Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Adesha Mean?

Adesha is a Sanskrit word that means “order,” “command,” “rule” or “instruction.” In the context of yoga, adesha is a divine or inner command, or it can be the spiritual leader's instruction that assists the yogi in their search for the higher truth.

Similarly, adesha may be used to describe the yogi's spiritual purpose. It also is considered the realization, or the point at which the yogi realizes, that the Self and the Higher Self (the universal source or divine) are one.


Yogapedia Explains Adesha

When combined with the Sanskrit karin (“doing,” “producing”), adeshakarin means “obedient.”

The Hindu scriptures, known as the Upanishads, describe four mahavakyas (great utterances), each of which has a corresponding practice. Adesha is associated with the mahavakya “tatvamasi” or “tat tvam asi,” which is found in the Chandogya Upanishad and means “I am that” or “Thou art that.” In this case, the adesha is the spiritual realization that the yogi's divine nature (Absolute Reality or Brahman) is the essence of the Self, not the worldly identity.

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