Hinduism - What Does Yadunandana Mean? Who Is Considered Yadunandana?


The term means, "the Yadus' delight".  This is the deity Krishna's epithet.

Krishna's clan was the Yadus, and he was their source of pleasure and joy. 

Thus this name describes Krishna through the effect he has on his tribe.

Take a look at Krishna.

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Hinduism - Who Is A Yajamana?


("sacrifice's patron"). The yajamana was the person who commissioned the sacrifice and paid for its fulfillment, and therefore stood to profit from its expected benefits, according to the Vedas, the earliest Hindu religious literature.

This word distinguishes the connection between the priest and the patron: the former were erudite men and ritual technologists who understood how to execute elaborate sacrificial rituals, but they were reliant on the patronage of their sponsors for their subsistence.

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Hinduism - What Is Yajna?


Yajna is a Sanskrit word that means “sacrifice”. 

The basic religious act in the oldest stratum of Indian religion was a fire sacrifice.

The Brahmana literature elaborates on this worship of sacrifice in considerable detail, portraying sacrifice as the mechanism by which the cosmos came into existence.

The sacrifice required highly skilled priestly technicians (rtvij), who were in charge of singing portions of the Rg, Sama, and Yajur Vedas, as well as creating and keeping the holy fire at the center of the sacrificial activity.

This sacrificial ritual was focused on burning items in a holy fire, which was thought to be the deity Agni, so that Agni might deliver the sacrifices to the other gods.

These ceremonies were so intricate and costly that they soon fell out of favor; by the turn of the common period, there was also a lot of skepticism regarding the animal sacrifices that were formerly a big element of many of these rites.

These old ceremonies are no longer practiced, but the term yajna may now be used to any ceremony involving the holy fire, especially one conducted by a brahmin for a patron.

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Hinduism - What Is The Hindu Practice Of Worship of Tools?


Ayudha Pooja is a ritual historically done by members of specific artisan communities on the festival of Dussehra.

There are two different charter stories associated with this celebration, both of which depict the victory of good over evil.

It is commemorated as the day when the hero Rama defeated the demon Ravana, as well as the Goddess's victory over a demon called Mahishasura.

For the craftsmen, such worship symbolizes the value of their instruments as a way of earning a living, and it is also thought that such propitiation would ensure prosperity the following year.

Weapons Worship is a term used to describe the worship of weapons.

On the holiday of Dussehra, a popular ritual among the warrior classes used to be performed (usually occurring within October and November).

There are two separate founding stories for this event, both of which celebrate the victory of good over evil.

It is commemorated as the day when the hero Rama defeated the evil Ravana, as well as the Goddess's victory over a demon called Mahishasura.

Given the martial tone of both charter stories, it's easy to understand how it'd be connected with soldiers and combat, and therefore a day to worship one's weapons as a symbol of the god.

According to traditional belief, any activity undertaken on this festival day would unfailingly succeed, hence Dussehra has long been a favorite day for military campaigns to begin.

Because Dussehra falls after the conclusion of the monsoon rains, when travel is practically impossible, it is also a good time from a strategic standpoint.

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Hinduism - Who Are The Yadava?


The tribe from whom the deity Krishna is claimed to have sprung and over which he reigned after establishing his dominion in the city of Dwaraka, according to Hindu legend.

Between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in Indian history, the Yadava dynasty ruled the Deccan area in present Maharashtra.

This is the name of a specific jati in northern Indian culture, an endogamous social grouping organized (and whose social position dictated) by the group's hereditary vocation.

The Yadavas had a low social status in previous generations, but they have recently risen to prominence in politics—Mulayam Singh Yadav has twice been elected chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and has also served as India's defense minister; Laloo Prasad Yadav has served as chief minister of Bihar (either directly or indirectly through his wife) throughout the 1990s.

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Hinduism - Who Was Sir John Woodroffe?


Sir John Woodroffe (1865–1936) was a Calcutta High Court Justice who also translated and published writings on tantra, a hidden, ritual-based religious practice, under the alias Arthur Avalon.

Woodroffe was one of the early European proponents of tantra as a cohesive religious path, and he defended the texts' purportedly "impure" or "immoral" ceremonial actions.

In his tantric expositions, Woodroffe was attempting to persuade two audiences, both of whom were outraged by the licentiousness detailed in the tantric scriptures, which included breaking deeply established taboos on nonvegetarian cuisine, alcohol use, and illicit prostitution.

On the one hand, Woodroffe was speaking to the British, who were the political overlords of the moment, and on the other, educated Indians, many of whom would have dismissed the tantras as a fad.

Although more thorough academic work has been done since then, his publications and lectures were crucial in helping to make tantrism acceptable.

Representatives from major global religions, including Asian religions, were invited to the World Parliament of Religions Meeting in Chicago in 1893.

It was a turning point in the Euro-American perception of non-Christian faiths, when they were no longer dismissed as mere idolatry but were considered seriously as legitimate religious pathways.

It's also worth noting that many mainline Christian churches were not represented, with historically black congregations providing the majority of the Christian presence.

The presentation by Swami Vivekananda, in which Hinduism—in its logical, Vedantic form—was first seriously acknowledged by his Western hearers, was one of the highlights of the Parliament.

Vivekananda's charm was such that he spent the following four years in America, where he created the Vedanta Society in 1897.

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Hinduism - What Is The Treatment Of Women In Dharma Literature?


Women from all socioeconomic categories were deemed shudras in the dharma literature, which meant they couldn't have another child, couldn't hear the Vedas, couldn't execute certain religious ceremonies, and in many regions couldn't possess land or resources unless they were married to a shudra.

At the same time, as daughters, mothers, wives, and patrons, women played (and continue to play) a vital role in Hindu religious life.

Women had their own specific role to play in traditional dharma literature, depending on their position as women.

Also see stridharma.

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Hinduism - How Is Hindu Worship Practiced Or Expressed?


Hindu devotion may be described using two different terms, each with two different sets of assumptions.

Darshan ("seeing") is the original and most prevalent form of devotion, in which devotees (bhakta) stare at the god's image and think that the deity is also gazing at them.

Darshan is therefore an exchange of looks between the god and the devotee that conveys comprehension.

Puja ("homage") is the term used to describe worship with offerings and artifacts.

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Hinduism - What Is The White Yajur Veda?


This is one of the two principal versions of the Yajur Veda, one of the earliest Hindu holy writings, together with the Black Yajur Veda.

The most significant distinction between these two versions is the insertion of explanatory comments on the Vedic mantras and their significance.

The "White" Yajur Veda collects these observations in an appendix known as a Brahmana—specifically, the Shatapatha Brahmana, which gives the Vedic scriptures their name.

The four recensions of the Black Yajur Veda, on the other hand, incorporate these remarks in the text itself.

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Hinduism - What Is Attitude Towards Widows In a Hindu Society?


Given the traditional belief that a Hindu woman's primary function is that of a wife and mother, being a widow is seen as the worst tragedy that can befall a woman and is viewed as the karmic fulfilment of some heinous past act.

Because the basic idea of the marriage rite is that the bride's identity is amalgamated with the groom's, a woman without a spouse was seen to have lost her individuality.

Remarrying was also out of the question for her since she had already assumed her late husband's identity.

A lady was obliged to remove all the symbols of a married woman as soon as her husband died, including wiping red vermilion from her hair part, shattering her glass bangles, and, in southern India, cutting the thread on her mangal sutra.

She was banned to wear jewelry, colorful clothes, or other physical adornments for the rest of her life, was required to keep her hair trimmed short, and was required to dedicate herself to religious deeds in honor of her deceased spouse.

She was deemed an unhappy and unfavorable person since she had been widowed, and she was barred from any auspicious ceremonies, spending the rest of her life performing the domestic chores.

The practice of burning a widow on her husband's funeral pyre, known as sati, was popular in certain areas of India, although it was uncommon in others.

In reality, there was a lot of variance on this bleak image.

The age of a woman when she was widowed, whether she had children, and the social position of her husband's family were the most important determinants.

A widowed lady in her eighties would most certainly remain the family matriarch, a young widow with boys would keep her family status via her offspring, and even a child widow in a rich family might live a somewhat comfortable life, although with various constraints.

A widow's situation would be considerably more insecure if one or more of these characteristics were missing, and there is little question that many widows had tough lives in the past.

Even in contemporary times, a lady whose spouse dies early is often seen as unlucky and hence a source of ill luck.

One of the main aims of nineteenth-century Hindu reformers was to improve the situation of widows, and it has grown increasingly frequent for widows to remarry, despite the fact that some of the most traditional Hindus do not accept this.

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Hinduism - What Is Vayu Or Wind Among The Five Elements In Hinduism?


Vayu Or Wind is one of the five elements in Indian cosmology, along with earth, fire, water, and akasha.

Each of the elements is related with one of the five senses in certain philosophical traditions; here, wind is associated with touch.

Inside the body, the numerous "vital winds" (prana) are linked to a variety of biological activities, including respiration and circulation.

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Hinduism - How Prevalent Is Witchcraft In Contemporary Hindu Society?


Many sectors of contemporary Hindu society, including many "modern" urban Hindus, recognize the reality of witchcraft.

Malevolence, jealousy, and greed are the driving elements of witchcraft, and some individuals use them to hurt others or destroy what they have.

Witches may use spells, the evil eye (nazar), or pronounce curses on people to accomplish their goals.

Pregnant women and small children are supposed to be more vulnerable to their abilities, and these individuals are also thought to be more prone to be cursed, since jealousy over their good fortune is said to arouse a witch's rage.

The suitable countermeasure is to execute numerous rituals of protection, which will shield the individual from harm.

Witchcraft may manifest as an exceptionally prolonged disease or weird behavior in those who are affected; harsher cures are required for these folks.

The language of possession and exorcism may be regarded as a "idiom" (using traditional Indian cultural categories) for what contemporary psychiatrists could term the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, as Sudhir Kakar skillfully demonstrates.

Sudhir Kakar, Shamans, Mystics, and Doctors, 1991; and David F. Pocock, "The Evil Eye," in T. N. Madan (ed. ), Religion in India, 1991, for further details.

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Hinduism - Where Is West Bengal In India?

West Bengal is a state in modern India. After India's independence in 1947, the state of Bengal was partitioned into West Bengal and West Pakistan, the latter of which is today known as Bangladesh.

The majority of the state is located in the Ganges River delta's lowlands, however Darjeeling stretches into the Himalayas in the north.

Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal, served as the administrative hub of British India until the turn of the century.

It was also a hotbed of anti-British resistance and is now one of India's most important cultural and intellectual hubs.

Kalighat, in the center of Calcutta, as well as Dakshi neshwar, Tarakeshvar, Tarapith, and Navadvip, are all prominent holy places in West Bengal.

Christine Nivin et al., India, 8th ed., Lonely Planet, 1998, is an accessible reference for general information on West Bengal and all of India's provinces.

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Hinduism - What Is A Hindu Week In The Hindu Calendar?


The Hindu week, like the European calendar, has seven days.

Each day has a governing planet, is associated with one or more presiding deities, and is seen as more or less auspicious (in line with the overall Indian attitude toward time).

Tuesday and Saturday are the unluckiest days, since they are associated with the planets Mars and Saturn, respectively.

Monday (moon), Thursday (Jupiter), and Friday (Venus) are considered fortunate days since these planets are considered compassionate and strong.

Sunday (the sun) and Wednesday (Mercury) have no significant connections since, although benign, these bodies are nevertheless seen as having a limited impact.

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Hinduism - What Is The Status Of The Caribbean Hindu Diaspora?

The West Indies are a group of Caribbean islands having a sizable Hindu diaspora community.

They were sent to the West Indies as indentured agricultural workers, primarily on sugar plantations, as in many other instances, but have now stayed there long enough to become part of the local population.

Hindus have built temples and erected holy places (tirthas) on several of the islands, notably Trinidad, to connect their religious life to their local surroundings.

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Hinduism - What Is Budhvar Or Wednesday Attributed To In The Hindu Calendar?


(Budhvar) The fourth day of the week, with Mercury as its ruling planet (Budh).

Although not insignificant, the day has few strong associations and is not associated with any prominent deity's devotion.

Mercury is regarded as a fortunate yet vulnerable planet due to its tiny size and rapid spin around the sun.

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Water is one of the five elements in Indian cosmology, along with earth, fire, wind, and akasha.

Each of the elements is related with one of the senses in certain philosophical traditions; here, water is associated with taste.

Water is also linked to a number of biological activities, including reproduction (which involves the mixing of fluids) and the disposal of fluid wastes.



 A sage who is traditionally thought to be the creator of the Mahabharata, the second of the two major Sanskrit epics, according to Hindu mythology.

As a consequence of his dalliance with the ferrywoman Satyavati, Vyasa is the son of the sage Parashara.

Satyavati marries King Shantanu later in life, but only after securing the guarantee that their offspring will govern instead of Shantanu's firstborn son, Bhishma.

Satyavati's first son dies as a youngster, and his second son dies after marrying but before producing children.

Satyavati begs Vyasa to sleep with the brides of her younger sons, Ambika and Ambalika, in order to save Shantanu's dynasty.

Vyasa is a terribly unattractive man, according to legend, and both ladies respond automatically when he comes in their beds.

Ambika conceals her eyes, causing her son Dhrtarashtra to be born blind, while Ambalika becomes pale, leading her son Pandu to be born with an unusually pale complexion.

Vyasa also has intercourse with Ambika's maidservant, who freely submits herself to him, and Vidura is born from her.

The Pandavas and Kauravas, respectively, are the descendants of Pandu and Dhrtarashtra, the two warring groups whose rivalry propels the Mahabharata.

As a result, Vyasa is not only the Mahabharata's author, but also the source of the Mahabharata's two families' fight.



Vyas is the term given to the stage directors in the traditional Ram Lila (the name given to any public theatrical production of the Ramayana, the first of the two major Hindu epics).

The Ramnagar Ram Lila is the longest, most ornate, and perhaps the most ancient of these plays.

In the Ramnagar Ram Lila, one vyas is in charge of the svarups, brahmin youths who are portraying divinities and are regarded embodiments of the deities while they are "on stage." The other members of the cast are in charge of the other vyas.

They switch the action between the chorus and the cast, give the performers specific acting cues, and remind them of their lines when they forget them.

As a result, they are both visible agents and integral members of the Ram Lila.



 ("pervasion") is a word that comes to mind when you think of the word "pervasion."

Vyapti is a basic requirement in traditional Indian philosophy that determines whether an inference is legitimate (anumana).

Three words are used in the recognized form of an inference: an assertion (pratijna) that contains the object to be proven, a reason (hetu) that contains evidence to support the statement, and supporting instances (drshtanta).

The statement is that there is fire on the mountain, and the explanation is that there is smoke on the mountain, with the underlying premise that smoke usually follows fire.

The reason accounts for every example of the object to be demonstrated in a valid inference; this invariable relationship between cause and effect is known as vyapti, or pervasion.

Presuppositions of India's Philosophies, edited by Karl H. Potter, was published in 1972.



One of the five physical "winds" responsible for fundamental physiological activities, together with prana, apana, udana, and samana, according to traditional Indian physiology.

Unlike the others, which are associated with particular parts of the body, the vyana wind is said to pervade the whole body, keeping everything flowing and intermingled.


Vyakhyana ("teaching" or “to instruct”) Mudra.

 A symbolic hand gesture (mudra) in Indian dance, sculpture, and ritual in which the tips of the thumb and index finger meet, with the rest of the fingers extended and the palm facing the spectator.

The sandarshana ("expositing") mudra is the hand motion used to indicate explanation or exposition.

The chin ("awareness") mudra is another name for the teaching gesture, which signifies a person of greater spiritual development.



Vyaka (“analysis”) Vedangas is one of the six Vedangas.

The Vedangas were auxiliary fields of knowledge related with the Vedas, the earliest Hindu sacred books, and all of the Vedangas were linked to the Vedas' usage.

Vyakarana is, at its core, the study of Sanskrit gram mar, which was plainly necessary for reading the Vedic writings.

Grammar is the queen of the ancient learned disciplines, and it is what is understood by the word vidya ("knowledge") in many situations, thanks to Vyakarana's status as the gatekeeper of the Sanskrit language.

Other Vedangas include shiksha (proper pronunciation), chandas (Sanskrit prosody), kalpa (ritual instructions), nirukta (etymology), and jyotisha (astrology).



(“obstruction”) In one of the hymns from the Rg Veda (1.32), the earliest Hindu holy literature, the name of the demon slain by the storm-god Indra.

Vrtra is characterized in this hymn as a snake who obstructs the free flow of water, thus his name.

The action in this hymn is one of Indra's defining acts, in which he kills the snake, slices it up, and lets the rivers flow freely.

Some interpreters who view the Vedas as historical records have perceived in this song the approaching Aryans bursting the dams built by the Indus Valley civilization, however there is scant evidence that such an episode really occurred.



Variant version of Brindavan, the place in Uttar Pradesh's southeastern region where the deity Krishna is said to have spent his childhood and youth.

Brindavan is an antiquated place in India, as well as a mythological and eternal spiritual abode that extends to the realm of Goloko Vrindavan where Lord Krishna and all the others beings in the context of that Avatar are believed to be manifest.



The vratyas were a class of itinerant ascetics who were priests of a non-Vedic fertility cult, according to the Atharva Veda, one of the oldest Hindu religious writings.

Because there are no additional records, nothing is known about them, although they were certainly outside the Vedic cult and hence looked down upon.

Later on, the term was used to describe someone who has lost their caste due to a failure to follow one of the requisite samskaras.



 Term referring to a religious pledge, said to be derived from the verb "to select." Vrats are an essential element of contemporary Hindu life as religious observances.

They can refer to one-time religious observances associated with specific festivals, such as the Shivaratri vrat, or more regular religious observances, such as those associated with the monthly lunar calendar (e.g., the ekadashi rites) or those performed on the day of the week associated with a specific patron deity.

The particular prescriptions for these vrats vary a lot, but there are a few things that they all have in common.

They frequently include dietary changes, sometimes via fasting (upavasa) and other times by consuming or avoiding certain foods.

Worship of the ruling god is another continuous feature.

The vrat's charter myth, which recounts how the vrat was created, how it should be performed, and what kind of blessings it offers, is frequently recited or heard as part of this devotion.

Vrats associated with festivals are practiced by a wide range of individuals, but weekly vrats (such as the Santoshi Ma Vrat) are most often practiced by married women in order to improve the health, safety, and prosperity of their families.

Despite the fact that such weekly vrats are ostensibly optional, they have become an anticipated component of women's religious life, through which women may protect their families' wellbeing via their sacrifices.

See Mary McGee, "Desired Fruits: Motive and Intention in Hindu Women's Votive Rituals," in Julia Leslie, ed., Roles and Rituals for Hindu Women, 1991; and Doranne Jacobson and Susan S. Wadley, Women in India, 1992, for more on women's rites.



Braj is a variant version of the area.

This is the southwestern area of the state of Uttar Pradesh, directly south of Delhi, the national capital, where the deity Krishna is said to have dwelt.

Take a look at Braj.



Swami Vivekananda (Narendranath Datta, 1863–1902).

The first Hindu missionary to the West and a well-known follower of Bengali mystic Ramakrishna.

Narendranath had a solid education and had planned to become a lawyer; when he first met Ramakrishna, he was cautious and distrustful, but over the course of a year, he was changed.

After Ramakrishna's death, he spent many years wandering around India, eventually realizing that religious life needed to serve both India's material and spiritual problems.

Vivekananda is most known for his speech to the First World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893, in which he introduced Hinduism—in its logical, Vedantic form—to his Western audience for the first time.

He spoke throughout America and England for the following four years before returning to India to great acclaim.

He spent the remainder of his brief life promoting the Ramakrishna Mission, a religious organization dedicated to both social and religious improvement.

For more information, see Christopher Isherwood's Ramakrishna and His Disciples, 1965; Swami Vivekananda's Swami Vivekananda's Complete Works, 1970; and George M. Williams' "Swami Vivekananda" and "The Ramakrishna Movement: A Study in Religious Change," both in Robert D. Baird's Religion in Modern India, 1998.


Vivasvan is a term that is used to describe a person who is passionate about something.

Vivasvan  or "shining out" is a phrase that is used to describe anything that is brightor luminous.

In the Hindu Pantheon, it is Surya's (Sun) epithet. 

Take a look at Surya for more information.



 The world is described as an illusory transformation of the Ultimate Reality or Realities, according to this philosophical model.

The Advaita Vedanta philosophical school is known for its vivartavada model.

The Advaitins believe in a causal model known as satkaryavada, which assumes that effects already exist in their causes and that when they appear, they are simply transformations (parinama) of those causes.

Milk is transformed into curds, butter, and clarified butter as a classic example.

Each of these effects was already present in the cause, according to proponents of asatkarya, and emerges from it through a natural transformation of the cause.

The Advaita school adheres to the philosophical position of monism, which holds that everything is merely different manifestations of a single Ultimate Reality.

Despite the appearance of difference and diversity in the world, Advaita proponents claim that reality is nondual (advaita), that is, that all things are "actually" nothing but the formless, unqualified Brahman.

The Advaitins' belief that an effect already exists in its cause is based on the principle that all things in the universe ultimately rely on Brahman as the first cause.

Simultaneously, the Advaitins refuse to acknowledge that Brahman ever changes because this would negate its eternal and unchanging nature.

As a result, they talk about a fictitious transmission (vivartavada).

The Advaitins believe that Brahman never truly changes because it is eternal and thus unchanging; the apparent changes are only illusory, based on human ignorance through shifting superimposition patterns (adhyasa).

Advaitins are able to maintain Brahman's transcendence while also accounting for (apparent) changes in the phenomenal world in this way.

Proponents of a different approach, which portrays the perceivable world as an actual trans creation of this unified reality, argue against this stance.

Proponents of the Samkhya, Vishishthadvaita Vedanta, and Bhedabhada philosophical traditions, who, like Advaitins, believe in satkaryavada, hold this position.

Each of these three schools thinks that the world as we see it is real, that it is rooted in a single ultimate source, and that this fundamental principle undergoes a genuine metamorphosis through which the universe is born.

This parinama connection permits these schools to explain the phenomenal world, but in a manner that undermines the transcendence of these initial principles by incorporating them within it.

Philosophically, they struggle to explain how the sublime might become commonplace, then transcendent again.


Vivarana Advaita  is a Sanskrit phrase that means "to live in the present moment."

Shankaracharya was the greatest figure in one of the later Advaita Vedanta schools, a philosophical school.

The Advaita school adheres to the philosophical position of monism, which is the belief in a single impersonal Ultimate Reality, which they refer to as Brahman.

Despite the appearance of difference and diversity in the perceptible world, Advaita proponents believe that reality is "nondual" (advaita), that is, all things are nothing but the formless Brahman.

This assumption of diversity is a manifestation of avidya for Advaitins, who believe it is a fundamental mental misunderstanding of the ultimate nature of things.

Although frequently translated as "ignorance," avidya refers to a lack of genuine understanding that leads to karmic bonds, reincarnation (samsara), and suffering.

Because the Advaitins' real problem is this erroneous understanding, realization (jnana) was the most effective spiritual path for achieving ultimate liberation (moksha).

The Vivarana Advaita school is based on the ideas of Padmapada (9th century), one of Shankaracharya's disciples, but takes its name from a commentary written by Prakashatman in the thirteenth century.

Traditionally, the latter was a Padmapada disciple, but this appears to be problematic.

The Vivarana school, like the Bhamati school, took firm positions on a number of issues where Shankaracharya had been silent.

One of these was on the locus of ignorance, described by the Vivarana school as being in Brahman.

The Vivarana Advaitins use the theory of reflectionism to explain the apparent difference between Brahman and the Self, despite the fact that the Selves are identical with Brahman, because it appears to compromise the integrity of Brahman.

Their position appears to be based on an unwavering affirmation of Brahman as the sole "reality," to which everything that exists must belong.


Vivaha ("strengthening") Samskara.

 The fifteenth of the life cycle ceremonies (samskaras) is when a man and a woman become husband and wife.

Except for the few individuals who remained lifelong celibates (naisthika brahmacharin), marriage was a necessary part of every man's (and woman's) life, because the children born through marriage allowed him to pay off one of the three debts, this one to the ancestral spirits (pitr).

The literal translation of the word vivaha—it means "to uplift" and "complete" a man—is one indication of the importance attached to marriage.

Marriage has always been a serious matter in Indian society, and for many Indians, it is still the most important day of their lives.

The importance of marriage is highlighted in the dharma literature, which lists eight different types of marriage.

Eight classical forms of marriage are also available.




His father, Vallabhacharya, founded the Pushti Marg (a religious community).

Vitthalnath continued the Pushti Marg's consolidation, especially the organization of its rites and the encouragement of song and poetry composition to accompany them.

The eight ashtachap poets were active during his reign, according to legend, though four of them are more closely associated with his father.

Vitthalnath's four poets were clearly Pushti Marg members, as hymns praising him and his leadership can be found among their works.

He was succeeded by his son Gokulnath, who oversaw the final writing down of the lives of these and other saints, each with a Vallabhite emphasis.



Vithoba, the ruling deity of a well-known temple in Pandharpur, Maharashtra, is known by this epithet.

According to Deleury, the oldest attested name for the Pandharpur deity is Vitthala, which is a more literary form.



 The presiding deity of the same-named temple in Pandharpur, Maharashtra; Vithoba's other epithets include Vitthala and Pandurang.

Vithoba was a deified hero who was assimilated into the larger Hindu pantheon as a form of the god Vishnu, according to some theories.

Vishnu is drawn to Pandharpur by the filial piety of a young boy named Pundalika, according to the temple's founding legend.

When Vishnu arrives, Pundalika is massaging his father's feet, and when Vishnu requests the hospitality due to any guest, Pundalika only stops long enough to throw a brick over his shoulder, allowing the god to stand out of the mud.

Vishnu becomes rooted to that spot and has remained there ever since, impressed that Pundalika's devotion to his parents exceeds even his devotion to God; Vithoba's image depicts him with his hands on his hips (still waiting, perhaps, for Pundalika).

Apart from this story, Vithoba has a surprising lack of mythic history, despite becoming a powerful regional deity.

The Varkari Panth religious community, Vithoba's devotees (bhakta), make pilgrimages to Pandharpur twice a year.

Pilgrims travel from all over the world to visit Pandharpur, which is located in the Bhima River valley on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border.

Individual pilgrims travel in small groups known as dindis, which are usually made up of people from the same neighborhood or area.

The dindis are organized into palkhis, which are led by a palanquin (palkhi) bearing the san dals of one of the Varkari poet-saints.

Each palkhi leaves from a location associated with a particular saint—for example, Jnaneshvar's palkhi leaves from Alandi, where he lived, and thus he and all the other saints are still symbolically traveling to Pandharpur twice a year.

Each of these palkhis follows a predetermined route, and pilgrims time their departure and arrival in Pandharpur to coincide with the eleventh day (ekadashi) in the bright half of Ashadh (June–July) in the summer and the eleventh day in the bright half of Kartik (October–November) in the fall.

Pilgrims liken their journey to a small stream merging with other streams, eventually forming a mighty river that flows into Pandharpur.

Pilgrims sing devotional songs composed by poet-saints such as Jnaneshvar, Namdev, Eknath, Tukaram, Chokamela, Gora, Janabai, and Bahina Bai while on their journey.

By walking in the footsteps of the saints before them and singing their devotional songs, the pilgrims are emulating them.

The pilgrimage ends with the entry into Pandharpur and the worship of Vithoba, but the journey itself is the most important part.

G. A. Deleury's The Cult Of Vithoba, 1960; I. B. Karve's "On the Road," Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 22 No. 1, 1962; and Digambar Balkrishna's Digambar Balkrishna's Digambar Balkrishna's Digambar Balkrishna's Digambar Balkrishna's Digambar Balkrishna Palkhi: An Indian Pilgrimage, edited by Mokashi, was first published in 1987.


Vital Winds .

Prana is the collective name for the five internal winds that are said to be responsible for all human physiological functions.


Vismaya ("surprise") is a Sanskrit word that means "surprise." Hasta A hand gesture (hasta) in Indian dance, sculpture, and ritual in which the forearm and fingers point upward with the back of the hand turned toward the spectator.

This hasta is used to express any kind of surprise, such as amazement and astonishment.



 Based on the literal meaning of the word ("all the gods"), this name might be interpreted as referring to all gods, or it can refer to a group of deities known as the sons of Vishva, the celestial sage Daksha's daughter.

The number of sons varies across manuscripts and is either 10 or thirteen.

Although the Manu Smrti, one of the most important scriptures in the dharma literature, requires daily gifts to the Vishvedevas, they are especially venerated during memorial services for the deceased known as shraddhas.

They are claimed to have received these daily offerings as a reward for performing exceptionally severe asceticism.



 At the Vishvanath temple in Benares, the deity Shiva appears in his manifestation as the "Lord of the Universe." Shiva is represented in Vishvanath with a linga, a pillar-shaped image that represents Shiva's symbolic form; the Vishvanath linga is one of Shiva's twelve jyotirlingas, a network of locations thought extremely important to Shiva and where Shiva is uniquely present.

Benares, also known as Varanasi, is one of India's most holy towns; it is especially dedicated to Shiva, with Vishvanath being the most significant of all the Shiva temples there.

The original temple was destroyed by the Moghul emperor Aurangzeb, who built a mosque on the site, and the only part of the original temple that has survived is the Gyan Vapi ("well of knowledge"), into which the original Shiva linga was reportedly cast (to prevent it from being desecrated by Aurangzeb's soldiers).

The original temple was established in 1776 on a location next to the pre-sent temple by the Maratha queen Ahalya Bai Holkar.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore eventually covered the temple in gold, earning it the moniker "Golden Temple." Even in previous centuries, the closeness of the Vishvanath temple and Aurangzeb's mosque made for tense relations between the Hindu and Muslim populations, and Benares, like many other northern Indian towns, has seen its share of bloodshed.

The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), a Hindu activist group pushing for the "return" of this and other northern Indian landmarks by force if necessary, has recently taken up the demolition of the old Vishvanath temple as a political issue.

The existence and activities of the VHP have heightened tensions between Hindus and Muslims in general.

Given the political benefits that these confrontational techniques have yielded, it is probable that they will continue in the future, and that the Vishvanath temple will remain a focus of strife.

 Vishva Nirmala Dharam (Vishva Nirmala Dharam) Nirmala Devi (b. 1923), a contemporary Hindu guru, formed this religious organization to spread her teachings over the globe.



 One of the Seven Sages in Hindu mythology, whose names denote exogamous clan "lineages" (gotra; exogamous clans allow members to marry outside their own clan); the others are Gautama, Bharadvaja, Kashyapa, Bhrgu, Atri, and Vasishtha.

All brahmins are said to be descended from these seven sages, with each family receiving their progenitor's name as their gotra name.

Marriage inside the gotra is outlawed in contemporary times, thus these gotra divides are still crucial.

The new bride takes on her husband's gotra as part of her new identity after their marriage.

Vishvamitra is most well-known for his long-running quarrel with the sage Vasishtha, which has resulted in several battles.

The rivalry arises because of the kshatriyas and brahmins' differing social position.

Vishvamitra is a king who visits the woodland ashram of the brahmin Vasishtha with a contingent of retainers.

Vishvamitra is astounded by Vasishtha's cow, the Kama dhenu's capacity to feed everyone when he requests food.

Vishvamitra attempts to purchase the Kamadhenu first, then tries to seize it by force, but Vasishtha's tapas defeats his henchmen (ascetic practices).

Vishvamitra acknowledges defeat and undertakes ascetic activities in order to generate his own strength.

Two of their most famous fights are over King Trishanku and his son, Harishchandra; in both cases, the actual problem is the sages' mutual hatred.

Marriage bans may also be referred to in this context.


Vishvakarma is a term that refers to a cycle of good and bad deeds ("doing everything") is a phrase that is used to describe a person who does everything A minor deity who is the architect of the gods, the designer of many handicrafts, decorations, and weapons, the best sculptor, and the inventor of the gods' airborne chariots.

He is the patron and model for all skilled trades involving the shaping and shaping of materials, and he is credited with establishing the canons for carving godly pictures.

Sanjna, Vishvakarma's daughter, is married to Surya, the sun, but she cannot stand to be with him because of the sun's splendour, according to one account.

Vishvakarma brings the sun to his studio and reduces his radiance to a level that Sanjna can tolerate.

He then carves the sun's cut-off fragments into Vishnu's discus (Sudarshana), Shiva's trident (trishul), numerous heavenly weapons, and the Pushpak Viman, the most renowned of the airborne chariots.

In the Vedas, the earliest Hindu sacred books, Vishvakarma is frequently mistaken for Tvashtr, the god's workman.

Despite this, it seems that they are two distinct gods who have been homologized by their same role.

Tvashtr's name means "maker of carriages," and it seems that this was his major duty, but he is also known for manufacturing godly weapons, including the mace with which the storm-god Indra slays the snake Vrtra.

Nonetheless, his name seems to imply that his primary role is the construction of carriages, which is seen to be quite crucial in a Vedic religious literature, since numerous Vedic songs reference the usage of war chariots.

Vishvakarma, on the other hand, has a considerably broader set of abilities, implying that the two deities are not the same.


 Vishva Hindu Parishad (Vishva Hindu Parishad) is a Hindu religious organization based in India.

(VHP) Modern Hindu religious group connected with the Rashtriya Svayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a conservative Hindu organization whose avowed mission is to produce the leadership cadre for a rejuvenated Hindu India.

When RSS leader Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar met with a group of Hindu religious leaders in Bombay in 1964, the VHP was created.

Their immediate concern was Pope Paul VI's planned visit to India, which they saw as a covert effort to convert Hindus to Christianity, which they intended to combat by founding an organization committed to Hinduism propagation.

With little fanfare and little influence on public perception, the VHP concentrated its concentration for the next fifteen years on opposing Christian missionary operations in northeastern India.

The conversion of some untouchables to Islam in the Tamil Nadu hamlet of Minakshipuram in 1982 was a watershed moment in the VHP's public image.

The VHP seized on this widely reported incident as proof that Hindu identity was in jeopardy, and responded by undertaking a series of inventive public activities, first in Tamil Nadu and then throughout the country.

The VHP's resurgence coincided with the RSS's shift toward activism, as well as the BJP's decision to adopt a more militantly Hindu character.

Many of the VHP's national campaigns coincided with national or state elections, and many of them were concentrated on the effort to erect a temple to the deity Rama in the city of Ayodhya, at the alleged birthplace of Rama.

The intended temple location was occupied by the Babri Masjid, a Muslim mosque erected after the ancient Rama temple was demolished, according to the VHP.

As a result, the temple campaign evoked strong memories of historical persecution as well as the boldness of a resurgent Hindu identity.

The VHP's political involvement has helped the BJP become the dominant political party in most of northern India.

Throughout India, the VHP's advocacy has evoked a wide range of feelings.

Proponents refer to the organization's long history of charitable work and its role in strengthening and defining modern Hindu identity.

Detractors object to the RSS's disdain for legal formalities, as was shown by the destruction of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, as well as its sometimes caustic anti-Muslim rhetoric and, despite its unique institutional identity, its ultimate control by the RSS.

Others have chastised the VHP for seeking to define and regulate the character of "Hinduism" by declaring some "necessary" Hindu practices as antithetical to Hindu heritage.

Other opponents reject the VHP's claim to speak for all Hindus, pointing out that its genuine authority resides in the hands of brahmins and other privileged castes; these critics perceive the VHP as an organization meant to hide its true objective, which is to maintain upper-class power and privilege.

For more information, see Walter K. Andersen and Shridhar D. Damle's The Brotherhood in Saffron (1987); James Warner Björkman's Fundamentalism, Revivalists, and Violence in South Asia (1988); Tapan Basu et alKhaki .'s Shorts and Saffron Flags (1993); Lise McKean's Divine Enterprise (1996); and Christophe Jaffrelot's The Hindu Nationalist Movement in India (1996) 


Vishuddha Chakra.

The vishuddha chakra is one of the six psychic centers (chakras) thought to exist in the subtle body, according to several schools of yoga and tantra, a hidden, ritually oriented religious practice.

The subtle body is a separate physiological system that is thought to exist on a different level than coarse matter yet has some similarities to it.

It's depicted as a group of six mental centers joined by three vertical channels and shaped like multipetaled lotus flowers flowing approximately along the spine's route.

Each of these chakras has significant symbolic associations, including varying human capacities, subtle components (tanmatras), and seed syllables (bijaksharas) constructed from Sanskrit alphabet letters, embracing all holy sound.

Shiva (consciousness) and Shakti (power), the two divine principles through which the whole cosmos came into existence, have physical abodes above and below these centers.

The homology of macrocosm and microcosm, a key Hindu notion from the time of the mystical scriptures known as the Upanishads, is therefore the basic premise underpinning this concept of the subtle body.

The vishuddha chakra is the fifth of the six chakras, which are generally numbered from the bottom up.

It resembles a sixteen-petaled lotus and is found in the neck area.

Each of the petals has a seed phrase made up of a letter from the Sanskrit alphabet, in this instance all sixteen Sanskrit vowels, which are necessary linking factors in any meaningful speech.

The vishuddha chakra is linked to the human ability to speak and breathe on a symbolic level.

It is also said to be the physical seat of the subtle element of space (akasha), through which hearing is thought to occur.

See Arthur Avalon's (Sir John Woodroffe's) Shakti and Shakta (1978) and Philip S. Rawson's The Art of Tantra (1973) for further details.


Vishnuswami  is a Sanskrit word that means "Vishnu Swami." ("Vishnu is [his] Lord") The Vaishnava ascetics' Rudra Sampraday is said to have been founded by him.

(The Rudra Sampraday is one of the four "sampraday" branches of the Bairagi Naga ascetics, who are devotees of the god Vishnu; vaishnava refers to Vishnu devotees.)

According to some sources, Vishnuswami was the guru of both Jnaneshvar and Namdev.

Vishnuswami was a Vaishnava, as his name implies, but nothing is known about him other than that.

His ascetic path and status as one of the four Vaishnava ascetic sampradays have been seized by Vallabhacharya's Shuddadvaita, or "Pure Monism," which emphasizes Krishna's adoration with Radha as his wife.


Vishnu Purana is a Hindu epic that tells the story of Lord Vishnu and his One of the eighteen traditional puranas, which comprised an important genre of smrti texts and housed much of traditional Indian mythology.

The smrtis, or "remembered" texts, were considered less authoritative than the shrutis, or "heard" texts, despite being considered important.

In a nutshell, the shrutis referred to the Vedas, the oldest and most authoritative Hindu religious texts, whereas the smrtis referred to the Mahabharata and Ramayana, as well as dharma literature, the Bhagavad Gita, and the puranas.

The puranas contain a wide range of sacred lore, ranging from mythic tales to ritual instruction to the exaltation of various sacred sites (tirthas) and actions.

The majority of the puranas are sectarian, and this one is focused on Vishnu's warship, as its name implies.

It includes instructions for how, where, and when Vishnu should be worshiped, as well as an exhaustive list of Vishnu's mythic deeds—many of which have become the common mythic currency for many traditional Hindus.



Vishnu Periyalvar, an Alvar poet and saint, was given this appellation.

Between the seventh and tenth centuries, the Alvars were a group of twelve poet-saints living in southern India.

All of the Alvars were worshippers of the deity Vishnu, and their emphasis on emotional devotion (bhakti) to a personal god, expressed via hymns sung in Tamil, revolutionized Hindu religious life.



 (“all-pervasive”) One of the three most powerful deities in the Hindu pantheon, with Shiva and the Goddess.

All three are significant for being largely unmentioned in the Vedas, the oldest Hindu religious books, and their rise, as well as the progressive eclipse of the Vedic gods, indicates a marked change in Hindu religious life.

Vishnu is the one who appears most often in the Vedas among the three.

Many hymns that mention him refer to him as a helper to Indra, the major Vedic deity, and one of Vishnu's epithets is Upendra ("junior Indra").

He also appears as an autonomous actor in certain late hymns, linked with wonderful works for the benefit of the cosmos, such as measuring out the universe in three steps.

Vishnu is also linked to the sun, both in terms of his ability to travel through the skies and his ability to fall on (and therefore "observe") everything.

Vishnu is the sustainer or maintainer of the universe, according to the holy trinity of Brahma Vishnu-Shiva.

Vishnu is pictured reclining on the back of his serpent couch, Shesha, in the primordial ocean at the moment of cosmic disintegration in one of the most prominent creation myths (pralaya).

Vishnu's navel produces a lotus, which opens to reveal Brahma, the creator, who starts the creation process.

When the time comes for disintegration, the whole process reverses, and the cosmos is pulled back into Vishnu, who is therefore considered as the source of everything.

The cosmos is also sustained by Vishnu's avatars or incarnations, who come into the world to restore balance to a universe that has been dangerously out of balance, generally as a result of an out of proportionally powerful demon.

There are 10 avatars as far as we know.

The Fish avatar, Tortoise avatar, Boar avatar, and Man-Lion avatar are the first four in nonhuman forms.

The other six are in human form, frequently as sages or heroes: Vamana avatar, Parashuram avatar, Rama avatar, Krishna avatar, Buddha avatar, and Kalki avatar.

In each of these instances, Vishnu takes on a physical form in order to avoid tragedy and preserve the cosmos' purity.

The theory of the avatars served as a means of assimilating existing deities into the broader pantheon while still granting them distinct status.

Although most of the avatars are no longer objects of devotion (the Boar and Man-Lion avatars each had a significant following early in the common period), Rama and Krishna's adoration has entirely exceeded that of Vishnu himself in most of northern India.

Vishnu is still revered throughout southern India, especially among Shrivaishnavas.

Apart from the avatar idea, notable local deities like as Jagannath, Venkateshvara, and Vithoba have all been absorbed into the pantheon as manifestations of Vishnu.

Vaishnavas and Shaivas established sectarian rivalry in medieval Hinduism, both claiming supremacy over their own deities (Vishnu and Shiva).

Despite the fact that Vaishnavas see Vishnu as the universe's highest force, his legendary persona and activities are vastly different from Shiva's.

Vishnu's headgear is a crown, and his persona is that of an all-ruling monarch, but Shiva is linked with ascetic life and practices (tapas) and hence with the religious force created by such acts.

Vishnu frequently succeeds by guile, ingenuity, and deceit, but Shiva eliminates his mythological enemies with sheer might, which is devoid of any finesse.

Each deity's followers recognize their divinity as the supreme force in the cosmos, from which all other gods get their power, and both are portrayed as kind and caring to their worshippers (bhakta).



 (6th c.) Mudrarakshasa ("Rakshasa's Ring"), a Sanskrit playwright, is his sole extant work.

The play is historically significant since its central narrative is the ascent of Chandragupta Maurya (r. 321–297 B.C.E. ), the founder of the Maurya dynasty, despite the fact that the play attributes his victory to his crafty brah min minister, Chanakya.

Although, in respect to the actual monarch, this picture is wrong, the play portrays the king as a weak character, with the minister as the true power behind the throne.

The narrative of the drama is convoluted, as is the case with many Sanskrit plays, but the drama's climax occurs when the main protagonists are dramatically saved from execution at the last minute.

Michael Coulson translated the play into English and released it in the collection Three Sanskrit Plays in 1981.

Vishishthadvaita ("Qualified Non-Dualism") is a Sanskrit word that means "qualified non-dualism." Vedanta One of the branches of Vedanta, the philosophical school that claims to reveal the Vedas' ultimate meaning and pur pose (anta), the Hindu religious texts' oldest and most authoritative texts.

The greatest figure in Vishishthadvaita is Ramanuja, an eleventh-century philosopher who was central to its formulation, despite the fact that he was building on earlier work.

Ramanuja believed that Brahman, or Supreme Reality, was a personal god rather than an impersonal abstract concept, and that the most significant kind of religious activity was devotion (bhakti).

His philosophical viewpoint, Vishishthadvaita Vedanta, emphasized both of these ideas, and so contrasted with the Advaita Vedanta school, created by the philosopher Shankaracharya.

The Advaita school adheres to the philosophical position of monism, or the belief in a single impersonal Ultimate Reality, which they refer to as Brahman.

Despite the appearance of difference and variety in the perceivable world, Advaita adherents believe that reality is "nondual" (advaita), meaning that all things are nothing but the formless Brahman.

This assumption of diversity, according to Advaitins, is a fundamental misunderstanding of the ultimate nature of things, as well as a manifestation of avidya.

Although avidya is often translated as "ignorance," it is better understood as a lack of genuine understanding that leads to karmic bonding, rein carnation (samsara), and suffering.

Because the real issue for Advaitins is a misunderstanding, realization (jnana) was the best spiritual path to achieve ultimate liberation (moksha).

The material universe and self have genuine and autonomous existence, according to Ramanuja's formulation, while their existence is ultimately anchored in God, whom he names as Vishnu.

The world emerges from God through an evolutionary process based on the Samkhya model, but because matter is unconscious, it is both similar to and dissimilar to God.

Human beings are similar to God in that they have God as their source, but they differ from him in that they are subject to ignorance and suffering.

God, according to Ramanuja and his followers, is not the same as ourselves or the world, which are all thought to have real and independent existence.

In a way that the Advaita proponents will never concede, this notion of identity and difference makes the perceptible world real.

Ramanuja's stance differs from that of a later thinker, Madhva, whose Dvaita Vedanta emphasized the enormous chasm between God and all else.

Because of the disparity in capacities between the god and the devotee (bhakta), Ramanuja and his followers have emphasized bhakti as the most effective route of redemption.

Even after freedom, souls maintain enough separation from God to allow devotion; liberation is seen as a perpetual relationship with God rather than a loss of individuality.

For further detail, read John Braisted Carman's The Theology of Ramanuja, published in 1974, and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore's A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, published in 1957.




The sixteenth and last upacharas ("offerings") offered to a god as part of devotion, based on the principle of treating the deity as a valued guest.

As the last act of devotion, the devotee (bhakta) grants the god permission to depart.

Although the phrase dismissal seems arrogant in any conversation with a god, it really relates to the parting remarks that one would give to a leaving guest.

The fundamental aim here, as with other upacharas, is to demonstrate one's devotion for the god by ministering to the deity's needs.



Virata is the monarch who shelters the five Pandava brothers, the epic's heroes, during the year they spend incognito after their twelve years of exile in the forest, in the Mahabharata, the later of the two major Hindu epics.

This year is crucial because, according to the pact the Pandavas made with their foe, Duryodhana, if they are found during this year, the cycle of exile and living in secrecy would begin all over again.

Even though Duryodhana has despatched armies of spies to locate the Pandavas, Virata's care and forethought prevents them from being detected.

He continues to help the Pandavas throughout the Mahabharata battle and is finally murdered by the archery expert Drona.



("Victorious Shaivas") 

The Lingayat religious community's alternative name, derived from the Lingayat belief that Shiva is the sole true deity.



 One of the sitting poses (asana) listed in comments to the Yoga Sutras; it is also one of the sitting postures in Hindu iconography in which deities are shown.

In this posture, one foot rests on the ground, beneath the opposite thigh, while the other foot rests on top of the opposite knee, as stated in the Yoga Sutras comments.

This pose is defined differently in current yoga texts, as a sitting posture with the legs folded back outside the body and the feet pushed against the thighs and buttocks.



 One of the most recent and largest nibandhas ("collections"), compiled by scholar Mitra Mishra in the early seventeenth century.

The nibandhas were Hindu lore compendia in which the compilers culled references on a specific theme from the Vedas, dharma literature, puranas, and other authoritative religious texts, and then compiled them into a single volume.

The Viramitrodaya is a massive compendium of Hindu lore, divided into twenty-two sections, each of which focuses on a different aspect of Hindu life, such as daily practice, worship, gift-giving (dana), vows, pilgrimage, penances (prayashchitta), purification, death rites (antyeshthi samskara), law, and so on, culminating in liberation (moksha).

Mitra Mishra's work became an important source for later legal interpretation, particularly in eastern India, because he not only cites relevant scriptural passages but also provides extensive learned commentary.



Father Constanzio Beschi (1680–1747), an Italian Jesuit who spent 36 years in Tamil Nadu, was given the pseudonym Viramamunivar.

Beschi learned the local language and adopted the local way of life, as did many other early Jesuits.

He translated parts of the Old and New Testament into literary Tamil as part of his missionary work, and his command of the language and poetic conventions makes this work a seminal work in Tamil literature.



Stone erected in honor of a warrior, usually the village headman, who died in battle defending the village cattle from pillage.

Deleury speculates that the Maharashtrian god Vithoba arose from such a deified hero, who was later assimilated into the pantheon as a form of Vishnu, and that such stones can be found all over the Deccan region.

Viraha is a word that has a lot of different meanings depending on who you (“separation”) Classical Sanskrit poetry, as well as much vernacular devotional (bhakti) poetry, have a well-established poetic genre.

Whether the separated lovers are two human beings or devotee (bhakta) and deity, the genre focuses on describing the pain that results from the separation of lover and beloved.

Separation is thought to cause specific physical symptoms, which the poets describe in great detail—lack of appetite, insomnia, inability to attend to daily life, or think about anyone but the beloved.

Because love in union is sweetened by the presence of the beloved, whereas the former must stand alone, the type of love felt in such separation is thought to engender an even more intense love for the beloved than love in union.



A powerful being created by the god Shiva to humble the demigod Daksha and destroy Daksha's sacrifice, according to Hindu mythology.

Daksha gives his daughter, Sati, to Shiva to marry, but later feels Shiva has not treated him with respect.

Daksha plans a large sacrifice and invites all the gods except Shiva to it in order to humble Shiva.

When Sati inquires as to why her father has done so, Daksha lashes out at Shiva, calling him worthless and despicable.

Sati, humiliated by these public insults, kills herself—in some versions, by leaping into the sacrificial fire, and in others, by withdrawing into a yogic trance and giving up her life.

When Shiva learns of Sati's death, he is enraged and tears two matted locks (jata) from his head and dashes them to the ground, according to the most popular version of Virabhadra's creation.

One matted lock assumes the form of Virabhadra, while the other assumes the form of Bhadrakali, the Goddess's most powerful and terrifying form.

Bhadrakali represents the Goddess's ferocious and dangerous side, in contrast to the gentle and loyal Sati, just as Virabhadra represents Shiva's destructive side.

The two demolish Daksha's sacrifice on Shiva's orders, scattering the guests and destroying the sacred fires, until Daksha repents and worships Shiva as the supreme deity.

Despite the fact that Virabhadra's actions in this story are destructive, he is and remains Shiva's servant, carrying out his divine master's commands, which ultimately uphold the created order.



 Vira. ("hero”).

The vira is one of the ritual expression modes used in tantra, a secret, ritual-based religious practice.

The tantric "hero" is said to be someone who not only consumes the Five Forbidden Things (panchamakara) in their purest form, but also uses this inversion of normal moral rules to affirm the ultimate unity of all things in the universe.

Aspirants who adopt a heroic mode frequently worship a powerful but dangerous deity, with the ultimate affirmation of this unity being the affirmation of one's identity with that deity.

If one succeeds, various powers are said to be conferred, but if one fails, illness, insanity, or death are said to result.

This isn't a risk-free path, but it gets the heroes to their desired destination quickly.

Viparitakhyati is a Sanskrit word that means "discrimination in the face of the law". 

Kumarila, a Mimamsa philosopher from the seventh century C.E., proposed a theory of error.

All theories of error seek to explain why people make mistakes in judgment, such as mistaking a silvery flash of seashell for a piece of silver, which is a common example.

Kumarila, like Prabhakara and the Naiya yikas, believes that the simple judgments "that object is silvery" and "silver is silvery" are both correct and unquestionable.

Kumarila also agrees with the Naiyayika that the error stems from a false discrimination.

The Naiyayikas postulate the inherence-relationship as a connecting sub jects and predicates ("silver color" and "silver").

This is where he differs from them.

Kumarila's theory is identity-and-difference (bhedabhada), which states that everything is what it is and not what it isn't.

As a result, the perception (pratyaksha) of a shell on the beach would include its similitudes and differences from silveriness, as well as silver's similitudes and differences from silveriness.

One can make a false judgment by combining similarities, or one can make a true judgment by combining differences.

The root cause of combining similarities rather than differences, as in the Naiyayika theory of error, is karmic dispositions arising from avidya, specifically the desire for silver, which drives us to seek out such valuable items.

For more information, see Bijayananda Kar's The Theories of Error in Indian Philosophy, published in 1978, and Karl H. Potter's Presuppositions of India's Philosophies, published in 1972.