Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction

By Kim Knott | Go to book overview

Glossary

Many of the scriptures of Hinduism were composed in Sanskrit (though some later ones were written in Tamil, Hindi, and other regional languages) and the words used in this book and listed below are mostly Sanskrit terms. In Sanskrit there are long and short vowel sounds, several s/sh sounds and a number of different sounds for t and d produced by placing the tongue behind the teeth or at the top of the mouth. If you would like to know more about how to pronounce these words, you might look in Teach Yourself Sanskrit or in a dictionary of Sanskrit. Throughout this book I have used common English spellings for Sanskrit terms, but below, as well as showing the meaning of the terms that I have used repeatedly, I have shown how they are formally transliterated from the Devanagri alphabet of Sanskrit using diacritical marks.

There are numerous regional languages in India and some of the terms I have used are rendered differently in each. Different names may be used for deities and different terms for ritual practices. Additionally, in some north Indian languages, the final a on many words (such as dharma and Ramayana) is not pronounced: Punjabis say 'dharam'; Gujaratis say 'Ramayan'.

advaita; advaita non-duality; the form of vedanta associated with
Shankara
Aranyakas; Āranyakas forest treatises; Vedic scriptures, precursors to
the Upanishads

-121-

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Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Contents xi
  • List of Illustrations xii
  • List of Maps xiv
  • Chapter 1 - The Scholar and the Devotee 1
  • Chapter 2 - Revelation and the Transmission of Knowledge 11
  • Chapter 3 - Understanding the Self 24
  • Chapter 4 - Divine Heroes: The Epic Tradition 38
  • Chapter 5 - The Divine Presence 48
  • Chapter 6 - Hinduism, Colonialism, and Modernity 65
  • Chapter 7 - Challenges to Hinduism: Women and Dalits 78
  • Chapter 8 - Crossing the Black Waters: Hinduism Beyond India 92
  • Chapter 9 - Hindu Dharma, Hinduism, and Hinduisms 107
  • Appendix - The Six Philosophical Systems (Darshana) 116
  • Timeline 117
  • Glossary 121
  • Further Reading 125
  • References 131
  • Index 135
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