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Non-English words with their meanings

Agiari - a Zoroastrian temple; Parsi place of fire-worship

Ahimsa - non-violence; love

Allah - a Muslim term for God

Ashram - a place for spiritual retirement; Gandhiji's colony of workers

Ashrama - one of the four stages in a man's life (student, householder, meditator in the forest, and wandering teacher), as enjoined by Hinduism

Avatar - incarnation


Bati - a thick bread

Bhatti- a. small open furnace

Bhagavat - a Purana or devotional book containing the life-history of Lord Krishna and other ancient stories

Bhagavad Gita - Hindu scripture, often regarded as the New Testament of Hinduism

Bhajan- a religious service consisting of devotional songs; devotional song

Bhangi - a scavenger; an 'untouchable'

Brahmachari - one pledged to chastity; student

Brahmacharya - chastity; continence

Brahman - God; Supreme Being

Brahmana - the highest Hindu caste, consisting of priests


Dharma - religious duty

Dharmayuddha - righteous war


Ezhavo - an outcaste of Malabar


Gayatri - Vedic prayer addressed to the Sun God

Gita - SeeBhagavad Gita

Goshala - a dairy-, cattle farm

Guru - religious teacher


Himsa - violence


Itihasa - Ancient Hindu Book of History


Kali - a Hindu goddess of destruction; name of goddess Durga

Kalma - a Muslim prayer formula

Karmayogi - religious person devoted to the path of action

Khuda - a Muslim term for God

Koran - a sacred book of Muslims


Lota - a small vessel for water


Mahabharata - a Hindu epic

Mandir - a Hindu temple

Mantra - a Vedic hymn or sacred prayer

Moksha - salvation; liberation


Nirvana - lit. extinction; extinction of desire; Buddhist conception of salvation


Pariah - an outcaste of the Tamils of South India

Phooka - process of inserting a rod or pipe into the re­productive organ of the cow and blowing air into it to make the cow yield its last drop of milk


Quran - See Koran


Rama - a Hindu incarnation of God; God

Ramanama - name of Rama or God

Ramayana - a Hindu epic, describing the life-history of King Rama

Rama Raj - Kingdom of Rama or God; the ideal political and social order

Rishi- seer


Sanatana - ancient; orthodox

Sanatani - one who follows the ancient faith

Satyagraha - lit. clinging to Truth; non-violent resistance to untruth

Satyagrahi - non-violent resister of untruth

Shastra - Hindu sacred book

Shivalingam - a stone idol or short pillar representing Shiva, a Hindu god

Shudra - the fourth or lowest Hindu caste consisting of manual labourers

Smriti - ancient book embodying Hindu law and tradition

Swadeshi - the duty to serve one's neighbours and there­fore to use articles produced by them only

Swaraj - self-government


Tapas, Tapasya - austerity


Upanishads - ancient philosophical treatises of Hinduism


Varna - social groups numbering four based on pursuit of hereditary occupations

Varna Dharma - specific duties of the different social groups

Varnashrama - four social groups and four stages of man's life


Varnashrama Dharma- specific duties of four social groups and of four stages of man's life

Vedas - earliest Hindu scriptures

Vishnu - a Hindu god


Yogi - one practising Yoga


Zend Avesta - scriptures of the Parsis or Zoroastrians