prajapati). Brahma has gradually become displaced in importance in India by Vishnu and Shiva, which may explain the degradation of the term, Brahmacharya, to mean sexual celibacy, while originally it meant being joined to Brahma. This is an indicator that the creative/generative force (the evolutionary force) has become denigrated in latter day Hinduism, hence unnatural or anti-nature forces have become dominate. II.38

Brahmacharya: From Brahma, the creator/progenitor and acharya (teacher) or charya (chariot). Hence to link with Brahma as the mentor/director of the chariot –as the teacher (acharya). Charya also thus means to link or wed as in marriage. Thus one links with Brahma (the creative force) in marriage — the creator of life. Thus Brahmacharya means to harmonize, join, unite and attune to the generative, generational, evolutionary, and creative forces of the universe and to be instructed thenceforth. None other than living a life of integrity and continence with the primal creative evolutionary/force. Hence the creative and procreative forces are joined in harmony with virya (vigor and strength) as the effect. (See: virya and I.20) Also this can mean being wed to, receiving instruction, or walking in attunement with Brahman — marriage or union with Brahman.

“There is no ego when you are doing right meditation. Where is your ego when you are doing right meditation and right activity? The ego is present in wrong meditation and wrong activity. It is pure ego-awareness or pure ‘I’ awareness which is the right awareness. The awareness, ‘I am’ is right, it is wrong when it becomes ‘I am Rama, I am Peter.’ You should look and see where the first impulse, vibration, arises from and what it is. The ego which is undifferentiated is the true ego. The Vedas call it Parabrahma: aham brahmasmi, ‘I am Brahma.’ This truth is beyond the three gunas. You should meditate seeing “I” in everything. Meditate a bit harder and your ego will be weakened by itself.”

Baba Muktananda, from “Sadgurunath Maharaj Ki Jay”, page 101

Brahmacharya has been made to become demeaned and superficially reduced to mean mere sexual abstinence. This has occurred for many reasons. One reason is the misunderstanding/confusion about the word, continence. One pointed devotion does not mean that one does not perform natural functions such as eating, sleeping, defecation, coughing, sneezing, drinking coffee, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, engaging in sexual intercourse, etc, rather it means that one constantly have brahma in mind and not dissipate one’s creative power and strength. Indeed virya is a common term which is not limited to a sexual interpretation (see below). Since sexual desire is a severe distraction for the youth, Brahmacharya has too often become limited to sexual continence, but the idea here is much larger than sexual repression, rather it means the practice of resting the mind and body in steady continuous communion with Brahma. Thus Brahmacharya has as much to do with sexual thoughts or activities as does thoughts of gluttony or greed. because sexual contact and discharge brings about great bliss, disconnecting young people from their feelings at an early age is a well known technique for disempowerment, guilt, and control and hence this myth has become exploited by the exploiter/manipulator class in terms of distracting humans to serve neurotic ersatz rewards. Such an interpretation is a severe perversion to the spiritual purport of this sutra. II.38

Brahman: A concept most often found in Vedanta as the all encompassing Infinite Self  which has no bounds. An All Intelligent Reality as-it-is. In the Self realized state, Brahman and Atman are one in Truth. In the deluded state the jiva (self) is disconnected from the Atman’s true position with Brahman through illusory obstructions due to ignorance. Maya is likened to the clothes of Brahman. She thus can hide Brahman or reveal him. As the clothes of Brahman, Maya can be understood as shakti or prakrti, while Brahman as Maheshvara or Purusa, It could also be said by some, that Siva/shakti taken as a whole equals Brahman, but others will disagree maintaining that Brahman can not be contained in form. This for many is a mere technical objection as Siva (Maheshvara) is taken as universal undifferentiated consciousness while shakti is taken as differentiated consciousness, both being united as siva/shakti.

Brahman is thus defined as the supreme Self (purusa), immortal universal consciousness, seemingly
(1) related to each individual body/mind complex
(2) manifesting as the Self of the Lord omniscient and omnipotent, and ultimately
(3) Brahman-without-attributions — Supreme Self in its own glory.

Sri Aurobindo differentiated between the silent and passive Brahman (santam Brahman) as an inactive witness consciousness/oberver (like purusa as defined in samkhya) as a precursory realization for the active brahman (saguna Brahman), where Brahma is known in all beings and things. Further these two active and passive aspects are understood as an integrated singularity or whologram. 

“a universal Divine, one in being, multiple in personality and power, who conveys to us, when we enter into the consciousness of his universal forces, a sense of infinite quality and will and act and world-wide knowledge and a one yet innumerable delight”

Sri Aurobindo
Brahmin: The priest class in the Hindu caste system who presides over ceremonies and are the holder of the Vedas.  Literally, one who knows Brahma or the Absolute.

Buddha: The awakened one: vast awakening.  One who has awoke. Most commonly associate with Shakyamuni Buddha who awoke to his true nature at approximately 500 BC.

Buddhi (buddhei): Individual intelligence. The intellect or intellectual powers. Considered a dim reflection of Mahat (cosmic transpersonal Universal Intelligence), which in turn is an evolute of prakrti (evolution). IV.21 -22


Ca:  and

Caturtah: fourth II.51

Cetana: volition; will, purpose. (See also sankalpa iccha, and artha)

Chakra (cakra): Wheel, center, sphere or realm. An energy center. A spinning wheel of energy. An energetic vortex.  III.30

Chandra: The moon; cooling, receptive, and reflective; “Tha” as in Ha-tha” yoga. The left nostril. The Ida nadis.

Chaitanya: Spiritual consciousness; Heart Consciousness.

Chetana: Consciousness. Also see Chaitanya

Chid-akasha: (cit-akasa): The inner subtle space of consciousness. Cid-akasha dharana is an awareness practice involving concentrating the energy at the third eye or crown. (See akasha)

“Arjuna, when the Shakti loses her power, the body becomes bereft of form and becomes invisible to the world. But then the body looks like a banana tree which, shedding its outer skin, stands bare in its core or like the sky which has put forth limbs (291-295). When the body assumes this form, the yogi is called the sky-rover. When he attains to his state, his body works wonders in the world. When he walks leaving a trail behind him, then the eight miraculous powers wait upon him at every step. But of what avail are these powers to us? O Arjuna, the elements of earth, water and fire get dissolved in the body. the earth is dissolved by water, water by fire, and the wind dissolves the fire in the heart. Then the wind alone remains, but in the form of the body; and that too becomes absorbed in the sky of the Brahmarandhra (296-300). She retains her shakti form until she becomes one with Brahman.

Now she is not known as Kundalini, but takes on the name ‘aerial’ (maruta). Then leaving the jalandhara bandha and breaking open the end of the sushumna nadi she enters the cidakasha of Brahmarandhra. Placing her foot on the back of Omkara, she then crosses the second stage of speech known as pashyanti. Then she pierces the half crescent matra of Om and enters the cidakasha, as the river enters the sea. Making herself steady in the Brahmarandhra with the conviction that ‘I am Brahman there. then with the destruction of the veil of the five great elements results the union of Shiva and Shakti. And she along with the cidakasha becomes merged in the bliss of Brahman, just as the sea water being transformed into clouds (by the process of evaporation) and the clouds pouring down into the rivers, ultimately rejoin the sea, in the same way the embodied self, by means of the human body, enters the abode of Brahman and becomes united with it.

At this stage all doubt or discussion whether there is duality or unity comes to an end. When a person experiences this state in which the cidakasha becomes merged in akasha, he becomes one with it (306-310). This state cannot possibly be expressed in words so that it can be explained in conversation. O Arjuna, even Vaikhai, the fourth form of speech which boasts of its power of expressing a thought remains mute in this case. Even the makara, (the third syllable of Om) finds it difficult to enter the region behind the eyebrows. Similarly, the vital breath prana experiences difficult to enter the region behind the eyebrows. Similarly, the vital breath prana experiences difficulty in entering the cidakasha. When it gets merged in the cidakasha, the expressive power of words comes to an end, and then even the akasha becomes attenuated, so that one finds it difficult to trace it in the deep waters of the unmanifest state of the Absolute. Of what avail are words then? (311-315).

This state cannot be certainly brought within the scope of words or of hearing: this is the absolute truth. If fortune favours a person and he cares to experience it, he becomes one with it. Then nothing remains to be known, O archer, and any further talk about it would be fruitless. It is a state from which words turn back, in which desire ends and which is beyond pale of thought. This is the beautiful state of mental absorption, the youthful state of samadhi in which the yogi becomes one with Brahman.It is beginningless and unfathomable (316-320). It is the origin of the universe, the fruit of the Yoga-tree and the very sentience of bliss. It is that in which the state of emancipation, all beginning and end get merged. This Brahman is the origin of the five great elements, the light of light, in short, o partha, it is my own essence. When the non-believers persecuted the band of my devotees, I became incarnate and assumed the beautiful human form with four arms. In order to attain the indescribable bliss of this form men strove ceaselessly and became full of bliss (321-325). Those who practiced this method of Yoga described by me became purified and achieved a capability equal to mine. There bodies appear brilliant, as if they are fashioned out of the essence of the supreme spirit, cast in the mould of the human form. Once such experience illumines the mind, the entire world of appearance vanishes. Then Arjuna said, “O Lord, what you say is all true; by following the path preached by you, one clearly goes to the abode of Brahman. I have now come to realize from your talk that those who practice this Yoga assiduously, surely attain to Brahman (326-330). This realization has dawned on me after hearing you. Then how can one who has actually experienced it not become one with it? There is nothing strange about it, but please listen for a moment to what I have to say.

The Yoga described by you certainly appeals to my mind; but I may not be able to practice it for want of competence. I shall fain follow that path, if I could pursue it to the end with all the strength at my command. But if you feel that this Yoga is beyond my capacity then tell me a path which is well within my limited capacity (331-335). With this thought uppermost in my mind, I asked you about this. I have listened carefully to the Yoga which you have preached. But is it possible for anyone to practice it or only one with requisite capacity can follow it? Then Shri krishna replied, O Arjuna, what a question to ask! The practice of this Yoga conduces to liberation. But even in the case of any ordinary work, can one perform it without capacity on his part? One can assess the capacity of a person only from the success of his undertaking. Only if there is such ability, the work undertaken is completed (336-340). But this capacity is not a thing which can be had merely because it is desired. Tell me, is there a mine of ability from which you can extract it? Only a person who performs his prescribed duty with disinterestedness can attain this capacity, is it not so? You yourself could acquire this capacity by following this device. In this way Shri Krishna cleared the doubt of Arjuna. He further said, O Partha, there is, however, one rule about this capacity that it cannot be attained by one who does not perform his prescribed duty”

Sri Jnaneshwar, from ‘The Jnaneshwari” (his commentary on the Bhagavadgita, Chapter 6

Cit (Chit) or chit/citi): Pure Consciousness or pure awareness: Universal Unconditioned Absolute Primordial All Pervading Consciousness: Consciousness of the spiritual self; the seer without bias; Witness consciousness or purusa as in Sat-cit-ananda. IV.22, 34

Cit-prana or chit-prana): The concentrated mind where consciousness and the prana are consciously unified and focused as one activity. Where the mind goes the energy follows. That mind (cit)  may also in turn be directed by the energy (prana); i.e., the cit-prana moving the cit-prana, the mind and prana directing the mind.

Citra: Variegated. iV.24

Citi-sakti (Chit-shakti): The power (potential) of consciousness and the omniscient all pervading intelligent consciousness combined; The power of higher awareness. The innate energy surrounding and supporting consciousness. The conscious power. The fruition or activation of the universal absolute consciousness potentia. The potenized union of consciousness and energy such as in Siva/Sakti, purusa/prakrti, Brahman/Maya, undifferentiated and differentiated consciousness; etc.   IV.34

Citta (chitta): mind field, field of consciousness, mindstream, .

Citta-nadi: River of the mind-field

Cittani: by way of the mind: of the mind; from the influence of the mind. IV.4

Cittam: the ordinary mindfield, mindstream, or field of consciousness (as compared to Cit); mental continuum. IV.5. IV.23 (see also citta-vrtti)

Citta-parikarmas: processes which refine, purify, prepare, and sensitize the mind through diligent practices.

Citta-prasadanam: Making the mind pleasant, sweet, wholesome, and ripe. An open, joyfilled, and purified Heartmind (see prasadanam) I.33 Also see I.47

Citta-santana: Mindstream. Continuation of intelligent transmission from primordial awareness to the present. A continuation of complte unbroken awareness. An unlimited mindfield, not limited by time, place, or boundaries. Objectified/reified as the HeartMind, but the heartmind is all pervading and hence can not be reified. Manusrimitra states in the Bodhicittabhavana: “The mental-continuum (citta-santana) is without boundaries or extension; it is not one thing, nor supported by anything.” Mindstream is a conflation subsuming ‘heartmind’ (Sanskrit: bodhi-citta) and ‘wisdom-mind’ (Sanskrit: jnana-dharmakaya). See (vijnana-santana) and also sanatana and Sanatam Dharma.

Cittasya: mindfield: Mental, relating to mind, mentation process, or consciousness., III.12, 38.

Citta-vrtta (plural of citta-vrtti).

Citta-vrtti (chitta-vrtti): Habitual mental thought patterns. The wavering, whirling, spinning, vacillations, agitations, modifications, fluctuations, machinations, restlessness, tumult, perturbation, aberrations, blurring, biasing, tilting, swaying, and other fractual processes of the field of consciousness. The illusory mental habit where apparently separate “objects” within an assumed limited and illusory mindfield assumed to be ordinary phenomena (reality) constructed of aggregates by the conditioned mind. Thus the citta-vrtti is an illusory mental construct where a dream is confused as “reality”.

The ordinary dualistic situation of the mind where the confused observer (ego) identifies with projected whirling mental constructs. The citta-vrtti are kleshic in so far that they both create klesha and are the result klesha. A state of mind where the observer associates and identifies with temporal permutations of consciousness and habits of thought. See vrtti. Introduced in I.2 of the Yoga Sutras.


Dakini: The manifesting and activity aspect of Siva or Samantabhadra,. The evolutionary power. See Shakti and Prakrti.

Daksina (Dakshina): The south. In yoga the right side of the body. Compare with uttar (the left side of the body or North.

Darsana (darshan): Vision; view; what is seen or revealed. I.30; II.6, 41; III.32.

Darsina: The seer,. One who has sight or sees. IV.25

Daurmanasya: depression, dejection, despair, sorrow, a soorow mind, or grief I.31

Desa: place. location II.31, 50; III.1, 53; IV.9.

Deva Devata): God or angle realm who abide in deva loka. II.44 (See ishta-devata)

Devanagari: Literally the script of the gods. The written script (alphabet) which is used to write Sanskrit.

Dharana: Focused one pointed concentration or contemplation  upon a specific object (mental or physical – inner or outer). The sixth limb of astanga yoga. Contemplation or focusing upon mantras, yantras, or any supportive object as a transformative spiritual practice is considered dharana such as the practices of laya or tantra yoga. Dhyana however means expansion/opening and is not dependent upon support by objects. II.53; III.1

Dharma: Truth or reality. Basic or true nature. Sometimes refers to the teachings which reveal the truth and lift the clouds of delusion and ignorance; e.g., “Buddha-dharma”. Secularly, dharma is the recognition and honoring of one’s  duty as one’s true nature. For example, it is said; “It is my dharma” as a statement of it is my honorable duty or nature to do this or that. To do otherwise would act as a crime against my true nature. Dharma can also mean practice or discipline, like a yogi is practicing dharma (yogic self discipline). The six yogas of Naropa are often called the six dharmas of Naropa, and so forth. Dharma leads to truth and hence it leads us out of falsehood, illusion and into Reality – our true nature. Otherwise our true nature remains corrupted or perverted. The causative law; the truth: essential nature; true nature or duty.

For a materialist or physicist, the word, dharma, has also takes on a different meaning, in so far that the nature of “things” is described as their dharma in terms of individual characteristics as if a thing could have a separate nature all by itself, independently. Hence it is valuable to distinguish two kinds of dharmas. Conditioned dharmas or compounded things which are temporary and are the result of causes and conditions (karma) are by definition interdependent, and it is simply bias and ignorance to ascribe that they exist by themselves. In pure vision (vidya) all dharmas are pure from the beginning, even the sense organs and sense perception are completely purified in non-dual vision, hence the distinction between dharma and Dharma is artificial when the interdependence of relative and absolute truth (differentiated and undifferentiated reality or relative and absolute realities) is realized. In the realization of a Buddha unconditioned Dharma which is not temporary or constructed; i.e., the eternal Dharma, Santana Dharma, the True Universal Natural Unconditioned Law, the Buddha Dharma stripped naked from its cultural and temporal colorings, the true Nature of Nature gleaned from clear vision (the true nature of the Universal unbiased and unconditioned Mind shines through and is revealed in all things as-they-are. The Dharma is free from obscurations and conceptualization. III.13, 14.

“Your truth? No, THE TRUTH, And come with me in search of it. Yours, keep it for you.”

Antonio Machado

Dharmadhatu: All encompassing space. The true nature or expanse of phenomena. The formless “realm” or self luminous infinite space of the adi Buddha (Dharmakaya being the formless body of the primordial Buddha}. Literally meaning, the essential element of unconstructed, unconditional, and ultimate reality– true nature or essence. The true nature (dharma) of phenomena (dhatu).

Suchness (tathata) “in which emptiness and dependent origination are inseparable. The nature of mind and phenomena which lies beyond arising, dwelling and ceasing. In his Buddha Nature, Thrangu Rinpoche said: ‘In this context, the word for space is ying (dbyings). It is the same word used in dharmadhatu, the realm or ‘space’ of things. . . Likewise, dharmadhatu is the essence of things — empty and inconcrete where all phenomena such as trees, houses, mountains, oneself, other beings, emotions, wisdom, and all experiences can occur openly.’ ” ~ Rangjung Yeshe Wiki

Dharmakaya: The absolute nature of reality which is unconditioned, formless, and empty of any individual selfhood. It is realized when the mind is empty of thought constructs and all other such mentally imposed limitations– when the sadhak ceases projecting limitations upon the mental field of vision (citta-vrtti). A mind that is so emptied is all pervasive, limitless, and boundless, thus space like. That empty quality lays at the basis of all perceived phenomena as their true nature. When the dharmakaya is perceived in all things and beings in pure vision, the enlightened nature of nature is realized and hence an spontaneously interactive nondual relationship spontaneously co- emerges. In that sense, all of nature are interdependent reflections of this Great Body of Truth — the Dharmakaya, even though the dharmakaya can not be reified (separated out) as anything existing apart from anything else. Although empty of form, since emptiness is all pervading, the dharmakaya also is referred to as the corpus of enlightened qualities inherent in nature as the true nature of the buddha which lies at the heart of all dharmas.

Kaya means body or corpus (not necessarily a physical body). If we take dharma to mean eternal and formless truth, reality, or law, then it is the truth body of all buddhas. Although it is formless, in order to talk about it at all, it is represented by Samantabhadra, who represents the adi (primordial) aspect of the Buddha that is formless. As the corpus of ultimate truth or eternal law (Sanatana Dharma) it is the corpus of all enlightened teachings. As a corpus it is thus distinct from the rupakaya (the form body) or Samantabhadri. Absolute nascent reality- Ultimate imperishable formless self effulgent nature that underlies all of of existence and non-existence. kaya means vehicle or body, so Dharmakaya here means the vehicle for unconditional and unconstructed timeless Natural Universal Law. Timeless means it is not temporal, unceasing, and always present in its natural condition now.

See dharmata.

Dharma-megha: Rain cloud of Dharma. Rain cloud of pure virtue; rain cloud of virtue, rain cloud of virtual reality, rain cloud of truth and all knowledge. The infinite potential blessing of the timeless Universal Primordial wisdom that rains upon the open vehicle (sadhak). The Sanatana Dharma or Buddha Dharma (Stripped naked from cultural or temporally induced traditions) as it rains down upon the waiting land which has become parched dry by the limitations of ignorance. Compare with Rtam-bhara tatra-prajna in I.48.

Here the realization of discriminating wisdom, viveka-khyati (profound non-dual mutuality or interdependence), has become unwavering, effortless, and spontaneous. Dharma-megha samadhi occurs in the final stages of sahaj samadhi where the outpouring or effusion of the highest dharma, which is “neither white nor black,” thus accomplishes the highest aim of human life. Through this realization insight into the foundation of all knowledge is accomplished. Although the rain cloud of dharma rains on all equally, only those who have purified their obscurations (past kleshas, karma, samskaras, and vasana) are open to it — can absorb it.

Dharma-megha rains down the true Dharma which releases and erases without a trace all past impediments and karma finally. Hence it is an unconditional and unqualified samadhi where the mindfield has let go (vairagya) the dualistic notion of a separate meditator and meditation or object of meditation, but is consciously at-wonderment with all. The effect of this samadhi is the final destruction of all karma, klesha, samskara, and vasana. IV.29-30

Dharmanam: True nature or essential nature. IV.12

Dharmata: (Sanskrit) The true nature of reality as-it-is, hence .suchness, absolute nature or intrinsic nature of reality. Ultimate, unconditioned, intrinsic, or absolute reality free from conceptualization. The non-dual display of nature which is empty of I/it thingness, as realized in swarupa-sunyam III.3. The intrinsic magical nature of phenomena and mind empty of obscurations. The foundational ground for being; the all pervading essence of everything; unifying spiritual reality; the absolute from which all proceeds. The essential or true nature of all phenomena. Omnipresent emptiness (sunyata). The absolute Reality of Dharmata is Tathata (suchness/thusness), Dharmakaya, or Sunyata which underlies it. It is cogent to realize that emptiness should not be considered as a bland indifference, inanity, or a nihilistic nothingness, rather it is pregnant with non-dual wisdom, compassion, luminosity, clarity, and bliss. It is known as being inseparable from form, but not the same as form as form is inseparable from emptiness. Hence when one whose mind has become opened sees what the ordinary fragmented mind sees as phenomena, instead of seeing separate or discrete objects, they see deeply its unconditioned and uncontrived nature; i.e., that they are empty of any independent or separate nature, rather all things are mutually co-arising/interdependent, co emergent reflecting primordial wisdom in its natural unbroken continuity, yet all us capable of being differentiated. Undifferentiated (absolute dharmakaya) and differentiated (the relative or rupakaya) reality merge into a gankyil. See Sunya and Dharmakaya for more.

‘The ultimate subject we need to define is the Ultimate Nature, or Dharmata, of phenomena. The Prajna-paramita Sutra says, ‘Dharmata is not knowable (with the intellectual mind) and cannot be perceived in concepts.’ “

Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche (1820-1892)

Dharmi: Dharma holder. Some one who intimately perceives the Dharma in all our relations. III.13, 14.

Dhatu: Space: Unconditioned or empty space. Space devoid of separate objects or entities. (See dharmadhatu)

Dhyana: Where dharana (the sixth limb of astanga yoga) means one pointed focus and concentration, dhyana (the seventh limb) means expansion and openness. Dhyana is objectless meditation where any specific objects of thoughts are released and dissolved. The seventh limb of ashtanga yoga immediately preceding samadhi (union). state preceding samadhi. There are volumes of books written on dhyana. It is the essential practice of raj yoga and also the last limb of ashtanga yoga before samadhi. It is taught in authentic spiritual communities the word wide. Through its practice the apparent duality of i/it duality is eventually replaced by a totally integrative and self empowering non-dual realization which is holy wholographic.

“You should meditate on your Self over and over – that is the only remedy. You should meditate on the Self with great reverence, with genuine aspiration and with strong effort. Our ancient seers renounced everything not because they were against things as such, but because they knew if you were surrounded by other things, your mind would wander away from the Self. That’s why they renounced everything. When your mind becomes interested in outer things, it loses its interest in the inner Self. If you want to take interest in something then you should think of that with great love. And if you take refuge in saints, if you sing praises to the Lord, you would be overcome with such powerful divine devotion that the Lord would reveal Himself in your heart. You should take interest in meditation and you should draw the mind away from other things. As your interest in God grows more and more, your inner joy will increase more and more.”

Baba Muktananda, from “Satsang With Baba”, Volume 5, page 358

I.39; II.11, II.29; III.2, 11, 39; and  IV.6

Diptr: Splendor, radiance, light. II.28

Divya: Divine, sublime, ultimate, transcendent, complete, superlative. III.41

Dosha (Dosa): Winds, pneuma, or energetic vectors in the body according to Ayurvedic medicine. More commonly the three (tri) doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha). Vata is formed by a combination of akasha (ether) and vayu (air). Pitta is formed by a combination of fire (tejas) and the fluid and viscous part of water (apas). Kapha is formed by the combination of earth prithvi and the cooling property of water. The Ayurvedic practitioner uses various methods to restore balance in the three doshas. III.50

Drashtr: The one who sees; Seer; the potential for censoriousness (also see citta shakti); I.3; II.17, 20; IV.23

Drastuh (drasta): The seer; one who sees; the observer.. One who has observed, seen, or looked

Drdha: Firmness; Firm of ground: I.14

Drg: The process of seeing that is attributed to the separate self or a separate egoic observer; the seer attributed to asmita (as a separate or independent self) II.6

Drgha (Dirgha): long, lengthened duration, spread or extended. II.50

Drghakala (dirghakala): A long sustained duration.

Dristhi (dristi): A stare, gaze. To see. To focus one’s attention.

Drk (drk shakti): the power of consciousness: the power of the seer (seer potentia). Also see drg II.6

Drs: II.6

Drseh (Drsi) : From the seen; the vector or ability of seeing. II.20, 25.

Drshya (Drsya): plural- that which is seen: — the seen; visible, some object which is perceptible or cognized; recognizable; observed. II.17, 18, 21, 23; IV.21

Drsta (drista) : That which is seen or known. I.15; II.12, IV.23

Drsyatva: IV.19

Drsyaya: of the seen. of the apprehensable, of the knowable. II.21

Drsta-adrsta: Seen or not seen — known or not known. II. 12

Duhkha: A feeling of unhappiness, suffering, mental pain, dissatisfaction, misfortune, or grief. Duhkha is best defined as the lack of absence of happiness, fulfillment, wholeness, or completion, thus the absence of joy (sukha) which may be variously characterized by pain, anguish, suffering, unhappiness, discomfort, discontent, angst, unease, stress, tension, pressure, dissatisfaction, grief, distress, chagrin, fretful, irritated, being inflamed, bruised, hurt, ruffled, irritated, dis-eased, off center, upset, shocked, or any chronic complaint, etc. Duhkha as suffering comes in many flavors and aspects, such as affective feelings of being overwhelmed, over loaded, depressed, an overt apathy, disturbed, distraught, in an ugly mood, knocked out, etc. In yoga psychology ordinary raga (craving) and pride (asmita) are causes of suffering (unhappiness). Duhkha is a result of an obscured state. Such an obscuration is dvesa. Mental, dis-ease, sense of lack, suffering, distress, despair, misery, malaise, conflict, trouble, sorrow, anguish, agony, disturbance, feeling of oppression, overload, overwhelm, terror, shock, any other mental or emotional pain, or association with dvesa (aversion) or any other klesha.

According to Sri Patanjali, all the kleshas lead to duhkha. Chief among the kleshas is the lack of spiritual vision or light commonly called ignorance (avidya) – ignorance of one’s true self nature. This causes the delusion that one is independent or separate from nature, creation, creator, everything else, hence a deep feeling of lack and craving is invented where secondary compensatory objects of consumption/possession replace the original union. When that neurotic union is met, pleasure is the result, albeit temporary because the primordial craving is still not satisfied. When that craving is not met, then duhkha is experienced. This cycle of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain is called the cycle of samsaric existence based on ignorance (avidya). No lasting happiness can be found in this essentially neurotic circle. Rather in yoga, true, lasting, and unconditional happiness is experienced as unconditional liberation (kaivalyam or nirvana). It is the engagement with the light of true vision (vidya) which occurs when avidya is extinguished — when wholeness and completeness replaces fragmentary misconceptions- when the field of consciousness (citta-vrtti) is liberated in nirodha.

Causally speaking, attachment/craving (raga) or its sister, antipathy (dvesa), since they are both due to avidya, are corollaries that produce duhkha. Both these kinds of duhkha (pain) and sukha (joy) are temporary and unfulfilling ultimately.

Because pleasure and pain are dependent upon mental preference (like and dislike), they are mere fabrications of the conceptual mind. Being happy or sad in that milieu are both delusionary. Hence it is said that the samsaric mindset is based on an error (delusion) of separate self or put another way on the error of thinking that the one (the ego) is separate from everything and being. Never-the-less it would not be helpful to say that duhkha event though it is a state of mind, does not exist. Indeed according to yoga, the various states of mind exist; i.e., they have existence (are effects) due to causes. These causes and effects should be acknowledged and not ignored.Then one becomes free of them through associating with the cause of unconditional (causeless) happiness in true vision (vidya) .

Unconditional happiness is not dependent upon any cause or result (within the wheel of samsara) but occurs naturally when the clear light of true vision dawns (see II.5). That occurs when one steps out of the wheel of cause and effect (karma) — out of samsara — and abides in the freedom of nirvana/kaivalya). Not only does the activity motivated by the kleshas cause duhkha and bad karma, but also karma and duhkha act as causes for further kleshas. For example, an event which is judged as terribly grievous or horrible to the ego may occur. Because it is so unpleasant or painful to the ego to accept, the ego may go into shock or denial/ignorance (non-acceptance) unwilling to accept the truth and hence become a willing victim to delusion, lies, illusion, or deceit.

On the level of asmita, it can be said that attachment/craving or aversion to samsaric existence (by the ego sense or asmita) produces duhkha (suffering), because the ego becomes attached to what is pleasant or flattering to ego pride, what the ego likes or prefers, and thus to any reinforcement which is associated with mental self gratification or pleasure (sukha). Hence what the ego dislikes, or is not flattering to itself, it deems as painful to the ego and hence the klesha of dvesa (aversion) becomes activated — fear and hatred become invoked. It can also be said that because of what appears as painful to the ego sense, aversion and thus other kleshas then arise, just as they arise from attachment or attraction to temporal pleasures (raga). Raga and dvesa are the two primary factors that drive the samsaric wheel of cyclic existence.

When the human being appears to be suffering from delusion (ego sense), it is common to mistake suffering as pleasure, because much of what we call pleasure is merely neurotic pabulum, compensatory gratification, a temporary narcotic, and/or diversion for an estranged, tortured, fearful, or diseased being to escape. As such it is a disharmony/displacement due to lack of integrity (lack of yoga). Thus the ego often habitually grasps onto the perpetuation of its own suffering unknowingly until the delusion is dissolved through self illumination — a transpersonal non-dual universal awakening occurs which illumines the true nature of the mind. In that sense any craving/desire is a disturbance signaling discomfort, anguish, need, or misalignment/disharmony sometimes self torture, but because of ignorance (non-recognition) and programmed insensitivity, the ego often mistakes the anguish and craving as the promise of pleasure/reward because a tangible gratification to the ego craving may be in sight. Hence dysfunctional cycles of suffering (samsara) are habituated. Hence Patanjali places duhkha in the context of being the result of the kleshas (non-recognition or avidya being the foremost), the citta-vrtti, samskaras, and negative karma (all of them form the complex of cyclic existence (samsara).

Similarly duhkha is the result of the distracting and/or disturbing (viksepa) movements of the citta-vrtti separating the practitioner from NOW awareness by placing one’s awareness and energy into the future or the past (or both). (See I.30 and 31 for more on viksepa). On an energetic level, duhkha is caused by obscurations of the energy (prana) running through the nadis and chakras. The channels are chakras and obfuscated, knotted, or blocked thus preventing a direct connection with ultimate eternal reality from freely manifesting. When these channels are twisted or knotted, then there is dis-ease, discomfort, despair, and disconnection/separation called spiritual self alienation or isolation. When the energy flows freely, then the disconnection is remediated and universal unity consciousness or healing consciousness (cit) unites with beingness (sat). That is another way of stating that the fundamental delusion of ego bias and distortion has has been defeated allowing for selfless love/bliss to be freely expressed in action — in Sat Cit Ananda.

In Buddhism duhkha (suffering) is the first noble truth. It does not say that all of life is suffering, rather it states that egoic life based on raga and dvesa in regard to material objects brings forth suffering. Suffering exists and it is not wise at all to ignore it, numb it out, pretend that it does not exist, wish it away, deny it, nor negate it. Rather we must have the courage (nobility) to look suffering square in the face without aversion nor artifice. Then the suffering will no longer drive the wheel of samsara (cyclic existence built upon of suffering). I.31, 33; II.5, 8, 15, 16, 34.

Dvaita: Dualistic.  A system of thought, such as samkhya, which fragments “reality” by dividing it up into two opposing forces. A belief that reality consists of irreconcilable opposing forces such as good and evil, disharmony, strife, conflict. inherent dichotomy, irony, contradiction, or confusion. See samkhya (a school of dualism) for more. See advaita for one possible resolution.

Dvandva: Pairs of opposites or extremes, like tamas or rajas, yin or yang, female or male, shakti or shiva. samsara or nirvana, let or right, Mon or sun. high or low, etc. In short imbalance or dualistic existence which contain conflict, irony, dichotomy, confusion, ambiguity, and unresolved restlessness. Many people become inured to a state of imbalance, restlessness, and conflict, and working against something as it is a predictable and familiar “reality”. Hence they tend to perpetuate it as “reality”. It becomes part of their belief system, (pramana-vrtti). II.48

Dvesa: Dvesa is any form of reactive thinking that is motivated by a negative stimulation — a desire to move away from, avert, avoid, escape from, destroy, or demean that object/event or one’s association (anusayi) with it

In general nausea, antipathy, negativity, repugnance, distaste, aversion, fear, terror, resentment, dislike, derision, schadenfreude (enjoyment taken from the misfortune of others), sadism, torture, morose delectation, resistance or frustration (pratigha), necrophilia, sadism, masochism, misandry, misogyny, xenophobia, racism, nationalism, hatred, anger, enmity, rancor, loathing, bitterness, dismay, repulsion, disgust, spite, opposition towards, scorn, contempt, hostility, abhorrence, abhorrence, combativeness, antagonism, revulsion, avoidance, procrastination, or escape from (such as in fright, flight, or fight reactions), withdrawal, desire to isolate or separate, denial, ignorance (verb),, desire to forget, erase from memory/recall, to block acknowledgement, to unconsciously filter out data, ignore reality, desensitivity, bland indifference, to dissociate as in apathy, acedia, sloth, langour, to escape into servility or complacency, blindness, lassitude, withdrawal, boredom, complacency, aloofness, dissociation, extreme cynicism/nihilism, shock, extreme indifference, boredom, deadness, zomby-like behavior, dismay, the act of emotional numbness and mechanical/robotic like behavior devoid of feelings, sleeping while apparently awake, , daydream, entering a trance or swoon, to reflexively block out or not hear data, the mechanism that creates fanciful delusions, self deceit mechanisms, and fantasy. Many kleshas such as dvesa are mixed (combinations) with other kleshas, such as jealousy is a mixture of raga, dvesa, and asmita. On a gross level dvesa combines with asmita or raga and manifests as covetousness, plunder, rape, thievery, predation, power mongering, exploitation , obsessive scarcity consciousness, competitiveness, himsa (violence), asatya (untruth), asteya (dishonesty), over indulgence, over consumption, avarice, envy, invidiousness, possessiveness, hoarding, and addiction. Indifference for example is utter contempt, avoidance, non-recognition, ignorance, and prideful arrogance all rolled up as one.

Dvesa is one of the four most basic kleshas (dvesa, raga, asmita, and avidya). Dvesa includes elements of various types of anger, disdain, loathing, bigotry, prejudice, vindictiveness, dismissiveness, rage, haughtiness, angst, jealousy, blame, bigotry,, condemnation, censure, derision, ridicule, mockery, denunciation, dissatisfaction, cutting satire, abhorrence, insecurity, inhibition, intimidation, cowardice, withdrawal, extreme passivity, paranoia, resentment, animosity, violence and cruel intent toward others or self, self torture or torture of others, sadism, abuse, exploitation of others, oppression, patronage, condescension, disparagement, demonization, disapprobation, or any similar type of dislike when mixed with other kleshas.

For example, a frequent modern phenomena that is quite common in arrogant/prideful societies is an antipathy which is the result of an interpretation by the egoic mindset (pride) as creating self mortification, self censure, self disapproval, shame, a feeling of wounded pride or humiliation. Instead of acknowledging one’s feelings and condition, most often a reactionary desire is provoked where the ego creates mechanisms to defend itself by a reflexive desire (which is really dvesa) to destroy, condemn, dismiss, or ridicule the the messenger, hence the message. In that negative reaction, censuring “the other” is tantamount to praising oneself. Making the “enemy” bad, automatically makes one’s ego “good”. That is thus both delusion (asmita) and disapproval (dvesa) working together as arrogance, pride, contempt, and negativity. These and many more aspects of dvesa are masked by mechanisms of asmita as self deceit/conceit combined with the other kleshas such as abhinivesa which is the fear of death or discontinuity, the ego’s fear of dissolution or disintegration.. 

How is indifference or numbness translated from “dvesa”, one may ask?. It is dvesa because it is aversion, it being an act of avoidance or an escape from something. When we are present — in Now Awareness powerful positive emotions are evoked such as love, sympathetic joy, happiness, compassion, inspiration, santosha, cheerfulness, etc. These latter are positive emotive forces that result naturally from a fearless open mind and heart, while dvesa is a contraction from presence. (Now awareness). II.3, 8. 


Eka: one II.41, III.2

Ekatra: taken together as an integral unit. III.4

Ekagrata: one-pointed focus. III.11, 12

Ekgrata-parinama: The shift into the continuous seamless marriage of omnicentric and omnipresent beingness and awareness- The shift into the multiverse, buddhaverse, the all encompassing buddhafield. Samadhi. III.12

Ekagratayoh: one-pointedness III.11

Eka-tattva: One pointed focus on one thing. I.32

Etena: From those III.13

Eva: Indeed, also, since, (see iva) III.3



Ganapati: Ganesh. The elephant headed son of Siva and bestower of boons..

Ganga (Ganges): the Ganges river. The Ganga and Yamuna rivers come together at prayag with the Saraswati (see prayag). This is also called Triveni Sangam, or the intersection of Yamuna River and Ganges River.

Gankyil: It is Tibetan for the ananda chakra and is often placed at the central hub of the Dharmacakra the chakra of truth which has total unconditional happiness at its center. Literally, total happiness, rapture, ecstasy, beauty, bliss-whirling, or wheel of joy. Gankyil is the opposite of duhkha (discomfort, disease, or suffering). Gankyil is often linked to the wish fulfilling jewel (cintamani). It is depicted as the unity or fruition of the two as one (hence that unity is a third circle which encompasses or integrates the two). In dzogchen it is the fruition of the base and path or simply the unity of the base (view or mind series called semde), the path (practice emphasizing emptiness or space called longde), and the fruition series emphasizing their inseparability (upadesa).

“The Gankyil, or ‘Wheel of Joy’, can clearly be seen to reflect the inseparability and interdependence of all the groups of three in the Dzogchen teaching, but perhaps most particularly it shows the inseparability of the base, the path, and the fruit. And since Dzogchen, the Great Perfection, is essentially the self-perfected indivisibility of the primordial state, it naturally requires a non-dual symbol to represent it.” ~—ChNN Namkhai Norbu, ” The Crystal and the Way of Light”

Gati: proceeds from, sequenced procession: II.49

Gnosis: see rigpa: recognition of our natural primordial uncontrived state as-it-is; The realization of jnana

Grahana: The act of grasping, apprehending, comprehending, cognition, seeing, or observing an object. I.41

Grahyeshu: the object which is grasped, seized, apprehended, that which is cognized, seen, or observed. I.41

Grahitr: Grasper, taker, one who apprehends an object, one who sees or cognizes; the observer I.41

Guna: Guna is best translated byteh English word, “attribute”. Classically the three guna system is a three fold classification system of the qualities or attributes of phenomenon (prakrti). The gunas thus are characterized as the evolutes of nature (prakrti) in the Samkhya classical Indian philosophic framework used to breakdown, define, describe, characterize, and explain differentiated reality of the created universe (creation). The three gunas or fundamental qualities/attributes (raja, sattva, and tamas) are broken down to form the 5 elements (tattvas) and the rest of so called “material reality”. In Ayurveda the elements are grouped together to form the three doshas (see doshas). It is sufficient to understand that Patanjali uses the term gunas as the way nature is broken down, reduced, or fragmented into increasingly smaller parts, systems, or objects. In the mountain yoga tradition these parts can only be known as part of a whole — in relationship, not just between each other but in All Our Relations. Thus the yogi compensates through the means of self awareness for the relative biased position of the observer and the object, in order to gain the universal true perspective of “things as-it-is in reality, just as Einstein formulated the law of relativity to compensate for the relative bias of the observer and the observed. I. 16; IV.8,  IV.13, IV.32, IV.34. See nirguna and saguna. Also see raja, sattva, and tamas.

Guru: “Gu” means darkness and “ru” means to remove. Literally to remove the darkness. In yoga darkness is related to to the obscurations (kleshas), the chief one is confusion (avidya) and the citta-vrtti which veil, obscure, and cloud the innate light (wisdom/prajna). Thus guru most often is associated with some thing or some one who removes the darkness or shines light on the darkness, or best who evokes the dormant inner light within the sadhak allowing that to shine forth innately once activated. In yoga the teacher of the even the most ancient teacher resides within as our intrinsic creative/evolutionary seed potential — as the unification and fruition of love and clarity — as universal and transpersonal buddha-nature, Maheshvara/Isvara — the param-purusa I.26


Hamsa: Swan. See ajapa-japa

Hana: escape or abandonment. Denial, avoidance, nullification. II.25, 26

Hetu: cause Also see Phala (effect) II.14, 17, 23, 24; (IV.11)

Hetuvat: having as its cause. motive, reason, II.14

Heyas: Eliminates, annihilates, silences, annuls, removes, or cancels out. II.10, 11, 16, 17

Hiranyagarbha: The golden womb. The primal teacher and originator of the science of yoga. Also see (adinath).

Hiranyagarbha kosha: The inner most kosha (inside the anandamaya kosha).

Hlada: joyful, pleasurable. II.14


Iccha. The Will — will power. The lower will which is under the domination of manas (the ordinary mind) and a component of ego. the word, iccha, is not found in the yoga sutras. Compare with sankalpa, as placing the egoic will under spiritual guidance or the will of shakti.

Iccha Shakti. The Shakti or Energy of Will. Usually meant to relate to the power behind the will, but in some systems it connotes the alignment with the will of shakti who is married to siva (hence divine will as opposed to egoic will. .

Ida: One of the three major psychic nerves (nadis) which is associated with apana, tamas, right brain receptivity, the afferent nerves, female, intuitive wisdom, left side of the body, left nostril, “tha”, parasympathetic function, and the moon. The ida balances out pingala allowing the the sattvic energy to flow in the central channel (sushumna). (See pingala and sushumna)

Indra: Hindu god of the wind. Chief god of the Vedas.

Indriya: the sense organs. II.18, 41, 43, 54, 55; III.13, 47.

Indriyanam: The energetics of the senses. The energy of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feelings, and perceiving. II.18, 41, 43, 54, 55.

Ishta: intimate, inner

Ishta-devata; Inner deity (ultimately isvara). Originally one’s own innate divine or spiritual nature which resides in all of creation. Inherent Buddha nature/potential or intrinsic seed for self awakening (bodhicitta). One’s inherent connection to the all inclusive Universal Ocean or Great Integrity or One Thing (ek tattva). Similarly and more commonly ishta-deva has become to mean to bhaktis as devotion to one’s chosen favorite deity (or one that has been chosen by one’s guru) as an approximation or personification of the ultimate reality. Hence it is sometimes referred as one’s “personal” deity which is an oxymoron according to raj yoga, because isvara is universal and untainted as well as omnipresent, hence it is transpersonal, intimate, and holographic, but not merely personal.

Ishtadeva or ishtadevatas is a Sanskrit term (yidam in Tibetan). They should be viewed not as gods (devas) or creators, rather as aspects or an energetic matrix which leads/links the practitioner from dualistic egoic mindset to the unconditioned formless state. Hence they are visualized in Tantrayana as fully enlightened beings. In Buddhist tantra yoga they are focused upon as personal dharanas — as part of the transformational process of shifting into the non-dual state of the mandala of pure vision. In that sense one no longer identifies with a separate/independent self, but rather as a non-dual enlightened being which allows one to support one’s transpersonal identification with the innate and all pervasive bodhicitta/buddha nature. In Tantric Buddhism common yidams include Kalachakra, Hayagriva, Vajrakilaya, Guhyasamaja, Yamantaka, Hevajra, Kurukulle, Chakrasamvara, Vajrayogini, , etc. They are not regarded as protectors from danger or saviors. They are simply acknowledgments of the student’s basic energy. They are best treated as acknowledgement of the sadhak’s essential Buddha nature. II.44

Isvara (ishvara): “Ishta” means intimate and “svara” means master, hence ishvara means the inner master or teacher who is always intimately available here and now. Isvara also refers to our highest innate potential if we should listen/recognize it.

Isvara is the purest (a-para-mrshta) aspect of pure undifferentiated universal consciousness (purusa) which is untouched and unaffected by taint (klesha), karma, and the seed germs (asayair) that result (vipaka) from ordinary desire and propensities. Isvara] is the indwelling seed and origin (bija) of absolute (nir-atishayam), unsurpassed, and complete omniscience (sarvajna). Unlimited by time (kalena) this absolute boundless integrity (anavacchedat) is the primal (purvesham) eternal teacher (guru) even (api) the teacher of the most ancient teachers. In the non-dual schools isvara is all penetrating, all pervading, omnipresent, all inclusive, unlimited, and eternally present (kalena), yet isvara remains eternally pure and unchanged by such contact. Likewise in I.26 Patanjali unequivocally says that isvara’s sound vibration is om and that all differentiation is created from that emission. So does not isvara’s emanation permeate all of creation? Isvara is found within the unobscured instantaneous eternal moment — always here and now — ever accessible to those devoted. Isvara is expressed and represented by the vibratory energy contained in the pranava (the sacred syllable, om).” Sri Patanjali. Isvara and Maheshvara (Siva) have been equated as the param-purusa. As the seed potentia (bijam) for ultimate awareness and awakening, isvara is the bodhicitta/Buddha nature — the mind of awakening and the seed of awakening — the universal inner master implicate in all of creation and activated/empowered through the practice of yoga.. I.23-27; II.1, 32, 45. (Also see ishta-devata and param-purusa)

Isvara pranidhana: Surrender, dedication, or devotion to isvara — the intimate inner master which is all pervading or ishta deva. Being dedicated to the process of discovering, listening to, and following our innate inner guide and highest creative potential. I.23-27; II.1, 32, 45.

Itara: whereas. itara itara, when appearing together, means “this” contrasts with “that”. III.17

Itaratra: At other times: otherwise. I.4

Itaresam: others IV.7

Iti; thus, such. Thusness/suchness as experiential reality. IV.34.

Iva (eva) : Like, similar to. thus; since; also; similarly. I.41 (see eva)


Jadi: birth (see jati)

Jagrat: the ordinary waking state (as distinct from dream state, deep sleep, and transcendental consciousness (turiya)..

Jah: born, related to birth. I.50; III.52, 54; IV.1, 6.(see also janman and jati)

Jal: water III.48

Jal  neti: Cleansing of the nasal pharynx with salt water

Jal basti:  Water enema

Jalandhara Bandha: Commonly called the throat lock which opens the passage way from the heart chakra (anahat) through the valve in the throat (the vishuddi chakra) to allow the upward flow of energy to extend upward to the ajna chakra (third eye) and/or talu and/or kurma chakras. jalandhara bandha prevents the energy and nectar dissipating outward  out from the upper regions.

Janma (janman): Life, birth – arisen existence — of the living. Referring to that which is born or arises into existence and therefore to that which dies. The origin, life, birth – phenomena as arisen existence. II.12. 39; III. 52-54; IV.1 (see jati and jah)

Japa: repetition of a sound or mantra. See also ajapa japa. I.28

Jati (jadi): birth II.13, 31, III.18, 53; IV.2, 9. (see also janman, jadi, and jah)

Javitva: III.48 (see jaya)

Jaya: victorious. victory. II.41; III.5, 39, 40, 44, 47, 48

Jayante: III.36

Jayat: Victory or success III.5

Jna: knowledge. I.25

Jnana (jnanam or gyanam): knowledge I.8, 9, 38, 42; II.28; III.16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 35, 52, 54; IV.31

Jnana yoga: literally the yoga of knowledge. Often associated with methods such as found in the Vashista Ramayana, Vedanta, Sw. Vivekananda, Sri Ramana, etc. Also classically the technical study of the Vedas as being the key to self realization. See this short commentary discussing swadhyaya and jnana yoga in relation to Pada II. Also see this discussion on Jnana Yoga on the HeartMind Introduction to Yoga page.

Jnanalabanam: lucid dreaming I.38

Jnananupati: a lineal or sequentially constructed thought process. Knowledge based on thought constructs (in this case word associations and thoughts, and hence fantasy taken to be “reality”. I.9

jnana-dipter: knowledge bearing light; radiant knowledge; II.28

Jnanasya: knowledge of or pertaining to. IV.31

Jnanasya-anantayaj: Knowledge of the eternal and infinite IV.31

Jnanasyanantyaj-jneyam: knowledge of the infinitity of mind. All which can be known IV.31

Jnani: One who has knowledge

Jnata: the knower in the state of comprehending an object of knowing; that which is known by a so called independent knower. IV.17, 18

Jnatrtvam: the quality stemming from being a knower; III.49

Jneya: to be known. The gerundive form of jna (know). IV.31

Jugupsa: disinclination, act of repelling, dislike. II.40

Jvalana: III.40

Jyoti: Self luminous inner light. Effulgent joyful light. III.32

Jyotismati: I.36 (see jyotis)


Kaivalyam: Freedom; Unconditional and hence Natural Liberation: Liberation which is not dependent upon anything else (hence unconditional). This is the result when causes (karma) and conditions (Sequential time) no longer dictate the body/mind or energy of a liberated being’s manifestation/expression, wherein all personal karma is burned up and only one’s true, natural, transpersonal universal purpose reigns (sarva artham) without obstruction (sarva-jnanam). In Buddhist terms one’s willpower as purified and innate bodhicitta rests in the natural primordial sphere of the Dharmakaya. This natural state goes far beyond a liberation from any “thing” (as it is transcognitive/non-dual) — for there are no things in vast space to become liberated from. Rather kaivalyam is an absolute complete unconditional liberation, not dependent upon causes and conditions (karma and sequential time), thus it is realized when the storehouse of karma has been burned up (hence samsaric cyclic existence has ended). Then the intrinsic seed potential (isvara) or bodhicitta/buddhanature is now manifesting into full fruition.

The samkhya interpretation is one of estrangement, negation, isolation from existence, or a catatonic absolute aloneness. Such is bondage. That is a reductionist state of mind to the extreme, if not nihilistic. On the other hand the mountain yogi’s definition of freedom is unfabricated natural, all inclusive, all pervading, unlimited, integrative and entirely open and unbounded. Thus kaivalya is a totally uncontrived freedom without any element of escape, repulsion, aversion, antipathy, fear, nor sense of separate self (ego); nor attachment or attraction to isolated phenomena (an unconditional and unfabricated natural freedom). Kaivalya is transpersonal, transconceptual (nirvikalpa, asamprajnata (acognitive), nisprapanca, acintya, aprapanca) and non-dual (advaita). It is Nirbija Samadhi, Sahaj Samadhi, Jivamukti, and/or Buddhist Nirvana, except there is no release from any “thing” . Kaivalyam is the chapter title of Pada four of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

Kaivalyam is thus is the designator that attempts to describe in words that boundless self luminous unitive experience which remains after the final release from all samsaric states of isolation, conflict, tension, spiritual alienation, or the delusion of separate existence whose condition is called duhkha, or disease, pain, stress, angst, or suffering (derived from the kleshas). Hence kaivalyam is the end of duhkha, but not the result of aversion from it. It is sublime Integrity not a lack of integrity or a fractionalization. It being the end of a sense of separate “I”, hence the ego sense (asmita) often habitually grasps onto the perpetuation of its own suffering unknowingly until the egoic delusion is dissolved through self illumination — a transpersonal non-dual universal awakening. Duhkha is the result of the distracting movements of the citta-vrtti separating the practitioner from NOW awareness by placing one’s awareness and energy into the future or the past (or both); hence kaivalya arrives after the citta-vrtti are stilled and thus the self luminous all encompassing natural spaciousness of the unconditioned true nature of mind is allowed through. With unconditional liberation there is unconditional happiness. That is, there is no dependence, craving, grasping, or attachment of the mind. The mind is happy, full, and complete in itself. The mind is not empty in an inane sense, but full and whole, and completely wholesome. Thus kaivalyam is the state of the complete cessation of suffering; i.e. nirvana. It is the selfless natural state of total absorption and integration of unconditional happiness, bliss, compassion, and love. Hence it is our nature/real condition untainted by the kleshas — thus pure and fully reflective of primordial purity (kadag- Tib.).

On an energetic level, kaivalya is a sphere of sublime numinous openness — all the channel (nadis) and chakras) are opened, while duhkha is caused by obscurations of the energy (prana) running through the nadis and chakras. It is here that true compassion is realized, wishing for all beings to share this fully known happiness. In samsaric existence (duhkha) the channels are chakras and obfuscated, knotted, or blocked thus preventing a direct connection with ultimate eternal reality (in kaivalya) from freely manifesting. Kaivalya is not dependent upon these channels and chakras, yet they are opened when this unification self arises. When these channels are twisted or knotted, then there is dis-ease, discomfort, and disconnection/separation called spiritual self alienation or isolation. At that point, compassion is almost impossible because wishing another happiness while not knowing it oneself is a large contradiction. When the energy flows freely, then the disconnection is remediated and universal unity consciousness or healing consciousness (cit) unites with beingness (sat). That is another way of stating that the fundamental delusion of ego bias and distortion has has been defeated allowing for selfless love/bliss to be freely expressed in action — in Sat Cit Ananda .

“In the present context, we can say that those who have not learned to recognize the true nature of mind, ultimate bodhicitta, are only able to exchange themselves for other beings and to try to eliminate the suffering of others through prayer, visualization, and empathizing with others. However, if one knows how to recognize the true nature of mind, and mixes or merges the exchange of self and others with the recognition of mind nature, this is the best possible way to practice this exchange. The ultimate awakening of bodhicitta includes the realization that the true nature of all living beings is utterly free from all the varieties of temporary, conceptual confusion that normally deludes them. In fact, all beings share the true nature of phenomena (dharmata), which is emptiness. All beings have awareness-wisdom (rigpa’i yeshe), the luminous clear light of the nature of reality. The true nature of all living beings is the expanse of primordial purity (kadag ying). This essence is present in all living beings, and it never leaves them, but they fail to recognize it. Recognizing it is the ultimate awakening of bodhicitta.”

~HE Chogye Trichen Rinpoche

II.25, III.50, 55;  IV.26, 34.

Kala : Time I.14,26; II.31, 50

Kalena: by or from time.

Kali: Hindu goddess who is associated with Siva. Kali slays the ego with her sword and wears a garland of decapitated skulls (depicting the ego) Kali brings forth a non-nonsense quick and painless ego death. She is the destroyer of fear and attachment (along with Siva).


Kantha: throat – throat chakra

Kantha kupa: The pit of the throat

Kapala. The skull skull.

Kapalabhati: Skull shining exercise of hatha yoga. A purification practice involving rapid in and out movements of the navel region moving the breath out as teh navel moves toward the spine, while allowing for spontaneous inhalation/filling as the navel region and diaphragm relaxes. This is repeated 108 times for one round.

Karana: Cause. Causal origin or primal cause, motive force, the effective means, the causal means or reason, II.2, III.18, 38

Karita: caysed to be done. I.34

Karma: Simply action. The law of cause and effect that states that every action has a result and every result has a cause. Negative actions have negative results. Positive actions produce positive results. Results can in the future become causes for future results, etc. Duhkha (suffering/sorrow) in samsara is the result of actions driven/governed by the kleshas (afflictive emotions), Happiness is the result of actions from pure vision (vidya) and prajna (transcendental wisdom). I.24; II.12; III.22; IV.7, 30.

Karma-asaya: Resting place for karma. The place that karma is accumulated and stored. II.12 (see asaya)

Kartikeya: A son of Shiva, hence Ganesha’s brother. Also known as Skanda, Murugan, Subrahmanya, etc.

Karuna: Compassion, boundless love. One of the four boundless minds of the Brahma Viharas. I.33

Kathamta: the what and how of events and things. II.39

Kaya: Dimension. Body. In Buddhism the tri-kaya are the three bodies of the Buddha, which are the physical body of the Buddha (nirmanakaya); the wealth-body or jeweled enjoyment body of the Buddha; and the Dharmakaya which is the timeless formless body of the Buddha. For example the formless and eternal/timeless Buddha manifests in mnay forms and has many aspects depending on the dimension of the observer. Another way of saying this from the point of view of a potential buddha the nirmanakaya is the physical body, the sambhogakaya is the energy or bliss body, and the Dharmakaya (formless timeless body). In tantric Buddhism they are intimately integrated (inseperable) or at least that is the practice. Sometimes the ksyas are broken down into the five or six kayas (the five or six dimensions of enlightenment) by adding the vajra kaya, bodhikaya (abhisambodhikaya), and svabhavikakaya. In Mahayana Sutra (non-tantric) there are two kayas the dharma kaya (undifferentiated and formless body) and rupa kaya (the form body). Both of which are inseperable. (II.43, III.21, III.29, III.42. III.45. III.46.

Kevala: Non-deliberate; pure; unmingled and unconditional (also see sahita and sahaj)

Khyateh (khyati): The act of seeing or awareness; In its heightened form, clarity of wisdom or realization — now awareness or direct unconstructed perception. Variously a type of clarity, wisdom, stage of realization, illumination, a position or view. An understanding; Reflective state of cognition. Recognition. I.16. II.5, 26, 28; III.49; IV.29 (compare with viveka-khyati)

Klesha: Spiritual hindrances, obstacles, obscurations, impediments, blockages, obfuscations, or obstructions leading to suffering (duhkha) hence emotional/mental affliction, poison, taints, and/or degenerations. The chief klesha being avidya (confusion/ignorance produced from the false identification when the ego identifies as a separate independent self). Hence the solidification of a dualistic mindset and thus spiritual self estrangement/alienation. The chief kleshas besides ego ignorance (avidya), are self/ego pride or sense of ownership (asmita), aversion (dvesa) which includes fear and hatred), attachment and craving (raga),  and attachment to what is temporary and illusory (the body. the ego, the sensual sensual world) which also can be phrased as the fear of death, where the ego fixates upon the body or sensual world (abhinivesah) desiring its survival.

There exist 840,000  combinations and permutations of the kleshas besides the aforementioned such as jealousy, greed, anger, arrogance, willfulness, self centeredness, vindictiveness, haughtiness, superiority, pomposity, prejudice, bigotry, intolerance, disdain, scorn, and so on. Many of the kleshas are compounded such as in the tendency to ridicule and belittle others as being stupid, thus deluding the ego that the ego is smarter/better is a combination of pride (asmita) and dvesa (aversion), but really this need (raga) comes from ignorance (avidya). Kleshas are caused and in turn cause chitta-vrtti. Acting upon kleshas are the cause of negative karma (results) or suffering (duhkha).

It is salient *not* to judge the appearance of a klesha as being “bad” nor have any other aversion toward it. Since aversion itself is a klesha, that would be adding injury to insult. Just observe the kleshas as a hindrance. impediment, obscuration, obstacle, an obstruction, and limitation to be released. That would  I.24; II.2, 3, 12, 13; IV.28, 30. (Also see klishta and aklishta)

Klishta: Pertaining to the kleshas; related to a spiritual hindrance, obstruction, or degeneration. Kleshas lead to suffering hence they are often called afflictive, afflicted, poisoned, toxic, impurity,  or tainted; Both produced from afflictions (kleshas) and/or capable of producing more afflictions (kleshas); associations with tainted mind states; kleshic. Vrttis can create kleshas which lead to duhkha (mental/emotional pain, suffering, trouble, distress, etc.). Likewise the kleshas can produce and reinforce the vrttis. I.5 (see also aklishta and klesha). Inherent in the word, klishta, is the root, klish, which means affliction or suffering. Hence suffering/pain is assumed when some one is afflicted with a klesha. However because of ignorance (avidya) many people are attached to the kleshas and confuse the affliction as something desirable or good. So then Patanjali reminds us that all the kleshas are duhkha (painful), including greed, jealousy, fame, feelings of superiority, and other accoutrements of the ego.  I.5  

Kosha: Sheath or covering

Krama: Sequence of stages; A process involving a sequence of events or actions. The development process as a whole in distinction to just one phase/stage. Krama as a process/practice is skilful method or practice when guided by the innate wisdom. (Also see utpattikrama and sampannakrama)  III.15, 52; IV.32, 33

Kriya: Action; A purification or preliminary activity or preparation activity. A cleansing activity. In hatha yoga, the shat karmas. In Tantra the activity of Shakti such as, Kriya Shakti. II.1, II.2, II.18, II.36;

Kriya Shakti: The aspect of Shakti which empowers activity.

Kriya Yoga: In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras kriya yoga consists of the combined practice of tapas, isvara pranidhana, and swadhyaya which are designed to attenuate the causes of the kleshas (obscurations of spiritual vision such as ego delusion, raga, dvesa, etc). Kriya yoga is designed to catalyze samadhi by attenuating the cause of the main klesha, avidya (absence of spiritual vision). Notice that Sri Patanjali says “causes” of the klesha, not the klesha itself. Instaed of attenuating avidya directly, one eliminates the cause of avidya. This leads this translator to suggest that the word, kriya yoga as meant by Sri Patanjali is a more direct and primary proactive practice than other auxilliary practices.

Thus, the word, kriya, can have many meanings It can mean activity or divine activity (as in Kriya Shakti). It is also used to mean purification activity, preparation, preliminary practices, and pre-requisite, or primary practices. In yoga, the primary practices can also be the premier and hence superior practices, while the secondary practices are taken up as a supplement, only if the the practitioner fails in the primary or premier practice. Here we will use the word, premier, as Kriya Yoga is proactive to the kleshas rather than remedial. It is thus an affirmation of Self and hence closer to Self realization than the remedial practices which remedy the kleshic activity.II.1, 2, 18, 36.

Kriya Yoga: also a yogic practice as taught to Lahiri Mahasaya by Babaji (of the Himalayas) in the latter 19th century which consisted of specific sequences of hatha yoga asana, pranayama, visualizations, mantra, and other practices suitable for house-holder yogins. In Buddhism a class of purification tantric practices (sadhana).

Krodha: anger II.34

Krsna: black; the dark or black one which refers to Krisna.

Krta: done, completed. II.34

Krtartham: An accomplished or completed purpose II.22

Ksana: instant, moment. III.9; IV.33

Ksayat: Destruction, decrease II.43.

Ksaye: destruction, loss, diminution, dwindling, annihilation. II.28, III.11

Ksetra: a field or plane. In the Bhagavadgita a mental/spiritual palne where the inner battle between the inner demons (egoic tendencies and distractions) do battle with the pure light of consciousness (Krishna and Arjuna).

Ksetrikavat: One who cultivates the field, soil, or literally a farmer of a land (in this sense one who cultivates samadhi). In yoga, the yogi who acts in harmony with intuitive wisdom. IV.3

Ksina (Kshina): subsided, faded, waned, stilled, attenuated, or diminished. I.41

Ksina-vrtti: One whose vrttis have subsided or have faded I.41

Ksiyate: vanishes, is dissolved or destroyed. II.52

Kumbhaka: stasis, suspended, mom-moving, held, stopped, in limbo. II.50


Kurma: Literally turtle: A chakra located deep at the root of the tongue or below the Adam’s apple.. Some say it is in front of the occiput toward the chin or half way between the chin and the occiput.  Another name for Vishnu when he took the form of a tortoise. Vishnu’s serpent (sesho) rested on top of Kurma and was churned by the devas and asuras to churn the ocean of milk creating nectar and poison (which Siva drank). Hence kurma is sometimes said to reside in Vishnu loka and its nadi (kurma nadi) loosens up the Vishnu Granthi. Kurma is also one of the ten principal pranas (vayus) that run in the body controlling the backbrain, neck, optic nerve, balance, hearing, and eye region according to both Ayurveda and yoga. Chapter 5 in the Siva Samhita. III.25.


Labdhi (labdha): To recognition, apprehension derived or obtained from, gotten, . II.23, (See upalabdhi)

Labha: Obtained: ascertained: apprehended. gotten II. 38, 42

Laghu: small, little, light, easy, relaxed, effortless. III.42.

Lakh: 100,000.

Laksana: designator, referent, indicator, sign. III.13

Lakshman: Rama’s brother in the Ramayana.

Lambana: support (see also salambana)

Laya Yoga: Tantric yoga where many elaborate dharana techniques are utilized to transform the bodymind – to effect positive change. Such techniques can incorporate   visualizations, sound, yantras, mantras, pratyhara, pranayama, asana, bandha, and mudra all together or separate. The prana-vidyas as well as all the dharanas can be classified as laya yoga.

Linga(m): Manifestation, emanation, differentiated, having marks and attributes. Siva’s sexual organ representing presence, solidity, or adamantine hardness. See alinga).

Lobha: greed. Feeling of lack or insufficiency causing constant craving. Dissatisfaction. II.34


Madhya: Middle: medium: intermediate. I.22

Mahakasha: The heat and light associated with the center of the sun. One of the five subtle spaces in vyoma panchaka practice (also called vyoma panhcaka dharana.

Mahamoha: The great stupor and confusion. Associated with the ten types of avidya associated with raga (attachment).

Maha: great; exalted: sublime

Mahan: great or exalted person: sublime being

Mahant: Master II.31, III.43

Mahat: The universal transpersonal intelligence. The source of individual buddhi (intellect/intelligence) is a small spark emanating from Mahat. Mahat is the first evolute of creation (prakrti or shakti). In tantra purusa (siva) interacts with prakrti (shakti) thus giving rise to consciousness in the created realm. All intelligence comes from creative source.

Mahatattva: to the greatest magnitude; most large I.40

Mahatmya: exalted or sublime glory  

Mahavakya: Literally, the great speech or utterances. These are attributed to sublime  sages and taken from the Upanishads. Examples are:  OM TAT SAT; TAT TVAM ASI, SAT CHIT ANANDA, an so forth.

Mahavideha: Free from bodily and sense object attachments. A vita-raga or jivamukti. III.43. Also see videha and compare with I.19.

Mahavratam: The great aspiration, vow or seal of the gate. Originally vratam refers to one’s behavior, dedication, intent, or aspiration, but more recently in the dualistic Kali Yuga, it has become associated with a religious vow. Here it refers to the yams in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. II.31

Mahima: the power (siddhi) to become as large as the universe. (see anima)

Maitri (metta):   Loving kindness and boundless friendliness toward all beings. The spontaneous manifestation that embodies natural  friendliness. One of the four Boundless Minds of the Brahma Viharas. I.33, III.23

Mala: Blemish or impurity. A corrupting influence.  IV.31

Manas: The term used to denote the ordinary mind associated with the ego and limited consciousness. I.35, II.53, III.48.

Maneh (mani): A sparkly gem, precious reflective jewel, or reflective pure crystal. I.41

Mantra: Mantra is a form of dharana where special sounds constructed of Sanskrit words are arranged as a vibrational vortex or matrix of focus. This energy vector is often combined with visulaization and other dharanas to direct and focus the mind. Then when the mental distractions are eliminated and only the mantra and visulaization remains, the practitioner enetrs into teh matrix of the vortex and is transformed disolving all mental fabrication even the mantra. The sound then becomes a transformative energetic vibration, and then the actual energetic vibration brings the practitioner into the underlying silence of unconstructed space.

“The word mantra comes from the Sanskrit word, “mantrayate”, which means “the methodology which dissolves the mind”. Thus the practice of mantra is designed to dissolve the citta-vrtti whiich covers over primordial consciousness with occlusions of memory (smrti), drowsiness (nidra), thoughts (vikalpa), belief systems (pramana), kleshas nd residual karma. “Mantra” is derived from “man” which is the root of the Sanskrit word manas which means, “the ordinary mind. “Tra” is from the Sanskrit word for “training” or instructuing. Thus mantra focuses and conditions the mind away from past distracting tendencies which dissipate the evolutionary energy and consciousness (cit-prana or cit-shakti) and redirects/instructs it toward listening to and eventually actively expressing the innate primordial consciousness and evolutionary energy. Japa is the practice of the repetition of mantra. Also see pranava (AUM) and ajapa japa. I.27, I.28, IV.1

Mara: Delusion, denial, self falsity, pretense, dishonesty, guise, contrived personality, artifice, masquerade.

Marma: an energy access point in the body.

Matra: Only, sole. lone. singular I.43;  II.20; III.3, 39

Matrat: only; only to a specified and exact extent; limited to; the full or simple measure of any specific thing; the whole or totality of a specified entity; the one thing and no more; nothing but, only so. IV.4

Matrasya: only. III.49

Megha IV.29

Mithya: illusory, false, erroneous, a sham I.8

Mithya jnana: faulty knowledge, mistaken thought processes, erroneous views/ I.8

Moha: stupor, somnolence, and specifically the confusion associated with I-am-ness (ego delusion). II.34

Mrdu: slow to middling; in-between; mild to weak; feeble.  I.22; II.34

Mudita  Sympathetic Joy; One of the four boundless minds, where we spontaneously rejoice in the happiness of others. We are naturally happy because of another’s happiness. One of the Brahma Viharas. I:33

Mula: Root, base, II.12, 13

Muladhara chakra: The root chakra associated with the element earth. Usually yellow in color shaped as a square or some times red. Seed syllable is lam.

Muni: Sage or illumined one. A title associated with the indigenous culture of Bharat before the Aryan influene.

Murdhhan: III.32


Nabhi: Navel

Nabhi Chakra: navel chakra; Manipura chakra, fire (agni) chakra.  III.30

Nada: sound or sound vibration, or the energetic meaning or power behind the sound vibration. See also shabda

Nada yoga: the branch of laya or tantric yoga which utilizes the sound vibration for realization and liberation. Seealso shabda yoga.

Nadi: Psychic nerve, channel, current, or energy flow; a passageway through which energy and/or consciousness flows; a river

Nadi shodhana: (also nadi shuddhi): a hatha yoga kriya or preliminary pranayama practice which utilizes alternate nostril breathing to purify, regulate, and balance the flow of the prana in the left (ida) and right (pingala) nadis.

Nairantarya: Directed from within; Innate and continuous; uninterrupted: without break or disruption. I.14

Nasikagra dristhi: focused concentration at the tip of the nose. A mudra which stimulates muladhara

Nasta: expelled, banished, exorcised, destroyed. II.22

Nauli: a preliminary cleansing activity in hatha yoga which stimulates the fire in the abdomen at the (manipura chakra)

Neti: a hatha yoga kriya which cleanses the nares (nasal passageways, forehead, sinus, eyes, and ears (ajna chakra).

Neti, neti; An ancinet saying, meaning, “Not that exclusivively, not, “not that” either. You are not just “that”, not just an ego or just a body, but you are something very large, bigger, infinite. Meaning that atman is not separate from Brahman — menaing that there is no separate ego apart fromthe whole, butthat the parst exist, but not independently. SO it is a statement not to negate the body, nature or creation, but rather to see it as part of the all inclusive totality — the Great Integrity

Nibandha: to gate: that which binds together. holds together, seals, activates a valve that redirects a leak, seals a leak, makes whole. completes. creates integrity and wholesomeness. I.35 See bandha

Nidra: One of the five main categories of vrttis. In general, sleep. Isolation or occlusion of the 5 senses and the mind (sixth sense). Also sleepiness, drowsiness, stupor; trance state; semi consciousness, unconsciousness, there existing many stages and characteristics of  sleep   I.6, I.10, I.38)

Nigrahya: unconceivable. ungraspable. inscrutable, incapable of being possessed, owned, nor apprehended. IV.33

Nimittam: causal ground or overall motif; instrumental cause; instrumental cause; the operative or incidental cause itself depending upon causes and conditions. An example is yoga sadhana. By itself mantra, pranayama, meditation, and other sadhana is not samadhi, but it can help bring such about. Samadhi is already here, but we have to remove our non-recognition (avidya) of it. IV.3

Nir: Prefix meaning without, devoid of, free from, beyond.

Nirankar: without form (see sakara).

Nir-ati: beyond above: completely transcendent: beyond the highest I.25

Nirbhasa: self effulgent; self luminous. shining forth I.43, III.3

Nirbija samadhi: samadhi without seed — without falling back into dualistic existence. I. 51; III.8

Nirbijsya: seedless: III.8

Nirguna: without qualities; beyond qualities or attributes: incapable of being defined or described in terms of attributes. Attributeless. (see guna and saguna)

Nirmana: a manifestation or emanation; referring to a resultant and gross, coarse, physical form which has emanated out of other causal forces; a construction, form, fabrication, or contrivance derived from a pre-existing cause. III.4

Nirmanakaya: The manifestation/emanation body of Buddha. Buddha Shakyamuni who lived on earth and manifested in a human body is consdiered a nirmanakaya

Nirodha: Cessation, releasing, unbinding, cancellation, dissolution, stilling, emptying, or nullification as a noun. In yoga nirodha is a passive end-phase where the processes of dissolving, purifying, refining, pacifying, unclenching, stilling, calming, canceling, releasing or liberating the citta-vrtta is no longer required. Nirodha indicates a completely empty, liberated, and open mind space where the citta vrtta has ceased to operate. The resting phase of total open completion that occurs after the collapse of false mental processes of false identification. Here elimination and liberation has come into natural completion/fruition. The active process that accomplishes that is authentic yoga sadhana (spiritual activity), but, as cautioned, it would be an error to take nirodha as an active practice in itself. Rather nirodha is entirely passive/rested within a space beyond even the most subtle further refinement is needed. In meditation it is experienced as a very relaxed and peaceful state of open consciousness — enlivened with pure cit and evolutionary power. It is complete stillness, restiveness, and peace, however as the empty all-container it is not entirely passive, as it houises a great but undefined potentiality. First the yogi, through yogic practices, experiences directly citta-vrtti-nirodha directly, then its nature in regard to unconditional liberation (kaivalaya or Nirvana) is directly known free from further intellectual elebaoration.

The prefix, nir, means cessation, absence, devoid of, without, empty of, transcendent, beyond, or freedom from; while “rodha” means limitation, prison. wall, confinement, or obstacle. Hence citta-vrtti nirodha means a freeing up of the limitations of the mindfield (citta-vrtti). When the restrictions of the mindfield are lifted, what is left is the boundless mind — our own true and unmodified nature of mind (swarupa-sunyam).

In the Yoga Sutras (I.2) the cessation or unbinding (nirodha) of the citta-vrtti that is described is a result which is achieved through yoga practices which effect balancing out nd nullifying dualistic tendencies and bias. That is, as process of release, unwinding, unspinning, unbiasing, cancellation, nd harmonization of the recurring fluctuations or habitual spinning of the mind field, the discursive wanderings and fluctuations of the mindfield — the ordinary mental processes (manas and buddhi) allowing Universal Purusa seed consciousness to enter. Here individual consciousness is reunited with its Universal Source (Primordial Consciousness). As a result of the practices of yoga sadhana, what is produced is the unspun, unmodified, unlimited, pure original primordial state which is the culmination of yoga in swarupa as natural liberation. “Yogas citta-vrtti nirodha” is thus a concise statement of what yoga practice accomplishes — the eventual nullification, elimination, unbinding, and cessation of the discursive wavering fluctuations and disturbances of the mind-field and also its final natural unmodified and unconditioned resting state where the wavering/fluctuations cease altogether revealing our true unobscured nature of mind. At this stage all that remains is the Great Potentiality free from karmic propensity which is the seed of all Buddhas (Tathagathgarbha), swarupa-sunyam (our true nature free from attachment), the, golden egg (Hiranyagarbha), or isvara. Hence yoga is not a “general” process of binding/joining together, but firstly a process of unbinding, non-attaching, releasing, and hence purification process — a movement away from attachment and bondage to absolute/unconditional freedom. Then when that open minded primordially pure wisdom state is recognized as compassionate action, yoga as effective action is engaged as an innate expression — as the Great Seed Potential manifests as embodied love. (I.3 I.12, 51; III.9

Nirodha parinama: a transformational stage or activity that brings about release, unbinding, or cessation/nullification of the citta-vrtti  The first stage of the three great parinamas (transformations) (see III.9 -III.12) where the citta-vrtti disappear and no longer function– here the mind field is completely liberated.  III.9

Niratisayam: Unsurpassed, unexcelled, matchless

Nirvana: Unconditional liberation: Beyond samsaric existence or ignorance (avidya). The cessation (nirodha) of kleshas (chiefly ignorance), karma, samsara, and suffering, hence fulfillment and waking up with pure vision (vidya) or gnosis. See Nirodha and kaivalyam.

Nirvicara; Devoid of vicara.  Even beyond the most subtle form. Beyond even any referent of mentation. asamprajnata devoid of subject/object duality. Formless. See: vicara and compare with nirguna. I.44, 47

Nirvikalpa: transconceptual: beyond ideation. Devoid of intellectual fabrications and compounded thought processes. Devoid of vikalpa (vikalpa one of the five vrttis). Again the prefix, nir, means cessation, absence, devoid of, without, empty of, transcendent, beyond, or freedom from; cessation, absence, devoid of, without, empty of, transcendent, or freedom from; while vikalpa refers to the ideation and discursive processes governed by the intellect (buddhi), karma, and samskaras. “Vi” means separate from, apart from, or as distinguished from, here meaning fragmented or discontinuous from kalpa. Kalpa refers to order, the ordering of sequences of events, or sequential time, hence nirvikalpa refers to awareness beyond logical ordering by the intellect, beyond logic, and beyond mental processes. Hence etymologically, vikalpa means discontinuous or fragmented ordering by the mind, while nirvikalpa is free from such a limitation. Nirvikalpa in yoga as defined by Patanjali in I.9, refers to mental processes which are free from words, conceptualization, or thought forms — the cessation of discursive thinking (the monkey mind). Nirvikalpa is not a reference to unconsciousness, but an awareness beyond analytical ordering, discursive thought processes, or compounded elaboration. Rather nirvikalpa points to a natural, innate, unconditional, inconceivable, and trans-ideational uncontrived awareness beyond sequential time, space, and ordinary knowledge. See also asamprajnata, nisprapanca, aprapanca, and aprancita. For vikalpa see I.6, I.9, and I.42.

Nirvikalpa samadhi: a preliminary samadhi (state of union) where the field of consciousness is free of conceptual thought. The process of arriving into samadhi is not fabricated or constructed by mental concepts and this state of samadhi is also free from conceptual mentation. It does NOT indicate a dull, vacuous, lacking, or depleted awareness, but rather quite the opposite, an awareness which is unconstructed, uncontrived, and unlimited (not bound by concepts). Those who are trapped within the conceptual framework as their only field of reference wrongly impute the non-existence of transconceptual reality. They need to practice dhyana and samadhi and hence eventually experience it. See also asamprajnata, acintya, nisprapanca, aprapanca, and aprancita.

Nirvitarka: Without or devoid of vitarka  (gross/coarse form of mentation), See vitarka or savitarka. I.43

Nisprapanca:(Spros bral – Tib.) Non-elaboration, the natural mind. Transconceptual mentation, non-dual direct perception devoid of subject/object imputation. Asamprajnata, avikalpabhavana, asamjna, acintya, or nirvikalpa. Truth beyond all conceptions. Naked awareness. Original, natural, uncontrived, and undefiled jnana. The link between the absolute truth (emptiness) and relative truth (interdependence) i.e., the two truths is the Tathagata. The Tathagata experienced this non-dual truth (as suchness/tahata), which is nisprapanca as inexplicable in speech and unrealizable in ordinary thought, yet was able to teach it. This awareness is available in non-analytical meditation. (see nirvikalpa, asamprajnata, aprapanca and aprancita).

“The method of meditation is, having investigated the matter/meaning (artha) of non-self with [insight] prajna, to rest evenly in non-conceptuality (nisprapanca). That base which is being investigated is the non-conceptual image/mirror reflection. Having preceived this special base, cut all doubts of false denial or false assertuion concerning the special dharma. Since if one does not find the non-self view, whatever meditation method one adopts misses the Thatness, one has to find it. However even though one has the understanding of the view, if one does not meditate resting in that, it will not become Thatness (tahata) meditation. So having fully investigated the matter/meaning (artha), rest of non-self, rest evenly in the non-conceptual effortless/non-contrived (nisprapanca) expanse (Dhatu).”

Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

Nivrtti: To turn around vrtti. Devoid of (or the cessation of) vrtta; free from patterns, spinning, disturbances, or unrest of the mind. On the path to liberation. The opposite of pravrtti. IV.30

Nivritti Marga: A tantric path that uses methods to “turn around” the vrtti — to nullify the modifications of the mind so that primordial/eternal consciousness (cit) can shine through unabated.

Niyama: The second limb of astanga yoga. Yama means the end, while niyama means to begin — to bring into existence positive activities of body, speech, and mind which can be external and internal, coarse and subtle, inner and outer which bring forth union, hence niyama have less of a negative connotation than yama, yet like any activity they do have opposites. Patanjali says that the niyams act as remedies for coarse (vitarka) vrtti and kleshas (pratipaksa-bhavanam).

Niyam as the end of death, is rebirth. “Ni” (as in niyam), means that which is inherent or underneath. As such the niyams clarify, complement, and expand upon the yams. What is underneath the yams, is the niyams. What is revealed is yoga. These five (niyams) activities to engage upon in life which lead toward and reflect the union of samadhi are saucha (purity). santosha (peacefulness), tapas (spiritual passion), swadhyaya (self study), isvara pranidhana (devotion or surrender to our highest self). These are expressed  spontaneously and naturally when one is in harmony/united. Functional. productive, and effectual skillful activities for a sadhak to engage upon that will stimulate success and harmony in yoga (see yama). II.29, 32, 33, 34, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45.

Nityatvat: perpetuity; eternity; endless. IV.10

Nyasa: extending, projecting, casting, applying, putting forth III.25


Om: (See aum) Also the bija mantra the  ajna chakra

Omkara: Om (See also pranava) I.27

Osadhi (ausadhi): herbs, medicine. III.2


Pada: foot. chapter (in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras).

Padma: Lotus. Symbol of purity

Pancha: five

Panchatayah: Five fold categories I.5

Panka: mud III.39

Para (param): Transcending beyond, sublime, supreme, of the highest order, freedom from, beyond, furthest, most far reaching, more than this, other than. I.16; II.40; III.19, 35, 38; IV.24

Para=artham: See also sarva-artham (sutra IV. 23). Higher purpose or highest intention; true natural unperverted motivation. IV.24

Para Shakti: Supreme All Inclusive Shakti in whom whom all the other Shaktis emanate.

Para-vairagya: Apara vairagya is the lower vairagya which relates to worldly objects and objects in general (and hence samprajnata), while para vairagya relates to the highest vairagya beyond dualistic ways of subject/object duality (and hence is associated with asamprajnata samadhi). In an indirect way all aversion (dvesa) fear, hatred, dislike, repulsion, and the like are also due to raga. In dvesa (aversion) there is always an underlying preference involved (like and hence dislike) — an attachment to results. So aversion is impossible without raga, and vairagya takes care of both. Apara-vairagya still involves a grasper (asmita) who grasps onto coarse (vitarka) or subtle (vicara) forms (rupa) from which one takes pleasure (ananda). This is para-vairagya free from association with dualistic form or content (free from processes of pratyaya).

Paraih: others II.40

Param (parama): Ultimate, highest, most, sublime. supreme form of para. I.40; II.55

Param-purusha (param-purusa): The highest, most far reaching, sublime, and pure self, isvara. The highest self, biot the ego. I.24 (See purusa)

vedAhametam purusham mahAntam
Aditya varNam tamasaH parastAt
tam evam vidvAn amRta iha bhavati
na anyaH panthA vidyate ‘yanaaya

This great Purusha, brilliant as the sun, who
is beyond all darkness, I know him in my
heart. Who knows the Purusha thus,
attains immortality in this very birth.
I know of no other way to salvation.

Paramakasha: One of the five subtle spaces of vyoma pachaka practices associated with the deepest space at the center of twinkling
star-like light whose center is empty/void (sunya). See akasha and panchakasha and parvyoma.

Paramanu: The infinitesimal: minutest, smallest See anu. I.40

Paramamahatattva: The sublimely large. Infinitely huge. See Mahatattva. I.40

Parampara. In Hindusism the line of succession from one guru to teh next.

Paravyoma: the spiritual sky, space, or abode

Pari: all around. all encompassing.complete. To engulf or surround. All encompasing. I.43. II.39

Paridristo: overview. To see from the larger picture. II.50

Parinama: change, transformation or an activity that brings about transformation. II.15; III.9;. 11, 12. 13; IV.2, IV.14, IV.32,  IV.2,

Paritapa: Pain, agony, anguish, heat, torment II.14 (See tapa)

Parisuddhau: Complete purification; most pure. I.43

Parvati: Consort of Siva. Mother of Ganesha and Skanda (Kartikeya/Murugan).

Parvani: division, segments II.19

Paryavasanam: Leading all the way or extending all the way up to the end. I.45

Paschima: The West, west side. In yoga the back side of the body. Compare with purna, East, or front of the body.

Pasthanam: presence II.37 (See upapasthanam)

Phala: Effect as in cause and effect (karma). Fruits, results. or consequences. II.14, 34; IV.11

Pingala: One of the main nadis (psychic nerves/channels) . Located on the right side of the body and crossing over at the third eye to the left brain, the pingala is associated with the upward moving prana vayu, rajas, the efferent nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system, “Ha”, will power and intellectual activity, logical mechanical function, the male energy, and the sun. Pingala is the channel where the prana vayu resides and is regulated via pranayama. See Ida and Sushumna)

Prabhu: grace. IV.18

Pracara: that which comes forth and shows itself and manifests. III.38

Prachchhardana: Exhalation or the expulsion of breath. See prasvasa and rechaka. I.34

Pradhana: III.48

Pradurbhava: emergence; to appear. manifested appearance: an emanation becoming visible or audible, manifestation. III.9

Prajapati: The Hindu god aspect who is the creator of humans. See Brahma.

Prajna: Innate or inborn wisdom. Inner wisdom. Insight. Transcendental wisdom beyond the intellectual processes. Transconceptional (nirvikalpa) natural wisdom. I.20, 48, 49; II.27; III.5.

Prakasa (prakasha): The shining of light, self illuminating, splendor,  brilliance. II.18, 52; III.21, 43.

Prakrti: Universal Nature, creation, evolution, shakti. mother nature, evolutionary energy personificated by the dakini. The universal energy acting for the enjoyment of the purusa on all the planes of being. The manifest evolutionary energy. The kinetic aspect of creation while purusa is the static, passive, or potrential energy component. Apara shakti.

“The active force of Nature which by its motion creates and maintains and by its sinking into rest dissolves the phenomenon of the cosmos”,

Sri Aurobindo

IV.2, IV.3,

Prakrtinam: Natural forces stemming from the innate potential within evolution/creation. The manifestation of nature: natural manifestation; the original or natural form or condition of anything;, original or primary substance; cause original source; In mythology a goddess, the personified will of the Supreme in the creation (hence the same with the Sakti or personified energy or wife of a deity, as Lakshmi or Durga. In Samkhya, he original producer of ( or rather passive power of creating ) the material world ( consisting of 3 constituent essences or Gunas ( sattva, rajas, and tamas); Nature as distinguished from purusa (Spirit), as Maya is distinguished from Brahman in Vedanta or Sakti as distinguished from Siva in tantra. IV.3

Pramada: Impatience, carelessness, inattentiveness, lack of respect and presence. coarse indifference, lack of delicacy, negligence. I.30

Pramana: Most often translated as valid proof. The foremost of the five citta-vrtti (wave forms that obscure the mind). Pramana substitutes as a belief or authority, standard of measure or compass; right measure, or belief system when consciousness is disconnected from recognizing its Source in everyday life. Pramana thus is often any traditional or orthodox knowledge; accepted conventional wisdom; or unquestioned assumption or belief. Pramana consists of pratyaksha, anumana, and agama.

Other common English translations of the word, pramana, are valid cognition, valid proof, valid theory, proven theory, proven conclusion, judgment, right knowledge, but they most often proved to be politically correct views, conventionally agreed upon  beliefs, orthodox doctrine, ideology and doctrine. In short fixated beliefs or “isms”, even if proven, limit and occlude the field of consciousness (citta) and thus are vrttis. An example is a common scientific theory, based on data (pratyaksha), inference and logic (anumana) or even some lab experiment proposing a hypothesis or theory. Then through peer review (agama) it is formulated as a law or “reality”. It is a law, theory, or reality entirely based on these artificial compounded criteria. But what Patanjali is saying is that Reality is much BIGGER than our “view” of it. Pramana apparently is a law or proven theory UNTIL new data or better means of observation is developed. Then new theories are postulated, and new ways of verifying the theory are developed. Another very common example is with those who have a religious agenda. ideology, dogma, or doctrine to superimpose upon reality and upon other people. They are zealots and often intolerant bigots who have a great need to believe that they are right, correct, superior, and good, while others are bad, wrong, incorrect or inferior. These are cookie cutter easy conclusions formulated by mass produced dogmatists on a mission — sometimes called fundamentalists, evangelists, crusaders, or bigots. Such “right views” or “proven theories” form a politically correct doctrine which creates a very strong attachment to thoughts about the world and self, hence a strong tenacious citta-vrtti is structured which is very resistant to unclenching or release/cessation.

In Buddhism (notably see the works of Dignaga, Vasubandu, and Dharmakrti) pramana is reduced to the process or science of logic/inference which comes to conclusions based on perception and verified/onfirmed by agama (external authority).Except the correct direct perception, all other perception/conception are considered wrong direct perception. Pramana as based on inferential knowledge is also divided on the basis of the three categories of correct syllogism namely: natural syllogism, effectual syllogism and negative syllogism. In the Yoga Sutras see: I.6 -7.

Prana: Energy. In the body, the life force energy. In nature prana-shakti. “Pra” is from the beginning, from that which precedes all. “Na” is its direction/guidance. In natural yoga, the assumption is that prana-shakti has an innate intelligent direction, but most humans are not listening; i.e., their connective channels are occluded. Hence pranayama practice opens these nadis up. (see pranayama)

Prana Vayu: The specific pranic wind in the body that responsible for upward movement. Prana vayu is regulated through the pingala nadi.

Pranava: The primal sound vibration from which all sound vibrations and words stem. Sound from before time. Original sound. Aum (OM). Pranavah is derived from “pra” (meaning before or that which precedes) and nava (from the root, sound). Hence that root vibration which precedes the origin of the sound manifestation of the primordial energy behind the sound of Om is the pranava. (See Omkara I.27

Pranayama: To become aware of and subtly work with the prana: to extend/lengthen (ayama) the breath and prana (life force), thus the covering of the light is dissolved. There exist many explanations of this. One is Prana is is derived from “Pra” is the first unit of life, while “na” means to direct. Ayama means to expand or extend. Hence Pranayama is to extend the awareness of the life force, to acknowledge it, understand it, and commune with it as well as to extend it in your own body and in All Our Relations. In The Yoga Sutras that is first done by breath awareness and breath exercises. Then on a more subtle layer, the energy behind the breath is understood. Then the condition of the mind and consciousness is realized. Then the unity of primordial consciousness and the innate evolutionary power, sat and cit, siva and shakti, spirit and nature, are realized. That is samadhi via pranayama. II.49 -52

Pranasya: Life force in the form of the breath I.34

Pranidhana: Devotion, dedication, surrender, listening for guidance. I.23 II.1, 32, 45

Pranam: To bow forth. to honor. To curb the ego: An opportunity to lose the ego. .

Pranava: AUM I.27

Pranidhana: I.23; II.1, 32, 45

Pranta: brought forward toward its eventual fruition or completeness; breaking through, extending the envelope; working through an edge. doorway, or phase. Pranta implies going beyond the existing frontier or breaking a known boundary, hence, in yoga, as a wholistic practice, pranta connotes the breaking of old boundaries and introduces the idea that all the practices are interconnected, lead to, and are integral with, the common integration, samadhi. In fact, the eight limbs of astanga yoga are seamless; i.e., they are interconnected by seven open doorways, interactive, and mutually supportive.Literally breaking/moving forward; discovering a new edge. border, ledge, interspace, interface, or boundary etc. Relating to the process of moving into new territory. As such in yoga, pranta connotes the breaking of old boundaries. In fact, the eight limbs of astanga yoga are seamless; i.e., they are interconnected by seven open interwoven doorways. II.27

Prapanca (Papanca, Pali): Conceptual proliferation or self-reflexive thinking — deluded conceptualization of the world through the use of ever-expanding language and concepts, all rooted in the delusion of self. It is similar to the reification or over objectification process where the observer is intending to elucidate “reality”, but ends up by creating a false perceptual reality which obscures it. Over elaboration. When the universe as an unbounded whole it is fee from subject/object duality; ie., there is no separate observer and object of observation, rather there is experienced direct unobscured pure vision. See aprapanca, nisprapanca, vikapa, nirvikalpa, samprajnata, and prapacita.

Prapancita: conceiveable; dependent upon words. or logical construction. A deluded conceptrual reality fabricated by the mind only. Conceptuallly based. See vikalpa and samprajnata, nisprapanca, and prapanca).

Prapti: attainment

Prasad (Prasada): A very wholesome gift bestowed through grace, intense pleasantness, joyfulness, spiritual nutriment, sweetness, brilliance, and clarity. I.33, I.47

Prasanta: pacified or still quiescence. III.10

Prasadanam: Grace filled, boundless sweetness, happiness, wholesome, and pleasant joyfulness. Citta-prasadanam is a sweet disposition, favorable, wholesome, and very pleasant countenance or feeling where the field of consciousness is permeated with non-dual boundless love, kindness, compassion, and equanimity toward all beings. I.33 Also see I.47

Prasnyam: Relating to prana (energy or life force). Often also relating to the breath which strongly is associated with prana. I.34

Prasvasa: The exhalation, expiration. (also see svasa. rechaka, and prachchhardana) I.31, II.49

Prati: Moving away from something. Against, in opposition to.. II.22 

Pratipaksa: Contrary to: the opposite side. Contemplating or implementing the opposite. II.33, 34

Pratipaksa-bhavanam: The application of pratipaksa to remediate the obscurations caused by coarse citta-vrtti (vitarka-badhane) such as the practice of yam/niyams. II.33, 34. (See virtarka-badhane)

Pratiprasava: Prati means to turn back into the source. It is essentially centripetal motion; Returning to the center or origin or involution. Reversing the process of de-evolution. It is a valuable process in dhyana where a kleshic thought (citta-vrtti) is turned back upon itself using its own momentum against itself. This is also a well known technique in martial arts of inverse propagation. In yoga II.10;  IV.34 (Compare to pravrtti)

Pratisedha (pratishedha): The act of remediating: Counteracting; preventing; to hold back (in Yoga Sutras usually to prevent distractions). I.32

Pratistham: resting place; dwelling, base, foundation free from outside disturbances. Steady abiding. I.8 See also II.35-38 and IV.34

Pratistha (pratishtha): Steadfastness. Stable condition. Established resting place.I.8; IV.34

Pratisthayam: to stand firm and abide. To turn back or to manifest the opposite. Placing the mind, energy, and intention in a steady and firm oppositional state; firmly established, free from opposing or disturbing influences; unshakeable; to stand strong, From the point of view of Divine Intent and Will (the yams/niyams) this is positive. From the point of view of erroneous views (viparayaya), such is tragic. The fruit arising from pratipaksa-bhavanam. II.35-38

Pratiyogi: In regard to, correlated to, or relatively, correspondingly, comparatively or as compared in terms of the whole; in mutuality; interconnected with. IV.33

Pratyahara: Interiorization of the mind and energy. Literally, inward turning or the turning back upon the source which here specifically means to turn the attention and energy (cit-prana) back from being dissipated in the external world of the sense objects, returning attention to Source consciousness, where the senses are realigned with non-dual creation. The fifth limb of astanga yoga which brings the awareness and energy (cit-prana) back into its inner energy center (hara) preventing it from wandering and dissipating in the apparently dualistic external world of the sense objects (upon dualistic perceptions of disparate independent objects of thought appear independently separate and fragmented).

Pratyhara is not just withdrawing the senses from sense objects, but also observing the mind and energy consciously during the process, hence staying centered and focused in the energy body (in energy awareness). In pratyhara the observer withdraws the cit-prana that is directed at objects (both external or objects of thought) back into the core/center from which consciousness and energy emanate. As such it is a powerful practice that kick starts dharana (the sixth limb of astanga yoga). Pratyhara is the middle step in harnessing one’s inner forces and redirecting them when needed,  so that the essential innate energy is no longer dissipated outward into the realm of desire (dualistic world of sense objects). One learns through pratyhara to bring attention back to the core/heart — reconnecting within and circulating the core energy as a spiritual catalyst. That provides for strength, greater health,  inner harmony, concentration, activation, purification, and transformation eventually leading to non-dual integration or samadhi by fueling dharana and dhyana. Eventually through mastery in pratyhara and the other adjacent limbs of yoga, the senses become directed by Source consciousness, s its natural extension. One then is able to perceive Universal Source in all of creation — in all things and beings. II.29, 54, 55.

Pratyak: bringing the mind and energy back inside. Inward focus. Introversion, interiorization I.29

Pratyak-cetana: The process of accessing inward consciousness, inner awareness, insight. The introspective process by drawing back and internalizing consciousness and energy from the exterior world of the senses or object relations (mental or physical) and then using that to focus inside upon the innate seed potential while activating it. In hatha and laya yoga this is drawing back the cit-prana to irrigate the nadis removing interior obstructions and obstacles and activating the higher centers of awareness (chakras). See also pratyhara). I.29

Pratyaksa: Direct perception of an object by the senses. The act of apprehending or cognizing a specific object, When applied to sense objects, it can be said to be the direct bare apprehension of a sense object or a bare/naked sense awareness prior to mental processing/interpretation by the intellect (buddhi) or individual mind (manas). It is the first step of apprehension and comprehension which produces reification. Normally pratyaksa refers to the way the senses collect data from the sense world (physical world) regarding specific information, thus it provides the raw data for samprajnata (cognition based on specific content verses unspecific or general). It is not to be confused with the samadhi of non-dual naked awareness free from conceptualization processes (which occurs in asamprajnata samadhi). When applied to a mental object it is the act of apprehending an apparent object of the mind where the object(s) form an apparent specific and limited content occupying the mind, but the overall non-dual context or perspective is occluded; as in the idiom “Not knowing the forest for the trees”. Pratyaksa refers to normal dualistic object relations where there is a specific object which is apprehended forming the contents of the mind of a seemingly separate observer who is observing the specific object. This is common dualistic observation or “normal” perception “about” events, things, or normal observations. It is not the higher forms of knowing, direct gnosis, prajna, viveka-khyater, samyama, or samadhi I.7 

Pratyaya (praccaya – Pali): “Conditioned-ness”. The ordinary conditioned state of mentation. A cognitive state which is the result of causes and conditions coming together (coalescing). Ordinary dualistic cognition where the mind of the observer is boxed in by a limited domain of observation. This occurs when the ordinary mental function is bent around an object of cognition. To put this another way, pratyaya is the ordinary static state when awareness is obsessed/possessed by I/it dualism (cognition of an object without awareness of the object in relationship to the process of the cognition or the relative situation of the cognizer). Such is not understood via cognitive investigation, but via mindfulness which is fructified via dhyana (meditation).

Pratyaya is often translated as an intention toward any object of thought; a thought which is not objectless, or any ideation process which is contrived by the mind. Hence pratyaya refers to the objects or contents within teh dualistic mindset. To a non-meditator it may appear bizarre that any state of mind can be devoid of any object or content without inducing unconsciousness, but to a meditator pratyaya signifies a limitation of subject/object duality (a fragmented and alienated state due to an artificial imposition of a separate self who observes a separate object within the overall context of a fragmented world (phenomena). Henec emptying the mind of its conditioned or constructed ideational contents, frees the mind so that clarity can arise. Consciousness is greatly clarified. Pratyaya accompanies the samprajnata or dualistic state (see samprajnata such as in I.17). The conscious transcognitive state (asamprajnata) is associated with non-dual deep penetrative wisdom (Such as in I.18 and I.19).

Pratyaya belongs to ordinary dualistic mentation. All mechanical intellectual and logical (buddhi) reasoning and conceptual (vikalpa) processes of analysis/perception based on individualized content magnifis these contents of the mind. Thus a cognitive (I/it) dualistic situation is assumed (samprajnata) which is the glue of the limitations of buddhi (the intellect) and dictated by asmita (egoic ownership). Pratyaya is a limited awareness based on the effect, but ignoring the overall cause and universal unconditioned context in which all events occur. Pratyaya is an assumption of a subject/object duality which is the habitual and conditioned mistake of a “separate self” (ego) and a separate object as having inherent independent existence. Within this limited context (egoic) pratyaksha is the activity in which sense data is obtained, while pratyaya is the process and result which the data is categorized, placed, remembered, and retrieved.

The process of reification (the fallacy of treating an abstraction or fancy as a real thing), occurs when the mental process imputes “thingness” or objective reality to some “thing” which really only exists in one’s imagination. Cognitive thought processes which project the existence of objects s if they were real nd solid, and then categorizes them in relationship to other objects also comprise pratyaya. Pratyaya is the result of ordinary dualistic object relations where there is no interdependent integration or context of internal integrity present. Pratyaya thus are the contents of the mindset that is found in dualistic apprehension (pratyaksha) processes from which there has further been imposed a compounding thinking process added on top of reality of the situation; i.e., the  conceptualization processes, where there exists an apparently separate object and a separate self who observes that object, and thus the contents of the thought process projects/imputes contrived or compounded layer of appearance which obscures the essential validity/meaning of reality. This occurs when the ideation process is triggered (the “I” am, therefore “it” is syndrome). Reification is the constructive or generative aspect of perception, by which the experienced percept contains more explicit spatial information than the sensory stimulus on which it is based. As such reification is the manipulation of facts indirectly in an attempt to represent the truth of the facts, within an understandable context. Reification is the consideration of an abstraction or an object as if it had human (as pathetic fallacy) or living (reification fallacy) existence and abilities; simultaneously it implies the thingification of social relations.

Typically reification involves separating out something from the original context from which it occurs, and placing it in another context, in which it lacks some or all of its original connections and seems to have powers or attributes which in truth it does not have. Thus reification involves a distortion of consciousness. Reification in thought occurs when an abstract concept describing a relationship or context is treated as a concrete “thing”, or if something is treated as if it were a separate object when this is inappropriate because it is not an object rather it is a compounded “reality’ created/fabricated by the mental processing. Although based on valid data and supported by logic. and even conventional agreements, it still is an error of cognition.

After basic awareness of the object (direct perception), then the mental processing/interpretation by the intellect (buddhi) or individual mind (manas) often occurs by placing the object of cognition within a predetermined context (perspective or value system) thus compounding the error of fragmented thinking. This is called normal dualistic cognition most often related to the citta-vrtti or pramana-vrtti, smrti-vrtti, viparyaya-vrtti, or vikalpa-vrtti, thus adding undue bias to the awareness. That is how the citta-vrtti limit self realization (see I.7-I.11 of the Yoga Sutras).

When applied to a mental object it is the act of apprehending an apparent object of the mind where the object(s) form an apparent limited content or domain thus combined with a limited context or perspective, however the non-dual context is still occluded. Pratyaksha first (obtaining the raw data as in naked awareness) can be very useful if not colored/distorted by the citta-vrtti, but for the conditioned mind (one who has forgotten Self and has not practiced dhyana or yoga in order to reconnect) pratyaya then follows (processing the data) in normal dualistic mentation where the object forms the content of the ideation hence distorting “reality”. The ordinary human being is not able to discern between what they are observing (reality-as-it-is) and what their mind fools them into thinking “what-is”, until they learn to abide in naked universal awareness (swarupa-sunyam which is samadhi) — abiding in their innate natural state before patterned conditioning  I.10, 18, 19: II.20; III.2, 12, 17, 19, 35, IV.27.

Pratyaya-virama: or virama-pratyaya (See virama-pratyaya). One of the most important practices in yoga as the withdrawal and cessation of the pratyaya process of projecting individual “thingness” to phenomena or objects of thought. It effects asamprajnata samadhi (non-dual awareness), whereby pratyaya (dualistic cognition) ceases. It is similar to nirodha-parinama. If this fails, then one needs to practice (sadhana) more. If it is successful, then there is no need for further practice effecting asamprajnata samadhi. Also see virama and virama-parinama. I.18

Pravibhaga: distinction, separation. III.17

Pravrtti: Moving forward and outward, spinning forward, centrifugal, efferent as distinct from centripetal or afferent.  (Compare with pratiprasava and nivrtti). An activity; a coming forth, an appearance, a manifestation, an arising, exertion; a course or tendency towards an object or outward direction. I.35, IV.5

Prayag: The meeting of two rivers to form a third. The meeting place of ida and pingala nadis. An ancient place of worship and devotion at the confluence of the Ganga (ida), Yamuna (pingala), and Saraswati (sushumna) rivers (located at the modern city of Allahabad). The Triveni Sangam, or the intersection of Yamuna River and Ganges River. The Ganga (white) and Yamuna (black) are visible running on the surface of the planet, while the Saraswati is invisible. Also see Yamuna and Ganga. See Siva Samhita Chapter 5.

Prayatna: Persevering effort, the application of a sustained or continuous endeavor over time. (see yatna) II.47

Prayojakam: prompting, instigating, a causative precursor or instrumentally causal and necessary factor which has created the present situation; an essential catalyst/synergist. Also see aprayogjakam. IV.5

Prithvi: The earth element; earth tattva. One of the pancha bhutis.

Punah: again; repeated. III.12

Punya: merit or virtue. Meritorious action I.33, II.14 (also see apunya)

Puraka: In pranayama a controlled inhalation. (See svasna and abhyantara)

Puraka Kumbhaka: Retention or cessation of the breath after inhalation. (See rechaka). Also see antar and bahya kumbhaka)

Purna: Fullness. Completion. Integral.

Purusha (purusa): Simply stated, purusa is the conscious principle or pure witness consciousness. Also unmanifested consciousness. Pure awareness.However in yoga, the yogin strives to go beyond mere intellectual or objective understanding of this term. Many other definitions for purusa exist, depending on one’s bent such as the true self; pure absolute consciousness; witness consciousness; the all seer; the innate imperishable true self; undifferentiated consciousness; unmanifested consciousness; the universal observer –Isvara or Maheshvara as the param purusa. As conscious witness, the question remains “what” is being witnessed, “what” is its qualities, and “who” is witnessing “who”? Ultimately such an answer is only possible in an non-dual framework beyond ordinary “self-consciousness” that invokes a separate observer and an independent object. Ultimately then we are addressing the param-purusa as pure unobstructed consciousness, the all seeing/all pervading ultimate observer.

From “I Am That”, page 1, Baba Muktananda Maharaj!

“Man goes to great trouble to acquire knowledge of the material world. He learns all branches of mundane science. He explores the earth, and even travels to the moon. Yet he never tries to find out what exists within himself. Because he is unaware of the enormous power which lies hidden within him, he looks for support in the outer world. Because he doesn’t know the boundless happiness which lies inside his heart, he looks for satisfaction in mundane activities and pleasures. Because he doesn’t experience the inner love, he looks for love from others.

The truth is that the inner Self of every human being is supremely great. Everything is contained in the Self. The creative power of this entire universe lives inside everyone of us. The divine Principle which creates and sustains this world pulsates within us in the form of supremely blissful light. It scintillates in the heart, and shines through all our senses. If, instead of pursuing knowledge of the outer world, we were to pursue inner knowledge, we would discover that effulgence very soon.”

It is a simplification that “purusa” has become to mean a generalized term for self, but the true identity of this “self” is the very much larger question which is generally ignored, but forms the very basis of authentic Eastern spirituality i.e., what is our true self nature (swarupa) devoid of delusion, masks, self deceit, ignorance (avidya), ideology, and false identification? In short the English language is devoid of an adequate definition of these different identities/selves. The two extremes being the egoic (separate self) where consciousness perceives itself to be independent from universal consciousness, and the Universal Self which intrinsically implies an inner transpersonal and non-dual realization.

Since in the West there are many answers, the word, purusa, is best translated as imperishable or absolute true self, as the universal intrinsic and all pervasive seed awareness. That definition will not make sense to the intellect, rather it is an attempt to define the indefinable — a spiritual transcognitive and transrational experience. In yoga, thus we refer to the param-purusa the greatest and most pure Self. In India as time went by its definition changed depending on the school of thought. Samkhya philosophical dualists translate it as an isolated consciousness separate and withdrawn from the world (and hence undefiled by the gunas). That’s similar to many Western concepts of an alien/separate God. Although the assumption of dvaita (dualistic) samkhya philosophy became dominate in Indian academic and intellectual circles, such an assumption is not integrative (it is not the yogic definition). Samkhya will assume that this dissociated and non-present purusa is the true “self” and hence attempt to dissociate from life, the body, and existence (what they call prakrti) in order to attain such.

However the Yoga Sutras are not so reductionist (rather it is integrative), albeit samkhya dualists will claim ownership and authority to the term, purusa. It must be pointed out that Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras uses the term in a yogic way, where yoga stands out as an integrity independent of samkhya dualists. Among many problems inherent in the dualistic approach is that purusa is defined as being a separate “thing” or entity (ego) outside of the universe, hence such a definition appears needlessly limited if not an extremist abstraction. Within samkhya it serves as an internal correction of perceiving nature (prakrti) as being dead and apart from (purusa). If however we take purusa as omnipresent, all pervading, and omniscient then we can understand prakrti as being its container, while at the same time not being corrupted by prakrti (purusa still maintains its formless and absolute status. Actually purusa contains prakrti, just as much as prakrti contains purusa. Together they form the whole — whologram.

In the beginning stages, when the practitioner is moving away from their egoic prison, yes it is true that the true seeker must first gain perspective, gain distance, and observe the pre-existing egoic state dominated by the citta-vrtti. One simply stops identifying with egoic consciousness (mostly through observation. witnessing especially via dhyana practice). Important as it is, it is still only an elementary stage of vairagya, not para-vairagya (see I.17 and I.18), because the dualistic illusion of an independent observer who observes phenomena still persists. Sri Aurobindo calls this isolated witness consciousness, the nirguna brahman.

The yogi however benefits from realizing this as a preliminary stage, being able to enjoy it at will, thus freeing the yogi from the turmoil;s of limited false identification and ego. That creates a breather space, but it is not the ultimate realization of samadhi. This is not all and everything, but rather the first step toward the realization of nothing. Eventually there has to be a dawning awareness of the true self as swarupa sunyam (III.3) Then the yogi can see isvara as the true self (purusa) which resides as the seed potential in all beings and things. Then the descent of grace manifesting as a universal moral expression is expressed. That is knowing the Universal all pervasive true “Self” as underlying everything when we wake up more fully.

Thus in stages the pure objective consciousness of purusa is to be known, the third eye opened, and then the true self is activated (pure subjectivity is merged in pure objectivity) as Sat-Cit Ananda. When the inner eye is opened fully and completely (purna), that same universal Self is revealed as self existing everywhere. The sublime goal is thus not to merely witness and isolate, rather it is to act, express, and manifest our highest evolutionary potential here and now in a joyously courageous moral expression or integrity. To know that Self as neither exclusively an internalizing withdrawal nor an exteriorization, but rather as an inseparable non-dual integral process where differentiated and undifferentiated consciousness are known as inseparable, is yoga in its fullness. That great integrity is called yoga or full (purna) samadhi.

Purusa is the stainless ever-pure conscious principle which is ever free and unlimited (the spiritual noumenon) ultimate omniscient conscious principle underlying all of creation and beyond creation. In a syncretic manner then it is this same Conscious Principle wedded with existence Prakrti), but not altered by it. The param-Purusa thus is formless and unborn, yet universal, implicate and all pervading as the innate potentia, Therefore it is revealed in and by all (when our own inner sight/eye is opened) as the awareness innate in beingness while co-existing in its pure formless state of stainless pure absolute consciousness. We will find in Indian thought many different interpretations of the word, purusa. The most ancient Vedic meaning of the word, purusa, is integrative as it is found in the oldest Veda, the Rg Veda, Book X, Chapter 90 (Purusa Sukta) which defines the interpenetrating quality of Ultimate Reality (purusa) and the universe as:

“Purusa alone is this entire world, both past and future: he is also the lord of immortality when he mounts above (to heaven) for food.”

In sutra I.16 Patanjali says that this inner sight is opened through abhyasa-vairagyabhyam until para is experienced (para-vairagya). In short yoga activates our potential to manifest isvara as cit-sakti (see IV.34). In I.24 Patanjali says that isvara (Maheshvara) is the highest and most pure purusa, hence in yoga purusa is identifiable with isvara and accordingly with Maheshvara (Siva who is wedded with shakti) which fits more closely with the Vedic and Tantric definitions of purusa than samkhya. For more see this introduction at the beginning of Kaivalya Pada and`especially this discussion entitled, Purusa can not be Owned or Bought. See Professor Whicher’s commentary on Prakrti and Purusa

I.16, 24; III.35. 49, 55; IV.18, 34. (also see param-purusa).

Purva: A referent to former, previous, prior, predecessor, ancient, or unborn (before birth). More commonly the east (the place where the sun arises) and in yoga the front of the body. I.18, 26; III.7, 18 See pashima (west) or the back of the body.

Purvaka; accompanied by; Something that proceeds from the prior; I.20; II.34.

Purvebhyah: preceding or prior in order/sequence. III.7



Raga: One of the chief kleshas (impediments to spiritual union). craving, yearning, an attraction away from the present toward toward an object in the future distance, a feeling of lack, absence, or hollow emptiness which craves to be be filled, gratified, or satisfied. Any attachment toward an object outside of the present circumstance, any attraction or propulsion away from the Here and Now toward a future that promises fulfillment/union. In yoga raga is the result of the split from primordial vision (avidya) through the ideation process (samsaric attractions) establishing the false identification of an illusory separate independent self (asmita or ego), and then ignorantly attempting to compensate for this disunion via compensatory ersatz cravings. In short, raga is the compensatory and neurotic externalization toward secondary sources of “pleasure”, due to the primary split/rend with being Here and Now in harmony with the process of creation, creativity, evolution, and life as natural process. The pure bliss (ananda) which is the natural union of pure beingness (sat) and pure consciousness (cit) has no equal. Searching for fulfillment while abandoning this innate union is the source of ignorance and suffering. This unsurpassed bliss is the result of asamprajnata samadhi (non-dual transconceptual transcognitive union), See sutra I.18.

Raga can vary from being a subtle and simple liking or preference assigned by the ego as being positive or good; something that the egoic mind associates as desirable or promising in the sense that pleasure (as union) would result. On a gross level raga combines with asmita or dvesa and manifests as greed, plunder, rape, thievery, predation, power mongering, exploitation , obsessive scarcity consciousness, over consumption, gluttony, possessiveness, clutter, hoarding, covetousness, envy, competitiveness, himsa (violence), asatya (untruth), asteya (dishonesty), over indulgence, over consumption, avarice, invidiousness, all obsessions, and addictions.

Raga is a craving of the ego-mindset which desires to possess or be possessed by objects, forms, or mental constructs. Raga is a propensity toward an ersatz or temporary union (not samadhi). Attachment to results of action; attraction to objects/objectives that promise pleasure (sukha), clinging to pleasure; defining one’s purpose as seeking pleasure; or the anticipation of what might appear as pleasurable. A desire toward apprehending an object. Lust, craving, desire, stimulation, arousal, or extractive force which draws one out into the dualistic sense world of continuous craving leaving one so immersed in the cycle of temporary satisfaction/dissatisfaction (samsara). Attachment to a sense of a separate independent self and/or objects of desire by the restless mind. The result of separation and spiritual alienation from the true imperishable Self.

For the lost and diseased, raga appears to give them a renewed purpose in life (to fulfill their desires. Such error by assigning craving and desire as pleasurable is a perverse confusion. Raga as need, does not occur out of “chance”, but is based on avidya and asmita, separation, lack, and absence — the absence of visionary spirit (avidya) and harmony and union with it in visionary continuity/integrity. Without that connection there remains a sense of incompleteness, hence the ego delusion (asmita) of a separate self who craves, desires, or may find satisfaction by loving an external object or “thing” becomes reinforced via raga. Raga is an obscured/afflicted state of mind.

Attachment to results of action; attraction to objects/objectives that promise pleasure (sukha), clinging to pleasure; defining one’s purpose as seeking pleasure; or the anticipation of what might appear as pleasurable. One of the chief kleshas. Desire toward apprehending an object. Lust, craving, desire, arousal which draws one out into the dualistic sense world. Attachment to self and/or objects of desire by the restless mind. The result of separation and spiritual alienation from the true imperishable Self..

The situation of raga is based on lack — the absence of visionary spirit (avidya). Without that connection there remains a sense of incompleteness hence the ego delusion (asmita) of a separate self who craves, desires, or may find satisfaction by loving an external object or “thing”. Here temporal dualistic craving, preference, and love are often confused with spiritual or divine love. They are quite different. The former being conditional while the latter unconditional. For example, the ego may love chocolate, prefer warm weather, love people who are supportive and agree with them, or love good tasting food. Such is neither good nor bad, but simply conditional and dualistic raga as long as one’s happiness is dependent upon it. It also may increase dvesa (aversion) when such desires, preferences, circumstances, events, or conditions are not met/fulfilled. Ordinary desire is carnal/temporal love, where the subject is drawn out and fooled that by expending effort and energy toward obtaining a dead objective will bring a lasting pleasurable reward. The opposite is being present HERE and NOW.

The remedy for raga is vairagya (complete non-attachment to results) which is best facilitated in dhyana (as silent sitting meditation). Also see I.18. Spiritual love (as vairagya) is unconditional and non-manipulative. One is very simply present HERE and NOW. One simply is passionately happy and fulfilled (bliss fileld) in the eternal present, loves all beings in the sense that they naturally care for the well being of others, their happiness, and spiritual welfare, regardless if the lover is actually able to effect otehr’s liberation or not. One simply rests in the wise intent of this great innate transpersonal force/intent. It is wise to love this way, but the ordinary person is obsessed with selfish ego delusions, of which will only be broken asunder via effective practices that break up those old patterns and to let in the light and love (true vision). I.7 (Also see vita-raga and vairaga.)

Rahita: without

Raj yoga or Raja yoga: Literally, the king of yogas, meaning it is the superior method. It is the yoga as described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras that focuses on dhyana as the highest limb before samadhi.

Rajas: fiery, stimulating, one of the three gunas (rajas, sattva, tamas)

Ram: Bija (seed) syllable for the manipura chakra. Ripening and heating energy. The name of Lord Rama (of the Ramayana).

Ramayana: the epic story of the life of Rama written down by Valmiki and turned into pure honey by Tulsi Das

Rasa: Juice: juju; the spice of life. II.9

Ratna: a gem or jewel. II.9, 37

Rechaka: A controlled exhalation – See pracchardana, prasvasa, svasna and bahya

Rechaka-kumbhaka; External retention. holding the breathing out after exhalation. (See bahya kumbhaka)

Rigpa (Tib.): recognition of our true nature: instant presence; being truly present; sacred presence; gnosis; jnana; abiding in our natural timeless state; recognition abiding in the timeless now; pure vision (vidya versus avidya (marigpa tibetan).

The beginning of recognition is an awareness of dualistic thought mechanisms, the egoic or conditioned mind, but rigpa as pure vision is awareness of the primordial state, the true universal transpersonal nature of your own mind (sacred presence).

Rishi (Rshi): a sage or wise man usually depicted as living in a forest hermitage.

Rtam-bhara: Bearing sublime and seamless truth. Pregnant and bearing dharma as ultimate truth. Compare with Dharma-megha in IV.29-30. “Thus freed from selfish motivation while abiding steadily (sarvatha) in self luminous discriminatory awareness ,the rain-cloud of natural law (dharma-megha) is accumulated (prasankhyane) and absorbed (samadhih), hence the cessation of samskaras, klesha, and karma are realized.” I.48

Rudha: arises from, having grown strong; firmly established. II.9

Rudra: A Hindu God found in the oldest Vedas. After the Aryan invasion of India (sometime after 1700 BC, Rudra became identified with the native deity of Bharat (ancient India), Shiva. See Shiva/Siva

Rupa: form. Also se sarupya (I.4) and arupa (formless). I.8, 17. II.23, 54. III 3.3, 21, 46. IV.34

Rupadhatu: The realm of form as distinct to the dharmadhatu which is formless (arupa). See Arupadhatu and arupa.

Rupakaya: Form body of a buddha. Rupakaya includes the nirmanakaya (emanation or physical body of the Buddha) and the sambhoghakaya (enjoyment body) or energy/illusory body of the Buddha. When these bodies are aligned with the dharmakaya (formless body of the primordial buddha), then a living buddha manifests here and now.

Rupatvat: form, image; possessing form IV.9


Sa: with; accompanied by.

Sabda (Shabda): Word, but in ancient times the spoken word: Speech; and in its more subtle meaning, sound and even more subtly as a sound vibration. I.9, 42 

Sabija: With seed. See bija. I.46

Sabija samadhi: samadhi with seed. temporary samadhi (see nirbija samadhi)

Sadhak: A yogic practitioner, One who engages in sadhana 

Sadhana: Yoga practice usually referring to a regular yogic program characterized by self discipline (as distinct from an externally imposed dictates). Sadhana is not practice in the sense of being distinct from the event of the “real thing” (as if one were simply practicing for a future event). Rather in process oriented sadhana one is moving in sadhana ever more closely toward total integration (samadhi) which is experienced and deeply felt in every movement and moment of the sadhana. As such sadhana is skillful means leading to full accomplishment, proficiency, and liberation.

Sadharanatvat: commonality: generally accepted. II.22

Saguna: with qualities. (see guna)

Sahaj: Intrinsic, natural, and spontaneous. Sahaj is the intrinsic natural state where all compounded thoughts, all artifices, imputed thought processes, imputations, contrivances, and modifications of the mindstream are laid to rest, so that the seer is able to see clearly in pure vision the true nature of nature as-it-is free from any bias or prejudice of an independent or separate observer. The universal all pervading perspective within a universal context, as distinct from a personal or exclusive point of view. The sahaj state produces uncontrived and natural mahasukha (great bliss) — as a result of the spontaneous outpouring of the intrinsic amrita (soma juice).

From the “he Pathless Path to Immortality”, by Sri Gurudev Mahendranath:

“Man is born with an instinct for naturalness. He has never forgotten the days of his primordial perfection, except insomuch as the memory became buried under the artificial superstructure of civilization and its artificial concepts. Sahaja means natural. It not only implies natural on physical and spiritual levels, but on the mystic level of the miraculous. It means that easy or natural of living without planning, designing, contriving, seeking, wanting, striving or intention. What is to come must come of itself.

It is the seed which falls in the ground, becomes seedling, sapling, and then a vast shady tree of wisdom and teachings. The tree grows according to Sahaja, natural and spontaneous in complete conformity with the Natural Law of the Universe. Nobody tells it what to do or how to grow. It has no swadharma or rules, duties and obligations incurred by birth. It has only svabhava – its own inborn self or essence to guide it. Sahaja is that nature which, when established in oneself, bring the state of absolute freedom and peace.

It is when you are in your natural state, in the harmony of the Cosmos. It is the balanced reality between the pairs of opposites. As the Guru of the Bhagavad Gita says, ‘The person who has conquered the baser self, and has reached to the level of self-mastery: he is at peace, whether it be hot or cold, pleasure or pain, honoured or dishonoured.’ Thus Sahaja expresses one who has reverted to his natural state, free from conditioning. It typifies that outlook which belongs to the natural, spontaneous and uninhibited man, free from innate or inherited defects.

In all the Golden Dharmas, Sahaja flourishes. In Taoism, it was the highest virtue (Teh). In the earlier Zen records, it is the main plank of training along which the disciples had to walk. The masters demanded answers which were Sahaja, and not the product of intellectual thinking or reason. The truth only came spontaneously. Sahaja in Chinese became tzu-jan, or Self-so-ness. Taoism openly lamented the loss of the peculiar naturalness and unselfconsciousness of the child.”

Sahaj Samadhi: Our natural state. A samadhi which is entirely unconditioned, natural, and uncontrived. This samadhi is eternally accessible to the wise. This can occur naturally and spontaneously when past karma has been burned. Many consider this the highest and the most complete samadhi.

Saraha’s Dohakosa: The Royal Song of Saraha (Keith Dowman’s translation)

Doha mdzod spyod pa’i glu: Dohakosa nama caryagiti

Homage To Aryamanjusri!
Homage to the destroyer of demonic power!

The wind lashes calm waters into rollers and breakers;
The king makes multifarious forms out of unity,
Seeing many faces of this one Archer, Saraha.

The cross-eyed fool sees one lamp as two;
The vision and the viewer are one,
You broken, brittle mind!

Many lamps are lit in the house,
But the blind are still in darkness;
Sahaja is all-pervasive
But the fool cannot see what is under his nose.

Just as many rivers are one in the ocean
All half-truths are swallowed by the one truth;
The effulgence of the sun illuminates all dark corners.

Clouds draw water from the ocean to fall as rain on the earth
And there is neither increase nor decrease;
Just so, reality remains unaltered like the pure sky.

Replete with the Buddha’s perfections
Sahaja is the one essential nature;
Beings are born into it and pass into it,
Yet there is neither existence nor non-existence in it.

Sahajoli mudra: practice involving physical contraction of muscles around the urethra and directing the energy upward; a technique for raising energy. One of the three classical Hatha Yoga “oli” mudras which includes amaroli and varoli mudras.

Sahasrara chakra: The 1000 petaled lotus. A concentration point is at the crown of the head representing the permanent for,less state of pure consciousness (siva), the pure, unchanging state of energy and consciousness; state of inner effulgence or enlightenment.

Sahita: willful or deliberate action. Conscious control via the will and intellect; Deliberate imposition of control or force by imposed by ego (as opposed to natural (see kevala or sahaj to compare).

Saithilya: loosening, unwinding, unraveling, or relaxing. Unbounded, not tight or rigid. II.47; III.38

Sakala: Over time

Sakar: with form (see nirakar)

Sakti (Shakti, saktir, or saktyo):The intelligent kinetic power, force, ability, or evolutionary creative activity behind nature, all phenomena or creation. The intelligence attributed to shakti is not assigned by man, but is pre-existing, innate in nature, unknowable through the intellect and transconceptual. Where shakti is the kinetic energy as power, Siva is the potential energy behind shakti. Siva and shakti are inseparable, yab and yum, Samantabhadra and Samantabhadri, purusa/prakrti, etc., are united non-dually. Siva being beginningless eternal formless) while shakti takes on infinite form and shapes. Thus in tantra shakti is associated with Uma, Parvati, Durga, dakinis, and Kali, while in other systems with prakrti and/or Maya in Vedanta as referring to Siva’s clothing or veil. Dakinis and goddesses are specific activity manifestations of shakti/siva. II.6, 23, III.21 IV.34.

Salambana with support III.20 (see lambana)

Sam, sama, or san: a prefix meaning total, complete harmony or equality. Also the word, sama, is used to indicate equivalence, balance, relationship, or mutuality between two apparently separate objects (or rather objects of thought) as in the process of comparison. But in reality all things are interconnected, hence the separation existed only in the mind as an error of cognition. In fact, everything is interconnected, complete, and parts of the unifying whole — the whole being the sum of its parts. In a conventional sense the orange is not the apple, but in the wholographic sense all interconnected things are defined by their relationship to everything else. Hence the apple is found within the complete interconnected experience of the orange; just as the orange and the apple and the entire universe is found within the complete interconnected experience of the apple. In fact beginningless time is found NOW in the present as an open doorway.

Samadhi: sama (wholeness or completion) plus dhi (dhyana) equals completion of meditation (dhyana).Samadhi is wholeness, wholesomeness, holographic integration on all levels which is the culmination of yoga (which means to join together and make whole). It is the experience of “everywhere Infinite Mind” in All Our Relations. Integration; universal presence as swarupa-sunyam with nothing left out – void of fragmentation/degeneration, corruption, or discrete taints of alienation or disparity.

Samadhi is the realization of the culmination of union — the end pf yoga. If yoga is to connect together the apparently fragmented objects of thought, then a shift occurs where all our relations are experienced as aligned, interconnected, wholesome, wholographic, and complete. That experience is samadhi which occurs after the dissolution of the vrttis, false identification (sarupyam), ignorance (avidya), the egoic sense of separate self (asmita), and all the mental/emotional afflictions (kleshas). thus allowing the shift in consciousness which merges with primordial divine consciousness as that Great Integrity and as its expression in the NOW.

It is not a limited union (such in samyoga), but a full and complete transpersonal and non-dual non-exclusive all encompassing union with all including source where all questions are fully resolved. Samadhi is a state of ultimate union and realization — a total integration and oneness (singularity) of the body, mind, breath, universe, and intrinsic source seed awareness from beginningless time here in the eternal Now devoid of attachment and aversion. The embodied union of undifferentiated consciousness (Maheshvara/Purusa) and differentiated consciousness (prakrti/shakti) as the sublime non-dual Self (Maya being the clothes that reveal the underlying all pervasive Brahman). This is not to say that Siva equals Shakti (that they are one and the same thing), rather as a whole they form a singularity. Where Shakti can not be separated from Siva, Siva is independent. Siva can be said to be the only non-thing that is completely independent yet simultaneously Siva interpenetrates all of creation — form, formation. Also see sahaj samadhi and kaivalya (unconditional natural liberation). (I.20, 46, 51; II.2, 29, 45; III.3, 11, 38; IV.1, 29)

Samana vayu: the energy between prana and apana vayu. Samana balances and equalizes the energy. Samana is associated with the navel center, digestive fire, assimilation, and the energy of peristalsis. One of the five principle vayus.  See also apana, prana, udana, and vyana.  

Samana:  energy flow through the abdominal region or solar plexus (III.41)

Samantabhadra: the primordial Buddha is pure omniscience, the essence of the enlightened mind of all the Buddhas. Embracing Samantabhadri, the female primordial Buddha, their union represents the fusion of wisdom and compassion, the ultimate indivisibility of samsara and nirvana and the potential for Buddhahood inherent in all sentient beings. Samanta means, “universally extending toward completeness”. Bhadra means “great virtue.” Samantabhadra means to extend such great compassion that every sentient being is benefited and to practice so extensively and profoundly that all virtue is perfected.

Samapatti: Literally, a meeting or coming together. An alignment or synchronization. Samapatti is apprehension through a coming together of more than one process which then becomes cognized as a greater integrity or synthesis, than the sum of any of its individual parts (as fragmented isolated elements) which was previously not understood as integral parts of a greater wholistic system or process. In its refined aspect where it is not limited to a specified object, samapatti is a unified field of contemplation where the mind-field settles (coalesces) upon the unity of the observer, the observed, and the process of observation. The normal qualities of this process can be savitarka (coarse or gross), nirvitarka (devoid of coarse thought), or savicara (subtle or fine) but within this it is still implied that there truly exists an observer and object, as well as a limited coalescence, hence samapatti is not samadhi when these distinctions entirely dissolve. In Buddhism, a subdivision of the fourth stage of abstract meditation (there being eight Samapattis)

(I.41, 42; II.47; III.43)

Samaptih= termination (IV.32)

Samarpan: the ability to surrender to the divine will living in the present; dedication

Samaya: commitment, promise, seal. (II.31; IV.20)

Sambandha= relationship (III.42,43)

Sambodhah= awakened insight. The awakening of the light of intutive wisdom (II.39)

Samhananatvani: durability, firmness (III.47)

Samhatya: joined together; simultaneously, interconnected (IV.24)

Samjna: intimate knowledge or understanding; total  comprehension (I.15)

Samkhya (or sankhya): One of the six classical Indian philosophies (Sat Darshanas) based on reductionism/deconstruction (breaking down and analyzing) thought processes and phenomena to their most basic root. A mostly dualistic Indian philosophy predating Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

Samkhyabhis: calculation, breakdown. accounting. II.50

Samnidhau: presence. nearness, close proximity II.35.

Sampannakrama: The completion or perfection stage practices (Tib. dzogrim or Skt. sampannakrama) referring to anuttara yoga tantra as specific detailed “practices” which assumes familiarity with the internal winds, channels, elements, bindu, and chakras such as found in the Six Yogas of Naropa, the Yogas of Nirguma, (sbyor drug, sadangayoga), Six-limbed Vajra-yoga (rdo rje’ i rnal ‘byor yan lag drug), and authentic Hatha yoga. Utpattikrama (generation stage practices) is like setting the table or stage, while sampannakrama (dzogrim) is likened to eating the meal, albeit this breakdown can be integrated instantaneously all at once. (See krama and utpattikrama).

Samprajnana (sampajanna -Pali): Self awareness as being aware of not just an object of perception (mental or physical) but more so, the awareness that the observer is perceiving an object. Hence this is a higher state then simple awareness of an object, but rather awareness of one being aware — of the nature of one’s own mind. Samprajnana is further refined through vipassana (awareness/insight) meditation, where the meditator becomes aware of one’s own state of mind as self awareness or samprajnana (sampajanna -Pali). One recognizes the content of one’s mind (pratyaya) and then lets the contents go (releases the mental grasping) in advanced samatha meditation, The exact identity of the contents and characteristics of the contents of the fixated dualistic mind is secondary to simply the act of releasing it. After emptying the mind of dualistic content, then there remains boundless pure awareness — awareness of awareness, and absolute clarity

Samprajnata: Objective thought based on object relationships where there is a separate independent observer and a separate independent thought (object of the observer). Typical dualistic cognitive or limited awareness of an object (object relationships) by an observer. Awareness based on support (alambanas and their associated vrttis). Samprajnata always refers to a content of awareness (pratyaya). Procedurally it is the process of the mind’s attraction toward objects of thought characterized in four ways: by vitarka (coarse discursive thought), vicara (subtle thought), ananda (bliss in apprehending an object), and asmita (identifying with the object).

1) vitarka (coarse objectification)
2) savicara (accompanied by subtle thought processes
3)  ananda (accompanied with rapture/ecstasy)
4) asmita (identification as being one with the object–ownership)

This type of limited dualistic awareness is an elementary form of awareness/cognition where the “I” (observer) recognizes an “object” that is perceived as truly existing. It is to be refined by yoga practices abhyasa-vairagyam eventually leading to the far more liberating asamprajnata samadhi (devoid of samprajnata). I.17 (also see asamprajnata which is first presented in I.18

Vairagyam is refined in unsupported samatha (shiney) meditation where the meditator lets go of all mental grasping (attachment). An elementary phase of this awareness is achieved through vipassana (awareness or insight) meditation, where the meditator becomes aware of one’s own state of mind, called self awareness or samprajnana (sampajanna -Pali). One recognizes the content of one’s mind (pratyaya) and then lets that go (releases mental grasping and dualistic fixation) in samatha meditation, The exact identity of the contents and characteristics of the contents of the fixated dualistic mind is secondary to simply releasing it. Then there is pure awareness — awareness of awareness, and absolute clarity.

The point being that samprajnata is a limited form of self awareness, likened to Jung’s theory of individuation where there are projections that apparently isolated separate objects and an isolated observer truly exists in a fixed relationship. However the yogi is concerned with freedom from such limited citta-vrtti, desiring liberation through dissolving all distortions of the mind-field, hence asamprajnata samadhi, as the higher samadhi free from subject/object duality is experienced. Also see vikalpa, asamprajnata, prapanca, prapancita, aprapanca, aprapancita, and nisprapanca). I.17

Samprayoga: Contact or union. It is used in the sense of joining or connecting but not to be confused with ultimate union (nirbija samadhi). It is also not samyoga II.44 (See also asamprayoge)

Samsara: The conditioned/patterned mind that is addicted to cyclic existence driven by attraction (raga) and aversion (dvesa) and bound by ego ignorance (asmita-avidya). Yoga is designed to disrupt and breakup these patterns (citta-vrtti, vasana, samskara, kleshas, and karma).

Samsaya (samshaya): doubt, uncertainty, hesitation, inhibition, lack of self worth, lack of self confidence and meaning. I.30

Samskara: Normally refers to a past psychic imprint, impression, or memory lodged in the unconscious (such as a past unprocessed traumatic experience) which have neurophysiological analogues which presets the impulsive stage that triggers compulsive and negative trains of thoughts (kleshas) and tendencies (vasana) when activated by stimuli (sensual or mental). In yoga these past biopsychic and energetic triggering mechanisms are disassembled. Negative samskaras are often held together by deep pain permeated by afflictive emotions (kleshas). Post traumatic stress disease (PTSD) is one example of an old samskara which is calling for liberation/release. A stimuli occurs and the mind asociates it with a past event (trauma). Similarly one can associate another stimuli with a past pleasurable or happy event, but both are conditioned responses based on imbedded samskaric associations.

Samskaras thus being associations made by the mental apparatus based upon past events, hence conditioning comes into play. That conditioning can be purged via yoga. The word, samskara, literally means, to make together, hence bonding together two or more things, mental associations, thought constructs, fantasies, fabrication, inference, etc. In some classical secular systems, a vow or rite which binds one to a specific role or identity (such as a marriage vow/ceremony) is called a samskara. The rite is considered to be the seal which fixates the the samskara in so far it is generally considered to be adopted as an automatic imprint and hence a defining boundary for the rest of one’s life. This latter external application of word, samskara, is not the yogic use of the word.

Huifeng says that samskaras can refer either a process or a result. Usually samskaras are seen as negative programming based on the past, but also (less discussed) are positive samskaras (positive past biopsychic imprints impressed through past positive experiences) which trigger positive mind-sets and activities. Although these positive impressions are capable of over coming fear, grief, anger, deprivation, and dvesa, they also lead to craving pleasure and attachment and are also capable of creating attachment. All the samskaras have to be cut asunder ((IV.27) as the anomalies of the citta-vrtti (mental patterning), kleshas (afflictive emotions), and old habits (vasanas) leading one to liberation (mukti).

Eventually the last past imprint is purified and nirbija samadhi is reached (see I.50). Before that only temporary samadhi is possible (sabija samadhi) — samadhi with seed where future seeds, as samskaras, remain. In yoga, all the samskaras are to be released except one, the innate seed source of awakening (isvara, our essential nature, the bodhi citta, innate buddha nature, the primal seed) whose source is primordial luminosity. Even that is surrendered upon awakening because by definition the samskaras are unconscious and potential, hence foreign to one who is completely awake — embodied. That is the fruition of sublime template of the whole human being — the natural man, Adam Kadmon. Hence in yoga all samskaras must be annihilated. The yogi realizes how to do this instantaneously. It is not that one becomes forgetful or that pathways to primordial memories are disrupted, rather the thought constructs and associative thinking patterns that color and diminsh the pristine present no longer arise. I.18, 50, 51; II.15; III.9, 10, 18; IV. 6-11, 24, 27-30.

Samskarayor: referring to past deep psychic or biopsychic imprints/impressions, and associations. Samskarayor is plural (more than one). III.9

Samvedanat: knowledge, awareness, perception. III.38

Samveganam: possessing an accelerated momentum or heightened passion I.21

Samvrtti: false identication.

Samyama: The process of a provisional limited samadhi (absorption) performed on sense objects or objects of te mind, utilizing  dharana, dhyana, and samadhi combined. Samyama is not samadhi per se. Samyama is also not samyoga which is the error of sameness confusing one thing as another. Samyama is a practice whereupon one first goes into universal space (samadhi) and from there focuses on the object one pointedly in concentrated reflection (dharana), then one relaxes into the object and is absorbed into it while still maintaining awareness and focus. but now it is abiding inside of the object. The object is then *known” not from the point of view of the observer but rather from the point of view of the object as-it-is in terms of everything else in non-dual space. In a sense one becomes the object but not in terms of samyoga, but rather in terms of samadhi. Only then can the object of concentration be truly known. III.4, 16, 17, 21, 22, 26, 34, 41, 44, 47, 52.

Samye: From the root, sam, which means equal or same. Evenness, sameness; equilibrium. III.55; IV.15,

Samyoga: A conjoining. The confusion of sameness where one thing is equivocated as being the same as something else, rather than compared in terms of its wholistic mutuality (in terms of the whole).

In general, the term, samyoga, just means a conjunction, association or identification, but short of asamprajnata samadhi where the small self (atma) is reunited with the large self Brahman) or in strict yogic terms where swarupa-sunya (the emptiness of the true self) is realized as samadhi (see III.3), then samyoga is always meant as a “false identification” — the true identification being swarupa (as swarupa-sunyam or samadhi). Hence samyoga is a limited and false self identification (self as an object, many objects, phenomena, small self, ego, the body only, citta-vrtti, etc). It’s a false or limited self identification. Samyoga is a specific aspect of avidya-klesha where some thing is confused as being the same as another another thing (as such it is even more specifically a fault of asmita-klesha. Samyoga blurs distinctions, while viveka clarifies them by first separating them and then placing all things in perspective with the whole.

Samyoga is the confusion of sameness. It is thus not true union of two or more apparently separate “things” joining together to form a new alliance or whole. but the confusion of taking one as the other. The foundation of a house is not the roof. The house is not the same as one or more of its components. They may be connected as mutual parts of the house or the universe, but they are not the same. Rather the truth of the union of the house is a summation of all the components of the house including its relationships to everything else taken as a whole.

To be sure, samyoga is not samadhi, not samyama, and not non-dual realization. Rather samyoga is the corrupt and limited confused identification where an observer/knower ( “I”) confuses itself with objects of knowing — glomming on to such. Samyoga blurs distinctions, while viveka clarifies them. Samyoga is strongly tinged by avidya, asmita, and raga. This is the same error of avidya (confusion), asmita (ego ownership), and raga (attachment) taken to an extreme such as in monism where taken to the extreme one associates “self’ as being the same as all things and beings. yes all beings and things have something in common, and are thus intimately connected and interdependent, but that should not portend a sameness, rather in diversity (differentiated consciousness) the universal all pervading undifferentiated unborn implicate purusa abides. In non-dual yoga, purusa and prakrti are connected, but they are not the same. It is not possible to separate prakrti as presented in the yoga sutras as existing separate from purusa. yet purusa is not dependent upon prakrti. The ability to discern purusa in nature as well as within the yogi, is the goal of viveka-khyater which brings forth swarupa. So when one observes a mountain or the stars they are still obsessed or fascinated in a false association (samyoga) unless they recognize both purusa and prakrti reflected in the mountain as part of an overall universal sense of being which is a profound state of recognition. That is the union of beauty, esthetic truth, and transcendental wisdom, yet they are not the same, rather the configuration of their union is larger than their component sums.  Unity does not mean sameness, sameness needlessly sacrifices variety and differentiation and hence differentiated consciousness (viveka-khyater). Differentiated awareness and undifferentiated awareness form a unity, but they are not the same. Samyoga is also decoupled by asamprayoga (II.54), as well as by viveka. 

On an everyday basis, examples of samyoga as limited false identifications abound. For example one may dress up in a costume as a monster or act in a play as an actor, but one is not truly either. Another example is when the observer identifies as one with an object of observation as in fascination or an obsession such as I am my car, clothes, my job, my persona, hair do, body, ego, views, or ideas,etc. As we have seen, samyoga is the sleepy state of bland sameness, blocked creative energy, and indifference which inures us to ignorance (the blockage of creative pure vision). Samyoga is broken up via viveka which is an innate power brought forward into fruition via astanga yoga. Viveka breaks asunder/clarifies the error of samyoga/monism. Absolute monism holds that there is only one substance and only one being, hence it denies multiplicity and all that entails. It is a huge but common error in thinking. II.17, 23. 24, 25 (see also see asamyoge)

Sanatana Dharma: The eternal omnipresent timeless truth or law; the way things are as they are free from conceptual imputations. The Dharma megha (rain cloud of dharma) and rtam-bhara (pregnant and bearing dharma as ultimate truth). See santana, vijnana santana, and citta-santana)

Sangha: Spiritual community. Those who are on the spiritual path and who reflect and express truth, light, love, wisdom and compassion.

Sankalpa: Focused spiritual intent, focused will power directed to accomplish yogic self discipline. Spiritual resolve, determination, or conviction. As a practice, sankalpa is not ideological but rather as the focalization of intent/will power. Similarly isvara pranidhana is to merge individual will with divine will — individual consciousness with implicate primordial consciousness. This is para-artham, sarva-artham, and purusa-artham (see IV.23, IV.24, and IV.34). Sankalpa shakti stands in contradistinction to iccha shakti, which is the egoic will power which remains under the dominance of manas.           

Sankhya (see samkhya).

Sankirna: Mixed together; commingled. I.42

Sannyasa (Sanyasa):  The manifestation of inner harmony and fullness which expresses itself externally. The efficient use of cosmic strength; renunciation, dedication.

Sannyasin (Sanyasin): one who is dedicated to spiritual knowledge. One who has renounced worldly, superficial, and hollow superficial pursuits in favor of spiritual union. Those who have renounced suffering (duhkha) and have embraced or affirmed the path spiritual liberation (mukti) and happiness.

Sanskrit: The language of the Vedas and Upanishads and forerunner to modern Hindi. Sanskrit is an Indo-european phonetic language ascribed to the Aryans which originated north of the Tigris-Euphrates river valley and then spread to India around 1700 BC. Sanskrit shares with the forerunners of ancient Zoroastrianism which used the old Avestan language the same roots. They also share much of the same creation stories and “myths”. Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas and Upanishads formalized in India by Pannini circa 600 BC.

Santa: peaceful, quiet, calm, still, rested. III.12 (also see santosha)

Santana: Unbroken or continuous stream. Here it connotes primordial and timeless wisdom. Also see Santana Dharma. See Santana-vijnana (non-dual gnosis), citta-santana, and Sanatama Dharma.

Santana Dharma (see Sanatama Dharma)

Santosha: peaceful and pacific heart; contentment; fulfillment, peace filled, complete. One of the niyams. Also see aparigraha. II.42

Sapta: Seven: II.27

Saptadha: Seven fold. II.27

Saraswati: Goddess of creativity; One of the Swami orders (of the twelve dashnami schools) founded by Adi Shankaracharya.

Sarira: body; envelope, sheath. III.38

Sarupya: “Sa”, mans “with”. Sarupa is with form. A representational reality: a likeness (sa) or approximation to form (rupyam). It is a false identification as a separate thing/object or form as opposed to swarupa-sunyam (I.3 and III.3). See: I.4

Sarva: All, every, entire, complete

Sarva-artham: Also the para-artham (sutra IV.24). The all purpose or collective all encompassing mutual highest intent of all sentient beings. The para-artham. Purpose of all life. IV.23

Sarva-avarana: All veils or coverings IV.31

Sarva-bhauma: Universal culture. All dimensions. Universal and limitless world systems. All pervading to be applied to all things, beings, and events. Beyond limit as to culture, place, or time. II.31

Sarvajna: All-knowing One

Sarvajnana: Literally all knowing; omniscient. I.25

Sarva-mangalam: For teh happiness of all. The all happiness.

Sarvatha: Abiding steadily and unmoved in one’s true and highest purpose. At all times. Continuously. Constant in purpose and intent. IV.29.

Sati: the first wife of Siva; Being, existence or more specifically, passive existence, having been established. II.13, 49.

Satkara: respect; honor; acknowledge; devotion to, dedication; reverence. (like in reverence for all life). I.14

Satsang: being in the company or field of truth. Listening to truth,

Sattva: One of the three gunas (rajas, tamas, and sattva). Sattva is said to be the most pure aspect of prakrti (creation). Experienced when tamas and rajas are completely balanced; Rajas is said to flow in the pingala and tamas in the ida nadis. Harmony and natural goodness results. When sattva is established the energy flows in the sushumna nadi. Sattva thus is the essential balanced and pure energy most perfectly reflecting the purity and balanced harmony when the inner most self is united in experience. Thus sattva is associated with the “True Self” as in pure beingness (Sat). The unitive state of pure beingness (SAT) which is united with pure uncontaminated (Cit), and all pervading love/bliss (Ananda).  The essential point is that sattva is the natural uncorrupted quality of innate purity, goodness, and beingness.

Hence the samsaric mindset is associated with the obstructions, poisons, and taints of impure vision (avidya). Such exists because of kleshic taints which pattern the citta-vrtti poisoning the mind and being. In the state of sattva, this samsaric skew has ben cancelled out and annulled (nirodha). Mind and body, spirit and nature, male and female are synergistically synchronized by the yogi creating the purifying elixir. This is the yogic meaning of sattva – experiencing the true undiluted nature of Mind and existence simultaneously. When samsara’s tradition (avidya, etc) is broken asunder, the pure vision (vidya) reigns. There exists an implicate tradition/creatrix which reflects all the dimensions, physical and energetic, before time, in the past, and in the future — both potential and kinetic. Opening up to that pure and vast nature comes from purity as we reflect that in All our Relations. From purity of the innate satva we extend all the way to the limitless. Sattva brings us release from the limitations of the suffering mind. It activates our natural creative evolutionary power. II.41; III.35, 49, 55.

Sattvic: The quality of being pure and balanced where the gunas operate in undivided and mutually synergistic harmony.  

Satya: Truth: On of the five yams. The communion with truth: establishing oneself in truth. Satya as a subtle and inner practice is being truthful with oneself, destroying delusion. II.30, 36.

Satya loka: The dimension of consciousness related to sahasrara; the formless state of consciousness which does not go through any changes; the fixed permanent eternal reality.

Saucha (saucha): Purity. One of the five niyams. Externally and gross as the purity of the body, but internally and subtle as the purity of the mind and speech. Cleanliness of body, speech, and mind. II.5, 32, 40, 41.

Saumanasya: cheerfulness, gladness. II.41

Savichara (Savicara): Accompanied by subtle thought processes. The presence of refined and subtle thought  See vicara and nirvicara. I.44

Savitarka: Accompanied by gross discursive thought processes. Vitarka is more gross than vicara. See vitarka and nirvitarka. O.42

sayam: resting or abiding I.25

Sayuja: total identification with the object of contemplation; fusion with the object of contemplation: union

Sesah, the remains, residue I.18

Seva: selfless service (see karma yoga).

Shakti: energy, power, mother nature, the creative or evolutionary power. (see sakti, prakrti, dakini)

Sambhavi mudra: Focused concentration with open or closed eyes on the third eye (ajna chakra) between and slightly above the eyebrows.

Shankhaprakshalana: one of the practices of dhauti: removes toxins and mucus from the digestive tract

Sharira: body:

Shasan: to govern, to rule

Shat-karma or shat-kriya: the six cleansing techniques of Hatha Yoga: trataka, Kapalabhati, neti, dhauti, nauli, and basti.


Shishya: An initiate

Shiva-lingam: symbol of Shiva, or consciousness

Shradda: Faith or self confidence.

Shradda should not be seen in the normal Western context where faith means “blind belief” or unquestioned acceptance in a doctrine, ideology, or another person’s authority. Rather in yoga, spiritual shradda means focused onepointed intention to awaken. It connotes an INNER innate certainty, knowledge, and strength. It is thus the strengthening of one’s intent and faith to accomplish the natural innate maturation process of the will to enlightenment, the bodhicitta, the ripening of the unborn intrinsic seed source (isvara). this inner confidence, being innate, corresponds to recognizing our innate good or innate Buddha Nature. It comes from within, not from external manmade institutions or conditions. In Buddhism it is the manifestation of one’s inherent Buddha Nature as the final goal and outcome of the practices. Thus it is not even faith in the practices, but in the intent itself. It comes down to having faith in one’s own mind and ability to awaken — faith in one’s own essential nature and thus practicing to cultivate that awareness (swarupa). It is thus taken for granted that buddha nature permeates every being as innate wisdom– as the ultimate true nature of mind or bodhi-mind. This inner faith thus reflects the essence of innate awareness/inner wisdom as it is revealed. It is the firm establishment of faith in our native intrinsic wisdom through practice/experience (inner gnosis), which when it blossoms forth is self revealing and self liberating. I.20

Shram: effort in work, penance, austerity

Shuddha (shuddhi, suddhi): pure II. 28, 41; III.55

Shunya (sunya) or shunyata (sunyata): emptiness, openness, unbound spaciousness; the void, unobstructed space (see sunya). I.9, 43; III.3, IV.34

Siddha: one who has perfected. A master of siddhis. IV.1

Siddhi: An ability, proficiency, power; perfection as a result of success in yogic practice or grace usually in the form of heightened awardees, ability, and power. A boon bestowed by the practice (sadhana), upon a yogi adept as a result of success in yoga. II.43, 45

Siva (or shiva): Hindu deity representing pure consciousness and transformation. Siva removes attachment and fear — brings to culmination all attachments. Husband of Sati and then after Sati’s death Parvati. Consorts with Kali and/or Durga. Father of Kartikeya and Ganesha.           

Smrti: Memory; That which is remembered;  One of the five vrttis. Past samskaras (imprints) including traumas from past experiences (anubhuta) which are stored (asampramosah) in the memory when provoked can trigger fluctuations of the mindfield (citta-vrtti) and hence kleshas. Memory (collected as a storehouse of past experiences)  which when triggered and accessed sets forth patterns which obscures and colors the underlying profound sacred presence of our true nature. I. 5, 8, 43.

Sneha: affection for all; attachment

Spanda: pulsation or vibration. In Kashmir Saivism the Divine Pulsation emanating from Siva/shakti – from beginningless Source through the creative evolutionary energy of creation here, back to Source and forward again and so forth.

Sri; The holy one or more specifically referring to “the” goddess — Mother of all. An honorific title given to saints or holy beings, such as Sri Aurobindo.

Sri Aurobindo: An Indian sage primarily of the 20th century who was both an Indian freedom fighter and a spiritual adept being the author of numerous works on yoga, philosophy, and spiritual poetry (Savitri being one of his greatest achievements). One of his greatest contributions was to outline the stages of human spiritual evolution in four key spiritual revelations beginning from:

1) Passive witness consciousness or objective but uninvolved observer which is labeled the passive Brahman stage where the world is objectified, externalized, or extrinsic.

2) Active Brahman stage where one experiences the divine (Brahman) is seen in all beings and things as intrinsic and all pervading.

3) The merging and synthesis of 1 and 2 reflecting the inseparable nature of Siva/shakti) as the one in the many and the many in the one (unity in vast diversity). That is the Sat-Cit-Ananda or Parabrahman realization.

4) The ongoing engagement of the evolutionary mergence of Mind, Life, and Matter as the evolutionary human participation and expression between superconsciousness, hence the recognition of supernature (evolutionary power), and manifesting in an ongoing active evolutionary dynamic naturally expressed as the fulfillment of human destiny. It is here that man fulfills his natural evolutionary potential by continually amplifying and opening up open doorways as the evolutionary potential flows unimpeded through him and is expressed as an open channel/vehicle of blissful light. Here as the overmind descends into the evolutionary human body it reorganizes its conditioned fragmented structure in accordance with the natural innate direction of the supramental thus creating/activating a clear channel.

“In 1926 Sri Aurobindo arrived at a turning point in his yoga. There is a highest mental plane bordering on the supramental to which he gave the name “overmind”. The Isha Upanishad describes it as a “brilliant golden lid” obstructing the passage from mind to supermind. For years Sri Aurobindo had striven to negotiate this passage. Success came on the 24th of November of that year when the light and power of the overmind descended into his physical being. Subsequently Sri Aurobindo withdrew from outer contacts to concentrate on the more difficult task of enabling the supermind to descend, take possession of his body and for the first time act on matter directly.

The manifestation of supermind presupposes the liberation of the consciousness presently locked up in the automatisms of the body, through the liberation of the body from its [previously unconscious and limited habituated] automatic mode of functioning.”

From Ulrich Mohrhoff, in his essay, SRI AUROBINDO FOR GEBSERIANS,  presented  at the XI Annual International Gebser Conference.

Sruti (sruta): Literally, that which is heard. Tradition. Most often pertaining to ancient oral teachings but generally used to refer to the Vedas which were originally memorized by the Brahmins and energetically sung. I.49

Stambha: Stasis, stationary, stopped, non-moving, suspended, held, retention. II.50; III.21 (also see kumbhaka)

Staya: by this; I.44

Styana: Stagnation, fixation, rigidity, closed-minded, stubbornness, procrastination, mental and physical laziness, stupor, dullness, inertia, apathy, complacency, powerless, procrastination, uninspired, lackadaisical, unmotivated. I.30

Stha: Standing firm, stable abiding, grounded . I.41

Sthairye: steadiness; firmly established; fixed, fixated, Standing firm. I.39

Sthira: Grounded, stable, firm, solid, still, unwavering, steady, constant, firmly established, foundational. II.46

Sthitau (sthiti): steadiness, strength, balance, stable, restive, strong, equipoise, balanced strength. Supportive; foundational. I.13, I.35

Sukha: Joy or happiness. I.33; II.5, 7, 42, 46,

Sukla: white. stainless, spotless, pure, unsullied. IV.7 (see asukla)

Sukshma (suksma): subtle. refined, fine. . I.44, 45; II.10, 50; III.25, 44; IV.13  (see vicara/vichara)

Suksma Sharira: the subtle body.

Suksmavisaya: Pertaining to subtle objects or content. I.43, 45

Suksmavisayatvam: the subtle nature of a condition. I.45

Sunya (See shunya): empty, devoid of, unbounded space, unbounded openess, I.9, 43; III.3, IV.34

Sunyata: Emptiness, openness, infinite unlimited space, unending spaciousness; devoid of “thingness”; empty of “self”; free from subject/object duality; the realization of the true nature of “phenomena” being empty of any independent or separate self; the transcognitive (asamprajnata) and transpersonal realization where the limited conditioned sense of a separate observer (an “I” or self) and a separate object of cognition (an “it”) no longer occludes or pollutes the field of consciousness. Sunyata is thus considered the true nature of reality untainted by imputations of dualistiv mentation. Formless, it is associated as ultimate reality — the true foundational base of all things, or the unchanging eternal dharmakaya/dharmadhatu where the primordial Buddha resides. See also dharmata. Sunyata is not a bland indifferent nor nihilistic state, but rather pregnant with compassion, luminosity, wisdom, and bliss.

Surya: literally of the sun; Pertaining to the sun. Heating/warming. The solar god, Surya. The right nostril; The pingala nadi; “Ha” as in Ha-Tha yoga. III.26

“In the inner sense of the Veda, Surya, the Sun-God, represents the divine Illumination of the Kavi which exceeds mind and forms the pure self-luminous Truth of things. His principal power is self-revelatory knowledge, termed in the Veda “Sight”. His realm is described as the Truth, the Law, the Vast. He is the Fosterer or Increaser, for he enlarges and opens man’s dark and limited being into a luminous and infinite consciousness. He is the sole Seer, Seer of Oneness and Knower of the Self, and leads him to the highest Sight. He is Yama, Controller or Ordainer, for he governs man’s action and manifested being by the direct Law of the Truth, satyadharma, and therefore by the right principle of our nature, yatathyatah. A luminous power proceeding from the Father of all existence, he reveals in himself the divine Purusha of whom all beings are the manifestations. His rays are the thoughts that proceed luminously from the Truth, the Vast, but become deflected and distorted, broken up and disordered in the reflecting and dividing principle, Mind. They form there the golden lid which covers the face of the Truth. The Seer prays to Surya to cast them into right order and relation and then draw them together into the unity of revealed truth. The result of this inner process is the perception of the oneness of all beings in the divine Soul of the Universe.”

Sri Aurobindo

Suryabheda: a pranayama emphasizing the right nostril, pingala, or surya nadi.

Surya namaskar: Salutation to the Sun. A series of stimulating asanas       

Sushumna: Central channel. The main and middle channel or psychic nerve where when the evolutionary energy flows. It is activated through the intricate balanced synchronization of the pingala and ida nadis, the prana and apana, rajas and tamas, ha and tha, left brain and right brain, efferent and afferent nervous systems, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems/

Sutra: Literally a thread. A sutra is a collection of threads woven together to form an interrelated weave or whole, such as the Yoga Sutras, Brahma Sutras, or Buddhist Sutras,

Sva: Identity, self; belonging to; own, right, or true identity as-it-is.

Svabhasya: Self illuminating (see sutra IV:19)

Svabhava (swabhava): Rrue nature. Essential nature.

Svabhavakaya (Swabhavakaya): The inseparable unity of all three bodies of the Buddha (Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya).

Svaha: Sanskrit for, as-it-is; so it is; so be it. (sometimes transliterated from the Tibetan as “soha”.

Svarasa: Literally attachment to one’s own juice or life energy without seeing its incorporeal origin free from the limitations of the physical body. II.9.

Svarasavahi: Attachment or dependency upon the familiar flow of the life energy (prana) in the body mistaking it for Prana-Shakti (universal evolutionary life energy), which is infused also with Maheshvara/purusa, but is not limited to the body. II.9 (see vahi)

Svarupa/svarupe (swarupa): Literally, in its own, original, or true unmodified form. True nature or true self nature. Virtuous nature. True uncompounded and unconditioned self nature as-it-is recognized inside as well as inside all beings and things. Universal true nature of mind and nature. True identity. Unmodified and not reified primordial  naked form as-it-is free from imputations and conceptual elaboration. Swarupa is the Universal Atman (not a separate self) when understood transpersonal as one with Brahman. The uncompounded, unconditioned, unfabricated, transconceptual, transpersonal non-dual nature as-it-is. I.3, I.43; II.23, 54; III.3, IV.12, IV.34.

Svarupa-shunya (swarupa-sunyam): devoid of selfness, empty of a separate nature apart from teh whole; empty of an independent self form or characteristic. The self as defined as interdependent (having no independent/separate existence) from the whole. Samadhi as defined in Sutra III.3 is svarupa-sunyam).

The recognition that the true self is empty, all pervading, unconditioned and formless which occurs when Atman is understood as inseparable from Brahman. Swarupa-sunyam is the way-it-is-as-it-is — the true nature of self in its unadulterated natural form. this is understood in samadhi (See III.3).

At first in dhyana practice, objects of thought occlude the yogi’s field of awareness (citta-vrtti) commanding our attention, but in time these programmed mechanistic patterns of thought with cognitive objects subside, eventually dissolving (nirodha), so that eventually one rests in open naked awareness free from objects of thought (dualistic cognitive processes of an apparently separate object and a separate observer). In fact subject/object dualistic modalities of separate Objects and observers are naturally empty of separate self existence, or better stated, they are boundless open doorways. This is of course impossible to conceptualize rather it is to be experienced in formless meditation (dhyana) practice which leads to samadhi. (also see sunya) I.43; III.3, IV.34.

Svasa: inhalation; inspiration. I.31. II.49 (see prasvasa and puraka)

Swa (sva): own; self; it is as it is

Swadhistana chakra: the water chakra between the muladhara and manipura chakras. Bija mantra vam, color is white crescent moon.  Literally “one’s own abode;”

Swadhyaya: self study: self analysis: study of self and the instrument of study, the mind. As such applied in the present situation, it is mindfulness/observing, noticing, insight, and deeper as now awareness. Authentic swadhyaya does not mean finding oneself in a book, doctrine, belief system, ideology, or identifying with pramana-vrtti. II.1, 32, 44.

Swah loka: dimension of consciousness related to manipura chakra and the fire element

Swami – Owner of self: master of the self. Self mastery. II.23

Swapna (svapa): dream state, subconscious: I.38 (also see Nidra in I.10)

Swara yoga: The science of regulating the subtle energies utilizing breath, prana, body, and the consciousness. Identifying and regulating the subtle characteristics of the breath in each nostril (swara).  

swarupa: see svarupa


Tad: from that, therefore

Tada: Then, at that time

Tad-anjanata: See anjanata

Tathata: Suchness, thusness, dharmata (see dharmata).

Taj-jayat: From that victory or success [from success in samyama practice] III.5

Tan: to extend or spread, I.12

Tanata: Rarefaction: to thin, make fine, diffuse, spread out or stretch to the extreme; to extend or rarify to the utmost/boundless — without end. To make less dense. To create more light and open space. III.2

Tanu: to attenuate, lessen, or reduce. II.2, II.4.

Tantra: Continuity. The path of transformation. To weave, integrate, and interconnect the illusory disparate appearances of fragmented existence into clarity of vision which understands the true nature of nature as an interdependent whole. Instead of practicing negation, isolation, or escapism as a spiritual path, tantra advocates conscious engagement, devoid of negation, as a path to integration. Thus tantra avoids the possibility of reifying illusion or samsara as a dualistic thing. Hatha yoga is included under the general context of tantra.

Some tantric practices in specific schools have been criticized as immoral or self indulgent by outsiders who have misunderstood the symbolism and purpose of the practices. The purpose of course is liberation, not self indulgence. Tantrika’s defend such attacks as long as a faster path to liberation and no harm to others are involved. Since tantra is a transformative path, wherein effort is expended to effect change, it is thus often classified as a somewhat dualistic path where a certain amount of forcefulness is applied to effect a future goal. However tantra is to be understood as a process/practice that effects continuity, hence the underlying principle affirms that interconnected continuity as an integrated continuum. There are many tantric schools such as mantra, yantra, laya, hatha, kundalini, kriya yoga, etc. In Buddhism tantra is broken down often as to kriya yoga, charya yoga, maha yoga, anuyoga, and ati yoga practices. The essential practices of perfection stage are yogic practices (see sampannakrama). They involve vajra yoga practices (pranayama, pratyhara, dharana, etc) such as found in tummo (kundalini) and the six yogas of Naropa, while (generation stage practices (see utpattikrama) is supportive/provisional. These are merely empty words, without experiential practice; i.e., tantra is not to be understood conceptually, philosophically, or intellectually, rather tantra is rich in many transconceptual transformative practices.

Tantrika: A practitioner of tantra.

Tapa: sorrow, misery, pain. angst, anxiety, stress, anguish,.torment II.15 (See Paritapa)

Tapas: Tapping into divine evolutionary will power. Spiritual passion, heat, or fire obtained from or directed toward universal source by redirecting or recycling distractions back into spiritual fuel, .plugging the dissipative leaks of energy through renouncing distractions such as unconscious or unwise degenerate, or compulsive materialistic, dualistic, non-productive activities of body, mind, or speech and thus creating open space that redirects those previous vectors toward fruitful spiritual practice (sadhana). Tapas is on a coarse level at first simple renunciation, but not forceful restraint, repression, self abnegation. Nor is tapas mere withdrawal/passivity. The secondary coarse aspect of tapas is then the redirection of the energy back into its natural constellation and hence it is NOT sublimation nor neurotic displacement. On a heightened and more subtle level, tapas is tapping into and allying oneself with this universal evolutionary movement/vector, thus it is more than effortless and spontaneous, rather it is moving, Self propelling, and energizing.

On the coarse and immature level one has a choice to decide to move in the direction of profane passion or be guided by increasing the evolutionary spiritual force depending on one’s level of spiritual intelligence. In mature tapas, this vector occurs consciously without choice, rather it is guided by a well established inner wisdom gleaned through preliminary practice. Thus it concentrates and effects our ability to harmonize with and express divine or evolutionary will.

Instead of dissipating the energy and attention outward into the external dualistic world, that vector/force is slowed down and redirected as spiritual potential. It serves as fuel for the inner evolutionary fire — firing the spiritual quest. Tapas are practices which turn up the heat, increase the spiritual passion, enthusiasm,  for the practice. This is accomplished by first refraining/renouncing wasting one’s energy in activities which are now recognized as dissipating, wasteful,and distracting, dysfunctional, or degenerate – which do not further one’s spiritual pursuits. Tapas is thus first a suspension or renunciation of what now is discerned as a distraction/dissipation based on self awareness (swadhyaya) that one is engaged/attached in a dysfunctional or counter-productive activity/vector in the first place. It is not simply a forceful restraint, repression, self abnegation, nor sublimation. Nor is tapas mere withdrawal/passivity. although at first it is often so forcefully applied. It is a redirection of a perverse vector, back into one’s original and natural spiritual purpose and configuration. Thus it concentrates and effects our ability to harmonize with and express divine or evolutionary will. Through increased spiritual intelligence (vision), one disengages/renounces that vector while at the same time, the yogi engages in a heightened dedication to one’s spiritual practice (isvara pranidhana) applying that force to further fire up one’s sadhana.

As an example, if one recognizes that they waste energy by talking excessively, they then undergo mouna (silence) which allows one to recycle that dissipating circuit at the throat chakra while recovering it inside putting it for use for spiritual evolution. That is called the tapas of mouna (silence). Tapas can include voluntary austerity and a simple life style (aparigraha and santosha), but is not limited by such. Authentic tapas is not as simple as self punishment, penance, negation, renunciation, repression, sacrifice, self abnegation, self adversity, self torture, or abuse, rather it is a very positive energy based on awareness.

“The will of the transcendent spirit who creates the universal movement, of the universal spirit who supports and informs it, of the free individual spirit who is the soul centre of its multiplicities. . . . But the moment the individual soul leans away from the universal and transcendent truth of its being, . .. that will changes its character; it becomes an effort. a straining”

Sri Aurobindo.

The secondary or coarse aspect of tapas is then the redirection of the previously misdirected energy back into its natural constellation and hence it is NOT sublimation nor neurotic displacement. On a heightened and more subtle level, tapas is tapping into and allying oneself with this universal evolutionary movement/vector, thus it is more than effortless and spontaneous, rather it is moving, Self propelling, and energizing. On the coarse and immature level one has a choice to decide to move in the direction of profane passion or be guided by increasing the evolutionary spiritual force depending on one’s level of spiritual intelligence. In mature tapas, this vector occurs consciously without choice, rather it is guided by a well established inner wisdom gleaned through success in preliminary practices.

Tapas as tapping into and allying oneself with this universal evolutionary movement/vector, thus it is more than effortless and spontaneous, rather it is moving and energizing. The word, tapas, is derived from the word, root “tap” which means hot. Also from tejas. II.1,2, 32, 43; IV.1

Tapas ananda: filled with force — over flowing with divine will..

Tasmin: Upon that; from that. II.49

Tasya: of this; its (male genitive) III.10

Tat: That

Tatah: Thence, hence, in this way thus. then. II.52, III.12.

Tatra: there

Tattva: Literally thatness. The essential nature of anything. When applied to material existence it refers to the five elements of material existence earth (prithvi) , water (apas), fire (tejas) , air (vayu), and ether (akasha). These elements are also called the panchamahabhutas. (See bhuta) IV.14

Tayah: categories I.5

Tivra: Most intense I.21

Trayam: In three parts taken together III.4

Tri: Three such in a triangle having three angles.

Trivena Sangam. Praylag of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers. See Triveni Sangam, praylag, and Ganga for more. A bath here is said to wash away all past karma and sins. In yoga this is the meeting place of the ida, pingala, and sushumna nadi. This is commonly called, Tirtha-Raja (Prayag Raj), king of all holy places.

Trividham: threefold; three divisions (vidha) IV.7

Tulya: similar III.12

Turiya: The fourth. the other. The fourth dimension and beyond not bound by linear time and space.

Tyagah: leaving behind: to abandon. II.35


Udana vayu: One of the primary vital winds in Yoga and Ayurveda. Udana vayu, is literally translated as upward breath. It is associated with upward flow of the winds hence speech, belching, cough, and especially the throat chakra. It’s field of operation is said to occur between the abdomen and the head. Udana is thus closely associated with the throat and neck regions as well as the kurma vayu and kurma nadi. See also prana, apana, samana, and vyana for the four other primary vayus.

Udayau: : arisen, visible; apparent; having come into awareness III.11

Uditau: arisen; visible; apparent; having come into awareness. III.12

Upalabdhi: apprehension. II.23 (See also labdhi)

Uparaktam: Colored, filtered, skewed, tainted, distorted, skewed, or biased. IV.23

Upasthanam: presence, nearness. II.37

Upaya: A skilful, functional, or effective means, method, or process; In Mahayana Buddhism the marriage of compassion (karuna) and prajna (wisdom). In hatha yoga and tantra, upaya is the sushumna nadi (central channel where ida and pingala are married). In raj yoga where rajas (pingala) and ida (tamas) is balanced and purified in sushumna — also where purusha and prakrti, viveka and vairagya. active and passive come together in synergistic synchronicity. II.26

Upaya-pratyaya: A causal cognition which is the result of skillful methods or means. Associated with the methods/practices following sutra I.19 and onward utilized in order to realize the asamprajnata (transcognitive non-dual state) called samadhi. This compound word is not found in the actual Yoga Sutras written by Patanjali but is often attributed to him in error.

Upeksha (Upeksa): Equanimity. Affording others with respect and dignity regardless of caste, if they appear to be wealthy or poor, above us or below us, sick or healthy, young or old, male of female. Non-favoritism. One of the four boundless minds or Brahma Viharas which includes great compassion, loving kindness, and sympathetic joy. I.33.

Urdhva: Upwards: see also uttara.

Utpattikrama: generation/creation stage practices/processes as utilized in tantra yoga (Tib. Kyerim  or Skt. utpattikrama). Also see krama and sampannakrama. Utpattikrama is like setting the table or stage, while sampannakrama (perfection practice) is likened to eating the meal, albeit this breakdown can be integrated instantaneously all at once. Similarly utpattikrama is supportive/provisional, but perfection stage (sampannakrama) is the ongoing process as the mind in itself effecting continuity)tantra). These are merely empty words, without practice.

Utpanna: Coming into being. Manifestation. Born. The act of emanation, An advent I.35

Utsaha: zeal and enthusiasm

Uttama: the highest; the supreme Being (purusottama), “the supreme Brahman, the supreme Self, who possesses both the immutable unity and the mobile multiplicity”, the Lord (ısvara) who “by a large  mobility and action of His nature, His energy, His will and power manifests Himself in the world and by a greater stillness and immobility is aloof from it. (Sri Aurobindo Archives).

Uttamam rahasayam: the highest secret;  the “supreme mystery of the being of the Purusottama … the miracle of a supreme Person and apparent vast Impersonal that are one, an immutable transcendent Self of all things and a Spirit that manifests itself here at the very foundation of cosmos as an infinite and multiple personality acting everywhere”. Bhagavad Gita 4.3) (Sri Aurobindo Archives).

Uttar: North and also above. North is most often the direction of the left side of the body, the front the east (purva), the back is the west (pashima), and the right of the body dakshina or south. But in India North (uttar) can also mean up (urdhva), or toward the crown (murdha or sahasrara). South being daksini or right side is thus often associated with the root/base (adhara).

To disambiguate

Here we will take Uttara as meaning both North and upward. In yoga it is also the left side of the body, but just as well associated with the superior or upward  position. If Tara connotes the stars than uttara connotes the  highest star above the head or pole star.

The Sanskrit word, uttarat, is comprised from tāt-  “from the left”, and also means “from the north”.
Uttara  is the comparative of ud, -‘up’ or ‘above’ and as well as ‘north’ and ‘left’ means ‘later’, ‘last’, ‘higher’, and also can mean ‘superior’ or ‘chief’. For example Uttar Pradeśh, as in the Northern Region and the Upper Region;  or Uttar Kashi as in Upper Kashi or Northern Kashi

Tara  and tama are the comparative and superlative endings (like ‘-er’ and ‘-est’), so ut-tara  means ‘higher’ and ut-tama means ‘highest’ or ‘best’ as in purush-ot-tama ‘best of men’ (a name of Srī Rama)  or as examples “para-tara” as in ‘further’ from or “para” as in ;far;.

Another example is “Bindur uttara-rūpam” (at the top center the dwelling place of the Adi Shakti) is literally translated as the bindu form (as a dot) on top. Bindu: meaning dot, spot, drop, or seed essence. The bindu  is also the dot over a letter denoting the anuswara, or  nasal sound. Note that “bindu”  is also the name of the first chakra  above Sahasrara  as the seat of Sri Sadashiva – the Ultimate Spirit as the witness of this universe where the Adi Shakti also dwells. The crescent, ardha-bindu,  is the second chakra  above Sahasrara. Related, bindi: the red spot worn on the forehead  (a Hindi word derived from Sanskrit). Uttara: upper, last, most excellent. Rupam: form as above. Uttara-rupa has a special meaning as the second of two combined vowels or consonants, purva-rupa being the first.

There is a tantric saying Anuswarah para-tarah, meaning, Sri Siva (Maheshvara) is the sublime all penetrating principle above all. Special thanks to the translator of the Ganesha Atharva Seersa and Sri Mataji. Also see purva (east or front), paschima (west or back), and adhara (base).

Utthapana: (literally) raising, elevating; “the state of not being subject to the pressure of physical forces”, the second member of the ´sarıra catustaya, called utthapana or levitation because of its third and final stage (tertiary utthapana) in which “gravitation is conquered”, but usually referring to either of two earlier stages (primary utthapana and secondary utthapana) in which “the habit by which the bodily nature associates certain forms and degrees of activity with strain, fatigue, incapacity” is rectified, resulting in a great increase in “the power, freedom, swiftness, effectiveness of the work whether physical or mental which can be done with this bodily instrument”; exercise for the development of utthapana (such as walking for primary utthapana).

Utthapana -sakti — the force of utthapana, based on a combination of the siddhis of the body, especially laghima and mahima.


Va: or

Vacaka: Expression. To speak. Vacaka means “expression” from the root vac, to speak. (Also see Vak) I.27

Vahi: sustainable: a familiar flow or constancy. An inclination, tendency or dependency. II.9

Vaira: animosity, hostility. II.35

Vahita: endeavor, application, a force brought to bear. III.10

Vairagya: Raga means attachment, desire, craving, or attraction where vairagya is its remediation, release; the letting go of attachment, attractions, non-grasping, unclenching, preference, grasping like, or expectation. Vairagya leads to the ultimate freedom from desire, not through repression or aversion (dvesa), but through relaxation/release. Hence vairagyam is freedom from desire and thus the realization of love itself. The temporal love for things has vanished and has been replaced by eternal love — divine passion. Hence it is said that vairagyam is the realization of divine love where no mundane love can arise.

Vairagya (as non-attachment or simply as release) is perhaps the top key practice in yoga, yet the intellectual confuses it as indifference to the world, worldly concerns, beings and things, objects or form, phenomena, or the world; in short to life and nature, hence an anti-life or negative attitude often is formulated as an escape valve which is nothing more than aversion. Such a misunderstanding simply increases the occlusions of revelation. Here Patanjali is addressing vairagya not as a physical practice but as a mental and energetic freedom- freedom from the vrtti, freedom from beliefs, false identifications, conceptualization processes, samskaras, vasana, and kleshas.

Although vairagyam is often simplistically under translated by non-meditators as worldly dispassion or indifference which feeds the fire for spiritual passion/compassion, rather in the deeper realizations that yoga practice affords, vairagya is applied also to non-attachment to the false belief in the independent existence of objects of thought (form), hence attachment to no thing (sunyam) becomes spontaneous and natural. The highest vairagya (as para-vairagya) is attained in non-dual realization (asamprajnata) that there is no separate object of body or mind to grasp because there is no separate observer or object, but that is a deeper holographic realization which long term yoga practice brings forth. Grasping at concepts is of course also raga, while aversion to objects or phenomena is dvesa. Both are kleshas (mental/emotional afflictions). Apara vairagya is the lower vairagya which relates to worldly objects/form in a dualistic context (and hence Patanjali calls it samprajnata). But para vairagya relates to the highest vairagya of knowledge (and hence is associated with asamprajnata samadhi).

In a indirect way all aversion (dvesa) fear, hatred, dislike, repulsion, and the like are also due to raga. In dvesa (aversion) there is always an underlying preference involved (like and hence dislike) — an attachment to results. So aversion is impossible without raga, and vairagya is the remedy for both. Thus vairagya is not repulsion. It is not escape or revulsion.. Even renunciation has elements of dvesa (aversion) as long as one is using willpower and effort. What practice effects is space where a natural vairagya appears where there is contentment which is spontaneously from any attachment or craving. Vairagyam frees the mind, frees the vrttis, creates open space for the true nature of our own mind (swarupa) to dawn. This is the non-dual result afforded by asamprajnata samadhi (I.18). This is para-vairagya. See raga, dvesa, vrtrsnasya (I.15), vaitrsnyam (I.16), and vashikara. I.12-19. Sri Patanjali gives the practice of vairagya eight sutras between I.12-19 and also in III.50. Vairagya leads to kaivalya, as absolute unconditional natural freedom (III.50)

Vairagya-bhyam: This profound practice is thus none other than the practice of being totally present HERE and NOW in total presence. The practice of vairagya; Release; ungrasping, freedom from craving and desire for objects; hence desirelessness, satisfaction, and fulfillment (santosha). The absence of craving: No need I.12

Vairsharadye (vairsaradye): Strengthened form of visarada: uninterrupted, extremely broad, and profound sphere of open clarity. Seamless clarity reflecting the whologram in each expression — in All Our Relations. Boundless. In modern times it has come to connote broadly learned, some one with extensive experience or skill. I.47

Vaitrsnya: Freedom from all desire and attachment. A strengthened and higher form of vitrsnasya simultaneously free from the false notion of separate objects (the gunas) and simultaneously the arising of n0n-dual all pervading consciousness revealed inside and out (purusha consciousness). I.16 (see vitrsnasya and vasikara)

Vajra: diamond like; impenetratable; adamantine; indestructible

Vajrasana: The adamantine seat. The seat all Buddhas take. The adamantine seat of enlightenment. Called padmasana (full lotus) in Hatha yoga. In Indian yoga, vajrasana is sitting on the heels or upwardly turned soles of the feet (Japanese style) with knees folded in front.

Vajra Anger: Ferocious compassion as protector practice. Selfless anger, not based on selfish motives or ignorance, but rather enlightened activity. II.35

Vajra Passion; Vajra love; compassion; spiritual passion; non-dual transpersonally selfless love (in contradistinction to mundane selfish love). II.7

Vajra Pride: non-dual and unconditional sense of purpose, meaning, certainty, confidence, security, trust, groundedness, and identity based on non-dual; realization (wisdom) in contradistinction to ersatz pride due to fragmentation, false identification, ignorance, and confusion. II.6

Vakya (Vak): speech or utterance

Varana: covering or concealing sheath. IV.3

Vasana: old habitual tendencies; unconscious or compulsive inclinations, habitual patterns, vestigial imprints; secondary residual propensities stemming from even more primary imprints (samskaras). Thus vasana and samskara are very closely related and also are connected to karmic patterns. Thus working on old karmic patterns such as through conscious respiration (breathing), combined with visualizations, movement (asana), dristhi (gazes), mantra (sound energy), thought patterns, and the like directly can unravel and liberate the practitioner from previously induced karmic patterns without becoming very conceptual. Artificially programmed vestigial imprints (vasana, samskara, karma) are considered a barrier in yoga thus a path toward liberation from old programming can help trigger our natural (pre-programmed) primary disposition. It is in that context that yoga can be understood as a tool for liberation. If we assume that the recognition of natural primordial Mind is equivalent to the the realization of our natural primordial situation, thus a primary seed vasana or samskara which is associated with the absolute HeartMind (Bodhicitta) is identified as the original primordial signature underlying the conditioning (citta-vrtti). It is recognized as the innate primal will and wisdom energy of original enlightened impulse coming from sourceless source at one with our true unconditioned nature (swarupa). It is only by knowing who we are in terms of the holgraphic source, that we can know our true nature.

Vasana, translated as vestigial-imprint, describes the information content of a corresponding resonant field proceeding from the first point (bindu/seed) of Creation. A given phenomena contains within it a set amount of information which is deemed to contain an intrinsic seed; i.e., it owes its existence to a common origin which is the timeless and formless origin of all and everything (beyond imoutations of causality, time, and place). IV.8, IV.24,

Vasana-abhish: habit pattern. IV.24

Vasikara (vashikara): Associated with the most complete or final sublime phase of vairagya (vaitrsnyam) which is asamprajnata (non-dual) Sublime contentment and freedom. The highest and fourth phase of vairagya after the final stage of apara-vairagya. Apara vairagya is the lower vairagya which relates to worldly objects (and hence samprajnata), while para vairagya relates to the highest vairagya of knowledge and hence is associated with asamprajnata (non-dual) samadhi I.15, 40 (Compare with anukara)

Vastu: Ordinarily, an entity or object, purpose, meaning, import, direction, or objective. The realization of true life’s purpose or identity as the merger of small self (atman) as one with big Self (Brahman). Spiritually, ipseity, as the essential essence or true nature of both self and other — true absolute identity merged inseparably with true nature. Self realization as Divine realization.

Vastusunya: devoid of meaning or relevance: Objectless. Pointless 

Vasudeva Kutumbakam: All indeed is Vasudeva, the Eternal Reality. Indian spirituality reaffirms the importance of justice, humility and reverence for life and nature. To live within such a wholistic relationship requires our rediscovering the spiritual connection that unites us to the earth. The affirmation of the intrinsic worth and duties towards all beings and plants including habitat and ecosystems reflects our ability to act in accordance with Dharma or against it.

In truth, the world is  one family — we are all brothers and sisters — kin. We are all related. All Our Relations is our truth and guiding principle.  We are all children of God, no matter what our race, gender, species, planet, nationality, religion, or age. We are all on the same route to Akshar Dham. We should all help each other. We need to help others to understand the true way of life – the natural route to eternal and lasting true unconditional ecstasy (ananda). Living according to these principles is dharma. Living Dharma is our eternal lineage of evolution — a reunion of individual consciousness with source of consciousness (undivided/undifferentiated consciousness) here as a living expression of that unending love. All living beings on Earth and the Earth itself, galaxies, and universe are one family! Throughout the ages, the sages have emphasized the interconnected of the entire cosmos, but the egoic mind prefers to perceive “things” in isolation and fragmentation. Modern man has forgotten his true nature and place as part of the sublime majesty of the living and intelligent innate evolutionary power.

Vasyata: Victorious over; freedom from; to transcend, surpass, to go beyond, to overcome; no longer being subjugated or limited by. II. 55.


Vedana: feeling sense. Sense of touch. Also emotions: felt sense. III.36

Vedantyah: to be experienced in the future: To be known (from “vid” to know). I.12

Vibhuti: Abilities, accomplishments, mastery, or siddhis. Pada three in Patanjali’s Yoga SUtras.

Vicara (vichara): subtle as distinct from gross (vitarka) mentation or thought processes. More subtle than vitarka. Even though vicara may include lofty and highly refined contemplation, it must be given up in advanced stages of dhyana as in nirvicara (beyond even the most subtle). Compare with nirvicara, savicara, and vitarka) I.17

Vicchedah: Cutting up; breaking apart, analyzing the sequencing, reducing, reordering, braking; analyzing by interruption into isolated component parts. II.49

Vidharanabhyam: regulation, checking, pausing, retention. Usually in reference to breath regulation (pranayama) where the exhalation is slowly expelled in a regulated manner and/or is held out . That is a relaxing or cool breath. . See kumbhaka. I.35

Videha: Liberated, free, and independent from the body. Bodiless even while dwelling in the body. Not attached to bodily sense objects or three dimensional reality. Even while dwelling in the body it is said that a yogi who has achieved dissolution of the citta-vrtti (biases, slant, or tilt of the mind-field) into *original* prakrti can after having abandoned attachment to the physical body and conquered the fear of death is able to maintain a linga body (independent astral or vajra body) while still living inhabiting a physical body. Hence such a yogi is free or liberated from attachment to the body and concomitantly with ordinary domination of the sense organs, but still capable of containing/embodying spirit (shiva/shakti). This definition differs from the samkhya definition which defines videha as a disembodied state altogether separate from the body and nature (prakrti).

The state of becoming bodiless, even when dwelling in this body, is rather tantric and non-dual. To the tantric this is not a contradictory statement, but how-it-is. Free from attachment to a separate body by absorbing oneself in nature (prakrti) and being informed through that bhava (feeling recognition) which is transcognitive (asamprajnata). Being informed directly by the Universe and its source, versus processes limited to the individual mind or body. The transpersonal body. Those who have realized this state are sometimes called disembodied angels, shining gods, or the shining ones. One who has lifted himself above all attachments and is mentally and bodily free of all bondage. One who has realized “Self” and is beyond the mundane existence of Life is even free of moha (deep emotional attachment) towards his own body. So “videha”, as used in III.43, is a transpersonal non-dual realization free from attachment to the physical body or any other object– liberated from the six senses and any false association or ideation of a separate body as “self”. With the liability of that attachment lifted, as such, hence astral travel. This unattached attitude towards the body of the “Self” constitutes one having reached Videha Shetra … one who is free of his Deha (body) in all respects! I.19. Also see videha shetra below. Also see III. III.43 (Mahãvidehã).

Videha devas: Those who have realized this state are sometimes called disembodied angels, shining gods, or the shining ones. Others call them the Mahadevan, or Vita-ragas, those completely victorious over attachment and fear. They shine because their energy/astral bodies are well developed and not dependent upon a physical body.

Videha-Kaivalya: Liberation from the body and limited self existence while still in the body. See jiva-mukti or videha-mukti.

Vedeha-mukti: Free from attachment to the body and sense objects. See jiva-mukti or videha-kaivalya..

Videha Shetra: Videha Shetra: Videh shetr) are cosmic regions in space are described in Hindu sacred scriptures as cosmic regions unseen and unknown to mankind. They are presumed to exist somewhere in the Cosmos more nearer to our planet earth. Reference to such regions is made only in Scriptural texts, the most commonly referred to is Videha Shetra. Attaining Moksha Salvation only from Videha Shetra, liberation from all manifestations, freeing oneself from the cycle of birth and death forever in the present Kali Yuga of today is the popular belief in Hindu sacred scriptures. Accordingly it is believed that the ultimate goal of life is emancipation. According to dualists this can not happen with out leaving the planet — living in the body. Rather it is thought that during the present Iron age (Kali Yoga), it is considered in Hinduism that emancipation can never be had without going to Videha Shetra. This is done through the practice of austerities and renunciation of life, then it is thought that one will be rewarded in the afterlife.

Viduso: Pertaining to a learned or wise person. A visionary. A light holder. One who knows. II.9

Vidya: To know clearly. Clarity; Pure unobstructed clear vision; recognition as-it-is without modification (devoid of citta-vrtti). Recognition of the magical like display of the mandala of pure vision. to wake up and see clearly. Awakened vision. The visionary state. Natural or mother light. Vidya (rigpa-Tib.)is the opposite of avidya (ignorance or marigpa in Tibetan). Avidya means devoid of vision — a state where our vision is obstructed or ignored — an absence of luminosity, hence vidya assumes the presence of a radiant luminosity and vividness. See avidya

Vijnana-santana: See citta-santana. Continuity of objectless or non-dual superlative knowledge. Santana means unbroken or continuous stream. Here it connotes primordial and timeless wisdom. Also see Santana Dharma.

Vikalpa: One of the five prime categories of vrttis. Vikalpa is defined by Patanjali as flat plane reasoning processes built upon words (including elaborate concepts based on those words) which form the basis for further conceptualization processes which is essentially fabrication, fancification, elaboration, and reification (building a castle in the sand having no real substance): The imaginary process of ideation built on words and reasoning which posits a separate “I” (ego) and “It” hence the craetion of the dualistic split. In general vikalpa is associated with discursive thinking (the well known monkey mind to meditators). It is the superimposition of thought process (vrtti) upon the mind field and hence a primary citta-vrtti.

Etymologically, “vi” means separate from, apart from, or as distinguished from, here meaning fragmented or discontinuous from kalpa. Kalpa refers to order, the ordering of sequences of events, or sequential time; hence vikalpa refers to logical ordering by the intellect, the logical sequential flat plane mind, and mental processes. Hence etymologically, vikalpa means discontinuous or fragmented ordering by the mind, while nirvikalpa is free from such a limitation.   (I.6, I.9, I.42) See also nirvikalpa

Vikarana: without organs (III.49)

Viksepa: Distractions and disturbances. To scatter. A disturbance or distraction of cit (pure consciousness). The ordinary neurotic human being lives in a world of almost constant distraction, avoidance, denial, craving, torment, anguish, and/or ignorance (avidya) from “reality” — from a deep connection with their true creative potential which manifests in now awareness. There are countless modalities of distraction, many of which the ego holds dear and mistakes as pleasure, enjoyment,  or self gratification. Viksepa is obvious in times of great discomfort, disease, stress, tension, dissatisfaction, apathy, dullness, sloth, and unevenness of breath, but can show up in many other ways. In short it is the result of a disconnect/disharmony from Unitive Consciousness (the Great Integrity). In !.31 Patanjali says that duhkha (disease and discomfiture) is a result of viksepa, while I.32 Patanjali tells us that its remediation is recognizing Unitive consciousness — the Great Unconditioned Implicate Integrate all pervading Reality NOW.  (I.30, I.31, I.32)

Vinivrtti: cessation (IV.25)

Viniyoga: progression, application: an interconnected sequence which links two or more processes together. (III.6)

Vinyasa: Sequenced movements connected in a continuous flow by the breath, energy, and often mantras.

Vipaka: ripened, mature, fruition, cooked. (I.24; II.13; IV.8)

Viparyayah: The second category of the five vrttis. Erroneous views, wrong views, confused or perverse beliefs based on erroneous facts, data, reasoning, or faulty cognitive abilities. I.6 I.8

Vipassana (or vipassyana in Vajrayana): Insight meditation; Awareness meditation; Literally vivid or wholistic seeing. total seeing/knowing. Also see viveka. Vipassana is designed to lead the practitioner into experiencing directly their true essential nature (vastusthiti) as it is in its great totality

At first vipassana simply begins after anapanasati meditation is learned (breath awareness) and simple relaxation (samatha) meditation are learned. Then vipassana proper begins with recognition of the kleshas as they arise, and then returning attention to the breath, the posture, and the natural baseline feelings (vedananusmriti).

That is usually the basic or first teaching in vipassana. But the Buddha gave three more which are Dharmanusmriti, Kayanusmriti, and Chittanusmriti

Viprakrsta: distant (III.26)

Virama: Stillness, quietude, cessation, rest. I.18

Virama Parinama: The shift of the mindfield from objective projections of “thingness” and duality to a state of still and open receptive awareness.

Virama-pratyaya: The withdrawal and cessation of the pratyaya process of projecting individual “thingness” to phenomena or objects of thought. Resting the mind from identifying with its content. One of the most important practices in yoga. It effects asamprajnata samadhi. See also prtyya-virama. It is similar to nirodha-parinama I.18

Virodha:  conflicting, obstruction; objection; in opposition; fragmentation, disparate function; ambiguous; separate and independent. (II.15)

Virya: vigor, strength, potency, heroic energy. I.20, II.38.

Visaya (visayam): A sense object or object of the mind, a clothing of the mind; a referent: An object placed inside an external objectified conditional framework. A referent in the relative sphere. condition/conditions. A realm or sphere of reference .A condition. “to be clothed”, “to be worn as a garment”, “to be inhabited”. Compare to the English word, visage. I.11, 35, 44, 45; II.51

Visayanam: of conditions. spheres of activity, realm or field of operation. I.11, 33.

Visayatvam: The nature of a condition. I.45

Visayavati: Focused concentration on an object. Object of perception. See dharana. I.35

Visesa: measure, distinct from, distinguished, quality. I.22, 24


Vishuddha chakra: Throat chakra, associated with the bija syllable ham and the tattva (element) of akasha (ether).

Visoka: A natural state free of grief or sorrow. I.36. 

Vita: Free from, devoid of, released from. thus gone. I.37

Vita-raga: One who has gone beyond. One who is free from attachment (raga). A thus gone one, bodhisattva, or a sage. I.37

Vitarka: Coarse, gross, obvious, not-subtle mentation or thought princesses. In analytical thinking to remain obsessed in the gross objective logical reasoning processes mired in (I/it duality).  Vitarka is associated with coarse mentation processes such as the discursive, mind and hence is vikalpa. In comparison vicara is associated with more subtle machinations of the mind never-the-less. (See: nirvitarka, savitarka, vicara, savicara, and nirvicara for comparison). I.17; II.33, 34.

Virtarka-badhane: The binding and stoppage of gross thought patterns (see pratipaksa) II.33

Vitrsnasya: thirstless; free from craving. contentment: complete. The condition or process which lets go of mental grasping and hence leads to the boundless mind. I.15 (see vaitrsnyam and vasikara)  

Viveka: Sri Patanjali says that viveka as awareness is refined, cultivated, and fructified by practice. More so it is a practice itself likened to a sharp tool of discriminating wisdom which reveals the true nature of differentiated reality. At first viveka itself is recognized as simple self awareness — as discernment between kleshic impulses and inspired impulses coming from intuition and inner wisdom. One thus becomes enabled to discern between the impulses and emotional patterns of limited/obfuscated awareness, and that self luminous awareness which stems from the integrity of the great hologram. This leads to basic self awareness. As such it is discernment between what is false and what is real. That is, the yogi starts to recognize the kleshic self so such tendencies are released in vairagya, and on the other hand to recognize, honor, and respect those impulses which arise from the hologram thus allowing them, to be expressed. In ordinary dualistic consciousness this awareness is not well developed. So at first it is basic recognition — basic mindfulness, clear awareness, or simple viveka.

This awareness becomes sharpened via the practice of astanga yoga as it is applied in astanga yoga, and in turn this awareness is applied to practice, so that the informed practice leads the yogi to even more refined viveka, and so on. Hence there exist many gradations of increased viveka as the yogi progresses on the path of astanga yoga. Focusing on awareness begets more awareness. More awareness applied to practice begets more practical results and increased clarity of awareness, and so forth as a natural synergy develops. Viveka eventually leads us to awareness of the true nature of our own mind. True nature of mind, leads to true nature of nature and their inherent unity, hence viveka is a means to freedom (kaivalya) via awareness. Yet this tool (means) of viveka must itself become sharpened through instrumental means (via astanga yoga) until we fully understand what awareness of our own true nature (swarupa) purports. One thing for certain is that the full realization through the instrumentation of viveka is not realized via conceptually reductionist methods or book study, but via an integrative yogic *practice/praxis*. The point here is that viveka, in the yoga context, is not book study or analytical inquiry, but develops through transconceptual experiential methods.

As the process of self awareness and waking up begins, viveka can be considered as relative awareness or relational knowing versus microscopic knowing where an object of knowing is broken down into its constituent parts. It appears as if it were an expansion of awareness, but it is really awareness of reality itself, where there is nothing to expand into and there is no “I” or awareness separate from that reality (infinite expanse). But we get ahead of the process. Thus viveka has to be understood as steps in a process, in the beginning, yet ultimately it transcends sequential time and space.

Here phenomena or nature is understandable only in relationship; i.e., through relativity. Any attempt to break “things”, or events down to a fundamental isolated element will fail. Ultimately, phenomena (as differentiated or relative phenomena) is only correctly known integratively; i.e., in terms of the great holographic integrity — in terms of the hologram (yoga). Even that hologram is not a “thing” and most certainly not separate/isolated, but rather it is all inclusive. Hence “it” is impossible to talk “about”.

However that ultimate knowledge (as timeless/primordial wisdom) is the fruit of yoga, where yoga or practice is no longer needed because it is continuous/completed. So from the point of view of the aspirant (yogi), viveka, in its most basic form, is an instrumental means of waking up, awareness, an undistorted noticing of a thing in relationship, the beginning stages of revealing the profound state of samadhi or total integration with the hologram. Hence relative awareness or the awareness of how apparently discrete “things”/events, in reality, are inter-related/interconnected and interdependent. This appears as a differentiated awareness or discrimination between one object in relationship or comparison to another (not as being separate, but as interdependent). It is not reductionist nor analytical as in breaking things down into its constituent parts. Viveka is often associated with extrinsic awareness, comparative awareness, relative awareness, or mutuality. These are practical ways to understand viveka for a beginner, but it must be said here that as this awareness expands/grows to all things and beings — to our very understanding of “what” we are aware of and “who” it is that is aware. Thus dualistic awareness will naturally shift from a mind frame rooted in the context of dualistic subject/object separateness, to a unified holographic multidimensional unitive all encompassing awareness… eventually. Eventually objective and subject realities will merge as one — inner and outer — extrinsic and intrinsic in yoga.

So for the beginner it must be said that Patanjali is not using the practice of “viveka” as being limited to either intellectual reduction, induction, deconstruction, or ordinary analytical thinking, albeit many people confuse it as such. A finer and more refined subtle differentiation is found by expanding integrative awareness, not through further reduction and isolation. By refined, it is meant enriched, as in an increased awareness of the subtle inter-relationships between all things and beings which is our innate birthright revealing an inherent self luminous beauteous intelligence in complete abundance and brilliance of the innate intelligent evolutionary power. When relative reality is viewed in terms of the Integral Whologram as revealing all things and beings from beginningless time — when primordial consciousness and evolutionary primordial energy are recognized as being inseparable, then the fullness of life becomes pregnant with meaning. So as viveka matures (into viveka-khyatir), then “phenomena is not known in terms of “the other”, not in terms of its constituent parts, but in terms of the whologram which is ubiquitously present, complete, all inclusive, and non-exclusive, unbiased and universal. That hologram also reveals Great Space, Great Holographic Synchronistic Time, and Timeless Transpersonal Non-Dual Being in Sat-Cit-Ananda. Differentiated Reality thus reveals its unity with undifferentiated — shakti and shiva united as one.

The opposite of viveka is samyoga, which is the sleepy state of bland sameness, blocked creative energy, stasis, and indifference which inures us to ignorance (the blockage of creative pure vision). Samyoga is broken up via viveka which is an innate power brought forward into fruition via astanga yoga. Yoga practice hones viveka. Then we use viveka as a heightened the tool of discriminative wisdom, to hone our practice. This works synergistically until ultimate awareness is realized. For example, we have awareness placed upon our spine in movement. Then after gaining some awareness through conscious movement, then more intelligent energy is flowing through the spine (blockages are removed). A heightened awareness is achieved which enhances overall awareness. We become aware of what we are aware of (samprajnana) in self awareness. When we get to know awareness more, we come to know the fountainhead of the awareness and commune with that more continuously. Then when we know that changeless ultimate awareness then we are able to see clearly the movement of all relative reality in flux, as temporal in various dynamic and energetic relationships. Hence it is said that knowing the true nature of awareness (primordial wisdom), we then know the true nature of nature (shakti) or evolutionary energy. Then further in last stage we form a working non-dual conscious relationship with the evolutionary energy.

Eventually as viveka (relative awareness) is extended to all and everything (jnanasya-anantyaj) it becomes the universal omnipresent wisdom which recognizes all things and beings (the entire universe in itself) in terms of beginningless time in an intimate wholistic relationship with all things and beings including the primary causal process of evolution and creation — in short the profound synchronicity of holographic reality. Such describes the ineffable heightened or realized viveka-khyater, not the beginning stage of viveka of awareness of awareness (that is developed through astanga yoga practice). So to be certain, viveka is not a mere reductionist analysis breaking down phenomena or reality into its parts, but rather the knowledge of one thing in relationship to all others — in terms of the whole. That differentiated aspect of viveka is amorphous, and everchanging. It is the extension of prajna, intrinsic awareness/wisdom, extended to the relative world of form (according to Patanjali’s own words in II.26-28). In samadhi relative reality (differentiated awareness) and formless changeless reality (undifferentiated intrinsic wisdom) are known as inseparable and united as one. Differentiated awareness and undifferentiated awareness are not opposed, but come together as an integrated whole in samadhi. In short viveka can not be understood via the intellect or concepts as it is not knowledge in the ordinary sense, rather it is to be experienced via practice as direct experience.

So in its simple form viveka is awareness or basic self awareness, the basic ability to discern. In its heightened form, viveka as true discriminatory wisdom (spiritual discernment) discerning purusa within prakrti (siva within shakti and shakti within shiva) as in viveka-khyater, when it is non-dual recognition of an awareness of what was previously understood superficially as a separate object (phenomena), but now having taken into account the actual process of awareness, then an accuracy of knowing a “thing” in terms of everything else (relativity) approaches the thing as-truly-it-is. This is true in a “whole systems” approach taking into account the principle of relativity — acknowledging the mutuality and interdependence of all beings and things. Thus again basic viveka is relative awareness or differentiated awareness. Viveka is an awareness that discerns, recognizes, or acknowledges things/objects or phenomena as a part in the whole, not apart from it — as parts of a wholistic Integrative system; as one part of the many — as the many in context with the one (whole/hologram) where the multiplicity of and its integrity are viewed inseparable. Thus it does not exclude in its discrimination. In its great completion/integrity, nothing is left out, and nothing is left or needs to be included.

As such it is pure awareness or true vision (as the unity of vast space and clarity or Primordial Wisdom as Prajna) as extended, expanded, and fructified to all things and beings. Because viveka is most often poorly understood as simple intellectual discrimination or discernment (by intellectuals), thus a heightened sense of ego-pride (buddhi belongs to the ego) is misinterpreted. Viveka is not knowledge that can be owned by the ego or put in the pocket, rather it is transpersonal, transconceptual, and non-dual. Viveka does not make the monistic error that says that all things are the same, but rather vast infinite multiplicity exists as a non-dual unity, and simultaneously unity awareness exists as a multiplicity. Neither exists as separate things (apart from the whole). Neither can the whole be reified or set apart successfully.

In yoga, viveka goes far more deeper than either reductionist or inductive logic, mechanical reasoning, or critical thought such being the realm of nyaya, vaisesika, epistemology, philology, semantics, logic, samkhya, mathematics, mechanics, or other many such left brain disciplines. Viveka is too often overly simplified to mean the ability to be aware of distinctions, but that definition would confuse *viveka* with being the same as ordinary discriminatory awareness or discernment (the ability to make distinctions based on isolated comparisons or opposites, such as between white or black, etc.). That latter ability is the activity ascribed to buddhi (the intellect) such as ordinary inference, reductionist, rational, mechanical, or analytical reasoning. Thus viveka although often described as the process of cherry picking, isolating, extracting, or taking an event, process, or phenomena as existing outside of the whole, the opposite is true. True discernment is made in terms of a an integrated systems event (an awareness gleaned from an unbiased universal awareness — or total systems (wholographic/universal) perspective.

In beginning yoga, viveka is especially meant to be applied as an instrumental tool to realize samadhi through an informed integrative awareness process in terms of viewing the relative world of form and “things”, creation/nature , our actions, the body, breath, thought processes, as interdependent and interconnected — in relationship to everything else as-it-is within a great integrity of an all encompassing/all pervading whole, not as isolated phenomena.

There, viveka is a special kind of discernment without judgment, logic, without recourse to buddhi (the intellect), and nirvikalpa (free from conceptual fabrications). Rather when it is refined and synchronistic it is naked or open awareness — the recognition of primordial presence in each experience. Awareness which is undifferentiated is innate as prajna (undifferentiated intuitive wisdom), but it must be expanded without distraction from source to embrace the entire universe as the natural union of undifferentiated and differentiated awareness which in its higher sense is viveka-khyater, which is the stated purpose of astanga yoga.

One simple application of viveka is applied by observing the breath and movement in naked awareness while interacting in relative “situations” or meditation. Eventually there is a refinement in awareness due to repeated practice. The same goes for yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyhara, dharana, and dhyana. As we see in astanga yoga, all the limbs are mutual synergists reflecting the unitive state (Samadhi).

Likewise in simple sitting “awareness meditation” such as vipassana meditation, it is meditation without judgment – awareness of our own mind and mental states, emotions, and self awareness, as samprajnana. Through merging vipassana (insight) meditation with samatha (resting) meditation, one relaxes into pure in naked unconditioned awareness. That release, eventually leads to both awareness of awareness (by heightening awareness) and simultaneously when the wisdom eye of awareness opens the awareness of the interdependence (relativity) of the way the mind interacts with “things”, the true nature of “things”, and the true nature of mind (swarupa-sunya in samadhi). This can *not* be understood merely via buddhi (the intellectual methods) but for the yogi only through yoga (here astanga yoga). When we have limited awareness we have limited space. As space expands so does awareness. As awareness expands so does our awareness if the true nature of this space increases. Eventually these two (space or sunyam) and awareness (as clear light) unite as the true nature of mind or consciousness in samadhi as swarupa-sunyam (see III.3).

Thus viveka can be applied externally or internally as attention applied to the quality of consciousness or differentiated consciousness itself within the processes of our thinking mind as well as to its reflection in all beings and things. Here a marriage is created at first between prajna and extrinsic awareness of the relative world of form (viveka) and then applied to the mind itself (internally) recognizing the prajna or lack thereof. That is true self awareness when applied to the universal formless Self. Eventually viveka becomes extended as awareness of purusa which is embedded/married in prakrti, but still independent of it. Viveka cuts samyoga and leads to samadhi. Where prajna is a wisdom associated with undifferentiated wisdom, here viveka is differentiated wisdom that is applied to the relative world (a unitive multiplicity). These two are of one taste — they are experienced together as the union of purusa and prakrti (shiva/shakti). This is the yogic (integrative) definition of viveka, not the samkhya view (the view that breaks apart). Also see “viveka-khyati” and also ” khyati”.  II.15, 26, 28: III.52, 54; IV.26, 29.

More on viveka from the introduction to Pada II

Viveka-jnanam: The exalted state of knowledge that reflects the constant and highest application of viveka as direct communion with interdependent relationships of all world systems and dimensions (Buddhaverses) without losing sight of the integrity of the overall wholistic system (that no object exists separately apart from the whole) by virtue of the boundless opening of the wisdom eye. Holographic awareness.

Viveka-khyati: A stage of realization where implicate undifferentiated wisdom (prajna) is expanded and fructified into recognizing its innate holographic union in boundless multiplicity; i.e., the unity of the entire relative interdependent world of form with undifferentiated self luminous primordial wisdom– an inherent profound mutuality beyond limit and devoid of subject/object duality which is inseparable from self luminous primordial wisdom.

In the beginning, basic self awareness evolves to a point beyond simple body awareness, beyond breath awareness, beyond emotional awareness, beyond mentational awareness of mentational awareness, beyond subject/object dualism, beyond the innate potential which is capable of discriminating between a “self” and others (where objects are identified in the state of samprajnana) eventually leading to boundless awakening/holographic awareness.

Other wise a severely limited dualistic state where the mental processes of the mind and the true nature of reality are not yet consciously recognized/acknowledged and integrated still obstructs clear vision, rather one is still subject to karmically programmed identifications (clouded by the kleshas and citta-vrtti — our conditioned mental processes) on one hand, while the inherent inner wisdom (prajna) remains dormant or repressed. When this inner light (prajna) is brought forward in All Our Relations, then this awareness of this universal presence becomes a non-dual recognition of the unlimited totality and wholeness of NOW awareness — our true nature (swadhyaya) as-it-is empty of any impure traces of fragmentation. All beings and things are then perceived as open doorways to this totality — in their profoundly and benign inherent naked presence.

In a sense, viveka-khyati is awareness of a “thing” (anything) in terms of everything else and all time, in wholistic/holographic terms, in terms of the marriage of prajna (intrinsic wisdom) extended into the world of form, and then that extrinsic awareness turned back to the nature of mind and awareness itself being able to compensate for its stance in relativity where outer and inner are truly united.

This is an all inclusive awareness (non-exclusive) leading to natural samadhi which includes the inseparable unity of undifferentiated awareness with differentiated awareness. Holographically even the most minute discernment or differentiation of the world of form (phenomena) is experienced within the context of unitary awareness (samadhi) in its inherent completeness and wholeness. Through the practice of authentic yoga the practitioner removes their estrangement/non-recognition from this Holographic Reality where ignorance thrives. Viveka-khyater is the heightened clarified quality of viveka experienced as discriminative *wisdom* or spiritual discernment where all “things” are seen in relationship as living systems as part of the overall integrity of being (SAT) and consciousness (CIT), not as separate fragmented parts viewed apart from the whole.

Viveka-khyater is the wisdom recognition which allows the ability to make the most subtle distinctions within the rich and creative multiplicity of beingness without losing the overall wholistic integrity where ” relationships” are made possible. As such it is the union of space (sunya or emptiness) and clarity/luminosity bringing forward ecstasy (ananda), hence it is the stage immediately preceding the marriage of relative differentiated awareness with intrinsic undifferentiated awareness or purusa and prakrti in samadhi.

First we need some space to become aware of some “thing”, Also we need the awareness. With narrow space, we have narrow awareness, but through yoga as this space expands so that we are aware of the greater richness and breadth of creation we realize that all phenomena are inter-related; that for every effect, there is a cause, and hence true understanding and wisdom of relatvity dawns. As purusa becomes revealed to the yogi, this awareness ofvast space synchronistically expands and ultimate union is realized. As the inner eye opens, one sees clearly, then the union of cit (pure consciousness) with differentiated reality (sat) — the integrative reality of siva/shakti or Cit-sakti dawns. After thorough analysis that inherent light of cit is revealed in gnosis (true jnana) shining throughout the dimensionless and timeless vast universe. Khyater is thus a heightened, subtilized and refined action of seeing or awareness which the innate clarity of clarity of the innate wisdom (prajna) shines forth. It is illumination honed through practice and leads us to samadhi. It also proceeds from samadhi.

Viveka-khyater is thus a very subtilized awareness where “form” is gleaned from the heightened subtle state of sattva (balanced, pure, and integrated) awareness. Form is acknowledged (not negated), but “things or phenomenon” (extrinsic relative realty) are not seen as permanent or self existing by themselves having an intrinsic existence, but merely a relative existence. It is a yogic wisdom begot from yoga practice such as astanga yoga and not the result of the intellectual process. It is thus a heightened discriminating awareness or wisdom — a state of realization where purusa (the unborn) is discerned within prakrti (nature) and where prakrti is observed as an extension of purusa both, so that nature is not seen as dead or fragmented matter devoid of origin or future, nor devoid of spirit; but rather as Mater.

Reality as experienced through the mother/father unification: the two having merged as one (that unity being the unitary sum of the two extremes. This is not the same as ordinary reductionist, analytical, nor even inductive reasoning or logical machinations belonging to or instructed by the intellect (buddhi) or ego, but rather the ability to intimately know the minutest differentiation while at the same time not losing sight of the whole — always centered upon and aware of the core/heart. At a preliminary level, viveka-khyater occurs when a distinction is made by buddhi (intellect) between itself and purusa (spiritual stainless self), thus surrendering to the intrinsic omniscient source for guidance and light (isvara). This can also be achieved through astanga yoga, samyama, or the advanced parinamas — by any method of authentic yoga. Viveka-khyati is not knowledge “of” some external “thing”, nor a cognition of, a “thing”, nor “about” any thing; but the ability to discern purusa (origin) in All Our Relations. It is the heightened form of pure differentiated consciousness which knows its source (undifferentiated consciousness) in union, but not sameness.  (see khyati) 

Vratam: Behavior, practice, course of action, aspiration, intent, vow. commitment, promise; intention, mission statement. In the dualistic modern culture it is more recently been used to signify a vow or commitment, II.31 See Maha-vratam

Vrtti: Bias, tilt, spin, skew, recurring patterned fluctuations, modification, limited repetitive pattern, conditioned effect, oscillation, vacillation, spinning, rippling, rolling, saturated by eddy currents, machinations, restive,  unsteady, uneasy, wavering, unstable processing, distorted, disturbed, wavering, a refractive tendency, fractured state, fractual process, aberration, whirling or swirling, including the waves of dullness and sleep. The noise floor or ambient interference. A recurring waveform dependent upon the operations of the biased mind field and/or creating a bias in the mindfield. Vrtti are reoccurring patterns and tendencies that effect the field of consciousness thus occupying, obscuring or coloring pure consciousness (cit).

It could be likened to stirring up muddy water on a lake which occludes the deeper view, or the loud and overwhelming waves of the sea on a turbulent day in comparison to a calm sea and clear day. In everyday life and especially in silent sitting meditation one can observe the vrtti involuntarily popping up in the field of consciousness (chitta-vrtti). Then through non-attachment the meditator learns how to release and.or reverse this reoccurring processing of the citta-vrtti. There are five main classifications of vrttis according to Patanjali (see I.5).

More specifically the citta-vrtti can be seen as the muddiness, unclarity, or ripples caused on the surface of a lake by the kleshic and karmic winds. Through yogic practices the vrttis dissolve/cease and what is left is a profound virtual clarity of what is as it is undistorted by refractive tendencies. The chitta-vrtti are the recurring patterning, fluctuations, biases, disturbances and perturbation processes of ordinary mentation, mental machinations, and/or re-occurring patterns, but these modification of the chitta can be so deep as to cause stupor and altogether block consciousness itself such as in deep sleep of ignorance. The practices which lead to the cessation, stillness, or dissolution (nirodha) of the chitta-vrtti is the very process of yoga itself, where the practitioner awakes to their own true self nature. So chitta-vrtti thus taken as a whole are the wavering, whirling, spinning, vacillations, agitations, modifications, fluctuations, machinations, restlessness, tumult, perturbation, aberrations, blurring, biasing, tilting, wavelike patterned disruptions and other fractual process of the field of consciousness that muddy or taint the innate clarity of our true nature.. The ordinary situation of the mind where the observer (ego) identifies with the whirlings. A state of mind where the observer associates and identifies with temporal permutations of consciousness.  The citta-vrtti are like the waves on a turbulent sea, while it’s cessation (nirodha) is like the deep stillness found within our deepest heart/core center according to Patanjali. In other systems, one may identify with the citta-vrtti, and they are taken as a mode of life or conduct, dutiful course of action, right behavior, moral conduct, or a variety of respectful behavior or treatments. The latter is not the definition of vrtti used in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. I.2, 4, 5, 10, 41,: II.11, III.43; IV.18.

Vyadhi: disease; sickness, illness. (see adhi) I.30

Vyakhyata: fully or completely clarified, illumined, or explained. I.44 III.13 Also compare with khyater

Vyavahitanam: deeply buried or hidden; concealed, IV.9

Vyana: Also vyana-vayu. One of the five primary vital winds (vayus) or pranas within the body. Vyana is the all pervading wind/energy in charge of distributing the energy and blood to all parts of the body/mind. Vyana governs circulation, distribution, and hence when in harmony their balance. See also apana, udana, samana, and prana for the other five vayus (winds).s .

Vyoma: space (see akasha).

Vyoma panchaka: The five dharanas of the subtle/spiritual spaces (see akasha).

Vyutthana: outward emerging energy (centrifugal). The force toward externalization. Also the wandering mind, discursive thoughts, external or worldly disturbance, worldly involvement/attachment. The absence of meditation or concentration. (see also pravrtti) III.9

Vayu: wind. The wind God Vayu. Vayu, most often refers to the vital winds (pranas) operating inside the body whose harmony determines health. In Yoga and Ayurveda there exist 5 primary vital vyus and 5 secondary vital winds, thus adding up to 10 principal winds. Kurma vayu for example is considered an important secondary wind, while vyana vayu is the primary wind responsible for the free circulation and distribution of blood and energy in the body.



Yama – the lord of death which upholds the dualistic world (samsara) of suffering. The end. In the yoga sutras the first limb of ashtanga yoga which detail the five transformational activities which bring the end to suffering (the end to samsaric dualistic existence) . Transformational self disciplined activities of body, speech, and mind both coarse and subtle, inner and outer, designed to end distraction and dissuasion from the path leading to union (samadhi): Self regulated activities including the  reversal (death) of negative tendencies, while at the same time directing them toward liberation (mukti). See niyama for the second limb. II. 29-30 

Yamuna: The Yamuna River is often mistaken for the Jamuna or Jumna (which is located in Bengladesh). It joins together with the Ganges at prayag (at Allahabad). See Ganga and prayag above. Also see Triveni Sangam

Yana: vehicle used to travel the path, hence sutrayana, mahayana, tantrayana, etc.

Yantra: A visual diagram representing energetic and spiritual dimensions of being and consciousness.

Yatha: as

Yatnah: Endeavor; Enthusiastic sustained effort; passionate focused concentration directed toward a specific result I,13 (see also Prayatnah)

Yoga – to join together, interconnect, to make whole: union. Yoga is not a statement about the monistic sameness of everything, but rather a statement about the rich interconnectedness of all – the union of all our relations.

Yoginas: one who has made yoga their own: yogis. IV.7

Yogyata, yogyatvani: capability, ability, fitness, proficiency. II.41, 53.


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