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Overview page. Subjects: Religion.

(Skt.). A teacher or religious preceptor. In later Buddhism the term comes to be associated particularly with teachers of tantra. See also ajahn.

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birth Rites

Overview page. Subjects: Hinduism — Islam.

A hadith holds that a child is born Muslim; it is the child's parents who make him or her a Jew or Christian, and so there is no need for a rite of initiation such as baptism or...

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Overview page. Subjects: Hinduism.

(Skt.; Pāli, brahmacariya).

General term for a pure or holy life, and in particular the practice of celibacy.

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Overview page. Subjects: Religious Studies — Hinduism — Indian Music.

1 As wielded by the king, a symbol of judicial authority, and so synonymous with the administration of justice

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Overview page. Subjects: Arts and Humanities — Social Sciences.

Debt of honour a debt that is not legally recoverable, especially a sum lost in gambling.

See also death pays all debts, national debt, out of debt, out of danger.

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Overview page. Subjects: Hinduism.

A consecration undergone by an individual that both marks and facilitates the passage from one state of being, or stage of life, to another. Underlying this is the understanding that the...

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Overview page. Subjects: Hinduism.

1 An Āryan male belonging to one of the three higher varnas who has been ‘born again’ through taking upanayana—initiation into the Veda and Vedic ritual.


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Overview page. Subjects: Hinduism.

The personification of the Gāyatrī mantra as a goddess, said to be the wife of Brahmā and the mother of the four Vedas.

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Overview page. Subjects: Hinduism.

c.800–300 bce)

A category of late Vedic texts, classified as belonging to the Kalpasūtra literature of the Vedāṅga (and therefore as smṛti), which deals with the...

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Overview page. Subjects: Classical Studies.

Includes the set of rituals which transforms girls and boys into adults. (See also eleusis; mystery cults.) In Greece, these rituals were the combined product of the Indo‐European heritage...

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