Glossary of Sanskrit Terms
by Swami Krishnananda


Baddha: Bound; one who is in a state of bondage.
Badhita: Cancelled; refuted; contradicted.
Bahih: Outward; external.
Bahih-prajna: Objective consciousness as in the waking state.
Bahiranga-lakshya: Concentration upon an external object or point in space.
Bahir-dhauti: External washing and cleansing.
Bahirmukha: Externally faced; inclined outwards; extroversion.
Bahirmukha-vritti: The outgoing mode or tendency of the mind.
Bahirvrittinigraha: Restraint of the outgoing waves of the mind.
Bahishkrita: Outcast; a form of Antardhauti in which the belly is, by Kakini-mudra, filled with air, which is retained for an hour and a half, and then sent downwards.
Bahudaka: The second of the six types of Sannyasins, who wears a tuft of hair.
Bahudakshina: Asvamedha sacrifice in which many presents or great gifts are offered to the priests.
Bahudha: Variously; diversely; in many ways.
Bahusyam: May I be many.
Bahutva: Plurality.
Bahuvirya: Enormous power.
Bahya: External.
Bahya-karana: Outer instrument as the eye, ear, etc.
Bahya-vishaya-pratyaksha: External objective perception; direct cognition of sense-objects.
Bandha: Bondage; tie or knot; a certain class of exerci in Hatha Yoga.
Bandha-moksha: Bondage and liberation.
Basti: The purificatory exercise for congested bowels; external cleansing of the bowels, thoroughly by drawing water through anus; the Yogic enema.
Bhaga: Portion; division.
Bhagatyaga-lakshana: Otherwise known Jahadajahallakshana; e.g., the expression "He is this Devadatta", is so modified that a part of the idea is abandoned. Devadatta seen earlier appeared different: but those differences are eschewed to bring out the real person who is the same now and here as he was then and there. The method is employed in the Great Upanishadic Sentence "Tat-tvam-asi". "That" and "thou" are the same, even thou That (God) and thou (a Jiva) appear to be different, if the appearance-part is removed, the identity will be revealed. The Vachyartha (literal meaning of Tat and Tvam) is abandoned and the Lakshyartha (real meaning) of Tat and Tvam, viz., Brahman in Isvara and the Kutastha in the Jiva, is taken.
Bhagavan: The Lord; Narayana or Hari.
Bhagavata: An adorer of Bhagavan or Vishnu as God. The Bhagavatam is the name of a Purana, regarded by th Vaishnavas as their scripture.
Bhagavata-dharma: The law of Vaishnava dispensation of adoration and love. Also known as Satvata Dharma.
Bhajana: Worship (of the Lord); praise (of the Lord); taking refuge (in the Lord).
Bhakta: Devotee; votary.
Bhakti: Devotion; love (of God).
Bhakti-marga: The path of devotion to attain divinity.
Bhakti-yogi: One who strives to attain union with God through the prescribed spiritual discipline of the path of devotion.
Bhana: Manifestation; appearance.
Bhandara: Storehouse.
Bharta: Supporter; Isvara.
Bhati: Shines; illumines; intelligence; consciousness.
Bhautika: Pertaining to or composed of elements material ; physical.
Bhava padartha: A thing that exists.
Bhava: Attitude, mostly expressing a particular relationship God; any of the five such attitudes prescribed by Vaishnavism, viz., Santa, Dasya, Sakhya, Vatsalya and Madhurya (of peace, of servant, of friend, of maternal, and of a lover, respectively); mental attitude, feeling; subjective state of being; attitude of mind; state of realisation in the heart or mind; right feeling and frame of mind; right intention; right imagination; right mental disposition; purity of thought.
Bhava-advaita: Advaitic unity in feeling.
Bhavana: Feeling; mental attitude.
Bhavana-sakti: Power of imagination.
Bhava-rupa: Positive nature of factual being.
Bhava-samadhi: Superconscious state attained by Bhaktas or devotees through intense divine emotion.
Bhava-vastu: (same as Bhava-padartha): A thing that exists.
Bhaya: Fear.
Bheda: Difference; splitting.
Bheda-abheda: Difference and non-difference; a system of philosophy in which the individual is different from and one with the Supreme Soul.
Bheda-ahamkara: The differentiating ego; sense of separateness.
Bheda-buddhi: The intellect that creates differences, the Vyavaharika Buddhi that diversifies everything as opposed to Paramarthika Buddhi that unifies everything..
Bheda-jnana: Consciousness of difference; worldly consciousness.
Bhiantisukha: Illusory pleasure; deluding happiness.
Bhiksha: Alms.
Bhikshu: Monk; mendicant; Sannyasin.
Bhinna: Different; cut off; broken; variegated.
Bhoga: Experience; perception; enjoyment.
Bhogabhumi: Land of experience or enjoyment.
Bhogya: Object of experience or enjoyment.
Bhokta: Subject of experience or enjoyment.
Bhoktritva: The state of being an experiencer or enjoyer.
Bhrama: Illusion; delusion; rotation; wandering.
Bhramara-kita-nyaya: The analogy of the wasp and the caterpillar, which states how the caterpillar gets transformed into a wasp by intense thinking of the latter. Even so, the Jiva becomes Brahman itself by meditating intensely on the latter. (See also Arundhati-nyaya.)
Bhramsa: A definite fall from the principle of Yoga.
Bhranti: Delusion; wrong notion; false idea or impression.
Bhrantidarsana: Mistaken notion.
Bhrantija: Born of delusion or misconception.
Bhrantimatra: Mere illusion or delusion.
Bhrashta: Fallen from the way of Yoga.
Bhrukuti: Space between the eyebrows.
Bhrumadhya-drishti: Gaze at the space midway between the eyebrows.
Bhuh: The earth-plane.
Bhujangasana: Cobra pose of the Hatha Yogin.
Bhukti: Material enjoyment.
Bhuma: The unconditioned; infinite; Brahman.
Bhumika: Step or stage; state; degree.
Bhuta: What has come into being; an entity as opposed to the unmanifested; any of the five elementary constituents of the universe; element or elemental.
Bhuta-bhavishyad-vartamana: Past, future and present.
Bhutadi: Tamasa Ahamkara, according to Vishnu Purana.
Bhutajanya: Born of the elements.
Bhutajaya: Conquest over the elements or the body.
Bhutapati: The Lord of beings; a name of Siva.
Bhutasakti: Power in matter; subtle material elements; permanent atoms; Bhutatanmatras or the root elements of matter.
Bhutasiddhi: Perfect control over the elements and the body.
Bhutasuddhi: Purification of the elements of the body.
Bhutatma: The lower self.
Bhutayajna: An offering to the sub-human creatures; one of the five daily sacrificial rites enjoined on the Hindu householder.
Bhuvah: The higher etheric or the astral world.
Bhuvana: World.
Bija: Seed; source.
Bijakshara: The root-letter or the seed-letter in which there is the latent power of a Mantra.
Bijatma: The subtle inner Self-, also called Sukshmatma, Sutratma or Antaryamin.
Bimba: Original; (Brahman).
Bimba-pratibimba-vada: The doctrine that the Jiva is a reflection of Brahman; Jiva who is the reflecti of Brahman is not, therefore, a distinct thing from but is absolutely one with It. This is one phase of the theory of reflecti which lays stress on the identity of the reflection and the on final.
Bindu: Point; dot; seed; source; the basis from which emanated the first principle, Mahat-tattva, according to th Tantra-Sastra.
Bindu-jagrat: The first Ajnana-Bhumika.
Boddhavya-lakshana: That which is to be known.
Bodha: Spiritual wisdom; knowledge; intelligence.
Bodhaikata: Oneness of consciousness.
Brahma: God as creator; the first of the created beings. Hiranyagarbha or cosmic intelligence.
Brahma-bhava(na): Feeling of identity with Brahman, as well as of everything as Brahman.
Brahmabhuta: One who has become Brahman.
Brahmabhyasa: Meditation on Brahman; Nididhyasana; reflection on Brahman; conversing on Brahman; discussing about Brahman; etc., that is calculated to the realisation of Brahman.
Brahmachari: Celibate; one who belongs to the first of the four Asramas or orders of life; one who lives in purity and studies the Veda.
Brahmacharya: The first stage of the Hindu's life, viz., celibate student's life.
Brahmacharya-asrama: Order of the students engaged in the study of the Vedas and the service of the Guru or the preceptor.
Brahma-chintana: Constant meditation on Brahman.
Brahmadvara: Door to Brahman; the entrance and exit of Kundalini in the passage to and from Siva.
Brahma-granthi: The knot of ignorance at the Muladhara Chakra.
Brahma-jnana: Direct knowledge of Brahman.
Brahmakaravritti: The sole ultimate thought of Brahman alone to the exclusion of all other thoughts that is arrived at through intense Vedantic meditation.
Brahmaloka: The world of the four-headed creator.
Brahma-muhurta: Period of an hour and a half before sunrise.
Brahman: The Akhandaikarasa Satchidananda, the Absolute Reality; the Truth proclaimed in the Upanishads; the Supreme Reality that is one and indivisible, infinite, and eternal; all-pervading, changeless Existence; Existence-knowledge-bliss Absolute; the substratum of Jiva, Isvara and Maya; Absolute Consciousness; it is not only all-powerful but all-power itself; not only all-knowing and blissful, but all-knowledge and bliss itself.
Brahmana: A section of each of the Vedas dwelling on the meaning and the use of the Vedic hymns; the first of the four Varnas or castes of Hindu social order; man of wisdom; a sage of Self-realisation.
Brahmanadi: Sushumna; Pranic current that flows through the spinal canal according to Hatha-Yoga.
Brahmananda: Bliss of the Infinite Absolute; supreme transcendental joy.
Brahmanda: Brahma's egg; the macrocosm.
Brahma-nishtha: One who is established in the direct knowledge owledge of Brahman.
Brahmanubhava: Self-realisation; God-realisation; Absolute experience.
Brahmanusandhana: Considering, thinking of, searching after, enquiring into, looking after, investigation exploration into the nature of Brahman; receiving of the Upadesa about Brahman and reflection upon it.
Brahma-parayana: One whose faith and sole refuge is in Brahman.
Brahma-randhra: Opening in the crown of the head; head-fontanelle.
Brahma-sakshatkara: Realisation of Brahman; direct experience of the Absolute Being.
Brahma-sakti: The power of the Supreme Being.
Brahma-samstha: Grounded in Brahman; Sannyasin.
Brahma-srotriya: He who has knowledge of the Vedas and the Upanishads.
Brahma-stithi (or Brahmisthiti): The establishment or dwelling in Brahman.
Brahma-tejas: The effulgent splendour of Brahman.
Brahma-vadin: He who advocates that there is one existence alone, viz., Param Brahman.
Brahma-vakya: Divine revelation, such as the Upanishads.
Brahma-vichara: Enquiry into Brahman.
Brahmavidvara: One who has reached the fifth Jnana Bhumika or Asamsakti.
Brahmavidvarishtha: A full-blown Jnani; a Jivanmukta who has attained to the seventh Jnana-Bhumika or Turiya.
Brahmavidvariya: One who functions in the sixth Jnana-bhumika or Padartha-abhavana.
Brahmavidya: Science of Brahman; knowledge of Brahman; learning pertaining to Brahman or the Absolute Reality.
Brahmavit: Knower of Brahman; one who is in the fourth Jnana-bhumika or Sattvapatti.
Brahma-Yoga: Wherein the Yogi finds himself and the whole universe as Brahman.
Brahmopasana: Worship of the Infinite Brahman.
Brihat: Large; big; absolute.
Brihat-brahmanda: Great macrocosm.
Brihattva: Vastness; largeness; absoluteness.
Bubhuksha: Desire to eat; hunger; will to enjoy.
Buddha: The enlightened one; full of knowledge.
Buddhi: Intellect; understanding; reason.
Buddhi-sakti: Intellectual power.
Buddhi-suddhi: Purity of intellect.
Buddhi-tattva: Principle of intelligence.
Buddhi-vyapara: Functioning of the intellect.


Chaarana: A class of superhuman beings.
Chaitanya: The consciousness that knows itself an knows others; absolute consciousness.
Chaitanyamayi: Full of (all-) consciousness; an at tribute of Maya.
Chaitanya-samadhi: The state of superconsciousness which is marked by absolute self-awareness and illumination as distinguished from Jada-samadhi in which there is no such awareness.
Chakra: Plexus; centre of psychic energy in the human system.
Chakrayudha: The weapon or discus of Lord Vishnu or Sri Krishna; Sudarsana.
Chakshu: Eye; the subtle organ of sight; sense of seeing.
Chala: Quibble.
Chanchala: Wavering; fickle.
Chanchalatva: Fickleness; tossing of the mind.
Chanchalavritti: The natural wavering tendency of the mind.
Chandranadi: Ida; the lunar psychic current that flows through the left nostril.
Chandrayana-vrata: This is an observance in which, beginning with 15 morsels of food on a full-moon day, a person lessens them one by one daily, until he takes no food on the new moon day; and again increases them one by one till he reaches the same 15 morsels on the next full-moon day.
Chapalata: Activity; craving; fickleness.
Chara: Capable of moving about; unstable.
Charana: Foot; one-fourth; conduct.
Charanamrita: Water sanctified by the feet of a deity or of a holy man.
Charu: A preparation of boiled rice, milk, sugar and ghee, to be offered into the fire for gods; a Sattvic regimen usually taken by Yoga-practitioners and celibates.
Charvaka: The founder of the materialistic school of philosophy; pertaining to his school of thought.
Chaturvarga: Fourfold aims, viz., Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha.
Chaturyuga: The four ages of the Hindu world-cycle, viz., Krita, Treta, Dvapara and Kali.
Cheshta: Endeavour; effort; activity.
Chetas: Subconscious mind.
Chidabhasa: Reflected consciousness; the reflection of intelligence (Jiva).
Chidabhasa-chaitanya: Reflection of consciousness from Kutastha-Brahman.
Chidakasa: Brahman in Its aspect as limitless knowledge; unbounded intelligence. This is a familiar concept of the Upanishads. It is not meant that the physical ether is consciousness. The Pure Consciousness (Chit) is like the ether (Akasa), an all-pervading continuum.
Chidananda: Consciousness-Bliss.
Chinmatra: Mere Consciousness; Consciousness alone.
Chinmatroham: I am Chinmatra; I am Pure Consciousness alone.
Chinmaya: Full of Consciousness.
Chinta: Sorrow; worry.
Chintana: Thinking; reflecting.
Chiranjivi: One who has gained deathlessness.
Chit: The principle of universal intelligence or consciousness.
Chit-dharma: The essential quality or nature of the mind.
Chit-ghana: Mass of Consciousness.
Chitsakti: Power of intelligence.
Chitsamanya: Basic universal consciousness.
Chitsunya: Grand vacuity; immaterial consciousness.
Chitsvarupa: Of the very form of pure intelligence or consciousness.
Chitta: Mind-stuff; subconscious mind.
Chittakasa: Mental ether; mind conceived of as ether (all-pervading).
Chittaprasadana: Peace or tranquillity of mind.
Chittasuddhi: Purification of the mind; purity of conscience.
Chittavidya: Psychology; science of the mind and the sub-conscience.
Chittavimukti: Freedom from the bondage of the mind.