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of Sanskrit Terms
Abhyasa - Spiritual practice.
Advaita-Non-duality; a school of Vedanta philosophy that teaches the oneness of God, soul and universe. The chief exponent of Advaita Vedanta (Non-dualistic Vedanta) was Shankaracharya (A.D. 788-820).Asana - Seat; posture.
Ashrama - Hermitage, a residential institution especially a spiritual or religious one.
Also means the four stages of human life, 25 years each, prescribed by the Vedantic scriptures:
1. Brahmacharya---the celibate student stage
2. Garhasthya---the married householder stage
3. Banaprastha---the stage of retirement and contemplation
4. Sannyas---the stage of religious mendicancy
Atman - The Self or Soul; denotes both the Supreme Soul and the individual soul, which, according to Non-dualistic Vedanta are ultimately identical.
Avatara or Avatar - The descent on earth of a Hindu deity, especially, Vishnu; an Incarnation of God on earth in human form; an embodiment or concrete manifestation of an abstract concept; a leader who is regarded as or professes to be a savior or liberator. Hindus, however, believe that God incarnates Himself many times---Sri Krishna declares in the Bhagavad-Gita (IV-8): "In every age I come back to deliver the holy, to destroy the sin of the sinner, to establish righteousness."
Avidya - Ignorance.
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