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172 Cards in this Set

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Agni
Vedic god of fire; personification of fire in its various forms; mediator or priest to men and gods
Ahmisa
Noninjury, non violence, noncoercion; a reverence for all life
Aryans
A nomadic group that migrated into India in 1800-1500 B.C.E. conquered the Dravidians, and began the caste system
Ashram
a community adjacent to ISKCON temple in which members live
Atman
eternal self or soul, identical to Brahman; self or inner essence of the universe of man
Avatar
descent of the divine; incarnation of Vishnu in different animal and human forms; 10 avatars
Bhagavad Gita
"Song celestial" scriptural text form the Mahabharata concerning Krishna, an avatar of the god Vishnu; teaches salvation through devotion; most influential of all Hindu scriptures
Brahma
creator god; one of Hindu Trimurti
Brahman
absolute; ultimate ground underlying everything; reality that is the source of all being and knowing
Brahmin
priests of Hinduism; highest of social castes
Dravidians
inhabitants of India who initially lived in Indus valley; conquered by Indo-Aryans
Durga
name of Devi, consort of Shiva; mother and warrior
Ganesha
"Lord of Ganas" elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati; keeper of space and time; honored at doorway to outset of venture
Garuda
mythical sunbird and vehicle of Vishnu
Hare Krishna
popular name of Iskcon and its adherents
Harijan
"children of God"; outcastes of India who were given this name by Ghandi; untouchables
Indra
Vedic warrior god; lightening bolt; liberator from obstructive forces
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
movement centered in devotion to Krishna; Supreme lord worshiped through service, study , meditation and chanting
Kali
Divine mother; goddess of destruction; mother of life and destroyer; consort of Shiva
Kalki
10th avatar of Vishnu; messianic figure who will come to restore Dharma and destroy wicked at the end of current Kalpa stage of world
Kalpa
age of eon; one day of Brahma; 4,320 million years; destroyed at end of kalpa by Shiva
Karma
moral law of cause and effect; law by which next incarnation is determined
Krishna
8th avatar of Vishnu; cosmic force of goodness restored dharma; teachings found in Bhagvad Gita
Kshatriya
member of warrior caste; second caste of Hindu social structure; heroic, high spirited, resolute, able, not fleeing in battle, giving, lords
Kurma
second avatar of Vishnu - tortoise
Lingam
phallic symbol through which Shiva is worshiped as god of fertility
Maha-mantra
great mantra chanted by adherents of ISKCON
Manu
father of humanity; Hindu equivalent of Adam, first man; wrote laws of Manu
Matsya
first avatar of Vishnu, fish
Maya
illusion that there is a reality apart from that of Brahman-Atman
Moksha
technique of transcending the senses to bring one to release, release itself; name of fourth permissible goal in life
Nandi
white bull Shiva rides upon, makes music to which his master dances
Narasimha
fourth avatar of Vishnu, man lion
Nataraja
"Lord of the dance",incarnation of Shiva who will appear at the end of the present age; destroy ignorance through dancing
Nirvana
oneness with Brahman-Atman which extinguishes sense of individuality when one is released from the cycle of reincarnation
Parasurama
sixth avatar of Vishnu, often depicted as Rama with ax
Parvati
on of the consorts of Shiva
Radha
wife of Krishna; love between them sometimes represents the individual soul and world soul
Rama
seventh avatar of Vishnu; popular Hindu god; model of righteousness; great hero of Ramayana
Ramayana
Hindu scripture telling story of heroic exploits of Rama, avatar of god Vishnu
Rig Veda
India's first religious text, one of four Vedas, product of Indo-Aryan thought
Rudras
Vedic gods; terrible gods of storms; mentioned as group and single god
Samadhi
experience of oneness with Brahman-Atman attainable in this life; experience of enlightenment which guarantees release from round of rebirths and deaths
Samsara
cycle of rebirths
Srasvati
name of sacred river, wife of Brahma, goddess of knowledge, learning, holy speech, and music
Sesha
serpent on whom Vishnu is often depicited as reclining
Shakti
power or energy; female active power of god. which assumes the creative functional personified as wife of Shiva
Shaktism
worship of Shakti, wife of Shiva
Shiva
destroyer, third member of Trimurti
Shruti
body of primary revelation in the Hindu scriptural canon; the Four Vedas, Upanishads, Aranyakas, Brahmanas
Siddhartha Gautama
Indian prince who founded Buddhism; 9th avatar of Vishnu
Smriti
Hindu scripture not comprised in Shruti; codes of Manu, mahabharata
Soma
drink used in Vedic ritual; drink of the gods
Sudra
fourth Hindu caste; slaves, servants, menial workers
Trimurti
Hindu trinity of gods: Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver), Shiva (destroyer)
Uma
consort of Shiva
Upanishads
ancient mystical documents found at end of each of four Vedas
Vaishya
member of third Hindu caste, merchant; soil, agriculture, trade
Vajra
lightening bold controlled by Indra, atmospheric god
Vamana
5th avatar of vishnu, dwarf
Varaha
Vedic god of natural and moral law, sky god in earliest times
Vedas
scriptural books of hymns, charms, formulas use in Hindu worship; oldest Hindu scriptures
Vishnu
2nd god in Trimurti; personal expression of Brahman-Atman; avatars Krishna and Rama
Vritra
dragon or snake who retained waters and was slain by Indra
Ahimsa
principle of non-injury, respect for all life
Angabahya
scriptural readings containing of Jain leaders; renunciation and enlightenment of Mahavira; Svetambara Jains
Angas
"limbs"; central scriptures of Svetambara Jainism
Digambara
"Sky-clad" refers to Jain monks who wander naked
Himsa
violence, injury to life
Jina
"conqueror" or victor; one who has attained enlightenment; Jainism is derived from it; syn. with tirthankara
Jiva
spirit contained within all living things, human, animal or plant
Karma-matter
substance that contaminates a person's soul because of evil deeds; causes soul to sink on scale of univ. existence
Kevala-jñana
enlightenment, involves gaining infinite knowledge
Mahavira
title of founder of Jainism, "great one"; also known as Vardhamana
Monad
human soul
Nigantha Nataputta
another name for Mahavira found in Buddhist literature
Patna
village near site of Mahavira's death; holy place to Jains; focus of pilgrimage
Sadhu
Jain monk
Siddhanta
sole body of Digambra Jain scripture
Surabhi
first cow in Jain mythology; one of original treasures to appear on earth
Svetambara
"white-clad" refers to Jain monks who wear white robes or loin cloths
Tirthankara
"ford-finder"; Mahavira considered 24th and last "ford-finder" of this eon; found the way to gain release and has shown it to others
Gautama
Buddha's family name, "on earth most victorious:; Brahmin name, clan was of Kshatriya (warrior) caste
Siddhartha
Buddha's given name; short for Sarvartthassiddha "realization of all desires"
Sakyamuni
Stage of the Sakyas; title applied to the Buddha by those outside clan; name of clan to which Buddha belonged; chieftains led by rajas (Buddha's Father); monogamous and did not realize caste rules
Vairocana (Other)
personification of essential bodhi, or enlightenment
Maitreya (Other)
bodhisattva in the Buddha of the future
Amitabha (Other)
Buddha of infinite light, lord of the Western land
Avaloskitesvara (Other)
bodhisattva of mercy; vase of water, willow branch, lotus
Bhaisajyaguru (Other)
Buddha of medicine and light of paradise in the east; patra (alms bowl), fruit known as "buddha fingers"
Theravda, Hinayana (school)
"way of the elders"; most closely approximates teachings of Buddha; self-help; SE Asia
Mahayana (school)
"Greater vehicle" contains multitude of helping beings who assist worshipers off the wheel into heavenly realm
Vjrayana (School)
"Vehicle of Thunderbolt; adherents expect to attain enlightenment through magical power; NE Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, Lamaism
Ahimsa
refraining from destroying life
Arhat, Lohan, Rakan
disciple of Buddha; saint, monk; one who is close to enlightenment, enlightened
Bodhi
fig tree, symbolic of enlightenment, where Buddha was enlightened
Bodhisattva
Buddha-to-be
Dai Gohonzon
mandala upon which is written mantra embodying central place of the lotus Sutra in Nichiren tradition
Dyana, Zen
meditation sect spread through Chin in 6th century CE
Eightfold Middle Path (VALETS, MC)
method taught by Buddha for moral and intellectual self-development and enlightenment: 1) right views, 2) right thought, 3) right speech, 4) right action, 5) right livelihood, 6) right effort, 7) right mindfulness, 8) right concentration
Four Noble Truths
1) life is painful, 2) egotistic desire causes suffering, 3) elimination of desire brings cessation of sufferings, 4) way to elimination of desire is Eightfold middle path
Jataka tales
"other lives"; "birth stories" tales told by Buddha of his previous lies; spiritual qualities that will blossom into Buddhahood
Jodo Shinshu
Japanese Buddhism; "True Pure Land"; teaches devotion as a compassionate lord
Karma
law of cause and effect; does not bind man to wheel in Buddhism
Koans
Riddles, not solvable by rational thought, Soto Zens use for enlightenment
Kosen Rufu
Nichiren thought, world peace in broad sense of universal harmony between nature and humans
Lotus
flower symbolizing female principle of self-creation; procreative powers; every Buddha supported by a lotus flower; indicative of divine birth
Lotus Sutra
central scripture of Nichiren tradition
Maitreya
Buddha-to-be prophesied in Mahayana Buddhism
Mandala
ritual or magic circle; diagram used in invocations, meditation and temple services in Tibet
Mantra
chant used in meditation and other spiritual disciplines to draw worshiper closer to ultimate
Nichiren Diashonin (1222-1282)
Founder of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, of Nichiren Shoshu of America in the United States
Nichiren Shoshu
Buddhist movement dedicated to helping its adherents achieve the highest state of life, buddha nature, through chanting lotus sutra
Nirvana
release from limitations of existence; escape from life by overcoming its attractions (Theravda); exhaltation of saints (Mahayana)
Nyingmapa
form of Tibetan Buddhism teaching; humans are energy and through meditation, yoga and prayer we can learn how to expend energy wiseley; red hat lamas
Padma Sambhava
founder of Nyingmapa Tibetan Buddhism
Rinzai
Zen Buddhist school that regards enlightenment as sudden epiphany
Roshi
teacher of Zen Buddhism
Sangha
Buddhist order of monks founded by Buddha himself
Satori
Enlightenment
Shinran Shonin
founder of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism
Sho-Hondo
Grand Main Temple of Nichiren Shosho, Dai Gohonzon is housed
Soto
Zen Buddhist school that believes enlightenment to be a gradual requirement; opposite of Rinzai
Stupa
mound of earth or brick in which the bodies or ashes of prominent persons are deposited; called dagobas if not part of building
Sutra
thread or string on which jewels are strung; applied to Pali cannon of dialogues or discourses of Buddha
Tripitaka
foundational scriptures, "Three baskets"; 1) Rules of Sangha, 2) Teachings of Buddha, 3) Esoteric knowledge
Vajra
"Vehicle of the thunderbolt"; tantric form of Buddhism; Thunderbolt on lotus is union of masculine and feminine, knowledge and principles
Zen Buddhism
form of Mahayana Buddhism that seeks enlightenment through meditation
Adi Granth
name for Sick scripture; "First book"
Akal Purakh
"The eternal one"; god
Amar Das
3rd Guru, author of part of Granth
Amritsar
location of Golden Temple in Punjab region of NW India
Anand Karaj
sick marriage ceremony; "ceremony of bliss"
Angad
Nanak's successor and 2nd guru
Arjun
5th guru, compiler of Adi Granth, died martyr for the faith
Gobind Singh
10th guru; est. Khalsa
Golden Temple
temple in Amritsar, sacred to Sikhs
Granth Sahib
"The revered book"; original name for Sikh scriptures
Gurdwara
place where scriptures have been installed, community centered around Sikh life
Guru
spiritual leader; God is only guru; earthly gurus represent divine presence; human vehicles of divine guru
Guru Granth
11th guru, delared he would have no successor but the Adi Granth-embodiment of divine guru
Hargobind
Son of Arjun, 6th guru; began to strengthen Sikhs militarily after father's martyrdom
Hari Krishan
8th guru
Hari Rai
7th guru
Haumai
pride or innate self
Ik Oankar
"One True Name"; God
Jai Ram
Nanak's brother-in-law
Janam-Sakhis
account of life of Nanak
Japji
Early hymns contained in Granth and written by Nanak
Kabir
early representative if Sant tradition
Kachh
short underdrawers; moral behavior and self control
Kangha
comb; control of mind and body
Kara
Steel bracelet; oneness with God and unity with man
Kesh
uncut hair and beard; spirituality and respect for natural laws
Khalsa
Sikh order, "The Purified ones"
Kirpan
short dagger, dignity, self defense, just use of power
Mala
beads used to say prayers; similar to rosary beads
Mardana
minstrel who was Nanak's companion during his preaching tours
Maya
beads for prayers; similar to rosary beads
Mukti
Release from rounds of birth; Moksha
Nanak
founder of Sikhism, first guru
Nath
Hindu tradition focusing on interior search for God through practice of hatha yoga
Punjab
NW India, home of Sikhs
Ram Das
4th guru
Sangat
company of illuminated and enlightened souls
Sant
Hindu tradition believing in relationship to deity but denying that God has form; deeply influenced Nanak
Sarab-Loh
"All steel" Name for God identified with Gobind Singh and identified with sword
Satnam
Sikh name for God; "The True Name"
Seva
service
Sikh
follower of Nanak and disciple
Simran
Meditation
Tegh Bahadur
9th guru