Śaivite Hindu Religion, Book Four for Children Ages 8 to 10



affirmation: A positive statement repeated over and over with feeling. §

Agama: A large collection of ancient Sanskrit scriptures. The Agamas describe temple ritual and construction, philosophy and yoga.§

ahimsa: “Noninjury.” Not hurting others by thought, word or deed.§

Alaveddy: A village in northern Sri Lanka where Gurudeva stayed as a young man and started an ashram.§

anjali mudra: A gesture of respect, part of namaskara, the Hindu greeting. The hands, slightly cupped, are held softly together in front of the chest.§

Antarloka: The astral plane or Second World where the devas live.§

Appar: One of the four great Tamil saints.§

arati: Waving a lighted lamp, as done before the Deity at the high point of the puja.§

artifact: A special man-made object, such as a statue of a Deity.§

ashram: The home of a guru or Hindu monk.§

astral plane: See Antarloka.§

Aum: A sacred sound used at the beginning of many scriptures and chants.§

Aum Gam Ganapataye Namah: “Praise be to Ganapati,” a sacred mantra for Lord Ganesha.§

aura: A colorful field of energy which surrounds the human body and can be seen by some people.§

austere: living without comfort or luxuries.§

Auvaiyar: A lady Tamil saint who lived around 200 bce. She was a great devotee of Lord Ganesha and Murugan.§

Bangalore: A city in the South Indian state of Karnataka.§

banyan: A very large tree common in India. It has aerial roots which grow from the branches to the ground.§

Batu Caves: Famous caves on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A Murugan temple is inside the largest.§

bhajana: Simple sacred songs sung by one or more devotees, often repeated by a group.§

bhakti: Religious devotion.§

Bhogarishi: A great Saivite saint who lived at Palani Hills.§

Bhuloka: The physical world or plane. The world in which we live in our physical bodies.§

bindi: A small dot worn on the forehead between the eyebrows. A sign one is a Hindu.§

Bodhinatha Veylanswami: The current guru of the Kailasa Parampara. He is the successor of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. §

Buddhism: The religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha (624–544 bce).§

Chellappaswami: Satguru who lived in Jaffna, Sri Lanka (1840–1915). Guru of Sage Yogaswami, who in turn was guru of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.§

Chidambaram: A very famous South Indian Siva Nataraja temple.§

Christianity: The faith based upon the teachings of Jesus Christ.§

Confucianism: A system of philosophy and ethics founded by Confucius in China around 500 bce§

consideration: Being thoughtful and sensitive to the feelings and needs of others.§

Deity: God or a God. Specifically the stone or metal image of God in the temple.§

denomination: A name for the various groups within a religion who hold differing beliefs.§

deva: A being of light living in a subtle, non-physical body. Devas live in the higher Antarloka.§

Devarams: The collection of religious songs of the Tamil saints Appar, Sundarar and Sambandar.§

Dhammapada: The most important scripture of Buddhism.§

dharma: The inherent order of the universe. God’s law as it applies to all things and all beings. §

fast: Not taking any or some kinds of food or drink for a certain period of time.§

festival: Special day or days of religious celebration.§

Ganapati: “Leader of the ganas.” Another name for Lord Ganesha. Ganas are a kind of deva who help God Siva.§

Ganesha: The God with an elephant’s head, first Son of Lord Siva. Ganesha is honored by all Hindu sects. He is always worshiped first.§

Ganesha Chaturthi: Birthday of Lord Ganesha. It is a ten-day festival in August-September. The last day is called Ganesha Visarjana when we say goodbye to Ganesha.§

God: Lord Siva, the Supreme Being, creator of the universe and everyone and everything in it. Also a God, such as Lord Ganesha or Lord Murugan.§

Goddess: God seen as female. In truth, God is neither male nor female. Goddess is often used when we refer to the feminine, mother aspect of God§

Gods: Extremely advanced beings created by Lord Siva, such as Lord Ganesha or Lord Murugan.§

Gorakshanatha: Great Saivite guru who lived in North India and Nepal around 950 ce.§

grace: A gift from God given out of his love.§

Grand Bassin: Natural lake near the middle of the island of Mauritius. Hindus pilgrimage here on Maha Sivaratri.§

guru: A teacher, most especially a saintly person who teaches us religion.§

guru lineage: A line of gurus. The spiritual power is passed from one down to the next.§

guru puja: Worship of the guru by bathing his feet and making offerings.§

Guru Purnima: A festival day to honor our guru. It takes place during the full moon in July.§

Gurudeva: An affectionate, respectful term for the guru, especially Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.§

hatha yoga: A system of physical and mental exercises. Yoga quiets the mind and body and helps meditation.§

Himalayas: The highest mountain ranges in the world. They run 2,400 km between India and China from Kashmir to Assam. It means “abode of snow.”§

Hindu: A person who has a Hindu name and follows the Hindu religion.§

Hinduism: English word for the Sanskrit name of our religion, Sanatana Dharma, which means “eternal religion.” The oldest religion in the world. Hinduism has one billion followers.§

holy ash: see vibhuti§

Iraivan Temple: A great Siva temple on Kauai island in the State of Hawaii, USA. It is the only temple built in the West entirely of hand-carved granite stone.§

Islam: The religion founded by Prophet Mohammed in Arabia about 625 ce. §

Jaffna: Main city in northern Sri Lanka, home of Satguru Yogaswami.§

Jainism: An ancient non-Vedic religion of India. Mahavira was a great Jain teacher who lived around 500 bce.§

japa: To repeat a mantra or sacred sound with concentration. Japa is done silently or aloud and often on a strand of beads.§

Jayanti: "Birthday,” specifically Guru Jayanti, the birthday of one’s guru§

Judaism: The religion of the Jews. The Torah is their principle scripture.§

Kadaitswami: The guru of Chellappaswami, 1820-1875. He came from Bangalore, India, to Jaffna, Sri Lanka.§

Kailasa Parampara: The spiritual lineage of our Gurudeva and Bodhinatha.§

kalas: Arts and skills of cultured living, such as singing, dancing and garland making.§

Karaikkal Ammaiyar: A lady Saivite saint who lived in the 5th century ce.§

karma: Any act or deed. Also, the principle of cause and effect.§

Kashi Vishvanatha: A famed Siva temple in Banaras, India.§

Kauai’s Hindu Monastery: Kauai Aadheenam, the monastery/temple complex established in Hawaii, USA, by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.§

kavadi: A decorated arch used to carry two milk pots to the temple as part of Muruga festivals.§

Kerala: A state on the southwestern coast of India.§

kolam: A design drawn on the ground with colored rice flours during festivals.§

Kumbha Mela: A Hindu gathering held every four years at one of four sacred places in rotation: Prayag, Nasik, Haridwar and Ujjain. The gatherings at Prayag number up to 20 million people—the largest assembly of humans on Earth for any one event.§

Kumbhalavalai Temple: A powerful Ganesha temple in Alaveddy, Sri Lanka.§

kunkuma: A red powder put in a dot, or pottu, on the forehead.§

liberation: see moksha.§

Madurai: A city in Tamil Nadu, South India. The great Meenakshi Temple is here.§

Mahakaleshwar: A great Siva temple in Ujjain, India.§

Maharishi: A great saint.§

Mahasivaratri: The biggest Siva festival of the year. It is celebrated on the new moon in February-March. We fast and stay up all night.§

manifest energy: God's energy which you can see and feel. §

Manikkavasagar: A Tamil saint who lived around 850 ce. He wrote the Tiruvasagam.§

mantra: A sacred Sanskrit word or sentence from our scriptures, chanted during puja or as a blessing for meals, meetings, etc.§

Mata Amritanandamayi: A Hindu lady saint of modern times. She is famous for personally hugging each devotee who comes to her.§

Matsyendranatha: A great Natha guru who lived in the 9th century ce. A patron saint of Napal.§

Mauritius: An island nation off the coast of Africa. It has a large Hindu population and many temples.§

meditation: To sit quietly, control your breathing and concentrate very hard.§

moksha: "Liberation.” Release from the round of births and deaths. Occurs after karma has been resolved and God-Realization attained.§

monastery: A home or ashram for monks, usually under the guidance of a satguru.§

monastic: A monk or nun. An unmarried man or woman who has lives an austere religious life.§

Mt. Kailash: A Himalayan mountain sacred to Lord Siva.§

Mumbai: Major city in Maharashtra state in western India. Formerly known as Bombay.§

murti: The image of God used during worship. Made of stone, metal or sometimes wood.§

Murugan: The second son of Lord Siva, brother of Lord Ganesha. A great Mahadeva worshiped in all parts of India and the world.§

mystic: One who seeks God Realization.§

Nallur: Most famous temple to Lord Murugan in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.§

Namasivaya: The foremost mantra for Saivites. It means “Praise to Siva,” and appears in the Yujur Veda.§

namaskaram: The Hindu form of greeting. The hands are pressed together in front of the chest and the head slightly bowed.§

namaste: “Respectful greetings to you.” A traditional verbal greeting.§

Nandinatha: First known guru of the Nandinatha Sampradaya. He lived about 250 bce.§

Narmada: A sacred river of India that begins in Madhya Pradesh.§

nonviolence: Ahimsa. To not cause harm to others physically, mentally or emotionally.§

Odissi: A form of Indian dance from Orissa state, India.§

Palani Hills: A Murugan temple in Tamil Nadu, South India.§

Panchakshara: “Five-lettered chant.” Namasivaya, Saivism’s foremost sacred mantram.§

parampara: A line of gurus. The spiritual power is passed from one to the next by initiation.§

Parvati: “Mountain’s daughter.” One of many names for the Universal Mother.§

Pashupatinath: Foremost temple of Nepal, dedicated to Lord Siva.§

penance: An act done to atone for a wrongdoing. §

pottu: Small dot worn on the forehead, made of kunkuma, red powder. It signifies a Hindu.§

prasadam: A gift of food offered to God and then shared with the devotees.§

puja: The Hindu ceremony to worship God. It includes incense, lamps, water, food and flowers, plus the chanting of Sanskrit verses.§

Rameshwaram: A Siva temple in South India, founded by Lord Rama.§

reincarnation: “Reentering the flesh.” The process by which a soul takes a new physical body. Called punarjanma in Sanskrit.§

Reunion: An island off the coast of Africa. It is a part of France and has many Hindus.§

rishi: “Seer.” A term for an enlightened being.§

Rishi from the Himalayas: First known guru of the Nandinatha Sampradaya.§

Rishikesh: Famous town on the Ganga River at the beginning of the Himalayas. There are many ashrams here.§

rudraksha: A reddish seed sacred to Lord Siva.§

sadhana: Religious and spiritual disciplines, such as repeating God’s name or meditating.§

sadhu: A holy man dedicated to the search for God.§

Saiva: Of or relating to Saivism or its adherents. There are about 400 million in the world today.§

Saivism: The religion of those who worship Lord Siva as the Supreme God.§

Saivite: Of or relating to Saivism, one of the four sects or denominations of Hinduism.§

Samayacharyas: Name for the four great Tamil saints. They are Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar and Manickavasagar.§

Sambamurthy Sivachariayar: Foremost Saivite priest of South India in the last 20th century.§

Sambandar: Child saint who composed many religious songs. He lived in the 7th century ce.§

samskaras: A rite marking a significant transition of life. There are many samskaras, such as name-giving, first-feeding, ear-piercing, beginning of study, coming of age, marriage and the funeral.§

Sanatana Dharma: “Eternal religion” or “everlasting path.” The traditional Sanskrit name for Hinduism.§

sannyasin: A Hindu monk. One who has renounced family, possessions and career to follow a religious life all of the time. One becomes a sannyasin by being initiated (given diksha) by another sannyasin, often a guru.§

Sanskrit: The ancient language of India in which the Hindu scriptures are written. §

santosha: "Contentment." Being happy and satisfied with what one has.§

satguru: A great religious teacher who is close to God and guides others on the right path. §

satsanga: Gathering together with other religious people.§

seva: “Service,” doing useful work for others without thought of reward.§

Shaktas: Those who follow Shaktism, one of the four major sects or denominations of Hinduism.§

Shakti: “Power, energy.” The active power or energy of Siva, worshipped by followers of Shaktism as the Goddess. In Saivism, this power is regarded as an aspect of Siva, who is both male and female.§

Shaktism: The religion of those who worship the Supreme as the Divine Mother. One of the four major Hindu sects. §

Shintoism: The ancient religion of Japan.§

Sikhism: The religion founded by Guru Nanak about 500 years ago. §

Siva: The Supreme God, Creator of the Universe. §

Sivalinga: A round stone set in a base, symbol of God beyond name and form.§

Sivaloka: The world of Siva, the Gods and highly evolved souls. The highest part of the heaven worlds.§

Sivathondu: “Service to Siva,” doing service to others without thought of reward.§

Smarta: A follower of Smartism, one of the four Hindu sects or denominations.§

Smartism: One of the major sects or denominations of Hinduism. §

soul: The innermost part of us, created by Lord Siva. Called atman in Sanskrit. §

Sri Lanka: Island nation off the southern tip of India. It was formerly called Sri Lanka. Several million Tamil Saivites live here, mostly in the east and north.§

sruti: That which is “heard.” Hinduism's revealed scriptures, the Vedas and Agamas.§

stupa: A dome-shaped structure built as a Buddhist shrine.§

sublime: Excellent, grand. Inspiring awe or reverence.§

Subramuniyaswami, Satguru Sivaya: Satguru (1927–2001) of the Kailasa lineage within the Nandinatha Sampradaya.§

subtle worlds: The unseen Antarloka and Sivaloka.§

Sundaranatha: The original name of Saint Tirumular.§

Sundarar: One of the four great Tamil saints. He lived around 800 ce.§

superconscious: The highest form of consciousness. The consciousness of the soul.§

swami: A Hindu monk. An unmarried man who has devoted his life to God.§

Swami Chidananda Saraswati: A modern Hindu saint who lives in Rishikesh, India.§

Tai Pongal: A four-day home festival in January-February. A celebration of the first rice harvest.§

Tai Pusam: A big festival for Lord Murugan held in January-February.§

Tamil: The ancient Dravidian language of the Tamils, spoken by 60 million people.§

Tamil Nadu: State in South India.§

Taoism: An ancient Chinese religion.§

temple: A building devoted to worship. The home of God.§

three worlds: The Bhuloka, Antarloka and Sivaloka; the worlds of men, devas and the Gods.§

tilaka: Also pottu, a mark worn on the forehead by Hindus.§

Tiruchendur: A temple to Lord Murugan is located here on the southern seacoast of Tamil Nadu.§

Tirujnanasambandar: One of the four great Tamil saints. The child saint who lived in the 7th century ce.§

Tiruketeeswarar: Place with a famous Siva temple on the coast in northern Sir Lanka.§

Tirukovaiyar: A set of religious songs by Saint Manikkavasagar.§

Tirukural: A book on ethics written by Tiruvalluvar in 200 bce. It deals with God, ethics, dharma, conduct, wealth, kingship and desire.§

Tirumular: One of the first gurus of the Nandinatha Sampradaya. He lived in 200 bce and wrote the Tirumantiram.§

Tirumurai: A collection of songs and writings of the South Indian Saivite saints.§

Tirunavukkarasu: One of the four great Tamil saints. Also known as Appar.§

Tiruvasagam: A collection of songs of Saint Manikkavasagar.§

tolerance: A willingness to accept those beliefs and practices of others which differ from one's own.§

Ujjain: A city in central India with the ancient Mahakaleshwar Siva temple.§

unremitting: Continuous, never relaxing or letting up.§

Vaishnavism: The religion of those who hold Lord Vishnu as the Supreme God. One of the four sects of Hinduism.§

Vaishnavites: Followers of Vaishnavism.§

vanakkam: Tamil word of greeting, like namaskara.§

Vedas: The Hindu scriptures written thousands of years ago in the Sanskrit language. §

vibhuti: Holy ash, especially sacred for all Saivites. It is made by burning cow dung with other precious substances, such as milk, ghee, honey, etc. It symbolizes purity.§

vina: A complex stringed instrument used in Hindu music.§

Vishnu: “All-pervasive.” The Supreme Deity of the Vaishnavite sect of Hinduism.§

Western: An idea, custom or practice originating from Europe or North America.§

Yajur Veda: Third of the four Vedas. Contains the chants and instructions for fire worship.§

yoga: The many practices, such as meditation, breathing, japa, postures of the body and hands, that are used by yogis to reach divine consciousness. §

Yogaswami, Satguru: Great guru of Sri Lanka (1872-1964), predecessor of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.§

yogini: A female who is very good in yoga practices.§