Khavaigunya is a term used in Ayurveda to refer to a weak or defective part of the body, often caused by previous injury, illness, trauma or genetic defects. Khavaigunyas tend to be the most vulnerable to chronic imbalance or disease, as they attract the most ama (toxins) and excess doshas (functional energies).
Rebirth can refer to a number of different concepts within spirituality, depending on the school of thought. Hinduism and Buddhism, which both share roots with yogic philosophy, teach about rebirth.
In Hinduism, rebirth, or reincarnation, is a central tenet of the religious teachings. It refers to the idea that the spirit can begin a new life after the death of its physical body, in another body. This may be a human or an animal body.
In Buddhism, rebirth is the idea that when a being dies, this event is the catalyst for the creation of a new aggregation of consciousness. The new being is neither identical nor completely dissimilar to the previous life, but rather they form a continuous stream of consciousness.
Stotra is a Sanskrit word that means “praise,” “hymn of praise,” “ode” and “eulogy.” It typically refers to a genre of Hindu texts that are sung (rather than recited) and that praise various aspects and incarnations of the Divine, such as Shiva, Rama, Hanuman, Vishnu, Durga and Lakshmi.
Stotras (or stotram) originate in the Vedas, the earliest of Hindu scriptures, particularly the “Rig Veda,” and in the Puranas, Indian texts that cover a wide range of topics.
The annamaya kosha is one of the five layers of awareness that veil the Atman, or true Self. Discovering each layer is believed to bring the individual closer to oneness with the universe and the true Self. The annamaya kosha is the outermost kosha, or layer, that feeds the physical body and sustains the other koshas.
The practice of yoga takes the individual deeper into the self through the koshas that make up one’s being, thereby bringing one closer to the true Self. In yoga, asanas can affect the annamaya kosha by nurturing the body.
Goddess, in Hinduism, can refer to the supreme Mother Goddess or any number of female deities. Depending on the tradition, the goddess can also be an avatar of the Mother Goddess or a deity in her own right.
A goddess may be known by many names, and worshipped and personified in many forms. The supreme goddess is known by her Sanskrit name, Devi, in many Hindu traditions. In the Shakta Hindu tradition, she is known as Shakti, the female principle of divine energy in goddess form.
The goddess can be channeled through a yoga practice and she has even inspired some asanas.
Akasha tattva is one of the five tattvas or elemental forces of nature in Hinduism and tantrism. Akasha tattva is the element of ether or space. It is also known as the spirit tattva.
The word tattva means “fundamental principle” or “truth.” Akasha is a Sanskrit word that means “sky,” “either” or “space.” It can also refer to the Hindu god Brahma.
Akasha tattva is the tattva that provides a connection to the universe and the divine. This tattva is associated with the vishuddha (throat) chakra, the first of the three spiritual chakras.
A symbol of wisdom, Ganesh is one of the most revered Gods in Hinduism. Known for his kindness, he is recognized by his elephant head and rotund belly. With his ability to remove obstacles and ensure success, Ganesh is often called upon at the beginning of new ventures.
Though Ganesh is a Hindu deity, he also appears in Buddhism and is the only Hindu God regarded as a Bodhisattva. He takes many different forms. Some Tibetan scriptures depict him as Vinayaka, a demon who must be propitiated in order to avoid destruction. Other times, he is Nrtta Ganapati, the dancing God and destroyer of obstacles who made his way into Tibet through Nepal.
A dharma name is a sacred name that a student or disciple of a religious or spiritual tradition is given to mark his/her initiation or other special occasions. Someone being ordained as a monk or nun may also be given a dharma name.
Most common in Buddhist traditions, the dharma name is also called a precept name, refuge name, dhamma name, or sangha name. Dharma is a Sanskrit word meaning “duty,” “virtue” and “righteousness.” It also refers to the ethical precepts of Buddhism.
The god of preserver, Vishnu is also known as the divine arbitrator. Symbolically, Lord Vishnu represents justice and moral order. Comes after creation, Vishnu sustains the universe and upholds its many laws. You might call on Vishnu if you’re seeking protection, patience, knowledge, or prosperity.
The god of both protector and destroyer, Lord Shiva is a powerful god and is widely worshipped for its potent destructive energy. Shiva is married to Parvarti, also known as Shakti, with whom he has two sons: Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles; and Skanda, god of war. Shiva is the ultimate representation of how great destruction precedes new opportunities. You might call on Shiva as a source of inspiration as you try to achieve a goal or when experiencing hardships in life.There are many mantras reciting Lord Shiva, one of which is Om Namah Shivaya.
The god of creation, Brahma is the creator of the world and all creatures. Lord Brahma represents the source of the universal mind as well as intellect. Brahma is the least worshipped god in Hinduism today. Currently, there are only two temples in the whole of India devoted to him- one in Pushkar and the other in Kerala. One of the reasons why Brahma is rarely worshipped is that Brahma’s role as the creator is over. It is left to Vishnu to preserve the world and Shiva to continue its path of cosmic reincarnation.
Trinity of Gods (Trimurti)
Trimurti, the term denotes “having three forms,” refers to the three main Hindu gods mentioned above: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Initially, the Trimurti was worshipped as a single entity- the Supreme Being. Later, the three gods were separated and took on their own individualism. It is commonly believed that these three forms actually represent earth (Brahma), water (Vishnu), and fire (Shiva).
Powerful yet widely misunderstood, Mother Kali is the goddess of death, time, and doomsday. Albeit her immense destructive power, she is a strong mother-figure and symbolic of compassionate-love. Kali is said to remove our attachment with the body reinforcing the awareness that the body is a temporary condition. In a sense, Kali grants liberation by demising the illusion of the ego.
For Hindus, the goddess Lakshmi is the symbol of prosperity, fertility, purity, generosity, and the embodiment of beauty and grace. Known as the daughter of mother goddess Durga and the wife of Vishnu, Lakshmi is an important domestic deity and her presence is found in almost every household. In statuary and artwork, Lakshmi is usually depicted as a beautiful woman with four hands, sitting on a full-bloomed lotus and holding a lotus bud. Her four hands symbolizes the four ends of human life: dharma or righteousness, kama or desires, artha or wealth, and moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts, represents the free flowing of wisdom and consciousness. Saraswati is the daughter of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga. She possesses four hands, which represent the four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness, and ego. You would call upon Saraswati for the power of speech, wisdom, and learning.
A very popular god in the modern yoga world, the elephant-headed god Ganesha is one of the most important deities in Hinduism. The son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha is the lord of success and the remove of all obstacles. He is commonly worshiped as the god of education, wisdom, and wealth. Ganesha’s head symbolizes the eternal soul (Atma), while his body signifies illusion in the material world (Maya). You would call upon Ganesha for protection and removal of any obstacles that may come your way.
Hanuman, the mighty monkey god, is the ultimate image of faith and devotion. Hanuman’s tale in the epic Ramayana- in which he is given the mission of locating Rama’s wife Sita who was captured by the demon king of Lanka- Ravana, is known to inspire readers to face adversities and overcome obstructions in the way of the world. Hanuman’s strong character is used in the Hindu religion as a metaphor of the unlimited power that lies unused within each human individual. In times of doubt and great difficulties, you would call upon Hanuman for physical strength, perseverance, and devotion.
Unmesa and nimesa are Sanskrit words that are used in a number of different contexts relating to human consciousness.
One way of understanding unmesa is by seeing it is as an upward movement, or ascent, of consciousness. In this case, nimesa is the downward movement, or descent. Both movements are an integral part of the spanda (cosmic movement) that takes place between any two objects in the universe as a part reflecting the greater whole, like Parvati as an integral part of Shiva. It can also be thought of as expansion and contraction of consciousness, two thoughts, two points of view or anything else.
An alternate meaning for unmesa is “appearance,” with nimesa having the opposite meaning of “disappearance.”