viernes, 30 de julio de 2010

Glossary - Harsh Nevatia

Glossary of Harsh Nevatia

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Adhisima Krishna: (sáns. hindú). A descendant of Parikshit. The genealogy from Parikshit is as follows – Janmajeya, Shatanik, Sahastranik, Ashwameghdutta and Adhisima Krishna.

Adi Shankaracharya: (sáns. hindú). The First Shankaracharya was one of the greatest Hindu scholars and philosophers. He was born in Kerala in 788 AD. He was a child prodigy and an exponent of the Advaita philosophy. He established the four centers of learning in the four corners of India. He gave up his life at Kedarnath at the age of 32.

Aditi: (sáns. hindú). One of the daughters of Daksha who was married to sage Kashyap. She was a virtuous woman and the mother of the Devas.

Agastya: (sáns. hindú). Agastya is credited with bringing Vedic knowledge to South India. Legend has it that he humbled the Vindhya mountain range, which divides India, on his way to the southern part of the country. He was born to sage Pulastya and Havirbhu, the daughter of Kardam and Devahuti.

Agni: (sáns. hindú). A member of the class of deities known as demi-Gods or Devas. Agni is the demi-God of fire and plays an important role in sacrifices. Hindu marriages are solemnized by the couple taking seven rounds of the sacred fire. This represents the Agni bearing witness to the seven vows of marriage.

Agnidhra: (sáns. hindú). The eldest son of Priyavrata and Barhismati who married the apsara Purvachitti in order to further his dynasty.

Akuti: (sáns. hindú). The daughter of Swayambhav Manu and Shatrupa who was married to sage Ruchi. She gave birth to Yagna and Dakshina who were the incarnations of Vishnu and Lakshmi respectively.

Alkapuri: (sáns. hindú). The capital city of the Yakshas, in the Himalayas. It is ruled by Kuber.

Ambalika: (sáns. hindú). The second wife of King Vichitraveerya, who gave birth to Pandu through Veda Vyasa after Vichitraveerya died without any issues.

Anasuya: (sáns. hindú). The daughter of Kardam and Devahuti who was married to the sage Atri. She was blessed to be the mother of Soma, Dattatreya and Durvasa, who were the incarnations of the three Supreme Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva respectively. She was revered for her fidelity and devotion to her husband. So great was her power that she turned the Supreme Gods into toddlers when they tried to tarnish her fidelity at the instigation of their consorts.

Anga: (sáns. hindú). A king in the lineage of Swayambhav Manu. He was childless for long and obtained Vena through a sacrifice. But when Vena turned out to be an evil person, Anga left his palace and was not seen again.

Apsaras: (sáns. hindú). Apsaras were celestial maidens endowed with great beauty. They were dancers in the court of Indra in Heaven. Indra often sent them to disturb the meditations of sages who he thought were becoming very powerful.

Angiras: (sáns. hindú). He was one of the sages created by Brahma. He married Shraddha. His son Brihaspati was stillborn because Shraddha had been unfaithful during her pregnancy, but he forgave her and breathed life into the dead child.

Aranyakas: (sáns. hindú). The Aranyakas is derived from the word Aranya meaning forest. This is the section of the Vedas that prescribes the practices to be followed during the Sanyasa Ashram or the renunciation stage of life. The Aranyakas provide the link between the ritualistic Brahmanas and the philosophical Upanishads.

Arci: (sáns. hindú). Prithu’s wife and an incarnation of Lakshmi. She was created from Vena’s dead body along with her husband.

Arjun: (sáns. hindú). The third Pandava, the son of Pandu and Kunti obtained through the blessings of Indra. He played a crucial role in the Mahabharata war, with Krishna as his charioteer.

Aryans: (sáns. hindú). A race that originated in Central Asia and later migrated to Europe and India according to European Indologists like Max Mueller. The Aryan migration into India was supposed to have taken place around 1500 BCE. According to this theory the Aryans destroyed the Indus valley civilizations, pushed the Dravidians to the south of India and founded the Vedic culture. This theory is now not accepted by many. The founders of the Vedic civilization are believed to be indigenous to India and not migrants. Arya in Vedic literature means noble and is used as a common term for addressing royalty.

Ashram: (sáns. hindú). The four stages of life that are Brahmacharya, Grahasta, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa.

Ashtadhyayi: (sáns. hindú). The branch of Hindu thought that deals with grammar.

Ashwamedha: (sáns. hindú). Ashwamedha or Horse Sacrifice was conducted by kings to exert their superiority over neighboring kingdoms. The chosen horse was left free to roam wherever he chose with the king’s army following it. When the horse entered the realm of another king that king could either accept a position of subjugation or challenge the army. Very powerful kings conducted the sacrifice so in practice very few challenged the horse.

Ashwathama: (sáns. hindú). The son of sage Drona, who fought alongside Duryodhana in the Mahabharata War. He was one of the few survivors of the war.

Asuras: (sáns. hindú). The collective name for the several classes of demons. The Asuras were generally evil and were in incessant battle with the Devas, because the Asuras coveted the kingdom of Heaven. Whenever there was a new Asura king, he invaded Heaven sure that victory would be his. But the Asuras always lost in the end.

Atharva Veda: (sáns. hindú). The latest of the Vedas named after Atharvan, who is credited with the discovery of fire. The Atharva Veda is an amalgamation of the primitive religion that predated Vedic thought and the philosophy of the earlier Vedas.

Atri: (sáns. hindú). A sage created by Brahms from his eyes. Atri married Anasuya, the daughter of Kardam and Devahuti. He was blessed to be the father of Soma, Dattatreya and Durvasa, who were the incarnations of the three Supreme Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva respectively.

Avantika: (sáns. hindú). The ancient name of the present city of Ujjain, in central India.

Avatar: (sáns. hindú). Avatar means incarnation. In Hinduism the formless Supreme God takes human and animal forms from time to time and descends on earth to vanquish evil. These forms are known as avatars.

Aushiniri: (sáns. hindú). The wife of King Pururava. It is said that she was barren and therefore Pururava’s lineage continued through his mistress, Urvashi.

Ayurveda: (sáns. hindú). The branch of Hindu thought that deals with medicine. The focus is on preventive action rather than curative action.


Badrinath: (sáns. hindú). One of the holiest places of pilgrimage for Hindus, Badrinath is situated in Uttarakhand in the Garhwal Himalayas between the Nara and Narayan ranges on the banks of the River Alaknanda which is one of the many rivers that combine to form the Ganga. A stone idol of Lord Badrinath was found in the river Alaknanda and is enshrined in the temple in Badrinath.

Bahuka: (sáns. hindú). The dark dwarf who emerged from the dead Vena’s thighs. He contained all the evil in Vena. Bahuka was the progenitor of the Nishada race.

Barhishmati: (sáns. hindú). The capital of Emperor Swayambhav Manu. When Vishnu in his Varaha avatar shook his body his hair fell on the earth. Barhishmati was founded on that spot. The hair turned into kusha grass, which is a special grass used in religious rituals.

Barhismati: (sáns. hindú). The daughter of Viswakarma, the architect for the Devas, who married Priyavrata, the son of Swayambhav Manu.

Bhagavad Gita: (sáns. hindú). One of the three holiest scriptures of Hinduism. The Bhagavad Gita is a part of the Mahabharata and details the sermon given by Krishna to Arjun on the battlefield. Through this sermon Krishna elucidated the tenets of right living.

Bhagavata Purana: (sáns. hindú). The most important Purana and considered by many as the holiest of the scriptures. It focuses on the Krishna avatar. It was written by Vyasa. The Bhagavata Purana eases the fear of death. It was narrated by Sukhdev to King Parikshit, after the latter was cursed to die in a week's time.

Bharat: (sáns. hindú). A king of the lunar dynasty after whom India derives its original name.

Bhargava: (sáns. hindú). The generic name for the descendants of sage Bhrigu.

Bhim: (sáns. hindú). The second Pandava, the son of Pandu and Kunti obtained through the blessings of Pavan Deva, The wind demi-God.

Bhimarathi: (sáns. hindú). The holy river that has its source at Bhimashankar. According to legend it was formed from the sweat of Shiva when he sat down to rest at Bhimashankar after slaying Tripura.

Bhimashankar: (sáns. hindú). One of the twelve Jyotirlingas, or ancient temples dedicated to Shiva. It is situated in Maharashtra on the site where Shiva slew the demon Tripura. Shiva, also known as Shankar, had appeared in his gigantic or ‘bhima’ avatar and hence the shrine is known as Bhimashankar.

Bhramaramba: (sáns. hindú). Bhramar is a bee and Amba is another name for Durga. Bhramaramba is the form of the bee taken by Durga to worship Shiva at Shri Sailam.

Bhrami: (sáns. hindú). The daughter of Prajapati Sisumara and the wife of Dhruv. Her sons were Kalpa and Vatsara, who succeeded his father.

Bindu Sarovar: (sáns. hindú). A lake situated in present day Gujarat, once lay on the course of the river Saraswati. It was called Bindu Sarovar, meaning Lake of Drops, because tears of Vishnu are believed to have fallen in this lake. Along its shore were the ashrams of sage Kardam and his son Kapila.

Brahm: (sáns. hindú). The ultimate reality or the universal consciousness or the essence of everything. God in the state of being without form or characteristics.

Brahma: (sáns. hindú). One of the three main manifestations of the One Supreme God. Brahma is responsible for the functions of Creation in mythology.

Brahmacharya: (sáns. hindú). The first life-stage or “ashram” according to Hindu scriptures. The person is expected to focus on his education during this stage and is expected to live a celibate life.

Brahmaloka: (sáns. hindú). The heavenly abode of Brahma.

Brahmanas: (sáns. hindú). The second part of the Vedas, the Brahmanas lay out the precepts, rituals and religious duties. They are said to be the work of priests.

Brahmaputra: (sáns. hindú). A river having its source in the Mansarovar Lake in present day Tibet and flowing south east to the Bay of Bengal. It shares its delta with the Ganga. Brahmaputra literally means ‘Son of Brahma’.

Brahmavaivarta Purana: (sáns. hindú). One of the eighteen major Puranas. It is especially known for the exposition of the tales of Krishna and Radha.

Brahmin: (sáns. hindú). The priestly race according to the Vedic classification of society.

Braj: (sáns. hindú) . The region in which Krishna spent his childhood consisting of Mathura and the surrounding villages of Gokul, Vrindavan, Barsana and others.

Brihaspati: (sáns. hindú). Brihaspati was the preceptor of the demi-Gods. He was the son of Angiras and Shraddha. He was stillborn because Shraddha had been unfaithful during her pregnancy but was given life by Angiras.

Brihaspati had three wives Shubha, Tara and Mamata. In astrology Brihaspati is the Hindu name for the planet Jupiter.

Buddh: (sáns. hindú). The son of Soma through Tara. Tara was the wife of sage Brihaspati who was abducted by Soma. Buddh married Ila and sired Pururava the founder of the Lunar dynasty. In astrology Buddh is the Hindu name for the planet Mercury.


Chiranjeevis: (sáns. hindú). The persons from Hindu mythology who are immortal and will live till the world is destroyed at the end of Kaliyuga. Parashurama and Hanuman are two of the chiranjeevis.


Dadheechi: (sáns. hindú). One of the ancient sages of India who sacrificed his life so that the Devas could use his bones to make weapons from them, which would make them invincible against the Asuras. It is said that Indra’s mace is made from the thighbone of Dadheechi.

Daksha: (sáns. hindú). Created by Brahma from his thumb. Daksha plays a major role in Hindu mythology. He married Prasuti and their daughter Sati, married Shiva against his wishes. This ultimately led to Sati immolating herself and Shiva cutting off Daksha’s head and later replacing it with a goat’s head. Later Daksha had to live a life as a mortal. He was born to the Prachetas and Marisha. In that life thirteen of his daughters were married to sage Kashyap and were the mothers of many non-human races including the Devas and Asuras.

Dakshina: (sáns. hindú). The daughter of Akuti and Ruchi who was an incarnation of Lakshmi. She was married to Yagna who was an incarnation of Vishnu. Dakshina literally means Honorarium.

Dattatreya: (sáns. hindú). An avatar of Vishnu born to the sage Atri and Anasuya. The name means given to Atri. He is depicted as having three heads and four arms. Prahlad was his most famous disciple.

Demi-Gods: (sáns. hindú). The Devas.

Demons: (sáns. hindú). The Asuras.

Devahuti: (sáns. hindú). The daughter of Swayambhav Manu and Shatrupa who was married to sage Kardam. She was the mother of sage Kapila, who was an avatar of Vishnu.

Devas: (sáns. hindú). In the Riga Veda, the Devas were the pagan Gods representing the forces of nature. As Hinduism evolved to a monotheistic philosophy the Devas were relegated to the status of demi-Gods. They retained their functionality but not their supreme power. Their king and leader was Indra and their kingdom was heaven (which is not to be confused with the conception of heaven in Christianity).

Dhanavantri: (sáns. hindú). He is the divine physician and ranked as a demi-God. He emerged from the churning of the ocean carrying the pitcher of nectar of immortality. Ayurveda, the Hindu form of medicine, is his boon to humanity.

Dharma: (sáns. hindú). A member of the class of deities known as demi-Gods or Devas. Dharma is the demi-God of justice.

Dhruv: (sáns. hindú). The son of Uttanapada and Suniti, he was forsaken by his father and ridiculed by his stepmother. At the age of five he undertook deep penance and compelled Vishnu to appear before him and bless him. He succeeded his father and ruled for thirty-six thousand years. After his ascension he was made the pole star as a tribute to his unwavering devotion.

Diti: (sáns. hindú) . One of the daughters of Daksha who was married to sage Kashyap. She was a shrewish woman and extremely jealous of her sister Aditi. Diti was the mother of the Asuras.

Draupadi: (sáns. hindú). The daughter of King Drupad of Panchal, who was born fully grown in a sacrifice conducted by Drupad. Arjun won her hand in marriage by completing the assigned feat in her swayamvar, but Draupadi married all five Pandava brothers.

Dravidians: (sáns. hindú). As per the early European Indologists the Dravidians were the inhabitants of India before the Aryan migration. With the doubts now being raised on the Aryan Invasion Theory, the classification into Aryans and Dravidians is also being doubted.

Durga: (sáns. hindú). An incarnation of Parvati assumed for the purpose of killing the demon Mahishasura, who had been given a boon that no male could kill him. It is believed that Lakshmi and Saraswati also contributed to the making of Durga.

Durvasa: (sáns. hindú). A hotheaded and much freared sage who appears often in Hindu mythology putting curses on people for little or no reason. He was the incarnation of Shiva born to the sage Atri and Anasuya.

Duryodhan: (sáns. hindú). The eldest son of Dhritrashtra and the leader of the Kauravas in the Mahabharata War.

Dushyant: (sáns. hindú). A king in the Lunar Dynasty and the father of King Bharat after whom India is named. He was the ancestor of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. His romance with Shakuntala has been immortalized by Kalidas.

Dvarka: (sáns. hindú). The city from which Krishna ruled during Krishna avatar located on the west coast of India. Krishna asked the sea to recede and release some land on which he built the city of Dwarka. At the end of Krishna avatar, Dwarka was again submerged into the sea. Excavations in the ocean bed off the coast of modern Dwarka have revealed artifacts dating back 5000 years to the period of Krishna avatar.


Gdanta: (sáns. hindú). Literally meaning "one tooth", it is another name for Ganesh because he had only one tusk.

ic Period: (sáns. hindú). The period after the Vedic period in which the Epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, and the Puranas gained prominence as popular scriptures.

Gandharvas: (sáns. hindú). A class of immortals who were singers and musicians. They lived with the Apsaras.

Ganesh: (sáns. hindú). The elephant headed deity who is the younger son of Shiva and Parvati.

Ganga: (sáns. hindú). The main river of India having its source at Gangotri in the Himalayas and flowing southeast to the Bay of Bengal. The waters of the Ganga have the power of washing away the sins and hence people flock to bathe in the river on auspicious occasions. The ashes of the deceased are also immersed in the river Ganga. Ganga is also the deity (Goddess) of the river.

Ganga Sagara: (sáns. hindú). The place where Kapila established his ashram. It is where the River Ganga enters the ocean.

Gangotri: (sáns. hindú). The source of the Ganga in the Garhwal Himalayas

Garbhagriha: (sáns. hindú). The sanctum sanctorum of a temple where the deity is placed. Literally garbhagriha means the womb like room.

Garuda: (sáns. hindú). A deity with the body of a man and the face and wings of an eagle. He is the son of sage Kashyap and Vinita and is the king of the birds. Garuda is the vahan of Vishnu.

Gushmeshwar: (sáns. hindú). Another name for the Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga. A devotee named Ghushma did not falter in her prayers to Shiva, even though she was told that her son was killed. She had complete belief that Shiva would restore her son to her. Because of her unflinching faith this shrine is also known as Ghushmeshwar.

Goloka: (sáns. hindú). The heavenly abode of Krishna.

Gopuram: (sáns. hindú). A rising tower like structure at the entrance of temples in south India, which is intricately decorated with painted carvings and sculpture.

Grihasta: (sáns. hindú). The second life-stage or “ashram” according to Hindu scriptures. The person lives a complete family life that includes the pleasures of marriage, the raising of children and enjoyment of material comforts with the family.

Grishneshwar: (sáns. hindú). One of the twelve Jyotirlingas, or ancient temples dedicated to Shiva. It is situated in Maharashtra on the site where Parvati created a lingam while she preparing sindur by rubbing vermilion powder under her thumb. The name Grishneshwar derives from “grishna” the Hindi word for friction. Later Ghushma an ardent devotee of Shiva worshipped there, therefore this Jyotirlinga is Ghushmeshwar.

This is the 12th of the "12 Jyotirlangas" in India. The following stotra details @ all the "12 Jyotirlangas".





One of the 12 Jyotir linga temples

“Blessed by VerulNagar, there is no other place like it on this earth, where Lord Grishneswara resides, the best palce on this earth.” – Madhwamunishwar

On this holy pilgrimage of the JyotirLingas of Lord Shankara, the last one, with out which the pilgrimage will not be considered as complete, is the twelfth JyotirLinga, of Grishneshwar.

About 30 km towards the west side of Aurangabad, there is a village called Verul. In this village there is a place of pilgrimage called Shivalay, when the great Holy Trilinga of Ghrishneshwar is located. The stories associated with Verul, Shivalay and Ghrishneswar are like this:

This was originally a settlement of the Naga tribes. The place of the Nagas is Bambi, which is known as “Varul” in Marathi “Varul” gradually changed into “Verul” and is known by this name only. River Yelaganga flows here. The name “Verul” is derived from Yelaganga, on whose banks the village is located. There was a king by the name “Yela” here. The capital of his kingdom was Yelapar, or Yelur or Verul.

Sthala purana of Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga

Once the king went hunting. While hunting, the king killed the animals living with the Rishis and munis too. Seeing this, the irate Saints cursed the king, as a result of which, his entire body was infested with insects.

Now, smitten by this curse, the king began to wander in the forest. His throat was parched because he was very thirsty. There was, alas, no water to be found anywhere. At last he found a water hole made by the hooves of a horse. Just as the king started to drink water a miracle occurred. The king’s body was rid of all the insects. The king did severe penance (Tapa) there. Lord Brahma was pleased and appeared before him and installed Parashta Teerth there. He also created a huge and holy lake near by.

This Brahma sarovar later came to be known as Shivalay.

There is a story about Shivalay also:

Once Shiva and Parvati were playing chess on Mount Kailasa. Paravti checkmated Shiva. Shankara played to be angry at this and went away southward. He went and stayed at a place on the Sahyadri range, where there is cool breeze. This place was given the name of Maheshamauli Bhainsmal. Parvati came there looking for Shankar. She won the heart of Shiva in the form of a hill mountain tribal girl. They both spent some time there happily.

This forest came to be known as Kamyakavana. Lord Mahesha forbade crows from entering the area of Maheshamouli or Bhainsmal. One day, Paravti was very thirsty. Shankara pierced earth with his trident and got the water of Bhogavati from the Patal (Nether world). This is the Shivalay.

The Shivalay expands a little ahead where Shivanadi (Shivanand) meets it and a little more further, Yelaganga also flows just near it. When Shiva and Parvati were staying here pleasently, a hunter by the name Sudhanwa came there looking for a prey. A miracle happened and Sudhanwa turned into a woman. At this he did a severe Tapa there. Shankara was pleased and appeared. Actually, Sudhanwa was a woman by birth in his previous life. Thus, Shankara from that very curse of becoming a woman turned Sudhanwa into Yelaganga river. Thus, Punya Sarita Yelaganga was born in the Kamyawana. Later, it was to become the bathing place called Dhara Teerth or ‘Sita’s Snangriha’ and flow from a higher place and goes through Verul village.

Once Parvati, was about to fill her hair parting with vermillion and saffron, in Kamyavana. She kept them in her left palm and mixed the water of Shivalay in it. With the right thumb she started mixing them both. Then a miracle occurred, vermillion turned into a ShivaLinga and a great light appeared in it. Parvati was awe struck at this. Then Lord Shankara said: “This Linga was hidden in the Patala.” And removed it with his trident.

Then a bubble emerged from the earth with water (Kashikhand).

Parvati kept that glorious light in stone Linga and installed it there. This Purna (complete) JyotirLinga is called Kunkumeshwar. But since Dakshayani created this Linga with the function of her thumb. She gave it the name of Grishneshwara (Grishna means friction).

On the southern mountain called Deva Parvata, a great scholar Brahmin Sudhama of Bharadwaja gotra, used to live with his beautiful, devout wife called Sudeha. They had no children. They were very unhappy because of this. They were harassed and tortured by the sly remarks of their neighbours. But Sudhama, an intelligent person, did not care about these. One day, Sudeha threatened to commit suicide and sister Dushma, married her husband. Both of them promised that there would be no jealousy between them.

After sometime, Dushma gave birth to a son. And eventually even that son married. Both Sudhama and Dushma, were nice to Sudeha. But jealousy did get the better of Sudeha. Once she picked up Dushma’s son who was sleeping by her side and killed him. She threw the body into the lake near by.

In the morning there was a big hue and cry. Dushma’s grief knew no bounds. Even then, she went to the river to do her routine worship. She made her usual hundred Lingas and began worship she saw her son standing near the lake. Shiva was pleased with her worship and revealed the truth about Sudhas forgiveness of Sudha’s sin. She indeed requested Shiva to remain there itself for the welfare of the humanity.

Shiva acceded to her request and remained there with the name of Dhushamesha.

History of the Grishneshvar Temple

The very devout Shiva devotee, Bhosale (The Patel or chief of Verul) once found a treasure hidden in the snake pit (ant hill) by the grace of Lord Grishneshwar. He spent that money to renovate the temple and built a lake in Shikharshinganapur.

Later on, Goutamibal (Bayajabai) and Ahilyadevi Holkar renovated the Grishneshwar temple. This 240ft x 185 ft temple is still there strong and beautiful as ever. Halfway up the temple, Dashavataras are carved in red stone. These are beautiful to look at. There are also other beautiful statutes carved out. A court hall is built on 24 pillars. On these pillars there are wonderful carvings. The scenes and paintings are beautiful. The Garbhagriha measures 17ft x 17 ft. The Lingamurty faces eastward. There is a gorgeous Nandikeshwara in the court hall.

Wikipedia article:
Category: temple

Gyanavapi: (sáns. hindú). A river in the Bindu Sarovar region formed from the body of Devahuti when she attained salvation. Gyanavapi translates as a river of knowledge and it is because of the knowledge on Sankhya Yoga imparted by Kapila to Devahuti that this river was formed. Demi-Gods and sages bathe in this river for instant purification.


Hanuman: (sáns. hindú). The monkey deity was son of the Anjani and Kesari. He is revered as the greatest devotee of Rama and played an instrumental role in Rama’s war against Ravana.

Haridwar: (sáns. hindú). Literally “The Gate to God”, Haridwar lie on the banks of the Ganga at the foothills of the Himalayas. The pilgrimage to the four shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamnotri and Gangotri starts from Haridwar.

Harivamsa: (sáns. hindú). Literally meaning the Family of Hari (an epithet of Krishna) this is classified as a Itihasa or history. As its name suggests, it dwells on the life of Krishna.

Hastinapura: (sáns. hindú). The capital city of the kings of the Lunar dynasty at the time of the Mahabharata War.

Havirdhana: (sáns. hindú). The son of Vijitashwa and grandson of Prithu through whom the lineage continued.

Hindu: (sáns. hindú). A name given by those to the west of the Indus to those living to the east of the Indus. The word is from Indus or Sindhu. Gradually the area bounded by the rivers Indus and Brahmaputra in the north and the triad of seas (the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal) in the south became the homeland of the Hindus.

Hinduism: (sáns. hindú). The religion, philosophy, culture and in general the way of life of the people living to the east of the Indus that originated in the Vedic period. It was a name coined by the Persians from the river Sindhu (Indus).

Holism: (sáns. hindú). The theory that the parts of any whole cannot exist and cannot be understood except in their relation to the whole. Holism holds that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Hinduism propounds a holistic view of life that includes religion, philosophy, mythology, culture, health, sociology, governance, science, warfare and a lot more.


Ila: (sáns. hindú). Ila was the daughter Vaivasvata Manu. Vaivasvata had organized a sacrifice to obtain a son, but his wife prayed for a daughter and Ila was born. But at Vaivasvata’s request Ila was transformed into a boy, Sudyumna. One day Sudyumna entered a forest forbidden to males and was transformed into Ila again. Buddh, the son of Soma, married Ila and their son Pururava founded the Lunar dynasty.

Indra: (sáns. hindú). King of the Devas (demi-Gods) and deity of thunder.

Indus: (sáns. hindú). A river having its source in the Mansarovar Lake in present day Tibet and flowing south west to the Bay of Bengal. It was the westernmost of the seven rivers mentioned in the Vedas.

Itihasas: (sáns. hindú). Translated as histories these are the scroptures of the Epic Period. There are four Itihasas - the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Yogavashishtha and the Harivamsa.


Jamadagni: (sáns. hindú). A reknowned sage and the earthly father of Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu.

Jambudvipa: (sáns. hindú). The continent on earth where all the events mentioned in Hindu scriptures happened.

Jiv Atma: (sáns. hindú). Jiv Atma, sometimes referred to as Atma, is the individual soul, which is in reality the Param Atma but is viewed as distinct because of Prakriti.

Jyotirlingas: (sáns. hindú). The twelve ancient temples dedicated to Shiva, where it is believed that the spiritually enlightened can perceive the linga as a column of light. These shrines are Somnath, Shri Sailam, Mahakaleshwar, Omkareshwar, Kedarnath, Bhimashankar, Varanasi, Tryambakeshwar, Vaidyanath, Nageshwar, Rameshwaram and Grishneshwar.


De Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre

Templo de Kedarnath, el jyotirlinga situado más al norte de la India.

Un jyotirlinga es un templo donde el dios del hinduismo Shiva es adorado en la forma de un "jyotirlingam" o "lingam de luz". Hay doce jyotirlingas tradicionales en la India. Los nombres y la localización de estos lugares sagrados se hallan en el Shiva purana, en el "Shatarudra Samhita". La leyenda dice que si uno recita los nombres de los doce jyotirlingas se libra de los pecados.

Cuenta la leyenda que Shiva se apareció como un jyotirlingam para resolver un conflicto entre Brahma y Visnú, quienes estaban luchando para tratar de averiguar quién era más poderoso. Shiva apareció en forma de una columna de luz deslumbradora y les pidió a Brahma y a Visnú que encontrasen el final de esa columna. Ninguno de los dos la encontró, pero Brahma fue engañado por la flor del ketaki (Pandanus fascicularis) o Pandanus odoratissimus, que le dijo que el propio Shiva la había colocado en la cima de la columna. Shiva se molestó tanto que maldijo la flor y ésta nunca más sirvió como ofrenda a este dios. También maldijo a Brahma, que en adelante sólo tendría un templo en su honor en Pushkar.

[editar] Los doce jyotirlingas

Templo de Somnath, en la costa occidental de Gujarat, donde se adora a Shiva como dios de la Luna.
  • Somnath: es el más importante de los doce santuarios Jyotirlinga de Shivá. Está situado en Saurashtra, en el estado de Guyarat. Destruido y reconstruido doce veces. Es el templo de Shiva con la luna en la cabeza, como dios de la Luna.
  • Srisailam, también llamado Mallikarjuna: situado en una colina sobre el río Krishná, cerca de Kurnool en Andhra Pradesh, es un templo muy antiguo. Aquí compuso Adi Shankara su Sivananda Lahiri. Está dedicado a Mallikarjuna Swamy y a Bhramaramba. En este templo, todos los visitantes pueden tocar a la deidad. Se dice que Durga había adorado a Shiva en este lugar en forma de abeja.
  • Mahakaleshwar: situado en la ciudad de Ujjain, en el estado de Madhya Pradesh. Se dice que un demonio llamado Dushana apareció en este lugar y atormentó a la población hasta que Shiva se presentó y permaneció aquí como Mahakalesshwar Jyotirlinga.
  • Nageshwar: situado en la ciudad de Dwarka, en Guyarat. Se dice que aquí Shiva derrotó a un demonio llamado Daruka, que había encarcelado a todos sus devotos.
  • Omkareshwar: situado en Madhya Pradesh, en una isla del río Narmada.
Templo de Omkareshwar, en una isla con forma de om.
  • Kedarnath: situado en el estado de Uttaranchal, es el santuario situado más al norte. Sólo es accesible a pie y sólo seis meses al año, pues el resto del tiempo está aislado por la nieve, ya que se encuentra a una altitud de 3.584 m, en el nacimiento del río Mandakini.
  • Bhimashankar: situado en el estado de Maharashtra. Según la leyenda, en este lugar Shivá asesinó al demonio Tripurasura. El templo está en el origen del río Bhima. Se dice que Shiva se instaló en la cresta de las colinas cercanas, que adoptó la forma de Bhima y que su sudor dio origen al río.
  • Kashi Vishwanath: este templo es uno de los más famosos. Se encuentra a orillas del río Ganges, en la ciudad de Benarés (en el estado de Uttar Pradesh). Se dice que aquí es donde vive Shiva. En el lugar sagrado hay un lingam hecho de piedra negra sobre un altar cuadrado de plata. El lugar es pequeño, pero está rodeado de numerosos templos subsidiarios.
  • Trimbakeshwar: situado cerca de Nashik en Maharashtra, está asociado al origen del río Godavari. El lingam está cubierto generalmente con una máscara de plata dentro de una corriente agua.
  • Ramanatha Swami, Rameshwara o Ramalingeswarar: este templo está en la ciudad de Rameswaram, en Tamil Nadu, y es el Jyotirlinga situado más al sur de la India. Está asociado al regreso victorioso de Rama de Sri Lanka. Hay en el templo 22 fuentes sagradas de aguas consideradas medicinales.
  • Grishneshwar: está situado en Daulatabad, cerca de Aurangabad, en Maharashtra, no muy lejos de los templos excavados en la roca de Ellora. La leyenda cuenta que una mujer que adoraba a Shiva sumergió un lingam en un estanque y su hijo, que estaba muerto, se apareció milagrosamente en el agua.
  • Vaidyanath: se encuentra en la ciudad de Deoghar, en el estado de Jharkhand, al este de la India. está asociado al arrepentimiento del demonio Ravana.

Hay otros dos templos fuera de la India que han sido declarados joytirlingas por los devotos, uno en la isla Mauricio, en Ganga Talao, y otro en Sydney, Australia.

[editar] Enlaces externos

Imágenes de Jyotirlingas


194 × 250 - 12 Jyotirlinga. Click picture to ZOOM


400 × 430 - Recent Update : We have added videos of Few Jyotirlingas- we will be ...


288 × 205 - ... it also happens to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.

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Kadamba: (sáns. hindú). A sacred species of tree that grows in abundance in Madhuban. It is a leafy tree with yellow puffball flowers and a sweet scent. Many incidents in the life of Krishna are associated with the Kadamba tree. It is the tree under which Dhruv performed his penance. Its botanical name is Anthocephalus cadamba and Nauclea cadamba of the Rubiaceae family.

Kaikasi: (sáns. hindú). Kaikasi was the daughter of Sumali, who was from the royal family of Asuras that ruled Lanka before they were deposed by the Devas. He sent Kaikasi to lure Vishrava; fully aware that Vishrava’s son would be powerful enough to defeat the Devas. Kaikasi did as she was told and thus gave birth to Ravana.

Kailash: (sáns. hindú). The mountain next to Lake Mansarovar, in present day Tibet, which is the permanent home of Shiva.

Kaithaba: (sáns. hindú). One of the two demons arising from the wax of Vishnu. Both were killed by Vishnu and the fat from their bodies used to create the earth.

Kalidas: (sáns. hindú). Kalidas is one of India’s most famous playwrights, writing in Sanskrit in the 4th century A.D. in the court of King Chandragupta Vikramaditya. His play Vikramorvasiyam centers on the romance of the apsara (celestial maiden) Urvashi and King Pururava. His most famous work is Abhigyan Shakuntalam.

Kaliya: (sáns. hindú). A thousand-headed serpent named who lived in and poisoned the Yamuna River. He was evicted from there by Krishna.

The yet to come 10th avatar of Vishnu, who will appear at the end of Kaliyuga and destroy the world because it will become beyond redemption. Then the process of Creation will stat afresh.

Kalki Purana: (sáns. hindú). One of the minor Puranas that describe the yet to come Kalki incarnation.

Kama: (sáns. hindú). the demi-God of love and the husband of Rati.

Kama Sutra: (sáns. hindú). An ancient text on human sexual behavior written by Vatsyayana in about the 4th century AD. Kama means sexuality and Sutra means thread.

Kapila: (sáns. hindú). An avatar of Vishnu who was born to sage Kapila and Devahuti. He gave the wisdom of Sankhya Philosophy to the world.

A sage created by Brahma from his shadow. He was married to Devahuti and was the father of Kapila, who was an avatar of Vishnu.

Karna: (sáns. hindú). The eldest son of Kunti born through the Sun demi-God before her marriage to Pandu. He was abondoned at birth and later befriended by Duryodhana. He fought against his brothers, the Pandavas, in the Mahabharata war and was killed by Arjun.

Kartikeya: (sáns. hindú). The elder son of Shiva and Parvati. He is the leader of the army of the Devas. He is immensely popular in South India where he is worshipped as Murugan.

Kashyap: (sáns. hindú). Kashyap was created by sage Marichi using his mental powers. Marichi was likewise created by Brahma. Kashyap married thirteen daughters of Daksha, through whom he sired the Devas, Asuras and other races of celectial beings.

Kauravas: (sáns. hindú). The sons of Dhritarashtra, headed by Duryodhan, who fought againtst their cousins, the Pandavas, in the Mahabharata War.

Kedarnath: (sáns. hindú). The northernmost of the twelve Jyotirlingas, or ancient temples dedicated to Shiva, situated on the Kedar Hill in the Himalayas. Its name implies Lord of Kedar. It was here that the Pandavas prayed to Shiva to absolve them of the sins of killing their relatives in the Mahabharata War.

Kimpurushas: (sáns. hindú). A race with human heads and horse bodies, who generally are seen to be accompanying Kuber. In modern context Kimpurusha refers to a person of low and mixed caste.

Kinnaras: (sáns. hindú). A race with human bodies and horse heads. They are musicians who generally are seen to be accompanying Kuber. In modern context Kinnara refers to a caste whose occupation is singing and dancing. Eunuchs are also referred to as Kinnaras.

Krishna: (sán. vaiëòava). Krishna was the eight of the ten renowned avatars of Vishnu. He spent his childhood in Vrindavan in the community of cowherds. His antics as a child and his romance with his eternal consort Radha are a hallmark of this period of his life. Later he guided the Pandavas to victory in the Mahabharata War, where he recited the Bhagavad Gita to Arjun. The last period of his life was spent in Dwarka. After completing his mission on earth he gave up his mortal form and returned to his divine state.

The birth name of Veda Vyasa. Krishna because he was dark and Dwaipayana because he was born on an island.

Kshatriya: (sáns. hindú). The warrior race or the nobility according to the Vedic classification of society.

He was the son of Vishrava and Ilavida and the stepbrother of Ravana. Kuber was the king of the Yakshas and the guardian of the treasures of the Devas. For this the Devas made the King of Lanka after removing the Asuras from there. Later Ravana deposed him and became the King of Lanka.

Ravana’s younger brother who was gigantic in size. Though he did not always agree with Ravana, he followed his elder brother’s bidding without question. He was killed by Rama. The first wife of Pandu and mother to Yudhishthir, Bhim and Arjun.

Kurukshetra: (sáns. hindú). The battlefield on which the Mahabharata war was fought.


Lakshmi: (sáns. hindú). The consort of Vishnu and the Goddess of prosperity. She is worshipped on the occasion of Diwali. It is said that she arose from the oceans when it was being churned by the Devas and Asuras.

Lomaharshana: (sáns. hindú). The disciple of sage Vyasa who heard the Pranas from kim and spread them to the other sages. "Loma" means hair and "harshana" means to thrill. Lomaharshans was given this name because he narrated the Puranas in a hair raising manner.

Lunar Dynasty: (sán. vaiëòava). Pururava, the grandson of Soma, the Moon demi-God, was the founder of the Lunar dynasty. His wife, Aushiniri, was barren and the lineage continued through his son from his mistress, Urvashi. Shibi, Kuru, Yayati, Puru, Dushyant and Bharat (after whom India derives its original name) were all great kings of the lunar dynasty. The cousins of the Mahabharata war were also from this lineage. After the Mahabharata war Yudhishthir ascended the throne. Parikshit, Arjun’s grandson, succeeded Yudhishthir and the lineage continued through his son Janmajeya.


Madhu: (sáns. hindú). One of the two demons arising from the wax of Vishnu. Both were killed by Vishnu and the fat from their bodies used to create the earth. A grove in the region of Braj on the banks of the River Yamuna, where the Supreme God permanently resides. Madhuban became famous during the Krishna avatar when it was the chosen place for the dance of Krishna and the gopis of Vrindavan and the liaisons of Krishna and Radha. The great 18 day war between the Pandavas and their cousins the Kauravas. Krishna sided with the Pandavas because their cause was right and ensured their victory. The epic written by Veda Vyasa that describes the events leading to the war, the war itself and the aftermath of the war. It is the longest epic in the world.

Mahakaleshwar: (sáns. hindú). Oneof the twelve Jyotirlingas, or ancient temples dedicated to Shiva, situated in the ancient city of Ujjain. Mahakaleshwar is the avatar of Shiva as the Lord of Time and Death. Shiva once defeated the enemies of the King of Ujjain and thereafter took up permanent residence in the city.

Mandakini: (sáns. hindú). Mandakini is one of the rivers that arise in the Himalayas and ultimately joins other streams to form the Ganga. Its source is the Charabari glacier near Kedarnath. It is fed by the Vasukiganga and then joins the Alaknanda. Alaknanda then joins the Bhagirathi River to form the Ganga.

Mallikarjuna: (sáns. hindú). Another name for the Shri Sailam Jyotirlinga because it is believed that both Parvati (Mallika) and Shiva (Arjun) reside there.

Mansarovar: (sáns. hindú). Lying in modern day Tibet, Mansarovar is the highest lake in the world. The name literally means "Lake of the Mind", which is apt because it was created by Brahma using his mental powers. To the north of the lake is Mount Kailas, which is the abode of Shiva and Parvati. The river Sindhu (Indus) flows westward from the lake and the river Brahmaputra flows eastward thereby pertitioning the Indian subcontinent from the rest of the world.

Manu: (sáns. hindú). There are many Manus in Hindu mythology. The most common one is Svayambhava Manu who was created by Brahma as the first human and is the progenitor of the human race. Manu married Shatrupa and had three daughters and two sons whose descendents populated the earth.

Marichi: (sáns. hindú). A sage created by Brahms from his mind. Marichi married Kala, the daughter of Kardam and Devahuti. He was the father of sage Kashyap and the maternal grandfather of the Ganga.

Marisha: (sáns. hindú). The daughter of the apsara Pramlocha and sage Kandu, who married the Prachetas and gave birth to Daksha.

Meru: (sán. vaiëòava). A sacred mountain believed to be the center of the earth. It is the abode of Brahma. Meru is 450,000 km high and is in Jambudvipa, which is named as one of the continents in Hindu mythology. An early Vedic deity, who lost importance in later years.

The alluring woman who duped the demons with her beauty and gave the nectar of immortality to the demi-Gods. She is an avatar of Vishnu. Vishnu again assumed to form of Mohini to kill the demon Bhasmasura. The famous classical Indian dance form Mohini-Attam is based on the dance duel between Mohini and Bhasmasura. Lord Ayappa who is worshipped in South India was born from the union of Shiva with Mohini.

The belief that there exists one single basic entity and that the plurality we observe is a manifestation of that single entity.

One of the central beliefs of Hinduism is that there is one God who is without characteristic or form.

Murti: (sáns. hindú). One of the daughters of Daksha and Prasuti who was married to Dharma. She gave birth to the sages Nara and Narayan, who were an incarnation of Vishnu.


Nabhi: (sáns. hindú). The eldest son of Agnidhra and Purvachitti, the apsara.

Nagas: (sáns. hindú). A race of serpent people who can, at will, assume the form of humans and snakes. They live in Patala, which is one of the layers of the underworld. They are the guardians of the waterways.

Nagchandreshwar: (sáns. hindú). Nagchandreshwar is the avatar of Shiva with the serpents (naga) around his neck and the moon (chandra) in his matted locks.

Nageshwar: (sáns. hindú). One of the twelve Jyotirlingas, or ancient temples dedicated to Shiva, situated near the holy city of Dwarka. Nageshwar is the avatar of Shiva as the Lord of the Cobras. Shiva defeated the demon Daruka to save his devotee Supriya.

Nagpanchami: (sáns. hindú). This festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the bright half (Shukla paksha) of the Hindu month of Sravana. Snakes are worshipped in various ways on this day.

Naimisharanya: (sáns. hindú). The forest of Naimisharanya was one of the holiest places in ancient India, chosen by Brahma himself. It was where Veda Vyasa taught his disciples the Vedas and Puranas and where Suta Goswami narrated the Bhagavata Purana for the sages. It is near modern day Lucknow on the banks of the river Gomti

Nandi: (sáns. hindú). Nandi is the Bull deity who is the vahana and also the highest attendant of Shiva. No one can reach Shiva unless he first pleases Nandi.

Nara & Narayan: (sáns. hindú). The two sages who are renowned for their meditation at Vadrikashram in the Himalayas. They were an avatar of Vishnu. Narayan created the apsara Urvashi by rubbing a flower against his thigh. Mountain ranges in the Garhwal are named after them.

Narada: (sáns. hindú). One of the sages that Brahma produced using his mental powers. Narada is sometimes the mischievous celestial messenger and at other times the epitome of devotion.

Narayan: (sáns. hindú). Another name of Vishnu.

Narayanastra: (sáns. hindú). The weapon of Narayan from “astra” meaning weapon.

Narmada: (sáns. hindú). A river in central India that is considered holy by the Indians. The source is at Amarkantak Hill and the river flows eastward into the Arabian Sea.

Natya Shastra: (sáns. hindú). An ancient text on drama attributed to sage Bharat, which spells out various elements of drama much like Aristotle’s Poetics.

Nishada: (sáns. hindú). A lawless tribe that usually lives in forests and hills away from civilized society. The tribe has its origin in Bahuka who was created from the evil king Vena’s dead body.

Nyaya Sutra: (sáns. hindú). The branch of Hindu thought that deals with logic.


Om: (sáns. hindú). The primeval cosmic sound that pervades the entire universe.

Omkareshwar: (sáns. hindú). One ofthe twelve Jyotirlingas, or ancient temples dedicated to Shiva, situated on an island in the Narmada River. Shiva assumed this incarnation to bless the Vindhya Mountains. Omkareshwar is the Lord of Aum, the primeval sound that pervades the universe.


Paganism: (sáns. hindú). A religious belief characterized by a pantheon of deities largely representing the forces of nature. Ancient civilizations initially had no explanations for natural phenomenon, so it was believed that divine forces were responsible for them. Though ancient paganism originated from the fear of natural forces, it soon evolved to a celebration and even a reverence of nature. People do not abuse the entities they worship.

Pandavas: (sáns. hindú). The collective name for the five sons of Pandu, who fought on the side of righteousness in the Mahabharata War. They were Yudhishthir, Bhim, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadeva.

Pandu: (sáns. hindú). The son of Vichitraveerya and Ambalika and the father of the five Pandavas.

Param Atma: (sáns. hindú). Literally the Universal Soul, Param Atma is synonymous with God, Brahm and Purusha.

Parashara: (sáns. hindú). He sired Veda Vyasa through Satyavati. Parashara was the son of Shakti and Adashyanti and the grandson of Vasishtha and Arundhati. He wrote the Parashara Smriti, which is the code of conduct to be followed in Kaliyuga.

Parashurama: (sáns. hindú). The axe wielding sixth avatar of Vishnu, whose purpose was to exterminate the kshatriya race that had become arrogant and irreligious.

Parikshit: (sáns. hindú). The grandson of Arjun and the son of Abhimanyu. He inherited the throne of Hastinapur from his grand-uncle Yuddhishthir. He was cursed by a sage to die of a snake bite in a week because he had offended the sage. The curse was fulfilled, but before that he heard the Bhagavata Purana from Sukhdev and overcame his fear of death. He was succeeded by his son Janmajeya.

Parvati: (sáns. hindú). The daughter of Himavat, the king of the Himalayan mountains, and the apsara Mena, Parvati married Shiva after performing severe penances. She has many avatars including Kali, Gauri and Durga.

Pashupatastra: (sáns. hindú). The infallible divine weapon of Shiva, named after his epithet Pashupati or Lord of the beasts.

Patanjali: (sáns. hindú). The author of the Yoga Sutra.

Pisachas: (sáns. hindú). A race of spirits that haunt cemeteries and torment people. They are the souls of the dead that cannot get eternal rest because their descendants have not performed the funerary rites.

Pitraloka: (sáns. hindú). A region in heaven where the souls of the ancestors dwell.

Pitras o Pitris: (sáns. hindú). These are the ancestors whose souls have obtained eternal rest because their descendants have performed the funerary rites as required.

Prachetas: (sáns. hindú). The ten sons of Prachinabarhi were collectively known as the Prachetas. They were extremely pious and Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva appeared in person before them. They married Marisha, who bore them Daksha as a son.

Prachinabarhi: (sáns. hindú). A descendant of Prithu. His given name was Barhishat. Prachinabarhi was the name he assumed on becoming king. He was the father to the Prachetas. Prachinabarhi was advised by Narada not to look upon rituals and sacrifices as an end in themselves. He have up his mortal form at Kapila’s ashram at Ganga Sagara.

Prakriti: (sáns. hindú). The category of the cosmos, which through the will of Purusha, results in the manifestation of the world of appearances. All living beings and inanimate objects that we can perceive through our senses are there because of Prakriti.

Pramlocha: (sáns. hindú). An apsara who seduced the sage Kandu and bore him a daughter Marisha.

Prasuti: (sáns. hindú). The daughter of Swayambhav Manu and Shatrupa who was married to Daksha. Her daughter Sati was the incarnation of Shakti and was married to Shiva.

Prithu: (sáns. hindú). A king in the lineage of Swayambhav Manu. He was an incarnation of Vishnu. He was created by the sages from Vena’s dead body so that the kingdom would have a ruler. He is known for his just rule. Prithu once chased the earth, who had taken the form of a cow, because she was not yielding enough food. He is also known for the several Ashwamedha sacrifices he conducted. His consort Arci was created with him from Vena’s body.

Prithvi: (sáns. hindú). The Earth, who is given the status of a demi-God. Prithvi literally means “of Prithu”. The Earth obtained this name because she was milked by Prithu in order that she may yield her bounty.

Priyavrata: (sáns. hindú). The younger son of Swayambhav Manu.

Puranas: (sáns. hindú). The scriptural texts that contain the mythologies of Hinduism. There are 18 major Puranas. They were written in the Epic period.

Puranic: (sáns. hindú). Pertaing to or as mentioned in the Puranas.

Pururava: (sáns. hindú). The founder of the Lunar dynasty. Pururava was the grandson of Soma (the Moon deity) and the son of Buddh and Ila. He was known for his romance with Urvashi.

Purusha: (sáns. hindú). Purusha is the eternal, omnipresent, indestructible, unchanging entity that is the essence of everything in the universe. It is variously called Param Atma and Brahm. In simpler terms Purusha is the metaphysical term for God.

Purvachitti: (sáns. hindú). The apsara who was sent by Brahma to marry Agnidhra and bear his children.

Pushkar: (sáns. hindú). A holy town dedicated to Brahma. The only temple in the world that is dedicated to Brahma is in Pushkar.

Putrikadharma: (sáns. hindú). A form of marriage that literally means “the duty of a daughter”. If a couple does not have any sons then under this form of marriage if a son is born to their daughter, that child is adopted by the couple as their son.


Radha: (sáns. hindú). The maiden from Braj who is the eternal consort of Krishna. Radha is a manifestation of Krishna and yet distinct from him. The romance between Radha and Krishna has fired the imagination of poets, artists and dancers across all ages.

Rakshasas: (sáns. hindú). A wild and evil race, akin to the Asuras. Ravana, the half brother of Kuber, was the most powerful Rakshasa king ever.

Rama: (sáns. hindú). The seventh avatar of Vishnu as the prince of Ayodhya. The purpose of this avatar was to kill Ravana the king of Lanka, who had become evil and powerful beyond tolerance.

Ramayana: (sáns. hindú). The famous Itihasa of the Epic Period depicting the life of Rama. It was written by the sage Valmiki.

Rambha: (sáns. hindú). An apsara, often used by Indra to disturb the meditation of the sages, like Nara and Narayan.

Rameshwaram: (sáns. hindú). One of the twelve Jyotirlingas, or ancient temples dedicated to Shiva, situated on an island off the coast of Tamil Nadu. Rama worshipped Shiva here to atone for the sin of killing Ravana, who was a Brahmin.

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Rasamandala: (sáns. hindú). The region of Goloka in which Radha resides.Ravana: (sáns. hindú). Ravana was the son of a Brahmin father, Vishrava, but became an Asura because his mother, Kaikasi, was from the Asura clan. He defeated the Devas and took back the kingdom of Lanka from them. Soon his atrocities knew no bound and Vishnu had to descend to earth as Rama in order to kill him.

Renuka: (sáns. hindú). The wife of sage Jamadagni and the mother of Parashurama. She is worshipped as Yellamma by the devadasis and eunuchs.

Rig Veda o Rg Veda: (sáns. hindú). the Riga Veda is the earliest of the Vedas and the oldest scripture in the world. It involves mainly a metaphysical consideration of the nature of God. The name Riga is derived from the word “rik”, which translates as incantation.

Ruchi: (sáns. hindú). A sage created by Brahma.

Rudraksha: (sáns. hindú). Literally meaning the tears of Shiva, Rudraksha are the beads of the Rudraksha tree. The beads are believed to have protective and curative properties and are worn by the devotees of Shiva.

Rukmini: (sáns. hindú). The princess of Vidarbha who eloped with Krishna. She was an avatar of Lakshmi.


Sadhyas: (sáns. hindú). These are a race that has achieved control on their senses and by vanquishing their ego.

Samadhi: (sáns. hindú). The simple structure or place commemorating dead saints or gurus, who often yielded their life by simply ceasing the act of breathing.

Sama Veda: (sáns. hindú). The second of the Vedas, which focuses on liturgical functions. The word is derived from the Sanskrit word “sama” meaning hymn.

Samhitas: (sáns. hindú). The first section of the Vedas that are the collections of the Hymns. They are said to be the work of poets. Sometimes the word ‘Vedas’ refers only to the Samhitas. This can be likened to a bare legal act without procedures or explanations.

Sanaka: (sáns. hindú). One of the four sons of Brahma, produced through his mental power and who were eternally in their youth.

Sanaka: (sáns. hindú). One of the four sons of Brahma, produced through his mental power and who were eternally in their youth.

Sanandana: (sáns. hindú). One of the four sons of Brahma, produced through his mental power and who were eternally in their youth.

Sanatana: (sáns. hindú). One of the four sons of Brahma, produced through his mental power and who were eternally in their youth.

Sanatkumar: (sáns. hindú). One of the four sons of Brahma, produced through his mental power and who were eternally in their youth.

Sankhya Yoga: (sáns. hindú). The earliest school of Hindi philosophy and perhaps the earliest theory of the cosmos in the world. Sankhya Yoga elucidates the nature of the cosmos with complete rationality. Sankhya means number, and the philosophy is so named because it enumerates 25 categories of constituents of the cosmos. The major of these are Purusha and Prakriti. Sankhya Yoga is not a mere elucidation of the cosmos but through understanding and realizing the unity of the different categories with Purusha, it shows the path to salvation.

Sanskrit: (sáns. hindú). The language of the Vedic period. It is the language in which the early Hindu scriptures have been written.

Sanyasa Ashram: (sáns. hindú). The fourth of the four Ashrams or life stages. Sanyasa means renunciation. In this stage the person leaves society to spend the remaining part of his or her life in meditation and the contemplation of God in solitude.

Saraswati: (sáns. hindú). An ancient river arising in the Himalayas and flowing south west parallel to the Indus. It was the eastern most of the seven rivers mentioned in the Vedas. The Vedic civilization evolved on the banks of this river. The river started drying up about 5000 years ago forcing the civilization to shift to the Indus valley. Saraswati is also the Goddess of learning and the consort of Brahma.

Satyavati: (sáns. hindú). The daughter of the fisherman chief, Dashraja, Satyavati was found in a fish that he had caught. She gave birth to Veda Vyasa through Parashara while yet unmarried. Later she married King Shantanu of Hastinapur. Her great grand children fought on opposite sides in the Mahabharata War.

Shakti: (sáns. hindú). Shakti is the feminie aspect of divinity. Shakti is the life giving force essential for procreation.

Shakuntala: (sáns. hindú). The daughter of the apsars Menaka and the sage Vishwamitra, who was adopted by the sage Kanva. Her romance with Dushyant has been immortalized by Kalidas.

Shankar: (sáns. hindú). Another name of Shiva.

Shankaracharya: (sáns. hindú). The eighth century Hindu philosopher and scholar known for consolidating the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta (Monism). He toured India extensively establishing centers of education and learning, which today have become the repositories of Hindu knowledge.

Shatrupa: (sáns. hindú). The first woman created by Brahma to be the wife of Swayambhav Manu. She had two sons and three daughters whose descendents populated the earth.

Shiva: (sáns. hindú). One of the three main manifestations of the One Supreme God. Shiva is responsible for the functions of Destruction of the universe in mythology.

Shivaloka: (sáns. hindú). The heavenly abode of Shiva.

Shri Sailam: (sáns. hindú). One of the twelve Jyotirlingas, or ancient temples dedicated to Shiva, situated in Shri Sailam central India. This shrine is also known as Mallikarjuna because it is believed that both Parvati (Mallika) and Shiva (Arjun) reside in the Jyotirlinga.

Shukracharya: (sáns. hindú). He was a descendant of the sage Bhrigu. He became the preceptor of the Asuras.

Siddhapur: (sáns. hindú). The place on the shore of Bindu Sarovar that Devahuti attained salvation. It is today an important center of pilgrimage.

Sindhu: (sáns. hindú). The Sanskrit name for the River Indus. It means a large body of water.

Sindur: (sáns. hindú). A paste made from vermilion powder, which married women apply on their hair to indicate their marital status.

Sita: (sáns. hindú). The daughter of King Janak, who found her in a pot in the earth. Therefore she was the daughter of Mother Earth. She married Rama when he broke the Bow of Shiva in her swayamvar. When Rama was exiled she followed him and was abducted by Ravana, leading to the assault on Lanka and Ravana’s death. But some citizens of Ayodhya had objections to her being queen because she had lived in the house of another man. So Rama exiled her to Sage Valmiki’s ashram where she gave birth to his twin sons Luv and Kush. After uniting father and sons she pleaded with her mother, the Earth, to open up and receive her, as she had no desire to live.

Skanda: (sáns. hindú). One of the names of the elder son of Shiva and Parvati, some of the others being Kartikeya and Murugan.

Soma: (sáns. hindú). A member of the class of deities known as demi-Gods or Devas. Soma is the Moon.

Soorpankha: (sáns. hindú). Ravana’s younger sister, who induced Ravana to abduct Rama’s wife Sita, because Rama dispelled her advances.

Srimad Bhagavata Purana: (sáns. hindú). One of the three holiest scriptures of Hinduism. The Bhagavata Purana was written by Veda Vyasa and focuses on the incarnation of Krishna.

Sudarshana Chakra: (sáns. hindú). The weapon of Vishnu. It is a disc like weapon held by Vishnu on his right index finger. It has been used to behead many demons. In the Krishna avatar, Krishna carried the Sudarshana Chakra.

Sudra: (sáns. hindú). The race of manual workers according to the Vedic classification of society.

Sukhdev: (sáns. hindú). The son of sage Vyasa who first heard the Bhagavata Purana from his father and narrated it to King Parikshit.

Suniti: (sáns. hindú). Suniti means the “one of good conduct”. She was the first wife of Uttanapada and the mother of Dhruv.

Surdas: (sáns. hindú). The 15th century poet saint, who was one of the key players in the Bhakti movement. He was blind from birth lived in Braj where he wrote a prolific number of poems dedicated to Krishna.

Suruchi: (sáns. hindú). Suruchi means the “delightful one”. She was the second wife of Uttanapada and the mother of Uttam. At one time she plotted to disinherit Dhruv so that Uttam would ascend the throne, but later accepted Dhruv as the rightful heir. She and Uttam were killed by a Yaksha during a hunting excursion.

Surya: (sáns. hindú). A member of the class of deities known as demi-Gods or Devas. Surya is the Sun.

Suta Goswami: (sáns. hindú). Also known as Ugrasrava, Suta Goswami was the son of Lomaharshana. He narrated the Bhagavata Purana to the sages in Naimisharanya.


Tushita Devas: (sáns. hindú). The collective names of the twelve sons of Yagna and Dakshina, who were given the status of being demi-Gods.


The Upanishads: (sáns. hindú). Are the last part of the Vedas and contain the discussions that examine and propound the wisdom in the earlier part of the Vedas. Since they appear at the end of the Vedas they are also called Vedanta meaning the last part of the Vedas. The word Upanishad means “sitting down near”. This is because the Upanishads are in the form of a dialogue between guru and disciple, with the disciple sitting down at the feet of the guru. 108 Upanishads are known to us. Out of these about 12 are considered important.

Urjasvati: (sáns. hindú). The daughter of Priyavrata and Barhismati who married Shukracharya, the preceptor of the Asuras and gave birth to Devyani.

Urvashi: (sáns. hindú). An apsara or celestial maiden. Though she appears often in Hindu mythology, she is known for her romance with the King Pururava.

Usha: (sáns. hindú). The deity of Dawn.

Utkala: (sáns. hindú). The son of Dhruv and Ila. He was a pious man and yielded his right to succeed his father.

Uttam: (sáns. hindú). The son of Uttanapada and Suruchi and the younger stepbrother of Dhruv. He and his mother were killed by a Yaksha during a hunting excursion.

Uttanapada: (sáns. hindú). The elder son of Swayambhav Manu. He had two wives, Suniti and Suruchi. Dhruv was born from Suniti and Uttam from Suruchi.


Vadrikashram: (sáns. hindú). A holy place in the Himalayas where the sages Nara and Narayan had their hermitage. Dhruv gave up his mortal body at this place.

Vahana: (sáns. hindú). In Hindu mythology each deity has an animal or bird on which he travels from place to place. Vahana literally translates as vehicle. Garuda the man- eagle is the vahana of Vishnu. Nandi the bull is the vahana of Shiva.

Vaikunthaloka: (sáns. hindú). The heavenly abode of Vishnu.

The merchant race according to the Vedic classification of society Valmiki: (sáns. hindú). The name means anthill. Valmiki was a robber who repented and meditated for many years. It is said that an ant hill was built over his body while he was meditating. Later he became a famous sage and is the author of the Ramayana. He offered shelter to Sita when she was exiled by Rama.

Vanaprastha: (sáns. hindú). The third life- stage or “ashram” according to Hindu scriptures. The person having lived a fruitful material life hand over charge to his descendents and eschewing all material and physical pleasures leaves to spend a life of solitude in the forests.

Varanasi: (sáns. hindú). The holy city on the banks of the Ganga also known as Benares or Kashi.

Varna: (sáns. hindú). Caste or classification according to the duties performed to preserve the social order. The four varnas are Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras.

Varna: (sáns. hindú). The duties assigned to individuals based on the varna or caste they belonged to and the ashram or stage of life they were in.

Varun: (sáns. hindú). A member of the class of deities known as demi-Gods or Devas. Varun is the demi-God of the sea.

Vashishta: (sáns. hindú). A sage created by Brahma from his breath. Vashishta married Arundhati, the daughter of Kardam and Devahuti. Vashishta was the family priest of the Solar dynasty.

Vatsara: (sáns. hindú). The son of Dhruv and Bhrami. He succeeded his father because his elder stepbrother, Utkala, was not interested in the throne.

Vayu: (sáns. hindú). A member of the class of deities known as demi-Gods or Devas. Vayu is the demi-God of the winds.

Veda Vyasa: (sáns. hindú). Veda Vyasa was the son of Sage Parashara and Satyavati. His real name was Krishna Dwaipayana because he was dark skinned and born on an island. He was the biological father of Dhritarashtra and Pandu, whose sons fought the Mahabharata war. Veda Vyasa. He got the name Veda Vyasa because he compiled the Vedas into the four groups – Riga, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. He was also the author of the epic Mahabharata and the Purana Srimad Bhagavata.

Vedas: (sáns. hindú). The earliest scriptures of Hinduism comprising the Riga, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Vedas. Each Veda consists of the Samhitas (hymns), Brahmanas and Aranyakas (liturgical procedures) and Upanishads (philosophical discourses). Sometimes the Vedas refer to the Samhitas only. The word Veda is derived from the Sanskrit word “vid”, which means to know.

Vedic: (sáns. hindú). The era in which the Vedic thought evolved.

Vena: (sáns. hindú). A king in the lineage of Swayambhav Manu. He was born to Anga and Sunitha, but grew up under the influence of Sunitha’s father who was evil. Hence his reign was one of terror. Ultimately he was killed by the sages for refusing to reform. The sages first produced Bahuka from his dead body. Then the produced Prithu and Prithu’s consort Arci.

Vibhishana: (sáns. hindú). Ravana’s younger brother who was of a holy disposition. He left Ravana and teamed up with Rama. After Ravana’s death he was crowned king of Lanka.

Vijitashwa: (sáns. hindú). Name given to the son of Prithu after he brough back the sacrificial horseby frightening Indra away. Vijitashwa means one who has won the horse.

Vindhya Mountains: (sáns. hindú). A range of mountains that geographically divide India into north and south. It was this range that Sage Agastya crossed in order to take the knowledge of the Vedas to south India.

Vishnu: (sáns. hindú). One of the three main manifestations of the One Supreme God. Vishnu is responsible for the functions of Preservation of the universe in mythology.

Vishnulok: (sáns. hindú). The abode of Vishnu.

Vishrava: (sáns. hindú). Vishrava holds the unenviable position in Hindu mythology of being Ravana’s father. Vishrava was the son of sage Pulastya and Havirbhu. Through Ilavida, his first wife, he sired Kuber who became the treasurer of the Devas. He then married Kaikasi, the Asura siren, and sired Ravana, Kumbhakaran, Vibhishana and Soorpankha.

Viswakarma: (sáns. hindú). A member of the class of deities known as demi-Gods or Devas. Viswakarma was the architect of the demi-Gods and built their cities and made their weapons.

Vritta: (sáns. hindú). A demon who had enclosed all the waters of the universe within him and caused a severe drought. Indra killed him with his thunderbolt and released the waters.

Vyasa: (sáns. hindú). One of the most famous names in Hinduism. Vyasa was the son of the sage Parashar a and Satyavati. He wrote the Mahabharata and the Puranas, including the Bhagavata Purana. He comiled the Vedas into four parts and thus earned the name Ved Vyasa. His original name was Krishna Dwaipayana. Vyasa also played an important role in the Mahabharata.

Yagna: (sáns. hindú). The son of Akuti and Ruchi who was an incarnation of Vishnu. His maternal grandparents adopted him under a system known as Putrikadharma. Yagna literally means Sacrifice.

Yajur Veda: (sáns. hindú). The third of the Vedas, which focuses on liturgical functions. The word is derived from the Sanskrit word “yaj” meaning sacrifice.

Yakshas: (sáns. hindú). A race of spirits, generally benevolent, who are the guardians of treasures of the earth. Kuber is the king of the Yakshas and Alkapuri is his capital.

Yama: (sáns. hindú). A member of the class of deities known as demi-Gods or Devas. Yama is the demi-God of the death. Yama is the son of the Sun semi-God, Surya, and the twin brother of Yamuna.

Yamnotri: (sáns. hindú). The source of the Yamuna in the Garhwal Himalayas.

Yamuna: (sáns. hindú). A river in north India having its source in the Himalayas at Yamnotri and joining the Ganga at Allahabad. The river passes through Vrindavan, the place where Krishna spent his childhood.

Yoga Sutra: (sáns. hindú). Yoga Sutra (Threads of Union) was written by Patanjali, the creator of this branch of Yoga. The purpose of Yoga is to facilitate the individual’s union with the Supreme Being. This union is possible only when the mind and body are both healthy and the mind is free from any negative disturbances. The Yogic exercises, breathing and meditation create the healthy mind and body.

Yuddhishthir: (sáns. hindú). The eldest of the Pandava brothers who became emperor of Hastinapura after the Mahabharata War..

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