Yoga Vichar


Abhyasa  – Constant and dedicated spiritual practice.

Acharya – A self-realised spiritual master.

Akarma – Devotional activities performed solely for the service of Krishna.

Ananda – Transcendental bliss.

Aniruddha – An expansion of Krishna.

Ashram – A spiritual sanctuary for self-realisation.

Ashtanga-yoga – The eightfold yoga system expounded by the sage Patanjali.

Atma – The individual unit of consciousness.

Avatara – A manifestation of Krishna, appearing in different forms.

Balarama – The first expansion of Krishna.

Bhagavad-gita – The ancient Sanskrit yoga treatise spoken by Sri Krishna to His friend Arjuna.

Bhagavan – The personal and most complete aspect of the Supreme.

Bhagavata – The Bhagavata Purana, one of the most important books in bhakti-yoga.

Bhakti – Devotion to Krishna.

Bhakti-yoga – The yogic process of devotion towards Krishna.

Brahma – The first living being in the universe and secondary creator.

Brahman – The impersonal effulgence emanating from the body of Krishna.

Brahmana – A Vedic priest and teacher.

Brahma-samhita – An ancient Sanskrit texts containing the prayers of Brahma to Sri Krishna.

Chatur-vyuha-tattva – The fourfold manifestations of Krishna in Vaikuntha.

Chaitanyacharitamrita – A biographical book about the life and teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – The avatara of Sri Krishna who appeared in India in the 15th Century to teach bhakti-yoga.

Chanakya – A famous ancient Indian statesman and scholar of the 4th Century BCE.

Chanakya Niti-Shastra – A book containing aphorisms concerning social and moral behaviour by Chanakya.

Dakshina – A traditional gift of gratitude from a student to a teacher.

Devanagari – The Sanskrit script.

Dhyana – Meditation.

Diksha – Initiation into a sacred mantra.

Gayatri – A Vedic mantra glorifying the Supreme Truth.

Goloka – The topmost spiritual planet where Krishna eternally resides.

Gopala – Sri Krishna, the cowherd boy of Vrindavana.

Gopala-mantra – The 18 syllable mantra invoking Sri Krishna.

Gopala-Tapani Upanishad – An Upanishad glorifying Sri Krishna and His abode.

Govinda – A name of Krishna, meaning ‘the Lord of the cows and the material senses.’

Ishvara – The Supreme Controller, Sri Krishna.

Jagannatha Puri – A holy city in Orissa, East India.

Kama-gayatri –  A Vedic hymn describing the beauty of Sri Krishna.

Karma – The system of action/reaction. Karma also refers to activites that produce beneficial reactions.

Kirtana – Musical glorification of Sri Krishna.

Kusha – A perennial grass that grows in India and is considered sacred.

Lila – The divine pastimes of Sri Krishna.

Maha-mantra – The foremost mantra for deliverance in this age, comprising of the names of Krishna.

Maha-vakya – Great philosophical maxims from the Upanishads.

Mantra-dhyana – Meditation upon a mantra.

Mayavadi – A propounder of monistic philosophy.

Om (omkara) – The primeval spiritual sound vibration.

Padma Purana – An ancient Vedic text.

Padmasambhava – An 8th Century Indian Buddhist monk who brought Buddhism to Tibet.

Padmasana – The ‘lotus position’, a cross-legged yoga posture.

Paramatma – The manifestation of Krishna within the heart of all living beings.

Parampara – A disciplic succession of guru-disciple.

Patanjali – The author of the Yoga-sutras.

Pradyumna – A form of Krishna.

Pranayama – Controlling the breath, the seat of the life-airs.

Puranas – Ancient Vedic texts.

Sadhana – Spiritual practices.

Samadhi – The perfection of the yoga process.

Samsara – Repeated birth and death in the material world.

Shravana – The process of listening to mantras and spiritual topics.

Shyamasundara – A name for Sri Krishna meaning ‘One who has a beautiful dark complexion.’

Sridhara Deva Goswami – A famous 20th Century bhakti-yogi of the philosophical school of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Tantra – Mystical texts, generally in the mode of darkness.

Tapasya – Physical or mental austerities meant for spiritual attainment.

Radha – The principle consort and eternal potency of Sri Krishna.

Rig Veda – One of the four ancient Vedas.

Shiksha – Spiritual instructions.

Siddhi – Mystic powers.

Swami – A yogi in the renounced order of life.

Taraka-brahman – The name of the Absolute Truth that delivers one from repeated birth and death.

Upanishads – The section of the Vedas that deals with transcendental philosophy.

Vaikuntha – The spiritual world where Krishna and His avataras eternally reside.

Vedas – The four principle Vedas – the Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva.

Vedanta (see Vedanta-sutra)

Vedanta-sutra – The aphorisms that explain the end of all knowledge.

Vikarma – Activities that create detrimental results.

Vishnu – The avatara of Krishna; the cosmic preserver.

Vrindavana – The appearance place of Sri Krishna.

Yogashala – A place where yoga is practiced.

Yoga-sutras – The aphorisms on yoga by Patanjali Muni.

Yoga Yajnavalkya – An ancient treatise on yoga by the sage Yajnavalkya.

Yogeshvara – A name for Krishna, meaning the Master of Yoga.