Glossary

Acarya – Spiritual teacher.

Aksara – It means that which does not mutate or run down. Thus Aksara mentioned in the Vedas and the Upanishads is the pure I-sense of the Demiurge (the Maker or Creator of the world) as also  of individual living beings. Sruti has called Aksara as Atman or Self, sometimes as parama-atman or the ultimate Self i.e. Consciousness, or else as mahat or mahan-atma.

Swami – It means “Lord” or “Master” and is reverentially used to address all sects of Sannyasis. It is the “Aranya” which really belongs to the order of ascetics founded by Sankaracharya, the advocate of Advaitavada. Though Sankara’s philosophy differs in respect of the ultimate principle (dualism and monistic idealism) yet it accepts the Yoga philosophy, the practical side of Kapila’s teaching in full. We are not very particular about sectarian formalities.

Hiranyagarbha – In Indian philosophy Hiranyagarbha is referred to as one who is complete in self knowledge, who has been manifested as the supreme lord of the present universe because in his previous life he resolved thus before passing on. This is his last birth, the penultimate state before the final liberation. In this birth he is manifested as ‘Soham‘ : (I am That) . Below him and under his tutelage are manifested those who have attained buddhitattva in their previous lives. Below them are manifested those who have attained the ahankaratattva in their previous lives which is a state lower than buddhitattva. In this way creation and creatures have been manifested through different stages.