Open main menu

Back to Glossary


Abhiman, revolt, violent insistence on the satisfaction of claims and wishes are foreign to the spirit of the Yoga, they can only bring disturbance and trouble. [1]

Abhiman has nothing to do with true love; it is like jealousy a part of the vital egoism. [2]


The Absolute is beyond personality and beyond impersonality, and yet it is both the Impersonal and the supreme Person and all persons. The Absolute is beyond the distinction of unity and multiplicity, and yet is the One and the innumerable Many in all the universes. It is beyond all limitation by quality and yet it is not limited by a quality less void but is too all infinite qualities. It is the individual soul and all souls and more of them; it is the formless Brahman and the universe. [3]

Absolute Divine : personal, supreme and omnipresent Godhead, transcendent as well as universal, an infinite master of all relations and determinations upholding a million universes and pervading each with a single ray of his self-light. [4]


There is no such thing as a mere accident. There is some - perhaps a slight - unconsciousness in the physical and it is taken advantage of by these small beings of the vital physical plane, who are more mischievous than consciously hostile. [5]


Inner command; The Divine speaks to us in many ways and it is not always the imperative ādeśa that comes. When it does, it is clear and irresistible, the mind has to obey and there is no question possible, even if what comes is contrary to the preconceived ideas of the mental intelligence. But more often what is said is an intuition or even less, a mere indication, which the mind may not follow because it is not impressed with its imperative necessity. It is something offered but not imposed, perhaps something not even offered but only suggested from the Truth above.[6]


The Adhara is that in which the consciousness is now contained—mind-life-body. The Adhar means the mind, life and body as instruments of the expression of the being—the being is the conscious Existence within which uses mind, life and body as its instruments of thought, feeling and action. But sometimes the word being is used to signify the whole—soul and nature together. [7]

Adhyatma Yoga

The principle of adhyātma yoga is, in knowledge, the realisation of all things that we see or do not see but are aware of, - men, things, ourselves, events, gods, titans, angels, - as one divine Brahman, and in action and attitude, an absolute self-surrender to the Paratpara Purusha, the transcendent, infinite and universal Personality who is at once personal and impersonal, finite and infinite, self-limiting and illimitable, one and many, and informs with his being not only the Gods above, but man and the worm and the cold below. [8]


Infinite Consciousness; Mother of the worlds. [9]

Aditi is the indivisible consciousness force and Ananda of the Supreme. [10]


In love for the Divine or for one whom one feels to be divine, the Bhakta feels an intense reverence for the Lord, a sense of something of immense greatness, beauty or value and for himself a strong impression of his own comparative unworthiness and a passionate desire to grow into likeness with that which one adores. [11]

Ādyā Sakti

Adyashakti is the original Shakti, therefore the highest form of the Mother. Only she manifests in a different way according to the plane from which one sees her. [12]


The Adwaita or Monistic Vedanta affirms the entire unity of these two [Matter and Spirit] & explains their apparent separation by Maya, Illusion or Ignorance, in other words by the theory that the Indivisible Eternal has deliberately imagined himself as divisible (I speak in metaphors, the only way of approaching such subtle inquiries) & hence created an illusion of multiplicity where the only real fact is Unity. We may take the metaphor of a sea & its waves; if each wave were to imagine itself separate from all other waves & from the sea of which it is a part, that would be an illusion similar to that of the finite self when it imagines itself as different from other finite selves and from the Infinite. The wave is not really different from the sea but is sea (not the sea) and the next moment will be indistinguishable from sea; in fact the word “wave” merely expresses a momentary perception, an idea of change or modification which the next moment we perceive not to exist, and not a real object; the only real object is the sea.[13]


Hereditary influence creates an affinity and affinity is a living thing. It is only when the hereditary part is changed that the affinity ceases.[14]

As a general rule, all these affinities have to be surrendered to the Divine along with the rest of the old nature—so that only what is in harmony with the Divine Truth can be kept and transformed for its work in you. All relations with others must be relations in the Divine and not of the old personal nature. [15]


Agni, master of pure tapas, works out all the actions of the Yoga, the inner sacrifice. [16]

Agni, the inner flame, the soul within us (for who can deny that the soul is fire?), the innate aspiration drawing man towards the heights; Agni, the ardent will within us that sees, always and forever, and remembers; Agni, ‘the priest of the sacrifice,’ the ‘divine worker,’ the ‘envoy between earth and heaven’ (Rig-veda III, 3.2) ‘he is there in the middle of his house’ (I.70.2). [17]


The movement of Mind in Nature is thus able to conceive of the object as the reality and the Inhabitant as limited and determined by the appearances of the object. It conceives of the object, not as the universe in one of its frontal appearances, but as itself a separate existence standing out from the Cosmos and different in being from all the rest of it. It conceives similarly of the Inhabitant. This is the illusion of ignorance which falsifies all realities. The illusion is called ahaṁkāra, the separative ego-sense which makes each being conceive of itself as an independent personality. [18]

Under the conditions of mind, life & body, ahankara is born, the subjective or objective form of consciousness is falsely taken for self-existent being, the body for an independent reality & the ego for an independent personality; the one loses itself in us in its multiplicity & when it recovers its unity, finds it difficult, owing to the nature of mind, to preserve its play of multiplicity. Therefore when we are absorbed in world, we miss God in Himself; when we seek God, we miss Him in the world. Our business is to break down & dissolve the mental ego & get back to our divine unity without losing our power of individual & multiple existence in the universe. [19]


There is only one aim to be followed, the increase of the Peace, Light, Power and the growth of a new consciousness in the being. With that new consciousness the true knowledge, understanding, strength, feeling will come, creating harmony instead of revolt and struggle and union with the Divine consciousness and will. [20]

To find the Divine is indeed the first reason for seeking the spiritual Truth and the spiritual life; it is the one thing indispensable and all the rest is nothing without it. The Divine once found, to manifest Him,—that is, first of all to transform one’s own limited consciousness into the Divine Consciousness, to live in the infinite Peace, Light, Love, Strength, Bliss, to become that in one’s essential nature and, as a consequence, to be its vessel, channel, instrument in one’s active nature. [21]

The aim of integral Yoga; it is the rendering in personal experience of the truth which universal Nature has hidden in herself and which she travails to discover. It is the conversion of the human soul into the divine soul and of natural life into divine living. [22]


In the middle of the forehead—the Ajna Chakra—(will, vision, dynamic thought). [23]


Ājnāna is the operation by which consciousness dwells on an image of things so as to govern and possess it in power. [24]


The Aksara is para, supreme, in relation to the elements and action of cosmic Nature. It is the immutable Self of all, and the immutable Self of all is the Purushottama. [25]


The nectar of immortality... old Vedic symbolism in which the Soma-wine was the physical symbol of the amṛta. [26]

Nectar or amṛta, the food or drink of the gods. It is applied in yoga to something that flows down from the Brahmarandhra into the palate when there is strong concentration. But this is psychological, so it must be the psychic sweetness flowing into the system. [27]

Anahata Chakra

The psychic is placed behind the heart-lotus, the centre of the emotional being, the Anahata chakra—it is therefore the opening of the Anahata that is most important for the unveiling of the psychic. [28]


Something greater than peace or joy, something that, like Truth and Light, is the very nature of the supramental Divine. It can come by frequent inrushes or descents, partially or for a time, but it cannot -remain in the system so long as the system has not been prepared for it. [29]


The evolutionary nisus is pushing towards a development of the cosmic Force in terrestrial life which needs a larger mental and vital being to support it, a wider mind, a greater wider more conscious unanimised Life-Soul, Anima. [30]


Physical sheath of his being. [31]


Antahkarana usually means the mind and vital as opposed to the body—the body being the outer instrument and manaḥ-prāṇa the inner instrument of the soul. [32]


The spiritual experience does not even despise dreams and visions; it is known to it that many of these things are not dreams at all but experiences on an inner plane and if the experiences of the inner planes which lead to the opening of the inner self into the outer so as to influence and change it are not accepted, the experiences of the subtle consciousness and the trance consciousness, how is the waking consciousness to expand out of the narrow prison of the body and the body-mind and the senses? For, to the physical mind untouched by the inner awakened consciousness, even the experience of the cosmic consciousness or the Eternal Self might very well seem merely subjective and unconvincing.[33]

The motive for anubhava/experience is of a more general applicability; for in order to reject anything from the being one has first to become conscious of it, to have the clear inner experience of its action and to discover its actual place in the workings of the nature. One can then work upon it to eliminate it, if it is an entirely wrong movement, or to transform it if it is only the degradation of a higher and true movement. [34]


Apana, situated in the lower part of the trunk, presides over the lower functions, especially over the emission of such parts of the food as are rejected by the body and over procreation; it is intimately connected with the processes of decay and death. [35]


The combination of the three lower members, mind, life & body, is called therefore aparārdha. [36]


Aradhana is worship of the Divine, love, self-surrender, aspiration to the Divine, calling the name, prayer. [37]


The habituating of the body to certain attitudes of immobility. The Hathayogic system of Asana has at its basis two profound ideas which bring with them many effective implications. The first is that of control by physical immobility, the second is that of power by immobility. [38]

Ascent and Decent

The practice of this yoga is double : one side is of an ascent of the consciousness to the higher planes, the other is that of a descent of the power of the higher planes into the earth-consciousness so as to drive out the Power of darkness and ignorance and transform the nature. All the consciousness in the human being who is the mental embodied in living matter has to rise so as to meet the higher consciousness; the higher consciousness has also to descend into mind, into life, into matter.[39]


After all real asceticism is hardly possible except in a hut or on the Himalayas. The heart of asceticism, besides, is having no desires or attachment, being indifferent, able to do without things, satisfied with whatever comes. If you asceticise outwardly it becomes a rule of life and you keep it up because it is a rule, for the principle of the thing or for the kudos of it or as a point of honour. [40] Asceticism for its own sake is not the ideal of this yoga, but self-control in the vital and right order in the material are a very important part of it—and even an ascetic discipline is better for our purpose than a loose absence of true control. [41]

Aspects of the Divine

The Divine has three aspects for us:

1) It is the Cosmic Self and Spirit that is in and behind all things and beings, from which and in which all is manifested in the universe—although it is now a manifestation in the Ignorance.

2) It is the Spirit and Master of our own being within us whom we have to serve and learn to express his will in all our movements so that we may grow out of the Ignorance into the Light.

3) The Divine is transcendent Being and Spirit, all bliss and light and divine knowledge and power, and towards that highest divine existence and its Light we have to rise and bring down the reality of it more and more into our consciousness and life. [42]


Aspiration is a turning upward of the inner being with a call, yearning, prayer for the Divine, for the Truth, for the Consciousness, Peace, Ananda, Knowledge, descent of Divine Force or whatever else is the aim of one‘s endeavour.

The call in the being for the Divine or for the higher things that belong to the Divine Consciousness. [43]

An aspiration vigilant, constant, unceasing- the mind’s will, the heart’s seeking, the assent of the vital being, the will to open and make plastic the physical consciousness and nature. [44]


There has to be a period of assimilation. When the being is unconscious, the assimilation goes on behind the veil or below the surface and meanwhile the surface consciousness sees only dullness and the loss of what it had got; but when one is conscious, then one can see the assimilation going on and one sees that nothing is lost, it is only a quiet settling in of what has come down. [45]


Many astrological predictions come true, quite a mass of them, if one takes all together. But it does not follow that the stars rule our destiny; the stars merely record a destiny that has been already formed, they are a hieroglyph, not a Force, - or if their action constitutes a force, it is a transmitting energy, not an originating Power. Someone is there who has determined or something is there which is Fate, let us say; the stars are only indications. The astrologers themselves say that there are two forces, daiva and puruṣakāra, fate and individual energy, and the individual energy can modify and even frustrate fate. Moreover, the stars often indicate several fate possibilities; for example, that one may die in mid-age, but that if that determination can be overcome, one can live to a predictable old age. Finally, cases are seen in which the predictions of the horoscope fulfil themselves with great accuracy up to a certain age, then apply no more. This often happens when the subject turns away from the ordinary to the spiritual life. If the turn is very radical, the cessation of predictability may be immediate; otherwise certain results may still last on for a time ; but there is no longer the sure inevitability. [46]


The Asuras are really the dark side of the mental, or more strictly, of the vital mind plane. This mind is the very field of the Asuras. Their main characteristic is egoistic strength and struggle, which refuse the higher law. The Asura has self-control, tapas and intelligence, but all that for the sake of his ego. [47]


The Ātman is the Self or Spirit that remains above, pure and stainless, unaffected by the stains of life, by desire and ego and ignorance. It is realised as the true being of the individual, but also more widely as the same being in all and as the Self in the cosmos; it his also a self-existence above the individual and cosmos and it is then called the Paramatma, the supreme Divine Being. [48]


Attachment means that you desire or need or depend on a thing or a person so much that you cannot do without it or him, and are always trying to keep the thing or be with the person or somehow in touch with him. [49] Attachment to things : the physical rejection of them is not the best way to get rid of it. Accept what is given you, ask for what is needed and think no more of it - attaching no importance, using them when you have, not troubled if you have not. That is the best way of getting rid of the attachment. [50]


The three letters represent the Brahman or Supreme Self in its three degrees of status, the Waking Soul, the Dream Soul and the Sleep Soul and the whole potent sound rises towards that which is beyond status as beyond activity. [51]

OM is the mantra, the expressive sound-symbol of the Brahman Consciousness in its four domains from the Turiya to the external or material plane. The function of a mantra is to create vibrations in the inner consciousness that will prepare it for the realisation of what the mantra symbolises and is supposed indeed to carry within itself. The mantra OM should therefore lead towards the opening of the consciousness to the sight and feeling of the One Consciousness in all material things, in the inner being and in the supraphysical worlds, in the causal plane above now superconscient to us and, finally, the supreme liberated transcendence above all cosmic existence. [52]


Austerity, spiritual discipline. [53]

A premature and excessive physical austerity, tapasyā, may endanger the process of the sadhana by establishing a disturbance and abnormality of the forces in the different parts of the system. A great energy may pour into the mental and vital parts, but the nerves and the body may be overstrained and lose the strength to support the play of these higher energies. [54]


Auto-suggestions- it is really faith in a mental form - act both on the subliminal and the subconscient. In the subliminal they set in action the powers of the inner being, its occult power to make thought, will or simple conscious force effective on the body - in the subconscient they silence or block the suggestions of death and illness (expressed or unexpressed) that prevent the return of health. They help also to combat the same things (adverse suggestions) in the mind, vital, body consciousness. Where all this is completely done or with some completeness, the effects can be very remarkable.[55]


An Avatar, roughly speaking, is one who is conscious of the presence and power of the Divine born in him or descended into him and governing from within his will and life and action; he feels identified inwardly with this divine power and presence. [56]

He is a realiser, an establisher - not of outward things only, though he does realise something in the outward also, but of something essential and radical needed for the terrestrial evolution which is the evolution of the embodied spirit through successive stages towards the Divine. [57]


There is a stage in the sadhana in which the inner being begins to awake. Often the first result is the condition made up of the following elements:

(1) A sort of witness attitude, in which the inner consciousness looks at all that happens as a spectator or observer, observing things but taking no active interest or pleasure in them.

(2) A state of neutral equanimity in which there is neither joy nor sorrow, only quietude.

(3) A sense of being something separate from all that happens, observing it but not part of it.

(4) An absence of attachment to things, people or events. [58]


  2. ttp://