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All other entries were obtained from the krishna.com glossary.

Vedic Sanskrit Glossary - A -

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupādasee: Śrīla Prabhupāda

ābhāsa — a shadow.

Abhay — Lit., “fearless.” The name given to Śrīla Prabhupāda at birth.

Abhaya — one of the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)

abhidheya — the regulated activities of the soul for reviving his relationship with the Lord; devotional service.

 abhidheya — The stage of performing regulated activities to revive one’s relationship with the Lord.

abhij˝a — Self-knowing, or fully cognizant.

abhimāna — False identification with a material body.

Abhimanyu — The only son of Arjuna and Subhadrā. He was a promising heir to the Kuru dynasty but died in the Battle of Kurukṣetra while still in his teens. He left his widow, Uttarā, pregnant with Parīkṣit.

Abhimanyu — the heroic son Arjuna and Subhadrā. He was killed by the Son of Duḥśāsana. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)

 abhiras — A degraded tribe of nomadic cowherds. The gopas of Vraja are sometimes disparagingly called Abhiras even though they are actually proper vaiśyas.

abhiṣeka — A ceremonial bath performed in the worship of a Deity or the coronation of a king.

abhiṣeka — a bathing ceremony, particularly for the coronation of a king or the installation of the Lord's Deity form.

Absolute Truth — the ultimate source of all energies.

Acala — a brother of Śakuni. He was killed by Arjuna. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)

ācamana — Purification by water and mantra.

ācamana — a ritual of purification in which one sips water and simultaneously chants names of the Supreme Lord.

ācārya — One who teaches by personal example. Ācāryas in the pure Vaiṣṇava line instruct people and initiate them into the Supreme Lord’s devotional service.

ācārya — a spiritual master who teaches by his own example, and who sets the proper religious example for all human beings.

acchā — A common Hindi expression meaning, “I see,” or, “Is that so?”

acchha — good, 0K, all right.

acintya — Inconceivable.

acintya — inconceivable.

acintya-bhedābheda-tattva — Lord Caitanya’s “simultaneously one and different” doctrine, which establishes the inconceivable, simultaneous oneness and difference of the Lord and His expansions.

acintya-śakti — Inconceivable potency.

Acintya-śakti — the inconceivable energy of the Supreme Lord.

acit — the inert material nature; without life or consciousness

acyuta — Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu, “who never falls.”

Acyuta — a name for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who can never fall down from His position.

Acyutāyus — he fought on the side of Duryodhana. He and his brother Śrutāyus were killed by Arjuna. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)

adbhuta-rasa — the indirect relationship of wonder or amazement.

ādeśa-kārī — the actions resulting from sinful activities.

adhama paḍuyās — degraded scholars who consider devotional activities material.

adhama — the lowest among men.

adharma — irreligion.

ādhibautika — (-kleśa) Miseries caused by other living entities.

adhibhautika — (misery) caused by other living beings.

ādhibhautika-kleśa — miseries inflicted by other living entities.

adhibhūtam — the physical nature.

Adhidaivatam — the universal form of the Supreme Lord.

adhidaivic powers — the administrative functions delegated by the Lord to demigods, such as control over rain, wind and sun.

adhidaivika — (misery) caused by nature.

ādhidaivika-kleśa — natural disturbances caused by the demigods.

ādhidhaivika — (-kleśa) Miseries caused by demigods (natural disasters, etc.).

 adhikāra — Qualification.

adhikārī — One who is qualified.

adhikārī — one who knows the science of Kṛṣṇa and is engaged in His service.

adhīra — One who is not sober or whose senses are not controlled.

adhīra — restless ecstasy of love for Kṛṣṇa.

Adhiratha — foster father of Karṇa. He was a charioteer by profession. He one day found the child Karṇa floating in the Ganges in a basket. His wife was barren and happily he took the child home and gave it to his wife.

adhirūḍha — an advanced symptom of mahā-bhāva found only in the gopīs.

Adhiyaj˝a — the Supersoul, the plenary expansion of the Lord in the heart of every living being.

adhokṣaja — A name of Lord Viṣṇu, meaning “He who is beyond the reach of the material senses.”

Adhokṣaja — a name for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is beyond material sense perception, who is not perceivable by impure material senses.

adhyātma-cetasā — one who depends solely on Kṛṣṇa.

 adhyātmic — Anglicized derivative of the Sanskrit word adhyātmika, “miseries caused by one’s own body and mind.”

adhyātmika — (-kleśa) Miseries caused by one’s own body and mind.

ādhyātmika — miseries arising from one’s own body and mind.

adhyātmika — (misery) caused by one’s own body and mind.

ādi-guru — The first spiritual master of a disciplic succession.

ādi-līla — Initial pastimes, such as the first twenty-four years of Lord Caitanya’s pastimes; the portion of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta recounting those pastimes.

Ādi-līlā — the first twenty-four years of Lord Caitanya’s pastimes.

Ādi-puruṣa — the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, the original person.

Aditi — Dakṣa’s oldest daughter, a wife of Kaśyapa. She gave birth to twelve sons, including the eleven principal demigods (such as Sūrya, Varuṇa, and Indra) and the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Vāmana.

Aditi — the mother of the demigods.

Ādityas — Aditi’s twelve sons: Sūrya, Aryamā, Pūṣā, Tvaṣṭā, Savitā, Bhaga, Dhātā, Vidhātā, Varuṇa, Mitra, Indra, and Lord Vamana. They rule the universe as the principal demigods during the period of the current Manu, Vaivasvata.

Ādityas — the demigods who are descendants of Kaśyapa Muni’s wife, Aditi.

Advaita Prabhusee: Advaitācārya.

advaita — nondual; without differentiation.

advaita-siddhānta — the conclusion of the monists, namely, that the Absolute Truth and the individual living entity are separate in the material state, but that when they are spiritually situated there is no difference between them.

advaita-vāda — the philosophy of absolute oneness taught by Śaṅkarācārya, and whose conclusion is advaita-siddhānta.

Advaita-vādīs — Proponents of the impersonal philosophy of “oneness,” which claims that the Absolute Truth, one without a second, is ultimately formless and that whatever has name and form is an illusion falsely imposed on that impersonal Absolute Truth. See Māyāvādīs.

Advaita-vādīs — atheistic philosophers who say all distinctions are but material illusions. See also: Māyāvādīs

Advaitācārya — an incarnation of Lord Mahā-Viṣṇu, who appeared as one of the four principal associates of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

advaitin — A follower of the teaching.

Āgamas — See tantras.

Āgamas — authorized Vedic literatures; also, specifically the Pa˝carātras.

Agastya Muni — a great sage who authored many Vedic hymns and writings on Āyurvedic medicine. The son of Mitra and Varuṇa, he was born from a water jar. Once he swallowed the ocean and forced the Vindhya mountain range to prostrate itself before him.

agastya — the mind.

Agha — (-asura) A demon who assumed the form of a huge python, swallowed Kṛṣṇa and the cowherd boys, but was killed by Kṛṣṇa.

aghana — transcendental bliss that is incomplete (lit. “not concentrated”).

Āgneyāstra — a powerful weapon belonging to the demigod Agni. Arjuna received this weapon from his preceptor, Droṇa.

Agni — The principal demigod who rules fire.

Agni — the demigod who controls fire. He took the form of a brāhmaṇa and begged charity from Lord Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna. He then consumed the Khāṇḍava forest.

agnihotra — The first and simplest Vedic fire sacrifice, to be performed daily at sunrise and sunset by initiated brāhmaṇas. It is also a subsidiary ritual within each of the more complex sacrifices (yaj˝as). Often the term agnihotra is used to indicate fire sacrifices in general.

Agnihotra-yaj˝a — the ceremonial fire sacrifice offered to the demigod Agni performed in Vedic rituals.

Agnistoma — a sacrifice performed by a person who wants go to heaven. A minimum of sixteen priests are required for this sacrifice, which lasts five days.

Agrahāyaṇa — a name for the month of Mārgaśirṣa (November/December). In contemporary Vaiṣṇavism it is known as the month of Keśava.

aguruAquilaia agallocha, a large evergreen tree with fragrant wood. An auspicious fragrance derived from the wood of the aloe tree (not the same as Aloe vera).

ahaitukī — without cheating motivation.

ahaṁ brahmāsmi — Sanskrit for “I am spirit.”

ahaṁ brahmāsmi — the Vedic aphorism “I am spirit.”

ahaṁ māmeti — the false conception of “I” and “mine [SB 5.5.8].”

ahaṅgraha-upāsanā — a Māyāvādī’s worship of his own body as the Supreme; self-worship in general.

ahaṅkāra — False ego, the first and most subtle of the separated elements of material creation. By its influence, conditioned souls assume temporary material identities.

ahaṅkāra — false ego, by which the soul misidentifies with the material body.

ahiṁsa — Nonviolence.

ahiṁsā — nonviolence.

Airāvata — The elephant who carries Lord Indra. Airāvata appeared from the churning of the Milk Ocean and has four tusks and seven trunks.

aiśvarya — majesty, opulence.

aiśvarya-j˝āna-yukta — emotion with an understanding of the Lord’s full opulences.

Aiśvarya-līlā — the Lord’s pastimes of opulence.

Aja — a name for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is unborn.

ājagara-vṛtti — the occupation of a python.

ajam — unborn.

Ajāmila — A brāhmaṇa whose attraction to a prostitute led him into sinful life but who was saved by his deathbed cries for his son Nārāyaṇa, cries that brought the messengers of Lord Nārāyaṇa to stop those of Yamarāja from dragging him to hell.

Ajāmila — a fallen brāhmaṇa who was saved from hell by unintentionally chanting the Lord’s name at the time of death.

Ajita — the Supreme Lord who is unconquerable.

Aj˝a — a description of Kṛṣṇa indicating that nothing is unknown to Him.

aj˝āta-sukṛti — pious or devotional activity performed accidentally, without knowledge of its effect.

ajowan seeds — tiny, light-brown spice seeds closely related to caraway and cumin with a very strong, thyme and oregano flavour. Ajowan, Carum ajowan is used in many North Indian savoury dishes, especially in fried snacks. Ajowan aids digestion and is to relieve stomach problems. The seeds keep indefinitely are available from Indian Middle Eastern grocers.

akāma-bhakta — one who serves the Lord without material motive.

akarma (naiskarma) — action for which one suffers no reaction because it is performed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness; free from material desire; one who is desireless.

ākāśa — sky.

Akhila-rasāmṛta-mūrti — Kṛṣṇa, the transcendental form of attraction for all kinds of devotees.

aki˝cana — without material desires.

aki˝cana — one who possesses nothing in the material world.

Aki˝cana-gocara — Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is easily approached by those who are materially exhausted.

Akrūra — A distant relative whom Kṛṣṇa considered His uncle and who on Kaṁsa’s order brought Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma from Vraja to Mathurā.

Akrūra — an uncle of Lord Kṛṣṇa

akṣara — Lit., “imperishable,” refers to the Supreme Lord.

akṣauhiṇī — a military division consisting of 21,870 chariots, 21,870 elephants, 109,350 infantrymen and 65,610 horsemen.

Ākūti — one of Svāyambhuva Manu’s three daughters and the wife of Ruci.

Ālabandāru — The Tamil name of Yamunācārya. See Yamunā (-ācārya).

Alakāpurī — the residence ot Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods. It sits on a peak in the Himālayas.

Alambuṣa — a Rākṣasa who was killed by Ghaṭotkaca. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)

ālasya — laziness, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.

Alāyudha — a Rākṣasa who fought on the side of Duryodhana. He was killed by Ghaṭotkaca. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)

alfalfa sprouts — the nutritional content of the seeds of the perennial plant Medicado sativa, alfalfa, is increased dramatically when they are sprouted. Alfalfa sprouts contain 40% protein and are very high in vitamins A, B, and C, as well as B vitamins, and the vitamins K and U. Alfalfa sprouts also contain good amounts of sodium, potassium, sulphur, phosphorus, and magnesium. The high nutrition, as well as the mild, slightly sweet flavour of alfalfa sprouts make them a popular salad ingredient.

Alolupa — a son of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)

alu — potato

Alwars — Tamil Nadu saints who were devotees of Lord Viṣṇu.

Amala-purāṇa — lit., “spotless Purāṇa” ; refers to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Āmalakī — a tree that Nārada Muni brought from the spiritual world to the material realm to please the Supreme Lord. Its fruits are very rich in vitamin C.

Āmānī — food that is not offered to Lord Jagannātha.

amarakośa — a Sanskrit dictionary and thesaurus widely used in the teaching of Sanskrit.

amarāvatī — the capital city of Lord Indra's heavenly abode. It has the power of greatly extending the life span of its residents.

amarṣa — anger, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.

amātya — the governor of the senses, the mind.

Amāvasyā — the dark-moon night, or the night of the new moon, when various sacrifices are offered to both demigods and demons.

Ambā — Older sister of Ambikā and Ambālikā and daughter of the King of Kāśi. She was abducted by Bhīṣma during her svayaṁvara, but she wanted to marry Śālva. She did penance to please Lord Śiva and she received a benediction she could take birth in her next life as a son of King Drupada. (Ādi Parva in Mahābhārata)

Ambālikā — Youngest of the daughters of the King of Kāśi. She was married to Vicitravīrya. When Vicitravīrya died early, she begot Pāṇḍu by the great sage Vyāsa. (Ādi Parva in Mahābhārata)

Ambarīṣa Mahārāja — a great devotee-king who perfectly executed all nine devotional practices (hearing, chanting, etc.).

Ambarīṣa — A saintly Vaiṣṇava king famous for using all his resources and bodily activities in devotional service to the Supreme Lord. Angered by a minor accidental fault of the king’s, the sage Durvāsā tried to kill him, but Lord Viṣṇu sent the Sudarśana disc to attack Durvāsā, who finally had to beg the king’s forgiveness.

Ambikā — Second daughter of the King of Kāśi. She married Vicitravīrya. Later when Vicitravīrya died, she begot Dhṛtarāṣṭra by the great sage Vyāsa. (Ādi Parva in Mahābhārata)

amchoor — a tan coloured powder made from grinding small sun-dried green mangoes. Amchoor is used in North Indian dishes to give a slightly sour, pungent taste. It is a predominant flavour in the spice blend called chat masala and is available at all Indian grocery stores.

amṛta — The “nectar of immortality” that demigods in Svarga drink to give them fabulously long lives.

amṛta — immortal nectar.

amṛta-guṭikā — a thick purī (fried flatbread) mixed with condensed milk.

amṛtatva — eternal life.

Aṁśa — an expansion of the Supreme Lord.

Aṁśāveśa — partial incarnations of God.

āmukha — technical term for a drama’s introduction, further classified into five kinds.

anādi — since time immemorial.

anamra — one who offers obeisances to no one.

ānanda — Bliss or happiness.

ānanda — spiritual, transcendental bliss.

Ānandamaya — full of bliss in spiritual realization; Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Ananta — (Ananta Śeṣa, Śeṣa Nāga) 1. An expansion of God who appears as a serpent with thousands of heads and who serves as the bed of Lord Viṣṇu. Ananta Śeṣa holds all the planets of the universe on His hoods and constantly sings the glories of Viṣṇu from all His mouths. 2. Unlimited.

ananta — unlimited.

Ananta-caturdaśī — date of the yearly festival commemorating the passing away of Haridāsa Ṭhākura.

Ananta-Śeṣa — an incarnation of the Supreme Lord in the form of His thousand-headed serpent, on which Viṣṇu rests, and who sustains the planets on His hoods.

Anantavijaya — name of King Yudhiṣṭhira's conchshell.

anapekṣa — indifference to mundane people.

Anaranya — King of Iksvaku dynasty, killed by Ravana. When dying he cursed Ravana to be killed by Rama

anartha — Unwanted things; material desire.

anartha-nivṛtti — the cleansing of unwanted things from the heart.

anartha-nivṛtti — a stage in the progressive development of devotion to Lord Kṛṣṇa in which one is freed from unwanted desires and karmic reactions; cleansing the heart of all unwanted things

anavasara — period of a fortnight between bathing ceremony and Ratha-yātrā when the body of the Jagannātha Deity is repainted.

Āṇdal — one of the famous devotees, or Ālvārs, who lived in South India before Rāmānuja.

Āndhras — Residents of Andhra Pradesh, the province of southeastern India above Tamil Nadu.

Aṅga Mahārāja — the father of King Vena.

aṅga-rāga — repainting of the body of Lord Jagannātha.

Aṅgada — One of the leaders of the monkey army that helped Lord Rāmacandra defeat Ravana.

Aṅgirā Ṛṣi — one of the seven sages of the first Manvantara, all of whom were born directly from Lord Brahmā. One of the Prajāpatis, he is the author of the Vedic writings on astronomy.

angrezi — English. The term is extended in Vrndavan to mean ‘foreigner’.

anilāyāmaSee: Prāṇāyāma

aṇimā-siddhi — The yogic perfection of making oneself smaller than an atom.

aṇimā-siddhi — mystic power by which one can become as small as an atom so that he can enter into stone.

Aniruddha — A son of Pradyumna and grandson of Kṛṣṇa. Aniruddha’s eternal consort, Ūṣā, sequestered him in the palace of her father, Bāṇa, where Aniruddha was captured and had to be rescued by Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma, and the Yādava army. He appears in Dvārakā and Mathurā as the fourth of the original quadruple vyūha expansions of the Supreme Lord, and He again expands from Lord Nārāyaṇa in Vaikuṇṭha, in the second quadruple, as the ruler of intelligence.

Aniruddha — a grandson of Lord Kṛṣṇa; also one of the four original expansions of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the spiritual world.

anise seeds — the highly aromatic seeds of the annual herb Pimpinella anisum. These greenish-gray, slightly crescent-shaped seeds have a very strong licorice-like flavour and odour, although they are not related to the perennial plant of the pea family whose sweet roots are the source of true licorice. Although anise is generally used as a flavouring for drinks, sweets, and creams, it is delicious sauteed in ghee or oil and cooked in vegetable dishes such as Cabbage, Potato and Yogurt with Anise. Anise seeds are available at supermarkets and specialty stores.

anna — food grains.

anna-maya — According to the Taittirīya Upaniṣad, the lowest level of consciousness in embodied life, the level in which one lives just to eat.

Anna-prāśana — the ceremony of offering a child his first food grains; one of the ten purificatory saṁskāras.

annakūṭa — The ceremony of offering grains; may refer to the ceremony of offering grains to Govardhana Hill.

annamaya — (consciousness) absorbed only in food.

Annapurna — Durgā manifested in her form of supplier of food.

antaraṅga-sevā — service performed in one’s spiritual body.

Antardhāna — Vijitāśva, the eldest son of King Pṛthu.

antarikṣa — outer space.

Antaryāmī — the expansion of the Supreme Lord situated in everyone’s heart as Supersoul, the indwelling controller.

antipasto — a light starter or an appetizer served before an Italian meal. It can also be used as a light snack. Vegetables and salads (served raw or lightly cooked), make delicious antipasto, as do simple hot dishes, fried breads (crostini), or miniature pizzas.

antya-līlā — The last eighteen years of Lord Caitanya’s manifest pastimes; the portion of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta recounting those pastimes.

Antya-līlā — the last eighteen years of Lord Caitanya’s pastimes.

antyajas — an outcaste.

aṇu-atma — the minute spirit soul, who is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa.

anubhāva — The ecstatic symptoms that follow from and increase one’s main relationship with Kṛṣṇa.

anubhāva — bodily symptoms manifested by a devotee in ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa.

anukara — imitating.

anurāga — subattachment in ecstatic love of God.

anurasa — second-class type of rasābhāsa, occurring when something is derived from the original mellow.

anusara — trying to follow in the footsteps.

anusūyā — the wig of Atri Muni, the sage among the demigods. She is the mother of three-headed Lord Dattātreya.

Anuvinda — a King of Avanti. He and his brother, Vinda, were the brothers of Mitravindā, who was married to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Both brothers were inimical to Lord Kṛṣṇa and were killed by Arjuna. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)

anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam — Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī’s definition of pure devotional service as being free from any other desire than the desire to server Kṛṣṇa.

apāna-vāyu — one of the internal bodily airs which is controlled by the aṣṭāṅga-yoga system. The apāna-vāyu travels downwards.

aparā prakṛti — the inferior material energy of the Lord.

aparā vidyā — material knowledge

aparādha — An offense, especially against the Supreme Lord or His devotees.

aparādha — an offense.

Aparājita — one of the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīmasena. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)

aparasa — third-class type of rasābhāsa, occurring when something is appreciated that is far removed from the original mellow.

apasmāra — forgetfulness, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.

apauruṣeya — not made by man (that is, revealed by God).

apauruṣeya-śabda — knowledge from a divine source.

apavarga — liberation from pavarga, the miseries of material existence.

apavitra-anna — food that is unacceptable for a Vaiṣṇava.

aprakaṭa-līlā — Kṛṣṇa’s “unmanifest pastimes,” which go on eternally in His abodes, all simultaneously, but are invisible except to rare, fortunate souls. In contrast, His prakaṭa, or “manifest,” pastimes are visible to the public but only at specific times in a linear sequence of events.

Aprakaṭa-līlā — the unmanifested pastimes of the Lord.

aprākṛta — Transcendental, beyond creation.

aprākṛta — spiritual, or antimaterial, transcendental to material nature.

aprameya — immeasurable.

apratihatā — uninterrupted.

Apsarā — a heavenly courtesan. The most beautiful women in the heavenly planets, who are expert at dancing.

Apsarās — The dancing girls of heaven, wives of Gandharvas, sometimes engaged by Indra to distract yogis from their meditations.

Āraṇyakas — The parts of the original Vedas that give more esoteric explanations than do the Brāhmaṇas. The Āraṇyakas are meant for renunciants to study in the forest (araṇya). The Upaniṣads are chapters of the Āraṇyakas that explain the philosophical essence of the Vedas.

ārati — A standard ceremony of worship with offerings of lamps, fans, incense, fiowers, bathing water, and other items. Its origin is the custom of greeting a guest to one’s home at night (ā-rātrikam) with a lamp.

ārati — a ceremony in which one greets and worships the Lord in the Deity form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by offering Him incense, a flame in a lamp with ghee-soaked wicks, a flame in a lamp containing camphor, water in a conchshell, a fine cloth, a fragrant flower, a peacock-feather, and yak-tail wisk, accompanied by bell-ringing and chanting.

aravinda — A species of lotus that blooms during the day and closes at night.

Aravindakṣa — a name of the Lord meaning one whose eyes are as beautiful as lotus petals.

arbuda-arbuda — various types of śravaṇa and kīrtana of the Supreme Lord’s name, quality, form and so on.

Arcā-mūrtiSee: Arcā-vigraha below.

arcā-vigraha — Deity (lit. “worshipable form”).

Arcā-vigraha — an authorized form of God manifested through material elements, as in a painting or statue of Kṛṣṇa worshiped in a temple or home. Actually present in this form, the Lord accepts worship from His devotees.

arcana — The process of Deity worship.

Arcana — the procedures followed for worshiping the arcā-vigraha, the Deity in the temple; engaging all the senses in the service of the Lord.

Arci — the wife of King Pṛthu.

ardha-bāhya — half-external consciousness.

arghya — Water mixed with auspicious substances and offered to an honored guest, either sprinkled on their head or offered into their hands.

arghya — a ceremonious offering, in a conchshell, of water and other auspicious items.

arhar dal — see: Toovar dal.

ari — impediments like disease.

Ariṣṭa — A demon who assumed the form of a bull, attacked Vraja, and was killed by Kṛṣṇa.

Ariṣṭāsura — a demon who took the form of a bull and tried to kill Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Arjama — the demigod in charge of Pitṛloka, the planet were qualified departed ancestors reside.

Ārjava — a brother of Śakuni who was killed by Irāvān. (Bhīṣma Parva in Mahābhārata)

arjuna trees — Two trees of the arjuna species that stood in the courtyard of Nanda Mahārāja until Kṛṣṇa uprooted them. Formerly sons of Kuvera, they had been cursed to stand as trees until delivered by Kṛṣṇa.

Arjuna — The third of the five Pāṇḍava brothers. A great bowman, he figured prominently in winning the Kurukṣetra battle, with Kṛṣṇa driving his chariot. It was to Arjuna that Kṛṣṇa spoke the Bhagavad-gītā just before the battle.

Arjuna — the third son of Pāṇḍu and intimate friend of Lord Kṛṣṇa. After Pāṇḍu was cursed by a sage, Kuntī used a special mantra to beget children and called for the demigod Indra. By the union of Indra and Kuntī, Arjuna was born. In his previous life he was Nara, the eternal associate of Lord Nārāyaṇa. Kṛṣṇa became his chariot driver and spoke the Bhagavad-gītā to him on the battlefield of Kurukṣetra.

arka — A large-leafed plant whose leaves are used in sacred rituals.

arrowroot — a very fine white starch derived from the rootstock of the South American tropical plant Maranta arundinacea. Arrowroot is used much like cornflour in sauces, except that it is a non-grain flour and thickens at a lower temperature. It is also used as a binding agent. It is available at most supermarkets or grocers.

Ārṣṭiṣeṇa — The chief among the citizens of Kimpuruṣa-varṣa, who have bodies half human and half animal.

artha — Economic development, one of the four standard goals of human life.

artha — economic development.

artha-vāda — The statements of śruti that praise, encourage, or explain rather than enjoin ritual duties. The term is sometimes used perjoratively to indicate flowery praise that cannot be taken literally.

Aruṇa gems — rubies decorating Kṛṣṇa’s flute.

ārya — A civilized human being, one who lives according to the standards of the Vedic culture.

Aryamā — The chief of the departed forefathers residing in Pitaloka. He sometimes stands in for Yamarāja, the judge of the dead.

Aryamā — the demigod in charge of Pitṛloka, the planet where qualified departed ancestors reside.

Aryan — a follower of Vedic culture. A person whose goal is spiritual advancement. He truly knows the value of life and has a civilization based on spiritual realization.

Āryans — Persons living according to the cultured standards of Vedic civilization.

Āryāvarta — The “home of the Āryans,” comprising the part of India bounded by seas on the west and east, by the Himalaya Mountains on the north, and by the Vindhya Mountains on the south.

asafoetida — the aromatic resin from the root of the giant fennel, Ferula asafoetida. Asafoetida (also known as hing) is extracted from the stems of these giant perennial plants that grow wild in Central Asia. In the spring, when the plant is about to bloom, the stems and roots are cut. Milky resin exudes from the cut surface and is scraped off. More exudes as successive slices of root are removed over a period of 3 months. The gummy resin is sun-dried into a solid mass that is then sold in solid, wax-like pieces, or more conveniently, in powdered form. Due to the presence of sulphur compounds, asafoetida has a distinctive pungent flavour reminiscent of shallots or garlic. Used in minute quantities, it adds a delicious flavour to various savoury dishes. Use the mild Vandevi brand of yellow asafetida powder and not the grey variety. Asafoetida is available at Indian grocers.

āsakti — Attachment for Kṛṣṇa.

Asamanya — a king of the solar dynasty, son of Sagara, known for his cruelty.

asaṁskṛta — unreformed.

āsana — seat, or throne; a sitting posture in yoga practice.

āsanas — Postures assumed in yoga practice to purify the body and mind; a seat.

asāṅga — detachment from material consciousness.

asat — Temporary; without factual existence.

Asat — not eternal, temporary.

asat-saṅga — the association of nondevotees.

Ashoka — a king who spread Buddhism in India in the 3rd century BC.

Asita — an ancient authority on the Vedas.

aśoka grove — The garden where Rāvaṇa kept Sītādevī captive, guarded by Rākṣasīs.

aśokaSaraca indica. Blooming in early March, aśoka flowers are crimson and blossom in bunches. It is said to flower upon being touched by a beautiful woman’s feet.

aśoka — a tree with long, pointed leaves. Goddess Sītā was placed under an aśoka tree after being kidnapped by Rāvaṇa.

āśrama — 1. The hermitage of a sage or teacher. 2. One of the four stages of spiritual development in the varṇāśrama social system: brahmācarya (celibate student life), gṛhastha (marriage), vānaprastha (retirement), and sannyāsa (the renounced order).

Āśrama — one of the four spiritual orders of life — brahmacārī-āśrama, or student life; Gṛhasta-āśrama, or married life; vānaprastha, or retired life; and sannyāsa-āśrama, or the renounced order of life; the home of the spiritual master, a place where spiritual practices are executed.

āśraya — Shelter.

Āśraya — the Transcendence, who is the source and support of all; the worshiper.

Āśraya-vigraha — the manifestation of the Lord of whom one must take shelter.

aṣṭa-sāttvika — The eight-fold bodily transformations of ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa.

aṣṭa-siddhis — the eight mystic perfections acquired through yoga practice.

Aṣṭakā — the eighth day after the full moon.

aṣṭāṅga-yoga — The eight-phase system of yoga practice taught by the sage Pata˝jali in his Yoga-sūtras.

aṣṭāṅga-yoga — the eightfold system of mystic yoga, propounded by Pata˝jali, meant for realizing the presence of Paramātmā, the Lord in the heart.

aṣṭānga-yoga — (aṣṭa=eight + aṅga=part) a mystic yoga system propounded by Pata˝jali in his Yoga-sūtras and consisting of eight parts — yama, niyama, āsana, prāṇāyāma, pratyāhāra, dhāraṇā, dhyāna and samādhi, progressing from moral practices to deep meditation on God.

Aṣṭāvakra — the founder of Māyāvāda philosophy, which declares that the spiritual effulgence (Brahman) is the cause of all causes.

Aṣtavakra — a boy sage who won a debate in the court of King Janaka.

asura — Demon or ungodly person, who oppose the demigods and the service of the Lord.

asura — demon, one who does not follow the principles of scripture, atheist, gross materialist. One who is envious of God, and is averse to the supremacy and service of the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu.

asuraṁ bhavam āśrita — persons who are openly atheistic.

asuric — Demoniac.

Āśutoṣa — Lord Śiva, who is very easily satisfied when one worships him. See also: Śiva.

asūyā — jealousy, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.

aśvamedha — The elaborate Vedic horse sacrifice.

aśvamedha-yaj˝a — a Vedic horse sacrifice. One of eight recommended in the Vedic scriptures, it is performed by kings.

Aśvatthāmā — The son of Droṇācārya who fought against the Pāṇḍavas at Kurukṣetra. In a desperate act of revenge at the end of the battle, he killed the five young sons of the Pāṇḍavas in their sleep and tried to kill the last remaining heir, Parīkṣit, in his mother’s womb.

Aṣvatthāmā — the son of Droṇa. He was a friend of Duryodhana and fought on his side during the Kurukṣetra battle. He lived through the battle of Kurukṣetra, but was cursed by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He killed the five sons of Draupadī when they were awakening from sleep and attempted to kill Parīkṣit when he was in the womb of Uttarā.

Āśvina — the third month of the four-month Cāturmāsya fast.

Aśvinī deities — demigods in charge of the nostrils and sense of smell.

Aśvinīkumāras — Demigods who begot Nakula and Sahadeva in the womb of Mādrī, the wife of Pāṇḍu.

ātapa-cāula — white rice.

atasī flowerlinum usitatissimum, flax, a plant with lance-shaped leaves that produces pretty sky blue or violet-blue flowers each spring and summer.

atattva-j˝a — one who has no knowledge of the Absolute Truth.

Atharva Veda — one of the four Vedas, the original revealed scriptures spoken by the Lord Himself, consisting primarily of formulas and chants designed to counteract the effects of disease and calamity.

Atibāri-sampradāya — bogus disciplic succession coming from an Orissan named Jagannātha dāsa, who was a contemporary of Lord Caitanya. Initially, he was a follower of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, but he later rejected him.

atimukta flowers — a type of jasmine.

ātmā — The individual spirit soul, an eternal fragment of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

ātmā — the self (refers sometimes to the body, sometimes to the soul, and sometimes to the senses).

atma-hanah — killer of the soul; one who neglects spiritual life.

ātma-nivedana — the devotional process of surrendering everything to the Lord.

ātma-samarpaṇa — full surrender to Kṛṣṇa without reservation.

ātma-tattva — Knowledge of the self.

ātma-tattva — spiritual science.

ātmarāma — Those who find their pleasure in experiencing the self.

ātmārāma — one who is self-satisfied, free from external, material desires.

Atri Ṛṣi — one of the seven great sages born directly from Brahmā;. He is the husband of Anusūyā and father of the Lord’s incarnation Dattātreya. He contributed to the knowledge of astronomy.

Atri — A Vedic sage, born of the mind of Brahma. When Atri prayed to the Supreme for a son like Him, but without a clear idea of who the Supreme is, the Lords Viṣṇu, Brahmā, and Śiva all agreed to become his sons as Dattātreya, Soma, and Durvāsā.

atta flour — also known as chapati flour, this low-gluten flour is derived from a strain of soft wheat popular throughout India. The entire wheat kernel, including the bran, germ, and endosperm, is ground very finely making a nutritious flour. Atta flour is suitable for all Indian flatbreads, such as pooris, chapatis, and parathas. Doughs made with atta flour are velvety smooth, knead readily, and respond easily to shaping and rolling. Atta flour is available from Indian and Asian grocery stores.

augrya — violence, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.

autsukya — eagerness, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.

avadhūta — A spiritually advanced person whose activities are not restricted by social convention.

avadhūta — a very saintly and renounced person who may live outside regulative principles, having surpassed any need for them.

avadhūta — one who is above all rules and regulations.

avahitthā — concealment, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.

avaiṣṇava — one who is not a Vaiṣṇava.

Avanti — One of the seven sacred cities that can bestow liberation. Kṛṣṇa’s spiritual master, Sāndīpani Muni, resided there, and Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma lived there as students in his āśrama. Avanti has become the modern city of Ujjain, in the western part of Madhya Pradesh.

avara — material.

Āvaraṇātmikāmāyā’s “covering” power, by which a conditioned soul feels satisfied in any condition of life.

avaroha-panthā — the descending process of receiving revealed knowledge.

avatāra — A “descent” of the Supreme Lord to the material world in one of His many forms.

avatāra — literally means “one who descends.” A partially or fully empowered incarnation of the Lord who descends from the spiritual sky to the material universe with a particular mission described in scriptures.

avatārī — The original Supreme Lord, from whom all avatāras expand.

āvega — intense emotion, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.

āveśaSee: Śakty-āveśa.

āveśa-avatāra — a living being empowered as an incarnation of the Lord’s qualities.

avidhi-pūrvaka — without properly following rules and regulations.

avidyā — Ignorance.

avidyā — nescience, ignorance; the illusory energy of the Supreme Lord..

avidyā-śakti — material energy, or nescience.

avyakta — unmanifested; the material creation when it is not yet manifested from the mahat-tattva.

Ayodhyā — The capital of the Kośala kingdom, inherited by Lord Rāmacandra from His ancestors. It is located in south-central Uttar Pradesh. The original Ayodhyā in the eternal kingdom of God lies above the other Vaikuṇṭha worlds and below Goloka Vṛndāvana.

Ayodya — a city in North India, capital of the kings of the Ikavaku (solar) dynasty. Today, it is till the chief Holy City of Lord Rama's devotees.

ayogaSee: viyoga.

Ayukta — the ecstatic condition of not having yet met one’s lover.

āyurveda — the section of the Vedas which expounds the Vedic science of medicine delivered by Lord Dhanvantari, the incarnation of the Supreme Lord as a physician. He was born out of the ocean of milk when it was churned by the demons and demigods in the Satya-yuga. He expounded on the three categories of medicine.


Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra