Definition - What does Alambana mean?

Alambana is a Sanskrit word that can be translated as “foundation,” “base” or “support.” In yogic philosophy, it is used to refer to a number of concepts:

  • The basis of any sensation, excitement or perception
  • The connection of a sensation with its cause
  • The repetition of a silent prayer
  • The yogic practice of trying to realize the eternal

Yogapedia explains Alambana

Alambana is a complex concept that has different interpretations in different schools of thought. Vedic philosophy divides alambana into two types: asraya and visaya. It also uses the term to mean “pillar of strength,” referring to God. When this alambana is contemplated, it provides the support or foundation for the mind to travel toward God.

In contrast, Buddhist philosophy sees alambana as a cause or object-condition of knowledge and mental fluctuations. The term can be used to describe the objective base of consciousness. It further divides alambana into three categories, according to their motivations:

  • Sattva-alambana
  • Dharma-alambana
  • Analambana
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