Mathomathis would like to present an article on: Vedic Glossary documented by Indic Cosmology, Kosla Vepa (INDIC STUDIES FOUNDATION), on the context of: THE STORY OF THE INDIC COSMOLOGY AND THE CELESTIAL TIME KEEPERS. The article would deal mainly with the Glossary


A

  • Abda – Year (as in Yugabda 5110 (2009)
  • Abhijit Nakshatra: Abhijit Nakshatra is called the intercalary(IC) Nakshatra as it appear as a small (smaller duration as compared to normal duration of Nakshatra 13d 20m) Nakshatra between Uttarashadha and Sravana. The duration of Uttarashadha is divided into four parts and the first three paadas are assigned to Uttarashadha, which makes the duration of Uttarashadha to be 10deg with each paada to be 2d 30m. The remaining one paada of Uttarashadha is assigned to Abhijit, the intercalary Nakshatra. Similarly beginning 1/15th part of Sravana is given to Abhijit, making its total length to be 253.33 min, i.e., 4d 13m 20s. The remaining 14/15th part of Sravana is assigned to the four padas of Sravana, making the total duration of Sravana to be 12d 26m 40s
  • Acharya, आचायर् – a spiritual guide or teacher.
  • Adharma, अधमर् – absence of righteousness, disorder, evil, immorality
  • Adhikamaasa or intercalary month – Leap month or intercalary month introduced to account for the lack of synchronization between a lunar period and a solar period, i.e., the solar period (or year) is not an exact multiple of a lunar month. Literally means additional month. An intercalation takes place when 2 lunar months begin in the same solar month, ,the former of the 2 is called the intercalary month or adhikamaasa
  • Adi – first, primordial as in Adi Sankara
  • Aditi – In Hinduism, Aditi (Sanskrit – limitless) is a goddess of the sky, consciousness, the past, the future and fertility. She is an ancient goddess, mother of Agni and the Adityas with Kashyapa. She is associated with cows, a very holy animal in Vedic beliefs. Aditi is the daughter of Daksha and Veerni. She gave birth to the Devas who were beautiful, intelligent and pious to the Almighty. Although the goddess Aditi is mentioned nearly eighty times in the rig – veda, it is difficult to get a clear picture of her nature. She is usually mentioned along with other gods and goddesses, there is no one hymn addressed exclusively to her, and unlike many other vedic deities, she is not obviously related to some natural phenomenon. compared to Usha and Prithvi, her character seems ill defined. Perhaps the most outstanding attribute of Aditi is her motherhood. She is preeminently the mother of the Adityas, a group of 7 or 8 gods which include Mitra, Aryaman, Bhaga, Varuna, Daksha and Ansa. (2.27.1) Aditi is also said to be the mother of the great god Indra, the mother of kings (2.27), and the mother of gods (1.113.19). Unlike Prithvi, however, whose motherhood is also central to her nature, Aditi does not have a male consort in the Rig-veda. as a mothering presence, Aditi is often asked to guard the one who petitions her (1.106.7 ; 8.18.6) or to provide him or her with wealth, safety, and abundance (10.100; 1.94.15).
  • Aditya – In Hinduism, the Adityas are a group of solar deities, sons of Aditi and Kashyapa. In the Rigveda, they are seven deities of the heavens, chief of these being Varuna, followed by Mitra, Aryaman, Bhaga, Daksha, and Ansa, the seventh Aditya was probably the Sun, Surya or Savitar. As a class of gods, the Rigvedic Adityas were distinct from the Visvedevas. In the Yajurveda (Taittiriya Samhita), their number is given as eight. In the Brahmanas, their number is expanded to twelve, corresponding to the twelve months:Ansa ,Aryaman, Bhaga ,Daksha ,Dhatri, Indra, Mitra, Ravi, Savitar, Surya , Varuna, Yama Aditya in the (Chāndogya-Upanishad) is also a name of Vishnu, in his Vamana (dwarf) Avatar.
  • Adhyasa – Used to refer to the ‘mistake’ that we make when we ‘superimpose’ a false appearance upon the reality or mix up the real and the unreal.
  • Adrishta – opposite of drishta or Unseen,a metaphor for the consequences of past actions,which may be unanticipated
  • Advaita – Not two (dvaita)
  • Ahimsa – Abstention from injury to all life forms
  • AmAvasya, अमावस्य़ -new moon
  • Analemma – At noon in a perfect world, the sun would always be positioned 93 million miles directly over the equator, and the Earth, an unblemished sphere, would rotate evenly on a precisely vertical axis. The seasons would never change. Every day would last as long as every other. And we’d never have the equinoxes and solstices that mark the four quarters of the year. As it happens, however, the Earth’s axis is tilted and, according to Ruth Freitag, a senior science specialist at the Library of Congress, the “slightly eccentric ellipse” of the Earth’s orbit around the sun led astronomers to come up with a consistent way to determine mean time, the time by which we all set our clocks. “The natural system is full of variables, and that’s without even considering the irregularities of the Earth’s rotation, which came to light in the late 19th century,” says Freitag. Thus we have the analemma, the somewhat mysterious looking figure-eight diagram on many globes and maps. The analemma charts where and when the sun will appear directly overhead in the “torrid zone,” between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The curves of the analemma also mark the solstices and equinoxes. The winter solstice, occurring when the sun is at its southernmost position in the torrid zone, is shown on the most extreme point of an analemma’s lower arc.

In the days before the radio, the analemma was also useful for correcting clocks,” says author David Greenhood in his book “Mapping.” The days may be dark now but the horizon looks bright: Since the winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year, the days will begin to stretch out from now until the summer solstice. Come February and March, when cold temperatures have you fearing that winter will never end, at least the sun will hang a little longer in the evening sky.

  • AnumAna, अनु – Anumaana or inference is one of the most importrant contributions of मान the system of metaknowledge known as Nyaya (which translates as Logic)
  • Anushtup chandas – A meter in prosody with 32 syllables
  • Aparapaska – Full moon to new moon period
  • Apastambha अपस्तम्भ – Apastambha was an ancient Vedic savant ,who composed the Sulvasutra named after him, credited with approximation for square root of two. His goal was among others to design ritual altars and to conform to the rules of Vastu Sastra,circa 2500 BCE. Apastambha predates Aryabhatta since Aryabhatta refers to the Sulvasutras in his magnum opus Aryabhattium
  • Artha, अथर् – Object, purpose, aim, significance, import. Attainment of worldly riches, prosperity, wealth, one of the goals of life prescribed by the Vedics in the Brahma Vidya
  • Aranyakas, आरण्यक -The third part of each of the Vedas (after Samhitas, and Brahmanas) elaborating various spiritualistic practices for forest dwelling initiates into spirituality. The
  • Aranyakas (Sanskrit āraṇyaka) are part of the Hindu śruti; these religious scriptures are sometimes argued to be part of either the Brahmanas or Upanishads. The name translates to “the forest books”, meaning, treatises for hermits or sadhus living in the wilderness. This contrasts with the grhyasutras, treatises intended for domestic life. Their language is early Classical Sanskrit, and together with the bulk of the Upanishads, the Aranyakas form the basis of Vedanta
  • Arati -A ritual in which a plate or thali with a deepa(oil lamp) and other items of ritual purification such ahs flowers, incense,kumkum and turmeric, are waved at lelast 3 times clockwise around a venerated person or object. Sometimes the plate may contain just water with kumkum dissolved in it .
  • Arjava, आजवर् – straightforwardness at all times
  • Arjuna – The third of the five pandava princes, whose expertise lies in Archery . He is the protagonist in the Bhagvad Gita, the disciple of his friend and mentor Sri Krishna, the avatar of the Lord Himself
  • Aryabhatta, आयर् भठ – ancient Indian mathematician the astronomer laureate of India , who lived in the Post Vedic period. His dating is controversial but could be as early as 2500 BCE and if so is contemporaneous or even predates Babylonian mathematicians.
  • Arya,आयर् – is an adjective, meaning noble such as in Arya Putr, noble son or noble prince
  • Aryan, आयनर् – A term connoting the fictitious Aryan race, see also Vedics, should not be used synonymously with Aryan which has a racial connotation. Arya is purely a behavioral adjective and nothing more.
  • Aryan Race – A fictitious classification without any scientific basis used by the Europeans to distinguish themselves from the Semitic speaking people of the world. A word that has been foisted upon the Vedics who used the adjective Arya meaning of noble behavior. there was no racial connotation as there is now in Europe
  • Ashvamedha – A part of Rajasuya ritual performed by emperors to establish their sway over allies and neighboring kingdoms.
  • Asuras, असुर – Demons of the Vedic Hindus, linguistically cognate with Ahura (e.g. Ahura Mazda) in Zoroastrianism. Thus, while in Vedic religion the Asuras are demonic, in Zoroastrianism, the Ahura are benign. This inversion also applies to the other class of immortals: where the Vedic devas are benevolent, the Zoroastrian daevas are malevolent. It is believed that this resulted in the Great schism between the Vedic Hindus and the followers of Zoroaster(Dhrutarashtra) who migrated west into what is Iran today.
  • Avidya – The state of ignorance which needs to be dispelled at the outset, before one can begin the journey in earnest towards self fulfillment and Moksha. ‘Ignorance is bliss ‘ or so the satire goes. Ignorance most certainly is not bliss. It is one of the greatest sins a Hindu can commit. Avidya (pAra or apAra) is an unpardonable excuse and as soon as a person determines he/she is in a state of Avidya, they should take steps to remedy the situation.
  • Ayana – Course or journey; refers to the apparent direction of the suns course through the sky, uttarayana (north), dakshinaayana (south); cited in Sankalpam. Going, walking; road, path, way. Used in astronomy for advancing, precession; the sun’s progress northward or southward, from one solstice to the other, is an ayana or half-year, two ayanas making one year. Also the equinoctial and solstitial points, the term for the solstice being ayananta. Finally, ayana signifies circulatory courses or circulations, as of the universe.
  • Ayanamsa – Ayanamsa is the Sanskrit term for the longitudinal difference between the tropical or Sayana and sidereal or Nirayana zodiacs. It is defined as the angle by which the sidereal ecliptic longitude of a celestial body is less than its tropical ecliptic longitude. The sidereal ecliptic longitude of a celestial body is its longitude on the ecliptic defined with respect to the “fixed” stars. The tropical ecliptic longitude of a celestial body is its longitude on the ecliptic defined with respect to the vernal equinox point. Since the vernal equinox point precesses westwards at a rate of 50″.29 per year with respect to the fixed stars, the longitude of a fixed body defined with respect to it will increase slowly. On the other hand, since the stars “do not move” (this ignores the effect of proper motion) the longitude of a fixed body defined with respect to them will never change.
  • Ayanachalana -See Precession of the equinoxes (synonym kraantipaatagati)
  • Ayanaantha – Solstice
  • Ayanabhaaga – Amount of precession. i.e. arc of the ecliptic lying between the vernal equinox and the Indian zero point, synonym Ayanaaamsa

B

  • Bhakti Yoga – An approach to worship and spiritual practice in the Hindu tradition characterized by personal devotion to a divinity , often mediated by a holy person or teacher somewhat akin to the relationship with Christ among certain sects and adherents of Christianity
    Bhartrihari – Bhartrihari along with Panini and Patanjali who preceded him by several centuries is regarded as one of the main contrbutors to the field of linguistics in ancient India. He introduced the notion of shabda tattwa or shabda pramaanam, namely “the notion of the originary word (shabda) as transcending the bounds of spoken and written language and meaning. Understood as shabda tattva-the “word principle,” this complex idea explains the nature of consciousness, the awareness of all forms of phenomenal appearances, and posits an identity obtains between these, which is none other than Brahman. It is thus language as a fundamentally ontological principle that accounts for how we are able to conceptualize and communicate the awareness of objects. The metaphysical notion of shabda Brahman posits the unity of all existence as the foundation for all linguistically designated individual phenomena
  • BhAshya, भाश्य -Commentary on a celebrated or scriptural work (e.g. Adi Sankara’s BhAshya on the Bhagavad Gita)
  • Bhoodivas – A terrestrial day
  • Bhoogola – The sphere of the earth
  • Brahm-acharya – Or student life, when a boy lives with his teacher (Guru) and receives both religious and secular instruction. The youth is trained in self control, and acquires such virtues as chastity, truthfulness, faith, and self surrender
  • Brahmana, बणर् -the correct pronunciation includes a short ‘a’ vowel at the end, the first ‘a’ is a long vowel while the second is a short one. The literal meaning is one who attains Brahman is a Brahmana – Brahavit Brahaiva bhavati – is the shruti and is the strict definition of a Brahmana. In this day and age it is difficult to fathom in a short period of time whether a particular person has realized Brahman or not. In such a circumstance one looks for adherence to the ethical values of the Hindu and whether the person has the qualities mentioned therein. One of the 4 varnas of society possessing a predominantly static guna amongst the three gunas (Traigunya) rajas, tamas and satva. The Sanaatana Dharma strove to inculcate a meritocracy and recognizes everybody is not capable of meeting the same challenges. It is not a one size fits all ideology. The Dharma also recognizes there is diversity in the human species that not everybody can become a doctor or a star football player and that the person by reason of his gunas may not have the inclination, fortitude and desire to put in the long years of training necessary to become a doctor. These differences are not necessarily related to ones appearance or even heredity but have to do with whether a person has the discipline, the single minded focus and fortitude to undertake the arduous task of becoming a doctor or a Vedic priest or a star football player. Every fetus has the potential for fulfillment and Moksha but whether every single person rises to the demands of the tradition is a different matter, despite the fact that it is within the reach of each and every individual. In the modern era the Brahmana has adapted himself to the rigors and demands of a predominantly technological milieu and has filled many roles such as Doctor, Engineer, lawyer, Journalist, politician, think tank adviser, Professor, corporate executive, in addition to being a priest. Even so, the priestly Brahmana community remains one of the poorest in India today.
  • Brahmana, बणर् – Texts associated with each Veda
  • Brahmavidya – Brahmavidya or Paravidya (metaphysics metaknowledge or higher knowledge) is the vehicle for attaining Moksha in the path known as Jnana Yoga and Yogasastra(the means to attain the same) is the practical discipline needed to attain Brahmavidya
  • Brahmanism – Brahmanism is an ersatz terminology used to describe Sanatana Dharma that has become popular in certain circles in the west. It is clear that the Dharma is a whole family of beliefs and darshanas. It has been thus since a very long time. The Vedic texts have survived several millennia of wars and natural disasters, but it is quite possible other texts have been lost. It has never been the contention of Hindus that the Vedas are the only canon to have originated in the Indian subcontinent. But it is clear that they are among the few to survive over the millennia. Furthermore the implication that Brahmanas had exclusive control over the content and practice of the faith is demeaning and insulting to the Sanatana Dharma which has had a longline of Rishis and Sages who have expounded on the faith few of whom have been Brahmanas. Belief systems that did not subscribe to the Vedic canon have been extant for a very long time and have been known as Nastik Dharmas and include among others Charvaka, Jainism and Buddhism. It is therefore unnecessary to invent a new word Brahmanism to describe an ancient faith which has a perfectly good name namely Sanatana Dharma.
  • Brahmi -Brahmi is a “syllabic alphabet”, meaning that each sign can be either a simple consonant or a syllable with the consonant and the inherent vowel /a/. Other syllabic alphabets outside of South Asia include Old Persian and Meroïtic. However, unlike these two system, Brahmi (and all subsequent Brahmi-derived scripts) indicates the same consonant with a different vowel by drawing extra strokes, called matras, attached to the character. Ligatures are used to indicate consonant clusters. The Brahmi script was first deciphered by James Princep although I find it difficult to believe that they could not find a single Indian who was capable of deciphering the Brahmi script.

C

  • Caste – Derived from Portuguese Casta, Caste has a meaning quite distinct from Varna which has been accepted as being part of the tradition. Caste according to the Portuguese means a race or a breed. Varna makes no such distinction and to ascribe racial motivations for a system based on division of labor depending on individual inclinations and which is a meritocracy to boot, is totally unconscionable, but that is exactly what the colonial power did with great success . The Sanatana Dharma makes no apologies for being a meritocracy based on competency and character and it is only after the advent of colonial rule that it took on the character of a racial and ethnic division based on birth. It is a tribute to the tenacity and persistence of the British that their viewpoint has prevailed and has been internalized by the Indic population for the most part. Yet it behooves those of us who know better to keep reminding everybody that the colonial viewpoint reflects a conjured up reality that has no relation to a core value nor is it derived from core beliefs held since antiquity. see also Varnashrama dharma.
  • Celestial (Equatorial)Coordinate System – The most commonly used astronomical coordinate system for indicating the positions of stars or other celestial objects on the celestial sphere. The celestial sphere is an imaginary sphere with the observer at its center. It represents the entire sky; all celestial objects other than the earth are imagined as being located on its inside surface. If the earth’s axis is extended, the points where it intersects the celestial sphere are called the celestial poles; the north celestial pole is directly above the earth’s North Pole, and the south celestial pole directly above the earth’s South Pole. The great circle on the celestial sphere halfway between the celestial poles is called the celestial equator; it can be thought of as the earth’s equator projected onto the celestial sphere. It divides the celestial sphere into the northern and southern skies. An important reference point on the celestial equator is the vernal equinox , the point at which the sun crosses the celestial equator in March. To designate the position of a star, the astronomer considers an imaginary great circle passing through the celestial poles and through the star in question. This is the star’s hour circle, analogous to a meridian of longitude on earth. The astronomer then measures the angle between the vernal equinox and the point where the hour circle intersects the celestial equator. This angle is called the star’s right ascension and is measured in hours, minutes, and seconds rather than in the more familiar degrees, minutes, and seconds. (There are 360 degrees or 24 hours in a full circle.) The right ascension is always measured eastward from the vernal equinox. Next the observer measures along the star’s hour circle the angle between the celestial equator and the position of the star. This angle is called the declination of the star and is measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds north or south of the celestial equator, analogous to latitude on the earth. Right ascension and declination together determine the location of a star on the celestial sphere. The right ascensions and declinations of many stars are listed in various reference tables published for astronomers and navigators. Because a star’s position may change slightly (see proper motion and precession of the equinoxes ), such tables must be revised at regular intervals. By definition, the vernal equinox is located at right ascension 0 h and declination 0°.
  • Celestial equator – Nadivruth,Nadivalaya – The great circle on the celestial sphere halfway between the celestial poles is called the celestial equator.

D

  • Dakshinayana – The southward journey of the Sun towards the Winter solstice, from its northernmost point during the Summer solstice usually identified as Dakshinayana Punyakala on July 16.
  • Dasha – Ten as in Dashaavatara,, the ten Avatars of Vishnu
  • Decimal system – see also place value system, decimal system [Latin= of tenths], numeration system based on powers of 10. A number is written as a row of digits, with each position in the row corresponding to a certain power of 10. A decimal point in the row divides it into those powers of 10 equal to or greater than 0 and those less than 0, i.e., negative powers of 10. Positions farther to the left of the decimal point correspond to increasing positive powers of 10 and those farther to the right to increasing negative powers, i.e., to division by higher positive powers of 10.

For example, 4,309=(4×10**3)+(3×10**2)+(0x10**1)+(9×10**0)=4,000+300+0+9, and 4.309=(4×10**0)+(3×10**-1)+(0x10**-’2)+(9×10**-’3)=4+3/10+0/100+9/1000. It is believed that the decimal system is based on 10 because humans have 10 fingers and so became used to counting by 10s early in the course of civilization. The decimal system was introduced into Europe c.1300. It greatly simplified arithmetic and was a much-needed improvement over the Roman numerals, which did not use a positional system. A number written in the decimal system is called a decimal, although sometimes this term is used to refer only to a proper fraction written in this system and not to a mixed number. Decimals are added and subtracted in the same way as are integers (whole numbers) except that when these operations are written in columnar form the decimal points in the column entries and in the answer must all be placed one under another. In multiplying two decimals the operation is the same as for integers except that the number of decimal places in the product, i.e., digits to the right of the decimal point, is equal to the sum of the decimal places in the factors; e.g., the factor 7.24 to two decimal places and the factor 6.3 to one decimal place have the product 45.612 to three decimal places. In division, e.g., 4.32 /12.8 where there is a decimal point in the divisor (4.32), the point is shifted to the extreme right (i.e., to 432.) and the decimal point in the dividend (12.8) is shifted the same number of places to the right (to 1280), with one or more zeros added before the decimal to make this possible. The decimal point in the quotient is then placed above that in the dividend, i.e., 432|1280.0 zeros are added to the right of the decimal point in the dividend as needed, and the division proceeds the same as for integers. The decimal system is widely used in various systems employing numbers. The metric system of weights and measures, used in most of the world, is based on the decimal system, as are most systems of national currency.

  • Dharma – one of the four kinds of human aspirations, which are dharma, artha, kAma and moksha. dharma: “Righteous living.” The fulfillment of virtue, good works, duties and responsibilities, restraints and observances – performing one’s part in the service of society. This includes pursuit of truth under a guru of a particular Parampara and sAmpradaya. Dharma is of four primary forms. It is the steady guide for artha and kama.
  • Dharma(Baudhik) – A central notion of Buddhism, used in various contexts;
    • The cosmic law, the great norm, underlying our world; above all the law of karmically determined rebirth The teaching of the Buddha, who recognized and formulated this law; thus the teaching exdpresses the universal truth. The Dharma in this sense existed before the birth of the historical Buddha, who is no more than a manifestation of it. This is the Dharma in which the Buddhist takes refuge.
    • Norms of behavior and ethical rules.
    • Manifestation of reality, of the general state of affairs
  • Dravidian languages – An unverifiable hypothesis made to distinguish the languages of the south of India (Dravida) from those of the north. In reality, a Telugu speaking person , ostensibly a Dravidian language, can understand Sanskrit far more readily than even an accomplished scholar in sanskrit in the west. This despite the putative similarity between the European languages and Sanskrit.
  • Drkchaya – Parallax
  • Druhyu – One of 5 clans namely Anus, Druhyus, Turvashas, Puru, Yadu, the sons of Yayati. Druhyu is the 3rd son of Yayati. His dynasty is listed in Chapter 23 of the Bhagavata Puraana.The descendants of Druhyu eventually went on to become Zarathushtrans , followers of Zarathushtra(Dhrutarashtra) and subsequently formed the Aryamanush (Greek corruption Achaemenid) empire, e.g. Darius = Druhyu(Skrit) Daryavahyu (Persian) . Some of the ancient parsian kings belonging to the Aryamanush Dynasty
    • Haxamanish or ACHAEMENES, first King of Persia, was mythical.
    • Teispes c. 7th century BC. (this is the Greek version of the name)
    • Kurash I (or CYRUS I) c. late 7th Century BC, son of Teispes.
    • Ariaramnes c. late 7th century BC, son of Teispes.
    • Kambujia I (or CAMBYSES I) ? – 559 BC, son of Kurash I.
    • Kurash II (or CYRUS II) 559 – c. 550 BC when he became King of Kings, son of Kambuyia I.

E

  • Ecliptic: kraanthivruth – the great circle on the celestial sphere that lies in the plane of the earth’s orbit (called the plane of the ecliptic). Because of the earth’s yearly revolution around the sun, the sun appears to move in an annual journey through the heavens with the ecliptic as its path. The ecliptic is the principal axis in the ecliptic coordinate system . The two points at which the ecliptic crosses the celestial equator are the equinoxes . The obliquity of the ecliptic is the inclination of the plane of the ecliptic to the plane of the celestial equator, an angle of about 23 1/2 °. The constellations through which the ecliptic passes are the constellations of the zodiac.
  • Ekadasi – Ekadasi is the eleventh lunar day (Tithi) of the Shukla (bright) or Krishna (dark) Paksha (fortnight) respectively ,of every lunar month in the Hindu calendar (Panchanga).In Hinduism and Jainism, it is considered spiritually beneficial day. Scriptures recommend observing an (ideally waterless) fast from sunset on the day prior to Ekadasi until 48 minutes after sunrise on the day following Ekadasi. Ekadasi is a Sanskrit word, which means ‘the eleventh’. It refers to the eleventh day of a fortnight belonging to a lunar month. There are two fortnights in a lunar month—the bright and the dark. So, Ekadasi occurs twice in a month, in the bright fortnight and the dark fortnight. The special feature of Ekadasi, as most people know it, is a fast, abstinence from food. This is how it is usually understood. In fact, the fast is only a practical expression and a symbol of something else that we are expected to do, which is of special significance to our personality.
  • Ephemeris – (Plural ephemerides ) A table giving the coordinates of a celestial body at specific times during a given period. Ephemerides can be used by navigators to determine their longitude while at sea and by astronomers in following objects such as comets. The use of computers has allowed modern ephemerides to determine celestial positions with far greater accuracy than in earlier publications. Ephemeris is an astronomical almanac giving, as an aid to the astronomer and navigator, the locations of celestial bodies for each day of the year. The Ephemeris can be regarded as the Greek version of the Indain panchangam.
  • Epicycles – In the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, the epicycle (literally: on the circle in Greek) was a geometric model to explain the variations in speed and direction of the apparent motion of the Moon, Sun, and planets. It was designed by Apollonius of Perga at the end of the 3rd century BC. In particular it explained retrograde motion. Secondarily, it also explained changes in the distance of the planet from Earth.
  • Epistemology – The Theory of Knowledge is concerned with the means of acquiring knowledge. The root of the English word is the Greek word episteme meaning knowledge. This includes logical argument or reasoning, inference, testimony, and perception. All these words have precise equivalents in Sanskrit and the word for epistemology in Sanskrit is Praamanya, the theory of knowledge. The systematic study of the theory of knowledge goes back to great antiquity and the names associated with these disciplines include among others Pannini, Patanjali. Yajnavalkya and Bhartrihari. It is our contention that most if not all of these savants lived in the millenium prior to the Christian era.
  • Equinox, vernal equinox वसंत संपत ,(Vasanth Sampat) autumnal equinox – either of two points on the celestial sphere where the ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect. The vernal equinox, also known as “the first point of Aries,” is the point at which the sun appears to cross the celestial equator from south to north. This occurs about Mar. 21, marking the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. At the autumnal equinox, about Sept. 23, the sun again appears to cross the celestial equator, this time from north to south; this marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. On the date of either equinox, night and day are of equal length (12 hr each) in all parts of the world; the word equinox is often used to refer to either of these dates. The equinoxes are not fixed points on the celestial sphere but move westward along the ecliptic, passing through all the constellations of the zodiac in 26,000 years. This motion is called the precession of the equinoxes . The vernal equinox is a reference point in the equatorial coordinate system .
  • Equator – See Vishuvat Exegesis – Exegesis (from the Greek ἐξηγεῖσθαι ‘to lead out’) is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text.
  • Biblical exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of the Bible. The goal of Biblical exegesis is to find the meaning of the text which then leads to discovering its significance or relevance. Traditionally the term exegesis was used primarily for exegesis of the Bible. However in contemporary usage exegesis has broadened to mean a critical explanation of any text. The term is most often used for religious texts although it can be used for non-religious texts as well. The critical aspects in doing exegesis covers a wide range of disciplines. Textual criticism is the investigation into the history and origins of the text. In addition there is an examination of the historical and cultural backgrounds for the author, the text, and original audience. Then there is a classification of the types of literary genre present in the text, and an analysis of grammatical and syntactical features in the text itself. Sometimes the terms exegesis and hermeneutics have been used interchangeably. However, hermeneutics is a more widely defined discipline of interpretation theory. Hermeneutics includes the entire framework of the interpretative process, encompassing all forms of communication: written, verbal and nonverbal. Exegesis consists of interpretation principles that focus primarily on the written text.

F

Four noble truths ,आयर् सत्य -(Baudhika)

  • There is suffering (dukkha) in the world.
  • Suffering arises out of desire.
  • It is possible to end suffering
  • The way to end suffering is to adopt the eightfold path (ashtaangika marga)

G

  • Gaudapada – Proponent of Advaita Vedanta and well versed in Buddhism. His most celebrated work is the Kaarika (Gloss) on the Mandukya Upanishad
  • Gotra – A term applied to a clan, a group of families, or a lineage – exogamous and patrilineal – whose members trace their descent to a common ancestor, usually a Rishi of theVedic era. Atreya, Bharadvaja, Dhananjaya, Gautam, Haritasa, Kaushika, Kashyapa, Kaundinya, Kutsasa, Lomash, Mandvya, Mouna Bhargava, Mudgala Maudgalya, Moudgil, Modgil, Parashara, Sangar, Sankyanasa, Shandilya, Somnasser, Srivatsa, Upamanyu, Vadula, Vashishta, Vatsa, Veetahavya, Viswamitra, Yaska.
  • Gregorian Calendar Reform – When Julius Caesar took power in Rome, the Roman calendar had ceased to reflect the year accurately. The provision of adding an intercalary month to the year when needed had not been applied consistently, because it affected the length of terms of office. The Julian reform lengthened the months (except February, owing to its religious significance) and provided for an intercalary day to be added every four years to February, creating a leap year. This produced a noticeably more accurate calendar, but it was based on the calculation of a year as 365 days and 6 hours (365.25 d). In fact, the year is 11 minutes and 14 seconds less than that. This had the effect of adding three-quarters of an hour to a year, and the effect accumulated. By the sixteenth century, the vernal equinox fell on March 10.
  • Pope Gregory XIII –  Portrait by Lavinia Fontana Pope Gregory XIII dedicated his papacy to implementing the recommendations of the Council of Trent. By the time he reformed the Julian calendar in 1582 (using the observations of Christopher Clavius and Johannes Kepler), it had drifted 10 days off course. To this day, most of the world uses his Gregorian calendar. Under Pope Gregory XIII the leap rule was altered: century years, which are divisible by four, would not be leap years unless they are also divisible by 400. This makes the mean year 365.2425 days (365 d, 5 h, 49 min, 12 s) long. While this does not synchronize the years entirely, it would require 35 centuries to accumulate a day. This new calendar was synchronized with the traditional seasons again and was not applied to dates in the past, which caused a leap of at least ten days from the final day the Julian calendar was in  effect. Thus the day after October 4 1582 was named October 15, 1582 and the 11 days in between are completely missing. This reform slowly spread through the nations that used the Julian calendar, although the Russian church year still uses the Julian calendar. The times varied so widely that some countries had to drop more than ten days: Great Britain, for instance, dropped eleven because the new Gregrpian calendar was adopted only in . Reformers cite several problems with the Gregorian calendar:
    • It is not perpetual. Each year starts on a different day of the week and calendars expire every year.
    • It is difficult to determine the weekday of any given day of the year or month.
    • Months are not equal in length nor regularly distributed across the year, requiring mnemonics (e.g. “Thirty days hath September…”) to remember which month is 28, 29, 30 or 31 days long.
    • The year’s four quarters (of three full months each) are not equal. Business quarters that are equal would make accounting easier.
    • Its epoch (origin) is not religiously neutral. The same applies to month and weekday names in many languages.
    • Each month has no connection with the lunar phases.
Mathomathis - Glossary 101
Mathomathis – Glossary 101

It is impossible to solve all these issues in just one calendar. Most plans evolve around the solar year of little more than 365 days. This number does not divide well by seven or twelve, which are the traditional numbers of days per week and months per year respectively. The nearby numbers 360, 364 and 366 are divisible in better ways. There are also lunar centric proposals.

  • Grihastya – The second stage of the varna ashrama system,namely that of a householder or married man or woman.
  • Gunas – There are 3 Gunas , Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas and these three Gunas occur in each and every individual in varying degrees. The relative proportion of each in the total determines the essential nature of the individual. It follows that at any given time a individual, may exhibit different modes of behavior as his personality matures and develops. The son of a Brahmana may choose not to follow the priestly vocation and may elect to go into law. As a general rule of thumb one elects to be in a profession which utilizes his Gunas fully. For example Brahmanas tend to cluster around intellectual pursuits (teaching, legal, corporate management, administration etc. In the past the choice of professions available to Brahmanas were limited to priestly duties and the services he could render as a Minister to the Maharaja including mundane tasks such as accounting and cooking. In recent years substantial numbers of Brahmanas faced with increasing discrimination from their own government have elected to go into Business, so that his varna is that of a Vaisya, unless he maintains his competency and knowledge of the Vedic scripture and adheres to the injunctions of a Brahmana. Most Indian philosophers accept the view of the Samkhya philosophy when it refers to the definition of the Gunas and their relationship to Prakriti and Purusha.
  • Guna varna Vyavastha – The Varna system, namely Guna Varna Vyavastha, that produced the Varnashrama Dharma was conscious of the fact that this was the world’s early attempt at a meritocracy. That the system was eminently successful in its own way , I have no doubt because the resulting civilization flourished for well over 5 millennia, until its very foundations were attacked by barbarians from both within and without; by barbarians, whose notion of entertainment was to build a pyramid of skulls, in order to terrorize the local population to capitulate. The current system in place after the colonial power was done reinventing and reshaping it to its own specifications, and which goes by the name Caste, is so utterly different in all significant ways, that we can safely say it has little to do with the Hindu faith or Hindu traditions such as the Guna Varna Vyavastha. The vedic division of people into 4 Varnas (Brahmana, Rajanya, Vaisya and Shudra) is by Guna and Guna only and is known as the Guna Varna Vyavastha. The Asrama system refers to the four stages of one’s life, namely Brahmacharya (life of an unmarried student), Grihasthya (life of a householder), Vanaprasthaya (life of a retired householder), sannyasa (life of a monk)

H

  • Hinduism – Also known as Sanaatana Dharma, the eternal faith; there are roughly 900 million Hindus in the world as of 2008 

I

  • Indo-Aryan languages – A family of languages spoken over a large area of the Eurasian land mass;see Indo-European Languages
  • Indo-European languages – A family of languages spoken over a vast geographical area from India to most parts of Europe.
  • Indo-Iranian languages – the Indo Iranian branch of the Indo Europrean language family, spoken in central asia, iran and the Indian subcontinent
  • Indology – Indology is a name given by Indologists to the academic study of the history, languages, and cultures of the Indian subcontinent. Strictly speaking it encompasses the study of the languages, scripts of all of Asia that was influenced by Indic culture It may be surprising to learn that the first pioneer in Indology was the 12th Century Pope, Honorius IV. The Holy Father encouraged the learning of oriental languages in order to preach Christianity amongst the pagans. Soon after this in 1312, the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican decided that-“The Holy Church should have an abundant number of Catholics well versed in the languages, especially in those of the infidels, so as to be able to instruct them in the sacred doctrine.” The result of this was the creation of the chairs of Hebrew, Arabic and Chaldean at the Universities of Bologna, Oxford, Paris and Salamanca. A century later in 1434, the General Council of Basel returned to this theme and decreed that –“All Bishops must sometimes each year send men well-grounded in the divine word to those parts where Jews and other infidels live, to preach and explain the truth of the Catholic faith in such a way that the infidels who hear them may come to recognize their errors.

Let them compel them to hear their preaching.” 1. Centuries later in 1870, during the First Vatican Council, Hinduism was condemned in the “five anathemas against pantheism” according to the Jesuit priest John Hardon in the Church-authorized book, The Catholic Catechism. However, interests in Indology only took shape and concrete direction after the British came to India, with the advent of the discovery of Sanskrit by Sir William Jones in the 1770’s. Other names for Indology are Indic studies or Indian studies or South Asian studies. Political motivations have been always dominant in the pursuit of Indological studies right from the outset since the time of Sir William Jones, when he discovered the existence of Sanskrit. In fact the British presence in India was steadily increasing long before the Battle of Plassey in 1757 CE, but so great was the insularity of the colonial overlord that it took almost almost three hundred years for a scholar like Sir William to show up in India after Vasco da Gama landed of the cost of Goa in 1492 CE, and notice the similarities between Sanskrit and the european languages Indus script – While several decipherments have been proposed including the recent work by Rajaram and Jha, it is possible the problem may never achieve a solution satisfactory to both the Indics and the Western indologists. Most Indics believe that this was the forerunner of the Brahmi script. The brahmi script is the progenitor of almost all of the languages and scripts of India and most of the rest of South East Asia .The BrahmI script has all of the phonetic characteristics to be found in all the successor scripts of Asia. To suggest a semitic origin for a Brahmi script is highly problematical since semitic scripts (including all the Roman scripts of Europe) do not have the characteristic Vowel strokes that Brahmi scripts have whenever a vowel is appended to a consonant such as in आचायर् (the long ‘a’ vowel is represented by a vertical stroke). The name Brahmi suggests that the script was developed along the banks of the Sarasvati river, since Brahmi is synonymous with Sarasvati Rajaram, N . S., and N Jha, “The deciphered Indus script” .Aditya Prakashan, Delhi , 2005, ISBN 8177420151

Indus Valley Civilization or Harappan Civilization – AKA Sarasvati Sindhu Civilization (SSC), the civilization that endured for several millennia in the Sarasvati and Sindhu (Indus) river valleys the people who inhabited these valleys are also referred to as the Vedic Harappans by Bhagwan Singh. Most of the recent excavations indicate a heavy preponderance of settlements, about 400 in number on the banks of the dried up Sarasvatii river. Mohenjo Daro and Harappa represent a late phase of the civilization. European Indologists go to extraordinary lengths to make a distinction between the Vedic civilization and the SSC despite the fact they are located spatially and temporally in the same place and time. That they got away with this subterfuge for such a long time (it is still the official version of History in Indian text books) is a tribute to the farsightedness and tenacity of successive British administrators and scholars who always put British national interest before every other criterion including the truth. Their reasons for engaging in such intellectual dishonesty are chronicled in The South Asia File

  • Iranian peoples – The ancient Iranians or Avestans, the people who composed the Avesta, have much in common with the Vedics. In fact it is believed by some that the Iranians are descended from the Druhyus. The language of the Avesta is easily discernible to those familiar with Sanskrit and the names of Persian Kings (the original names not the Greek version we learned in English history books ) For instance the Sanskrit or Iranian version of Darius is Druhyu. It is surmised that a branch of the Bhrigu Rishi family, eventually composed the Avesta and that Dhritarashtra (Zoroaster) the founder of the Parsee religion, was a Bhrigu