27. Asramas or Ashramas: Four stages in life of an upper-class male: student, householder, forest-dweller,
and ascetic. In Hinduism, the Four Stages of Life are four stages of increasing dignity (asramas). The
Student Stage, The Householder Stage, The Stages of the Forest Dweller and the samnyasin
28. Samnyasin: A religious ascetic one who has reached the 4th stage of the classical stages of life for Hindu
males after student, householder & forest-dweller.
29. Artha: Wealth & power; one of the 3 classical aims in life. One of the 4 Aims of Life 1: artha (“worldly
30. Kama: Sensual (not merely sexual) pleasure; one of the 3 classical aims of life. kama (“sensory
31. Dharma: Religious & social duty, including both righteousness & faith. One of the 4 aims of life
32. Moksa: Liberation from the cycle of birth & death; one of the 3 classical aims in life. One of the 4 aims
of life moksa (“liberation”)
33. Yoga: A practice & discipline that may involve a philosophical system & mental concentration as well
as physical postures & exercises. Yoga = yoke, to join, to unite. Yoga training brings about conscious
union of one’s own soul with the universal soul. There are several systems of yoga, such as Hathayoga.
For most Hindus, yoga refers to an Eight-stage meditational discipline (attributed to the ancient sage
Patanjali): Moral restraint, Mental discipline, Posture, Breath control. The ultimate goal in yoga
meditation is to reach an awareness that is perfectly at one with and centered in the atman. The yoga
practitioner who reaches this state is said to put an end to all past karma and experience moksa. The
deities extend their grace to humanity in return for their devotees unselfish devotion. This ideal of bhakti
became the predominant ascetic practices of yoga for Hinduism until the present day.
34. Samskaras: Life-Cycle Rites, Examples of samskaras: Birth Rituals
35. Puja: Ritual household worship of the deity, commonly involving oil lamps. Incense, prayers & food
offerings, homage or worship. Built on the assumption that humanity and the divine must maintain an
36. Namaskara (or Namaste): A gesture of respect. “I place my hands at the centre of myself, the atman in
my heart, to salute your same holy centre.”
37. Prasad(a): A gift from the deity, especially food that has been presented to the god’s temple image,
blessed, & returned to the devotee. The remains of a puja offering: prasad. Prasad is seen to carry
infusion of divine blessing.
38. Bhakti: Loving devotion to a deity seen as a gracious being who enters the world for the benefit of
humans. Bhakti = devotional faith. The deities extend their grace to humanity in return for their devotees
unselfish devotion. This ideal of bhakti became the predominant ascetic practices of yoga for Hinduism
until the present day. Desireless action is possible only through egoless bhakti faith
39. Kali Yuga: the post-Vedic age begun in 3102 BCE. A period of degeneration. The worst of all possible
ages, where dharma is reduced to one leg. It lasts for 432,000 earthly years, during which the world
becomes progressively worse. According to traditional Hindu reckoning, we live in this period.
40. Saiva: “Saiva” is a tradition whose worship is focused on Siva
41. Vaisnava: “Vaisnava” is a tradition whose worship focused on Visnu.
42. Ista-devata: A devotee within such a tradition, the bhakta, would offer private pujas to his chosen deity