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The sanskrit word for bliss or joy, often used in the context of yoga, particularly among yoga or yogananda groups that seek self-realization and spiritual fulfillment through the practice of yoga, such as the Ananda Church of Self-Realization of Seattle.

Or so I hear; I'm not a yoga girl myself. I came in contact with the word through Madeleine L'Engle's glorious translation of it in A Swiftly Tilting Planet, when Charles Wallace is naming a new dog:

"The joy in existence without which the universe will fall apart and collapse"


"That's a mighty big name for one dog to carry," Mrs. Murry said.
"She's a large dog, and it's her name," Charles Wallace responded.