Terms
Jyotisha Vedanga
Jyotisha Vedanga (Sanskrit: "Veda-limb of celestial science or astronomy-astrology") — ancient texts giving knowledge of astronomy and astrology, for understanding the cosmos and determining proper timing for Vedic rites. (Jyoti means light "of the sun, fire, etc.") See: jyotisha, vedanga.
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.
loka
loka, (Sanskrit: "world"; "realm"; "abode"; "dimension"; or "plane of existence") from loc, "to shine, be bright, visible." — the universe or any particular division of it. A dimension of manifest existence; cosmic region. Each loka reflects or involves a particular range of consciousness. The most common division of the universe is the triloka, or three worlds (Bhuloka, Antarloka and Brahmaloka), each of which is divided into seven regions. Corresponds to any of the 14 worlds (visible and invisible) inhabited by living beings.
Taparloka
Taparloka or Tapoloka (Sanskrit: "Plane of austerity.") The second highest of the seven upper worlds, realm of ajna chakra. See: loka.
prema
prema (Sanskrit: "real, spontaneous, divine love"), the result of sraddhâ and bhâva.
satya yuga
satya yuga or sat yuga, also called krta yuga and krita yuga (Sanskrit: सत्य युग, "age of Truth and Purity") — is the yuga (age or era) of sat (Truth), when mankind is governed by divinity, and every manifestation or work is close to the purest ideal and mankind will allow intrinsic goodness to rule supreme.
Shulba Shastra
Shulba Shastra — practical manuals giving the measurements and procedures for constructing the sites of Vedic yajna rites. A division of the Kalpa Vedanga (Veda limb on rituals), these sutras employ sophisticated geometry and are India's earliest extant mathematical texts. Shulba means "string or cord," denoting the use of string for measuring.
matsarya
matsarya or matsara (Sanskrit: "envy or jealousy;") — regarded as one of the arishadvarga (six passions of mind) or enemies of desire, the others being kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), and mada (pride).
agni
agni (Sanskrit: "fire") — 1) One of the five elements, panchabhuta. 2) Agnideva, God of the element fire, invoked through Vedic ritual known as yagna, agnikaraka, homa and havana. The Agnideva is the divine messenger who receives prayers and oblations and conveys them to the heavenly spheres.
saptarshis
saptarshis (Sanskrit: सप्तर्षि; saptarṣi; "seven sages") from sapta, "seven" + rishi, "sage" — are the seven rishis or the 'prajapatis', the mind born sons of Brahma who are extolled at many places in the Vedas and Hindu literature. They are Atri, Gautama, Bharadwaja, Vasishta, Viswamitra, Jamadagni and Kashyap. The Mahabharata presents them as Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya andVasishta. They are regarded in the Vedas as the patriarchs of the Vedic Tradition. The seven rishis are also said to mark the time and the duration of events in our septenary life cycle.
rasatala
rasatala (Sanskrit: "Subterranean region.") — the fifth chakra below the muladhara, centered in the ankles. Corresponds to the fifth astral netherworld beneath the earth's surface, called rijisha ("expelled") or rasatala. Region of selfishness, self-centeredness and possessiveness. Rasa means "earth, soil; moisture." See: chakra, loka, naraka.
klesha
klesha (Sanskrit: "knot of the heart; impurities of the heart") hindrance, to spiritual evolution / progress — which hinder spiritual growth and higher realizations.
Nārāyaṇa
(Sanskrit: नारायण ) : Nārāyaṇa is an important Sanskrit name for Vishnu. The name is also associated with Brahma and Krishna. He is also identified with, or as the son of, the original man, Purusha.
Shulba Shastra
Shulba Shastra — practical manuals giving the measurements and procedures for constructing the sites of Vedic yajna rites. A division of the Kalpa Vedanga (Veda limb on rituals), these sutras employ sophisticated geometry and are India's earliest extant mathematical texts. Shulba means "string or cord," denoting the use of string for measuring.
manomaya kosha
manomaya kosha (mind-stuff-apparent-sheath) is the mental and emotional sheath which also is included in the sukshma sharira (subtle body). Manomaya means composed of manas or mind. The manas (thought, will, wish) along with the five subtle sensory organs is said to constitute the manomaya kosha. The instinctive-intellectual sheath of ordinary thought, desire and emotion. It is the seat of the indriyas, sensory and motor organs, respectively called jnanendriyas and karmendriyas. The manomaya kosha takes form as the physical body develops and is discarded in the inner worlds before rebirth. It is understood in two layers: 1) the buddhi (odiccausal sheath) and 2) the manas (odic-astral sheath). The manomaya kosha, is said more truly to approximate to personhood than annamaya kosha and pranamaya kosha. It is the cause of diversity, of I and mine.
manvantara
manvantara or manuvantara (Sanskrit: "patriarchate of one Manu;") from manu (progenitor of mankind) + antara (within or between), hence the compound paraphrased means "within a manu," or "between manus" — literally meaning the duration of a Manu, or his life span. A manvantara is the period of activity between any two manus, on any plane, since in any such period there is a root-manu at the beginning of evolution, and a seed-manu at its close, preceding a pralaya (dissolution, or rest). Manvantara implying here simply a period of activity, as opposed to pralaya — without reference to the length of the cycle.
Vedānta
Vedānta (Devanagari: वेदान्त) a compound of veda, "knowledge" and anta, "end, conclusion", translating to "the culmination of the Vedas" — is a school of philosophy within Hinduism dealing with the nature of reality. An alternative reading is of anta as "essence", "core", or "inside", rendering the term "Vedānta" — "the essence of the Vedas". It is a principal branch of Hindu philosophy. As per some, it is a form of Jnana Yoga (one of the four basic yoga practices in Hinduism; the others are: Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga), a form of yoga which involves an individual seeking "the path of intellectual analysis or the discrimination of truth and reality."
samskara
samskara (Sanskrit: "patterned or conditioned behaviors; subconscious tendencies; worldly life; impression.") — 1. The imprints left on the subconscious mind by experience (from this or previous lives), which then color all of life, one's nature, responses, states of mind, etc. 2. A sacrament or rite done to mark a significant transition of life. These make deep and positive impressions on the mind of the recipient, inform the family and community of changes in the lives of its members and secure inner-world blessings. The numerous samskaras are outlined in the Grihya Shastras. Most are accompanied by specific mantras from the Vedas.
arishadvarga
arishadvarga — the six passions of mind or enemies of desire, kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), mada (pride) and matsarya (jealousy), the negative characteristics which prevent man from realizing the atman (Reality that is his True Being).
panchanga
The name for the Hindu calendar is a panchanga. In Sanskrit the word panchanga is made of two parts: pancha and anga. Pancha means five and anga means a part. The panchanga is, therefore, something made of five parts. As a calendar, these five parts are the lunar day (tithi), day of the week (vara), lunar mansion (naksatra), luni-solar day (yoga) and half lunar day (karana). Along with other information, a panchanga especially records the movements of the sun and the moon. Traditionally no religious festival, family event, or even a civic affair is performed without first consulting a panchanga to know the favorable movements of these celestial bodies.
Advaita Vedānta
Advaita Vedānta, (Sanskrit: अद्वैत वेदान्त) is the dominant sub-school of the Vedānta (literally, end or the goal of the Vedas). The other major sub-schools of Vedānta are dvaita-advaita and Viśishṭādvaita. Advaita (literally, non-duality) is often called a monistic system of thought. The word "Advaita" essentially refers to the identity of the atman (Self) and the Brahman (Whole). The key source texts for all schools of Vedānta are the Prasthanatrayi — the canonical texts consisting of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras. The first person to explicitly consolidate the principles of Advaita Vedanta was Adi Shankara.
vaisya
vaisya — a member of the traditional mercantile or business community. The vaisya was the third varna in the system of varnasrama dharma.
Shri Vallabhacharya
Vallabhacharya (Sanskrit: ) "Beloved." Vaishnava saint (ca 1475-1530) whose panentheistic Shuddha Advaita (pure nondualism) philosophy became the essential teaching of the nonascetic Vaishnava sect that bears his name. He composed 17 works, most importantly commentaries on the Vedanta and Mimamsa Sutras and the Bhagavata Purana. The stories of his 84 disciples are often repeated on festive occasions by followers. The sect is strongest in Gujarat. See: Vedanta.
rajo guna
rajo guna quality of passion, activity restlessness, aggressiveness — the second of the three gunas of matter. Sometimes translated as passion, the phase of rajas is characterized by action, passion, creation, etc.
mada
mada (Sanskrit: "pride, being maddened, of the intoxication of pride;") — regarded as one of the arishadvarga (six passions of mind) or enemies of desire, the others being kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion) and matsarya (jealousy).
satya
satya or satyam (Sanskrit: "unchangeable; that which has no distortion; that which is beyond distinctions of time, space, and person; that which pervades the universe in all its constancy") from the root sat (Truth) — is truthfulness in accordance with one's words, thoughts and deeds. Satya is also defined in Sanskrit as "sate hitam satyam" which translates to "The path to Ultimate Truth or sat is satya (i.e. the real truth)".
sloka
A hymn or verse of praise, a stanza or verse in general, a stanza in anustubh metre (the most common metre used in Sanskrit consisting for 4 lines of 8 syllables), fame.
Saurya Manvantara
Saurya Manvantara or Saurya Pralaya (Sanskrit: ";") from surya (sun) + pralaya (dissolution) — manvantara manifestation. The dissolution, or manifestation, of the solar system; frequently termed a mahapralaya or mahamanvantara.
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.
Holi
This colorful festival of the Hindus, celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalguna, heralds the advent of spring.
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