Lets learn some Vocabulary..
Rishi or Rushi: Closest word is a sage, but Rishis are those who are not just devotees or saints, they go through tapasya (a deep meditative state) and become a medium to Ishwara and the ultimate truth. It’s through them that this truth is shared as Shruti and Kalpa(m).
Tapasya: A deep meditative state aspiring Ishwara’s truth in which one gradually opens their nadi or chakras, hence, reaching conscience beyond the physical realms of reality and be able to comprehend Ishwara and Ishwara’s vaani (speech/voice).
Sloka: Is a verse that mostly has a poetic aspect. It is chanted or recited in a rhythm which encompasses an explanation towards Ishwara’s accounts, nature, and acts as a means towards performing a ritual.
Stotram: is a hymn, or a collection of slokas, which also can have a poetic construct towards the admiration of Ishwara or a list of names or titles of Ishwara.
Astotram: Is a stotram, which constitutes a list of 108 titles of Ishwara. The number 108 signifies the 108 possible duration in which every species is born on earth. Because there is a total of 27 nakshatr(am) (stars), each divided by 4 paadam (sectors of a day) hence, the chanting of 108 titles is a way for us to convey our gratitude and anugraham (grace) towards the well being of all species born on earth and not just for one’s self-well-being.
Sahastra Namavali: Is also a stotram, which constitutes a list of 1008 titles of Ishwara. Sahastra, though widely interpreted as 1008 actually means infinite and since it’s not possible to list all titles of Ishwara the list stops at 1008 expressing our limitation, unable to go further.
Dandakam: Is also a stotram or hymn but with a specific approach towards its recitation. It is recited in a fast fashion as a continuous list of titles and phrases with very short pauses.
Vasana: an inherent nature or flavor of a human nature that clings to a jiva and carried over to other lives. When a human constantly strives towards some desire in one’s lifetime, that flavor adhers to the jiva which it takes to the next life. Such a desire can be uttama (virtuous), like striving towards researching Shastra(m) or a desire to constranlty indulge in bodily comfort. Each life presents a being with an option to either shed that vasana through realization and upasana (practice) or ingrain new vasana, but its through this constant effort to shed and foster uttama desire that causes a being to evolve in conscience. This is the reason each individual is different by birth, though the options and opportunities presented might be same, the choice made usually depend on the inherent vasana or fear (which is also an integrated part of vasana). Hence the phrase ‘Vasana bhalam’, meaning the strength of Vasana that controls the decisions and choices made by a being.
Jiva: Also, pronounced as jeeva, is the innate or primordial force of a being that is devoid of a physical body. It is not bound by kaal(am) (time) and is indestructible. Its an entity that inherits this body, or rather tethers both the Sthula:shareera(m) and Sukshma:sharera(m), and wears it like a cloth. This jiva makes us recognize oneself and one’s own existence in a given time and place, and explores its true self with its decisions and feelings like compassion. It can be interpreted as a soul, but a jiva is nothing but an extended spark of Para:brahma that seeks a host to shed its karma:phala. The destiny of a jiva is to shed its vasana (inherent habit which constitutes the manas(u)) and realize itself to be Para:brahma. In many cases, a jiva falsely associates itself to be this body.
Guna: meaning default human nature and habits (vasana) based on the level of conscience. In the process of evolving in conscience a person strives to shed its inherent vasana. Each person is different and has a different interpretation and approach towards things, like a choice or perspective and more, but how can one define the reason why people are born with such interpretation. Circumstance does play a role by providing experience, however, the choice made by an individual when presented with options is defined by nature or guna. Guna can be classified into three evolving states, they are satva guna, rajas or rajo guna and thamas or thamo guna. The final evolved state is the Shudha Stava guna.
Param:Ishwara or Ishwara: where in ‘param’ meaning ultimate and Ishwara meaning the supreme authority and the supreme singular conscience also know as Para:matma, who is not limited to the phenomenon of this reality and who can’t be classified by a gender or shape or any specific definition. Hence, moving forward rather than addressing Ishwara as an object or a thing, we shall refer to Ishwara as ‘Him’. It is not the intent to associate Ishwara as masculine or as a biological classification of being a male, its because, His conscience and the energy which is Para:shakthi and Para:meshwari through which Ishwara operates is represented as ‘Her’. Again, this is not to associate in a feminine sense, nor a biological representation of a female. It is only a means to distinguish both entities as a duality (Prakruti & Purusha) which are one and the same, but operating in two modes with one relying on the other.
Ashram(am): four stages and four disciplines of a human which are Brahma:chairya(m), Gruhastu, Vanaprastu(m) and finally Sanyasam.
Gruhastu: the discipline of a married stage of life wherein all its respective karma are followed.
Loka: Lo:ka means ‘that which is seen’. Meaning, it exists because we see it or assert towards its existence. If we don’t assert it, then it doesn’t exists. Loka though generally referenced as celestial worlds in an expanding universe, can sometimes be perceived as a separate dimension, wherein kaal(am) (time) as perceived on Earth would be different compared to each loka. Purana(m) states the existence of fourteen lokas, out of which seven are considered as higher lokas called as Vyahrtis (bhu, bhuvas, svar or swagra, mahas, janas, tapas and finally the highest of all lokas being Satya:loka(m)), and seven lower lokas known as Patalas (atala, vitala, sutala, rasaataala, talatala, mahaatala, patala and the bottom most loka being naraka).
Dhyana(m): a joys meditative state immersed in the contemplation of a subject or a concept towards realizing its inherent and obvious meaning.
Karma: karma is a concept that explains a kriya (action) with its associated result. A set of such karma are suggested to a human in his/her respective dharma of the ashram(am). Each karma corresponds to a specific result known as its karma:phala. An action performed against the karma defined to a person’s respective ashram(am) is called a:karma or dush:karma. The word karma is used in general denoting an action and its result.
Gyana(m): A state of higher conscience reached out of devotion and wisdom.
Sat:karma: Karma(kriya or actions) performed inline with dharma.
Brahma:preeti: Brahma meaning creation and nature, or the creator Who represents all of creation and ‘preeti’ meaning sanctity or affection. When read as a whole, it means to have sanctity towards nature and creation.
Tanubhava: next generations born of the same flesh like sons, and daughters.
Namaha: means to relinquish ownership over what we thought was ours. ‘Nama’ meaning mine, ‘aha’ meaning I relinquish it to you. Hence when we perform namaskar to Ishwara it means to express gratitude to have received this existence which is not ours and hence we relinquish our ownership towards these materials and desires.