The Metaphorical Meaning of Sanskrit Terms: Chosen By Eye, Authored by Starlight

5 Mar

  • Chekitana: a spiritual warrior on the side of Pandava. Cekitana comes from cekit, which means within a short time and is also the name of a small cricket-like insect, and tan, which means the divine sound and the various melodies which are the inaudible talk of God.
  • Chitraratha: Citraratha comes from citra (colorful) + ratha (chariot), name of the king of the gandharvas: in the body-chariot, one perceives divine colors and sounds.
  • chitta: memory. The Scriptures say that chitta is anusandhanatmika or smaranatmika—“The investigating faculty or the faculty of memory is chitta”. This chitta is born out of human experience through the mind and the mind becomes activated from memory or chitta. Chitta is the computerized memory of the brain. Chitta can be compared to the ocean, and the mind is compared to the waves. It is the fourth of the antar karana chatustaya, the four internal instruments.
  • chora kothari: “the secret chamber”. If the mind is always fixed on the divine sound constantly and enjoy being in the secret chamber.
  • ghanta (bell) represents the náda or divine primordial sound, dírghapraòavanáda, anáhata náda. Gomamse traditionally is translated as “beef”. But metaphorically it breaks down into go + mam + sa. Go means “the whole universe”, mam “to me”, and sa means He, the Supreme Almighty Lord. Hence gomamse means “He, who is abiding in the whole universe, is taking me to God.”
  • Kálí: the Divine Mother who helps to overcome the fear of kála (time, limitation or death.)
  • manas: the mind, the doubting faculty in man. The scriptures say: samsayatmika manah—“the mind always doubts.” The mind loves confusion and the mind lives in confusion. The mind cannot decide what is good and what is bad. It is the first of the antar karana chatustaya, the four internal instruments.
  • mantra: mana trayati iti mantra, “the mind that makes you free from the world, that is mantra”.
  • Marichi: light of the person by which ego is destroyed; feeble breath
  • Ravi: ram (fire, illumination) + vam (vacuum) + ing (shakti): divine illumination in vacuum or inner sky
  • samprajñata: made of sam (derived from samyak, “completely” or “perfectly”); pra (“clearly”); and jña (“to know”). Thus the meaning is: knowing clearly and completely.
  • sananda samadhi: sa means “with”, ananda means joy, bliss. The sublimated mind is more absorbed in the intellect. One experiences bodylessness and joy. Here the mind itself is the object of meditation. Sananda samadhi, the third level of the four samadhis described in the Yoga Sutra 1:17, is experiencing bliss alone.
  • sasmita samadhi: sa means “with”, asmita means pure ego. When meditation is more concentrated and ripe, then one experiences the state of “I am, I am…” i.e. aham asmi, which is known as asmita, pure ego’s existence. Sasmita samadhi, the fourth level of the four samadhis described in the Yoga Sutra 1:17, is to go beyond body and all experiences, the state of subtle ego.
  • sati: sat (truth) and i (energy)—one who directs all energy towards Truth. The spiritual urge for perfection in every human being.
  • Tarakasura: táraka (stars) and asura (demon). The millions of desires and thoughts and propensities are like the millions of stars in the cosmos. If you have no control over them, you are a tárakásura.
    • The fifth meaning of atha is “qualification”. When one crosses the propensities of the heart centers and reaches the neck center and transcends above, one is in the state of a qualified spiritual aspirant; to perceive, conceive and realize yoga.
    • The fourth meaning of atha is “thereafter”. When one crosses the nabhi chakra and comes to the heart center with purity and love, then he wants to know atha kim. What is after this? This is the state of self-enquiry.
    • The second meaning of atha is “question”. The general explanation of this “atha” starts with the question, “What is yoga?” The entire book explains the yoga in its every aspect. Here, atha is also used in the second chakra, svadhisthana, with a question: “Do people really want God-consciousness in daily life or not?
    • The sixth meaning of atha is “promise” or pratijna. When one really goes to the sixth center he enjoys peace, bliss and joy, calmness and love and promises not to be deviated from this state.
    • The third meaning of atha is karyarambha, i.e. “initiation of effort”. By this, the explanation of yoga is started from the first aphorism. The real meaning is that the navel center is the center of energy, which is called nabhi chakra. Spiritual practice starts from this center.
  • triputi: “triple phenomena” – like the seer, the seen and seeing.
  • Uchchaihshravas: Indra’s horse. Uccaiàçravas represents udan vayu.
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