January 18, 2009

Dictionary of Hindu Religious Terms -Check now


Dictionary of Hindu Religious Terms


Aalaya - Temple
Abhaya - Fearless; refuge
Abhishekam - Ceremonial cleansing of the Lord's idol
Acharya - One who shows the right path for others to follow; a preceptor
Adisesha - Primeval serpent mythologically conceived to bear the world on his 1000 hoods. Traditionally believed to support Lord Sri Venkateswara upon seven of his hoods, Narasimha on his coiled frame, Mallikarjuna on his twisted tail, and Srikalahastivara at the opening of his mouth.
Aditya - Sun God
Alankaram - Decoration
Alvar - Seer of a specific religious order in the Vaishnavaite Cult
Amrit - Nectar which when consumed, grants immortality
Angapradakshinam - A vow whereby pilgrims lie prostrate and roll around the temple
Ankurarpanam - The start of the Brahmotsavam festival
Alipiri - Starting point at the foot of the hills, for pilgrims who wish to reach Tirumala on foot
Annadanam - Distribution of free food
Annam - Food
Annamacharya/Annamayya - (1408-1503 AD); the earliest musician to compose songs in favour of Lord Sri Venkateswara
Appams - A sweet dish made of rice flour and offered to the Lord
Archaka - Priest
Archana - Worship of the Lord
Arjita Seva - Any seva for the performance of which pilgrims pay a fee
Ashta - Eight
Asthanam - Royal Court/Official Chamber of the King
Asva - Horse
Aushadha -
- A manifestation of God on Earth, with a specific mission.


BIRRD - Balaji Institute of Surgery, Research and Rehabilitation for the Disabled
Bahumanam - Gift
Balaji - Another name for Lord Sri Venkateswara
Bhagaswamyam - Partnership
Bhakti - Devotion
Brahma - God of Creation
Brahmins - Hindu priests & Adminstrators (Highest caste in hindu religion)


Chakra - The sacred disc (weapon of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu)
Chakkera Pongal - Sweet dish made of sugar, milk and rice
Chandanam - Sandalwood
Chandra -
Chaulam -
Ear lobe-piercing ceremony
Cherupulu - Food offered to the Lord
Chinna - Small
Chitrannam - A rice preparation, rich in spices
Choultry - Guesthouse where accommodation is free of charge. Also called Dharmasala.


Daanam - Charitable offering
Dadhyodanam - Dish made of spiced rice and curd
Daiva - Divine
Dakshina - South; Offering money to the Lord
Dala - Leaf
Darsanam/Darshan - Viewing the idol of the Lord
Dasavataram - Ten incarnations of Sri Maha Vishnu
Deepam - LampDevas - The Gods
Devasthanam - Abode of the Gods
Dhanya - Cereal
Dharma - Set of righteous principles to be followed
Dharmasala - Guesthouse where accommodation is free of charge. Also called Choultry.Dhoti - Cloth tied around the waist like a sarong
Dhvajasthambham - A sacred pillar in front of the Sri Venkateswara temple
Dhyana Yoga - Meditation
Divya Ananda Nilaya Vimana - Dome of the abode of divine blissDivya Vimana - Divine dome
Dosa - Pancake made with rice flour, black gram flour and oil
Dupatta - Long scarf draped across the shoulders and worn with the salwar kameez. Also see Salwar Kameez.
Dvara gopura - Gateway with a sculpted tower above it
Dvara/Dvaram/Dwaram - Entrance; gateway
Dvarapalakas -


Ekangi - Celibate disciple of the Sri Vaishnava Jiyar Matham
Ekantam - Private
Ekanta Seva - Private service conducted for the Lord, to which pilgrims are not admitted


Gadha - Mace which is the sacred weapon of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu
Gajam - Elephant
Gangala - Brass vessel
Garbha griha - The sanctum sanctorum of the Sri Venkateswara Temple which houses the idol of the Lord
Garuda - A white-necked Brahmani Kite .He is considered the vehicle of Sri Maha Vishnu
Ghat - mountain. Also see Ghats (Eastern)Ghats (Eastern) - Mountain range for a part of these ranges that runs along south-eastern India. Tirumala-Tirupati .Gopuram - The sculpted upper crest of a temple
Gotram - The sect to which a devotee belongs
Grihastha - Donor
Gurkha - Security guard
Guru - Teacher


Hamsa - SwanHarati - Waving a plate (in which a sacred flame is lit) in front of the Lord's image. Also called Nirajana
Harikatha - Musical rendering of divine stories
Hiranyakasipu - Demon King who tried to destroy the Earth
Hiranyaksa - Younger brother of Hiranyakasipu, who succeeded the latter as Demon King
Homam - Sacred fire
Hundi - Receptacle for depositing offerings (in cash and kind) for the Lord


Ishta Daivam - Favourite deity


Janaloka - One of the seven regions above the Earth
Japam - Sacred word that is chanted repeatedly
Jata - Twisted hair that hangs down in coils at the back of the Lord Sri Venkateswara's idolJeghanta - Cymbals
Jilebi - Spiral-shaped sweet dish made of flour and jaggery jellyJyeshtha - Name of a month in the Hindu calendar


Kainkaryam - Ritualistic offering to God or worship of God Kali Yuga - The Dark Age
Kalpa - Age or aeon. Also called Yuga
Kalyana Katta - Place where devotees have their hair cut as an offering to the Lord
Kalyanam - Marriage
Kalyana Mandapam - Marriage Hall
Kalyanotsavam - Celebration of the divine marriage between Lord Sri Venkateswara and Sri Padmavathi Devi
Kankanam - Metal bracelet worn around the wrist
Kapila - Grey-coloured
Karma Yoga - deedsKarpooram - Camphor
Kasturitilakam - Lineament of musk drawn on the Lord's forehead
Katika - Placed on the waist
Keertanas - devotional songs
Kiritam - Crown
- Temple
Koluvu - Darbar
Kula Daivam - Family Deity


Laddu - Spherical-shaped sweet made of flour and jaggery/sugar


Madhura bhakti - Deep devotion
Maha - Great
Mahatmya/Mahatmyam - Greatness
Mahatva - ImportanceMakara Kundalas - ornaments shaped like an alligator, that adorn the ears of the main idol of the Lord
Mandapam - structure or monument with rich sculpture meant for a specific purpose like performing fine arts
Mantra - Sacred word(s) to be chanted repeatedly
Mantrodaka - Sacred water
Matsya Avatara - Manifestation of Lord Vishnu as a fishMuhurtam - Auspicious time
Mukhadvaram - Main entrance (door) at the front of the temple
Mukkoti - Three crore (merging of three crore teerthams in the Swami Pushkarini).
Mukti/Moksha - Liberation of the soul
Mulaberam - The central idol of Lord Sri VenkateswaraMurthi - Statue
Mutyam - Pearl


Nacchimars - The Lord's two consorts - Sridevi and Bhudevi
Naivedyam - Food offeringNamakarana- Naming ceremonyNamam - White caste-mark on the Lord's forehead
Narada - The supreme devotee of Lord Vishnu; a connoisseur of all arts; a devarishi (according to the Bhagavad Gita 10:26)
Narasimha - Lord Vishnu's manifestation, with the face of a lion and the body of a human
Narayana - Lord Sri Maha Vishnu
Nava - Nine
Nayaka - Leader
Nija - Real, Original
Niluvudopidi - Offering to the Lord, the clothes/ornaments that one is wearing when one visits the temple
Nirajana - See harati
Nivedana - Offer/present


Om - The sacred syllable
Om Sri Venkatesaya Namah - Saluting the Lord by reciting His name


Padmam - Lotus
Padmavathi - Consort of Lord Sri Venkateswara
Pallaki - Palanquin
Panchangam - Indian almanac
Panchanga Sravanam - Listening to the forecast as directed by the Sastras
Pandal - Canopy
Panyarams - Laddus. See Laddus.
Papam - Sin
Parinayam - Marriage
Parishad - Union of Scholars
Pataloka - The nether world
Pati - HusbandPatrika - LetterPavithra - Sacred
Payasam - Watery sweet made with milk, sugar, cardamom and cashewnuts
Periya Jiyar - Saint of the Sri Vaishnava Jiyar Matham
Periyatirdadi - The first devotee
Pinda Prasadam - Ceremony conducted in memory of the departedPitambaram - Yellow silk cloth
Pongal - Rice dish cooked with cereals and spices
Puja/Pooja - Ritualistic worship of God
Poojari - One who performs rituals, chants prayers and worships God as a representative of the devotee
Poolangi - Of flowers
Poorna - Complete, full
Pracharam - Spreading
Pradakshinam - Path for circumambulating the templePradhana acharya purusha - Chief priest
Prahlada - Son of the Demon King Hiranyakasipu and a staunch devotee of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu
Prakaram - Wall surrounding the temple
Pralaya Kalpa - The Great Deluge
Prarthana - Prayer
Prasadam - Food offered first to the Lord and then distributed (as sacred) among devotees
Prasanna - Pleased
Pratima - Bronze icon
Pratyeka - SpecialPravachanam - Hymn sung in praise of the LordPrayoga - Ready for release
Pulihora - A rice dish made with tamarind/lime and spices.
Puranas - Ancient Hindu scriptures
Purohit - Priest
Purohit Sangam - An association of priests
Pushkarini - Sacred water tank
Pushpa Yagam - Vedic ritual involving offering of flowers to God.
Pushpam - Flower


Rakshasa - Demon
Rama Pattabhishekam - The coronation of Lord Rama
Ranganayaka - One of the manifestations of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu. Also refers to the Deity at Sri Rangam.
Ratham - Chariot
Rishi - Sage


Sabha - Meeting;Group
Sadas - Meeting of intellectuals
Sahasra - Thousand
Sahasra Deepa - Thousand earthen lamps
Sakarabath - Sweetened riceSalwar Kameez - Traditional Indian dress consisting of a loose knee-length top and a loose pant gathered at the ankles.
Samarpana - Offering
Samrakshana - Protection
Samsara Sagara - The ocean of Life
Sangam - Union Sankalpam - DesireSankeertanas - Songs written in praise of the Lord
Sanku - The sacred conch of the Lord
Saranagati - To fall at a person's feet
Sari - traditional dress of Indian women
Sarovaram - Lake
Sarva - All
Sarvadarsanam - Viewing of the Deity for all; the time allotted for it.
Sastanga Danda Pramanam - prostrating before the LordSastras - Various texts of ethical science dealing with code of conduct, morality, rituals etc.Seera - Sweet dish
Seshachala - One of the famous seven hills of Tirupati believed to be the manifestation of the Snake God, Adisesha
Seshavahanam - Vehicle of the Lord (shaped like the Snake God Adisesha)
Seva - Service/Worship unto the Lord
Seven Hills - The seven hills of Lord Venkateswara's abode. They are Vrishabhadri, Garudadri, Seshadri, Anjanadri, Vedadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri; from Tirupati, the seven hills have to be crossed to reach Tirumala
Sikharam - Pinnacle
Simha - Lion
Sishya - Disciple
Sloka - Stanza
Smaraka - in memory of .
Soma - Moon
Somalatha - A plant whose juice intoxicates if drunk; plant offered to the sacred fire in Somayaga
Somayaji - The person who performs somayaga
Sopanamarga - Stairway (Stone footpath leading to Tirumala)
Sravanam - Season of rainfall (according to the Hindu calendar), usually in August
Sri Bhu Devi - Also called Sri Padmavathi Devi; one of the two consorts of Lord Sri Venkateswara, the other being Sri Lakshmi Devi
Sri Lakshmi Devi - Also called Sri Devi; one of the two consorts of Lord Sri Venkateswara, the other being Sri Bhu Devi
Sri Maha Vishnu - 'The Preserver' who is believed to have manifested Himself on Tirumala as Lord Sri Venkateswara, to save mankind in the Kali YugaSri Venkatachala Mahatmya - The sacred text which extols the glory of Lord Venkaterswara and His abode.
Srinivasa - Lord Venkateswara
Srivaru - Lord Venkateswara
Sthala Mahathmya - The greatness of a place
Sudarsana - The sacred disc weapon of Lord Vishnu
Suddhi - Cleansing
Sukhasana - A Yogic pose
Suprabhatam - Auspicious time at dawn, when the Lord is woken and prayers chantedSurya - Sun
Sveta - White
Sveta Varaha - The incarnation of Sri Maha Vishnu as a fearsome white boar, to restore the Earth after the Great Deluge
Swami - God


Takeed - ReceiptTatva - Substance
Tene - Honey
Thiru/Tiru - Respected, holy
Thirumanjanam - Fragrant powder prepared out of sandalwood and turmeric
Thomala Seva - Worship with garlands
Teertham - Holy water
Tirumala - Meaning 'the holy hill'; abode of Lord Sri Venkateswara situated atop the seven hills in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India
Tirumala Raya - a chieftain of the Araviti family, who renovated the Tirumala Raya Mandapam in the Sri Venkateswara temple
Tirupati - The sacred town of Lord Venkateswara at the foot of the seven hills in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh in India

Trimurthi - The holy trinity, comprising Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and Lord VishnuTulabharam - Offering one's weight in coins to the Lord


Ubhaya Nacchiyars - The two consorts (Sri Devi and Bhu Devi) of the utsava murthi of Lord Sri Venkateswara.
Unjal - Cradle
Upanayanam -The ceremony of the investiture with the sacred thread
Utsava Murthi - Processional image of the Lord
Utsavam - Festival
Uttariyam - Garment for covering the shoulders or upper half of the body
Uyala Mandapam - Place where the Lord's idol is placed in a cradle and worshipped


Vada - Food item made of cereals and spicesVaggeyakara - Composer
Vahana - The Lord's vehicle
Vaikuntam - Celestial abode of Sri Maha Vishnu
Vanabhivruddhi - Improvising gardens
Vanam - Garden; forest
Varada - boon
Varaha Kshetra - Place belonging to VarahaVarahavatara/Varahaswami/Sveta Varaha - Incarnation of Sri Maha Vishnu as a boar with a human body
Vasantam - The Spring season
Vasanthotsavam - A festival held in Spring
Vastram - Clothes
Vayu Deva - The God of Wind
Veda - That knowledge which is worth knowing
Vedic Mantras - Sacred hymns
Venkateswara - He who cleanses the sins of His devotees
Vigraham - Statue
Vimana/Vimanam - DomeVinjamara - Whisk
Visesha - Important
Vishnu - (Vyapana Seelanath Vishnuhu) That which is all-pervading; the Supreme Being who is the saviour of the universe; also see Sri Maha Vishnu
Vishvaksena - Chief commander of the Lord's army


Yaga/Yagna - Vedic ritual in which various items are offered to God through a sacred fireYajnopavita - sacred thread worn by males of certain Hindu castes
Yuga - Aeon

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