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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Ramanujacharya > The Life Of Ramanujacarya > GLOSSARY



ACARYA—one who teaches by his own example; a spiritual master.

ACINTYABHEDABHEDA—the philosophy of incon¬ceivable simultaneous oneness and difference propounded by Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

AClT—the inert material nature.

ADVAITAVADA—the philosophy of absolute one¬ness taught by Sahkaracarya.

AGNl—the demigod of fire.

ANANTA$E$A—an incarnation of the Supreme Lord in the form of a manyheaded serpent.

ANQAL—one of the famous devotees, or Alvars, who lived in South India before Ramanuja.

APSARA—a beautiful woman of the heavenly plan¬ets, expert at dancing.

ARATI—a ceremony for greeting the Lord with offer¬ings of food, lamps, fans, flowers, incense and other sanctified articles.

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

A£RAMA—a place of residence for those desiring to practice spiritual disciplines.

A$T^NGA YOGA—the yoga of eight parts, progress¬ing from moral practices to deep meditation on God.

A$TAVAKRA—a boy sage who won a debate in the court of King Janaka.


AYUR VEDA—the section of the Vedas which ex¬pounds the Vedic science of medicine.



BALI MAHARAJA—the king of the demons who was displaced by Lord Visnu from his position of dominance in the higher planets.

BANDT—son of Varuna who was defeated in debate by Astavakra.

BENARES—Holy city on the Ganges in northern In¬dia.

BHAGAVADGITA—the basic directions for spiritual life spoken by the Lord Himself. A section of the Mahabharata.

BHAJAN—devotional song.

BHAKTI—devotion to the Supreme Lord.

BHAKTISASTRAS—Scriptures dealing with the sci¬ence of devotion.

BRAHMACARI—a celibate student, according to the Vedic social system.

BRAHMAN—the impersonal allpervasive aspect of the Supreme; also the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

BRAHMANA—a member of the most intelligent class of men, according to the four Vedic occupational divisions of society.

BRAHMARAK$ASA—the ghost of a sinful brah¬mana.



CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU—Religious teacher and incarnation of Krsna, who appeared in Bengal in 1486 A. D.

CAKRA—the disc carried by Lord Visnu.

CAMARA—a fan made from hair from a cow's tail.

CANpALA—a dogeater; outcaste.

CARA^AMRTA—water and other liquids used for

bathing the Deity.

CANDRA—the demigod of the moon.

CIT—the indiviuaf living beings.



DAMAYANTi—the queen of King Nala who burnt a hunter to ashes by her curse when he attempted to molest her.

DAN PA—the staff carried by a sannyasl.

DARSANA—seeing the Deity of the Lord.

DHARMA—religious principles; one's natural occu¬pation.

DHARMASASTRAS—scriptures  delineating   reli¬gious principles.

DHOTI—cloth worn by men in India.

DRONA—the   teacher   of   the   Pandavas   and Kauravas in the Mahabharata.




GARUDA—the manbird carrier of Lord Visnu.

GAupiYA VAISNAVAS—the followers of CaitanyaMahaprabhu..

GmASTHA—a married man living according to theVedic social system.

GURU—spiritual master and teacher.




HARI—Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.



INDRA—the chief sovereign of heaven and presid¬ing deity of rain.

ISVARA—the Supreme Controller, God.



JAGANNATHA PURI—place of pilgrimage on the east coast of India where the deity of Jagannatha is worshipped.

JAINS—religious sect based on impersonalist ideas.

JANAKA—ancient king of Mithila, father of STta, the consort of Ramacandra.

JATAYU—a large vulture who assisted Lord Rama¬candra.

JIVA—the eternal individual soul.



KALIYUGA—the "Age of Quarrel and Hypocrisy" which began five thousand years ago and lasts a total of 432,000 years.

KAMANDALU—the waterpot carried by a sannyasT.

KTRTANA—chanting the glories of the Lord.

KR$NA—the original, twoarmed form of the Su¬preme Lord, who is the origin of all expansions.

KUNTl—the  mother  of  the  Pandavas  in  the Mahabharata.

KUVERA—the treasurer of the demigods.



LAGHIMASIDDHI—mystic ability to make one's body very light.

LAK$MF—the goddess of fortune and eternal con¬sort of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Narayana.



RAM A—incarnation of the Lord as a perfect, right¬eous king.

RAMAYANA—scripture which describes the activi¬ties of Lord Rama.

RANGANATHA—Deity of Lord Visnu worshipped in SrTRahgam.

RATHAYATRA—car festival in Jagannatha Pun in which the Deity of Lord Jagannatha rides through the streets.

RAVANA—demon king of Lanka killed by Lord Rama.



SADHUa saint or devotee.



MAHABHARATA—the ancient history of Bharata, or India.

MAHATMA—"great soul"; a liberated person, free from material contamination.

MANTRA—a transcendental sound or Vedic hymn.

MANUSAMHITA—law book written by Manu, the fa¬ther of mankind.

MAYA—illusion; the energy of the Lord that deludes living entities into forgetfulness of their spiritual nature and of God.

MAYAVADT—impersonalist who states that the indi¬vidual soul is equal to God.

MURTl—form of the Lord or His devotee.


NAMMALVARA—a famous South Indian devotee who lived before Ramanuja and composed many beautiful prayers.

NARAYANA—the fourarmed form of the Lord who presides over Vaikunjha; Lord Visnu.


PANpiTA—a learned scholar who has studied the scriptures.

PARAMAHAMSA—an advanced devotee.

PARASARA—a sage, the speaker of the Visnu Purana.

PARTHASARATHI—a name of Krsna, meaning the

charioteer of Arjuna. PRAKRTl—energy or nature.

PRASADAM—sanctified food; food offered in devo¬tion to the Lord.

PUJART—priest who worships the Deity.

PURU$A— "enjoyer"; either the individual soul of the Supreme Lord.


SAHASRAGTTI—thousand prayers composed by Nammalvara.

SAIVITE—devotee of Lord Siva.

SAMADHI—trance; comlete absorption in God con¬sciousness.

SAMPRADAYA—a disciplic succession of spiritual masters.

SANATANADHARMA—the eternal religion; devo¬tional service.

^ANKARA—a name of Siva.

SANKARACARYA—philosopher who lived about three hundred years before Ramanuja. He es¬tablished the doctrine of advaita (nondualism), stressing the nonpersonal nature of God and the identity of all souls with the  undifferentiated Brahman.

SANNYASA—the renounced order of life for spiri¬tual culture.

SANNYASl—a person in the renounced order.

SARVAJisiA—knowing everything.

SASTRA—revealed scripture; Vedic literature.

SAVITRI—lady who saved her husband from death by her chastity.

SIDDHITRAYA—philosophical work of Yamunacarya.

SIVA—the demigod who supervises the material mode of ignorance and who annihilates the ma¬terial cosmos.

&IVALINGA—rounded stone worshipped as a Deity by Saivites.

SRTBHA$YA—Ramanuja's commentary on the Vedantasutras.

SRTMADBHAGAVATAM—the Purdna, or history, written by Vyasadeva specifically to give a deep understanding of Lord Krsria.

£RJNIVASA—a name of Visnu.

£RFSAILA—sacred hill near Tirupati.

STOTRARATNA—book of prayers composed by >3munacarya.

SUDRA~a member of the laborer class of men according to the four Vedic occupational divi¬sions of society.

SURYA—the sungod.


TILAKA—clay markings worn by devotees on their bodies.

TRIDANDA—the staff carried by Vaisnava sannyasTs.

TULASI—plant held sacred by the Vaisnavas.


UPANl$ADS—108 philosophical treatises that ap¬pear within the Vedas.


VAIKUNTHA—the spiritual realm where Lord Visnu resides.

VAI$NAVA—devotee of the Supreme Lord, Visnu.

VAMANADEVA—the dwarf incarnation of Krsna.

VARADARAJA—Deity of Lord Visnu worshipped in KahcTpuram.

VARANASI—the city of Benares.

VARUNA—the demigod of the ocean.

VAYU—the demigod of the wind.

VEDANTA—the conclusion of Vedic philosophy.

VEDANTASUTRA—the philosophical treatise writ¬ten by Vyasadeva, consisting of succinct apho¬risms that embody the essential meaning of the Upanisads.

VEDAS—the four original scriptures (Rg, Sama, Atharva and Yajur).

VENKATESVARA—Deity of Lord Visnu worshipped atTirupati.

VIBHTSANA—the pious brother of Ravana.

VISNU—the Personality of Godhead.

VISNU PURANA—scripture describing the glories of Lord Visnu.

VRNDAVANA—holy place in northern India where Krsna passed His childhood.


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