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Hinduism Vocab

QuestionAnswer
Polytheism The belief in or worship of more than one god.
animism The belief in a supernatural power that organizes and animates the material universe.
Aryans Indo-European: of or relating to the former Indo-European people; "Indo-European migrations.
Sanskrit An ancient Indic language of India, in which the Hindu scriptures and classical Indian epic poems are written and from which many northern Indian languages are derived.
Vedic of or relating to the Vedas or to the ancient Sanskrit in which they were written; "the Vedic literature.
samsara The cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material world is bound.
atman The spiritual life principle of the universe, esp. when regarded as inherent in the real self of the individual; A person's soul
Brahman A member of the highest Hindu caste, that of the priesthood.
reincarnation The rebirth of a soul in a new body.
karma The sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
moksha Release from the cycle of rebirth impelled by the law of karma.
dharma Virtue, righteousness, and duty, esp. social and caste duty in accord with the cosmic order.
ahimsa The principle of nonviolence toward all living things.
Brahman A member of the highest Hindu caste, that of the priesthood.
maya Sanskrit for "illusion" (phenomena or objective appearances that are created by the mind).
avidya Avidyā is a Sanskrit word that means "ignorance", "delusion", "unlearned", "unwise" and that which is not, or runs counter to, vidya.
rajas The element or mode of prakriti associated with passion, energy, and movement.
varnas Each of the four Hindu castes, Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra.
caste Each of the hereditary classes of Hindu society, distinguished by relative degrees of ritual purity or pollution and of social status.
Brahmins a member of the highest of the four Hindu varnas.
Kshatriyas a member of the royal or warrior Hindu caste.
Vaisyas Third of the four Varna of Hindu society - these are people of commercial value i.e. Merchants, traders, farmers etc.
Shudras the lowest of the four varnas: the servants and workers of low status.
varnashrama dharma duties performed according to the system of four varnas (social divisions) and four ashrams (stages in life).
Jnana yoga The spiritual discipline of knowledge and insight; yoga of wisdom.
Bhakti yoga A type of yoga in which a person worships a god or goddess. The idea is to approach the divine being by showing one's love through by worship and by subordinating oneself.
Karma The sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
Vedas any of the most ancient sacred writings of Hinduism written in early Sanskrit; traditionally believed to comprise the Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas, and the Upanishads.
Upanishads The Upanishads are part of the Vedas and form the Hindu scriptures which primarily discuss philosophy, meditation, and the nature of God.
Law of Manu how to lead the life or way of living by various classes of society.
Bhagavad Gita An important Hindu scripture that contains a discussion between Krishna and the Indian hero Arjuna on human nature and the purpose of life
Ramayana one of two classical Hindu epics telling of the banishment of Rama from his kingdom and the abduction of his wife by a demon and Rama's restoration to the throne.
Brahma is the eternal, unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all matter, energy, time, space, being, and everything beyond in this Universe.
Vishnu "the preserver or sustainer" Had 9 avatars, the tenth avatar will herald the end of the world
Shiva the destroyer God
Krishna One of the most popular gods, the eighth and most important avatar or incarnation of Vishnu.
Gandhi Famous Hindu who was political and spiritual leader during India's struggle with Great Britain for home rule; an advocate of passive resistance
Holi A Hindu spring festival celebrated in February or March in honor of Krishna.
Divali Celebration to celebrate the return of Rama after 14 years of Vanvas (banishment). To welcome his return, diyas (ghee lamps) were lit in rows of 20.
Dasehra Celebration of victory of Lord Rama over Ravana; victory of good over evil.
Created by: Jcandy