Karuna typically translates as “compassion” in English and is a concept used in the spiritual paths of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The word comes from the Sanskrit kara, meaning “to do” or “to make,” indicating an action-based form of compassion, rather than the pity or sadness associated with the English word. Karuna is the doing of something to alleviate suffering.
Karuna is a key element of the yogic path, opening the door to the enlightenment and oneness with the universe.
Ishvara is the concept of a higher power, but has different meanings, depending on the various schools of Hinduism. Ishvara is synonymous with Brahman (or Absolute Reality), but can also refer to the Supreme Consciousness or a personal god.
In yoga, many yogis choose their own ishvara to focus on in their practice.
Ishvara may be translated as “lord” in English.
Mindstream is a concept from Buddhist philosophy that refers to the continuity of awareness which carries on from one life to another. This can be viewed as a string of passing moments that happen either in the same lifetime or in the transitional period between one life and another.
An understanding of mindstream can allow a yogi to meditate more deeply and effectively during yoga practice as well as draw upon wisdom from past lives. It is especially important in the practice of Guru yoga, as the practitioner has to unite their mindstream with that of their guru.