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Dhāraṇā

Dhāraṇā (Skt., ‘support’).
1. One-pointed concentration (ekāgrata) in yoga; the fifth ‘limb’ of Patañjali's ‘eight-limbed’ (aṣṭāṅga) or rāja-yoga resulting from prāṇāyāma.

2. A term denoting a level of sonic cosmogony in Tantrism. For example, in Kashmir Śaivism the Devanāgarī phonemes ya, ra, la, and va, which represent certain levels of the cosmic hierarchy, are dhāraṇās, the idea being that sound (nāda, śabda) is the support of manifestation.

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