domingo, 4 de julio de 2010

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms (Apariccedya - Bhagavata) - The Manurishi Foundation

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The Manurishi Foundation - Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms

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Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms - The Manurishi Foundation

Apariccedya: (sáns. hindú). One who cannot be accurately defined. Shiva's 37th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Aparigraha: (sáns. hindú). The state of being without possessions, desirelessness; the state in which one is free from the craving to hoard, one of the five virtues on the first step of RajaYoga as stipulated in the Yoga Sutra of Patañjali. The other four are: satya (truthfulness), ahimsa (harmlessness), asteya (not stealing), and brahmacarya (temperance, continence). Together they form the Great Vow (Mahavrata) that is made for all steps.

Aparna: (sáns. hindú). a "without" + parna "leaf") 1. The leafless. 2. A name of Parvati. According to the Harivansha, the eldest daughter of Himavat and Mena. She and her two sisters, Ekaparna and Ekapatali, gave themselves up to austerity and practiced extraordinary abstinence; but while her sisters lived, as their names denote, upon one leaf or on one patala (Bignonia) respectively, Aparna managed to subsist upon nothing, and even lived without a leaf (aparna). This so distressed her mother that she cried out in deprecation, '"Uma," ("Oh, don't"). Aparna thus became the beautiful Uma the wife of Shiva.

Aparoksha: (sáns. hindú). Perceivable, not hidden. A designation for consciousness, which is present in every human being as waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. A short work by Shankara is entitled Aparokshanubhuti ("The Direct Experience of Reality").

Apaskambha: (sáns. hindú). An herb that is used for healing purposes.

Apastamba: (sáns. hindú). An ancient writer on ritual and law, author of Sutras connected with the Black Yajurveda and of a Dharmashastra. He is often quoted in law-books. Two revisions of the Taittiriya Samhita are ascribed to him or his school.

Apava: (sáns. hindú). 1. Who sports in the water. 2. A name of the same import as Narayana, and having a similar though not an identical application. According to the Brahmapurana and the Harivansha, Apava performed the office of the creator Brahma, and divided himself into two parts, male and female, the former begetting offspring upon the latter. The result was the production of Vishnu, who created Viraj, who brought the first man into the world.

According to the Mahabharata, Apava is a name of the Prajapati Vasishtha.

The name of Apava is of late introduction and has been vaguely used.

Wilson, a 19th century writer. said: "According to the commentator, the first stage was the creation of Apava or Vasishtha or Viraj by Vishnu, through the agency of Brahma, and the next was that of the creation of Manu by Viraj." 2. A female deity personifying dysentery.

Apaya: (sáns. hindú). A small unidentified stream in the Rigveda.

Apnana: (sáns. hindú). The passage leading to the place of sacrifice.

Apnavana: (sáns. hindú). The name of a Rishi belonging to the family of Bhrigu.

Appar: (sáns. hindú). A Tamil poet who belonged to a vast number of the Shaivite religious character which marks Tamil literature from the seventh century. It has been suggested that he was perhaps the most ardent of the group of Nayanars or Shaivite saints who claimed an exclusive faith in Shiva and set aside all religious practices and all texts. The following excerpts are from Kingsbury and Phillips, Hymns of the Tamil Shaivite Saints.

A Confession of Sin Evil, all evil, my race, evil my qualities all, Great am I only in sin, evil is even my good.

Evil my innermost self, foolish, avoiding the pure, Beast am I not, yet the ways of the beast I can never forsake.

I can exhort with strong words, telling men what they should hate, Yet can I never give gifts, only to beg them I know.

Ah! wretched man that I am, whereunto came I to birth?

The Presence of God No man holds sway o'er us, Nor death nor hell fear we; No tremblings, griefs of mind, No pains nor cringings see.

Joy, day by day, unchanged Is ours, for we are His, His ever, who doth reign, Our Shankara, in bliss.

Here to His feet we've come, Feet as plucked flow'rets fair; See how His ears divine Ring and white conch-shell wear.

He is ever hard to find, but He lives in the thought of the good; He is innermost secret of Scripture, inscrutable, unknowable; He is honey and milk and the shining light. He is the king of the Devas, Immanent in Vishnu, in Brahma, in flame and in wind, Yet in the mighty sounding sea and in the mountains.

He is the great One who chooses Perumpattapuliyur for His own.

If there be days when my tongue is dumb and speaks not of Him, Let no such days be counted in the record of my life.

Apramatta: (sáns. hindú). Not careless. To remain true to one's internal law without going astray; to refrain from carelessly wasting one's hard-attained human embodiment, the spiritual purpose of which is to achieve liberation.

Aprameya: (sáns. hindú). She who is immeasurable. An epithet of Devi. The 413th name in the Lalita Sahasranama.

Aprameyatma: (sáns. hindú). The Atman that cannot be realized. Shiva's 1052nd name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Apratimakriti: (sáns. hindú). One whose features are unrivaled. Shiva's 828 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Apratirath: (sáns. hindú). A name of a hymn in the Rigveda composed by Rishi Apratiratha, son of Indra.

Apris: (sáns. hindú). A class of placatory hymns addressed to Agni.

Aprita: (sáns. hindú). (a "entirely" + prita "glad") One who is gladdened or joyous.

Apsara: (sáns. hindú). 1. The Apsaras are the celebrated nymphs of Indra's heaven. The name, which signifies "moving in the water," has some analogy to that of Aphrodite. They are not prominent in the Vedas, but Urvashi and a few others are mentioned. In Manu they are said to be the creations of the seven Manus. In the epic poems they become prominent, and the Ramayana and the Puranas attribute their origin to the churning of the ocean. It is said that when they came forth from the waters neither the gods nor the Asuras would have them for wives so they became common to all. They have the appellations of Suranganas, "wives of the gods," and Sumadatmajas, "daughters of pleasure." Wilson's Ramayana describes the appearance of the Apsaras through the Churning of the Ocean as follows:

Then from the agitated deep up sprung The legion of Apsarases, so named That to the watery element they owed Their being. Myriads were they born, and all In vesture heavenly clad, and heavenly gems: A train innumerous followed; yet thus fair, Nor god nor demon sought their wedded love:

Thus Raghava! they still remain-their charms

The common treasure of the host of heaven.

In the Puranas various ganas or classes of them are mentioned with distinctive names. The Vayupurana enumerates fourteen, the Harivansha seven classes. They are again distinguished as being daivika, "divine," or laukika, "worldly." The former are said to be ten in number and the latter thirty-four, and these are the heavenly charmers who fascinated heroes, as Urvashi, and allured austere sages from their devotions and penance, as Menaka and Rambha. The Kasikhanda says: "there are thirty-five millions of them, but only one thousand and sixty are the principal." The Apsaras, then, are fairy-like beings, beautiful and voluptuous. They are the wives or the mistresses of the Gandharva and are not prudish in the dispensation of their favors. Their amours on earth have been numerous, and they are the rewards in Indra's paradise held out to heroes who fall in battle. They have the power of changing their forms; they are fond of dice, and give luck to whom they favor. In the Atharvaveda they are not so amiable; they are supposed to produce madness (love's madness?), and so there are charms and incantations for use against them. There is a long and exhaustive article on the Apsarases in Goldstücker's Dictionary, from which much of the above has been adapted. As regards their origin, he makes the following speculative observations: "Originally these divinities seem to have been personifications of the vapours which are attracted by the sun and form into mist or clouds; their character may be thus interpreted in the few hymns of the Rigveda where mention is made of them. At a subsequent period . . . (their attributes expanding with those of their associates, the Gandharvas), they became divinities which represent phenomena or objects, both of a physical and ethical kind closely associated with that life" (the elementary life of heaven). 2. Two airs that course through the Prana (veins)-not female divinities. 3. See also Drupada and Drona for an indication of the Apsaras' great influence on men.

Apta: (sáns. hindú). 1. An ideal sage. 2. A well wisher or Guru.

Aptya: (sáns. hindú). A class of deities dwelling in the waters (of air).

Apva: (sáns. hindú). A female deity personifying dysentery.

Aradhana: (sáns. hindú). 1. Veneration of the Divine, adoration of and surrender to God, the striving to reach God; 2. Prayer and repetition of the divine name.

Aradu: (sáns. hindú). A kind of tree.

Aramati: (sáns. hindú). 1. The Goddess devotion who protects worshippers and pious acts. 2. The Genius of devotion.

Arambha Vada: (sáns. hindú). A theory according to which creation is based on causality, hence it is the effect of a cause.

Aranis: (sáns. hindú). 1. Fire sticks; two pieces of wood that are rubbed together to produce the sacred fire. 2. A special term used in the Kama Sutra for the Premna spinata.

Aranyadevi: (sáns. hindú). aranya "forest" + devi "goddess") The Goddess of the forest.

Aranyaka: (sáns. hindú). 1. Belonging to the forest. 2. Certain religious and philosophical writings which expound the mystical sense of the ceremonies, discuss the nature of God, etc. They are attached to the Brahmanas, and intended for study in the forest by Brahmans who have retired from the distractions of the world. There are four of them extant; 1) Brihad, 2) Taittiriya, 3)Aitareya, and 4) Kaushitaki Aranyaka. The Aranyakas are closely connected with the Upanishads, and the names are occasionally used interchangeably: thus the Brihad is called indifferently either Brihad Aranyaka or Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad; it is attached to the Shatapatha Brahmana. The Aitareya Upanishad is a part of the Aitareya Brahmana, and the Kaushitaki Aranyaka consists of three chapters, of which the third is the Kaushitaki Upanishad.

"Traces of modern ideas (says Max Müller) are not wanting in the Aranyakas, and the very fact that they are destined for a class of men who had retired from the world in order to give themselves up to the contemplation of the highest problems, shows an advanced and already declining and decaying society, not unlike the monastic age of the Christian world." "In one sense the Aranyakas are old, for they reflect the very dawn of thought; in another they are modern, for they speak of that dawn with all the experience of a past day. There are passages in these works unequaled in any language for grandeur, boldness, and simplicity. These passages are the relics of a better age. But the generation which became the chronicler of those Titanic wars of thought was a small race; they were dwarfs, measuring the footsteps of departed giants."

Aranyani: (sáns. hindú). In the Rigveda, the goddess of woods and forests. A hymn in the Rigveda characterizes her as being elusive and to avoid villages. She is heard through the sounds of the forest and the tinkling of bells. She is sweet scented and mother of all forest things. She is benign unless provoked by some murderous being.

Araru: (sáns. hindú). A fiend.

Arati: (sáns. hindú). See Aratrika.

Aratrika: (sáns. hindú). 1. Evening worship in the form of a puja with flowers, incense, and bhajana, whereby candles are swung in front of the image of a deity or a holy figure. 2. The final waving of lights before an altar in a worship service.

Aravinda: (sáns. hindú). A type of lotus.

Aravindaksha: (sáns. hindú). (aravinda "day-lotus" + aksha "eye") 1. The lotus-eyed. 2. Vishnu's 347th name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama.

Arayas: (sáns. hindú). Calamities.

Arayi: (sáns. hindú). A witch or she-fiend.

Arbuda: (sáns. hindú). 1. A serpent. 2. Name of an Asura slain by Indra. 3. Mount Abu; name of the people living in the vicinity of that mountain.

Arbudi: (sáns. hindú). A commander of a lakh of soldiers.

Arcabera: (sáns. hindú). These are murtis (images) that are intended for worship by the devout. These have hexagonal pedestals or seats.

Arcana: (sáns. hindú). The offering of flowers at the feet of a Deity or Guru while reciting His or Her holy name during a puja (worship service).

Ardhacandra: (sáns. hindú). A gesture indicating that the god or goddess is carrying fire either in a dish or without one.

Ardhanari: (sáns. hindú). Half-woman. An androgynous form in which Shiva is represented as half-male and half-female typifying the bipolarity of the human body. In Tantra, the right side of the body is considered male (Shiva) and the left half is considered female (Shakti). This is true for both men and women.

There are several stories accounting for this form. It is called also Ardhanarisa and Parangada. The term androgyne is normally only used when speaking of divine beings; the term hermaphrodite is used when speaking of creations other than divine.

Ardhanarishvara: (sáns. hindú). See Ardhanari.

Ardhnarinateshvara: (sáns. hindú). See Ardhanari.

Ardraka: (sáns. hindú). A special term used in the Kama Sutra for ginger.

Areka: (sáns. hindú). A special term used in the Kama Sutra for an ingredient of betel.

Areya: (sáns. hindú). 1. A patronymic from Atri. A son or descendant of Atri. 2. A people so called.

Arga: (sáns. hindú). One of the seers of the Samaveda.

Arghya: (sáns. hindú). The sacrificial offering to a divinity during puja (ritual Hindu worship). Some say Arghya involves the use of flowers, leaves of a sacred tree, sandalwood paste, durva grass, and rice; others say it involves the use of water only.

Arhat: (sáns. hindú). 1. One who is worthy or deserving. 2. Vishnu's 873rd name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama. 3. Title of Jains and Buddhists.

Aridama: (sáns. hindú). Suppresser of enemies. Shiva's 722 nd name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Aripra: (sáns. hindú). a "without" + ripra "impurity") One who is spotless or faultless.

Aripu: (sáns. hindú). a "without" + ripu "enemy") 1. One who is without enemy. 2. Not an enemy.

Arishta: (sáns. hindú). 1. A Daitya, and son of Bali, who attacked Krishna in the form of a savage bull, and was slain by him. 2. A special term used in the Kama Sutra for the Sapindus nifoliatus or Nim margosa.

Arishtamathana: (sáns. hindú). One who suppresses evil maladies. Shiva's 565th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Arishtishena: (sáns. hindú). Son of Rishtishena.

Arita: (sáns. hindú). Disorder.

Arjava: (sáns. hindú). 1. Honesty. 2. Uprightness. 3. One of the daivagunas, the godly qualities (guna); Krishna describes them and sets them against the demonic qualities in the Bhagavad Gita.

Arjuna: (sáns. hindú). 1. The white. 2. The name of the third Pandu prince. All the five brothers were of divine paternity, and Arjuna's father was Indra, hence he is called Aindri. A brave warrior, high-minded, generous, upright, and handsome, the most prominent and the most amiable and interesting of the five brothers. He was taught the use of arms by Drona, and was his favorite pupil. By his skill in arms he won Draupadi at her Svayamvara. For an involuntary transgression he imposed upon himself twelve years' exile from his family, and during that time he visited Parashurama, who gave him instruction in the use of arms. During this period formed a connection with Ulipi, a Naga princess, and by her had a son named Iravat. He also married Citrangada, the daughter of the king of Manipura, by whom he had a son named Babhruvahana. He visited Krishna at Dvaraka, and there he married Su-bhadra, the sister of Krishna. By her he had a son named Abhimanyu.

Afterwards he obtained the bow Gandiva from the god Agni, with which to fight against Indra, and he assisted Agni in burning the Khandava forest.

When Yudhishthira lost the kingdom by gambling, and the five brothers went into exile for thirteen years, Arjuna proceeded on a pilgrimage to the Himalayas to propitiate the gods, and to obtain from them celestial weapons for use in the contemplated war against the Kauravas. There he fought with Shiva, who appeared disguised as a Kirata or mountaineer; but Arjuna, having found out the true character of his adversary, worshipped him, and Shiva gave him the pashupata, one of his most powerful weapons. Indra, Varuna, Yama, and Kuvera came to him, and also presented him with their own peculiar weapons. Indra, his father, carried him in his car to his heaven and to his capital Amaravati, where Arjuna spent some years in the practice of arms. Indra sent him against the Daityas of the sea, whom he overcame and then returned victorious to Indra, who "presented him with a chain of gold and a diadem, and with a war-shell which sounded like thunder." In the thirteenth year of exile he entered the service of Raja Virata, disguised as a eunuch, and acted as music and dancing master, but in the end he took a leading part in defeating the king's enemies, the king of Trigarta and the Kaurava princes, many of whose leading warriors he beat in single combat. Preparations for the great struggle with the Kauravas now began.

Arjuna obtained the personal assistance of Krishna, who acted as his charioteer, and, before the great battle began, related to him the Bhagavad Gita. On the tenth day of the battle he mortally wounded Bhishma, on the twelfth he defeated Susharman and his four brothers and on the fourteenth he killed Jayadratha. On the seventeenth day Arjuna was so devastated by some reproaches of his brother, Yudhishthira, that he would have killed him had not Krishna interposed. On the same day he fought with Karna, who had made a vow to slay him. During Arjuna's bout with Karna Arjuna was near being vanquished when an accident to Karna's chariot gave Arjuna the opportunity of killing him. After the defeat of the Kauravas, Ashvatthaman, son of Drona, and two others, who were the sole survivors, made a night attack on the camp of the Pandavas, and murdered their children. Arjuna pursued Ashvatthaman, and made him give up the precious jewel which he wore upon his head as an amulet. When a horse intended for Yudhishthira's Ashvamedha sacrifice was let loose, Arjuna, with his army, followed it through many cities and countries, and fought with many Rajas. He entered the country of Trigarta, and had to fight his way through. He fought also against Vajradatta, who had a famous elephant, and against the Saindhavas.

At the city of Manipura he fought with his own son, Babhruvahana and was killed; but he was restored to life by a Naga charm supplied by his wife Ulupi. Afterwards he penetrated into the Dakshina or south country, and fought with the Nishadas and Dravidians: then went westwards to Gujarat and finally conducted the horse back to Hastinapura where the great sacrifice was performed. He was subsequently called to Dvaraka by Krishna amid the internecine struggles of the Yadavas, and there he performed the funeral ceremonies of Vasudeva and of Krishna. Soon after this he retired from the world to the Himalayas. He had a son named Iravat by the serpent nymph Ulupi; Babhruvahana, by the daughter of the king of Manipura, and became king of that country; Abhimanyu, born of his wife Subhadra, was killed in the great battle, but the kingdom of Hastinapura descended to his son Parikshit. Arjuna has many appellations: Bibhatsu, Gudakesha, Dhananjaya, Jishnu, Kiritin, Pakasashani, Phalguna, Savyasacin, Shvetavahana, and Partha. 3. Son of Kritavirya, king of the Haihayas. He is better known under his patronymic Kartavirya.

Arjuna Kartavirya: (sáns. hindú). A king of the Haihayas. See Haihayas.

Arjuni: (sáns. hindú). The white or clear.

Arjunis: (sáns. hindú). Two lunar mansions.

Arka: (sáns. hindú). 1. One who is adored or praised. 2. One who is beaming. 3. Vishnu's 795th name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama. 4. A name of Surya, the Sun-God. 5. A name of Agni, the Fire-God. 6. A special term used in the Kama Sutra for the Calotropis procera or gigantea.

Arkananas: (sáns. hindú). A Rishi of the Rigveda.

Arka Yajna: (sáns. hindú). A sacrifice for a stable government.

Arki: (sáns. hindú). One who is radiant, beaming, or praising.

Arksha: (sáns. hindú). A patronymic for son of Riksha.

Armaiti: (sáns. hindú). Probably the earth or earth personified.

Arna: (sáns. hindú). A prince slain by Indra.

Aroga: (sáns. hindú). Devoid of ailment. Shiva's 623 rd name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Arohi: (sáns. hindú). (a "entirely" + rohi "rising") The ascending, climbing.

Aropa: (sáns. hindú). Synonymous with adhyaropa.

Arpitamano Buddhi: (sáns. hindú). A mind that has been surrendered to God's will, one that through spiritual practice has become free of egoistic impulses.

Arsha: (sáns. hindú). A special term used in the Kama Sutra for an ancestral marriage (of the Rishis) with a gift of oxen.

Artha: (sáns. hindú). Wealth, possession, one of the four goals (purusharthas) of human aspiration, which, according to Hindu tradition, are not reprehensible so long as in pursuing them one has regard for moral precepts and dharma. The other three are: dharma (righteousness, virtue), kama (sensual desire), and moksha (liberation). The best known classical Hindu text on artha is Kautilya's Arthashastra.

Arthanacandata Kriya: (sáns. hindú). One of the eight occult powers that may be gained by advanced yogis; that which enables yogis to carry out anything they wish to.

Arthanartha: (sáns. hindú). One who is beneficial and maleficent. Shiva's 972nd name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Arthashastra: (sáns. hindú). 1. An authoritative text on ancient Indian politics and law.

Parts of it probably antedate the Dharmashastras, from which it differs chiefly in its more secular outlook. Its reputed author is Kautilya, and its chief concern is to increase the prosperity (artha) of the state through a wide variety of means, notably war. 2. Mechanical science.

Arthaveda: (sáns. hindú). The science of wealth subordinate to the Atharvaveda.

Arthitavya: (sáns. hindú). One who should be requested. Shiva's 7th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Arugan: (sáns. hindú). A name of Shiva.

Arula: (sáns. hindú). A Tamil word meaning Grace or filled with grace.

Arulcatti: (sáns. hindú). See Arulshakti..

Arulshakti: (sáns. hindú). arul "grace" + shakti "power") The power of grace. When this power is personified it generally refers to Parvati. This power is said to reside inherently in all human beings.

Arumugan: (sáns. hindú). A Tamil name for the six-faced god, Shanmukha.

Aruna: (sáns. hindú). Red, rosy. The dawn, personified as the charioteer of the sun. This is of later origin than the Vedic Ushas. He is said to be the son of Kasyapa and Kadru. He is also called Rumra, "tawny," and by two epithets of which the meaning is not obvious, Anuru, "thighless," and Ashmana, "stony."

Arunacala: (sáns. hindú). Red mountain or hill of light; a holy mountain in present-day

Tamil Nadu, South India. According to Tamil legend, it is older than the Himalayas. At the foot of the mountain lies Tiruvannamalai, site of the great Arunacalasvara Temple, which is consecrated to Shiva. The Arunacala became known to Westerners through Ramana Mahar(i)shi, who meditated in its caves for four years and subsequently established an ashram near Tiruvannamalai.

Arunan: (sáns. hindú). 1. The red or rosy. 2. The name of a great sage who was the father of the famous Uddalaka.

Arundhati: (sáns. hindú). 1. Sandhya, Rishi Vasishtha's wife, who was formally Brahma's daughter. She is considered the ideal wife, she is invoked during marriage ceremonies. 2. The tiny star belonging to the Great Bear (Big Dipper) constellation, which is a symbol of Vasishtha's wife, and a model of conjugal excellence. Newly-weds are shown this star on their first night together. 3. A medicinal plant.

Aruni: (sáns. hindú). The sage Uddalaka, son of Aruna.

Arusas: (sáns. hindú). Agni's horses.

Arusha: (sáns. hindú). 1. Red 2. A red horse. 3. In the Rigveda the red horses or mares of the sun or of fire. 4. The rising sun.

Arvan: (sáns. hindú). A horse. One of the horses of the moon. A fabulous animal, half-horse, half-bird, on which the Daityas are supposed to ride.

Arvavasu: (sáns. hindú). See Raibhya.

Arya: (sáns. hindú). 1. A learned person. 2. See Aryan. 3. When the word begins with a long a, it is the name of the male offspring of the mating of Shiva and Vishnu (Vishnu in the form of Mohini, the Enchantress). Arya became known as Ayyappan in later mythology. See Ayyappan. 4. The noble, great, or excellent. 5. The truthful. 6. A term used by the queens to address their husbands. 7. A female spirit from the Vanaparva of the Mahabharata, perhaps a Matrika, that serves an inauspicious function and is described as being fierce and a threat to young children and pregnant women. Arya was born from the child Karttikeya (with a host of others), when Indra struck him with his thunderbolt. The group of goddesses were adopted by Karttikeya as his mothers. For further details see Vinata.

Arya-bhata: (sáns. hindú). The earliest known Hindu writer on algebra, and, according to some authorities, "if not the inventor, the improver of that analysis." He was born, according to his own account at Kusumapura (Patna), in CE 476, and composed his first astronomical work at the early age of twenty-three.

His larger work, the Arya Siddhanta, was produced at an older age. He is probably the Andubarius of the cronicon Pascale, and the Arjabahr of the Arabs. Two of his works, the Dasagiti-sutra and Aryashtasata, have been edited under the title of Aryabhatiya. There is another and later astronomer of the same name, distinguished as Laghu Arya-bhata, i.e., Arya-bhata-the-Less.

Aryaka: (sáns. hindú). 1. The noble, great, or excellent. 2. The truthful.

Aryakumara: (sáns. hindú). arya "noble" + kumara "boy") A noble prince or youth.

Aryama: (sáns. hindú). One of the Adityas. Aryama commonly accompanies Mitra and Varuna when they are invoked.

Aryaman: (sáns. hindú). 1. A bosom friend. 2. Chief of the Pitris. 3. One of the twelve Adityas that presides over the sun and the eyes. Aryaman is invoked in the Shanti (peace) Mantra. 4. One of the Vishve-devas. 5. The aspiring forces of Truth, the light of divine consciousness, which acts as a force. 5. The Sun-God. 6. The possessor of greatness.

Aryamarga: (sáns. hindú). arya "noble" + marga "path") The path of the great or the noble ones.

Aryamishra: (sáns. hindú). arya "noble" + mishra "mixed") Mixed or blended with the great ones.

Aryan: (sáns. hindú). (A light complected people of ancient Northern India. The origination of the Aryans is the subject of much debate because our history is not clear on many of the details concerning them. The most debated subject on the Aryans is the theory of an "Aryan invasion." The following is the traditional explanation of the Aryans.) The Aryans were a powerful group of Indo-European-speaking people who spread through Iran and Northern India in the first half of the second millennium BCE. Aryan is also the name given to the group of languages descended from the one spoken by this group, the modern representatives of which include Parsi, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, and others. After the Aryans had settled in Iran for several centuries, there was a major cultural split occurred around 1500 BCE, resulting in the migration of a large group through Afghanistan into India. The Zoroastrian Avesta and Hindu Rigveda are the earliest respective testimonies of this linguistic and religious split, and since there is evidence that some of the Rigveda was composed in Iran, it is probable that the Aryan culture had already divided into subcultures even before the migration. The picture of the Aryans which emerges from the Rigveda is that of a semi-nomadic, militaristic people, organized into tribes and, within the tribes, classes. Though technologically advanced, their economic system remained primitive. The poetry fashioned by their priests as the body of the Rigveda was most likely passed on only through oral transmission. As the migrating Aryans moved into India, they overthrew and later assimilated the native population, which was probably primarily composed of Dravidian peoples. It now seems clear that the process of mutual assimilation proceeded more rapidly than was once believed. Scholars have shown that Dravidian linguistically influenced the earliest stratum of the Rigveda, and there is evidence that even during the Vedic period, influential nonAryans were being admitted into the higher castes. Thus from an early period, in India at least, the term arya began to lose its original racial connotations in favor of class/caste-oriented ones. Modern Hinduism is an especially interesting product of Aryan and Dravidian mutual assimilation. The Aryans arrived in India with a pantheon of deities and a body of ritual closely related to that of their Persian cousins. Within a comparatively short time, some of the most important among the original Vedic deities had been nearly forgotten, and most of the remainder had had their characters completely revamped through the admixture of attributes belonging to their more or less similar indigenous counterparts. The long-held view of the Aryans as the bearers of culture to the primitive and ignorant natives of India has had thus to be significantly revised. It is truer to say that the Aryans had profound effects upon the native culture of India, but that the native culture proved in the long run to be both absorbent and enduring.

Arya Samaj: (sáns. hindú). Noble society. A society founded by Swami Dayananda in 1875 to reform Indian society on the basis of the traditional Vedas. Its conservative efforts to regain Hindu converts from Islam caused some inter-religious tensions. Although favoring social and religious reform, it defended cow protection and some Vedic rituals. It continues to have a large following in Northern India.

Arya Siddhanta: (sáns. hindú). The system of astronomy founded by Arya-bhata in his work bearing this name.

Aryastava: (sáns. hindú). A hymn to Devi in the Harivamsha.

Aryavan: (sáns. hindú). One who possesses greatness.

Aryavarta: (sáns. hindú). The land of the Aryas. According to Manu the tract between the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges, from the eastern to the western sea.

Asakti: (sáns. hindú). (a "without" + sakti "attachment") Non-attachment, which is the thirteenth of the twenty means to knowledge as listed in the Bhagavad Gita.

Asamanjas: (sáns. hindú). Son of Sagara and Keshini. He was a wild and wicked young man, and was abandoned by his father, but succeeded him as king; according to the Harivansha, he was afterwards famous for valor under the name of Pancajana.

Asamaratha: (sáns. hindú). Matchless air.

Asamati: (sáns. hindú). Probably the name of a king.

Asamkhyeya: (sáns. hindú). Indescribable. Shiva's 1051 st name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Asamsrishta: (sáns. hindú). Unjoined. Shiva's 664 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Asana: (sáns. hindú). as "to sit quietly, abide, remain") The third "limb" (anga) of the "eight-limbed" Yoga of Patañjali, referring to the appropriate and comfortable bodily postures requisite for the practice of Yoga. Patañjali's Yogasutra (II.29, II.46. prescribes only that posture should be "steady" (sthira) and "comfortable" (sukha), suggesting, in other words, that the purpose of this practice is simply to discover a posture for the body that enables the Yogin to meditate for long periods of time free from bodily distractions. The most common posture is the well-known Lotus Posture (padmasana) in which the yogin's two feet are placed on the two (opposite) thighs, the chin lightly touches the chest, the eyes are partly closed, and the hands and arms rest comfortably on the knees. In other traditions of Yoga (for example, in Hatha Yoga), emphasis is placed on more complicated and painful postures in the belief that unusual postures may be conducive to physical health. Some later Yoga texts refer to as many as eighty-four different postures, four of which are usually mentioned as being the most important: (i) padmasana, described above; (ii) siddhasana, "perfect posture," with the left heel placed near the anus the right heel just above in the region of the genitals the chin on the chest, and an overall erect sitting position; (iii) simhasana, "lion's posture," with the heels crossed under the rectum or genital region, the hands, with the fingers extended, resting on the extended knees, an erect sitting posture (on the heels) with the mouth open, tongue extended, and eyes focused on the tip of the nose; and (iv) bhadrasana, "splendid posture," with the heels crossed as in simhasana but with arms crossed behind the back and grasping the toes of the feet, the chin firmly on the chest, and the eyes focused on the tip of the nose.

Asanajaya: (sáns. hindú). Mastery of a bodily posture of Hatha Yoga; the ability to maintain a position without difficulty. If one is able to maintain a body-posture for three hours without difficulty, the individual is said to have mastery, asanajaya, over that posture.

Asanga: (sáns. hindú). 1. Untouched. 2. Unbound. 3. Unfettered. 4. The state of a free soul (Atman) that knows it consists not of body and mind but of absolute consciousness. 45. The author of some verses in the Rigveda. He was son of Playoga, but was changed into a woman by a curse of the gods. He recovered his male form by repentance and the favor of the Rishi Medhatithi to whom he gave abundant wealth, and addressed the verses preserved in the Veda.

Asangan: (sáns. hindú). a "without" + sanga "attachment") One who is unattached.

Asarh: (sáns. hindú). Summer.

Asat: (sáns. hindú). Nonbeing, nonexistence. Often called the basis of the material world.

The concept is an abstract one, since we, as the instrument of being, cannot imagine nonbeing and can only speak of an absence of objects. Hence, asat also refers to the unknowable that is beyond being, that which is inaccessible to speech or thought and which eludes any definition. It is the qualityless Absolute of Advaita Vedanta.

Asha: (sáns. hindú). Hope.

Ashada: (sáns. hindú). Summer.

Ashadha: (sáns. hindú). 1. The invincible. 2. The constellation Cancer. 3. The zodiac sign Cancer.

Ashara: (sáns. hindú). A Rakshasa or other demon.

Ashiras: (sáns. hindú). 1. Headless. 2. Spirits or beings without heads.

Ashiva: (sáns. hindú). Bad spirits. At Karttikeya's birth Indra struck him with his thunderbolt which causes The young god to give birth to a host of terrifying and ferocious goddesses. Among the goddesses are Kaki, Halima, Malini, Brihali, Arya, Patala, and Vaimitra. Karttikeya adopted them all as his mothers; however, he divided them into two categories: good (shiva) and bad (ashiva).

Ashmaka: (sáns. hindú). Son of Madayanti the wife of Kalmashapada or Saudasa. See Kalmashapada.

Ashmanvati: (sáns. hindú). Stony, probably the name of a stony stream.

Ashna: (sáns. hindú). The name of a demon in the Rigveda whose ancient works were shattered by the Eternal Purifier.

Ashoka: (sáns. hindú). a "without" + shoka "sorrow") 1. Vishnu's 336 th name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama. 2. The 34th of Lakshmi's 108 names. 3. A celebrated king of the Maurya dynasty of Magadha, and grandson of its founder, Chandragupta. According to Dowson, "This king is the most celebrated of any in the annals of the Buddhists. In the commencement of his reign he followed the Brahmanical faith, but became a convert to that of Buddha, and a zealous encourager of it. He is said to have maintained in his palace 64,000 Buddhist priests, and to have erected 84,000 columns (or topes) throughout India. A great convocation of Buddhist priests was held in the eighteenth year of his reign, which was followed by missions to Ceylon [Sri Lanka] and other places." He reigned thirty-six years, from about 234 to 198 BCE, and exercised authority more or less direct from Afghanistan to Sri Lanka. This fact is attested by a number of very curious Pali inscriptions found engraved upon rocks and pillars, all of them of the same purport, and some of them almost identical in words, the variations showing little more than dialectic differences. That found at Kapur-di-giri, in Afghanistan, is in the Bactrian Pali character, written from right to left; all the others are in the India Pali character, written from left to right.

The latter is the oldest known form of the character now in use in India, but the modern letters have departed so far from their prototypes that it required all the acumen and diligence of James Prinsep to decipher the ancient forms. These inscriptions show a great tenderness for animal life, and are Buddhist in their character, but they do not enter upon the distinctive peculiarities of that religion. The name of Ashoka never occurs in them; the king who set them up, is called Piyadashi (Sanskrit Priyadarshi), "the beautiful," and he is entitled Devanam-piya, "the beloved of the gods." Buddhist writings identify this Piyadashi with Ashoka, and little or no doubt is entertained of the two names representing the same person. One of the most curious passages in these inscriptions refers to the Greek king Antiochus, calling him and three others "Turamayo, Antakana, Mako, and Alikasunari," which represent Ptolemy, Antigonus, Megas, and Alexander. Dowson pointed out that the date of Ashoka is not exactly that of Antiochus the Great, but it is not very far different; and the corrections required to make it correspond are no more than the inexact manner in which both Brahmanical and Buddhist chronology is preserved may well be expected to render necessary." 4. A special term used in the Kama Sutra for the Saraca indica.

Ashrama: (sáns. hindú). 1. A center for religious study and meditation; it can be a private home, a villa, a hermitage, or a monastery. Any place where spiritual seekers gather is an ashram. 2. The four stages of life for a Hindu, according to Vedic precepts: brahmacarya, grihashta, vanaprastha, sannyasi.

See Brahman. 3. Hermitage (?). Shiva's 238th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Ashraya: (sáns. hindú). Domicile, refuge. Consciousness as the basis of all things manifest and unmanifest. Ashraya is a concept found in Vedanta after Shankara's time.

Ashritavatsalaguru: (sáns. hindú). A teacher fond of those who seek refuge. Shiva's 1112th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Ashtaka: (sáns. hindú). 1. A son of the sage Vishvamitra and Madhava. See Galava. 2. A group of eight verses in praise of a deity.

Ashtamurti: (sáns. hindú). One having eight cosmic bodies. Shiva's 40 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Ashtanga Yoga: (sáns. hindú). Eight-limbed yoga. The term refers specifically to Raja Yoga, which contains eight limbs (anga) or steps.

Ashtavakra: (sáns. hindú). A Brahmin, the son of Kahoda, whose story is told in the Mahabharata. Kahoda married a daughter of his preceptor, Uddalaka, but Kahoda was so devoted to study that he neglected his wife. When she was far advanced in her pregnancy, the unborn son was provoked at his father's neglect of her, and rebuked him for it. Kahoda was angry at the child's impertinence, and condemned him to be born crooked; so he came forth with his eight (ashta) limbs crooked (vakra); therefore, his name is Ashtavakra.

Kahoda went to a great sacrifice at the court of Janaka, king of Mithila.

There was present there a great Buddhist sage, who challenged disputations, upon the understanding that whoever was overcome in argument should be thrown into the river. This was the fate of many, and among them of Kahoda, who was drowned. In his twelfth year Ashtavakra learned the manner of his father's death, and set out to avenge him. The lad was possessed of great ability and wisdom. He got the better of the sage who had gotten the better of his father, and insisted that the sage should be thrown into the water.

The sage then declared himself to be a son of Varuna, god of the waters, who had sent him to obtain Brahmins for officiating at a sacrifice by overpowering them in argument and throwing them into the water. When all was explained and set right, Kahoda directed his son to bathe in the Samanga river, which upon doing, the lad became perfectly straight. A story is told in the Vishnupurana that Ashtavakra was standing in water performing penance when he was seen by some celestial nymphs and worshipped by them. He was pleased, and told them to ask a boon. They asked for the best of men as husband. He came out of the water and offered himself. When they saw him, ugly and crooked in eight places, they laughed in derision.

He was angry, and as he could not recall his blessing, he said that, after obtaining it, they should fall into the hands of thieves.

Ashubha: (sáns. hindú). Inauspicious, unfavorable, unfortunate, impure, ugly. The opposite of shubha (favorable, fortunate, auspicious). A symbolic term from the world of opposites; its meaning is relative and subjective.

Ashushabdapati: (sáns. hindú). The lord of the word "quick" (?). Shiva's 660th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Ashva: (sáns. hindú). The father of the Rishi Vasha.

Ashvagandha: (sáns. hindú). A special term used in the Kama Sutra for the Vithania somnifera.

Ashvaivara: (sáns. hindú). An antidote for snake-bite.

Ashvalayana: (sáns. hindú). A celebrated writer of antiquity. Ashvalayana was a pupil of Shaunaka, and was author of Shraura-sutras, Grihya-sutras, and other works on ritual, as well as founder of a Shakha of the Rigveda.

Ashvamedha: (sáns. hindú). 1. The sacrifice of a horse. This is a sacrifice which, in Vedic times, was performed by kings desiring offspring. The horse was killed with certain ceremonies, and some scholars claim that the wives of the king performing the Ashvamedha had to pass the night by its carcass. However, this has been highly protested by other scholars. In the time of the Mahabharata, the sacrifice obtained a high importance and significance. It was performed only by kings, and implied that he who instituted it was a conqueror and king of kings. It was believed that the performance of one hundred such sacrifices would enable a mortal king to overthrow the throne of Indra, and to become the ruler of the universe and sovereign of the gods. A horse of a particular color was consecrated by the performance of certain ceremonies, and was then turned loose to wander at will for a year.

The king, or his representative, followed the horse with an army, and when the animal entered a foreign country, the ruler of that country was bound either to fight or to submit. If the liberator of the horse succeeded in obtaining, or enforcing the submission of all the countries over which it passed, he returned in triumph with the vanquished Rajas in his train; but if he failed, he was disgraced and his pretensions ridiculed. After the successful return a great festival was held at which time the horse was presented with a mare. When the horse neighed in acceptance of the mate, he was suffocated. 2. Improvement of land for growing crops. 3. The name of a prince found in the Rigveda.

Ashvamukha: (sáns. hindú). Horse-faced. See Kinnara.

Ashvapati: (sáns. hindú). 1. Lord of Horses. 2. An appellation of many kings.

Ashvatha: (sáns. hindú). a "not" + shva "tomorrow" + tha "exist") 1. The unstable world, i.e., the world may or may not exist tomorrow. 2. A name of Divodasa.

Ashvattha: (sáns. hindú). 1. The fig tree (Fiches Religiosa) venerated by the people of India as sacred, i.e., the Pipal tree or Bo tree under which Gautama Buddha became enlightened. 2. The Tree of Life, represented as having its roots in heaven and its branches and leaves on earth. The tree is symbolic of cosmic existence, which has its roots in the transcendent realms, while its branches extend into the world. Brahman, the One without a second, has as cosmic existence two aspects: the roots of Ashvattha are the unmanifest Absolute, its trunk and branches are manifest being.

Ashvatthaman: (sáns. hindú). Son of Drona and Kripa, and one of the generals of the Kauravas. Also called by his patronymic Draunayana. After the last great battle, in which Dur-yodhana was mortally wounded, Ashvatthaman with two other warriors, Kripa and Krita-varman, were the sole survivors of the Kaurava host that were left effective. Ashvatthaman was made the commander.

He was fierce in his hostility toward the Pandavas, and craved for revenge upon Dhrishtadyumna, who had slain his father, Drona. These three surviving Kauravas entered the Pandava camp at night. They found Dhrishtadyumna asleep, and Ashvatthaman stamped him to death where he was sleeping. He then killed Shikhandin, the other son of Drupada, and he also killed the five young sons of the Pandavas and carried their heads to the dying Dur-yodhana. He killed Parikshit, while yet unborn in the womb of his mother, with his celestial weapon Brahmastra. The killing of Parikshit incurred the curse of Krishna, who restored Parikshit to life. The next morning Ashvatthaman and his comrades fled, but Draupadi clamored for revenge upon the murderer of here children. Yudhishthira claimed that Ashvatthaman was a Brahmin, and pleaded for his life. She then consented to forego her demand for his blood if the precious and protective jewel which he wore on his head were brought to her. Bhima, Arjuna, and Krishna then went in pursuit of him. Arjuna and Krishna overtook him, and compelled him to give up the jewel. They carried it to Draupadi, and she gave it to Yudhisihthira, who afterwards wore it on his head.

Ashvina: (sáns. hindú). Heaven and earth, day and night, sun and moon as well.

Ashvins: (sáns. hindú). 1. Horsemen. 2. Dioskouroi. 3. Two Vedic deities, twin sons of the sun or the sky. They are ever young and handsome, bright, and of golden brilliancy, agile, swift as falcons, and possessed of many forms; and they ride in a golden car drawn by horses or birds, as harbingers of Ushas, the dawn. Roth stated, "They are the earliest bringers of light in the morning sky, who in their chariot hasten onwards before the dawn and prepares the way for her." As personifications of the morning twilight, they are said to be children of the sun by a nymph who concealed herself in the form of a mare; hence she was called Ashvini and her sons, Ashvins. But inasmuch as they precede the rise of the sun, they are called his parents in his form Pushan. Mythically they are the parents of the Pandu princes Nakula and Sahadeva. Their attributes are numerous, but relate mostly to youth and beauty, light and speed, duality, the curative power, and active benevolence. The number of hymns addressed to them testify to the enthusiastic worship they received. They were the physicians of Svarga, and in this character are called Dasras and Nasatyas, Gadagadau and Svar-vaidyau; or one was Dasra and the other Nasatyas. Other of their appellations are Abdhi-jau, "ocean born;" Pushkarasrajau, "wreathed with lotuses;" Badaveyau, "sons of the submarine fire" (Badava). Many instances are recorded of their benevolence and their power of healing. They restored the sage Cyavana to youth, and prolonged his life when he had become old and decrepit, and through his instrumentality they were admitted to partake of the libations of Soma, like the other gods, although Indra strongly opposed them. See Cyavana. The Ashvins, says Muir, "have been a puzzle to the oldest commentators," who have differed widely in their explanations.

According to different interpretations quoted in the Nirukta, they were "heaven and earth," "day and night," "two kings, performers of holy acts."

The following is the view taken of them by the late Professor Goldstücker, as quoted by Muir. "The myth of the Ashvins is, in my opinion, one of that class of myths in which two distinct elements, the cosmical and the human or historical, have gradually become blended into one. It seems necessary, therefore, to separate these two elements in order to arrive at an understanding of the myth. The historical or human element in it, i believe, is represented by those legends which refer to the wonderful cures effected by the Ashvins, and to their performances of a kindred sort; the cosmical element is that relating to their luminous nature. The link which connects both seems to be the mysteriousness of the nature and effects of the phenomena of light and of the healing art at a remote antiquity. That there might have been some horsemen or warriors of great renown, who inspired their contemporaries with awe by their wonderful deeds, and more especially by their medical skill, appears to have been also the opinion of some old commentators mentioned by Yaska [in the Nirukta], for some 'legendary writers,' he says, took them for 'two kings, performers of holy acts,' and this view seems likewise borne out by the legend in which it is narrated that the gods refused the Ashvins admittance to a sacrifice on the ground that they had been on too familiar terms with men. It would appear, then, that these Ashvins, like the Ribhus, were originally renowned mortals, who, in the course of time, were translated into the companionship of the gods. . . . The luminous character of the Ashvins can scarcely be matter of doubt, for the view of some commentators, recorded by Yaska, according to which they are identified with 'heaven and earth,' appears not to be countenanced by any of the passages known to us. Their very name, it would seem, settles this point, since Ashva, the horse, literally 'the pervader,' is always the symbol of the luminous deities, especially of the sun. . . . It seems to be the opinion of Yaska that the Ashvins represent the transition from darkness to light, when the intermingling of both produces that inseparable duality expressed by the twin nature of these deities and this interpretation, I hold, the best that can be given of the character of the cosmical Ashvins. It agrees with the epithets by which they are invoked, and with the relationship in which they are placed. They are young, yet also ancient, beautiful, bright, swift, &c; and their negative character, the result of the alliance of light with darkness, is, I believe, expressed by dasra, the destroyer, and also by the two negatives in the compound nasatya (na + a-satsa); though their positive character is again redeemed by the ellipsis of 'enemies, or diseases' to dasra, and by the sense of nasatya, not untrue, i.e., truthful." In the celestial hierarchy, the Adityas and Mitra Varuna are the embodiments of the priestly function, the brahma; the Maruts belong to the warrior class, the kshatriya; and Ashvins represent the third social function-the agriculturists-herdsmen. The Ashvins are the providers of health, of youth, and fecundity-the source of plenty in food, men, and goods. Knowing all the secrets of plant life, the Ashvins are the physicians of the gods. Healers, they help the sick, they bring honey to the gods, and, with the help of the seer-magician Dadhica (Angiras), they find the soma hidden in Tvastri's house. They also taught gods and men the use of liquor (sura). There are several versions of the birth of the Ashvins. The main one relates that Understanding (Samjna), daughter of the Shaper (Tvastri), was married to Eternal-Law (Dharma), who is the embodiment of righteousness, Vivasvat, and whose visible form is the sun. Unable to stand the brightness of her husband, she left her shadow near him and, taking the shape of a mare (Asvini), that is, of the solar light, she began to practice austerities.

Righteousness (Vivasvat), taking the shape of a horse, searched for Understanding and found her, and twins were born. Because their mother had the form of a mare, these twins are called "the mare's boys" (Asvinikumara). 4. A celebrated book on medical science is known as Asvinikumara Samhita. The number of Vedic hymns addressed to the Ashvins testifies to the importance of their worship. They are invoked during the marriage ceremony.

Ashvinau: (sáns. hindú). See Ashvin.

Ashvini: (sáns. hindú). The Consort of the Ashvins.

Ashvinikumaras: (sáns. hindú). See Ashvin.

Ashvya: (sáns. hindú). A family name.

Asikni: (sáns. hindú). 1. The Vedic name of the Cinab, and probably the origin of the classic Akesines. 2. A medicine.

Asita: (sáns. hindú). A famous sage.

Asparsha: (sáns. hindú). (a "not" + sparsha "touch") Nonimprisonment. This state is attained when, despite the subject-object relationship, the Jiva views itself merely as a witness, and imprisonment is no longer possible, because events are now seen merely as the play of maya, not as reality. The path to this state is called Asparsha Yoga. The goal of Asparsha Yoga is the knowledge of transcendent, nondual reality. Gaudapadacarya mentions this word in his Karika on Mandukya Upanishad.

Asteya: (sáns. hindú). Not stealing. One of the five virtues on the first stage (yama) of Raja Yoga, as stipulated in the Yoga Sutra of Patañjali. They make up the Great Vow (Mahavrata) that applies to all eight stages. The four remaining virtues are; ahimsa (harmlessness), satya (truthfulness), brahmacarya (continence), and aparigraha (possessionlessness).

Astika: (sáns. hindú). 1. Orthodox, true to the Veda. 2. The name for the six philosophical systems, or darshanas, which are thought of as being orthodox because they acknowledge the authority of the Vedas. 3. An ancient sage, son of Jarat-karu by a sister of the great serpent Vasuki. He saved the life of the serpent Takshaka when Janamejaya made his great sacrifice of serpents, and induced the king to forego his persecution of the serpent race.

Asura: (sáns. hindú). asu "the breath" asura "anti-god") 1. Antigod. 2. Demon. 3. In the oldest parts of the Rigveda this term is used for the supreme spirit, and is the same as the Ahura of the Zoroastrians. In the sense of "god" it was applied to several of the chief deities, as to Indra, Agni and Varuna. It afterwards acquired an entirely opposite meaning, and came to signify, as now, a demon or enemy of the gods. The word is found with this signification in the later parts of the Rigveda, particularly in the last book, and also in the Atharvaveda. The Brahmanas attach the same meaning to it, and record many contests between the Asuras and the gods. According to the Taittiriya Brahmana, the breath (asu) of Prajapati became alive, and "with that breath he created the Asuras." In another part of the same work it is said that Prajapati "be came pregnant, He created Asuras from his abdomen." The Shatapatha Brahmana accords with the former statement, and states that "he created Asuras from his lower breath." The Taittiriya Aranyaka represents that Prajapati created "gods, men, fathers, Gandharvas, and Apsaras." from water, and that the Asuras, Rakshasas, and Pishacas sprang from the drops which were spilt. Manu's statement is that they were created by the Prajapatis. According to the Vishnupurana, they were produced from the groin of Brahma (Prajapati). The account of the Vayupurana is: "Asuras wore first produced as sons from his (Prajapati's) groin. Asu is declared by Brahmans to mean breath. From it these beings were [reproduced; hence they are Asuras." The word has long been used for the enemies of the gods, including the Daityas and Danavas and other descendants of Kashyapa, but not including the Rakshasas descended from Pulastya. In this sense a different derivation has been found for it. The source is no longer asu "breath" but the initial a is taken as the negative prefix, and asura signifies "not god;" hence, according to some, arose the word sura, commonly used for "a god." See Sura.

Asuri: (sáns. hindú). 1. One of the earliest professors of the Sankhya philosophy. 2. A female non-god or demon. 3. A medicine.

Asuri Anushtup Cand: (sáns. hindú). Meter of thirteen syllables. It is through this meter that the Vasus know the thirteenfold collection of laudable objects.

Asuri Gayatri Cand: (sáns. hindú). Meter of fifteen syllables. It is through this meter that the Adityas know the fifteenfold collection of laudable objects.

Asuri Pankti: (sáns. hindú). Meter of eleven syllables. Hendecasyllabic meter-the knowledge of Vedic verses in this meter leads to the knowledge of God and worldly affairs.

Asvin: (sáns. hindú). The period from mid-September to mid-October.

Atanu: (sáns. hindú). Unembodied. Shiva's 576th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Atharva: (sáns. hindú). The fourth Veda. See Veda.

Atharvan: (sáns. hindú). 1. A learned person. 2. The name of a priest mentioned in the Rigveda, where he is represented as having "drawn forth" fire and to have "offered sacrifice in early times." He is mythologically represented as the oldest son of Brahma, to whom that god revealed the Brahmavidya (knowledge of God), as a Prajapati, and as the inspired author of the fourth Veda. At a later period he is identified with Angirasas. His descendants are called Atharvanas, and are often associated with the Angirasas.

Atharvangirasas: (sáns. hindú). This name belongs to the descendants of Atharvan and Angiras, or to the Angirasas alone, who are especially connected with the Atharvaveda, and the names are probably given to the hymns of that Veda to confer on them greater authority and holiness.

Atharvaveda: (sáns. hindú). The fourth Veda, devoted to the "knowledge of magic spells." It originated later than the other three Vedas (Rig, Sama, and Yajur), and was for some time not recognized as part of the Vedas even though a portion of its 731 hymns are derived from the Rigveda. The Atharvaveda was not strictly fixed in content, thus a series of mostly brief Upanishads was appended to it. Many of these are apocryphal in character and actually represent textbooks for later schools of Hinduism. Only a few of these, in particular the Mundaka, Prasna, and Mandukya Upanishads are recognized and utilized by Vedantists. The Atharvaveda preserves many traditions of folk belief as well as atonement ceremonies, curses, and marriage and burial songs of the most ancient Indian priesthood, the Atharvan. The work can further be seen as the oldest document of Indian medicine, as it contains numerous magical spells against illness. The Atharvaveda was indispensable for priests serving at the court, since at that time (from the second century BCE) magic and politics were closely conjoined.

Ati Ashti: (sáns. hindú). A meter with sixty eight syllables.

Ati Candas: (sáns. hindú). The Ati Dhriti, Ati Ashti, Ati Shakvari, and Ati Jagati are known as Ati Candas. These have 76, 68, 60, and 48 syllables respectively.

A virtuous person is expected to maintain celibacy for 60, 68, and 76 years like the syllables of the Atichandas.

Aticand: (sáns. hindú). Name of a meter.

Atideva: (sáns. hindú). ati "beyond" + deva "shining, god." 1. The exceedingly luminous. 2. Surpassing the gods.

Ati Dhriti: (sáns. hindú). A meter with seventy six syllables.

Ati Jagati: (sáns. hindú). A meter with forty eight syllables.

Atindriya: (sáns. hindú). One who is beyond the pale of the sense-organs. Shiva's 347th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Atiraja: (sáns. hindú). ati "beyond" + raja "king") One who is superior to a king

Atiratra: (sáns. hindú). A sacrifice performed during the night.

Ati Shakvari: (sáns. hindú). A meter with sixty syllables.

Atithi: (sáns. hindú). Guest. Shiva's 665th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Atithigu: (sáns. hindú). The name of Divodasa's father.

Atithigva: (sáns. hindú). A name of Divodasa.

Atithyeshti: (sáns. hindú). A certain religious ceremony.

Ativishva: (sáns. hindú). ati "beyond" + vishva "universe") 1. One who surpasses all the universe. 2. A muni's name.

Atiyaja: (sáns. hindú). One who over-sacrifices. This name seems to be employed expressly to signify one who oversacrifices, that is, sacrifices more than is necessary or prescribed, superfluity, as well as deficiency. In the Rigveda this atiyaja is the cause of failed sacrifices.

Atka: (sáns. hindú). The name of a man in the Rigveda.

Atkila: (sáns. hindú). The name of a Rishi.

Atmabhu: (sáns. hindú). Self-born. Shiva's 643rd name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Atma-bodha: (sáns. hindú). Knowledge of the Self. A short but significant treatise of Advaita Vedanta; attributed to Shankaracarya, it is repeatedly cited in the literature of this philosophy. In sixty-eight slokas, or verses, the text presents the most important concepts of Advaita, such as Atman, brahman, the superimposition of forms of the manifest world on Brahman, and the method that leads to knowledge of the Self and hence to liberation.

Atmacintana: (sáns. hindú). Thoughts directed to the Atman (Self).

Atmadana: (sáns. hindú). Surrender, the gift of the Self to the Divine. Only when God is acknowledged as the most precious commodity is such surrender (bhakti) possible.

Atma Darshan: (sáns. hindú). A vision of the Atman (real Self).

Atma Droha: (sáns. hindú). atma "self" + droha "betrayal") Indifferent or hostile attitude toward the Self, the Atman; the mental attitude of materialists, atheists, and the ignorant.

Atma Gyana: (sáns. hindú). Knowledge of the Atman (Self), which according to Vedanta is synonymous with knowledge of God.

Atmajyoti: (sáns. hindú). atma "Self" + jyoti "light") The light of the Atman. Shiva's 570th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Atman: (sáns. hindú). 1. According to the Hindu philosophy, Atman is the real immortal Self of human beings, known in the West as the Soul. It is the nonparticipating witness of the Jiva, beyond body and thought and, as pure consciousness, identical with brahman. Atman is known philosophically as kutastha. In virtue of its identity with brahman, its characteristic marks (atmakara) are identical with those of brahman, i.e., eternal, absolute being; absolute consciousness; and absolute bliss. 2. According to Non-dualistic Vedanta, atman (with a small initial a) the Supreme Soul and the Individual Soul are identical. See the BrihadAranyaka Upanishad.

Atmananda: (sáns. hindú). The bliss of the Atman (Self).

Atmanisamsthita: (sáns. hindú). One stationed in the Atman. Shiva's 429th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Atmaprasada: (sáns. hindú). Spiritual pleasantness; the clarity, serenity, and peace of the Atman (Self), which arise only when identification with the body and the mind is relinquished.

Atmarati: (sáns. hindú). 1. The peaceful bliss of Atman (Self) in each of us, experienced only in deep meditation and in samadhi. 2. Taking pleasure in the Self.

Atmasamarpana: (sáns. hindú). Complete surrender and submission to God.

Atmasambhava: (sáns. hindú). Born of himself. Shiva's 785th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Atma Shakti: (sáns. hindú). The forces of the Atman (Self) in the human being. As an aspect of absolute consciousness, they are capable of accepting all thought projections, both those that lead to liberation and those that lead to imprisonment in the world of maya.

Atmavidya: (sáns. hindú). She who is knowledge of the atman. An epithet of Devi. The 583rd name in the Lalita Sahasranama.

Atmavirya: (sáns. hindú). The strength and power that arise from the awareness of being one with God.

Atmayajna: (sáns. hindú). The sacrifice of the small self, or "I," considered to be the most important offering on the path from darkness to light, from death to life (immortality).

Atmayoni: (sáns. hindú). Source of origin of the Atman. Shiva's 551st name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Atreya: (sáns. hindú). 1. A patronymic of Atri. 2. A descendant of Atri. 3. A people so-called.

Atri: (sáns. hindú). 1. One who devours. 2. Shiva's 645 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98. 3. One of the seven Rishis or seers of the Vedas, who was born of Brahma's mind. Goldstücker, in his Dictionary, claims that Atri is "a Maharishi or great saint, who in the Vedas occurs especially in hymns composed for the praise of Agni, Indra, the Ashvins, and the Vishvedevas. In the epic period he is considered as one of the ten Prajapatis or lords of creation engendered by Manu for the purpose of creating the universe; at a later period he appears as a mind-born son of Brahma, and as one of the seven Rishis who preside over the reign of Svayambhuva, the first Manu, or, according to others, of Svarocisha, the second, or of Vaivasvata, the seventh. He married Anasuya, Daughter of Daksha, and their son was Durvasas." In the Ramayana an account is given of the visit paid by Rama and Sita to Atri and Anasuya in their hermitage south of citrakuta. In the Puranas he was also the father of Soma, the moon, and the ascetic Dattatreya by his wife Anasuya. As a Rishi he is one of the stars of the Great Bear (Big Dipper).

Atrin: (sáns. hindú). A voracious fiend mentioned in the Vedas.

Attri: (sáns. hindú). Devourer. Shiva's 930 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Atulavara: (sáns. hindú). Or incomparable boons. Shiva's 917th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Atyagnishtoma: (sáns. hindú). A religious ceremony. The second part of the jyotishtoma.

Aukathya: (sáns. hindú). A Rishi mentioned in the Rigveda.

Aukshagandhi: (sáns. hindú). A medicine for fever and burns.

Aulana: (sáns. hindú). Son of Ula.

Aupapaduka: (sáns. hindú). The catur yoni.

Auparishtaka: (sáns. hindú). A special term used in the Kama Sutra for superior coition, fellation.

Aurasa: (sáns. hindú). A special term used in the Kama Sutra for a child born out of wedlock. A bastard.

Aurnavabha: (sáns. hindú). Son of Urnavabha, a demon of drought.

Aurva: (sáns. hindú). A Rishi, son of Urva and grandson of Bhrigu. He is described in the Mahabharata as son of the sage cyavana by his wife Arushi. From his race he is called Bhargava. The Mahabharata relates that a king named Kritavirya was very liberal to his priests of the race of Bhrigu, and that they grew rich upon his generosity. After his death, his descendants, who had fallen into poverty, begged help from the Bhrigus, and met with no liberal response. Some of them buried their money, and when this was discovered the impoverished Kshatriyas were so exasperated that they slew all the Bhrigus down to the children in the womb. One woman concealed her unborn child in her thigh, and the Kshatriyas being informed of this, sought the child to kill it, but the child "issued forth from its mother's thigh with brilliance and blinded the persecutors. From being produced from the thigh (uru), the child received the name of Aurva. The sage's austerities alarmed both gods and men, and he for a long time refused to mitigate his wrath against the Kshatriyas, but at the persuasion of the Pitris, he cast the fire of his anger into the sea, where it became a being with the face of a horse called Hayasiras. While he was living in the forest he prevented the wife of King Bahu from burning herself with her husbands corpse. Thus he saved the life of her son, with whom she had been pregnant seven years.

When the child was born he was called Sagara (ocean) and Aurva was his preceptor. Aurva bestowed on Sagara the Agneyastra, or fiery weapon with which he conquered the barbarians who invaded his country. Aurva had a son named Ricika, who was father of Jamadagni. The Harivansha gives another version of the legend about the offspring of Aurva. The sage was urged by his friends to beget children. He consented, but he foretold that his progeny would live by the destruction of others. Then he produced from his thigh a devouring fire, which cried out with a loud voice, "I am hungry.

Let me consume the world." The various regions were soon in flames. When Brahma interfered to save his creation and promised the son of Aurva a suitable abode and maintenance. The abode was to be at Badavamukha, the mouth of the ocean; for Brahma was born and rests in the ocean, and he and the newly produced fire were to consume the world together at the end of each age, and at the end of time to devour all things with the gods, Asuras, and Rakshasas. The name Aurva thus signifies, in short, the submarine fire. It is also called Badavanala and Samvarttaka. It is represented as a flame with a horse's head, and is also called Kakadhvaja, from carrying a banner on which there is a crow.

Aushana: (sáns. hindú). See Purana.

Aushanasapurana: (sáns. hindú). See Purana.

Aushija: (sáns. hindú). The Rishi Kakshivan, son of Ushij.

Auttami: (sáns. hindú). The third Manu.

Avabhritha: (sáns. hindú). 1. A bath for cleansing Soma plants. 2. The bath for cleaning after any great ritual such as the fire sacrifice.

Avacceda Vada: (sáns. hindú). The view that the Jiva is a form of brahman, i.e., a manifestation of the Absolute, which, however, is limited due to ignorance (avidya), which superimposes on the Absolute a veil of identification with the body and mind.

Avadhuta: (sáns. hindú). 1. A human being who has attained divine knowledge and has relinquished all ties to the world. 2. A name of Dattatreya. 3. A name of a sage that taught King Yadu in the Bhagavatapurana. 4. The highest class of renunciates.

Avadhut Gita: (sáns. hindú). Song of an illumined one. A work consisting of 193 verses, composed by Mahatma Dattatreya, who is presumed to have lived in the fourth century BCE. Nothing is known of Dattatreya's life except that he lived long before Christ but after Krishna, and that he wrote this one work only.

As brief as the Avadhut Gita is, it summarizes in a nutshell the spirit of advaita and the Upanishads and thus is highly prized by advanced seekers.

Avalguja: (sáns. hindú). A special term used in the Kama Sutra for Vermonia anthelmintica commonly known as the globe amaranth

Avanipala: (sáns. hindú). avani "earth" + pala "protector") 1. The protector of the earth. 2. A title for a king. 3. Sri Rama in Kalidasa's poem "Raghuvamsha."

Avanisha: (sáns. hindú). avani "earth" + sha "lord") 1. The Lord of the earth. 2. Title for a king.

Avanishvara: (sáns. hindú). avani "earth" + ishvara "lord") 1. The Lord of the earth. 2. Title for a king .

Avanishvari: (sáns. hindú). avani "earth" + ishvari "sovereign goddess") 1. Queen of the earth. 2. Title for a queen .

Avanti: (sáns. hindú). 1. A name of Ujjayini. 2. One of the seven sacred cities.

Avarana: (sáns. hindú). Concealing; covering. The power of ignorance (avidya) to cast a veil over brahman.

Avarna: (sáns. hindú). a "without" + varna "color") 1. Colorless.

Avastha: (sáns. hindú). A plane or state of consciousness. There are four avasthas: jagrat (the waking state, also known in Vedanta as vaishvanara), svapna (dreaming sleep), sushupti (deep sleep), and turiya (the fourth).

Avasyu: (sáns. hindú). A Rishi (according to Sayana).

Avatara: (sáns. hindú). A descent. The incarnation of a deity, especially of Vishnu. The first indication, not of an Avatara, but of what subsequently developed into an Avatara, is found in the Rigveda in the "three steps" of "Vishnu, the unconquerable preserver," who "strode over this (universe)," and "in three places planted his step." The early commentators understood the "three places" to be the earth, the atmosphere, and the sky. They thought that in the earth Vishnu was fire, in the air lightning, and in the sky the solar light. One commentator, Aurnavabha, whose name deserves mention, took a more philosophical view of the matter, and interpreted "the three steps" as being "the different positions of the sun at his rising, culmination, and setting." Sayana, the great commentator, who lived in days when the god Vishnu had obtained preeminence, understood "the three steps" to be "the three steps" taken by that god in his incarnation of Vamana the dwarf, to be presently noticed. Another reference to "three strides" and to a sort of Avatara is made in the Taittiriya Samhita, where it is said, "Indra, assuming the form of a she-jackal, stepped all round the earth in three (strides). Thus the gods obtained it." In the Taittiriya Samhita and Brahmana as well as in the Shatapatha Brahmana, the creator Prajapati, afterwards known as Brahma, took the form of a boar for the purpose of raising the earth out of the boundless waters. The Samhita says, "This universe was formerly waters, fluid. On it Prajapati, becoming wind, moved.

He saw this (earth). Becoming a boar, he took her up. Becoming Vishvakarman, he wiped (the moisture from) her. She extended. She became the extended one (Prithvi). From this the earth derives her designation as "the extended one." The Brahmana is in accord as to the illimitable waters, and adds, "Prajapati practiced arduous devotion (saying), 'How shall this universe be (developed)?' He beheld a lotus leaf standing. He thought, there is somewhat on which this (lotus leaf) rests. He, as a boar-having assumed that form-plunged beneath towards it. He found the earth down below. Breaking off (a portion of her), he rose to the surface.

He then extended it on the lotus leaf. Inasmuch as he extended it, that is the extension of the extended one (the earth). This became (abhut). From this the earth derives its name of Bhumi." Further, in the Taittiriya Aranyaka it is said that the earth was "raised by a black boar with a hundred arms." The Shatapatha Brahmana states, "She (the earth) was only so large, of the size of a span. A boar called Emusha raised her up." In the Ramayana also it is stated that Brahma "became a boar and raised up the earth." In the Shatapatha Brahmana it is said that "Prajapati, having assumed the form of a tortoise (kurma), created offspring. That which he created he made (akarot); hence the word Kurma." The earliest mention of the fish Avatara occurs in the Shatapatha Brahmana, in connection with the Hindu legend of the deluge. Manu found a small fish in some water which had been brought to him for his ablutions. The fish spoke to him saying, "I will save you" from a flood which shall sweep away all creatures. The fish grew to a large size, and had to be placed in the ocean. Then he directed Manu to construct a ship and to ask the fish for help when the flood should rise. The deluge came, and Manu embarked in the ship. The fish then swam to Manu, who fastened the vessel to the fish's horn, and was conducted to safety. The Mahabharata repeats this story with some variations. The incarnations of the boar, the tortoise, and the fish are thus in the earlier writings represented as manifestations of Prajapati or Brahma. The "three steps" which form the basis of the dwarf incarnation are ascribed to Vishnu, but even these appear to be of an astronomical or mythical character rather than glorification of a particular deity. In the Mahabharata Vishnu has become the most prominent of the gods, and some of his incarnations are more or less distinctly noticed; but it is in the Puranas that they receive their full development. According to the generally received account, the incarnations of Vishnu are ten in number, each of them being assumed by Vishnu, the great preserving power, to save the world from some great danger or trouble. 1. Matsya. "The fish." This is an appropriation to Vishnu of the ancient legend of the fish and the deluge, as related in the Shatapatha Brahmana, and quoted above. The details of this Avatara vary slightly in different Puranas. The object of the incarnation was to save Vaivasvata, the seventh Manu, and progenitor of the human race, from destruction by a deluge. A small fish came into the hands of Manu and besought his protection. He carefully guarded it, and it grew rapidly until nothing but the ocean could contain it. Manu then recognized its divinity, and worshipped the deity Vishnu thus incarnated.

The god informed Manu of the approaching cataclysm, and bade him prepare for it. When it came, Manu embarked in a ship with the Rishis, and with the seeds of all existing things. Vishnu then appeared as the fish with a most stupendous horn. The ship was bound to the horn with the great serpent as with a rope, and was secured in safety until the waters had subsided. The Bhagavatapurana introduces a new feature. In one of the nights of Brahma, and during his repose, the earth and the other worlds were submerged in the ocean. Then the demon Hayagriva drew near, and carried off the Veda which had issued from Brahma's mouth. To recover the Veda thus lost, Vishnu assumed the form of a fish, and saved Manu as above related. But this Purana adds, that the fish instructed Manu and the Rishis in "the true doctrine of the soul of the eternal Brahma;" and, when Brahma awoke at the end of this dissolution of the universe, Vishnu slew Hayagriva and restored the Veda to Brahma. 2. Kurma. "The tortoise." The germ of this avatara is found in the Shatapatha Brahmana, as above noted. In its later and developed form, Vishnu appeared in the form of a tortoise in the Satya-yuga, or first age, to recover some things of value which had been lost in the deluge. In the form of a tortoise he placed himself at the bottom of the sea of milk, and made his back the base or pivot of the mountain Mandara. The gods and demons twisted the great serpent Vasuki round the mountain, and, dividing into two parties, each took an end of the snake as a rope, and thus churned the sea until they recovered the desired objects. These were" 1) Amrita, the water of life; 2) Dhanvantari, the physician of the gods and bearer of the cup of Amrita; 3) Lakshmi, goddess of fortune and beauty, and consort of Vishnu; 4) Sura, goddess of wine; 5) Candra, the moon; 6) Rambha, a nymph, and pattern of a lovely and amiable woman; 7) Uccaih-shravas, a wonderful and model horse; 8) Kaustubha, a celebrated jewel; 9) Parijata, a celestial tree; 10) Surabhi, the cow of plenty; 11) Airavata, a wonderful model elephant; 12) Shankha, a sea-shell, the conch of victory; 13) Dhanus, a famous bow; and 14) Visha, poison. 3. Varaha. "The boar." The old legend of the Brahmanas concerning the boar which raised the earth from the waters has been appropriated to Vishnu. A demon named Hiranyaksha had dragged the earth to the bottom of the sea. To recover it Vishnu assumed the form of a boar, and after a contest of a thousand years he slew the demon and raised up the earth. 4. Narasinha, or Nrisinha. "The man-lion." Vishnu assumed this form to deliver the world from the tyranny of Hiranyakashipu, a demon who, by the favor of Brahma, had become invulnerable, and was secure from gods, men, and animals. This demon's son, named Prahlada, worshipped Vishnu, which so incensed his father that he tried to kill him, but his efforts were all in vain.

Contending with his son as to the omnipotence and omnipresence of Vishnu, Hiranyakashipu demanded to know if Vishnu was present in a stone pillar of the hall, and struck it violently. To avenge Prahlada, and to vindicate his own offended majesty, Vishnu came forth from the pillar as the Narasinha, half-man and half-lion, and tore the arrogant Daitya king to pieces. [These first four incarnations are supposed to have appeared in the Satya-yuga, or first age of the world.] 5. Vamana. "The dwarf." The origin of this incarnation is "the three strides of Vishnu," spoken of in the Rigveda, as before explained. In the Treta-yuga, or second age, the Daitya king Bali had, by his devotions and austerities, acquired the dominion of the three worlds, and the gods were shorn of their power and dignity. To remedy this, Vishnu was born as a diminutive son of Kashyapa and Aditi. The dwarf appeared before Bali, and begged of him as much land as he could step over in three paces. The generous monarch complied with the request. Vishnu took two strides over heaven and earth; but respecting the virtues of Bali, he then stopped, leaving the dominion of Patala, or the infernal regions, to Bali. [The first five incarnations are thus purely mythological; in the next three we have the heroic element, and in the ninth the religious.] 6. Parashurama. "Rama-with-the-ax." Born in the Treta, or second age, as son of the Brahman Jamadagni, to deliver the Brahmans from the arrogant dominion of the, Kshatriyas. See Parashurama. 7. Rama or Ramacandra. "The moon-like or gentle Rama." This Rama is the hero of the Ramayana. He was the son of Dasharatha, king of Ayodhya, of the Solar race, and was born in the Treta-yuga or second age, for the purpose of destroying the demon Ravana. See Rama and Ramayana. 8. Krishna "The black or dark colored." This is the most popular of all the later deities, and has obtained such preeminence, that his votaries look upon him not simply as an incarnation, but as a perfect manifestation of Vishnu. When Krishna is thus exalted to the full godhead, his elder brother, Balarama takes his place as the eighth Avatara. See Krishna and Balarama. 9. Buddha. The great success of Buddha as a religious teacher seems to have induced the Brahmans to adopt him as their own, rather than to recognize him as an adversary. So Vishnu is said to have appeared as Buddha to encourage demons and wicked men to despise the Vedas, reject caste, and deny the existence of the gods, and thus to effect their own destruction. 10. Kalki or Kalkin. "The white horse." This incarnation of Vishnu is to appear at the end of the Kali or Iron age, seated on a white horse, with a drawn sword blazing like a comet, for the final destruction of the wicked, the renovation of creation, and the restoration of purity. The number of Avatars is sometimes extended, and the Bhagavatapurana, which is the most fervid of all the Puranas in its glorification of Vishnu, enumerates twenty-two incarnations: 1. Purusha, the male, the progenitor; 2. Varaha, the boar; 3. Narada, the great sage; 4. Nara and Narayana; 5. Kapila, the great sage; 6. Dattatreya, a sage; 7. Yajna, sacrifice; 8. Rishabha, a righteous king, father of Bharata; 9. Prithu, a king; 10. Matsya, the fish; 11. Kurma, the tortoise; 12 and 13. Dhanvantari, the physician of the gods; 14. Narasinha, the man-lion; 15. Vamana, the dwarf; 16. Parashurama; 17. Veda-Vyasa; 18. Rama; 19. Balarama; 20 Krishna; 21. Buddha; 22. Kalki. But after this it adds: "The incarnations of Vishnu are innumerable, like the rivulets flowing from an inexhaustible lake. Rishis, Manus, gods, sons of Manus, Prajapatis, are all portions of him."

Avatarana: (sáns. hindú). An abode of the Rakshasa.

Avatsara: (sáns. hindú). A Rishi mentioned in the Rigveda.

Avayava: (sáns. hindú). 1. A syllogism. 2. An organ of the living.

Avbrith: (sáns. hindú). See avabhritha.

Avesha: (sáns. hindú). The ability of advanced yogis to enter other bodies.

Avidya Maya: (sáns. hindú). Maya of ignorance. The illusion that leads to a dualistic view of the world. It results in anger, greed, and other driving feelings that bind us to the phenomenal world. Its opposite is vidyamaya. Both forms of maya belong to the world of relativity.

Avidya: (sáns. hindú). Ignorance, nescience. As a Vedantic term, avidya refers to both individual and cosmic ignorance. Individual ignorance is the inability to distinguish between the transient and the intransient, between the real and the unreal; cosmic ignorance is maya. Its effect is the same as that of agynana.

Avikari: (sáns. hindú). a "without" + vikari "change") The unchanging.

Avikrama: (sáns. hindú). One who has no backward gait. Shiva's 1101st name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Avinashi: (sáns. hindú). (a "without + vinashi "cessation, destruction") The indestructible.

Aviveka: (sáns. hindú). The inability to discriminate, to distinguish between what is real and what is unreal, what is permanent and what is transitory, what leads to God and what leads to attachment to the world.

Avyakta: (sáns. hindú). Unmanifest. Latent, hidden, not objectified; the power that is present even when the world of appearances is not yet manifest. Shiva's 913th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Avyaktalakshana: (sáns. hindú). One who has the unmanifest as the characteristic sign. Shiva's 912th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Avyaya: (sáns. hindú). The unchanging. Shiva's 275 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Avyayanidhi: (sáns. hindú). Everlasting treasure. Shiva's 446th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Avyaya Purusha: (sáns. hindú). The unmanifest substratum of existence beyond cause and effect.

Ayam Atma Brahman: (sáns. hindú). "This Self is brahman"; one of the mahavakyas, the great Vedic precepts; it confirms that one's true self is not the body or mind but rather is identical with brahman.

Ayana: (sáns. hindú). The husband of Radha in Candida's poems of the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries CE.

Ayantritarata: (sáns. hindú). A special term used in the Kama Sutra for sexual activity without limits.

Ayas: (sáns. hindú). Metal, iron.

Ayasya: (sáns. hindú). A Rishi's name.

Ayatana: (sáns. hindú). Fields; abode. The twelve sense fields, namely, the five sense organs (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body) and the objects corresponding to them (form, sound, odor, taste, bodily sensations), as well as the sixth sense organ (the thinking mind [manas), and its objects (ideas or dharmas).

Sometimes also ayatana refers only to the objects of the sense organs (shadayatana).

Ayavasa: (sáns. hindú). The name of a king mentioned in the Rigveda.

Ayodhya: (sáns. hindú). The modern Oude. The capital of Ikshvaku, the founder of the Solar race, and afterwards the capital of Rama. It is one of the seven sacred cities. The exact site has not been discovered.

Ayonija: (sáns. hindú). Not born from female genitals. A name of Sita.

Ayonijatan: (sáns. hindú). Not born from female genitals. A name by which Ayyappan is known because of his having been born from a union of Shiva and Vishnu. At the churning of the ocean, Vishnu appeared as Mohini (the Enchantress), and Shiva was so enraptured by her voluptuous beauty that he mated with her.

The result of their coitus was Arya who was later known as Ayyappan.

Ayu: (sáns. hindú). A man; a living being; life-span.

Ayurveda: (sáns. hindú). Knowledge of life. An ancient and still flourishing system of medicine closely related to the development of Vedic Hinduism, Yoga, and Hindu religious thought in general (as well as Buddhism). The classical manuals of Ayur-veda are those of Caraka (the Caraka-samhita, ca. first century CE) and Sushruta (the Sushruta-samhita, ca. fourth century CE), but first millennium antecedents in Vedic texts, particularly in the Atharvaveda and the Kaushika Sutra, are evident. Basic to the traditional medicine of India are certain micro-macrocosmic correspondences. The human body, like the cosmos itself, is composed of five elements-earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Combinations of these produce the three vital toxins (doshas) of the body-wind (vata), bile (pitta), and phlegm (kapha or shleshman). Each humor is related to one of the three universal qualities (gunas) and each is itself fivefold, with specific locations and functions in the body for each constituent. Proper balance and separation of the three toxins is necessary; imbalance or mixing results in disorder and disease. According to Sushruta the seven ingredients of the body are chyle, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow, and semen, developing in that order from digested food in the metabolic cycle. Ancient Indian medicine was particularly advanced in such techniques as lithotomy, plastic surgery, bone-setting, cesarean operation, and dietetic therapy, and in its extensive pharmacopoeia (Sushruta utilized 760 medicinal plants). Today ayurvedic physicians treat a large percentage of India's population, particularly in rural areas where modern physicians are scarce. Departments of ayurveda are still maintained in traditional Hindu universities.

Ayus: (sáns. hindú). The first-born son of Pururavas and Urvashi, and the father of Nahusha, Kshattravriddha, Rambha, Raji, and Anenas.

Ayyappan: (sáns. hindú). A (southern) son of Shiva and Vishnu usually worshipped as a manifestation of Shiva's incarnate shakti or power (see Shakti). His worship is probably much influenced by the bhakti (devotional) movement (see Bhakti). See Murugan. Ayyappan was a local deity in Kerala until the beginning of the twentieth century. He was a village god who guarded the villages from forest demons. Today he is viewed as symbolic of change, development, and success in both spiritual and secular life, and his temple in Sabarimala is visited by people from many parts of India. The temple has eighteen golden steps leading from the forest up to the entrance. Each step is symbolic of a specific raga (sin) and every year that the steps are ascended, a raga should be renounced by the devotee, signifying the devotee's desire to become more spiritually successful. This process, known as jayikkuka (becoming victorious), is symbolic of Ayyappan's life story.

The story of Ayyappan begins with the marriage of Datta and Lila. Datta became displeased with Lila and cursed her to be born as Mahishi (a buffalo-headed demoness). Through severe austerities Mahishi obtained supernatural powers and therewith defeated the gods and gained rule of the universe. Even though Mahishi had supernatural powers great enough to gain control of the universe, she was unable to free herself from the curse of Datta. The curse had to be lifted by a male who had lived in the world as a human being for at least twelve years; moreover, the male had to be the offspring of two males. Ayyappan was born from a union of Shiva and Vishnu who were both male. Since two males cannot have offspring, Vishnu assumed a female form for the union. Ayyappan was born Ayonijatan (not born from female genitals). A king found Ayyappan abandoned on a river bank. The king had no male offspring, and for twelve years Ayyappan lived as heir to the throne. The queen finally conceived and bore a male child. The birth of the child created a great deal of jealousy in the queen and she plotted to do away with Ayyappan. The queen pretended to be ill and sent Ayyappan into the forest to obtain some leopard's milk which she claimed would make her well. Actually, she was hoping that the child would be killed by beasts.

However, the plot did not work as the queen had hoped and Ayyappan met Mahishi instead and killed her. The death of Mahishi freed Lila from the curse. After freeing Lila, Ayyappan rode back to the palace on the back of a tiger with an entourage of leopards symbolizing his dominance over the dark forces of the forest. Some authorities claim that Ayyappan is a corrupted form of Arya. He is also called Shasta, Ayonijatan, and Hariharaputra.


Babhravi: (sáns. hindú). Belonging to Babhru (i.e. to Shiva); a name of Durga.

Babhru: (sáns. hindú). 1. The supporter. 2. Vishnu's 116 th name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama. 3. The tawny-haired; a name of Shiva. 4. A Rishi or a King.

Babhruvahana: (sáns. hindú). Son of Arjuna by his wife Chitrangada. He was adopted as the son of his maternal grandfather, and reigned at Manipura as his successor.

He lived there in a palace of great splendor, surrounded with wealth and signs of power. When Arjuna went to Manipura with a horse intended for an Ashvamedha, there was a quarrel between Arjuna and King Babhruvahana, and the latter killed Arjuna (his father) with an arrow. Repenting of his deed, Babhruvahana was determined to kill himself, but his step-mother, the Naga princess Ulupi, gave him a gem which restored Arjuna to life. Babhruvahana returned with his father to Hastinapura.

Babu: (sáns. hindú). A Hindi word meaning "lord," also, a country squire or distinguished man.

Badara: (sáns. hindú). A term used in the Kama Sutra for the Ziziphus jujuba, commonly known as the jujube.

Badarayana: (sáns. hindú). The inhabitant of Badarika Ashrama; a name of Vyasa, who is so-called because he lived near Badari in the Himalayas. Badarayana, or Vyasa is known as the illustrious author of the Vedanta Darsana, (i.e. the Brahma Sutras which systematize the Upanishadic teachings on a secure foundation).

Badari: (sáns. hindú). 1. A place sacred to Vishnu, particularly in Vishnu's dual form of Nara Narayana. It is near the Ganges in the Himalayas. In the Mahabharata, Shiva addressed Arjuna, saying, "You were Nara in a former body, and, with Narayana for your companion, you performed dreadful austerity at Badari for myriads of years." It is presently known as Badarinatha, even though this is properly a title of Vishnu as lord of Badari. 2. The inhabitant of Badari. 3. A name of Vyasa.

Badarikashrama: (sáns. hindú). See Badari.

Badava: (sáns. hindú). A mare, the submarine fire. In mythology it is a flame with the head of a horse, called also Hayashiras, "horse-head."

Badrinath: (sáns. hindú). badri "name of a temple" + natha "master") The Lord of the Badri temple, a place sacred to Vishnu where the Rishis Nara and Narayana perform constant tapas or austerities.

Bagala: (sáns. hindú). A Mahavidya. Bagala is yellow and has the head of a crane. She sits on a throne of jewels. One of her hands holds a club with which she is beating an enemy and another of her hands is holding the enemy's tongue so he cannot get away.

Baheda: (sáns. hindú). A term used in the Kama Sutra. See Aksha.

Bahikas: (sáns. hindú). The name used for the people of the Panjab, in Panini and the Mahabharata.They were reputedly impure and out of the law.

Bahiranga Sadhana: (sáns. hindú). The development of a gradual distaste for the outer world, the beginning of the spiritual path. The first three stages of Patanjali's yoga (yama, niyama, and asana) are expedient means for the development of bahirangasadhana.

Bahiratman: (sáns. hindú). The outer self, body and mind; from bahir: "outer," and atman, the Self.

Bahir Mukha: (sáns. hindú). "Turning away, directed outward"; our mind is impelled by the senses to turn away from our true self (atman) and toward the outer world of appearances. All the empirical sciences have arisen in this way.

Bahlikas: (sáns. hindú). See Balhikas.

Bahu: (sáns. hindú). A king of the Solar race who was vanquished and driven out of his country by the tribes of Haihayas and Talajanghas. He was father of Sagara.

Bahuka: (sáns. hindú). The name of Nala when he was transformed into a dwarf.

Bahulaprema: (sáns. hindú). bahula "abundant" + prema "divine love") The great Love.

Bahulas: (sáns. hindú). The Krittikas of Pleiades.

Bahumaya: (sáns. hindú). Full of many things. Shiva's 369 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Bahupadika: (sáns. hindú). A term used in the Kama Sutra for mint.

Bahurupa: (sáns. hindú). Having many forms. Shiva's 736th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Bahushruta: (sáns. hindú). One with much of learning. Shiva's 368th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Bahuvrikta: (sáns. hindú). A Rishi.

Bahvricha: (sáns. hindú). A priest or theologian of the Vedas.

Bahya Puja: (sáns. hindú). External form of devotion to divinities or avataras, resulting in the various pujas of Hinduism, with their basis in the KarmaKanda of the Vedas.

Baigana: (sáns. hindú). A term used in the Kama Sutra for eggplant.

Baisakh-Mid: (sáns. hindú). April to mid-May.

Bakuchi: (sáns. hindú). A term used in the Kama Sutra. See Avalguja.

Bala: (sáns. hindú). 1. The child-like. In the Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad it is written, "Having learned the Scriptures, one should behave like an innocent child.

Having known innocence and scholarship, one becomes meditative (a muni) and a true Brahmana (i.e. a knower of the Absolute or Brahman). 2. A special term used in the Kama Sutra for a sixteen-year-old girl.

Balabhadra: (sáns. hindú). See Balarama.

Baladeva: (sáns. hindú). bala "power" + deva "god") 1. The powerful and luminous God. 2. The older brother of Krishna said to have been produced from a white hair of Vishnu. 3. Another name for Balarama. 4. (When bala = "youthful") the youthful God. 5. The son of Baladeva.

Baladhara: (sáns. hindú). bala "power" + dhara "bearer") 1. The bearer of strength. 2. A title of a Brahmin man. 3. A name of Vishnu. 4. A name of Shiva.

Balagopala: (sáns. hindú). The boy Krishna.

Balakoshiraka: (sáns. hindú). A term used in the Kama Sutra. See Angara.

Balamakhira: (sáns. hindú). A term used in the Kama Sutra for the cucumber.

Balaprada: (sáns. hindú). bala "power" + prada "giving") The giver of strength. Here, the knowledge of the true Self is the "giver of strength." Moreover, such knowledge alone gives real lasting strength since the Self is eternal while all other strengths are perishable.

Balarama: (sáns. hindú). bala "power" + rama "delightful") 1. The powerful and blissful. 2. The Older brother of Krishna who is an incarnation of Shesha, or Ananta the great Serpent-God of Vishnu. When Krishna is regarded as a full manifestation of Vishnu, Balarama is recognized as the seventh Avatara or incarnation in his place. According to this view, which is the favorite one of the Vaishnavas, Krishna is a full divinity and Balarama an incarnation; but the story of their birth, as told in the Mahabharata, places them more upon an equality. It says that Vishnu took two hairs, a white and a black one, and that these became Balarama and Krishna, the children of Devaki.

Balarama was of fair complexion, Krishna was very dark. As soon as Balarama was born, he was carried away to Gokula to preserve his life from the tyrant Kansha, and he was there nurtured by Nanda as a child of Rohini. He and Krishna grew up together, and he took part in many of Krishna's early life adventures. Balarama's earliest exploit was the killing of the great Asura Dhenuka, who had the form of an ass. This demon attacked him, but Balarama seized his assailant, whirled him round by his legs until he was dead, and cast his carcass into a tree. Another Asura attempted to carry off Balarama on his shoulders, but the boy beat out the demon's brains with his fist. When Krishna went to Mathura, Balarama accompanied him and supported him until Kamsa was killed. Once, when Balarama was intoxicated, he called upon the Yamuna river to come to him so that he could take a bath. The river did not heed to his command, so Balarama plunged his plowshare into the river, and dragged the waters everywhere he went, until they were obliged to assume a human form and beg Balarama's forgiveness.

This action gained for him the titles Yamunabhid and Kalindikarshana, breaker or dragger of the Yamuna. Balarama killed Rukmin in a gambling brawl. When Shamba, Krishna's son, was detained as a prisoner at Hastinapur by Duryodhana, Balarama demanded his release. When the captors refused his demand, he threw his plowshares under the city and drew them toward him until the captors released the prisoner. Lastly, he killed the great ape Dvivida, who had stolen his weapons and derided him. Such are some of the chief incidents of the life of Balarama, as told in the Puranas, and as popular among the devotees of Krishna In the Mahabharata he was more of a human character. He taught both Duryodhana and Bhima the use of the mace.

Even though Balarama was partial to the Pandavas, he refused to take an active part with them or the Kauravas. He witnessed the combat between Duryodhana and Bhima. When he saw the foul blow struck by the latter, he became so indignant that he seized Bhima's weapons. It was with difficulty that Krishna was able to restrain him from falling upon the Pandavas. He died just before Krishna, as he sat under a banyan tree in the outskirts of Dvaraka. At least one other view is told about the origin of Balarama.

According to this view, he is an incarnation of the great serpent Shesha, and when he died the serpent is said to have issued from his mouth. The "wine-loving" Balarama (Madhupriya or Priyamadhu) was as fond of wine as his brother Krishna was devoted to women. He was also high tempered, and sometimes quarrelled even with Krishna. The Puranas represent them as having a serious difference about the Syamantaka jewel. Balarama only had one wife, Revati, daughter of King Raivata, and was faithful to her. By her he had two sons, Nishatha and Ulmuka. He is represented as having fair complexion, and clad in a dark-blue vest (Nilavastra). His special weapons are a club (khetaka or Saunanda) the plowshare (hala), and the pestle (musala), from which he is called Phala and Hala, also Halayudha, "plow-armed"; Halabhrit, "plow-bearer"; Langali and Sankarshana, "plow-man"; Musali, "pestle-holder." As he has a palm for a banner, he is called Taladhvaja. He also has the appellations of Guptachara, "who goes secretly;" Kampala and Samvartaka.

Balaramayana: (sáns. hindú). A drama by Rajasekhara.

Balarupa: (sáns. hindú). (bala "power" + rupa "form") The image or personification of strength; a name of Shiva.

Balarupa: (sáns. hindú). One having the form of a boy. Shiva's 408th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Balavan: (sáns. hindú). Powerful. Shiva's 1002nd name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Balbaja: (sáns. hindú). A kind of course grass.

Balbutha: (sáns. hindú). A nonAryan chief.

Baleya: (sáns. hindú). A descendant of Bali, a Daitya.

Balhi: (sáns. hindú). A northern country, Balkh. The Mahabharata states that it is famous for its horses.

Balhikas: (sáns. hindú). Wilson stated that Balhikas is "Always associated with the people of the north, west, and ultra-Indian provinces, and usually considered to represent the Bactrians or people of Balkh."

Bali: (sáns. hindú). A demon with whom Lakshmi dwelled and as a result he became gentle and ruled the kingdom righteously. During Lakshmi's stay the land was fertile and social order prevailed.

Balika: (sáns. hindú). Young, childish; a girl.

Balin: (sáns. hindú). 1. The monkey king of Kishkindhya, who was slain by Rama, and whose kingdom was given to his brother Sugriva, a friend and ally of Rama. He was supposed to be the son of Indra, and to have been born from the hair (bala) of his mother, that is how he got his name. His wife's name was Tara, and his sons were named Angada and Tara. 2. A good and virtuous Daitya king whose capital was Mahabalipura. He was son of Virochana, son of Prahlada, son of Hiranyakasipu. His wife was Vindhyavali. Through his devotion and penance he defeated Indra, humbled the gods, and extended his authority over the three worlds. The gods appealed to Vishnu for protection, and he became manifest in his Dwarf Avatara for the purpose of restraining Bali.

Vishnu, as the dwarf begged Bali to give him the blessing of three steps of ground. Bali complied and, having obtained it, the dwarf stepped over heaven and earth in two strides; but then, out of respect to Bali's kindness and his grandson Prahlada's virtues, he stopped short, and left to him Patala, the infernal regions. Bali is also called Mahabali. The genesis of the legend of the three steps is found in the Rigveda, where Vishnu is represented a taking three steps over earth, heaven, and the lower regions, typifying perhaps the rising, culmination, and setting of the sun. Legend also has it that after being defeated in battle he was asked whether he would enter heaven with a hundred fools or hell with one sage. Bali chose hell because with a sage he could easily turn hell into heaven but a hundred fools would turn heaven into hell.

Balonmathin: (sáns. hindú). One who subdues others by means of his strength. Shiva's 409th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Baluka: (sáns. hindú). A term used in the Kama Sutra. See Elabaluka.

Bana: (sáns. hindú). A Daitya, oldest son of Bali, who had a thousand arms. He was a friend of Shiva and enemy of Vishnu. His daughter Usha fell in love with Aniruddha, the grandson of Krishna, and had him brought to her by magic.

Krishna, Balarama, and Pradyumna went to the rescue, and were resisted by Bana, who was assisted by Shiva and the god of war, Skanda. Shiva was overpowered by Krishna; Skanda was wounded; and the many arms of Bana were cut off by the missile weapons of Krishna. Shiva then interceded for the life of Bana, and Krishna granted it. He is called also Vairochi.

Banabhatta: (sáns. hindú). A seventh century writer who wrote the Kandambari. See Kandambari. See also Candi.

Banahasta: (sáns. hindú). Having the hand on the arrow. Shiva's 335th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Banasura: (sáns. hindú). A demon who is protected by Chinnamasta. In the Bhagavatapurana, Banasura is Chinnamasta's son.

Bandhamocani: (sáns. hindú). She who removes bonds. An epithet of Devi. The 546th name in the Lalita Sahasranama.

Bandhu: (sáns. hindú). 1. Connection, relation. 2. Kinship, kinsman, especially on the mother's side. 3. Friend. 4. Husband. 5. A Rishi.

Banga: (sáns. hindú). Bengal, but not in the modern application. In ancient times Banga meant the districts north of the Bhagirathi, Jessore, Krishnagar, etc. See also Anu.

Banprastha: (sáns. hindú). The third stage of a Hindu's life when the stage of householder is given up for practicing asceticism in the forest.

Baragada: (sáns. hindú). A term used in the Kama Sutra for the Ficus glomerata.

Barbaras: (sáns. hindú). The name of a people. According to Wilson, "The analogy to 'barbarians' is not in sound only, but in all the authorities these were classed with borderers and foreigners and nations not Hindu."

Barhis: (sáns. hindú). An altar or seat of sacred grass.

Barhishads: (sáns. hindú). A class of Pitris, who, when alive, kept up the household flame, and presented offerings with fire. Some authorities identify them with the months. Their dwelling is Vaibhrajaloka.

Barihatas: (sáns. hindú). The seven guards of Soma-Svana, Bhraja, Anghari, and others.

Baudhayana: (sáns. hindú). A writer on Dharmashastra or law. He was also the author of a Sutra work.

Bhadra: (sáns. hindú). 1. The wife of Utathya. 2. Mid-August to mid-September. 3. The auspicious. "Bhadram te!" meaning: "Auspiciousness unto thee!" This is an expression often used in the Ramayana and other epics.

Bhadracharu: (sáns. hindú). A son of Krishna and Rukmini.

Bhadrakali: (sáns. hindú). (bhadra "auspicious" + kali "the black Goddess) A name of a goddess. In modern times it applies to Durga.

Bhadramurti: (sáns. hindú). (bhadra "auspicious" + murti "form, image") 1. Having an auspicious form. 2. The expression of auspiciousness.

Bhadrapada: (sáns. hindú). Mid-August to mid-September.

Bhadrapriya: (sáns. hindú). bhadra "auspicious" + priya "beloved") 1. The auspicious and beloved (i.e. God). 2. The beloved of the auspicious.

Bhadrashva: (sáns. hindú). 1. A region lying to the east of Meru. 2. A celebrated horse, son of Uchchaihshravas.

Bhaga: (sáns. hindú). 1. A deity mentioned in the Vedas, but of very indistinct personality and powers. He is supposed to bestow wealth and to preside over marriage, and he is classed among the Adityas and Vishvedevas. 2. a special term used in the Kama Sutra for the vagina. 3. The dispenser. 4. A name of Surya, the Sun-God.

Bhaganetrabhit: (sáns. hindú). One who pierced the eyes of Bhaga. Shiva's 99th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Bhaganetraghna: (sáns. hindú). "Destroyer of the eyes of Bhaga." An appellation of Shiva.

Bhagankura: (sáns. hindú). A special term used in the Kama Sutra for the clitoris.

Bhagatyaga Lakshana: (sáns. hindú). A process of discrimination and sorting out, in order to recognize what separates us from the Self. It is a mental procedure that must be carried out prior to meditation.

Bhagavad Gita: (sáns. hindú). The song of the Divine One. A celebrated episode of the Mahabharata, in the form of a metrical dialogue, in which the divine Krishna is the chief speaker, and expounds to Arjuna his philosophical doctrines. The author of the work is unknown, but many authorities claim he was probably a Brahmin, and nominally a Vaishnava. One thing for certain is that he was a profound philosopher and thinker, whose mind was cast in a broad mould. This poem has been interpolated in the Mahabharata, for it is of much later date than the body of the epic; it is later also than the six Darshanas or philosophical schools, for it received inspiration from them all, especially from the Sankhya, Yoga, and Vedanta. The second or third century CE has been proposed as the probable time of its appearance.

Krishna, as a god, is a manifestation of Vishnu; but in this song, as in other places, he is held to be the supreme being. As man, Krishna was related to both the Pandavas and the Kauravas, and in the great war between these two families he refused to take up arms on either side. But he consented to act as the Pandava Arjuna's charioteer. When the opposing host was drawn up against each other, Arjuna became tormented with the balance of dharma and the approaching slaughter of kindred and friends. Arjuna appealed to Krishna for guidance. This gave the occasion for the philosophical teaching. The poem is in three sections with each section containing six chapters. Each section has a distinct philosophy; however, the two primary purposes of the Bhagavad Gita as a whole is: 1. to impress the doctrine of Bhakti (faith) on the mind of Arjuna and the poem's readers; and 2. to exalt the duties of caste above all other obligations, including those of friendship and kindred. It has been a powerful influence in India (as well as those readers outside of India) for at least 1600 years. Arjuna is told to do his duty as a soldier without heeding the slaughter of friends. In the second division of the poem the Pantheistic doctrine of Vedanta is more directly inculcated than in the other sections.

Krishna, in very plain language, claims adoration as one with the great universal spirit pervading and constituting the universe. The language of this poem is exceedingly beautiful in its tone and sentiment of a very lofty character, so that it has a striking effect even in the prose translation. The following is from an introduction by Lin Yutang: The Bhagavad Gita stands in relation to Hinduism as the Sermon on the Mount stands in relation to the Christian teachings. It has been described as the "Essence of the Vedas." An Indian saint has said: "All the Upanishads are the cows, the Lord Himself is the Milker, Arjuna, the calf, and those of purified understanding are the drinkers of the milk, the supreme nectar of the Gita." Originally it formed a section of Book Six of the great Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. It is in the form of a conversation between the warrior Arjuna and his charioteer, who really was the "Blessed Lord," the god Krishna. War had become inevitable between the sons of Pandu (of which Arjuna was one) and their cousin Duryodhana and his brothers, the sons of the blind King Dhritarashtra, or briefly between the Pandavas and the Kurus. Just before the beginning of the battle, Arjuna refused to fight, when he saw he was going to kill his own kinsmen. The god Krishna explained to him that no one could be killed, since men's souls live for ever, and thereon the conversation began, extending to eighteen chapters, covering every phase of ethical and religious questions, concerning the yoga of action, the justification for rituals and sacrifices, the manifestations of god in this physical world, and ending with the important injunction on accepting Krishna as a refuge to whom all people of all classes could come and find peace and salvation. The old blind King, unable to watch the battle was offered sight by a great sage, but declined it, for he had no wish to see the slaughter among his own kinsmen. The great sage then granted Sanjaya the power of perceiving at a distance all that happened on the battlefield. Therefore, principally in the beginning and in the end, we see the remarks of Sanjaya, concerning the battle, while the questions and answers between Arjuna and the Lord Krishna, as reported by Sanjaya, form the substance of the main body of the work. The whole book breathes the Hindu mental and religious atmosphere, although some of the teachings, such as the emphasis on action and doing it without regard to selfish benefit but for devotion to God, and particularly the denial of materialism and emphatic Vedic assertion of the spirit behind all things, offer viewpoints that are either present or are greatly needed in the modern world. Anyway, the contrasts are as important as the similarities, and it is because the work is characteristically the most important product of the Hindu religious spirit that its influence and position in India have been so great. Dr. E. J. Thomas calls it "one of the greatest of the religious phenomena of the world" and "the earliest and still the greatest monument of Hindu religion." The Bhagavad Gita has not the same appeal for some as the Buddhist Dhammapuda, but that is no reason why it should be less important to the Hindu nation. What is important is to note the progress of the Hindu mind from the Upanishads to the Gita and its increasing clarity of thought and ways of thinking, closer to our own. The work was probably written in the second century before the Christian era, although no approximate date can be assigned. So important did it become in the Hindu religious thought that every system had to square itself with the teachings of the Lord's Song. There are strands of pantheism, monotheism, theism and deism in it. Whether it was added to by successive writers is less important than the fact that these teachings were, and still are, accepted by the Hindu people as the ultimate embodiment of religious wisdom. Any attempt by Western higher critics to separate the several strands of belief from one another in the Song and "restore" the "original text" is bound to be both foolish and ridiculous. Certain scholars, presupposing that one man could hold only one consistent system of belief and that that system must be the one they hold to be the original one, and ignoring the fact that such a document was necessarily a synthesis of many streams of influence, satisfactory to its believers, have attempted the foolish task of determining its original composition. It never occurs to them that the world could be God and at the same time a personal God could exist - rather fine distinctions that exist in academic minds only. The great power of the Gita lies in the fact that it teaches a "loving faith" or devotion (bhakti) to a personal God, Krishna. The final message of Krishna is: "Giving up all Dharmas, come unto me alone for refuge. I shall free thee from all sins; grieve not." (XVIII, 66) It is extremely important that such a testimony of the Hindu religious spirit should not be translated by a scholar of Sanskrit, but by a Hindu follower who is at home with its language and at one with the spirit of its teachings, and who knows what the different verses mean, directly and simply, to the Indian people. The Bhagavad Gita has engaged the loving labors of many translators, and many excellent translations exist, such as Lionel D. Barnett's "Lord's Song" (Temple Classics) with a long introduction and copious notes, E. J. Thomas's "The Song of the Lord" (Wisdom of the East Series), the well-known version by Annie Besant (Theosophical Press), Sir Edwin Arnold's "The Song Celestial" (Trubner), M. M. Chatterji's "The Lord's Lay" (Houghton), with commentary and notes and references to the Christian Scriptures, and the scholarly translation by Telang in the Sacred Books of the East. This translation by Swami Paramananda (The Vedanta Center) because more than the others, it shows that mastery of the languages and that profound understanding of the thought content, so that the result is, as it should be, an easy, effective and mature version, without either the cumbersomeness of the scholarly or the surreptitious paraphrasing of the over-interpretative. As the editor of the book remarks, "The letter must be illumined by the spirit; and none can read the translation without feeling convinced that the head, heart, and life have co-operated in the making of it." That is no mean compliment.

Bhagavan: (sáns. hindú). bhaga "fortune" + van "having") 1. A reverential title for those gods and men who are believed to possess great material and spiritual wealth. The term is used in speaking of or addressing spiritual masters, ascetics, saints, or gods but is reserved particularly for the invocation of the second member of the Hindu triad, Vishnu. The original meaning of the word is "that one who possesses his [proper] share," and refers to a person who is entitled to a full share in tribal property. When used in referring to a divine being, it often indicates the belief that gods are superintendents over the bounties of the world and distribute to each creature his or its due portion. 2. Vishnu's 558th name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama. As early as the time of the Epics (ca. second century BCE-second century CE) Vishnu was worshiped under the name VasudevaKrishna and was invoked as "Bhagavan." The devotees of this deity called themselves Bhagavatas, worshipers of Bhagavan, the "Lord of [all] shares" or the "Bountiful Lord. "Bhagavan is a fitting title for that "High God" in the Hindu pantheon who is the divine agent of preservation, according to the trimurti concept, and who, as an expression of his boundless good will toward the universe, invigorates, nurtures, and directs the lives of all creatures. 3. In Indian village society the term Bhagvan is used in addressing God, or more properly "the Great God." The villagers believe that Bhagvan sets forth an individual's destiny even before birth and unswervingly guides each person to that predetermined end throughout his lifetime. Bhagvan is the remote, impersonal, and absolute supreme divinity who creates the universe and then departs into the realm of quiet blissfulness. He rarely appears in the myths and legends of the tribal people. He is regarded as the cause of almost every event or situation of any importance and is believed to be beyond human control. He (or, more accurately, "It") lives in the "highest heaven" beyond the influence of human prayers and rites. Nonetheless, considerable time, energy and wealth are expended in attempting to cultivate his pleasure and to quell his wrath by means of prayers, offerings, and sacred festivals. He is the embodiment of Fate or Destiny (bhaga) by virtue of the fact that he distributes to all creatures their proper portion (bhaga) of the world's goods and withholds goods from those who are undeserving of rewards because of their sinful deeds. 4. The study of Indian folklore indicates that Bhagvan appears in the guise of both Shiva and Vishnu indiscriminately. Nonetheless, he is always and everywhere the supreme creator, preserver, destroyer and overlord of the universe seen as the limitless store of wisdom and goodness. 5. In the Vishnupurana two definitions are given for this name: 1) Bhaga, the sixfold wealth of the Lord, consists of full sovereignty, virtue, glory, splendor, knowledge and dispassion. 2) He who knows the origin and dissolution of the universe, the coming and going of beings, and also what is knowledge and what is ignorance, He is fit to be called "Bhagavan." 6. Lord. Shiva's 98th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Bhagavata: (sáns. hindú). "One who belongs to Bhagavat". The term used from the time of the Mahabharata to designate the worshipers of NarayanaVishnu (also called VasudevaKrishna). Hence, a Bhagavata is one who follows, belongs to, and adores Bhagavat or Bhagavan. Under this title Vishnu is revered as the chief among the Hindu gods; i.e., the only divinity worthy of highest devotion. The derivation of the name is as clear as the origins of the cult are obscure. The word is derived from bhaj, "to divide, allot, distribute, share with, or partake of" and is related to bhaga, "wealth, share or portion." The term by which this deity is most frequently addressed is derived from bhagavat, "possessed of material wealth. "The term was originally applied to both gods and men who were believed to be wealthy or to control the distribution of wealth. There is widespread belief that the Bhagavata cult is nonVedic (and perhaps preVedic) in origin. The name Narayana (another title of Vishnu) may be traceable to the Indus Valley Civilization and some of his features are reminiscent of the Sumerian god Ea or Enki who, like Narayana, sleeps on or in the cosmic waters. The cult of Narayana is also closely associated with asceticism and with the austere practices of wandering ascetics, a fact that also suggests a nonVedic origin of this tradition. In all likelihood, this cult had developed into a highly complicated and synchronized religion, with a rich mingling of Vedic and nonVedic elements, by the time of the Gupta Dynasty (fourth-sixth century CE). The Bhagavatas make an initial appearance in the Mahabharata (Shantiparvan) and are mentioned with increasing frequency in the Puranas until they burst into full bloom in the Bhagavatapurana (ca. tenth century CE). According to Jaiswal, the Bhagavatas should be distinguished from the Pancaratras, the latter community being the other primary segment of the Vaishnava sect from the time of the Epics. The main difference between the two sects is that the Bhagavatas were devotees of Narayana and adopted the claims of the Brahminical social order, while the Pancaratras were indifferent to that order and perhaps antagonistic toward it. The Bhagavatas enjoyed the support of the ruling classes and they, in turn, supported the caste system. So popular was this cult by the second century BCE that even the Greek ambassador and author of the famous Besnagar Inscription, Heliodorus, identified himself as a Bhagavata.

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