Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Adhva Mean?

Adhva is a Sanskrit term with several possible translations, such as “course,” “route,” “road,” “path” or “step.” The term is generally used in yogic literature and sacred texts to refer to a step or stage on a yogi’s spiritual path or yogic journey. It can also refer to stages of differentiation, for example, when considering what the composition of the universe is. The theories start from a position where all in the universe is considered unified and indistinguishable, then progressive steps, or adhva, bring in differentiation.


Yogapedia Explains Adhva

Use of the term, adhva, to describe the steps of differentiation — from the universe being a state of unity where words and objects are indistinguishable — the first adhva is establishing a polarity between varna, an index measure of an object’s functional form, and kala, an aspect of creativity. The next adhva is considered another step in a process of “creative descent” where mantra and tattva are polarized.

Adhva may also refer to a type of yoga ruled by Vedic algorithms that establish a strict identity between binary and decimal numbers. This theory of yoga and interpretation of the Vedas states that the seemingly poetic and mystical forms of verse that the Vedas contain can actually be read as digital formulae.

Another use of adhva is to describe a path where suddha adhva is considered the intrinsic path, or the path of “supra-mundane manifestation,” while asuddha adhva is the course of “mundane manifestation.”

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