The Vocabulary of
Hinduism
h¹b
Beit Midrash (House of Study)
This day in Jewish History ABOUT THIS WEB SITE - THINGS YOU SHOULD PROBABLY KNOW
You will need to download and install the free Greek &
Hebrew fonts
to properly view and print from this site.
Search our Site
Bookmark and Share
If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
Hindu01.gif (2639 bytes) The Vocabulary of
Hinduism

[SOURCE] 
Hindu02.gif (1577 bytes)

See also: An Overview of Hinduism

Advaita Monism: A group who believe that the universe is essentially one in substance or being, but in an abstract way.

Agni: The Vedic god of the altar fire who mediates between the gods and men. Mentioned in the Rig Veda.

Atman: The real self, the eternal and sometimes universal life principle.

Avatar: An incarnation of deity in the form of warrior gods.

Bhagavad Gita: The “Song of the Lord,” a book of Hindu philosophy written around 200 B.C., the most well-known of all Hindu scriptures. Contains a philosophical dialogue between the warrior Arjuna and the "lord god" Krishna.

Bhakti Marga: The way of devotion to salvation.

Brahma: The creator god, the first member of the Hindu triad

Brahman: Ultimate Reality, the supreme essence of the universe; the all-pervading deity.

Brahmin: (or Brahman) A member of the priestly caste, the highest and most noble class.

Brahminical Initiation: The second initiation rite in ISKON.

Brahmins: The priestly class of Hinduism.

Chaitanya: A fifteenth century person who led in a revival of devotion to Krishna.

Dharma: The teachings of virtue and principle. A term by which Hindus refer to their own religion. Also, the “ultimate truth.”

Ganesa: The god of prudence and wisdom represented as being a short red or yellow man with an elephant's head.

Gayatri Mantra: A secret mantra to be chanted three times daily.

Hare Krishna (“Praise Krishna”): One of the names for Krishna. A mantra frequently chanted by members of ISKON, from which the group gets their common nickname. See Sankirtana.

Hanuman: The monkey god, lord of the winds. He helped Rama in battle.

Harer-Nama: An initiation in which the member is given a holy name.

Henotheistic: The act of worshipping one god without denying the existence of other gods.

Hindu: The name given this religious group after the “Indus” river.

Indra: The Vedic god of rain and thunder, originally the god of light and once considered (during the Vaidic period) as a member of the Hindu triad. Not as important today as in the past.

ISKCON: International Society for Krishna Consciousness, also known as the Hare Krishnas.

Jnana Marga: The path to salvation which follows knowledge or mystical insight.

Kali: The age of quarrel in which we now live.

Karma: An internal law of nature, independent of the decrees of God or “the gods.” The culminating value of all of one's life actions, good and bad, which together determine one’s next rebirth after death. See also Reincarnation.

Karma Marga: The path to salvation following disinterested action.

Karmi: A worldly non-member.

Krishna: The eighth or ninth incarnation of Vishnu, one of the most widely worshipped deities. Krishnaites believe Krishna is the supreme deity, incarnating as Vishnu.

Lakshmi: goddess of beauty and wealth, concubine of Krishna (and/or Vishnu). A name given money.

Mahabharata: One of the national epics of India. Contained in the Mahabharata is the famous Bhagavad Gita.

Mantra: A chant.

Maya: The world of illusion. The power that produces the transient phenomena of physical existence.

Moksha: The term for liberation from the bondage of finite existence.

Monism: The idea that the universe is essentially one in substance and being.

Pantheism: The belief that all is god and god is all.

Parvati: The goddess who is believed to be the daughter of the Himalayas. A consort of Shiva.

Prabhupada: The founder of ISKCON as we know it today.

Puranas: Part of the Hindu scriptures consisting of myths and legends mixed with historical events.

Rama: One of the incarnations of the god, Vishnu.

Ramayana: One of the national epics of India based upon the story of the good king Rama, who was purported to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu.

Rishi: First, an inspired poet or holy sage; later, any wise man.

Samsara: The cyclical transmigration or rebirth of souls passing on from one existence to another until release can be achieved. The transmigration of the soul from one level to another. See also Reincarnation.

Sanatana Dharma: The “eternal system” or name the Hindus use for themselves.

Sankirtana: The “Hare Krishna” mantra which the members chant almost constantly. This is the one we hear them chant on the streets.

Sannyasa: A renunciation stage up the ladder of ISKCON membership.

Sanskrit: The grandmother of most modern Indo-European languages.

Sarasvati: The goddess of learning, music and speech; the consort of Brahma.

Shaivas: Or, Shivaites, are devotees to the god Shiva.

Shiva: The Destroyer, a god of the Hindu triad. Because of his designation as “the Destroyer,” he is possibly Satan.

Soma: A leafless vine from Western India that yields an intoxicating juice. The personification of soma was once worshipped as a god.

Triad: The three chief gods of Hinduism, consisting of Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu.

Upanishads: Part of the Hindu sacred scriptures containing speculative treatises on the nature of ultimate reality and the way to achieve union with the absolute. The concluding portions of the Vedas.

Vaishnavas: Or, Vishnuites, are devotees of the god Vishnu.

Varuna: Hindu god, considered as ruler and guardian of the cosmic order.

Veda: (Or Vedas) The oldest of the Hindu scriptures, consisting of four collections of sacred writings.

Vedanta: A system for interpreting the Vedas.

Vishnu: The Preserver, second god of the Hindu triad.

Yoga: The Hindu path of union with the divine. Any sort of exercise (physical, mental, or spiritual) which promotes one’s journey to union with Brahma.

Yogi: A devotee of yoga.

Page last updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2016 11:19 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes after May 3, 2015 are identified as "Revisions”)