Yuga

Yuga, in Hinduism, is the Sanskrit term for an “age,” meaning one of the four periods in which the world cycle is divided: (i) krta (or satya)-yuga, the golden age when … Read more

Vedas

The Vedas (sacred teachings) represent the oldest and most important texts of Hinduism. The Aryans who invaded Northwest India around 1500 BC compiled them. These Vedic texts are collection of sacred … Read more

Vedanta

Vedanta literally means “the end of the Veda.” However, the work refers to both the teaching of the Upanishads, the last treatise of the Vedas, and to the knowledge of the ultimate … Read more

Varna

Varna (Sanskrit, perhaps from vr, “veil,” hence “color”) is the term for the four social orders, or categories, of Hindu society: Brahmans, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras. The divisions originated with the early Ayran … Read more

Upanishads

The Upanishads, which were compiled somewhere around 900 BC, comprise the last portion of the Vedas, called the Vedanta, or “end of the Vedas.” This work consist of more than one hundred … Read more

Untouchables

Untouchables are the fifth category of Hindu society, as maintained by some, and sometimes called Harijans. Others include these people with the sudras, and they may be labeled “clean” or … Read more

Theosophical society

What is the theosophical society The society was formed in September 1875. Its co-founders were Henry Steele Olcott and William Q. Judge. Its secretary was Helena P. Blavatsky who was the actual instigator of … Read more

Rta

Rta, or Rta(m), (Sanskrit, “fixed order, rule”) in Hinduism is the sense of fundamental order and balance that exists in the universe and must be observed and sustained through appropriate sacrifices, rituals, … Read more

Ramayana

The epic Ramayana itself consisting of twenty-four thousand couplets is believed to be the first poetical work of purely human origin in Indian literature, being credited to Valmiki (c. fourth century BC), … Read more

Sri ramakrishna

Ramakrishna, Sri (1836-1886) Ramakrishna grew up worshiping Kali but later formally taught Vedanta, literally the concluding portion of the Vedas. He experienced ecstatic visions and trances and the highest states of samadhi, and allegedly performed miracles. … Read more

Rama

Rama is the main hero of the major Hindu epic Ramayana. The initial core of the epic portrays Rama as a courageous prince following the example of his ancestor Raghu (hence … Read more

Purusa

Purusa (Sanskrit, “man,” “person”) is a spiritual concept in Hindu religion and philosophy. The earliest references in Atharva Veda and Kathaka-Samhita may, according to J. W. Hauer, link purusa with the Vrayta tradition and … Read more

Puranas

The Puranas (Puranic texts or literature) are narrative works concerning ancient Hindu kings, sages, heroes, and the gods. The term Purana literally means “something that is old.” There are eighteen major Puranas, … Read more

Psyche in Hinduism

In Greek it means “female soul,” corresponding to the Hindu Shakti and the Kabbalah’s Shekina. Classical mythology married Psyche to the love-god Eros: an union of soul with body. Apulaius’s version described Psyche and her bridegroom … Read more

Zoroastrian prayer

The definition of prayer in Zoroastrianism seems a bit confusing since the prophet Zoroaster probably thought of prayer, and it is uncertain that he ever used the word, as a conversation with God (Ahura … Read more

The Path

The “Path” represents an important theosophical teaching. The term is used in different senses to denote not just the Path itself but also the Probationary Path along which a man must journey … Read more

henry steele olcott

A co-founder of the Theosophical Society in 1875 with William Q. Judge and an associate of Helena P. Blavatsky. He was a son of a merchant, born August 1, 1832 in Orange, New Jersey. … Read more

Nirvana

Nirvana, in Hinduism, is the Union with the Supreme Brahman (God) through moksa, the release from the cycle of birth and death as well as pain, sorrow, and suffering within the human condition of … Read more

mt shasta mt arunachala

by Wendell E. Wilkinson Mt. Shasta is located at the northern extremity of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range located in Siskiyou County in Northern California. Mt. Shasta is the cone … Read more

Moha

Moha, Pali, Sanskrit “delusion,” is that which prevents the discernment of truth in Hinduism and Buddhism. In the later, it is one of the three “unwholesome roots” (akusalamula), which, together with craving (lobha) … Read more

Meditation

Any discipline or practice of the mind and/or body that enables the individual to alter his consciousness or achieve a higher state of consciousness. Meditation is principally employed toward obtaining … Read more

Manusmrti

Manusmrti, in Sanskrit, “The Laws of Manu,” is a Hindu dharmasastra, any of a class of Sanskrit texts concerned with rules of conduct and law, attributed to the mythical lawgiver Manu; also … Read more

Mantras in magic

Magicians have used mantras in the performance of magic since the time of the ancient Egyptians and Assyrians. Mantras are considered “names of power” and have been used in conjuring up deities … Read more

Mandala Hindu

The Hindu mandala, or mandala, in various languages has different terms: Sanskrit, “circle”; Chinese, man-ta-tao; Japanese and Korean, mandara; and Tibetan, dkyil ‘khor. The mandala is a symbolic pictorial representation of the universe, … Read more