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Hinduism Glossary of Terms – A

A = Symbol of Siva, short form of anuttara (the Supreme); the letter pervading all the other letters of the alphabet.
Abeda = Onness; one; not different
Abhasana = appearance; esoteric meaning – srsti- emanation
Abhava = A term used in Logic to denote one of the seven categories, meaning non-existence. Non-ens; void.
Abhinna = Non-different, identical
AbhiSheka = anointment, holy bathing
Abhiyoga = Backward reference of awareness
Abhoga = Expansion; camatkara or spiritual delight.
Abuddha = What is known as the awakened state for the common man is from the standpoint of the Yogi abuddha or unawakened state i.e. a state of spiritual ignorane.
Achalam = Immovable; permanent
AchAra = observance, discipline
Achit = Non-intelligent; non Ego; matter; Asat.
Adhah-kundalini = the field of Kundalini from Lambika to one-three-fourths of its folds in the Muladhara
AdhAra = base, any of the six mystical chakras
Adhikara = Office, prerogative, right
Adhikarana = A complete argument dealing with one question; a thesis.
Adhisakti = The Original Divine Power or Light identified with the Divine Light of Gayatri.
Adhisthana = Substratum, support
Adhisukshuma = Least of the least ; most subtle.
Adhisthatr = The superintending, governing, presiding principle. Anu-One that breathes i.e. the limited, conditioned experient.
Adho-vaktra = Medhra-Kanda, situated at the root of the rectum
Adhva = Adhva literally means course or path. Suddha Adhva is the intrinsic course, the supramundane manifestation. Asuddha adhva is the course of mundane manifestation.
Adhvan (Adhva) = journey, way, course
Adi koti = The first edge or point i.e. the heart from which the measure of breath is determined.
Advaya = One without a second
Advaita = non-dualism, a Hindu philosophy
Agama = Revealed text, traditional knowledge, Dynamic scripture, Scripture explaining the implementation aspects of spirituality
Agama Pramana = One of the four proofs employed by Hindu Logicians, meaning the Highest authority or word of God, Sabda Pramana, Sruthi Pramana.
Aghora = The merciful Siva
Aghora Saktis = The Saktis that lead the conditioned experients to the realization of Siva
Aghoresa = An aspect of Isvara below Suddha vidya giving rise to asuddha tattvas like maya; Anantanatha.
Agni kArya = the fire ritual
Agni (symbolic) = Pramata-knower or subject.
Agnisomatmika = The parasakti (highest sakti) that brings about srsti (manifestation) and samhara (withdrawal) of the universe.
Agnisomamayam = The universe which is of the nature of pramana (knowledge) and prameya (objects).
Agnja = Authority
Agnja Sakti = The Divine Power.
AGYA chakra = mystic centre at the brow junction, sixth centre
AGYAna = unwisdom, ignorance
Ahadyan = Inner worship ; esoteric worship ; true worship.
Aham = I, absolute I
Aham-bhava = I-feeling; I-consciousness
AhaMkAra = the “I” feeling, I-making principle, ego
Ahankara = One of the four Andakaranas ; Pride of self ; self knowledge.
Ahanta = I-consciousness; I-ness
Ahimsa = non-violence
Ajnanam = The primal limitation (mala); Ajnana in this system does not mean absence of knowledge, but contracted or limited knowledge. Being inherent in Purusa on account of which he considers himself as of limited knowledge and limited activity, it is known as Paurusa-Ajnana. Being inherent in Buddhi, it leads one to form all kinds of asuddha vikalpas (thought-constructs devoid of essential Reality) and is thus known as Bauddha Ajnana.
Akala = The experient established in Siva tattva and identified with Siva.
Akamia Karma = See under Karma.
Akas = The highest of the five elements ; Ether.
Akasa = Space, ether; the sky; the infinite;
Akhyati = ignorance
Akrama = Successionless manifestation of the essential nature; Sakta Yoga.
Akrtrima = Natural; inartificial
Akhyati = Primal Ignorance; Mahamaya
Akshara, Axara = letter
Akshata, Axata = rice grains (usually in the context of worship or blessing)
Akula = Siva
Alamgrasa = ‘Alam’ in this context means , atyartham i.e., to the utmost, and grasa means swallowing, consuming i.e., completely reducing to sameness with Self. Bringing experienced object completely to sameness with the consciousness of the Self, when no impression of samsara as separate from consciousness is allowed to remain.
Alayam = temple, kOvil, mandir
Amayiya = Beyond the scope of Maya; Amayiya sabda is one which does not depend on convention, in which the word and the object are one.
Amba = The highest Sakti of the Divine.
Amrta = Ambrosia; the spiritual state in which further involution in matter is annulled.
Amrta varna = the letter ‘sa’
Amudha = Sentient
AnAhata = The mystic centre at the heart, fourth centre
Anacka = Sounding the consonants without the vowels; esoteric meaning-‘concentrating on any mantra back to the source where it is unuttered’.
Ananda = Bliss; Happiness ; the nature of Sakti; the essential nature of Parama Siva along with Cit; the letter ‘a’.
Anandamayakosa = The sheath of bliss
Annamayakosa = The gross physical sheath
Ananda-upaya = Realization os Siva-nature without any yogic discipline. Also known as Ananda Yoga or Anupaya.
Anasrita-siva = The state of Siva in which there is no objective content yet, in which the universe is negated from Him.
Anantabhattaraka = The presiding deity of the Mantra experients.
Anava = See under Pasa, ego.
ANavam = ego
Anava mala = Mala or limitation pertaining to anu or the empirical individual; innate ignorance of the jiva; primal limiting condition which reduces universal consciousness to a jiva, depriving consciousness of sakti and sakti of consciousness and thus bringing about a sense of imperfection.This limitation works in two ways-(1) while the sense, of doership is present, there is loss ofbodha or prakasa, i.e. considering inconscient thngs like sunya, buddhi, prana, or body as the Self. (2) While there is bodhaor prakasa, there is loss of the sense of activity or doership.
Anavopaya = The means whereby the anu or the empirical individual uses his own karanas or instruments i.e. senses, prana and manasfor self-realization. It includes disciplines concerning the regulation of prana, rituals, japa, concentration, etc.
Anava Samavesa = Identification witht the Divine by the above means.
Anava upaya = The Yoga whereby the individual utilizes his senses, prana and manas for Self-realization. It consists generally of uccara, karana, dhyana, varna, and sthanakalpana. It is also known as Anava yoga, Bhedopaya and Kriya-yoga or Kriyopaya
Andakarana = A generic name to denote all the four internal senses, Manas, Bhuddhi, Chittam and Ahankara.
Anekesvara Vadi = The School of Thinkers who hold that there are many Gods.
Antakoti = The last edge or point; it is dvadasanta a measure of twelve fingers.
Antahkarana = The innerorgan, comprising manas (mind), buddhi (intellect or determinative faculty), citta (pleasure-seeking faculty), and, ahamkara (ego).
Antahstha = Lit; standing in between, the letters ya, ra, la, va are known as antahsta letters. According to Siksa (Phonetics) and Vyakarana (Grammar), they are called antahstha, because they stand between vowels and consonants, they are neither purely vowels, nor purely consonants or they are so called, because they stand between letters.
According to Ksemaraja, they are called antahstha because they are determined by Maya and her kancukas which operate from within the mind of man.
Abhinavagupta, however, says that since the formation of the antahstha letters is due to iccha and unmesa saktis which are inner forces and are identified with the pramata (subject), they are rightly called antahstha
Antaratma = The conditioned inner soul consisting of puryastaka or subtle body. It is called inner as contrasted with the gross body which is the outer covering of the soul.
Antarmukhibhava = Introversion of consciousness.
Antarvyoma = The interior space where prana and apana are dissolved.
Anu = An atom ; very small ; Soul ; ‘Aniti svasiti iti anuh’- one who breathes i.e. the jiva- the empirical individual; the limited, conditioned experient, conditioned by the body, puryastaka and prana; the nature is the empirical mind; the Maya-pramata, the experient dominated by Maya.
Anubhava ; Anubhuthi = Experience.
Anugraha = blessing, grace,
AnumAna = inference ; one of the four proofs of Hindu Logicians.
Anupaya = Spontaneous realization of Self without any special effort.
Anusandhana = Lit; investigation; tracking a matter to its source. In Yoga, repeated intensive awareness of the Source or essential Reality.
= One who joins the succeeding experience into a unity.
= Nasal sound on the top of a letter; representation of Siva.
= Strung together; connected uninterruptedly.
= (1) The Highest; the Supreme; Parama Siva; the Absolute (lit. one than whom nothing is higher). (2) The vowel ‘a’
= The vital vayu that goes in downwards towards the anus; the inhaled air. soma and jiva are synonyms of apna
= Lower; lowest, immanent
= One whose bondage has disappeared and who has become a free being (pati) like Sadasiva.
= not man-made
= Liberation
Apavedya susupti = Profound sleep in which there is absolutely no awareness of any object whatsoever
archana = salutation, praise
archaka = priest
ArAdana = worship
AraNyaka = class of religious and philosophical writings (associated with brAhmaNa)
Ardhacandra = Lit., demi-lunar; the second stage in the ardhamatra (half of a mora) in the japa or recitation of Aum; subtle energy of sound.
Arhata = Jaina
Arivu = Intelligence ; Soul.
Artha = object; end; sense-object; meaning; notion; aim; wealth
aruL = Grace ; Divine Grace.
Arul Sakti = The Power of Divine Grace.
aShTAnga = with eight limbs (parts)
aShTottara (satanAma) = 108 names
Asana = Exoteric meaning- ‘A particular posture of the body.’ Esoteric meaning- ‘Being established in the Self.’ sitting posture
Asat = Non-ego ; Matter, other that Sat ; Achit, other than Souls, and God. Non-being
Asaya = Disposition of mind, antah-karana or the psychic apparatus; mental deposits lying in the unconscious.
Ashrama = 1. hermitage, 2. Stage of life (The four stages are brahmacharya, gArhasthya, vAnaprastha, sanyAsa)
Asuddha vidya = Knowledge of a few particulars; limited knowledge; empirical knowledge.
Asuddhi = Impurity, limitation
Asunya = Non-void
Asyanata = shrunken state; dried state; congealment; solidification
Atharva-veda = One of the section of the Vedas
Atisanta padam = The state of Parama Siva beyond the tattvas.
Atmaboddha = (Lit., Self-Knowledge) The name of a sanskrit work written by Sankaracharya
Atma = This word is invariably to denote the Soul, in all Siddhantha works ; In Vedantha works, this word is used to denote the Soul, Jivatma, and God, Paramatma
Atman = Self
Atma-labha = Realization of Self
Atmasatkr = Reducing to sameness with the Self.
Atma-visranti = Resting in the Self
Atma-vyapti = Realization of the Self without the realization of the all-inclusive Siva-nature.
AtmArtha = spiritual, self intended
Aunmukhya = Because of His inherent ananda, the intentness of Siva towards manifestation; the rising of Iccha Sakti towards creativity.
Avadhana = Constant attentiveness.
Avastha = One of the conditions or states of the Soul’s existence. State; condition
Avatar = Incarnation
Avesa = Entry; absorption
Aviddhei = Ignorance.
Avikalpa = Intuitive apprehension, free of all thought-construct.
Avikalpa (Nirvikalpa) Jnana = Direct realization of Reality without any mental activity.
Avikalpa (Nirvikalpa) pratyaksa = Sensuous awareness without any perceptual judgement, unparticularised awareness.
Aviveka = Non-awareness of the Real, moha or delusion; ignorance; non-discernment
AvuDaiyAr = gomukhi, the base of the shiva linga (circular or square) facing north regulating the thIrtha out
Avyakta = Non-manifest; unmanifest

Hinduism Glossary of Terms – A

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