Sanskrit Glossary of Vedantic Terms – 6

Simplistic definitions for Advaita Vedanta students.


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  • abādhita: (adjective) Unnegated, i.e. by another pramāṇa.
  • ābhāsa: (noun) Resemblance, that which appears as something but is not really that thing.
  • adhiṣṭhāna: (noun) Foundation; locus of adhyāsa; provider of existence.
  • adhyāsa: (noun) Error, superimposition.
  • adhyasta: (adjective) Mistaken, superimposed.
  • adṛṣṭa: (adjective) Unseen, see karma-phala.
  • ahaṅkāra: see cid-ābhāsa.
  • anadhigata: (adjective) Unknown, i.e. by another pramāṇa.
  • anādi: (adjective) Without beginning.
  • antaḥ-karaṇa: (noun) The mind; the non-physical individual. It is made of subtle matter, and hence intrinsically jaḍa.
  • aparokṣa: (adjective) Direct, not separate, e.g. aparokṣa-jñāna is knowledge of that which is not separate from the knower (antonym: parokṣa).
  • avacchinna: (adjective) Figuratively delimited or associated, e.g. the volume of a pot is equal to all-pervading space that is avacchinna by the pot.
  • āvaraṇa: (noun) One of the two capacities associated with avidyā, which ‘covers' or inhibits the knowledge of something.
  • avidyā: (noun) Causal matter, the unmanifest state of jagat, also called māyā and ajñāna.


  • bandha: (noun) Limitation; dependence on objects and conditions for happiness; opposite of mokṣa.
  • bhūta: (noun) Element; five-fold manifestation of avidyā, i.e. ākāśa, vāyu, agni, jala, pṛthivī.


  • caitanya: see jñāna.
  • cid-ābhāsa: (noun) Caitanya associated with the individual and conditioned by the properties and limitations of the antaḥ-karaṇa. Also known as ahaṅkāra.
  • cit: see jñāna.


  • doṣa: (noun) Defect, fault.
  • duḥkha: (noun) Unhappiness, sorrow; that which is absolutely and universally avoided by all beings.


  • guṇa: (noun) 1. Attribute; 2. The three-fold manifestation of avidyā, i.e. sattva, rajas, and tamas.


  • jaḍa: (adjective) Not independently conscious; inert.
  • jagat: (noun) The manifest universe.
  • jijñāsu: (noun) A deliberate seeker of brahma-jñāna.
  • jīva: (noun) see cid-ābhāsa.
  • jñāna: (noun) 1. Unconditioned awareness; the highest reality. Also known as cit or caitanya; 2. A thought generated by a pramāṇa. Also known as pramā; 3. Any cognition.


  • kāla: (noun) Time.
  • karma: (noun) Ritual; also abbreviation of karma-phala.
  • karma-phala: (noun) Result of action, either dṛṣṭa (visible, directly associable to a known action) or adṛṣṭa (invisible, not directly associable to a known action).
  • khyāti: (noun) Error, see adhyāsa.


  • lakṣya: (noun) Indirect or secondary meaning of a word.
  • loka: (noun) An experiential plane attained due to puṇya or pāpa.


  • mala: (noun) Mental obstacles to brahma-jñāna caused by pāpa.
  • mīmāṃsā: (noun) Analysis of upaniṣad by traditional methods for the purpose of discerning its tātparya.
  • mithyā: (adverb): Falsely or dependently (existing).
  • mokṣa: (noun) Freedom from limitations; unconditional happiness; the goal underlying every pursuit of every individual.
  • mumukṣu: (noun) A deliberate seeker of mokṣa.


  • nirguṇa: (adjective) Without attributes (antonym: saguṇa).
  • nitya: (adjective) Permanent, not limited by time (antonym: anitya).


  • pāpa: (noun) Undesirable karma-phala.
  • pāramārthika: (adjective) Absolutely real. Also called satya.
  • parokṣa: (adjective) Indirect, separate, e.g. parokṣa-jñāna is knowledge of that which is separate from the knower (antonym: aparokṣa).
  • prakaraṇa: (noun) 1. A topic; 2. A teaching method; 3. A text within the vedānta tradition that summarizes or elaborates the teaching of prasthāna-traya.
  • prakṛti: (noun) Basic matter; the causal state of jagat, see avidyā.
  • pramā: see jñāna.
  • pramāṇa: (noun) A means of knowledge.
  • pramātṛ: (noun) Knower, see cid-ābhāsa.
  • prameya: (noun) Object of knowledge.
  • prasthāna-traya: (noun): The core three texts of the vedānta tradition, namely: upaniṣad or śruti-prasthāna, the source of the teaching found in the veda; Bhagavad-Gītā or smṛti-prasthāna, a later text found in the Mahābhārata; and Brahma-Sūtra or nyāya-prasthāna, a logical analysis of upaniṣad and the core teachings of vedānta.
  • prātibhāsika: (adjective) Relatively and subjectively real.
  • puṇya: (noun) Desirable karma-phala.


  • rāga: (noun) Longing, binding desire.


  • sādhaka: (noun) A person deliberately pursuing mokṣa by appropriate direct and indirect sādhanas.
  • sādhana: (noun) A means to a specific sādhya, esp. mokṣa, for which the direct sādhana is ātma-jñāna.
  • sādhya: (noun) A goal or end.
  • saguṇa: (adjective) With attributes (antonym: nirguṇa).
  • śakya: (noun) Direct or primary meaning of a word.
  • sāmānya: (adjective) General, universal.
  • samaṣṭi: (adjective) Total, macrocosmic.
  • sattā: (noun) Order of reality, viz. pāramārthika, vyāvahārika, and prātibhāsika, or satya and mithyā.
  • satya: (adjective) Absolutely real. Also called pāramārthika.
  • sthūla: (adjective) Gross, usually with physical form.
  • sūkṣma: (adjective) Subtle, without physical form.
  • svarga: (noun) A loka superior to this one.
  • svarūpa: (noun) Reality, essence.
  • svataḥ-siddha: (adjective) Self-proven.


  • tātparya: (noun) The central theme or teaching of a text.
  • tripuṭī: (noun) Division of pramātṛ, prameya, and pramāṇa that forms the basis of bandha.


  • upajīvaka: (adjective) Dependent, secondary, esp. of a pramāṇa.
  • upajīvya: (adjective) Independent, primary, esp. of a pramāṇa.
  • upāsana: (noun) Mental ritual in the form of meditative visualization.


  • vācya: (noun) see śakya.
  • vairāgya: (noun) Understanding of the limitations of all pursuits other than mokṣa.
  • vākya: (noun) Statement, sentence, esp. that of upaniṣad.
  • vikṣepa: (noun) 1. One of the two capacities of avidyā, which superimposes an error on an object that is not completely known; 2. A superimposed error; 3. inattention to brahma-jñāna due to pāpa.
  • viśeṣa: (adjective) Specific, individual.
  • viveka: (noun) The capacity to discriminate, esp. between what is nitya and anitya.
  • vrtti: (noun) The form in which the antaḥ-karaṇa exists; a thought; the association between a word and its meaning.
  • vyaṣṭi (adjective) Individual, microcosmic.
  • vyāvahārika: (adjective) Relatively and objectively real.