Abi ikt_nanda               precursor of Bede Griffiths in __ntivanam                               __ram in Tannirpalli, Tiruchirapalli.

advaita                           non-dualism, monism, not-two

advaitaved_nta             School of ved_nta philosophy in Hinduism                                  which believes in the oneness of God, soul                              and universe. Its main exponent is _a_kara.

advaitin                         follower or believer of Advaita ved_nta.

aha k_ra                     awareness, ego or I-consciousness.

ahi s_             non-violence

_nanda                         bliss or even absolute bliss

an_tm_                         the doctrine of non-ego. The corresponding                            Pali term is anatta. It is the denial of a permanent unchanging self.

anicca                           impermanence or change

Aru _cala                     name of a hill; abode of Rama amahar i

__rama    It comes from the word __ram_ and means  hermitage. It means any of the four stages of the Brahmanical scheme of life, which are: the student life (Brahmac_ri), that of   the householder (grihastha), that of the hermit (v_naprasta) and finally that of the homeless mendicant (sanny_si)

_tman                           It is the self. It could mean the Universal Self, Supreme Self, soul, self or breath. It means the innermost essence of each individual, often the supreme universal self  in Hinduism .

avat_ra   The term corresponding to incarnation in Hinduism . They are to be clearly distinguished from incarnation. Avat_ra is Vishnu taking different forms and coming to the world to restore order and law. It   takes place quite often, unlike Christian incarnation.

avidy_     ignorance or non-awareness.

avyakta    indistinct

Bhagavad G_t_  is part of the Indian epic, the Mahabharata,    in which the famous discourse between Krishna and Arjuna is related. It is the most famous part of the epic.

bhakta   devotee who worships the divine I vara or  god. Literally it means portion or share (in  the beloved).

bhakti    devotion, the act of the bhakta.

bh_t_thata    reality or thatness

Bodhisattva   One who having attained enlightenment is on his way to Buddhahood and who has postponed his goal of Buddhahood to help other human beings attain their salvation

Brahm_  Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are the triad of classic Hindu gods in Hindu mythology.  Brahma is the creator god and chief of the   triad. Vishnu is the preserver and Shiva is    the destroyer god. Brahma is to be distinguished from Brahman .

Brahm_ S_tra  one of the earliest source books of Ved_nta   philosophy dealing with the nature of the   Absolute. It is written by B_dar_yana.

Brahman   It is the metaphysical term for the supreme   being. It is the reality and principle of life.The term means also the absolute, which alone is real, in classical Advaita ved_nta.

Buddha   an awakened or enlightened being. Usually    it refers to Gaudama Siddhartah (563-483   B.C.), the historical Buddha born near Kapilavastu in India and the founder of   Buddhism .

buddhi     intellect, discernment

cakra    wheel. In tantric Hinduism , it is one of the    six circles or centers of energy in the   human body. In the iconography of Indian art, it is a disk representing the sun and   sovereignty. God Vishnu carries chakra, a circular weapon.

cit   wisdom, consciousness , awareness.

citta    mind or pure consciousness

citta v ittinir_dha  control of the modifications of the mind

dhamma      is the pali equivalent for dharma, duty

Dhammap_da  the main book of Buddhism

dharma       means the true way, the moral law which a human being should follow to be pleasing    to god and to men. It is the way of    righteousness.

dharmak_ya    the essence of all beings

dhy_na       concentrated contemplation. It is a state of    mind achieved through higher meditation .   The Chinese Ch'an is the correspondence   of dhyana.

divya   the soul which has attained divinity by transcending the world of phenomena and conquering the cycle of birth, death and   rebirth

dukk a   Suffering, pain, misery, unhappiness.

dvaita      duality, two-ness.

j_grat_ one pointedness, concentration, the longing for oneness

gu a     quality, virtue.

Guru     a venerable holy man, a sage around whom disciples are gathered for spiritual guidance.

h_nay_na     one of the major sects of Buddhism . It is a non-theistic and dominantly monastic   religion.

__a Upani ad    one of the main Upani ads

__vara     God, normally personal God.

japa    the repetition of a holy word as a form of    prayer or devotion. The practice is prevalent in Hindus Shaivite sects, in Sikhism, in Sufism and in certain schools of Japanese Buddhism and reminds one of   the Jesus Prayer.

j_va   is the empirical self, the individual soul. It is the experience within consciousness

J_vanmukta    when one is liberated from illusions (maya) he is called j_vanmukta, that is, liberated in his life time.

j_v_tman     as opposed to param_tman , it is the soul of   the individual person .

jñ_na   knowledge, nescience. It is also the transcendental knowledge through which the believer is aware of his identity with Brahman , the supreme Being.

karma                           means action. It is the law of cause and                               effect. It is often interpreted as reward or                                  punishment for the deeds performed in                             former lives. It also means ritualistic                                     worship.

karu _                          compassion

kun alini                       The points/spots of power in the body. It                                     is used predominantly by the tantric                             tradition .

Kuri_umal_                   literally means the hill of the cross

l_l_                               play

m_rga                           way, means

m_y_                            illusion. According to Pure Advaita the                                whole world and sa s_ra are m_y_.

M_ddhva                      one of the fourteenth century theologians                                of Hinduism who advocated dvaita or                                  dualistic philosophy

Mah_bh_rata                one of the two epics of Hinduism (together

                                    with Ramayana). Bhagavat G_t_ is part of                                   this epic, which portrays the battle of the                               Kauravas and the Pandavas

mah_sam_dhi                the great rest, death

Mah_tm_                      literally means the great soul, a great, holy                              person

mah_v_kya                   the great saying. This normally implies the                                 most significant sayings in the Ved_ like

                                    Aham Brahm__mi.

mah_y_na                     the great vehicle, one of the many school                           of Buddhism

ma ala                        implies wholeness, integration

manas                           mind. Manas, buddhi (discernment) citta                              (pure consciousness ) and ahamkara (I-                                consciousness) are the four inner organs in                                   S_mkhya philosophy .

mantra                          chanting, sacred word. It is a sacred word,                            verse or syllable signifying supernatural                              power. It is repeated to deliver the soul                         from bondage

m_la                              radical, original, going to the roots

mudr_                           used in religious rituals and yoga and in

                                    some dance as a gesture of the hand or fingers

mukti                            liberation from passion and this                                     worldliness. It is the goal of all religious                                    activities.

N_g_rjuna                    one of the early Buddhist philosophers

nirv_ a             freedom from the cycle of rebirth through                                     the final enlightenment

niv tti                            cessation from activity

OM                              the sacred sound expressing the Ultimate

                                    Param_tman , ultimate spirit, ultimate soul.                             It is used also to denote Brahman as                              opposed to jiv_tman.

p_j_                              sacrifice, worship and devotional service                          of a deity in the presence of an icon .

pr_na                            life, soul

praj__                           Supreme knowledge or wisdom. It is the                                spiritual awakening which bringing                           liberation.

prajñ_n_m                    intelligence, knowledge, wisdom

prak ti                           is the ultimate material cause of the                            universe. It is the unconscious primal                           matter . According to S_mkhya philosophy                                 there are two ultimate realities: purusa and                               prakriti. They exist independently of each                             other. The self, puru a, is pure                                   consciousness without any activity in it.                                     Prakriti on the other hand is primal matter,                          unlimited energy without consciousness or                                 intelligence in it. Evolution begins with the                                    coming together of puru a and prakriti.

prat_tyasamutp_da       theory of causality in Buddhism

prav tti              activity and is opposed to niv tti

Puru a                          the ultimate spiritual cause according to                                 S_mkhya Philosophy. To be contrasted to                             prakriti, the spiritual self.

puru _ttama                  the noblest or best of human beings

R_m_nuja                     a Ved_ntin, who advocated qualified                                    Ved_nta, unlike _a_kara.

rajas                             is one of the three gunas (qualities or                                 substance) which make up primal                                   matter . The others are sattva (luminous,                                 good principle) and rajas (the principle or                                activity or restlessness or affectivity) and                               tamas (the principle of darkness , of inertia,                          laziness)

R_ma a Mah_r i            a great spiritual sage at the beginning of                                     this century

R_m_yana                    One of the two great epics of India .

g Ved_                       Ved_, the earliest Ved_s

sa s_ra                         the ceaseless cycle of becoming as opposed

                                    to nirv_ a.

saccid_nanda                 sat-cit-_nanda is being-consciousness-bliss.                             The ultimate reality .

s_dhana                        is the course of spiritual training or                                 spiritual discipline. It is also the means for                                salvation.

_aiva                            system of religion and philosophy centered                                   on the god _iva.

__kyamuni                    Another name for Buddha

_akti                             force, strength

sam_dhi                         departure, death. It means, at a deeper                          level, profound meditation . It is interpreted                                as the stage in which the mind due to                         absorption in meditation loses self                                   awareness and so is the final stage in the                                     practice of yoga . It is the stage in which                           one achieves nirv_ a and liberation

_a_kara                        the author of Vivekach_d_mani, lived in the

                                    eighth century. He is the founder of

                                    Advaita Ved_nta school.

sanny_s_                       monk

sanny_si n                      female monk

__ntivanam                   Forest of peace. Name of Griffiths'                               monastery.

__nti                             peace

s_tra                             an aphorism

_ri                                title indicating auspiciousness

_ruti                             Sacred Writings of the Hindus, Ved_s.                                     Literally means that which is heard.

su upti                          deep sleep

__nyat_                        void , emptiness

Sw_m_                         holy person , monk, hermit

tamas                           means darkness , the principle of inertia or                                   laziness. One of the three gu _s of prakriti.

tanh_                             thirst or desire; longing.

tantra                           Esoteric Hindu literature (and sect) for the                                guidance of human persons in the present                                     age and supposed to be revealed by god                                     _iva. They place their emphasis on the                                     worship of the female essence of the                           universe, the divine Mother or on _akti.

tao (dao)                       the way, the absolute, the Ultimate                                    Principle

tapas                            heat, penance

tath_gatha                     Buddha

thath_ta                        The real that stands unmodified or the                                Absolute. It is the "suchness" or "thisness"                                  or "thatness."

tr na                             thirst, desire

trik_ya                          three world

trim_rti             Three gods: Brahma, Visnu and _iva. Not really a Trinity, but comparable thereto.

turiy_                            fourth stage of the growth of consciousness                           or in sleep

upani ad teachings for salvation given by the guru  to the disciple. They are normally regarded as sacred and secret.

up_ya    the skillful means with which a master brings any one to a state of enlightenment.

ved_nta the end (goal, the temporal end) of Ved_.   They are also seen as the Upani ad.

ved_    the most sacred books of Hinduism .

vi_i t_dvaita   qualified non-duality, the teaching of

                                    Ramanuja .

vidy_                            is the knowledge of the absolute reality that                                 liberates the soul.

Yog_c_rya                   the master of yoga .

yoga is the mental discipline which its practitioner attains through various physical  exercises such as controlling breathing, posture and asceticism. It seeks to gain control over one's own body, to attain union with the universal Spirit , Brahma.

 The chief yogas are Bhakti (devotion) yoga, j__nayoga (knowledge) and karmayoga (service). Yoga is much more than a physical discipline. It ultimately implies a spiritual transformation. Yoga thus means to be united (yoked) with the divine.

yog_                             one who follows yoga

yogini                            female disciple of yoga