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Indic Cosmology | Glossary | 102 (Conclusion)

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, previous article can be found @Indic Cosmology | Glossary | 101


  • Jnana Yoga ज्नान – The path of knowledge Jñāna (also spelled “Gyāna”; Devanagari घ्यान) is the Sanskrit term for knowledge. In Hinduism it means true knowledge, PAra Vidya, the knowledge that one’s self atman is Ultimate Reality Brahman. In Buddhism, it refers to pure awareness that is free of conceptual encumbrances, and is contrasted with Vijnana, which is a moment of ‘divided knowing’. Jnana yoga is one path (marga) towards moksha (liberation), while Yoga offers different paths for different temperaments such as Bhakti and Karma Yoga.
  • Jivanmukta – Adi Sankara gives the true definition of a Jivanmukta – The great souls he says , calm and tranquil, live, regenerating the world like the spring; and themselves having crossed the ocean of embodied existence, and death, help those who struggle, for the same end, without the least trace of personal motives or advantage
  • Jyotisha – One of the 6 Vedangas, also known as the science of light .It includes the study of the motion of Celestial Objects or Astronomy and the effects of the forces arising from these bodies and their effects on the human mind. It is the hypothesis of Vedic Astrology that such effects can be predicted by studying the relative location of the planets and the stars . Jyotisha is often discussed as the instructional element of the Rig Veda, and as such is a Vedangas, or “body part” of the Vedas. Jyotisha is called the Eye of the Veda, for its believed ability to view both  henomenal reality and wisdom itself. Part of a larger Vedic curriculum including mathematics, architecture, medical and military applications. The author of this Vedanga is purported to be one Lagadha


  • Kalidasa – The poet laureate of ancient India. The author of the most widely known text and play Shakuntala Kalpasutras – constitutes part of the Vedanga consists of Grhyasutras, Dharmasutras, Sulvasutras, Srautasutras.
  • Kama, काम – “Pleasure,desire,wish, love; enjoyment.” Earthly love, aesthetic and cultural fulfillment, pleasures of the world (often used in the sense of sexual desire, but not necessarily so), the joys of family, intellectual satisfaction. Enjoyment of happiness, security, creativity, usefulness and inspiration. An essential ingredient for the emotional health of an individual and recognized as such by the ancient Vedics. Kama is one of the four Purusharthas or goals of life, the others being dharma , artha and moksha.
  • Kaarika – Gloss or explanatory text of an original text, such as the Kaarika of the Mandukya Upanishad by Gaudapada Karma Yoga – Karma yoga, or the “discipline of action” is based on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, a holy scripture of Hinduism. One of the four pillars of yoga, Karma yoga focuses on the adherence to duty (dharma) while remaining detached from the reward. It states that one can attain Moksha (salvation) by doing ones duties in an unselfish manner. A great portion of the Bhagavad Gita is engaged in discussing the efficacy of various Yogas towards the goal of self realization or Moksha. Initially Arjuna is bewildered, when Bhagavan says that the Yoga of Knowledge is superior to the Yoga of action , even though desireless it may be. Why then do you ask me to fight asks an exasperated Arjuna of his friend and mentor, if such be the case. The answer by Bhagavan and elucidated by Adi Sankara in his Bhashya is one of the major insights of this lovely Celestial song. As explained by Adi Sankara, Karma Yoga consists of 4 principles
    • Giving up an egoistic attitude (BG 18-46),2.
    • Giving up the hankering for the fruits or results of one’s action (BG 2-39).
    • Maintaining equanimity in the face of desirable andhappy circumstances as well as undesirable and not so pleasant situations (BG 2-48)
    • Surrendering of all actions as an offering to the Lord Ishwara) wholeheartedly (BG 3-33). It is possible to transcend. Karma Yoga by the Yoga of Knowledge, which is in fact the superior approach, but such an alternative is not for every individual , and is best suited for those who have realized Brahman
  • Khagola – Celestial sphere or armillary sphere, a term used for both the geometrical celestial sphere as well as the astronomical instrument called the armillary sphere.
  • Kshatriya – The varna identified in the classical Indic tradition as those entitled to exercise military power and perform sacrifices, the dominant Guna in the Kshatriya varna is one of Rajas, and a passion for action. It is your Dharma to engage in action protect the aged and infirm and the children and women in your protection. It is better to follow ones own Dharma (dictated by ones Gunas) admonished Sri Krishna to Arjuna than to try something, however beguiling, which is not so suited
  • Kurgan – A region in Europe from where the putative emigration of the mythical Aryan race took place


  • Madhavacharya – Celebrated religious teacher and scholar of the 14th century, one of the main teachers of the Dvaita-Vedanta school of pronounced dualism. It teaches the existence or permanent reality of two fundamental principles in universal nature: spirit and matter, or divinity and the universe. This dualism is in direct contrast with the unity doctrine taught in the Advaita Vedanta or nondualistic system of Sankaracharya.
  • Mahavrata – winter solstice
  • Mahaavaakya, महावाक्य – The 4 expressions that embody Vedanta, the essence of attaining Jivanmukta. The Mahaavaakyas are the four “Great Sayings” of the Upanishads, foundational religious texts of Hinduism. These four sayings encapsulate the central Truth of Hinduism. The Mahaavaakya are:
    •  Prajnaanam Brahman “Conscious is Brahman” (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3).
    •  Ayam Atma Brahman “This Self (Atman) is Brahman” (Mandukya Upanishad 1.2)
    • Tat Tvam Asi – “That Thou art ” (Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7)
    •  Aham Brahmasmi – “I am Brahman” (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10)
  • All four of these, in one way or another, indicate the unity of the individual human being with Brahman. Brahman is Absolute Reality, Cosmic Consciousness, the fundamental Primordial essence from which all divinities and all worlds arise and the Dharma asserts that each human being, in her or his innermost self, is this ultimate transcendent God-Reality. It is through practices like yoga, and meditation that the individual can realize her or his unity with the Divine and escape bonds of this world. The most forthright statement of the above proposition is to be found in texts propounding Advaita Vedanta. The Bhagavad Gita is one of the texts that enumerate the various paths one may take to attain Jivanmukta
  • Mananam – Part of the process of gathering of knowledge using techniques such as sravanam,mananam and nididhyasanam. Mananam means to ponder over the material that one has read or heard
  • Metonic cycle (see also Adhikamaasa) – A cycle whereby every three years a lunar month is added to bring the lunar cycle in synchronization with the solar cycle. It turns out that it takes nineteen years to bring the two cycles in synchronization, so that a new moon occurs exactly on the same solar day that it did 19 years ago. When combined with the 4 year cycle used in the Julian calendar, yields a total cyclic time of 7*4*19 = 532 years, This is the time in years, that has to elapse in order for the same weekday to occur on the same date, for every month of th eyear. It is attributed to Meton, the Greek astronomer and now is credited to Babylonian astronomers, in the 5th century BCE, but should properly be credited to Yajnavalkya in the Satapatha Brahmana, who first postulated the 95 year old synchronization cycle. The higher number was necessitated by the greater accuracy of the observations and the greater accuracy that the Ancient Indics demanded in the final result
  • Mitanni – when the Hittite and the Mitanni ( 2 neighboring kingdoms in Anatolia, present day Turkey signed a treaty they invoked the blessings of their Gods . The invocation is addressed to the Nasatyas, Mitra and Varuna, Hindu Vedic deities from a distant past
  • Moksha -“Liberation.” Is synonymous with Freedom from rebirth through the ultimate attainment, realization of the Self God, PArasiva. The spiritual attainments and superconscious joys, attending renunciation and yoga leading to Self Realization. Moksha comes through the fulfillment of dharma, artha and kAma (known in Tamil as aram, porul and inbam, and explained by Tiruvalluvar in Tirukural) in the current or past lives, so that one is no longer attached to worldly joys or sorrows. It is the supreme goal of life, called paramartha. This is a distinction between the Dharmic traditions originating in the Indian subcontinent from the very earliest time periods in history and other religious belief systems. The propensity to cater to the higher needs (in the Maslow hierarchy) from the very inception of the tradition is a uniquely Indic development. Merely to emphasize this as a spiritual characteristic is to mnimize the pragmatic and psychological needs of the human species . Paying special attention to the fulfillment of these needs is a distinctive characteristic of Indic dharma.
  • Mumukshutwa – An intense thirst for Brahmavidya or higher knowledge (Paara Vidya)


  • Nakshatras – The concept of positing 27 Nakshatras in the sidereal zodiac goes back to antiquity at least in India. The ancients divided the sky in 27 or 28 lunar mansions or Nakshatras, characterized by asterisms (apparent groups of stars), one for each day that the Moon follows its track among the stars.
  • Naksatra-vidya – The astronomical aspect of Jyotisha (which includes Astrology
  • Nididhyasanam – the final step of the 3 step process of sravanam, mananam, nididhyasanam, involves deep meditation and requires mumukshutwa and titiksha
  • Nirukta – This treatise was authored by Yaska and deals with Etymology , a branch of Linguistics, the study of the roots of all words, made simpler by the intentional highlighting of Dhaatu in sanskrit. Yaska is one of the bright galaxy among the plethora of broad spectrum philosophers in the ancient Vedic era, who counted numerous skills in their repertoire linguistics being just one of their many fields of expertise
  • Nighantu – Yaska’s Vedic Glossary,Nirukta is a commentary on the Nighantu
  • Nirvana – Blown out or extinguished as in the case of a lamp. Nirvana is generally used to refer to a material life that has been extinguished, i.e. for one who has achieved freedom from rebirth. The term Nirvana is commonly used in Buddhism as the final stage a practitioner strives for . The word does not mean heaven and is analogous to Moksha in the Sanaatana dharma
  • Nischitaaartham  – Engagement ceremony prior to a wedding. Literally means ‘firming up’ of the relationship and is usually commemorated with a Puja and an exchange of rings, gifts and invitations to the wedding ceremony. Nyc`the´me`ron n. 1. The natural day and night, or space of twenty-four hours. Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam C


  • Pancha – Sanskrit term for five e.g. Panchabana,panchatantra
  • Parampara,परंपरा – Tradition,as in likhita Parampara (written tradition), srauta Parampara (oral tradition), guru Parampara, (the guru-disciple tradition)
  • Place Value System,स्थान – The most common Sanskrit word for this is sthana which literally means place, and refers to the decimal system of numbers where the value of a number is determined by its location with respect to other numbers to the right , e.g. 3 followed by a 0 , means the number is thirty Perigee – the point in the orbit of an object (as a satellite) orbiting the earth that is nearest to the center of the earth ; also : the point nearest a planet or a satellite (as the moon) reached by an object orbiting it — compare apogee
  • Poornima – Full moon
  • Pope Gregory XIII (Ugo Bioncompagni,1502 – 1585) – Sent missionaries to India ( and China) mainly to learn from the Namputhiris of Kerala. He suppressed knowledge that did not agree with thre church dogma and also issued a proclamation that no knowledge,, regardless of its source, be attributed to other than Catholics. In other words he flouted the concept of intellectual property with impunity. The Gregorian Calendar was fixed shortly thereafter (the return of the Jesuits from Malabar.
  • Purana – Literally means the ancients. Traditional sanskrit texts dealing with diverse topics such as the creation of the world ,legends, genealogy of sovereigns, In the Indic context, puranas have special significance both from a temporal stand point and from a historical perspective
  • Purusha, Paurusheya, Apaurusheya – In Hinduism, Purusha (“Cosmic Man”) is the “self” which pervades the universe. The Vedic divinities are considered to be the human mind’s interpretation of the many facets of Purusha. According to the Rigvedic Purusha sukta, Purusha was dismembered by the devas — his mind is the moon, his eyes are the sun, and his breath is the wind.In Samkhya, a school of Hindu philosophy, Purusha is pure consciousness. It is thought to be our true identity, to be contrasted with Prakrti, or the material world, which contains all of our organs, senses, and intellectual faculties. A more restrcted meaning of purusha is youth or human (paurusheya).Hinduism in that sense is an Apaurusheya belief system as opposed to the revealed or prophetic faiths such as Judaism,Christianity or Islam which would therefore come under the category of paurusheya religions
  • PurushArtha – PurushArtha or ManushyArtheha is the pursuit of the four kinds of human aspirations, which are dharma, artha, kAma and moksha. The four pursuits in which humans may legitimately engage, also called chaturvarga, “four-fold good” , is a basic principle of Hindu ethics.
  • Purvapaska – New moon to full moon period
  • PramAnam, Epistemology पमार्णम -the process of gaining knowledge, sometimes used to express the goal as well as the means to attain knowledge, as in Apaurusheya PramAnam
  • PrAsthanatrAyi – Prasthanatrayi, literally, three points of departure, (IAST Prasthānatrayī) refers to the three canonical texts of Hindu philosophy, especially the Vedanta schools. It consists of: the anishads, known as Upadesha prasthana (injunctive texts),the Brahma Sutras, known as Nyaya prasthana (logical text),the Bhagavad Gita, known as Sadhana prasthana (practical text)
  • Pratyaksha  – Prathyaksha pramaana: This is called direct proof, as it is perceived by the sense organs. These organs are only instruments. The mind enters them and helps them to function. There are some limitations on the senses like disease and imperfection, that make proof obtained by this method to be infirm. For example, a normal eye can see all colors, a jaundiced eye sees everything as yellow. Though the laddu is sweet, the tongue of a malaria patient classifies it as bitter. Here, there are two points of view. From the point of view of the matter it is sweet. But from the point of view of the senses it is bitter. It can be concluded, therefore, direct proof is not complete evidence for real justice.
  • Precession of the Equinoxes (see also Ayanachalana)see also equinox – The earth revolves around the Sun once in 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes and 46 seconds. Considered from the earth, the Sun appears to complete one round of the ecliptic during this period. This is called a tropical year .In the span of a tropical year, the earth regains its original angular position with the Sun. It is also called the year of seasons since on this Earth-Sun cycle depends the occurrence, and timing, of seasons. If we consider the revolution of the Sun around the earth from one vernal equinox (around 21st March, when the day and night all over the globe are equal) to the next vernal equinox, it takes one tropical year to do so. However, if at the end of a tropical year from one vernal equinox to the next, we consider the position of the earth with reference to a fixed star of the zodiac, the earth appears to lie some 50.26 seconds of celestial longitude to the west of its original position. In order for the earth to attain the same position with respect to a fixed star after one revolution, it takes a time span of 365 days 6 hours 9 minutes and some 9.5 seconds. This duration of time is called a sidereal year. The sidereal year is just over 20 minutes longer than the tropical year. Each year, the Vernal equinox will fall short by 50.26 seconds along the zodiac reckoned along the fixed stars. This continuous receding of the Vernal equinox along the zodiac is called the Precession of the equinoxes.
  • Proto-Indo-European – PIE for short is a constructed language for which there is no existence theorem . It is based on unproven hypothesis
  • Proto Dravidian – the alleged hypothetical ancestor language to the modern languages of Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Tulu and Malayalam. Again there is no proof that a single human ever spoke the language. There is no reference to such a language in any of the vast literary works of India south or north.


  • Rajas – Raajasik individuals are filled with a desire and passion to undertake new projects and goad others into action. Many leaders exhibit a Raajasik temperament
  • Raja Yoga – Raja Yoga, as outlined by Patanjali, describes eight “limbs” of spiritual practices, half of which might be classified as meditation. Underlying them is the assumption that a yogi should still the fluctuations of his or her mind: Yoga cittavrrti nirodha.
  • Ramayana – A Hindu epic in which Rama, avatar of Vishnu vanquishes Ravana and is reunited with his spouse Seetha
  • Rig Veda – The earliest and the most prominent of the Vedas, the compositions of the Ancient Indics who we will refer to also as the Vedics,held to be sacred and termed Sruti by many Hindus, the chief characteristic was their oral tradition
  • Roma_people – The name that the Gypsies are known by in Europe, reflecting their large numbers in Romania


  • Sampradaya, सां -In Hinduism, a Sampradaya is a tradition encompassing a common philosophy but embracing many different schools, groups, or guru lineages (called parampara). By becoming initiated (diksha) into a parampara one automatically belongs to its proper sampradaya.
  • Sankaracharya, संर्क राचाय  – The great proponent of Advaita Vedanta. Bhagavatpada Acharya Sankara was a veritable institution masquerading as an individual There is controversy over the date of his birth, ranging from 509 BCE to 788 CE
  • Saankhya, सां -Saamkhya is considered to be the oldest among the philosophical systems ख्य dating back to about 7c BC. Kapila, the author of ‘Saamkhya Sutra”, is considered to be the originator of this system. The “Saamkhya Karika” of Ishwarakrishna is the earliest available text on Saamkhya dating to about 3c AD. Saamkhya’s name is derived from root word Saamkhya (enumeration) and is reflective than authoritative. Well-known commentaries are Gaudapada’s bhasya, Vacaspati Misra’s Tattwa-kaumudi, Vijnanabhiksu’s Saamkhya-pravacanbhasya, and Mathara’s Matharavrtti. The Saamkhya system proposes the theory of evolution (prakriti-purusha) that is accepted by all other systems. The purusha (soul) of this system is unchanging and is a witness to the changes of prakriti. Hence the Saamkhya system is based on dualism wherein nature (prakriti) and conscious spirit (purusha) are separate entities not derived from one another. There can be many purushas since one man can attain enlightenment while the rest do not, whereas prakriti is one. It is identified with pure objectivity, phenomenal reality, which is non-conscious. Prakriti possess three fundamental natures;
    • The pure and fine Sattva
    • The active Rajas and
    • The coarse and heavy Tamas. Sattva accounts for thought and intelligibility, experienced psychologically as pleasure, thinking, clarity, understanding and detachment. Rajas accounts for motion, energy and activity and it is experienced psychologically as suffering, craving and attachment. Tamas accounts for restraint and inertia. It is experienced psychologically as delusion, depression and dullness.
  • The conscious Purusha excites the unconscious Prakriti and in this process upsets the equilibrium of the various gunas. According to Saamkhya there are twenty-five tatvas which arise due to the union of purusha and prakriti. Their union is often described as the ride of a lame man with perfect sight (purusha) on the shoulders of a blind person of sure foot (prakriti). Their process of evolution is as given below and it accounts for the different tatvas. In Saamkhya creation is the development of the different effects from mulaprakriti and destruction their dissolution into mulaprakriti. Saamkhya is essentially atheistic because it believes that the existence of god cannot be proved. Prakriti, the cause of evolution of world, does not evolve for itself but for Purusha the ultimate consciousness. The self is immortal but due to ignorance (avidya) it confuses itself with the body, mind and senses. If avidya is replaced by vidya the self is free from suffering and this state of liberation is called kaivalya. Yoga is the practical side of Saamkhya.
  • Sanskrit, Samskrtam सं -Sanskrit (संsaṃskṛtam).The adjective saṃskṛta स्कतर्मस्कतर्म means “refined, consecrated, sanctified”. The language referred to as saṃskṛtā vāk “the refined language” has by definition always been a ‘high’ language, used for religious and scientific discourse and contrasted with the languages spoken by the people.
  • Saptarishi, िसिरश -The Ursa Major constellllation. The Saptarishi play a major role in Hindu astronomy A number of yugas In Hindu philosophy, the cycle of creation is divided into four Yugas (ages.): Satya Yuga or Krita Yuga Treta Yuga Dwapara Yuga Kali Yuga make a manvantara. Each manvantara has a set of seven rishis who help in preserving order and propagating knowledge in that manavantra.
    • Bharadwaja is one of the seven rishis of the Vaivasvata Manavantra. The other six rishis of the Vaivasvata manavantra are Atri an Hinduism, Atri is a legendary bard and scholar, and a son of Brahma. Jamadagni, is the father of Parashurama, one of the avatars of Vishnu.
    • King Kaartaveerya Arjuna and his army visited Jamadagni, who fed his guest and the whole army with his divine cow; the king demanded the cow and Jamadagni refused because he needed the cow for his religious ceremonies. King Kaartaveerya Arjuna sent his soldiers to take the cow and Parashurama killed the entire army and the king with his axe (given to him by Shiva). In return, the princes beheaded Jamadagni. In revenge, Parashurama destroyes large numbers of the Kshatriyas.
    • Brahmarishi Viswamitra is one of the seven venerated sages of Hindu mythology. He is a kshatriya (Warrior caste) by birth, but has transcended into the brahmin priestly caste with his tough penance. Vasishta, in Hindu mythology was chief of the seven venerated sages (or Saptharishi) and the Rajaguru of the Solar Dynasty. He was famous for subduing the armies of Viswamitra. He had in his possession the divine cow Nandini who could grant anything to her owner.
    • Gauthama and Kashyapa: Kashyapa (“tortoise”) is an ancient god (one of the rishis), father of the devas, asuras, nagas and all of humanity. He is married to Aditi, with whom he is the father of Agni and the Adityas. He received the spoils of Parasuma’s conquest of King Kaartaveerya Arjuna.
  • Sapta Saindhava , स सै न्घव – Land of the seven rivers has been generally identified as Punjab by the modern scholars. Rulers of the western lands, the Druhyus and the Anus, preserved the Rig Veda and helped the Puru Bharats in building a Dhaarmic empire
    • Sattva,सत्व – Individuals who are predominantly Sattvic are attached to happiness and to knowledge Satya, Shuddhi -truthfulness in thought and speech Shaastra or ShAstra or sastra शा -ShAstra is a Sanskrit word used to denote education/knowledge in a general sense. The word is generally used as a suffix in the context of technical or specialised knowledge in a defined area of practice. For example, Astra shastra means, knowledge about “Handling of weapons”, Astra means weapons, and Shastra is their knowledge.Extending this meaning, the shastra is commonly used to mean a treatise or text written in explanation of some idea, especially in matters involving religion. In Buddhism, a shastra is often a commentary written at a later date to explain an earlier scripture or sutra.In the Indonesian language, ‘sastra’ is a word meaning ‘literature’.
  • Shatapatha Brahman (Brahmana of one-hundred paths) – Is one of the prose texts describing the Vedic ritual. It belongs to the vājasaneyi madhyandina shakha of the White Yajurveda. It survives in two recensions, Madhyandina and Kanva, with the former having the eponymous 100 brahmanas in 14 books, and the latter 104 brahmanas in 17 books. Linguistically, it belongs to the Brahmana period of Vedic Sanskrit, dated by Western Indologists to the first half of the 1st millennium BC.
    • Hindu scholars have dated it to around 1800 BC, based on the reference in it of migration from the Sarasvati river area to east India, because the river is said to have dried up around 1900 BC. The 14 books of the Madhyandina recension can be divided into two major parts.
    • The first 9 books have close textual commentaries, often line by line, of the first 18 books, of the corresponding Samhita of the Yajurveda. The following 5 books cover supplementary and ritualistically newer material, besides including the celebrated Brihataaranyaka Upanishad as most of the 14th and last book.
    • The celebrated author of the Shatapatha brahmana is reputed to be Yajnyavalkya himself. He is also reputed to have made the observation that the the 95 year synchronization cycle provides an accurate measure of the repeatability of lunar phenomena. The Shatapatha Brahmana was translated into English by Prof. Julius Eggeling, in the late 19th century, in 5 volumes published as part of the Sacred Books of the East series.
  • Shakti – The female energy principle, in the Indic tradition ,the primordial icon of strength and energy is associated with the feminine gender
  • Shaanti – Peace of mind attained through the disciplines of Raja Yoga Shaucha – cleanliness
  • Sidereal Day – Nakshatra divas, a mean sidereal day is about 23h56m in length. Due to variations in the rotation rate of the Earth, however, the rate of an ideal sidereal clock deviates from any simple multiple of a Sidereal Month – Sidereal month The actual period of the Moon’s orbit as measured in a fixed frame of reference is known as a sidereal month, because it is the time it takes the Moon to return to the same position on the celestial sphere among the fixed stars (Latin: sidus): 27.321 661 days (27 d 7 h 43 min 11.5 s) or about 27 ⅓ days. This type of month has appeared among cultures in the Middle East, India, and China in the following way: they divided the sky in 27 or 28 lunar mansions, characterized by asterisms (apparent groups of stars), one for each day that the Moon follows its track among the stars.
  • Sidereal Time – During the course of one day, the earth has moved a short distance along its orbit around the sun, and so must rotate a small extra angular distance before the sun reaches its highest point. The stars, however, are so far away that the earth’s movement along its orbit makes a generally negligible difference to their apparent direction (see, however parallax), and so they return to their highest point in slightly less than 24 hours. A mean sidereal day is about 23h56m in length. Due to variations in the rotation rate of the Earth, however, the rate of an ideal sidereal clock deviates from any simple multiple of a civil clock.
  • Sidereal Year – In order for the earth to attain the same position with respect to a fixed star after one revolution, it takes a time span of 365 days 6 hours 9 minutes and some 9.5 seconds. This duration of time is called a sidereal year .The sidereal year is just over 20 minutes longer than the tropical year; this time difference is equivalent to 50.26 seconds of celestial longitude. Each year, the Vernal equinox will fall short by 50.26 seconds along the zodiac reckoned along the fixed stars. It Smrti,- that which is remembered, . There are a number of texts that are specifically classed as smrti and are mostly named after the name of the rshi expounded on the smrti such as Parashara smrti, Manu smrti and Yajnavalkyasmrti
  • Solar Day – Solar time is measured by the apparent diurnal motion of the sun, and local noon in solar time is defined as the moment when the sun is at its highest point in the sky (exactly due south in the northern hemisphere and due north in the southern hemisphere). The time taken for the sun to return to its highest point is exactly 24 hours, or a solar day.
  • Sramana tradition – A śramaṇa is one who performs acts of mortification or austerity. According to the definition, a being is himself responsible for his own deeds. Salvation, therefore, can be achieved by anybody irrespective of caste, creed, color or culture. The cycle of rebirth to which every individual is subject is viewed as the cause and substratum of misery. The goal of every person is to evolve a way to escape from the cycle of rebirth, namely by discounting ritual as a means of an emancipation and establishing from the misery of Saṃsāra, through pious religious activities.. The term has been used in the past as a synonym for the Baudhik tradition
  • Srautasutras – Srauta is the adjectival form of Sruti (that which is heard)and is one of the 4 constituent sutras in the Kalpasutra (see also Sulvasutra)
  • Sravanam,शवर्णम – Comes from the same root as shruti. Essentially means learning by listening. Sravanam, mananam, nididhyasanam is the 3 step process towards Brahma vidya and self realization. In reality it is the approach generally adopted to the study of most subjects especially those with complex concepts
  • Sruti – That which is heard as opposed to that which is remembered (smrti). The smrti were composed by famous rishis and we have Sulvasutras – The Sulvasutras (or Sulbasutras) or aphorisms of the cord ल्वसतर् (measurements were made using a string stretched between 2 pegs). The resulting mathematical manipulations needed to solve the problems of finding areas and volumes of reasonably complex shapes formed the subject matter of the Sulvasutras.
    • The Sulvasutras were part of the KalpaSutra appendices to the Veda. KalpaSutra consisted of Grhyasutras, Srautasutras, Dharmasuturas and Sulvasutras.
      • The KalpaSutras in turn are part of the Vedanga (limbs of the Veda) comprising of Chandas (meter), Nirukta(etymology), Vyakarana Grammar, Jyotisha (Astronomy and astrology) and Kalpasutras.0ne set of such Sutras are the Kalpa Sutras which consisted of Srauta Sutras, Dharma Sutras, Grihya Sutras and Sulva Sutras.
      • The Srauta Sutras give elaborate rules for the performance of Vedic sacrifices; the Grihya Sutras deal with domestic religious ceremonies; the Dharmasutras contain the rudiments of Hindu Law and the Sulva Sutras form the earliest source of Hindu Mathematics
  • Suryaprajnapati – A Jaina astronomical treatise ,which uses a 5 year lunisolar cycle. One of the great contributions of the Jainas to Astronomy and Mathematics in Ancient India. The Jaina tradition exhibited a very superior knowledge of the exact sciences when compared to similar civilizations of that period.
  • Surya-Siddhanta (Sanskrit) (SS) A celebrated astronomical and cosmogonical work of ancient India of enormous antiquity. This work shows marvelous mathematical skill and comes very close to the modern time periods of astronomy that the most skilled mathematicians and astronomers have determined. It also deals with yugas in their various lengths, divisions of time itself into infinitesimal quantities, and general astronomical subjects, including not only the time periods of the sun, moon, and planets, but also eclipses, seasons of the year, etc.
    • The Surya-Siddhanta states that it was dictated more than two million years ago, towards the end of the krita yuga (golden age) by the sun himself, through a projected solar representative, to the great sage Asuramaya who wrote down the revelation. It was known to Aryabhata and Varahamihira


  • Tamas – Tamas is inertia born of ignorance. It enshrouds the discrimination of man and inclines him to indolence, sleep and renders him inert. By nature it is destructive
  • Terminus post quem : Terminus post quem and the related terminus ante quem are terms used to give an approximate date for a text. Terminus post quem is used to indicate the earliest point in time when the text may have been written, while Terminus ante quem signifies the latest date at which a text may have been written. Terminus ante quem refers to the date before which an artifact or feature must have been deposited. Used with Terminus post quem (“limit after which”), similarly, terminus ad quem (“limit to which”) may also refer to the latest possible date of a non punctual event (period, era, etc.), while terminus a quo (“limit from which”) may refer to the earliest such date. For example an archaeological find of a burial may contain coins dating to 1588, 1595 and others less securely dated to 1590-1625. The terminus post quem would be the latest date established with certainty, the coin that may have only reached circulation in 1595. The burial can only be shown to be 1595 or later. A secure dating of another coin to a later date would shift the terminus post quem. An archaeological example of a terminus ante quem would be deposits formed before or beneath a historically dateable event, such as a building foundation partly demolished to make way for the city wall known to be built in 650. It may have been demolished in 650, 649 or an unspecified time before – all that can be said from the evidence is that it happened before that event. Either term is also found followed by Latin non not. An example is in the supposed language dating method known as linguistic palaeontology. This holds (very controversially) that if the ancestor language of a family can be shown to have had a term for an invention such as the plough, then this sets a terminus ante quem non, a time-depth before which that ancestor language could not have begun diverging into its descendant languages. This has been used to argue against the Anatolian hypothesis for Indo-European because the date it implies is too early in that it violates the terminus ante quem non.
  • Tithi/ Lunar Day – The area covered by the Moon in its transit away from the Sun, computed for the moment of its conjunction with Sun to its true longitude at the moment of the epoch. It is obtained by subtracting the Longitude of the Sun from the longitude of the Moon. A tithi is completed when the longitude of Moon gains exactly 12 degrees or its multiple on that of Sun and therefore there are 30 tithis in a lunar month. Is the root of the word atithi which means Guest in sanskritam (meaning one who may show up at any time or day but should be welcomed regardless
  • Titiksha (Sanskrit) – [from the verbal root tij to urge, incite to action, be active in endurance or patience].Patience, resignation, endurance; not mere passive resignation, but an active attitude of patience in supporting the events of life. Mystically, the fifth state of raja yoga — “one of supreme indifference; submission, if necessary, to what is called ‘pleasures and pains for all,’ but deriving neither pleasure nor pain from such submission — in short, the becoming physically, mentally, and morally indifferent and insensible to either pleasure or pain” (VS 93). The meaning however is not of a cold, heartless, impassive attitude towards the sufferings of others, but an active positive attitude, so far as one’s individual pleasures or pains are considered, but likewise involving an active attitude of compassion for the tribulations and sufferings of others. The same thought is involved in the title Diamond-heart, given to adepts: as hard and indifferent to one’s own sorrows as the diamond is hard and enduring, yet like the diamond reflecting in its facets as in mirrors the sufferings and sorrows of all around. Also personified as a goddess, the wife of Dharma (divine law) and daughter of Daksha.
  • Tocharia -A people who lived in the Tarim basin of current day China, and who spoke a Indo European language


  • Upanishads – Of the one hundred and eight extant Upanishads sixteen were recognized by Adi Sankara as authentic and authoritative. In his commentary on the Vedanta Aphorisms he included quotations from six. On the other ten he wrote elaborate commentaries. It is these ten which…have come to be regarded as the principal Upanishads: Isa, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Chandogya, Brhadaranyaka, Aitareya, and Taittiriya.”
  • Urheimat – A postulate that the Proto Indo European people (another postulate) originally lived in a common homeland or Urheimat at some distant past. While this is a very beguiling assumption, there is absolutely no evidence in Archaeology of such a Urheimat. It is purely a hypothetical construct only of academic interest. See the translations of the passages from the Rg quoted in the section on AIT, in the context of the discussion on the debate of the origin of the Vedic people.
  • Uttarayana – The Sun’s northward journey, as viewed from the earth) from winter solstice (shortest daylight hours) to summer solstice (the longest day in the calendar ). Usually celebrated throughout India as Makara Sankranti and Pongal. It i s interesting that this is celebrated as occurring in Makara when we know that the Winter solstice occurs within a day or so of December 22. The answer liews in the fact that , the precession of the equinoxes (and the solstices) has changed the date of the solstice from January 15 to December 22. This in fact tells us that the date when this festival was delineated was about 1600 years ago. Obviously, the winter solstice no longer occurs in Makara .


  • Vaisya – One who benefits humanity by his efforts and specialization in trade, commerce and agriculture. The commercial sector of society.
  • Varna asrama dharma – The system, namely Guna Varna Vyavastha, that produced the Varnashrama Dharma was conscious of the fact that this was the worlds early attempt at a meritocracy. That the sytem 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
  • Vedanga Jyotisha (VJ) – The earliest codified texts of ancient India, and consists of the Rig Jyotisha,( RJ) the Atharva Jyotisha( AJ ) and the Yajusa Jyotisha(YJ) . The RJ consists of 36 verses and the YJ consists of 44 verses and the authorship of these two is ascribed to Lagadha
  • Vedic civilization – the civilization of the people who composed the Vedas and the vast literature of cosmic proportions associated with the SanAtana Dharma
  • Vedics or the Vedic people – The people who composed the Vedas and their Universe of allies and adversaries
  • Vedic Saraswati River – The Saraswati river is mentioned in several verses in the Rg at least 50 times as a river flowing from the mountains to the sea. Satellite data has shown evidence of a dried up river bed. Some examples of these quotations are given in the AIT page. All the AIT and their progeny ignore this significant fact. It is as if the relevance of the reference to the Saraswati is of no significance at all an dif they do dewign to acknowledge the reference to the Sarasvati they claim it is small stream in Afghanistan that never reaches the sea. Reminds one of Oliver Goldsmiths Village Schoolmaster, ‘where even though vanquished he could argue still.
  • Vikshepa, kshepa – Celestial latitude , the angle between the celestial equator and the position of the star, measured in the plane of the great circle. 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.
  • Vishnu – Sustainer of the Universe, whose Avatars came down to earth from time to time to reestablish order in the universe.the Srimad Bhaagavatam is a chronicle of the avatars of Vishnu
  • Visuva – Spring equinox
  • Visuvant – Summer solstice
  • Vishuvat – Equator
  • Vivaaha – Marriage ceremony


  • Yogasastra, योगशा – The means to attain Moksha or Self Realization , a knowledge of Metaphysical aspects of the human consciousness
  • Yuezhi – The Chinese name for the Kushans who invaded India. The conventional date for this invasion is
  • Yuga,युग – An era of the world

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