Glossary of Sanskrit Terms
by Swami Krishnananda


Sa: She.
Sabda: Sound; word; Vedas: Omkara.
Sabdabheda: Difference in word (name) only.
Sabdabrahma: Word-Absolute; Omkara or the Veda.
Sabdantara: Difference of words or terms; another word.
Sabdapramana: Scriptural proof.
Sabdatanmatra: Subtle principle of sound.
Sabha: Assembly.
Sahija Samadhi: Savikalpa Samadhi wherein the seed of Sarnskaras is not destroyed.
Satchidananda: Existence-knowledge-bliss Absolute. (Also, Sat-chit-ananda.)
Satchidanandasagara: The ocean of Existence-knowledge-bliss, a metaphorical expression suggesting the indescribable Absolute Reality.
Sachetana: Possessed of consciousness.
Sadachara: Right conduct.
Sadaikarasa: Eternal homogeneous essence.
Sadajagrat: Ever wakeful.
Sadbhashana: Right speech.
Sadguna: Good quality; virtuous quality.
Sadharana: Ordinary; common.
Sadharana-karana: Common cause.
Sadhaka: (Spiritual) aspirant; one who exerts to attain an object.
Sadhana: Self-effort; tool; implement; spiritual practice.
Sadharmya: Becoming of one law of being and action (with the Divine).
Sadhanachatushtaya: The four kinds of spiritual effort: discrimination, dispassion, sixfold virtues and desire for liberation.
Sadhu: Pious or righteous man; a Sannyasin.
Sadi: With beginning.
Sadrisaparinama: Homogeneous change; change in its own given conditions; a change which is not different from the original, like gold into an earring.
Sadrisyata: Similarity.
Sadvichara: Right enquiry; enquiry into Truth.
Sadyomukti: Immediate liberation.
Sagunabrahma: The supreme Absolute conceived of as endowed with qualities like mercy, omnipotence, omniscience, etc., as distinguished from the undifferentiated Absolute.
Sah: He.
Sahaja: Natural; true; native.
Sahaja-kumbhaka: Natural retention of breath.
Sahajananda: State of bliss that has become natural.
Sahaja-nirvikalpa-samadhi: Natural non-dual state of Brahmic Consciousness.
Sahajanishtha: Natural and normal establishment; establishment in one's own essential nature of Satchidananda.
Sahajavastha: Superconscious state that has become natural and continuous.
Sahakarimatra: A helping factor only. (Maya is Sahakarimatra of Brahma's world-projection.)
Saham: She I am (Mantra of Saktas).
Sahasrara: A region in the top of the head in the form of a thousand-petalled lotus, where Kundalini Sakti unites with Lord Siva.
Sahastita: Co-existence.
Saiva: One who considers Lord Siva to be the highest Lord; pertaining to Lord Siva.
Sajatiyabheda: Difference by which one individual of a species is distinguished from another, e.g., the difference between one man and another man.
Sakala: With parts; all; everything.
Sakamabhakti: Devotion with expectation of fruits, and with selfish motives.
Sakamabhava: Attitude or feeling where there is desire as motive force.
Sakara: Having form (as opposed to Nirakara).
Sakha: Division; branch.
Sakhya: The attitude of a devotee, expressing the relationship of a friend with God; examples are Arjuna, Uddhava and the cowherds of Brindavana.
Sakshatkara: Direct realisation; experience of Absoluteness; Brahmajnana.
Sakshi: Witnessing principle; seer; Kutastha which passively observes the actions of the body and the senses; witness.
Sakshi-bhava: The attitude of remaining as a witness.
Sakshi-chaitanya: Witnessing intelligence or consciousness.
Sakshi-chetana: Witnessing soul; Kutastha; same as Sakshi-chaitanya.
Sakshi-drashta: Witnessing subject; witnessing seer.
Sakta: One who worships the Divine Mother Sakti as the most supreme deity; pertaining to Sakti.
Sakti: Power; energy; force; the Divine Power of becoming; the apparent dynamic aspect of Eternal Being; the Absolute Power or cosmic energy.
Saktipata: Descent of power (through Upasana).
Sakti-sanchara: Transmission of power to the disciple by the Guru.
Salabhasana: Locust-pose of the Hatha Yogins; Salabha means a locust.
Salokya: Being in the same plane or world as God.
Sama: Tranquillity; control of mind; calmness of mind; the mind is kept in the heart and not allowed to externalise; it is the constant eradication of the mental tendencies, according to 'Aparoksha-Anubhuti' of Sankara.
Samabhavana: Feeling of equality.
Samadhana: Equal fixing; proper concentration.
Samadhi: The state of superconsciousness where Absoluteness is experienced attended with all-knowledge and joy; Oneness; here the mind becomes identified with the object of meditation; the meditator and the meditated, thinker and thought become one in perfect absorption of the mind.
Samadrishti: Equal vision.
Samana: One of the five Pranas or vital airs of the human body, that does the function of digestion.
Samanadhikarana: Co-ordination; the relation of abiding in a common substratum, Brahman; the ether in the pot and the ether in the cloud have a common substratum, viz., the universal ether, where only the limiting adjuncts differ.
Sainanvaya: Unification; the agreement of all Upanishads in proving the Highest Reality.
Samanya: Common; ordinary; having common characteristics or common nature.
Samanyaguna: General quality; common nature or characteristic.
Samanyavastha: Undifferentiated condition; unmanifested state.
Samanyavijnana: Pure consciousness; homogeneous intelligence; Kutastha; Brahman.
Samarasattva: A term which is ordinarily applied to sexual union, but used symbolically to the union of Kundalini Sakti with Siva in the head; merging of 'becoming' into 'Being'.
Samashti: An integrated whole of the same class of entity, e.g., Samashti-buddhi (cosmic intelligence).
Samata: Balanced state of mind.
Samatva: Equanimity (under all conditions); equanimity of outlook (making no distinction between friend and foe, pleasure and pain, etc.)
Samavaya: Combination; union; conjunction; constant and inseparable connection or inherence; existence of one thing in another.
Samavayakarana: Concomitant cause.
Sambandha: Relationship; connection.
Sambhavimudra: The vacant externalised gaze of a Hatha Yogi where the mind is directed inwards; the Yogi appears to be looking at external objects but is not actually perceiving them as his mind is indrawn.
Sambhuti: Birth; origin; production.
Samhara: Destruction.
Samhita: Collection; one of the two primary sections of each of the Vedas, containing hymns and sacred formulae, the other section being the Brahmanas.
Samipya: Being near God.
Samit: Sacrificial fuel.
Samjnana: Consciousness; intelligence.
Sampat: Perfection; wealth; virtue.
Sampatti: Same as Sampat.
Sampradaya: Sect; custom; conventional procedure or course of action.
Samprajnata-samadhi: Cognitive trance; state of superconsciousness, with the triad of meditator, meditation and the meditated; Savikalpa-samadhi.
Samprasada: Peace; serenity; calmness; tranquillity.
Samprayoga: Contact of the senses with the objects.
Samsara: Life through repeated births and deaths; the process of worldly life.
Samsarachakra: The wheel of birth and death.
Samsari: The transmigrating soul.
Samsaya: Doubt; suspicion.
Samsaya-bhavana: Feeling of doubt or suspicion.
Samslesha: Mutual embrace; intimate connection.
Samskara: Impression; ceremonial purification; prenatal tendency.
Samskara-skandha: The group of old impressions.
Samvriti: World-process; same as Samsara.
Samuccayavada: The doctrine that Karma and Jnana are both necessary for Self-realisation.
Samvara: A Buddhistic religious observance; restraint.
Samvit: Knowledge; consciousness; intelligence.
Samvriti: Relative truth; covering; concealment; suppression.
Samyagdarsana: Proper perception; equal vision; highest Advaitic realisation; complete intimation; perfect knowledge.
Samyama: Perfect restraint; an all-complete condition of balance and repose, concentration, meditation and Samadhi.
Samyavastha: State of equilibrium; harmony of the three Gunas; the state of the unmanifested being.
Samyoga-sambandha: Relation by contact, e.g., the stick and the drum.
Samyukta: United; combined.
Sananda: With bliss (a kind of Samadhi).
Sanatana: Eternal; everlasting.
Sanatana-dharma: Eternal Religion.
Sancharana: Movement.
Sanchitakarma: The sum-total of all actions done by the Jiva during countless previous births, out of which a portion is allotted for every new birth.
Sandhyavandana: A religious ablution and prayer among the twice-born of the Hindus performed in the morning, noon and evening.
Sandilya-vidya: The process of meditation on Brahman as the ideal effulgent indwelling spirit in its all-pervading aspect.
Sanga: Attachment; company.
Sanga-tyaga: Renunciation of company or association.
Sangraha: Collection.
Sangraha-buddhi: The intellect that wants to accumulate and possess.
Sankalpa: Thought, desire; imagination.
Sankalpamatra: Mere thought; existing in thought only.
Sankalparahita: Without thought; without idea.
Sankalpasunya: Devoid of thought.
Sankalpavikalpa: Thought and doubt.
Sankhya: A system of philosophy propounded by Kapila.
Sankocha: Contraction; involution; hesitation.
Sanmatra: Mere existence; mere Being; only That which is; mere Be-ness.
Sannyasa: Renunciation of social ties; the last stage of Hindu life, viz., the stage of spiritual meditation.
Santa: Peaceful; calm; tranquil.
Santirupa: Of the form of peace.
Santosha: Contentment; joy; happiness.
Sannyasi (or Sannyasin): A monk; one who has embraced the life of complete renunciation; one belonging to the fourth or the highest stage of life, viz., Sannyasa.
Sarana: Refuge.
Saranagati: Self-surrender; coming under refuge.
Saranagati-yoga: Yoga of self-surrender; Bhakti Yoga.
Sarira: Body.
Sarpadevajanavidya: The science of snake-charming and fire arts.
Sarupya: Having the same form as God.
Sarva: All; everything.
Sarvabhokta: All-enjoyer; an epithet of the Supreme Lord.
Sarvabhutantaratma: The Inner Self of all beings.
Sarvadesika: Pertaining to all places; present everywhere.
Sarva-duhkha-nivritti: Removal of all pains.
Sarvagata: Present in all (things); omnipresent.
Sarva-himsa-vinirmukha: Against injury of all kinds.
Sarvajna: Omniscient; knowing everything.
Sarva-kalyana: All auspicious qualities.
Sarva-karana: Cause of everything; causality of creation, preservation and destruction.
Sarva-karana-karana: The cause of all other causes.
Sarva-karta: All-doer; doer of everything.
Sarvangasana: Pan-psychical pose of the Hatha-yogin; it influences the thyroid gland and through it the whole body and its functions.
Sarvaniyantratma: The Inner Soul that controls everything.
Sarvantaryami: The Inner Ruler of everything.
Sarvapindavyapi: He who permeates all bodies and also who permeates the entire body.
Sarva-prani-hite-ratah: Ever rejoicing in the good of all beings.
Sarva-sakshi: Witness of everything.
Sarva-sakti-samanvita: With all powers; omnipotent.
Sarva-sankalpa-rahitah: Devoid of all thoughts or resolves.
Sarva-sastrartha-vetta: Knower of the meaning of all scriptures.
Sarvatitavadi: Transcendentalist; one who argues that Truth is transcendental.
Sarvatmakatva: Universality; the state of being the soul of everything.
Sarvatva: State of being everything.
Sarvatyaga: Renunciation of everything.
Sarvavit: All-knowing.
Sarvavyapi: All-pervading; omnipresent.
Sarvesvaratva: Supreme rulership over all.
Sarvopadanatva: The state of being the material cause of all.
Sarvosmi: I am all.
Sasmita: With the feeling of individuality or the egoistic feeling of "I exist" (a kind of Samadhi).
Sastra: Scripture; words of authority.
Sasvatapada: Everlasting abode.
Sat: Existence; being; reality; Truth.
Satavadhana: Doing or paying attention to one hundred things at a time.
Satkama: Pure desire (of a liberated sage); desire for Moksha.
Satkarma: Righteous action.
Satkaryavada: The doctrine which holds that the effect is inherent in the cause and that the effect is only a change of the cause.
Satsamanya: Common substratum; homogeneous essence; Being; Brahman.
Satsanga: Association with the wise (good).
Satsankalpa: True resolve; pure desire; perfect will.
Sattasamanya: Homogeneous existence; Existence Absolute; Brahman.
Sattva: Light; purity; reality.
Sattvaguna: Quality of light, purity and goodness.
Sattvagunapradhana: Sattva-prevailing; Sattva-predominating.
Sattvapatti: Fourth state of Jnana where there is an abundance of Sattva or purity and light.
Sattvasamsuddhi: Purity of heart; purity of feeling; increase of light and purity.
Satya: Truth; Brahman or the Absolute.
Satyakama: He who longs or desires for Truth. Satyasankalpa: Pure will.
Satyatva: State of Truth.
Saucha: Purity (internal and external); cleanliness; one of the five Niyamas in Ashtanga Yoga.
Savayava: With limbs or members.
Savichara: With deliberation and reasoning or enquiry.
Savikalpa: With doubt and change.
Savikalpa-samadhi: Samadhi with the triad of knower, knowledge and known.
Savisesha: With distinction; distinguished by qualities; associated with attributes.
Savisesha-brahman: Brahman with attributes; Saguna Brahman.
Saviseshatva: Presence of distinctive attributes.
Savitarka: With logic and argumentation.
Savitarka-samadhi: Samadhi with argumentation.
Sayujya: Becoming one with God.
Sesha: Balance; remainder.
Seva: Service.
Shad-ayatana: The abode of the six (senses).
Shad-darsana: Six systems of thought; six philosophies of the Hindus, viz., Nyaya, Vaiseshika, Sankhya, Yoga, Mimamsa, and Vedanta.
Shad-linga: Six lingas or signs of a perfect exposition or a text viz., 1. Upakranza-Upasarnhara-Ekavakyata (unity of thought in the beginning as well as in the end), 2. Ahhyasa (reiteration or repetition), 3. Apurvata (novelty or uncommon nature of the proof), 4. Phala (fruit of the teaching), 5. Arthavada (eulogy, praise or persuasive expression) and 6. Upapatti (illustration). Some consider Yukti (reason) as the sixth sign instead of Upapatti.
Shad-urmi: Six waves, viz., grief, delusion, hunger, thirst, decay and death.
Shad-vikara: Six modifications of the body, viz., existence, birth, growth, change, decay and death.
Shatchakranirupana: Investigation into or ascertainment of the six Chakras.
Shat-karma: Cleaning processes in Hatha Yoga, viz., Neti, Dhauti, Nauli, Basti, Kapalabhati and Trataka.
Shat-sampat: Sixfold wealth, viz., Sama, Dama, Uparati, Titiksha, Sraddha and Samadhana.
Shodasi: A particular aspect of Goddess conceived of in a sixteen year old maiden; the Brahmavidya of the Saktas, consisting of 16 letters; a modification of the Agnistoma sacrifice.
Siddha: Realised; perfected; a perfected Yogi.
Siddhanta: Established tenet or doctrine.
Siddhantavakhyasravana: Hearing of scriptural conclusions or established truths, as by study of Vedanta; coming to the ultimate right conclusion.
Siddhasana: A meditative posture.
Siddhi: Perfection; psychic power.
Siksha: Phonetics; instruction; teaching.
Sirovrata: Vow of the head; a vow in which fire is carried on the head or in which the head is shaven; Sannyasa.
Sirshasana (or Sirasasana): Topsy-turvy pose; king of Asanas; the headstand of the Hatha Yogins.
Sivapada: The state of Lord Siva; blessedness.
Sivo'ham: I am Siva.
Sloka: Verse of praise; a verse generally consisting of 32 letters.
Smarana: Remembrance.
Smarta: Pertaining to or enjoined by the Smriti.
Smriti: Memory; code of law.
Smritihetu: Cause of memory.
Sneha: Adhesiveness; friendship.
Sodhana: Cleansing, by the six processes or Shatkarmas, (the first part of Hatha Yoga).
Soka: Grief.
So'kamayata: He (God) desired.
Soshana: Drying.
Spanda: Movement; vibration.
Spandabhasa: Reflection of vibration or movement.
Spandavastha: State of vibration or motion.
Sparsa: Touch; feeling with skin.
Sparsana: Touching.
Sparsatanmatra: The essence of the sense of touch.
Sphota: Manifestor; the idea which bursts or flashes on the mind when a sound is uttered; the impression produced on the mind on hearing a sound.
Sphurana: Throbbing or breaking; bursting forth; vibration.
Spriha: Desire; hankering.
Sraaddha: An annual ceremony when oblations are offered to the manes.
Sraddha: Faith.
Srauta: Pertaining to or enjoined by the Sruti.
Sravana: Hearing of the Srutis or scriptures; ear.
Sreyas: Good; blessedness; Moksha.
Sri: Goddess Lakshmi; wealth; prosperity.
Srishti: Creation.
Srishti-bheda: Difference in creation, i.e., one ego is the result of the predominance of Sattva, another of Rajas, and a third of Tamas, etc.
Srishti-kalpana: Creative ideation.
Srishtisthitilaya (samhara): Creation, preservation and destruction or absorption.
Srishti-unmukha: Ready or prone to create.
Sruti: The Vedas; the revealed scriptures of the Hindus; that which has been heard; ear.
Srotra: Ear; organ of hearing.
Srutipradhana: Superiority or the supremacy of the Srutis over all other proofs of knowledge.
Srutipramana: Testimony or proof based on the Veda.
Stabdhavastha: Stunned state of the mind wherein its movements are arrested; this is a negative state which is an obstacle in meditation.
Stambhana: Arresting; stopping.
Sthanumanushya: Man in the post; a simile used to describe false superimposition due to wrong imagination.
Sthavara: Immovable; immobile; stationary.
Sthirata: Steadiness or firmness either of mind through concentration or of body through Asanas, Mudras, etc.
Sthitaprajna: He who is unshakably established in superconsciousness.
Sthiti: Steadiness; condition or state; existence; being; subsistence; preservation.
Sthulabuddhi: Gross intellect.
Sthulasamadhi: The state of Samadhi which is of a Jada type in which there is no intuitive awareness.
Sthulasarira: Gross body; physical body.
Sthulavairagya: Gross dispassion; dispassion or renunciation of a lower type.
Sthula-avidya: Gross ignorance that envelopes all objects.
Stuti: Praise; glorification.
Subha: Auspicious; blessed.
Subhavasana: Pure desire or tendency; good impression of the past.
Subheccha: Good desire; right aspiration to cross Samsara; the first Jnana-bhumika or stage of knowledge.
Suchi: Pure; untainted.
Suddha: Pure; clear; clean; untainted.
Suddhabhakti: Pure devotion to God.
Suddhabhavana: Pure feeling or attitude.
Suddhabrahma: Pure Brahman, free from Maya; Nirguna Brahman.
Suddhakalpana: Pure imagination (as that of "I am Brahman".)
Suddhamanas: Pure mind.
Suddhaprema: Pure love; divine love devoid of carnality.
Suddhasankalpa: Pure resolve.
Suddhavichara: Pure enquiry into the nature of Brahman.
Sudra: Of the fourth Varna or caste; of the servant class.
Sugamata: The faculty of reproducing the passage after reading it once or a few times.
Sugupta: Well-concealed; very secret.
Sukha: Pleasure; happiness; joy.
Sukhachintana: Thought of happiness; happy thinking.
Sukhi: One who is happy.
Sukla: Semen; white.
Sukrita: Good act; merit.
Sukshma: Fine; subtle; invisible; belonging to a subtler order of existence than the physical.
Sukshmabhuta: Tanmatra; subtle essence or state of elements.
Sukshmadarsi: Seer of the subtle essence of things; one who has developed the subtle inner eye; a man of wisdom; a sage.
Sukshmadhyana: Subtle type of meditation such as on abstract ideas.
Suktika-raj ata: Silver-in-the-mother-of-pearl, an example of superimposition where one thing is wrongly taken for another thing.
Sulohita: Very red.
Sundara: Beautiful.
Sunya: Void; nothingness; zeroness; vacuity; nullity.
Sunyavada: Doctrine of nihilism; doctrine of non-existence of anything.
Sunyavadi: Nihilist; a follower of Nagarjuna.
Suryanadi: Another name for the psychic nerve, Pingala.
Sushka: Dry; essenceless.
Sushumna: The important psychic nerve current that passes through the spinal column from the Muladhara to the Sahasrara or the thousand-petalled lotus, through which the Kundalini is made to rise through the Yoga process.
Sushupti: Deep sleep without dreams.
Susila: He whose nature is purified, i.e., the man who regularly practises Yama and so forth and has trained himself.
Sutra: Thread; string; an aphorism with minimum words and maximum sense; a terse sentence.
Sutradhara: The holder of the string; Hiranyagarbha or the Lord of the universe.
Sutratma: The immanent deity of the totality of the subtle bodies; the lower Brahman; Hiranyagarbha.
Suvichara: Right enquiry.
Svabhava: One's own nature or potentiality; innate nature.
Svaccha: Pure; transparent; clean.
Svadha: Offerings made to the manes; an exclamation made when offering oblations to the manes.
Svadharma: One's own prescribed duty in life according to the eternal law.
Svadhisthana: The second of the six Chakras according to Hatha Yoga.
Svadhyaya: Study of religious scriptures, especially the Vedas.
Svagatabheda: Intrinsic difference as the difference between waves, eddies, etc., in a mass of water; the difference between parts like hands, legs, head, feet, etc., in a person; difference between fruit, flower, twigs, leaves, etc., in a tree; that by which one part of a substance is discriminated from another.
Svaha: An oblation or offering made to gods; an exclamation used in offering oblations to gods.
Svajatiyavrittipravaha: The constant flow of the idea of one's own essential state, i.e., of the idea of "I am Brahman".
Svamahimapratishthita: One who is established in or is dependent on his own greatness or glory.
Svanubhuti: Direct experience of one's own Self TER' Svapna: Dream; illusion.
Svapnakalpita: Imagined in a dream; dream creation.
Svapnamayasvarupa: Of the form of a dream illusion.
Svapnavastha: Dream state.
Svapnavat: Like a dream.
Svaprakasa: Self-luminous.
Svara: Sound; accent; tone.
Svarabhanga: Falling of the voice; choking of the voice; one of the marks of divine emotion.
Svarasadhana: Regulation of breath; a particular kind of Sadhana where the flow of breath is continuously watched and regulated.
Svargaloka: Heaven-world; the celestial region.
Svarupa: Essence; essential nature; the essential nature of Brahman; Reality; Satchidananda; True Nature of Being.
Svarupadhyana: Meditation on the Reality, i.e., on one's own essential nature.
Svarupajnana: Knowledge of one's essential nature; knowledge of pure consciousness, which is the highest end of life.
Svarupalakshana: Definition of the essential nature of Brahman; Satchidananda or Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute.
Svarupanyathabhava: Being other than one's own real nature.
Svarupapratishtha: Being established in one's own Self.
Svarupasambandha: Connection with one's own essential nature.
Svarupasthiti: Getting oneself firmly established in one's own essential nature.
Svarupavastha: State of being one with Brahman; resting in the Absolute Reality or Brahman.
Svarupavisranti: Resting in one's own essential nature.
Svasa: Breath.
Svatahsiddha: Self-proved; self-obtained or realised.
Svatantra: Independent.
Svatantrasattabhava: Possibility of independent existence.
Svatantratva: State of (Absolute) independence.
Svayam jyotih: Self-illumined; self-luminous.
Svayambhava: Feeling of independence.
Svayambhu: Self-existent; self-created; self-born.
Svayamprabhasamvit: The self-luminous consciousness.
Svedaja: Organism born spontaneously or generated automatically from inorganic matter through the action of moisture and heat, such as the maggot in decaying flesh or bugs out of sweat; sweat-born.