Pratyahara is a Sanskrit term, generally translated as “withdrawal of the senses.” It is the fifth limb of Patanjali’s eightfold path of yoga, believed to be a vital preliminary step before the more advanced practices of dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation).
The term is derived from two Sanskrit roots; prati meaning “against” or “withdraw”, and ahara meaning “food” or referring to anything we take in from the outside. As such, pratyahara can be understood as gaining control over or withdrawing from any external influences.
The practice of pratyahara is considered to be an important bridge between the external focus of the previous limbs of yoga, such as asana (postures) and pranayama (breathwork), and the internal focus of the subsequent limbs.
Withdrawal of the senses allows the practitioner to connect with their inner world, thereby creating optimal conditions for self-realization. Pratyahara also helps to provide an understanding of how much the mind is influenced by sensory input, and to acknowledge the role of thoughts and feelings in suffering.
A trinity is a group of three related deities, concepts or people. The divine trinity in Hinduism is referred to as Trimurti in Sanskrit. According to some yogis, the Trinity combines and activates when the Divine manifests creation and is thought to resolve into the Ultimate Consciousness when creation ends. It is widely accepted within Hinduism that the three forms of the Hindu Trinity actually represent earth, water and fire.
Sarana-gamana means “going for refuge” and refers to the commitment to the path of enlightenment in Indian religions and yoga, but is most often associated with Buddhism. The term derives from Sanskrit and the related language of Pali. Sarana translates as “residence” or “shelter,” while gamana translates as “going” or “moving.”
Specifically, sarana-gamana is the recognition of the “Three Refuges” or “Three Jewels” as a way to eliminate suffering and bring happiness and spiritual prosperity.
Aham vimarsha is a Sanskrit term referring to a perfect self-consciousness or a perfect sense of “I am-ness.” Aham translates to “I am” and vimarsha means “free will” or “will-consciousness.” It can also be defined as the “spontaneous vibration of self-consciousness.”
Yogic philosophy explains that the experience of aham vimarsha encompasses simultaneously experiencing one’s own absolute freedom, infinite bliss (or ananda) and the glory of being. This is described in the scriptures in references to Shiva’s recognition, through his inherent shakti, of his own self-consciousness. Thus, aham vimarsha can be considered the essential nature of Shiva and, consequently, the absolute Self.
Tathata is a word in Sanskrit and Pali that is mainly used in Mahayana Buddhism to refer to the true nature of reality. It also has a significance in Chan Buddhism. Tathata is often translated as “suchness” or “thusness,” and it is widely accepted that the true nature of reality is inexpressible in language because it is beyond both description and conceptualization. It can be used at the end of a discussion of a particular teaching to indicate that the teaching is ineffable.
Tathata only ever refers to what is right now, as it means the “suchness” of the moment.
Desapabandha is a Sanskrit word that means “limitation of space.” A Jain code of conduct, desapabandha assists the yogi in realizing and practicing the five mahavratas (“great vows”) in the physical manifestation of their daily lives. The concept of desa in Sanskrit, means “space,” and pabandha means “to be locked.” When the words are combined, the concept of space is given a base in physical reality.
Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow is but a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to This Day. ~ Sanskrit Proverb
Yantra is a mystical diagram used in the Indian religions and philosophy for worship. It is used to help in meditation and for the benefits of its purported occult powers based on Tantric texts and Hindu astrology. It is a type of mandala, which is a spiritual symbol representing the universe.
In classical Sanskrit, the word, yantra, means “instrument,” “apparatus” or “contrivance.” It is derived from the root word, yam, meaning “to support” or “to sustain the essence of an object/concept.”