Reading list

Art of Happiness, The: A Handbook for Living Dalai Lama, Howard C. Cutler

Autobiography of a Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda

Be Here Now Ram Dass

Be Love Now: The Path of the Heart Ram Dass

Bhagavadgita: The Divine Song Shyamdas

The Call of the Flute Shyamdas

Chants of a Lifetime: Searching for a Heart of Gold Krishna Das

The Eight Human Talents: Restore the Balance and Serenity within You with Kundalini Yoga
Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Cathryn Michon

Ecstatic Couplets: The Yugal Gita Shyamdas

Flow of Grace: Chanting the Hanuman Chalisa Krishna Das

Heart of Yoga, The: Developing a Personal Practice T.K.V. Desicachar

Inner Goddess Shyamdas

In Praise of Vallabh Shyamdas

The Journey Home Radhanath Swami

The Journey Home Radhanath Swami

Krishna’s Inner Circle: The Ashta Chaap Poets Shyamdas

Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali B.K.S. Iyengar

Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika B.K.S. Iyengar

Living Yoga: Creating a Life Practice Christy Turlington

Loving Awareness Shyamdas

Malas, Mantra and Meditation Shyamdas

Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga Rolf Gates, Katrina Kenison

The Path of Grace Shyamdas

Shakti: The Feminine Power of Yoga Shiva Rae

Yoga and Vegetarianism: The Path to Greater Health and Happiness Sharon Gannon

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times Pema Chodron

The Poem Samadhi Paramhansa Yogananda

Vanished the veils of light and shade,
Lifted every vapor of sorrow,
Sailed away all dawns of fleeting joy,
Gone the dim sensory mirage.
Love, hate, health, disease, life, death,
Perished these false shadows on the screen of duality.
Waves of laughter, scyllas of sarcasm, melancholic whirlpools,
Melting in the vast sea of bliss.
The storm of maya stilled
By magic wand of intuition deep.

The universe, forgotten dream, subconsciously lurks,
Ready to invade my newly-wakened memory divine.
I live without the cosmic shadow,
But it is not, bereft of me;
As the sea exists without the waves,
But they breathe not without the sea.
Dreams, wakings, states of deep turia sleep,
Present, past, future, no more for me,
But ever-present, all-flowing I, I, everywhere.

Planets, stars, stardust, earth,
Volcanic bursts of doomsday cataclysms,
Creation’s molding furnace,
Glaciers of silent x-rays, burning electron floods,
Thoughts of all men, past, present, to come,
Every blade of grass, myself, mankind,
Each particle of universal dust,
Anger, greed, good, bad, salvation, lust,
I swallowed, transmuted all
Into a vast ocean of blood of my own one Being!
Smoldering joy, oft-puffed by meditation
Blinding my tearful eyes,
Burst into immortal flames of bliss,
Consumed my tears, my frame, my all.
Thou art I, I am Thou,
Knowing, Knower, Known, as One!

Tranquilled, unbroken thrill, eternally living, ever-new peace!
Enjoyable beyond imagination of expectancy, samadhi bliss!
Not an unconscious state
Or mental chloroform without wilful return,
Samadhi but extends my conscious realm
Beyond limits of the mortal frame
To farthest boundary of eternity
Where I, the Cosmic Sea,
Watch the little ego floating in Me.

The sparrow, each grain of sand, fall not without My sight.
All space floats like an iceberg in My mental sea.
Colossal Container, I, of all things made.
By deeper, longer, thirsty, guru-given meditation
Comes this celestial samadhi.
Mobile murmurs of atoms are heard,
The dark earth, mountains, vales, lo! molten liquid!
Flowing seas change into vapors of nebulae!
Aum blows upon vapors, opening wondrously their veils,
Oceans stand revealed, shining electrons,
Till, at last sound of the cosmic drum,
Vanish the grosser lights into eternal rays
Of all-pervading bliss.

From joy I came, for joy I live, in sacred joy I melt.
Ocean of mind, I drink all creation’s waves.
Four veils of solid, liquid, vapor, light, Lift aright.
Myself, in everything, enters the Great Myself.
Gone forever, fitful, flickering shadows of mortal memory.
Spotless is my mental sky, below, ahead, and high above.
Eternity and I, one united ray.
A tiny bubble of laughter,
I am become the Sea of Mirth Itself.

Aarti - is a Hindu religious ritual of worship, a part of puja, in which light from wicks soaked in offered to one or more deities. Aartis also refer to the songs sung in praise of the deity, when lamps are being offered.

Acharya – spiritual preceptor, one who teaches by example.

Ahimsa – a completely non-violent existence

Advaita Vedanta - is considered to be the most influential and most dominant sub-school of the Vedanta (literally, end or the goal of the Vedas, Sanskrit) school of Hindu philosophy. Other major sub-schools of Vedanta are Visishṭadvaita and Dvaita; while the minor ones include Suddhadvaita, Dvaitadvaita and Achintya Bhedabheda. Advaita (literally, non-duality) is a system of thought where “Advaita” refers to the identity of the Self (Atman) and the Whole (Brahman).

Amrita - is a Sanskrit word that literally means “immortality”, and is often referred to in texts as nectar. The word’s earliest occurrence is in the Rigveda where it is one of several synonyms of soma, the drink which confers immortality upon the gods. It is related etymologically to the Greek ambrosia, and it carries the same meaning. It has various significances in different Dharmic Traditions. “Amrit” is also a common Hindu first name for men; the feminine is “Amrita”.

Arjuna - is the greatest warrior on earth and is one of the Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Arjuna, whose name means ‘bright’, ‘shining’, ‘white’ or ‘silver’ (cf. Latin argentum), was such a peerless archer that he is often referred to as Vishnu – the unbeatable.

Asana - is a body position, typically associated with the practice originally identified as a mastery of sitting still, with the spine as a conduit of biodynamic union. In the context of Yoga practice, asana refers to two things: the place where a practitioner (or yogin, in general usage), sits and the manner (posture) in which he/she sits. In the Yoga sutras, Patanjali suggests that asana is “to be seated in a position that is firm, but relaxed” for extended, or timeless periods.

Ashram - Additionally, today the term ashram often denotes a locus of Indian cultural activity such as yoga, music study or religious instruction, the moral equivalent of a studio or dojo.

Atman - especially in the Vedanta school of Hinduism it refers to one’s true self beyond identification with phenomena. In order to attain salvation (liberation) a human being must acquire self-knowledge (atma jnana) which is to say realise experientially that one’s true self is identical with the transcendent self (paramatman) that is called Brahman.

Aum - was first described as the all-encompassing mystical entity in the Upanishads. In Hindusim, Jainism, and Buddhism, it is considered to be a mystical and sacred sound. It is sometimes written as “Om.”

Avatar- is a deliberate descent of a deity to earth, or a descent of the Supreme Being (i.e., Vishnu for Vaishnavites) and is mostly translated into English as “incarnation,” but more accurately as “appearance” or “manifestation”.

Ayurveda - translated as “the science of life”, is a system of traditional medicine native to India and a form of alternative medicine. The earliest literature on Indian medical practice appeared during the Vedic period.

Bhagavad Gita - or simply “Gita”, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the ancient Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. It is an allegorical text, which narrates a conversation between Lord Krishna and Pandava Prince Arjuna taking place in the middle of the battlefield before the start of the Kurukshetra War with armies on both sides ready to battle. The Bhagavad Gita’s emphasis on selfless service (seva) was a prime source of inspiration for Mahatma Gandhi.

Bhagavan – from the Sanskrit, literally means “possessing fortune, blessed, prosperous” (from the noun bhaga, meaning “fortune, wealth”, cognate to Slavic bog ”god”, Russian богач (boga’ch) ”wealthy”), and hence “illustrious, divine, venerable, holy”, etc.

Bhajan - is any type of Indian devotional song. It has no fixed form: it may be as simple as a mantra or kirtan, or an extremely sophisticated composition involving classical scales (ragas) or rhythms (talas). It is normally lyrical, expressing love for the Divine. The name, a cognate of bhakti, suggests its importance to the bhakti movement that spread from the south of India throughout the entire subcontinent in the Moghul Era.

Bhakti - is often defined as “intense love”, or “intense attraction” to the Divine. Literally, it can be translated as “participation.” When a devotee actively practices devotion for the Divine, in the form or chanting for example, he/she is practicing bhakti. The Sanskrit noun bhakti is derived from the verb root bhaj, whose meanings include “to share in”, “to belong to”, and “to worship”.

Bhav – denotes denotes a mood of ecstasy and self-surrender. Literally, the word means “feeling”, “emotion”, “mood”, “mental attitude” or “devotional state of mind.”

Brahmacharya - is one of the four stages of life in an age-based social system as laid out Classical Sanskrit texts in Hinduism. It refers to an educational period of 14–20 years which starts before the age of puberty. During this time the traditional vedic sciences are studied, along with the religious texts contained within the Vedas and Upanishads. This stage of life was characterized by the practice of strict celibacy.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu - was a Vaishnava saint and eastern India (specifically present-day Bangladesh and states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Manipur, Assam, and Orissa of India) in the 16th century,[1] believed by followers of Gaudiya Vaishnavism to be the full incarnation of Lord Krishna. Sri Krishna Chaitanya was a notable proponent for the Vaishnava school of Bhakti yoga based on the philosophy of the Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita. Specifically, he worshipped the forms of Radha and Krishna, popularized the chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra and composed Siksastakam in Sanskrit. His line of followers, known as Gaudiya Vaishnavas, revere him as an Avatar of Krishna in the mood of Radharani who was prophesised to appear in the later verses of the Bhagavata Purana.

Chakra - means “wheel.” Chakras are energy centers, or energy vortices. They exist as dynamic energies in all human beings. Most yoga traditions acknowledge seven main chakras, which correspond to the endocrine system or to nerve plexes in the physical body. Each chakra is identified by its location in the body, the organ or gland it affects, its associated element (i.e. fire for the third chakra), its associated color, and its associated emotional qualities (i.e. insecurity for the first chakra).The chakras work in unison with each other. When they are in balance, they create a single line of energy from the base of the spine (first charka) out the top of the head (seventh chakra), which results in an experience of connection and bliss.

Dakini - is a tantric deity described as a female embodiment of enlightened energy. In the Tibetan language, dakini is rendered khandroma which means ‘she who traverses the sky’ or ‘she who moves in space’. Sometimes the term is translated poetically as ‘sky dancer’ or ‘sky walker’.

Darshan - is a Sanskrit term meaning “sight” (in the sense of an instance of seeing or beholding; from a root drs ”to see”), vision, apparition, or glimpse. It is most commonly used for “visions of the divine” in Hindu worship, e.g. of a deity (especially in image form), or a very holy person or artifact. One could “receive” darshana or blessing of the deity in the temple, or from a great saintly person, such as a great guru.

Deva - is the Sanskrit word for deity, its related feminine term is devi.

Devi - see Deva

Dharma - literally translates as that which upholds, supports or maintains the regulatory order of the universe. According to the various Indian religions, such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, beings that live in accordance with dharma proceed more quickly toward liberation from the cycle of birth and death .

Drishti - means “vision” or “insight” in Sanskrit. In yoga, it is a point of focus where the gaze rests during asana and meditation practice. Focusing on a drishti aids concentration, since it is easier to become distracted when the eyes are wandering all over the room. Each yoga pose has a specific drishti, which also aids in alignment.

Ganapati – see Ganesha

Ganesha  -also known as Ganapati, is a Hindu deity who appears as a human with the head of an elephant. He represents the power of the Supreme Being that removes obstacles and ensures success in human endeavors. For this reason, Hindus worship Ganesha first before beginning any religious, spiritual or worldly activity. In Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha is the first son of Lord Shiva and the Divine Mother Parvati.

Ganges - is a trans-boundary river of India and Bangladesh. It is a sacred river for Hindus, and also a lifeline to millions of Indians who live along its course and depend on it for their daily needs. It is worshiped as the goddess “Ganga.”

Gāyatrī Mantra - is a highly revered mantra, based on a Vedic Sanskrit verse from a hymn of the Rigveda (3.62.10), attributed to the rishi Visvamitra. The mantra is named for its vedic gayatri metre. Its recitation is traditionally preceded by Aum (or “Om”) and the formula bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ, known as the mahavyahṛti (“great utterance”).

Gopi - is a word of Sanskrit origin meaning ‘cow-herd girl’. In Hinduism the name gopi (sometimes gopika) is used more commonly to refer to the group of cow herding girls famous within Vaishnava Theology for their unconditional devotion to Krishna as described in the stories of Bhagavata Purana and other Puranic literatures. Of this group, one gopi known as Radha (or Radhika) holds a place of particularly high reverence and importance in a number of religious traditions, especially within Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Gopala – see Govinda

Govinda - and Gopala are names of Krishna, referring to his youthful occupation as a cowherd. He is regarded as the Supreme Godhead in the Vaishnava tradition and also by much of the pan-Hindu tradition. The ancient text Sri Brahma Samhita (5.1) describes Him as the source of all that is and the original cause of all causes.

Guru - is a composite of two words: “gu”, which means darkness; and “ru” meaning light. As such, it is used to describe one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom, and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others. In many Indian spiritual paths, finding a true guru is often held to be a prerequisite for attaining self-realization. In Sikhism, the term refers to the sacred energy (rather than a person) that connects humans to the Divine, having the ability to transform ignorance (or darkness) into Divine union (or light).

Himalayas - is a mountain range immediately at the north of the Indian subcontinent. Several places in the Himalaya are of religious significance in Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism. In Hinduism, the Himalaya have also been personified as the god Himavat, the father of Shiva’s consort, Parvati. A number of Tibetan Buddhist sites are situated in the Himalayas, including the residence of the Dalai Lama.

Hinduism - is the predominant religion of the Indian subcontinent, and one of its indigenous religions. Hinduism includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Srauta among numerous other traditions. Among other practices and philosophies, Hinduism includes a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of “daily morality” based on the notion of karma, dharma, and societal norms. Hinduism is a conglomeration of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid common set of beliefs.

Indra - or Śakra is the King of the gods or Devas and Lord of Heaven or Svargaloka in Hindu mythology. He is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda. He is also the God of War, Storms, and Rainfall and is associated with Vajrapani - the Chief Dharmapala or Defender and Protector of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha who embodies the power of all primordial.

ISKCON - is the acronym for International Society for Krishna Consciousness. ISKCON is known colloquially as the Hare Krishna movement, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava religious organization. It was founded in 1966 in New York City by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Its core beliefs are based on traditional Hindu scriptures such as the Srimad Bhagavatam and
the Bhagavad Gita, both of which, according to the traditional Hindu view, date back more than 5,000 years. The distinctive appearance of the movement and its culture come from the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, which has had adherents in India since the late 15th century and Western converts since the early 1930s.

Japa  - is a spiritual discipline involving the meditative repetition of a mantra or name of a divine power. The mantra or name may be spoken softly, enough for the practitioner to hear it, or it may be spoken purely within the recitor’s mind. Japa may be performed while sitting in a meditation posture, while performing other activities, or as part of formal worship in group settings. The practice of repetitive prayer is present in varied forms within most religions in the world, although the religions of India generally give more emphasis to it as a specific discipline.

Jiva - is a living being, or more specifically, the immortal essence of a living organism (human, animal, fish or plant etc.) which survives physical death. It has a very similar usage to atma, but whereas atma refers to “the cosmic self”, jiva is used to denote an individual ‘living entity’ or ‘living being’ specifically. The terms Paramatma and jivatma are used to avoid confusion. The word itself originates from the Sanskrit Jivas, with the root jiv (to breathe).

Jnana Yoga - or “path of knowledge” is one of the types of hatha yoga mentioned in Hindu philosophies. The main purpose of jnana meditation is to withdraw the mind and emotions from perceiving life and oneself in a deluded way so that one may behold and live in attunement with Reality, or Spirit.

Kali - is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, shakti. The name Kali comes from kala, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Kali means “the black one”. Since Shiva is called Kāla—the eternal time—Kali, his consort, also means “time” or “death” (as in time has come). Hence, Kali is considered the goddess of time and change. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation still has some influence. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shakta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as Bhavatarini (literally “redeemer of the universe”). Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kali as a benevolent mother goddess.

Kali Yuga - “age of the demon Kali”, or “age of vice” is the last of the four stages the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures. The other ages are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga. The duration and chronological starting point in human history of Kali Yuga has given rise to different evaluations and interpretations. According to one of them, the Surya Siddhanta, Kali Yuga began at midnight on February 18 3102 BCE in the proleptic Julian calendar, or January 23 3102 BC in the proleptic Gregorian calendar. This date is also considered by many Hindus to be the day that Krishna left Earth to return to his abode. Most interpreters of Hindu scriptures believe that Earth is currently in Kali Yuga. Many authorities such as Swami Sri Yukteswar, and Paramhansa Yogananda believe that it is now Dvapara Yuga. Many others like Aurbindo Ghosh have stated that Kali Yuga is now over. The Kali Yuga is sometimes thought to last 432,000 years, although other durations have been proposed.

Karma - in Indian religions is the concept of “action” or “deed”, understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, and Sikh philosophies. The opposite of karma is dharma.

Kirtan – is call-and-response chanting or “responsory” performed in India’s devotional traditions. A person performing kirtan is known as a kirtankar. Kirtan practice involves chanting hymns or mantras to the accompaniment of instruments such as the harmonium, tablas, the two-headed mrdanga or pakawaj drum, and karatal hand cymbals. It is a major
practice in Vaisnava devotionalism, Sikhism, the Sant traditions, and some forms of Buddhism, as well as other religious groups.

Krishna - literally “dark, black, dark-blue”[1]) is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is known as the eighth and “complete” avatar of Lord Vishnu,( As per the North Indian belief, Krishna is the eighth avatar, while as per south Indian belief, Balarama is considered as the eight avatar and Krishna as the ninth) come to restore Dharma to the earth in a time of great dharmic imbalance. Krishna is identified as a historical individual who participated in the events of the

Kundalini yoga - is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline for developing strength, awareness, character, and consciousness. Practitioners call Kundalini yoga the yoga of awareness because it focuses primarily on practices that expand sensory awareness and intuition in order to raise individual consciousness and merge it with the Infinite consciousness of God. Considered an advanced form of yoga and meditation, its purpose is to cultivate the creative spiritual potential of a human to uphold values, speak truth, and focus on the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and heal others.

Lakshmi - a Hindu conceptualism of the universe as a playground of the gods the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace andcharm. Representations of Lakshmi are also found in Jain monuments. Also called Mahalakshmi, she is said to bring good luck, and is believed to protect her devotees from all kinds of misery and money-related sorrows.

Lila - conceptualism of the universe as a playground of the gods or viewing life as a “divine play.”

Mahabharata  - is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa.

Mandir - also called Devalayam, Devasthanam, or a Hindu temple is a place of worship for followers of Hinduism. A characteristic of most temples is the presence of murtis (statues) of the Hindu deity to whom the temple is dedicated. They are usually dedicated to one primary deity, the presiding deity, and other deities associated with the main deity. However, some temples are dedicated to several deities, and others are dedicated to murtis in an aniconic form. Many temples are in key geographical points, such as a hill top, near waterfalls, caves and rivers, because some believe the Puranas mention that “the gods always play where groves are near rivers, mountains, and springs.”

Mantra - a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of creating spiritual transformation. Its use and type varies according to the school and philosophy associated with the mantra.

Maya - means “illusion”, which refers to the illusion that we are separate from the Cosmos. This illusion keeps us from experiencing the environment itself but rather a projection of it, created by us. Maya is the principal deity that manifests, perpetuates and governs the illusion and dream of duality in the phenomenal Universe. For some mystics, this manifestation is real. Each person, each physical object, from the perspective of eternity, is like a brief, disturbed drop of water from an unbounded ocean. The goal of enlightenment is to understand this more precisely, to experience this: to see intuitively that the distinction between the self and the Universe is a false dichotomy. The distinction between consciousness and physical matter, between mind and body (refer bodymind), is the result of an unenlightened perspective.

Moksha - literally “release” (both from a root muc ”to let loose, let go”), is the liberation from samsara and the concomitant suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and reincarnation or rebirth.

Mount Kailash - is a peak in the Gangdisê Mountains, which are part of the Transhimalaya in Tibet. It lies near the source of some of the longest rivers in Asia: the Indus River, the Sutlej River (a major tributary of the Indus River), the Brahmaputra River, and the Karnali River (a tributary of the Ganges River). It is considered a sacred place in four religions: Bön, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. In Hinduism, it is considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva and a place of eternal bliss. The mountain lies near Lake Manasarowar and Lake Rakshastal in Tibet.

Mudra - is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism. While some mudrās involve the entire body, most are performed with the hands and fingers. A mudrā is a spiritual gesture and an energetic seal of authenticity employed in theiconography and spiritual practice of Indian religions and traditions of Dharma and Taoism.
One hundred and eight mudras are used in regular Tantric rituals.

Murti - typically refers to an image which expresses a Divine Spirit (murta). Meaning literally “embodiment”, a murti is a representation of a divinity, made usually of stone, wood, or metal, which serves as a means through which a divinity may be worshiped. Hindus consider a murti worthy of serving as a focus of divine worship only after the divine is invoked in it for the purpose of offering worship. The depiction of the divinity must reflect the gestures and proportions outlined in religious tradition. It is a means of communication with the god or Brahman in Hinduism. Murti is a Sanskrit term which is meant to point to the transcendent “otherness” of the divine and when substituted with statue or idol - its inherent meaning is lost since neither is a correct translation of the word murti.

Namaste - is a common spoken valediction or salutation, originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is a customary greeting when individuals meet, and a valediction upon their parting. A non-contact form of salutation is traditionally preferred in India and Namaste is the most common form of such a salutation. In Nepal, younger persons usually initiate the exchange with their elders. Initiating the exchange is seen as a sign of respect in other hierarchical settings. Often translated as “the light in me honors the light in you.”

Nataraja - is a depiction of God Shiva as the cosmic dancer Koothan who performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for god Brahma to start the process of creation. A Tamil concept, Shiva was first depicted as Nataraja in the famous Chola bronzes and sculptures of Chidambaram. The dance of Shiva in Tillai, the traditional name forChidambaram, forms the motif for all the depictions of Shiva as Nataraja. He is also known as “Sabesan” which splits as “Sabayil aadum eesan” in Tamil which means “The Lord who dances on the dais”. The form is present in most Shiva temples in South India, and is the main deity in the famous temple at Chidambaram.

Nirvaṇa - is a central concept in Indian religions. In sramanic thought, it is the state of being free from suffering. In Hindu philosophy, it is the union with theSupreme being through moksha. The word literally means “blowing out”—referring in the Buddhist context, to the blowing out of the fires of greed, hatred, and delusion.

Patanjali  - is the compiler of the Yoga Sutras, an important collection of aphorisms on Yoga practice. According to tradition, the same Patañjali was also the author of the Mahābhāṣya, a commentary on Kātyāyana’s vārttikas (short comments) on Pāṇini’s Aṣṭādhyāyī as well as an unspecified work of medicine (āyurveda).

Pranayama - is a Sanskrit word meaning “extension of the prana or breath” or more accurately, “extension of the life force”. The word is composed of two Sanskrit words, Prāna, life force, or vital energy, particularly, the breath, and “āyāma”, to extend, draw out, restrain, or control.

Pratyahara - is the ‘withdrawal of the senses,’ or the fifth element among the Eight Limbs of yoga described by Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. One of the most common practices for Pratyahara is Pranayama, wherein we automatically withdraw from the external and bring our focus inwards towards our breath, as connection with the external senses and stimuli are all severed gradually.

Puja - is a religious ritual performed by Hindus as an offering to various deities, distinguished persons, or special guests. It is done on a variety of occasions and settings, from daily puja done in the home, to temple ceremonies and large festivals, or to begin a new venture. Puja is modeled on the idea of giving a gift or offering to a deity or important person and receiving their blessing. The two main areas where puja is performed is in the home and at public temples. There are many variations in scale, offering, and ceremony. Puja is also performed on special occasions such as Durga Puja and Lakshmi Puja. The puja ritual is performed by Hindus worldwide. Various pujas are performed at various times of the day and on various occasions.

Radha - is the childhood friend and lover of Krishna in the Bhagavata Purana, and the Gita Govinda of the Vaisnava traditions of Hinduism. Radha is almost always depicted alongside Krishna and features prominently within the theology of today’s Gaudiya Vaishnava sect, which regards Radha as the original Goddess or Shakti. Radha is also the principal object of worship in the Nimbarka Sampradaya, as Nimbarka, the founder of the tradition, declared that Radha and Krishna together constitute the absolute truth.[2] Radha’s relationship with Krishna is given in further detail within texts such as the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Garga Samhita and Brihad Gautamiya tantra. Radha is often referred to as Radharani or “Radhika” in speech, prefixed with the respectful term ‘Srimati’ by devout followers.

Raga - is one of the melodic modes used in Indian classical music.

Rama - is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian Puranas. Rama was born in Suryavansha (Ikshvaku Vansh) later known as Raghuvnsha after king Raghu. Based on Puranic genealogy, Rama is believed by Hindus to have lived in the second Yuga called Treta Yuga, before Krishna who was born towards the end of Dwapara Yuga. Rama is traditionally considered to have appeared in the last quarter of Treta Yuga.[4].[citation needed] and acccording to ancient Hindu scriptures, Vedas, Rama lived before 11,00,000 BC.

Ramayana - It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata. It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king.

Reincarnation -  best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant. This doctrine is a central tenet within the majority of Indian religious traditions, such as Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism; the Buddhist concept of rebirth is also often referred to as reincarnation. The idea was also fundamental to some Greek philosophers as well as other religions, such as Druidism, and later on, Spiritism, Theosophy, and Eckankar. It is also found in many tribal societies around the world, in places such as Siberia, West Africa, North America, and Australia.

Sadhu - denotes an ascetic, wandering monk. Although the vast majority of sadhus are yogis, not all yogis are sadhus. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving moksa (liberation), the fourth and final stage of life, through meditation and contemplation of brahman. Ssdhu’s often wear ochre-colored clothing, symbolizing their sanyasa (renunciation). This way of life is open to women; the female form of the word is sadhvi.

Samadhi - in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and yogic schools is a higher level of concentrated meditation, or dhyana. In the yoga tradition, it is the eighth and final limb identified in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Sannyasa  - is the order of life of the renouncer within the Hindu scheme of life stages. It is considered the top most and final stage of the ashram systems and is traditionally taken by men or women at or beyond the age of fifty years old or by young monks who wish to renounce worldly and materialistic pursuits and instead dedicate their entire life towards spiritual pursuits. In this phase of life, the person develops vairagya, or a state of dispassion and detachment from material life. He renounces all worldly thoughts and desires, and spends the rest of his life in spiritual contemplation. One within the sannyasa order is known as a sannyasin (male) or sannyasini (female).

Saraswati  - is the goddess of knowledge, music, arts and science. She is the consort of Brahma, also revered as His Shakti. Her figure is also popular in the Jain religion of west and central India.

Satguru  - does not merely mean true guru. The term is distinguished from other forms of gurus, such as musical instructors, scriptural teachers, parents, and so on. The satguru is a title given specifically only to an enlightened rishi whose life’s purpose is to guide initiated shishya along the spiritual path, the summation of which is the realization of the Self through realization of the God, who is omnipresent. A Satguru has some special characteristics that are not found in any other types of Spiritual Guru.

Satsang – in Indian philosophy means (1) the company of the “highest truth,” (2) the company of a guru, or (3) company with an assembly of persons who listen to, talk about, and assimilate the truth. This typically involves listening to or reading scriptures, reflecting on, discussing and assimilating their meaning, meditating on the source of these words, and bringing their meaning into one’s daily life. Contemporary spiritual teachers in the West frequently come from the East but can come from any part of the world.


Sattva - is the most rarefied of the three gunas (qualities of the world), whose quality is said to be “pure.” Importantly, no value judgement is entailed as all gunas are indivisible and mutually qualifying.

Seva – Volunteer work; selfless service; work offered to God (in Indian religions).

Shakti - “to be able,” meaning sacred force or empowerment, is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism. Shakti is the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as ‘The Great Divine Mother’ in Hinduism. On the earthly plane, Shakti most actively manifests through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form.

Shiva - is the destroyer of evil or transformer among the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power, he lives a life of a sage at Mount Kailash. In the Shaiva tradition of Hinduism, Shiva is seen as the Supreme God and has five important works: creator, preserver, destroyer, concealer, and revealer (to bless). In the Smarta tradition, he is regarded as one of the five primary forms of God. Followers of Hinduism who focus their worship upon Shiva are called Shaivites or Shaivas. Shaivism, along with Vaisnava traditions that focus on Vishnu and Sakta traditions that focus on the goddess Shakti, is one of the most influential denominations in Hinduism.

Siddhi - is a Sanskrit noun that can be translated as “perfection”, “accomplishment”, “attainment”, or “success”. The term is first attested in the Mahabharata. In the Pancatantra, a siddhi may be any unusual skill or faculty or capability. As a legal term in the Manusmriti, it refers to the settlement of a debt.

Sita - is the consort of the Hindu god Rama (avatar of Vishnu) and is an avatar of Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and wife of Vishnu. She is the female protagonist of the epic Ramayana, the principal narrative of her and Rama’s life. She is esteemed as a standard-setter for wifely and womanly virtues for all Hindu women. Sita is known for her dedication, self-sacrifice, courage and purity.

Stotra  – is a hymn of praise. These hymns praise aspects of the divine, such as Devi, Siva, or Vishnu. Relating to word “stuti”, coming from the same verb, ”stu” (to praise), and basically both mean “praise.”

Sutra - is an aphorism (or line, rule, formula) or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual, or, more broadly, a text in Hinduism or Buddhism. Literally it means a thread or line that holds things together and is derived from the verbal root siv-, meaning to sew (these words, including Latin suere and English to sew, all ultimately deriving from Proto-Indo-European language ‘to sew’), as does the medical term “suture.”

Swami - is an ascetic or yogi who has been initiated into the religious monastic order founded by Adi Sankara, or to a religious teacher.

Tantra - is the name scholars give to an inter-religious spiritual movement that arose in medieval India in the fifth century CE, expressed in scriptures (called “Tantras”). While the doctrines of Tantra vary too widely to summarize briefly, one of its most salient features when compared with earlier forms of Indian religion is that its non-dual forms reject the renunciant values of classical yoga, offering instead a world-embracing vision of the whole of reality as the self-expression of a single, free and joyous Divine Consciousness. Tantric spiritual practices and rituals thus aim to bring about an inner realization of the truth that “Nothing exists that is not Divine”

Upanishads - are philosophical texts considered to be an early source of Hindu religion. Traditionally, these texts are considered to be authorless, and are categorized as Sruti. The Upanishads are found mostly the concluding part of the Brahmanas and in the Aranyakas. All Upanishads have been passed down in oral tradition.

Vaishnavism - is one of the three main traditions of Hinduism, along with Srauta and Shaivism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God. Vaishnavites, or the followers of the Supreme Lord Vishnu, lead a way of life promoting differentiated monotheism, which gives importance to Lord Vishnu and His ten incarnations.

Vedānta - was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = “Veda-end” = “the appendix to the Vedic hymns.” It is also speculated that “Vedānta” means “the purpose or goal [end] of the Vedas.” 

Vedas - Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer ofSanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. The Vedas are apauruṣeya (“not of human agency”).They are supposed to have been directly revealed, and thus are called śruti (“what is heard”), distinguishing them from other religious texts, which are called smṛti (“what is remembered”).

Yoga - has the literal meaning of “yoke”, from a root yuj meaning to join, to unite, or to attach. As a term for a system of abstract meditation or mental abstraction it was introduced by Patanjali in the 2nd century BC. Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a yogi (man) or yogini (woman). The goal of yoga is to connect, or join, the finite self with Universal Consciousness (or “Self”).


Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Govinda Jaya Jaya
Gopala Jaya Jaya
Radha Ramana Hare
Govinda Jaya Jaya

jaya rādhā-mādhava kuñja-bihārī gopī-jana-vallabha giri-vara-dhārī
yaśodā-nandana braja-jana-rañjana yāmuna-tīra-vana-cārī

Radhe Radhe Govinda Radhe Radhe Radhe Govinda Radhe

Bolo Radha Ramana Hari Bol
Bolo Radha Ramana Hari Bol
Radhe Radhe Radhe Jai Jai Jai Sri Radhe

Shree Guru charana saroja raja nija manu mukuru sudhari
Baranaun Raghubara bimala jasu jo daayaku phala chaari
Buddhi heena tanu jaanike sumiraun pawana kumaara
Bala budhi vidyaa dehu mohin harahu kalesa bikaara
Jaya Hanumaan gyaana guna saagara,
Jaya Kapeesha tihun loka ujaagara
Raama doota atulita bala dhaamaa,
Anjani putra Pawanasuta naamaa
Mahaabeera bikrama bajarangee,
Kumati niwaara sumati ke sangee
Kanchana barana biraaja subesaa,
Kaanana kundala kunchita kesaa
Haata bajra aura dwajaa biraajai,
Kaandhe moonja janeu saajai
Shankara suwana Kesaree nandana,
Teja prataapa mahaa jaga bandana
Bidyaawaana gunee ati chaatura,
Raama kaaja karibe ko aatura
Prabhu charitra sunibe ko rasiyaa,
Raama Lakhana Seetaa mana basiyaa
Sookshma roopa dhari Siyahin dikhaawaa,
Bikata roopa dhari Lankaa jaraawaa
Bheema roopa dhari asura sanghaare,
Raamachandra ke kaaja sanvaare
Laaya sajeevana Lakhana jiyaaye,
Shree Raghubeera harashi ura laaye
Raghupati keenhee bahuta baraaee,
tuma mama priya Bharatahi sama bhaaee
Sahasa badana tumharo jasa gaawain,
asa kahi Shreepati kanta lagaawain
Sanakaadika Brahmaadi muneesaa,
Naarada Saarada sahita Aheesaa
Yama Kubera digapaala jahaante,
kabi kobida kahi sake kahaante
Tuma upakaara Sugreevahin keenhaa,
Raama milaaya raaja pada deenhaa
Tumharo mantra Bibheeshana maanaa,
Lankeshwara bhaye saba jaga jaanaa
Yuga sahasra yojana para bhaanu,
leelyo taahi madhura phala jaanu
Prabhu mudrikaa meli mukha maaheen,
jaladhi laanghi gaye acharaja naaheen
Durgama kaaja jagata ke jete,
sugama anugraha tumhare tete
Raama duaare tuma rakhawaare,
hota na aagyaa binu paisaare
Saba sukha lahai tumhaaree sharanaa,
tuma rakshaka kaahu ko dara naa
Aapana teja samhaaro aapai,
teenon loka haanka ten kaanpai
Bhoota pisaacha nikata nahin aawai,
Mahaabeera jaba naama sunaawai
Naasai roga hare saba peeraa,
japata nirantara Hanumata beeraa
Sankata ten Hanumaana churaawai,
mana krama bachana dhyaana jo laawai
Saba para Raama tapaswee raajaa,
tina ke kaaja sakala tuma saajaa
Aura manorata jo koee laawai,
soee amita jeewana phala paawai
Chaaron juga parataapa tumhaaraa,
hai parasidha jagata ujiyaaraa
Saadhu santa ke tuma rakhawaare,
asura nikandana Raama dulaare
Ashta siddhi nau nidhi ke daataa,
asa bara deena Jaanakee Maataa
Raama rasaayana tumhare paasaa,
sadaa raho Raghupati ke daasaa
Tumhare bhajana Raama ko paawai,
janama janama ke dukha bisaraawai
Anta kaala Raghubara pura jaaee,
jahaan janama Hari bhakta kahaaee
Aura devataa chitta na dharaee,
Hanumata se-ee sarva sukha karaee
Sankata katai mite saba peeraa,
jo sumire Hanumata bala beeraa
Jai jai jai Hanumaana Gosaaee,
kripaa karahu gurudeva kee naaee
Jo sata baara paata kara koee,
chootahi bandi mahaa sukha hoee
Jo yaha parai Hanumaana chaaleesaa,
hoya siddhi saakhee Gaureesaa
Tulasee Daasa sadaa Hari cheraa,
keejai naata hridaya mahaan deraa
Pawanatanaya sankata harana mangala moorati roopa
Raama Lakhana Seetaa sahita hridaya basahu sura bhoopa

Namo… Namo…Anjaninandanaaya
Jaya Seeyaa Raama, Jai Jai Hanumaan
Jaya Bajrangbalee, Baba Hanuman
Sankata Mochan kripaa nidhaan
Jai Jai Jai Hanuman Gosaaee
Kripaa karahu Gurudeva kee naaee
Sankata Mochan kripaa nidhaan,
Hare Raama Raama Raama, Seetaa Raama Raama Raama

Om Namah Shivaaya Shivaaya namaha, Shivaaya namah om
Shivaaya namaha, namaha Shivaaya Shambhu Shankara namah Shivaaya, Girijaa Shankara namah Shivaaya Arunaachala Shiva namah Shivaaya

Shiva Shiva Shiva Shamboh Shiva Shiva Shiva Shamboh Mahadeva Shamboh Mahadeva Shamboh

Om bhur bhuvah suvah tat savitur vareṇyaṃ bhargo devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yó naḥ pracodayāt

Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram
Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram
Sita Ram Sita Ram Sita Sita Ram Sita Ram Ram Ram Sita Ram

Om Namoh Bhagavate Vaasudevaayaa
Ram Ram Seetaram Ram Ram Seetaram Seetaram Seetaram Ram Ram Seetaram

Jaya Jagatambe He Maa Durgaa Maa Kaalee Durge Namo Namah Om Naaraayanee Om

Shr Krishna Govinda Hare Murare He Natha Narayana Vasudeva

Chamundaye Kali Ma
Kali Ma, Kali Ma, Kali Ma

Kali Durge Namoh Namah Kali Durge Namoh Namah Namoh Namah

Bolo Bolo Submil Bolo Om Nama Shivaya Om Nama Shivaya Om Nama Shivaya Bolo Bolo Submil Bolo Om Nama Shivaya

Raadhe Raadhe Shyaam Govinda Raadhe, Jai Shree Raadhe Govinda Raadhe Raadhe Shyaam Gopaala Raadhe Raadhe
Krishna Govinda Govinda Gopala x2 Krishna Murali Mano Hara Nanda Lala x2 Murali Dhara
Govinda, Govinda Gopala Murali Dhara Murali Dhara Murali Dhara
Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu


Anusara means “flowing with Grace,” “flowing with Nature,” “following your heart.” Founded by John Friend in 1997, Anusara yoga is a school of hatha yoga, which unifies a life-affirming Shiva-Shakti Tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness with Universal Principles of Alignment. Anusara yoga has become one of the most highly respected schools of hatha yoga with over 1,000 licensed yoga teachers, thousands of teachers in training, and hundreds of thousands of students worldwide. Anusara yoga has a presence on every continent throughout the world, excluding Antarctica, and is in 70 countries, thus attracting media attention worldwide.


Ashtanga yoga is a system of yoga transmitted to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009). This method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures—a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.


Also known as yoga vidya, Hath Yoga is a system of yoga described by Yogi Swatmarama, a Hindu sage of 15th century India. The word “hatha” comes from the Sanskrit terms “ha” (sun) and “tha” (moon). Hatha yoga helps to balance the body, mind and spirit, through poses (asana), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation.


Iyengar is a hatha yoga practice named after its founder, Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, although he himself would not call it Iyengar Yoga. He is considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world and has been practicing and teaching yoga for more than 75 years. He has written many books on yoga practice and philosophy, and is best known for his books Light on YogaLight on Pranayama , and Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. He has also written several definitive yoga texts. Iyengar yoga classes are offered throughout the world, and it is believed that millions of students practice Iyengar Yoga.


The Jivamukti Yoga method is a proprietary style of yoga created by David Life and Sharon Gannon in 1984. Integrating physical, ethical, and spiritual components, the method combines a vigorous, vinyasa form of hatha yoga with adherence to five central tenets: shastra (scripture), bhakti (devotion), ahimsa (non-harming), nāda (music), and dhyana (meditation). Animal rights, veganism, environmentalism, and social activism are also emphasized.


Kundalini is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline for developing strength, awareness, character, and consciousness. Practitioners call Kundalini yoga the yoga of awareness because it focuses primarily on practices that expand sensory awareness and intuition in order to raise individual consciousness and merge it with the Infinite consciousness of God. Considered an advanced form of yoga and meditation, its purpose is to cultivate the creative spiritual potential of a human to uphold values, speak truth, and focus on the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and heal others.


Power Yoga is a general term used in the West to describe a vigorous, fitness-based approach to vinyasa-style yoga. Power yoga was originally closely modeled on the Ashtanga style of practice. The term came into common usage in the mid 1990s, in an attempt to make Ashtanga yoga more accessible to western students. Unlike Ashtanga, power yoga does not follow a set series of poses, so classes can vary widely, though strength and flexibility are emphasized. Instead of pausing between poses as you would in traditional yoga, each move flows into the next, making it an intense aerobic workout.


In a restorative yoga class you’ll spend long periods of time lying on blocks, blankets and yoga bolsters – passively allowing muscles to relax.


Vinyasa is a term that covers a broad range of yoga classes. The word Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement.” In other words, the teacher will instruct you to move from one pose to the next on an inhale or an exhale. This technique is sometimes also called Vinyasa Flow, or just Flow because of the smooth way that the poses run together and become like a dance.

Coming very soon…

Coming very soon…

Support: 21Petals