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There are many terms used to describe the various elements of Sanskrit, including the letters, parts of speech, syntax, phonetic characteristics, and  so forth.  It is important to be mostly concerned with developing an understanding of what is being said through the language, so that nomenclature is not strictly essential in accomplishing that task.  However, some basic terms which consistently offer clarification in word formation and in typical grammatical usage are included in this Glossary.  The majority of the terms explicated here will thereby aid in building an understanding of the metaphysics of advaita Vedaanta, and often as derived from the phonetic basis.



advaita Vedaanta      non-dual Vedanta, wherein veda<t  V  is derived from the words ved Veda, scriptures or knowledge, and ANt anta, meaning end.   The Upanishads are located at the end of each of the four Vedas, and comprise the scriptures or s`ruti  uit of the non-dual school of metaphysics.  Advaita means non-dual.


aks`ara     A]r adj., imperishable.  Phonetically,  aks`ara A]r can be derived componentially as that which is, as in the letter k kakaara ;  then this letter k kakaara is  combined with the next component, z s`akaara,  while not expanding into that sibilant through the interposition of a vowel, since it combines directly into the compound consonant  ] ks`.  The meaning of the sibilant z s`akaara is that which lends dynamism, and rarefies or purifies.  When forming the compound consonant, that dynamism must so inhere in what is, k kakaara, since there is no vowel to modify the k kakaara and thus attach the meaning of the adjacent z s`akaara in a way which would be once removed; therefore, 'what is' must be now considered for some dynamic or rarefied attribute within itself, and that would be the subtle constituents of matter.  Such constituents show dynamic activity at the gross levels in the natural world around us, and are known to conduct subtle-level activity in the molecular cosmos.  This consonantal formation ] ks` is then followed successively by an A akaarar repha, a  r repha which unifies.  This unification delocalizes the concept conferred through the  k kakaara of what is, so that ]r ks`ara would not refer to a conscribed place, such as ]e ks`etra a field, or a dominion or a place, ] ks`atra.  Rather, r repha universalizes  the meaning unto that which is subtle yet everywhere, and that must be the perishable--matter.  When the A akaara precedes the compound consonant ] ks`, and which is followed by a r repha,  then the meaning is reversed, or placed at the inception of the given meaning.  The opposite of perishable is imperishable, and the imperishable is indeed the inception, the source of the perishable, as the A akaara here teaches.


atra    A       ind., here, in this case.  The phonetics of this word are parsed according to its existing letters, and then further understood by the complementary indeclinable adverb, t tatra, q.v.  The consonant t takaara means to consider or to perform a determination of truth.  When fused with the semi-vowel r repha, whose operation phonetically is to unify, to gather, then t takaara becomes the compound consonant tr.  The compound consonant tr emphasizes the goal of metaphysical seeking after the purport of non-dual truth in any scientific determination thereof.   The reality which results from that unifying principle by quest, by search, should present a correlation of that universal premise of truth when a determination is posed, such as by the invocation of the fused letters tr.  However, it should be observed here that the letter t takaara alone does also mean to seek after the truth of the advaita precept when the t takaara sets forth a determination of truth or reality, and this is so by implication.  Combining the r repha to the t takaara will make efficient the concept of unifying upon the determination represented by  t takaara, it activates directly this unifying feature.  In Chapter 1 the substantives formed of the xatu dhaatu t trr^, meaning to traverse, are explicated in depth; and briefly here, the power of the vowel to open upon a consonant amounts to a  modification of that consonant according to the meaning of the sound of the vowel.  Thus, for instance, the noun tr tara can mean passage, since the first A akaara replaces the root-level in the dhaatu t trr^, to traverse, and describes a launching of a traverse, or a passage.   In this instance of the repha being combined to the t takaara in a contiguous fashion to form tr, and with no medial vowel to lend its particular meaning, the unifying power of the repha is then extended directly, in a fashion contained unto the determining element of the t  takaara.  When an A akaara follows the tr, this signifies the institution of the results of the universally disposed determination at hand, and which is different from the  broader an^ga (stem) tr tara, whose expanse translates into passage, a broad traverse.  Rather, when the compound consonant tr  is prefixed by the  A akaara to form the pada A atra, modifying thereby the implication of the unifying power of the repha, the meaning, the definition of the word comes out as 'here,' or as 'in this case.'  Or, the A akaara can mean to place the entire determination symbolized by the t takaara at a restart, which would draw the determination into a consideration once again close at hand, or, 'in this case.'  If one considers the indeclinable t tatra, then the determination imposed by the first t takaara is further universalized by the powerful compound consonant  tr which follows in this  pada.  Since A atra means 'here,' or 'in this case,' then t tatra means 'there,' or 'for that.'   See t tatra.


ca     c, ind., a conjunction meaning and.  As a letter the c cakaara signifies the sense of joining or binding. c ca can also mean 'if,' which places a hypothetical sense to the binding,  so that a conditional is implied.  Please see the hyperlink above for more elaboration of  phonetics, and which will further explain c cakaara. 


mantra     m<  m.,s., a Vedic hymn, a Sanskrit prayer or hallowed formula, often used in japa or in meditation, whereby the mantra is repeated over and over again methodically.  Such repetition is implemented so as to achieve a relaxation of the mind by attenuating the thoughts.  A mantra m< can be a long sentence or phrase; however, it is often thought of as a terse Sanskrit phrase with pithy meaning, and which is to be contemplated upon for a deeper realization of the self and of  sTym!  satyam.  The use of this word in the American culture is now prevalent, and tends to accentuate in its meaning the practice of successive repetition of an actual mantra in Sanskrit.  As used popularly,  mantra  means the watchword of a given concern.  In the adaptation of the strict Sanskrit word mantra m< to our Western culture, the meaning implied is: that verbalism or idea which is cohesive unto a goal, a belief, or a rallying around a leading concept or mode of action in any given concern, and thus is likely to be repeated often.  In the American adaptation of the word mantra the Sanskrit pronunciation has not been preserved accurately, since Americans say 'maantra,' whereas the a is actually short in the Sanskrit word.  An example of a mantra is: om tat sat.        


mithyaaimWya     ind., that which is false; that which depends upon something other than itself for its existence.  See traya .


om     is the sacred symbol ` which has no succinct translation.  However,  ` om should be understood as the fundamental algorithm to all of Sanskrit in terms of sound itself, in terms of the sheer phonetics.   ` om  symbolizes the universal embrace of the language Sanskrit, since it makes real the power of the meaning of the various sounds. ` om  connotes the beginning, the continuation and the termination through the three individuated sounds of its sound comprise: A akaara, ukaara, and m makaara, respectively.  The reality of all of the sounds of the language of Sanskrit is implicated by these three all-embracing sounds by the concept of the inclusive span they represent across time.  And that reality becomes non-dualised to a self-realized knower of truth.  


prajn~aa     }a  f.s., wisdom.  See sandhis.


prathama purus^a      wm puu; *    the first person in a grammatical 

differentiation of verbs formed by suffix.  wm prathama means first, and refers to the person, puu;  purus^ha who is objectified by description: for example, he speaks, vdit vadati, or they speak, vdiNt vadanti.  In English this is the third  person, whereas in Sanskrit, the self views all others as "Thou," other than Ahm!   aham, "I." Therefore, he/she/it/they are dealt with in the first instance.  The self who speaks or relates through  verbal usage is the third person, or %m puu;  uttama purus^a, where %m  uttama means ultimate, and this can be 'I' in the singular or 'we' in the plural.  This is a reversal of the sense of agency in English, where the first person as 'I' is dominant in the sense of that ordination.  However, this difference in naming the persons of agency in verbal conjugation between English and Sanskrit reflects the reverence for the ultimate knowledge of the self, of AaTma  aatmaa, so that in the quest for self-realization, the path will rarefy unto the self only when all else in the objective venue becomes known or realized: tv< Ais  tattvam` asi, That Thou art.   It is the ultimate person, 'I,' who will come to realize this truth, and thus this person is third in ordination, thereby delineating an absence of  Ah<kar  aham`kaara, false ego, a refutation of doership. The second person is described as in the middle, m*m puu;  madhyama purus^a, wherein  m*m madhya is an adjective meaning middle.


rishi      i\i; m.,s., a seer; an ancient seer in the vernacular; a sage.  See uit s`ruti.



sam<skr^tam     s<Sk&tm!      means Sanskrit.  See Sanskrit.


sandhis     euphonic combinations of vowels and consonants which lend an economy of sound in the pronunciation of words as such words occur in sequence with one another.


Sanskrit     more formally s<Sk&tm! , the ancient Hindu classical language.  Literally the word s<Sk&tm!  sam<skr^tam breaks down into the comprise of sm! sam and the past participle of k& kr^sm! sam is prefixed in word formation, and can mean together or well.  k& kr^ is most often seen in its meaning as to do, and can also mean to sound.  Therefore, the exact meaning of s<Sk&tm!  sam<skr^tam could be that which is done well, or that which is sounded together, or sounded well. 


sat     existence; st!  n.,s.  ` tt! st!  om tat sat is a mantra which teaches the meaning of st!  sat of  existence,  in two syllables other than omkaara, to which it stands in apposition, along with their like apposition to tt!  tat.  If one views this mantra phonetically, let us assume that the ` om places by its invocation of sound all of the possible sounds which can be made, and which can combine so as to form words and confer  meaning which is ulterior also to the meanings of the unitary sounds represented by each letter of the words.  The tkar takaara symbolizes that which is posed for determination of truth, for determination of reality, in the grand metaphysical inquiry of the seeker.  Therefore, this sound is of ultimate importance in the inquiry at hand, since it stands at the exact fulcrum conceptually of the entire quest for truth.  And that quest can only proceed by inquiry, so that it is most understandable that all of the objective aspect of reality, all of the objective creation, would have the  tkar takaara present in the personal pronoun associated with that objective realm.  On the other hand, when the creation is viewed for determined acceptance, for what just 'is' as can be perceived, the letter k kakaara becomes relevant.  From ka  kakaara, also known as the interrogative pronoun, and as explained in depth in Chapter 1, the inquiry now proceeds into the personal disposition of understanding, such that the individual may grasp the truth by careful and more in-depth, scientific inquiry. And so that inquiry proceeds through the realization of  self in relation to all of 'what is,' ka kakaara, unto that, tt!  tat, the third person of the personal pronoun.  The inquirer's objective counterpart in the most universal sense is tt!  tat, so that   the subjective inquirer, ' I ,' the first person personal pronoun, Ahm!  aham in the nominative case singular, extends the tool of inquiry instead unto tt!  tat, all of 'that.'  And this inquiry is posed not through the subjective, point- individual in terms of sound; rather, it is juxtaposed to the universal representation conferred by ` om, which is the source of all sound and therefore the symbol of the most subtle reality plane.  The tkar takaara, t, is then followed by another t, with an A akaara opening the first t unto the second t. This pd pada, word, can be translated accordingly as: that inquiry after truth which is posed as a determination of truth, t, and which determination may lead unto yet a further determination of truth, t.  The akaara symbolizes a new beginning of the same determination, so that one determination leads to another.  Is this not the nature of the metaphysical quest which lives in the heart of every seeker, who plots along on a seemingly endless mission of successive questions?  Yes.  Then, juxtaposed to tt!  tat in the mantra ` tt! st!  is st!  satst!  sat imposes the s sakaara now followed by A akaara, thus representing the dynamic activity of the objective world, its abiding harmony.  This is the action of a rarefied nature which is symbolized by the s sakaara, and that once again becomes the object of a determination in our inquiry after truth; hence the s sakaara is succeeded by the tkar takaara, t.  Now  extracting the word st!  sat from this mantra for its meaning has provided a more elaborate build-up into an understanding of the meaning of the word st!  sat as existence.  Action and activity may fool the inquirer into believing that existence cannot be grasped as universal in its essence by inquiry, since the nature of action presents change, and change is seemingly bound in duality.  Yet, when seen as natural in the universe of existence,  st!  sat, and which is seen through the mantra as the same as  tt!  tat, and  both of which emanate conceptually from the ultimate sound source,  ` om, action is extirpated as part of all that is,  tt!  tat; and its attribute of change becomes subsumed in that which knows no change.


satyam      universal truth, or that which remains the same in all three periods of time.  sTym! satyam  is a word which is commonly used to mean that which exists and is real.  However, there is a careful method of rigorously unfolding the meaning of sTym! satyam, which method is called s<day sam<pradaaya.  In following this strict method of gaining a realization of the meaning of the word sTym! satyam, it is seen as the same as Brahman, as limitless, as beyond any limitation of object, time or space.

smr^ti     a classical work in Sanskrit which is handed down through the vehicle of memory as opposed to uit s`ruti which is derived rather from the knowledge conferred more directly from the spiritual plane.  The Bhagavad Gita renders record of a civil war, and although it contains metaphysical precepts in a dialogue between avatar and disciple, Krishna and Arjuna, it is classified as Sm&it smr^ti.  See s`ruti.


s`ruti     the Scriptures which arrive as heard, and as distinct therefore from what is remembered,  Sm&it smr^ti.  u sru is the xatu dhatu meaning to hear, whereas Sm& smr^ is the root for the verb to remember.  The i\;y> r^ish^is  (i\i;> is first case singular) divined the uit s`ruti from the higher plane as pure instruments of the Lord, of Ishvara.  The Bhagavad Gita is a great epic poem, which is classified as  Sm&it smr^ti.


tat      tt!     that; and tat  is technically either the nominative or the accusative case singular of the third person personal pronoun td!  tad in the neuter gender, tt!  tat.  The first person personal pronoun, ASmd!  asmad, and the second person personal pronoun, yu:md!  yush^mad, are followed by td!  tad, which can also be used as a demonstrative adjective, that.  Indeed, these pronouns become implemental in the metaphysical concepts of Vedanta, as the fundamental inquiry which presents simply boils down to, 'Who am I ?' and 'What is that?'  Thus, all of the universe relates indeed to the subjective and the objective as the basis for inquiry as to the nature of reality, and the essence or substance of  truth.  Other subjective beings are of the second person personal pronoun, yu:md!  yush^mad When an inquiry has been honed down to the question of all else, other than the subjective self accomplishing the inquiry, then tt!  tat is invoked.  To group all other sentient beings, yu:md!  yush^mad, or Thou, with tt!  tat, even despite their having the same attributes as the subjective inquirer, is to realize  'I am you' as well as and beyond 'I am that,' if one sees tt!  Tvm! Ais tat tvam asi, 'That Thou art.'  For this phrase combines the self to the creation in the universal sense of the claim that existence just is, and that the self is non-different from what is, in addition to being.  Thus do the subjective and objective aspects of the reality of the creation fuse, and this entire contemplation is understood through the use of the word tt!  tat.  See st! sat.  


tatra     t     ind., there, then, for that.  The consonant t takaara means to perform a determination of truth in the contemplative mode.  When it is met with another takaara in sequence in the same word, then the contemplation is not resolved, the determination is active, the word is tt! tat.  This might represent all of the objective world which is thus met by metaphysical inquiry, that, if the seeker has indeed rarefied such inquiry unto such level of universality.  The addition to t takaara of the compound consonant tr will introduce the unifying effect of the  r repha upon the t takaara in a fashion which is closed, or self-contained.  Thus, the personal pronoun tt!  tat has been modified unto a sense of active unifying endeavor through this tr.  Further, since tatra also also ends in an A akaara, which means a beginning, then a sense of an ulterior facet to the reality being described or sought has been introduced, whereas, atra demonstrates the place of the akaara to negate : the   tra, that which is unified, is undone to the extent that what is close by is not expansive unto unity in the sense of tt! tat, all of that.  Rather, it is here, A atra.  If one considers all of the objective world logically, then there are basically two facets seemingly available: that which is close, or here, and that which is further off, or there.  If  the word were A atra, then that which is to be determined through a unifying concept would be available or immediate, since the akaara at the beginning of the word A atra imposes a rare beginning, and is not closed at the first as is t tatra--in t tatra the opening t takaara implies a determination, which is then operated upon by the compound consonant tr.  Much like tt!  tat, then, the determination of tatra will be more extended, and therefore not immediate, and therefore would embrace the facet of that which is far off, or there.  Or, if used in the sense of instance instead of the locale which is implied by the broad expanse of the objective reality known as tt!  tatt tatra would confer the idea of  'for that,' or 'then,'  whereas A  atra in the similar vein means 'in this case.'  The meaning of the word tatra can be even better grasped if it is compared with the word tv tattva, which means truth or essential nature, and is also spelled  tTv  tatva.  The semi-vowel v vakaara means to make discrete, to individuate. Therefore, the combination of a  t takaara and a v vakaara to make Tv  tvakaara will engender a determination which is now applied to a given and specific, discrete idea or concern.  When Tv  tvakaara is combined with tt!  tat to yield tv  tattva, or variably  tTv  tatva, the truth or essence has been grasped, since there had been an enabling unto a specific task at hand in the quest for truth, or for reality.  When the r repha combines and implicates a unifying disposition in the inquiry now met with the determining power of the t takaara, to form trakaara, then that unification expands the results.  However, this  r repha does not then hone down to the truth discretely, in contrast to the conjunct consonant formed of t takaara and v vakaara when it is combined with t takaara to spell tTv tatva, or with tt!  to spell tv  tattva.  Thus is the truth derived.


traya    y     adj., triple.  The semi-vowel y yakaara personifies.  Here it is suffixed to  trakaaraNow in the adjective traya  y,  the conjunct consonant trakaara is modified by the personifying utility of the y yakaara, as from its stand-alone meaning,  wherein the concept of that which is posed for determination of truth, the t  takaara aspect,  is to be conceived of at the same time as unified, the r repha component.  Accordingly, these two ideas are then followed by the idea of characterizing as according to persona: which is, what is, the y yakaara.  trakaara has been explicated in depth at the entries here of atra  and   tatra, as well as tTv tatva How can that which is unified be determined ultimately to constitute a triplication in the reality after which the observer, the seeker after truth, poses in this inquiry?  If the r repha unifies, then why is this unity not found in the definition of that which is personified by a determination of truth which undergoes the unifying quest, the gathering effect, of r repha?  In the method of inquiry after  sTym!  satyam, universal truth, in advaita Vedanta, that which is real must be separated out from that which is not real according to strict definition: what is of ultimate reality, sTym!  satyam, must be the same in all three periods of time, inTy nitya.  The r repha will unify, and that means to gather in the basic dualities of the physical universe, which dualities  inhere in that objective realm.  When personified, therefore, since these dualities have not transcended, and must be transcended upon, in a sense, and into the realization after which the inquirer seeks. They have been only described as per a language.  These two fundamental dualities which are born of the physical, remain at hand but for contemplation's endeavor.  No language can straight-out hand over the realization of the oneness of truth in the universal sense, as any language can only describe and appoint the mind for the intuitive leap necessary to the contemplative self-realization of sTym!  satyam.  Therefore, in the conjunct consonant trakaara followed by y yakaara, a threesome is essentially described: the two fundamental physical opposites, plus the third persona, the inquirer.  For the inquirer after sTym!   satyam to ultimately realize the self as the same as all of that, tt!  tat,  above and beyond the dual nature of the physical objective realm, to be more aware that AaTma aatmaa is the same as the witness of that realm, is to finally realize the advaita AEt  or non-dual concept of  truth,  sTym!   satyam.  To realize tv< Ais  tat tvam asi, 'you are that,'  is to meet the witness, sa]I saaks`ii, to end the triangulation of self in relation to knowledge of the universal oneness of truth,  sTym!   satyam, which takes imWya  mithyaa mistakenly as real.  The substance of the pot is not also the pot, for that baked clay can be pulverized, for example, and turned into a material for building a walkway; to cognize the pot as most real is imWya mithyaa, it is to miss the truth of the substance which forms the pot, sTym!  satyam.  r repha in apposition to the t takaara had been expected to at least enumerate a doublet, if not a oneness, in its aspect of unifying to singularity in the quest for truth, then what is the letter which will concisely land at a further reduced numeration in our inquiry?  That letter is the semi-vowel v vakaara, and which will combine with d dakaara to give the adjective meaning double, E  dvaidha  The v vakaara  sTym!   satyam, so that when once the aspect of reality upon which we pose our determination has given some effect in realization,  the dakaara, if it fuses with the v vakaara for a focusing in upon a singular point in our realization of truth, then we have rarefied further the results: there is now a dual or double representation of our recognition of what is.  


svara     Svr     m., s., a sound; a vowel; a Vedic accent.  The word svara Svr can be parsed for its meaning according to the combination of the sibilant sakaara, which combines with the semi-vowel vakaara  v ; this fusion of letters into Sv  svakaara equals the following meaning:  to make discrete for consideration that action or activity whose source is of the type that is not willful, such as v&i  pravr^tti.  When the vowel A akaara succeeds Sv  svakaara, it opens up  the meaning into the unification, since it is then met with the r  repha, the unifying operative.  Thus, Svr  svara is formed, and means that which arises from action inherent in the objective realm which is made discrete and further set up for unifying effect.  Indeed, this word Svr  svara in its meaning of 'sound,' describes the nature of sound succinctly.  For sound draws from the broadest expanse of possibility in the objective realm. Further, sound must become discrete as it is heard, and which further addresses the unified expanse in the sense that it comes out of the non-dual in the first place.  To interpret the meaning of the word  Svr svara further to mean vowel, one must understand the type of effect a vowel holds in deva;a Devabhaash^aa.    The sibilants tie together sounds, consonants and syllables.  Thus, to make that which works in a fluid fashion, a sibilant, the s sakaara here, discrete, and then to further modify such effect by the unifier, the r repha, is to describe precisely how a vowel works.  Vowels unify the less resonant consonants, lending the same type of continuity as the sibilants lend, yet they are largely more resonating by their nature.  In order to more fully grasp how a Svr  svara can be construed to be a vowel from the phonetic basis, the word Vyn  vyanjana, meaning consonant, must be explored for its meaning, as well.  See  Vyn  vyanjana.  


tvam    Tvm!     sec. pers. nom. sing. of pers. pron.,     you, Thou.  This personal pronoun,  the conjunct consonant  Tv tvkaara joined by the consonant makaara, can be understood phonetically as that which is individuated and is to be determined as to truth contemplatively, and placed thereupon as a finalization of the outcome of determination also of truth, as per the m makaara, but with a practical use intended in such  m makaara-symbolized finalization.  The m makaara represents the ultimate and therefore finalization of the labials.  Such labials concern determinations of truth which culminate in an interest in practical use, for equalization or survival, for thriving in the very world of dual opposites which presents itself in the  metaphysical panoply.  When considering, therefore,  the personal pronoun  Tvm!  tvam, as the first case of yu:mt!   yush^mat, the second person personal pronoun, you, why would there be a m makaara to so define the concept enclosed in another individual in the first case, which is the case which declares fundamentally the state of being, and which inflection also is used for the vocative, case, the case of address?  The answer is found in the regard one holds for another jIvNmuKt jiivanmukta, whose existence is likewise held sacred unto the principle of condition in life, of state of like awareness in that fellow being for biological reasons, for the principle of non-hurt, or  AihMs  ahimsa. The method of inquiry after truth of universal import is employed not only unto the question of self, of aatmaa, but also unto the question of the state of existence and of awareness in other individuals, which inquiry will culminate in the sense of integrity allowed in the m makaara's meaning.  For the final concept in any determination unto the practical plane will also be refurbished once a question of further truth imposes itself, such as  might occur if that other jiivanmukta seeks the same truth.  But to place the concept of the living condition in the sense of the makaara in the word tvam through the practical ideation meant by the labial consonants, which start with p pakaara, is to show other individuals the same respect one feels for oneself in the living world, and in the world of living beings.



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