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Sanskrit Words beginning with A

Glossary of Hindu Terms with Meanings

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Adharma:

contrary to what is right; evil. See ‘dharma’

Aditi:

Vedic goddess, the 'mother' of the gods

Adityas:

Vedic sun deities, offspring of Aditi

Advaita Vedanta:

non-dualistic Vedantic philosophy

Agamas:

mystical scriptures pertaining to specific Hindu sects such as Vaisnavaites or Saivites

Agni:

fire; sacred fire; fire god

Ahimsa:

non-violence

Amma:

mother, a compound often used in the names of female goddesses

Amrta:

a nectar which was believed to bestow immortality

Ananda:

bliss; the bliss of union with Brahman

Anna:

food, rice

Aranyaka Vedic:

forest texts or writings

Arjun:

one of the sons of Pandu and the main (human) character of the Bhagavad Gita

Artha:

worldly wealth, pursuit of wealth and social status

Arti:

act of worship celebrating light

Aryans:

the migrant invaders of India from approximately 1500 BC; people of spiritual values

Asanas:

yogic postures

Asat:

non-being, that is to say the unreality of the world as opposed to the true Being (sat) which is Brahman.

Ashram:

hermitage, retreat or place of quiet and solitude, often in a forest, where a Hindu sage lives alone or with his disciples

Asramas:

the four stages of life in Hinduism

Asvamedha:

probably the most prestigious of Vedic sacrificial rites, where a horse is sacrificed in a yajna  by the king whose supremacy has been acknowledged by the neighbouring kings

Atharva Veda:

'Knowledge of Incantations', the fourth Veda

Atman:

the presence of Brahman as the deepest essence of the self in all entities; the Divine Self, a synonym of Brahman

Aum:

the sacred sound and symbol which represents Brahman in its unmanifest and manifest aspects

Avatar:

literally 'descents', incarnation of God, usually the incarnations of Visnu and his consort Laksmi

Avidya:

ignorance

Ayurveda:

Vedic medical system

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