Happiness and the Art of Being



In this glossary, {T} after a word indicates that it is Tamil, {TS} indicates that it is a Tamil form of a Sanskrit word, {Ts} indicates that it is a Tamil word or phrase derived partly from Sanskrit, and {S} indicates that it is Sanskrit (though most of the Sanskrit words listed here are also used frequently in Tamil spiritual literature, either in the same or a euphonically modified form).


a {T} that, those (a demonstrative prefix)

ā {T} come into being, become, be, happen, occur, be done, be completed, be fit, be appropriate, be proper – see ādal, ām, āy, etc.

abhēda {S} not different, undivided, identical

ādal {T} being, becoming (verbal noun formed from ā)

aḍaṅgi {T} yielding, submitting, subsiding (tenseless verbal participle of aḍaṅgu)

aḍaṅgu {T} yield, submit, subside, shrink, be subdued, be still, settle, cease, disappear – see aḍaṅgi

adaṟku {T} to that

adaṟku aḍaṅgi-y-irāmal {T} ‘instead of being having yielded to that’

ādhāra {S} support, substratum, ground, container

adhiṣṭhāna {S} standing place, base, substratum, ground, abode

ādi {S} beginning

ādi-guru {S} original guru

a-dvi-tā {S} no-two-ness

advaita {S} non-duality

advaita vēdānta {S} non-dualistic vēdānta

aham {S} ‘I’

aham {T} inside, heart, home, abode, space

ahaṁ brahmāsmi {S} ‘I am brahman

ahamukham {Ts} inward facing, introspection, introversion, ‘I’-ward facing, self-attentiveness

ahandai {TS} (ahantā {S}) ego

ahantā (ahaṁtā) {S} ‘I’-ness, ego – see ahandai

āhāra {S} food

āhāra-niyama {S} food-restraint

ahiṁsā {S} non-harming

ajñāna {S} ignorance, lack of self-knowledge – see ajñāni

ajñāni {S} a person who lacks self-knowledge

ākāśa {S} space – see bhūtākāśa; cidākāśa; cittākāśa

akhaṇḍa {S} unbroken, unfragmented, undivided, indivisible, whole, entire

akṣara {S} imperishable, letter [of the alphabet], syllable – see Śrī Aruṇācala Akṣaramaṇamālai

akṣaramaṇamālai (akṣara-maṇa-mālai) {Ts} marriage garland of letters, fragrant garland of letters, garland of imperishable union – see Śrī Aruṇācala Akṣaramaṇamālai

allāh {Arabic} God

am {T} beauty (or before a word beginning with ‘m’, am can also be the demonstrative prefix a [meaning ‘that’ or ‘those’] with an extra ‘m’ added for euphonic conjunction)

ām {T} [it] is, [they] are (singular or plural future or habitual third person form of ā); which is, which are, who is, who are (future or habitual relative participle of ā)

āmalaka {S} a grape-sized fruit

amar {T} abide, remain, be seated, become still, rest, repose, settle

amarndu {T} settling, having settled (tenseless verbal participle of amar)

anādi {S} beginningless

ānanda {S} happiness, joy, bliss (see also sat-cit-ānanda)

ānandamaya kōśa {S} ‘sheath’ composed of happiness (the self-ignorance that remains in sleep, even though the mind has subsided)

ananta {S} endless

ananya {S} non-other, not other, otherless, without otherness

ananya bhāva {S} meditation on [God as] not other [than ourself]

anātmā {S} non-self, not self

anattā {Pāḷi} (anātmā {S}) non-self, not self, devoid of self, no self

aṉbu {T} love

aṉbu pūṇumē {T} be possessed with love

aṉḏṟi {T} except, besides, without

āṉmā {TS} (ātmā {S}) self

āṉma-viddai {TS} (ātma-vidyā {S}) science of self (see also Āṉma-Viddai; ātma-vidyā)

Āṉma-Viddai {TS} ‘[Song on] the Science of Self’

annamaya kōśa {S} ‘sheath’ composed of food (the physical body)

anta {S} end

antar {S} within, inside

antarmukham {TS} inward facing, introspection, introversion, self-attentiveness

anubandham {TS} appendage, appendix, supplement – see Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham

anugraha {S} grace, kindness

anusandhāna (anusaṁdhāna) {S} investigation, close inspection, contemplation

aṇu {S} atom

aṇuvum (aṇu-v-um) {Ts} even an atom

anya {S} other, another

anya bhāva {S} meditation on [God as] other [than ourself]

ār {T} who (interrogative personal pronoun) – see Nāṉ-Ār?, yār

ār {T} become full, spread over, abide, be, combine with, eat, experience, obtain, put on, wear, gird, bind (also used in poetry as a relative participle meaning ‘which is’, ‘which is combined with’, ‘which is bound by’)

ārāy {T} investigate, scrutinise, examine, inspect, explore

ārāycci {T} investigation, scrutiny, inspection, exploration, research

aṟi {T} know, cognise, experience, be conscious of – see aṟivu, aṟiyādu, etc.

aṟivē (aṟivu-ē) {T} consciousness alone, consciousness certainly

aṟivē nāṉ {T} consciousness alone [or certainly] is ‘I’

aṟivu {T} knowledge, consciousness (noun formed from aṟi)

aṟiyādē (aṟiyādu-ē) {T} only not knowing

aṟiyādē muyalum {T} ‘which [we] practise only [due to] not knowing’

aṟiyādu {T} not knowing (negative tenseless verbal participle of aṟi)

artha {S} aim, purpose, meaning, substance, wealth, property, object, thing

aruḷ {T} grace, benevolence

aruḷum vēṇumē {T} grace also is certainly necessary

aruṇācala {TS} Arunachala (the name of the sacred hill at the foot of which Sri Ramana lived, and which he worshipped as a physical manifestation of God and guru, our own real self)

Aruṇācala Akṣaramaṇamālai {Ts} – see Śrī Aruṇācala Akṣaramaṇamālai

Aruṇācala Aṣṭakam {TS} – see Śrī Aruṇācala Aṣṭakam

āśā {S} desire – see nirāśā

asaiyādu {T} [it] does not move

āsana {S} sitting, abiding, posture

asat {S} unreal, non-existent

asher {Hebrew} that, which, what, who (a ‘relativizer’, a word that indicates a relative clause, like a relative pronoun in English)

asi {S} [you] are – see tat tvam asi

asmi {S} [I] am

aṣṭakam {TS} collection of eight parts (especially a poem of eight verses) – see Śrī Aruṇācala Aṣṭakam

āśrama {S} ‘ashram’, hermitage, abode of an ascetic, religious institution formed around such an abode, dwelling-place of a religious community

aṣṭan (aṣṭa in compound) {S} eight

asti {S} [it] is, [it] exists, there is, existence, presence, being

asti-bhāti-priya {S} being-illumination-love

aśubha {S} ugly, unpleasant, disagreeable, inauspicious, bad, evil

aśubha vāsanā {S} disagreeable propensity

atiśaya śakti {S} extraordinary power, wonderful power

atītam {TS} that which has gone beyond, that which transcends

ātmā {S} self, spirit (nominative singular form of ātman, serving in Tamil as both its nominative and its inflectional base)

ātmānusandhāna (ātma-anusaṁdhāna) {S} self-investigation, self-contemplation

ātma-cintanā {S} self-contemplation

ātma-jñāna {S} self-knowledge

ātma-jñāni {S} sage, one who knows self

ātman (ātma in compound, ātmā in nominative) {S} self, spirit, soul, life, essence (also serves as the reflexive pronoun for all persons and genders: oneself, myself, yourself, itself, ourselves, etc.)

ātma-niṣṭha {S} self-abidance, being established in self

ātma-saṁsthaṁ manaḥ kṛtvā {S} ‘having made the mind stand firm in self’

ātma-siddhi {S} self-attainment

ātma-sukha {S} self-happiness

ātma-svarūpa {S} our essential self, the ‘own form’ of ourself

ātma-vicāra {S} self-investigation, self-scrutiny, self-attentiveness, self-enquiry

ātma-vidyā {S} science of self

Ātma-Vidyā Kīrtanam {TS} ‘Song on the Science of Self’

ātmāvil (ātmā-v-il) {TS} in self (locative singular form of ātmā)

a-t-taṉmai {T} that first person

āttumā {TS} (ātmā {S}) self

avaṉ {T} he

avaṉ aruḷ aṉḏṟi ōr aṇuvum asaiyādu {T} ‘except by his grace, not even an atom moves’

āvaraṇa {S} covering, veiling, hiding, concealing, obscuring

āvaraṇa śakti {S} power of veiling, concealing, obscuration

avasthā {S} state, condition

avatārikai {TS} (avatārikā {S}) introduction

āy {T} having become, being, as (tenseless verbal participle of ā; often used as an adverbial suffix, like ‘-ly’ in English)

ayam {S} this

ayam ātmā brahma {S} ‘this self is brahman


bahirmukham {TS} outward facing, extroversion

Bhagavad Gītā {S} ‘Divine Song’, ‘Song of God’

Bhagavad Gītā Sāram {TS} ‘The Essence of the Song of God’

Bhagavān {S} Lord, God

Bhāgavatam {S} ‘[Book] about God’ – see Śrīmad Bhāgavatam

bhakti {S} devotion, love

bhakti-mārga {S} path of devotion

bhāti {S} shining, light, illumination, knowledge, consciousness

bhāva {S} being, state, state of being, way of thinking, attitude, idea, concept, opinion, conviction, contemplation, meditation

bhāvanā {S} forming in mind, imagination, thought, meditation

bhramaṇa {S} wavering, bewilderment, confusion

bhūtākāśa (bhūta-ākāśa) {S} physical space

brahman (brahma in compound and in nominative neuter [not to be confused with the nominative masculine, brahmā, which is a name of God as the creator]) {S} God (as pure impersonal being), the absolute reality, the infinite spirit, the one non-dual being-consciousness, ‘I am’, our essential being or real self, the source, ground and substance of all things

brahma-ṛṣi {S} sage who experiences himself as brahman

Brahma Sūtra {S} ‘Aphorisms about Brahman

buddhi {S} intellect, mind, faculty of discernment, discrimination, reason, understanding (see also dēhātma buddhi)


cakra {S} wheel, circle, mystic centre in the body

cāvādavar {T} – see sāvādavar

cāyndiḍum {T} – see sāyndiḍum

cidākāśa (cit-ākāśa) {S} space of consciousness

cintanā {S} thinking, thought, meditation – see ātma-cintanā

cit {S} faculty of knowing or experiencing, that which knows, experiences or is conscious, consciousness (particularly pure non-objective consciousness), awareness (also a verb meaning to know, experience, cognise, perceive, observe, attend to, be attentive, be conscious); (like other Tamil and Sanskrit words that are translated as ‘consciousness’ or ‘awareness’, such as aṟivu, uṇarvu, jñāna and prajñāna, in the teachings of Sri Ramana cit means not merely the state of being conscious but more specifically that which is conscious, namely ourself)

cit-jaḍa-granthi {S} the knot that binds consciousness to the non-conscious [body]

cit-śakti {S} power of consciousness

citta {S} mind, will, faculty of volition

cittākāśa (citta-ākāśa) {S} mind-space

citta-bhramaṇa {S} mental wavering, bewilderment, confusion

citta-śuddhi {S} purification of mind

cittattiṉ {TS} of mind (an oblique case form of cittam, often serving as a genitive form of it)

cittattiṉ śānti {TS} peace of mind

cogito ergo sum {Latin} ‘[I] think therefore [I] am’

col {T} – see sol

coṯporuḷ {T} – see soṯporuḷ

cūḍāmaṇi (cūḍā-maṇi) {S} crest-jewel

cummā {T} – see summā

cummā-v-iru {T} – see summā iru


darśana {S} seeing, looking, perception, discernment, vision, experience

daśamaṉ {TS} tenth man (a personal noun formed from daśama, tenth)

dēha {S} body

dēhātma buddhi {S} ‘body [is] myself’ notion, ‘I am the body’ sense

dēva {S} god, deity, divine being

dharma {S} that which upholds, supports, sustains, preserves, maintains, restrains, keeps in place or regulates; nature, function, duty, obligation, righteousness, fundamental correctness, order, how anything should be or act, moral law, justice, religion [as an ordered and correct way of life, rather than as a particular set of beliefs or doctrines], law [of human nature and spiritual development] (‘dharma’ is an extremely important and deeply meaningful concept in all philosophies and religions of Indian origin, which are collectively described as the ‘dharmic religions’; the word derives from the verbal root dhṛ, which means hold, uphold, carry, support, sustain, preserve, maintain, hold together, hold back, restrain, keep in place, control or regulate; everything – even an insentient object, an element such as fire or water, or any abstract quality – has its own dharma, that which holds it together, making it what it is, preventing it from being anything else, its essential nature, its particular property or quality, its function, its ‘duty’, its order, how it should be or act, the law of its being and action; since we are sentient, rational and social beings, with a sense of right and wrong, and aspiring to rise above the limitations of our present finitude, our dharma includes our moral dharma, our social dharma, our religious dharma, our spiritual dharma, our natural duties and obligations in every area of our lives, all of which collectively constitute our svadharma or ‘own dharma’; likewise, every society or section of society, every profession or trade, every social role, every familial relationship, every mode of life or stage of life, has its own particular dharma)

dhātu {S} layer, element, constituent, ingredient

dhyai {S} contemplate, meditate on, think of, imagine, recollect, bear in mind

dhyāna {S} contemplation, meditation, mindfulness, attentiveness

dīrgha {S} long-lasting

dṛg {S} – see dṛś

dṛg-dṛśya-vivēka {S} discrimination between the seer and the seen

dṛś (dṛk or dṛg in compound) {S} seeing, looking at, knowing, discerning, sight, eye, that which sees, that which knows (consciousness, the subject, seer or knower)

dṛśya {S} visible object, that which is seen, that which is known (the object, seen or known)

dṛṣṭi {S} seeing, sight

dvaita {S} duality

dvandva (dvaṁdva) {S} pair [of opposites] – see iraṭṭai


{T} an intensifier, a suffix used for emphasis (meaning ‘only’, ‘alone’, ‘itself’, ‘certainly’, ‘indeed’)

edu {T} what

edu nāṉ? {T} ‘what [am] I?’

ego {Greek} I

ego eimi {Greek} I am

ehyeh {Hebrew} [I] am

ehyeh asher ehyeh {Hebrew} ‘[I] am that [I] am’

eimi {Greek} [I] am

ēka {S} one, the one

ēkāṉmā (ēkāṉma in compound) {TS} – see ēkātman

Ēkāṉma Pañcakam {TS} – see Ēkātma Pañcakam

ēkātman (ēka-ātman; ēkātma in compound) {S} one self, ‘self, the one [reality]’ (see also Ēkātma Pañcakam)

Ēkātma Pañcakam (Ēkāṉma Pañcakam) {TS} ‘Five [Verses] on Self, the One’, ‘Five [Verses] on the Oneness of Self’

ēkātma vastu {S} the one self-substance

eṇ {T} think, consider, meditate upon, scrutinise

eṉḏṟum {T} always, for ever, constantly

eṉḏṟum taṉṉai viṉavum usāvāl {T} ‘by subtle investigation, which is constantly scrutinising self’

eṅgē {T} where indeed, wherever (interrogative pronoun eṅgu, meaning ‘where’, with intensifying suffix ē)

eṅgē-y-irundālum irukkalām {T} ‘wherever [one] may be [one] can be’, ‘wherever [one] may be let [one] be’

eṇṇa {T} when [we] think, consider, meditate upon, scrutinise

eṇṇa naṙuvum {T} ‘when [we] scrutinise, it will vanish’

eṉṉum {T} who says, which says, which is called (a quotative relative participle [like iti in Sanskrit], which often functions like inverted commas enclosing the preceding word or clause)

eṉum {T} who says, which says, which is called (a poetic abbreviation of eṉṉum)

eppōdum {T} always, at all times

ergo {Latin} therefore

ēttiṉum {T} even if one worships

evaiyum {T} everything

evaiyum kāṇum {T} which sees everything


garbha {S} womb, embryo

gati {S} way, path, means, refuge, liberation

gītā {S} song – see Bhagavad Gītā

granthi {S} knot

guṇa {S} [finite] quality, property, attribute

guru {S} [spiritual] teacher, guide

Guru Vācaka Kōvai {Ts} ‘Series of Guru’s Sayings’


hiṁsā {S} harm, injury, hurt

hṛdaya {S} heart, core, essence


icchā {S} wish, desire, liking, inclination

iḍam {T} place, location, position, station, site, situation, state, room, space, abode, home, ground (see also muviḍam)

iladāl {T} since [it] is not, since [it] is devoid of

iṉbu {T} happiness

iṉbu tōṇumē {T} ‘happiness will certainly appear’

iṉṉāṉ {T} so-and-so, such a person

irāmal {T} not being, without being, instead of being (tenseless verbal negative participle of iru)

iraṭṭai {T} pair [of opposites], dvandva

iraṭṭaigaḷ {T} pairs [of opposites] (plural form of iraṭṭai)

iru {T} be, exist, remain

iṟudi {T} end, limit, cessation, death

iṟudi taṉṉai-y-uṇarndu tāṉ-ādal {T} ‘finally knowing ourself [and] being ourself’

irukka {T} to be, when [one] is, when [we] are

irukkalām {T} let [us] be, let [one] be, [one] can be

irukkiṟēṉ {T} [I] am

irundālum {T} even if [one] is, though [one] is

iruppadu {T} being, existing, remaining (verbal noun formed from iru, be, exist, remain)

iruḷ {T} darkness (of self-ignorance), spiritual ignorance

īśaṉ {TS} God

īśaṉ sannidhāna {TS} (īśa-saṁnidhāna {S}) presence of God


jaḍa {S} non-conscious, insentient, material, lifeless matter

jāgrat {S} [state of] waking, wakefulness

jāgrat-suṣupti {S} waking sleep

jāla {S} net, snare, web, deception, collection, multitude

japa {S} whispering, repetition [of a name of God, prayer or mantra], invocation

jīva {S} life, living being, soul

jīvātmā {S} personal self, soul

jñā {S} know, be conscious of, cognise, ascertain, experience

jñāna {S} knowledge, consciousness (often used to mean ātma-jñāna, self-knowledge)

jñāna-dṛṣṭi {S} knowledge-sight

jñāna-mārga {S} path of knowledge

jñāna-mātā {S} mother of knowledge

jñāna-vicāra {S} knowledge-investigation

jñānēndriya {S} sense organ

jñāni {S} a knower, sage, one who knows [self]


kaḍa {T} pass through, go across, exceed, excel, transcend, escape from) – see kaḍandu

kaḍandu {T} transcending (tenseless verbal participle of kaḍa)

kaḍandu-uḷḷavaṉ {T} he who exists transcending

kaḍavuḷ {T} God

kālam {TS} time

kalaṅgārē (kalaṅgār-ē) {T} they will certainly not deluded

kaliveṇbā {T} an extended version of the veṇbā metre

kalpanā {S} mental creation, imagination, fabrication, mental image – see kaṯpaṉai

kaṇ {T} eye

kāṇ {T} see, perceive, discover, know, experience (also used in poetry as a verbal noun meaning ‘seeing’, etc.)

kaṇḍavarē (kaṇḍavar-ē) {T} only those who have seen

kāṇum {T} which sees, perceives, knows (relative participle of kāṇ)

kāraṇa {S} cause

kāraṇa śarīra {S} causal body

kāraṇam illāda karuṇai {Ts} causeless grace

karma {S} action, activity

karma-mārga {S} path of action

karma-vāsanā {S} propensity or desire that impels one to do action

karmēndriya {S} organ of action

kartṛtva {S} doership

karu {T} (garbha {S}) embryo, egg, efficient cause

karuṇā {S} compassion, grace

karuṇai {T} – see karuṇā

karuvām ahandai (karu-v-ām ahandai) {Ts} ‘ego, which is the embryo’

kāṭci {T} that which is seen, sight, vision, appearance

kaṯpaṉai {Ts} (kalpanā {S}) mental creation, imagination, fabrication, invention, mental image, illusion, illusory superimposition

kaṯpaṉaigaḷ {Ts} imaginations, illusions, mental images (plural form of kaṯpaṉai)

kaupīna {T} loincloth

kēḷ {T} hear, listen, learn, ask, question, investigate

khaṇḍa {S} broken, fragmented, divided, division, break, part, fragment

kīrtanam {TS} song, praise

kōśa {S} ‘sheath’, covering

kōvai {T} stringing, series, succession, arrangement – see Guru Vācaka Kōvai

kṛ {S} do, make, cause, effect – see kṛtvā, kṛtya

kṛtvā {S} having done, made (past participle of kṛ)

kṛtya {S} action, function – see pañcakṛtya

kṣaṇika {S} momentary

kuṟaḷ veṇbā {T} a two-line version of the veṇbā metre

kūr {T} be abundant, intense, sharp, keen, acute, penetrating – see kūrnda

kūrnda {T} sharpened, pointed, sharp, keen, acute (past relative participle of kūr)

kūrnda mati {Ts} sharp, piercing, acute, keen, concentrated, subtle, discerning mind


lakṣya {S} aim, target, goal

lakṣyārtha (lakṣya-artha) {S} target meaning, intended meaning

laya {S} lying down, temporary subsidence, abeyance


{S} not

mahākartā (mahā-kartā) {S} the ‘great doer’ (God)

mahāraṇya (mahā-araṇya) {S} great forest, desert, wilderness

maharṣi (maha-ṛṣi) {S} great ‘seer’, sage

mahāvākya (mahā-vākya) {S} great saying

mahēśaṉ (mahā-īśaṉ) {TS} great Lord, God

mai {T} darkness, ignorance

-mai {T} suffix denoting an abstract state or quality (similar to the suffix ‘-ness’ in English) (see also naṉmai; taṉmai; uṇmai; viṇmai)

mālai {TS} (mālā {S}) garland – see akṣaramaṇamālai and nūṉmālai

manaḥ {S} mind (nominative, accusative or vocative singular form of manas)

maṉam {TS} (manas {S}) mind

maṇam (maṇa in compound) {T} marriage, union, fragrance – see Śrī Aruṇācala Akṣaramaṇamālai

manana {T} thinking, considering, pondering, musing, reflection

manas {S} mind (see also maṉam)

maṉattai {TS} mind (accusative singular form of maṉam)

maṇḍapam {TS} temple hall

maṅgalam {TS} auspiciousness, verse composed as an auspicious introduction

maṉidaṉ {TS} (manu-ja {S}) man, male person

māṉiḍaṉ {TS} (mānuṣa {S}) man, human being

māṉiḍaṉāy (māṉiḍaṉ-āy) {Ts} having become human, being human, as human, as [a] man

māṉiḍaṉāy irukkiṟēṉ {Ts} ‘[I] exist as [a] man’, ‘[I] am [a] man’

maṉṉu {T} be permanent, endure, remain long, stay, persevere, be steady, abound – see maṉṉum

maṉṉum {T} which endures (relative participle of maṉṉu)

manō- (for manas in compound) {S} mind, of mind

manōlaya {S} abeyance of mind

manōmaya kōśa {S} ‘sheath’ composed of mind

manōmayam {TS} (manōmaya {S}) composed [only] of mind

manōmayam-ām kāṭci {Ts} ‘vision which is composed of mind’, mind-made appearance

manōnāśa {S} annihilation of mind

manōnigraha {S} mind-restraint

mantra {S} sacred syllable, word, phrase (such as a name of God or a prayer)

mantra-japa {S} repetition of a mantra

mārga {S} path, way, means (see also bhakti mārga; jñāna mārga; karma mārga; yōga mārga; vaṙi)

mātā {S} mother

mati {S} mind, intellect, power of discernment (see also buddhi; kūrnda mati; nuṇ mati)

matiyāl (mati-y-āl) {TS} by mind (instrumental form of mati)

mati-y-iladāl {Ts} ‘since it is devoid of consciousness’

mātra {S} mere, only, nothing but

mauna {S} silence

-maya {S} suffix meaning ‘made of’, ‘composed of’, ‘consisting only of’ – see ānandamaya, annamaya, manōmaya, prāṇamaya, tanmaya, vijñanamaya

māyā {S} that which is not (see yā mā), illusion, delusion, self-deception

mey {T} reality, truth

meypporuḷ (mey-p-poruḷ) {T} real substance, true essence, reality, God

meypporuḷ-viḷakkam {T} light of the real substance (consciousness of being, ‘I am’)

mita {S} measured, moderate

mudal {T} origin, cause, root, base

muḍiyum {T} [it] will end, cease, be possible

mukti {S} liberation, emancipation

muṉṉilai (muṉ-nilai) {T} ‘that which stands in front’, the second person

muppuḍi {Ts} (tripuṭi {S}) triad, three factors [of objective knowledge] (knower, knowing and known)

muppuḍigaḷ {Ts} triads (plural form of muppuḍi)

mūrti-dhyāna {S} meditation on a form [of God]

muttoṙil (mu-t-toṙil) {T} threefold function [of God]

mūviḍam (mū-v-iḍam) {T} ‘three places’, three persons (in grammar) (see also muṉṉilai; paḍarkkai; taṉmai)

muyal {T} begin, undertake, attempt, practise, make effort, exert, persevere – see muyalum

muyalum {T} which [we] undertake, practise (relative participle of muyal)


na-iti {S} ‘not [this]’ (see also nēti nēti)

naḍakka {T} to walk, proceed, behave

nāḍu {T} seek, pursue, inspect, examine, investigate, explore, know

nām {T} we (inclusive of whoever is addressed)

nāma-rūpa {S} name-form

nāṉ {T} ‘I’

Nāṉ-Ār? {T} ‘I [am] Who?’, ‘Who am I?’

nāṉ ār iḍam edu {T} ‘who am I? what is the place [from which I arose]?’, ‘what is the place where I abide?’

nāṉ eṉum sol-poruḷ {T} ‘the import of the word I’

nāṉ iṉṉāṉ {T} ‘I [am] so-and-so’

nāṉ maṉidaṉ {Ts} ‘I [am a] man’, ‘I [am a] male person’

nāṉ māṉiḍaṉ {Ts} ‘I [am a] man’, ‘I [am] human’

nāṉ māṉiḍaṉāy irukkiṟēṉ {Ts} ‘I exist as [a] man’, ‘I am [a] man’

nāṉ nāṉ {T} ‘I [am] I’

nāṉ yār? {T} ‘I [am] who?’, ‘who am I?’

Nāṉ Yār? {T} ‘I [am] Who?’, ‘Who am I?’

naṉavu {T} [state of] waking, wakefulness

naṉavu-tuyil {T} waking sleep

naṉmai (nal-mai) {T} goodness, righteousness, benefit, virtue, morality

nāṟpadu {T} forty – see Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu

naṙuvum {T} ‘[it] will vanish’

nāśa {S} annihilation, destruction – see manōnāśa

nāṭṭam {T} investigation, examination, scrutiny, inspection, observation, attention, attentiveness

nēti nēti (na-iti, na-iti) {S} ‘not [this], not [this]’ (implying ‘[I am] not [this adjunct], nor [this adjunct]’, the word iti being a quotative indicator that is equivalent to the use of inverted commas in English)

nididhyāsana {S} deep contemplation, meditation, attentiveness, observation, scrutiny (derived from the verb nidhyai, in which the prefix ni means down, deep, back, in or within, and dhyai means to contemplate or meditate on, from which dhyāna is derived)

nihaṙviṉai {T} present time

nihaṙvu (often transliterated as nihaḻvu and transcribed loosely as nihazhvu) {T} present time

niṉaivu {T} thought, mind

niṉḏṟa {T} which stands, exists, abides, remains, endures, continues, is permanent (though it is actually the past relative participle of the verb nil, it indicates permanence and hence implies continuity from past to future)

nirāśā (nir-āśā) {S} without desire, desirelessness

nirguṇa (nir-guṇa) {S} without qualities, without [finite] properties, unqualified

nirguṇa brahman {S} ‘brahman without [finite] qualities’, the unqualified reality, God (as pure being, ‘I am’, the impersonal ground, essential substance or infinite whole)

nirguṇa upāsana {S} worship without attributes, worship of the unqualified reality (God as pure being)

nirvāṇa {S} blown out, extinguished, extinction, annihilation

niṣṭha (or niṣṭhā) {S} standing in, fixed in, grounded in, being in, abiding in, intent on, devoted to, attached to, steadiness, firmness, abidance, attachment, devotion, application, skill, familiarity with, certain knowledge of, position, condition, state

nitamum maṉṉum {T} ‘which always endures’

nitya {S} innate, fixed, perpetual, eternal

niyama {S} restraining, restraint, restriction

nūl {T} thread, treatise, scientific text, spiritual text, scripture – see nūṉmālai and nūṯṟiraṭṭu

nuṇ {T} subtle, refined, precise, acute, sharp, discerning

nūṉmālai (nūl-mālai) {Ts} garland of texts – see Śrī Ramaṉōpadēśa Nūṉmālai

nuṇ mati {Ts} discerning mind

nūṯṟiraṭṭu (nūl-tiraṭṭu) {T} collection of texts, compilation of texts – see Śrī Ramaṇa Nūṯṟiraṭṭu


oḍukkiḍavē {T} when it is subdued, reduced, condensed, dissolved, merged, destroyed

oḷi {T} light

oḷirum {T} [it] shines

oḷiyāl (oḷi-y-āl) {T} by light (instrumental form of oḷi)

oṉḏṟu {T} one

ōr {T} one, an

ōr {T} consider attentively, investigate, examine, know (also used as a poetic form of the relative participle ōrum)

ōr vaṙi {T} ‘one path’, ‘investigating path’, ‘knowing path’, ‘path of investigation [or knowing]’

oru {T} one, a

ōrum {T} which investigates, which knows, investigating, knowing (relative participle of ōr)


paḍarkkai {T} that which has spread out [and become remote], the third person

pākkaḷ {T} verses (plural form of ) – see taṉippākkaḷ

pañcakam {TS} collection of five parts (especially a poem of five verses) – see Ēkātma Pañcakam

pañca-kōśa {S} five ‘sheaths’ or coverings

pañcakṛtya (pañca-kṛtya) {S} five functions (of God)

pañcan (pañca in compound) {S} five

pañca vāyu {S} five ‘vital airs’

para-bhakti {S} supreme devotion

parama-īśa-bhakti {S} – see paramēśa-bhakti

parama karuṇā {S} supreme compassion

paramārtha (parama-artha) {S} most excellent aim, principle meaning, ultimate substance, true essence, highest truth, entire truth, ultimate reality

pāramārthika {S} related to the ultimate reality, truest, most essential (adjectival form of paramārtha)

pāramārthika satya {S} essential truth, ultimate reality, absolute reality

paramātman {S} supreme self

paramēśa-bhakti (parama-īśa-bhakti) {S} supreme devotion to God

paramēśvara śakti (parama-īśvara-śakti) {S} supreme power of God

para-sukha {S} supreme happiness

parā-vāk {S} supreme word

pati {S} lord, master, God

pāyiram {T} preface, introduction (especially a verse or group of verses explaining the genesis of a work or giving a synopsis of its subject matter)

pēr {T} name

pēr-uruvil {T} ‘in name and form’, ‘nameless and formless’

piḍikka {T} to cling to (infinitive of piḍi, catch, grasp, hold, cling to)

piṇam {T} corpse

piṇam pōl tīrndu uḍalam {T} ‘leaving the body like a corpse’

pōl {T} like

poṉ {T} gold

pōṉḏṟa {T} which resembles

poṟi {T} sense organ, mind

poruḷ {T} substance, essence, reality

poy {T} falsity, unreality, illusion, deceptive appearance (also used adjectivally to mean ‘false’, ‘unreal’, ‘illusory’)

poy mai-y-ār niṉaivu aṇuvum uyyādu oḍukkiḍavē {T} ‘when thought, which is unreal darkness, is destroyed without reviving even an iota’

pōy {T} going, having gone

prajñāna {S} pure consciousness (adjunct-free self-consciousness, ‘I am’)

prajñānaṁ brahma {S} ‘pure consciousness is brahman

pramāda {S} intoxication, negligence, carelessness, inattentiveness (in a spiritual context, specifically self-negligence or lack of self-attentiveness)

prāṇa {S} breath, life, life-force, vitality

prāṇamaya kōśa {S} ‘sheath’ composed of breath

prāṇāyāma {S} breath-restraint

prārabdha {S} action (karma) that has begun to give fruit, destiny, fate

prasthāna {S} source, origin, starting point

prasthāna-traya {S} triple source

pratibhāsa {S} appearance, semblance, illusion

prātibhāsika {S} seeming, existing only as an appearance

prātibhāsika satya {S} seeming reality

pravṛtti {S} outgoing effort, extroverted activity

priya {S} love, kindness, loving, beloved, liked, pleasing

puhaṙcci {T} praise, applause, appreciation, adulation, eulogy, fame, renown, glory, celebrity

pūṇumē {T} put on, wear, be adorned with, be possessed of, be yoked to, be ensnared in

pūjā {S} worship (particularly ritual worship), adoration, reverence

pūrṇa {S} filled, full, complete, entire, whole, fullness, completeness, entirety

puruṣa {S} man, human being, person, primal ‘person’, supreme being, spirit (as the original source and substance of everything)


rajas {S} passion, emotion, restless activity

rajō- (for rajas in compound) {S} passion, emotion, restless activity

rajōguṇa {S} quality of passion (rajas)

ram {S} settle, become calm, rest, experience joy, give joy, delight, please

ramaṇa {S} joy, pleasure, that which gives joy, beloved, lover, husband

Ramaṇa Nūṯṟiraṭṭu {Ts} – see Śrī Ramaṇa Nūṯṟiraṭṭu

ramaṇōpadēśa (ramaṇa-upadēśa) {Ts} teachings of Sri Ramana – see Śrī Ramaṇōpadēśa Nūṉmālai

Ramaṉōpadēśa Nūṉmālai {Ts} – see Śrī Ramaṉōpadēśa Nūṉmālai

ṛṣi {S} (commonly transcribed as rishi) ‘seer’, sage

rūpa {S} form, outward appearance, nature (see also nāma-rūpa; svarūpa)


śabda {S} sound, noise, word

śabda jālaṁ mahāraṇyaṁ {S} ‘great forest of snares of words’

saccidananda (sat-cit-ānanda) {S} being-consciousness-bliss (see also sat-cit-ānanda)

sadā {S} always, ever, continually, perpetually

sadākālam (sadā-kālam) {TS} always, at all times

sadākālamum maṉattai ātmāvil vaittiruppadu {Ts} ‘always being keeping mind fixed in self’

sadguru (sat-guru) {S} real guru, being-guru, true spiritual teacher

sādhakattil {TS} in spiritual practice (locative singular form of sādhakam)

sādhu {S} good person, gentle person, saintly person, religious mendicant

saguṇa (sa-guṇa) {S} with qualities, with [finite] properties, qualified

saguṇa brahman {S} ‘brahman with [finite] qualities’, the qualified reality, God (as a ‘person’ or separate being)

saguṇa upāsana {S} worship with attributes, worship of the qualified reality (God as a person)

sahitar {TS} person who is joined to, connected with, associated with, possessed of

śakti {S} power

samādhi {S} state of mental stillness, subsidence, absorption, composure, intense meditation, unwavering contemplation

saṁhāra {S} drawing together, closing, contraction, dissolution, destruction [of the universe]

saṁsāra {S} flowing together, going about, wandering, spreading among, being diffused, moving thoroughly, restless activity [of mind]

saṁstha {S} standing together, standing firmly, abiding, resting in, being as

śanaiḥ śanair (śanais śanais) {S} gently gently, calmly and gradually

śanais {S} calmly, quietly, softly, gently, gradually

sanātana {S} ancient, primeval, eternal, everlasting, constant, perpetual

sanātana dharma {S} that which eternally upholds, supports, sustains, maintains, holds together, keeps in place or regulates; eternal law [of human nature and spiritual development], eternal ‘religion’ (that is, religion as an ordered and correct way of life, rather than as any particular set of beliefs or doctrines)

sankalpa (saṁkalpa) {S} volition, intention, wish, will, desire

sankalpa sahitar {TS} person possessed of volition

sannidhāna (saṁnidhāna) {S} nearness, presence

śānti {S} peace, tranquillity, calmness

sapta {S} seven

sapta dhātu {S} seven constituents [of the physical body] (namely chyle, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow and semen)

sāra {S} essence, substance, core, pith (see also sāram)

sāram {TS} essence

śarīra {S} body

sarva {S} all, entire, whole, every

sarvakartā (sarva-kartā) {S} all doer, one who does everything (God)

śāstra {S} rule, precept, teaching, instruction, book, scientific treatise, religious treatise, scripture, sacred book

sat {S} being, existing, existence, that which is, reality, truth, essence, real, true, right, good, honest, wise

sat-bhāva {S} real being, state of being

sat-cit {S} being-consciousness

sat-cit-ānanda {S} being-consciousness-bliss

sattva {S} being-ness, reality, calmness, clarity, purity (the true nature or essence of the mind and all its creations)

sattva-guṇa {S} quality of being-ness, calmness, clarity, purity

sāttvika {S} pure, pristine, endowed with sattva

satya {S} true, real, truth, reality

sāvādavar {T} those who do not die, immortals

sāyndiḍum {T} [it] hangs down, bends down, lies down, breaks (like branch under pressure)

siddha {S} accomplished, fulfilled, effected, achieved, attained, acquired, person who has accomplished [either a spiritual or non-spiritual goal]

siddhi {S} accomplishment, [spiritual or supernatural] attainment, miraculous power

śiva-svarūpa {S} God as our ‘own form’ or real self, the absolute reality

smaraṇa {S} remembering, bearing in mind, remembrance, mindfulness, attentiveness, meditation

sol {T} word, term, saying (also a verb meaning to say, speak)

sol-poruḷ {T} – see soṯporuḷ

soṯporuḷ (sol-poruḷ) {T} word-substance (the substance, import or meaning of a word)

sorūpam {TS} (svarūpa {S}) ‘own form’, essential self

śravaṇa {S} ‘hearing’, learning, studying, reading

śrī {S} light, lustre, radiance, splendour (often used as an honorific prefix [meaning ‘sacred’] before the names of deities, holy people, places or objects)

Śrī Aruṇācala Akṣaramaṇamālai {Ts} ‘Marriage Garland of Letters to Sri Arunachala’, ‘Fragrant Garland of Letters to Sri Arunachala’, ‘Garland of Imperishable Union with Sri Arunachala’

Śrī Aruṇācala Aṣṭakam {TS} ‘Eight [Verses] to Sri Arunachala’

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam {S} ‘Sacred [Book] about God’

Śrī Ramaṇa Nūṯṟiraṭṭu {Ts} ‘Compilation of Sri Ramana’s Texts’, ‘Collected Works of Sri Ramana’

Śrī Ramaṇōpadēśa Nūṉmālai – Viḷakkavurai {Ts} ‘Commentary on Sri Ramana’s Upadēśa Nūṉmālai (Garland of Teaching Texts)’

sṛṣṭi {S} letting go, bringing forth, discharging, emission, projection, creation [of the universe]

sthāna {S} standing, state, situation, place, locality, abode

sthiti {S} standing, staying, continuing, enduring, maintenance, sustenance [of the universe], state, situation, condition

sthūla {S} massive, gross, material, physical

sthūla dēha {S} physical body

sthūla śarīra {S} physical body

śubha {S} bright, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, auspicious, good, righteous, virtuous, pure

śubha vāsanā {S} good inclination, agreeable propensity

śuddhi {S} cleansing, purification, purity, clearness

sukha {S} easy, pleasant, agreeable, ease, comfort, happiness

sūkṣma {S} subtle, fine, minute, keen, acute, sharp

sūkṣma śarīra {S} subtle body (the mind, ego or soul)

sum {Latin} ‘[I] am’

summā {T} easily, leisurely, inactively, at rest, at ease, peacefully, happily, quietly, silently, barely, merely, just (perhaps derived from sukhamā, a Tamil adverbial form of the Sanskrit word sukha)

summā amarndu irukka (summā-v-amarndirukka) {T} ‘when [one] just is, having settled’

summā iru (summā-v-iru) {T} just be, quietly be, be without activity [of mind, speech or body]

summā irukkalām (summā-v-irukkalām) {T} ‘let us just be’

summā iruppadu (summā-v-iruppadu) {T} just being

śūnya {S} empty, void

suṣupti {S} sleep (dreamless deep sleep)

sūtra {S} thread, cord, string, short string of words, aphorism, concise instruction, text consisting of a string of aphorisms (especially aphoristic instructions)

sva {S} own (referring to any of the three persons or three number [singular, dual or plural]), one’s own, oneself (also serves [like ātman] as a reflexive pronoun)

svarūpa {S} own form, own nature, essential self

svarūpa-darśana {S} seeing self, self-discernment, self-experience

svarūpa-dhyāna {S} self-attentiveness, self-contemplation, self-meditation

svarūpa-smaraṇa {S} self-remembrance, self-attentiveness

sva-svarūpa-anusandhāna {S} self-investigation, self-inspection, self-contemplation, self-attentiveness


talai {T} head (literally or figuratively)

talai-sāyndiḍum {T} [it] head-bends, becomes head-bent, hangs [its] head [in shame or modesty], dies

tamas {S} darkness, delusion

tamō- (for tamas in compound) {S} darkness, delusion

tamōguṇa {S} quality of darkness (tamas)

taṉ {T} self (inflexional base of tāṉ, and its oblique case form, often used as a genitive [of self, his, her, its, one’s own])

tāṉ {T} self (also serves as a third person pronoun [he, she or it], an indefinite pronoun [one or anyone], the reflexive pronoun for all persons and genders [oneself, myself, yourself, itself, ourselves, etc.], and an intensifying suffix [certainly, only or alone])

tāṉ-ādal {T} becoming self, being self

tāṉ ām avaṉ {T} ‘he who is self’

taṉadu {T} of self, his, her, its, one’s own (a genitive form of tāṉ)

taṉadu oḷiyāl eppōdum uḷḷadu {T} ‘that which always exists by its own light’

tāṉē (tāṉ-ē) {T} self itself, self alone, self certainly

tāṉē tāṉē tattuvam {T} ‘self itself alone certainly is the reality’

taṉi {T} singleness, solitude, independence, uniqueness, purity (also used adjectivally) – see taṉippākkaḷ

taṉippākkaḷ (taṉi-p-pākkaḷ) {T} solitary verses – see Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ

taṉmai (taṉ-mai) {T} ‘self-ness’, the first person

taṉmaiyiṉ (taṉmai-y-iṉ) {T} of the first person (an oblique case form of taṉmai, used as a genitive)

taṉmaiyiṉ uṇmai {T} the truth of the first person

tanmātra (tat-mātra) {S} ‘it-only’, merely that, basic element, essence

tanmayānanda (tat-maya-ānanda) {S} bliss composed only of tat (‘it’, the absolute reality)

tanmaya-niṣṭha (tat-maya-niṣṭha) {S} abidance as tat (‘it’, the absolute reality)

taṉṉai {T} self (accusative singular form of tāṉ)

taṉṉai-y-uṇarndu {T} knowing self

taṉṉāṭṭam (taṉ-nāṭṭam) {T} self-investigation, self-observation, self-scrutiny, self-attentiveness

taṉṉuḷ (taṉ-ṉ-uḷ) {T} within self, in oneself

tāṙ {T} fall low, descend, decline, sink, subside, stay, stop, rest, bend down, bow down, be subdued

tāṙndu {T} falling low, subsiding, bowing down, being subdued, being humble (tenseless verbal participle of tāṙ)

tat {S} it, this, that (the third person neuter pronoun, which is used in philosophy to denote brahman, the one non-dual absolute reality)

tat tvam asi {S} ‘it you are’, ‘that thou art’

tattuvam {TS} reality – see tattva

tattva (tat-tva) {S} it-ness, that-ness, reality, truth, principle (used to denote both the one absolute reality, and any of the variously enumerated ontological principles)

tēḍu {T} seek, search for, enquire into, examine, investigate

Tipiṭaka {Pāḷi} (Tripiṭaka {S}) ‘Three Baskets’ (the oldest written collection of the teachings of Lord Buddha, popularly known as the ‘Pāḷi Canon’)

tiraṭṭu {T} gathering, collection, compilation – see nūṯṟiraṭṭu

tirōbhāva {S} – see tirōdhāna

tirōdhāna {S} concealment, obscuration, veiling

tīr {T} end, expire, vanish, separate, leave, cease, die, perish – see tīrndu

tīrndu {T} ending, separating, leaving (tenseless verbal participle of tīr)

tiru {T} brightness, brilliance, lustre, splendour, eminence, distinction, fortune, blessing, holiness, sacredness, divinity (used like śrī as an honorific prefix [meaning ‘sacred’] before the names of deities, holy people, places or objects) – see tiruvaruḷ

tiruvaruḷ (tiru-v-aruḷ) {T} divine grace

tōṉḏṟum {T} [it] will appear, arise, become visible, come to mind, be known, become clear

tōṇumē {T} [it] will certainly appear, become known

traya {S} triple, threefold, consisting of three

tripuṭi {S} triad, three factors [of objective knowledge] (knower, knowing and known)

turiya {TS} (turya {S}) fourth (the ‘fourth’ state, the state of clear thought-free self-consciousness, also known as ‘waking sleep’)

turīya {S} fourth (the ‘fourth’ state)

turīya (or turya) avasthā {S} the fourth state

turīyātīta (turīya-atīta) {S} fourth-transcending, that which transcends the fourth (an alternative name of turīya, so called because it transcends the three false states of consciousness, waking, dream and sleep, and hence is not actually the ‘fourth’ but the only real state)

turiya-v-atīta {TS} (turīyātīta {S}) fourth-transcending

turya {S} fourth (the ‘fourth’ state)

tuyil {T} sleep


uḍal {T} body

uḍal nāṉ {T} ‘[this] body [is] I’, ‘I [am this] body’

uḍal nāṉ eṉṉum a-t-taṉmai {T} that first person, which is called ‘I [am this] body’

uḍalam {T} body

Udāna {S/Pāḷi} ‘Joyous Exaltation’

ūkkam {T} impulse, ardour, zeal, exertion, effort, firm conviction

ūkkam-uḷḷavaṉ {T} he who has zeal, he who makes [earnest] effort

uḷ {T} be, exist, have (a tenseless verb, from which most of the following words beginning with uḷ are derived)

uḷ {T} within, inside, interior, heart, mind

uḷ-mai {T} ‘be’-ness, ‘am’-ness

uḷḷa {T} to be, which is, who is, being (as an adjective), existing, real, true, actual (infinitive, relative participle and adjective form of uḷ)

uḷḷa {T} to think (infinitive of uḷḷu, think, cogitate, meditate)

uḷḷa-poruḷ {T} substance which is, real substance, being-essence, existing reality

uḷḷa-v-uṇarvu {T} consciousness which is, existing consciousness, being consciousness, real consciousness

uḷḷadē (uḷḷadu-ē) {T} only being

uḷḷadu {T} being (verbal noun formed from uḷ, be), that which is (uḷḷa-adu), that which [really] exists

Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu {T} ‘Forty [Verses] on Being’, ‘Forty [Verses] on That Which Is’

Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham {Ts} ‘Appendix to Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu

uḷḷal {T} thinking, thought, meditation (verbal noun formed from uḷḷu)

uḷḷam {T} mind, heart, spiritual core (also a poetic form of uḷḷōm, which means ‘[we] are’, and which is thus an inclusive way of expressing our singular consciousness of being, ‘[I] am’)

uḷḷattē (uḷḷattu-ē) {T} in heart, only in heart, in heart itself

uḷḷavaṉ (uḷḷa-avaṉ) {T} he who is, he who exists, he who has

uḷḷu {T} think, remember, cogitate, meditate, investigate

ūṇ {T} that which is eaten, food

ūṉ {T} flesh, meat, body

ūṇ ādal kāṇ {T} ‘becoming food [is] seeing’

ūṉ ār karu ahandai {Ts} ego, [which is] the body-bound embryo

uṇar {T} be conscious of, know, experience, feel, understand, examine, scrutinise, think

uṇara {T} to know (infinitive of uṇar, know, be conscious of)

uṇara niṉḏṟa poruḷ {T} ‘the reality that stands [exists, endures or continues] to know’, ‘the reality that exists and knows’

uṇarndu {T} knowing, having known (tenseless verbal participle of uṇar)

uṇarvu {T} consciousness, knowledge, clear discernment, perception, feeling, sense, awakening (noun formed from uṇar, know, be conscious of)

undiyār {T} a particular poetic style – see Upadēśa Undiyār

uṇmai (uḷ-mai) {T} ‘being-ness’, existence, being nature, essence, reality, truth

upadēśa {S} pointing towards, indicating, instructing, specifying, instruction, teaching

Upadēśa Nūṉmālai {Ts} ‘Garland of Teaching Texts’ – see Śrī Ramaṉōpadēśa Nūṉmālai

Upadēśa Sāram {S} ‘Essence of Instructions’, ‘Essence of Teachings’

Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ {Ts} ‘Solitary Verses of Instruction’

Upadēśa Undiyār {Ts} ‘Teachings in [the poetic style called] Undiyār

upādhā (or upadhā) {S} place upon, superimpose, take up, seize

upādhi {S} adjunct, superimposition, disguise, substitute, that which is put in place of something else, that which is mistaken to be something else

upādhi-uṇarvu {Ts} adjunct-consciousness, adjunct-knowledge, adjunct-sense

upalabdhi {S} acquisition, attainment, perception, knowledge

upaniṣad {S} any one of a group of philosophical texts in the Vēdas (see also Index of Texts)

upāsana {S} waiting upon, serving, attendance, reverence, adoration, worship, meditation, contemplation, being intent upon

upāya {S} coming near, approach, way, means, that by which an aim is reached or achieved

upēya {S} aim, goal, that which is to be approached, reached or achieved

upēyamum tāṉē upāyamum tāṉē {Ts} ‘the aim is only self, and the means is only self’

urai {T} speaking, saying, telling, explanation, interpretation, exposition, commentary – see viḷakkavurai

uraṉ {T} mental strength

uru {T} form

uruvil (uru-v-il) {T} in form (locative form of uru), formless (privative form of uru)

uruppaḍuvāṉ (uru-p-paḍuvāṉ) {T} [he] will be formed, reformed

usā {T} subtle investigation, close examination, keen scrutiny

usāvāl (usā-v-āl) {T} by subtle investigation (instrumental form of usā)

usāvu (or usavu) {T} ponder, consider, investigate keenly

uy {T} live, subsist, revive, escape, be saved – see uyyādu

uyarvu {T} height, elevation, loftiness, eminence, greatness (also used adjectivally to mean ‘lofty’, ‘eminent’, ‘superior’)

uyir {T} life, soul, living being

uyyādu {T} not living, not escaping, not reviving, without reviving (tenseless verbal negative participle of uy)


vācaka {S} speaking, telling, saying, word – see Guru Vācaka Kōvai

vācya {S} spoken, told, said, expressed – see vācyārtha

vācyārtha (vācya-artha) {S} spoken meaning, expressed meaning, literal meaning

vai {T} put, place, seat, keep, hold, maintain, fix – see vaittu

vairāgya {S} dispassion, freedom from desire, desirelessness, indifference (from vi-rāga, without passion, desire, liking, interest)

vaittu {T} placing, keeping, holding, fixing (tenseless verbal participle of vai)

vaittiruppadu (vaittu-iruppadu) {T} keeping fixed, being keeping, being having kept (verbal noun formed from vaittiru, a compound verb in which iru [be] serves as an auxiliary to vaittu [keeping])

vāk {S} word

vaṙi (often transliterated as vaḻi and transcribed loosely as vazhi) {T} path, way, means

vāsanā {S} disposition, propensity, tendency, inclination, impulsion, desire (derived from vāsa, meaning abiding or remaining, because a vāsanā is a disposition that remains in the mind as a result of previous actions or experiences)

vastu {S} substance, essence, reality

vastu-upalabdhi {S} direct knowledge of the reality or true essence

vastu-vicāra {S} scrutiny of our essential reality

vattu {TS} (vastu {S}) substance

vattuvām (vattu-v-ām) {T} which is the substance

vēda {S} knowledge (derived from vid, to know), the ‘Vēdas’ (all or any one of the four groups of ancient scriptural texts, the Ṛg-Vēda, Yajur-Vēda, Sāma-Vēda and Atharva-Vēda)

vēdānta (vēda-anta) {S} the ‘end’ or final conclusion of the Vēdas (the spiritual philosophy and science expounded in the Upaniṣads, Brahma-Sūtra and Bhagavad Gītā, and elucidated by many sages including SrI Ramana)

vēdāntic {English adjective formed from vēdānta}

veṇbā {T} a four-line Tamil poetic metre (see also kaliveṇbā; kuṟaḷ veṇbā)

vēṇḍum {T} [it] is wanted, desired, needed, necessary, indispensable (often used with an infinitive as an optative auxiliary to mean that one should or must do a certain action or be in a certain state)

vēṇum {T} [it] is needed, necessary, indispensable (as vēṇdum)

vēṇumē {T} [it] is certainly needed

vicar {S} investigate, examine, scrutinise, ascertain

vicāra {S} investigation, examination, scrutiny

vicāri {TS} (vicar {S}) investigate, examine, scrutinise, inspect, explore

vicārikka {TS} to investigate

vicārikka vēṇḍum {TS} [it] is necessary to investigate, [one] should investigate

viḍāppiḍiyāy (viḍā-p-piḍi-y-āy) {T} firmly, tenaciously, incessantly (literally, unleaving-graspingly)

viḍāppiḍiyāy-p piḍikka vēṇḍum {T} [it] is necessary to cling tenaciously, [one] should cling tenaciously

viddai {TS} (vidyā {S}) knowledge, science

vidyā {S} knowledge, philosophy, science, practical art, learning

vijñānamaya kōśa {S} ‘sheath’ composed of discriminative knowledge

vikṣēpa {S} throwing out, projection [of thoughts that form the world appearance], throwing about, scattering, dispersion, dissipation, distraction, confusion, agitation

vikṣēpa śakti {S} power of projection, dispersion, dissipation

viḷakkam {T} light, lamp, clearness, elucidation, explanation

viḷakkavurai (viḷakka-v-urai) {T} explanation, interpretation, exposition, commentary – see Śrī Ramaṉōpadēśa Nūṉmālai – Viḷakkavurai

viṉavu {T} question, enquire, investigate, examine, scrutinise, listen, pay attention to, bear in mind, hear

viṉavum {T} which scrutinises, which is scrutinising (relative participle of viṉavu)

viṇmai (viṇ-mai) {T} sky-ness (illusory like the blueness of the sky)

viṉai {T} action (karma),

viṉai-mudal {T} doer (literally, origin or cause) of action, subject (as the originator of any action)

viśēṣa {S} distinction, difference, peculiarity, speciality, special quality, excellence

viṣaya {S} extent, range, region, domain, sphere, sphere of activity, [worldly] affair, sense ‘region’, sense perception, sense object, sense pleasure, object of desire

viṣaya-vāsanā {S} desire that impels one to attend to sense perceptions and worldly affairs, and to seek enjoyment in such things

viśiṣṭādvaita (viśiṣṭa-advaita) {S} differential non-duality, qualified non-duality (an ancient philosophy that is distinct from the absolute non-duality of advaita, because it maintains that differences are real and not just false appearances)

vittu {T} seed

vittu-p-pōṉḏṟa {T} ‘which resembles a seed’, seed-like

vivēka {S} discrimination, discernment, power to distinguish the real from the unreal

Vivēkacūḍāmaṇi (vivēka-cūḍā-maṇi) {S} ‘Crest-Jewel of Discrimination’

vyavahāra {S} doing, activity, conduct, affair, occupation, transaction, business, commerce, disputation, litigation, mundane matter

vyāvahārika {S} transactional, related to worldly affairs, mundane, commonplace, relative (adjectival form of vyavahāra)

vyāvahārika satya {S} transactional reality, mundane reality, relative reality


{S} she who (feminine form of ya or yad, who, which or what)

yā mā {S} she who is not, that which is not, what is not (see māyā)

yār {T} who (interrogative personal pronoun)

artha {S} aim, purpose, meaning, substance, wealth, property, object, thing

yathārtha (yathā-artha) {S} according to the meaning, genuine, actual, real, true

yathārtha svarūpa {S} real self

yatna {S} effort, exertion, energy, zeal, endeavour, striving

yōga {S} yoking, joining, uniting, union, means [to attain union]

yōga-mārga {S} path of union

yōgi {S} one who is seeking union, one who has attained union

yōgic {English adjective formed from yōga} pertaining to yōga