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80 Cards in this Set

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Agni
The fire god - "seer of all things" and "knower of all creation"
Cosmic Level- basic fiery principle; major element responsible for all creation
Domestic- lord of the house in form of a domestic fire
Provides communication between gods and humans
Indra
The Rain God
most celebrated diety
god of rain and thunder
Ambitious, aggressive king and god of warriors
battles with demons of drought and darkness and rescues water and light
Lord of heaven
obsession for soma
represents waterly element in cosmos essential for survival of all existence
Lives in atmospheric regiono
kills Vrtra
Varuna
The Guardian of Rta "Cosmic Order"
holds highest prestige and respect
guardian of rta
guards both natural and moral order
regulates existence & functioning of natural elements (regulator of days/nights, seasons, sun shining, rain falling)
Divine observer
Responsible for moral order among humans
Surya
The Sun God
most concrete deity
measures days/nights, deity of growth (physical and intellectual)
Soma
The Drink of Immortality
plant & drink
importnat role in Vedi rituals
offered to gods who drink to gain immortality
brought to earth by the bird
Sacrificial purposes: collectied ion forest and brought to sacrificall alter where pounded with stone w/ care
closely connected with Indra-enables him to kill Vrtra
Soma viewd as ruler of water
Purusa
Primordial man
Matsya
Avataras of Visnu
The Fish Incarnation
saved first man from an untimely disaster and thus human race
Kurma
Avataras of Visnu
The Tortoise Incarnation
gave the drink of immortality to both the god and demons- both essential for sustenence of the world
Varaha
Avataras of Visnu
The Boar Incarnation
lifted the world sinking with the burder of ignornace after the demon had stolen the Vedas- lifted earth with tusks and killed demon- brought back Vedas
Narasimha
Avataras of Visnu
The Man-Lion Incarnation
killed the demon king Hiranyakasipu after he deemed himself all powerful &oppressed the people- due to a boon, couldn't be killed by a man or animal
Vamana
Avataras of Visnu
Dwarf Incarnation
to suppress the arrogant demon king Bali who had conquered 3 worlds-
pushed him into the nether world where he could be king
Parasurama
Avataras of Visnu
Rama with the axe incarnation
distruption of the social order caused by conflict between Ksatriyas oppressing the Brahmanas
Parasurama destroyed the whole Ksatriya race from the eareth 21 times
Rama (Av)
Avataras of Visnu
Hero of the Epic Ramayana
killed Ravana the demon king oppressing the earth
Krsna
Avataras of Visnu
Incarnation of the Blue God
killed the demon king Kamsa who oppressed the common people in country
Buddha
Avataras of Visnu
The Enlightened One
mission was to distract people who didn't believe in the Hinduism system and divert them from the 'right' path by bringing about their destruction
Kalkin
Avataras of Visnu
Warrior Riding the White Horse Incarnation
in Kaliyuga the last age, appear as a man mounted on white hourse with shining sword in hand- before destruciton of universe, Kalkin will descend for last time in cycle to abolish disturbances casued by evil actions of people
Aryans
One of the Indo-European tribes who migrated to India from Central Asia in about 2000 BC
Vedas
"vid"= to know
"books of knowledge"
Cover term fro three types of books
Vedas or Samhitas
four collections of sacred verses
Rgveda
A Veda -
collection of sacred prayers
Samaeda
Veda- collection of melodious chants
Yajurveda
Veda- a collection of sacrificial formulae
Atharvaveda
Veda- a collection of magical formulae, myths, and legends
Brahmanas and Aranyakas
books which are appended to the four Vedas and illustrate their function in the religious rituals
Upanisads
books which deal exclusively with the philosphical content of the four Vedas
Indra
the chief of the gods, rain god
Agni
the fire god
Surya
the sun god
Gandharvas
the secondary gods of dancing and singing
Apsaras
nymphs of the sky
Soma
the drink of immortality
Varuna
the god of the cosmic power Ata, the cosmic power
Rta
cosmic order
Brahmana
priestly class - head - teaching
Ksatriya
warriors - arms - protection
Vaisya
merchants - thighs - economy
Sudra
caretakers of all - laborers - feet - other jobs
Origin of the universe
the state before existence and/or non-existence
Polytheism
many gods
Pantheism
nature gods
Monotheism
one god
Brahma
creation - creator of the world
Visnu
sustenance- sustainer of the world
Siva
destruction- destroyer of the world
Ananta
giant snake which signifies Eternal Waters
Lotus
the womb of the universe
Nagas
serpents which signify the link between human beings and the cosmic waters
Time
the wheel of eternal return: the world is created, sustained, and destroyed only to be created again
Yuga
world age
Pralaya
the cosmic floods at the end of Mahayuga "the great age"
Avatara
the descent of Visnu on earth in order to restore rule and order in the universe
Matsya - b
fish
Kurma - b
tortoise
Varaha - b
boar
Narasimha - b
man-lion
Vamana - b
dwarf
Parasurama - b
Brahmana- ascetic
Rama - b
hero of the great epic Ramayana
Krsna - b
folk god
Buddha - b
the founder of the religion 'Buddhism'
Kalkin - b
the descent which is going to take place in the future
Karma
"deads/actions"
actions- both physical and ethical
results of actions in the same or in the future birth
Karma in this birth determines the next birth
Dharma
duty
Asramas
Four stages in life:
education
life of householder
life of forest-dweller
asceticism: life of total abandonment of material life and involvement in religious life
Valmiki
poet
Sloka
sanskrit verse- couplet used in Ramayana
Ayodhya
capital city in northern part of India
Asvamedha
horse sacrifice
Janaka
Sita's father
Ravana
the ten-headed demon killed by Rama
Svayamvara
self-choice of groom by bride
Manthara
kaikeyi's maid who inspires Kaikeyi to conspire against Rama
Surpanakha
the fearful and hideous demoness, sister of Ravana
Khara
Ravana's brother
Marica
the demon who takes the form of a golden deer to attract Sita's attention
Vibhisana
Ravana's brother who advises Ravana not to wage war against Rama- Later he joins Rama to fight against Ravana
Adam's Bridge
the brige built by Rama with the help of the monkeys to cross the ocean - India to Lanka
Indrajit
ravana's son who wounds Rama and Laksmana
Kumbhakarna
the 'pot-ear' demon, Ravana's brother, who sleeps for months- the idiom in Indian languages is 'to sleep like the 'pot ear' '
Narada
Visnu's disciple who wanted to understand the nature of Maya