Agni - The tattwa (metaphysical element) of fire.
Ahimsa - Non violence. One of the 5 niyamas in Raja Yoga. Not only referring to "doing no harm to others" the concept of non-violence starts with non-aggression towards oneself at the mental level. Understanding and accepting the nature of mind is the key to this, rather than having a fighting attitude towards it.
Ajapa Japa - Spontaneous repetition of mantra without conscious effort.
Ajna Chakra - One of 6 centres of subtle energy within the pranic body. Situated in the midbrain at the anatomical position of the medulla oblongata. The seat of intuition. Also known as the Third Eye, Shiva's Eye, the Eye of Intuition, the Inner Eye. It represents the gateway to the internal worlds and supra-conscious levels of the mind. For more details see Table 4 on page 65, and also the specific Chakras Section, page 77.
Akasha - The tattwa (metaphysical element) of ether. Ethereal space. The realm in which non-physical entities such as thoughts reside. Mahakasha is the parent or greater space, whereas Chidakasha is the space of mental consciousness and Hridayakasha is the space of heart consciousness. The Akashic Records are said to be the cosmic repository for all mental thought and knowledge.
Amaroli - The techniques of urine therapy.
Amrit - Divine nectar, ambrosia. A metaphysical liquid produced in Bindu Visarga, stored in Lalana Chakra and released to Vishuddhi Chakra by certain advanced yogic practices. Causes a feeling of blissful intoxication. "Mrit" means death, "amrit" means without death, so awakening this fluid is said to bestow immortality.
Anahata Chakra -The psychic centre situated in the spinal column at the level of the heart related to devotion and love. Anahata literally means unstruck, so it is said to be the source of cosmic sound which arises without physical cause. For more details see Table 4 on page 65, and also the specific Chakras Section, page 73.
Ananda - Bliss. An experience gained through meditation
Anna Yoga - The yoga of food, eating, cooking, and service to others through our consuming actions.
Antar Kumbhaka - Retention (kumbhaka) of breath inside (antara) the body.
Antar Mouna - A meditation technique whereby the mind is witnessed and understood, eventually leading to mental discrimination, clarity and self control.
Apas - The tattwa (metaphysical element) of water.
Arohan Nadi - The frontal ascending psychic passageway (nadi) used extensively in Kriya Yoga. The frontal passage used in So Ham Mantra Japa, is a short section of this nadi.
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Asana - Literally: steady comfortable pose. Traditionally meant a meditative sitting position, now also used for to mean any yoga posture. The 3rd stage of Patanjali's Raja Yoga.
Ashram - Literally: not of self. A place of retreat for spiritual development. A yoga community where residents focus on the hard work of self transcendence.
Atma or Atman - The spiritual self, the pure self, the inner self, the higher self, the soul. That element of individuality which is beyond the ego self of body and mind. That which transcends death.
Atma Shakti - The force of spiritual individualism, the dharma of the individual soul.
Aum or Om - The supreme cosmic vibration of the universe, the universal mantra of creation and dissolution. Most correctly pronounced as a combination of 3 sounds: ah (as in car), oo (as in book), mm. But many people simply say Om, as in bomb.
Awarohan Nadi - The posterior descending psychic passageway (nadi) utilised in Kriya Yoga.
Ayurveda - The ancient, indigenous medical system of India which includes (amongst many other things) the use of yogic techniques for healing.
Bahiranga Kumbhaka - Retention (kumbhaka) of breath outside (bahir) the body.
Bandha - Literally: block or lock. A psycho-muscular energy lock which directs the flow of psychic energy in the body.
Bhagavad Gita - An age-old Indian scripture of a dialogue between a Lord Krishna (the personification of God in the role of charioteer) and his disciple Arjuna (a reluctant warrior). Krishna explains to Arjuna all the paths and forms of yoga and meditation, and the necessity of striving in the battle towards transcendence within the activities of every day life.
Bhakta - One who practices Bhakti Yoga. A devotee of God.
Bhakti - Devotion. Feelings of intense love towards all creation.
Bhakti Yoga - The yoga of devotion to one's chosen spiritual ideal or God form.
Bhoga - Attachment to enjoyment through the senses, of worldly involvement. The opposite of yoga.
Bhrumadhya - Also called Trikuti or Triveni. The mid eyebrow centre, a trigger point for Ajna Chakra where the 3 great "rivers" or nadis meet - that is Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati, or Pingala, Ida, Sushumna.
Bindu or Bindu Visarga - Bindu literally means to split, to divide. Visarga means falling drop. A psychic centre (not technically one of the 6 chakras) situated at the top back of the head. This point is the gateway to formless consciousness or Shoonya. Bindu is associated with the moon,
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psychic sounds, and the male semen. An important centre in Kundalini and Kriya Yogas.
Brahmacharya - Literally: teacher (acharya) of God (Brahma). One who devotes their total life to spiritual or meditational practices, and as a result of that has no interest in sexual activity. The term is commonly understood to mean a person who is celibate, but that is (or may be) only a partial manifestation of the brahmacharya.
Brahmamuhurta - Literally: the hours of God. The most auspicious time for meditation and other spiritual practices in the few hours prior to sunrise.
Buddhi - Higher intelligence, a faculty of mind beyond the normal intellect.
Chakra - Literally: wheel or vortex. A centre of psychic energy in the body. The conjugation point of many nadis. There are 6 major chakras along the spinal column and many more minor ones all throughout the limbs.
Chakra Anusandhana - Literally: exploration of the chakras. A meditation method of moving the consciousness up and down the spinal column, feeling and naming the chakras. Included on CD #2.
Chakra Kshetram - Trigger points along the front of the body for the major posterior chakras. Also called frontal points.
Chandra - Moon.
Chidakash - Literally: space (akasha) of consciousness (chit). Mindspace. Conceptualised as the space behind the closed eyes or inside the forehead, the screen on which one visualises.
Darshan - Literally: mirror. The vision of God or of one's master in physical or psychic presence.
Deva - A divine being of male gender. The manifestation of Shiva (the consciousness principle).
Devi - A divine being of female gender, a Goddess. The manifestation of Shakti (the energy principle).
Dharana - Concentration. A stage when the mind is fully one-pointed through effort. The 6th stage of Patanjali's Raja Yoga.
Dharma - (adj. dharmic) The eternal cosmic law. Spiritual destiny be it planetary, national, communal or personal. Taking the path of dharma (as opposed to karma) is to attend to one's highest conscience and spiritual duty.
Dhauti - Cleansing techniques for the alimentary canal.
Dhyana - Contemplation. The state of meditation attained after the effort and practise of meditation. A state of mind, beyond concentration (dharana), where the meditator and the object of meditation have yet to merge into oneness (samadhi). The 7th stage of Patanjali's Raja Yoga.
Diksha - Initiation. There are many initiations in yoga such as yoga diksha,