glossary of sanskrit terms

  • Shiva: the auspicious one, deity of transformation & regeneration.
  • Mantra: word or phrase in sanskrit repeated often, expressing strong focus and devotion. a sacred utterance or divine name, often repeated 108 times on a mala, or prayer beads.
  • Om Namah Shivaya: a foundational mantra indicating respect & salutations to Shiva.
  • Sanatana Dharma: ageless inclusive wisdom, perennial philosophy, essence of Bhagavad Gita.
  • Advaita: not two, nondual, beyond the polarities of opposites.
  • Sadhana: spiritual practice.
  • Sakshi: the inner witness who observes events dispassionately, more detached from involvement than the personality; stepping stone from personality to atman, the true self.
  • Maya: the world we see through the senses, the realm of polarity concealing the unity of all Being.
  • Jagat: the totality of the manifested universe, consisting of physical, cultural and social conditioning. the Story that humanity endorses on a collective level and lives out in action.
  • Jiva: the apparently separate embodied human personality.
  • Vasana: subconscious force that affects character, akin to a psychological complex; the residue of unresolved issues from other lives.
  • Kali Yuga: the present age of conflict & spiritual darkness.
  • Pralaya: time of dissolution.
  • Kurukshetra: symbolically, [the location of] the struggle between what we know is right & the challenges that the world presents that may cause soul-searching & doing a hard duty.

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