Many of the following terms are the subject of books. The definitions offered here are very simple, to enable a reader unfamiliar with these terms to read with a reasonable degree of understanding.
Aarati - that portion of the Hindu worship service in which fire, air, water, earth, and ether are offered before an image of God, as a symbol of light overcoming the darkness of human ignorance.
Asan - Generally, a mat or blanket on which a person sits, cross-legged, on the ground or floor. Also refers to a more elaborate seat on which a yogi or saint sits to perform worship or to receive devotees.
Ashram - in modern usage, a religious community, a place for spiritual training or renewal.
Baba - A renunciate or saint; Father, in the sense of priest or God.
Bhakta - A devotee of God, or of a guru. A person filled with devotion.
Bhagavad Gita - Religious scripture which contains the essence of Lord Krishna's teaching in the form of a dialogue between Lord krishn and Arjuna, Krishna's greatest devotee. The Gita is a segment of the Mahabharata.
Bhagwan - God or Lord
Bhajans - Generally, hymns to the Divine. Also used in the sense of expression of worship through several forms, including the devotee's prayers, meditation. Worship is also work dedicated to the Divine.
Bhandara - A joyous festival feast
Bhole Baba ki Jai! - Honor or glory (jai) to the simple (bhole) father.
Brahma - One of the triumvirate of hindu forms of God who are responsible for creating, maintaining/sustaining, and destruction/purification/restoration of the universe. Brahma is the Creator.
Brahman - The Hindu concept of God as beyond or above the form of human attributes-- totally detached, Pure Consciousness, the blissful Source from which comes everything that exists.
Danda - God's punishing stick or rod; also used as a walking stick.
Darbar - A meeting of a king's or of God's royal court.
Darshan - the enjoyment of the presence and vision of a respected or revered person or of God, in any of His forms.
Dharma - Duty or Religion or Way
Gita - See Bhagavad Gita
Guru - A spiritual teacher who undertakes to guide his disciples to realization of God.
Gurudev - A disciple's affectionate term for his or her guru. It refers to the guru as God (deva), reflecting the disciple's surrender to the guru, who then leads the disciple to God.
Guru Grantha Sahib - The Holy scripture of the Sikh Faith.
Herakhan (Haidakhan; Hairakhan) Vishwa Mahadham - Shri Babaji's ashram and the surrounding sacred area. The words translate as Herakhan, the most wonderful or greatest place in the universe.
Jai Maha Maya Ki - Honor or Glory to the Great (maha) Illusory Force. Hail to the Primordial energy of the Universe. Hail to the Universal Mother.
Jap, or Japa - The continual repetition of a mantra. (verbal or mental).
-ji- A suffix reflecting respect and love, as Babaji, Prabhuji, etc.
Kali Yuga - The Age (Yuga) in which materialistic forces dominate the activities of the world and spiritual values decline.
Karma - Cause and effect from life to life. Work or activity offered to God, as in Karma Yoga.
Kirtan - Religious songs which repeat the names of God. For example, the mantra Om Namaha Shivaya is sung for minutes on end to any of a dozen or more tunes.
Krishna - Lord Krishna, a manifestation of God on earth, in India in prehistoric times. The Mahabharata, a great Indian epic, contains the stories of His lifetime. The Bhagavad Gita, which is contained within the Mahabharata, summarizes Lord Krishna's spiritual teachings.
Leela (or Lila) - The activities of God in one of His human forms. What we see as specifically God's action.
Mahabharata - The story of Lord Krishna's period in human form on earth. The era was a time of a great war symbolic of the destruction of evil in society.
Mahaprabhuji - Maha means great; prabhu means Lord, or God. Mahaprabhu means the Supreme God. The suffix ji is used as an added term of reverence and love.
Mahavtar - An avatar is a Being divinely sent to earth, born of a womb. A mahavtar (maha avatar) is a manifestation of God, not born of a woman.
Mahesh - One of the many names of Lord Shiva, who is seen by some as the destructive or purficatory aspect of the Hindu trinity of Gods (Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara).
Mantra - "Man" means mind; "tra" means control; a mantra is a means for the control of the mind. A mantra is a Sanskrit phrase used to quiet, then to control the mind - to keep the mind from racing unproductively from thought to thought, which keeps it and the soul of the person attached to the material world rather than to the spiritual world.
Maya - Illusion.
Muni - An enlightened person.
Om Namah Shivaya - Also written and pronounced Om Namah Shivai. Said to be the first words uttered by the Creative Source; the oldest mantra. It can be translated as I bow to/ surrender to/take refuge in Shiva. Lord Shiva is known as the Doer of Good, and the mantra is also interpreted to mean, I bow to whatever Good is happening and to Whomsoever is doing it. Listen? Excerpted from the CD:
“The Gift: SHIVA”. Click here.
Prabhu - Lord; God, Master.
Pranam - a form of obeisance and respect, in which one touches the head to the ground or touches the feet of the form or person who is being worshipped or to whom great respect is being shown.
Prasad - A gift from God or a saint, or a remainder of what has been offered to and blessed by him and given for distribution.
Ram or Rama - Lord Ram, a manifestation of God on earth, in India, prior to Lord Krishna's manifestation. The Ramayana, one of the greatest epics of world literature, contains the story of His life.
Ramayana - The epic tale of Lord Ram's life.
Ravaana - A demon embodying and representing the forces of evil in the Ramayna.
Rishi - A great, learned saint.
Sadhana - Religious practice; one's spiritual path.
Sanatan Dharma - The eternal duty or religion; the original spiritual path by which Creation was formed and operated in harmony; the Source of all existing religions, which partially reflect it.
Sanskrit - An ancient Indian language, the language of early Hindu scriptures.
Sata Guna - The high, blissful spiritual qualities which must predominate in the person who is nearing God-realization. These qualities include inner peace, absence of attachment to things of the material world, bliss, divine love.
Shastri - A person learned in the Vedas and Puranas - the early Hindu scriptures. One earns the title after many years of study. Shri - A title of respect, especially for God or a holy man.
Sikhs - An Indian religious sect founded from the teachings of Guru Nanak, a 16th century saint, believing in oneness of humanity and worshipping the Guru Granth Sahib.
Sita - The consort, wife of Lord Ram. She is the ideal of Indian womanhood.
Vedas - The earliest of scriptures; the base of the Hindu religion.
Vishnu - One of the three major Gods in the Hindu religion; the Maintainer or Sustainer of the Creation. Ram and Krishna were manifestations of Vishnu.
Yagna - A special (usually nine-day) sacred fire ceremony, accompanied by the reading of scriptures and other religious activities.
Yoga - Literally, yoke or union. A yoga is a pathway to union with God. Babaji stresses dedicated work (Karmayoga) as the best means of attaining God in this Age.
Yogi - One who practices yoga; a renunciate.
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