Rigveda (padapatha) manuscript in Devanagari, early 19th century

Glossary of Sanskrit words & phrases

The following list consists of notable concepts that are derived from Hindu and Buddhist cultures and associated traditions, which are expressed as words in Sanskrit or other Indic languages and Dravidian languages.

The main purpose of this list is to make it easy for one to find specific concepts, and to provide a guide to unique concepts of and Buddhism all in one place.

Many Sanskrit concepts have an Indian secular meaning as well as a Hindu dharmic meaning such as the concept of .

Sanskrit, like all languages, contains words whose meanings differ across various contexts.

Table of Contents


Dharma is a key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and others. There is no single-word translation for dharma in Western languages.


is the religious teacher or preceptor in South Asia. For Vajrayana Buddhism, the term is specifically used for a Tantric teacher. The titles of or kalyanamitra are used for Sutrayana, or ordinary, religious teachers.


are religious and occult signs made with the fingers, as for instance, the various hand gestures of the Buddha depicted in Buddhist art. They symbolize different aspects of the teachings and are often all that is needed to distinguish one type of Buddha from another. “Mudra, a Sanskrit word, once meant a seal or its impression, so, when applied to a gesture performed by a priest, it was a guarantee of the efficacy of a rite, rather like the Christian sign for absolution.


is a Sanskrit word used in many Indian languages, including Pali (saṅgha) meaning “association”, “assembly”, “company” or “community”. It was historically used in a political context to denote a governing assembly in a republic or a kingdom, and has long been used by religious associations including the Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. Sangha, is often used as a surname across these religions.


is a Sanskrit word that means “wandering” or “world”, with the connotation of cyclic, circuitous change.


(Sanskrit), Metteyya (Pali), is regarded as a future Buddha of this world in Buddhist eschatology.

In some Buddhist literature, such as the Amitabha Sutra and the Lotus Sutra, he is referred to as Ajita.


The English term enlightenment is the Western translation of various Buddhist terms, most notably and vimutti. The abstract noun bodhi, means the knowledge or wisdom, or awakened intellect, of a Buddha. The verbal root budh- means “to awaken,” and its literal meaning is closer to awakening. Although the term buddhi is also used in other Indian philosophies and traditions, its most common usage is in the context of Buddhism. Vimukti is the freedom from or release of the fetters and hindrances.

The dharmakāya is one of the three bodies () of a buddha in Mahayana Buddhism. The dharmakāya constitutes the unmanifested, “inconceivable” (acintya) aspect of a buddha out of which buddhas arise and to which they return after their dissolution. Buddhas are manifestations of the dharmakāya called the nirmāṇakāya, “transformation body”. Reginald Ray writes of it as “the body of reality itself, without specific, delimited form, wherein the Buddha is identified with the spiritually charged nature of everything that is.”



A is an ordained male in Buddhist monasticism. Male and female monastics are members of the Sangha.


In Hinduism and Buddhism, the Sanskrit lexical item svāhā is a denouement indicating the end of the mantra. Literally, it means “well said”. In the Tibetan language, “” is translated as “so be it” and is often pronounced and orthographically represented as “soha”. Whenever fire sacrifices are made, svāhā is chanted. Etymologically, the term is probably from su, “well” and the root ah, “to call”.

In Indian philosophy and religion, jñāna or gyan/gian is “knowledge”.


The Buddhist monastic religious title applied to scholars and academics. It is the most common honorific title used for teachers such as Nagarjuna, Asanga, Dharmakirti, and others. In Tibetan the term is lobpon.

Om mani padme hum

Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra Mandala

The six syllables, , mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.

The six-syllabled Sanskrit mantra is associated with the four-armed Shadakshari form of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.

It first appeared in the Mahayana Kāraṇḍavyūhasūtra where it is also referred to as the sadaksara (six syllabled) and the paramahrdaya.


Nirmāṇakāya is the third aspect of the trikāya and the physical manifestation of a Buddha in time and space.

In Vajrayāna it is described as “the dimension of ceaseless manifestation.”


The , is a set of vows or precepts given to initiates of an esoteric Vajrayana Buddhist order as part of the ṣeka ceremony that creates a bond between the guru and disciple.

Vihara generally refers to a monastery for Buddhist renunciates. The concept is ancient and in early Sanskrit and Pali texts, it meant any arrangement of space or facilities for pleasure and entertainment. The term evolved into an architectural concept wherein it refers to living quarters for monks with an open shared space or courtyard, particularly in Buddhism. The term is also found in Ajivika, Hindu and Jain monastic literature, usually referring to temporary refuge for wandering monks or nuns during the annual Indian monsoons. In modern Jainism, the monks continue to wander from town to town except during the rainy season (Chaturmas), the term “vihara” refers their wanderings.


in Hinduism is an honorific title given to a male or female ascetic who has chosen the path of renunciation (sannyāsa), or has been initiated into a religious monastic order of Vaishnavas. It is used either before or after the subject’s name.


The is the division of the Buddhist canon (Tripitaka) containing the rules and procedures that govern the Buddhist monastic community, or Sangha. Three parallel Vinaya traditions remain in use by modern monastic communities: the Theravada, Mulasarvastivada and Dharmaguptaka. In addition to these Vinaya traditions, Vinaya texts of several extinct schools of Indian Buddhism are preserved in the Tibetan and East Asian canons, including those of the Kāśyapīya, the Mahāsāṃghika, the Mahīśāsaka, and the Sarvāstivāda


The Sanskrit word (भव) means being, worldly existence, becoming, birth, be, production, origin, but also habitual or emotional tendencies.


is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘thatness’, ‘principle’, ‘reality’ or ‘truth’. According to various Indian schools of philosophy, a tattva is an element or aspect of reality. In some traditions, they are conceived as an aspect of deity. Although the number of tattvas varies depending on the philosophical school, together they are thought to form the basis of all our experience. The Samkhya philosophy uses a system of 25 tattvas, while Shaivism recognises 36 tattvas. In Buddhism, the equivalent is the list of dhammas which constitute reality.


is a Sanskrit word that means “precept, rules, manual, compendium, book or treatise” in a general sense. The word is generally used as a suffix in the Indian literature context, for technical or specialized knowledge in a defined area of practice.


is the Sanskrit and Pali term for a great vihara and is used to describe a monastic complex of viharas.


, also called vimoksha, vimukti and mukti, is a term in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism which refers to various forms of emancipation, enlightenment, liberation, and release. In its soteriological and eschatological senses, it refers to freedom from saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth. In its epistemological and psychological senses, moksha refers to freedom from ignorance: self-realization, self-actualization and self-knowledge.


Meera (1498-1546) was one of the most significant poet-saints in the Vaishnava bhakti movement.

literally means “attachment, participation, fondness for, homage, faith, love, devotion, worship, purity”.

In Hinduism, it refers to devotion to, and love for, a personal god or a representational god by a devotee.

In ancient texts such as the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, the term simply means participation, devotion and love for any endeavor, while in the Bhagavad Gita, it connotes one of the possible paths of spirituality and towards moksha, as in bhakti marga.


Saṃhitā literally means “put together, joined, union”, a “collection”, and “a methodically, rule-based combination of text or verses”. Saṃhitā also refers to the most ancient layer of text in the Vedas, consisting of mantras, hymns, prayers, litanies and benedictions.


(Sanskrit) or khandhas (Pāḷi) means “heaps, aggregates, collections, groupings”. In Buddhism, it refers to the five aggregates of clinging, the five material and mental factors that take part in the rise of craving and clinging. They are also explained as the five factors that constitute and explain a sentient being’s person and personality, but this is a later interpretation in response to sarvastivadin essentialism.


Cintāmaṇi, also spelled as Chintamani, is a wish-fulfilling jewel within both Hindu and Buddhist traditions, said by some to be the equivalent of the philosopher’s stone in Western alchemy. It is one of several Mani Jewel images found in Buddhist scripture.


means “desire, wish, longing” in Hindu and Buddhist literature. Kama often connotes sexual desire and longing in contemporary literature, but the concept more broadly refers to any desire, wish, passion, longing, pleasure of the senses, desire for, longing to and after, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, enjoyment of love is particularly with or without enjoyment of sexual, sensual and erotic desire, and may be without sexual connotations.


In Buddhism, a śikṣamāṇā is a female novice trainee. This training period is to be two years long, supervised by both a monk and a nun. After this period, the trainee may attempt full ordination as a bhikṣuṇī.


is the Sanskrit word for truth. It also refers to a virtue in Indian religions, referring to being truthful in one’s thought, speech and action. In Yoga, satya is one of five yamas, the virtuous restraint from falsehood and distortion of reality in one’s expressions and actions.


The Trikāya doctrine is a Mahayana Buddhist teaching on both the nature of reality and the nature of Buddhahood.

Dhyana in Buddhism

Buddha in Dhyana, which in this context means: The meditative training stage on the path to Samadhi.

In the oldest texts of Buddhism, dhyāna (Sanskrit) or jhāna (Pali) is the training of the mind, commonly translated as meditation, to withdraw the mind from the automatic responses to sense-impressions, and leading to a “state of perfect equanimity and awareness (upekkhā-sati-parisuddhi).” Dhyana may have been the core practice of pre-sectarian Buddhism, in combination with several related practices which together lead to perfected mindfulness and detachment, and are fully realized with the practice of dhyana.


Dāsa is a Sanskrit word found in ancient Indian texts such as the Rigveda and Arthasastra. It usually means “enemy” or “servant” but , or das, also means a “servant of God”, “devotee,” “votary” or “one who has surrendered to God”. Dasa may be a suffix of a given name to indicate a “servant” of a revered person or a particular deity.


Vāsanā, a term in Indian philosophy including Yoga, Buddhism, and Advaita Vedanta, refers to a behavioral inclination or karmic impression that shapes an individual’s current actions.

Vajrasana – Bodh Gaya

The Vajrasana, or Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha, is an ancient stone slab located under the Bodhi tree, directly beside the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya. The slab is thought to have been placed at Bodhgayā by emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Empire between 250-233 BCE, at the spot where the Buddha meditated.


is a Sanskrit term literally meaning the “gathering together of waters”. It refers to an ocean, sea or confluence. It also forms the name of Samudradeva, the Hindu god of the ocean. The word is also present on other languages influenced by Sanskrit.


, Amrit or Amata is a word that literally means “immortality” and is often referred to in ancient Indian texts as nectar. “Amṛta” is etymologically related to the Greek ambrosia and carries the same meaning. Its first occurrence is in the Rigveda, where it is considered one of several synonyms for soma, the drink of the devas.

Pandita (Buddhism)

Paṇḍita was a title in Indian Buddhism awarded to scholars who have mastered the five sciences in which a learned person was traditionally supposed to be well-versed.


is a concept in Indian religions, that means plane or realm of existence. In some philosophies it can also be interpreted as a mental state that one can experience. A primary concept in several Indian religions is the idea that different loka’s are home to various divine beings, and one takes birth in such realms based on their good and bad merits.

Yana (Buddhism)

Yāna refers to a mode or method of spiritual practice in Buddhism. They were all taught by the Gautama Buddha in response to the various capacities of individuals. On an outwardly conventional level, the teachings and practices may appear contradictory, but ultimately they all have the same goal.


Vedanā is a Buddhist term traditionally translated as either “feeling” or “sensation.” In general, vedanā refers to the pleasant, unpleasant and neutral sensations that occur when our internal sense organs come into contact with external sense objects and the associated consciousness. Vedanā is identified as valence or “hedonic tone” in neurology.

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam

is a Sanskrit phrase found in Hindu texts such as the Maha Upanishad, which means “the world is one family”.


Ekāgratā is intent pursuit of one object, close and undisturbed attention. Yoga emphasises regular practice (Abhyasa) meditation and self-imposed discipline to acquire .

Tapas (Indian religions)

Tapas is a Sanskrit word that means “to heat”. It also connotes certain spiritual practices in Indian religions. In Jainism, it refers to asceticism ; in Buddhism to spiritual practices including meditation and self-discipline; and in the different traditions within Hinduism it refers to a spectrum of practices ranging from asceticism, inner cleansing to self-discipline. The Tapas practice often involves solitude, and is a part of monastic practices that are believed to be a means to moksha.


is a Sanskrit word that relates to the acts of patience, releasing time and functioning in the now. Macdonell defines it as: “patience, forbearance, indulgence (towards…)”. kshama word has a rich in meaning. It simply means forgiveness or forbearance. Kshama also indicates extreme patience and an more capacity to forget as also forgive.


Songkran is a term derived from the Sanskrit word, saṅkrānti and used to refer to the traditional New Year celebrated in Bangladesh, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, parts of northeast India, parts of Vietnam and Xishuangbanna, China. It begins when the sun transits the constellation of Aries, the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, as reckoned by sidereal astrology. It is related to the equivalent Hindu calendar-based New Year festivals in most parts of South Asia which are collectively referred to as Mesha Sankranti.

is a term derived from the Sanskrit word, saṅkrānti and used to refer to the traditional New Year celebrated in Bangladesh, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, parts of northeast India, parts of Vietnam and Xishuangbanna, China. It begins when the sun transits the constellation of Aries, the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, as reckoned by sidereal astrology. It is related to the equivalent Hindu calendar-based New Year festivals in most parts of South Asia which are collectively referred to as Mesha Sankranti.


A Sanskrit Dictionary gives more than eighty meanings of the Sanskrit word, (स्थिति), but this word mainly refers to position, rank or dignity, staying, or permanence, permanent or continued existence in any place.


, Prasadam or Prasad is a religious offering in Hinduism. Most often Prasada is vegetarian food especially cooked for devotees after praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. Mahaprasada, is the consecrated food offered to the deity in a Hindu temple which is then distributed and partaken by all the devotees regardless of any orientation.


is a word used in several Indo-Aryan languages meaning honey or sweet. It is ultimately derived from Proto-Indo-European *médʰu, whence English mead.


or Śaktipāta refers in Hinduism to the transmission of spiritual energy upon one person by another. Shaktipat can be transmitted with a sacred word or mantra, or by a look, thought or touch – the last usually to the ajna chakra or agya chakra or third eye of the recipient.


Śarīra is a generic term referring to Buddhist relics, although in common usage it usually refers to pearl or crystal-like bead-shaped objects that are purportedly found among the cremated ashes of Buddhist spiritual masters. Relics of the Buddha after cremation are termed dhātu in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta. Śarīra are held to emanate or incite ‘blessings’ and ‘grace’ within the mindstream and experience of those connected to them. Sarira are also believed to ward off evil in the Himalayan Buddhist tradition.


is the Hindu concept of equanimity. Its root is sama (सम) meaning – equal or even.Sāmya – meaning equal consideration towards all human beings – is a variant of the word.


Muditā means joy; especially sympathetic or vicarious joy, or the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people’s well-being.

Pratītyasamutpāda, commonly translated as dependent origination, or dependent arising, is a key doctrine in Buddhism shared by all schools of Buddhism. It states that all dharmas (phenomena) arise in dependence upon other dharmas: “if this exists, that exists; if this ceases to exist, that also ceases to exist”. The basic principle is that all things arise in dependence upon other things.


is one of the kriyas or shatkarmas, preliminary purifications, used in yoga. The exercise is claimed to serve the cleaning of the abdominal region and is based on a massage of the internal belly organs by a circular movement of the abdominal muscles. It is performed standing with the feet apart and the knees bent.

In Advaita Vedanta and Jnana Yoga Nididhyasana is profound and repeated meditation on the mahavakyas, great Upanishadic statements such as "That art Thou", to realize the identity of Atman and Brahman. It is the fourth step in the training of a sisya (disciple), consisting of preparatory practives, listening to the teachings as contained in the sruti, reflection on the teachings, and nididhyasana.

In Advaita Vedanta and Jnana Yoga Nididhyasana is profound and repeated meditation on the mahavakyas, great Upanishadic statements such as “That art Thou”, to realize the identity of Atman and Brahman. It is the fourth step in the training of a sisya (disciple), consisting of preparatory practives, listening to the teachings as contained in the sruti, reflection on the teachings, and nididhyasana.


Ni-ranjan is a word from the Sanskrit literature of Hindu tradition, which means, spotless, pure, supreme being, devoid of all objectifications, without any bad quality (attributes), active, truthful, great and it is Lord Shiva. It is also Lord Krishna according to Bhagavad Gita.


Abhi is a preposition in Sanskrit, also found in Pali, Bengali, Assamese and Hindi. Today, it remains a productive element in forming names.

Ye Dharma Hetu

In Buddhism, ye dharmā hetu, also referred to as the dependent origination dhāraṇī, is a dhāraṇī widely used in ancient times, and is often found carved on chaityas, images, or placed within chaityas. It is used in Sanskrit as well as Pali. It is found in Mahavagga section of Vinaya Pitaka of the Pali Canon.

Apramāda is a Buddhist term translated as “conscientious” or “concern”. It is defined as taking great care concerning what should be adopted and what should be avoided. In the Pāli Canon, a collection of the Buddha’s earliest teachings, the term appamāda is quite significant and the essence of the meaning cannot be captured with one English word. “Heedfulness”, “diligence”, and “conscientiousness”, are all words that capture some aspects of appamāda. It is identified as one of the eleven virtuous mental factors within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings.


may refer to:Brahmachari, a male who practices brahmacharya, a type of living as per Hindu Vedic Scriptures, feminine Brahmacharini Brahmachari, a prominent surname / title among the Bengali people of West Bengal, Assam and Bangladesh. Dhirendra Brahmachari (1924–1994), Indian Yogi Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari, motivational speaker from Kolkata, India Brahmachari , a 1938 Marathi film starring Meenakshi Shirodkar, Master Vinayak Brahmachari , a 1968 film starring Shammi Kapoor, Rajshree and Pran Brahmachari , a 1968 film starring Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Jayalalitha Brahmachari , a 1972 Malayalam language film Brahmachari , a 1992 Tamil language film Brahmachari , a 2019 Kannada language film


(Ahinsa) means ‘not to injure’ and ‘compassion’ and refers to a key virtue in Hinduism and Jainism. The word is derived from the Sanskrit root hiṃs – to strike; hiṃsā is injury or harm, a-hiṃsā is the opposite of this, i.e. cause no injury, do no harm. Ahimsa is also referred to as nonviolence, and it applies to all living beings—including all animals—in ancient Indian religions.

Chinta (mentation)

Chinta in Hindu philosophy refers to mentation i.e. mental activity, especially thinking.

Samjna (concept)

Saṃjñā is a Buddhist term that is typically translated as “perception” or “cognition.” It can be defined as grasping at the distinguishing features or characteristics. Samjñā has multiple meanings depending on religions. Although Samjñā means the five aggregates in Buddhism, in Hinduism, it refers to art traditions and in Jainism, it points to recognition distinct from cognition.


, a Sanskrit adjective meaning not invisible or perceptible, refers to direct intuitive knowledge which is one of the seven stages of knowledge or conditions of , the first three being the sources of bondage and the rest four being the processes of liberation; and to the continuation of the deepening of conventional knowledge. It removes sorrows. According to Indian Philosophy, the three traditional kinds of knowledge are – (empirical), paroksha and aparoksha (transcendental). Aparoksha is the highest kind of knowledge which cannot be gained without the practice of morality that converts paroksha knowledge from which unity of existence is derived. This knowledge is gained by establishing a guru-shishya sambandha with a teacher who has already experienced that kind of knowledge (Aparoksanubhuti); the karma or acts required to be done, after gain of Aparoksha jnana is Vidya-karma which consists in sravana, manana (reflection) and nididhyasana.


The , like the ampallang, is a piercing that passes through the glans. While the ampallang passes horizontally through the glans, the apadravya passes vertically through the glans from top to bottom, almost always placed centrally and passing through the urethra. It can be paired with an ampallang to form the magic cross. Off-center apadravyas are also possible, wherein the piercing is deliberately offset, yet usually still passes through the urethra. The piercing is often done on a slightly forward angle to the hips.

Sanātanī (सनातनी) is a term used within Hinduism to describe a person who follows Sanātana dharma or a person who believes in eternal, i.e., never beginning nor ending. The term is used to contrast with reformist denominations of Hinduism, which often reject previously long-established socio-religious systems based on fundamentalist interpretations of specific scriptures, or with unorthodox sectarian followers of an individual sant (saint). The phrase dharma sanātana does occur in classical Sanskrit literature, e.g. in the Manusmrti (4-138)[11] and in the Bhagavata Purana,[12][13] in a sense akin to “cosmic order”. The term was popularized by Gandhi in 1921.

Sandesha Kavya

Sanskrit Kavya literature has a long history of its development. The idea of sending of a message, through a messenger, from one person to another is not to be found wanting in the Hindu epics but it was taken up as an independent theme for a poem firstly by Ghatakarpara and later on by Kalidasa, Dhoyi, Udaya, Bhavabhuti and many other poets of note. sandesh kavya also called DutaKavya or message poem belongs to the category of Khandakavya.


is a cover term for a wide variety of sound changes that occur at morpheme or word boundaries. Examples include fusion of sounds across word boundaries and the alteration of one sound depending on nearby sounds or the grammatical function of the adjacent words. Sandhi belongs to morphophonology.

Ap (water)

Ap is the Vedic Sanskrit term for “water”, which in Classical Sanskrit only occurs in the plural āpas, whence Hindi āp. The term is from PIE hxap “water”. The Indo-Iranian word also survives as the Persian word for water, āb, e.g. in Punjab. In archaic ablauting contractions, the laryngeal of the PIE root remains visible in Vedic Sanskrit, e.g. pratīpa- “against the current”, from *proti-hxp-o-. In Tamil, Ap means water, and has references in poetry.

Sant (religion)

A sant is a human being revered as a “truth-exemplar” for their knowledge of “self, truth, [and] reality” in Indic religions, particularly Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. In Sikhism it is used to describe a being who has attained spiritual enlightenment and divine knowledge and power through union with God.


refers to the logical connection of words, as to how different words relate with each other to convey a significant meaning or idea. Literally, Anvaya means – positive; affirmative or nexus; but in grammar and logic this word refers to – ‘concordance’ or ‘agreement’, such as the agreement which exists between two things that are present, as between ‘smoke’ and ‘fire’, it is universally known that – “where there is smoke, there is fire”. However, this word is commonly used in Sanskrit grammar and logic along with the word, Vyatireka, which means – agreement in absence between two things, such as absence of ‘smoke’ and ‘fire’ – “where there is no smoke, there is no fire”. Anvaya-vyatireka, is the term used by the Buddhists and Hindu logicians as a dual procedure – to signify ‘separation’ and ‘connection’, and to indicate a type of inference in which hetu (reason) is co-present or is co-absent with sādhya, as the pair of positive and negative instantiations which represent the inductive and the deductive reasoning, both.

Sarvatobhadra Chakra

in Hindu astrology is a unique technique for prediction based on the Nakshatras. It is an ancient system because it takes into account Abhijit nakshatra which is now not referred to in matters pertaining to methods that are generally employed for making astrological predictions. Janardan Harji in his Mansagari has described it as – संप्रवक्ष्यामि चक्रं त्रिलोक्यदीपिकम् – the trust-worthy quickly-revealing Trilokyadeepika Chakra.The term, Sarvatobhadra, derived from Sarva (सर्व) meaning – all, and Bhadra (भद्र)) meaning – good or auspicious, means overall auspiciousness. Abhijit nakshatra is located between Uttarashada and Sravana, it is the last quarter of Uttarashada and the first half of Sravana nakshatra.


Satchitananda or Sacchidānanda representing “existence, consciousness, and bliss” or “truth, consciousness, bliss”, is an epithet and description for the subjective experience of the ultimate, unchanging reality in Hinduism called Brahman.


Śāṭhya is a Buddhist term translated as “hypocrisy”, “dishonesty”, “deception”, or “concealment of shortcomings”. It is identified as one of the twenty subsidiary unwholesome mental factors within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings. In this context, it is defined as concealing one’s own faults because of a desire for things such as honor and material gain.


The Samkhya system, which follows Prakrti – parinama-vada, describes origination and evolution through its theory of which is the theory of causation. According to this theory the effect is existent in the cause; the original cause of everything that is perceived is Prakrti.


is the main word that appears in the Sikh sacred scripture called the Guru Granth Sahib. It is part of the Gurbani shabad called Mool Mantra which is repeated daily by Sikhs. This word succeeds the word “Ek-onkar” which means “There is only one constant” or commonly “There is one God”. The word sat means “true/everlasting” and nam means “name”. In this instance, this would mean, “whose name is truth”. Satnam is referred to God as the Name of God is True and Everlasting.

Anuṣṭubh is a meter and a metrical unit, found in both Vedic and Classical Sanskrit poetry, but with significant differences.


Śaucam is a Sanskrit word that translates into English as “cleanliness” or “purity” of the body and mind. It is a core principle of Hinduism, particularly within the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. It is considered to be one of the primary pillars of dharma, repeatedly stressed as essential or highly desirable for spiritual advancement.


Sevā, in Hinduism and Sikhism, is the concept of selfless service that is performed without any expectation of result or award for performing it. Such services can be performed to benefit other human beings or society. Seva means “service”. A more recent interpretation of the word is “dedication to others”. In Hinduism, it is also known as karma yoga, as described in the Bhagavata Gita.


means ‘non-recognition’, ‘non-perception’. This word refers to the Pramana of Non-perception which consists in the presentative knowledge of negative facts.


– meaning the 60th division, in Hindu astrology refers to the 60th division or varga of a Rasi or Sign equally divided or half-degree each. It is one of the sixteen shodasvargas that are considered important and relevant to important aspects of life. Virupas, a measure of planetary or bhava strength, are also known as Shashtiamsas.

Anubandha chatushtaya

literally means four connections, and therefore, it is four-fold in nature and content viz, – a) adhikāri who has developed ekāgrata, chitta shuddhi and vikshepa or adhikāra (aptitude); b) vishaya pertaining to the Jiva-Brahman identity; c) prayojana or phalasruti which is atyantika-dukha-nivritti and paramānanda-prāpti, and d) sambandha between adhikāra, vishaya and prayojana.


or śloka is a poetic form used in Sanskrit, the classical language of India. In its usual form it consists of four pādas or quarter-verses, of 8 syllables each, or of two half-verses of 16 syllables each. The metre is similar to the Vedic anuṣṭubh metre, but with stricter rules.

Shravana (hearing)

Shravana or Śravaṇa is derived from the root श्रवः, and means – ‘the ear’, ‘the hypotenuse of a triangle’, ‘the act of hearing’, ‘study’, ‘fame’, ‘glory’, ‘that which is heard or revealed’, ‘wealth’, ‘flowing’, ‘oozing’,

Shyena (Hinduism)

Shyena is the divine hawk identified with Agni, who ascends to heaven for bringing soma (nectar) to earth with the intention of rejuvenating and revitalizing of all things that exist on earth. It also refers to the fire-altar constructed with bricks in the shape of a hawk in the Vedic ritual. The Yajurveda prescribes prayers and mantras meant to be recited during the course of the construction of this fire-altar which represents the creator and the created. In the Puranas, Shyena becomes Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu, which finds mention also in the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata, and who brought amrita from heaven at the behest of Kadru, the mother of serpents and a co-wife of Rishi Kasyapa.


is a Buddhist term translated as “decorum” or “shame”. It is defined as shunning unwholesome actions so as to not be reproached by others of good character. It is one of the virtuous mental factors within the Abhidharma teachings.

Arya (Buddhism)

Arya is a term used in Buddhism that can be translated as “noble”, “not ordinary”, “valuable”, “precious”, “pure”, “rich”. Arya in the sense of “noble” or “exalted” is frequently used in Buddhist texts to designate a spiritual warrior or hero.

Arsha prayoga

is a common term for such linguistic usages in Sanskrit, which although not correct as per grammatical rules, are still exempted and deemed valid on account of their having been used by some ancient sages (rishis). Literally, word Arsha has following derivation:ऋषेरिदम् (अण्).

Raga (Buddhism)

Raga is a Buddhist concept of character affliction or poison referring to any form of “greed, sensuality, lust, desire” or “attachment to a sensory object”. Raga is represented in the Buddhist artwork as the bird or rooster. Raga is identified in the following contexts within the Buddhist teachings:One of the three poisons within the Mahayana Buddhist tradition One of the three unwholesome roots within the Theravada Buddhist tradition One of the six root kleshas within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings One of the fourteen unwholesome mental factors within the Theravada Abhidharma teachings


Praśastapāda was an ancient Indian philosopher. He wrote the Padārtha-dharma-saṅgraha and a commentary, titled Praśastapāda Bhāṣya , on the Vaisheshika Sutras of Kanada, both texts are comprehensive books in physics. In these texts discusses the properties of motion. Ganganath Jha had translated Praśastapāda Bhāṣya which translation was published in 1916. Prashasta or Praśasta means praised or praiseworthy, lauded or laudable, commended or commendable or eulogized.

Prasrabhi is a Mahayana Buddhist term translated as “pliancy”, “flexibility”, or “alertness”. It is defined as the ability to apply body and mind towards virtuous activity. Prasrabhi is identified as:One of the eleven virtuous mental factors within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings. One of the eight antidotes applied to overcome obstacles in Samatha meditation within the Mahayana tradition.


is a Buddhist term that is translated as “anger”. It is defined as a hostile attitude towards sentient beings, towards frustration, and towards that which gives rise to one’s frustrations; it functions as a basis for faultfinding, for negative actions, and for not finding a moment of peace or happiness.

Asaṃprajanya is a Buddhist term that is translated as “inattentiveness”, “non-alertness”, etc. In the Mahayana tradition, asaṃprajanya is defined the distracted discrimination accompanying a disturbing emotion.


, a Sanskrit term, means recognizing ‘difference’ by noting the ‘otherness’ in another thing; ‘difference’ means ‘the want of the total characteristic of one thing in another’. Differences are of three kinds: (a) ‘difference existing in oneself’ (svajātiya-bheda), (b) ‘difference in species’ (svagata-bheda), and (c) ‘difference of genus’ (vijātiya-bheda). These differences do not exist in Brahman who is one without a second. The Upanishads negate these differences in Brahman who is self-revealing and can be experienced when all mentations cease, what is then experienced is not nothing, for there can be no knowledge of a thing that does not exist.


Pratyaksha is one of the three principal means of knowledge, it means that which is present before the eyes clear, distinct and evident. PRATYKSHA’


, or Pravacana is a term for any exposition of a doctrine or treatise, or to the recitation of a scripture or text in Jainism and Hinduism traditions. It particularly refers to the tradition of Pravacanakara presenting their teachings or explanations of spiritual ideas before a gathering of householders or general public in the Indian traditions. Pravacana is an ancient tradition, whose earliest mentions are found in the Vedic texts but one that is also found in post-Vedic Shastra and Sutra texts of Hindus and Jains.


means – effort or activity; it expresses a sense of human determination and initiative but is required to be supplemented by confidence in one’s own abilities and steadfastness of purpose which two factors combine to make it a driving force. Prayatna does not merely mean ‘effort’ but ‘effort at a point of articulation’.

Preṣya yoga is a planetary combination in Hindu astrology. A person born with preshya yoga is poor, unhappy and uneducated. He hears harsh words from others and works in slavery throughout his life.

Punya (Hinduism)

Punya is a difficult word to translate; there is no equivalent English word to convey its exact intended meaning. It is generally taken to mean ‘saintly’, virtue, ‘holy’, ‘sacred’, ‘pure’, ‘good’, ‘meritorious’, ‘virtuous’, ‘righteous’, ‘just’, ‘auspicious’, ‘lucky’, ‘favourable’, ‘agreeable’, ‘pleasing’, ‘lovely’, ‘beautiful’, ‘sweet’, ‘fragrant’, ‘solemn’ or ‘festive’, according to the context it is used.


Rachanā is derived from the root verb – रच् – meaning – to arrange. Rachanā means – arrangement, preparation, disposition, formation, creation, production, performance, completion, array of troops, literary work, a creation of the mind, contrivance, invention e.g. chitra-rachana (drawing/painting), kāvya-rachana , anvaya-rachana.

Raksha (Vedic)

Raksha. Raksha and its various derivatives which occur predominantly in the Vedas and their many auxiliary texts means – to protect, guard, take care of, tend, rule, govern, to keep, not to divulge, to preserve, save, keep away from, spare, to avoid, to observe or to beware of, an evil spirit, a demon, an imp and is the root of numerous words. In the Vedas it refers to the evil tendencies that continuously afflict humanity.

Six Paths

The in Buddhist cosmology the six worlds where sentient beings are reincarnated according to their karmas linked to their acts of previous lives. They are represented pictorially in the form of the Bhavacakra .”). these are:the world of gods or celestial beings (deva) ; the world of warlike demigods (asura) ; the world of human beings (manushya) ; the world of animals (tiryagyoni) ; the world of the starving (preta) ; the world of Hell (naraka).

Rasa (aesthetics)

In Indian aesthetics, a rasa literally means “nectar, essence or taste”. It connotes a concept in Indian arts about the aesthetic flavour of any visual, literary or musical work that evokes an emotion or feeling in the reader or audience but cannot be described. It refers to the emotional flavors/essence crafted into the work by the writer and relished by a ‘sensitive spectator’ or sahṛdaya, literally one who “has heart”, and can connect to the work with emotion, without dryness.


Rasāsvāda means – appreciation, sipping of juice, perception of pleasure; in Indian philosophy, it refers to the taste of bliss in the absence of all thought which is an obstacle in the path leading to Nirvikalpa Samādhi ; it is aesthetic consciousness. means one gets a power of healing or a power of knowing the mind which gives enjoyment but this enjoyment is superficial enjoyment or happiness which should not be sought while seeking Truth.


A is a term for an aesthete of Indian classical music. The term is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘rasa’, meaning full of passion, elegant, and with discrimination. Connoisseur – An expert able to appreciate a field; especially in the fine arts.


Ritu in Vedic Sanskrit refers to a fixed or appointed time, especially the proper time for sacrifice (yajna) or ritual in Vedic Religion. The word is so used in the Rigveda, the Yajurveda and the Atharvaveda. In Classical Sanskrit, it refers to an epoch or period, especially one of the six seasons or ritus in the Hindu calendar.

Rūpa means “form”. As it relates to any kind of basic object, it has more specific meanings in the context of Indic religions.

Sabīja. Translated as: with seed.

Sakshi (Witness)

Sakshi or Sākṣī or Shakshi(Sanskrit: साक्षी or शाक्षी) means – ‘observer’, ‘eyewitness’ or the ‘Supreme Being’ the one that lends its shine – ” Chitchhaya”- to the “ego” part of the subtle body – which consists of the everchanging Mind, the decision making Intellect, the Memory & the Illusory Ego! In Hindu philosophy, the word, Sākṣī or ‘witness’ refers to the ‘Pure Awareness’ that witnesses the world but does not get affected or involved. Sakshi is beyond time, space and the triad of experiencer, experiencing and experienced; sakshi witnesses all thoughts, words and deeds without interfering with them or being affected by them, other than sakshi there is nothing else in the entire universe.


A or shalabhanjika is a term found in Indian art and literature with a variety of meanings. In Buddhist art, it means an image of a woman or yakshi next to, often holding, a tree, or a reference to Maya near the sala tree giving birth to Siddhartha (Buddha). In Hindu and Jain art, the meaning is less specific, and it is any statue or statuette, usually female, that breaks the monotony of a plain wall or space and thus enlivens it.

Samādhāna or samādhānam (Sanskrit:समाधानम्) is a Sanskrit noun derived from the word, samādhā (समाधा), and variously means – putting together, uniting, fixing the mind in abstract contemplation on the true nature of the soul, contemplate oneness, concentrated or formless meditation, commitment, intentness, steadiness, composure, peace of mind, complete concentration, clearing up of doubt or replying to the pūrvapaksha, agreeing or promising, a leading incident, justification of a statement, proof, reconciliation or eagerness.


The Sanskrit term, Sāmānādhikaraṇyam (Sanskrit:सामानाधिकरण्यम्), generally refers to – ‘identical denotation’, ‘common substratum’ or ‘unity of substratum’.


is literally “one-taste” “one-flavour” or “same-taste” and means equipoise in feelings, non-discriminating or the mind at rest.


is a Vedic term which means – non-return to a body, final emancipation. This word refers to the Jivanmukta.


, literally “that which is remembered” are a body of Hindu texts usually attributed to an author, traditionally written down, in contrast to Śrutis considered authorless, that were transmitted verbally across the generations and fixed. Smriti is a derivative secondary work and is considered less authoritative than Sruti in Hinduism, except in the Mimamsa school of Hindu philosophy. The authority of smriti accepted by orthodox schools, is derived from that of shruti, on which it is based.


is a Buddhist term that is translated as “lack of propriety”, “disregard”, etc. In the Theravada tradition, anottappa is defined as the absence of dread on account of misconduct. In the Mahayana tradition, anapatrapya is defined as engaging in non-virtue without inhibition on account of others.


(Sanskrit:विभु) means – ‘mighty’, ‘powerful’, ’eminent’, ‘supreme’, ‘able to’, ‘capable of’, ‘self-subdued’, ‘firm’ or ‘self-controlled’; in Nyaya philosophy, it means – ‘eternal’, ‘existing everywhere’, ‘all-pervading’, ‘pervading all material things’. This word also refers to manas or mind. This word has its root in the term, bhū ( भू), meaning – ‘become’, ‘arise’, ‘come into existence’; thus vibhu means – ‘expand’, ‘become manifest’, ‘appear’, ‘pervade’.


is a term in Hindu philosophy. In Hindu logic, an upadhi is the condition which accompanies the major term and must be supplied to limit the too general middle term. For instance, “the mountain has smoke because it has fire” rests on the false premise that all fire is accompanied by smoke. To restrict the too general middle term here, ‘wet fuel’ should be added as the condition of fire.


In Jyotiṣa or Indian astrology, the term Upagrāha refers to the so-called “shadow planets” that are actually mathematical points, that are used for astrological evaluation. Upagrāha is a generic term used for two distinct and different calculations. One type of Upagrāha called Aprakāśa (अप्रकाश) is calculated from the degree of the Sun. Another type is more generally called Upagrāha or Kālavelā (कालवेला) is calculated by dividing duration of diurnal sky or the duration of the nocturnal sky into eight parts. The classic writers like Parāśara, Varāhamihira and later writers like Vankatesa Śarma, author of Sarvartha Chintamani, all classify the Upagrāhas in various ways.

Upanāha is a Buddhist term translated as “resentment” or “enmity”. It is defined as clinging to an intention to cause harm, and withholding forgiveness. It is one of the twenty subsidiary unwholesome mental factors within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings.


Upekṣā is the Buddhist concept of equanimity. As one of the Brahma-viharas, virtues of the “Brahma realm”, it is one of the wholesome mental factors cultivated on the Buddhist path to nirvāna through the practice of jhāna.

Utsāha is an essential factor in matters governing human thoughts and actions, and directs all human achievements because primarily it is the strength of will, firmness of resolve, energy and power, endurance and perseverance, and the joy and elation resulting from achievement of pre-determined objectives.


The lit. '”the garland of victory”‘ is a mythological garland or elemental necklace, primarily associated with Vishnu. Employed in its worship as a garland, this object is also called the Vaijayantimala or the Vanamala.


Āhrīkya is a Buddhist term that is translated as “lack of shame”, “lack of conscience”, etc. In the Theravada tradition, ahirika is defined as the absence of disgust at physical or verbal misconduct. In the Mahayana tradition, āhrīkya is defined as not restraining from wrongdoing due to one’s own conscience.


is a Sanskrit term meaning residence (vās) in a forest (van). While it can be undertaken voluntarily, it usually carries a connotation of forced exile as a punishment. It commonly figures as a harsh penalty in ancient Hindu epics set in a time, thousands of years ago, when much of the Indian subcontinent was a wilderness.

Advesha is a Buddhist term translated as “non-aggression” or “non-hatred”. It is defined as the absence of an aggressive attitude towards someone or something that causes pain. It is one of the mental factors within the Abhidharma teachings.

The Fifth Chapter of the Vaisheshika Sutras of Kanada deals with the notion of action and the connected concept of effort; and also deals with the various special phenomenon of nature to the supersensible force, called Adrishta.


Vichāra means deliberation; It is the faculty of discrimination that discerns the Real, Brahman, from the unreal.


The term Upachayasthana is derived from the Sanskrit word उपचय which means increase, it also means the entire process of acquisition, assimilation and augmentation or proximate aggregation or increase or gain of nourishment or in growth or in body weight.


is a Buddhist term that is translated as “doubt” or “indecision”. It is defined as being of two minds about the meaning of the four noble truths; it functions as a basis for not becoming involved with wholesome activities.

Vidya (philosophy)

The Sanskrit word vidya figures prominently in all texts pertaining to Indian philosophy – to mean science, learning, knowledge and scholarship; most importantly, it refers to valid knowledge which cannot be contradicted and true knowledge which is the knowledge of the self intuitively gained. Vidya is not mere intellectual knowledge, for the Vedas demand understanding.


is the Sanskrit antonym of dharma. It means “that which is not in accord with the dharma”. Connotations include betrayal, discord, disharmony, unnaturalness, wrongness, evil, immorality, unrighteousness, wickedness, and vice..In Indian subcontinent, today the term more specifically applies to invading abhramic religions especially Islam.


Vihiṃsā is a Buddhist term translated as “malice”, “hostility”, or “cruelty”. It is identified as one of the twenty subsidiary unwholesome mental factors within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings. In this context, it is defined as the category of anger (pratigha) or aversion (dvesha), and functions to treat others abusively and without compassion.

Vijñāna or viññāṇa is translated as “consciousness,” “life force,” “mind,” or “discernment.”

Vikṣepa is a Buddhist and Hindu term that is translated as “distraction”, “mental wandering”, etc. In the Mahayana tradition, vikṣepa is defined as the mental motion or wandering towards an object which causes the inability to remain one-pointedly on a virtuous objective.


Ādesha or Ādeśa means ‘an order’, ‘command’ or ‘advice’, ‘instruction’, ‘precept’, ‘rule’

Vīrya is a Buddhist term commonly translated as “energy”, “diligence”, “enthusiasm”, or “effort”. It can be defined as an attitude of gladly engaging in wholesome activities, and it functions to cause one to accomplish wholesome or virtuous actions.

Vishwa Guru

or vishwaguru is a Sanskrit phrase and idea which translates to world or global teacher, world guru, tutors of the world, world leader, or teacher to the world or universe.


, literally “whirlpool”, is a technical term in yoga meant to indicate that the contents of mental awareness are disturbances in the medium of consciousness. Vritti can be taken as a catch-all term for any content in consciousness, where consciousness is regarded as a medium or container for any possible mental content. The scope of the idea is very broad, referring not only to thoughts and perceptions experienced in a normal waking state, but also to all super-physical perceptions, such as dreams or in any altered state of consciousness. Vritti has also been translated as “waves” or “ripples” of disturbance upon the otherwise calm waters of the mind. The classical definition of yoga as stated in the Yoga Sutras is to calm the waves and return, or reunite mind to its calm state, or samadhi.


means “bathing of the divinity to whom worship is offered.” It is a religious rite or method of prayer in which a devotee pours a liquid offering on an image or murti of a God or Goddess. Abhisheka is common to Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Upādāna is a Vedic Sanskrit and Pali word that means “fuel, material cause, substrate that is the source and means for keeping an active process energized”. It is also an important Buddhist concept referring to “attachment, clinging, grasping”. It is considered to be the result of taṇhā (craving), and is part of the dukkha doctrine in Buddhism.


, known by various regional terms, is an Indian and a Hindu concept related to food. Though the term has various meanings and has no exact parallel in English, it is generally translated in English as “leftovers” or “leavings”, but with a denigratory aspect. Uchchhishta frequently denotes food scraps after a person has eaten. In a broader sense, it refers to the contamination by food or hand that has come in contact with saliva or the inside of someone’s mouth. A person or plate is also said to be Uchchhishta, when he/it comes in contact with Uchchhishta food. Uchchhishta food as well as the Uchchhishta eater/utensil are considered ritually impure. The eater is purified by washing his hand and mouth.

Pramāda is a Buddhist term that is translated as “heedlessness”, “carelessness”, etc. In the Mahayana tradition, pramāda is defined to not apply oneself earnestly and carefully to adopting a wholesome attitude and abandoning unwholesome actions.


Tanmatra is a noun which means – rudimentary or subtle element, merely that, mere essence, potential or only a trifle. There are five sense perceptions – hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell, and there are the five corresponding to the five sense perceptions and five sense-organs. The tanmatras combine and re-combine in different ways to produce the gross elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether, which make up the gross universe perceived by the senses. The senses play their part by coming into contact with the objects, and carry impressions of them to the manas which receives and arranges them into a precept.


Ananyatā (Sanskrit:अनन्यता) means – ‘having no equal’, ‘matchless’, ‘peerless’, ‘identity’, ‘sameness’ It is a form of devotion in which the devotee is solely dependent on God. is the doctrine that makes no distinction between God and the Atman.

Sparśa is a Sanskrit/Indian term that is translated as “contact”, “touching”, “sensation”, “sense impression”, etc. It is defined as the coming together of three factors: the sense organ, the sense object, and sense consciousness (vijnana). For example, contact (sparsha) is said to occur at the coming together of the eye organ, a visual object, and the visual sense consciousness.


or ‘the doctrine of perception through creation’, is the opponent school of . It affirms the world as the primary reality on which perception is dependent. In short, if there were no real world, there would not be any perception of it either. It is regarded as the “common sense view of things”.


Shruti in Sanskrit means “that which is heard” and refers to the body of most authoritative, ancient religious texts comprising the central canon of Hinduism. Manusmriti states: Śrutistu vedo vijñeyaḥ meaning, “Know that Vedas are Śruti”. Thus, it includes the four Vedas including its four types of embedded texts—the , the Upanishads, the Brahmanas and the Aranyakas.

Ānanda (Hindu philosophy)

Ānanda literally means bliss or happiness. In the Hindu Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad gita, ānanda signifies eternal bliss which accompanies the ending of the rebirth cycle. Those who renounce the fruits of their actions and submit themselves completely to the divine will, arrive at the final termination of the cyclical life process (saṃsāra) to enjoy eternal bliss (ānanda) in perfect union with the godhead. The tradition of seeking union with God through loving commitment is referred to as bhakti, or devotion.

Styāna is a Buddhist term that is translated as “lethargy”, “gloominess”, etc. In the Mahayana tradition, styāna is defined as a mental factor that causes the mind to be withdrawn, unclear, and unable to focus.


is a Sanskrit word that has been interpreted to mean either “protector of gods”, or a transliteration of the Islamic word “Sultan” into Sanskrit. The term consists of two words “sura” (सुर) meaning “deva, gods, deity”, and trana (त्राण) meaning “protect, preserve, defend”.


is a Buddhist term translated as “non-delusion” or “non-bewilderment”. It is defined as being without delusion concerning what is true, due to discrimination; its function is to cause one to not engage in unwholesome actions. It is one of the mental factors within the Abhidharma teachings.


is a Buddhist term translated as “non-attachment” or “non-greed”. It is defined as the absence of attachment or desire towards worldly things or worldly existence. It causes one to not engage in unwholesome actions. It is one of the virtuous mental factors within the Abhidharma teachings.


is the Sanskrit word for one of three etymological classes defined by native grammarians of Middle Indo-Aryan languages, alongside and deśi words. A “tadbhava” is a word with an Indo-Aryan origin but which has evolved through language change in the Middle Indo-Aryan stage and eventually inherited into a modern Indo-Aryan language. In this sense, tadbhavas can be considered the native (inherited) vocabulary of modern Indo-Aryan languages.


, which means endowed with light, is one of the many different levels of existence which the Jiva experiences due to the activity of Maya; it is the second of the three stages of consciousness that are part of the individual order of the Jiva. The three stages of consciousness are – 1) Vishva or Vaisvanara or the waking stage characterized by the individual gross body or sthula-sarira, 2) Taijasa or the dream consciousness which has the subtle body or suksma-sarira as its object, and 3) Prajna or the deep sleep consciousness which is the unified undifferentiated consciousness or prajanaaghana and the characteristic of the blissful causal body, the ultimate experience of Brahman.


Tanumānasī is the third stage or of wisdom in the waking state, at which stage the mind, through development of profound indifference towards objects, is stated to become as thin as a thread – Tanu means ‘thread’ and manas means the ‘mind’. During this stage of awakening the aspirant gives up all hankering after sensual objects.

Tyāga is a Sanskrit word that means “sacrifice, giving up in generosity, forsaking, resigning” anything of value, as well as “renunciation” depending on the context. It is an ethical concept in Hinduism and Jainism.


is a Sanskrit term translating to “imperishable, indestructible, fixed, immutable”.


is a Sanskrit word which means “intention”. This is most often used in the context of written material and is used to indicate the original intention of the author in putting down a certain statement. The innate possibility of multiple interpretations that the Sanskrit language allows for makes obtaining the “Tatparya” an involved subject.


Tatsama are Sanskrit loanwords in modern Indo-Aryan languages like Assamese, Bengali, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Hindi, Gujarati, and Sinhala and in Dravidian languages like Malayalam and Telugu. They generally belong to a higher and more erudite register than common words, many of which are directly inherited from Old Indo-Aryan (tadbhava). The tatsama register can be compared to the use of loan words of Greek or Latin origin in English.


is a Sanskrit adjective which means – inactive, dull, torpid, without essential works, abstaining from religious rites, without action of any kind, epithet of god, worthless, good for nothing; – या Akriyā means – inactivity, neglect of duty. In the Bhagavad Gita, the word akriya refers to the person, who having renounced all desires and gained peace within, is not bound to perform any actions, rituals or works; such a person does not find any reason to perform any duty. According to Akriyavada, man’s suffering or pleasures are not because of his own actions but because of other factors. From Śrimad Bhāgavatam (Sl.IX.17.10) it is learnt that the son of Rabhā was Rabhasa whose son was Gambhira who was the father of Akriya, all descendents of Ksatrvrddha rulers of Kasi. Akriya was a Brahmvida.

Thīna is a Buddhist term that is translated as “sloth”. Thīna is defined as sluggishness or dullness of mind, characterized by a lack of driving power. In the Theravada tradition, thīna is said to occur in conjunction with (torpor), which is defined as a morbid state that is characterized by unwieldiness, lack of energy, and opposition to wholesome activity. The two mental factors in conjunction are expressed as thīna-middha (sloth-torpor).


or titikṣā is defined by the Uddhava Gita as the “patient endurance of suffering.” In Vedanta philosophy it is the bearing with indifference all opposites such as pleasure and pain, heat and cold, expectation of reward and punishment, accruement or gain and loss, vanity and envy, resentment and deprecation, fame and obscurity, lavishness and obeisance, pride and egotism, virtue-respect and vice-respect, birth and death, happiness, safety, comfort, restlessness and boredom, affection and bereavement or infatuation, attachment and desire etc. Being entirely responsible for encouragement and/or reproach for ones own personal behaviour, past behaviour, the frame of mind and esteem. It is one of the six qualities, devotions, jewels or divine bounties beginning with Sama, the repression, alleviating or release of the inward sense called Manas. Another quality is Dama, the renunciation of behaviours or utilizing self-control with moderation, with correct discrimination and without aversion.

The Trāyastriṃśa heaven is an important world of the devas in the Buddhist cosmology. The word trāyastriṃśa is an adjective formed from the numeral trayastriṃśat, “33” and can be translated in English as “belonging to the thirty-three [devas]”. It is primarily the name of the second in the six heavens of the desire realm in Buddhist cosmology, and secondarily used of the devas who dwell there. Trāyastriṃśa is ruled by Śakra.

Akashvani (word)


, this term refers to Prabhakara’s Theory of Knowledge, more precisely to his Doctrine of Triple Perception.

Trishna (Vedic thought)

Trishna means – ‘thirst’, ‘aspiration’, ‘longing’, ‘craving’ or ‘lusty desires’, or as तृष्णज् meaning covetous, greedy or thirsting. Trishna is the Fourth Nidana, spiritual love.

Trishtubh (Vedic metre)

Trishtubh is a Vedic metre of 44 syllables, or any hymn composed in this metre. It is the most prevalent metre of the Rigveda, accounting for roughly 40% of its verses.


is the Sanskrit word for a horse, one of the significant animals finding references in the Vedas as well as later Hindu scriptures. The word is cognate to Avestan ????????????????, Latin equus, Ancient Greek ἵππος, Proto-Germanic *ehwaz, obsolete Prussian Lithuanian ašvà, all from Proto-Indo-European *h₁éḱwos.

Prajna (Hinduism)

Prajña or Pragya as प्रज्ञा, प्राज्ञ and प्राज्ञा is used to refer to the highest and purest form of wisdom, intelligence and understanding. Pragya is the state of wisdom which is higher than the knowledge obtained by reasoning and inference.

Chit (consciousness)

Chit is a Sanskrit word meaning consciousness. It is a core principle in all ancient spiritual traditions originating from the Indian subcontinent, including Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism.


means – the state of life or the state of the individual soul. Jivatva is the state of life of the Jiva, the living entity, which is a particular manifestation of Atman, the embodied being limited to psycho-physical states, and the source of avidya that suffers (repeated) transmigration as result of its actions. Until ignorance ceases the Jiva remains caught in experience of the results of actions bringing merit and demerit, and in the state of individuality (jivatva), and so long as the connection with the intellect as conditioning adjunct lasts, so long the individuality and transmigration of soul lasts.


is a noun which means sight, care and superintendence but also refers to eye, sight, look, seeing, viewing, aspect, caring for, looking after, regarding.

Indo-Aryan loanwords in Tamil

The Tamil language has absorbed many Indo-Aryan, Prakrit, Pali and Sanskrit loanwords ever since the early 1st millennium CE, when the Sangam period Chola kingdoms became influenced by spread of Jainism, Buddhism and early Hinduism. Many of these loans are obscured by adaptions to Tamil phonology.


is the Sanskrit and Pali term for physical strength or ability in general, and for the senses more specifically. The term literally means “belonging to Indra,” chief deity in the Rig Veda and lord of the Trāyastriṃśa heaven hence connoting supremacy, dominance and control, attested in the general meaning of “power, strength” from the Rig Veda.


Īrṣyā is a Sanskrit or Buddhist term that is translated as “jealousy” or “envy”. It is defined as a state of mind in which one is highly agitated to obtain wealth and honor for oneself, but unable to bear the excellence of others.

Ishvara Gita

The or Śivagītā is an ancient Hindu scripture philosophical text from Padma-Purana in the form of dialogue between Lord Shiva and Shri Rama that took place in Dandaka Aranya forest in Ramagiri mountain on the banks of Godavari river. It deals with topics such as Advaita metaphysics, Bhakti and others


in Sanskrit language is an abstract noun meaning ‘godhood’, it also means divinity.

Jarāmaraṇa is Sanskrit and Pāli for “old age” and “death”. In Buddhism, jaramarana is associated with the inevitable decay and death-related suffering of all beings prior to their rebirth within saṃsāra.

Jāti (Buddhism)

In Buddhism, Jāti (Sanskrit/Pāli), “birth”, refers to physical birth; to rebirth, the arising of a new living entity within saṃsāra ; and to the arising of mental phenomena.


Jātismara means – recollecting a former existence or birth. Such recollection is believed to be a talent which great saints possessed or cultivated.


Jijñāsā is the ‘desire to know’ in Hinduism. When the jijñāsā or the desire to know the true nature of objects intensifies then one reaches the threshold of jñāna or knowledge about those objects; knowledge. The desire to know is called the sādhya-sādhanā, the desire to know is the very base of knowledge which is an excited state that leads to understanding which is the beginning point of deeper knowledge.


Bhumika is derived from the word, Bhūmi, which means – the earth, soil, ground, land, a site, situation, land, a story, character or part or situation. The word, Bhūmikā, refers to a tablet or board for writing, subject, object or a receptacle, theatrical dress or an actor’s costume, decoration of an image, a preface or introduction to a book.

Hrī (Buddhism)

Hri is a Buddhist term translated as “self-respect” or “conscientiousness”. It is defined as the attitude of taking earnest care with regard to one’s actions and refraining from non-virtuous actions. It is one of the virtuous mental factors within the Abhidharma teachings.

Jyā – koti-jyā and utkrama-jyā

Jyā, koṭi-jyā and utkrama-jyā are three trigonometric functions introduced by Indian mathematicians and astronomers. The earliest known Indian treatise containing references to these functions is Surya Siddhanta. These are functions of arcs of circles and not functions of angles. Jyā and koti-jyā are closely related to the modern trigonometric functions of sine and cosine. In fact, the origins of the modern terms of “sine” and “cosine” have been traced back to the Sanskrit words jyā and koti-jyā.

Kālá kaalam or kaala) is a word used in Sanskrit which means “Time” or “death.” As time personified, destroying all things, Kala is a god of death, and often used as one of the various names or forms of Yama. In Shaivism, Kala is known as the fiery avatar of Shiva Kala Bhairava; and Kala is also linked with Narasimha and Pralaya. As applied to gods and goddesses, Kālá is not always distinguishable from kāla, meaning “black.”

Kalpana (imagination)

Kalpanā is derived from the root – kalpanama (कल्पनम्) + ना, and means – ‘fixing’, ‘settlement’, ‘making’, ‘performing’, ‘doing’, ‘forming’, ‘arranging’, ‘decorating’, ‘ornamenting’, ‘forgery’, ‘a contrivance’, ‘device’. and also means – ‘assuming anything to be real’, ‘fictional’.


(Sanskrit:भूमन) means fullness or abundance; It is a synonym of Brahman. The word, Bhuman, is derived from the word, Bahu, meaning much or many, with the suffix – imam, added after it by dropping – i, to impart the sense of the abstract noun. This word refers directly to the Supreme Self who is superior to Prana though Prana is Bhuman because of proximity where the vow of Prana, consisting in transcending all other thing is alluded to.

Kama muta

is an emotion described as ‘being moved’, ‘heart-warming’, ‘stirring’, or ‘being emotionally touched’. It is a primarily positive emotion which is experienced as a feeling of buoyancy, security and warmth in the chest, and may be accompanied with goosebumps or tears. Kama Muta is felt when one observes or engages in events which cause a deepened sense of equivalence or oneness with others, and motivates devotion to those relationships. Kama Muta is considered to have the evolutionary function of facilitating the devotion, commitment and connection necessary for human social union.


Karuṇā is generally translated as compassion or mercy and sometimes as self-compassion or spiritual longing. It is a significant spiritual concept in the Indic religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism.

Kasaya (attachment)

Kasaya is attachment to worldly objects and is an obstacle in the path leading to Nirvikalpa Samadhi: it is overcome through viveka, discrimination.


is a Buddhist term that is translated as “regret”, “worry”, etc. In the Theravada tradition, kukkucca is defined as worry or remorse after having done wrong; it has the characteristic of regret. In the Mahayana tradition, kaukritya is defined as sadness because of mental displeasure with a former action.

Kausidya is a Buddhist term translated as “laziness” or “spiritual sloth”. It is defined as clinging to unwholesome activities such as lying down and stretching out, and to procrastinate, and not being enthusiastic about or engaging in virtuous activity. It is identified as:One of the twenty subsidiary unwholesome mental factors within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings. One of the five faults or obstacles to shamatha meditation within the Mahayana teachings. Closely related to the Pali term thina, that is identified as one of the fourteen unwholesome mental factors within the Theravada Abhidharma teachings


Khyātivāda is the term used to refer to the Indian Theories of Perceptual Error – khyāti (ख्यातिः) besides referring to ‘fame’, ‘renown’ etc., in Samkhya philosophy refers to the ‘erroneous conception’ or ‘false apprehension’, and vāda means – ‘proposition’, ‘discourse’, ‘argument’. These are all theories that deal with the nature of the object of illusory perception and not with the nature of the subject, whether the error consists in the object or in the subject’s cognition. There are five principal theories dealing with perceptual errors, which are:-1) Asat-khyātivāda (buddhism) – error in considering the unreal(non existent)to be real.in madhyamika buddhism error means describing the ultimate reality to be either real,unreal or both real and unreal or neither real and unreal. 2) Ātma-khyātivāda (self-apprehension) – it is the mental state projected outside as a mental image, the error occurs owing to the externalization of inner thoughts, by treating the internal object as external (extra-mental) and the error exists not in the object but in the subject. 3) Akhyātivāda (non-apprehension) – the error is due to the failure to distinguish between perception and memory, it is due to the lack of right discrimination vis-à-vis memory. 4) Anyathā-khyātivāda (misapprehension) (Nyāya) – the object perceived under illusion is real elsewhere, not here in front of the perceiver because of the mind connected with the object on account of memory, the error is due to wrong understanding of the presented and the represented, and occurs, as Vachaspati Mishra states – सदन्तरं सदन्तरात्मना गृह्यते – when “one reality is mistaken for another”. 5) Anirvacanīya-khyātivāda (Advaita) – the object is neither existent (सत्) nor non-existent (असत्) but indescribable (अनिर्वचनियम्), the illusory object is a product of ignorance (avidyā) about the substratum and the error is caused due to Maya which is also indescribable.

Kleshas (Hinduism)

Kleśa is a term from Indian philosophy and yoga, meaning a “poison”. The third śloka of the second chapter of Patañjali’s Yogasūtra explicitly identifies Five Poisons :अविद्यास्मितारागद्वेषाभिनिवेशाः पञ्च क्लेशाः॥३॥ Avidyāsmitārāgadveṣābhiniveśāḥ pañca kleśāḥ


(Tamil) is a Tamil/Sanskrit word which denotes location or position or place. In grammar it is used at the beginning or middle of a sentence as a nominative or attributive pronoun, combined with or without ya, adds emphasis to other nouns, propositions etc.; and means – this, here or yonder, present or seen nearby, fit for, or without reference to noun refers to एतद् (‘that’) or to what precedes.

Hāsya is a Sanskrit word for one of the nine rasas or bhava (mood) of Indian aesthetics, usually translated as humour or comedy. The colour associated with hasya is white and deity, Pramatha, and leads to exultation of the mind.

Bhrama (Hinduism)

Bhrama, in the context of Hindu thought, means – error, mistake, illusion, confusion, perplexity. But, it literally means – that which is not steady; and refers to error etc., caused by defects in the perceptive system. The seeing of snake in a rope in darkness, silver nacre in moonlight, water in a mirage on a hot day and a person in a stump of tree are four classic instances quoted in Vedantic texts. Bhrama is a mistake, it is a confusion about one object which exists for another object which does not exist, it merely refers to the fallibility of human perception.


is a Sanskrit adjective basically referring to the unsteady vacillating nature of human mind and actions which need to be stilled, neutralized or controlled for gaining right speech and vision.


(picture-poetry) is an ancient Indian tradition of writing poetry in visual patterns by play of meaning (shabdalankāra). It is the device of constructing verses that can be written out in the form of a lotus or of a chariot. This tradition developed into different forms such as the Yamaka Kāvyas where the letters are the same while the meanings are different in different lines; in the Mahakavyas like the Kirātārjunīya and the Shishupala Vadha there are instances of verses with only a single letter of alphabet or only two letters, also there is the Niranunāsika, where no nasal sound appears, Rāmacarita narrates in the same set of verses the story of Rāma and of a king who patronised the poet. All these poems show the prodigious intellect of the poets and their control of the language effortlessly applied showing no obscurity in diction.


Chidākāsha in which all gross and subtle activities of the consciousness take place; it is the sky of consciousness, everything dies and evaporates in this space of consciousness, everything is reduced to its essence in this space. Even the mind, along with intellect and ego, merges in this space of unconditioned Pure Consciousness through the paths of devotion, knowledge and action. It is also associated with the ajna chakra, the guru chakra, positioned in the stomata behind the centre of the forehead.


or ‘the knowledge of Brahman within’, is mentioned in the Chandogya Upanishad and the Taittiriya Upanishad. In this Upasana the sadhaka concentrates on Brahman in the cave of the heart. It is one of the thirty-two vidyas of the Upanishads taught in Vedanta, in which vidya Brahman is perceived as the imperceptible ether within the heart. This vidya occurs in the 8th Chapter of the Chandogya Upanishad. where it is taught that the abode of Brahman is the small lotus that is here in this city of Brahman, what is there in the small space within the lotus is to be searched out. This vidya explains the identity of the external and the internal, the objective and the subjective, the macrocosmic and the microcosmic, the universal and the individual, Brahman and the Atman.


Dāna is a Sanskrit and Pali word that connotes the virtue of generosity, charity or giving of alms in Indian philosophies. It is alternatively transliterated as daana.

Daridra yoga

or Nirdhanta yogas along with Kemadruma yoga and Shakat yoga, are certain exceptional ava-yogas or unfavourable planetary combinations that indicate poverty. The word, Daridra means poor, needy or deprived, and the word, Nirdhanta means poverty, poorness or indigence.


Chidabhasa is the Sanskrit term which means the abhasa or reflection of Brahman, the Universal Self, on or through the mind; ordinarily this term is used to denote the reflected Universal Self in the Jiva, the Individual Self. The philosophical conditionedness belongs to chidabhasa. The causal body or the Karana Sarira which is the cause of man’s enjoyment or suffering is composed of the Anandamaya Kosha and adheres to the soul so long as the soul resides in the Sthula Sarira or the Sukshama Sarira, both vehicles of Avidya (‘ignorance’); afflicted by vasanas (‘desires/longings’) the ordinary being does not become Chidabhasa, the reflection of the Atman in the Karana Sarira.

Desi words

Deśi words, also known as Deśya words, represent the vocabulary in Indo-Aryan languages which are of non-Indo-European origin, mostly borrowed from Dravidian languages and Munda languages, the languages which are currently native to South India and East India respectively. They are also known as Deshaj words, and considered one of the three etymological classes defined by native grammarians of Middle Indo-Aryan languages, alongside tatsama and tadbhava words. The word “desi” in this context means “local”, referring that these loanwords are from the native languages of the Indian subcontinent that existed before the Indo-Aryan migrations.


“Devarāja” was the religious order of the “god-king,” or deified monarch in medieval Southeast Asia. The devarāja order grew out of both Hinduism and separate local traditions depending on the area. It taught that the king was a divine universal ruler, a manifestation of Bhagawan. The concept viewed the monarch to possess transcendental quality, the king as the living god on earth. The concept is closely related to the Bharati concept of Chakravartin. In politics, it is viewed as the divine justification of a king’s rule. The concept was institutionalized and gained its elaborate manifestations in ancient Java and Cambodia, where monuments such as Prambanan and Angkor Wat were erected to celebrate the king’s divine rule on earth.


means – ‘the celestial sage’; it is one of the three categories of Rishis, the other two being – Brahmarishi (ब्रह्मर्षि) and Rajarishi (राजर्षि). Rajarishis were those Kshatriya kings who gained the status of Rishi; the difference between a Rishi and a Brahmarishi was that of the degree of penance and accomplishment, and their life-span.


is a word derived from Sanskrit that refers to something beautiful, graceful and pure in a spiritual sense.

Dharma Karmadhipati yoga

arises when the lords of the 9th and the 10th bhavas counted from the lagna or the Chandra-lagna, whichever is stronger, establish a sambandha preferably in a kendra or a trikonasthana; it is a shubha (auspicious) yoga . The 9th bhava (house) signifies Poorvapunya, Dharma and Bhagya, which are all auspicious significations. The 10th house, also known as Kirtisthana and the Rajyabhava, is the Karmabhava or the Karmasthana . In general terms the 10th house refers to occupation, profession or means of livelihood, temporal honours, foreign travels, self-respect, knowledge and dignity.

Dhi (Hindu thought)

Dhi, this Sanskrit word means ‘understanding’, ‘reflection’, ‘religious thought’, ‘mind’, ‘design’, ‘intelligence’, ‘opinion’, ‘meditation’, ‘imagination’, ‘notion’, ‘intellect’, This word is directly connected with the word, Vāc meaning Speech, derived from Vac meaning, ‘to speak’. Dhi is the voiced Vāc or ‘Speech’, it is the thought-mind or intellect. Dhi also means ‘to hold’ or ‘to place’, and indicates the activity of the intellect.


(हस्तिन्) is a term for elephant used in Vedic texts. Other terms for elephant include Ibha (इभ) and Vārana (वारण).


Dhṛti or Dhriti or Dhruti, one of the Yamas, means to ‘act with determination’, ‘patience’, ‘firmness’, and refers to ‘perseverance’, ‘wearing regularly’ and to one of the eleven Rudranis. There is no correct equivalent English word for which is derived from dhr- meaning ‘to bear’. Dhrti meaning ‘fortitude’ and ‘determination’ is defined as the subtle faculty in man that makes him strive continuously towards a goal. It provides courage, enthusiasm and perseverance to face and overcome all odds and obstacles.


(धुप) is, in Indian religions, the ritual offering of incense during puja to an image of a deity, or other object of veneration. It is also the Sanskrit word for incense or perfume itself.

Chaitanya (consciousness)

The Sanskrit word, Chaitanya, means ‘consciousness’ or ‘spirit’ or ‘intelligence’ or ‘sensation’. It is the pure Consciousness or the cosmic intelligence, the consciousness that knows itself and also knows others. It also means energy or enthusiasm. In the Rig Veda (R.V.IV.XL.5) Nrishad is the dweller amongst men; Nrishad is explained as Chaitanya or ‘Consciousness’ or Prana or ‘vitality’ because both dwell in men.


is one of the sixteen main vargas described by Parasara to Maitreya who wanted to be explained about the different kinds of houses (Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra. Parasara states that relationship with co-borns is to be judged from the drekkanas occupied by planets. All standard ancient texts on Hindu astrology describe these vargas. The actual disposition of a planet is properly known from its occupation of these sixteen vargas. These sixteen sub-divisional charts which are one of the four dimensions of astrology are a basic ingredient of Hindu astrology, and each sub-divisional chart is firstly required to be studied independently and then collectively as one. M. Ramakrishna Bhat is of the opinion that drekkana is not a Sanskrit word but borrowed from the Greek.


Drishti-srishti-vada or ‘the doctrine of creation through perception’, is an offshoot of Advaita Vedanta, which doctrine maintains that the perceived phenomenal world comes into existence only in the process of man’s observation of the world which is seen as a world of his own mental construction; having no objective reality, it exists only in his mind. Thus, mind is the cause of the universe and not the subtle cosmic elements; mind which is consciousness creates the world. This doctrine is aligned with the doctrine of Ajatavada, that of ‘non-causality’.

Duḥkha is an important concept in Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, commonly translated as “suffering”, “unhappiness”, “pain”, “unsatisfactoriness” or “stress”. It refers to the habitual experience of mundane life as fundamentally unsatisfactory and painful. It is the first of the Four Noble Truths and it is one of the three marks of existence. The term also appears in scriptures of Hinduism, such as the Upanishads, in discussions of moksha.

Dvesha (Buddhism)

Dvesha – is a Buddhist term that is translated as “hate, aversion”.


is a Sanskrit dvandva, or compound word, meaning “heaven and earth”. The term occurs 65 times in the Rig Veda. Dyavaprthivi has mistakenly been labeled a Hindu god who later split into Dyaus, the Sky Father, and Prthivi, the Earth Mother.

Buddhābhiseka refers to a broad range of Buddhist rituals used to consecrate images of the Buddha and other Buddhist figures, such as bodhisattvas.

Faith in Hinduism

Śraddhā is often glossed in English as faith. Āsthā is used for faith, religious beliefs and God. The term figures importantly in the literature, teachings, and discourse of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.

Grama (government)

Grama is a Sanskrit word for village and grama panchayat is a local governing body in villages.

Krodha (Mental factor)

Krodha is a Buddhist term that is translated as “fury”, “rage”, or “indignation”. Within the Mahayana Abhidharma tradition, krodha is identified as one of the twenty subsidiary unwholesome mental factors. It is defined as an increase of anger that causes one to prepare to harm others.


or khanti (Pāli) is patience, forbearance and forgiveness. It is one of the pāramitās in both Theravāda and Mahāyāna Buddhism.

Prajñā (Buddhism)

Prajñā or paññā, is a Buddhist term often translated as “wisdom”, “intelligence”, or “understanding”. It is described in Buddhist texts as the understanding of the true nature of phenomena. In the context of Buddhist meditation, it is the ability to understand the three characteristics of all things: anicca (“impermanence”), dukkha, and anattā (“non-self”). Mahāyāna texts describe it as the understanding of śūnyatā (“emptiness”). It is part of the Threefold Training in Buddhism, and is one of the ten pāramīs of Theravāda Buddhism and one of the six Mahāyāna pāramitās.

Pada (foot)

Pāda is the Sanskrit term for “foot”, with derived meanings “step, stride; footprint, trace; vestige, mark”. The term has a wide range of applications, including any one of four parts, or any sub-division more generally, e.g. a chapter of a book.


Nāmarūpa is used in Buddhism to refer to constituent processes of the human being: nāma is typically considered to refer to psychological elements of the human person, while rūpa refers to the physical.


Nāmarūpa-vyākaraṇa, in Hindu philosophy, refers to the process of evolution of differentiation into names and forms i.e. to the unfolding of the primal state into the manifest world prior to which unfolding there was nothing that existed; it refers to the conditioned reality.

Atman jnana

In Indian philosophy and religions, jñāna is “knowledge”.

Atithi Devo Bhava

, also spelt Atithidevo Bhava Sanskrit: अतिथिदेवो भव:)), English transliteration: A guest is akin to God), prescribes a dynamic of the host-guest relationship, which embodies the traditional Indian Hindu-Buddhist philosophy of revering guests with the same respect as a god. This concept of going out of the way to treat guests with reverence goes even beyond the traditional Hindu-Buddhist common greeting of namaste used for everyone.


Nighaṇṭu is a Sanskrit term for a traditional collection of words, grouped into thematic categories, often with brief annotations. Such collections share characteristics with glossaries and thesauri, but are not true lexicons, such as the kośa of Sanskrit literature. Particular collections are also called nighaṇṭava.


Ataptatanū (Sanskrit:अतप्ततनू) – tapa (तप) means – ‘to burn’, ‘heat up’; atapta (अतप्त) – means – ‘not heated’, ‘cool’, and tanū (तनू) – means – ‘body’, ‘the physical self’; ataptatanū means – ‘he whose body or mass is not prepared in fire’, ‘raw’


Āśraya variously means – base, source, assistance, shelter, protection, refuge, dependence, having recourse to or depending on. In terms of Hindu philosophy, the living entity or Jiva is āśraya, and Brahman or the Supreme Being, the Godhead, is viśaya, the supreme objective, the goal of life Bhagavata Purana (VII.x.6). But, this word – āśraya conveying the primary meaning – ‘refuge’, immediately relates with the deity which is worshipped rather than with the abstract Brahman, the substratum of all that exists.


is one of the six ancient Vedangas, or ancillary science connected with the Vedas – the scriptures of Hinduism. Nirukta covers etymology, and is the study concerned with correct interpretation of Sanskrit words in the Vedas.


The Sanskrit word (निष्ठा), in Hindu philosophy, refers to faith, steadiness, devotion and the culmination, and in Sanskrit grammar, to the affixes of the Past Participles – kta and katavatu.

Nithya Karma

is a Sanskrit phrase formed out of two words: nithya, meaning “always,” and karma, which refers to conduct or duty. This phrase therefore refers to duties which need to be performed every day.


Āśraddhya is a Buddhist term that is translated as “lack of faith”, “lack of trust”, etc. In the Mahayana tradition, āśraddhya is defined as a mental factor that is characterized by a lack of trust, and lack of interest in, or desire for, wholesome things.

Panchagni Vidya

Panchagni vidyā means – meditation on the five fires. This vidyā or knowledge appears in the Chandogya Upanishad and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. It is one of the forty-one prescribed Vedic rituals.


Muṣitasmṛtitā is a Buddhist term that is translated as “forgetfulness”. In the Mahayana tradition, muṣitasmṛtitā is defined as forgetting or losing our focus on a virtuous object and instead focusing on an object or situation that causes non-virtuous thoughts or emotions to arise.


is a Sanskrit term which is derived from the word, Asiddha, which means imperfect, incomplete, unaccomplished, unaffected, unproved, not existing or not having taken effect or not possessed of magic power. This term refers to the state of imperfection, incompleteness, etc.; or to the state of being imperfect or incomplete etc.; but mainly implies not in existence or non-existent or no order of taking effect.


is a word derived from the Sanskrit word pankti that means a line, a row, or a group. It is a synonym for Guru Ka Langar. In a Pangat, food is served by volunteers (Sevadars) to people of all religions who sit together to eat. Pangat is about eating food while sitting in rows with no discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and religion. According to the beliefs of Sikhism, nobody sleeps without eating, nor should anybody die of hunger.


is the term used for several religious traditions in India. A panth is founded by a guru or an acharya, and is often led by scholars or senior practitioners of the tradition.

Para Vidya

Parā Vidyā is a combination of two words – parā, in Hindu philosophy, means – existence, paramount object, the highest point or degree, final beatitude; and vidyā means – knowledge, philosophy, science, learning, scholarship. means – higher learning or learning related to the Self or the Ultimate Truth i.e. transcendental knowledge. Vedanta affirms that those who gain the knowledge of the Self attain kaivalya, they become liberated, they become Brahman.

Parajata yoga

Parajāta yogas are special planetary combinations or yogas that indicate birth of children who are not genetically related to their father or non-marital children or born out of illicit connections of their married mothers. Illegitimate children are stigmatized for no fault of theirs; some, like T.E.Lawrence, are made to seek redemption of their mother’s status but most accept their fate like Satyakama Jabala did. In India, illegitimate children of a Hindu father do not inherit from him on intestacy but they do inherit from their mother at par with her legitimate children.

Paramananda (Hinduism)

Paramananda is a compound Sanskrit word composed of two words, Parama and Ānanda. Parma is usually taken to mean the Highest, the utmost or the most excellent, but actually means – “beyond”. And Ānanda, which means, happiness and bliss and most often used to refer to joy though it does not exactly mean these because the original meaning implies permanence rather than just a momentary surge of delight or happiness; it also suggests a deep-seated spiritual emotion that is solidly entrenched. The Upanishadic Seers have used the word, Ānanda, to denote Brahman, the limitless, formless, infinite, indestructible, sole eternal Supreme Being or Sole Reality, to mean, Brahmanmayah, i.e. full of Brahman.


The word Pārijāta refers to the Indian coral tree, night-flowering coral jasmine, or simply fragrance. It is not to be confused with parijāta, whose meaning is “descended from”, “begotten by” or “fully developed”.

Pavamana Mantra

The , also known as pavamāna abhyāroha is an ancient Indian mantra introduced in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (1.3.28.) The mantra was originally meant to be recited during the introductory praise of the soma sacrifice by the patron sponsoring the sacrifice.


primarily refers to the pre-eminently intelligent one, it means observant and intelligent. It is also another name for Varuna, one of the ten Prajapatis one of whom was the father of Valmiki who was also known as Prāchetas, the son of Prachetas.

Pradāśa is a Buddhist term translated as “spite” or “spitefulness”. It is defined as an attitude based on fury/indignation (krodha) and resentment (upanāha) in which one is unable or unwilling to forgive; it causes one to utter harsh words. It is one of the twenty subsidiary unwholesome mental factors within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings.


Pradhāna is an adjective meaning – most important, prime, chief or major. The Shatapatha Brahmana gives its meaning as – ‘the chief cause of the material nature’ (S.B.7.15.27) or ‘the creative principle of nature’ (S.B.10.85.3). The Samkhya School of Indian philosophy employs the word, , to mean the creative principle of nature, as the original root of matter, the Prime Matter but which according to Badarayana’s logic is the unintelligent principle which cannot be the one consisting of bliss.

Nābhāsa yoga refers to the different arrangements of all seven of the planets in the celestial realm in Hindu astrology.


is a Buddhist term that is translated as “excitement”, “restlessness”, etc. In the Theravada tradition, uddhacca is defined as a mental factor that is characterized by disquietude, like water whipped by the wind. In the Mahayana tradition, auddhatya is defined as a mental factor that causes our mind to fly off from an object and recollect something else.


is a Sanskrit word for milk. Ksheer is also the archaic name for sweet rice pudding, kheer. Ksheer is used and perceived differently from normal milk, which is commonly known as Dugdha in Sanskrit. Ksheer is variably used for any liquid or watery substance as well. Ksheer is also used in Hindu mythology and cosmogony to describe the universal ether, Ksheer sagar.

Manasaputra is a Sanskrit title derived from two root words, viz. manasa and putra. ‘Manasa’ refers to the mind, and ‘putra’ means ‘son’, or ‘progeny’. Manasaputra, therefore, may literally be translated as, ‘mind-children’ or the ‘mind-born’. In Hinduism, the god Brahma is believed to have created sixteen sons and a daughter from his mind. This concept of creatio ex nihilio is also associated with the Vedic deity Prajapati, who has since been assimilated with Brahma. These children of the mind are stated to have been created or come into existence through the will of Brahma. The only manasaputri (mind-daughter) of Brahma is Saraswati, who was said to have been born from the mind of Brahma, though there are also texts that hold that she sprung from his tongue or his forehead. This is also the best indication that the mind-born are not genetically related to the creator, since Brahma is enraptured by Saraswati and goes on to choose her as his consort. According to the Bhagavata Purana, some of the manasaputras are: Angiras (sage), Atri, Pulastya, Marichi, Pulaha, Jambavan, Bhrigu, Vashistha, Daksha, Narada, Chitragupta, the Four Kumaras, Himavat, and Shatarupa.


means the One who knows of the body, soul, spirituality, conscious principle in the corporeal frame. In the thirteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains the distinction between the Kshetra (known) and the Kshetrajna (knower).


Kulpati is a Sanskrit word for headperson of a lineage. In common English parlance, Chancellor or Rector is sometimes used. “One whose greatness in comparison to others has been recognized or whose undisputed authority is unhesitatingly accepted ” In ancient India, the head person of a Gurukul was also called . For example, Maharsi Garga was the kulapati of a Gurukul (university). In modern times the post of Kulapati is sometimes a political choice. The general consensus is that Kulapati is a distinguished celebrity who commands respect and reverence from one and all and provides academic leadership to a large educational institution or network.


/ Kupamanduka-nyaya (कूपमण्डूक) is a Sanskrit language expression, meaning “frog in a well”.. In Sanskrit, Kupa means a well and Manduka means a frog. The phrase is used for a small-minded person who foolishly imagines the limits of his knowledge to form the limit of all human knowledge. Equally, if such a frog looked up from its well, and saw but a small circle of sky, it might imagine this tiny disc to be the entirety of the heavens, unaware of the existence of other beings existing beyond the walls of the well and able to see the whole sky bounded by the true horizon.


– derived from the combination of words lakshya and kshana – means ‘indication’ or ‘symptom’. It also means ‘an auspicious mark’, ‘attribute’ or ‘quality’. In Tamil language, Lakshanam means “features”. Sulakshana means good features.


is a term used in Hinduism and Sikhism. In Sikhism, it is used for observances that are fulfilled along with the reading of the concluding part of the Guru Granth Sahib. It can be performed in conjunction with weddings, obsequies, anniversaries, funeral services and other occasions when a family or a worshipping community may consider such a reading appropriate.

Mada (Buddhism)

Mada is a Buddhist term translated as “self-satisfaction”, “self-infatuation”, or “mental inflation”. It is identified as one of the twenty subsidiary unwholesome mental factors within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings. In this context, it is defined as having excessive pride or vanity based on attachment to one’s own good fortune, such as possessing youth, good health, or material wealth.


is a “commentary” or “exposition” of any primary or secondary text in ancient or medieval Indian literature. Common in Sanskrit literature, Bhashya is also found in other Indian languages. Bhashya are found in various fields, ranging from the Upanishads to the Sutras of Hindu schools of philosophy, from ancient medicine to music.

The Sanskrit term, Bhānumati (Sanskrit:भानुमती), meaning – “luminous” or “shining like the Sun”, is derived from the word, Bhānu (Sanskrit:भानु). In the Rig Vedic parlance, Bhanu is an epithet of the Maruts and means – “variegated colour”, “shining with light” or “shining like a serpent” or “causing the motion of the wind”. For a very long time in India, Bhānumati was a much preferred name for girls. Bhānumati was the name of a daughter of Angiras. The daughter of Raja Bhoj of Dhara Nagari was named Bhānumati who too like her father was a magician.


or bhāṇa In the Vedic literature, there are several references to singing, dancing, music and entertaining performances by professional entertainers. In the Rig Veda there are mantras with pronounced story element in dialogue form – dramatic soliloquy, dialogue and chorus, traditionally known as Akhyana which fact points at the existence of some kind of drama-entertainment e.g. “The Repentant Gambler” Rig Veda X.3.5, “The Frog Play”, “Yama and Yami” Rig VedaX.1, “Chorus” Rig Veda IX.11. Some scholars think that such dramatic hymns were enacted by the priests at the time of Yajna ceremonies; it is possible that the drama proper emanated from the rituals then performed. Bhāna Padataditakam set in the city of Ujjayani describes Bhāṇa plays as Eka Nata Nātak or single actor play.

Māna is a Buddhist term that may be translated as “pride”, “arrogance”, or “conceit”. It is defined as an inflated mind that makes whatever is suitable, such as wealth or learning, to be the foundation of pride. It creates the basis for disrespecting others and for the occurrence of suffering.

Manasa – vacha – karmana

Manasa, vāchā, kārmana are three Sanskrit words. The word manasa refers to the mind, vāchā refers to speech, and kārmana refers to actions.

Mandakranta metre

Mandākrāntā is the name of a metre commonly used in classical Sanskrit poetry. The name in Sanskrit means “slow-stepping” or “slowly advancing”. It is said to have been invented by India’s most famous poet Kālidāsa,, who used it in his well-known poem Meghadūta. The metre characterises the longing of lovers who are separated from each other, expressed in the Sanskrit word viraha विरह “separation, parting”.

Avidyā (Buddhism)

Avidyā in Buddhist literature is commonly translated as “ignorance”. The concept refers to ignorance or misconceptions about the nature of metaphysical reality, in particular about the impermanence and anatta doctrines about reality. It is the root cause of Dukkha, and asserted as the first link, in Buddhist phenomenology, of a process that leads to repeated birth.

Mandala (political model)

Maṇḍala is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘circle’. The mandala is a model for describing the patterns of diffuse political power distributed among Mueang or Kedatuan (principalities) in early Southeast Asian history, when local power was more important than the central leadership. The concept of the mandala balances modern tendencies to look for unified political power, eg. the power of large kingdoms and nation states of later history – an inadvertent byproduct of 15th century advances in map-making technologies. In the words of O. W. Wolters who further explored the idea in 1982:The map of earlier Southeast Asia which evolved from the prehistoric networks of small settlements and reveals itself in historical records was a patchwork of often overlapping mandalas.

Mātrika metre is a quantitative system of poetic metre in Indo-Aryan languages.

Mātsarya is a Buddhist/Hindu term translated as “stinginess” or “miserliness”. It is defined as being incapable of enjoying one’s own possessions and other material objects, clinging to them and being unwilling to part with them or share them with others.

Maya (Buddhist mental factor)

Māyā is a Buddhist term translated as “pretense” or “deceit” that is identified as one of the twenty subsidiary unwholesome mental factors within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings. In this context, it is defined as pretending to exhibit or claiming to have a good quality that one lacks.


Mela is a Sanskrit word meaning “gathering” or “to meet” or a “fair”. It is used in the Indian subcontinent for all sizes of gatherings and can be religious, commercial, cultural or sport-related. In rural traditions melas or village fairs were of great importance. This led to their export around the world by South Asian diaspora communities wishing to bring something of that tradition to their new countries.


Not to be confused with surname Middha, the 68,736th most widespread family name on earth per forebears.io.

Moha (Buddhism)

Moha is a Buddhist concept that means desire, attachment to the world or worldly matters It is sometimes synonymous with “ignorance” (Avijjā).


Āyatana is a Buddhist term that has been translated as “sense base”, “sense-media” or “sense sphere”. In Buddhism, there are six internal sense bases and six external sense bases.


or Mulavar is a Sanskrit, Tamil word referring to the main deity or murti in a Hindu Temple. Moola means “main” in Sanskrit, “Avar” means “He/She who is” honorific title in Tamil which in turn refers to the primary deity in the temple. The Moolavar image is permanently fixed in the sanctum. In Shiva temples, the Moolavar vigraha is usually Lingam, while in all other temples, the sculpted image of the respective deities are sported. The Moolavar is usually made of stone while in some temples, it is made of limestone or wood.

Mrakśa is a Buddhist term translated as “concealment” or “slyness-concealment”. It is defined as concealing or covering up one’s faults or uncommendable actions, from either oneself or others. It is one of the twenty subsidiary unwholesome mental factors within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings.


An abhidhāna is a kind of dictionary or vocabulary of Sanskrit. Its purpose was to be used as a general guide for lexicography and word choice. Many of these works had been created in India. One of the oldest of them is the ratna – mala, of Halayudha Bhatta of the 7th century. The Abhidhana Chinta-mani of Hema-chandra, a celebrated Jaina writer of the 13th century, is often mentioned as among the best.


Mṛtyu, is a Sanskrit word meaning Death. Mṛtyu or Death is often personified as the demigods Mara (मर) and Yama (यम) in Dharmic religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism.Mara, the goddess of death according to Hindu mythology. Mṛtyu-māra as death in Buddhism or Māra, a “demon” of the Buddhist cosmology, the personification of Temptation. Yama is the lord of death in Hinduism and Buddhism. Yama in Hinduism. Yama in Buddhism.

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