Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Agama Mean?

Agama is a Sanskrit word meaning “a traditional doctrine/precept,” “collection of doctrines” or “handed down and fixed by tradition.” The term is used to identify a part of the collection of scriptures in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism that contain information on spiritual philosophy and practices. They help instruct in spiritual systems that involve practicing moral behavior and worship rituals through the teachings or guidelines of a deity.

Within the context of yoga, the Hindu agamas recommend developing physical and mental control and restraint through yoga practice.


Yogapedia Explains Agama

The term, agama, can be used generally (similar to the word “scriptures” or “traditions”) or to refer to specific sets of spiritual texts. In Buddhism, agama refers to a collection of five texts of the early Buddhist schools. In Jainism, there is a collection of 46 texts that are referred to as governing scriptures, or agamas. In Hinduism, the agama scriptures contain texts on a variety of information, including the proper conduct for puja (reverence to God) and the purpose of four kinds of yoga (including Kundalini yoga). They also contain concepts focused on Self-realization through the physical and mental discipline of yoga practice.

Additionally, within karmic theory, agama karma denotes an aspect of free will that involves an individual’s capability to plan for their own future. The plans they make may or may not be achieved, depending on the choices they make (the free will they exercise) in the present.

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