Showing posts with label Hindu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hindu. Show all posts

Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is Agnipradakshinam?

Agnipradakshinam means "circling the flames" in Sanskrit. 


  • The bride and groom complete seven steps to officially seal their marriage in many contemporary Hindu marriage rituals, which is typically done as part of the saptapadi. 
  • The bride and groom perform seven revolutions around a tiny fire by combining the saptapadi and the agnipradakshinam. 
  • The fire, as the deity Agni, is the heavenly witness to the bride and groom's marital connection, which is typically represented by attaching the groom's hat to the bride's sari fringe. 


The fire also indicates that the marriage ceremony is a yajna, or sacrifice ritual.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is Agnikula?

Agnikula refers to the “lineage of fire”. 


  • The Pariharas, Chauhans, Solankis, and Pawars are the four major Rajput clans (warrior princes) that make up the Pariharas, Chauhans, Solankis, and Pawars. 
  • This collective name, according to legend, alludes to the Rajputs' lineage from a single legendary monarch who sprang into being as a result sacrificial fire pit at Mount Abu in Rajasthan. 
  • After their emergence at the end of the first millennium, these four clans reigned over most of northern India, either as independent kings or feudal vassals, despite their uncertain historical origins. 
  • Southern Rajasthan was controlled by the Pariharas
  • The Chauhans reigned over the Delhi area. 
  • Gujarat was governed by the Solankis
  • In western Madhya Pradesh, the Pawars dominated. 

Despite the fact that their days as warrior princes are long gone, they continue to have an impact on politics, both as politicians and as constituent groups.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is Agnihotra ?

Agnihotra means "fire sacrifice" in Sanskrit. 


  • Offerings are offered to the holy fire, which is said to represent the deity Agni manifested in corporeal form. 
  • The word may also apply to the holy fire itself, as well as its upkeep and care. 
  • The Vedas, the oldest and most authoritative Hindu holy scriptures, trace the origins of sacrificial fire worship. 


This kind of devotion is still practiced in contemporary times, but it is considerably less prominent.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is Agni Akhara?

The name of a subdivision of the Dashanami Sanyasis' Naga class, a specific kind of renunciant ascetic. 

  • The Dashanami Nagas are Shiva worshippers (bhakta) who are divided into akharas or regiments in the manner of an army. 
  • The Nagas' main profession until the beginning of the nineteenth century was as mercenary warriors, but they also had significant trade interests; both of these vocations have virtually vanished in modern times. 
  • The Agni akhara is a component of the Juna akhara, which is one of Naga akhara's biggest and oldest. 


The membership of the Agni akhara differs significantly from those of the other recognized akharas. 


  • The Agni akhara accepts only unmarried brahmins who have been lifelong celibates, while the other Naga Sanyasi akharas allow males from all levels of society, including the lowest status category, the shudras. 
  • The Agni akhara is the only Dashanami Naga akhara without any naked (naga) ascetics, perhaps due to their more restricted membership requirements. 
  • During the march to the Kumbha Mela for their bath, all of its participants stay completely dressed. 
  • The Agni akhara was founded in Benares, and it is now their most significant location. 


All of the akharas have distinct characteristics that establish their organizational identity, such as patron deities; the goddess Gayatri, considered the embodiment of the Gayatri Mantra, is the patron deity of the Agni akhara.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Who Is Agni?

Agni (“fire,” related with Latin ignis) is a Hindu god who may be found in all fires. 


  • Agni is also one of the eight dikpalas, or Directions Guardians, who is in charge of the southeast sector. 
  • Agni is one of the five elements in Hindu cosmology, and it is also fire. 
  • The Rig Vedic samhitas (hymns) and the Brahmanas, a later stream of Vedic literature stressing sacrificial rituals, both include Agni. 

The Rig Veda begins with a hymn to Agni, who is described as "the home priest, the deity and officiant of the sacrifice, [and] the giver of benefits" in the song. 

Agni remained significant to the Brahmanas since he was required for all rituals as the sacrifice fire. 


Agni's significance in these writings comes from his appearance in all three levels of the Vedic universe: 


  1. on the ground as fire, 
  2. in the intermediate atmospheric realm (antariksha) as lightning, 
  3. and in the sky as the sun. 


Agni became the gods' and humans' mediator because of his capacity to travel between various planes. 

  • Agni was the gods' messenger from above, and as the sacrificial fire on earth, he not only burned the gifts but also carried them to the gods above in the smoke. 
  • Agni is also known as the "mouth of the gods" because of his involvement in orchestrating the sacrifice. 


Unlike many other Vedic deities, Agni has maintained some significance even in modern times. 


  • Despite the fact that Vedic sacrifices are rare, sacrificial themes have been integrated into many modern rituals, with gifts (typically of clarified butter) being ladled into a sacrificial fire. 
  • Many rites, especially arati, in which lamps are waved in front of the figure of a deity as a gift of light, include fire. 
  • Agni is also the heavenly witness to the one deed that is generally thought to cement a marriage. 
  • The bride and groom make seven revolutions around a light or fire during agnipradakshinam. 
  • Even on the most basic level, fire is still necessary for everyday living since most Indians still cook over an open flame, whether it be coal, wood, dung, or bottled gas. 


Agni's daily usefulness, coupled with his constant ceremonial presence, has ensured his place in Hindu culture.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Who Are The Aghori?

One of the two loosely structured groups of Jogi ascetics, the other being the Nathpanthis, is referred to by this name in one occasion. 

The Aghoris, Nathpanthis, and Dashanami Sanyasis are three main sects of ascetics dedicated to the deity Shiva. 


The Dashanamis are supposed to be descended from previous Shaiva ascetic orders, especially the Kapalikas, Kalamukhas, and Pashupatas, while the Aghoris and Nathpanthis are thought to be derived from earlier Shaiva ascetic orders, particularly the Kapalikas, Kalamukhas, and Pashupatas. 


  • Aghori also refers to ascetics whose renowned habits earn them both respect and terror among the general public. 
  • The Aghoris take their name from one of Shiva's names, Aghora, which, despite its literal meaning ("not frightening"), refers to one of Shiva's most terrible and powerful forms. 
  • The Aghoris are known for their disdain for all societal norms and limits as followers (bhakta) of this avatar of Shiva. 
  • They often feed from a human skull-shaped receptacle and are said to consume everything, including excrement and human flesh. 
  • Aghoris are so far beyond the usual social limits that most people would prefer avoid contact with them. 
  • Such conduct inspires curiosity and occasionally admiration among the broader Hindu population, but it also inspires dread.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Who Is Agastya?

 

Agastya is one of the rishis (sages) of ancient India in Hindu mythology, and is credited with a variety of supernatural abilities. 


  • Agastya, like many of the rishis, is distinguished even by his birth, which occurs in an unusual way. 
  • According to legend, Agastya is born when the deities Mitra or Varuna's sperm are put in an artificial vessel and grown into a newborn boy. 


Agastya is said to favor a distant, austere existence, although he makes concessions in honor of his forefathers. 


  • In a vision, the ancestors implore Agastya to marry and have children so that his sons may continue to perform the ancestral sacrifices; this is one of the three obligations that every Hindu man must pay.
  • Agastya agrees to marry Lopamudra. Agastya's austere lifestyle is believed to have given him incredible abilities, which he displays by accomplishing many amazing feats. 
  • He curses king Nahusha to become a gigantic snake, according to some tales, in retaliation for the insults Nahusha had poured upon him. 
  • King Indradyumna is cursed to become an elephant, and the gandharva called Huhu is cursed to become a crocodile by Agastya; the two are freed many years later by the deity Vishnu's divine mercy.

 

Not all of his deeds are motivated by his willingness to curse—a characteristic shared by many sages—and some are done for the good of humans. 


  • He is said to have humbled the Vindhya Mountains (here personified), which had grown so big due to Mount Meru's jealousy that the sun and moon can't get past them. 
  • Agastya accomplishes this by requesting that Vindhya bend down to allow him to continue on his trip to southern India. 
  • Agastya vows that when Vindhya arrives, he would be able to get up again, but this has yet to materialize. 


In other instances, Agastya is said to have utilized his abilities to aid in the exorcism of demons


  • When a gang of demons hide in the sea during the day and come out to plunder at night, Agastya exposes them by swallowing up the ocean and so removing their hiding spot. 
  • On another occasion, he defeats a demon who has been posing as a goat and cooking it for unwary guests. 
  • The monster has been bursting out of the diners' guts, murdering them. 
  • As usual, Agastya consumes the demon, but it is subsequently totally annihilated by Agastya's incredible digestive abilities. Also see Gajendramoksha.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is An Agama?

Agama refers to any authoritative text in its broadest sense. 


  • This term denotes one of the pramanas, the methods by which human beings may acquire genuine and correct knowledge, in a philosophical setting. 
  • The agama, like a pramana, indicates evidence from a trustworthy source, especially texts like the Veda. 
  • Within certain sectarian groups, such as the followers (bhakta) of the gods Shiva (Shaivas) and Vishnu (Vaishnavas), the term is also used to refer to the scriptures that the community considers to be the most authoritative.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Aerial Cars And Alien Flight

Aerial Cars are a kind of air craft or aerial vehicle that flies through the air and among one of the most well-known pictures described in Hindu mythology. 


  • The Pushpak Viman is the most renowned of the vehicles, since it was formerly possessed by Kubera, a minor god connected with mountains and their natural riches. 
  • Ravana, the demon-king of Lanka, seizes and steals the Pushpak Viman. 
  • In contemporary times, mythical allusions to such aerial vehicles are often claimed as proof that ancient Indians had the technology for flying machines, despite the fact that no historical evidence exists to support this claim.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is Advaita Vedanta?

Advaita Vedanta is a school of thought. One of the divisions of Vedanta, the philosophical school that claims to have discovered the ultimate (anta) message of the Vedas, the ancient holy scriptures. 


  • The Advaita school adheres to the philosophical stance of monism, which argues that everything is governed by a single Ultimate Reality. 
  • Advaita adherents believe that reality is nondual (advaita), meaning that everything in the universe, despite appearances of variety and diversity, is really the formless, unqualified Brahman. 
  • To back up this assertion, the Advaitins provide a compelling explanation for why one sees the universe to be made up of many different and distinct entities. 
  • Advaitans explain this seeming variety with the notion of adhyasa (superimposition), in which a false, erroneous knowledge is projected onto a genuine object—for example, seeing a rope in the twilight and mistaking it for a snake in the traditional Advaita example. 
  • The Advaitins believe that the "snake" is not entirely unreal since it is dependent on the rope for its existence—the snake cannot be seen unless the rope is there. 
  • At the same time, the "snake" is obviously not real, since one does not continue in this mistake, and once the snake's illusion is broken, one can no longer see it. 
  • Similarly, Advaitins believe that our perception of the phenomenal daily world is projected onto the one really actual object in the universe—Brahman. 
  • The universe, like the serpent, is unreal as it is seen yet real as it is dependent on Brahman. 
  • The origins of adhyasa, according to Advaitins, are epistemological, that is, linked to how humans come to know things, while adhyasa's outcomes are both epistemological and ontological (related to how things actually are). 


On the one hand, adhyasa obscures the Ultimate Reality and makes it difficult to see it correctly, while on the other hand, its projective nature shapes our perceptions of the universe. 


  • The cause of all this perplexity, according to Advaitins, is avidya, or primordial ignorance, under the influence of which one develops false beliefs about the universe. 
  • Although it is stated that the operation of ignorance has no beginning, one of the factors that keeps it running is one's karma, which is based on the ongoing acts produced by this erroneous thinking. 
  • The power of illusion (maya) possessed by God (Ishvara), which perplexes humans, is another cause of ignorance. 


God is identified as a qualified (saguna) form of Brahman, hence below the ultimate unqualified (nirguna) Brahman, and himself a result of superimposition, according to Advaita Vedantins. 


  • Because the Advaita school thinks that incorrect thinking is the root of karma bonding, the only way to break free is to acquire the right knowledge. 
  • Although the Advaitans believe that individuals are obligated to do religious acts (nitya karma) as a matter of duty, actions can never bring about the insight that is required for salvation, though they may help by eliminating karmic barriers. 
  • The Advaitins begin their study by appealing to the knowing subject as the one thing that can never be questioned, claiming that this self-consciousness is proof of the presence of the inner Self, or atman. 



Apart from this appeal to experience, they rely heavily on the sacred texts' authority, particularly the Upanishads, to uphold their key doctrines: 


  1. That Brahman is the source of all things; 
  2. That the human soul is ultimately identical to Brahman, albeit hampered by obstacles based on past karma; and that true knowledge is the basis of liberation. 


The philosopher Shankaracharya was the first and greatest Advaita thinker; other notable individuals were his two students, Sureshvara and Padmapada, as well as Mandana Mishra and Vachaspati Mishra. Karl H. Potter (ed. ), Advaita Vedanta up to Samkara and His Pupils, 1981; and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore (eds. ), A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, 1957, for further details.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Adultery In Hindu Society

Given the ancient Hindu concept that women are the conduits and protectors of family status, the dharma literature's laws on adultery are primarily focused on women's behavior, but they do prescribe a penance (prayashchitta) for a man who commits adultery with another man's wife. 


Adultery is considerably more severe for women, according to the dharma literature. 


It's worth noting that, in most instances, the dharma does not advocate for the lady to be forcibly removed from her house. 


  • An unfaithful woman must undergo a penance that includes sleeping on the ground, wearing filthy clothing, and eating very little food until her next menstrual cycle; she also loses her position as a lady of the home and whatever domestic authority she may have had during this time. 
  • All of this is supposed to finish with a bath at the conclusion of her menstrual cycle, after which she is welcomed back into her previous position, according to the dharma literature. 
  • Women who get pregnant as a consequence of extramarital affairs are to be abandoned. In reality, this usually entails being isolated and cut off from her family, but she is still fed. 


Abandonment is also advised in the following situations: 

  • adulterous liaisons with a man's pupil or guru, 
  • if a woman tries to murder her husband, 
  • or if she murders her aged fetus. 


The unwillingness to fully throw a woman away, as well as the readiness to restore her to her previous position after repentance, both indicate the significance of marriage and family life in Hindu culture, as well as the role of women in the family. 


Although these recommendations in the dharma literature seem to be reasonably compassionate, there has frequently been a significant gap between these prescriptions and actual practice of a specific group. 

  • In general, the greater a group's social status (or the more a group is attempting to enhance its social status), the harsher it punishes such violations, since they harm the group's social standing. 


Currently, this divide is exacerbated by differences in views about sexuality between rural and urban settings, with the latter being much more liberal and the former being more restricted. 

  • These distinctions are shown by stories of unfaithful women being murdered to restore the family's reputation. 
  • This is much more severe than even the most severe punishment specified in the dharma canon.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Adoption In Hindu Families

One of the most essential needs for every Hindu man is to have at least one son, in order to conduct and maintain proper burial rituals for himself and his ancestors. 


  • These rituals are seen to be essential for the well-being of the deceased, especially those who have just passed away. 
  • Only males are permitted to conduct burial rituals, even in contemporary times. 
  • Because these rituals are so important, fathers who don't have biological sons adopt a son to ensure the ceremony's success. 

The ideal candidate is a blood related, such as a brother's kid, who shares the adoptive father's social standing. 


  • The child becomes a part of another family via adoption, but the legal texts differ on his continued connection with his birth family. 
  • Many sources say that since an adopted son has become part of another family, he has no access to his natal family's inheritance or to perform burial rituals for those ancestors. 
  • Other scriptures mention unique arrangements that allow an adopted kid to have two dads, one biological and the other adoptive. 
  • He inherits from both dads and conducts ancestral rituals for them.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Who Is An Adivasi?

 

Adivasi means "first dweller" in Hindi. Different groupings of tribal peoples are referred to as "tribal peoples" in general. 


  • They are typically found in woods and other less developed regions, where they make a livelihood through hunting, woodcutting, collecting honey and medicinal herbs, and subsistence farming. 
  • On both sides of the Vindhya Mountains dividing northern and southern India, the greatest concentrations are in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar, although they may also be found in southern India's Nilgiri Hills. 
  • Adivasis have yet to fully integrate into caste Hinduism. 


Despite initiatives that give them priority for higher education and government jobs, many remain illiterate and impoverished. 

They have been the target of intensive missionary effort by both Christians and Hindu missionaries supported by the Vishva Hindu Parishad in recent years.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Who Are The Adityas Or Aditya?

 

A set of twelve heavenly sons born to the sage Kashyapa and his wife Aditi, from whom these sons receive their collective name, in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. 


  • Dhata, Aryama, Mitra, Shakra (Indra), Varuna, Amsha, Bhaga, Vivasvan (Surya), Pushan, Savitr, Tvashtr, and Vishnu are the names of the twelve. 
  • Several of these gods are mentioned in the Vedic religious texts, and Vishnu subsequently rose to prominence as one of the most prominent Hindu gods. 
  • On the one hand, the Adityas represent the Hindu belief that heavenly creatures (devas) are similar to humans in many ways, despite the fact that they are more powerful and dwell in a separate realm, the heavens. 
  • On the other hand, they show how Hindu tradition has evolved through time. 

Vishnu is one of many celestial creatures among the Adityas who are all susceptible to birth, death, and the operation of karma, while in his later form as the Supreme Being, he is believed not only to be beyond all of these forces, but also to have power over them. 


  • The sun is represented by the twelve Adityas in each of the twelve months of the year. 
  • These twelve Adityas are each associated with a different zodiac sign in at least one of the Puranas.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Who Is Aditi?

One of the wives of the sage Kashyapa, who also married Aditi's twelve sisters and begat all living things via them, according to Hindu legend. 


  • Aditi is referenced for the first time in the Rig Veda, where she is one of the few female characters, although a minor one. 
  • Dhata, Aryama, Mitra, Shakra (Indra), Varuna, Amsha, Bhaga, Vivasvan (Surya), Pushan, Savitr (Surya), Tvashtr, and Vishnu are the twelve divine sons mentioned in the Mahabharata. 
  • Both the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, Hindu epics, tell how Aditi gave birth to the Vamana avatar, or deity Vishnu's "divine descend" in the shape of a dwarf.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Who Is Adishesha?

Shesha's epithet or the "Primal Shesha". 


Related to - Shesha.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is The Adigranth?

Adigrath literally means, “Primal Book”. One of the titles for the Sikh text that is most often used by non-Sikhs. 

Sikhs prefer to refer to the text as Shri Guru Granth Sahib, which indicates the book's position as the Sikh community's spiritual leader (guru). 


The tenth Sikh guru, Gobind Singh (d. 1708), bestowed this position after declaring that the community will no longer have human leaders after his death, relying only on their scripture for guidance. 

  • The Sikhs' treatment of the text demonstrates its religious authority. 
  • They treat the Adigranth as if he were a live being. 
  • The Adigranth is ceremonially put to bed at night in Sikh temples and awoken in the morning. 
  • It is worshipped beneath a canopy (a symbol of royalty), fanned in hot weather and warmed in cold, and carried on the bearer's head, which is regarded the cleanest portion of the body, if it must be transported anyplace. 
  • The Sikhs were most likely inspired by Muslim behavior with regard to the Qur'an, since most Hindus give little attention to a book itself, no matter how significant the content may be. 
  • The Adigranth is very important in Sikh life: Sikh couples marry by circling the book, similar to Hindu couples surrounding the holy fire (agnipradakshinam), and a popular dying ritual is an uninterrupted reading (akhand path) of the whole text. 

Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh guru, composed the book between 1603 and 1604. 

According to legend, he wrote the book in response to competitors challenging his authority, some of whom had produced and circulated volumes ostensibly containing the teachings of Teacher Nanak, the Sikhs' founder and first guru. 

While there may be some truth to this legend, it is now widely accepted that Arjan was working from a compilation created a generation earlier. 


The mul mantra, which provides a set of characteristics and qualities attributed to the Supreme Being, is found in the first verses of the book. 


The Adigranth is divided into three sections after this entrance. 


  • The first is the Japji, a collection of thirty-eight verses by Guru Nanak that are considered the core of the Sikh religion and are repeated as the morning prayer by the devout. 
  • The hymns of the Sikh gurus are organized by raga, or musical mode, in the second part. 
    • The hymns are organized by poetic meter inside each raga, and within each meter, the hymns are ordered chronologically by who of the gurus wrote them. 
    • Because all 10 gurus, according to Sikh tradition, had the same heavenly essence, they all called themselves "Nanak." 
    • However, the songs' introductions distinguish them by using the word Mahala (literally "home," but metaphorically "body") followed by a number, ranging from Mahala 1 for Guru Nanak to Mahala 5 for Guru Arjan. 

  • The Adigranth's last part includes hymns written by a variety of different followers (bhakta), both Hindu and Muslim, who the Sikh gurus felt were preaching the fundamental Sikh doctrine of monotheism and the necessity to serve God. 
    • Trilochan, Jayadeva, Pipa, Ramananda, Sen, Namdev, Kabir, and Ravidas are among the Hindu devotional (bhakti) poets whose works may be found in this area, with major collections for the latter three. 
    • This final part makes the Adigranth a very significant book, even for people who are not interested in the Sikhs. 
    • This part not only provides manuscript tradition that can be exactly and properly dated, but it also ensures that the text has stayed unaltered from the beginning of the seventeenth century due to its holy significance. 

Many additional manuscript sources for these poets are far more modern, and textual degradation and pseudonymous additions make them difficult.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is Adi?

Fourth month of the Tamil solar year, equivalent to Karkata (the zodiac sign of Cancer) in northern India, which typically occurs between July and August. 


  • The presence of several calendars is a strong indication of regional cultural patterns' continued significance. 
  • The Tamils keep their culture alive by following their ancient calendar. 
  • Tamil is one of India's few regional languages with a long and illustrious literary history. 
  • Tamil months, Tamil Nadu, and Tamil language are also included.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is An Adhyasa ?

Adhyasa means "superimposition" in Sanskrit. This is a fundamental idea in Advaita Vedanta, one of the six schools of ancient Indian philosophy, that explains the world around us's ultimate unreality, despite its seeming reality. 


  • According to the Advaita Vedanta school, there is only one true concept in the world, which is Brahman. 
  • Everything is, in reality, the same thing, and this will never change. Because Brahman is all-encompassing, it can never be seen as such (pratyaksha). 
  • The Advaitins must next explain how things in the world seem to change, or how they appear varied and distinct. 
  • This is described as a result of our erroneous perception and comprehension. 
  • This concept is known as adhyasa, and it is based on the human propensity to “build” an image of the universe. 


Human beings, according to this theory, superimpose a false knowledge (that reality is varied and differentiated) on top of the true understanding (that all reality is nothing but undifferentiated Brahman). 


  • The Advaitins believe that the universe exists because Brahman exists. 
  • The world as most unenlightened people see it is not real. 
  • Advaitins use two well-known examples to demonstrate this concept: a rope that is mistaken for a snake for a short while, and a post that is mistaken for a man.
  • These judgements are not made up out of thin air, despite the fact that they are incorrect. In each instance, one is seeing something real—the rope and post are both real—but “superimposing” a false identity on them, thus “transforming” them into something they are not. 
  • Human awareness, it is claimed, starts with the Supreme Reality (Brahman), which is really there, but superimposes something that is not (the judgment of a diverse world). 
  • The fundamental issue, according to the Advaitins, is epistemological, or how humans come to know things, rather than the nature of the things themselves. 
  • True understanding occurs when the mistaken notions that led to the initial error are destroyed and replaced by true understanding, not when the things themselves change—to return to the example, the rope has always been and always will be a rope—but when the mistaken notions that led to the initial error are destroyed and replaced by true understanding. 
  • Advaitins believe that adhyasa is a manifestation of avidya (a lack of genuine knowledge), which is perpetuated and maintained by the karmic power of one's erroneous ideas and deeds. 
  • Adhyasa vanishes the instant full knowledge is realized, when one realizes that the universe (and oneself) are both nothing but Brahman. 

This epiphany provides ultimate knowledge that can never be lost, just as once a piece of rope has been identified, it can never again become a serpent. Karl H. Potter (ed. ), Advaita Vedanta up to Samkara and His Pupils, 1981; and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore (eds. ), A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, 1957, for further details.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Who Is An Adhvaryum?

The Brahmana literature, one of the later strands of the holy text known as the Vedas, describes a kind of sacrifice priest. 


  • The Brahmanas mainly served as guides explaining how to execute sacrificial rites—which mostly included burning gifts in a holy fire—and the meticulousness with which these sacrifices were described, leading to the conclusion that they were the major religious activities. 
  • These rituals were so intricate that they needed ritual specialists such as the adhvaryum, hotr, udgatr, and brahman. 

The sacrificial priest, known as the adhvaryum, sang hymns from the Yajur Veda during the sacrifice. 

He was also in charge of setting up the holy altar, putting together the sacrifice supplies, kindling and fueling the sacred fire, and actually sacrificing the animals.


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