* Indicates that the entry was obtained from the VedaBase glossary.
All other entries were obtained from the krishna.com glossary.

Vedic Sanskrit Glossary - N -

Nābhi — the saintly king who was the father of Lord Ṛṣabhadeva.

nadi — river.

Nadīyā-nāgarī — a so-called party of devotees who worship Viṣṇupriyā.

Nāga — a snake. Śeṣa-nāga is the incarnation of Lord Sankarṣaṇa, or Baladeva.

Nāga-patnīs — The “wives of the serpent” Kāliya.

nagakeśaraMesua ferrea, a forest tree with white flowers with yellow centers.

Nāgapatnī — a wife of a serpent.

nagara — a town or city.

Nāgas — a race of serpents.

Nāhuṣa — A king of the earth who was invited to occupy Indra’s throne when Indra, out of fear of a demon, fled from his post. Nāhuṣa abused his privileges, however, and was cursed by the seven sages to fall from his position.

Naimiṣa — (-araṇya) A sacred forest located exactly in the center of the universe, where the discus of Lord Viṣṇu once struck the earth. At the beginning of Kali-yuga, the chief sages of the universe assembled there to perform a thousand-year-long Soma sacrifice to counteract the bad effects of the age. During the sacrifice they heard Purāṇas and epics from Ugraśrava Sūta, including the Mahābhārataand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Naimiṣāraṇya — a sacred forest in central India where the eighteen Purāṇas were spoken and which is said to be the hub of the universe.

naimittika-karma — “Occasional ritual duties” enjoined for specific circumstances, such as a death in one’s family during the performance of a sacrifice.

Naishada — a forest dweller, desdants of Naishada, an ugly dwarf born of the thigh of King Vena.

naiṣkarma — another term for akarma; action for which one suffers no reaction because it is performed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

naiṣṭhika-brahmacārī — one who has been celibate since birth.

nakṣatra — star; also refers to an asterism. In Vedic astrology there are twenty-seven asterisms.

Nakula — One of the twin sons of Mādrī, who were the youngest of the five Pāṇḍavas.

Nakula — the fourth of the Pāṇḍavas. He was the son of Mādrī by the twin Aśvinī Kumāra demigods. Nakula and his brother Sahadeva were taken care of by Kuntī after Madrī entered the funeral fire of Pāṇḍu. Nakula was reputed for being handsome.

nakula — a mongoose, the enemy of snakes.

Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva — The sons of the treasurer of the demigods, Kuvera, who were cursed for their decadence by the great devotee-sage Nārada and who, by his blessing, were delivered from their materialism by Lord Kṛṣṇa.

nāma — Lit. “name,” especially the holy name of the Lord.

nāma-aparadha — Offense to the holy name.

nāma-aparādha — an offense against the holy name of the Lord.

nāma-bhajana — See nāma-saṅkīrtana.

nāma-haṭṭa — A place outside a temple where devotees gather to hear and chant about Kṛṣṇa.

nāma-saṅkīrtana — Chanting of the names of the Supreme Lord.

nāma-saṅkīrtana — congregational chanting of the holy names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, usually accompanied by hand cymbals (karatālas) and clay mṛdaṅga drums. Lord Caitanya and the Vedic literatures recommend this saṅkīrtana as the most effective means of God-realization in the present age of Kali.

nāma-smaraṇa — Remembrance of Kṛṣṇa’s names.

nāmābhasa — The “shadow of the Lord’s names.” Chanting done without offense but also without love. Nāmābhāsa earns one immediate liberation from material existence.

nāmābhāsa — the stage just above the offensive stage of chanting the name of God, in which one realizes a dim reflection of the holy name.

Nāmācāryaācārya of the chanting of the holy names (Haridāsa Ṭhākura).

Nāmāmṛta — A book of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s written instructions on the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.

namaskāra — Obeisances.

namaste — Hindu greetings, meaning “obeisances.”

Nāmmālvāra — a famous South Indian devotee who lived before Rāmānuja and composed many beautiful prayers.

Namo nārāyaṇāya — greeting of Māyāvādī sannyāsīs meaning “I offer my obeisances to Nārāyaṇa.”

nan — baked leavened bread.

Nanda Mahārāja — the king of the cowherd men of Vṛndāvana, Vraja, foster father of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Nanda — (-gopa) The king of the cowherds of Vraja. He and his wife Yaśodā, the greatest of devotees in the mood of parents, raised Kṛṣṇa from His infancy until He left Vraja for Mathurā.

Nanda — one of the chief personal servants of Lord Nārāyaṇa in His spiritual abode, Vaikuṇṭha.

Nanda-gokula — The cowherd community of Nanda Mahārāja.

Nanda-grāma — The capital of Nanda Mahārāja, on Nandīśvara Hill, seventeen miles north of Govardhana.

Nanda-kiśora — Nanda-kumāra Kṛṣṇa, “the young son of Nanda.”

Nanda-mahotsava — the festival of Nanda Mahārāja; Kṛṣṇa’s birthday.

Nanda-nandana — Kṛṣṇa, “the darling son of Nanda.”

Nanda-nandana — the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, who is the darling son of Nanda Mahārāja.

Nanda-vraja — “The cow pastures of Nanda,” the sacred district of Mathurā that is the manifestation on earth of Goloka Vṛndāvana, the supreme abode of Kṛṣṇa.

Nandana — (-vana) The pleasure gardens of the demigods in Svargaloka.

Nandana-kānana — the beautiful forest in the celestial world where Lord Indra sports with his wife and where there is heavenly music and dancing.

nandavana — lower garden.

Nandi — the bull carrier of Śiva found in many Śiva temples.

nāndī-śloka — the introductory portion of a drama, which is written to invoke good fortune.

Nandīśvara Hill — The hill, nondifferent from Lord Kṛṣṇa, on which Nanda Mahārāja’s capital stands.

nara — the human race or a human being.

nara-deva — the king, who is an earthly god.

Nara-Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi — an incarnation of the Supreme Lord appearing as two sages to teach by example the practice of austerities.

Nara-Nārāyaṇa — The incarnation of the Supreme Lord as the twin sons of Dharma and Mūrti. Nara is an empowered jīva, and Nārāyaṇa is directly the Personality of Godhead. They live at Badarika, practicing severe austerities and meditation for the welfare and instruction of the world. Nārada Muni is among their disciples.

Nārada Muni — A great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa who travels throughout the spiritual and material worlds singing the Lord’s glories and preaching the path of devotional service.

Nārada Muni — a pure devotee of the Lord, one of the sons of Lord Brahmā, who travels throughout the universes in his eternal body, glorifying devotional service while delivering the science of bhakti. He is the spiritual master of Vyāsadeva and of many other great devotees.

Nārada-bhakti Sūtra — Instructions on the science of devotional service, written by Nārada Muni.

Nārada-pa˝carātra — Nārada Muni’s book on the processes of Deity worship and mantra meditation.

Naradeva — lit., “God in human form.” A title for the king, who is generally accepted to be God’s representative in human society.

narādhama — The lowest of men.

narādhama — the lowest of mankind, those who are socially and politically developed but have no religious principles.

Naraka — (-asura) A powerful demon, son of Lord Varāha and the goddess of the earth. He terrorized the universe until killed by Kṛṣṇa.

Narakāsura — the father of King Bhagadatta. He was killed by Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Narakeśvara — a name for the Supreme Lord as well as for Yamarāja, meaning “he who is in charge of the hellish regions”.

nārakī — candidate for hellish life.

Narakuṇḍa — lake of hell.

Narasiṁha, Lordsee: Nṛsiṁhadeva

Nārāyaṇa — The Personality of Godhead as the Lord of Vaikuṇṭha, the infinitely opulent spiritual world.

Nārāyaṇa — a name for the majestic four-armed form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead meaning “He who is the source and goal of all living entities.” The resting place of all living entities, who presides over the Vaikuṇṭha planets; Lord Viṣṇu, He is an expansion of Kṛṣṇa.

Nārāyaṇa-bhakta — A devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa

Nārāyaṇa-para — one who has dedicated his life to the Supreme Lord Nārāyana, or Kṛṣṇa.

Nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇa — a devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa.

Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura — A Vaiṣṇava spiritual master in the disciplic succession from Lord Caitanya and writer of many standard Vaiṣṇava hymns.

Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura — a renowned Vaiṣṇava spiritual master in the disciplic succession from Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is famous for his many compositions of devotional songs. He appeared in the 16th century in Khetari. in the West Bengal district of Rajasahi, just north of Nadia. He was devoted to Lord Caitanya from birth. His father was a king and dedicated to Lord Nityānanda. Narottama went to Vṛndāvana and became the initiated disciple of Lokanātha Gosvāmī. He studied under Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī and preached widely throughout India, making many thousands of disciples.

naṣṭa-buddhi — bereft of all good sense.

naṣṭa-praj˝a — bereft of all intelligence.

Natarāja — Śiva as the cosmic dancer.

Nava-yauvana day — the day on which Lord Jagannātha, Śrīmatī Subhadrā and Lord Balarāma enter seclusion for fifteen days before Ratha-yātrā.

Nava-yauvana — the eternal transcendental form of Kṛṣṇa as pre-youth.

Navadvīpa — Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s eternal abode, nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa’s abode Vṛndāvana. On earth Navadvīpa is manifest in the district of Nadia, West Bengal.

Navadvīpa — the topmost holy place, ninety miles north of Calcutta. In the 15th and 16th centuries the city became the greatest center of Sanskrit learning in all of India. Lord Caitanya, the yuga-avatāra, appeared there in the late 15th century and propagated the chanting of the Holy Names all over India. His appearance made Navadvīpa the crest jewel of all holy places in the present age.

navagraha — nine planets.

Navamī — the ninth day of the waxing and waning moon.

Nawab Hussein Shah — the Muhammdan governor of Bengal during the time of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s appearance.

nawab — Muslim ruler or a big landowner

 Nectar of Devotion, The — Śrīla Prabhupāda’s summary study of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu.

 Nectar of Instruction, The — Śrīla Prabhupāda’s English translation of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī’s ŚrīUpadeśāmṛta.

neti neti — “Not this, not this.” A phrase from the Bṛhad-araṇyaka Upaniṣad indicating the process of elimination by which one philosophically distinguishes between matter and spirit.

neti neti — the negative process of the j˝ānīs: “This is not spirit, this is not Brahman.”

Netrotsava festival — the festival of painting the eyes of Lord Jagannātha during the Nava-yauvana ceremony.

 New Vrindavan — A spiritual village established by Śrīla Prabhupāda near Wheeling, West Virginia.

Newman, John Henry (1801-1890) — an English cardinal who became one of the most outstanding European religious thinkers and essayists of the 19th century. He spent his life defending Christian truth against various forms of so-called rationalism.

nidrā — sleep, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.

nigarbha-yogī — a yogī who worships the Supersoul without form.

nija-dharma — one’s constitutional position.

Nīlā — the Lord’s energy that destroys the creation.

Nīlācala — Nīlādri . See Puri.

Nilambar Chakravarti — the grand father of Sri Caitanya Maha-prabhu.

Nilambara Chakravarti — the great astrolger and scholar Vaisnava, Garga Muni, of Krsna-lila.

Nimai — Lord Caitanya in His childhood.

nimbu paani — fresh lemonade drink

nimi — a devotee king, ruler of Videha.

nindakas — blasphemers.

nirantara — without cessation, continuously, constantly.

nirgrantha-muni — a completely liberated saint.

nirguṇa — “Devoid of qualities.” When applied to the Supreme, a word that indicates He has no material qualities.

nirguṇa — without material qualities; uncontaminated by the three modes of material nature.

nirguṇa-brahma — the impersonal conception of the Supreme Truth as being without any qualities.

Nirjala — fasting completely, even from water.

nirjana-bhajana — Solitary spiritual practices.

nirmama — consciousness that nothing belongs to oneself.

nirodha — the winding up of all energies employed in creation.

Nirupti Dictionary — A Sanskrit dictionary.

nirvāṇa — Cessation of all material activities. Buddhists and other impersonalists regard nirvāṇa as requiring obliteration of individual existence, but Vaiṣṇavas regard ceasing from material activities to be only the beginning of real spiritual life, in which an individual acts in pure devotional service.

nirvāṇa — the cessation of material activities and existence, which according to Vaiṣṇava philosophy, does not deny spiritual activities and existence; freedom from and the end of the process of materialistic life.

nirveda — indifference, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.

Nirviśeṣa-vādīs — impersonalists who accept an Absolute but deny that He has any qualities of His own.

Niṣādas — A degraded forest tribe, descended from Bāhuka, who was born from the corpse of the evil King Vena.

niṣiddhācāra — acting in a way forbidden in the śāstra.

niṣkāma — Without material desire.

niṣkāma — free from material desires.

niṣki˝cana — free from all material possessions; having nothing; a renunciant.

niṣṭhitā — Filled with faith.

nistraiguṇya — the transcendental position above the three modes of nature.

Nīti Śāstras — A collection of social instructions by Cāṇakya Paṇḍita.

nitya-baddha — Eternally conditioned.

nitya-baddha — the eternally conditioned soul, bound in the material world.

nitya-karma — Regular, obligatory ritual duties.

nitya-līla — The eternal pastimes of the Lord or His devotees in the spiritual world.

Nitya-līlā — Kṛṣṇa’s eternally present pastimes.

nitya-mukta — “Eternally liberated,” a person who has never fallen into material illusion and never deviated from the Supreme Lord’s loving service. Nitya-muktas generally live in the spiritual kingdom of God, but they sometimes descend to the material world to preach and for other special missions.

nitya-mukta — an eternally liberated soul.

nitya-muktas — souls who never come in contact with the external energy.

nitya-siddha — An eternally liberated soul.

nitya-siddha — one who has attained eternal perfection attained by never forgetting Kṛṣṇa at any time; an ever-purified associate of the Lord

Nityānanda Prabhu — the incarnation of Lord Balarāma who appeared as the principal associate of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Nityānanda — The incarnation of Lord Balarāma who is a principal associate of Lord Caitanya.

Nivātakavacas — a sect of demons who were killed by Arjuna at the request of Indra.

nivṛtti-mārga — the path of renunciation, which leads to liberation; directions for giving up the material world for higher spiritual understanding.

niyama — restraint of the senses.

niyamāgraha — either following rules and regulations insufficiently (niyama-agraha) or fanatically without understanding the goal (niyama-āgraha).

niyamas — The eight secondary regulations observed from the start of the aṣṭāṅga-yoga system.

nṛ-yaj˝a — the proper reception of guests; lit. “a sacrifice to satisfy people.”

Nṛga — A son of Vaivasvata Manu who mistakenly gave the same cow in charity to two different brāhmaṇas. Cursed by the brāhmaṇas, who refused to accept any other cow in exchange, he was obliged to become a lizard at the bottom of a well. Years later, Kṛṣṇa lifted him from the well and restored his heavenly body.

Nṛga — a king who was cursed to become a snake because of a slight discrepancy in his service to brāhmaṇas. He was delivered by Lord Kṛṣṇa.

nrita-mandapa — dance hall.

Nṛsiṁha (-deva) — The pastime incarnation of the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu as half-man, half-lion. He appeared in order to deliver the saintly child Prahlāda from the persecutions of his father, Hiraṇyakaśipu. When Hiraṇyakaśipu demanded of Prahlāda, “If your God is everywhere, is He also in this pillar?” Lord Nṛsiṁha burst out of the pillar and ripped Hiraṇyakaśipu apart.

Nṛsiṁha Purāṇa — one of the eighteen Purāṇas. It describes the pastimes of the Supreme Lord in His half-lion, half-man incarnation.

Nṛsiṁha-caturdaśī festival — the appearance day of Lord Nṛsiṁha.

Nṛsiṁhadeva — the half-man, half-lion incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who killed the demon Hiranyakasipu and saved His devotee, Prahlada Mahārāja.

nutmeg — the fragrant nut  found in the centre of the fruit of the densely foliated evergreen tree Myristica fragrans. The fleshy fruit of the nutmeg tree resembles an apricot. When it is ripe, it splits in half, revealing the beautiful, brilliant scarlet, net-like membrane, or avil, known as mace, which closely enwraps a brittle shell containing the glossy brown, oily nutmeg. Nutmeg is egg-shaped and is about 2.5 cm (1-inch) in diameter, with a sweet, warm, and highly spicy flavour. Nutmeg is used in many cuisines of the world. It is often an ingredient in the North Indian spice blend known as garam masala and is used in cakes and sweet dishes. It is wonderful with pumpkin, squash, and sweet potato. In Italian cuisine it is very popular in spinach dishes and combines well with cheese. Nutmeg is also a common flavouring in the Levant and in various spicy dishes of South East Asia. Whole nutmegs are best ground straight into the dish into which they are being used, as once grated, nutmeg quickly loses its flavour. Whole nutmegs are available at specialty stores and well-stocked supermarkets and grocery stores.

nyāya — The ancient system of epistemology and logic taught by Gautama Ṛṣi.

nyāya — logic. See: Gautama.

Nyāya-śāstras — Vedic textbooks of logic.

Nyāyu-śāstra — the Sanskrit literary works, written by the ancient Ṛṣi Gautama Muni and his followers, that teach the philosophical science of logic. Nyayu (or dialectics) was founded by Gautama and is one of the six major schools of Indian philosophy.


Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra