Glossary of Hindu words (to be updated)

Ahamkara
Ego

Ahimsa
Non-violence

Ananda
Bliss

Brahma
The Creator among the Hindu trinity

Brahman
The Absolute Reality

Bhakti
Devotion; Love of God

Devi
A name for the Mother Goddess

Dharma
What the universe expects from us; righteousness

Diwali
The Hindu festival of lights; occurs in the Fall

Durga
The Mother Goddess

Ganesha
The son of Parvati and Shiva; form of the Divine with an elephant-face

Hanuman
Rama’s supreme devotee in the Ramayana; adored as a partial incarnation of Shiva

Holi
The Hindu festival of colors; occurs in the Spring

Gita
Refers to the Bhagavad Gita, the “song of Krishna”; the most revered scripture in contemporary Hinduism

Jnana
Spiritual Knowledge

Jnana Yoga
The path of Knowledge

Karma
Any action, including our thought processes or intentions

Karma Yoga
The path of selfless action

Krishna
Eighth incarnation of Vishnu; worshipped as the Supreme God by many Hindus

Lakshmi
Spouse of Vishnu; revered as the Supreme Shakti by Vaishnavas

Moksha
Liberation from the World

Omkar
The symbol (or sound) of the Divine in Hinduism

Parvati
Spouse of Lord Shiva; form of the Mother Goddess

Prakriti
Nature

Rama
Seventh incarnation of Vishnu; worshipped as the Supreme God by many Hindus

Ramanama
The name of Rama; often repeatedly chanted as a mantra

Saraswati
Form of the Mother Goddess who bestows Learning, Arts, and Enlightenment

Shakti
God revered as the Primordial Energy

Shiva
God as the Liberator; worshipped as the Supreme God by many Hindus

Shaiva
Devotee of Shiva

Vishnu
God as the Protector and Preserver, who has ten major incarnations on Earth; worshipped as the Supreme God by many Hindus

Vaishnava
Devotee of Vishnu, Rama, or Krishna

Ved Vyas
The author of the eighteen Puranas and the Mahabharata

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