Definition - What does Apara mean?

Apara is a Sanskrit word meaning "lower," "inferior," "boundless" or “having nothing beyond or after.” The word is used in a variety of terms and phrases linked to yoga. For example, the term, apara vidya, refers to the concept of intellectual or academic knowledge obtained through the study of scriptures, philosophy and mathematics.

Yogapedia explains Apara

Within yoga, apara is often used to describe the beginning of a spiritual yoga practice, referring to the lesser stages or spiritual maturity/understanding. In Bhakti yoga, yogis desire to practice yoga with a devotion to God, or Higher Consciousness. Apara bhakti is a term that describes the beginning stages of a spiritual or devotional yoga practice, in which a bhakta performs religious ceremonies and rituals to one specific deity.

The opposite of apara is para, meaning “supreme” or “absolute.” In Bhakti yoga, para bhakti is used to refer to a yogi who has an expanded heart and spirit, who understands and reveres the Divine as encompassing all and transcending all. This is considered a higher form of spiritual maturity and worship.

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