North Texas Hindu Mandir

Religious words and meaning


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A  
Abhyudaya Physical well being.
Aditi Mother of the celestials known as Adityas. free, unbound. Infinity, the boundless heaven.
Advaita One without a second; Used in Védánta Philosophy to describe the Supreme Reality.
Agni Celestial high priest of the ritual.
Ahalya Princess of the Puru dynasty who was renounced by her husband, the Rishi Gautama for her infidelity.
Ahankára Ego.
Ahimsa Non-violence.
Akarma No action.
Akshara A syllable.
Anand Total bliss.
Anga A limb.
Anitya The temporary.
Antyéshti Cremation ceremony.
Apará Vidya Easy to reach, the path of materialism, intellectual knowledge.
Aparigraha To renounce, to loosen one's hold.
Arjuna Third of the Pándavas who led them in the great war.
Artha The enjoyment of earthly possessions.
Asakti Attachment.
Asana Balanced posture.
Asat Unreal.
Ashoka Emperor with dominion from Gándhára to Lanka.
Ashrama Stage of life; hermitage.
Asura An evil natured being.
Ashtánga-Yoga The eightfold spiritual path of Raja Yoga.
Astéya Non stealing.
Atma The spiritual principle.
Aum The sacred cosmic sound signifying God.
Avadha Ráma's capital, Ayodhya.
Avatara 'a descent'; usually attributed to Vishnu.
Avidya Without knowledge.
   
B  
Bali King of the daityas and grandson of Prahlad.
Bhagratha Son of Dilipa and great great grandson of Sagara.
Bhagvad Gítá The celestial song of Srí Krishna.
Bhakti Love and Devotion.
Bhakti Yoga The spiritual path of Love and Devotion.
Bharadvaja A sage whose hermitage was at Prayaga where he listened to the Story of Ráma as recited by Yajnavalkya.
Bharata Second son of Raja Dasratha by Kaikeyi; brother of Srí Ráma.
Bhavání An epithet of Parvatí.
Bhilani A tribal woman.
Brahma Supreme spirit as creater.
Brahmání Epithet of Sarasvatí.
Brahmachárí Life of celibacy; also one stage in a man or woman's life.
Brahman The Supreme soul of the universe underlying all existence, all pervading and infinite.
Buddhi Intellect.
   
C  
Chit All knowledge.
D  
Dandaka The extensive forest, lying between the Vindhya ranges and the Godávari, where Ráma, Sitá and Lakshmana spent part of their exile.
Dasratha King of Ayodhya, Father of Ráma.
Dhanurásana Stringed bow pose.
Dhárana Concentration.
Dharma Universal law sustaining the universe in harmony.
Dhímahi Contemplation.
Dhiyah Of the intellect.
Dhritaráshtra Eldest son of Vichitra-Vírya and Ambiká. He was blind and was thus succeeded to the throne of the Kurus by his brother Pandu 'the pale'. The Mahábhárata war was fought between the children of these two brothers.
Dhyána Meditation.
Diti Mother of the Asuras.
Draupadí Princess of Pánchála, daughter of King Drupada and also known as Pánchálí. Queen of the Pandavas.
Durgá The terrible; consort of Siva; as Durgá She annihilates the Asuras.
   
E  
   
F  
   
G  
Ganésh Controller of the intellect.
Ganga Sacred river of pilgrimage.
Garuda King of the birds.
Gaurí An epithet of Párvatí, meaning fair-one.
Gáyatrí Sacred mantra of the Rig Véda by the Rishí Visvámitra.
Govinda Epithet of Vishnu as Krishna, gained by upliffing the Govardhana mountain.
Grihastya The life of a married householder. Second stage in life.
Guha King of the Nishadas.
Guna The quality of nature.
Guru Teacher.
   
H  
Hanumána Hanumána Son of Vayu; Prince of the wind. He was a forest dweller hence, Vanara. (Vana = Forest Nara = Man; Man of the forest). He is the foremost exemplar of bravery and courage in adversity, yet most humble and compassionate.
Hara An epithet of Siva.
Hari An epithet of Vishnu meaning beautiful.
Hastinápura 'Elephant City' (from Hastin = Elephant). Capital city of King Santanu for which the Mahábhárata war was fought between his great grandchildren, the Pandavas and the Kauravas.
Hatha Yoga The material Yoga for tuning the body with the soul.
Hiranya-Garbha Golden egg or Golden womb; term used in the Rig Véda from which creation was realised.
Hiranya-Kasipu 'Golden dress'. A daitya king who persecuted his own son Prahlad for not accepting him as Supreme. He was finally slain by Vishnu in the incarnation of Nar-Singh.
Harischandra Celebrated king of the Solar dynasty who is most recognized for his piety and justice.
   
I  
Iisa Lord Siva; also an Upanishad.
Indirá Epithet of Lakshmí.
Indra King of the Celestials; sometimes allEgorically alluded to represent the human mind.
Indrání Consort of Indra, also called Sachí.
Isána A name of Lord Siva.
J  
Jagannátha Lord of the world, with especial significance to Vaishnavism.
Jágrata The wakeful phase.
Jaimini Founder of Púrva-Mímánsá philosophy. He was a disciple of Vyása.
Jánakí A patronymic of Sítá whose father was king Janaka of Mithila.
Janárdana An epithet of Krishna which means "He who stirs up people" or "the adored of mankind".
Japa Repetition or incantation.
Játavédas A Védic epithet for Agni to mean all-knowning.
Jiva Living being; the individual soul.
Jnána From Jná - to know, higher knowledge, wisdom.
Jnána Yoga The path of knowledge.
Jyotisha Astronomy.
K  
Kaikéyi A wife of King Dasratha and mother of his son Bharata who was a loyal brother to Srí Ráma.
Kála Time, sometimes associated with Siva as Kála Bhairava.
Kali The age of darkness, Kaliyug.
Kálí Originally associated with Agni in the Védic Age, Today primarily describes Déví in her fierce and destructive state.
Kalpa A cosmic day of Brahma.
Káma Desire, greed, lust.
Kamalá Epithet of Lakshmi.
Kansa The tyrannical King of Mathura who was slain by Srí Krishna.
Kapila A renowned sage who was the founder of the Sánkhya philosophy.
Karma From Kri - to do, action.
Karma Yoga The path of selfless action.
Katha Name of an Upanishad.
Kathá Story or parable.
Kauravas Descendants of Kuru, usually applied to the sons of Dhritaráshtra.
Kausalya Wife of King Dasratha and mother of Srí Ráma.
Kesava Having lovely hair, an epithet of Krishna.
Kosha Sheath.
Krishna Famous avatar of Vishnu, the preserver of the Trimurti, Krishna means beyond the known. Believed by many thinkers to be the unifier of the diverse Hindu religions. Brings an advent of Religious tolerance that still pervades the Religions of Hinduism.
Kriyamána-Karma An action being performed in the present.
Krodha Anger.
Kshetra A field, a sacred place or temple.
Kshetragya Knower of the field.
Kundaliní "the sleeping power". A power situated at the base of the spinal cord or Sushumna. It is described as being coiled like a serpent in sleeping which can be awakened by meditation and the practice of Hatha Yoga. When aroused the Kundaliní ascends through the chakras of the sushumna to awaken the higher centres of consciousness.
Kurukshetra Field of the Kurus where the great war was fought.
   
L  
Lakshman Son of Dasratha and brother of Srí Ráma who accompanied him in his 14 (fourteen) years of exile.
Lakshmí Consort of Vishnu and usually viewed as the divine Mother of light.
Leela A divine play of the Lord.
Lingam Usually refers to Jyotirlingam, an ethereal column of light with no limbs, hence formless.Indicative of the Nirguna Brahman. God without form. Also symbolic of Spiritual regeneration.
Lobha Greed.
Loka A world.
   
M  
Madhava Epithet of Krishna.
Madhusudana Slayer of the demon madhu, epithet of Krishna.
Mahábhárata The great epic which is based on the conflict between cousins, the Pandavas and Kauravas in the house of Kuru. Composed by Vyasa,
it is divided into 18 books and contains approximately 220,000 lines. Believed to be the longest poem.
Mánas The mind.
Mandala A circle or a division.
Mantra A sacred formula.
Mathurá An ancient city on the right bank of the Yamuná which was the birth place of Srí Krishna.
Máyá Illusion, appearance instead of reality.
Moha Attachment.
Moksha Salvation, liberation, illumination.
   
N  
Naraka The infernal regions where punishment for evil deeds are reaped.
Náráyana An epithet of Vishnu because the waters were his first of motion.
Nara-Náráyana Two ancient Rishis who were the sons of Dharma and Ahimsa. Also refers to Krishna and Arjuna. Hence the Bhagvata religion is sometimes called Nara Náráyana Dharma.
Narsingh An Avatar of Vishnu in which He assumed the form of Half-man and Half beast.
Nirguna - Upasana Worship of the impersonal God.
Nishkáma-Karmaa Selfless action.
Nitya Permanent.
Niyama Five observances.
   
O  
   
P  
Padma-asana Lotus posture.
Pándavas The five sons of Pandu who suffered severe privations at the hands of their cousins the Kauravas.
Pánini The celebrated grammarian of the Panini Sutras which are the standard authority on Sanskrit grammar.
Párvatí Daughter of the mountain who is consort to Lord Siva.
Pasu-Pati Lord of all creatures; a name of Siva.
Patanjali Founder of the YOGA DARSANA.
Pauravas Descendant of Puru the sixth King of the Lunar dynasty. Puru was the son of Yayati by Sarmishthá while his brother Yadu was by Yayati and Devayání. Yadu founded the Yadavas.
Prahláda The daitya prince who was an ardent devotee of Bhagvána Vishnu.
Prajápati Praja = body, hence Lord of all creatures, creator of all beings.
Prakitri Matter, nature.
Prána Vital breath.
Prithiví "The broad". The earth or wild world.
Punarjanma Rebirth; where the immortal soul is enmeshed in Samsára.
Purána "old", hence, ancient legends of which there are eighteen (18).
Purusha The soul; the vital life principle of every person.
Q  
   
R  
Rája Yoga The Royal Path among four spiritual paths of Yoga.
Rájas The guna of activity.
Ráma Avtara of Vishnu, eldest son of King Dasratha of Ayodhyá. His life exemplifies the injunctions and codes of the Vedas and is illustrated in the Rámáyana.
Rámáyana The adventures of Ráma, written by Valmiki.
Rig-Véda The oldest of the four Védas.
S  
Sádhu A holy man.
Sakti Power, The Divine Mother.
Samadhi Contemplation where consciousness is unified with God.
Sáma Véda The Veda of songs.
Samsára The world which is viewed as an ocean of constant life and death.
Sánkhya One of the six branches of philosophy.
Sat All pervading.
Sat-Chit-Anand Truth, consciousness, bliss.
Sítá Consort of Ráma who suffered together with him while in exile for 14 (fourteen) years.
Siva Literally meaning auspicious: Lord Siva is the destroyer energy for regeneration, when viewed as a part of the Trimurti.
Sraddha Faith.
Svadharma The appropriate Dharma of an individual in the structure of creation.
Svarga Indra's heaven where the results of good deeds on earth are enjoyed.
T  
Tapas Austerity or ascetism.
Turíya The fourth state of consciousness.
Tyága Renunciation.
U  
Upanishads Esoteric books which deal with mystical interpretation to essential hymns of the Védas.
V  
Véda Revealed knowledge; the most ancient sanskrit scriptures.
Vidyá Knowledge.
Vishnu The preserver aspect of the Hindu trinity (Trimurti).
Vyása "The arranger". His correct name was Krishna Dvaipáyana, "Krishna of the Island". He arranged the Védas and was the author of the Mahábhárata.
   
W  
   
X  
   
Y  
Yajur-Véda One of the four Vedas.
Yoga A spiritual path for self realisation.
Yogi A person who practices spiritual disciplines.
Z  

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Golden Teachings of HINDUISM Dharmik Prakash by Pandit Brahm Jairam.

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