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Āḻvārs

Overview page. Subjects: Hinduism.

6th–9th centuries ce)

The name given to twelve South Indian poet-saints, whose works, and the personal experience of God that they evoked, were highly influential in the...

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bhūta

Overview page. Subjects: Hinduism.

(Skt.)

1 An element, particularly one of the four material elements, earth, water, fire and wind.

2 A kind of vampiric spirit or evil ghost.

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bow songs

Overview page. Subjects: Hinduism.

Stories about local deities or heroes, told to the accompaniment of percussive music at village temple festivals in southern Tamil Nadu. The performances are closely linked to temple...

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ḍākinī(s)

Overview page. Subjects: Hinduism.

Flesh-eating demonesses, who appear naked and act as if possessed. They attend on Kālī, and play a subsidiary or intermediary role in Buddhist and Hindu Tantra, sometimes assimilated to a...

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Delphic oracle

Overview page. Subjects: Classical Studies.

Oracle of Apollo. Its origins are dated to the very end of the 9th cent. bc, and eventually it developed into the most important Greek oracle. It was consulted by poleis (see polis) as well...

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epilepsy

Overview page. Subjects: Medicine and Health.

A disorder of cerebral function accompanied by recurrent seizures and sometimes loss of consciousness. The severity varies (grand mal, Jacksonian epilepsy, MERRF syndrome, myoclonic...

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hysteria

Overview page. Subjects: Medicine and Health.

n. 1. formerly, a neurosis characterized by emotional instability, repression, dissociation, some physical symptoms (see hysterical), and vulnerability to...

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kīrtan(a)

Overview page. Subjects: Hinduism.

Songs sung collectively in praise of Kṛṣṇa. This practice is particularly popular in the bhakti culture of Gauḍīya (Bengal) Vaiṣṇavism; the model was provided by Caitanya who organized and...

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Kumāra Tantra

Overview page. Subjects: Hinduism.

(pre-11th century ce)

An early Tantric text said to have been composed by the demon Rāvaṇa. It deals with possession, exorcism, and the treatment of childhood illnesses.

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mantravāda

Overview page. Subjects: Hinduism.

In Kerala, the specific manipulation of mantras by a ‘magician’ or ‘sorcerer’ (mantravādin) for magical or supernatural purposes, such as averting misfortune, effecting cures through...

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