Tag Archives: sanskirt

~Bahiranga~

Bahiranga is a Sanskrit term meaning “external,” “outer” or “outside.” Bahiranga yoga, therefore, refers to external yoga or the outer path. It is typically associated with the first four limbs of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, or Ashtanga yoga – yama, niyama, asana and pranayama. Sometimes the fifth limb, pratyahara, is included as well.

Bahiranga trataka is a method of meditation that involves staring at an external object, such as a candle flame or black dot. Bahiranga cetana is the concept of external consciousness.

~Paramatman~

In Hindu philosophy, Paramatman is the universal or eternal Soul. It is one of two types of souls — the other being jiva-atman, which is the individual soul or self. The term comes from the Sanskrit parama, meaning “highest” or “supreme,” and atman, meaning “self,” “soul” or “individual spirit.” In English, it is roughly translated to mean “primordial self” or “the self beyond.”

Practicing yoga can unite jiva-atman with Paramatman by helping the practitioner become more aware of oneness with the universe.

~Shraddha~

Shraddha is a Sanskrit word, referring to a concept similar to “faith,’””drive” or “purpose.” Although it does not have a direct English translation, it describes a type of positive energy that comes from deep within a person, shaping their world and life. The term is derived from two Sanskrit roots: shrat meaning “truth,” “heart” or “faithfulness,” and dha, meaning “to direct one’s mind toward.”

In Hinduism, shraddha is also a ceremony performed in honor of a deceased ancestor. It is considered to be the social and religious responsibility of all male Hindus and is one of the most important rites connected with ancestor worship. Offerings of food and drink are made to the deceased, alongside sacred rituals to nourish, protect and support their passage from lower to higher realms.

~Omkara~

Omkara is another term for Om (or Aum), literally meaning “OM maker.”

The ancient yogic texts, such as the Upanishads, “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” and the Bhagavad Gita, mention a method of meditation called Pranava yoga. In this type of yoga and meditation, one concentrates on the sacred sound of the Om mantra, which is believed to represent Brahman, or Absolute Reality. The practice of Pranava yoga leads to moksha, or liberation from suffering and limitation.

~Ether~

Ether is the first of the five elements of the universe as described by Ayurveda, a sister science of yoga. Ayurvedic teachings state that the universe is composed of five elements: ether, air, fire, water and earth. Ether is considered to be the most subtle of the five elements.

Ether is sometimes referred to as space because it is the space that the other elements fill. Ether has the properties of lightness, airiness and spirituality. It has also been equated by some with the concept of consciousness. Yoga practice can help increase one’s awareness of ether.

The Sanskrit name for ether is akasha.