Paddy : rice grain before husks have been removed

Padmasana : usual yoga lotus posture for meditation practice. The practitioner is sitting on the ground (or on a cushion), back straight, legs crossed with knees on the ground, and soles of the foot turned up.

Pahârî : style of miniature painting who developed itself as the Kângrâ school, in the small Kangri kingdom, under the patronage of Rajpût kings, during the 17 th and 18 th centuries; after years, this art was diffused to Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, in several centres like Kulû, Guler, Nurpûr, etc.; this style is quite unlike the Moghol style, the most known at that time

Pallava : following after the first Chola rulers, Kanchipuram was the capital of the Pallava around the end of the 3 th century. During the 7 th and the 8 th centuries, this dynasty ruled over a region extending from centre of Andhra Pradesh far to the Kaveri River; the capital was Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu).
The period of king Narasimhavarman (630-668) was the acme of the Pallava influence and power. This great sovereign subdued the
Chalukya, on the western border. Actually, the Pallava kings carried out a continuous fight policy against the Chalukya, who were defeated in 642 when Badami was conquered, but who won in return in 674 and 731. The Pallava kings also fighted against the Ganga, the Pandya, the Chola and the Ceylon kings... Later, in the 9 th century, the Pallava themselves were definitely conquered by the Chola from Tanjore and became their vassals. The Pallava dynasty disappeared in the 13 the century

Pândava : in the Mahâbhârata epic, the five Pandu sons (the Pândava) are Yudishtira, Bhîma, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. Their common wife is the beautiful Draupadi. After a long series of events, they have to mercilessly fight against their cousins, the hundred Kaurava, of whom the chief is Duryodhana, in order to recover their realm, because they had been despoiled from it in the past. The Pandava leader in the battle is Arjuna; the divine Krishnâ gives assistance to Arjuna, driving his chariot. This very famous story is narrated in the Bhagavad Gîtâ, one of the chapters of the Mahâbhârata, when Krishna explains to Arjuna the various Yoga principles

Pandya : the capital of the Pandya kings was Madurai (Tamil Nadu). This dynasty is mentionned as early as the Ashoka period (the same for the Chola). The Pandya were not very important till the 10 th century and they were even subdued by the Chola, then. But, they took their revenge during the 13 th and 14 th centuries and dominate the Chola counrty. The Pandya had a lot of armed conflicts with their neighbours Pallava, Chalukya, Hoysala, kings of Ceylon and mainly Chola. The third Pandya dynasty disappeared in 1311 as a consequence of the Malik Kafur attack, on behalf of the Delhi Sultanate.

Paramâra : minor dynasty, a branch of the Râjput, who reigned in the Mâlvâ (south Rajasthan and west Madhya Pradesh). Their capital was Ujjain, from the 10 th to the 12 th century

Parashu : axe, one of the emblems that Ganesh holds

Parshvanath : 23 rd Master of the 24 Tîrthankara. He is represented with a canopy of seven cobras over His head. He is generally supposed to have lived about the 7th century B.C.

Pârvatî : "Daughter of the Mountain", female counterpart (= Shakti, i.e. the creative power of the God) of Shiva. Pârvatî is the mother of Ganesh. She is also the queen of goblins and rambling spirits, and commands to the Gana. She is usually represented as a peaceful form of Shiva

Pasha : noose, slip-knot, a very usual emblem of Ganesh

Payasam : dessert made of milk and thin noodles

Pingala Nadi : Nadi where the "solar" energy (prana) flows. See Nadi

Pippal : Ficus religiosa, sacred tree, dedicated to the Trimûrti (Shiva, Brahmâ, Vishnu). This tree, usually called pippal, is also the sacred tree of the Buddhists since Buddha got Illumination when He meditated under such a tree (bodhi=Awakening, thus the name "bodhi tree")

Pîtha : this term has several meanings. Generally speaking, pîtha is a place. First, the "Shakti Pîtha" are the holy places where the body of Sati, wife of God Shiva, felt on earth, after Her death. Second, a pîtha is the lower part of a temple; it comprises decorative friezes in successive bands. Third, the pîtha is the throne, the seat were gods are sitting. For instance, the Ganesh pîtha is often represented, on Rajasthani paintings (on haveli walls or on miniatures), as a six-edged table. In other cases, it can be a tall throne, adorned with cushions and decorations, or a double lotus. Pîtha is also one of the sacred places (Shakti Pîtha) where the different parts of the Goddess body felt on Earth in ancient times

Prabha : (or prabhavali) halo behind the god head

Prakriti : in the Sâmkhya philosophy, Prakriti is the principle of the Material World, the feminine active pole. She permanently interacts with Purusha, thus producing the Manifested World. Prakriti functions thanks to the tendencies expressed by the Guna. After several centuries, this Samkhya Prakriti concept became more or less similar with the Shakti concept

Prâna : vital breath. The prâna theory is extremely important, particularly in the Yoga practices called prânâyâma, which aim to control breath rhythm. According to Yoga teachings, the prâna which gives life and moves man (when inhaling and exhaling), is the same that gives life to the worlds

Pranava : usual name of the OM mantra, also called Omkara (then worshipped as a deity in Omkareshvar, south west Madhya Pradesh)

Prânâyâma : many yoga techniques have the purpose to control human breath and its rhythm. The practice first, will regulate, equilibrate the inhaling-exhaling pace, which leads to obtain equal flows through Ida and Pingala Nadi. In a second stage, the practice will guide the yoga student to slow down his breath pace, introducing progressively longer no-breath periods between the successive inhaling - exhaling - inhaling actions. These methods require to be teached by a skilled professor. The prânâyâma are included in the Hatha Yoga branch

Prithivî : one of the names of goddess Earth, wife of god Dyaus, the Sky in the Vedic religion

Pûjâ : god worship in front of His image (statue or other). The pûjâ may be publicly performed, in temples, or privately, at home. The private pûjâ is performed daily by the householder, following the prescriptions of a simplified ritual. Particular pûjâ are performed by skilled pujari (men in charge to do it), for marriages or other important ceremonies

Puñyaka : purification practices which Pârvatî carried out during an ascetic period, in order to obtain merits (puñya = merits)

Purâna : late texts (about 12 th to 14 th century) narrating legends and mythologies of gods

Purusha : Cosmic Consciousness, according to the Sâmkhya, one of the six darshana in Hinduism; in a previous sense of the pre-vedic mythology, the word Purusha meant the "Cosmic Man", that is to say the macrocosmic level considered as a huge body (while the man is the microcosmic one)

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