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Perfect Health

Sanskrit Glossary Terms - PH Enrichment Program

TermDefinition
Agni Digestive fire; our ability to take in food and experience in all its forms, break it down, use what is needed, and eliminate what is not useful
Ahankara The “I maker”; refers to the ego, individuality, and the awareness of “I” and “mine”
Ama Toxic residue that can accumulate in the mind-body physiology and interfere with our natural state of health
Asthi Bones and cartilage
Buddhi An aspect of consciousness that gives us the power to discern between what is true and false, real and unreal, transient and eternal
Chakra An energy center in our subtle body; chakras govern the transformation of the subtle energy of consciousness into physical energy
Dhatus Tissues
Gandha Smell
Garbha Utpadana Reproduction
Kosha Sheath or layer of existence
Majja Bone marrow and nerve tissue
Malas Waste Products
Mamsa Muscles
Manas The mind that receives and coordinates sensory impressions from the outside world
Medas Fat or adipose tissue
Mutra Urine
Nadi A subtle channel through which energy flows
Nirama A state in which agni is strong and the body is free of ama
Ojas Subtlest life essence, which exists at the junction of consciousness and matter, giving strength and vitality; the healthiest byproduct of the digestion of food and sensory experiences
Prana Vital life force
Rakta Red blood cells
Rasa Plasma and lymph; the flavor of an experience
Rupa Sight
Shukra Reproductive tissue (both male and female); Sanskrit name for the planet Venus
Sparsha Touch
Srota Channel of circulation in the body
Sthula Sharira The outer body, which encompasses the physical structures of the organs, organ systems, bones, muscles, tissues, tendons, and ligaments
Sveda Sweat
Sukshma Sharira The subtle body that is just below the physical body and includes the mind, emotions, and sensory organs; the subtle body governs the way we assimilate our experiences
Tanmatras The five subtle sensory potentials that are the basis for the five senses, the five corresponding sensory organs, the five organs of action, and the five elements
Alochaka Pitta One of the five subdoshas of Pitta. Located in the eyes; governs sense of sight and perception; also governs inner vision , outlook, and ability to experience light, clarity, and understanding
Chakshur Vaisheshika Form of alochaka pitta. Governs visual perception
Buddhir Vaisheshika Form of alochaka pitta. Allows us to interpret and remember what we see
Apana Vayu One of the five subdoshas of Vata. Located in the colon, pelvic cavity, and pelvic organs; governs elimination of wastes, menstruation, and sexual function
Avalambhaka Kapha One of the five subdoshas of Kapha. Located in the thoracic area, including the heart, lungs, respiratory tract, spine, and lower back; strengthens the chest, heart, lungs, and back; lubricates the lungs as well as heart and throat
Bhrajaka Pitta One of the five subdoshas of Pitta. Located in the skin; regulates absorption of heat, sunlight, and everything else that our skin comes in contact with; also maintains blood flow, body temperature and controls sweat glands, allowing dispersion of heat
Bodhaka Kapha One of the five subdoshas of Kapha. Located in the mouth, tongue, and salivary glands; keeps the oral cavity moist; allows us to perceive taste; liquefies food for digestion; protects the mouth against acidity, inflammation, and dental cavities
Dosha Mind-body principle that governs our physical, emotional, and mental characteristics
Vata Dosha responsible for movement and change (elements: space and air)
Pitta Dosha responsible for transformation and metabolism (elements: fire and water)
Kapha Dosha responsible for protection, structure (elements: earth and water)
Kledaka Kapha One of the five subdoshas of Kapha; located in the stomach, stomach lining, and small intestine; keeps the stomach lining (mucus membrane) moist and supple; responsible for moistening food so that it can move easily through the digestive tract
Pachaka Pitta One of the five subdoshas of Pitta; located in the small intestine and lower part of stomach; regulates digestive heat; responsible for digesting food and separating nutrients from waste products; secretes digestive enzymes
Prakruti Essential nature or mind-body type; in Sankhya, prakruti is the intrinsic impulse to create or shape the universe; also called pradhana
Prana Vayu One of the five subdoshas of Vata; located in brain, lungs, heart, throat, tongue, nose, and ears; enables inhalation; governs the ingestion of impressions through the five senses; and is responsible for our ability to think, reason, and feel
Ranjaka Pitta One of the five subdoshas of Pitta; located in the liver, spleen, and red blood cells; governs the production of red blood cells; balances blood chemistry; distributes nutrients throughout the body via the bloodstream; helps detoxify the body
Sadhaka Pitta One of the five subdoshas of Pitta; located in the brain and heart; responsible for the digestion of ideas, sensory impressions, and thoughts; governs memory, learning, understanding, discernment, and the heart’s emotional qualities
Samana Vayu One of the five Vata subdoshas; located in the stomach, large/small intestines, liver, pancreas, spleen; kindles agni and governs digestion, secretes digestive enzymes, controls the rhythm of peristalsis, converts intelligence of food into consciousness
Sleshaka Kapha One of five Kapha subdoshas; located in every joint in the body as synovial fluid, allowing for ease of movement, strength, and stability; nourishes the bones, ligaments, cartilage, and skin
Subdosha Secondary regulating energy; resides in different locations throughout the body and governs specific physical, mental, and emotional functions
Tarpaka Kapha One of the five subdoshas of Kapha; located in the brain, spinal cord,heart; protects the brain, spinal cord, nervous system; nourishes the nerve tissues; lubricates the nose, mouth, eyes, brain cells; nourishes and maintains the spinal fluid
Tridoshic A person who has equal amounts of all three doshas
Udana Vayu One of the five Vata subdoshas; located in the throat, diaphragm, and lungs; enables exhalation, which allows the release of toxins and stress while energizing and strengthening the bodymind; governs speech and memory, recall, and the movement of thought
Vikruti Current state of doshic balance or imbalance in our body-mind
Vyana Vayu One of the five subdoshas of Vata; centered in the heart and distributed throughout the body via the nervous system, skin, circulatory system; governs circulatory system, heart rhythm, peripheral circulation, is the seat of consciousness and love
Akasha Space; one of the five mahabhutas
Bhuta Element
Jala Water; one of the five mahabhutas
Mahabhutas The five great elements or building blocks that make up everything in the physical universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth. The mahabhutas are also the five qualities of nature.
Pancha Mahabhutas The five elements
Prithivi Earth; one of the five mahabhutas
Tejas Fire; one of the five mahabhutas
Vayu “Winds” or air; one of the five mahabhutas
Ajwan Oregano; herb that balances Samana Vayu and Apana Vayu; strengthens Pachaka Pitta
Amalaki Commonly known as Indian gooseberry or amla, amalaki is considered one of the most powerful rejuvenating herbs in Ayurveda and is one of the richest natural sources of potent antioxidants; reduces Pachaka Pitta
Amla Herb that reduces Pachaka Pitta
Arjuna Herb that balances Vyana Vayu
Ashtak Herb that balances Samana Vayu
Bibhitaki Herb that balances Avalambaka Kapha
Brahmi Herb that balances Prana Vayu and Tarpaka Kapha; also known as gotu kola
Brahmi Vacha Calamus; herb that balances Tarpaka Kapha
Cardamom Herb that strengthens Bodhaka Kapha
Chandana Herb that balances Bhrajaka Pitta
Chilies Fruit that strengthens Pachaka Pitta
Chitrak Herb that strengthens Pachaka Pitta
Cinnamon Spice that balances Avalambaka Kapha
Coriander Herb that balances Samana Vayu and Kledaka
Cumin Herb that balances Samana Vayu and Kledaka
Fennel Herb that balances Kledaka Kapha
Garlic Herb that strengthens Pachaka Pitta
Ginger herb that strengthens Pachaka Pitta and Bodhaka Kapha; balances Avalambaka Kapha and Kledaka Kapha
Ginger Powder herb that balances Tarpaka Kapha and reduces Sleshaka Kapha
Gokshura Herb that balances Vyana Vayu; also known as tribulus terrestris
Guduchi Herb that reduces Pachaka Pitta
Guggulu Herb that reduces Sleshaka Kapha
Haritaki Herb that balances Apana Vayu
Hing Herb that balances Samana Vayu
Jatamansi Nervine tonic that balances Tarpaka Kapha
Licorice Balances Udana Vayu and Avalambaka Kapha; reduces Pachaka Pitta and Bodhaka Kapha; increases Sleshaka Kapha
Manjishta Herb that balances Bhrajaka Pitta
Pippali Herb that balances Kledaka Kapha
Punarnava Herb that reduces Sleshaka Kapha
Rasanjana Herb that balances Alochaka Pitta
Red sandalwood Herb that balances Bhrajaka Pitta
Sandalwood oil Essential oil that balances Sadhaka Pitta
Shankha bhasma Seashell powder; reduces Pachaka Pitta
Soma Special herbal healing mixtures of the early Vedic era
Trikatu Herb that strengthens Pachaka Pitta
Triphala Ayurvedic herbal formula consisting of three fruits (amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki) used to enhance energy, digestion, immunity, and vitality; a potent antioxidant; balances Apana Vayu and Alochaka Pitta
Tulsi Herb that balances Prana Vayu; also known as holy basil
Turmeric Herb that balances Bhrajaka Pitta, Ranjaka Pitta, and Kledaka Kapha
Abhyanga Ayurvedic oil massage
Anulom vilom An alternate-nostril breathing technique that balances the branches of the autonomic nervous system and the two hemispheres of the brain
Asana Physical postures of yoga
Gandharva Veda Vedic science of using sound, music, and melodies to cultivate physical and emotional well-being
Hatha yoga Traditionally refers to the practice of physical yoga postures; hatha is now commonly used to describe gentle, basic classes in which the focus is on individual poses rather than on flowing from pose to pose with breath-based movements
Kitchari A cleansing and detoxifying meal traditionally made with split mung beans and basmati rice
Nadi shodhana A pranayama practice that purifies the channels of the body
Nasya Herbal nasal medication
Neti pot Container used to cleanse the nose with warm, salty water
Panchakarma Purifying therapies
Pranayama Breathing exercises; breathing consciously to expand awareness and restore balance in the mind-body system
Rasayana “Rebuilding the body.” In a detox program, rasayana is the rejuvenation phase that takes place after the active cleanse, in which we use various herbs and practices to rebuild the bodily tissues and facilitate the body’s self-repair mechanisms.
Aham Sanskrit term that means “I am”
Amritanam Immortality
Atharva Veda The main source of information about Ayurveda. The Atharva Veda provides supplementary mantras for a variety of purposes, including health and psychological well-being
Atman Brahman The universal ground state of being
Avyakta Consciousness, the silent field of pure potentiality, also known as purusha
Ayurveda One of the world’s oldest systems of natural medicine, originating in the region of India thousands of years ago. Ayurveda means “the science of life” (ayur = life, veda = science or knowledge).
Dhanvantari In the Vedic tradition, Lord Dhanvantari is considered to be the god or divine founder of Ayurveda
Dharana Control of the mind; mastery and expression of attention and intention
Dhyana Meditation; the development of witnessing awareness
Eight limbs of yoga In the Yoga Sutras, the sage Patanjali describes the eight limbs or branches of yoga, which are a roadmap for moving from ordinary states of awareness to higher consciousness.
Yamas One of the eight limbs of yoga; rules of conduct; spontaneous evolutionary behavior of conscious beings
Niyamas One of the eight limbs of yoga; rules of personal behavior; the internal dialogue of conscious beings
Asana One of the eight limbs of yoga; physical postures; mind-body integration
Pranayama One of the eight limbs of yoga; breathing exercises; breathing consciously to expand awareness and restore balance in the mind-body system
Pratyahara One of the eight limbs of yoga; control of the senses; tuning into our subtle sensory experiences
Dharana One of the eight limbs of yoga; control of the mind; mastery and expression of attention and intention
Dhyana One of the eight limbs of yoga; meditation; the development of witnessing awareness
Samadhi One of the eight limbs of yoga; absorption; the state of being settled in pure, unbounded awareness
Jiva The individual ground state of being
Jyotish A Sanskrit term that means “science of light,” Jyotish is a profound and mathematically sophisticated form of astrology originating in the ancient Vedic traditions
Karana Sharira The innermost body or the non-changing self, sometimes known as Atman
Mahat The organizing intelligence of the universe
Mantra A sound or vibration that we can repeat silently to ourselves in meditation to experience inner quiet and expanded awareness
Niyama Rules of personal behavior; the internal dialogue of conscious beings
Om The primordial, universal sound
Pradhana Prakruti, also called “primal matter” or “first substance”
Pratyahara Control of the senses; tuning into our subtle sensory experiences
Puja An act of honoring an aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and other rituals
Purusha Consciousness, the silent field of pure potentiality, or avyakta
Rig Veda A collection of sacred hymns and essential mantras that is one of the four sacred texts comprising the Vedas
Samadhi Absorption; the state of being settled in pure, unbounded awareness
Sama Veda A collection of Vedic chants used to heal and harmonize the bodymind; also known as “the book of song”
Sankhya Vedic philosophy that posits 24 elemental principles or building blocks of existence; the Sanskrit term sankhya means “number” or “numerical”
Sanskrit One of the world’s oldest Indo-European languages. The language of Ayurveda includes many Sanskrit terms
Sat Chit Ananda Existence, awareness, and being
So Hum Ancient mantra used in meditation that is often translated to “I am that”
Sthapatya Vedic science of designing homes and other buildings in a way that promotes a sense of inner happiness and harmony
Tantra A spiritual approach focusing on awakening to the divine nature of all existence
Upanishads Sacred Hindu texts, dealing with the knowledge of the true self, or pure consciousness
Vedas A collection of ancient Sanskrit texts that includes the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda. The Vedas contain knowledge about how the universe functions and practical information on how to live our lives.
Vedanta One of six Hindu schools of philosophy; the Sanskrit term means “the end of the Vedas”
Vedic Relating to the Vedas
Vyakarana A Sanskrit term that means “analysis” or “explanation”; vyakarana refers to the Vedic field of language analysis, including grammar and linguistic conventions
Yagya In the Vedic tradition, an offering or ritual that usually includes prayers, chanting mantras, and lighting a fire for purification
Yajur Veda "Science of action”; develops the insights of the rishis into rituals or transformative actions, such as the practice of yoga and the support of health and longevity
Yama Rules of conduct; spontaneous evolutionary behavior of conscious beings
Yantra A symbolic representation of the creative forces of the universe; used as meditative tool
Yoga The union of the mind, body, and spirit as one continuum of consciousness
Ashtanga Hridaya A renowned text by Vagbhatta of Sindh that takes the teachings of Charaka and Sushruta and puts them into a concise form for easy learning
Bhagavad Gita Hindu epic depicting the story of a conversation between Arjuna and Krishna that takes place on a battlefield
Charaka Samhita One of the oldest authentic texts on Ayurveda, covering a range of topics in Ayurvedic internal medicine, including physiology, disease, herbal formulations, detoxification, panchakarma, and rejuvenation therapies
Hatha Yoga Pradipika A fifteenth-century Sanskrit manual on hatha yoga whose title means Light on Hatha Yoga; written by the yogic sage, Svatmarama
Madhava Nidana A classic Ayurvedic text written by the great sage Madhava
Sankhya Karika The central Sankhya text, compiled by Ishvara Krishna sometime around 200 CE
Sushruta Samhita Ayurvedic text that focuses on disease prevention and the theory and practice of surgery, including surgical procedures, cleaning and disinfecting surgical instruments, and anesthesia
Yoga Sutras A handbook for enlightenment attributed to Patanjali, a Vedic sage said to have lived somewhere between 400 BCE and 300 CE
Agada Tantra The branch of Ayurveda that deals with toxicology
Bhrajaka To shine or to create radiance
Bhutavidya Ayurvedic psychology
Drava Liquid, fluid
Guna Attribute or quality; Sanskrit word meaning “that which binds”
Guru Heavy
Jivaka The Buddha’s personal physician
Jivana Joy in living
Kapila Sage who founded, Sankhya, one of six classical schools of Indian philosophy in the sixth or seventh century BCE
Kathina Hard
Kaumara Bhritya Pediatrics branch of Ayurveda
Kaya Chikitsa Internal medicine branch of Ayurveda
Khara Rough
Laghu Light
Maha Great
Manda Dull
Mridu Soft
Nagarjuna Great sage, siddha, and Buddhist Ayurvedic figure who became known as the “Medicine Buddha” (c. 150–250 CE)
Namaste Derives from the Sanskrit language and means “I bow to you”; more commonly translates to “the divine light in me honors the divine light in you,” the recognition that we are all equal and share a common divinity
Neti, Neti Sanskrit expression that means “neither this nor that”; the practice of letting go of attachment to temporary identities (titles, possessions, or relationships) so that we can experience our true self, which is pure, unbounded consciousness
Pachaka To cook; to digest; to transform
Pancha Five
Picchila Cloudy, slimy, sticky
Prasama Hum Mantra that means “My essential nature is calmness, ease, and tranquility”
Prinana Pleasure
Purna Fullness and contentment
Rajas The guna, or principle, of maintenance and action
Ranja To color; to dye
Rishi India’s ancient sages
Ruksha Dry
Samanya The Ayurvedic principle of “like increases like”
Sandra Dense, solid
Sara Mobile
Sattva The guna, or principle, of creativity and intelligence
Shabda Sound
Shalakya Tantra The branch of Ayurveda that addresses head and neck diseases
Shalya The surgical branch of Ayurveda
Sheetah Cold
Shlakshna Smooth
Sneha Oily
Snigdha Oily
Sthira Stable, slow
Sthula Gross
Sukshma Subtle
Sushruta The surgical field of Ayurveda
Tamas The principle of dissolution and destruction
Tattvas 24 cosmic principles
Tikshna Sharp, penetrating
Ushna Hot
Vajikarana The branch of Ayurveda that addresses fertility issues
Vishada Clear
Vishesha The principle that opposites decrease each other
Purisha Stool
Created by: chopracenter