Yoga Ashram

Glossary of Sanskrit Terms

Words you will hear during your visit to the Ashram

asana – yoga posture that is held steady and comfortably
akasha – space
ananda – bliss
ashram – spiritually based community, a place of effort and learning
atma – soul
agni – fire
antar – inner
aum – seed of the universe, cosmic mantra
bandha – pranic lock and redirection
bhakti – devotion
bija – seed
bindu – nucleus
brahman – universal consciousness
buddhi – higher intelligence
chakra – wheel, vortex
chidakasha – space behind the eyes
chitta – consciousness, mind
dharana – concentration
dharma – inner knowledge of one’s correct duty or obligation
dhyaana – state of meditation, union with the object of contemplation
diksha – initiation
drashta – witness, seeing/vision
guna – quality of nature
guru – remover of darkness, teacher
hridaya – heart
kama – desire/lust
karma – action
kaya – body
keval – pure
kirtan – devotional songs; musical chanting of mantras
kundalini – latent power/energy
laghoo – small
maala – thread, garland, beads used for meditation
maya – illusion or creative power
maha – great
mala – impurity
manas – mind
mantra – subtle sound vibrations which liberate mental forces
moksha – liberation
mouna – silence
mudra – psycho-neural gesture which redirects pranic energy
paramahamsa – a title denoting the entrance to higher sadhana
parampara – tradition
prakriti – nature/manifest reality
prana – vital-life force
pranayama – expansion of prana, breathing practices
prema – divine love
purusha – man/unmanifest reality
poorna – full
raja – royal
sadhana – regular practice of spiritual disciplines
samadhi – self-realisation
samskara – unconscious memories which set up impulses and reactions, impressions
sannyasa – the tradition through which yoga has been passed on through thousands of years
sanskrit – ancient indian language
seva – devoted, selfless service
shraddha – faith
sthairyam – steadiness/stillness
sutra – thread
swami – master of the self
tantra – ancient philosphy of universal consciousness and transcendental energy
vairagya – dispassion, detachment
vedic – of or concerning the Vedas, collection of revealed wisdom
viveka – discrimination
vritti – mind fluctuations and modifications, forces which dominate the mind
yoga – philosophy and practices leading to union of individual and cosmic consciousness
yogi – adept in yoga - practioner, one who is trying.


gayatri – a mantra that invokes wisdom, knowledge and illumination (see mantra)
mahamrityunjaya – powerful healing mantra


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Yoga Association Of Victoria