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Saturday, 03 April 2010 15:05

Glossary

 

Commonly Used Terms

 

 

 

  • Bhajan (bha-jan) — the practice of listening to the Sound Current or Shabd
  • Bhavana — the practice of contemplating or viewing mentally oneself and everything else as Siva (God)
  • Dhyan — to “see”; attention; namely, to contemplate on the form of the Guru at the eye center during meditation in order to achieve concentration, which is the second aspect of spiritual practice in Surat Shabd Yoga, the others being simran and bhajan
  • Simran — “repetition”: the (usually silent) repetition of the holy names (mantra) one receives from the Guru upon initiation to focus attention at the eye center in order to withdraw attention from the body and outer world
  • Ra (alternately spelled ), Egyptian *ri:ʕu, is the ancient Egyptian sun god. By the Fifth Dynasty he had become a major deity in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the mid-day sun. The meaning of the name is uncertain, but it is thought that if not a word for 'sun' it may be a variant of or linked to words meaning 'creative'[citation needed].  (See the House of Ra glossary)

    The chief cult centre of Ra was Heliopolis (called Inun, "Place of Pillars", in Egyptian)[1], where he was identified with the local sun-god Atum. Through Atum, or as Atum-Ra he was also seen as the first being and the originator of the Ennead, consisting of Shu and TefnutGeb and NutOsirisSetIsis and Nephthys.

    In later Egyptian dynastic times, Ra was merged with the god Horus, as Re-Horakhty ("Ra, who is Horus of the Two Horizons"). He was believed to rule in all parts of the created world the sky, the earth, and the underworld.[2] He was associated with the falcon or hawk. When in the New Kingdom the god Amun rose to prominence he was fused with Ra as Amun-Ra.

    During the Amarna PeriodAkhenaten suppressed the cult of Ra in favour of another solar deity the Aton, the deified solar disc, but after the death of Akhenaten the cult of Ra was restored.

    The cult of the Mnevis bull, an embodiment of Ra, had its centre in Heliopolis and there was a formal burial ground for the sacrificed bulls north of the city.

    All forms of life were believed to have been created by Ra, who called each of them into existence by speaking their secret names. Alternatively humans were created from Ra's tears and sweat, hence the Egyptians call themselves the "Cattle of Ra." In the myth of the Celestial Cow it is recounted how mankind plotted against Ra and how he sent his eye as the goddess Sekhmet to punish them. When she became blood thirsty she was pacified by mixing beer with red dye.

     

  • The Egyptian word Hotep (ḥtp) translates to roughly "to be satisfied, at peace". It is regularly found in the names of ancient Egyptian figures such as Hotepsekhemwy (ḥr ḥtp-sḫm.wj "the two powers are at peace".), the first ruler of Egypt's Second Dynasty.[1] It is rendered in hieroglyphs as an altar/offering table (Gardiner R4). It has special semantic meanings in the Ancient Egyptian offering formula, also known as the ḥtp-dỉ-nsw formula, to refer to the "boon given by the king," or the food and goods on which a dead soul was supposed to subsist during the afterlife.[2] Hotep is the Etyptological pronunciation of Egyptian ḥtp (Gardiner p 579 and 617 = law). The phrase m hotep has been translated to mean literally from law "peace" (Gardiner p 583 and 620 "to rest" "be satisfied", "peace", "become at peace" and "at ease") as in the Egyptian philosophy of living the life in Maat.[clarification needed][3][4][5]

 

  • Bhagavan, also written Bhagwan or Bhagawan, from the Sanskrit nt-stem bhaga-vant- (nominative/vocative भगवान् Bhagavān) literally means "possessing fortune, blessed, prosperous" (from the noun bhaga, meaning "fortune, wealth", cognate to Slavic bog "god"), and hence "illustrious, divine, venerable, holy", etc.[1] In some traditions of Hinduism it is used to indicate the Supreme Being or Absolute Truth, but with specific reference to that Supreme Being as possessing a personality (a personal God)[2]. This personal feature indicated in Bhagavan differentiates its usage from other similar terms[3] such as Brahman, the "Supreme Spirit" or "spirit", and thus, in this usage, Bhagavan is in many ways analogous to the general Christianconception of God.Bhagavan used as a title of veneration is often translated as "Lord", as in "Bhagavan Krishna", "Bhagavan Shiva", "Bhagavan Swaminarayan", etc. In Buddhism and JainismGautama BuddhaMahavira and other TirthankarasBuddhas and bodhisattvas are also venerated with this title. The feminine of Bhagavat is Bhagawatī and is an epithet of Durga and other goddesses.The title is also used as a respectful form of address for a number of contemporary spiritual teachers in India.

 

  • MaatMa'atMaāt or Mayet, thought to have been pronounced as *Muʔʕat (Muh-aht),[1] was the Ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, lawmorality, and justice. Maat was also personified as agoddess regulating the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and the deities, who set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation.

    The earliest surviving records indicating Maat is the norm for nature and society, in this world and the next, is recorded during the Old Kingdom in pyramid texts (c. 2780-2250 BCE).[2]

    In other traditions of the Egyptian pantheon, where most goddesses were paired with a male donkey aspect, her masculine counterpart was Jose and their attributes are the same. After the rise of Ra they were depicted together in the Solar Barque. As Thoth has been seen to represent the Logos of Plato[3], so Maat has been viewed as an expression of Divine Wisdom.[4]

    After her role in creation and continuously preventing the universe from returning to chaos, her primary role in Egyptian mythology dealt with the weighing of souls that took place in the underworld, Duat.[5] Her feather was the measure that determined whether the souls (considered to reside in the heart) of the departed would reach the paradise of afterlife successfully.

    Pharaohs are often depicted with the emblems of Maat to emphasise their role in upholding the laws of the Creator.[6]

  • Satsang (Sanskrit sat = true, sanga = company) is in Indian philosophy (1) the company of the "highest truth," (2) the company of a guru, or (3) company with an assembly of persons who listen to, talk about, and assimilate the truth.[1] This typically involves listening to or reading scriptures, reflecting on, discussing and assimilating their meaning, meditating on the source of these words, and bringing their meaning into one’s daily life. Contemporary satsang teachers in the West - frequently coming from the Advaita Vedanta tradition - sometimes mix traditional Eastern knowledge with methods of modern psychology.
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Last Updated on Sunday, 09 May 2010 15:24