Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

Dictionary of common Sanskrit spiritual words
K - M

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English ITRANS Sanskrit Meaning

kali yuga

kali yuga kil yug

the present age (Iron age) in the cycle of creation. See kalpa.


kalpa kLp

one 'day' in the life of Brahma, the Creator.


kAma kam

desire, longing. Not to be confused with karma. See purushartha.


kArikA kairka

a concise philosophical statement in verse. The most well-known is that by Gaudapada on the Mandukya Upanishad. (Not to be confused with karika, which is an elephant!). See Gaudapada, Mandukya, Upanishad.


karma kmR

literally 'action' but generally used to refer to the 'law' whereby actions carried out now will have their lawful effects in the future. See also sanskara.


karmakANDa kmRka{f

that portion of the Vedas relating to ceremonial acts etc.


karmaphala kmR)l

the fruit of action in the theory of karma.

karma yoga

karma yoga kmR yaeg

the practice of acting in such a way as not to incur karma. See bhakti, karma, jnana.

Katha Upanishad

kaThopaniShad kenaepin;d

one of the 10 major Upanishads. kena means 'whence?' ('how?', 'why?' etc.) and is the first word of this upanishad. See Upanishad.


kosha kaez

literally 'sheath' as in the scabbard of a sword; one of the five layers of identification that cover up our true nature.




lIlA lIla

literally 'play', 'amusement' or 'pastime'; the idea that the apparent creation is a diversion for a creator - a means for Him to enjoy Himself.




mahAvAkya mhavaKy

maha means 'great'; vAkya means 'speech, saying or statement'. The four 'great sayings' from the Vedas are: - 'Consciousness is Brahman', 'That thou art', 'This Self is Brahman' and 'I am Brahman'.


manana mnn

reflecting upon what has been heard (shravana). The second stage of the classical spiritual path, to remove any doubts about the knowledge that has been received via shravana. See also samshaya, shravana, nididhyasana.


manas mns!

the 'organ' of mind acting as intermediary between the senses and the intellect (buddhi) on the way in and the intellect and the organs of action on the way out. See ahankara, antakarana, buddhi and chitta.


mANDUkya ma{fªKy

One of the major Upanishads and possibly the single most important, when considered in conjunction with the karika written by Gaudapada. See Gaudapada, karika, upanishad.

manomaya kosha

manomayakosha mnaemykaez

the mental sheath, i.e. the mind - the third of the five sheaths (kosha) with which we identify.



one or more words or syllables, traditionally having some mystical significance, often used in meditation. See japa.


mAyA maya

literally 'magic' or 'witchcraft', the 'force' used to 'explain' how it is that we come to be deceived into believing that there is a creation with separate objects and living creatures etc. See also avarana and vikshepa.


mAyAkAra mayakar

a maker of magic i.e. a conjurer or magician. See maya.


mithyA imWya

literally 'incorrectly' or 'improperly'; ascribed to objects etc., meaning that these are not altogether unreal but not strictly real either i.e. they are our imposition of name and form upon the undifferentiated Self. See adhyasa.


moksha mae]

liberation, enlightenment, Self-realisation.


mUlAvidyA mUlaiv*a

root ignorance (mUla = root); an idea put forward by post-Shankara Advaitins to provide an 'explanation' for our mistaking appearance for reality.


mumukshutvaM mumu]uTv

the desire to achieve enlightenment, to the exclusion of all other desires. See sadhana, chatushtaya sampatti.

Mundaka Upanishad

muNDakopaniShad mu{fkaepin;do

one of the 10 major Upanishads - but not to be confused with the Mandukya. muNDa means 'having a shaved head' and the Upanishad is so called because every one who comprehends its sacred doctrine is 'shorn', i.e. liberated from all error. See Upanishad.

Page last updated: 10-Jul-2012