Hallelujiah, Hare Krishna, [fill in blank]
December 26, 2008 7:26 PM   Subscribe

Interfaith Filter: are there any more words or expressions in other faiths/languages that are akin to the Judeo-Christian "Hallelujiah"? What are they?

I'm making a sort of collection of "praise words" in other faiths akin to "Hallelujiah" -- so far I've only found "Alhamdulillah," an Arabic word used in Islam meaning "Praise to God." There's also "Hare Krishna" and "Hare Rama" (actually, it was listening to the song "My Sweet Lord" that started me off on this, how the backing lyrics swing from "Hallelujiah" to "Hare Krishna" towards the end). There's gotta be more out there -- what else?
posted by EmpressCallipygos to Religion & Philosophy (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by Artw at 7:39 PM on December 26, 2008

Ia, Ia! (Cthulhu fhtagn!)
posted by The Bellman at 7:42 PM on December 26, 2008

Hare rama and Hare Krishna - are not really praise words. More like 'Lord Krishna' and 'Lord Rama' - Rama and Krishna being Gods as per Hindu Mythology (India).
posted by bbyboi at 7:43 PM on December 26, 2008

Masha'Allah is used in the sense of "God has willed it," upon hearing good news. So, as one might say, "Hallelujah, you're having a baby!" Muslims might say "Masha'Allah, you're having a baby!"

(IANAM; have Pakistani Muslim friends)
posted by desjardins at 7:51 PM on December 26, 2008

Tangentially related (?)

Emaho! or e-ma-ho! Tibetan Interjection expressive of compassion for all living creatures.
posted by desjardins at 7:58 PM on December 26, 2008

gassho is a gesture meaning reverence and thankfulness to Buddha.
posted by desjardins at 8:00 PM on December 26, 2008

Though it's come to be used as sort of generic "praise word," it actually does have a rather specific meaning, as it invokes the Jewish name for God. As you've found, the Arabic alhamdulillah does have a similar meaning, and likewise invokes the Arabic name for God, but I think that's it unless you've come across another ancient monotheistic religion of which I'm not aware. So for generic expressions of praise or thanks, sure, there are probably analogs in other religions/languages, but for words meaning "Glory be to God," that's probably it.
posted by valkyryn at 8:13 PM on December 26, 2008

Slava domnului – Romanian
Слава Богу (slava bogu) – Russian
posted by vkxmai at 8:24 PM on December 26, 2008

In Wicca, there's "Blessed be".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:34 PM on December 26, 2008

The Egyptian reconstructionist pagans I know use "Dua [name of deity]" for "Praise Whomever" and "Nekhtet!" for a general sort of congratulatory praising (sort of the Kemetic "qapla'!", I guess).

Asatruar, Norse recon pagans, tend to use "Hail [name of deity]."
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:02 PM on December 26, 2008

posted by meta_eli at 10:52 PM on December 26, 2008

If you watch Chinese kung-fu epics you may well see Buddhist monk characters invoking the name of the Buddha of Infinite Light, Amitabha, which in romanised Mandarin is Namo Amituofo. There's a particular religious function to invoking the name of the Buddha but use has extended to become a more generic exclamation of praise imo.
There's also "善哉" (shan zai) which is a Chinese version of the Pali "sadhu" (it sez in Chinese at link) which basically just means "good" but gets used as an exclamation in situations where it's more like "it's all good" in the infinite rightness of the Buddha-world (or something, I'm no expert).
posted by Abiezer at 2:12 AM on December 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Ema-ho is more like "eureka!", an expression of surprise at something good.

The Tibetan lama I knew would say "nyingjé" when he wanted to remind us of a circumstance requiring compassion.
posted by zadcat at 7:27 AM on December 27, 2008

This is just the kind of info I'm looking for - thanks, and I'm continuing to check back.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:59 AM on December 27, 2008

Search a Bible concordance for hallelujah and you'll find that it is almost exclusively used in the context of God's judgment. When I discovered this, it changed my attitude about the use of this word for general praise of God.
posted by partner at 9:13 AM on December 27, 2008

"Banzai!" --> "(May the Emperor live for) ten thousand years" captures "Hallelilujiah" in Japanese. "Banzai" is not a common expression, but is used (perhaps) at the end of parties or to mark a rare and important event.

"Banzai" actually comes from China (the word, therefore, is not particularly chauvinistic in Japan), and probably crops up in other northeast Asia cultures such as Korea.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:00 AM on December 27, 2008

Re: Hare Krishna -- I think bbyboi is correct but this chant is often woven with "jaya Prabhupada!" in which JAYA is Sanskrit for "victory" <- Wikipedia, Prabhupada the mortal (?) founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) movement.
posted by ezekieldas at 3:17 PM on December 27, 2008

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