Glossary

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  • Abiding: after a shift in consciousness, we see if it lasts or abides. If it does, we can say it is established and can then mature. If it’s non-abiding, it is not yet established and fades.
  • Absolute: unchanging reality behind the world of change; pure Being or sense of unchanging existence; Sat. Part of a dualistic perspective where absolute and relative are distinct, as in Self Realization. (In Unity, absolute and relative become one.)
  • Adharma: non-dharma, not acting in accord with our purpose and our commitments.
  • Advaita: Not 2, Nonduality, emphasized by the sage Shankara. A quality of Unity stage +.
  • Agami karma: the action (karma) we’re adding to the pile of our backlog in this lifetime through not dealing with what is arising in experiences.
  • Agni: Primordial Fire, the first expression of consciousness becoming, the start of creation, the first word in the Rig Veda, the offering fire, transformation.  Also associated with digestion, the fire element, Pitta Dosha, and so forth.
  • Agnostic: someone undecided about a belief in God.
  • Ahamkara: I-sense, Ego. Identification with this ends with Awakening.
  • Ajna Chakra: the third eye chakra in the centre of the head. 2 petals.
  • Akasha: space, the element in which expression of forms and phenomena arise. Nested.
  • Amrita: the nectar of immortality. See Soma.
  • Anahata chakra: the heart chakra, center chest. Met on the way up with the kundalini rise. Universal, unconditional love awakens. Air element prominent, 12 petals. See also Hridaya.
  • Ananda: Not bliss. Aananda: bliss. See also Nanda.
  • Aanandamaya Kosha: the bliss body. Also known as the causal or celestial. The level of fine vibrations that begin creating the world appearance.
  • Annamaya kosha: the food body or physical sheath, the outer layer of the body. Includes etheric.
  • Apana prana: downward flowing life force, elimination.
  • Apas: the Water element.
  • Artha: means. How we support ourselves, wealth, and comfort. The second of the 4 “universal goals,” it requires dharma for balance.
  • Asana: posture, usually referring to the positions of Hatha Yoga. The Yoga Sutra says asana is “steady pleasantness.”
  • Ashrama: Stage of life based on our developmental phase in Dharma.
  • Ashtanga: 8 limbs, the 8 recommendations of Yoga: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi. See also Raja Yoga, Meditation. These are limbs, not steps on a ladder as often translated. Use one and the others come along.
  • Asmita: The possessive “my” sense. This ends with awakening or as it matures.
  • Astral: a generic term for the energy bodies and the reality of dream state.
  • Asura: More significant dark being, an evil force that prefers darkness in consciousness. Leader of demons.
  • Atharva Veda: one of the 4 primary Vedas. This one is more applied with rules about daily life and rituals (Yagya) for life events.
  • Atheist: someone who does not believe in God. Belief is distinct from knowing.
  • Atman: the cosmic Self or inner consciousness common to all. Its development carries forward from prior lives.
  • Atmamaya kosha: the sheath of consciousness itself, Atman or the cosmic Self, Sat. In Self Realization and Unity, we see Atman as infinite and eternal. It is when we go beyond consciousness into Brahman that we also recognize Atman to be a sheath.
  • AUM: The primordial sound or vibration from which all creation arises, the Pranava. In us, it is the sense of being.
  • Avatar: when the Divine takes a form in the physical world to restore dharma. Examples: Rama and Krishna. Some use Avatar for someone who embodies the Divine, but I disagree with that use. Avatars are more than awake humans. See Kala model.
  • Awakening: On this site, I use Awakening as equivalent to Self Realization or Cosmic Consciousness.
  • Ayurveda: ancient Indian medicine emphasizing health through systemic balance by diet, lifestyle, etc. See also Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas.

  • Barbeque (BBQ): an experience described by Loch Kelly when the core identity is roasted in the gut, ideally prior to the Unity shift.
  • Being: the sense of existing, Amness. On the universal level, self-aware consciousness is aware that it is. This experience is called pure existence and has a sense of being infinite and eternal. This is a less personal Isness.
  • Bhakti yoga: the path of devotion, related practices like chanting.
  • Bindu: point. In awakening, a reference to a point where the rising Shakti meets the crown chakra. Shiva resides at Bindu. When Shakti rises to reach Bindu, they are joined and Awakening occurs. Prakriti meets Purusha.
  • Brahma: the third in the trinity, the creator of form. See Shiva, Vishnu.
  • Brahman: the Great, That, the no-thing beyond consciousness, yet penetrating all. Some use Vedic sayings like “Atman is Brahman” to consider them the same. However, Atman is a subset. The saying refers to recognizing that Atman is one with Brahman.
  • Brahman Consciousness: aka Beyond consciousness. When Self has recognized itself fully, global awareness can turn from looking in on itself and look beyond itself, discovering its origins in Brahman, the Great.
  • Brahmarandhra: the 12-petaled lotus at Bindu at the centre of the crown chakra. Topmost point on the head, a soft indentation.
  • Brahmin: dharma varna, people called to study, research, and teaching.
  • Buddhi: intellect, also the planet Mercury.
  • Bull of Dharma: the Bull is a symbolic representation of the 4 legs of dharma or right action: Tapas (warming), Saucha (purity), Daya (compassion), and Satya (truth).

  • Causal: a Western term for the level where form and phenomena first arise. Prior to the Astral, I equate it with the bliss body and celestial. It’s often used in a 3-worlds model.
  • Chakra: wheel or energy center of the subtle body. The 7 primary chakras are universal on the causal level, expressing more individually in more expressed levels.
  • Charisma: an attractive quality of the personality some mistakenly confuse with Presence (alert consciousness).
  • Chit: consciousness.
  • Chitta: movement in consciousness, often experienced as thoughts and feelings. The word is also often translated as the storehouse of impressions, the Vasanas and Samskaras, but I see those as what drives a lot of Chitta.
  • Chittamaya Kosha: a very subtle sheath of qualified or moving consciousness, flow. Many don’t recognize this 6th kosha as it requires pre-causal perception.
  • Creation: on this site, I use the word as an experiential structure arising in universal self-aware consciousness. It originates from Divine mind. Our creation includes many universes, including our own. Other creations are distinct.
  • Cognition: the way I use the word here, a form of experience where the totality of the object is experienced. Experiencing from consciousness first becoming or Ritam. The core Vedas are cognized.
  • Consciousness: awareness, being. This has layers including the individual sense of consciousness, collective consciousness, global or universal awareness, and awareness aware of itself at every point (becomes Jivas).
  • Cosmic: used here to describe the infinite space of consciousness, Atman, the level of creation, and Chittamaya Kosha.
  • Cosmic Body: the body of all bodies, residing in the Cosmic. This unfolds in Refined Unity.
  • Cosmic Consciousness: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s term for Self Realization, the awakening of the cosmic Self to itself in this body-mind.

  • Darshan: radiating presence that lifts those around. See also Presence, Resonance.
  • Dasha: “ten,” also a Jyotish term for cycles of time where a specific planet becomes more dominant for a person. That influence is read by the birth chart, etc. Requires an accurate birth time. Not in western, it’s considered more important than transits. Bhukti is a sub-cycle or sub-dasha.
  • Dasha Mahavidya: “ten great knowledge,” the ten forces of nature, devi, or forms of Shakti that represent forces of creation. (from Tantra)
  • Daya: compassion, one of the legs of Dharma.
  • Deflected Rising: normally, the uncoiled kundalini rises up the centre sushumna channel. However, certain types of major trauma can cause a “deflected” rising up a secondary channel. This needs to be corrected for a proper rise and awakening.
  • Deva: light being, a law of nature that upholds life and the world. Akin to Western words like gods and angels. They can be experienced in form (personalized) or as principles.
  • Devata: points of intelligence directing the flows of nature. Sometimes used interchangeably with Deva.
  • Devata Body: a body composed entirely of devata, managing all bodies in all universes in all time simultaneously. This is the first expression of the Cosmic Body so may be experienced shortly before we come to the Cosmic.
  • Devi: Devas in feminine form such as Parvati, Lakshmi, and Saraswati, the Shakti counterparts of Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma.
  • Divine: the supreme source. Our recognition unfolds in stages through the refinement process. See Sattva, God Consciousness, Refined Unity, ParaBrahman.
  • Dharana: steadiness of the mind. The second step of meditation when the attention stabilizes on the object of meditation. The mind steadies and comes to a point of focus effortlessly when transcending. (This is often translated as concentration but effort is ego control, difficult, and diminishes results.)  See Pratyahara, Ashtanga, Yoga, Meditation.
  • Dharma: that which sustains, those actions we do to support life and growth. This relates to our purpose, time of life, work (Varna), spiritual practice, and family. The first of the 4 “universal goals.” See also Bull of.
  • Dhyana: Meditation, flowing attention. The third step and the result of correct meditation practice. See Ashtanga, Yoga, Meditation.
  • Divya: when sattva is dominant after aversions and attachments are roasted. The world as Lila, refined perception, and the awake heart.
  • Doership: the sense of being the doer or actor, being the personal source of action.
  • Dominant Sense: our sense of perception that is more dominant in our experience of the world. This is like our learning style: visual, auditory, doing, or feeling.
  • Dosha: the tendency to imbalance or body type, used in Ayurveda. Our dosha is often a blend. See also Vata, Pitta, Kapha.
  • Dvaita: Duality, the experience of Self Realization with an inner awakeness and a separate outside world.

  • Elements: In Indian philosophy, form arises in 5 elementary stages, each which give rise to a quality or element: Space (Akasha), Air (Vayu), Fire (Tejas), Water (Apas), Earth (Prithivi).
  • Empath: A sensitive person who experiences another’s experience in one or more ways: physically, emotionally, intellectually, etc. (As distinct from being empathetic.)
  • Emptiness: contentless experience of space in consciousness. This is distinct from the no-thingness of Brahman stage beyond consciousness.
  • Energy Healing: means of healing energetic resistance and Granthis through various practices and attention.
  • Enlightenment: this word has many meanings in English but on this site, initial enlightenment is Self Realization (Moksha, liberation). Full enlightenment matures over time. I avoided the word for awhile because of its varied meanings.
  • Flow: short for the flow of consciousness moving through the world, objects, and our bodies. This is powered by Shakti. Flow has layers:
    • there is refined perception of consciousness flowing through the world, sustaining form and creating events. The world in flow.
    • there is being in the flow where the mechanics may not be recognized but we live in the flow.
    • there are flows through the body as it opens up and laws of nature stir from slumber. These are experienced as spontaneous movements and gestures, often graceful. See Mudras. (Kriyas or purification tends to be more jerky.)

  • God: Divinity. Personal in form, Impersonal, and pure Divinity. Not about belief.
  • God Consciousness: Awareness of the Divine in creation. Refined perception in Cosmic Consciousness aka Self Realization allows us to begin to see the hand of the Divine in our life and the world. Also the awakening heart, Hridaya, the heart Mahamarma opening the door to Divine love.
  • God Realization: On this site, I distinguish recognition from realization. God Realization typically happens in late Refined Unity stage when we recognize our oneness with the Divine.
  • Grace: the flow of the Divine into our lives. Awakening, cognitions, etc.
  • Granthi: knot or obstruction in the subtle bodies, from unresolved past experiences because of trauma, resistance, or grasping. The knots interrupt smooth flow and can impede realizing our true nature.
  • Gunas: The three fundamental qualities of nature. Clarity (Sattva), transformation (Rajas), and inertia (Tamas).
  • Guru: spiritual teacher. Traditionally one has a long-term relationship with a single teacher. Also, the planet Jupiter.
  • Gyana: See Jnana.

  • Hatha Yoga: the yoga or path of the body, what people often call “yoga” in the West. Usually focused on Asana (postures) and breath work.
  • Hiranya Garbha: Golden egg. We can see this as the seed form of our universe or as our universe from the outside. The egg interacts with the causal level creating the appearance of the world around us.
  • Householder: a person who’s Dharma is to live in the world and maintain a household (most of us).
  • Hridaya: a higher level of the heart chakra, a Mahamarma. Usually met during the post-awakening descent of Shiva-Shakti. Divine Love awakens. See God Consciousness.
  • Ida: the energy channel that runs along the left side of the spine beside Sushumna, the feminine side. Balanced with Pranayama.
  • Impersonal: the view of the world, and later the Divine, through the intellect.
  • Ishta Devata: personal form of God, form of God we most resonate with, our highest ideal. (eg: Jesus, Mary, Krishna, etc.) Some pass this down in families or through a tradition. Can also be seen in a jyotish chart.  You’ll know it when you meet them. Can be prominent in the God Consciousness and Refined Unity stages.

  • Jai Guru Dev/ Deva: glorious or victorious teacher of light, a greeting that expresses gratitude to the spiritual teacher. See also Namaste.
  • Jiva: soul, a point value of universal consciousness expressing into a life form.
  • Jnana Shakti: divine knowledge.
  • Jnana(Gyana) Yoga: the path of the intellect, such as self-inquiry.
  • Jyotish: the science of light aka Vedic astrology. Looking at the cycles of time for optimizing action and averting potential difficulty.

  • Kaivalya: singularity. A term from Yoga used to describe liberation, when the point wakes up to its wholeness.
  • Kala: Time, also a model of development.
  • Kama: desire for pleasure of all types. The third of the 4 “universal goals,” it requires dharma for balance.
  • Kapha dosha: the tendency to solidity in the body. The qualities of structure, heaviness and stability.
  • Karma: action or energy, cause and effect, also seen as our backlog. Our unresolved karma is our past actions which are unresolved. As this goes back lifetimes, it’s considered mountains of seeds. 3 types: Sanchita is our backlog, Prarabdha we’re tackling in this life, and Agami we’re creating in this life.
  • Karma Mimansa: Indian philosophy of the field of action and yagya. Related to refined perception and not currently understood or well translated.
  • Karma yoga: the path of action, perception, and selfless service.
  • Kavach: armour or protection through our inner light.
  • Kosha: sheath, the layers of expression (auras) that surround our body: energy, mind, intellect, etc. Corresponds to the stages that consciousness takes in becoming the appearance of the world.
  • Kriya: “completed action.” This may refer to a spiritual practice or to purification and sensations in the body showing the resolution of unresolved karma (action).
  • Kshatriya: dharma varna, one called toward leadership, action, government, military.
  • Kundalini: the coiled life force that lives in the subtle body at the base of the spine. Once uncoiled, it rises up the Shushumna Nadi as Shakti.

  • Lakshmi: from the root ‘to see the aim or goal.’ Goddess in the tri-devi or 3 primary forms. Associated with wealth, prosperity, and beauty. Goddess of the material world. Consort and power of Vishnu.
  • Laws of Nature: these range from fundamental principles to more local expressions of Prakriti or Nature. Also known as Devata.
  • Lesha Avidya: the remains of ignorance. The small ignorance needed to continue functioning in the world in later stages of enlightenment.
  • Lila: the Divine Play, another way to see the world; when sattva guna becomes dominant.
  • Loka: a world or nested space.

  • Madhyama Vak: “middle” speech, sound in the mind, sometimes on the way to expression. 3rd level of speech.
  • Mahamarma: great marma, 3 subtle energy centres at the head, heart and belly.
  • Mahavakya: great sayings or recognitions. The 4 primary ones come one from each of the 4 primary Vedas.
  • Makara: a point just above the 6th chakra or third eye. When the rising kundalini Shakti reaches makara, the kundalini becomes stable. Typically, the person experiences witnessing full time.
  • Manipura chakra: the third chakra at the solar plexus. The fire chakra with 10 petals. About will and control. The last “personal” chakra.
  • Manonmaya kosha: the mental body, a field that surrounds and interpenetrates the physical and energy bodies. The field where we experience thoughts. Also, where sensory information is processed.
  • Mantra: a sound with known qualities, used for meditation, chanting, or creating effects.
  • Marma: energy center, subtler than a chakra. Used in marma therapy.
  • Mala: impurity. The primary ones are said to be of three types: anava mala, the sense of incompleteness, mayiya mala, the sense of separation, and karma mala, the sense of doership/volition. (Amala: spotless, pure) (Maalaa: Garland, also a string of beads, such as that used for japa or counting mantra (similar to a rosary). Also a line or succession.)
  • Maya: from the root to build. The appearance of the world around us. Often, translated to mean illusion, although this is only true during one stage, when Rajas guna is dominant.
  • Meditation: inner-directed practice to discover our true nature. Combines 3 of the limbs of Yoga: Pratyahara, Dharana, and Dhyana, the steps of tuning within. The result is the last limb, Samadhi which is Yoga.
  • Mind: field where we experience thoughts and senses. See Manomaya.
  • Moksha or Mukti: liberation. What happens with Self Realization when we shift from being a person to being infinite consciousness and roast our karmic backlog. The last of the 4 “universal goals,” accomplished by fulfilling Dharma, Artha, and Kama.
  • Mother Divine: the Mahadevi or great Devi, the personification of nature, the source of all, the source of the Tri-devi or 3 primary devi. Her source is pure Divinity, ParaBrahman, the source of the source.
  • Mudra: a gesture, primarily with the hands. These may be symbolic as in dance, energetically as in joining the middle finger and thumb in meditation, or can arise spontaneously with flows of consciousness and Shakti.
  • Muladhara chakra: the root chakra at the base of the spine. Home to the coiled kundalini prior to its awakening. Earth element and 4 petals, about survival and grounding.

  • Nadis: subtle energy channels that carry our life force, prana. Primary ones are Sushumna, Ida, and Pingala up the spine.
  • Namaste: “I bow to the Divine in you.” On greeting and departing. De-emphasizes the personal self socially.
  • Name and Form: the match between the name of an object and the sound of the vibrations that give rise to its form.
  • Nanda: Bliss. Happiness for no reason. See also Ananda. And Aanandamaya kosha.
  • Nature: as a whole, see Prakriti and Laws of Nature, Devata.
  • Nature’s Support: gaining the support of nature for our desires and action, syncing with life.
  • Neo-Adviata: a modern take on nonduality based on some recent teachers and ignoring Shankara’s later refinements. Often sees a single awakening and incorrectly equates Self Realization with Vedanta.
  • Neti, Neti: Not this, not this. Reality is not these things in personal experience.
  • Nirvana: the Buddhist equivalent of Sat Chit Aananda.
  • Niyama: “observances” from Yoga: purity, contentment, warming, study and mantra, absorption in Ishwara. See Ashtanga.
  • No-self: a term referring to the absence of a personal self. This is both a style of experience and a renunciate practice. Adyashanti (Zen) has recently been using “no-Self” for the post-Atman Brahman stage.
  • Non-Self: that which is not the cosmic Self, Atman. In Self Realization, the world is non-Self. However, they merge in Unity stage. Then all is the Self.
  • Nonduality: An English term for Advaita or “not two”, a stage of development when self and the world merge in one wholeness. Oneness. See also Neo-Advaita.
  • Now: the experience of living in the present moment without past or future. The mind is usually silent. One way of experiencing time.
  • Nyaya: the Indian philosophy of logic, of correct procedures for gaining knowledge.

  • Parabrahman: pure Divinity, Divinity alone, beyond Brahman the great.
  • Para vak: beyond speech, unmanifest, pure potential. First level of 4.
  • Parvati: “daughter of the mountain”, goddess in the tri-devi or 3 primary forms. Associated with life, fertility, nurturing, and power. Also called Shakti but known by many names through the ages.  Consort and power of Shiva. Mother of Ganesha, etc. Her destructive form is called Durga.
  • Pashu: When tamas guna is dominant in the physiology, we experience the world as solid and real and are absorbed in our experiences of it. Spiritual practice may be seem pointless or foolish.
  • Pashyanti vak: impulses first arising as fine vibrations, faint impulses and flow. 2nd level of speech.
  • Patalas: lokas or worlds where the collective is driven more by darkness. See Lokas.
  • Personal (relationship with world): a view of the world through the heart and refined perception. The laws of nature seen embodied as beings. See Devas.
  • Personal God: the Ishta Devata or personal form of God we most relate to.
  • Pingala: the energy channel or nadi that runs along the right side of Sushumna, the masculine side. Balanced with Pranayama.
  • Pitta dosha: the tendency to fire in the body. The qualities of transformation, metabolism and change.
  • Prajna: wisdom that arises from development of discrimination and dispassion. See Buddhi.
  • Prakasha: luminance, the light of consciousness. Alive consciousness imbibed with Shakti. Shiva stirred by Shakti. See Vimarsha. (from Tantra)
  • Prakriti: nature as a whole, subtle and physical. Also, one’s personal nature. See Dosha.
  • Prana: life force or energy, like Chinese Chi. Also, the general prana of respiration and vitality. 5 primary kinds: see Udana, Prana, Sama, Vyana, Apana.
  • Pranamaya kosha: the energy body that surrounds and interpenetrates the physical body. Typically what’s seen as coloured auras. Subjectively experienced as emotions and sensations.
  • Pranayama: breathing practices such as Suhk pranayama, gentle alternate nostril breathing to balance the pranas prior to meditation. From Yoga Ashtanga.
  • Prarabdha karma: a portion of our past unresolved actions we chose to work through in this lifetime. This is described as a suitcase from our mountains of backlog. These are the sprouted seeds unfolding in this life. These continue post-awakening but our relationship with them changes.
  • Pratyahara: retirement of the senses. The first step of Meditation when we close the eyes and turn within. As we go within, the inner is more charming, drawing the attention away from the world. See Dharana, Ashtanga, Yoga, Meditation.
  • Precession: how bodies in motion interact with others. Buckminster Fuller described this as how to make a living.
  • Presence: a sense of presence is created by alert, then awakened consciousness. Presence has qualities we may or may not resonate with. See Darshan, Resonance.
  • Prithivi: the Earth element.
  • Puja: a ceremony of gratitude. For example, guru puja is done prior to instruction in spiritual techniques. A Puja connects one to the person or deva being called. A form of Yagya.
  • Pure Consciousness: consciousness on its own, beyond the mind, without content. See Yoga, Samadhi, Turiya.
  • Pure Divinity: Divinity beyond self-aware consciousness. See ParaBrahman.
  • Pure Existence: Being, the sense of Isness, first arising in Samadhi.
  • Purna: Fullness, as in “all this is full, all that is full, from fullness comes fullness.” Flowers in Unity stage.
  • Purusha: cosmic Self, Atman.

  • Rakshasa: minor demon or dark being.
  • Raja: King or prince, royal.
  • Raja Yoga: the Royal yoga that combines the other yogas. Described in the Yoga Sutra as asana, pranayama, meditation, right action. See Ashtanga.
  • Rajas Guna: the guna of fire, movement, dynamism, change, and activity.
  • Rapture: an episode where the level of bliss amps up markedly.
  • Realization: on this site, I use realization to mean ‘become’ or ‘recognize oneself as.’ This is not a conceptual recognition or an experience but a deeper becoming in consciousness. See Self Realization and God Realization.
  • Refined Brahman: the same refinement of prior stages (below) but now unfolding in Brahman stage.
  • Refined Cosmic Consciousness: see God Consciousness.
  • Refined Unity: The same refinement of God Consciousness but now unfolding in the stage of Unity Consciousness.
  • Reincarnation: The transmigration of the soul from one body to another.
  • Relative: the field of change, the world (vs the Absolute).
  • Renunciate: a monk who withdraws from the world as a means of overcoming attachments. This is fundamentally dharmic, not a lifestyle choice.
  • Resistance: the tendency to resist aspects of our experience of life such as certain emotions, leading to unresolved experiences, karma, and suffering.
  • Resolute Intellect: when consciousness awakens to itself clearly, the intellect shifts from being associated with the mind to association with the Self. This causes it to become resolute with a much deeper discrimination. See Ritam, Cognition.
  • Resonance: the presence of someone awake has certain qualities. They may amplify our silence or alertness or flow, etc. Or we may not resonate with them.
  • Rig Veda: the primary Veda of 10 mandalas, assembled by the seer Vyasa. Cognitions of ancient seers, considered the oldest known human text.
  • Rishi: Seer. One who experiences refined values of reality. See also Cognition.
  • Ritam: short for the phrase Ritam Bhara Pragyan, consciousness that accepts only truth. The level where consciousness first expresses, prior to any qualifications and thus pure. On the celestial/bliss body level. The level of Cognition.

  • Sadhana: spiritual practice for enlightenment.
  • Sahasrara chakra: the thousand-petaled crown chakra at the top of the head, often associated with Awakening.
  • Sama prana: assimilating, digestive life force.
  • Sama Veda: “even knowledge,” one of the 4 primary Vedas from ancient India. Most of it comes from the Rig Veda but the meter is different. Contains 2 of the Upanishad.
  • Samadhi: Evenness of intellect, from transcending or going beyond the mind. Then the meditator steps into pure awareness. Term from Yoga. See also Turiya.
  • Samkhya: the Indian philosophy of quantity or components. It outlines 25 components in a dualistic framework.
  • Samskara: impressions or “grooves” from past experiences, the particular way we focus our unfulfilled desires (Vasanas).
  • Samyama: from Yoga, a technique that combines flowing attention, intention, and Samadhi. The Yoga Sutra lists Siddhis or abilities that can be accomplished this way. See also Ashtanga.
  • Sanchita karma: the total backlog of our unresolved past actions. They describe this as mountains of seeds. We roast these in Self Realization.
  • Saraswati: “she who possesses speech.” Goddess in the tri-devi or 3 primary forms. Associated with music, art, learning, and wisdom. Consort and power of Brahma. Also the name of the river that Vedic culture developed along that is now dried up but recently discovered by satellite.
  • Sat-Chit-Aananda: Absolute bliss consciousness, established Self Realization.
  • Sat: That, the absolute, sometimes used as absolute truth.
  • Satsang: truth gathering, with the sangha or spiritual community, usually led by a teacher.
  • Satya: absolute, unchanging truth.
  • Sattva: the Guna of clarity, purity, intelligence, lightness, contentment and sweetness. We carry development forward from prior lives.
  • Saucha: purity, one of the “legs” of dharma. Related to Sattva.
  • Self: of 2 types: the personal self, I-sense, ego, or Ahamkara. And the cosmic and universal Self, Atman. See also Self Realization.
  • Self Realization: aka Cosmic Consciousness. Awakening of the cosmic Self (Atman) to itself through this body-mind.
  • Seva: selfless service.
  • Shadbhava: the 6 houses of life or influences on our birth. 3 from the blood line and 3 from prior live development.
  • Shakti: the Divine feminine, Divine power or energy. Also Shiva’s power and consort. Plays a big part in awakening and embodying.
  • Shakti Devi: laws of nature that are powers of Shakti.
  • Shaktis: powers of Shakti. These become the laws of nature.
  • Shanti: peace. The peace of pure, silent being.
  • Shiva: the divine masculine, witnessing awareness or the observer. Also, the Deva of destruction in the trinity with Vishnu and Brahma.
  • Shruti: that which is heard. Especially listening to spoken Veda or knowledge. This can trigger cognition. See Cognition, Ritam, Resolute Intellect. Also, an interval in Indian classical music.
  • Siddhi: perfection, more commonly known as a special ability, such as the ability to control the weather or walk on water. Patanjali describes many in the Yoga Sutra.
  • Smriti: memory, particularly cosmic memory. Home of Veda or knowledge. See Cognition.
  • Soma: a fine pre-physical substance that is produced through samadhi. We touch into source and the physiology refines raw soma, feeding our laws of nature and refining.
  • Sudra: dharma varna, those dedicated to a life of service.
  • Suffering: the tendency to grasp at what we want and resist what we don’t want leads to unresolved experiences that cloud our ability to experience and evolve. This reduces quality of life, leading to suffering. Many people consider suffering normal.
  • Sufficiency: There is enough. I am enough.
  • Sushumna: the main energy channel or Nadi that runs up the spine.
  • Svadhisthana chakra: the second chakra in the lower belly, associated with emotions and sexuality. Water element and 6 petals.

  • Tamas: the guna of structure, heaviness, inertia and stagnation.
  • Tapas: warming, often by perseverance or sustained action or practice. Also, one of the legs of Dharma.
  • Tattva: fundamental principles in the way consciousness becomes. Samkhya philosophy describes 25 tattvas. Kashmir Shaivism describes 36 tattvas in three groups based on the degree of purity. They also describe the 5 Elements as tattvas or mahabhutas.
  • Tejas: the Fire element.
  • Theist: someone who believes in God. This is distinct from knowing God.
  • Totality: the coming together of everything in one aggregate wholeness. I usually use the term for maturing Brahman stage.
  • Transcending: going beyond the mind. See Samadhi, Turiya.
  • Tri-Devi: the 3 primary goddesses or forms of Mother Divine: Parvati, Lakshmi, and Saraswati.
  • True Name: the name of an object that matches the sound of its form. See Name and Form.
  • Turiya: the fourth, the state of samadhi or pure consciousness where Self rests in its own nature. A term from the Upanishad. The other three states are waking, dreaming, sleeping.
  • Turiyatita: Beyond the fourth, Self Realization.

  • Udana prana: upward moving life force.
  • Unity: Oneness in consciousness. See Unity Consciousness.
  • Unity Consciousness: A stage of development where consciousness is recognized to underlie the world and is the same consciousness as my Self. This merges the subject and object into one wholeness. The beginning of true nonduality.
  • Universe: on this site, I refer to a universe as a self-aware space in our creation in which what we call our universe arises. There are multiple universes but they are each in their own distinct Nested Space. See also Hiranya Garbha.
  • Upaguru: one’s mate as an object of devotion for God Consciousness.
  • Upanishad: extracts from the larger Vedic texts, generally considered their essence or summary.

  • Vaidya: physician, using Ayurveda.
  • Vaikhari vak: spoken speech with the voice. The 4th and last level.
  • Vaisheshika: the Indian philosophy of the 8 qualities of form.
  • Vaishya: dharma varna, one called to business and managing resources.
  • Vak: speech. See 4 levels of speech: Para, Pashyanti, Madhyama, Vaikhari.
  • Varna: The type of work we’re called to do by our gifts, gunas and karma. Classifications in society that have degraded into a caste system. Varna also means colour.
  • Vasanas: unresolved desires, drivers, and addictions. Also called latent tendencies. This drives a lot of behaviour as they seek resolution. The pattern they follow is the Samskaras.
  • Vata dosha: air and space dominate the physiology. The qualities of dryness, coolness and movement.
  • Vayu: the Air element.
  • Veda: knowledge of reality; also a philosophy compiled by ancient Rishis who cognized reality. See Cognition. The verses have traditionally been memorized and maintained by the family of the original seer, sustained for thousands of years.
  • Vedanta: end of the Veda, the end of knowledge, the description of Unity stage. Vedanta is also called Uttar Mimamsa. The last of the 6 Systems of Indian Philosophy. Texts include the Brahma Sutra, Upanishad and Bhagavad Gita. Advaita & Nonduality are derived from this.
  • Vijnanamaya kosha: the sheath where we experience the intellect, intuition, and fine feelings. Subtle discrimination. Also, where the structural relationships underlying form arise. See also Buddhi.
  • Vimarsha: the Power (Shakti) of Self-awareness. Shakti expressing, the power that creates through consciousness (Shiva). See Prakasha. (from Tantra)
  • Vira: when Rajas guna becomes predominant in the physiology we can more effectively roast inertia and transform. Discrimination and Dispassion are prominent. But we can roast Sattva too.
  • Vishnu: the Deva of maintenance who keeps the world functioning for life and evolution to unfold in. Periodically Vishnu takes a form as an avatar of the Divine to restore dharma (eg: Krishna, Rama). See also Dharma, trinity, Avatar.
  • Vishuddha chakra: throat chakra, speech, upward flows. Space element, 16 petals.
  • Vyana prana: whole body energy, seen as coloured aura.

  • Wholeness: a sense of completeness that can arise at various points but particularly during the stages of Unity Consciousness with increasing degrees of wholeness.
  • Witnessing: the experience of being a detached observer, watching the mind and body operate. Related to Jiva Awakening. An aspect of consciousness that may arise with Self Realization or prior.
  • World: or world appearance. Our mind processes our sensory information to create an experience of the world around us. This allows us to work with and in it. However, we know from physics that the world is a field of interacting probabilities and vibrations. That isn’t how we experience it. Eastern philosophy describes this as the world appearance. See also Maya and Lila.

  • Yagya: prescribed performance for a certain result. For example, a ceremony for the smooth construction of a house or rituals for death and the smooth transition of the soul.
  • Yajur Veda: one of the 4 primary Vedas, its content is on Yagya, actions for specific results. It builds on the core Rig Veda.
  • Yama: desire, also the 5 “restraints” defined in Yoga. Non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, moderation, non-covetousness. See also Ashtanga.
  • Yantra: “machine” depicting the stages of creation in a geometrical pattern similar to a Buddhist Mandala. The Sri Chakra is a Yantra of Meru for example. Other specific patterns are designed for specific effects. We can also see the Chakras as Yantras, the heart chakra like the Star of David, for example.
  • Yoga: union. The Indian philosophy of the means of knowing, of Self Realization. Outlined in the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. Paths of Yoga include devotion (Bhakti), intellect (Gyana), action (Karma). Patanjali describes Raja (royal) Yoga that blends them.
  • Yuga: the ages or eras, large cyclic periods of rising and falling clarity of consciousness. I favour the Yukteswar calculation.
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