Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Madhya Mean?

Madhya is a Sanskrit word that can be translated as “moderate,” “centrally” or “in the middle.” It can be used to give a spatial reference — for example, describing a location as being central — but it can also be used to refer to the “Golden Middle” or “Middle Way,” the approach that Buddha and also the Bhagavad Gita advocate. A negative use of the term can mean it is not intense enough or even mediocre.


Yogapedia Explains Madhya

In the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, madhya used in the sense of it being “moderate” or “tempered” is advocated because Krishna warns that a medium approach without too much or too little work, food or practice is the best for long-term development. At the same time, too much mediocrity can slow progress and as such, it is recognized that at times more intensiveness can be helpful.

In Kashmir Shaivism, madhya can refer to Supreme Consciousness, the self or the heart. Here madhya can also be used interchangeably with sushumna nadi, the pathway through which kundalini energy rises. Meditations in this tradition may be described as “pathways to madhya.”

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