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.
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
of the non-dual school of metaphysics. Advaita means
adj., imperishable. Phonetically, aks`ara A]r
can be derived componentially as that
which is, as in the letter k
; 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
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
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 ]eÇ
field, or a dominion or a place, ]Ç ks`atra.
repha universalizes the
meaning unto that which is subtle yet everywhere, and that must be the
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
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, tÇ
The consonant t
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 Ç tr.
The compound consonant Ç 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 Ç
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
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
r repha being combined to
the t takaara
in a contiguous fashion to form Ç tr,
and with no medial vowel to lend its particular meaning, the unifying
power of the r
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 Ç tr
is prefixed by the A akaara
to form the pada AÇ
atra, modifying thereby the implication of the unifying power of
the r 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 tÇ
tatra, then the determination imposed by the first t
takaara is further universalized by the powerful compound
consonant Ç tr
which follows in this pada. Since AÇ
atra means 'here,' or 'in this case,' then tÇ
tatra means 'there,' or 'for that.' See
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
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
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
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
ind., that which is false; that which
depends upon something other than itself for its existence. See
traya Çy .
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
% ukaara, and m
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.
f.s., wisdom. See sandhis.
the first person in a grammatical
differentiation of verbs formed by
suffix. àwm prathama
means first, and refers to the person, puué;
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
%Äm puué; uttama purus^a, where %Äm
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: tÅv< 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 puué;
madhyama purus^a, wherein m*m madhya
is an adjective meaning middle.
a seer; an ancient seer in the
vernacular; a sage. See ïuit
means Sanskrit. See Sanskrit.
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.
more formally s<Sk&tm! ,
the ancient Hindu classical language. Literally the word s<Sk&tm!
breaks down into the comprise of sm! sam
and the past participle of k& kr^.
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
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
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
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
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
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
is then followed by another t,
with an A
opening the first t unto
the second t.
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
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
sat imposes the s
followed by A
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,
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.
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<àday
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.
a classical work in Sanskrit which is handed down through the vehicle of
memory as opposed to ïuit 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
the Scriptures which arrive as heard, and as distinct therefore
from what is remembered, Sm&it smr^ti.
is the xatu
dhatu meaning to hear, whereas Sm&
smr^ is the root for the verb
to remember. The i\;y> r^ish^is
is first case singular) divined the ïuit
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.
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!
there, then, for that. The consonant t
means to perform a determination
of truth in the contemplative mode. When it is met with another
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 Ç 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 Ç tr.
Further, since tÇ 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, AÇ
atra demonstrates the place of
the A akaara
to negate : the Ç
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, AÇ 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 AÇ
atra, then that which is to be
determined through a unifying concept would be available or immediate,
since the A
akaara at the beginning of the word AÇ
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 Ç tr.
Much like tt!
tat, then, the determination of tÇ
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! tat,
tatra would confer the idea of 'for that,' or 'then,'
atra in the similar vein means 'in this case.'
The meaning of the word tÇ tatra
can be even better grasped if it is compared with the word tÅv
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
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 tÅv
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 Ç
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 tÅv tattva.
Thus is the truth derived.
adj., triple. The semi-vowel
y yakaara personifies.
Here it is suffixed to
in the adjective traya Çy,
the conjunct consonant Ç
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
trakaara has been explicated in depth at the entries here of AÇ
as well as tTv
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!
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 Ç
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 AÓEt
or non-dual concept of truth, sTym!
satyam. To realize tÅv< 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
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, ÓE
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 d
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.
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
; 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 àv&iÄ pravr^tti.
When the vowel A akaara
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 devÉa;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
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 VyÃn
vyanjana, meaning consonant, must be explored for its meaning, as
well. See VyÃn vyanjana.
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
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.
© 2003 - 2009 By Marilynn Stark All