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WR--Hinduism #1

DSST World Religions

QuestionAnswer
ahimsa In Sanskrit, literally, "noninjury." It is the principle that a person should do no harm.
Artha One of the four main religious goals of Hinduism. The idea is that in addition to following dharma (virture) and kama (pleasure), Hindus should also strive to be successful in the activities of their lives.
Aryans A group of people who emigrated from the west into the upper Indus Valley and the nearby territory around 1500 bce. They conquered the Dravidians and established what is now termed the Vedic culture.
Ashram (1) A place where devotees live, often the house of a guru. (2) It can also refer to the four stages of Hindu life: student, householder, retired person, and sannyasin .
Atman An individual's soul or self. The ultimate goal in Hinduism is to achieve moksha through the realization that one's soul or self and Brahman are the same thing. This is accomplished through different types of yoga .
Avatar A manifestion of a god in an earthly form, usually that of a human or animal. The god Vishnu has two main ones: Krishna and Rama, and eight others.
Bhagavad-Gita The section of the Mahabharata in which Krishna reveals himself to Arjuna and in a long theological discussion describes the main components of karma yoga.
Brahma The lord of all creation, he is considered to be above human worship. He is often mentioned as an equal with Vishnu and Shiva.
Brahman The power within the cosmos that makes it function and live. seen as the Ultimate Reality. Sometimes thought of as a god. In early Vedic religion, this was the focus of worship, in modern Hinduism it is rarely worshiped directly.
Brahmin The highest of the four main Hindu castes or Varnas. It is the priestly caste and includes scholars and philosophers as well
Cows These animals are considered sacred in India and can be seen wandering freely through villages, towns and cities.
Dharma the life-long duties of a person's caste and the idea that it is virtuous always to fulfill those duties willingly and expertly.
Dravidians The oldest known inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent.
Guru A holy teacher. Occasionally, a Brahmin who teaches.
Hatha yoga The form of yoga devoted only to bodily control. In the West, it is often seen as the only type of yoga and is simply called "yoga."
Householder The second of the four stages of human life. This is when one takes on the responsibilities of adult life. It is the time for marriage, raising children, being involved in business and one's community. It is followed by retirement.
Kama Pleasure, one of the 4 goals in Hinduism. Refers primarily to aesthetic pleasure, enjoyment of music, drama, dance, painting, sculpture, etc. Can also refer to sexual pleasure. A well-known Hindu book is the Kama Sutra, a sex manual.
Karma It refers to a concept in which the results of one's actions accumulate over one's life. Upon death, an individual's store of actions determines whether one is reborn in a higher or lower status.
Krishna A god who is one of the avatars of Vishnu. He plays a key role in the Mahabharata. In the Mahabharata appears the Bhagavad Gita which is a theological discourse.
Kshatriya The second highest caste which includes warriors and rulers
Mahabharata The 2nd century BC epic about Krishna and the five royal Pandu brothers who must battle their Kuru cousins. It contains the famous Bhagavad Gita.
Mantra A sequence of sounds used as a focus of meditation. The most famous one is that of "om"
Moksha Liberation or release from the cycle of death and rebirth, or release from samsara.
Om The most famous mantra, used as a meditational device in many forms of yoga. This sound is believed to be an aspect of the creation of the cosmos.
Puja A ritual offering (usually flowers, food, adoration, music, etc.) to a god or goddess.
Reincarnation The cycle of death and rebirth. The transmigration of an individual soul to a new body after death. This is samsara.
Retirement This is the third of the four stages of human life; it is followed by that of sannyasin. During this time one contemplates their life and attempts to formulate an understanding of "what it's all about."
Samsara The cycle of death and rebirth in both Hinduism and Buddhism. Reincarnation.
Sannyasin The fourth stage of the Hindu understanding of the human life cycle. In description, this usually follows the stage of retirement. However, it can be entered at anytime and gives the individual the opportunity to become an ascetic.
Sanskrit The language in which the Vedas and other Hindu sacred texts are written. It is an old Indo-European language like Greek and Latin. .
Shiva One of the main gods of Hinduism. The destroyer, and re-creator! He is associated with a number of goddesses including Shaki, Lakshmi, Parvati, Umma, Durga, and Kali.
shudra The fourth and lowest Hindu caste. It literally means "slave." Historically, the members of this varna were servants to those of the higher-castes. They are the only caste that is not twice-born.
Student The first of the four stages of human life. This is the time from adolescence to about age 20 when one learns and studies. It is followed by the stage of householder.
Twice-born The upper three castes whose males go through a "re-birth" ceremony when they come-of-age at around 12.
Untouchables or Dalit the fifth caste, they are the people who are below the fourth varna and outside the caste system altogether. Westerners would be in this caste.
Upanishads The latest writings to be considered part of the Vedic period. These are collections of stories, discussions, and instructions addressing issues of the relationship between the human and the ultimate realms.
Vaishya The third highest caste which includes traders, merchants, and agricultural workers
Varna The Hindu term for caste, a social division into which a person is born. There are four major castes in Hindu society: Brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya, and shudra.
Vedas The oldest collection of Hindu sacred texts. They include the best-known Rig-Veda. They were written between 1500 and 1000 bce.
Vishnu One of the main gods in Hinduism. Rules over earth as preserver. Usually worshiped in the form of one of his avatars, Krishna and Rama.
Yoga In Sanskrit, it means "yoke". An organized form of discipline that leads to a goal. Usually involving meditation, mental concentration, & exercises of the body
Yogi A person who practices some form of yoga.
Created by: pinetreeacademy
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