A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


A  up
Acharya Leader of a diocese
Adharma That which does not conform to dharma. Sinful. Unrighteous. 
Adhibhut Physical illness
Adhidev Natural disasters, such as floods, famines, earthquakes and plagues
Adhyatma Miseries of the mind
Advait Non-dual, monotheistic doctrine explained primarily by Shankaracharya
Ahamkar Ego
Ahimsa Non-injury in thought, in word, and in deed
Agna Instruction, order, command
Ajatshatru one who has no enemies
Akaran daya Extreme benevolence. Compassion without reason. Used for God's compassion for humans.
Akash Space.
Akshar One of the five eternal elements. The ideal devotee, abode of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Also called: Aksharbrahma, Brahma.
Akshar muktas liberated souls in Akshardham
Akshar Purush also called Maha Purush, Mul Purush, Purush
Aksharbrahma(n) One of the five eternal elements. The ideal devotee, abode of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Also called: Akshar, Brahman.
Akshardham The divine abode of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Literally, 'the everlasting home'.
Aksharrup Form of akshar; that which has qualities similar to those of Akshar
Akshividya Knowledge of the eyes
Alok A region beyond this realm 
Amrut Nectar, which gives immortality
Ang A habit, a liking. For example an ang for katha, bhajans, seva, dhyan.
Anirdesh undefinable
Antahkaran composite form of the mind, intellect, lower mind and ego
Antardrashti to introspect
Antaryami one who controls from within; power of God to reside within a jiva, ishwar, etc and control its actions
Anu smallest building block of creation
Anvay following or succession; when used for God it implies immanent (inherently existing within)
Anyatha kartum a power of God
Aparoksha jnana knowledge of the manifest form of God
Archimarg road of fire; path the jiva takes to the abode of God after death
Artha one of the four purusharths, literally means success
Arti worship ritual of waving lighted wicks before the murtis of God 
Asan seat
Asat untruth, that which is false; perishable 
Asatya untruth, that which is false; perishable
Ashadh the first month of the Ashadhi Samvat year, usually begins between June and July
Ashram a place where devotees, sadhus live; refers to the four stages of Hindu life: brahmacharya, grushath, vanashram, sannyasi
Ashtang Yog eight fold yoga
Aso fourth month of the Ashadhi Samvat year, normally beginning between September and October
Asopalav a type of tree whose leaves are used in rituals 
Astik a person who believes in the existence of God
Asuya a type of jealousy, in which one attributes faults to the virtues of the person that he or she is jealous of
Atal the first realm beneath Mryutulok, where demons reside
Atharva Veda the fourth Ved 
Atma the purified soul, distinct from the physical body and free of all worldly desires and ignorance 
Atmanivedi a person who offers this type of bhakti has totally surrendered him or herself to God
Atmarup one who has realized one's true self as atma
Atyantik Daya ultimate compassion; God's compassion to liberate his devotees
Atyantik Pralay final dissolution
Atmanishtha the conviction that one is atma
Atmachintan reflecting or thinking that one is atma
Atyantik ultimate, final
Aval a small shrub whose leaves have inherent healing qualities 
Avidya ignorance, false understanding of the nature of reality; synonymous with maya
Avgun bad or malicious attribute
Avatar incarnation
Avatari the cause of all incarnations
Avatarvad belief of avatars incarnating on the earth
Avyakrut causal body of the Virat Purush and other ishwars
Ayodhyawasi residents of Ayodhya
Ayurveda the science of healing
B   Top
Badrikashram the abode of Nar Narayan
Bhadarva the third month of the Ashadhi Samvat year, usually begins between August and September
Bhagwad Gita an important Hindu scripture which comprises of the dialogue between Arjun and Shri Krishna 
Bhagwan God
Bhagwati Diksha initiation into the sadhu fold
Bhagwat Dharma  
Bhajan to worship; a poem praising Bhagwan
Bhakta a devotee of Bhagwan 
Bhakti devotion to Bhagwan; out of the nine types atmanivedi is best
Bharat Khand ancient India
Bhavna feeling, sentiment
Bhido physical and mental discomfort during festivals or in Satsang
Bhurlok Mrutyulok
Bhut an element of Virat Purush's sthul body from which the physical word is formed; these five elements are: pruthvi, jal, tej, vayu and akash
Bhuvarlok the first realm above Mrutyulok, where impure demigods reside
Bokani a cloth tied around the head
Bordi a type of tree which bears flowers and apple like fruit called bors
Borsali a type of tree that bears delicate white flowers
Brahmachari one who observes brahmacharya (celibacy) 
Brahmacharya Eight fold celibacy 
Brahmacharya ashram the first of the four stages of life when one fulfills one's duty as a student and a celibate
Brahma(n) Akshar, one of the five eternal elements; ideal devotee; abode of Bhagwan Swaminarayan
Brahma kalp period of time during creation when Brahma and other jivas are given their respective bodies by God
Brahmamahol palace of God; also called Akshardham
Brahmand one of the 14 realms 
Brahmalok realm of God; also called Akshardham
Brahmarshi Brahmin sage
Brahmapur abode of God; also called Akshardham
Brahmarup possessing qualities similar to Brahman
Brahmasatta Brahma without a form, Chidakash; atma, characterized by eternal existence
Brahma sushupti the divine light of Brahma
Brahmaswarup form of Brahma
Brahmaswarup Satpurush God realized Sadhu
Brahmavidya knowledge of Brahma
Bruhadaranya Upanishad belongs to Yajur Ved, ascribed to Yagnavalkya Rishi, focuses on worship, contemplation and identity
Buranpuri a specific type of cloth from north India
Buddhi intellect
C   Top
Chaitanya consciousness 
Chaitanya prakruti a term describing all things that are chetan, or animate
Chaitra tenth month of the Ashadhi Samvat year, usually begins between March and April
Chakhdis wooden, strapless sandals often worn by renunciants
Chakra wheel
Chameli jasminum grandiflorum
Champa michelia champaca
Chana a type of gram, similar to chickpeas
Chandlo a small round mark on the center of one's forehead
Chandrayan a strict fast during which one's food intake is determined by the waxing and waning of the moon
Charan God or the gunateet sadhu's feet
Chaturmas four months of the monsoon season
Chetan animate
Chhandogya Upanishad belongs to Sam Veda, focuses on origin and significance of AUM, atma, contemplation, and life after death
Chhint a type of rich embroidered cloth
Chhoglu a crest like piece of cloth on the end of a pagh, or hanging from one side
Chidakash formless and pure chaitanya form of Akshar
Chintan reflection, to think
Chintamani wish fulfilling gem 
Chit the lower mind
D   Top
Dagli a waistcoat with inner lining, usually worn during cold weather
Daharvidya knowledge of the inner akash, Chidakash
Dan donation
Dandvat prostration
Darbar court of residence 
Darshan physically looking at the murti of Bhagwan, His true Sadhu, 
Darshans insights or perspectives; six classical systems of Hindu philosophy
Dehbhav body consciousness
Dev, devi deity
Devlok realm of the demigods, also called: Swarglok
Dharma a term which encompasses: divine law, path of righteousness, moral duty, ethical conduct, justice, responsibility, religion and truth
Dharmakul Bhagwan Swaminarayan Himself; family of Dharmadev, Bhagwan Swaminarayan's father
Dharma shastras scriptures which explain the basic laws and principles of social conduct
Dharna concentration, sixth of the eight steps of ashtang yoga
Dharna parna an extremely difficult type of austerity, where one is allowed to eat only once every two days
Dhruv Star fixed star, popularly known as the North Star
Dhun chanting of Bhagwan's name
Dhunya continuous chanting of God's name, commonly pronounced as dhun
Dhotiyu unstitched long piece of cloth traditionally worn by males as a lower garment
Dhyan meditation
Diksha initiation
Divo a earthen lamp
Divyabhav to believe that all the actions of Bhagwan and His Sadhu are divine
Diwali last day of the Vikram Samvat year; Hindu festival celebrating Ram Bhagwan's return from his 14 year exile and the victory of good over evil, popularly known as the festival of lights
Dodi cheap spinach usually eaten by the poor
Dolariya jasminum sambac japani
Dosh bad attribute
Drashta seer, refers to the atma as the observer 
Drashya visible, an object of vision; visible world as a whole 
Droh to go against Bhagwan or His Bhakta
Dudhpak a food item made from sweetened milk and rice garnished with spices and nuts
Dukad a pair of traditional Indian drums, similar to present day tabla
Dvait dual, philosophical doctrine explaining the separate nature of the jiva and God 
Dwapar yug the third age; lasting 864,000 human years; characterized by impurity and unrighteousness; people lived to be 1,000 years old and the system of four castes came into being
Dwip island
E   Top
Ekadashi a day of fast that comes twice a month; on the 11th of the bright half and dark half of the lunar month in the Hindu calendar 
Ekadmal a former sadhu
Ekantik one with an elevated spiritual state who offers bhakti along with dharma, gnan and vairagya
Ekantik Bhakta highest level of devotee; one who offers ekantik bhakti
Ekantik Bhakti bhakti along with dharma, gnan, and vairagya
Ekantik Dharma a term for the combination of dharma, gnan, vairagya and bhakti
Ekantik Sadhu highest level of sadhu; one who has attained ekantik state
Ekantik Sant Satpurush, the ideal ekantik sadhu
F   Top
Fagun ninth month of the Ashadhi Samvat year, usually begins between February and March 
Feto a long piece of cloth twisted and tied around head
G   Top
Gandharva a celestial being engaged in music, song and dance in the celestial realms
Garud Bhagwan Vishnu's vehicle; an eagle like bird with a white head, red wings, and a golden body
Garbh gruh the inner shrine of a mandir where the murtis are installed
Ghadi duration of time approximately 24 minutes
Gita Bhagwad Gita
Gnan knowledge
Gnani one who is knowledgeable 
Gnan indriya the cognitive sense through which one can know 
Gnan pralay dissolution by spiritual wisdom
Golok celestial abode of Shri Krishna; literally means realm of cows
Gopas male members of the cattle rearing community of Vrundavan during Shri Krishna's time; literally means protector of cows
Gopis wives of male members of the cattle rearing community of Vrundavan during Shri Krishna's time; literally means protector of cows
Gorakh asan a specific asan to protect the indriyas
Goshthi to discuss the katha one has heard
Granth text
Gruhasth a householder devotee 
Guldavadi flower of chrysanthemum genus, also known as sevanti
Guna(s) quality of Prakruti or maya; three in total, namely sattvagun, rajogun and tamogun
Gunatit one who is above the three gunas of rajas, tamas, and sattva; above maya
Guna vibhag portion of Shri Krishna's final teachings to Uddhav, noted in the 11th Canto, 25th Chapter of the Shrimad Bhagwat
Guru a spiritual leader
H   Top
Hajari a large yellow flower, similar to marigold
Harililamrutam a gujarati scripture detailing the life and work of Bhagwan Swaminarayan
Harivansh annexe to the Mahabharat narrating in over 16,000 verses Vishnu's lineage
Harmo a specific type of tree which gives white flowers found in the Kutch region of Gujarat
Haveli a mansion like building constructed of traditionally carved woodwork
Hrudayakash space within the heart; spiritual region of the heart
I   Top
Ida nadi one of the three major nerves or channels in the body; this nerve transmits physical and emotional energy within the inner body of a person and ends on the left side
Indralok realm of Indra, the god of rain and king of demigods; also called Swarglok
Indriyas sense, through which one can know and perform actions
Irsha jealousy
Ishtadeva favorable deity; beloved god
Ishwar one of the five eternal realities, a cosmic being
Itihas history; includes two popular Indian epics the Ramayan and Mahabharat
J   Top
Jad inanimate
Jad prakruti 8 inanimate parts of the world, namely, pruthvi, jal, tej, vayu, akash, mahattattva, Pradah Prakruti and Mul Prakruti
Jai Sachchidanand a traditional verbal greeting among Hindus 
Jai Swaminarayan a traditional verbal greeting among Swaminarayan devotees
Jain belonging to Jainism
Jal water
Jal basti a yogic practice that helps clean the inner parts of the body
Janlok fourth realm above Mrutyulok, where Bhrugu and other rishis reside
Janmashtami Birthday of Shri Krishna according to the Indian calendar, Shravan Vadi 8
Janma maran births and deaths
Janmangal namavali 108 names of Bhagwan Swaminarayan
Jay nad calling out loud the names of God and gurus in praise 
Japa to chant 
Jarayuj category of life forms born from wombs
Jhanjh pair of small cymbals, slightly larger than manjiras
Jiva/Jivatma the soul in its state of ignorance 
Jyeshtha the 12th month of the Ashadhi Samvat year, usually begins between May and June
K   Top
Kailas celestial abode of Shiv 
Kal time
Kali yug age of darkness, the fourth and present of the four ages; lasts 432,000 human years, people live to be 100 years old 
Kalpa a day of Brahma
Kalpavruksh a special tree that lasts for a kalp; this tree fulfills the wishes of anyone who sits underneath it
Kalyankari redemptive
Kam one of the four purusharths; allows for the fulfillment of personal and social desires
Kanbi a sub caste of Vaishya caste
Kanthi double threaded necklace, usually made of small tulsi beads, received by satsangis upon initiation into the Satsang Fellowship, and worn as a sign of their affiliation to Bhagwan Swaminarayan
Kapil Gita portion of the Shrimad Bhagwat which consists of Kapilji's preachings to his mother noted in 3rd Canto, Chapters 25-33
Karan causal; one of the three bodies of the jiva, the other two being sthul and shukshma
Karma action, deed
Karma indriyas the senses through which one can perform actions; five in total, namely, speech, handling, walking, excretion, procreation
Karma yogi one who is striving for yoga through activities
Karnikar a specific type of flower, usually red, white or yellow in color
Kartik fifth month of the Ashadhi Samvat year, normally beginning between October and November
Kartum extraordinary divine power of God 
Karyakar volunteer
Kathavalli Upanishad known as the Katha Upanishad, belongs to the Yajur Veda, includes the story of Nachiketa
Kat vadi javu to oblige instantly 
Katha spiritual discourses
Kayasth a specific community of people, or a person born of Brahmin and Kshatriya parents
Keval gnan perfect or ultimate knowledge, popularly used in Jain philosophy 
Khand continent 
Khes piece of cloth worn as a dhotiyu
Khir food item made with sweetened milk and rice, garnished with nuts and spices
Kinkhab fine silken fabric which has golden and silver threads, originally made in Egypt
Kirtan devotional poem
Kishore teenager
Kodra inferior quality of grain lacking in nutrition
Koli subcaste of people traditionally living on boats who catch fish for a living
Kotha cheap inferior quality sour fruit
Kothari chief administrator of a mandir
Krishnatapni Upanishad one of the many upanishads
Kriya actions
Kriyaman karmas actions whose consequences are in the process of being formed; present deeds including words and thoughts which will be added to the stock of karmas
Kruchchhra chandrayan a strict type of fast where one eats according to the waxing and waning of the moon 
Kshatriya person of power, physical and sovereign 
Kshetra field or territory 
Kshetragna knower of kshetra, often used with kshetra to describe the relationship between a landowner his land
Kshir sagar ocean of milk 
Kuda panthi a non Vedic follower 
Kumkum fine red powder, applied on forehead as chandlo
Kunjar kriya elephant act, a yogic practice that cleanses the inner body; one drinks water, swirls it around in the stomach, and then discharges it through the mouth
Kusang company which hinders one from progressing on the spiritual path
Kusangi a person that negatively influences one's spiritual progress
L   Top
Lav a period of time equaling 1/150th of a second 
Lila divine action of God or His Sadhu
M   Top
Madhvi Sampraday school of philosophy which adheres to the doctrine of Madhavacharya, a 13th century South Indian Vaishnav acharya
Magdhi a dialect specific to Magadh
Magshar sixth month of the Ashadhi Samvat year, usually begins between November and December
Maha eighth month of the Ashadhi Samvat year, usually begins between January and February
Mahabharat the great epic of India, a Hindu scripture centered on the feud between the Pandavs and the Kauravas
Mahabhuts a collective term for the five major elements that evolve from tamas ahamkar and ishwars, namely, pruthvi, jal, tej, vayu, akash
Mahamaya Mulmaya, Mul Prakruti, Prakruti
Mahant the head sadhu of a Hindu mandir
Mahapran one of the 11 efforts required to pronounce certain syllables
Maha Purush also called Mul Purush, Akshar Purush, or just Purush
Maharlok the third realm above Mrutyulok, wher Aryam and the other demigods live
Maharaj short for Bhagwan Swaminarayan
Mahatal fifth realm below Mrutyulok, where the nocturnal reside
Mahatmya glory and greatness
Mahattattva first of the entities produced by Pradhan Purush 
Mahima glory
Mala rosary
Man mind; ego
Manan repeated thinking, reflecting
Mandal a group of satsangis or sadhus
Mandir a Hindu house of worship
Manjiras pair of small traditional cymbals
Manomay chakra the mind seen as a turning wheel whose spokes are the 10 indriyas
Mansi Puja mental worship
Manu smruti oldest most authoritative Smruti scriptures, ascribed to King Manu, describing the day to day laws and duties for people
Manushyabhav to attach human attributes and failings to God and His Sadhu
Manvantar duration of time equaling 306,720,000 human years
Margi follower of vam marg, a cult that propagates lust as a means to liberation
Matsar the inability to tolerate the rise and gain of anyone else
Maya anything that deviates one from the worship of God. One of the five eternal realities or power of God used as the fundamental substance of creation
Mayik pertaining to maya, opposite of divine
Mogra a delicate flower of the jasmine genus
Moksha salvation; deliverance from the cycle of births and deaths 
Moksha dharma portion of the Mahabharat comprising of Bhishma's teachings from his bed of arrows to King Yudhisthir noted in the Shanti Parva, chapters 174-365
Moliyu rich fabric with a silky finish, woven with golden or silver threads
Mothya cheap inferior spinach
Mrudang a double sided drum
Mrutyulok realm of death, the only realm in the brahmand where human birth and ultimate liberation is possible
Mukta a liberated soul
Mul Prakruti also called mahamaya, mulmaya or simply Prakruti
Mul Prakruti Purush Prakruti Purush
Mul Purush also called Maha Purush, Akshar Purush, or Purush
Murti an image or idol of God
Murti Puja worship of an image or idol of God
Murti Pratishtha consecration of murtis in a mndir
N   Top
Nadachhadi a special sanctified string tied around the right wrist during rituals
Nadi nerve or channel within the body
Narad Panchratra revised edition of the Panchratra Tantra composed by Naradji
Narak realm to which sinners are sent to suffer at the hands of Yam
Nastik a person who does not believe in the existence of God
Nididhyas constant contemplation
Nimish a duration of time equaling 2/5th of a second; blink
Nimitta pralay stimulated dissolution; destruction of the lower 10 realms of the 14 realm system
Niranna mukta a liberated soul of Shwetdwip 
Nirgun without attributes of maya
Nirvikalp without doubt
Nirvikalp Samadhi highest state of realization in which one sees only God
Nirvishesh adjective describing that which is without any adjuncts
Nishkam Dharma brahmacharya, celibacy
Nishtha proficiency, steadiness, perfection, single mindeness
Nitishatak 100 verse scripture explaining values and morals composed by Bhartuhari 
Nitya pralay constant dissolution; the day to day dying of demigods, demons, humans and others
Nivrutti inactivity 
Nivrutti dharma path of inactivity for worldly pursuits
Niyam moral and spiritual disciplines, and religious codes of conduct prescribed by God, the Satpurush, or the scriptures. Bhagwan Swaminarayan has outlined the basic niyams for all of his followers in the Shikshapatri
P   Top
Padhramani visit by sadhus to sanctify homes or other places
Padma Puran one of the 18 Purans; a scripture with 55,000 verses that describes creation, the world, swarg, patal, and the seat of Brahma

Padma kalp

measures one of Brahma's days 4.32 x 10^9 human years; period of time during creation when Marichi and other jivas are given their bodies by God
Pagh traditional head gear
Palkhi a carriage for carrying people
Pal duration of time equaling 24 seconds
Pakhwaj a type of mrudang or double sided drum
Panchratra Tantra scripture of the Vaishnavs composed by Vasudev Bhagwan explaining rites and rituals, mandir constructions
Panchvishays the five types of objects the jiva indulges in through the indriyas, namely sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches
Parabrahma(n) Bhagwan Purushottam (Supreme Reality)
Paramatma Bhagwan Purushottam (Supreme Reality), also known as Parabrahma
Param Bhagwat ideal devotee of God; Satpurush
Param Bhagwat Sant ideal sadhu of God; Satpurush
Param Ekantik Sant ideal ekantik sadhu of God; Satpurush
Parameshwar see Parabrahma(n)
Paramhansa 'supreme swan.' A male sadhu of the highest order, characterized by his ability to discriminate between sat and asat - just as swans were traditionally considered to be able to distinguish between milk mixed with water
Param hitkari one who wishes for the best for others
Parardh duration of time equality 1x10^17 human years
Parashar Smruti one of the ancient Smruti scriptures written by Parashar Rishi, the father of Vyas
Parasmani philosopher's stone; the magical gem that turns iron into gold
Parna breaking of fast
Paroksh non manifest
Parshad a renunciant in white clothes
Patal collective term for region of realms below Mrutyulok
Pathshala a place of learning, a school or college
Pativrata chaste, loyal
Posh seventh month of the Ashadhi Samvat year, usually begins between December and January
Potlu a piece of cloth used as a bag
Pradakshina circumambulation
Pradhan Pradhan Prakruti
Pradhan Prakruti the Prakruti half of the Pradhan Purush pair conceived by Mul Purush and Mul Prakruti for the creation and sustenance of each Brahmand
Pradhan Purush one of the countless pairs of Pradhan Prakruti and Purush conceived by Mul Purush and Mul Prakruti for the creation and sustenance of each Brahman
Pragat manifest
Pragna jivatma when it is in deep sleep
Prakruti Purush  
Prakrut pralay  
Pralay destruction
Pranav the vibration at the time of creation, AUM or OM
Pranayam fourth of the eight steps to ashtang yog; involves controlling the prans through breathing exercises
Prarabdha one of the three types of karmas; those which have ripened to form this present human body and which have to be borne till death
Prarabdha karmas deeds whose consequences are already set in motion
Prarthana prayer
Prasad sanctified food, blessed and consecrated by having been offered to God 
Pratyahar fifth of the eight steps of asthang yoga; involves withdrawing of consciousness from oneself 
Pravrutti activity in the form of social duties and affairs 
Pravrutti dharma path of activity
Pruthvi earth, one of the five mahabhuts
Puja morning personal worship ritual
Pujan the act of worshipping
Pujari the priest of a mandir who performs the necessary rites and rituals 
Punam day of the full moon; the 15th day of the bright half of an Indian calendar month
Punya spiritual merit
Purans set of 18 scriptures recording ancient Hindu narratives about ethical and spiritual teachings; the most popular being the Shrimad Bhagwat Puran
Purusharths the four pursuits of life, namely dharma, arth, kam, and moksha
Purushavatar physical world, or a brahmand in human form
Purushottam Bhagwan Swaminarayan (Supreme Reality)
R   Top
Rajarshi a householder or royalty with qualities like a rishi
Rajas ahamkar a type of ahamkar that evolves from mahattatva, from which the 10 indriyas, buddhi and prans evolve
Rajasik pertaining to rajogun, the quality of passion
Rajogun one of the three qualities of Prakruti or maya characterized by incoherence and desire for the vishays
Rajput a specific subcaste of the Kshatriya caste 
Ramayan a Hindu scripture narrating the story of Shri Ram Bhagwan sharing ideals for society through virtues exhibited by the lives of Shri Ram, Sita, and Ram's brothers, Lakshman and Bharat
Rakhdi a decorative strand wristlet traditionally tied by sisters to their brothers on the day of Raksha Bandhan, Shravan Sud Punam
Ras traditional Indian folk dance played between a collection of partners, each partner having a pair of sticks to strike 
Rasatal sixth realm below Mrutyulok, where nocturnal beings reside
Ras panchadhyayi five chapters in the Shrimad Bhagwat Puran narrating the ras episode of Shri Krishna with the gopis
Reto feto, moliyu, or shelu with silky, decorative edges woven with silver or golden threads
Roopchoki square or compounded area on the outer sides of a mandir
Rotlo a bread like food in many parts of Gujarat, made from millet flour that is knead and padded into a circular shape before being cooked
S   Top
Sabha spiritual assembly
Sadguru a high ranking sadhu
Sadhana spiritual endeavor 
Sadhu a Hindu ascetic
Sadhuta saintliness
Sagun possessing divine qualities; possessing mayik qualities; extremely vast
Sakar that which has a form
Sakshatkar spiritual realization
Samadhi spiritual trance 
Samaiya festival
Sampraday an organization which follows the truthful sermons (sat updesh) given by a succession of spiritual gurus 
Samsar course of mundane life, worldly existence
Sanchit karmas accumulated deeds, collection of all deeds performed in past lives and in the present which is retained in the karan body 
Sankalp desire, wish 
Sankhya all that evolves from maya is perishable and vain
Sankhya yogi a devotee who has renounced his/her worldly duties and is sincerely striving for liberation
Sanskruti traditions
Sannyas ashram last of the four stages of life, when one renounces all worldly duties and lives as an ascetic
Sannyasi a person who has renounced all worldly duties and is living as an ascetic 
Sarangi a traditional Indian stringed instrument played by stroking a bow and depressing strings on a fretted neck
Saroda traditional Indian stringed instrument played by plucking with a plectrum and depressing strings on a fretless neck
Sarvopari supreme
Sat truth
Sati a widow who voluntarily throws herself onto her dead husband's burning funeral pyre 
Satpurush the Sadhu who has constant rapport with Bhagwan, the Gunatit Sadhu 
Satsang the practice of spiritually associating with the Satpurush, fellow satsangis, one's own atma and the sacred scriptures of the Satsang fellowship

member of the satsang fellowship. One who practices satsang

Sattvagun one of the three qualities of maya or prakruti, characterized by awareness and vairagya towards the vishays 
Sattvik full of sattvagun
Sattvik ahamkar one of the three types of ahamkar, 
Satya truth, imperishable 
Satyalok realm of Brahma; the highest realm in the 14 realm brahmand
Satya yug first of the four ages lasting 1,728,000 human years, purest and most righteous of the ages; people live to be 100,000 years old
Satyam truth, honesty
Savikalp with alternatives or doubts 
Savikalp samadhi state of realization in which one sees God but doubts or distinctions still remain
Seva service
Sevak one who serves
Sevanti flower of the chrysanthemum genus, also known as guldavadi
Shabdatit beyond description
Shakti panthi follower of the Shakti sect wherein the consumption of meat and alcohol is considered holy
Shaligram a small sacred stone worshipped by Vaishnavs as a form of Vishnu
Shankh likhit Smruti one of the Smruti scritpures ascribed to the two brothers Shankh Rishi and Likhit Rishi
Sharabh legendary beast which roams in the Himalayas
Sharir physical and non physical world, which is pervaded, inspired and governed by God
Shariri God, the one who pervades, inspires and governs the physical and non physical world 
Shastra scriptures of the six Darshans, Hindu schools of philosophy
Shelu rich fabric with silky finish woven with golden or silver threads
Shilpashastras scriptures which give details on the art and architecture of building mandirs
Shikshapatri a 212 verse scripture written by Bhagwan Swaminarayan describing codes of conduct for all his followers
Shingadiyo vachhnag an aquatic plant whose leaves are poisonous 
Shishumar chakra a center of spiritual energy located inside the inner body
Shraddh rituals in memory of one's ancestors
Shraddha a virtue that incorporates faith, trust, hope, patience, persistence and zeal
Shravan to listen to the talks of God
Shrimad Bhagwat the most popular of the 18 Purans which narrates the life, actions and incidents of Shri Krishna Bhagwan
Shrivatsa a divine mark found on the chest of the murtis of Vishnu and Shri Krishna
Sinhasan throne for God
Shruti to recall, to remember a divine episode of Bhagwan or Satpurush
Shrutis the heard; collection of philosophical and spiritual wisdom; Four Vedas fall in this category
Shudra laborer
Shuli a brutal form of execution 
Shuksha gnan monotheistic philosophy of the Advait school; dry knowledge because it disclaims the existence of a personal God and does not promote bhakti
Shushka Vedanta the Advait doctrine explaining that Brahman is the only reality; dry because it disclaims the existence of a personal God, His abode and does not promote bhakti
Shuskha vedanti followers of the Shushka Vedanta school of philosophy
Shwetdwip Celestial abode of Shri Lakshmi Narayan
Skand Puran

one of the 18 Purans; consists of 84,000 verses narrating the killing of the demon Tarakasur by Skand, the son of Shiv. Contains the Vasudev Mahatmya

Smrutis the remembered texts the Upanishads, as well as texts by Yajnavalkya, Manu, Parashar etc 
Sthul one of the three bodies; the physical body of the jiva which is composed of the five bhuts
Stithapragna a stable state of the mind; one who is calm and controlled in any situation or circumstance
Sud bright half of the lunar month
Sudarshan Chakra fiery disc like weapon used by Vishu and later by Shri Krishna
Sudi the brighter half of the Hindu lunar month
Sukshma one of the three bodies; the subtle body of the jiva which is composed of the 19 elements, 5 gnan indriyas, 5 karma indriyas, 5 prans and the 4 antahkarans
Surval trouser like garment
Sushumna Sutal third realm beneath Mrutyulok
Svedaj category of life born from sweat 
Swabhav a person's nature
Swadharma one's own dharma
Swaminarayan a mantra given by Bhagwan Swaminarayan to his followers in 1801 
Swarglok second realm above Mrutyulok, where Indra and other demigods reside
T   Top
Tabla drums
Taijas jivatma in the dream state
Tal pair of small cymbals
Talatal fourth realm beneath Mrutyulok, where nocturnal reside
Tamas ahamkar one of the three types of ahamkar
Tamasik of, or pertaining to tamogun, quality of darkness
Tamogun one of the three principle qualities of maya or Prakruti, characterized by unconsciousness and passiveness
Tanmatra a subtle element that is the root cause of its corresponding bhut there are five in total, sights, sounds, smells, taste, and touch
Taplok fifth realm above Mrutyulok, where Bhrugu and other rishis reside
Tapta kruchchhra a strict fast during which one does not eat or drink anything for 12 consecutive days
Tej fire or energy, one of the five elements 
Thal food devotionally offered to God as a form of bhakti
Tilak Chandlo


'U' shaped mark made with sandalwood paste and a round mark of kumkum in its center; a hallmark of one's allegiance to the Swaminarayan Sampraday
Treta yug the second of the four ages lasting 1,296,000 human years, when purity and righteousness decreased; people lived to be 10,000 
Tulsi a leaf from the mint family used in Hindu prayer rituals
Turyapad fourth state, a term referring to God who transcends the three states of waking, dream and sleep
Tyag to renounce 
Tyagi an ascetic, a sadhu
U   Top
Udbhij category of life forms born out of the ground
Uddhav Sampraday name used by Bhagwan Swaminarayan to refer to the Satsang Fellowship
Udyog Parva fifth of the 12 sections of the Mahabharat describing the Pandavs and Kauravs commitment to the war and contains the Vidurniti
Upanishads fourth and final portion of the Vedas 
Upasana philosophical understanding of the nature of God as well as the mode of worship of God, i.e., how one understands God's nature, and how one worships Him. Sometimes synonymous with bhakti
Utsav festival
V   Top
Vachan word, promise
Vachanamrut Compilation of 273 spiritual discourses delivered by Bhagwan Swaminarayan
Vadi dark half of a Hindu lunar month 
Vadvanal a form of fire that resides within the ocean but remains inextinguishable
Vaijayanti a unique garland adorned by Vishnu and other avatars
Vaikunth celestial abode of Bhagwan Vishnu
Vairagya detachment from material objects and pursuits
Vaishakh the tenth month of the Ashadhi Samvat year, usually begins between April and May
Vaishnav a follower of Vishnu and/or his various incarnations in particular Shri Krishna Bhagwan
Vaishya businessman employer traditionally dealing with financial and commercial matters in society
Valmiki Ramayan Sanskrit scripture depicting the story of Shri Ram Bhagwan as told by Valmiki Rishi
Vaniya specific class of people of Vaishya caste
Vanprasth ashram third of the four stages of life, when one withdraws from some social duties and serves as an elderly advisor 
Vartman vow
Vasana mundane desire; unfulfilled desires and impressions of past karmas merged with the jiva
Vasudev Mahatmya portion of the Skand Puran describing how an ekantik bhakt should offer bhakti to God while possessing dharma, gnan and vairagya
Vayu one of the five gross elements; air or gaseous matter 
Vedanta school of thought embodied in the Upanishads which reveal the teachings of the Vedas
Vedanti anyone who follows the Vedanta philosophy 
Vedas the most sacred set of Hindu scriptures collated into four parts Rig Veda, Sam Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda
Vedstuti portion of Shrimad Bhagwat which the Vedas explain the glory and greatness of God
Vicharan spiritual touring
Vidurniti political ethics explained by Vidur, to his oldest brother King Dhrutrashta; forms a portion of the Mahabharat
Vidhi rules and rituals that are to be observed
Vidya knowledge
Vidyadhar celestial servant of Indra and is thought to live between the skies and the earth
Virat of the three bodies of Virat Purush and other ishwars, the physical body i.e. the physical world itself composed of five mahabhuts and which sustains the bodies of all jivas 
Virat Purush Virat Purush
Vishalyakarani ancient herbal medicine that relieves one of any stab wounds in the body
Vishay worldly pleasure
Vishnupad a devotional song written by Narsinh Mehta narrating the divine actions of Krishna Bhagwan
Vishnu sahasranam a scripture 
Vishnu yag specific yagna performed to seek the blessings of Bhagwan Vishnu

second realm beneath Mrutyulok, where demons reside.

Vivek the ability to discern between truth and untruth
Vrat a spiritual observance
Vrutti defined as an emanation of the indriyas, antahkaran or jiva
Vyas Sutras a collection of scriptures containing the essence of the Upanishads written by Vyas
Vyatirek distinct or unassociated
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Yagna a special sacrificial worship
Yagnavalkya Smruti one of the principal ancient Smruti scriptures ascribed by Yagnavalkya Rishi
Yam the first of the eight steps of ashtang yog
Yampuri narak, the city of Yam raj
Yoga school of philosophy focusing on decreasing the fluctuations of the mind through physical and mental practices
Yojan measure of distance equaling four gaus, i.e. approximately 6-7 km
Yug age, division of time used to outline the time scale of the world


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