Glossary of Tantra Yoga

ADHIKARA — A disciple’s competency or moral fitness to practice the secret ritual.

AGAMAS — Sacred Tantrik scripture dealing with rites, dharma, and cosmology.

AJAPA MANTRA — The involuntary prayer, “Hang-sah, Hangsah,” made by incoming and outgoing breath. It corresponds to the cosmic creative process by which the entire universe is breathed forth at intervals and then withdrawn.

AJNA — The sixth chakra or center of consciousness in the subtle body, situated between the eyebrows. It is sometimes called the Third Eye. Two wing-like “petals” or subtle channels emanate from it.

AKASHA — Ether; an invisible manifestation of primordial substance, which pervades the entire universe as its substratum.

ANAHATA — The fourth chakra or center of consciousness, situated in the cardiac region. It is sometimes called the “heart lotus.” Twelve mystic ducts or “petals” emanate from it.

ASANA — Posture assumed in the practice of yoga.

BANOWA — (Tib.) The Yoga of Ascendancy, by which the yogi can influence men, animals and inanimate objects.

BARDO — (Tib.) The intermediate state of the discarnate ego, between death and rebirth.

BIJA MANTRA — A seed sound, produced from the hidden power or primordial shakti. Tantrik texts say the universe evolved out of the fifty original bija mantras, which correspond to the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet.

BRAHMA-RUDHRA — The “gateway of Brahma,” an aperture in the crown of the head, through which the soul may leave the body.

CHAKRAS — Six centers of consciousness and psychic energy in the subtle body. They are variously called “lotuses,” “wheels,” and “omphali” because of their shape. They are: the muladhara, svadhisthana, manipura, anahata, vishuddha, and ajna (q.v.).

CHITRINI — A tiny nadi or subtle channel for psychic current, present inside another — the vajrini (q.v.).

DIKSHA — Initiation by a guru.

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