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82 Cards in this Set

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agni
hindu god of fire
ahimsa
In Sanskrit, literally, "noninjury.
ajiva
All the material, non-spiritual aspects of the cosmos
Ashram
A place where devotees live, often the house of a guru
Artha
Artha literally means "success." It is one of the four main religious goals of Hinduism
Aryans
A group of people who emigrated from the west into the upper Indus Valley and the nearby territory around 1500 bce
Ascetic
A general term for a person who denies themselves some of the necessities of life, such as food, clothing, and shelter
Atman
An individual's soul or self. The ultimate goal in Hinduism is to achieve moksha through the realization that one's Atman and Brahman are the same thing
Avatar
A manifestion of a god in an earthly form, usually that of a human or animal
Avidya
Avidya literally means "ignorance," and is the opposite of Vidya
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.
bhakta
A worshipper. One who shows devotion to a god or goddess
bhakti
Practices of worship or devotion to a Hindu god or goddess.
bhakti yoga
A type of yoga in which a person worships a god or goddess
Brahma
Brahma is the manifestation of Brahman into the world of maya.
Brahman
The power behind and within the cosmos that makes it function and live. Can also be seen as the Ultimate Reality
Brahmanas
Early, Vedic commentaries about Hindu ritual
Brahmin
The highest of the four main Hindu castes or Varnas. It is the priestly caste
Caste
The western term for varna. Castes provide the major divisions of Hindu society
deva, devi
Hindu terms for god and goddess
Dharma
In Hinduism, Dharma means virtue
Dravidians
The oldest known inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent
Durga
One of the wives of Shiva. She is the goddess of retribution and justice
Ganesha/ Ganesa
The god of good fortune. He takes away obstacles and brings success
gopi
A milk-maid or the daughter or wife of a cowherder
Guru
A holy teacher. Occasionally, a Brahmin who teaches
Hatha yoga
The form of yoga devoted only to bodily control
Householder
The second of the four stages of human life. This is when one takes on the responsibilities of adult life
Ishvara
Ishvara literally means "Lord of the Universe."
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 jatis
jiva
The soul of a person, essentially the same as Atman. It is made of spiritual or divine matter
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
Kali
A goddess who is one of the wives of Shiva. She represents the wild, destructive character
Kama
Pleasure, one of the four encouraged goals of life in Hinduism.
Karma
an individual's karma-this store of the results of actions-determines whether one is reborn in a higher or lower status.
karma yoga
The goal is to achieve moksha through the elimination of one's karma through work, that is, involvement in life and business
Krishna/Krsna
A god who is one of the avatars of Vishnu
kshatriya
The second of the four main Hindu castes, or Varnas. This is the caste of warriors, leaders, and administrators.
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.
linga
An oblong, upright stone that serves as a symbol of Shiva
Mahabharata
The second-century bce epic about Krishna and the five royal Pandu brothers who must battle their Kuru cousins
Mantra
A sequence of sounds used as a focus of meditation
maya
The true nature of the cosmos we can see
moksha
Liberation or release from the cyle of death and rebirth, or samsara
om
The most famous mantra, used as a meditational device in many forms of yoga
Parvati
One of Shiva's wives. She represents erotic and sensual love, the love of courtship and wooing
puja
An offering (usually flowers, food, adoration, music, etc.) to a god or goddess
Puranas
A group of writings about the adventures and activities of Hinduism's gods and goddesses
raja yoga
A disipline that uses psycho-physical means--i.e., meditation--to achieve moksha
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
Reincarnation
The cycle of death and rebirth
Retirement
This is the third of the four stages of human life. contemplates their life and attempts to formulate an understanding of "what it's all about."
Sadhu
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
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
samsara
The cycle of death and rebirth in both Hinduism and Buddhism
Sanatana Dharma
What Hindus call Hinduism.
sannyasin
The fourth stage of the Hindu understanding of the human life cycle
Sanskrit
The language in which the Vedas and other Hindu sacred texts are written
Shaivism
The worship of Shiva, including beliefs and rituals
Shiva/Siva
One of the two main gods of Hinduism. He is associated with a number of goddesses, the main four are Parvati, Umma, Durga, and Kali. See sakti
shudra
The fourth and lowest Hindu caste. It literally means "slave."
Sita
The wife of Rama. Often seen as the epitome of faithfulness
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
Transmigration
This is the notion that after death, a person's soul is born-again into another individual (human, animal, etc.)
Twice-born
The upper three castes whose males go through a "re-birth" ceremony when they come-of-age at around 12.
Umma
One of Shiva's wives. She represents motherhood, nuturing, and family
Untouchables
The Untouchables are the fifth caste. They are outcaste. Westerners would be put into this caste
Upanishads
The latest of the writings to be considered part of the Vedas, written between the eighth and third centuries bce
vaishya
The third Hindu caste, that of the merchants, traders, farmers and craftsmen
Vaishnavism
The worship of Vishnu, often in the form of one of his avatars, Rama and Krishna
varna
The Hindu term for caste, a social division into which a person is born
Vedas
The oldest collection of Hindu sacred texts
Vedic
An adjective refering to the Vedas, the people who originally created and used the Vedas
Vidya
both to intellectual knowledge acquired through study and to spiritual knowledge acquired through spiritual activity and leading to enlightenment.
Vishnu
One of two main gods in Hinduism. He is usually worshiped in the form of one of his avatars, Krishna and Rama
yoga
organized form of discipline that leads to a goal. This discipline usually involves practices of meditation, mental concentration, exercises of the body including both ones of control and asceticism
yogi
A person who practices some form of yoga. Male-yogin, female-yogini.