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RELIGION TERMS

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The Bahir (Judaism) - A major work of early Kabbalah apparently by R. Nehuniah ben Ha-Kana of the first century CE but first circulated at the end of the 1100s in Provence.
Baptism (Christianity) - Rite of initiation into the Christian faith for babies or adults.
Baptist (Christianity) - Christian denomination and member of it which requires adult baptism by total immersion.
Baptistry (Christianity) - An artificial pool in a church where people are baptised.
Barakah (Islam) - Grace or the spiritual gift come into the world.
Babur Bani (Sikhism) - God is said to have sent Babur, the Mughal emperor, as death's messenger. References are in the Guru Granth Sahib.
Baisakhi (Sikhism) - Annual April 13th celebration for when Guru Amardas initiated the annual gathering of Sikhs at Goindwal in 1567. In 1699 Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa order on the same date.
Bani (Sikhism) - An abbreviation of Gurbani, applied to any of the writings which appear in the Guru Granth Sahib. See Bhagat Bani.
Batin (Islam) - Inward revelation and of God who is described in the Qur'an as being both the Inward (al-batin) and the Outward (al-zahir).
Berakliah (Judaism) - Blessing.
Beth din (Judaism) - Legal function of a synagogue. Literally a 'house of law'
Bhagat Bani (Sikhism) - Any of the writings in the Guru Granth Sahib not written by the Gurus.
Bhagavad Gita (Hinduism) - 'The Song of the Lord'. The most famous and popular Hindu scripture of before 200 BCE and part of the Mahabharata in which the avatar Krishna reveals himself to the warrior Arjuna about to battle and gives direction in how to do his duty and fight, a metaphor for duty based yoga.
Bhajans (Hinduism) - Devotional hymns forming a major part of bhakti worship.
Bhrigu
Bhrigu (Hinduism) - A sage in ancient legend.
Bhakti (Hinduism) - Devotion and love to a personal God usually by hymn singing and even dancing. There is puja too. Bhaktiyoga, the Way of Love, is one of the ways to gain merit towards Moksha by this devotion.
Bhikkhu (Pali: bhikshu) (Buddhism) - Usually a monk or nun (bhikkhuni, Pali: bhikshuni) who is supported by the voluntary sharing or almsgiving of others. Literally almsman.
Bhishma (Hinduism) - Kaurava dynasty elder who lets himself be killed by Arjuna in the Mahabharata battle.
Bible (Christianity) - Literally 'book'. The Bible combines the Jewish scriptures Tenakh (Tanakh) / Old Testament with the Christian New Testament, and is the Canon of each faith but the Old Testament can contain the Apocrypha recognised by Roman Catholicism because it is in the Greek bible.
Bimah (Judaism) - A platform in the centre of a synagogue from where the Jewish sacred scrolls are read.
Bodhisattva (Buddhism) - The state achieved of moving into enlightenment, as Buddha did in previous lives and before sitting under the Bodhi Tree. In Mahayana bodhisattva return again to help others rather than enter Nirvana.
Book of Common Prayer (Christianity) - Collection of services, orders and other materials approved fur use in the English national Church in 1662.
Brahma (Hinduism) - The Hindu creator god and communicator of divine knowledge (not Brahman!) that exists with Vishnu (preserver) and Shiva (destroyer).
Brahma charya (Hinduism) - A celibate student of Vedic knowledge. It involves self control and purity (conduct leading to God).
Brahman (Hinduism) - The holy supreme power in and throughout the universe being the highest God. This supreme Reality is the ground of being and an impersonal God.
brahmanirvana (Hinduism) - Spiritual goal; union with eternity, union in Brahman (nirvana in Brahman).
Brahmavidya (Hinduism) - The science of knowing Brahman.
Brahmin (Hinduism) - The priestly caste of society. Not all Brahmins are priests, but they have the ability and right.
Brihaspati (Hinduism) - The guru/ priest of the gods.
Buddha (Buddhism) - A title meaning 'awakened' or 'enlightened one'. Gautama was awakened under the Bodhi tree, meaning he was enlightened, and anyone can achieve this. Siddhartha Gautama Shakyamuni is the full name when enlightened. As well as the central teacher of Buddhism, Buddha is an avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism.
Buddha Dal (Sikhism) - The 'army of veterans' formed by Nawab Kapur Singh in 1733. They look after Sikh holy places, preach, and initiate new converts to the Khalsa.
buddhi - Discriminating in the understanding of the correct view or correct purpose through true intelligence.
Buddhist (Buddhism) - One who follows the teachings of Gautama, the Buddha of 2500 years ago.

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