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help - sanskrit terms


caroline mckay

Jul 3, 2002, 5:04 PM

Post #1 of 2 (90 views)
help - sanskrit terms Can't Post

Please may someone explain the following yoga sanskrit terms:
chitat prasadam
sthira sukham asanam
Thanks - my email address is caroline@brownrealty.com.au

Bryan Alexander

Jul 5, 2002, 12:33 AM

Post #2 of 2 (80 views)
Re: help - sanskrit terms [In reply to] Can't Post

"Sthira sukham asanam" is a line from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, II.46. Georg Feuerstein translates it as "The posture should be steady and comfortable." The Yoga Sutras are aphorisms, and therefore understanding them requires seeing them in context. There's a lot of context out there to be studied.

Not sure about "chitat prasadam," but I will risk saying something. It may mean "out of, or from, mental tranquillity." In Feuerstein's Encyclopedia of Yoga, in the entry for prasada, he translates "citta prasada" as mental tranquillity. The "at" part of "chitat" may be the ending required for denoting "out of, from."

On the other hand, the spelling is a little off, and why didn't "prasadam" also get the "at" ending? I'm a little bit helpless for reference books at the moment, but I know there is also a different word, "prasadam," which roughly means food, and often is used to mean a ritual offering, as when devotees of Krishna offer food on his altar before partaking of the food themselves. They call both the offering and the food they eat prasadam.

Could chitat prasadam mean "a mental offering"? I don't know. If this phrase is a noun and its modifier, they're supposed to agree in gender, number and case, and so they should have the same endings, but they don't. Here is the limit of my Sanskrit knowledge.