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ABHIJIT Asterism, the star Vega

ABHIRA king of Kotta, in what is now Gujrat State. A washer man hired by Vasumitra’s outraged brother killed him.

AGNI SARA A kriya to massage the digestive organs; Agni means fire.

AHALYA Wife of the sage Gotama, she committed adultery with the god Indra, who came to her in Gotama’s from. Gotama turned her into a pillar of stone.

AHINSA Non-violence; a yama

AJNA CHAKRA The sixth chakra, between the eyebrows

AMBAPALI The famous courtesan of Vaishali. The Buddha, passing through the city on his last journey, declined a civic reception offered by the city elders in favor of her dinner invitation.

ANAHATA CHAKRA The fourth chakra, at the heart

ANDHRA Modern Andhra Pradesh, virtually identical with the former realm of the Nizam of Hyderabad. In Vatsyayana’s time was ruled by the Shatavahana dynasty.

ANGA A small kingdom on the borders of Bengal. Its capital, Champa, on the river Ganga, was a port of considerable importance.

ANJANEYASANA Crescent Moon; Splits

ANULOMA VILOMA Alternate nostril breathing in pranayama

APACHAYA House 1,2,4,7,8

APANA The descending breathe; a manifestation of prana

APARANTAKA A region of the northern Konkan, approximating to modern Goa. In the first century AD, its coasts harbored pirates who raided the ships carry gold, spices and ivory to the Roman Empire.

APOKLIMAS Cadent houses


ARJUNAThe Mahabharata and of the Bhagavad Gita. He abducted Subhadra, Princess of Dvaraka, in chariot. She acted as his charioteer and drove him to safest through her father’s army.

ARJUNA. The exalted disciple to whom Bhagavan Krishna imparted the immortal message of the Bhagavad-Gita around 3000 BC; one of the five Pandava princes in the great Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, in which he was a key figure.

ARTHA Wealth or material goals

ARYANS The Indo-European tribes which entered northern India and Iran from the steppes of Central Asia in about the fifteenth century BC. By Vatsyayana’s day they were well established throughout northern and central India.

ASANA Posture (literally ‘seat’)

ASHRAM A hermitage

ASHRAM. A spiritual hermitage; often a monastery.

ASTRAL BODY. Man’s subtle body of light, prana or lifetrons; the second of three sheaths that successively encase the soul: the causal body, the astral body, and the physical body. The powers of the astral body enliven the physical body, much as electricity illumines a bulb. The astral body has nineteen elements: intelligence, ego, feeling, mind (sense-consciousness); five instruments of knowledge (the sensory powers within the physical organs of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch); five instruments of action (the executive powers in the physical instruments of procreation, excretion, speech, locomotion, and the exercise of manual skill); and five instruments of life force that perform the functions of circulation, metabolization, assimilation, crystallization, and elimination.

ASTRAL LIGHT. The subtle light emanating from lifetrons (see prana); the structural essence of the astral world. Through the all-inclusive intuitive perception of the soul, devotees in concentrated states of meditation may perceive the astral light, particularly as the spiritual eye.

ASTRAL WORLD. The subtle sphere of the Lord’s creation, a universe of light and color composed of finer-than-atomic forces, i.e., and vibrations of life energy or lifetrons. Every being, every object, every vibration on the material plane has an astral counterpart, for in the astral universe is the blueprint of our material universe. At physical death, man goes in his astral body of light to one of the astral planets, according to merit, to continue his spiritual evolution in the greater freedom of that subtle realm. There he remains for a karmically predetermined time until physical rebirth.


ASVINS Twin gods, equivalents of the Greek Dioskouri. They accompanied the sun god in his fiery three-wheeled chariot and were physicians to the gods of Indra’s heaven. Among their good deeds, were rescuing shipwrecked mariners, providing artificial legs for the maimed and finding husbands for old maids.

ATHARVA Veda The fourth of the holy books of the Aryans. It consists mainly of magical spells and verse incantations and is later than Rig Veda and yajur Veda.

ATMA Divine self or Soul

ATMAKARAKA Significator of the self or Atma

ATMAN The Self, soul, Spirit

AUDDALAKI The patronymic of Svetaketu.

AUM (OM). The basis of all sounds; universal symbol-word for God. Aum of the Vedas became the sacred word Hum of the Tibetans; Amin of the Moslems; and Amen of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians. Amen in Hebrew means sure, faithful. Aum is the all-pervading sound emanating from the Holy Ghost (Invisible Cosmic Vibration; God in His aspect of Creator); the “Word” of the Bible; the voice of creation, testifying to the Divine Presence in every atom. Aum may be heard through practice of Self-Realization Fellowship methods of meditation.

AVATAR. From the Sanskrit avatara, with roots ava, “down,” and tri, “to pass.” Souls, who attain union with Spirit and then return to earth to help mankind’s are called avatars, divine incarnations.

AVIDYA. Literally, “non-knowledge,” ignorance; the manifestation in man of maya, and the cosmic delusion (q.v.). Essentially, avidya is man’s ignorance of his divine nature and of the sole reality; Spirit.

AYANAMSA Difference between Sidereal and Tropical zodiacs

AYURVEDA Vedic medicine, medicinal approach used with Vedic astrology

BABHRAVYA This sage condensed Svetaketu’s love teachings to a mere one hundred and fifty chapters some time in the fifth century BC, or earlier, creating the sixty-fourfold division of the lovemaking techniques in imitation of the structure of Rig Veda.

BABHRAVYAKARIKA The title of Babhravya’s great seven-part work. It survived into the middle ages, for Yashodhara quotes from it.

BALI A demon who accumulated enough power, through sacrifice and penance, to turn the gods out of their kingdom. Vishnu tricked him into losing it again by assuming the form of a dwarf and asking him for as much ground as he could cover in three strides. Vishnu’s first two strides covered heaven and earth. Bali was allowed to keep the nether regions.

BALKH A province in northern Afghanistan, lying between the Hindukush mountains the Oxus river. In Vatsyayana’s day the Kushanas, whom the Aryans regarded as barbarians, ruled it.

BANDHA Muscular lock or contraction to control the flow of prana

BANDHA PADMASANA Bound LotusBANGA The rich land of modern Bangladesh which adjoined the Gupta Empire. Samudragupta annexed them.

BASTI A Kriya for lower colon irrigation

BHAGAVAD-GITA. “Song of the Lord.” This scripture consists of eighteen chapters from the Mahabharata epic. It is chiefly a dialog between the avatar Lord Krishna and his disciple Arjuna on the eve of the historic battle of Kurukshetra, about 3000 BC The Gita is allegory as well as history, a spiritual treatise on the inner battle between man’s good and bad tendencies. Depending on the context, Krishna symbolizes the guru, the soul or God: Arjuna represents the aspiring devotee. Of this Holy Scripture Mahatma Gandhi wrote: “Those who will meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day. There is not a single spiritual tangle which the Gita cannot unravel.”

BHAGAVAN KRISHNA. An avatar who lives as a king in India three millenniums before the Christian era. One of the meanings given for the word Krishna in the Hindu scriptures is “Omniscient Spirit.” Thus, Krishna, like Christ, is a spiritual title signifying the divine magnitude of the avatar—his oneness with God. The title Bhagavan means, “Lord.” In his early life, Krishna lived as a cowherd who enchanted his companions with the music of his flute. In this role Krishna is often considered to represent allegorically the soul playing the flute of meditation to guide all misled thoughts back to the fold of omniscience.

BHAKTI YOGA The yogic path of devotion

BHAKTI YOGA. The spiritual approach to God that stresses all surrendering loves as the principal means for communion and union with God.

BHASTRIKA A rapid variety of pranayama; bellows breathing



BHAVA MADHYA Midpoint of house

BHUKTI Minor planetary period

BIJA MANTRA Seed syllables

BIJA MANTRA Seed mantra or Sanskrit letter, denoting the power of a deity or element

BRAHMA Cosmic creative force

BRAHMAN (BRAHMA). Absolute Spirit.

BRAHMAN-VISHNU-SHIVA. Three aspects of God’s immanence in creation. They represent that triune function of the Christ Intelligence [Tat] that guides Cosmic Nature’s activities of creation, preservation, and dissolution.

BRAHMINS Spiritual class

BRAHMN One of the three gods of later Hinduism, he was identified with Prajapati, the Creator. Today the only prominent Brahma temple left in India is at Pushkar, near Ajmer.

BREATH. “The influx of innumerable cosmic currents into man by way of the breath induces restlessness in his mind,” “Thus the breath links him with the fleeting phenomenal worlds. To escape from the sorrows of transitoriness and to enter the blissful realm of reality, the yogi learns to quiet the breath by scientific meditation.”


BRIHASPATI He began his career as a Vedic god, but was later demoted to a sage, performing the duties of high priest in India’s heaven. He is said to be the source of the Artha teachings, and hence a forerunner of Kautilya.

BUDDHA Gautama, born a prince of the Sakya tribe in about 563 BC. He lived in luxury until the age of twenty-six whens, disgusted by the poverty around him, he renounced the world. He is said to have attained enlightenment six years later. By Vatsyayana’s day Buddhism was on the decline in India.

BUDDHI Intelligence, reason

BUDHA Mercury

CASTE. Caste in its original conception was not a hereditary status, but a classification based on man’s natural capacities. In his evolution, man passes through four distinct grades, designated by ancient Hindu sages as Sudra, Vaisya, Kshatriya, and Brahmin. The Sudra is interested primarily in satisfying his bodily needs and desires; the work thatbest suits his state of development is bodily labor. The Vaidya is ambitious for worldly gain as well as for satisfaction of the senses; he has more creative ability than the Sudra and seeks occupation as a farmer, a businessman, an artist, or wherever his mental energy finds fulfillment. The Kshatriya, having through many lives fulfilled the desires of the Sudra and Vaisya states, begins to seek the meaning of life; he tries to overcome his bad havits, to control his senses, and to do what is right. Kshatriyas by occupation are noble rulers, statesmen, and warriors. The Brahmin has overcome his lower nature, has a natural affinity for spiritual pursuits, and is God-knowing, able therefore to teach and help liberate others.

CAUSAL BODY. Essentially, man, as a soul is a causal-bodied being. His causal body is an idea-matrix for the astral and physical bodies. The causal body is composed of 35 idea elements corresponding to the 19 elements of the astral body plus the 16 basic material elements of the physical body.

CAUSAL WORLD. Behind the physical world of matter (atoms, protons, and electrons), and the subtle astral world of luminous life energy (lifetrons), is the causal, or ideational, world of thought (thoughtrons). After man evolves sufficiently to transcend the physical and astral universes, he resides in the causal universe. In the consciousness of causal beings, the physical and astral universes are resolved to their thought essence. Whatever physical man can do in imagination, causal man can do in actuality—the only limitation being thought itself. Ultimately, man sheds the last soul covering—his causal body—to unite with omnipresent Spirit, beyond all vibratory realms.

CHAKRA Horoscope wheel or chart; spinal center

CHAKRAS. In Yoga, the seven occult centers of life and consciousness in the spine and brain, which enliven the physical and astral bodies of man. These centers are referred to as chakras (“wheels”) because the concentrated energy in each one is like a hub from which radiate rays of life-giving light and energy. In ascending order, these chakras are muladhara (the coccygeal, at the base of the spine); svadhisthana (the sacral, two inches above muldhara); manipura (the lumbar, opposite the navel); anahata (the dorsal, opposite the heart); vishuddha (the cervical, at the base of the neck); ajna (traditionally located between the eyebrows; in actuality, directly connected by polarity with the medulla; see also medulla and spiritual eye); and sahasrara (in the uppermost part of the cerebrum).



CHARA RASIS Cardinal signs

CHARAYANA the Mauryan sage who expounded the first section of Babhravya’s seven-part work. He is mentioned in the Arthashastra of Kautilya.

CHARVAKA A founder of the atheist, materialist schools known as Lokayatas. Their philosophy is summed up in the verse; As long as he lives a man should live happily and drink ghee, through he run into debt; for when the body is turned to ashes how can there be any return to life?

CHIN MUDRA A hand mudra, linking the thumb and index finger

CHITTA. Intuitive feeling. When feeling is unclouded by selfishness, anger, or fear, it intuitive. The perception is felt in the heart.

CHOLA A Dravidian kingdom in the region of modern Madras. Traders from this region were responsible for the spread of Hinduism to the Indonesian archipelago.

CHRIST CENTERS. The Kutastha or ajna chakra at the point between the eyebrows, directly connected by polarity with the medulla center of will and concentration, and of Christ Consciousness seat of the spiritual eye.

CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS. “Christ” or “Christ Consciousness” is the projected consciousness of God immanent in all creation. In Christian scripture it is called the “only begotten son,” the only pure reflection in creation of God the Father; in Hindu scripture it is called Kutastha Chaitanya or Tat, the cosmic intelligence of Spirit everywhere present in creation. It is the universal consciousness, oneness with God, manifested by Jesus, Krishna, and other avatars. Great saints and yogis know it as the state of samadhi meditation wherein their consciousness has become identified with the intelligence in every particle of creation; they feel the entire universe as their own body.

CONCENTRATION TECHNIQUE. This technique helps scientifically to withdraw the attention from all objects of distraction and to place it upon one thing at a time. Thus it is invaluable for meditation, concentration on God. The Hong-Sau Technique is an integral part of the science of Krill Yoga.

CONSCIOUSNESS, STATES OF. In mortal consciousness man experiences three states: waking consciousness, sleeping consciousness, and dreaming consciousness. But he does not experience God. The Christ-man does. As mortal man is conscious throughout his body, do the Christ-man is conscious throughout the universe, which he feels as his body. Beyond the state of Christ consciousness is cosmic consciousness beyond vibratory creation as well as with the Lord’s omnipresence manifesting in the phenomenal worlds.

COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS. The Absolute, beyond creation. Also the samadhi-meditation state of oneness with God both beyond and within vibratory creation.





DAMAYANTI A legendary princess whose story is told in Mahabharata. She chose her own husband, King Nala, who later lost both her and his kingdom at a gambling tournament. They were reunited and regained there many years of separation.

DANDAKYA King of the Bhojas, a people whose country lay to the south of the Vindhya mountains. While out hunting he saw a Brahmin girl in the forest and, overcome by lust, raped her. Her father laid a curse upon him and destroyed him, his family and every living thing in his kingdom under a thick rain of dust.

DASA Major planetary period

DATTAKA The sage who was approached by Virasena, chief of the courtesans of Pataliputra, to lecture them on the sixth part of Babhravya’s work. He was said to have been turned into a woman after polluting a rite of Shiva and to have experienced lovemaking with both sexes. A fragmentary metrical resume of his work has apparently recently been unearthed.




DHANUS Sagittarius

DHARANA Concentration

DHARMA Career, honor or status

DHARMA. Eternal principles of righteousness that uphold all creation; man’s inherent duty to live in harmony with these principles. See also Sanatan Dharma.

DHAUTI A kriya for cleansing the stomach, by swallowing a cloth

DHYANA Meditation

DIKSHA. Spiritual initiation; from the Sanskrit verb-root diksh, to dedicate oneself. See also disciple and Kriya Yoga.

DISCIPLE. A spiritual aspirant who comes to a guru-seeking introduction to God, and to his end establishes an eternal spiritual relationship with the guru. In Self-Realization Fellowship, the guru-disciple relationship is established by diksha, initiation, in Kriya Yoga.

DIVINE MOTHER. The aspect of God that is active in creation; the shakti, or power, of the Transcendent Creator. Other terms for this aspect of Divinity are Aum, Shakti, Holy Ghost, Cosmic Intelligent Vibration, Nature of Prakriti. Also, the personal aspect of God embodies the love and compassionate qualities of a mother.

DRAUPADI The heroine of the Mahabharata and polyandrous wife to the five Pandava brothers. Arjuna won her in an archery contest in which he defeated the assembled kings and princes of India. It was during the exile of the Pandavas that she was insulted by Kichaka.

DREKKANA decanate, 1/3 of a sign

DRISHTI Planetary aspect

DURGA The Goddess as the demon-slayer; related to Rahu

DUSHTANAS Difficult houses –6,8 & 12

DUSHYANTA The King who. While out hunting, fell in love with Shakuntala, the daughter of the sage Kanva, and married her according to the Gandharva rite. The story of their love affair is the subject of Kalidasa’s greatest play, the Abhijnana Shakuntala.

DVISVABHAVA RASIS Dual-natured or mutable signs

EGOISM. The ego-principle, ahankara (lit. “I do”), is the root cause of dualism or the seeming separation between man and his Creator. Ahankara brings human beings under the sway of maya, by which the subject (ego) falsely appears as object; the creatures imagine themselves to be creators. By banishing ego-consciousness, man awakens to his divine identity, his oneness with the Sole Life: God.

ELEMENTS (FIVE). The Cosmic Vibration, or Aum, structures all physical creation, including man’s physical body, through the manifestation of five tattvas (elements): earth, water, fire, air, and ether. These are structural forces, intelligent and vibratory in nature. Without the earth element there would e no state of solid matter; without the water element, no liquid state; without the air element, no gaseous state; without the fire element, no heat; without the ether element, no background on which to produce the cosmic motion picture show. In the body, prana (cosmic vibratory energy) enters the medulla and is then divided into the five elemental currents by the action of the five lower chakras, or centers: the coccygeal (earth), sacral (water), lumbar (fire), dorsal (air), and cervical (ether). The Sanskrit terminology for these elements is prithivi, ap, tej, prana, and akash.

ENERGIZATION EXERCISES. Man is surrounded by cosmic energy, much as a fish is surrounded by water. Enable man to recharge his body with the energy, or prana, that is all around him.

ETHER. Sanskrit akash. Though not considered a factor in present scientific theory on the nature of the material universe, ether has for millenniums been so referred to by India’s sages. Space gives dimension to objects; whither separates the images. This “background,” a creative force that coordinates all spatial vibrations, is a necessary factor when considering the subtler forces—thought and life energy (prana)—and the nature of space and the origin of material forces and matter.

GANESHA One of the most popular Hindu gods, he is the remover of obstacles and is usually represented as a short, pot-bellied man with four arms and a single-tusked elephant’s head. His festival is celebrated with particular enthusiasm in Bombay, which comes to a standstill as processions of worshippers follow trucks bearing huge clay images of the god down to Chowpatti beach, where they are carried out to sea and then immersed.



GAUDA A kingdom that coincides roughly with the modern Murshirabad district of West Bengal. Its people were great seafarers.

GANESH The elephant-faced God, related to Jupiter GENESH

GHOTAKAMUKHA A Mauryan sage also referred to in Kautilya’s Arthashastra. He taught the third section of Babhravya’s work.

GONARDIYA He wrote on the fifth section of Babhravyakarika. He is mentioned in the Mahabhashya, Patanjali’s commentary on the sutras of Panning the Mahabhashya.

GONIKAPUTRA He expounded the fifth section of Babhravya’s work, and is also mentioned in Patanjali’s Mahabhashya.

GOTAMA A sage descended from noble rishi Angirases, whose wife Ahalya was seduced by Indra. He is credited with being the author of Rig-Veda

GRAHA Planet

GUNAS. The three attributes of Nature: tamas, rajas, and sattwa—obstruction, activity, and expansion; or, mass, energy, and intelligence. In man the three gunas express themselves as ignorance or inertia; activity or struggle; and wisdom.

GURN. When a devotee is ready to seek God in earnest, the Lord sends him a guru. Through the wisdom, intelligence, Self-realization, and teachings of such a master, God guides the disciple. By following the master’s teachings and discipline, the disciple is able to fulfill his soul’s desire for the manna of God-perception. Such a guru, ordained by God to help true seekers in response to their deep soul craving, is not an ordinary teacher: he is a human vehicle whose body, speech, mind, and spirituality God uses as a channel to attract and guide lost souls back to their home of immortality. A guru is a living embodiment of scriptural truth. He is an agent of salvation appointed by God in response to a devotee’s demand for release from the bondage of matter.

GURU Jupiter, spiritual guide

GURU A teacher, literally the “remover of darkness”

GURUDEVA. “Divine teacher,” a customary Sanskrit term of respect that is used in addressing and referring to one’s spiritual preceptor; sometimes rendered in English as “Master.”


HATHA YOGA Practical branch of raja Yoga, that includes the asanas, pranayama and Kriyas; “hatha” means sun and moon

HATHA YOGA. A system of techniques and physical postures (asanas) that promotes health and mental calm.

HIMALAYA Literally ‘home of rice’. The mountain kingdoms of Kashmir and modern Himachal Pradesh were in Vatsyayana’s day under the rule of Bacteria Greeks.

HOLYGHOST. See Aum and Trinity.

HOMA Vedic and Hindu fire rituals

HORA Planetary hours, ½ division of sign

IDA One of the main nadis, flowing through the left nostril

INDRA The king of the Vedic pantheon, he wields a thunderbolt, is addicted to the intoxicating soma juice and to beautiful woman, especially, it seems, if married to holy sages. He rides the white elephant, airavata.

INDRANI Wife of Indra and voluptuous daughter of the demon puloman, whom Indra slew.

INTUITION. The all-knowing faculty of the soul, which enables man to experience direct perception of truth without the intermediary of the senses.

JADAVA KRISHNA. Jadava refers to the clan of which Bhagavan Krishna was king, and is one of the many names, which knows Krishna.

Jesus also spoke of the spiritual eye: “When thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light…. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness” (Luke 11:34-35).

JAIMINI Author of another system of Hindu astrology

JI. A suffix denoting respect added to names and titles in India; as, Guruji, Yogi Ji, and Baba Ji.

JNANA YOGA. The path to union with God through transmutation of the discriminative power of the intellect into the omniscient wisdom of the soul.

JYOTISH Vedic or Hindu astrology, science of light


KALI Dark from of the Goddess; related to Saturn

KALI YUGA Dark or iron age

KALINGA A country which comprised much of modern Orissa. It was the scene of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka’s greatest victory, in 261BC. The slaughter, which left Kalinga defenseless, was so horrible that even Ashoka was sickened, and turned to Buddhism, which becomes the religion of the Mauryan Empire.

KALYANA MALLA The author Ananga Ranga.

KAMA Desire

KAMA The Hindu god of love. According to some schools he is the oldest god all, having inspired creating itself. In later Hinduism he is a frivolous young man, riding a parrot, carrying a bow of sugarcane strung with humming bees. He carries five arrows tipped with lotus flowers.


KAPALABHATI A Kriya and pranayama that cleanses the respiratory system

KAPHA Biological water humor


KARAKA Significator

KARAMA The law of cause and effect; literally “action”

KARMA Law of cause and effect

KARMA YOGA. The path to God through nonattached action and service. By selfless service, by giving the fruits of one’s actions to God, and by seeing God as the sole Doer, the devotee becomes free of the ego and experiences God.

KARMA. Effects of past actions, from this or previous lifetimes; from the Sanskrit kri, to do. The equilibrating law of karma, as expounded in the Hindu scriptures, is that of action and reaction, cause and effect, sowing and reaping. In the course of natural righteousness, each man by his thoughts and actions becomes the molder of his destiny. Whatever energies he himself, wisely or unwisely, has set in motion must return to him as their starting point, like a circle inexorably completing itself. An understanding of karma as the law of justice seres to free the human mind from resentment against God and man. A man’s karma follows him from incarnation to incarnation until fulfilled or spiritually transcended.

KASHI Modern Varanasi (British Benares), the city of Shiva which was fisrt mentioned in Vedic times. Damodara Gupta called it’ the ornament of the whole earth’ and compared it to Indra’s city Amaravati. In Gupta times it was a center of Vedic studies, and it is quite likely to have been the city in which Kama Sutra was composed. It is the holiest Hindu City and the crowds that flock to its bathing ghats on the Ganga are, if anything, growing vaster each year.


KAULAS A left-hand tantric sect which used ritualized sexual intercourse as part of its worship. The preparations for the ritual included meditation, using mantra and yantra, hatha-yoga and breathing exercises. The kaulas cloaked themselves in secrecy and deterred curiosity by publishing verses like quoted by Tarkalamkara in his commentary on the Mahanirvana Tantra: ‘who thrusts his penis into his mother’s womb and massages her breasts and places his foot on his guru’s head will not experience rebirth.’

KENDRA Angular house

KETU South Node of the Moon or dragon’s tail

KHARVATA An ancient city whose location has been lost.

KICHAKA The commander-in-chief of the army of King Virata, in whose court the disguised Pandavas took refuge during their exile. Kichaka’s legendary strength was matched only by his arrogance. When Draupadi spurned his advances he kicked her in front of the assembled court. For this insult Bhima killed him and reduced his body to shapeless pulp.

KOTTA The kingdom of Abhira, part of modern Gujerat.

KRISHNA Great Hindu avatar

KRISHNA An incarnation of Vishnu

KRISHNA The best loved of all Indian gods, and the eighth incarnation of Vishnu. In Mahabharata he serves as Arjuna’s charioteer and delivers the battlefield sermon that becomes Bhagavad Gita. His cult centered on Vrindavan, on the banks of the Yamuna, where he spent his time playing his flute and enticing the village girls to dance with him in the moonlight. His love affair with Radha is the subject of Gita Govinda and other famous poems

KRIYA YOGA. A sacred spiritual science, originating millenniums ago in India. It includes certain techniques of meditation whose devoted practice leads to realization of God. The Sanskrit root of kriya is kri, to do, to act and react; the same root is found in the word karma, the natural principle cause and effect. Kriya Yoga is thus “union (yoga) with the Infinite through a certain action or rite (kriya).” Kriya Yoga is praised by Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita and by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. Revived in this age by Mahavatar Babaji Kriya Yoga is the diksha (spiritual initiation) bestowed by the Gurus?

KRIYA A purification practice

KUCHUMARA The last of Babhravya’s seven scholiasts. His work, which dealt with sexual aids, aphrodisiacs, spells and mantras, was known as Kuchmaratantra.

KUJA Sanskrit for Mars

KUJA DOSHA Difficult placements of Mars for marriage


KUMBHA Aquarius

KUNDALINI The potential spiritual energy

KUNJAR KRIYA A kriya to clean the stomach

KURANGI The love affair between this princess and an untouchable who turns out to be a princes forms the basis of Avimaraka, an early Sanskrit play which may have been composed by Bhasa. In the play, the sage Narada himself comes down form heaven to bless the couple and approve their marriage by the Gandharva rite.


LAGNA Ascendant

LAKSHMI Goddess of fortune and beauty; related to Venus

LAT A region of what is modern Gujerat. In Vatsyayana’s time it was probably under the rule, or overlordship, of the Indo-Scythian Shakas.

LAXMI Originally the daughter of the sage Bhrigu. As a goddess she is the wife of Vishnu and was reincarnated both as Sita and as Radha. She is the goddess of wealth and fortune, but worshipped on her own she becomes the mother of all things, the shakti or divine female energy.

LAYA YOGA. This yogic system teaches the absorption of mind in the perception of certain astral sounds, leading to union with God as the cosmic sound of Aum.

LIFE FORCE. See prana.

MAHA DASA Major planetary period

MAHABHARATA The first of the great Hindu epics. It was composed by Vyasa, who dictated it to Ganesha, and tells the story of the feuding Pandava, and Kaurava cousins, and their final reckoning in the battle of Kurukshetra, which is thought to have been fought between 1400 and 1000 BC. The 100,000 couplets of the present text did not reach their final form until about 400BC.

MAHAPURUSHA YOGAS Planetary combinations that give strong personalities

MAHASAMADHI. Sanskrit maha, “great,” samadhi. The last meditation, or conscious communion with God, when a perfected master merges himself in the cosmic Aum and casts off the physical body. A master invariably knows beforehand the time God has appointed for him to leave his bodily residence.

MALA A string of beads, used in japa

MALLANAGA The author of Kama Sutra. Vatsyayana was his clan name.

MANAS Mind or general feeling potential


MANGALA Another name for Mars

MANIPURA CHAKRA The third chakra, at the solar plexus

MANTRA YOGA. Divine communion attained through devotional, concentrated repetition of root-word sounds that have a spiritually beneficial vibratory potency.

MANTRA A sacred syllable, word or phrase, use in meditation

MANTRAS Sacred or empowered sounds

MANU the First Man, who in Hindu mythology combines the roles of Adam and Noah. He too built an ark to survive a great flood, and was beached on a mountaintop. He is said to be the first human teacher of the Dharma wisdom, but the Dharmashastra, which bears his name, did not reach its final form until the second or third century AD.

Many cycles of cosmic creation and dissolution have come and gone in Eternity (see Yuga). At the time of cosmic dissolution, the Trinity and all other relativity’s of creation resolve into the Absolute Spirit.

MASTER. One who has achieved self-mastery? The distinguishing qualifications of a master are not physical but spiritual…Proof that one is a master is supplied only by the ability to enter at will the breathless state (sabikalpa samadhi) and by the attainment of immutable bliss (nirbikalpa samadhi).”



MAYA Illusion

MAYA. The delusory power inherent in the structure of creation, by which the One appears as many. Maya is the principle of relativity, inversion, contrast, duality, oppositional states; the “Satan” (lit. in Hebrew, “the adversary”) of the Old Testament prophets; and the “devil” whom Christ described picturesquely as a “murderer” and a “liar,” because “there is no truth in him” (John 8:44).


MEDITATION. Generally, interiorized concentration with the objective of perceiving God. True meditation, dhyana, is conscious realization of God through intuitive perception. IT is achieved only after the devotee has attained that fixed concentration whereby he disconnects his attention from the senses and is completely undisturbed by sensory impressions from the outer world. Dhyana is the seventh step of Patanjali’s Eightfold Path of Yoga, the eighth step being samadhi, communion, and oneness with God.

MEDULLA. The principal point of entry life force (prana) into the body; seat of the sixth cerebrospinal center, whose function is to receive and direct the incoming flow of cosmic energy. The life force is stored in the seventh center (sahasrara) in the topmost part of the brain. From that reservoir it is distributed throughout the body. The subtle center at the medulla is the main switch that controls the entrance, storage, and distribution of the life force.


MINA Pisces


MOKSHA Liberation

MOOLA Bandha anal lock

MUDRA Gesture or posture for controlling prana

MULADHARA A shadowy figure credited with being the first teacher of sorcery, sleight-of hand and deception. He sometimes appears as a master-thief, sometimes as a great magician, occasionally as a gambler. According to the treatise on the art of thieving, the Steyashastra. Which is now lost.

MULADHARACHAKRA The first chakra, at the base of the spine

MULATRIKONA Root Trine, specially favorable sign positions for planets, nearly as good as exaltation.

NADI Nerve channel

NAGARA A name sometimes used for Pataliputra, the capital city of the Guptas. But here it probably refers to another city, because when Vatsyayana wants to say Pataliputra he says it without equivocation

NAGAS A group of hill tribes inhabiting the region between Assam and Burma. They were hostile to the Aryans and managed to preserve their independence until the nineteenth century.

NAKSHATRAS 27 lunar constellations or asterisms

NANDI the white bulls whom serves Shiva as a mount. In mythology he was the guardian at Shiva’s gate and even today there is a carved white marble bull guarding the door of every Shiva temple.

NATARAJASANA Lord Nataraja’s Pose

NAULI a kriya for cleaning the nasal passage

NAVAMSA Harmonic ninth chart

NIRGUNA A type of meditation; literally “without qualities”

NIYAMA One of five observances

OM The original mantra


ORISSA An eastern state of modern India, and a centuries-old center of erotic art. The thirteenth-century sun temple at Konarak and the temples at Bhubaneshwar are covered in amorous couples so exquisitely carved that the stone almost seems to be breathing. The region is a hotbed of tantricism and produced vast numbers of erotic palm-leaf manuscripts, called ‘brides’ books’.

PADA HASTHASANA Head to Feet Pose; Hands to Feet Pose



PANAPARAS Succedent house

PANCHALA The region which is now the Punjab. Draupadi, heroine of the Mahabharata, was a Panchala princess. The oldest traditions pinpoint this region as the source of the ancient love teachings. The first human teacher of Kama wisdom, Svetaketu, came from Panchala.

PANCHASAYAK Literally ‘The Five Arrows’, a love text composed early in the fourteenth century by Jyotirishvara Kavishekhara

PANDYA The southernmost of the ancient Dravidian kingdoms, occupying the country to the north of Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin). The capital was the lovely city of Madurai.

PARAMAHANSA. A spiritual title signifying a master. Only a true guru on a qualified disciple may confer it. Paramahansa literally means “supreme swan.” In the Hindu scriptures, the hansa or swan symbolizes spiritual discrimination.

PARAMGURU. Literally, “supreme guru” or great guru”; the guru of one’s guru.

PARASARAS father of Vedic astrology, author of main system used


PASHUPATI Shiva, worshipped of ‘Lord of the Animals’ According to Basham, the horned ithyphallic god of the Indus Valley civilization may have been an early prototype.

PATALIPUTRA Modern Patna. Founded in the fifth century BC by Ajatashatru of Magadha, it became the capital both of the Mauryan and Gupta empires. The Greek Ambassador Megasthenes, who spent several years at the court of Chandragupta Maurya, said that ‘even Susa and Ecbatana could not rival the beauty and grandeur of Pataliputra. ‘The Chinese traveler Fa Hsien, visiting the city seven hundred years later in the reign of the Gupta emperor Chandra Gupta II, said: ‘the royal palace and the halls, the walls and the gates with the inlaid sculpture work seems to be the work of superhuman spirits. ‘The city was destroyed by fire in about AD 600.

PATANJALI. Ancients exponent of Yoga, whose Yoga Sutras outline the principles of the yogic path, dividing it into eight steps: 1 moral proscriptions (yama), 2 right observances (niyama), 3 meditation posture (asana), (4) life-force control (pranayama), (5) interiorization of the mind (pratyahara), (6) concertration (dharana), (7) meditation (dhyana), (8) union with God (samadhi).

PATTANA An ancient city whose location has been forgotten.

PINGALA One of the main nadis, flowing through the right nostril

PITTA Biological fire humor


PRACHYAA general name for the eastern countries, which included Anga, Banga, Gauda and Kalinga.The regions singled out for criticism by Vatsyayana usually lie on the borders of the aryan world.

PRAJAPATI The Creator, Later identified with Brahma. When he awoke in the primordial waters he found himself alone and wept, creating the air, earth and sky from his tears. A beautiful hymn in Rig Veda (X: 90) has another version, where Prajapati offers himself as the first sacrifice and wild animals, hymns and chants, sacrificial spells, horses, cattle, goats, and sheep, priests, warriors, merchants and serfs spring from his dismembered body.

PRAKRITI Nature, the manifest universe

PRANA Life- force or breath

PRANA Vital energy, the life force

PRANA. Sparks of intelligent finer-than-atomic energy that constitute life, collectively referred to in Hindu scriptural treatises as prana, In essence, condensed thoughts of God; substance of the astral world and life principle of the physical cosmos. In the physical world, there are two kinds of prana: (1) the cosmic vibratory energy that is omnipresent in the universe, structuring and sustaining all thing; (2) the specific prana or energy that pervades and sustains each human body through five currents or functions. Pran current performs the function of crystallization; Vyan current, circulation; Saman current, assimilation; Udan current, metabolism; and Apan current, elimination.

PRANAM. A form of greeting in India. The hands are pressed palms together, with the base of the hands at the heart and the fingertips touching the forehead. This gesture is actually a modification of the prananm literally “complete salutation, “from the Sanskrit root nam, “to salute or bow down,” and the prefix pra, “completely.” A pranam salutation is the general mode of greeting in India. Before renunciants and other persons held in high spiritual regard, it may be accompanied by the spoken word,”Pranam.”

PRANAYAMA Regulation of breath; a breathing exercise

PRANAYAMA. Conscious control of prana (the creative vibration or energy that activates and sustains life in the body). The yoga science of pranayama is the direct way to consciously disconnect the mind from the life functions and sensory perceptions that tie man to body-consciousness. Pranayama thus frees man’s consciousness to commune with God. All scientific techniques that bring about union of soul and Spirit may be classified as yoga, and pranayama is the greatest yogic method for attaining this divine union.

PRATYAHARA Withdrawal of the senses

PUJA Hindu rituals


RAHU North Node of Moon or dragon’s head

RAJA YOGA. The “royal” or highest path to god-union. It teaches scientific meditation as the ultimate means for realizing God, and includes the highest essentials from all other forms of Yoga. Raja Yoga teachings outline a way of life leading to perfect unfoldment in body, mind, and soul, based on the foundation of Kriya Yoga.

RAJA YOUA The yogic path of meditation

RAJAS The guna of activity

RAJASIC Agitated in quality

RAJAYOGA Combination of planetary influence or planet which gives great power

RAMA Great Hindu avatar, Seventh avatar of Visnu, Divine warrior; related to the sun

RAMAYANA The second of the great Hindu epics, credited to the sage Valmiki and probably completed some time around 300 BC. It tells of the exile of Rama and Sita, the abduction of Sita by the rakshasa king Ravana and the war in which Rama, aided by the monkey god-king Hanuman, won her back.


RATIKALLOLINI An obscure love text composed by one Dikshita Samaraja. The name means ‘River of Love’. It seems to be a late work.

RATIMANJARI A miniature love text of only sixty verses composed by Jayadeva between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. It was synthesizes from Smaradipika.

RATIRAHASYA After Kama Sutra, the most famous of the love texts, written perhaps as early as the eleventh century by a Pundit Kokkoka. It is often called Koka Shastra, ‘Koka’s Book’. It follows Kama Sutra closely, but the section on sattvas, or woman’s natures, is lifted from Natyashastra. Originally these potted descriptions were intended to help actresses portray various kinds of woman

RATIRATNAPRADIPIKA A love text said to have been composed by Maharaja Praudha Devaraya of Vijayanagara (ruled 1422-66). It contains the only complete account of cunnilingus techniques and also shows a great deal of tantric influence.

RAVANA the demon kings whom is the villain of Ramayana. He is depicted with ten heads and twenty arms, each of which carries a sword, mace or other weapon.

RAVI The Sun

REINCARNATION. The doctrine, set forth in the Hindu scriptures, that human beings, entangled in a web of unfulfilled material desires, are forced to return again and again to earth until they consciously regain their true status as sons of God: “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out” (Revelation 3:12).

RIG VEDA The greatest of the Vedas, it is the oldest sacred book in the world still in use. Its collection of 1,028 hymns was composed between 1500 and 1200BC as the nomadic Aryan tribes entered India. It is considered vital that not a syllable of this sruti (oral) scripture should be lost and brahmin boys throughout India still learn the entire text by heart, cross-checking through an elaborate system of stresses, notes and meters to ensure that every sound is in the right place. It is thus heard today exactly as it sounded three thousand years ago.

RISHIS Ancient Vedic seers

RISHIS. Seers, exalted beings that manifest divine wisdom; especially revealed sages of ancient’s India to whom the Vedas were intuitively revealed.

RUDRA Fierce from of Shiva; related to Ketu

SADHANA. Path of spiritual discipline. The specific instruction and mediation practices prescribed by the guru for his disciples, who by faithfully following them ultimately realize God.

SAGUNA A type of meditation; literally ” with qualities”

SAHASRARA CHAKRA The seventh and highest chakra, at the crown of the head


SAMADHI Super-consciousness

SAMADHI. The highest step on the Eightfold Path of Yoga, as outlined by the sage patanjali. Samadhi is attained when the mediator, the process of meditation [by which the mind is withdrawn form the senses by interiorization), and the object of meditation [God} become One. “In the initial states of God-communion (sabikalpa samadhi) the devotee’s consciousness merges in the Cosmic Spirit; his life force is withdrawn from the body, which appears ‘dead,’ or motionless and rigid. The yogi is fully aware of his bodily condition or suspended animation. As he progresses to higher spiritual states (nirbikalpa samadhi), however, he communes with God without bodily fixation; and in his ordinary waking consciousness, even in the midst of exacting worldly duties.” Both states are characterizes by oneness with the ever-new bliss of Spirit, but only only the most highly advanced masters experience the Nirbikalpa State.

SAMANU A variety of pranayama that cleanses the nadis

SAMBHANDA Full relationship between planets

SANATAN DHARMA. Literally, “eternal religion.” The name given to the body of Vedic teachings that came to be called Hinduism after the Greeks designated the people on the banks of the river Indus as Indoos, or Hindus.

SARASVATI A goddess worshipped as a consort of Brahma and as a patroness of music, art and belles letters. She is credited with the invention both of the Sanskrit language and the Devanagari script.

SARVANGASANA Shoulderstand

SATAN. Literally, in Hebrew, “the adversary.” Satan is the conscious and independent universal force that keeps everything and everybody deluded with the unspiritual consciousness of finiteness and separateness from God. To accomplish this, Satan uses the weapons of maya (cosmic delusion) and avidya (individual delusion, ignorance).

SATCHITANANDA Existence, knowledge and bliss

SAT-TAT-AUM. Sat, Truth, the Absolute, Bliss; Tat, universal intelligence or consciousness; Aum, cosmic intelligent creative vibration, word-symbol for God.

SATTVA The guna of purity

SATTVIC Spiritual in effect

SATYA YUGAage of truth or golden age

SAURASHTRA the leaf-shaped peninsula jutting from Gujerat into the Arabian Sea. During Vatsyayana’s lifetime the Shakas probably ruled it, but Chandra Gupta II annexed it to the Gupta Empire.

SELF Capitalized to denote the atman or soul, as distinguished from the ordinary self, which is the personality or ego. The self is individualized Spirit. Whose is ever existing, ever conscious, ever-new joy. Experience of these divine qualities of the soul’s nature is achieved through meditation.


SEVEN Rishis The seers who were translated to the skies as stars in the Great Bear were Kashyapa, Atri, Vasishta, Vishvamitra, Gotama, Jamadagni and Bharadwaja.

SHADBALA system of determining planetary strengths and weaknesses

SHADVARGAS Six main harmonic chart

SHAKAS The building of the Great Wall of China by Ch’in Shih Huang Ti caused ripples of migration which pushed a group of Scythain tribes into Bacteria and subsequently into the Greek kingdoms of northwest India. By the middle of the first century BC they had overrun the Greeks and by Vatsyayana’s day controlled Malwa, Gujerat and the country as far as Mathura. The Aryans called them Shakas. In about AD 388 their capital, Ujjain, was captured and their lands annexed by Chandra Gupta II.

SHAKTI The active feminine principle

SHAKUNTALA Daughter of the sage Kanva. See Dushyanta


SHANI Saturn

SHANKARA, SWAMI. Sometimes referred to as Adi (“the first”) Shankaracharya (shankara +acharya, “teacher”); India’s most illustrious philosopher. His date is uncertain; many scholars assign him to the ninth century. He expounded God not as a negative abstraction, but as positive, eternal, omnipresent, ever-new Bliss. Shankara reorganized the ancient Swami Order, and founded four great math’s (monastic centers of spiritual education), whose leaders in apostolic succession bear the title of Jagadguru Sir Shankaracharya. The meaning of Jagadguru is “world teacher.”


SHATKARNI The Shatavahana king whom drove the Shakas out of Andhra in about AD 130. The mention of his name helps fix the earliest possible date for Kama Sutra.

SHIVA God of the Hindu trinity who destroys the creation and takes us back to the transcendent

SHIVA One of the Hindu trinity. He is traditionally depicted as an ash-smeared yogi, his hair coiled upon his head, adorned by the crescent moon. He is at once destroyer and revivified, ascetic and sensualist. As the consort of the great goddess Durga, or kali, he is the erect linga, and is important in tantra. Music, yoga, dance, dance, drama and the love teachings all find their source in him.


SIDDHA. Literally, “one who is successful.” One who has attained Self-realization?



SIND A province now in Pakistan. In Vatsyayana’s time it was part of the Sassanian Empire, ruled however by Hindu chiefs who were feudatories of the Persian emperor.


SITA The daughter of king Janaka of Videha, and the heroine of Ramayana, she is the Hindu model of the faithful wife.

SITHALI, Sitkari varieties of pranayama that cool the body

SIVA In the Hindu Trinity, the Destroyer; the passive male force

SKANDA The war God; related to Mars

SMARADIPIKA A love text composed between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries by one Sir Minanath, who claims to have consulted ‘numerous Kamashastras’, It was the model for Ratimanjari.

SOMA The Moon

SOUL Individualized Spirit. The soul is the true and immortal nature of man, and of all living forms of life; it is cloaked only temporarily in the garments of causal, astral, and physical bodies. The nature of the soul is Spirit: ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Joy.

SPIRITUAL EYE. The single eye of intuition and omnipresent perception at the Christ (Kutastha) center (ajna chakra) between the eyebrows. The deeply meditating devotee beholds the spiritual eye as a ring of golden light encircling a sphere of opalescent blue, and at the center, a pentagonal white star. Microcosmically, these forms and colors epitomize, respectively, the vibratory realm of creation (Cosmic Nature, Holy Ghost); the son or intelligence of God in creation (Christ consciousness); and the vibrationaless spirit beyond all creation (God the Father).

SRI A title of respect. When used before the name of a religious person, it means “holy” or revered.” Like Sri yogis.

SRNGARASAPRABANDHADIPIKA ‘The Light of Love’, composed by Harihara, lists-four sexual postures, but the descriptions stop with Garuda, the thirty-sixth. It is of uncertain date.

STHIRA RASIS Fixed signs

STRIAJYA The means ‘kingdom of women’. It was a matriarchal state in the Himalayan northwest and is mentioned also in the Markandeya Purana (LVIII: 39) and Mahabharata (III: 54 and XII: 4). Megasthenes, Polyaenus and Solinus confirm tales of women’s realm in India. Its people were probably tribals who may perhaps be identified with the fair-skinned Madras of the Mahabharata of whom Karna says: ‘they are non-Aryans born in a bad land, who know nothing of the holy laws.’

SUBHADRA The sister of Krishna and daughter of King Vasadeva of Dvaraka.


SUPERCONSCIOUS MIND. The all-knowing power of the soul that perceives truth directly; intuition.

SUPER-CONSCIOUSNESS. The pure, intuitive, all-seeing, ever-blissful consciousness of the soul. Sometimes used generally to refer to all the various states of samadhi experienced in meditation, but specifically the first states of samadhi, wherein one drops ego-consciousness and realizes his self as soul, made in the image of God. Thence follow the higher states of realization.


SURYA BHEDA A variety of pranayama that heals the body


SURYA The sun

SUSHUMNA The main nadi, flowing thorough the spinal cord

SUTRA An aphorism, literally “thread”

SUVARNANABHA The Mauryan sage who expounded the second part of Babhravya’s long text. His work was probably called Ratinirnaya (‘An Investigation of Carnal Love’).

SVETAKETU AUDDALAKI A Vedic sage, son of Uddalaka Aruni and the first human teacher of the Kama wisdom. He is mentioned in the oldest Upanishads as having learned the sex mysteries from a scholar called Pravahana Jaivali.

SWADHISHTHANA Chakra the second chakra, at the genitals

SWAMI. A member of India’s most ancient monastic order, reorganized in the ninth century by Swami Shankara. A swami takes formal vows of celibacy and renunciation of worldly ties and ambitions; and to service to humanity. There are ten classificatory titles of the venerable Swami Order, as Giri, Puri, Bharati, Tirtha, Saraswati, and others. Swami Sri Yukteswar and Paramahansa Yogananda belonged to the Giri (“mountain”) branch.

TAMAS The guna of inertia

TAMASIC Dark in quality

TANTRAS Literally ‘looms’, they are a series of texts, some Shaivite, some Vaishnavite and the remainder belonging to the left-hand Shakta schools. See Kaulas. Shaktism was an amalgam of Shiva worship and the pre-Aryan mother-goddess cults, and it is this school that has come to be synonymous with the word tantra, although it claims less than half of the official texts. In essence all tantras use seed-mantras and yantras, or mystical diagrams, for meditation and their ultimate aim is identical with that of yoga – enlightenment and freedom from rebirth.

The cumulative actions of human beings within communities, nations, or the world as a whole constitute mass karma, which produces local or far-ranging effects according to the degree and preponderance of good or evil. The thoughts and actions of every man, therefore, contribute to the good or ill of this world and all peoples in it.

The early Christian Church accepted the principle of reincarnation, which was expounded by the Gnostics and by numerous Church fathers, including Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and St. Jerome. The Second Council of Constantinople first declared the doctrine a heresy in AD 553. Today many Western thinkers are beginning to adopt the concept of the law of Karma and reincarnation, seeing in it a gread and reassuring explanation of life’s seeming inequities.

The Hindu scriptures teach that God is immanent and transcendent, personal and impersonal. He may be sought as the Absolute; as one of His manifest eternal qualities, such as love, wisdom, bliss, light; in the form of an ishta (deity); or as Father, Mother, or Friend.

The poet Kayana Malla for a prince of the Lodi family composed ANANGA

RANGA This love text. Probably sixteenth century.The regions singled out for criticism by Vatsyayana usually lie on the border of the Aryan world.

The Sanskrit word swami means “he who is one with the Self (swa).”

The seven centers are divinely planned exits or “trap doors” through which the soul has descended into the body and through which it must rescind by a process of meditation. By seven successive steps, the soul escapes into Cosmic Consciousness. In its conscious upward passage through the seven opened or “awakened” cerebrospinal centers, the soul travels the highway to the Infinite, the true path by which the soul must retrace its course to reunite with God.

The spiritual eye is the entryway into the ultimate states of divine consciousness. In deep meditation, as devotee’s consciousness penetrates the spiritual eye, into following states: super-consciousness or the ever-new joy of soul-realization, and oneness with God as Aum or Holy Ghost; Christ consciousness, oneness with the universal intelligence of God in all creation; and cosmic consciousness, unity with the omnipresence of God that is beyond as well as within vibratory manifestation. See also consciousness, states of; super-consciousness; Christ Consciousness.


TRATAK Steady gazing; a kriya and concentration technique

TRETA YUGA Third or silver age

TRIKONA Trine house


TRINITY. Wen spirit manifests creation, It becomes the Trinity: Father, son, Holy Ghost, or Sat, Tat, Aum. The Father (Sat) is God as the Creator existing beyond creation. The Son (Tat) is God’s omnipresent intelligence Existing in creation. The Holy Ghost (Aum) is the vibratory power of God that objectifies or becomes creation.

UDDALAKA ARUNI A Vedic sage who, in Chandogya Upanishad, gives his son Svetaketu the famous ‘tat tvam asi’ (That thou art’) teaching.

UDDIYANA BANDHA A lock that bring the diaphragm upward

UJJAYI A variety of pranayama

UPACHAYA Houses 3, 6, 10 &11

UTHITHA KURMASANA Balancing Tortoise

VARGA Divisional or humor

VARGOTTAMA Same sign position for planet in both birth & navamsa charts

VATA Biological air humor

VATAYANASANA Wind Relieving Pose

VATSAGULMAKA A state in the modern Akola districts, lying between the Indhyadhri hills and the Godavari River. Vatsyayana refers to it as a ‘southern’ state, by which he means that it was on the southern fringe of Aryan India, in the northern Deccan. As Vatsagulmaka becomes an independent kingdom only after AD 320, Vatsyayana’s specific references to its royal palace provide powerful evidence for the dating of Kama Sutra itself.

VATSYAYANA Author of Kama Sutra. His first name was Mallanaga. His date is uncertain and little is known about him (see Introduction). Bandhu states that he was a Kashmiri Brahmin from Kishtawar who ran away from home at the age of eleven, got his education at Varanasi and Pataliputra and wandered the length and breadth of the country gaining experience of the subject about which he was to write. The story sounds spurious and has possibly been confused with the story of the Kashmiri Pundit Kokkoka who wrote Ratirahasya and whose appetite for women was legendary. The first literary mention of Vatsyayana is in the fifth – century Vasavadutta of Subandhu: ‘[The mountain] was as rich in elephants and perfumed jungles as Mallanaga’s Kama Sutra in the ways of delighting and enjoying mistresses.’

VATYANASANA One Knee and Foot Pose

VEDANTA Vedic philosophy of Self-realization

VEDANTA School of philosophy; literally “the end of knowledge”

VEDANTA. Literally, “end of the Vedas”; the philosophy stemming from the

Upanishands, or latter portion of the Vedas. Shankara (ninth century) was the chief exponent of Vedanta, which declares that god is the only reality and that creation is essentially an illusion. As man is the only creature capable of conceiving God, man himself must be divine, and his duty therefore is to realize his true nature.

VEDAS Vedic scriptures

VEDAS The highest authority of all Aryan scriptures, revealed to sages during meditation

VEDAS Collections of hymns and oblation verses dating from about 1,500 BC. Rig Veda contains nothing but hymns, Yajur Veda contains mantras and instructions for performing rituals, and Sama Veda is a compilation for musical chants based on the Rig Veda hymns and Atharva Veda contains hymns, magic spells and incantations. Each Veda had, and still has, its own priesthood. They are the holiest texts.

VEDAS. The four scriptural texts of the Hindus: Rig-Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva veda. They are essentially a literature of chant, ritual, and recitation for vitalizing and spiritualizing all phases of man’s life and activity. Among the immense texts of India, the Vedas (Sanskrit root vid, “to know”) are the only writings to which no author is ascribed. The Rig Veda assigns a celestial origin to the hymns and tells us they have come down from “ancient times,” reclothed in new language. Divinely revealed from age to age to the rishis, “seers,” the four Vedas are said to possess nityatva, “timeless finality.”


VIDARBHA A kingdom lying to the south of the Vindhya mountains, in northern Deccan. It was the homeland of Princess Damayanti.

VIMSOTTARI DASA 120-year cycle of planetary period


VISHNU God of the Vedic trinity who preserves and maintains the creation and the cosmic order

VISHNU MUDRA A hand murder, sued in pranayama

VISHNU in the Hindu Trinity, the Preserver

VISHUDDHA CHAKRA The fifth chakra, at the throat



YAKAHAS The attendant spirits of Kubera, the dwarf god of wealth, and custodians off treasure buried in the earth or in roots of trees. The hero of Kalidasa’s Meghaduta is a Yaksha banished from Kubera’s Himalayan kingdom of Alaka.

YAMA One of five restraints

YANTRA A geometric diagram, used in meditation

YANTRAS Mystic diagrams

YOGA Combination of planetary influences; spiritual practices

YOGA Union of the individual soul with the Absolute

YOGA. From Sanskrit yuj. ” The highest connotation of the word yoga in Hindu philosophy is union of the individual soul with Spirit through scientific methods of meditation. Within the larger spectrum of Hindu philosophy, Yoga is one of six orthodox systems: Vedanta, Mimamsa, Sankhya, Vaisesika, Nyaya and Yoga. There are also various types of yoga methods: Hatha Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, Karam Yoga, Janna Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga, the “royal” or complete yoga, is that which is taught by Self-realization Fellowship, and which Bhagavan Krishna extols to his disciple Arjuna in the Bhagaved-Gita: ” The yogi is greater than body-disciplining ascetics, Greater even than the followers of the path of wisdom or of the path of action; be thou, O Arjuna, a yogi!” (Bhagavad_Gita VI: 46). The sage Patanjali, foremost exponent of Yoga, has outlined eight definite steps by which the Raja Yogi attains samadhi, or union with God. These are (1) Yama, moral conduct; (2) niyama, religious observances; (3) asana, right posture: (4) pranayama, control of prana, subtle life currents; (5) pratyahara, withdrawal of the senses from external objects; (6) dharana, concentration, (7) dhyana, meditation; and (8) samadhi, super-conscious experience.

YOGI, YOGINI One who practices Yoga. Anyone who practices a scientific technique for divine realization is a yogi. He may be married or unmarried, either a man of worldly responsibilities or one of formal ties.

YUGA. A cycle or sub-period of creation, outlined in ancient Hindu texts. Sri Yukteswar describes in The Holy Science a 24,000-year Equinoctial Cycle and mankind’s present place in it. This cycle occurs within the much longer universal cycle of the ancient texts, as calculated by the ancient rishis

YUGAS World-ages