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Glossary
Abhyasa
Abhyasin
Acharya
Adhara
Adhikarin
Adhyatmic
Advaita
Agni
Ahankara
Ahimsa
Ajna Chakra
Ajnana
Akasa
Akhanda
Anahata Chakra
Ananda
Antahkarana
Anubhava
Asana
Ashrama
Atman
Avatara or Avatar
Avidya
Glossary of Sanskrit Terms

Abhyasa - Spiritual practice.

Abhyasin - Practitioner.

Acharya - Preceptor; Teacher.

Adhara - Foundation; base which supports.

Adhikarin - Qualified person.

Adhyatmic - Pertaining to Atman.

Advaita-Non-duality; a school of Vedanta philosophy that teaches the oneness of God, soul and universe. The chief exponent of Advaita Vedanta (Non-dualistic Vedanta) was Shankaracharya (A.D. 788-820).

Agni - Fire.

Ahankara - Egoism.

Ahimsa - Non-violence, non-maliciousness, inoffensiveness.

Ajna Chakra - Spiritual centre at the eyebrows.

Ajnana - Ignorance.

Akasa - Ether.

Akhanda - Unbroken.

Anahata Chakra - Cardiac plexus.

Ananda - Bliss; happiness; comfort.

Antahkarana - Fourfold internal organs, viz., Manas, Chitta, Buddhi and Ahankara.

Anubhava - Experience.

Asana - Seat; posture.

Ashrama - Hermitage, a residential institution especially a spiritual or religious one.
Also means the four stages of human life, 25 years each, prescribed by the Vedantic scriptures:
1. Brahmacharya---the celibate student stage
2. Garhasthya---the married householder stage
3. Banaprastha---the stage of retirement and contemplation
4. Sannyas---the stage of religious mendicancy

Atman - The Self or Soul; denotes both the Supreme Soul and the individual soul, which, according to Non-dualistic Vedanta are ultimately identical.

Avatara or Avatar - The descent on earth of a Hindu deity, especially, Vishnu; an Incarnation of God on earth in human form; an embodiment or concrete manifestation of an abstract concept; a leader who is regarded as or professes to be a savior or liberator. Hindus, however, believe that God incarnates Himself many times---Sri Krishna declares in the Bhagavad-Gita (IV-8): "In every age I come back to deliver the holy, to destroy the sin of the sinner, to establish righteousness."

Avidya - Ignorance.


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