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(271 words)

Author(s): Gietz, Karl-Peter
1. The Sanskrit word asrama, ‘hermitage,’ ‘residence of an ascetic,’ ‘monastery,’ may be derived from sram, ‘exert oneself,’ ‘make an effort,’ ‘perform religious exercises.’ The ashram is also, in ancient Indian literature and religious praxis, the secluded place where ascetics or hermits can perform their exercises undisturbed. Such ascetics received disciples who performed all necessary services (Sanskrit, seva), and remained for some years. Such small ashrams exist even today, both those of hermits and those of teachers ( Guru), with a small number of disciples ( shishyas). 2. …

Hare Krishna Movement (ISKCON)

(1,153 words)

Author(s): Gietz, Karl-Peter
1. A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda inaugurated the Hare Krishna movement, which calls itself International Society for Krishna Consciousness. It belongs to the Vishnuite group Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Saṃpradāya (“Bengali Vishnuitic Tradition”) that goes back to the Bengali Bhaktisaint Caitanya. In the sixteenth century the latter founded a Krishnaitic missionary movement whose way of salvation was the recitation (Sanskrit japa) and communal singing (Sanskrit saṃkīrtana) of the names of Krishna. Around 1850, this movement was reestablished in Bengal in the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Mā…


(984 words)

Author(s): Gietz, Karl-Peter
1. Derived from the Sanskrit verb sadh (‘to attain,’ ‘to perfect’ or ‘to improve’), sadhu is the designation for holy men (and/or, rarely, women) in India. Any religious ascetic or holy person can be called a sadhu. In the more proper sense, sadhus are initiates of various ascetical orders, who either live in settlements ( matha) similar to monasteries, or wander about homeless. Although most of these orders, like Indian religions across the board (→ Hinduism), can be considered as Shivaites or Vishnuites, in their religious practices many traits of…

Osho Movement

(995 words)

Author(s): Gietz, Karl-Peter
1. The Osho Movement is a new religious movement, whose name is the one last adopted by its founder, who had become known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Other names of the Movement are Shree Rajneesh Foundation and Neo-Sannyas Movement, the latter being derived from the Sanskrit samnyāsa, ‘renunciation,’ ‘abandonment of all that is worldly,’ or from samnyāsin, ‘one who has surrendered all.’ This abandonment is traditionally the fourth and last stage of a Hindu's life, in which he abandons all possessions and status. ‘Sannyasin’ is also the name adopted b…


(1,064 words)

Author(s): Gietz, Karl-Peter | Schmull, Heino
Rhythm derives from the Greek rhythmós, ‘time measure,’ ‘beat,’ and can also mean, ‘proportion’ in general; gestalt or ‘form’ (‘shape’); and, in Ionic, ‘custom,’ ‘practice,’ ‘habit.’ Originally, the word designates an invariable motion, such as that of the waves of an ocean (in Gk., rhein, ‘to stream,’ ‘to flow’). Thus, rhythm is an ‘arranging,’ an ‘ordering’ (especially with respect to time) by way of cyclical, identical or varied, repetition of the same elements. A distinction must be made among (1) musical rhythm, (2) the rhythm of spe…