Glossary - Important Terms related to the Sankaradeva Movement
Cāri-vastu: Four fundamental principles of Sankarite religion: Deva (refuge in Lord Krishna), Nāma (glorification of the Name of god), Guru (acceptance of a preceptor), and Bhakat (the company of devotees or satsanga).
Carit-puthi: Biography of Vaishnava Saints.
Dāmodariyā: Followers of Dāmodaradeva whose followers established the Brahma-samhati.
Dekā Adhikār: Vice-pontiff of Satra.
Deuri: Distributor of sacred offerings in religious gathering.
Gāyan: Officer-in-charge of music and singing.
Guru-kar: Tithe: religious tax or contribution.
Hātis: Group of huts in Satra.
Karāpāt: Gateway of Satra.
Kāyastha: Kāyastha (or satsudra) caste. Kāyasthas - persons belonging to this caste. There is no definite opinion about their origin. Some say they are Sudra, others say they are Ksatriyas. Assam Kāyasthas, unlike their Bengal counterparts, have no surnames. They are also known as 'sat karma Kāyastha' . They are known as a scribe-class, mostly associated with pen-manship. 'Kāitheli Vidyā' is the knowledge to be learnt by the Kāyasthas. 'Kāitheli Bhāsā' is a kind of old Assamese language. 'Kāitheli ākhar' is the alphabet found used in the old manuscripts, believed to be written by the Kāyasthas of Ancient Assam.
Kevaliyā: Celibate monk.
Kirtan-ghar: Prayer-hall, term used mostly in Lower Assam.
Krishna-nāc: Form of dance by Krishna; a genre of Satriyā
Mahanta: Leader of Satra;
Mahapurushiyā: Sankaradeva's sect.
Māhaprasād: Sacred offerings consisting of pulse, uncooked rice and fruit.
Manikut: Shrine: small house attached to Namghar where sacred text is placed on thāpana, or singhasana or Guru Āsana.
Medhi, Rāj-Medhi: Officers who periodically supervise the religious life of the disciples.
Nām-kirttan: Community singing of the Name of God.
Pācani: Officer who collects tithes and contributions from disciples.
Padasilā: Foot-prints (of Sankaradeva and Madhavadeva).
Pāthak: Reciter of religious texts.
Prasanga: Religious service; matins.
Prasād: Sacred offering.
Sāj-tolā: Officer who collects contributions from disciples.
Samhati: (Sub) Sect. The four principal Samhatis are: Brahma-Samhati, Kāla-Samhati, Nikā-Samhati and Purusa-Samhati.
Satrādhikār: Head of Satra; pontiff.
Singhāsana: Wooden throne standing on four carved lions; sacred text is placed on it for worship.
Sravani: Devotees especially appointed to listen to reading and expounding of sacred texts at services.