Select Tantrik Glossary


The following pages are intended to be a simplistic glossary of terms used in Tantrik and other Sanskrit manuscripts. The glossary is not intended to be complete or thorough; it is only a guide or starting point. Here are some clues for its use:
1) Spelling of words is debatable at best. Different writers transliterate Sanskrit into English in different ways. As an example, "Shiva" is sometimes written "Siva" or "Shiv". Therefore, expect dissimilarities of spellings and look for possible alternatives.
2) Most modern languages are "meaning-specific". By that I mean that each word has one meaning or perhaps a few meanings dependent upon context. While some of the words presented here do have this meaning-specific quality, others do not. This quality of being not meaning-specific is common in many ancient languages including Hebrew and Sanskrit. Investigation into the several meanings of a single word will give not only an understanding of the exoteric and esoteric meaning of phrases, but also insight into the mental processes of ancient peoples.
3) Sanskrit words are frequently compounds of shorter words. If you are confronted with a particularly long word, try to break it down into its component parts and look up the meanings of those parts.
Sources for this glossary include the works of Woodroffe (Avalon), Grant, Douglas, Dadaji, Lokanath, the Theosophists, the Hare Krishnas and others. Again, I do not claim that this is complete, but merely a guide for your own studies and research. (NB I have added to this glossary. MM).
This Introductory Glossary is dedicated, with great thanks, to Shri Lokanath Maharaj. All publishing rights freely given, in perpetuity, to the Adinaths.
Shambhala Nath, 1984

Abhaya. Fearlessness. Security.
Abhichara. Black magic.
Abhra. Mica. The Ovum of Shakti.
Abhyasa. A regular practice. Discipline.
Absorption. The Nath sits on the Dragon Seat inside a magical circle and creates or re-arranges energy to form a cone. Mind projections drawn into this cone are classified as absorption. See also: Expansion.
Academies of Sense Perception. A deep study of the qualities and abilities of the five senses.
Adhara. A base or center of spiritual power.
Adhikara. Being spiritually competent for spiritual study. Adhyatmika. Body of knowledge relating to God.
Adhyaya. A chapter of a book.
Adi. Supreme. Primordial.
Adi-Nath. Sub-sect of the Nath line. Consciousness; awareness itself. A title of Shiva.
Aditi. Space.
Aditya. The Sun.
Advaita. Not two. State of oneness with all.
Agama. The tradition of the Tantriks and Kaula, as opposed to that of the orthodox or Aryans known as Veda. In Agamas, Shakti asks Shiva questions, and he replies. In Nigamas, this is reversed.
Agamas. Tantrik scriptures dealing with rites, dharma, cosomology.
Agarthi. Cave complex under the Himalayas from a ruined Gobi Desert civilization. Their traditions include: following the right hand path, being easy to understand, having a religious orthodoxy, being filled with superstitions, having a priestcraft and using prayers of dubious value. See: Shambhala.
Agni-Hotra. Square fire pit of Vedic Brahmins.
Ajapa Mantra. "Hang-Sah." The mantra of the in and out sounds of the breath.
Akula. Not Kula. Shiva. The Alpha Ovule.
Amavasya. New Moon.
Amrita. That which is immortal. Nectar of the Gods.
Amoral. Not moral. That is, does not have the values of morals placed upon it. Electricity is amoral. The opposite of moral is immoral.
Anama. "Without name". A synonym for Hamsa 21600.
Ananda. Bliss. Joy.
Angaraka. Mars.
Anima The siddhi of becoming as small as an atom. There are 7 others, so the whole group is referred to as the 8 Siddhis.
Apadravya Artificial phallus.
Apara Lower, worldly knowledge.
Arambhashura "A hero in the beginning." One who fails to finish heroically.
Ardhanareswara Shiva and Shakti in one image.
Arghya. An ark or receptical of creative power. Arrows, flowering. The five senses.
Artha. Substance; what requires gathering for human sustenance, i.e. food, wealth, etc.
Ashirwad. Blessings.
Ashram(a). Home of a person or group who lead a spiritual life. Usually for a Guru and Chelas.
Asuras. Antigods.
Atma(n). The highest or true self as distinct from the consciousness or ego. Shiva embodied. There is no difference between Atman and Paramatman except that caused by Maya. The Atman is not necessarily embodied.
Atmadarshan. Vision of the Real.
Aushadhi. Name of the Goddess as Mother of Herbs and medicine.
Avatar(a). Incarnation of a God or Goddess into a human or animal form. One who incarnates a particular truth or path on Earth. Thus, Matsyendranath is the Avatar of the Kaula Jnana Nirnaya Tantra.
Avidya. Ignorance. Spiritual blindness. Illusion.
Ayurveda. "Knowledge of longevity". Traditional Indian medicine and medical practices.
Ayurvaidyas. Those who practice traditional Indian medical techniques.
Azoth. Alchemical term: The Elixir. Nectar. Amrit.


Bala. Daring. Also the name of the girl Bala, an aspect of Tripurasundari.
Bali. Animal sacrifice.
Bhaga, See yoni. Also means "Good Luck"(!)
Bhairava. The terrific aspect of Shiva. His vehicle is a black dog.
Bhairavas. "The Fearless Ones" who are members of a Tantrik sect which worship Kali.
Bhairavi. Shakti or partner of Bhairava.
Bhakta. A devotee.
Bhakti Yoga. Path of devotion to God.
Bhasma. Ash.
Bhasmagiris. Hills of Bhasma. Pure ash of burnt wood. Some Bhasmagiris are huge.
Bhaya. Fear.
Bhoga. Sexual enjoyment. Enjoyment of the senses.
Bhojana. Food. "That which is enjoyed". There are three types: Lunar, composed of sense impressions; Solar, composed of the breath; Fiery, composed of edibles and water.
Bhuchari. A group of Shaktis connected with objects.
Bhukti Muktikaranika. The path of enjoyment and liberation.
Bhu Prastara. A ritual posture of the Suvasini: she is recumbent.
Bhuts. Elementals. The term comes from bhuta. These are the five elements, Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth.
Bindu. The point without a center from which proceeds Cosmic Sound (Nada). Drop. Dot. Semen.
Bija. A "root" or "seed" sound or syllable of a mantra. Sperm.
Body Yantra. Simplified version of the Shri Yantra. A map of the Microcosmos.
Bow (of sugarcane). The mind.
Brahma. The creator of the Cosmos.
Brahma Trees. Trees whose wood or flowers or leaves have some particular spiritual merit.
Brahmarandhra. The hole of Brahma. The spiritual center at the top of the head.
Brahmin. One who knows Brahma or the Absolute.


Chaaya. Shadow. The Astral Body.
Chakra. Circle or wheel, often applied to the diagrams or yantras used in ritual worship, or to centers of spirituality within or without the body, as Macrocosm and Microcosm are one. Lotus. A center of energy. A place of worship.
Chandra. The Moon.
Chandra Bindu. "Juice of the Moon". Precedes Maithuna in the Suvasini.
Chandrakalas. The 108 Navamshas. See Navamshas.
Chela. Pupil of a Guru.
Chhala. A sham.
Chhoma. Finger signs used for secret identification.
Chhota. Little.
Chit. Consciousness.
Chitrini. A tiny nadi within another nadi.


Dakini. See Shakti. The elemental embodiment of supernatural knowledge and ability.
Dakshina. Gift given to one's Guru.
Dakshina Marg. Right hand path. South path. Opposite of Vama Marg.
Danda. Magick wand. A rod.
Darshan. Vision. Direct experience of spiritual energies and forces.
Datta. Form of Dattatreya.
Dattatreya. The ultimate guru figure of India. Some sects have deified him.
Demon. An individual guardian spirit (Latin: Daemon. Greek: Daimon). In Xtian thought: an evil spirit. Follows the custom of converting non-Xtian dieties and concepts into devils and evil desires. A demon can only be bad when the mind conceives it as being so.
Deva(s). God(s). Shining ones.
Devadas(is). "Servants of the Gods". Temple prostitutes.
Devi. Goddess or Shakti. There are said to be 33,000,000 Devis, but all are aspects of one primordial Goddess. Devi Chakra. The circle of all the Shaktis or Energy Clusters of the Goddess.
Dharana. Concentration of mental energy on one point.
Dharma. Duty. What requires to be done. Law. Justice. Also a technical name for Shakti.
Dhatu-Vada. "Essence Way". Alchemy.
Dhuni. Sacred "fire". It only smolders. Made of wood or cow dung. Of non-Vedic origin. Usually circular (yoni image) about 10-12 inches in diameter. It is tended by Sadhus at their homes.
Dhuti. Messenger.
Dhyana. Meditation. Consciousness without thought. Image to be used in meditation.
Digambara. Clothed with the directions of space; Naked. Refers to Dattatreya. Compare to Wiccan "skyclad" and Nuit of Liber Al.
Digits. Periods relating to the Moon cycle. Kali's digits: waning Moon. Lalita's digits: waxing Moon. Jvalamukhi's unified digits: full Moon.
Diksha. "Enhallowment". Initiation.
Dikshaka. One who initiates.
Dikshita. One who is initiated
Dragon Seat. The center of a Zonule (qv).
Dvapara Yuga. Second great period of time.
Dvesha. Hatred. Aversion.
Dvija. "Twice born". Initiated.

Ekagrata. One pointedness. Concentrating on one thing at a time.
Emkara. The sylable "Aim"--seed mantra of Tara and Sarasvati.
Expansion. The Nath sits on the Dragon Seat inside a magical circle. From the circle s/he creates or rearranges energy to form a cone. Mind projections sent outside this cone are classified as expansion. See: Absorption.


Fourth. The Wake-Dream-Deep Sleep continuum.


Gandharva. Celestial musicians in the Heaven of Indra (Indraloka).
Garbha. The womb.
Gauri. The Golden One. A name of the Goddess.
Goad. Represents repulsion. Represents the Sun.
Gochari. A group of Shaktis connected with the 5 senses of the knower.
Gola. A type of menstrual blood.
Granthi. Knot or complex. Knot of delusion.
Guna. Quality or trait. There are 3: Rajas--active; Tamas--passive; and Sattvas--the balance of Rajas and Tamas.
Gems of the Naths, See jewels of the Naths.
Guru. "The Dispeller of Ignorance". A guide. A realized preceptor who can guide the sincere. The living representative of a philosophical or religious system. There is no difference between realized Guide, Goddess and God.
Guruparampara. A serial line of teachers.
Guru Purnima. See purnima.


Hamsa. "Swan". A mantra which is the natural sound of the breath. It is uttered 21600 times a day.
Hatakeshvara. An aspect of Shiva.
Hatha Yoga. "Sun-Moon Yoga". Exercises for better physical health. Also means "Forced Yoga". Can detract from spiritual pursuits by addicting one to the body. Evolved by Gorakhnath.
Hrim. A mantra of Maya Shakti. Pronounced "Hreem".


Iccha. The Will.
Iccha Shakti. The Shakti or Energy of Will.
Ida. The (feminine, lunar) nadi going about the central Sushumna nadi.


Jada. Inert. Physical body without consciousness.
Jagat. "That which is always going". The phenomenal world.
Jagrat. Waking state of consciousness.
Japa(m). Repetition; as of a mantra.
Jewels of the Naths. There are three: Sama--equipoise; Samarasa--seeing self as the world, and the world in the self; and Sahaja--spontaneous naturalism.
Jiva. The incarnated Atma.
Jivatma. Individual consciousness.
Jivamukta. Liberated while still in the body.
Jnana. Knowledge.
Jnana Shakti. The Shakti or Energy of Knowledge.


Kailasa Prastara. Denotes the female superior sexual position.
Kaivalya. Supreme liberation of consciousness from a sense of individuation granted by Kali.
Kala. Time. Star. Perfume. Ray. Essence. Unguent. Part or division of one whole process or thing.
Kalagnirudra. The Fire at the End of Time which burns up the whole Cosmic play.
Kali. Goddess of Time or Period. Presiding Goddess of the Naths.
Kalpa. An age. See Yuga.
Kama. God of erotic love. Lust. Sexuality. What is required for procreation.
Kamakala. Essence of desire. Triangle of bindus (red, white and mixed) representing the Yoni of the Goddess. In Shri Vidya (Knowledge of the Shri Yantra) it means that for creation sperm and egg must come together. The inner heart of the Bindu. See the booklet, "Lalita Magick".
Kamakhya Pitha. Seat of the Goddess at Kamarupa. A place especially sacred as it is the place of the Devi's Yoni on Earth.
Kamarupi. The Goddess at Kamakhya.
Kamrup. An image or form of desire. A power zone.
Kanchuka. Clothes.
Kanchuki Devi. The Goddess as wearing different clothes (Kanchuka) which represents layers of other Shaktis.
Kanya. Girl. Virgin. Virgo.
Kapala. Human skull.
Karana. Primal cause.
Karma. "Action". "Results of doing". Inevitable law of cause and effect. May last over lifetimes.
Kartikkeya. A son of Shiva. Also known as Skanda or Subrahmana. His vehicle is a cockerel.
Kaula. A knower of Kali-kala. The perfect assimilation within oneself of both Sun and Moon. Symbol: an eclipse.
Kaulesha. Lord of Kaula.
Kaulika. One following the path of Kaula. Relating to the Kulas or clusters.
Kavacha. A protective amulet. Armor.
Khageshvari. Goddess of Space or Aether.
Khechara. One who can move in the Expanse of Consciousness = Shiva.
Khechari. A group of Shaktis connected with the Knower.
Kinnaras. Spirits who are half human and half beast in the service of Kubera.
Kirtana. Song and dance of worshippers of Vishnu or his incarnations.
Kleshas. "Pain". There are five dealt with in Nath literature: Ignorance, Ego (an imaginary opinion of ourselves), Repulsion (to overcome it. This means learning that nothing is horrible in itself), Attachment (the false idea that we possess anything), and Clinging to Life.
Krishna. "The Black One", "The Stealer of Souls" The eighth incarnation of Vishnu. Represents the spontaneous power of unconventional sex.
Krita Yuga. First great period of time.
Kriya. "Action". Sometimes electric-like shocks that can cause the physical body to twitch.
Kriya Shakti. The Energy or Shakti of Action.
Kshetraja. The Shaktis born from sacred sites.
Kshetrapala. A son of Shiva. He rules over the land around the homestead and has a terrifying form.
Kula. "Clan". A Shakti or Energy. Family or cluster of Kali's Shaktis: some build, some maintain, and some whithdraw.
Kulachara. The Path of the Kulas.
Kulayana. Another name for Kula or Kaulashastra.
Kumari. Virgin.
Kumani Puja. Worship of virgins.
Kunda. Type of menstrual blood.
Kundalina. The Devi who is concealed in the internal dhooni or smouldering firepit.
Kundalini. The "fire snake" supposedly at the base of the spine.
Kundalini Yoga. A modern term based on a misunderstanding of Laya Yoga. If valid, it is dangerous to do as described. There are simpler and safer methods.
Kusha. Sacred grass. Used in certain ceremonies.


Lakh. 100,000.
Lakini. One of the 7 Shaktis associated with the metabolism of food in the human body.
Laksha. Points in the body which are to be meditated upon.
Lalita. Sexual aspect of Shakti. Collective form of the three Shaktis of Shiva (See Shiva): Will, Knowledge, Action.
Laya Yoga. An attempt to raise the levels of consciousness until "liberation" is reached. No known person has succeeded by this method. Nathas say it is only symbolic.
Lila. Play. Sport. Game.
Lingam. Male genital organ. The special symbol of Shiva.
Lokapalas. World protectors. There are four, represented by the equinoxes and solstices. They are also represented by the sphynx or the riddle of Egypt.
Lokas. Worlds or planes of existence. Inhabited by intelligent beings.


Madya. Wine.
Magick. The six types of Tantrik Magick are for the purposes of protection, peacemaking, victory, wealth, punishing and destroying.
Maha. Great.
Mahadeva. "Great God", that is, Shiva.
Mahadevi. The Great Goddess.
Mahasamadhi. Refers to a tomb.
Mahatma. Great soul.
Maha-yuga. "Great Age". It is composed of 4 Yugas for a total of 4,320,000 years.
Maithuna. Ritual sexual intercourse.
Makara. "Truths". "Substances". Pancha Makaras or Pancha Tatvas means the 5 truths or principles. It refers to a sexual Tantrik ritual.
Mala. Rosary.
Mamsa. Meat.
Mandala. A magick circle.
Mantra(m). Words with inherent power. God or Goddess in sound form.
Mantraja. The Shaktis created from the spiritual process of uttering mantras.
Mantrin (fem: Mantrini). A magician who practices mantra magic.
Marg. Path or way.
Marma. Power zone on the human body. There are said to be 108 of them. On the Shri Yantra, as related to the human body, a marma is said to exist where 3 lines intersect.
Matrika. The letters of the alphabet. The Goddess in her form as all sound and speech.
Maya. "Illusion". Goddess who causes us to see energy patterns as the physical world. "...the mystic, magick power of Shakti which manifests, makes and creates the relative and forms the basic delusion of all mankind...between Truth and mankind hangs the eternal veil of maya delusion."
Meena. Fish.
Mercury. Semen.
Moksha. Ultimate spiritual liberation from material bondage. One of the 4 duties of a human. The others are Dharma, Artha and Kama.
Mounam. Silence. To take mounam means to take a vow of silence.
Mridanga. A type of drum.
Mrityunjaya. Shiva as conqueror of death.
Mudra. Symbolic and/or magickal gestures. Poached grain. A talisman. Large wooden earrings of Gorakhnath followers.
Mukti. Liberation from individualized consciousness.
Muni. Sage.


Nada(m). Vibrational energy which pervades all things. It manifests as sound. "The absolute as sound.
Nadi. "River". Current or channel of psychic energy. Conduits of Prana. Nerve passages in the body. There are said to be 72,000 nadis. The pulse. 150th part of the Ascendant in a Sidereal Birth Chart.
Nagas. Serpent spirits.
Nakshatra. One of the 27 sidereal lunar constellations.
Nath(a).Lord, Master. Mistress. Protector. Refuge. One who gives equal importance to the three energies within: Lunar (intellect), Solar (emotions), and Fire (bodily sensations). An ancient Indian Magickal Cult.
Navamshas. 200' of arc in Sidereal Astrology. Each constellation has 1800' of arc. Therefore, there are 9 (nava) navamshas in a sidereal constellation. Since there are 12 constellations in the Sidereal zodiac there are 9 times 12 or 108 navamshas.
Nayika Siddhi. Magick power to evoke a beautiful woman.
Nectar. See Amrita.
Nitya. Day or "digit" of the Moon. Eternal. Unchanging.
Nivritti.Cessation of mental tendencies. A life of having no physical things as followed by Sannyasins. Involution. Opposite of Pravritti.
Niyama. Restraint of mind.
Noose. Represents attachment, the Moon.
Nyasa. "Applying" drawn energy for a purpose such as transfering power to a candidate during initiation.


Ob-blocks. See Kleshas.
Ojas. Magickal energy. Semen.
Omkara. The famous mantric sylable OM or AUM.


Paan. A sweetmeat made of betel nut and other fragrant substances wrapped in a betel leaf.
Pada. Feet.
Padma. "Lotus". Symbol of yoni.
Padukas. Wooden sandals. Worn by Dattatreya.
Pagal. "Mad". Pagalnath: Nath sect so-called due to outrageous behavior.
Pancha. Five.
Para. Transcendental spiritual wisdom. Beyond. Distant. Far.
Parada. "Mercury". Semen of Shiva.
Parampara. Line of succession.
Para Shakti. Supreme Shakti in whom all the other Shaktis or Clusters reside.
Paro. Mysterious or secret pattern to an action done by one's own will.
Pashu. Animal herd. Animal nature. Literally "a beast" but in the special sense meaning a human being who is ignorant and uninitiated.
Patra. Magick chalice.
Phat. "Crack". The Thunderbolt Mantra. Used to drive off disturbing spirits. Fingers should be snapped around head while saying it.
Pinda. The Microcosm. Pindas are small balls of food offered during the Shraddha or ancestor ceremony.
Pingala. Male, Solar nadi opposite Ida nadi going about the central Sushumna nadi.
Pitha. Pedestal, but applied to mean a site where a particular aspect of the Goddess presides. Pitha also refers to centres within the body.
Pithaja. The Shaktis born form the spiritual centers or pedestals (Pitha) of Goddesses.
Pradakshina. Walking clockwise in a temple as a form of worship.
Prakriti. Materialized nature. It is the basis of the three Gunas.
Prana. The body's energy. Spirit. Breath. Similar to the Kabalistic "Ruach".
Prana-pratishtha. Life-implacing. Techniques to manifest "life" within an object.
Prajna. True wisdom. A higher mode of knowing.
Prasada. Peace. Tranquility. An offering of food. Pravritti. Worldly life. Evolution. A flowing forth, unfolding what is within. Opposite of Nivritti.
Prayoga. Application (uses).
Preya. That which is pleasing to the senses.
Puja. Magick. Worship.
Pujari. Priest.
Purana. "Ancient". A class of Sanskrit scriptures concerning Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva written for the masses. There are 18 Puranas.
Purnima. Full Moon. Guru Purnima: The day reserved for homage to Guru. A festival, related to the element of Spirit. Occurs in late July or early August.
Purusha. Pure, unmanifested consciousness.


Rajas. Guna of activity. Menstrual blood.
Rasa. The elixir in Alchemy. "Liquid". "Mercury". Sense of taste. Dance of Krishna and the Gopis.
Rasi-Chakra. Zodiac. Rasi means 1/12 division of the zodiac.
Raurava. A terrible underworld.
Ridgepole. Fluid yet equipose line existing between the two states of active and passive.
Rishi. A Seer. Sage. Maharishi means great sage.
Ritu. Rite or ceremony. Time between a woman's menstrual flow. The menses.
Roga. Disease.
Rupa. Outward appearance. Beauty. Image.


Sadhaka. A follower of a Sadhana. A magician.
Sadhana. "Direct way". A ritual. A spiritual discipline.
Sadhu. Holy man. Ascetic. Yogi.
Sahaja. Spontaneity. Shaktis spontaneously created. Joy. Naturalness. Amorality. Giving all worldly things divine status.
Sahaja Chakra. Circle or Sphere of Spontaneity. Sahaja is one of the three gems of the Nathas. Samarasa and Sama are the other two.
Sahajiya. Doctrine of nature. Doctrine of spontaneity. Sa Ham/So Ham. "I am she" or "I am he". Sound of the breath. See: Hamsa.
Sahodara. Brother or sister.
Sama. Equipoise consciousness. A state in which all is viewed equally. Balance. The same. Equal.
Samadhi. Complete contemplation where the mind and soul attain close relationship and understanding. Can lead to Samarasa.
Samadrishti. "Equal vision". Seeing all things as equal. Samarasa. Where the yogi(ni) sees himself (herself) as the world and the world as being in himself (herself). Perfect assimilation within oneself. Equipoise in feelings. Mind at rest.
Sama Veda. Veda of chants. One of the four Vedas.
Samhita. Mystic union.
Sampradaya. Lineage. Tradition. Sect.
Samsara. The wheel or ocean of life and death. Wheel of time. Combinations of Shiva's 3 Shaktis which create diversity in the cosmos. 'All together flowing
Samskara. A mental impression produced by past experiences, mental or behavioral patterns.
Samvit. Consciousness.
Sandhi. Joints in the human frame. Body power zones found where two lines meet on the Shri Chakra (compare with marmas). They are 24 in number. Dawn and Dusk (the twilights).
Sandhya. See Sandhi.
Sandhya Bhasha. Twilight language. Similar to the style of some Kabalistic works, it refers to writings which seem to mean one thing, while actually signifying something else. This can use very figurative writing (such as in the Zohar) or very brief basics which need to be expanded upon (such as in the Sepher Yetzirah).
Sandoha. Assemby Point for Naths and Kaulas.
Sangsara. See: Samsara
Sannyasin. One who rejects society to devote himself or herself to intellectual and spiritual culture.
Sattvas. Guna of reconciliation between action and passivity. Peace. Law.
Satya. Truth. Reality.
Shabda. Vibrational energy manifesting as sound. Includes physical or "struck" sound and internal, silent unstruck" sound.
Shajasamadhi. Highest form of Samadhi.
Shakinis. Witch-spirits.
Shakti. An Energy or Power of supreme Shiva. Feminine counterpart to each of the Gods of the Hindu pantheon, especially of Shiva. The power, drive and force within a person.
Shambhala. Cave complex under the Himalayas from a ruined Gobi Desert area society. Their traditions include: Working the left-hand path; Doing Tantrik Magick; The study of science and yoga. It is said that the next avatara will come from Shambhala. Compare with Agarthi.
Shambu. "Horn of Plenty". A title of Shiva.
Shanti. Peace. Tranquility. Often repeated 3 times after a prayer.
Shastra. Compendium or collection of knowledge.
Shava. Corpse. "Shiva is Shava without Shakti".
Shishya. Disciple or neophyte.
Shiva. Lord of Withdrawal. Represents pure consciousness. Possesses 3 Shaktis or Powers: Iccha (Will), Jnana (Knowledge), and Kriya (Doing).
Shloka. Short verse.
Shri. Auspicious. Holy. Beauty.
Shri Chakra. Two dimensional form of the Supreme Goddess.
Shrim. Mantra of Lakshmi Shakti, also known as Shri. Pronounced "Shreem".
Shukra. Semen.
Shula. Spear.
Shunya. "Zero". A yoni symbol.
Shushupti. The state of dreamless sleep in which distinctions between knower and known are abolished.
Siddha. A perfect or realized or enlightened being. One who possesses Siddhis.
Siddhi. Magickal or spiritual power for the control of self, others and the forces of nature.
Sloka. See: Shloka.
Smashanam. Cremation ground.
Soma. Nectar of Ecstasy. Lunar deity. Any of 24 types of psychoactive plants given in the Vedas.
Spanda. Vibration.
Sphota. Sound; vibration from which the phenomenal world emanated.
Sri. See: Shri.
Sthitaprajna. One established in Spiritual Wisdom.
Sukha. Pleasure.
Sulphur. Menses.
Sunyata. The void. The abyss.
Suras. Gods.
Sushumna. Main nadi. It runs vertically through the spine.
Sushupti. Deep dreamless sleep.
Suta. A famous Brahmin Rishi of antiquity.
Sutra. "Thread". An aphorism. A book of aphorisms.
Suvasini. "Fragrant woman'. Priestess in some Tantrik rites. Shakti of the Sadhaka.
Svaha. "Hail" (greeting or honoring).
Svapushpa. Menses.
Svarupa. The true nature of things.
Svecchacharya. The path of doing one s own Will.
Swapna. Dream state consciousness.
Swasti. "It is well". "May it be auspicious". A power phrase.


Tamas. Guna of rest, passivity.
Tankas. Banners.
Tantra. A system of spiritual beliefs and practices said to be derived from Sanskrit Roots signifying: "body" because of its emphasis on bodily activities; "stretch" because it extends the faculties of humans; "Rope" because it secures the devotee to diety; "Harp" for the music and beauty of its philosophy; "Interiorness" for the secrecy of its doctrine; "Loom" suggesting the 2 cosmic principles, male and female, that make up the warp and woof of the woven fabric of the universe.
Tapas. "Asceticism". "Heat". A psychic glow as a result of arousing and controlling the psycho-sexual energy of the body.
Tarpana. Liquid oblation.
Tattva. "Things". Principle. Truth. Element. Essence.
Temenos. Sacred zone.
Tika. Mark on forehead signifying commitment to a spiritual ideal.
Tirtha. Sacred bathing place. Power zone.
Treta Yuga. Third great period of Time.
Tridandin. A member of the Brahmin caste who has retired from worldly life.
Triple Blessing. "Shanti, Shakti, Shambhu." It means, Peace, Power, Plenty."
Tripura. "3 Cities". A Form of Lalita. Her 3 cities are her Shaktis or Powers.
Tripurasundari. See: Lalita. The Triple Goddess. Composed of Bala (the young virgin), Sundari (the mother of the universe), and Bhairavi (the crone).
Twilight Worship. Puja at dawn, midday, sunset and midnight.


Udbhava. Type of menstrual blood.
Umbra. "Shadow". "Shade". Archaic meaning: something or some entity which accompanies a person or thing. Therefore, a guardian spirit; an attendant phantom, present but not visible.
Upadhi. Similar to Maya. The illusion we place over reality. Smash Upadhi and enlightenment occurs.
Upanishad. "The sitting down at the feet of a teacher to listen to his words." Secret or Esoteric doctrine. Oral lore. There are said to be 108 Upanishads. It is either genuine magickal lore or it is not a true Upanishad. They are not a religion. The two basic types are Agamic (Tantrika) Upanishads and Vedic Upanishads.
Upeksha. Indifference. Beyond caring.


Vairagya. Freedom from desire. Detachment.
Vajra. Adamantine. In the Nath tradition it means "that which survives all". The Alpha Ovule. Shiva. A double trident. Signifies the human body.
Vajrini. Tiny duct carrying prana within the subtle body.
Vama. Left. Woman. Excrement. What is vomited forth.
Vama-Chara. See: Vama Marg.
Vama Marg(a). Left turning path. Reversal of conventional concepts of spirituality. Methods which are quicker and more direct.
Vashat. Well done.
Vatuka. The Little Brahmin, or the virginal knower of the Absolute. An aspect of Shiva.
Veda. "Knowledge". "Ritual lore". Usually applied to the texts of the orthodox Aryans. These four principle Vedas are the Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. In the current Kali Yuga there are so many contradictory interpretations of fragmented and corrupted Vedic texts that they have become irrelevant. The true "scriptures" for this age are the Tantras.
Vedika. Square area for worship.
Vetala. Vampire.
Vidya. "Knowledge". A "Female Mantra" or Goddess in the form of sound.
Vidya Gupta. Secret oral traditions. Compare with Kabalah.
Vina. A type of stringed musical instrument.
Viparit-karani. "Opposite Doing". Doing actions contrary to the social norm--thus, eating beef in India (a taboo) is used as Viparit-karani in some Tantrik rituals.
Viparita Maithuna. Ritual sexual intercourse with the female superior.
Vira. "Hero". An initiate or aspirant for higher, spiritual life. One who is on the path of the Kaulanaths.
Virabhava. Ritual sexual intercourse of a Sadhaka and his Shakti. It also means heroic disposition as Divyabhava means celestial disposition and Pashubhava means herd-like disposition.
Viraga. "Without desire". Indifference to pleasure and pain.
Vishnu. Lord of Maintenance.
Vyoma-Malini. Shakti of Space garlanded with Flowers of Creation.


Yajaka. High Priest.
Yaksha. A species of mythological beings who are the attendants of Kubera, God of Wealth. The female Yaksha is a Yakshini.
Yama. God of Death, also known as Dharmaraja. Self control of thoughts and actions.
Yantra. Energized glyph or symbol such as a mandala. Said to have a life of its own. Devi in geometrical or patterned form.
Yavanacharya."The Greek Teacher". Pythagoras.
Yoga. "Union", "Yoke". The transformation of the mind complex and its activity leading to higher spiritual levels. In the West it is a frequent misnomer for Hatha Yoga.
Yogaja. The Shaktis created from the spiritual work of a Yogi.
Yogi. One who has mastered himself and controls his senses.
Yogin. See: Yogi.
Yogini. A female Yogi. A woman adept. Also a synonym for a Shakti in both celestial and earthly senses.
Yoni. Female sexual organ.
Yuga. "Age". "Aeon". There are said to be 4 (Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali) Yugas. We are in the last or Kali Yuga.


Zonule. A small zone. A power area.

Artwork is © Jan Bailey, 1995. Translations are © Mike Magee 1995. Questions or comments to