Tag Archives: hindu

~Unmesa & Nimesa~

Unmesa and nimesa are Sanskrit words that are used in a number of different contexts relating to human consciousness.

One way of understanding unmesa is by seeing it is as an upward movement, or ascent, of consciousness. In this case, nimesa is the downward movement, or descent. Both movements are an integral part of the spanda (cosmic movement) that takes place between any two objects in the universe as a part reflecting the greater whole, like Parvati as an integral part of Shiva. It can also be thought of as expansion and contraction of consciousness, two thoughts, two points of view or anything else.

An alternate meaning for unmesa is “appearance,” with nimesa having the opposite meaning of “disappearance.”

~Bhujanga~

Bhujanga is a Sanskrit word that means “snake,” “serpent” or “cobra.” Hindu mythology is filled with stories about the symbolism and worship of snakes. Lord Shiva is typically depicted with a bhujanga around his neck as an ornament, and sometimes, one around his upper arms. Bhujanga also refers to the Hindu snake god (Bhujanga Nag), who is worshiped at temples erected in his name in the city of Bhuj, located in western India, which is noted as the home of snakes.

Symbolically, bhujanga represents kundalini or shakti, the primal feminine energy that rests at the base of the spine. When awakened, it is a powerful force that travels up the spine.

~Tyaga~

Tyaga is a Sanskrit word that means “abandonment,” “sacrifice,” “forsaking” and “renunciation.” In the Bhagavad Gita, tyaga refers to relinquishing the fruit of one’s actions. In the context of yoga and Hindu philosophy, tyaga is the dispassionate giving up of what results from one’s actions. Something is done simply because the action is supposed to be done – not for any positive or negative result.

When practicing tyaga, the yogi gives up anything or any attachment that stands between him/her and self-realization.

~Sankirtan~

Sankirtan is a form of song or chanting that praises God and is performed in a public setting. The term comes from the Sanskrit root, kirtan, which means “praising,” “celebrating” or “glorifying.” San comes from the word, samyak, which means “complete.”

Westerners have been exposed to sankirtan through the Hare Krishna movement, whose followers publicly sing the praises of Lord Krishna, often to the accompaniment of drums or other percussion instruments and sometimes with dancing. When the sankirtan takes to the streets, it is called nagara-sankirtan.

~Niranjan~

Niranjan is a Sanskrit word that has multiple meanings and uses. It means “pure,” “spotless,” “simple,” “truthful,” “great” and “without bad attributes.” It is also a name for the Supreme Being. The word is derived from the Sanskrit root words, nir, meaning “no” or “without”; and anjan, meaning “impurity,” “fear” or “lack of knowledge.” Anjan also refers to the sense of self and possession, so niranjan can mean a non-attachment to possessions and self.

As it refers to the Supreme Being, Niranjan is an incarnation or another name for Krishna and for Shiva.

~Omkara~

Omkara is another term for Om (or Aum), literally meaning “OM maker.”

The ancient yogic texts, such as the Upanishads, “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” and the Bhagavad Gita, mention a method of meditation called Pranava yoga. In this type of yoga and meditation, one concentrates on the sacred sound of the Om mantra, which is believed to represent Brahman, or Absolute Reality. The practice of Pranava yoga leads to moksha, or liberation from suffering and limitation.

~Ayur~

Ayur is a Sanskrit term meaning “life” or “vital power.” It is one part of the Sanskrit compound of terms that make up the word Ayurveda, which means “life knowledge.” Ayurvedic medicine is a life-giving system of Indian traditional medicine and is often practiced alongside yoga for its natural healing properties. Ayuryoga combines the ideas and practice of Ayurveda with the spiritual and physical disciplines of yoga.

~Pancha~

Pancha is a Sanskrit word that means “five.” In the context of Hinduism and yogic philosophy, the number five has significance in many key concepts and finds its way into religious symbolism as a sacred number. For example, the god, Shiva, is portrayed with five faces (panchamukha), each facing a different direction.

The list of pancha concepts is long, but one of the foundational ones is that of the five great elements, or pancha mahabhuta: akasha (ether), vayu (air), tejas (fire), jala (water) and prithvi (earth). These elements are believed to exist in everything in the universe. Ayurveda, the ancient medical system from India, manipulates and balances the elements to maintain health and cure disease.

~Virat~

Virat is a Sanskrit term referring to the complete totality of beings in their gross body, which is one of three forms that also include the causal and subtle forms of the body. The Upanishads revealed these three forms and their relation to the three forms of consciousness – dream sleep, dreaming and waking. To a certain extent, everything in the physical world contains virat as the cosmic form expressing itself in each physical body.

~Divya~

Divya is the Sanksrit term for “divine,” “fate” or “fortune.” Divya is also a popular first name for girls, especially in India and among those who practice Hinduism.

Within yoga philosophy, divya often refers to divine insight, or divya-drishti. Divya-drishti, once attained, helps yogis communicate and connect with the Divine and can permit a yogi to see into the future as well as the past.