Each language contains some word which is non transferable or non-digestive in nature. Today, as we can see English is trying to digest many local languages and translating their meaning in English. Hence, I am here highlighting some terms in Sanskrit which is not digestive and give exactly different meaning if replaced with English word. I know it is look stupid, but after reading this blog. You will agree that why should not Western Indologist, writer doesn’t try to exchange these word.
1. Dharma & religion:
Dharma and religion/faith in English dictionary is consider as same word. Now, many Indians consider religion is dharma but as per oxford dictionary an religion is
Dharma is the eternal law of the cosmos, inherent in the very nature of things.In Hinduism, dharma is seen as the cosmic law both upheld by the gods and expressed in right behaviour by humans, including adherence to the social order. In Buddhism (termed dhamma), it is interpreted as universal truth or law, especially as proclaimed by the Buddha. In Jainism, it is conceived both as virtue and as a kind of fundamental substance, the medium of motion
The basic difference is dharma is not an belief system or set of revelation done by God. It is an eternal cosmic law which depend on righteous action & behaviour and has to be followed by Even God. That’s why in Hinduism dharma uphold more authority than God. In many puranaic stories, whenever even god break dharma they considered as subject of punishment by Kala (time) and Karma.
2. Ataman and Soul
Ataman and soul also consider as single term which is very closed to meaning but in some verse of Sanskrit, ataman refer to non living things also. it also points that, things which is non living are connected through thread of ataman but the concept of soul is very different, it is only used for animals and humans which is sentient.
Soul: The spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.
“Ātman” (Atma, आत्मा, आत्मन्) is a Sanskrit word which means “essence, breath, soul.”.Ātman, sometimes spelled without a diacritic as atman in scholarly literature,means “real self” of the individual,”innermost essence”,and soul.
Here ataman is reference to inner most consciousness of humans and animal which is soul, but ataman refer to universal consciousness. Its also used for the real self identity of human soul. An identity within Human soul. The real god within human consciousness. The real goal, the manifestation of god within Humans. Hence due to real consciousness to inner soul of humans, its also consider manifested into non living things. which connected through universal consciousness and react as per karma-fala theory.
3. Gyan and Knowledge
Gyan is known as an spiritual awareness which include elevated mind who can see through short slightness of anger, lust, greed, love, paap. This Gyan is more about elevated experience and meditative rather than fact full systemically controlled knowledge system. Gyan itself consist, Vi-Gyan (Scientific knowledge and skilled knowledge) and Para0-gyana (Wisdom knowledge to ataman to see Sat (truth) and chit-anada (mental/natural peace).
Gyan: Knowledge, especially spiritual or religious knowledge.
Gyan Yoga is one of the three main way, which are supposed to lead towards Moksha (liberation) from material miseries. The other two main paths are karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga.
4. Paap and Sin
“Paap” and “Sin” is another term which is interchanged so much during translation. “Paap/bad karma” has very different logic than “Sin”. while Sin consider as an immoral act against God law while paap is more flexible term. Paap is not always action, it is unrightful mental, spiritual, behavioral, verbal, social, dharmic conduct of Gyanedirya (Knowledge organs) and genendriya (sexual oragns). Even thinking harmfuly against another human in extream anger is consider as Paap or not following dharmic duty while it include righteousness is also consider as paap.
Paap : An unrightful conduct of an human outside the boundry of dharma is consider as paap.
Paap can be done by even demigods, Gods, human and other celestial being. Paap is not always result punishment, its sometime exert an divine plane to upbringing of righteousness. For example, Unmoral conduct of kekeyi (Lord ram step mother) leads the event which is eventually end up with end of evil Ravana. her paap exerted as boon to humanity.
5. God and Brahman & Brahmin
“God” in very definition is (In Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being. while in Sanskrit there is no resemble word seems to God, Only things which is very close to this definition is “brahman”. Brahman is an supreme principle/law/consciousness which govern the multiverse and manifested into three prime deity Lord Brahma (Universal manifestation of energy and matter), Lord Vishnu (Protector of universal law and changeability) and Lord Shiva (an destructive force which leads time to destruction of energy and matter, its an disintegration and disorder in order things).
Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes.Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind the diversity in all that exists in the universe.
God is creator and ruler of this universe and source of all moral authority, he is generally consider as male in all monotheistic religions and has image in form of humans. He has reveled himself through prophet at time to time and end up with a holy book of instruction with highest moral code. (well, which is now seems old for new generation).
Brahman and Brahmin is genrally considerably interchanged with each other in understanding. Brahmin is an Varna (labour division) for education and thinking purpose while brahman is an super natural force which govern universe. The closeness between these words is indication that those who learn and educate the society is more close to god. they who understand the law of universe.
6. Cast and jati or Varna
This the biggest misconception against western and most educated leftist of India. where they equate cast to jati and varna. Jati and varna is so different to each other like milk and water. or cast is different from both is every aspect of definition.
Cast: cast is born based system of race which indicate the race of different people in social system. cast is the world used by European orientalist during their explanation of slavery of black people. They explain that all black peoples are sons of Ham (One biblical character, and one of the son of Noah) which has been crush to slavery due to mocking his father by Ham. This ideology has made early development of birth base cast system which indicate that, every son of ham is consider as lower cast and subjected to slavery. This same very system European tried to imposed into India after being confused between Varna system (labor skill based system) as cast system (birth based system), In past records of scripture and history clearly indicate that this jati within varna is very transferable. ex ved-vaysha, Chandragupta murya, Valmiki etc.
Jati: jati is indication of someone blood lineage and used in almost every religion to remembrance of their family history and heritage. jati has nothing to do with Varna. jati can be consider based on some powerful men in their history. For example, Gandhi is most prominent leader in India during freedom war, this title has been used by many other leader in their lineage and has nothing to do with their class and cast.
Varna: Varna is labor based system which differentiate society into four group. brahminm kashtriya, vaishya and shudra. The term untouchable is added later by European orientalist to play their race science in Indian sub-continental. No, Indian scripture refer untouchable in Indian History. Now Brahmin is metaphase as brain of god. if consider God as a sociological term,
Brahmin who were teacher, Guru, adviser, sage and wise being living as hermit were brain of society and have higher authority over king. this is equal to think tanks and political, social advisor to president and prime Minister.
second, kashtirya was the group which hold protection, order and law within society which now these days played by Army, Police, Fire police, traffic police and Intelligence agency.
Third Vaishya were murchent who do deal with the foreigion traders, play an important role in taxation and business.
Fourth, Shudra were group of skilled labour who play various roll and outnumbers from others. The untouchables comes when europian experimented with indian tribes and with help of lord risely they prepare data based on nose length and social wealth. this data include different Jati based on their current wealth and nose length. They had done this data gathering in 4 decade from 1850 to 1890. after closed observation, they suggested that all wealthy Jati are brahman, vaishya and kashtirya and lower were shudra. But they consider tribe threat to their colonial expansion so they prepared Criminal tribal act of India and tag them untouchable to society for disconnection and easy extermination. hence term untouchable developed.
Todays, due to political interest and opportunism this European based cast system in embedded to Indian mind.