Glossary of the used terms
Advaita Vedanta:the non-dualistic vedanta. A metaphisical teaching trascending the dualism (dvaita vedanta) and the monism (aikya vedanta). Being a non-dualistic teaching, of the 'absoluteness of reality', it includes and trascends all other teachings.
Amshavatara:incarnation, descent or manifestation of an aspect of the divine (not his entirety)
Ashram:place of retreat and meditation where, under the direction of a teacher or Guru, the disciples get together to live a spiritual discipline.
Atman: the Self, the Spirit, the Pure Consciousness. The Atman is the absolut within us, completely outside of the time-space-cause.
Avatara: the "descent" of the Divine, incarnation of a principle. He whose consciousness is equal to the Absolute.
Bhagavad Gita:"the chant of the Blessed"; philosophical and religious poem whic is part of the Mahabharata. It belongs to the Smrti (remembered or human tradition).
Bhajana: adoration, devotion; reverent homage.
Bharatha:ancient name of India.
Darshan:"point of view", "outlook", "perspective". The term applied to a Guru ("who gives the Darshan") indicates to obtain the vision of the master.
Dharma:in synthesis, is the essential nature of all things and beings. Each one of them has his own Dharma, which repersents the natural and correct balance. The Dharma is the universal Armony, and it comprehends also the individual Dharma, which sometimes is also intended, in a wide meaning, as "duty" (in particular in Sai Baba's teaching).
Escalation: is the phenomenon, happened during the cold war, for which the two opposite blocks (Russia and America) accumulated nuclear weapons in ever increasing quantities, at the purpose of frightening the oppositor, basing on the principle of "deterrence": "if I have more weapons, you will be more afraid of me, and so you will think twice before attacking me." As one can easily imagine, it's a virtually endless process; and this is what India risked to trigger again in Asia, after the end of cold war and the treaties for dismantling nuclear weapons.
Gurupurnima: hindu religious festival, dedicated to the Guru.
Hadith:literally "saying, account". It could refer to quotation or saying from anyone. Usually is the name given to recorded and collected quotations of acts and words of Prophet Muhammad, useful as explanations of the meaning of Sacred Quran (of the way the Prophet teached it).
Kali Yuga: one of the four ages(yuga) of which is composed the cosmic cicle: Satya yuga, Treta yuga, Dvapara yuga, Kali yuga. This last one, that is the actual age, is the darkest one, in which the a-dharma forces (that is, opposite to Dharma, evil forces) seem to get the upper hand.
Karma:word with various meanings: action, activity, sacrifice, rituale action, principle of causality. Mainly, it's used to indicate that casue-effect law that makes us to reap in one next life the fruits of actions and thoughts of a past life. It's a mechanical law which could be trascended through spiritual practices, until the reaching of Liberazione.
Krishna: one of the great divine incarnations, 8th incarnation of Vishnu (the 2nd person of Hindu Trinity: Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva). He is Arjuna's charioteer in the Bhagavad-Gita, symbolizing the Impersonal Self trascending the manifested and non-manifested kingdoms.
Lila: game, the "Divine Play"; the Manifestation; the presence of Divinity as an autonomous principle not involved in the becoming of his own manifestation.
Lingam: symbol of the creating energy, two types are known: the Lingam, simply, and the Shiva-Lingam. The first is an egg-like item (that Sai Baba sometimes "materializes" from the mouth) representing the creation of manifested universe. The second, which more specifically symbolizes the divine's creative energy, is a phallic symbol.
Mahabharata:"The great India". Great epic poem (Itihasa) to which belongs the Bhagavad-Gita.
Mantra: sacred word orformula, words or sounds withh the purpose of acquiring or stabilizing certain powers or consciousness states. Wavering thought.
Maya: metaphysicalignorance. Phenomenon. The empirical phenomenic world. All that is modification superimposed to the pure Consciousness of the Self. What is neither real nor unreal but that, from the point of view of the Reality [the Self], simply "is not". The world of changes and transfromation.
Occam, rasoio di:very useful empiric rule: it states, when facing more hypothesis, all well explaining a phenomenon or a fact, to choose always the simplest one and with less variables (or with less "a priori" arguments).
OM (o AUM) : the SacredSyllable, imperishable among all, symbol of Absolute, of infinite and of all its conceveiments made by man. The sanskrit symbol representing the syllable is also particularly sacred in all India, as symbol of Wholeness and trascendent Non-duality. The OM syllable is composed by the three sound-letters A, U, M, indicating precise consciousness states; it is present in almost every Mantra as fundamental meditation seed.
Padanamaskar: the act, particularly significative and auspicious, of touching (or kissing) the Avatar's feet. his feet (also said Lotus Feet) are considered very important: they are the point of physical contact between the Divine and Earth; and in the same way the lotus stays on stagnant water without being dirtied, the Avatar stands on the Earth without being involved.
Palming:hand movement performed during conjuring tricks: the thumb, covered by rotating hand, brings the object to be "created" inside the hand's palm. In general, the "materializing" items through sleights-of-hand (the palming is one of them).
Pandava:protagonists of Mahabharata's war, they are five virtuous brothers (one of them is Arjuna) opposited to the evil Kaurava, in the war between good and evil.
PK:parapsychological abbreviation indicating the psyco-kinetic phenomenons.
Prana:"vital breath", "cosmic breathing", "vital energy"; in man it manifests with the breathing (even if it is not the breathing); in nature, is the subtle base of all phenomenic world. The various effects such as electromagnetism, gravitation, etc., wouldn't be nothing more than coarse effects of the subtle Prana.
Puja: devotional practice, worshipping; it also indicates the typical hindu altar on which that practice is performed.
Purnavatar: the perfectAvatar. The "incarnation" or "descent" of a "Principle".
Rama: name given to various divine incarnations. Brother of Krishna. Avatar of Vishnu, protagonist of the Ramayana (to this Rama always refers Sai Baba).
Sai Ram:saluto typical and conventional salutation between Sai Baba's devotees: it is composed by "Sai", recalling SB's name, and "Ram" recalling Rama's name. Its meaning is varying: it could mean "hello", "how are you" "OK", etc.; the same "sevas" inside Sai Baba's ashram express themselves continuously with this expression.
Sanathana Dharma:"the eternal Cosmic Order", the Perennial Law ruling the manifested cosmic cicle. The Perennial Armony of Being.
Sankalpa:divine will, resolution.
Shakti: widely"energy". It could be intended as cosmic, creative energy, associated to Shiva; in the material ground is the ability and power of the divine, to assume any phenomenic manifestation it wills and resolves, by means of the simple will (sankalpa).
Shastra: term meaning generally all the Sacred Scriptures.
Shirdi Sai Baba:muslim holy man from the village of Shirdi in India, with teachings tending to the unification with hinduism, he died in 1918. He's considered, according to the word of Sathya Sai Baba himslef (the actual one), the first incarnation of Sai Baba's "avataric triad" : Shirdi Sai Baba --> Sathya Sai Baba --> Prema Sai Baba (the future Sai Baba, who would have birth around 2030).
Shiva, Shivaratri:third person of the Hindu Trinity, is greatly worshipped in India. He's almost always associated to his "energy", the "Shiva-Shakti", which is both creative (is the female part of the polar couple Shiva / Shakti, and it's the very basis of the manifested universe) and destructive: at the end of divine's manifestatio, Shiva-Shakti will "dissolve" or "reabsorb" all the creation into the "One withou Second", the non-manifested. Shivaratri ("the great night of Shiva") is a very important hindu festival dedicated to Shiva and Shakti.
Siddhi:psychic powers obtained through spiritual practices, for ex. yoga disciplines.
Swami:appellative both affectionate and reverent given to Gurus; it means more or less "master". Name very often used to call Sai Baba, almost a synonymous.
Telugu:dialect of India's region from where Sai Baba comes; it's his native language, the only he speaks fluently.
Upanishad:group of hindu sacred texts, also called Vedanta, composed in various ages. The meaning of the word indicates those knowledges, given during teaching sessions between master and disciples, at the purpose to gain the Supreme Knowledge.
Veda:sacred scriptures that, according to hindu tradition, are from direct divine origin, inspired to the sages (rishi) during their meditations. The word's meaning is exactly "what has been seen, realized". The Vedas are four: Rig-veda, Sama-veda, Yajur-veda, Atharva-veda. These collections are the exposition of this divine revealed science and knowledge.
Vedanta:"the fulfillment of Veda", it consists of three great phylosophical doctrines (see above Advaita Vedanta)
Vibhuti:manifestation of divine energy. Incarnation of an energetic divine aspect. Power acquired with yoga practice. Name of the sacred ash "materialized" by Sai Baba, to indicate its metaphysycal meaning.
Vidya: The Knowledge, Knowledge of Reality, conscious meditation leading to Realization. From this word derives "a-vidya", that is the ignorance of Supreme Reality.
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General issues: what is this about?
The travel to Sai Baba, and my personal experience
Specific issues # 1
Specific issues # 2
Specific issues # 3
Specific issues # 4
Glossary of terms
Related links (pro and con !!!)
The "Golden Age" of Sai
Sai Baba - the "Bad Side"
Links to the thematic pages