Glossary of Sanskrit Terms
by Swami Krishnananda


Iccha: Desire.
Icchasakti: Omnipotent desire-force.
Ida: The psychic nerve-current flowing through the left nostril; it is the cooling lunar Nadi as distinguished from Pingala, the heating solar Nadi.
Idam: This; here.
Idamta: This-ness.
Indra: The mind or the soul; the lord of the senses; a Hindu deity; chief of the celestials; the ruler of heaven; the rain-god.
Indrajala: Illusion or jugglery.
Indrajalikamayasadrisa: Similar to the illusion created by jugglery; unreal appearances as in dreams.
Indriya: The sense of perception; sense-organ; this either the physical external Karma-Indriya (organ of action) or the internal Jnana-Indriya (organ of knowledge, cognition or perception).
Indriyajnana: Sense-knowledge or perception.
Indriyarthasannikarsha: Contact with or attraction of the objects to the appropriate sense-organs.
Isa: Lord.
Ishta: Object of desire; the chosen ideal; the particular form of God that one is devoted to; a sacrificial rite.
Ishtadevata: Favourite or tutelary deity.
Ishtamantra: The Mantra of the chosen or tutelary deity.
Ishtamurti: Favourite form or image of God.
Ishtapurta: Sacrificial rites (Ishta) and acts of charit like excavation of public wells (Purta).
Ishtasiddhi: Attainment of the desired object or goal the name of a book on Vedanta.
Isvarakoti: Of the degree of God.
Isvarapranidhana: Devotion to the Lord.
Isvaraprayatna: God's Will.
Isvarapujanam: Worship of the Lord.
Isvarasrishti: That which has been created by the Lord such as the elements, etc.
Itara: The other one.
Iti: So; thus; this.
Itihasa: Epic; a book describing the life and adventures of a hero or heroes. The term is applied to Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The hero of the former is Sri Rama, the son of Dasaratha and of the latter, the five Pandavas.


Jada: Insentient; non-intelligent.
Jada-jada-bheda: Difference between various classes of matter.
Jada-samadhi: The state of Samadhi induced by Hatha Yogic process in which there is no awareness or illumination as opposed to Chaitanya Samadhi of the Vedantins.
Jagadguru: World preceptor.
Jagat: World; changing.
Jagat-vyapara: World-business.
Jagradavastha: State of waking consciousness; consciousness of the objective universe.
Jagrat: Waking condition.
Jala: Not real; a net; a snare; illusion.
Jalakasa: Ether which is reflected together wi clouds, stars, etc., in the water contained in the jar; ether belonging to the water of the jar.
Jalandharabandha: A Hatha Yogic exercise which the chin is pressed against the chest.
Jalpa: Wrangling; a method of argumentation in logic.
Jambunadam: Gold; pertaining to river Jamboo.
Janaloka: A particular region of the seven high planes; just below Tapoloka.
Janma: Birth; coming into being.
Japa: Repetition of God's Name again and again; repetition of a Mantra.
Japamaala: Rosary (to count the number of repetitio done).
Japarahitadhyana: Meditation without repetition of a Mantra.
Japasahitadhyana: Meditation with the repetition a Mantra.
Jara: Old age.
Jarayu: Womb.
Jarayuja: Viviparous animals (of placental origin).
Jata: Matted hair.
Jatharagni: Gastric fire; digestive fire.
Jati: Species; class; creation.
Jatismara: Remembrance of the incidents of one's previous births (whether spontaneously or through special voluntary effort).
Jatyantaraparinama: Transformation of one genus or species into another.
Jaya: Victory; mastery.
Jihva: Tongue or the organ of taste and speech.
Jijnasa: Desire to know.
Jijnasu: One who aspires after knowledge; spiritual aspirant.
Jitendriya: One who has controlled the Indriyas or the senses.
Jiva: Individual soul with ego.
Jivachaitanya: Individual consciousness.
Jivagrama: Living things; multitude of Jivas or individual souls.
Jiva-jiva-bheda: Difference between one individual and another.
Jivakoti: Belonging to the category or class of the individual soul.
Jivanmukta: One who is liberated in this life.
Jivanmukti: Liberated in this life, while yet living.
Jivasrishti: That which has been created by the Jiva, viz., egoism, mine-ness, etc.
Jivatma: Individual soul.
Jivesvarabheda: Difference between the individ soul and God; the fundamental tenet of the dualistic school of thought.
Jnana: Knowledge; wisdom of the Reality or Brahman, Absolute.
Jnanabhumika: Step or stage or degree in the attainment of knowledge.
Jnanabhyasa: A term generally used for the Vedanta mode of Sadhana.
Jnanachakshu: Eye of wisdom or eye of intuition.
Jnanagni: Fire of spiritual knowledge or wisdom.
Jnanakanda: The section of the Vedas dealing main with the eternal verities or the Absolute Truth; the Upanishads dealing with the Param Brahman.
Jnanakara: Of the form of wisdom; Brahman; sage.
Jnanakasa: The ether of knowledge; Brahman.
Jnanamarga: The path of Knowledge; Jnana Yoga.
Jnanamaya: Full of knowledge.
Jnananishtha: Established in the knowledge of the Self.
Jnanasakti: Power of knowing; the omnipotent universal force of knowledge.
Jnanasphurti: Flash of knowledge.
Jnanasvarupa: Of the very nature or embodiment knowledge.
Jnanatantra: The Tantric text that treats of highe knowledge.
Jnanayajna: Dissemination of knowledge; the Sadhana for, and the attainment of, knowledge, conceived of as a offering or divine sacrifice; offering of the individual to the Supreme.
Jnanayoga: The path of knowledge; meditation through wisdom; constantly and seriously thinking on the true nature of the Self as taught by the Guru.
Jnanayogi: One practising the scheduled discipline of the path of knowledge.
Jnanendriya: Five internal organs of perception; sense of sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell.
Jnanodaya: Dawn of knowledge.
Jneya: Knowable; to be known.
Jyeshtha: The eldest; the best.
Jyeshtha: A star.
Jyotih: Illumination; luminosity; effulgence.
Jyotirdhyana: Meditation on the supreme Light.
Jyotirmaya: Full (mass) of light.
Jyotishmat: Full of light.
Jyotihsvarupa: Of the form of light.


Ka: Brahma; Vishnu; Cupid; Fire; Wind; Death; Sun; a king; joint; peacock; bird; mind; body; time; cloud; so hair; light; wealth; joy.
Kaala: Time; death or Yama.
Kaalachakra: Wheel of time.
Kaalatita: Beyond time.
Kaivalya: Transcendental state of Absolute Indepenence; Moksha; isolation; final beatitude; emancipation.
Kaivalya-moksha: Isolated freedom. The Jnani at once gets Jivanmukti state by becoming one with Brahman while living. This is termed Pralaya also. Final emancipation.
Kala: Part; ray; art.
Kalasakti: The power or skill in arts, viz., literature, architecture, etc.
Kalatraputraishana: Desire for wife and children.
Kali: Evil; black.
Kaliyuga: Age of Kali; iron age; the last of the four Yugas; the present age; the dark, evil age.
Kalpa: A day of Brahma. 360 human years make one celestial year. 12,000 celestial years make one Chaturyuga Mahayuga. 71 such Mahayugas make one Manvantara. 1 such Manvantaras (with their twilight periods) make a Kalpa of 4,320,000,000 years. A night of Brahma is of an equal duration. He lives hundred such years. Brahma's life is known as Para, being of a longer duration than the life of any other being, and a half of it is called Parardha. He has now completed the first Parardha and is in the first day of the second Parardha. This day or Kalpa is known as Svetavarahakalpa; Kalpa also means a code of rituals.
Kalpana: Imagination of the mind; creation.
Kalpanamatra: Mere imagination; resting only in imagination.
Kalpanika: That which is imagined; falsely created.
Kalpita: Imagined or created; dreamt.
Kalyana: Auspicious; blessed.
Kama: Desire; passion; lust.
Kamagni: Fire of passion.
Kamajata: Born of desire or passion.
Kamakanchana: Lust and wealth, the two great barrier; to Self-realisation.
Kamamaya: Full of desire and lust.
Kamana: Longing; pleasure-seeking; cupidity.
Kamasakti: Force of lust or desire.
Kamasankalpa: Thought born of desire.
Kampana: Shaking or trembling; twisting of muscles; tremor in the body or limbs.
Kamyakarma: Any action done with desire for fruits thereof.
Kanchuka: Limit or constriction; sheath whereby, from all-knowing, you have become little; from being almighty, you have become a little doer.
Kanda: The root; the source of all Nadis; the egg-shaped centre of nerves located below the region of the navel.
Kandamula: Roots and tubers.
Kanishthakotyadhikari: Qualified person of the most inferior type.
Kantha: Throat; neck.
Kanthamula: The base of the neck (throat).
Kapaladhauti: A process for the removal of phlegm and is threefold: 1. Vatakrama: by inhalation and exhalation. 2. Vyutkrama: by water drawn through the nostrils and ejected through the mouth. 3. Sitkrama: the reverse process to No. 2.
Kapalarandhra: Hollow of the skull.
Kapata: Deceptive; cunning.
Kapha: Phlegm, one of the three humours or Doshas cording to Ayurveda.
Karali: The terrific one; a flame of fire.
Karana: Cause; reason; the unmanifested potential cause that, in due time, takes shape as the visible effect; the material cause of the universe in such a state during the period of dissolution, i.e., cosmic energy in a potential condition.
Karanabrahman: The highest and the first manifestation of the Absolute; the Absolute qualified by Maya; Saguna Brahman.
Karana-jagat: Causal world.
Karana-salila: Primeval waters; the potential condition of the cosmic energy described figuratively as the water of an all-pervading ocean.
Karana-sarira: The causal body (where the individual rests during sound, deep, dreamless sleep, the intellect, mind and senses being reduced to an unmanifested potential condition); this is the proximate cover of the soul, known as the sheath of bliss.
Karanatma: The causal soul.
Karana-vairagya: Dispassion caused through some misery or shipwreck in life.
Karanavastha: Causal state or condition.
Karana-viveka: Accidental cause of slight discrimination at first.
Karatalabhiksha: Using hands (palms) as the begging bowl.
Karma: Action. It is of three kinds: Sanchita (all the accumulated actions of all previous births), Prarabdha (the particular portion of such Karma allotted for being worked out in Ilse present life), and Agami (current Karma being freshly performed by the individual). It is the Karma operating through the law of cause and effect binding the Jiva or the individual soul to the wheel of birth and death.
Karmabandha: Bondage caused by Karma.
Karmabhumi: Land of action; the earth-plane.
Karmadhyaksha: Controller or ruler of actions; God; soul.
Karmaja: Born of action or Prarabdha.
Karmakanda: The section of the Vedas dwelling only on the rituals mainly; the Samhitas and the Brahmanas of the Vedas.
Karmapara: Dependent on Karma.
Karmaphala: The fruit of actions; the consequence of a deed in the shape of pain or pleasure.
Karmasakshi: Witness of actions.
Karmasaya: The receptacle or mass of actions; aggregate of works done.
Karmavada: The doctrine of Karma upholding that each deed, good or bad, is inevitably followed by pleasure or pain as its sure effect.
Karmayoga: The Yoga of selfless action; performance of one's own duty; indifference to the body and the world; service of humanity.
Karmayogi: One going through the scheduled spiritual discipline of the path of action.
Karmendriya: Organ of action: tongue (speech), hands, feet, genital and anus are the organs of action.
Karta: Doer; the subject of action.
Kartavya: Duty; that which is to be done or ought to be done.
Kartritva: Doership; agency of action.
Kartrivada: The claim of being an independent doer.
Karuna: Mercy; compassion; kindness.
Karunavishta: Invaded by pity.
Karya: Effect (correlative of Karana); the physical body described as the Karya, in contrast to the causal body, the Karana; the world; Hiranyagarbha.
Karyabrahma: Hiranyagarbha; effected Brahman.
Karyakaranasambandha: Relation betwe the cause and the effect.
Karyatattvarthavit: One who knows the me ing of the essence of actions.
Karyavastha: Condition of an effect.
Karyavimukti: Liberation from activity; final emancipation.
Kashaya: The subtle influence in the mind produced by enjoyment and left there to fructify in time to come and distract the mind from Samadhi; hidden impressions.
Katha: Tale or story; history or narrative.
Kaupina: The Indian loin-cloth; suspensory bandag usually worn by men.
Kaya: Physical body.
Kayaklesa: Mortification and torment of the body.
Kayasampat: Perfection of the body so that it is equal to a wealth or treasure.
Kayasiddhi: Perfection of the body through Yoga.
Kayavyuha: Group of bodies (created by a Yogi, to exhaust his Prarabdha).
Kendra: Centre; heart.
Kevala: Alone; single; independent; the Absolute.
Kevala asti: Pure Existence merely.
Kevala astitva: The state of Absolute Being.
Kevalachaitanya: Pure Consciousness or intelligence, without thought.
Kevalajnana: Absolute knowledge; Brahma-jnana.
Kevalakumbhaka: Sudden restraint of breath, not preceded by either inhalation or exhalation.
Kevalanandasvarupa: Of the very form of mere Bliss; Brahman.
Keyura: An ornament worn on the arm of Lord Vishnu.
Kha: Sky; ether.
Khechara: What moves in the sky; the celestial being or the bird.
Khecharimudra: The Hatha Yogic pose whereby a person is able to fly in the sky.
Khyati: Reputation; fame; knowledge.
Kirita: A crown; one of the ornaments of Lord Vishnu.
Kirtana: Singing the name and glory of God.
Kirti: Fame; reputation.
Klesa: Affliction; pain.
Kosa: Sheath; bag; scabbard; a sheath enclosing the soul; there are five such concentric sheaths or the chambers one above the other, namely, the sheaths of bliss, intellect, mind, life-force and the gross body.
Koti: Crore (ten million); degree (Sadhana-koti or the degree of a spiritual aspirant, Siddha-koti or the order of perfected beings).
Krama: Order; rules regarding rituals.
Kramamukti: Progressive emancipation of the devotees wherein they proceed from this world to the world of Brahma and from there attain Kaivalya.
Kratu: Sacrifice; Yajna; action.
Kripa: Mercy; grace; blessing.
Krishnadvaipayana: The famous Vyasa, the war of the Mahabharata, eighteen Puranas, and the compiler the Vedas.
Krishnajina: Special kind of deer-skin used as s during worship and Yogic meditation.
Kritabuddhi: (Very) intelligent; rational; discrimanative.
Kritakritya: One who has done all actions, i.e., Jnani.
Kritanasa: Destruction of what has been done; destruction of actions done or the rewards of actions that have bee done.
Kritatma: Pure soul who is extremely good and extremely self-sacrificing.
Kriya: Physical action; particular exercises in Hath Yoga, such as Basti, Neti, Nauli, etc.
Kriyadvaita: Oneness in action or practical living of Oneness.
Kriyajnana: The intellectual processes which are the means taken to acquire Svarupajnana.
Kriyamana: (lit what is being done) the effect of the deeds of the present life to be experienced in the future; same as Agami.
Kriyanivritti: Relief from action; emancipation.
Kriyasakti: The power or faculty of acting.
Kriyayoga: Yoga of action; Yoga of self-purification through external service or worship.
Krodha: Anger; wrath.
Kruramati: One with a cruel mind or intention.
Krurata: Cruelty; pitilessness.
Kshama: Forgiveness.
Kshama: Moment.
Kshanabhangura: Liable to be destroyed at any time; utterly transient; evanescent.
Kshanika: Transitory; evanescent; momentary.
Kshanikatva: Momentariness.
Kshara: World; perishable.
Kshatradharma: Code of life and conduct of the warrior-class.
Kshatriyavidya: Military science of the warrior-caste.
Kshaya: Destruction; thinning; diminishing; annihilation.
Kshetra: A holy place; field; also physical body in the philosophical sense.
Kshetrajna: The individual or the Supreme Soul.
Kshina: Powerless; weak.
Kshipta: Wandering state of the mind.
Kshiti: Earth.
Kshudrabrahmanda: Microcosm; human body.
Kuladharma: The respective duty pertaining to the family.
Kumbhaka: Retention of breath; suspension of breath.
Kundalini: The primordial cosmic energy located in the individual; it lies coiled up like a serpent with three and a half coils, with head downwards at the basal Muladharachakra.
Kusa: Sacred grass used for ritualistic purposes.
Kutastha: Absolutely changeless; He who is found without exception in all creatures from Brahma or the creator down to ants and Who is shining as the Self and dwells as witness to the intellect of all creatures, rock-seated, unchanging; another name for Brahman.
Kutasthachaitanya: Inner Self; individual Consciousness destitute of egoism.
Kutasthanitya: Eternal, without undergoing change; the changelessly permanent Self This is opposed Parinami Nitya or changing permanent.
Kutasthasatta: Rock-seated Being; firm being; being of the Self or Brahman.
Kutira: Hut or cottage; hermitage.


Laghava: Lightness of body through practice of meditation.
Laghima: Lightness; one of the eight major Siddhis of Yoga-practice.
Lajja: Shame; shyness.
Lakshana: Sign; definition; characteristic; condition.
Lakshanavritti: The inherent power in a sound that gives rise to a thought of certain qualities like name, form, etc., directly or indirectly associated with it.
Lakshya: Target; point of concentration.
Lakshyartha: Indicative meaning (in the exposition of Tat-tvam-asi Mahavakya); the Lakshyartha of Tat is Brahman and that of Tvam is Kutastha.
Laukika: Worldly; pertaining to the empirical phenomena.
Lauliki: The whirling of the belly from side to side.
Laya: Dissolution; merging.
Layachintana: Concentration of the mind with a view to dissolve it; that kind of Vedantic meditation where the mind is carried on progressively from grosser to subtler ideas until it is dissolved in the Unmanifested or Para Brahman; there is for instance, the Bhutalayachintana, the Antahkaranalayachintana, and the Omkaralayachintana.
Layakrama: The order of the dissolution ofthe Tattvas.
Layasthana: The place of dissolution.
Layayoga: Process of absorption of the individual soul into the Supreme Soul; another name of Nada-yoga or Kundalini-yoga.
Lesa-avidya: Trace of ignorance.
Lila: Play; sport; the cosmos looked upon as a divine play.
Lilamayi: A connotative name of the divine force whom creation and dissolution are mere play or sport.
Lilavilasa: The splendour of divine sport.
Lina: Dissolved; merged; lost.
Linga: Mark; gender; sign; symbol.
Lingadeha: The astral body; the subtle body.
Lingasarira: The subtle or psychic body that become particularly active during the dream state by creating a world of its own; the three sheaths of intelligence, mind and vital energy constitute this body.
Lingatman: The subtle self.
Lobha: Covetousness; greed.
Loka: World of names and forms
Lokasangraha: Solidarity of the world; uplift of the world.
Lokayata: Materialist; Charvaka.
Loluta: Covetousness; cupidity; earthly enjoyment.