Definition of the Sanskrit Word, “Yoga”
This is the actual definition of the word yoga
in Sanskrit. Looking over the rich diversity of meanings, you can feel how ancient the word is.
BUT first, let’s look at ayoga
- ayoga m. separation , disjunction, separation from a lover.
- unfitness , unsuitableness , nonconformity,
- inefficacy of a remedy.
- medical treatment counter to the symptoms , non-application or mis-application of remedies.
- vigorous effort , exertion L.
- inauspicious conjunction of planets L.
- N. of a certain conjunction of planets.
- mfn. relating to iron.
37 Meanings of “Yoga”
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:
- The act of yoking, joining, attaching, harnessing, putting to (of horses),
- a yoke, team, vehicle, conveyance.
- Employment, use, application, performance.
- Equipping or arraying (of an army)
- Fixing (of an arrow on the bow-string)
- Putting on (of armor)
- A remedy, cure
- A means, expedient, device, way, manner, method
- A supernatural means, charm, incantation, magical art
- A trick, strategem, fraud, deceit
- undertaking , business , work
- acquisition , gain , profit , wealth , property
- occasion , opportunity
- any junction , union , combination , contact with,
- to agree , consent , acquiesce in anything
- mixing of various materials , mixture
- partaking of , possessing
- connection , relation
- putting together , arrangement , disposition , regular succession
- fitting together , fitness , propriety , suitability
- exertion , endeavour , zeal , diligence , industry , care , attention, strenuously , assiduously; with all one's powers , with overflowing zeal
- 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 sāṃkhya systems , its chief aim being to teach the means by which the human spirit may attain complete union with īśvara or the Supreme Spirit ; in the practice of self-concentration it is closely connected with Buddhism)
- any simple act or rite conducive to yoga or abstract meditation
- Yoga personified (as the son of Dharma and Kriyā)
- a follower of the yoga system
- the union of soul with matter
- the union of the individual soul with the universal soul
- devotion , pious seeking after God
- m. (with jainas) contact or mixing with the outer world
- m. (in astronomy.) conjunction , lucky conjuncture. a constellation , asterism (these , with the moon , are called cāndra-yogāḥ and are 13 in number ; without the moon they are called kha-yogāḥ , or nābhasa-yogāḥ)
- the leading or principal star of a lunar asterism
- N. 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 viṣkambha and ending with vaidhṛti)
- (in arithmetic) addition, sum, total
- (in grammar) the connection of words together , syntactical dependence of a word , construction
- a combined or concentrated grammatical rule or aphorism
- the connection of a word with its root , original or etymological meaning
- a violator of confidence , spy
Here is the same thing, as a snapshot of the dictionary:
This is the same thing again, from page 854
of the Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English dictionary. If you are going to use a Sanskrit word, it’s good to be able to look it up and see what it really means.yoga
|m. ( √1. yuj ; ifc. f(ā).) the act of yoking , joining , attaching , harnessing , putting to (of horses) RV. MBh.|
|employment , use , application , performance RV. &c|
|equipping or arraying (of an army) MBh.|
|fixing (of an arrow on the bow-string) ib.|
|putting on (of armour) L.|
|a means , expedient , device , way , manner , method MBh. Ka1v. &c|
|a supernatural means , charm , incantation , magical art ib.|
|a trick , stratagem , fraud , deceit Mn. Katha1s. (cf. yoga-nanda)|
|acquisition , gain , profit , wealth , property ib. Kaus3. MBh.|
|any junction , union , combination , contact with (instr. with or without saha , or comp.). MBh. Ka1v. &c (yogam √ i , to agree , consent , acquiesce in anything R. )|
|partaking of , possessing (instr. or comp.) Mn. R. Hariv.|
|connection , relation (yogāt , yogena and yoga-tas ifc. in consequence of , on account of , by reason of , according to , through) Ka1tyS3r. S3vetUp. Mn. &c|
|putting together , arrangement , disposition , regular succession Ka1t2h. S3rS.|
|fitting together , fitness , propriety , suitability (°gena ind. and -tas ind. suitably , fitly , duly , in the right manner) MBh. Ka1v. &c|
|exertion , endeavour , zeal , diligence , industry , care , attention (°yoga-tas ind. strenuously , assiduously ; pūrṇena yogena , with all one's powers , with overflowing zeal) Mn. MBh. &c|
|application or concentration of the thoughts , abstract contemplation , meditation , (esp.) 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 sāṃkhya systems , its chief aim being to teach the means by which the human spirit may attain complete union with īśvara or the Supreme Spirit ; in the practice of self-concentration it is closely connected with Buddhism) Up. MBh. Ka1v. &c ( IW. 92)|
|any simple act or rite conducive to yoga or abstract meditation Sarvad.|
|Yoga personified (as the son of dharma and kriyā) BhP.|
|(in sāṃkhya) the union of soul with matter (one of the 10 mūlika-arthās or radical facts) Tattvas.|
|(with pāśupatas) the union of the individual soul with the universal soul Kula7rn2.|
|(with pāñcarātras) devotion , pious seeking after God Sarvad.|
|m. (with jainas) contact or mixing with the outer world ib.|
|a constellation , asterism (these , with the moon , are called cāndra-yogāḥ and are 13 in number ; without the moon they are called kha-yogāḥ , or nābhasa-yogāḥ) VarBr2S.|
|the leading or principal star of a lunar asterism W.|
|N. 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 viṣkambha and ending with vaidhṛti) ib.|
|(in gram.) the connection of words together , syntactical dependence of a word , construction Nir. Sus3r. (ifc. = dependent on , ruled by Pa1n2. 2-2 , 8 Va1rtt. 1)|
|a combined or concentrated grammatical rule or aphorism Pa1n2. Sch. Siddh. (cf. yoga-vibhāga)|
|the connection of a word with its root , original or etymological meaning (as opp. to rūḍhi q.v.) Nir. Prata1p. Ka1tyS3r. Sch.|
|a violator of confidence , spy L.|
|N. of a Sch. on the paramārthasāra|
Clicking on the big blue numbers should take you to the actual page in the Monier-Williams dictionary. A superb resource.
Whew! This is what yoga means
. In Sanskrit, the dictionary, which is the consensus of the Pundits, is prescriptive, and sets forth what is correct. So in Sanskrit, the word yoga has a very broad semantic range, 37 definitions in all.
By contrast, Yoga defined in the American Heritage Dictionary online at Bartleby.com
This is a very streamlined definition, and reflects the way Americans use the term, not the full definition as it is in Sanskrit, which is more about harnessing the horses and getting ready for war.
NOUN: 1. also Yoga A Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquillity. 2. A system of exercises practiced as part of this discipline to promote control of the body and mind.ETYMOLOGY: Hindi, from Sanskrit yoga, union, joining. See yeug- Indo-European Roots ENTRY: yeug-DEFINITION: To join.Derivatives include yoke, jugular, adjust, junta, and yoga. I. Zero-grade form *yug-. 1. Suffixed form *yug-o-. a. yoke, from Old English geoc, yoke, from Germanic *yukam; b. jugate, jugular, jugum; conjugate, subjugate, from Latin iugum, yoke; c. zygo- zygoma, zygote, –zygous; azygous, syzygy, from Greek zugon, yoke, and zugoun, to join; d. Yuga, from Sanskrit yugam, yoke. 2. Suffixed (superlative) form *yug-isto-. jostle, joust; adjust, juxtapose, juxtaposition, from Latin ixt, close by, perhaps from *iugist (vi), “on a nearby (road).” 3. Nasalized zero-grade form *yu-n-g-. join, joinder, joint, jointure, junction, juncture, junta; adjoin, conjoin, conjugal, conjunct, enjoin, injunction, rejoin, rejoinder, subjoin, from Latin iungere, to join. II. Suffixed form *yeug-m. zeugma, from Greek zeugma, a bond. III. Suffixed o-grade form *youg-o-. yoga, from Sanskrit yoga, union. (Pokorny 2. eu- 508.)
The word, syzygy, comes from the same root as yoga.
NOUN: Inflected forms: pl. syz·y·gies
1. Astronomy a. Either of two points in the orbit of a celestial body where the body is in opposition to or in conjunction with the sun. b. Either of two points in the orbit of the moon when the moon lies in a straight line with the sun and Earth. c. The configuration of the sun, the moon, and Earth lying in a straight line. 2. The combining of two feet into a single metrical unit in classical prosody.
ETYMOLOGY: Late Latin szygia, from Greek suzugi, union, from suzugos, paired : sun-, su-, syn- + zugon, yoke; see yeug- The Columbia Encyclopedia
, Sixth Edition. 2001-05.
When we modern Americans and Europeans use the word yoga
, we almost never use the full semantic range of the word, as it has been used for thousands of years in India, in the classic Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad-Gita, or the Mahabharata (of which the Gita is one small part).
Here in the West, we are changing the usage of “yoga” to mean what we
want it to mean, and we ignore the whole history and complexity of the word. We intend only several, out of dozens of meanings. This is OK. English is a living language, and the definitions of words change according to usage. The dictionary follows usage.
Yoga and Yukti in Indian Medicine
An interesting overview of Yoga and Yukti from the Encyclopaedia Of Indian Medicine, Volume 2 By S.R. Sudarshan.
The face of truth: a study of meaning and metaphysics in the ... - Page 171
|books.google.comJulius Lipner - 1986 - 183 pages - Google eBook - Preview|
In Sanskrit, yogam atmavalokanam praptum icchor mumuk- soh karmayoga eva karanam ucyate. 34. BG11(S) pp. 181-2. ... to end: atha para yaya tad aksaram adhigamyate ity upasanakhyam brahmasaksatkaralaksanam bhaktirupapannam jnanam ucyate. ...
Cool Yoga Words
(one) whose body is Yoga MBh.
|(H3) yóga--śarīrin [p= 857,2] [L=172541]||mfn.|
the road leading to Yoga
the being absorbed in yoga Ka1s3i1Kh.
|(H3) yóga--yukti [p= 857,1] [L=172481]||f.|
" meditation-sleep " , a state of half meditation half sleep (which admits of the full exercise of the mental powers ; it is peculiar to devotees) , light sleep , (esp.) the sleep of viṣṇu at the end of a yuga , viṣṇu's Sleep personified as a goddess and said to be a form of durgā MBh. Ragh. &c
|(H3) yóga--nidrā [p= 857,1] [L=172422]||f.|
accord. to others) the great sleep of brahmā during the period between the annihilation and reproduction of the universe MW.
|[p= 857,1] [L=172423]||(|
the word yoga Sarvad.
|(H3) yóga--śabda [p= 857,2] [L=172539]||m.|
|[p= 857,2] [L=172540]||a word the meaning of which is plain from the etymology |
or n. (?) a universal remedy Ga1rud2aP. Bhpr.
|(H3) yóga--sāra [p= 857,2] [L=172555]||m.|
of sev. works.
|[p= 857,2] [L=172556]||N.|
w.r. for a-y° q.v. VPra1t.
|(H3) yóga--vāha [p= 857,2] [L=172513]||m.|
|(H3B) yóga--vāhī [p= 857,2] [L=172514]||f.|
|(H3B) yóga--vāhī [p= 857,2] [L=172515]||f.|
|(H3B) yóga--vāhī [p= 857,2] [L=172516]||f.|
knowing the right means or proper method , knowing what is fit or suitable Hariv. R. &c
|(H3) yóga--vid [p= 857,2] [L=172523]||mfn.|
yoga MBh. BhP. &c
|[p= 857,2] [L=172524]||conversant with the |
N. of śiva S3ivag.
|(H3B) yóga--vid [p= 857,2] [L=172525]||m.|
a follower of the Yoga doctrines
|(H3B) yóga--vid [p= 857,2] [L=172526]||m.|
a practiser of abstract meditation
|(H3B) yóga--vid [p= 857,2] [L=172527]||m.|
|(H3B) yóga--vid [p= 857,2] [L=172528]||m.|
a compounder of medicines W.
|(H3B) yóga--vid [p= 857,2] [L=172529]||m.|
(in alg.) composition of numbers by the sum of the products Col.
|(H3) yóga--bhāvanā [p= 857,1] [L=172452]||f.|
resistance , opposition , contradiction , controversy BhP.
|prati-° yoga [p= 669,2] [L=132930]|
|[L=132931]||an antidote , remedy |
|[L=132932]||cooperation , association |
|[L=132933]||the being a counterpart of anything |