Audio Glossary: B

Bahá’í Faith
A universalist religion originating in 19th Century Persia and now with followers throughout the world. It stresses the essential unity of all faiths and emphasises social mindedness.
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(1817 ‚Äě 1892) Title meaning 'the Glory of God' adopted by Mirza Husayn Ali, founder of the the Bahá’í faith.
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In the majority of Christian traditions a ceremony of initiation into the Church involving real or token immersion in water and deriving from the use of a ritual bath of purification in Judaism.
bat chayil
'Daughter of worthiness', a ceremony for girls at the age of 12 in some Jewish communities to mark the transition to adulthood (in terms of personal responsibility for keeping Mitzvot); other synagogues have a similar ceremony they call Bat mitzvah.
'Son of the commandment'. At the age of 13 a Jewish boy becomes personally responsible for obeying Torah injunctions; this is usually celebrated and the celebration is also known as a bar mitzvah.
'Daughter of the commandment'. At the age of 12 a Jewish girl becomes personally responsible for obeying Torah injunctions; this is celebrated in some congregations.
Literally, 'the Song of the Lord'. Now contained within the great epic, the Mahabharata, The Bhagavadgita is very popular among Hindu scriptures.
Bhai Gurdas
A companion of the early Sikh Gurus whose own writings may be read in Gurdwaras.
Bhai Kanaiya
A Sikh famous for giving water and aid indiscriminately to all injured soldiers on the battlefield.
The designation for any writer of religious poetry (other than the Gurus) whose works appear in the Adi Granth.
In Hinduism and Sikhism a devotional song usually sung communally.
The Christian holy book divided into an Old Testament (of 39 books) and a New Testament (of 27 books); often printed with an Apocrypha (books from the inter-testamental period of disputed status). The Christian Old Testament contains the same material as the Jewish Bible (see Tenakh).
The raised platform in a synagogue from where the service is conducted and scriptures read.
In Mahayana Buddhism the bodhisattva is one who has vowed to obtain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.
Bodhi tree
In Buddhist tradition, the tree under which Buddha achieved enlightenment (bodhi).
In Hinduism, God the Creator.
In Hinduism, the Brahmins are the priestly caste, whose traditional occupations include transmission of the sacred traditions (veda) and the performance of priestly rituals.
Brit milah
The Jewish covenant of circumcision, requiring every male child to be circumcised, normally on the eighth day after birth - although it may be delayed if there are any concerns as to the health of the baby.
('The Awakened One') In Buddhism a title accorded people who have attained enlightenment, most often applied to Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.
The tradition of thought and practice associated with Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, who lived on the Indian sub-continent, born in what is now Nepal, in the 6th to the 5th century BCE.