Yoga - Glossary

Acarya -- a spiritual master who teaches by example.
Acintya -- inconceivable.
Advaita -- nondual.
Ahimsa -- nonviolence.
Ananda -- spiritual bliss.
Arati -- a ceremony in which the deity of the Lord is worshiped.
Arca-vigraha -- an authorized form of God manifested in material elements to facilitate worship.
Asrama -- a place where spiritual life is practiced, one of the four orders of spiritual life.
Asura -- demon, atheist, one who is not godly.
Atma -- the self or soul, sometimes refers to the body, mind and soul.
Avatara -- an incarnation of God


Balarama -- Lord Krishna's first expansion, His elder brother.
Battle of Kuruksetra -- an historic battle described in the Mahabharata.
Bhagavad-gita -- the "Song of God" spoken 5000 years ago by Lord Krishna to Arjuna.
Bhakta/ Bhaktin -- a devotee of God.
Bhakti -- loving devotional service to God.
Bhakti-yoga -- linking with the Supreme Lord through devotional service.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura -- the spiritual master of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Bhagavan -- the Supreme Lord who possesses all opulences.
Brahma -- the first created being of the universe.
Brahmacari -- a celibate student.
Brahmajyoti -- the divine light or effulgence emanating from the spiritual form of God.
Brahman -- spirit, soul, impersonal light of God, Supreme Person, total material elements.
Brahmana (Brahmin) -- intellectual or priestly class in the varnasrama system.
Brahma-samhita -- prayers to Lord Krishna sung by Lord Brahma.


Caitanya-caritamrita -- a biography of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu -- an incarnation of God who appeared in Navadvipa, West Bengal in the late 15th century to propagate the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra.


Darsan -- to be in the presence of God or His pure devotees.
Dasa/ Dasi -- servant of guru and Krishna.
Deva -- a demigod or saintly person.
Dharma -- one's natural occupation, essential quality, the original constitutional position of the living entities, which is that of love.


Ekadasi -- a fasting day observed twice a month for increasing remembrance of Lord Krishna.


Gandharvas -- celestial residents and singers of the heavenly planets.
Garuda -- the eagle bird carrier of Lord Visnu.
Gayatri -- sacred hymn chanted regularly by twice-born spiritualists and devotees.
Goloka -- Lord Krishna's abode in the spiritual sky, Krishnaloka.
Gopi -- cowherd maiden, female servant of Lord Krishna.
Gosvami -- master of the senses, one who controls the senses.
Grihastha -- a householder or married person in the varnasrama system.
Guru -- spiritual master.
Gurukula -- the school of the spiritual master where students learn the philosophy and practice of Krishna consciousness.


Hanuman -- a great monkey devotee of Lord Ramacandra, an incarnation of Krishna.
Hare Krishna mantra -- the great mantra for liberation, the holy names of God recommended for chanting in this age: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare Hare addresses the energy of God. Krishna and Rama are names of God.
Haridasa Thakura -- a great devotee of the Lord known as the acarya of the holy name.
Hiranyakasipu -- a demon killed by Lord Nrsimhadeva, an incarnation of Krishna.


Iskcon -- the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.


Japa -- the chanting of the holy names of God on prayer beads.
Jiva -- eternal individual soul, the living entity.
Jnana -- knowledge.


Kali -- a demigoddess to whom worshipers sometimes offer meat.
Kali-yuga -- the present age of quarrel and hypocrisy of which 5000 of 432,000 years have passed.
Karma -- the universal law of cause and effect / of action and reaction.
Kirtana -- congregational chanting of the holy names of God, usually with musical instruments.
Krsna, Krishna -- God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His original spiritual form.
Ksatriya -- administrator in the varnasrama system.


Laksmi -- the Goddess of Fortune, eternal consort of Lord Narayana.
Lila -- a transcendental pastime of the Supreme Lord.
Loka -- planet.


Mahatma -- a great soul.
Mahabharata -- the epic history of ancient India which contains the Bhagavad-gita.
Mantra -- a sound vibration or Vedic hymn.
Maya -- illusory energy of God which deludes living entities into forgetting their spiritual nature.
Mayavadi -- Impersonalist, one who regards the Absolute Truth as impersonal or void.
Mukti -- liberation from material existence.


Narayana -- the four-armed form of Lord Krishna who presides over the Vaikuntha planets.
Nityananda -- the incarnation of Lord Balarama who appeared with Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Nrisimha, Nrsimhadeva, Narasingha -- the half-man, half-lion incarnation of Lord Krishna.


Om, Omkara -- the sacred syllable which represents the Absolute Truth.


Paramahamsa -- topmost class of spiritually realized devotees, a supremely swanlike devotee.
Paramatma -- the Supersoul, the Supreme Lord in the hearts of all living beings.
Parampara -- the disciplic succession through which pure spiritual knowledge is transmitted.
Prakriti -- nature, can refer to both the spiritual (para) or material (apara) nature.
Prabhu -- master, term of respect given to other Vaisnavas or devotees.
Prana -- the life air.
Prasadam -- sanctified vegetarian food offered to Lord Krishna, literally "mercy" of God.
Prema -- pure love of God.
Puranas -- Vedic histories.


Radha, Radhe, Radharani -- Lord Krishna's eternal consort and pleasure potency.
Rama -- name of God meaning unlimited pleasure, Krishna's incarnation of Lord Ramacandra.
Rathayatra -- a festival in which the deity forms of God are pulled on chariots.
Ravana -- a demon who was killed by Lord Ramacandra.
Rupa Gosvami -- chief of the six gosvamis of Vrindavan who wrote many authoritative books on the science of Krishna consciousness.


Sat-cit-ananda -- eternity, knowledge and bliss.
Sadhu -- a saintly person.
Samadhi -- full absorption in God consciousness, a sacred tomb for the body of a saintly person.
Samsara -- the cycle of repeated birth and death in the material world.
Sanatana -- eternal.
Sanatana-dharma -- the eternal religion of the living being, devotional service to God.
Sanatana Gosvami -- one of the six gosvamis of Vrindavan, brother of Rupa Gosvami.
Sankirtana -- the congregational chanting of the holy names of God, spreading God consciousness.
Sannyasa, Sannyasi -- the renounced order of life / renounced wandering mendicant.
Sastra -- revealed scriptures.
Shri--an honorific title (Shrila, Shrimad, Shriman, Shrimati).
Sita -- Lord Ramacandra's wife and eternal consort.
Siva -- the demigod in charge of the mode of ignorance and who annihilates the material universe.
Srila Prabhupada -- His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder and acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Srimad-Bhagavatam -- the most important of the eighteen Puranas (Bhagavat Purana) which describes and explains the pastimes of Lord Krishna written by Srila Vyasadeva.
Sudra -- a member of the laborer class in the varnasrama system.
Svami, Swami -- one who controls the mind and senses.
Supersoul -- the form of God who resides in the hearts of all living beings.


Tulasi, Tulsi, Tulasi-devi -- a great devotee of the Lord who appears in the form of a sacred plant, the leaves of this plant are offered to Krishna.


Upanisads -- the 108 philosophical portions of the Vedas.


Vaikuntha -- the spiritual world where there is no anxiety.
Vaisnava -- a devotee of Lord Krishna or Visnu.
Vaisya -- a member of the business or farming class in the varnasrama system.
Vanaprastha -- retired life in preparation for sannyasa, or the renounced order.
Varnasrama -- the Vedic social system which organizes society into four occupational and four spiritual divisions (varnas and asramas). The four varnas are the brahmanas (priests and intellectuals), the ksatriyas (administrators and soldiers), the vaisyas (businessmen and farmers) and the sudras (laborers and artisans). The members of the four asramas are the brahmacaris (celibate students), grhasthas (married householders), vanaprasthas (retired persons) and sannyasis (renunciants).
Vasudeva -- (1) Lord Krishna, "the son of Vasudeva"; (2) the state of pure goodness, which transcends the material modes of nature and in which one can understand the Supreme Lord.
Veda -- knowledge.
Vedas --- the four Vedic scriptures (Rg, Yajur, Sama and Atharva) and their supplements (Puranas, Mahabharata, Vedanta-sutra, etc.).
Vedic -- pertaining to the culture in which the Vedas guide all aspects of human life.
Vishnu -- a four-armed incarnation of Lord Krishna.
Vrindavana -- the spiritual abode of Lord Krishna also replicated on earth as the village in India where Krishna appeared 5000 years ago.
Vyasadeva -- the literary incarnation of God who wrote the Vedas.


Yajna -- sacrifice.
Yamaraja -- the demigod (known as the "Lord of Death") who punishes sinful living entities.
Yoga -- union with the Lord.


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