The Hinduism Series: A Glossary of Technical Terms

This is a short glossary of some of the technical terms often seen in Hindu literature. A glossary such as this becomes inevitable on most occasions since many of these terms don't have single word equivalents in English or any non-Indic language, since these concepts are often not found in other cultures.

artha • wealth; motive; cause. It refers to the material objectives and accomplishments of a person. One of the four puruṣārthas.

ātman • soul; spirit; the inner, higher Self of an individual.

The Hinduism Series: Hindu Scriptures and their Overview

The foundational works of Hinduism have, for centuries, been transmitted by means of an oral tradition – teachers taught their disciples, who committed every word to memory and then passed it on to their disciples without any variation. Needless to say, many ancient texts have been lost over the years. For ease of understanding, in this article we use the term ‘texts’ instead of ‘works,’ or ‘compositions,’ or ‘treatises,’ but they include both orally composed works and written texts.

The Hinduism Series: Sanatana Dharma From Scratch

In its original and purest form, Hinduism is a sanatana dharma, loosely translated as ‘eternal truth’ or ‘timeless religion’ or ‘eternal way of life’ or ‘timeless ethic.’ It is drawn from nature and thus unrestricted by space-time constraints. However, in the several applications of sanatana dharma, we adopt specific spatiotemporal frames.

The Hinduism Series: Praveshika

Hinduism is the major religion of India with a worldwide following of over a billion people. In its original and purest form, it is a sanatana dharma (loosely translated as ‘eternal truth’ or ‘timeless religion’) that represents at least 7,000 years of contemplation, tradition, and continuous development in India. One who follows Hinduism is called a ‘Hindu’ (the term originally referred to a person who lived beyond the Sindhu river, i.e. in undivided India).

Yakshaprashna: Quenching the Thirst - 2

This is the second part of the translation of the Yakshaprashna, a conversation between Yudhishtira and Yama on the banks of the enchanted lake.

Chapter 297
Verses 32-62:
किं क्षत्रियाणां देवत्वं
कश्च धर्मः सतामिव ।
कश्चैषां मानुषो भावः
किमेषामसतामिव ॥ ३२
How does a kshatriya attain divinity?
What is his true dharma?
What is the human trait of kshatriyas?
What is the wrong path for a kshatriya?

Yakshaprashna: Quenching the Thirst - 1

One of the most fascinating tales in the Mahabharata is the dialogue between Yudhishtira and Yama on the banks of the enchanted pool. This episode is popularly known as the ‘Yakshaprashna.’ The characters of the Mahabharata, so richly sketched by Vyasa, find relevance even today among readers. Never one to judge his characters or paint them with a single shade of color, Vyasa highlights the ridiculous and the sublime in the characters at various points in the epic.