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Hinduism mid-term

Vocabulary for mid-term MCQ

ācārya A teacher
adhikāra Eligibility for a particular dharma, such as teacher, warrior, etc.
ādivāsi “aboriginals”; the first dwellers in the land.
agni god of fire; carrier of vedic sacrifices to the other devas.
āḻvār Tamil Vaishnava singer-saints.
arañyaka the third of the kinds of texts in the Vedas; “forest books”.
arcana temple worship
arjuna third of the five Pandava brothers.
ārya self-designation of the people of the Veda.
āśrama the four stages of life.
brahmacārya (1st stage of Ashrama-s) student stage.
gṛhasta (2nd stage of Ashrama-s) householder stage.
vanaprastha (3rd stage of Ashrama-s) retirement stage.
saṃnyāsa (4th stage of Ashrama-s) renunciate stage; social death.
astika one who acknowledges the authority of the Veda
ātman brahman, as it seems to be individuated as a companion to the jiva in the rounds of samsara.
avarṇa lacking varna
avatāra literally, “descent”; a manifestation of deity in the material world.
ayodhyā capital of the kingdom of Dasharatha, and later, Rama.
Bhagavad Gītā a chapter of the Mahabharata describing the divine nature of Krishna.
Bhagavata Purāṇa stories of the early life of Krishna.
bhakti devotional religion.
bharat land of India
bhārat second eldest son of Dasharatha in the Ramayana.
bhūmiputra “son of the land”; a native of the “Hindu land”.
brahmā a deva; recreator of the world as an agent of Vishnu.
brahmasūtra summary of the teaching of the Upanishads.
brāhmaṇa the highest of the four varnas; a commentarial text on the Veda.
Brahmin anglicization of Brahmana as the highest of the varnas.
caitanya Gaudiya Vaishnava saint.
dalit self-identification of former “untouchables”.
darśaṇa a philosophical system; meeting a deity eyeto-eye in temple worship.
deva “shining one”
dharma ‘right way of living’’ goodness, duty, law, etc.
dharmaśāstra Law-codes, eg of Manu.
dhyāna meditation.
Dravidian languages family of languages, mostlyin the southern third of the Indian subcontinent.
Drona-acārya Brahmin teacher of the Pandavas and Kauravas in military skills.
dūrgā a goddess, most popular in Bengal.
dvija the three highest varnas; eligible to study the veda.
dyaus pitṛ a vedic deva
ekalavya nishada youth who taught himself archery.
Four yuga a unit of time
ganeśa son of Parvati, spouse of Shiva; has the head of an elephant.
guru teacher
gurudakṣiṇa the fee owed to a teacher at the end of one's training.
hanumān monkey-associate and devotee of Rama.
harappa city in the Indus River valley; flourished around 2500 to 1900 BCE.
Indo-Europeans a linguistic (not an ethnic) term designating a group of languages spoken across most of Europe and South Asia.
indra a vedic deva.
Indus Valley Civilization extensive ancient civilization known only by its ruins and artifacts located in the north-west of the Indian subcontinent; first discovered in the valley of the Indus River.
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) a devotional movement in the tradition of Chaitanya founded in the United States in 1966 by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
īśvara generic term for divine lord; personal god.
jambudvīpā cosmological vision of the material world.
jāti birth; birth-status.
jīva life-force; personal spirit
kaliyuga the fourth, and worst, age in a cycle of world-existence.
karma “action”; the cause of the round of samsara.
kaurava in the Mahabharata, the sons of Dritarashtra; opponents of the Pandavas.
kṛṣṇa lead character in the Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavata Purana; an avatara of Vishnu.
kṣatriya the second-ranking varna among the dvijas.
lakṣmaṇa third son of King Dasaratha in the Ramayana; accompanied his eldest brother, Rama, in his forest exile.
liṅgam representation of a phallus; symbol of Shiva, used for worship.
madhvācārya a vedantic teacher.
mahābhārata an itihasa.
Mantra a verse of power in the veda; used in meditation.
manusmṛti lawbooks attributed to Manu, the first human being.
mārga literally, “path” or “way”.
māyā in the thought of Shankara, the power of brahman which requires humans to perceive reality in a distorted fashion.
Meru mountain in Tibet; axis mundi in Hindu cosmology.
Mohenjo Daro ancient city in the Harappan, or Indus Valley, civilization.
mokṣa release from the round of samsara.
nāyanmār Tamil singer-saints devoted to Shiva.
niṣāda a tribe in northern India in the time of the Mahabharata.
Nondualism the idea that there is only one reality.
padmāsana “lotus seat”; a yogic posture.
pañcama “the fifth”; a social group outside and beneath the vedic varna system; untouchable; dalit
pāṇdava the sons of Pandu in the Mahabharata.
karma mārga Path of Action
bhakti mārga Path of Devotion
jñāna mārga Path of Knowledge
prajāpati “lord of beings”; a vedic deva.
prakṛti in the samkhya darshana, the principal of materiality.
prasāda gifts, often food, from a deity in temple worship.
pūjā ritual worship using offerings, lights, and specific actions.
puñya good action; beneficial consequences.
puñyabhūmi land in which good actions are easiest to do.
purāṇa ancient stories of the deities; from ~ 4th century CE.
puruṣasūkta a chapter of the Rig Veda describing the sacrifice of the “original man” and the origin of the world and the varnas.
puruṣārtha values appropriate to humanity.
artha value; wealth.
kāma pleasure.
mokṣa release from samsara.
rāma protagonist of the Ramayana; crown prince and later king of Ayodhya.
rāmānujācarya vedantic philosopher.
rāmāyaṇa an itihasa.
rāmrāj the righteous rule of Rama in the Ramayana.
ṛṣi a vedic sage.
ṛg veda one of four collections of vedic verses.
ṛta the principle of cosmic order.
saṃhita “collection”, as in the vedas.
sāṃkhya dualistic darshana.
saṃñyāsin a world-renouncer; the fourth stage or ashrama.
saṃsāra the round of rebirth, redeath.
saṃskāra impressions of karmic action; rites of passage.
sanātana dharma eternal dharma; the Hindu term for “Hinduism”.
sarasvatī spouse of Brahma; goddess of music and wisdom. Also a river along which many sites of the Harappan Civilization have been found.
śaṅkaracārya vedantic philosopher.
śāstra a philosophical text.
śāstri one who is knowledgeable in shastras.
Shiva a great deity
Śaiva Siddhānta philosophical school which developed out of the devotion of the Nayanmar.
śruti “what has been heard”; the most sacred Hindu texts, the Vedas.
śudra the fourth of the varnas; non-dvijas.
sītā Spouse of Rama in the Ramayana and queen of Ayodhya.
smṛti “that which has been remembered”; the religious texts of lesser authority than the shruti.
soma a psychotropic drink; a deva celebrated in the Veda.
sthītaprajñā The condition of being “established in wisdom” in the Bhagavad Gita.
sutra phrases used to prompt memory, literally “thread”.
Untouchable panchamas, the people without varna status, at the bottom of the caste hierarchy.
upaniṣad the fourth group of vedic literatures; “secret” teachings; literally, “sitting down near”.
vaiśya The third of the dvija varnas.
varṇa literally “colour”, the four official social classifications in the Rig Veda.
avarṇa refers to those without varna, or an official social rank.
varuṇa is a god of the water and of the celestial ocean, as well as a god of law of the underwater world.
vedānta darshanas based on the upanishads, the “end”, or consumation of the vedas.
advaita Shankara-acharya's system.
viśiṣṭādvaita Ramanuja-acharya's system.
dvaita Madhva-acharya's system.
veda The four parts of shruti, the Rig, Sama, Yajur, and Atharva Vedas, which include, by extension their brahmanas, aranyakas, and upanishads.
viṣṇu a great god of the Hindus.
vaiṣṇava a follower of Vishnu.
vyāsa “hearer” of the Vedas and author of the Mahabharata.
yagña the vedic fire sacrifice.
yoga one of the six darshanas.
nāstika one who does not acknowledge the authority of the vedas
devī a god or goddess
adharma "living that is not in accord with the law'
śaiva devotees of Shiva.
atman universal spirit.
Created by: dcell



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