37 Meanings of "Yoga"
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Written by Dr. Lorin Roche   

Think you know what “yoga” means? Here is the full definition of the word, Yoga, as set forth in the Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, page 856:

  1. the act of yoking, joining, attaching harnessing, putting to (of horses)
  2. a yoke, team, vehicle, conveyance
  3. employment, use, application, performance
  4. equipping or arraying (of an army)
  5. fixing (of an arrow on the bow-string)
  6. putting on (of armor)
  7. a remedy, cure
  8. a means, expedient, device, way, manner, method
  9. a supernatural means, charm, incantation, magical art
  10. a trick, strategem, fraud, deceit
  11. undertaking, business, work
  12. acquisition, gain, profit, wealth, property
  13. occasion, opportunity
  14. any junction, union, combination, contact with
  15. to agree, consent, acquiesce in anything
  16. mixing of various materials, mixture
  17. partaking of, possessing
  18. connection, relation
  19. putting together, arrangement, disposition, regular succession
  20. fitting together, fitness, propriety, suitability
  21. exertion, endeavour, zeal, diligence, industry, care, attention, strenuously, assiduously; with all one’s powers, with overflowing zeal
  22. application or concentration of the thoughts, abstract contemplation, meditation, self-concentration, abstract meditation and mental abstraction practised as a system (as taught by Patañjali and called the Yoga philosophy; it is the second of the two Samkhya systems, its chief aim being to teach the means by which the human spirit may attain complete union with isvara or the Supreme Spirit; in the practice of self-concentration it is closely connected with Buddhism)
  23. any simple act or rite conducive to Yoga or abstract meditation
  24. Yoga personified (as the son of Dharma and Kriya)
  25. a follower of the Yoga system
  26. the union of soul with matter
  27. the union of the individual soul with the universal soul
  28. devotion, pious seeking after God
  29. (with jainas) contact or mixing with the outer world
  30. (in astronomy) conjunction, lucky conjuncture, a constellation, asterism (these with the moon are called candra-yogah and are 13 in number; without the moon they're called kha-yogah or nabhasa-yogah)
  31. the leading or principal star of a lunar asterism
  32. of a variable division of time (during which the joint motion in longitude of the sun and moon amounts to 13 degrees 20 minutes; there are 27 such yogas beginning with viskambha and ending with vaidhrti)
  33. (in arithmetic) addition, sum, total
  34. (in grammar) the connection of words together, syntactical dependence of a word, construction
  35. a combined or concentrated grammatical rule or aphorism
  36. the connection of a word with its root, original or etymological meaning
  37. a violator of confidence, spy

Source: The Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary. For links to Sanskrit dictionaries online, visit Lorin’s website, lorinroche.com.

Dr. Lorin Roche earned his PhD from the University of California at Irvine, where his research focused on the language meditators generate to describe their inner experiences. He teaches meditation individually, in classes and instructs Yoga teachers in how to teach meditation. His newest book, The Radiance Sutras, is an accessible, poetic version of the Vijnana Bhairva Tantra. This work is available on his website: lorinroche.com. Email comments and questions about meditation and more to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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