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A Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism (Concise Encyclopedia of by Klaus K. Klostermaier

By Klaus K. Klostermaier

With entries on every little thing from Manu to Gandhi and the Ramesvaram to the Himalayas, this can be a useful reference publication.

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Mahatma GANDHI fought for their rehabilitation; he called them Harijan, ‘God’s people’, and tried to educate and integrate them. The Indian constitution of 1950 abolished untouchability and made it punishable to disadvantage people on this ground. Measures to grant them more access to positions in public service and to schools have met with much resistance, often violent, in recent years. äÿrama (1) (‘work place’), also ashram äÿrama (2) Stage in life, of which according to the there are four: BRAHMACARYA (early youth), GARHASTHYA (life of householder), VÄNAPRASTHA (life in forest), and SAMNYÄSA (life of renunciation, homelessness).

Arunäcala (‘Red mountain’) A large hill in South India sacred to Ÿiva, next to Tiruvannamalai, an ancient place of pilgrimage. It became well known through RAMANA MAHARÆI who went there as a young boy and established an ashram that attracted many devotees from India and abroad. Äryans (from ärya, ‘noble’) The self-designation of the Vedic people as distinct from the anärya, the unfree and the tribals. Their rules were called ärya dharma; acting contrary to these was anärya, ‘ignoble’. Äryabhaflfla (fifth century CE) The earliest known Indian mathematician and astronomer, author of the famous Äryabhaflflïya and the Äryasiddhänta.

His good deeds earned him rulership over the three worlds. The gods implored Vi•æu to restore their realms. Vi•æu, in the form of the dwarf Vämana, asked Bali for a boon: as much land as he could cover with three strides. Bali agreed, and then Vi•æu stepped with two strides over heaven and earth. Bali offered his head as a rest for Vi•æu’s third stride. Out of consideration for his kindness and Prahläda’s devotion Vi•æu left the netherworlds to Bali. His capital was MAHÄBALIPURA. Encyclo - Letter B 10/2/03 9:37 am Page 35 Bhagavad-gïtä 35 bali See PIŒ¥A.

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