Dictionary of Hindu, Yoga terms & Lingo

Click to ViewSanskrit and Siddha Yoga, SYDA Foundation definitions in Black

Click to ViewSathya Sai Organization definitions in Blue Italics


The daily performance of Arati is one of service and salutation to a saint or sacred image. Lights, incense and camphor are waved to the accompaniment of bells, drums and conch shells; followed by a traditional chant.


(lit., a place that removes the fatigue of worldliness) A place of retreat where seekers engage in spiritual practices and study the philosophy of yoga.

An ashram is a sanctuary where all things external are directed towards empowering and deepening the experience of inner exploration and transformation.. Some ashrams are graced with the physical presence of a spiritual Master.


A saint who has transcended body-consciousness is not bound by ordinary social conventions. They exist in permanent, perfect integration and bliss. Their state of transcendence radiates from them like the sun, drawing others into their field of perfect harmony.


Literally means "father". Baba is a term of affection for a saint or holy man. On this site, Swami Muktananda Paramahamsa is "Baba".

Bhagavad Gita:

(lit., Song of the Lord) One of the world's spiritual treasures; an essential scripture of India; in which Lord Krishna instructs his disciple Arjuna on the nature of God, the universe, and the path to liberation.


In India, the Source and its Creation has inspired countless songs and verses. When sung, they elevate us into the heart of the original Creative experience - joy and satisfaction.

Blue Pearl:

a brilliant blue light, the size of a tiny seed, which is the subtle abode of the inner Self. Swami Muktananda writes extensively about his powerful inner visions of the Blue Pearl in his spiritual autobiography, Play of Consciousness.


As the first caste of Hindu society, Brahmins have the responsibility for maintaining and communicating cultural tradition. From among their members come priests, scholars and teachers.


(lit., viewing) To be in the presence and to receive the blessing of a saint, an enlightened spiritual master, deity, or an image of one.


(lit., one who leads a seeker from darkness to light - Gu, Darkness; ru, light.) A master; teacher.

Literally, 'Gu'= Darkness or ignorance. 'Ru'= Illumination. Guru is therefore the spiritual Master who initiates and guides a seeker across the sea of Separation to the shore of Union and therefore, liberation. Guru is not simply the psycho/physical human form - the Model. Guru is principally the function of Self Revelation through the power of grace. Direct and continuous contact with the Guru function within ourselves is both the practice and the goal of the Guru/Disciple relationship. For the seeker who understands this, there is yet an intoxication, an inexpressible sweetness and desire to be close to one who perfectly embodies the Guru principle.

Kashmir Shaivism

This is a non-dual philosophy. It recognizes the entire creation as the manifestation of a singular, divine consciousness or Shiva. Kashmir Shaivism explains how the formless, static Shiva manifests its Self as the Many, through the agency of its dynamic energy, called Shakti. The authoritative scripture of Kashmir Shaivism is the SHIVA SUTRAS ( The Yoga of Supreme Identity).


(lit., coiled one) The dormant spiritual energy in all human beings that is awakened by the Guru through shaktipat initiation. After awakening, this energy is the dynamic force behind meditation.

Literally means the 'coiled one". Like the earth, the body has two magnetic poles; one in the crown, the other situated near the base of the spine and called, Kundalini. Kundalini has the unique property of recognizing and responding to the perfectly aligned energy of a Siddha Master. Thus 'awakened', it begins a spontaneous and irresistible inner journey through the six energy centres of the body, towards its counterpart in the crown. In most people the journey is not direct. There are obstacles which will, inevitably be cleared by the passage of Kundalini. When Kundalini achieves Union, the seeker experiences the ecstasy of Liberation.


One who is called Mahamandaleshwar, has been elevated by his peers, to the highest level of traditional, Hindu spiritual guardianship. Today, India has 80 Mahamandaleshwars who carry on the work begun by Adi Shankaracharya, 1200 years ago.


A yogi's conscious leaving of the body at death and total merging with the Absolute.


A Mala is a string of beads used as an aid for mantra repetition. Depending on the nature of the beads, a Mala can also protect the one who wears it.


Mantras serve to pull one's awareness inward toward the Self or God; often called "names of God." They are sacred words or sounds that have the power to transform and protect one who repeats them.

Mantra is a sound or set of sounds which mirror both our Source and the original movements of creation. It therefore has the unique power to bypass the chaos of our physical, emotional and mental movements and restore us to a state of pristine harmony. Mantra Yoga is traditionally regarded as a complete and perfect yoga path. Its utter simplicity belies an awesome profundity and joy.


Literally; 'mukta' (freedom) 'ananda' (bliss) On this site, 'Muktananda' is the name of Swami Nityananda's Guru.


Literally; 'nitya' (eternal). 'ananda' (bliss). On this site, 'Nityananda' is the name of Baba Muktananda's Guru, Bhagawan Nityananda and Muktananda's co-successor, Mahamandaleshwar, Swami Nityananda.


'Om' is the primal sound or vibration from which the entire universe constantly emanates. It is the sound of creative departure and return. It is thus the essence of all Mantra. The sounding of 'Om' is the beginning of a transformative process which delivers us to a state of awareness enabling us to actually experience identity with the supreme Creative Principle.

Peepal leaf:

a long-lived fig tree (Ficus religiosa) held sacred by Hindus and Buddhists alike as a symbol of the attainment of spiritual knowledge. The leaf of the peepal tree is used as a graphic symbol throughout the Siddha Yoga meditation web site.


Spiritual practice.


Broadly speaking, Satsang is a meeting of devotees (yoga practitioners) for the purpose of chanting, meditation and the study of relevant classical yoga texts. In a deeper sense, Satsang is about energising the fundamental Guru/Disciple relationship. In a world where the predominant focus of attention is 'out there', Satsang provides an environment which affirms the practice of looking within.


Divine Consciousness, which is the essential nature of each human being.


Spiritual power; the divine cosmic energy that creates and maintains the universe. The dynamic aspect of divine Consciousness.

(also known as Chiti, Chit Shakti, Kundalini) Shakti is the Creative Principle and its expression. Through her power. she continuously projects, maintains and dissolves the universe. Traditionally Shakti is spoken of as female, because she brings to birth all things. But gender and personality are just two of her numerous veils. Shakti is in Reality not separate from the Absolute. Because she is both Creation and Source, She is a perfect means to Liberation.


(lit., the descent of grace) The transmission of spiritual power (shakti) from the guru to the disciple; spiritual awakening by grace.

Siddha Guru:

An enlightened spiritual master who is able to initiate seekers and to guide them on the spiritual path to liberation.


An enlightened being; one who has achieved mastery over the senses, and whose experience of the supreme Self is continuous.

A Siddha is one who has achieved perfect and permanent identity with the Source of all. Their gift is transformation. As an embodiment of grace, a Siddha can initiate and lead others to Liberation, the state of a Siddha. Kundalini is the agent of Siddha Yoga, which encompasses all the great Yoga Paths. The Yoga of the Siddhas is lateral. Unexpected. It is spontaneous, and individual to each person. The seeker's role is one of focussed intelligence, awareness, acceptance and appreciation of the Master's dynamic gift.


Title given to a monk; a swami is a monk who has taken vows of renunciation and of service to God and humanity.

'Swami' is the title given to one who has taken the vow of renunciation, and thus become a monk, or sannyasi in one of the traditional Hindu Orders.


These are the teachings of the ancient Indian Sages. Their central statement is that the Self of a human being is the same as Brahman, the Absolute or Supreme Consciousness. The goal of life, according to the Upanishads, is realization of this Identify.


This is a philosophical school founded by Badarayana. It contains the teachings of the Upanishads and investigates the nature and relationship of the Absolute, the World and the Self.


These are the four ancient, authoritative and revealed Hindu scriptures of India. They are Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda.


A Yajna is a ritual of transformation. Its central metaphor is fire, the traditional means for both external and internal purification. Each Yajna has a Divine Character as its patron. Through the agency of ritual offerings to the fire and the Deity, participants experience a powerful and direct relationship to the Supreme Consciousness within themselves.

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Sometimes Truth makes Love hurt
"You are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth" Jn 8:40
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