Sanskrit & Trika Shaivism (English-Home)

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 Words beginning with Vowels - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir


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*Sanskrit terms occurring in the definitions have generally their own definition in the Glossary as well.

1. A The first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet. It is Śiva Himself indeed. It is also named "Anuttara".
2. अकल Akala The experient who is fully established in Śiva.
3. अकुल Akula Śiva. The word "Kula" is a technical name for Śakti. Śakti is the Matrix from which the entire universe has been brought forth. And Śiva is "Akula" because He has not been brought forth from this Matrix. He is the eternal and uncreated Witness living in all.
4. अक्रम Akrama (1) Without any succession or "krama". Successionless manifestation of one's essential nature. (2) It is also an epithet of Śāktayoga --Śāktopāya-- (the Yoga based on Śakti's viewpoint).
5. अकृत्रिम Akṛtrima Inartificial, natural. That which is not "kṛtrima" or artificial.
6. अख्याति Akhyāti (1) Primal ignorance. (2) Mahāmāyā.
7. अग्नि Agni (1) Fire. (2) It is also symbolic of "pramāṇa" (knowledge). There is an eternal triad: pramātā (knower) - pramāṇa (knowledge) - prameya (known). Sūrya (sun) is symbolic of the knower, Agni (fire) is symbolic of knowledge and Soma (moon) is symbolic of that which is known. Of course, Agni is also one of the five Mahābhūta-s or gross elements. The other four are: Ākāśa, Vāyu, Ap or Āpas and Pṛthivī.
8. अग्निषोमात्मिका Agniṣomātmikā The highest Śakti or Power that brings about sṛṣṭi (manifestation) and saṁhāra (withdrawal). She is the Supreme Śakti whose nature (ātmikā) is Agni (knowledge) and Soma (known).
9. अग्निषोममय Agniṣomamaya The whole universe. This universe is called like this because it consists of Pramāṇa -knowledge- (agni) and Prameya -known- (soma).
10. अज्ञान Ajñāna (1) The primal limitation (Āṇavamala). (2) Ignorance. In Trika "ajñāna" or ignorance does not mean "absence of knowledge", but contracted or limited knowledge. There is knowledge but it is scanty owing to the tremendous contraction.
11. अघोर Aghora Not terrific. The merciful and compassionate Śiva. This is one of the five aspects of Supreme Lord. The remaining four are Īśāna, Tatpuruṣa, Sadyojāta and Vāmadeva. These five aspects form the Pañcamantra.
12. अघोरशक्तयः Aghoraśaktayaḥ The Śakti-s or powers that lead the conditioned experients to the realization of Śiva. Nevertheless, those experients were always Śiva Himself. A real paradox.
13. अघोरेश Aghoreśa This is the name of a Mantramaheśvara or experient of Sadāśivatattva (category 3) who is in charge of this limited universe. He has given rise to the impure tattva-s or categories (6 to 36).
14. अणु Aṇu (1) The limited, conditioned experient. (2) "Cittamayapramātā", the experient who thinks he is his mind. (3) "Māyāpramātā", the experient dominated by Māyā (tattva or category 6). (4) Infinitesimal point, atom.
15. अतिशान्तपद Atiśāntapada The state of Paramaśiva (Supreme Śiva) beyond all tattva-s or categories of Manifestation.
16. अद्वय Advaya One without a second. An epithet of the Absolute Reality.
17. अधःकुण्डलिनी Adhaḥkuṇḍalinī The descending Kuṇḍalinī. After rising up (Ūrdhvakuṇḍalinī), the powerful Śakti makes her way back to Mūlādhāracakra (root center). When She does so is called Adhaḥkuṇḍalinī.
18. अधिकार Adhikāra (1) Office, service. (2) Prerogative, privilege. (3) Right.
19. अधिष्ठातृ Adhiṣṭhātṛ (1) The ruling or presiding principle. (2) It is also an epithet of "aṇu" -the limited experient-.
20. अधिष्ठान Adhiṣṭhāna (1) Base. (2) Substratum. (3) Supporting
21. अध्वन् Adhvan This is the crude form of the word. In masculine gender it is "adhvā". It means course, way, journey, etc.
22. अनच्क Anacka (1) Pronouncing the consonants without any vowels. (2) It also means "concentrating on the source of a mantra, where the mantra is no longer uttered".
23. अनन्तभट्टारक Anantabhaṭṭāraka The presiding deity of the fifth tattva (Sadvidyā). The experient of this tattva is named "Mantra". Therefore, Anantabhaṭṭāraka presides over all Mantra-s. Do not mistake this term for the well-known sacred formulae.
24. अनाश्रितशिव Anāśritaśiva Lit. "Śiva without any categories". In this state Śiva does not experience any objective universe. This stage is below Śakti (tattva 2) and above Sadāśiva (tattva 3).
25. अनाहत Anāhata Inner unstruck sound. It continues to sound all the time and nobody is producing it.
26. अनुग्रह Anugraha Idem Anugrahakṛtya.
27. अनुग्रहकृत्य Anugrahakṛtya Grace. The fifth kṛtya (function or act) of Śiva. The other four functions are as follows: sṛṣṭi (creation), sthiti (maintenance), saṁhāra (withdrawal) and tirodhāna (concealment). The five acts are known as Pañcakṛtya.
28. अनुत्तर Anuttara The Highest, the Ultimate Reality. A technical name for the letter "a".
29. अनुपाय Anupāya Spontaneous realization of Self without any effort on the aspirant's part. The guru tells the Truth and the attentive disciple, by merely listening to it only once, understands and experiences it.
30. अनुसन्धान Anusandhāna Investigation, inquiry, searching into. The philosophical meaning is: repeated intensive awareness of Self or Reality; as well as to join the succeeding experience to the previous one.
31. अनुसन्धाता Anusandhātā A person who joins the succeeding experience into a unity.
32. अनुस्यूत Anusyūta Sewed consecutively, strung together or connected regularly and uninterruptedly. Since our thoughts are like beads strung together by the thread of the inner Witness, they are "anusyūta". A good example I think.
33. अनुस्वार Anusvāra The vowel "ṁ" indicated by a dot on top of a consonant. It is a nasal sound standing for the undivided knowledge of Śiva.
34. अन्तःकरण Antaḥkaraṇa The inner (psychical) organ. It is formed from intellect (Buddhi), ego (Ahaṅkāra) and mind (Manas). These three are really one organ with three different but complementary functions. By the word "organ" I am not meaning to say "physical" organ, but "subtle" one.
35. अन्तःस्थ Antaḥstha Lit. "being in the midst or between". The Semivowels "ya, ra, la, va". They are called like that because they are neither purely vowels nor purely consonants. Another interpretation says that they are Antaḥstha because they stand between Sparśa letters ("ka" to "ma") and Ūṣma letters (śa, ṣa, sa and ha). The philosophical viewpoint says that since they stand for Māyā (tattva 6) and Kañcuka-s (sheaths of ignorance, tattva-s 7 to 11), these letters operate from within the mind of man. Thus, they are properly named Antaḥstha (standing within the mind of man).
36. अन्तकोटि Antakoṭi The last edge or point. It is a measure of twelve fingers called "dvādaśānta"
37. अन्तरात्मा Antarātmā The limited and conditioned soul composed of Puryaṣṭaka (subtle body). The gross or physical body is an outer sheath of the "inner" soul.
38. अन्तर्मुखीभाव Antarmukhībhāva Introversion. The state of turning one's attention within.
39. अन्तर्व्योम Antarvyoma The inner space where exhalation and inhalation are dissolved. It is physically located on the cardiac region, but it is beyond space and time indeed.
40. अप् Ap Water. One of the five Mahābhūta-s or gross elements. The other four are: Ākāśa, Vāyu, Agni and Pṛthivī. Idem Āpas.
41. अपर Apara Lower, the lowest. The lowest condition in the universal manifestion, in which there are difference and duality. It is the opposite to Para (the Highest).
42. अपवर्ग Apavarga Liberation. Final release and beatitude.
43. अपवेद्यसुषुप्ति Apavedyasuṣupti Profound sleep without any object being consciouly perceived.
44. अपशुशक्ति Apaśuśakti One who has attained to final liberation. One who is no longer a "paśu" or conditionated being.
45. अपान Apāna The vital energy which goes in downward toward the base of spinal column. It enters through the inhaled air. One of the five major vital energies. The others are: prāṇa, samāna, udāna and vyāna. Its function is predominantly excretory because it brings all downward.
46. अबुद्ध Abuddha Unawakened state. A condition of spiritual ignorance.
47. अभाव Abhāva Nonexistence, nullity, void.
48. अभिन्न Abhinna Non-different, identical.
49. अभियोग Abhiyoga Backward reference of consciousness.
50. अमायीय Amāyīya Beyond the scope of Māyā (tattva or category 6 in the process of Creation according to Trika).
51. अमूढ Amūḍha Sentient.
52. अमृत Amṛta Nectar, ambrosia. A condition from which one cannot fall again into the matter.
53. अमृतवर्ण Amṛtavarṇa A technical name for the letter "sa".
54. अम्बा Ambā The Highest Power of Śiva. It is one of the four śakti-s or powers (the other three are Jyeṣṭhā, Raudrī and Vāmā) of which Yoni or divine Womb is composed.
55. अर्थ Artha Meaning, object, goal, perfect comprehension of reality.
56. अर्धचन्द्र Ardhacandra Lit. "half-moon". There are twelve stages in the recitation of the sacred Aum̐ and "ardhacandra" is the fifth. It means subtle energy of sound too.
57. अर्धेन्दु Ardhendu Ditto "ardhacandra".
58. अलङ्ग्रास Alaṅgrāsa Bringing the perceived object to "complete unity" with the perceiver. There is absolute unity among the perceiver (I) and the perceived object (this).
59. अवधान Avadhāna Full and constant attentiveness.
60. अवस्था Avasthā State, condition.
61. अविकल्प Avikalpa Without any thought. Free of all thoughts.
62. अविकल्पप्रत्यक्ष Avikalpapratyakṣa An awareness or perception without any thought, without any perceptual judgement. Unparticularised awareness.
63. अविवेक Aviveka Non-discernment. Non-awareness of Reality. Delusion and ignorance.
64. अव्यक्त Avyakta Unmanifested.
65. अशुद्धविद्या Aśuddhavidyā Impure knowledge. "Impurity" means "absence of unity-awareness" in Trika. When a person is not conscious of Reality and its inherent unity, he has "impure knowledge" because his knowledge is only of a few particulars. Limited and conditioned knowledge
66. अशून्य Aśūnya Non-void.
67. अशुद्धि Aśuddhi Impurity, "absence of unity-awareness". Limitation, conditioning.
68. असत् Asat Non-being.
69. अहङ्कार Ahaṅkāra Ego (tattva or category 15). Ego thinks he is the doer (kāra) of evil and good deeds, but this is false. Just Śiva is doing all. When a person understands this truth, he attains to final release.
70. अहम् Aham I. True and absolute I.
71. अहन्ता Ahantā The state of I. The condition of absolute I. I-consciousness. Interiority.



1. आकाश Ākāśa Space. Ether. One of the five Mahābhūta-s or gross elements. The other four are: Vāyu, Agni, Ap or Āpas and Pṛthivī.
2. आक्षेप Ākṣepa It is the seventh and final stage in Karaṇa (a practice of Āṇavopāya), in which you realize that the entire universe is your own Self or Śiva.
It is the Supreme Realization indeed.
3. आगम Āgama Revealed scripture. Traditional knowledge. Text which has not been written by human hand.
4. आज्ञा Ājñā A particular Cakra situated in the space between the eyebrows but inside the cranium. It is associated with the mind, intellect, etc.
5. आणवमल Āṇavamala Limitation pertaining to the aṇu or conditioned being. It makes one think this way: "I am imperfect". It is a contraction of Icchāśakti (power of will). It is the primordial limiting condition and it cannot be overcome by own effort. It can only be overcome by Divine Grace. It brings about two states: (1) one retains self-knowledge but cannot participate in activities. (2) one does not retain self-knowledge but can participate in activities (this is, in fact, our day-to-day state of consciousness)
6. आणवयोग Āṇavayoga Idem Āṇavopāya.
7. आणवसमावेश Āṇavasamāveśa Absorption into the Supreme Self by using the above means (Āṇavopāya).
8. आणवोपाय Āṇavopāya The means or method (upāya) where the aspirant uses his intellect (buddhi), vital energy (prāṇa), body and senses to attain to final liberation. Kriyāśakti (power of action) is predominantly used. It is formed from five methods: Dhyāna, Uccāra, Varṇa, Karaṇa and Sthānakalpanā. It is also known as Āṇavayoga, Bhedopāya and Kriyopāya.
9. आत्मा Ātmā Self. Oneself.
10. आत्मलाभ Ātmalābha Self-realization. A condition in which one realizes his own Self.
11. आत्मविश्रान्ति Ātmaviśrānti Resting on the Self. A condition in which one firstly becomes conscious of his own Self and then becomes stabilized in Him.
12. आत्मव्याप्ति Ātmavyāpti Realization of the "inner" Self without being still conscious of all-pervasive nature of Śiva.
13. आत्मसात्कृ Ātmasātkṛ Reducing to sameness or equality with the Self.
14. आदिकोटि Ādikoṭi The first point. That is, the heart from which the measure of breath is determinated.
15. आनन्द Ānanda Bliss, not mere happiness. Joy. A technical name for the vowel "ā", which is Śakti Herself (tattva or category 2).
16. आनन्दशक्ति Ānandaśakti The Power of Bliss. The Supreme Joy which is the essence of the second tattva (Śaktitattva). It is pure Śakti. When this power is contracted, Kālatattva arises.
17. आनन्दोपाय Ānandopāya An epithet of "Anupāya" (the means or method in which the aspirant has a direct realization of the Truth without any spiritual practice). "Ānandopāya" means "the means or method of Bliss".
18. आपस् Āpas Lit. plural of "Ap". Idem Ap. In Vedic Sanskrit, "ap" and "āpas" meant "water" and "waters" respectively, but in Classic (Postvedic) Sanskrit only survived the former, i.e. "āpas". Thus, "āpas" is used for both meanings now: water and waters.
19. आभासन Ābhāsana The act of manifesting the universe by the Supreme Lord. Idem Sṛṣṭi.
20. आभोग Ābhoga Spiritual delight. Expansion.
21. आवेश Āveśa Entrance. Entering. Absortion.
22. आशय Āśaya The "inner" psychic organ or Antaḥkaraṇa (composed of intellect, ego and mind). The "stock" of the fruits of previous works, which lie stored up in the mind in the form of mental deposits of merit and demerit, until they ripen in the individual soul's own experience into rank, years and enjoyment. Disposition of mind
23. आसन Āsana Two meanings for the same word: (1) A particular posture of the body. (2) Being well established in or conscious of the Self.



1. इच्छा Icchā Will. A technical name for the vowel "i".
2. इच्छोपाय Icchopāya An epithet of "Śāmbhavopāya". The means or method (upāya) in which one uses predominantly the power of will. It is also known as "Icchāyoga".
3. इच्छाशक्ति Icchāśakti The Power of Will. In the supreme Icchāśakti "jñāna" (knowledge) and "kriyā" (action) are unified. This will is predominant in Sadāśivatattva (third tattva or category in the process of Creation according to Trika). Through Icchāśakti, Śiva manifests the entire world.
4. इडा Iḍā An important nāḍī or subtle channel in the subtle body. It zigzags from the base of the spinal column up to the left nostril. Manaḥśakti or Mental Śakti flows through it.
5. इदन्ता Idantā This-ness. This-consciousness. Consciousness pertaining to the object.
6. इदम् Idam This. Object. The universe which appears as a perceived object to the Supreme Witness or Perceiver (Śiva).
7. इन्दु Indu Lit. "moon". Prameya or object. Apāna (the vital energy which goes in downward toward the base of spinal column). Kriyāśakti (power of action).
8. इन्द्रजाल Indrajāla Lit. "the net of Indra". Magic. Illusion.
9. इन्द्रिय Indriya Power of perception or action (Jñānendriya or Karmendriya) which circulates through the respective organ of sense.



1. ईशान Īśāna Domination. A technical name for the vowel "ī". The first inner Śakti of Śiva that acts as a teacher of Śaivaśāstra-s (92 sacred Śaiva scriptures). This is one of the five aspects of Supreme Lord. The remaining four are Tatpuruṣa, Sadyojāta, Vāmadeva and Aghora. These fives aspects form the Pañcamantra.
2. ईश्वरतत्त्व Īśvaratattva The fourth tattva or category according to Trika. Jñāna or knowledge is predominant in it. The consciousness of Īśvaratattva is "This am I". The universe (this) predominates over the "I". In this stage Śiva has the experience of the "distinct universe".
3. ईश्वरभट्टारक Īśvarabhaṭṭāraka The presiding deity of Īśvaratattva. They are known as Mantreśvara-s who are conscious of this level (fourth tattva or category). Therefore, Īśvarabhaṭṭāraka is a kind of boss to them all.



1. उच्चार Uccāra The following quality of Prāṇa or vital energy: "rising up and appearing as a sound". The second stage in Āṇavopāya, in which the aspirant uses his vital energy. The upward thrust of breath.
2. उच्छालत्ता Ucchālattā The creative movement of the Ānanda or Divine Bliss bringing about manifestation and unmanifestation.
3. उदय Udaya Rise, manifestation, appearance.
4. उदान Udāna The vital energy that moves upward. One of the five major vital energies. The others are: prāṇa, samāna, apāna and vyāna.
5. उद्यम Udyama The act of raising; elevation. The spontaneous and sudden emergence of a higher Consciousness.
6. उद्यन्तृता Udyantṛtā The act of raising; elevation. A synonymous with "Udyama".
7. उद्योग Udyoga The act of undertaking anything; exertion; strenuous and continuous endeavour.
8. उद्वमन्ती Udvamantī Vomiting; projecting; manifesting.
9. उन्मना Unmanā The Power beyond mind; the highest Power contained in Om̐. This is the first Power of the Supreme Śiva when He wants the world-process to become manifest. It is also the last stage in the Om̐ repetition. This stage is said to be experienced in the last sector of Śikhā (the tuft of hair on the head).
10. उन्मेष Unmeṣa The act of opening the eyes. Unfoldment. This unfoldment may be of either spiritual consciousness or world-process. When there is unfoldment of the world-process, there is no unfoldment of spiritual consciousness and vice versa. Unmeṣa is also a technical name for the vowel "u".
11. उन्मीलनसमाधि Unmīlanasamādhi It is that state of Samādhi (full absorption) in which the entire universe appears as Śiva Himself, even though one's own eyes are completely open.
12. उपलब्धृ Upalabdhṛ The experient, the knower. This is the neuter form. The masculine form is "Upalabdhā" and the feminine one "Upalabdhrī".
13. उपलब्धि Upalabdhi Cognition, awareness. That which an "upalabdhṛ" experiences.
14. उपाधि Upādhi Limiting adjunct or condition. That which is put in the place of another thing. However, in Trika it does not have the same meaning as in Vedānta philosophy. In Trika, an "upādhi" is not some illusory substitution but a real manifestation brought about willingly by the Supreme Being. Māyā and its Upādhi-s are manifested by the Divine Himself (Śiva) according to His own free will.
15. उमा Umā The Icchāśakti or Śiva's Will Power. "U" is "Śiva" and "mā" is "Splendor or Śakti". In short, Umā is "The splendorous Śakti of Śiva".



1. ऊनता Ūnatā Diminution. A technical name for the vowel "ū".
2. ऊर्ध्वकुण्डलिनी Ūrdhvakuṇḍalinī The risen Kuṇḍalinī. Kuṇḍalinī rises up because Suṣumnā (the middle channel along the spinal column) has been activated either espontaneously or through various yogic practices.
3. ऊर्ध्वमार्ग Ūrdhvamārga Upward way or path. Suṣumnā (the middle channel).
4. ऊष्मा Ūṣmā A technical name for the group formed from the Sibilants "Śa, Ṣa and Sa" and the Sonant Aspirate "Ha".



1. एकाणवा Ekāṇavā There are four levels of speech: Parāvāk, Paśyantī, Madhyamā and Vaikharī. "Ekāṇavā" is a technical name for Paśyantī.



1. औन्मुख्य Aunmukhya The first movement of Śiva's Will toward the manifestation of world-process. The emergence of the Divine Desire to manifest the entire universe. The origin of that Desire is just Supreme Bliss.


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