Sadhu also spelled saddhu
and swamy, Sanskrit sadhu and svamin, in India,
religious or holy men. Sadhu signifies any religious ascetic or holy man.
The class of sadhus includes not only genuine saints of many faiths but
also men (and occasionally women) who have left their homes in order to
concentrate on physical and spiritual disciplines.
Hinduism, ceremonial worship, ranging from brief daily rites in the home
to elaborate temple ritual. The components of a pooja (or puja)
vary greatly according to the sect, community, and part of the country.
Avatar Sanskrit Avatara
(“descent”), in Hinduism, the incarnation of a deity in human
or animal form to counteract some particular evil in the world. The term
usually refers to these 10 appearances of Vishnu: Matsya (fish),
Kurma (tortoise), Varaha (boar), Narasimha
(half man, half lion), Vamana (dwarf), Parasurama (Rama
with the axe), Rama (hero of the Ramayana epic), Krishna
(the divine cowherd), Buddha, and Kalkin (the incarnation).
Moksha also spelled
Moksa, Sanskrit Moksa (“release”), also
called Mukti, or Apavarga, in Hinduism and Jainism,
the ultimate spiritual goal, designating the individual soul's release
from the bonds (bandha) of transmigration. The soul, once entered
upon a bodily existence, remains trapped in a chain of successive rebirths
(samsara) until it has reached perfection or the enlightenment
that allows it release, or moksha.
Shanthi or Shanti denotes
the capacity to bear success and failure, joy and misery with perfect
equanimity. It is thought to be deep down as the very core of our being.
Only thoughts of God and intense love for Him bring peace. As worldly
thoughts diminish, thoughts of God increase. Normally, the mind desires
worldly things all the time. As the desires are reduced to nothing, peace
becomes stronger and the seeker experiences shanthi.
Kumbh Mela is held
by turns in four different cities in India: Allahabad, Hardwar, Ujjain,
and Nasik. The festival is conducted in each of these cities every dozen
years or so. On 14 April 1998 the population of Hardwar in North India
swelled to the breaking point with the addition of an estimated ten million
pilgrims who had come to bathe in the Ganges.
The center of the pilgrimage in Hardwar is a large camp across the Ganges
River. Prominent among the religious groups that regularly return to the
Kumbh (Mela means festival) every twelve years are those
from renunciant communities. On the main bathing day they lead pilgrims
in the millions in a parade from the camp down to bathe in the Ganges.
The goal of the bathers at Kumbh Mela is a part of the Ganges known as
the Brahma Kund, which is sometimes held to be a place where
some of the ambrosia of immortality was spilled in the primeval tug of
war between the gods and demons. As such, this would be a particularly
propitious place to escape the pains of rebirth.
Rev. Wendel Cover
back to A Passion for Missions