Glossary


Word Meaning
Ahimsa Non-violence.
Ajna Chakra The Third Eye or sixth energy centre.
Anahata Chakra The Heart Chakra or fourth energy centre.
Anarchy Complete absence of law or government, chaos, utter disorder.
Aparigraha Non-greed, non-avarice, non- possession.
Arundada Old Arun, or Uncle Arun; dada is added as an endearment to a person’s name.
Asana Physical exercises and postures for keeping the body healthy.
Asteya Non-stealing.
Aura The layer of energy or light that surrounds living beings.
Avarice Greed for possessions, eager desire for wealth, covetousness.
Ayurvedic medicine Classical Indian medical teaching.
Bramacharya Chastity, sexual self-control, celibacy.
Chakras Centres or points of in-flow and out-flow of energy on the body.
Chapati Thin flat piece of unleavened bread (no yeast).
Clairvoyance A way of seeing things beyond the scope of normal vision, e.g. Seeing the spirit world, or the future.
Covetousness Envy of another person’s possessions.
Dahl Lentils or other pea type seeds.
Dharana Concentration.
Dharma Code of conduct, which leads to virtue, morality and religious development. Duty.
Dhyana Meditation.
Divinity The nature or essence of God.
Divali Hindu or Sikh festival of light, held in October.
Eight limbs of yoga Eight activities, which help to lead to enlightenment when performed with persistence.
Enlightenment Seeing and understanding life clearly.
Guna A state of being, sometimes a state or quality of mind.
Guru A spiritual teacher.
Isvara PRameshdhana Devotion to God.
Inertia Sluggish, passive, not inclined to move or act.
Integrity Wholeness, uprightness, honesty, purity.
Hatha Yoga The way towards self-realisation through discipline, involving physical exercise.
Higher self, Inner Self The Soul, or conscience.
Judgmental Keen to pass judgement.
Karma Fate, destiny falling upon us according to the law of cause and effect.
Krishna The most celebrated hero in Hindu mythology. A form of god to whom many Hindus pray.
Life force A directing energy present in all living things.
Lotus The flower of a kind of water lily.
Manipura Chakra The third or energy centre or solar plexus chakra.
Materialism Excessive devotion to bodily wants or financial success.
Muladhara Chakra The base chakra, an energy centre at the base of the spine.
Niyamas Rules of conduct, things we should do.
Prana Breath, life, vitality, energy.
Pranayama Breath control exercises.
Pratyahara Withdrawing the senses from the outside world in order to meditate.
Psychic ability The ability of the mind to know things without using the five senses.
Rajas A restless or dynamic state of being.
Raja King.
Raja Yoga A path of yoga which leads to control of one’s mind.
Renunciation To disown or disclaim all worldly things, and follow a very simple life such as that of a monk or nun.
Sacral The area of the body around the sacrum, the large triangular bone at the base of the spine.
Sadhaka A seeker of truth, an aspirant, one who chooses to study and follow a spiritual path.
Sadhu An ascetic (one who has given up all worldly pleasures). A saint.
Sage A person of great wisdom, a saint.
Sahasrara Chakra The Crown Chakra, an energy centre at the top of the head.
Santosa Contentment.
Samadhi A state of mystical union or bliss.
Sanskrit The ancient Indo European literary language of India mainly used for scriptures.
Sanyasin A monk, a person who gives up normal life for God.
Sattwa (Sattwic, adjective) A calm and blissful state of being.
Satya Truth.
Saucha Cleanliness.
Shakti A Hindu goddess, wife of Lord Shiva.
Shanti Peace.
Shiva A Hindu god entrusted with the task of destruction and re-creation.
Susumna The main current of energy that flows up and down the spine.
Svadhyaya Self-study.
Svadhisthana Chakra The second energy centre, situated in the Belly. The sacral chakra.
Swami A teacher of spiritual matters.
Swamiji A term of respect and endearment used by a disciple when referring to his spiritual master.
Tapas Discipline.
Tamas A low energy state of being. Darkness, absence of knowledge.
Vara Caste or class in society.
Vishuddha Chakra The throat centre, the fifth Chakra.
Yamas Rules of conduct, things we should avoid doing.
Yogi, yogis People who practise yoga. In India a yogi is an adept, or one who is very accomplished in his understanding of the principles and practise of yoga.