a Hindu monastery.
medicine: The ancient holistic
Indian system of medicine and health.
The priestly caste in Indian society.
Direct visual contact with the Deity (usually through a murthi),
which brings blessings to the devotee.
India's most sacred river, running from the Himalayas to the Bay
of Bengal, often thought of as a Goddess in Her own right, Ganga.
entrance into the water for pilgrims who wish to take a sanctifying
and Radha: Krishna is an incarnation
of the God Vishnu, the Preserver. He and His Consort, Radha, symbolize
the perfect union of humanity with the Divine.
Murthi: An image or icon of a Deity
used during worship. Hindus do not worship the image itself but
use it as a means of focusing the mind and heart on God. Adya
Ma said, "I shall reveal myself in any image you may invoke me
in with devotion."
most powerful syllable in Sanskrit; the most sacred mantra in
Hinduism. Also spelled Aum.
food that has been blessed by having been offered to God.
Puja: A ritual or ceremony honoring
the Divine through reciting sacred chants and offering food, flowers,
Sadhu: a wandering holy man such as
are still common in India today.
Sangha: "Organization" or "Association."
Sannyasin: a religious renunciate
Tantra: An ancient system of religious
philosophy that seeks union with the Divine Mother through specific
rites and practices.
Thakur: A Bengali title of respect
for any Brahmin, but especially for someone of high spiritual
Vedanta: A system of Hindu philosophy
that views God as pure "isness"--Absolute Existence, Absolute
Knowledge, and Absolute Bliss, without any form or attributes.