A Glossary of Sacred Phrases used in the Dances

There are many alternative translations of these phrases. These are offered as a brief guide to some of the more common phrases used in the Dances but are not meant to be definitive or complete. There are also often variations in the phrases or their pronunciation. Where there is no indication to the contrary they are of Sufi/Islamic origin.

Abdullah : Servant of God/Allah as in " Ya Muhammad Abdullah".

Abwoon d'bashmaya : The first line of the Christian Lords prayer in Aramaic; Usually translated Our Father who art in Heaven. One possible alternative translation : O Thou the Breathing Life of All, Creator of the Shimmering Sound that touches us.

Ashem Voho : Let the light of God's truth be the heart's guide. (Zoroastrian)

Alhamdulillah : All praise to God or all praise belongs to God.

Allah Ho Akbar : There is no power or might save in Allah; God is infinitely greater than any concept about the Divine; peace is power; or God alone is powerful.

Amin : So be it. Amen.

As-Salaam Aleikum : Peace be with you.

Bismillah : We begin in the name of Allah.

Bismillah er-Rahman er-Rahim : We begin in the name of Allah/God, most Merciful and Compassionate; or we begin in the name, light and sound of Unity, from Whose womb comes mercy and compassion, the sun and moon of love.

Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru : A composite mantra in the Sikh tradition; There is one creator of the creation, true (truth) is the creators Name, the creators greatness is experienced by the grace of the Guru.

Estaferallah : I ask God pardon or I seek refuge in the purifying presence of God.

Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha : Concluding phrase of the Buddhist Heart Sutra; Gone Gone, Gone Beyond, Gone Beyond the Beyond, to Buddhahood, so be it.

Hu : The essence of the Essence; the ever-present Divine sound; the "nameless Name" of the Divine, Gods very face.

La illaha el il Allah : Nothing exists except Unity; there is no God but God; or there is no separation from the One Being. This is a dialect version of the Islamic phrase La illaha illa'llah.

Kyrie Eleison : Christian Greek litergy; Lord have Mercy or He is Mercy.

Mohammed ar-Rasulillah : Muhammed is the messanger of God.

Om : In Hinduism the Sound that began the Universe; the Sound behind all sounds.

Om Mani Padme Hum or Om Mani Peme Hung (Tibetan version) : Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus. A Buddhist mantra used to activate one's identification with the Bodhisattva of Compasion.

Om Tare Tu Tare Ture Soha : A Buddhist invocation to Tara, the female counterpart to Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compasion; Praise to Tara, Praise to the Great Mother, who liberates from suffering, who grants all success.

Om Namah Shivaya : Om, all homage to Shiva. Shiva is the Hindu Destroyer/Transformer. As Lord of the Dance Shiva dances the cosmos in and out of existence.

Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram : Hindu Taraka mantra; God who is at once truth and power, personal and impersonal, Victory to Thee! Victory to Thee!

Subhan Allah : God is to be worshipped; glory be to God.

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