Terms
garbhadhana
garbhadhana or "samskaras of birth" (Sanskrit: "Womb-placing.") from the rite of conception to the blessings of the new-born child. Rite of conception, where physical union is consecrated with the intent of bringing into physical birth an advanced atman. — punsavana (Sanskrit: "Male rite; bringing forth a male.") A rite performed during the third month of pregnancy consisting of prayers for a son and for the well-being of mother and child. A custom, found in all societies, based on the need for men to defend the country, run the family business and support the parents in old age. The need for male children in such societies is also based on the fact that women outlive men and leave the family to join their husband's family. — simantonnayana, "Hairparting." A ceremony held between the fourth and seventh months in which the husband combs his wife's hair and expresses his love and support. — jatakarma, "Rite of birth." The father welcomes and blesses the new-born child and feeds it a taste of ghee and honey.
Sukshmaloka
The subtle world, or Antarloka, spanning the spectrum of consciousness from the vishuddha chakra in the throat to the patala chakra in the soles of the feet. The astral plane includes: 1) the higher astral plane, maharloka, "plane of balance;" 2) mid-astral plane, svarloka, "celestial plane;" 3) lower astral plane, bhuvarloka, "plane of atmosphere," a counterpart or subtle duplicate of the physical plane (consisting of the pitriloka and pretaloka); and 4) the sub-astral plane, naraka, consisting of seven hellish realms corresponding to the seven chakras below the base of the spine. In the astral plane, the soul is enshrouded in the astral body, called sukshma-sharira. See also: sukshma-sharira, loka, naraka, triloka.
Sivaloka
Sivaloka (Sanskrit: "Realm of Siva.") See: loka.
Bhuloka
Bhuloka (Sanskrit: "Earth world.") The physical plane. See: loka.
yamas
yamas (Sanskrit: "") — the yogic `restraints` from the verb root yam to hold or check. Sage Patanjali presents five ethical observances for yogis — ahimsa (non-harming), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (chastity), aparigraha (greedlessness). There are other important Yamas listed in traditional texts, such as patience, compassion, forgiveness, giving, steadfastness and moderation in diet. See: Yama and Niyama.
Bhuvarloka
Bhuvarloka (Sanskrit, "Plane of atmosphere.") The second of the seven upper worlds, realm of svadhishtana chakra, consisting of the two astral regions closest to the physical plane: pitriloka, "world of ancestors," and pretaloka, "world of the departed." 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.
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.
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).
dwapara yuga
dwapara yuga or dvapara yuga (Sanskrit: द्वापर युग, ";") — is the third out of four yugas, or ages. This yuga comes after treta-yuga and is followed by kali-yuga. The living and moral standard of the people overall in the Dvapara Yuga drops immensely from the Treta Yuga. The average life expectancy of humans begins to fall to only 1,000 years in this era because of neglect of the Varnashram, Vedas and Yagyas. The Vedas especially become less active.
darshan
darshan, darśan or darśana (Sanskrit: दर्शन, "a sight of; in the sense of an instance of seeing or beholding") from a root dṛś, "to see" — vision, apparition, or glimpse — is most commonly used for "visions of the divine," e.g., of a God or a very holy person or artifact.
kalpa
kalpa (Sanskrit: "period of time; or a cycle of time.") from a verb-root klrip (to be in order) — a sequence of one thousand mahayugas is called a kalpa which is one day in the life of Brahma. The universe exists during Brahma's day and is dissolved during Brahma's night.
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.
vijñåna
vijñåna or viññāṇa (Sanskrit: विज्ञान, "transcendental knowledge"; "realized spiritual understanding"; "pure knowledge") the prefix vi added to a noun tends to diminish or invert the meaning of a word — if jñåna is spiritual knowledge, vijñåna is practical or profane knowledge. Sometimes vijñåna and jñåna are used together in the sense of knowledge and wisdom.
manu
manu is a title accorded to the progenitor of mankind, and also the very first king to rule this earth, who saved mankind from the universal flood. He was absolutely honest which was why he was initially known as "Satyavrata" (One with the oath of truth).
samadhi
samadhi (Sanskrit: "standing within one's Self; sameness; contemplation; union, wholeness; completion, accomplishment.") which represents "super consciousness"; "complete absorption into the absolute", "Universal Consciousness" — is the state of true yoga, in which the meditator and the object of meditation are one. The separation of manas (mind) from the body, and its union with the paramatma (Universal Consciousness, Godhead); the complete “forgetting” of the “small self” (Jivatman) and mergence with the unchanging “Higher Self” (paramatma). The eighth of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga (“eight limbs of Yoga”).
bhajana
bhajana (Sanskrit) Spiritual song. Individual or group singing of devotional songs, hymns and chants. See: kirtana.
śraddhā
śraddhā or shraddha (Sanskrit: "faith") — anything or any act that is performed with all sincerity and faith.
Antarloka
Antarloka (Sanskrit, "Inner or in-between world."). The astral plane. See: loka.
paramarthika
paramarthika (Sanskrit: ) from parama highest + arthika true substance of a thing, real — relating to a high or spiritual object or to supreme truth; real, essential verity; in Vedanta philosophy, one of the three kinds of existence: the only real or true existence. See: pratibhasika; vyavaharika
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.
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.
isa
îsa (Sanskrit: "lord, master, or controller") — one of the words used for God as the supreme controller. The word is also used to refer to any being or personality who is in control.
purusottama
purusottama (Sanskrit: "Godly man") — comprised of two words: purusa + uttama literally meaning “highest man” — means God.
agnikaraka
agnikaraka (Sanskrit: "fire ritual") — the Agamic term for yagna.
kâla
kâla or kaala (Sanskrit: "Time"), is the word for Time as the source of all things. The absolute undivided time or duration, and of manifested or divided time: the former as causal or noumenal, the latter as effectual or phenomenal, and therefore mayavi (illusional). kâla is an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration, and it does not exist where no consciousness exists in which the illusion can be produced; but 'lies asleep'.
Absolute
Absolute: Lower case "absolute", real, not dependent on anything else, not relative. Upper case "Absolute", Ultimate Reality, the unmanifest, unchanging and transcendent Parabrahm — utterly non-relational to even the most subtle level of consciousness.
bhakti
bhakti (Sanskrit: भक्ति, "devotion"), from Sanskrit verb root bhaj, whose meanings include "to share in", "to belong to", and "to worship" — is an expression of devotional Love for God; single-minded devotion to one's Iswara, or personal deity. One who practices bhakti is called a bhakta, while bhakti as a spiritual path is referred to as bhakti marga, or the bhakti way.
vanaprastha ashrama
vanaprastha ashrama or "samskaras of later life". Age 48 marks the entrance into the elder advisor stage, celebrated in some communities by special ceremony. — sannyasa ashrama vrata: The advent of withdrawal from social duties and responsibilities at age 72 is sometimes ritually acknowledged (different from sannyasa diksha). See: sannyasa dharma. — antyeshti: (Sanskrit) The various funeral rites performed to guide the soul in its transition to inner worlds, including preparation of the body, cremation, bone-gathering, dispersal of ashes, home purification. See: pinda, shraddha, samskara, shashtyabda purti.
Maha Shivaratri
Literally, the “Great Night of Shiva” is celebrated every year on the new moon night in the month of Phalguna, this Hindu festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
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