A stage of life. There are four main divisions: brahmacārin (ब्रह्मचारिन्), gṛhastha (गृहस्थ), vānaprastha (वानप्रस्थ), sannyāsin (सन्न्यासिन्)
The most famous Purāṇa, dealing especially with the life and exploits of Kṛṣṇa.
Absence of anger
God of fire.
अग्नि or तेजस्
Fire, the third great element with its property form or beauty rūpa (रूप)
Inner organ of mind
A beautiful heavenly nymph
Incarnation of Viṣṇu when dharma is transgressed
Ignorance. The belief that māyā is the true reality.
Abstention from theft
The organ that identifies the ātman with something in creation.
Harmlessness of thought, speech and action
Space, or ether, the first great element with its property sound śabda (शब्द)
The Self. The one Self in all.
'Forest discussions' of the veda's inner meaning.
Lord of the minor gods. Universal mind, lord of the elements
Philosophical discussions of the identity of the ātman with the brahman.
The principle that actions create an effect in the future.
Senses of action -- speaking, grasping etc.
The Iron Age: 432, 000 years
14 manvantaras, a day of Brahmā
Desire and sensual enjoyment
कृतयुग / सत्ययुग
The Golden Age: 1, 728, 000 years
The class of warriors, kings and statesmen
A celestial musician
The three consituents of the universe: sattva, rajas and tamas.
The householder stage
The part of the causal body called the heart where the deposits of actions are stored.
Water, the fourth great element with its property taste, rasa (रस)
Senses of knowledge -- seeing, hearing etc
True knowledge. The knowledge that brahman is reality.
Disciplined action that purifies and enhances energy
The quality of dullness and inertia.
The Silver Age: 1,296,000 years.
Control of mind, speech, senses and body
'Shining one.' A universal power or deity
A female deity or goddess.
The Bronze Age: 864, 000 years
Virtue. 'That which upholds,' the system of duties, rewards, punishments etc., which is the will of the Absolute. Universal justice which ensures happiness for all who follow the law of their own nature.
Seed of a word.
Author of the 4000 or so sūtras comprising the vyākaraṇa. In this science all words are shown to derive from a few simple dhātus and an even simpler system of pratyayas (endings.)
Sin, the essence of bad deeds.
Consort of Śiva, the power of law
Ancestors or forefathers
Merit, the essence of a good deeds
'The ancient teachings'. Eighteen works by Vyāsa that deal with creation and dissolution, kings, sages, incarnations, etc.
The aspiration and purpose of human life. This has four aspects: kāma (काम), sensual enjoyment; artha (अर्थ), wealth; dharma (धर्म), virtue; and mokṣa (मोक्ष), liberation
Spirit, whose reflection is prakṛti.
Goddess of the Earth
पृथिवी or भूमि
Earth, the fifth great element with its property smell gandha (गन्ध)
Primal nature, where everything is stored in seed or causal form, which can be thought of as the reflection of the puruṣa. Also known as avyakta.
The endings of word. A Sanskrit grammatical term.
Dissolution. Presided over tamas.
Vital breath that divides into various functions: prāṇa, the breath in the mouth and the nose, apāna, the breath that excretes, vyāna, the breath that permeates the whole body, udāna, the breath that leaves the body at death, and samāna, the breath that digests.
Reason, the organ of discrimination, reflecting the light of the ātman.
The student stage of chastity, study and obedience
The ultimate reality underlying all phenomena.
The god responsible for creating the creation. Represents rajas.
The class of priests and teachers
The 'Song of the Lord,' found in the Mahābhārata, records the spiritual discourse between Krishna and the great warrior Arjuna.
Mind, the lower level that thinks and deliberates
Also called dharmaśāstra . The Laws of Manu sets out the laws of human life according to the universal system of dharma.
A special magic word.
71 Mahāyugas supervised by one Manu (Lawgiver)
The world's longest epic, by Vyāsa , telling the story of the battle between the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas and the events leading to it.
The five great subtle elements
One cycle of the four yugas - 4, 320, 000 years
Illusion. The magic that makes the universe seem to be here.
Liberation from bondage in saṃsāra (संसार). One of the four puruṣārthas.
Sacrifice. This can be a complicated ritual or dedicated action. Five sacrifices are enumerated in Manu: devayajña, (to the gods), ṛṣiyajña (to the sages), pitṛyajña (to the ancestors), manuṣyayajña (to human beings) and bhūtayajña (to the lower creatures).
Death, controller and ender of all.
A text outlining the principles of yoga. Attributed to Patañjali.
The quality of activity and passion
Night wandering ogre or demon
The story of Rāma and his battles with the demons, by the sage Vālmīki.
Consort of Viṣṇu, the power of increase and property
Class or caste of men. There are four main divisions: brāhmaṇa (ब्राह्मण), kṣatriya (क्षत्रिय), vaiśya (वैश्य), and śūdra (शूद्र)
The forest-dweller stage
Air, the second great element with its property touch sparśa (स्पर्श)
God of wind
Doubt, conflicting idea
The god responsible for maintaining the creation. Maintains order by incarnating himself with avatāras. Represents sattva.
'The support of the veda.' Six sciences which preserve the proper understanding and recitation of the veda. Their subjects are śikṣā (pronunciation), chandas (metre), vyākaraṇa (grammar), nirukta (meaning of words), jyotiṣa (astronomy), and kalpa (ritual).
The teaching of the Upaniṣads (literally the 'final part' or 'goal' of the veda.)
Thought to be the oldest Sanskrit literature, the veda is a collection of hymns compiled into four sections. These are: Ṛk, Sāman, Yajus, and Atharva. Traditionally, the veda is considered to be the eternal, non-human knowledge that shapes the creation.
The class of merchants, producers and farmers
The individual acting as a single unit
Science of grammar. One of the vedāṅgas.
Vyāsa means 'compiler.' Traditionally, he is considered to be the sage who compiled the veda into four sections and who also composed the Mahābhārata, Purāṇas and the Brahmasūtra.
The power or force of a deva, considered as his consort.
Scripture, methodology, teaching.
The god responsible for destroying creation. Represents tamas.
The class of servants and labourers
'What has been heard,' i.e. Vedic literature. This is considered to be of the highest authority.
Mental construction, resolve, belief
Transmigration. The process of continual rebirth.
Traces or deposits from past actions that create conditions for rebirth.
The quality of purity, intelligence, brightness.
Unfailing truthfulness in speech
The stage of complete renunciation as a wandering mendicant.
The universe as a single person or whole
Consort of Brahmā, the power of wisdom
A very terse statement which is part of a complete system explaining a science.
God of the sun
Creation. Presided over by rajas.
Sustenance. Presided over by sattva.
'What has been remembered.' The teachings of the great sages. Second in authority to the śruti (श्रुति).
Regular study of the scriptures