References: Sanskrit Ayurveda Terms

In Ayurveda, most words are about the function and structures required to support the process. Here are some Sanskrit Ayurveda terms or phrases that are not completely translated into a one-English word. The translation of the terms is from Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya in the video series of Mr. Rajiv Malhotra’s Non-Translatable Ayurvedic Words.

Buddha– things we cannot see that affect our bodies to cause disease can refer to a virus.

Krimi– refers to those organisms that sit and feed off of us and feed us, which we call symbiotes. In our body, we have a gut microbiome, where the krimi is generally geo- located. Krimi can be synergistic organisms that helps us digest the foods we eat & those which can destabilize our intestinal balance. 

On the other hand, Krimi also has a bad side. There are 20 types of krimis, one of which is parasitic worms. The entire immune system is also dependent on the microbiome so we need many of them in our body.

The Agni

Agni is translated as fire. But refers to that which engulfs whatever it comes into contact with as it moves forward. Agni is a concept of fire that has many forms. In the ayurvedic world, you can compare Agni to a digestive fire:

  • Jatar Agni -the central fire in the gut. 
  • Bhootha Agni – the different elements that come into our body and how those are transforms into our body. 
  • Dhatu Agni -the seven layers of tissues

People think that Agni is a fire that we think about in a campfire, but it is a chemical series of engulfment which takes whatever it comes into contact with and transforms it. The enzymes that engulf something and completely transform are the Agni. Agni is more of a process than a thing.

Grahi– Agni’s purpose is to engulf and digest the food that will come in, which is the Ahaara. You transform it completely, grab what’s valuable from it, and send it into the body.

Ama– But if you grab it but don’t digest it and can’t transform it into the body, it just sits there. That is called undigested material, which is the Ama. Ama happens to be everything you can hang onto but cannot transform the raw material into the relevant biological unit: the cell . That inability to convert it either means that your Agni is not good enough. Or it doesn’t recognize something and has that connection that needs to be made with that chemical reaction. Another word that is related to this is Grahi Sangraha which means constipation. It means you hang onto it so much that you can’t release it when you’re supposed to.

The Bhasma

Bhasma– literally translates as ashes, but it is a process of making medicines. Specifically, taking either a metal or a mineral and subjecting it to a series of heat cycles and submerging liquid cycles. They do the heat-submerge method seven times and move on to the following process. They transform the chemical nature through acid-base and alkyne base, and then they take it when it’s broken. After that, they put it onto a scorching fire, about 600-800 degrees celsius. Where the plant materials burn away, some of it makes alkene bonds, alkyne bonds, and some evaporate. After that process, it turned the large huge rocks into milliparticles, and then nanoparticles after all the process.

For example, if you submerged a Mica, a type of rock, in the same process. The results are the same as nanoparticles that help cancer and post-cancer treatments. Of course, the medicine should be given in the right proportions, because too much is poisonous. 

The Rasa

Rasa sasta – the science

Rasayana – the science of rejuvenation 

Rasa– translates as flow, it can mean as the plasma of the body also can mean semen, and also can suggest the idea of taste. So rasa implies the concept of flowing and moving things along. Flow is crucial for life, for example, the water. Water is used by our bodies to assist control body temperature and maintain other physical functions.

Shodhana– literally translates as cleansing, but it has to do with the word Shuddha. Shuddha is not cleansing or purifying. Shodhana is also used in Bhasma making and has something to do with something incomplete becoming complete. It’sIt’s becoming complete in the harmony of its natural existence. To be clean, you should be in a 100% existence state of balance. Imagine your Sukkah, the space of emptiness is filled with that harmony that sues. So that is what Shodhana is about.

In Ayurveda, Shodhana is taking out the harmful properties to you and preventing you from becoming complete when you take those metals. Instead, changing the properties if you take that metal into your being helps you to become complete and whole in the sense of perfect harmony. 

The Dosha

Dosha– does not mean fault. It does not mean humor, dosha is either creating a fault in others or something in and of itself faulty. When we come from energy into matter and precipitate into a slow-moving substantive physical form, we always bring a certain amount of imperfection. Because energy is more perfect than matter.

Dosha refers to the principle of movement that’s happening: the principle of transformation and the principle of holding things together being lubricated but in an imperfect way because they are in physical form. It is about the functions within the human system; the mind, body, senses, and soul.

Some words in Ayurveda are not translatable to English because many Sanskrit words do not translate into English. Ayurveda’s language contains deeper insight. This is because the ideas expressed by the terms do not exist in American culture. We must connect with the language that embodies these unfamiliar concepts to understand the philosophies that support Ayurveda. For years, Ayurveda has been taught through chanting and sound. Therefore, you can find the genuine meaning of Ayurveda through its native language.

There will always be a barrier between you and the truth if you don’t understand Ayurvedic terminology. Sanskrit contains universal truths, and because Ayurveda and yoga frequently reference the Self and the realization of those truths, it can help you reach that magical ah-ha moment. Sanskrit is not an old, forgotten language; it is the living language of the Divine, which resides deep within each of us, unifies us, and provides a language for the most profound insight we can comprehend. For more information regarding the world of Ayurveda and for more Sanskrit Ayurveda terms, subscribe to Organic Ayurveda Life!


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