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WR--Hinduism #2

DSST World Religions

QuestionAnswer
Agni The Hindu god of fire.
ajiva All the material, non-spiritual aspects of the cosmos. The opposite of jiva . A term Hinduism borrowed from Jainism.
Avidya Literally means "ignorance," and is the opposite of Vidya. It can refer to ignorance of proper social and religious behavior
Bhakta A worshipper. One who shows devotion to a god or goddess.
bhakti Practices of worship or devotion to a Hindu god or goddess. See also puja.
bhakti yoga A type of yoga in which a person worships a god or goddess.. A modern version in the West is the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, popularly known as the "Hare Krishnas."
Brahmanas Early, Vedic commentaries about Hindu ritual.
Durga One of the wives of Shiva. Goddess of retribution and justice. She is both beautiful and fierce, usually appears with weapons and riding upon a tiger or a lion.
Four Paths Margas: according to the Bhagavad Gita, ways to reach the ultimate goal of Yoga (cessation of agitation)
Ganesha/ Ganesa The god of good fortune. He takes away obstacles and brings success. This is the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati. He is sometimes called Ganapati.
gopi A milk-maid or daughter or wife of a cowherder. Krishna shows his virility as a young man by wooing a number of gopis.
Ishvara literally means "Lord of the Universe." Used to refer to a god who is seen as the personalization of the Creator, i.e., Brahman. Can be used of Vishnu or other gods and goddesses when they are seen as representations of the divine Absolute.
Japam A form of worship or meditation in which the name of a deity or a mantra is repeated.
Jati The Hindu term for sub-caste. A varna is made up of many of these.
Jiva The soul of a person, essentially the same as Atman. It is made of spiritual or divine matter. It is a concept borrowed from Jainism, and is usually contrasted to ajiva .
Jnana The Sanskrit term for "knowledge."
jnana yoga The discipline in which one learns the true nature of the cosmos and then uses that knowledge to connect oneself with the Atman--the true nature of Brahman to attain moksha.
Kali one of the wives of Shiva. She represents the wild, destructive character. She is often linked to death, wearing a necklace of human skulls, a skirt of human limbs, and with blood dripping from her weapons. At times, she can even overcome her husband.
karma yoga A discipline of work or "action." The goal is to achieve moksha through the elimination of one's karma through work, that is, involvement in life and business.
Lakshmi The goddess of prosperity. She and her consort Vishnu are discussed further in the discussion of the Cosmos.
Lila The Hindu term for play, drama, and sport. The Rama is the fall festival that honors Rama, while the Ras is the spring festival in honor of Krishna.
linga/m An oblong, upright stone that serves as a symbol of Shiva. It usually appears in the central location of temples to Shiva.
Manu or Law of Manu Writings that records the words of Brahma describing social stratification which later evolved into the caste system
Margas According to the Bhagavad Gita, four paths to reach the ultimate goal of Yoga (cessation of agitation)
Maya The true nature of the cosmos we can see. In Sanskrit, the word means "illusion," but that does not just mean that it is imaginary. Instead, since it is what we can see, we must deal with it and live within it.
Parvati One of Shiva's wives. She represents erotic and sensual love, the love of courtship and wooing. She is the mother of Ganesha .
Path of Activity Karma Marga: one of the four paths that emphasizes selfless works such as offerings and sacrifices
Path of Control of the Mind Yoga Marga: one of the four paths in which all activities of the mind an consciousness are studied and brought under control
Path of Devotion Bhakti Marga: most popular of the four paths, it offers followers a deity who is personal and who gives grace to overcome bad karma
Path of Knowledge Jnana Marga: one of the four paths that emphasizes discrimination between what is real and what is illusory
Puranas A group of writings about the adventures and activities of gods and goddesses. Most were composed during the classical period of Hinduism, with some being written later.
raja yoga A disipline that uses psycho-physical means--i.e., meditation--to achieve moksha. A person learns to control the functions and activity of their own body and the mind so that they can use the mind to concentrate exclusively on the Ultimate Reality.
Rama A popular hero god who is an avatar of Vishnu. His wife is Sita.
Ramayana The long epic that tells the story of Rama and his love for Sita, her capture, the long series of battles and quests Rama carries out to free her, and the aftermath.
Sadhu This is essentially the same as a sannyasin. This is a person who renounces life and everything that goes with it (religion, caste, family, etc.) and essentially becomes a wandering hermit seeking moksha. The Fourth "life stage" of Hinduism.
sakti/shakti Literally, "power." Usually, the worship of the goddesses, who all represent some form of power.
samadhi The eighth and final stage of meditation in raja yoga in which a person's mind realizes the Ultimate Reality.
Sanatana Dharma What Hindus call Hinduism.
Shaivism The worship of Shiva, including beliefs and rituals.
Sita The wife of Rama. Often seen as the epitome of faithfulness. In the Ramayana, she is captured by a the king of the demons, Ravanna, and her husband must rescue her.
Umma One of Shiva's wives. She represents motherhood, nurturing, and family.
Vaishnavism The worship of Vishnu, often in the form of one of his avatars, Rama and Krishna. This is given its classic form in the Bhagavad Gita.
Vedic An adjective referring to the Vedas, the people who originally created and used the Vedas, the period from 1500 to 500 BC during which they were written, or any form of Hinduism or Hindu teachings that derive from the Vedas.
Vidya It literally means "learning, knowledge," and is used in reference both to intellectual knowledge acquired through study and to spiritual knowledge acquired through spiritual activity and leading to enlightenment. Its opposite is Avidya.
Created by: pinetreeacademy
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