Definition - What does Shama mean?

Shama is a Sanskrit word that means “equal,” “even,” “equanimity,” “calmness,” and “peace of mind.” In Vedanta and Jnana yoga, it refers to mind control and is one of the six virtues that make up the shat-sampat, which is a type of mental training to overcome the illusion of the physical world.

To control the mind and master the senses, the yogi may use dhyana (meditation), puja (worship), japa (meditative repetition of a mantra) and bhajana (group recitation).

Yogapedia explains Shama

Shama is a calmness of the mind that is the result of eliminating the vasanas, or inherent desires and latent tendencies. This serenity of the mind is necessary to progress on the path to enlightenment.

In addition to shama, the other five shat-sampat virtues are:

  • Uparati, or renouncing that which doesn't fit one's dharma, or duty
  • Dama, or controlling the senses
  • Titiksha, or perseverance
  • Shraddha, or complete faith and trust in the spiritual path
  • Samadhana, or total concentration and focus
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