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Glossary of Terms: A


Acharya

Any spiritual leader or guide in Hinduism and Jainism; referred initially to the teacher who first taught a student sacred literature or the Veda, but later became an honorific term for a person of spiritual accomplishment or learning.

Adab

Adab

Ahzab

Ahzab

Al Hijra

Al-Hijra

All Saints Day

All Saints' Day

All Saints Day All Hallows

All Saints' Day (All Hallows')

All Souls Day

All Souls' Day

Animism

Concept that souls or spirits inhabit natural objects (such as rivers, streams, mountains, and plants); occurs in some sects of Hinduism and other religions.

Ankh

ancient Egyptian hieroglyph meaning "life," appearing as a cross with a loop at the top end

Annunication

Annunication

Antinomianism

Antinomianism

Aqida

Aqida

Arti

In Hinduism and Jainism, a ritual honoring a god or other person; the worshiper waves a lighted lamp in front of the honoree's image and chants a prayer.

Asalah Puja Day

Asalah Puja Day

Ascension of Abdul Baha

Ascension of Abdu'l-Baha

Ascension of Bahaullah

Ascension of Baha'u'llah

Ascension of Christ

Ascension of Christ

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, the Beginning of Lent

Ashura

Ashura

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Audit

in Scientology, a form of counseling as a means of ridding oneself of "engrams" (mental aberrations)

Avatar

"Descent" (Sanskrit); in Hinduism, the incarnation of a god in human or animal shape in order to overcome a particular evil in the world; term most often refers to the god Vishnu's ten different forms.

Awen

sacred symbol of many Druid (ancient Celtic) traditions, representing descending light ("Three Rays of Light" or "Three Pillars of Wisdom")

Awqaf

Awqaf

Ayat

Ayat

Ayurvedic

class of writings about medicine and belonging to the Hindu sacred literature called "Upavedas"