Word of the Week (236): TATHATA (*new CSW15*) (probability 31036), by David Sutton

TATHATA is a word used in Buddhist philosophy to designate the ultimate nature of things. It is one of the many words of Sanskrit origin associated with the remarkable study and categorisation of human consciousness that lies at the heart of such disciplines as yoga. I hesitate to call it a science of consciousness, since it is not science as Westerners think of it, relying on insight and meditation rather than objectivity and repeatability, but it can still be of great interest to Westerners, though New Age attempts to link it to quantum physics have attracted some derision among the more hard-headed in the scientific community. Certainly TATHATA, which involves appreciating the miraculous that lies at the heart of the mundane and everyday, is something that can well be understood by poets. As one master wrote, 'the real miracle is not to walk on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child--our own two eyes. All is a miracle'. And Buddha referred to himself as the Tathatagata: 'one who has arrived at suchness', who lives each moment to the full.

Two more related words new to CSW15 are DHYANA, a profound state of meditation, and ANANDA, extreme happiness or bliss; to these one may possibly add DOSHA, on of three energies believed in ayurvedic medicine to circulate in the human body. We also gain two more variant spellings of that branch of yoga known as ASHTANGA: to wit, ASTANGA and ASTHANGA.

Finally two more new words associated with the Hindu religion: SAMSKARA, a Hindu purification ceremony and SATSANG, a sacred gathering.


© WESPA | Committees | Join WESPA | Contact Us | Credits