DattaPeetham Glossary

Glossary of Terms

 

Abhiseka

ablution of a Deity

Agni

fire, name of the Firegod

Akasha tattva

principle of ether

Alamkara

decoration

Amsa

part

Ananda

bliss

Arati

camphor light which is turned

clockwise in front of a Deity

Artha

materialistic attainments

Asana

lit.: seat, posture; in general use

set of a holy person or seat used

for meditiation

Avatara

incarnation of a Deity

Ayurveda

science of life

Bhagavat Gita

the song devine, one of the source books of

Hindu philosophy, the sacred dialogues

between Krishna and Arjuna

Bhagavati

name of Mother Goddess

Bhajan

spiritual song

Bhakti

devotion

Bhakti Yoga

the achievement of union with the

universal spirit through devotion

Bharat

India

Brahman

the Supreme Being, the all

pervading spirit

Chakra

lit: wheel or circle; in general use:

energy centers of the subtle body,

junctions of the nadis. The seven

main chakras are: Muladhara,

Svadhisthana, Manipuraka,

Anahata, Visuddha, Ajna and

Sahasrara

Chandra

moon

Darsana

becoming visible, appearance of a

holy being

Dattastava

prayer on Lord Dattatreya in eight

(asta) verses, recited daily at the Ashram

Deva

God

Devi

Goddess

Dharma

the authourity for the code of conduct by which man can make his life sublime, and the lord of Dharma is God. 
Whenever man deviates from the path of dharma, formless God assumes a form and brings the strayed back to the path of dharma. This process is an eternal one.

Diksha

vow

Ekagrata

concentration, one-pointedness

Gopika

lit: a cowherd lady; in general use:

a cowherd lady who adrores Lord Krishna

Graha

planet

Grahana

eclipse

Hatha Yoga

the way towards realization

through rigorous disciplines,

commonly understood as the

yogic exercises, the asanas

Homa

fire ritual for the worship of Agni,

the Lord of fire

Homa kunda

pit in which the fire worship is performed

Japa

muttered prayer or mantra, usually

by counting beads of a rosary

Jivatma

individual, personal soul

Jnana

knowledge

Kama

desire, lust

Kalasa

lit: pot; in general use: a copper

pot containing water, placed in a

plate of unkooked rice and topped

with leaves and decorated with

coconut, all together representing a

Deity

Kali Yuga

ref. Yuga

Karma

lit.: action; in general use: the total

of our past actions, good and bad, of

which we bear the fruits in this

life

Karma Yoga

the way which leads to realization performing

selfless acts

Kriya Yoga

The way which leads to realization by

refining the senses and getting

control over them through mental

exercises and pranayamas

Lila

lit.: play; in general use: the world

of manifestation is considered as

the play of God

Linga

lit.: symbol; in general use: a bare

idol in the form of an egg or a

rounded cylinder symbolizing

Shiva who has no beginning and

no end

Mahabhagavata

a book describing the stories of Gods

Mantra

sacred words imbued with power

Mata

Mother

Maya

illusion

Moksha

liberation, final emancipation of

the soul from the cycle of births

and deaths

Mouna

silence

Mrdanga

Indian percussive-instrument

Mukti

liberation

Nada

sound

Nada Nidhi

a treasure of sounds

Nada Yoga

the way towards realization by

listening and concentration on

sounds

Nadi

tubular organ of the subtle body

through which spiritual energy flows

Namaskara

lit.: bending forward; in general use:

prostration

Navagraha

the nine planets: Sun, Moon, Mars,

Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn,

Raghu (Dragon's head)

and Ketu (Dragon's tail)

Nirguna

without quality

Omkara

primordial sound

Padmasana

Lotus posture, sitting with crossed legs

Paduka

lit.: footwear; in general use:

sandals of a saint

Pancabhuta

the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, ether

Paramatma

the supreme, all pervading soul

Pooja

ref. puja

Pradaksina

circumbulation of an idol or a temple

clockwise, turning around clockwise

in front of an idol as part of prostration

Prakrti

nature with its quality of creation

and destruction

Prana

life force

Prasada

lit.: blessing, grace; in general use:

offering which we get back after it

has been blessed or gift given by a

holy being or after the worship is over

Pranayama

breathing exercices with the benefit

of extending the prana

Prayatna

endeavour, effort

Puja

a vedic ritual for the worship of God

Puja mandapa

temple for the Deity, the idol

which is being worshipped

Purana

literature of old stories about great souls

Purnatattva

principle of completeness

Purusa

Supreme Being, existing from the

beginning and forever

Raga

sequence of musical notes, 72

main ragas form the basis of the

Indian music system

Raja Yoga

the achievement of the union with

the universal soul by becoming the

ruler of one's mind

Raksasa

demon

Sadhaka

aspirant

Sadhana

practice, quest

Saguna

with quality

Sahasrara chakra

ref. chakra

Shakti

spiritual energy, the dynamic

element of consciousness

Shakti pata

transferring one's own spiritual

energy to another person

Samhara

destruction

Samkalpa

determination

Samsara

succession of births and deaths

Samskrit

language of the holy scripture,

the Veda

Sari

the traditional dress of Indian women

Satvic

ref. to Sattva, one of the three

qualities (gunas) constituting

nature:

Sattva - purity, goodness: Rajas -

passion, agitation: Tamas -

darkness, ignorance

Seva

service

Shiva Linga

ref. linga

Siddhi

lit.: accomplishment: in the context

of Yoga: super human power.

There are eight such powers (asta siddhis):

Anima (ability to become small), Mahima

(to become big) Garima ( to become heavy)

Laghima ( to become light), Prapti (to attain

whatever desired), Prakamya (to be present

at any place at any time), Isatva (to transcend

all human limits), Vasitva (to control the

sense organs)

Siddha purusa

a supreme being who is master of

the eight super human powers

Sisya

student, disciple

Sloka

verse

Soham

"That am I, the unconscious repetitive

prayer that goes on with every inhalation

and exhalation

Shraddha

faith, interest

Sri Chakra

commonly considered as the symbol for

Mother Goddess

Sri Chakrarcana

the outer worship (bahiraga) of Sri Chakra

Sri Vidya Upasana

the mental worship (antaryaga) of

the knowledge of Mother Goddess

Sri Yantra

a geometrical drawing symbolizing

Mother Goddess

Surya

sun

Susupti

one of the tree states of existence: Susupti - state of

dreamless sleep; Svapna - dreaming state; Jagrat -

wakeful state

Svadharma

one's personal righteous conduct

according to age, sex, position

Tapas

penance, austerity

Thirta

liquid (like water, milk) which is

distributed after having been poured

over the deity during the worship

Treta Yuga

ref. Yuga

Vairagya

dispassion, absence of worldly desires

Vastra

dress, cloth

Vidyartha

student

Veda

the sacred scriptures revealed by

the Supreme Being, adopted by the Hindus.

There are four parts: Rgveda, Yajurveda

Somaveda, Atharvaveda

Vedanta

the final part of the Veda in which the true

principle of God is described,

Veda Nidhi

a treasure of Vedas

Yantra

a geometrical drawing symbolizing a deity

Yajna

sacrifice, worship

Yajurveda

ref. Veda

Yogakendra

center of Yoga

Yogaprastha

who is best in Yoga

Yuga

epoch: According to the vedic tradition

there are four epochs: Krta Yuga -first;

Treta Yuga - second; Dvapara Yuga -third;

Kali Yuga -fourth (which is running now)

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