Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

Dictionary of common Sanskrit spiritual words
nirveda - paramAtman

flower picture

Note that words appear in order of the Roman alphabet, not the Sanskrit alphabet.

English ITRANS Sanskrit Meaning
nirveda nirveda inveRd being indifferent towards or even having a loathing for worldly objects.
nirvikalpa nirvikalpa inivRkLp (referring to samAdhi) without doubts about one's identity with the one Self. See savikalpa, samadhi, vikalpa; also means 'free from differences or change', not having any alternative.
nirvikalpaka nirvikalpaka inivRkLpk knowledge not depending upon or derived from the senses, indeterminate knowledge.
nirvikara nirvikAra inivRkar unchanged, unchangeable, changeless, uniform.
nirvishesha nirvisheSha inivRze; making or showing no difference. nirvisheShaNa - attributeless.
nishchita nishchita iniít one who has come to a conclusion, formed a certain opinion; decided, positive; certainty; also used in sense of 'wise people'.
nisheda niShedha in;ex contradiction, negation, denial.
nishkama niShkAma in:kam desireless, disinterested. niShkAma karma is so-called "right action," performed in response to the need, neither selfishly nor unselfishly - it generates no saMskAra.
nishtha niShTha inó committed or devoted to; having a basis or grounding in. niShThA is the noun, meaning firmness, steadiness, devotion.
nitya nitya inTy eternal. It also means "ordinary, usual, necessary, obligatory." It is used in this latter sense in connection with action. nitya karma are those daily duties that we have to perform, such as looking after one's children.
nivritti nivRRitti inv&iÄ giving up, abstaining, renouncing (esp. of desires in the path to enlightenment - nivRRitti mArga).
niyama niyama inym restraining, controlling; any fixed rule or law; necessity. There are five niyama-s in rAja yoga.
nyaya nyAya Nyay logical argument; literally, "that into which a thing goes back," a "standard" or "rule"; one of the 6 classical Indian philosophical systems, whose principal exponent was Gautama in the 3rd Century BC. So called because the system "goes into" all physical and metaphysical subjects in a very logical manner.
nyaya prasthana nyAya prasthAna Nyay àSwan refers to logical and inferential material based upon the Vedas, of which the most well known is the brahma sUtra of Vyasa (nyAya can also mean method, axiom, logical argument etc.). See pramana, prasthana-traya, smriti, sruti.
pada pAda pad foot, part, quarter. The Mandukya Upanishad refers to the four pAda as the three states of consciousness plus turIya. A better translation of pAda, here, is 'facet'. (Not to be confused with pada.)
pada pada pd word (as opposed to padArtha - meaning or thing corresponding to the meaning); portion of a verse or line of a stanza; also trace, mark, sign etc.;  also position, rank or status. (Not to be confuse with pAda - the 'fourth', 'quarter' or 'facet' e.g. MU)
padartha padArtha pdawR the meaning of a word; the thing, material object or person that corresponds with that meaning.
Padmapada padmapAda pÒpad one of the four principal disciples of Shankara.
paksha pakSha p] subject of the discussion, proposition to be proved.
panchabuta pa~ncha bhUta p ÉUt the five elements, viz. earth - pRRithivI; water - ap; fire - tejas; air - vAyu; space or ether - AkAsha.
Panchadashi pa~nchadashI pÂdzI literally means "fifteen" because it has this many chapters - a book written by Vidyaranya (vidyAraNya), based upon the Upanishads. It discusses many Advaitic truths and uses some original metaphors to illustrate the concepts.
panchakosha pa~ncha kosha p kaez the five sheaths.
Panchapadika pa~nchapAdikA pÂpaidka a commentary by Padmapada on Shankara's commentary on the first part of the brahma sUtra.
pandita paNDita pi{ft literally "wise" as an adjective or "scholar, teacher, philosopher" as a noun and used in this way in the scriptures. However, it has come to mean someone who knows a lot of theory but does very little practice. We sometimes use the word "pundit" in our language - the word "sophist" would probably be a good synonym.
papa pApa pap literally "bad" or "wicked" but used in the sense of the "sin" that accrues (according to the theory of karma) from performing "bad" actions, i.e. those done with a selfish motive. See also punya.
para parA pra the first stage in the production of sound. Also means beyond, distant, remote, highest, supreme; could be translated as "transcendent."
parama parama prm chief, highest, most prominent, best etc.
paramartha (noun); paramarthika (adj.) paramArtha pAramArthika prmawR parmaiwRk the highest truth or reality; the noumenal as opposed to the phenomenal world of appearances (vyavahAra). See pratibhasa and vyavahara.
paramatman paramAtman prmaTmn! usually translated as the "supreme Self" as opposed to the Atman in the embodied state, the jIvAtman. Swami Dayananda insists that it actually means "limitless" in the sense of not limited by time or place and therefore changeless. See atman.
Page last updated: 10-Jul-2012