Bharathiya – Non-Translatable words: Part 9

This series includes some words or terminologies which are part of Bharathiya Adhyathmic Sampradaya (Bharathiya Spiritual Heritage).

67. Ahimsa: This word Ahimsa is usually translated or referred to as Non-Violence. Let us see what Ahimsa is. In the Yoga Sutra, Maharishi Patanjali says:

अहिंसाप्रतिष्ठायां तत्सन्निधौ वैर त्याग:॥

It means being in the presence of one who is established in Ahimsa, one experiences no enmity. This leads us to know the actual meaning of Ahimsa; it actually means no hurting, non-violence, non-enmity and no harming; pervasive radiance of these virtues and the practice of Ahimsa should reflect in thought, word and action. This takes a person to a level where in his / her presence nobody even thinks of hurting, harming or practicing violence or enmity. Mahabharata also states that

अहिंसा परमो धर्म:॥

Which means the highest Dharma is practice of Ahimsa. Now let us see the dictionary meaning of Non-Violence The use of peaceful means, not force, to bring about political or social change. The readers may compare. Please use Ahimsa when you mean Ahimsa.

68. Astheya: This word Astheya is usually translated as Non-Stealing. In his Yoga Sutras Maharishi Patanjali says:

अस्तेयप्रतिष्ठायां सर्वरत्नोपस्थानम् ॥

Which means “For one who is established in Astheya, all riches will be granted” (Ratna means diamonds and they symbolize wealth). Here the context is that one who doesn’t steal or rob in thought, word or action is in the practice of Astheya. This person will be bestowed with all the riches in the world as he is not even thinking of getting it. Asteya is the virtue of not wanting to appropriate, or take by force or deceit or exploitation, by thoughts, words or deeds, what is owned by and belongs to someone else. Non- Stealing is an action of not stealing anything belonging to others.

69. Brahmacharya: Brahmacharya is usually translated as sexual continence, but it is not just that. Let us see what Brahmacharya means. Maharishi Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras says:

ब्रह्मचर्य प्रतिष्ठायां वीर्यलाभः॥

This means, one who is established in Brahmacharya gets immense valor and strength and such a person becomes very powerful. Here we need to understand that Veerya has two meanings one is valor and strength and the second is the sexual juices. This is the reason for most people tending to translate Brahmacharya as practicing sexual continence, but the word Brahma means the Supreme Consciousness and Charya means to tread the path; hence the word Brahmacharya means “To tread the path of The Supreme Consciousness” or to tread the path of God Himself. So it actually means to practice the values that the supreme consciousness stands for; like Courage, Valor, Strength, Compassion, Service and many more as mentioned in Dharma. Hence, to lead a Dharmic lifestyle is actually Brahmacharya. It also includes sexual continence along with the other above mentioned qualities.

70. Aparigraha: This word Aparigraha is usually translated as Non-Hoarding. Let us see the meaning of Aparigraha. Maharishi Pathanjali in His Yoga Sutras says:

अपरिग्रहस्थैर्ये जन्मकथन्तासम्बोधः॥

This means Being established in non-accumulation or non-amassing gives knowledge of how births happen. Here the translation is non-accumulation or non-amassing, but it also means the opposite of “Parigraha” which actually means to hoard, amass or accumulate much more than necessary which is very close to greed; so Aprigraha means not to hoard, amass or accumulate much more than necessary or Non-Greed. It also has a message of gifting or giving away that which is more than necessary. So Aparigraha is not just non-accumulation, it is also gifting or giving away that which is more than necessary.

71. Showcha: Showcha is usually translated as Hygiene or Cleanliness. Showcha means purity, clarity Hygiene and Cleanliness of thought – mind, word – speech and action along with maintaining physical hygiene. Maharishi Pathanjali in His Yoga Sutras says:

शौचात् स्वांग जुगुप्सा परैरसंसर्गः॥

This means With bodily purification, one’s body ceases to be compelled to likewise come in contact with others. In the next sutra on Showcha Maharishi Pathanjali says:

सत्त्वशुद्धिसौमनस्यैकाग्रयेंद्रियजयाऽऽत्मदर्शन योग्यत्वानि च॥

This means Showcha also brings about clarity, happiness, concentration, mastery of the senses, and capacity for self-awareness. So Showcha is much beyond just cleanliness. Practice of Showcha helps one to overcome the compulsion of coming in contact with others; along with giving clarity, happiness, concentration, mastery of the senses and capacity for self-awareness.

72. Santhosha: The word Santhosha is usually translated as Happiness or Satisfaction. Santhosha consists of two words San which is a short form of Samyak which means Good and Tosha which is rooted in Tushti which means Satisfaction. So Santhosha can be translated as Properly Satisfied or Completely Satisfied. Maharishi Pathanjali in His Yoga Sutras says:

संतोषादनुत्तम: सुखलाभ: ॥

This means Practice of Santosha brings unsurpassed joy and bliss.

73. Tapa: Tapa has usually been translated as Austerities and/or Penance. The word Taapa means to burn in fire so as to purify, like burning of the ores to extract pure metal. Similarly this word Tapa has originated from burning in the five fires of life. Maharishi Pathanjali in His Yoga Sutras says:

कायेन्द्रियसिद्धिरशुद्धिक्षयात् तपसः॥

This means Intense Tapa burns up impurities, the body and its senses become supremely refined.

Here I would like to introduce the readers to the concept of Panchagni Tapa. This is also known as the practice of ‘Burning’ in five fires. Anybody wanting to do this should understand what Pancha Agni Tapa is, before taking on this exercise. As wrongly understood Pancha Agni Tapa is not standing in the middle of five pyres of burning fire. The five Agnis are Bhoothagni (Fire of the physical body), Kaamagni (Fire of Sex and Aesthetic Expression), Jataragni (Digestive Fire), Badabagni (Fire of Criticism), and Gjnyanagni/Premagni (Fire of Knowledge or Love). Imbibing these fires into life and not getting affected by them and still focusing and living for attainment of Moksha is the Pancha Agni Tapa. One should practice this only under a very experienced Guru.

74. Swadhyaya: Swadhyaya can be translated as self-study or self-introspection. Maharishi Pathanjali in His Yoga Sutras says:

स्वाध्यायात् इष्ट देवता सम्प्रयोगः॥

This means Self-introspection deepens the communion with one’s own self who is the personal deity. Though some people like to call Swadhyaya as study of the scriptures; it is actually self-introspection. Looking into one’s own self and finding out what is happening inside as a response to the outer stimulus is Swadhyaya.

75. Ishwara Pranidhana: Ishwara Pranidhana is usually translated as Love for God or Devotion for God. Maharishi Pathanjali in His Yoga Sutras says:

समाधि सिद्धिःईश्वरप्रणिधानात्॥

This means Through the practice of Ishwara Parnidhana one can attain Samadhi (Samadhi mentioned here is a Yogic state of equanimity of peace). The word Nidhana means to let go, deposit, putting down or laying down so Pranidhana here is an act of surrender which happens as a natural state of let go. The practice of Ishwara Pranidhana therefore means that if we are able to completely surrender our small mind (Ego) to God (our own higher self), we can attain the identity of God. If we can serve the whole creation selflessly then we can go beyond the individual identities of Me and Mine. If we can say unconditionally “I give You O! Ishwara! myself: my body, my mind, my heart and all my faculties, You do with them as You best see fit,” then we will be in full surrender and in surrender we will be freed from the stress, anxiety, self-doubt and negativity that arises from all the Dushkarmas we do from our egos. Being free from the stress, anxiety, self-doubt and negativity that arise from all the Dushkarmas is the first step towards Samadhi.







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