Tag Archives: hindu

~Nisthita~

Nisthita is a Sanskrit word that means “consummate,” “accomplished,” “certain” and “complete.” In the context of Hindu and yogic philosophy, nisthita refers to nisthita bhakti, or steady devotion. Its opposite is anisthita bhakti, or unsteady devotion.

Bhakti describes both devotional service and the yogic path of devotion to a deity that leads to liberation from samsara, or the life-death-rebirth cycle. Nisthita bhakti is one of the nine stages of bhakti that the yogi passes through on the path to moksha (liberation).

The bhakti path begins with faith, which leads to anisthita bhakti (sometimes devoted and sometimes not) followed by nisthita bhakti, which provides the foundation upon which the rest of the journey builds.

The nine stages of bhakti include:

  • Faith
  • Association with saints
  • Devotion in practice, such as worship or service
  • Cessation of bad thoughts and habits (anartha)
  • Steadiness, or nisthita bhakti
  • Developed taste for devotion
  • Attachment to the deity
  • Emotion and enthusiasm
  • Pure love for the deity

Although anarthas are cleared in the previous stage, they are still present in nisthita bhakti, just not active. They eventually disappear as the yogi advances and pure bhakti manifests.

~Antar Mauna~

Antar mauna is a Sanskrit term that means “inner silence.” It refers to a yogic meditation technique that involves transforming and controlling thought processes through self-awareness and mindfulness. By internalizing the senses through this form of meditation, the yogi observes the inner and underlying structure of the mind and thought processes.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati of the Bihar School of Yoga in India developed the Satyananda system of yoga and the six stages to antar mauna. Satyananda yoga incorporates aspects of Jnana, Bhakti and Karma yoga.

Yoga {25} ~ Asanas/Poses {14} ~ Kurmasana/Tortoise Pose

Tortoise pose is performed by folding the body at the waist and slipping the arms under the legs, which are extended with knees either bent or straight. It is recommended to stay in the pose for 30 to 40 seconds and for roughly five to 10 breaths.

This is an important posture in yoga for increasing flexibility, particularly the hips, hamstrings, shoulders and along the spine. Although not a particularly challenging posture, it can be modified for beginners through several variations in which the arms relax alongside the body or extend forward, rather than under the legs.

Tortoise pose may also be referred to by its Sanskrit name, kurmasana.

~Sankalpa~

Sankalpa is a Sanskrit term in yogic philosophy that refers to a heartfelt desire, a solemn vow, an intention, or a resolve to do something. It is similar to the English concept of a resolution, except that it comes from even deeper within and tends to be an affirmation.

This term comes from the Sanskrit roots san, meaning “a connection with the highest truth,” and kalpa, meaning “vow.” Thus, it translates to denote an affirming resolve to do something or achieve something spiritual.

Oftentimes, yoga practice can help an individual uncover and cultivate their own sankalpa in order to achieve enlightenment.

~Jaina~

Jaina refers to someone who is an adherent of Jainism, a system of Indian philosophy. The term is Sanskrit for “overcomer.”

Like Hinduism and Buddhism, Jainism is a yogic tradition. All three believe in the idea of liberation from the life-death cycle, albeit in different ways. In the Jain tradition, yoga and meditation are a means to spiritual development and ultimately spiritual liberation.

Yoga {23} ~ Asanas/Poses {12} ~ Trikonasana/Triangle Pose

Trikonasana is a standing yoga posture that requires strength, balance and flexibility. In this posture, both arms extend with the legs spread apart and one foot turned at a 90-degree angle. The upper body bends toward the lead foot so that one arm reaches toward, but not necessarily touching, the ground and the other toward the sky.

The term comes from the Sanskrit trikona, meaning “three corners” or “triangle,” and asana, meaning “posture.” The term is often used synonymously with utthita trikonasana (extended triangle pose).

In addition to a range of physical benefits, trikonasana is believed to unblock energy pathways in the body. It is one of the basic poses common to the many styles of yoga.

Trikonasana is commonly referred to as triangle pose in English.

~Nirmanakaya~

Nirmanakaya is a term in Buddhism that translates as “body of transformations” and is typically described as the physical body — more specifically, the physical manifestation of a buddha. The word comes from the Sanskrit, nirmana, meaning “creation” or “transformation,” and kaya, which means “body.”

Nirmanakaya is one of the three bodies — or the trikaya — in Mahayana Buddhism, the other two being the non-physical dharmakaya (the absolute, or truth, body) and sambhogakaya (the body of divine enjoyment). They may also be considered three levels of buddhahood.

~Drishti~

Drishti is the yogic practice of focussed gaze, used as a means of developing concentration. It can help to enhance focus during asana, pranayama or meditation, and aids in the withdrawal of the senses for a heightened sense of self-awareness. The term drishti is Sanskrit for “eyesight” or “vision,” and the practice is believed to help cultivate insight and inner wisdom through the third eye.

Although drishti relates to the fifth of Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga, pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), it is not explicitly mentioned in the Yoga Sutras. An early reference to the practice occurs in the Bhagavad Gita, in which Krishna instructs Arjuna to “hold one’s body and head erect in a straight line and stare steadily at the tip of the nose.”

Drishti can also be referred to as dristi, drshti, or dristhi.

Yoga {20} ~ Asanas/Poses {9} ~ Tuladandasana/Warrior Three Pose

Tuladandasana is an advanced balancing asana which requires stability, focus and core strength. The name comes from the Sanskrit tula, meaning “balance”; danda, meaning “stick” or “staff”; and asana, meaning “pose.”

In this asana, the body forms a “T.” The arms are raised overhead with the palms facing each other or touching. The back leg lifts off the ground, the anchored leg is straight, and the arms, torso and back leg are parallel with the ground.

Tuladandasana may be commonly referred to in English as balancing stick pose. The asana is also sometimes known as Virabhadrasana 3 (warrior three or flying warrior pose) or eka padasana (one-legged pose).