The ten traditional Niyamas
Niyama (Sanskrit: नियम niyama, "restraint", "observance", "rule", "restriction", (in abl.[clarification needed]) "certainly", "necessarily") generally denotes a duty or obligation adopted by a spiritual aspirant (or community of same), or prescribed by a guru or by scripture (notably, the niyamas of raja yoga). The semantic range above reflects the breadth of the term's application in practice, and in the Buddhist sense extends to the determinations of nature, as in the Buddhist niyama dhammas. In Pāli the spelling niyāma is often used. Hinduism Niyama
Dāna or Daan (Pāli, Sanskrit: दान dāna) is generosity or giving, a form of alms. In Hinduism and Buddhism, it is the practice of cultivating generosity. Ultimately, the practice culminates in one of the perfections (pāramitā): the perfection of giving - dāna-pāramitā. This can be characterized by unattached and unconditional generosity, giving and letting go. Dāna
Āstika and nāstika Āstika (Sanskrit: आस्तिक āstika; "it exists") and Nāstika (नास्तिक, nāstika; "it doesn't exist") are technical terms in Hinduism used to classify philosophical schools and persons, according to whether they accept the authority of the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures, or not, respectively. By this definition, Nyāyá, Vaiśeṣika, Sāṃkhya, Yoga, Mīmāṃsā and Vedānta are classified as āstika schools; and some schools like Cārvāka, Ājīvika, Jainism and Buddhism are considered nāstika. The distinction is similar to the orthodox/heterodox distinction in the West. In non-technical usage, the term āstika is sometimes loosely translated as "theist", while nāstika is translated as "atheist". However, this interpretation is distinct from the use of the term in Hindu philosophy. Notably even among the āstika schools, Sāṃkhya is an atheistic philosophy. The different usages of these terms are explained by Chatterjee and Datta as follows:
In the context of Hinduism and Hindu mythology, the term vrata (pronunciation: vrat or brat) denotes a religious practice to carry out certain obligations with a view to achieve divine blessing for fulfillment of one or several desires. Etymologically, vrata, a Sanskrit word (and also used in several Indo-European languages), means to vow or to promise. In Jainism, the vratas (elements of self-control) form the core of the practical Jainism. The Jain monks follow the five Mahavratas (great vratas), while the laity follow the five Anuvratas (minuscule vratas). Vrata
Origins Vyasa, the narrator of the Mahabharata, is traditionally considered the compiler of the Puranas. However, the earliest written versions date from the time of the Gupta Empire (third-fifth century CE) and much material may be dated, through historical references and other means, to this period and the succeeding centuries. The texts were probably written all over India. The date of the production of the written texts does not define the date of origin of the Puranas. On one hand, they existed in some oral form before being written while at the same time, they have been incrementally modified well into the 16th century. An early reference is found in the Chandogya Upanishad (7.1.2). Puranas
Japa (Sanskrit: जप) is a spiritual discipline involving the meditative repetition of a mantra or name of a divine power. The mantra or name may be spoken softly, enough for the practitioner to hear it, or it may be spoken purely within the reciter's mind. Japa may be performed while sitting in a meditation posture, while performing other activities, or as part of formal worship in group settings. Japa
Tapas (Sanskrit) Tapasya - Jain meditation in progress. Tapas (tapas, Sanskrit: तपस्) means deep meditation, effort to achieve self-realization, sometimes involving solitude, hermitism or asceticism; it is derived from the word root tap (Sanskrit: तप् or ताप) which depending on context means "heat" from fire or weather, or blaze, burn, shine, penance, pain, suffering, mortification.