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Glossary of Sanskrit terms

Source: http://www.saibaba-aclearview.com/contents2.htm

by R. D. Awle

[Copyright 2001. Dated August 2001.
This material may be downloaded, reproduced and distributed freely, as long as the source is clearly attributed.]

Adharmic: unrighteous.

Advaitha: the philosophy of non-duality.

Amrit: a honey-like jasmine-flavored nectar.

Atman: Divine Self.

Atmic: pertaining to the Atman.

Avatar: Incarnation of God.

Ajna Chakra: the sacred energy center located at the ‘third eye’, in the center of the forehead.

Anahat Chakra: the sacred energy center located in the ‘heart area.’

Bhagavan: Lord.

Brahma: Lord Brahma is the Creator, the first of the Hindu Trinity.

Brahman: the Supreme Reality; non-dual, formless pure Awareness.

Chakras: the seven sacred energy centers within the spine of man.

Darshan: Seeing a Saint. (In Sai Baba's ashrams, 'darshan' specifically refers to Baba's walking out among the devotees, giving everyone a chance to see His form.)

Darshan dreams: special dreams given by God to His devotees, in which a form of God appears.

Gopis: Lord Krishna’s cowherd-girl devotees.

Guru: spiritual teacher.  With a capital ‘G’, the word implies a fully Self-Realized Divine Master.

Jnana: divine wisdom of the highest order.  (One who truly has Jnana has reached the Goal of Life.)

Jnani: one who has attained full Realization of the Atman.  The term is most often applied to those who have attained Realization via the path of Self-enquiry.

Karma: the cosmic law of cause and affect; ‘As you sow, so shall you reap.’

Kumkum: a red powder used in the worship of the Divine Mother.

Kundalini: the spiritual force latent within man, which remains dormant unless awakened through spiritual practices.

Leela: divine play, or sport.  Many Hindus believe the whole universe is a ‘leela’, a play of God.

Lingam: a symbol of the Supreme Reality, used in the worship of Lord Shiva.

Maha: a prefix meaning 'great'.

Mahavatar: ‘Great Divine Incarnation’.

Maya: The cosmic illusion; the power which veils the truth and keeps us stuck in bondage.

Moksa (also: Moksha): The final spiritual Liberation, i.e., Self-Realization.

Muladhara Chakra: the sacred energy center located at the base of the spine.

Nilayam: ‘The abode of…’.

Pada Puja:  foot-worship ceremony.

Paramatma:  Supreme Divine Self.

Parashakti: a name of the Divine Mother, meaning ‘Supreme Power’.

Parvati: one form of the Divine Mother. (Parvati is the consort of Lord Shiva.)

Poornavatar: a full incarnation of God.

Prashanti: Supreme Peace.

Prema: Divine Love.

Puja: worship ceremony.

Purushartha: the spiritual Goal of Life, i.e., Self-Realization.

Puttaparthi: the town in Andhra Pradesh, South India, where Sai Baba’s “Prashanti Nilayam” ashram is located.

Rishis: the ancient Hindu Sages.

Rasa dance: Krishna's dance with the Gopis, in which He manifested Himself into many different forms so He could personally dance with each Gopi.

Sadhaks: dedicated full-time spiritual seekers.

Sadhana: spiritual practices such as meditation, contemplation, Self-enquiry, and repetition of the Divine Name.

Sakti: Divine Power; also, a name of the Divine Mother.

Samadhi: a state of Yogic absorption in the Supreme Being, in which the mind is completely stilled.

Sathya: Truth.

Shirdi: the town in Maharashtra where Shirdi Sai Baba lived.

Siddhis: Yogic powers, i.e., the power to work miracles.

Subramaniam: The second son of Lord Shiva and Parvati.

Tantra: an ancient spiritual path.  (‘Right-handed tantra’ involves worship of the Divine Mother through mantras and meditation, whereas ‘Left-handed tantra’ additionally involves the direct use of sexual energy and, sometimes, intoxicants, to awaken the spiritual power within man.)

Vasanas: mental tendencies; oft-repeated patterns of thought and action which create unwanted habits and mental bondage.

Venkateshwara: a form of Lord Vishnu, worshipped in Tirupathi, Tamil Nadu.

Vibhuti: ‘sacred ash’, often manifested by Sai Baba for His devotees. Vibhuti carries a spiritual and/or medicinal blessing.

Vishnu: the ‘Preserver’ in the great Hindu Trinity, ‘Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.’  Many Hindus worship Vishnu as the Supreme Lord.

Yoga: the many-branched science of attaining union with God.

Yogi: one who has attained union with God through the practice of Yoga.

\ the sacred syllable “OM”.



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