Terms
sharira
sharira (body). There are three sharira, the sthula-sharira (gross body), sukshma-sharira (subtle body), and the karana-sharira (causal body). The karana sharira is called the body of the seed of all seeds.
jivanmukti
jivanmukti — the state of being liberated (enlightened) while alive.
Sivaloka
Sivaloka (Sanskrit: "Realm of Siva.") See: loka.
Jyotisha
jyotisha (Sanskrit: "The science of the lights or stars") from jyoti, "light." — Hindu astrology, the knowledge and practice of analyzing events and circumstances, delineating character and determining auspicious moments, according to the positions and movements of heavenly bodies. In calculating horoscopes, jyotisha uses the sidereal (fixed-star) system, whereas Western astrology uses the tropical (fixed-date) method.
Tat Tvam Asi
Tat Tvam Asi (Sanskrit: तत् त्वम् असि or तत्त्वमसि, "Thou art that," "That thou art," or "You are that") — is one of the Mahāvākyas (Grand Pronouncements).
sånkhya
sånkhya (Sanskrit: "calculating, enumeration, analysis, categorization). Modern science can be said to be a form of sånkhya because it attempts to analyze and categorize matter into its constituent elements. Sånkhya also refers to an ancient system of philosophy attributed to the sage Kapila. This philosophy is so called because it enumerates or analyzes reality into a set number of basic elements, similar to modern science. See: prakriti, purusha, shad darshana, tattva.
avatara
avatara (Sanskrit: avataranam means "the decent of Supreme Being on earth for the ascent of man"), means ‘descent’, and usually implies a deliberate descent of the Divine into the mortal realms to reveal the Absolute Truth to humanity and remind them of their true divine nature. This voluntary ‘descent’ into the world out of boundless compassion for all creatures is called avatara and has 4 basic purposes; 1. Protection of the righteous; 2. Elimination of the wicked; 3. Re-establishment of Dharma (righteousness) and 4. Bestowing of Grace.
homa
homa, or Deva-yajna, is the making of offerings to Fire. which is the carrier thereof to the Deva. A kunda (firepit) is prepared and fire when brought from the house of a Brahmana is consecrated with mantra. The fire is made conscious with the mantra – Vang vahni-chaitanyaya namah, and then saluted and named. Meditation is then made on the three nadis (vide ante) – Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna – and on Agni, the Lord of Fire. Offerings are made to the Ishta-devata in the fire. After the puja of fire, salutation is given as in Shadanga-nyasa, and then clarified butter (ghee) is poured with a wooden spoon into the fire with mantra, commencing with Aum and ending with Svaha. Homa is of various kinds, several of which are referred to in the text, and is performed either daily, as in the case of the ordinary nitya-vaishva-deva-homa, or on special occasions, such as the upanayana or sacred thread ceremony, marriage, vrata, and the like. It is of various kinds, such as prayashchitta-homa, srishtikrit-homa, janu homa, dhara-homa, and others, some of which will be found in the text.
pratibhasika
pratibhasika (Sanskrit: ), from prati-bhas to look like from the verbal root bhas to appear — appearing as the similitude of something, hence illusory. In Vedanta philosophy, one of the three kinds of existence: the apparent or illusory life. See: paramarthika; vyavaharika
aum
aum, also om (Devanagari: ॐ) is the most sacred syllable in Hindu Dharma, first coming to light in the Vedic Tradition. The character is a composite of three different letters of the Sanskrit alphabet. The syllable is sometimes referred to as the udgitha or pranava mantra (primordial mantra); not only because it is considered to be the primal sound, but also because most mantras begin with it. In Devanagari it is written ॐ, and in Tibetan script ༀ.
punya
punya (Sanskrit: "is what elevates") is the opposite to papa — is virtue or moral merit. Papa and punya generally go together as negative and positive “credits.” One reaps the reward of these negative or positive credits in life. The more punya one cultivates the higher one rises in life, whereas papa will cause one to find a lower position on life. Punya leads to happiness, papa leads to suffering.
tantra
A synonym for the `Agamic` teachings, spiritual teachings revealing meditation, ritual procedures, the history of the world, stories of deities and the many ways of worship, in the form of a dialogue between Shiva and his spouse. For the following reasons Tantra has had much popularity: Tantric practices demonstrate the sacredness inherent in all situations and events; Tantric teachings are accessible to all, independent of caste; Shakta tantrism places emphasis on the worship of the feminine force Shakti; Tantra has had much impact on the evolution of hatha yoga practises.
adhyatma prasara
adhyatma prasara (Sanskrit: "evolution of the Self") — the Self's evolution is a progressive unfoldment, growth and maturing toward its inherent, divine destiny, which is complete merger with Brahman. In its essence, the Self is ever perfect. But as an individual soul body emanated by Brahman, it is like a small seed yet to develop. As an acorn needs to be planted in the dark underground to grow into a mighty oak tree, so must the Self unfold out of the darkness of the malas to full maturity and realization of its innate oneness with Brahman. The Self evolves by taking on denser and denser sheaths — cognitive, instinctive-intellectual and pranic — until finally it takes birth in physical form in the bhuloka. Then it experiences many lives, maturing through the samsara (reincarnation process). Thus, from birth to birth, the Self learn and mature. See: mala, moksha, samsara, vishvagrasa.
kosha
kosha (Sanskrit: "Sheath; vessel, container; layer.") — five sheaths through which the Self functions simultaneously in the various planes or levels of existence. There are five or six classical koshas as presented in the Upanishads. Classically there are five traditional koshas called the annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, vijnanamaya, and anandamaya koshas. These five sheaths cover the atman (the Self), which is the innermost reality or the jiva and is untouched by the characteristics of the sheaths. See: panchakosha.
Mahāvākya
Mahāvākyas (Sanskrit: "Grand Pronouncement; Great Sayings") — more specifically it refers to four Upanishadic quotations which affirm the reality of atman (the Self): (1) Tat Tvam Asi, "That thou art", (2) Aham Brahmasmi, "I am Brahman", (3) Ayam Atma Brahma, "This Self is Brahman", (4) Prajnanam Brahma, "consciousness is Brahman". The four statements indicate the ultimate unity of the atman (individual) with Brahman (Supreme Being).
mumukshuthwam
mumukshuthwam (Sanskrit: "yearning for liberation.") — the longing for moksha or Liberation. This longing cannot arise from either riches or from the scholarship that may be won at great expense of money. Nor can it emerge from wealth or progeny, or rites and rituals recommended in the scriptures or acts of charity, for moksha (liberation from grief and acquisition of bliss) can come only from the conquest of ajnana (ignorance).
Namaste
Namaste is made of two words, namas and te. Namas comes from the verbal root nam which means to bow and so namas is a bow or salutation. “Te” means, to you. And so namaste literally means, "bowing to you". There is a variation of this in the form “namaskara.” The Sanskrit word “kara” means, doing. So namaskara literally means, doing salutations.
sånkhya
sånkhya (Sanskrit: "calculating, enumeration, analysis, categorization). Modern science can be said to be a form of sånkhya because it attempts to analyze and categorize matter into its constituent elements. Sånkhya also refers to an ancient system of philosophy attributed to the sage Kapila. This philosophy is so called because it enumerates or analyzes reality into a set number of basic elements, similar to modern science. See: prakriti, purusha, shad darshana, tattva.
krodha
krodha or krodh (Sanskrit: , "wrath, anger or rage") — One of the arishadvarga (six passions of mind) or enemies of desire, the others being kama (lust), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), mada (pride) and matsarya (jealousy).
chakra
chakra (Sanskrit: “wheel”;) — the psycho-energetic centers of the subtle body known as the pranamaya kosha; in yoga there are considered to be twelve major chakras, six higher, and six lower. However, the six higher chakras are typically group as one. Thus seven chakras are commonly spoken of. They are Muladhara Chakra at the base of the spine, Svadhishstana Chakra at the genitals, Manipura Chakra at the navel, Anahata Chakra at the heart, Vishuddha Chakra at the throat, Ajna Chakra the forehead, and Sahasrara Chakra (comprised of the six higher chakras) at the top of the head.
Thaipusam
Thaipusam (Tamil: தைப்பூசம்) is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (Jan/Feb). It is also referred to as Thaipooyam or Thaippooyam in the Malayalam language. Pusam refers to a star that is at its highest point during the festival. The festival commemorates both the birthday of Lord Murugan (also Subramaniam), the youngest son of Shiva and Parvati, and the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a vel (spear) so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman.
Prakritika Manvantara
Prakritika Manvantara or Prakritika Pralaya (Sanskrit: "from prakriti or nature;") — universal manvantara. The dissolution and manifestation of prakriti or nature; also called the elemental pralaya because the universe then returns to its original elements. Hence in one sense it is partial because the dissolution reaches as far as the elements and there stops. The inner portions or constitution of the universe remain as it were in statu quo, which does not signify that they are inactive — any more so than the reincarnating ego is inactive when the lower quaternary of the human constitution undergoes its prakritika pralaya or death.
mandala
mandala (Sanskrit: मण्डल, "circular; orb; diagram; region, sphere."). A circle, ball, wheel, ring, or circumference, as the orbit of a heavenly body, and hence a great circle in astronomy, an orb. Also one of the ten mandalas (circles, divisions) of the Rig-Veda Samhita.
Self
Self with capital 'S' means the same as atman, jiva, or jivatman. The Self is characterized by consciousness. The Self is naturally immortal, having no beginning and no end to its being. It is atomic in size and undergoes ‘embodiment’ which means that it takes birth in the bodies of plants, animals, humans, or gods. In the embodied state the atman is technically referred to as “jiva”. In embodiment, the natural attributive consciousness has become obscured and veiled by ignorance and delusion. The jiva mistakenly identifies itself with the physical body /mind complex and this is the basis of all sorrow and delusion. All sentient beings are essentially non-different from each other in their Essence Nature. In the embodied state the difference between them is the degree of ignorance predominating.
Devaloka
Devaloka (Sanskrit: "Plane of radiant beings.") — a synonym of maharloka, the higher astral plane, realm of anahata chakra. See: loka.
Kumaras, the four
The four Kumaras (Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanat kumara) —the four Manasputras created by Lord Brahma. When Brahma decided to commence the sequence of creation, he first of all created four Kumaras by just having a wish in his mind. They were Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanat kumara. These four Kumaras are eternaly liberated souls. All of them are pious and virtuous right from their birth and engaged themselves in activities like chanting the name of the Lord, listening about the lords divine activities, pastimes etc. Not for a single moment in their minds, came the desires for worldly matters. These four Kumaras, as siddhesvaras, had achieved all the yogic siddhis (perfectional achievements), and as such they travel in outer space without machines. Prithu and sage Narada were fortunate to receive knowledge from these Kumaras.
agnikaraka
agnikaraka (Sanskrit: "fire ritual") — the Agamic term for yagna.
varnasrama
The traditional social system of four varnas and four asramas. The word varna literally means, “color” and it refers to four basic natures of mankind: brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra. The asramas are the four stages of an individual’s life: brahmacarya (student), grhastha (householder), vanaprastha (retired) and sannyasa (renounced).
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