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Hindu Vocabulary
ahimsa - peace
asceticism – the ideas, beliefs and lifestyle one who shuns the pleasure of the world in an effort to pursue spiritual
artha – prosperity and economic values
atman - The soul
avatar - Name for the incarnation of a god in a different form
bhakti – extreme devotion
Brahman – the impersonal ultimate God or principle
Brahmin - The priestly caste
dharma - The idea that each person has a natural role or place in the world; also the notion of world
Ganges - The main river in India, sacred in Hinduism
guru - A teacher, particularly in Sikhism
Jainism – A religion close to Hinduism that focus on not trying to kill any living thing
jnana – knowledge or understanding—a way to moksha
kama – love, pleasure & psychological values
karma – the idea that current actions will eventually effect future actions
Mahabharata – a great Indian epic about the Pandava brothers, contained within it is the Bhagavad-Gita
mantra – sound, phrase or idea that focuses the mind
moksha - The ultimate goal one achieves when breaking out of the samsara
om - Common mantra used to focus meditation
prakriti - nature/natural order
puja - daily prayer or offering
Ramayana – Indian epic about Ram and his allies rescuing Sita from the cluthes of Ravana (a demon)
samsara – the lifecycle the atman is trapped in of birth, death, and reincarnation before achieving moksha
shakti – cosmic energy, found in om and harnessed through meditation; personified in the great mother goddess
sutra – religious text
trimurthi – triad of main Hindu Gods, Brahma (creator), Vishnu (sustainer), and Shiva (destroyer)
varna system – system of social groups based on the Vedas that Hindus are born in to; caste system
Vedas - One of a few sacred Hindu texts composed of four books
yoga - literally “the yoke” four types of this involve honing control of one’s body and mind
yuga – and epoch or an era made up of four ages, lasting billions of years