Vedic Glossary

Vedic Glossary with A

Adhama – The lowest or bad

Adhimas – Lunar leap months which occur every once in a while in order to adjust the lunar calendar.

Agamas Shaivite – scriptures

Agni Vedic – sacred fire

Aranyaka Vedic – forest texts

Artha – pursuit of wealth

Aryan – people of spiritual values

Asanas – yogic postures

Ashram – state or stage of life

Atharva Veda – fourth Veda

Atman – the Divine Self

Avatar – incarnation of God

Ayurveda – Vedic Medicine

Vedic Glossary with B

Bhagavad Gita – scripture of the avatar KrishnaBhakti Yoga – Yoga of Devotion

Bhuktis – planetary time periods, minor

Brahmacharya – control of sexual energy; state of life of learning and purity

Brahma – form of the Hindu trinity governing creation

Brahman – the Absolute or ultimate reality

Brahmanas – Vedic ritualistic texts

Brahmins – people of spiritual values

Brihaspati – Vedic God of the ritual, the planet Jupiter

Buddha – ninth avatar of Vishnu

Vedic Glossary with C

Chakra – spinning

circleChalitchakra – chart of houses as opposed to the rasi chakra which is the chart of signs

Chamara – A white or light gray fluffy whisk fan made out of a yak tail

Chandala – This is the name of one of the lowest rungs of human society

Chandra – the Moon

Chandrashtama – This is when the Moon transits in the eighth sign from a person’s rising sign and is not considered good at all

Chandrodaya – moonrise

Charadasha – dasha system propounded by Sage Jaimini

Chara – This means movable and is often used in combination with rasi to indicate the movable signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

Chatur – Four.

Chaturdasi – This is the fourteenth tithi or lunar day.

Chaturmas – Literally means the four months of winter. During this period many yogis and devotees practice more strict austerities to help them in their spiritual advancement.

Chaturtamsha – Literally means four parts and refers to the four-part divisional or varga chart. The chaturtamsha chart fills in more information than the fourth house about one’s home, happiness and matters relating to the fourth house.

Chaturthi – This is a combination of the two words chatur and tithi and therefore refers to the fourth lunar day of both the dark and bright halves of the lunar month.

Chatuspada – a four-footed animal such as a cow or a horse

Chaya graha – chaya means shadow and graha means planet; referring to Rahu and Ketu,

Cheshta – Motion; chesta bala refers to motional strength.

Vedic Glossary with D

Dashas – planetary time periods, major

Dharana – yogic concentration or attention

Dharma – teaching or religion; honor or status

Dhatus – bodily tissues in Ayurvedic Medicine

Dhyana – meditation

Doshas – biological humors of Ayurvedic medicine

Durga – the Goddess as the destroyer of demons

Vedic Glossary with E

Ekadashi – The eleventh tithi or lunar day.Ekadhipatya – This refers to a planet which owns two signs.

Ephemeris – A book wherein you can find the positions of the planets.

Vedic Glossary with G

Ganesh – elephant faced God who destroys all obstacles

Gayatri – Vedic chant for awakening the soul

Grihastha – householder stage of life

Gunas – prime qualities of nature

Guru – spiritual teacher

Vedic Glossary with H

Hanuman – the monkey God

Hatha Yoga – Yoga of the physical body

Hinduism – modern name for the Vedic teaching

Homa – Vedic worship, Fire offerings

Hum – great mantra of Agni and Shiva

Vedic Glossary with I

Indra – Vedic God of being or life

Ishwara – the cosmic Creator

Itihasas – Hindu epics

Vedic Glossary with J

Jainism – non-orthodox form of Vedic/Aryan teaching emphasizing non-violence

Jnana Yoga – Yoga of Knowledge

Jyotish – Vedic Astrology

Vedic Glossary with K

Kailas – the world mountain

Kali – the dark form of the Goddess

Kali Yuga – dark or iron age

Kalki – tenth avatar of Vishnu

Kama – pursuit of desire

Kapha – biological water humor

Kapila – great Hindu sage, founder of the Sankhya system of philosophy

Karakas – planetary significators

Karma – Law of Cause and Effect

Karma Yoga – Yoga of Work or Service

Kashmiri Shaivism – Shaivite philosophy of medieval Kashmir

Ketu – south node of the Moon, dragon’s tail

Krishna – eighth avatar of Vishnu

Kriya Yoga – yoga of technique

Kshatriya – people of political values

Kundalini – serpent power, power of subtle body

Vedic Glossary with L

Lakshmi – Goddess of prosperity and beauty; consort of Vishnu

Lalita – Goddess of bliss

Laya Yoga – Yoga of absorption into the sound-current (nada)

Vedic Glossary with M

Mahabharata – epic story of Krishna

Mahavakyas – great sayings of Vedantic knowledge

Mahayana – great vehicle, northern school of Buddhism

Manas – mind or emotion

Mantra – spiritual or empowered speech

Manu – Vedic original man, founder of human culture

Marmas – sensitive bodily points used in Ayurvedic treatment

Maya – illusion

Mayavada – doctrine that the world is unreal

Meru – the world mountain

Mimamsa – ritualistic form of Vedic philosophy

Moksha – pursuit of liberation

Vedic Glossary with N

Nada – the sound current of the subtle body

Nadis – nerves of the subtle body

Nataraj – Shiva as lord of the cosmic dance

Nirvana – liberation, the state of peace

Niyamas – yogic observances

Nyaya and Vaisheshika – Hindu philosophies; two of the six systems

Vedic Glossary with O

Om – The mantra of the Divine

Vedic Glossary with P

Pancha Karma – five Ayurvedic purification methods

Parashurama – sixth avatar of Vishnu

Parvati – the consort of Shiva

Patanjali – main teacher of classical Yoga system

Pitta – biological fire humor

Prakriti – great Nature, matter

Prana – breath or life-force

Prana Yoga – Yoga of the life-force

Pranayama – yogic control of the breath

Pratyahara – yogic control of mind and senses

Puja – Hindu worship, flower offerings

Puranas – Hindu mythological texts

Purusha – pure consciousness, spirit

Vedic Glossary with R

Radha – consort of Krishna

Rahu – north node of the Moon; dragon’s head

Rajas – quality of energy or agitation

Raja Yoga – integral or royal yoga path of Patanjali

Rama – seventh avatar of Vishnu

Ramayana – epic story of Rama

Rasayana – Ayurvedic rejuvenation methods

Rig Veda – oldest Hindu scripture; Veda of chant

Rishis – ancient Vedic seers

Rudra – terrible or wrathful form of Shiva

Vedic Glossary with S

Sama Veda – Veda of song

Samadhi – absorption, bliss

Sankhya – Vedic philosophy of cosmic principles

Sanskrit – Vedic and mantric language

Sannyasa – stage of life of renunciation and liberation

Santana Dharma – the eternal teaching; traditional name for the Hindu religion

Saraswati – Goddess of speech, learning, knowledge and wisdom

Sat – being

Sattva – quality of truth or light

Sautrantika – Buddhist philosophy of the momentariness of all things

Savitar – Vedic Sun god as the guide of Yoga

Shakti – the power of consciousness and spiritual evolution

Shankara – the great philsopher of non-dualistic Vedanta

Shiva – form of the Hindu trinity governing destruction and transcendence

Shudras – people of sensate values

Shunyavada – Buddhist philosophy that everything is void

Sita – consort of Rama

Skanda – the war God

So’ham – natural mantric sound of the breath

Soma – Vedic God of bliss

Srotas – channel systems used in Ayurvedic medicine

Surya – Vedic Sun God or god of the enlightened mind

Vedic Glossary with T

Tamas – quality of darkness and inertia

Tantra – medieval yogic and ritualistic Indian texts

Tara – the Goddess in her role as savior

Vedic Glossary with U

Upanishads – Vedic philosophical texts

Vedic Glossary with V

Vaishyas – people of commercial values

Vak – Divine Word, the Goddess

Vanaprastha – hermitage stage of life

Varna – Social Value or Class

Vata – biological air humor

Vedas – ancient scriptures of India

Vedanta – Vedic philosophy of Self-knowledge

Vedic Science – integral spiritual science of the Vedas

Vijnana – intelligence

Vijnanavada – Buddhist philosophy that consciousness alone exists

Vishnu – form of the Hindu trinity governing preservation

Vedic Glossary with Y

Yajna – sacrifice, sacred ritual

Yajur Veda – Veda of ritual or sacrifice

Yamas – yogic attitudes

Yantra – geometrical meditation designs

Yoga – techniques of developing and integrating energy

Yoga Sutras – classical text of Patanjali on Yoga

Yogi – practitioner of yoga

Yugas – world-ages

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