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GLOSSARY OF NAMES
Acyuta - infallible or imperishable; one who is never deviated, moved,
or shaken; one who never falls from the transcendental position; a
name for Shri Krishna.
Advaita Acarya - an intimate associate of Shriman Mahaprabhu and
one of the members of the panca-tattva. He is the combined form of
Maha Vishnu and Sada-Siva. He was a disciple of Shri Madhavendra
Puri and by age senior to Shri Chaitanya. Seeing the fallen condition
of the jivas in Kali yuga, He prayed to the Lord to descend. Shriman
Mahaprabhu appeared partly to fulfill His request.
Ahalya - the wife of the great sage Gautama Rsi. Indra, the chief of
the devas, was infatuated with the beauty of Ahalya. Once in Satyayuga,
while Gautama Rsi was away, Indra assumed the form of
Gautama by mystic power and had union with Ahalya. When
Gautama returned he could understand the whole situation
through his yogic power. Furious with his wife, Gautama cursed her
to become a stone. Ahalya was deeply aggrieved and fell crying at
Gautama's feet to beg for deliverance from the curse. Gautama consoled
her by saying that in Treta-yuga, when Bhagavan Ramacandra
would appear on the earth, He would touch the stone with His foot
and she would thus be delivered from the curse.
Normally Satya-yuga is followed by Dvapara and then Treta in
the cycle of the four yugas. Ahalya appealed to Gautama, saying
that she would not be able to bear waiting so long for the appearance
of Ramacandra. Gautama assured her that in this particular
cycle of the four yugas, Treta would follow Satya. By the desire of
Gautama Rsi, the order of the yugas was reversed. When
Glossary of Names
Ramacandra appeared, He touched that stone with His foot and
Ahalya was released from the curse. Thus Ahalya, who had assumed
the form of a stone, was liberated from the state of covered
consciousness (achadita-cetana), at which time she was reunited
with her husband.
Ananga Manjari - the younger sister of Shrimati Radhika. She is
thirteen years old and her complexion is the color of vasanta-ketaki,
a beautiful golden flower blossoming in spring. Her dress is the
color of indivara, a blue lotus flower. Her principal service is preparing
tambula for the pleasure of Radha and Krishna. In gauranga-lila
she manifests as Jahnava Devi, the consort and sakti of Shri
Angada - the son of Tara and Vali, the monkey chieftain of the
kingdom of Kiskindha. Sugriva had enlisted the help of Bhagavan
Rama to kill Vali. When Vali was on his death-bed, he offered his
son, Angada, at the feet of Shri Rama. After Vali's death, Ramacandra
appointed Sugriva as the king of Kiskindha and Angada as the
crown prince. Angada assisted Shri Rama in the battle against
Ravana. Thus, although in the body of a monkey, which is representative
of the state of sankucita-cetana (contracted consciousness),
he engaged in the process of bhakti.
Badarayana Rsi - see Vyasadeva.
Bharata - the eldest of one hundred sons of Lord Rsabhadeva, who
was a saktyavesa-avatara, an impowered incarnation of Shri Bhagavan.
Although his father was a brahmana, Bharata exhibited the nature
of a ksatriya and thus he acted in that capacity. By the desire of his
father, Bharata was enthroned as the emperor of the entire earth.
Nonetheless, he was a great bhakta of Shri Bhagavan. After ruling the
kingdom for a considerable time, detachment awakened in his heart
for the world. Dividing the kingdom and his possessions amongst
his sons, he went alone to the asrama of Pulaha Rsi in Hariharaksetra
to absorb himself in the worship of Bhagavan.
Once, after bathing in the River Gandaki close by his hermitage,
he sat down on the sacred banks of that river, and began to chant
shri-nama. He saw a thirsty doe drinking water, and looking around
cautiously. Just then, she heard the fierce roar of a lion nearby, and
out of fear jumped into the river to cross it. She was pregnant, and
due to her sudden jump the baby deer fell out of her womb into the
current of the river. The doe died after crossing the river. Bharata's
heart melted. He ran and picked up the drowning, motherless baby
deer, brought it to his hermitage, and began to take care of it with
Bharata's affection for the baby deer gradually increased, and as
it did so, his sadhana-bhajana decreased, until he finally gave up his
devotional practices completely. One day, he could not find the
baby deer and he started lamenting "Ha deer! Ha deer!" and overwhelmed
with grief, finally gave up his life. In due course of time, he
received the body of a deer, according to his thoughts at the time of
death. However, due to the influence of the devotional practices
performed in his previous birth, he could remember the cause of his
falldown, and became repentant. Leaving his parents, he again went
to Pulaha-asrama and was delivered by hearing the holy name. This
is an example of a contracted consciousness (sankucita-cetana).
Similarly, if a renounced person or a hermit becomes attracted to
women etc., he certainly falls down from his exalted position. Some
people put forward the theory that one attains the human birth,
which is the best of all births, through a natural progression, and
that one does not fall down from it. Such a proposition is quite
wrong, and very misleading. One takes birth according to his desires,
and there is no scope for changing this principle. Bharata
demonstrated this principle through his own life.
Brahma - the first created being in the universe. Directed by Shri
Vishnu, he creates all life forms in the universe and rules the mode of
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu - also referred to as Shri Chaitanya, Shriman
Mahaprabhu, Gaura, Gaurachandra, Gaura-Hari, Gaura-kisora,
Gauranga, Gaurasundara, Gaura, Krishna-Chaitanya, Nimai Pandita,
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approximately five hundred years ago (1486 A.D.) in Navadvipa,
West Bengal. Although He is identical to Shri Krishna, He appeared
with the bhava (internal mood) and kanti (bodily complexion) of
Shrimati Radhika in order to taste the mellows of Her love for Krishna.
Assuming the mood of a bhakta, He spread love for Krishna through
the chanting of shri-hari-nama.
Catuhsana - see Kumara.
Chand Kazi - the guru of Hussain Shah and chief magistrate of
Navadvipa during the time of Shri Chaitanya. He forbade the performance
of kirtana in Navadvipa and had a mrdanga drum broken.
Later, he received the mercy of Shriman Mahaprabhu and became a
great devotee. In krishna-lila he was King Kamsa.
Chota Haridasa - one of Lord Chaitanya's intimate associates. He
accepted the renounced order and was chastised for a slight indiscretion.
Once Bhagavan Acarya requested Chota Haridasa to beg
some good quality rice from the elderly Madhavi Devi so that he
could feed Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Madhavi Devi was an exemplary
devotee of Mahaprabhu, deeply absorbed in bhajana. When
Mahaprabhu tasted the excellent quality of the rice, He inquired
where it had come from. Bhagavan Acarya explained that Chota
Haridasa had received it from Madhavi Devi. Hearing this
Mahaprabhu was silent. Later He informed the devotees that Chota
Haridasa was no longer permitted to come to Him, for He could not
bear to see the face of a renunciate who freely converses with women.
Chota Haridasa eventually went to Prayaga and gave up his life in
the Ganga. Thereafter he attained the form of a Gandharva in
Vaikuntha. In that form he would visit Mahaprabhu every night
and perform melodious kirtana for His pleasure. Chota Haridasa did
not actually commit any offense; this was simply a pastime of the
Lord with an unalloyed devotee to establish the sanctity of the
Dhruva -This pastime occurred at the beginning of creation. Emperor
Uttanapada, who was born in the dynasty of Svayambhuva
Manu, had two queens. The elder was named Suniti, while the
younger, who controlled the king, was called Suruci. Suniti had a
son by the name of Dhruva. Child Dhruva was deprived of his
father's affection, and could not tolerate his stepmother's tortures.
Following his mother's advice, he therefore went into the deep
forest, where he became completely absorbed in very austere and
difficult worship of the lotus-eyed Shri Hari. His prayer was not to
attain the Supreme, but to fulfill his material desire for a kingdom.
However, by the mercy of Shri Bhagavan, not only was his ambition
for a kingdom fulfilled, but he also obtained pure bhakti. If one
performs bhakti with undivided attention, even to fulfill a material
desire, one always attains all auspiciousness in the end. Dhruva is
an example of such an artharthi.
Dinanatha - the guardian and refuge of destitute souls; a name for
Durga - the wife of Lord Siva, also known as Sakti, Mahavidya, Kali,
Syama, and Nistarini. She presides over the material energy and is
one of the five deities worshiped by the pancopasakas.
Durvasa Muni - the son of Maharsi Atri and Anusuya. A partial
expansion of Shri Rudra, a great rsi and propounder of the jnanasastras.
Like Lord Siva, he was easily angered and easily pleased. He
could give great benedictions and terrible curses. Durvasa Muni
was always surrounded by sixty thousand disciples. Consequently,
his unexpected arrival could create an awkward situation for his
host. The Muni's intimidating presence, and the difficulty of accommodating
so many disciples could cause fear of the possible
repercussion of displeasing him.
Four Kumaras - see Kumara.
Gadadhara Pandita - an intimate associate of Shri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu. He is one of the members of the panca-tattva. He embodies
Shri Krishna's internal potency and is a manifestation of Shrimati
Radhika. After Mahaprabhu accepted sannyasa, Gadadhara Pandita
accompanied Him to Puridhama. He used to recite the Shrimad
Bhagavatam for the pleasure of Shri Gauranga. Mahaprabhu wrote a
sloka in His own handwriting in Gadadhara Pandita's Bhagavad-
Gita. After Mahaprabhu's disappearance from this world, Gadadhara
Pandita could not bear the pain of separation. He departed from
this world eleven months after His disappearance.
Gajendra - the following pastime took place during the fourth
manvantara. An elephant called Gajendra was the leader of many
strong elephants, and he lived with many she-elephants in the
deep jungle in a valley of Trikuta, the King of mountains. In the
valley was a large, beautiful and inviting lake, and one day Gajendra
was fearlessly absorbed in sporting in the lake with his female elephants
and children. All of a sudden, a strong crocodile angrily
caught hold of his leg. Gajendra used all his strength to try to
release himself, but the strong elephant could not get free, even
after struggling for a thousand years. Slowly, Gajendra begun to
lose strength. When he saw that he had no other protection, he
took complete and exclusive shelter of Shri Bhagavan, and began
to chant in great distress, eloquant Sanskrit slokas learned by him
in his previous birth as King Indradyumna. Shri Bhagavan, who
carries the cakra, arrived there riding on Garuda, and released
Gajendra by cutting open the crocodile's mouth with His cakra.
In his previous life, Gajendra had been King Indradyumna of
the state of Dravida, a member of the Pandava dynasty. Once
Maharsi Agastya came to visit Indradyumna, but when he arrived
there, the king was worshiping Shri Bhagavan in deep trance, and
therefore could not greet the rsi. Due to this offense, Maharsi
Agastya cursed the king to take birth as an elephant. This is an
example of a person in distress (artta) and contracted consciousness
Ganesa - the son of Lord Siva and Parvati. He removes all material
impediments and bestows great wealth upon his worshipers; one of
the five deities worshiped by the pancopasakas.
Gangesopadhyaya - author of a famous treatise on nyaya, Tattvacintamani.
There are no authentic records regarding his birth or
place of origin, but he is believed to have been from Mithila and
to have lived in the 12th-13th century. He was a keen dialectician
and a brilliant polemicist. He made the nyaya-sastra a science and
an art of debate. He developed a new school of nyaya known as
navya-nyaya. His Tattva-cintamani is a systematic account of epistemology,
logic and philosophy of grammar. It deals almost exclusively
with the epistemology of the nyaya system with little attention
to metaphysics or ontology. The Tattva-cintamani laid the
foundation of a new system of dialectics in India. His book became
so popular that no one thereafter could be considered a
scholar of nyaya unless they wrote a commentary on this book.
The most famous commentary on Tattva-cintamani was written by
Raghunatha (Kanaibhatta) Siromani, a contemporary of Shri
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (see Siromani).
Gaura - a short form of the name Gauranga.
Gaurachandra - one who has arisen like a dazzling golden moon; a
name for Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (see Chaitanya).
Gaura-Hari - one who has stolen the golden complexion of Shrimati
Radhika; a name for Krishna appearing in the form of Shri Chaitanya
Gaura-kisora - the beautiful golden youth; a name for Chaitanya
Gauranga - one whose limbs have a hue of molten gold; a name for
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Shri Krishna Himself, endowed with
the bhava (inner mood) and kanti (bodily complexion) of Shrimati
Gaura-Nitai - a short name for Shri Gauranga and Shri Nityananda
Gaurasundara - one who has a splendid golden form; a name for Shri
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (see Chaitanya).
Gauridasa Pandita - a beloved associate of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
His father was Kamsari Misra and his mother was Shri Kamala Devi.
He had five brothers named Suryadasa, Damodara, Jagannatha,
Krishnadasa, and Nrsimha-Chaitanya. His eldest brother, Suryadasa,
had two daughters - Shrimati Vasudha Devi and Shrimati Jahnava
Devi - who became the wives of Nityananda Prabhu. Gauridasa's
wife was Vimala Devi. They had two sons, Balarama and
Raghunatha. Gauridasa lived in Ambika Kalna, on the opposite
side of the Ganga from Santipura. Just next to Gauridasa's house
there is a large tamarind tree, beneath which Shriman Mahaprabhu
and Shri Nityananda Prabhu would sit. Once Gauridasa implored
the two brothers to remain in his home forever. In order to pacify
Gauridasa, Mahaprabhu made a beautiful set of Gaura-Nitai Deities
from a nearby neem tree and presented them to him. In krishnalila
Gauridasa Pandita is Subala-sakha, one of the dvadasa-gopalas
of Vraja (Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika 128).
Gautama - is popularly known as Aksapada Gautama. According
to some scholars, he lived in the 5th century BC and founded the
pracina, or older, nyaya school of philosophy. He wrote Nyayasutra,
which is known as the earliest systematic literature of the
system. The traditional nyaya system as it stands today is mainly
based on this work of Gautama. The Nyaya-sutra is divided into
five adhyayas, or lessons, usually called books. Each lesson is divided
into two ahnikas, or daily portions, and these in turn contain
a number of sutras, or aphorisms. These sutras are also divided
into prakaranas, or topics, by commentators such as
Vatsyayana and Vacaspati.
Gopijana-vallabha - the lover of the gopis of Vraja; a name for Shri
Gopinatha Acarya - a great devotee of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
He was the husband of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya's sister. During
Mahaprabhu's childhood, he lived in Nadiya. He later lived with
the Bhattacarya in Puridhama while Mahaprabhu was there. He
was the first one in Puri to proclaim Shri Chaitanya as Bhagavan, for
which he was initially ridiculed by the Bhattacarya, who later obtained
the mercy of Mahaprabhu.
Govinda - a name for Krishna; one who pleases the gopis, gopas, cows,
senses, the earth, and Govardhana Hill.
Gunaraja Khana - an associate of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and
resident of Kulinagrama. He was also known as Shri Maladhara
Vasu. His father was Bhagiratha Vasu and his mother was Indumati.
He wrote a famous book known as Shri Krishna-vijaya which was
much appreciated by Mahaprabhu. Gunaraja Khana used to visit
Shri Chaitanya every year for the performance of the ratha-yatra
festival at Puri. It was there that the residents from Kulinagrama
inquired from the Lord about the characteristics of a Vaishnava.
Hari - a name for Shri Krishna which means 'One who takes away' He
takes away everything inauspicious, and who steals the hearts of
Indra - the predominating deity of the atmosphere, sky and rain, he
is a deva who is subordinate to Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, but is the
chief of all the other celestial devas.
Jagadananda Pandita - a confidential friend and eternal associate
of Shri Chaitanya. He used to perform kirtana with Shriman
Mahaprabhu. He knew nothing other than the Lord. According
to the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (51), in krishna-lila Jagadananda
Pandita has a mood like that of Satyabhama's, the chief wife of Shri
Krishna (satyabhama prakaso 'pi jagadananda panditah). As
Satyabhama always exhibited a haughty and contrary mood,
Jagadananda exhibited a similar mood in his relationship with
Mahaprabhu. He remained with the Lord in Puridhama, constantly
engaged in His service. He is the author of Shri Prema-vivarta.
Jahnava Devi - was the daughter of Suryadasa, the elder brother of
Gauridasa Pandita, and one of the two wives of Nityananda Prabhu.
According to Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (65-66), in krishna-lila she is
Revati, the consort of Lord Balarama, and Ananga Manjari, the
younger sister of Shrimati Radhika.
Jaimini - the founder of the purva-mimamsa system of Indian philosophy,
better known as the mimamsa system. According to modern
scholars he composed his purva-mimamsa-sutra around the
4th century BC. It deals with the investigation of the nature of
dharma and lays down the principle interpretation of the Vedic
texts on which the performance of sacrifices wholly depends. It
describes the different sacrifices and their purposes. The mimamsa
sutra consists of twelve chapters, the first of which deals with the
source of knowledge and the validity of the Vedas. It is recognized
as the basic comprehensive work of the mimamsa school of philosophy
which gave rise to a host of commentaries and sub-commentaries.
Jamavanta - also known as Jambavan and Rksaraja, a king among
bears. In Treta-yuga he was one of the ministers of the monkey
king Sugriva. In age, wisdom, strength, and moral judgment he
was superior to all. It was he who reminded Hanuman of his
strength when it came time to cross the ocean. He was the chief
minister in the war against Ravana. Shri Ramacandra took his advice
in all matters and offered him great respect. In the battle of
Lanka, when all were bewildered by the mayic power of Meghanada
(Indrajit), Jambavan remained unaffected by that maya. Both
Meghanada and Ravana fell unconscious from the blows of the
fists of Jambavan. After Rama returned to Ayodhya and was
corronated as king, He ordered Jambavan and all the monkeys to
return to their kingdom. Jambavan agreed only upon receiving
the Lord's promise that he would obtain the Lord's association
again in Dvapara-yuga. Thus when Shri Krishna appeared in Dvaparayuga,
Jambavan's desire was fulfilled.
Jiva Gosvami - the son of Shri Vallabha (Anupama), who was the
brother of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis. Even as a young boy he
was deeply attracted Shri Krishna. He spent his time not in playing but
in worshiping Bhagavan with flowers, sandalwood, and other articles.
In his youth he went to Varanasi to study Sanskrit under
Madhusudana Vacaspati, a disciple of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya.
After completing his studies he went to Vrndavana and took shelter
of his uncles, Shri Rupa and Sanatana. After the disappearance of
Rupa and Sanatana, he became the leader amongst all of the Vaishnava
followers of Shriman Mahaprabhu. His numerous literary contributions,
which include books such as Sat-sandarbha and Gopal-
Campu, and commentaries on Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Bhakti-rasamrtasindhu,
and Ujjvala-nilamani, have lent support with sastric evidence
to the teachings of Shri Chaitanya. According to Gauraganoddesa-
dipika (194-207) he is Vilasa Manjari in krishna-lila.
Kakkhati - Shrimati Radhika's pet female monkey.
Kali - a form of the Goddess Durga; one whose complexion is dark
Kaliya - a gigantic naga or serpent of the race of Kadru and Kasyapa.
At the time of Shri Krishna's appearance, he took up residence in the
Yamuna river and poisoned the water with his venom. Krishna chastised
Kaliya by dancing on his hoods. By the touch of Krishna's lotus
feet, Kaliya was purified and he left the Yamuna for Ramanakadvipa,
a small island adjacent to Jambudvipa.
Kanada - an ancient sage. He is the originator of the vaisesika system
of Indian philosophy (see vaisesika in the Glossary of Terms).
The word kanada primarily means "one who lives on a small particle
of food." This may have some connection to the basic tenet of the
school which says that the universe is formed of the minutest units
of matter, called anu (the Nyaya-kandali of Shridhara may be consulted
for further information on this point). Kanada is also referred
to by the synonyms of his name, e.g. Kanabhuja and
Kanabhaksa, or by his genealogical name Kasyapa. He is also known
as Uluka, which literally means an owl. Tradition explains this
name with a story that Lord Siva appeared before the sage in the
form of an owl and revealed the vaisesika system to him. It is traditionally
believed that Kanada lived and taught in Varanasi.
Kanada is credited with the authorship of the Vaisesika-sutra, the
basic text of the system, but the precise dates of his life and work
cannot be ascertained. While tradition sets him in the 8th century
BC, modern scholarship assigns the composition of the Vaisesikasutra
to the first century AD. The basic tenets of the system were
known to the early compilers of the Caraka-samhita - not only to
its final editor, Caraka, but to its original author, Agnivesa, who is
thought to have lived several centuries prior to the Christian era.
The vaisesika philosophy, as propounded in the sutra, is acknowledged
by several schools of Buddhist philosophy, particularly the
madhyamikas and the vaibhasikas. The Pali work, Milindapanha,
which was written in the 1st century AD, mentions vaisesika as an
established branch of Indian learning.
Kapiladeva - an avatara of Shri Krishna, who appeared as the son of
Kardama Muni and Devahuti. He taught the true purport of the
sankhya philosophy to his mother. In this original sankhya philosophy
of Kapiladeva there are twenty-five principles. Beyond these
there is the existence of Shri Bhagavan, who is the source of the
other principles. There was another Kapila who appeared later in
the dynasty of Agni who taught an atheistic version of the sankhya
philosophy (see Kapila above). The atheistic sankhya accepts the
twenty-five principles but denies the existence of God. The sankhya
of Kapiladeva ultimately culminates in bhakti.
Kasyapa - the son of Marici, who was one of the six sons produced
from the mind of Brahma. Kasyapa was one of the first progenitors
of the universe. He married thirteen daughters of Daksa, headed by
Aditi. The universe was filled with living beings of all different
varieties by the combination of Kasyapa and his wives. Aditi was
the mother of the devas headed by Indra. Kasyapa and Aditi performed
severe austerities to please the Lord, and as a result He
appeared as their son, Vamanadeva.
Kavi Karnapura - one of the three sons of Sivananda Sena. His
brothers were named Chaitanya dasa and Rama dasa. His real name
was Paramananda Sena, but he was given the names Puri dasa and
Karnapura by Shriman Mahaprabhu. When he was a young boy he
sucked the toe of Mahaprabhu. He was a superlative writer and
poet. He wrote many famous books, including Gaura-ganoddesadipika,
Shri Chaitanya-candrodaya-nataka, Ananda-vrndavana-campu,
Shri Chaitanya-carita-mahakavya, Arya-sataka, Krishnahnika-kaumudi,
Alankara-kaustubha, a commentary on the tenth canto of Shrimad-
Bhagavatam, and Chaitanya-sahasra-nama-stotra.
Kesava - a name for Krishna. When the word kesa is taken to mean the
Kesi demon, the word va is connected to the verbal root vadh, to
kill. In this sense, Kesava means the slayer of the Kesi demon. Another
meaning of kesa is hair. When this is combined with the
verbal root vah (to wear or possess), Kesava means one who has
beautiful long hair. Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has given
two further explanations of the name Kesava: kesan vayate
samskarotiti kesava, when kesa is combined with the verbal root ve
(to braid), Kesava means one who expertly braids and decorates the
hair of His beloved, Shrimati Radhika; and ko brahma iso mahadeva
tavapi vayase vasikarosi, the syllable ka refers to Brahma, the word isa
refers to Mahadeva and the verbal root ve here is used in the sense
of bringing under control. Thus Kesava means one who brings even
Brahma and Mahadeva under His control.
Krishna - the original Supreme Lord, Svayam Bhagavan. He is avatari,
the source of all other avataras. His partial manifestation is the
Paramatma and His bodily effulgence is the all-pervading brahma.
His body is composed of sac-cid-ananda - eternality, knowledge,
and bliss. He is the personification of all spiritual mellows, raso vai
sa. His father is Nanda Maharaja, His mother is Yasoda, His brother
is Balarama, and His eternal consort is Shrimati Radhika. He is a
charming young cowherd boy with a complexion like that of a fresh
monsoon raincloud. His wears a brilliant yellow dhoti, a peacock
feather on His crown, and a garland of fresh forest flowers. He
possesses sixty-four primary transcendental qualities, out of which
four are unique to Him alone: venu-madhurya, He attracts the entire
world and especially the gopis with the melodious sound of His
flute; rupa-madhurya, He possesses extraordinary beauty which captivates
the minds of all; prema-madhurya, He is surrounded by intimate
loving associates whose prema is completely unbounded by
reverence or formality; and lila-madhurya, He performs beautiful
and enchanting pastimes, amongst which rasa-lila is the summit.
Krishna Chaitanya - a name for Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (see Chaitanya).
Krishnadasa Kaviraja - the author of Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita. He
received the darsana of Nityananda Prabhu in a dream and was
ordered by Him to go to Vrndavana. At the repeated request of the
Vaishnavas, and after obtaining the blessings of the Madana-Gopala
Deity, he accepted the task of writing the biography of Shri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu. He also wrote Govinda-lilamrta, a description of Radha
and Krishna's eight-fold daily pastimes, and a commentary known as
Saranga-rangada on Bilvamangala Thakura's famous book, Krishnakarnamrta.
He is Kasturi Manjari in krishna-lila.
Kumara -The four Kumaras are called Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana
and Sanat. Brahma created them in the beginning of creation
from his mind (manah). That is why they are called Brahma's
manasa-putra (sons born of his mind). Because of their profound
knowledge, they were completely detached from worldly attraction,
and they did not give any assistance in their father's task of
creation, because they had developed an inclination for impersonal
speculation (brahma-jnana). Brahma was extremely displeased
with this, and he prayed to Bhagavan Shri Hari for the
welfare of his sons. Shri Bhagavan was pleased by Brahma's prayers,
and in His Hamsa (swan) avatara, He attracted their minds away
from dry impersonal knowledge to the knowledge of pure devotional
service on the absolute platform. Because of this, Sanaka
Rsi and his brothers are known as jnani-bhaktas. They are the
originators of the Nimbaditya disciplic succession.
Lalita-Sakhi - an intimate friend of Shrimati Radhika. She is the first
and most prominent of the asta-sakhis, the eight confidential girlfriends
of Shri Radha. According to Shrila Rupa Gosvami's Shri Radha-
Krishna Ganoddesa-dipika (Baharampura edition) she is twenty-seven
days older than Shri Radha and she is also known as Anuradha. She
has a contradictory and haughty nature. Her complexion is like
gorocana, a brilliant yellow pigment. Her garments are the colors of
peacock feathers. Her mother is Saradi and her father is Visoka.
Her husband is Bhairava, who is a friend of Govardhana Malla, the
husband of Candravali. The eight principal sakhis in her yutha
(group) are Ratna-prabha, Ratikala, Subhadra, Bhadra-rekhika,
Sumukhi, Dhanistha, Kala-hamsi, and Kalapini. Lalita is the leader
of the parama-prestha-sakhis; she instructs and directs all the sakhis;
she understands all the different moods of loving affairs; and she is
expert in the tactics of union and separation in the matter of prema.
If by chance Krishna ever commits any offense toward Shri Radha,
Lalita is quick to rebuke Him, raising her head in anger.
Madhva - the chief acarya of the Brahma sampradaya; born in 1239
near Udupi. His father and mother were Shri Madhyageha Bhatta
and Shrimati Vedavidya. He accepted diksa and sannyasa at age twelve
from Acyuta-preksa. His sannyasa name was Purnaprajna. He wrote
commentaries on the Bhagavad-Gita, Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Brahmasutra,
and many other books. He established the doctrine of dvaitavada
which emphasizes the eternal distinction between the living
entities and the Supreme Lord. He preached vigorously against the
kevaladvaitavada teachings of Shri Sankaracarya.
Mahadeva - a name for Lord Siva; the great Lord or the chief among
the devas (see Siva).
Mahaprabhu - the Great Master, Shri Krishna Chaitanya (see Chaitanya).
Mahavidya - a name for the Goddess Durga. This name indicates
that because Goddess Durga is the personification of the material
energy, she is the source of all material science.
Mahesa - the great (maha) Lord or master (isa). This is a name for
Maitreyi - Yajna-valkya had two wives, namely Katyayani and
Maitreyi. When he reached the age of fifty, he called his two wives
and divided all his wealth between them saying "Be happy and
allow me to go the forest to chant and remember Krishna."
Katyayani told him, " You have given me everything. So now you
can go and practice as you desire." The second wife Maitreyi said, "
First, please answer my question. You are giving me everything. My
question is, can these things make me happy forever? You are giving
me all these things, and previously you had all these possessions.
Why are you giving them up and going to the forest? If these things
can give me eternal happiness, why did you not get happiness from
them? Why are you giving them up and going to the forest? I know
that these material things could not actually make you happy. They
only gave you momentary happiness." Yajna-valkya was satisfied to
hear his wife speaking in this way. He embraced her and said, "Truly,
you are my svadharmani, my religious wife. No ordinary person can
ask a question like this. Such a person is very rare."
He then took that wife Maitreyi with him to the forest and,
helping each other, they began to practice bhakti-yoga.
Manu - any one of fourteen principal progenitors and administrators
of the universe appearing in succession; the first of these is
known as Svayambhuva to whom the famous lawbook, Manusamhita,
Mukunda - a name for Shri Krishna. The word muku is equivalent to
mukti and the verbal root da means to give or bestow. Thus, Mukunda
means the granter of liberation. Also means one whose face is
lusterous like the kunda flower.
Narada - a great sage among the devas; he is thus known as Devarsi.
He was born from the mind of Brahma. He is a liberated associate
of Shri Krishna, who travels throughout the material and spiritual
worlds broadcasting His glories. In Chaitanya lila he appears as
Narayana - nara-mankind, ayana-the shelter of. Means the shelter
for mankind. An expansion of Krishna; the opulent Lord of
Nilambara Cakravarti - the father of Shri Saci Mata, and maternal
grandfather of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu; a great astrologer. According
to Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (104-105), in krishna-lila he was
Garga Muni and Sumukha gopa.
Nimai Pandita - Shriman Mahaprabhu's childhood name was Nimai
because He was born beneath a neem tree. In His youth He became
a great scholar, and thus He came to be known as Nimai
Nimbaditya - also known as Nimbarkacarya; the head acarya of
the Kumara sampradaya. He established the philosophical doctrine
of dvaitadvaita-vada, which delineates both the oneness and
the distinction of all things with the Lord. He performed his
bhajana at Dhruva-ksetra near Govardhana. He wrote a commentary
on Vedanta-sutra named Vedanta-saurabha, as well as Vedantakamadhenu-
dasa-sloka, Krishna-stavaraja, Guruparampara, Vedantatattva-
bodha, Vedanta-siddhanta-pradipa, Svadharmadhva-bodha,
Aitihya-tattva-siddhanta, Radhastaka, and a commentary on
Nistarini - a name of Durga-Devi meaaning she who transports
one across material existence; she who awards moksa.
Nitai - a nickname for Nityananda Prabhu.
Nityananda - a manifestation of Shri Krishna who in krishna-lila is Shri
Balarama. He appeared together with Shriman Mahaprabhu and was
the Lord's chief assistantin distributing harinama-sankirtana to the
fallen jivas of Kali-yuga. He was born in Ekacakra in 1473 on the day
of sukla-trayodasi in the month of magha (January-February). His
father was Hadai Pandita and His mother was Padmavati. According
to some, He was the disciple of Shri Madhavendra Puri, and
according to others the disciple of Laksmipati, the guru of
Nrga - a great king and the son of Maharaja Iksvaku. He was exceedingly
generous. He once gave an incalculable number of exceptional
cows to a brahmana in charity. By chance one of those
cows escaped and returned to the King's herd. Unwittingly, Nrga
gave that same cow to a different brahmana. Along the way, the
first brahmana recognized the cow and was very upset. The two
brahmanas went to Nrga to settle the matter. Although the King
offered each of the brahmanas a hundred thousand cows in exchange
for the one cow, they both left feeling dissatisfied. Shortly
thereafter, the King died. When he was brought before Yamaraja,
he was given the choice to first enjoy the results of his pious
actions or to suffer the reactions to his misdeeds. He chose to first
suffer the reactions to his misdeeds. Instantly he obtained the
body of a lizard and was cast to Earth, where he was made to live in
a dried-up well.
One day in Dvapara-yuga, Nrga was found by some boys of the
Yadu dynasty. The boys went and reported this to Krishna who
then came and lifted the lizard out of the well with His left hand.
Upon being touched by the lotus-hand of Shri Krishna, Nrga was
released from the body of the lizard. He is an example of someone
who attained Krishna's mercy from the state of sankucita-cetana,
Nrsimhadeva - the half-man, half-lion avatara of Krishna. He appeared
in a ferocious mood to protect His beloved bhakta, Prahlada
Maharaja, when Prahlada was being severely oppressed by his
demoniac father, Hiranyakasipu.
Padmanabha - one whose navel is shaped like a lotus; a name for
Krishna or Vishnu.
Pandavas - the five sons of Pandu: Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna,
Nakula, and Sahadeva. They were great devotees of Shri Krishna. They
are the heroes of the Mahabharata and were the victorious party in
the battle of Kuruksetra.
Pariksit Maharaja - the son of Abhimanyu and Uttara, and the
grandson of Arjuna. He appeared just at the end of Dvapara-yuga.
After the battle of Kuruksetra, he was the sole living descendant of
the Pandavas and Kauravas. While still in his mother's womb, Krishna
protected him from the deadly brahmastra weapon of Asvatthama.
When Pariksit was fully grown, the Pandavas installed him as emperor
and retired to the Himalayas. He was such a powerful ruler
that he was able to forestall the onset of the age of Kali. Later, by
the influence of the Lord's internal potency, he committed an act
of indiscretion against the sage Samika Rsi and was cursed by the
sage's five year old son, Srngi, to die from a snake-bite within seven
days. Pariksit calmly accepted the curse as the mercy of Shri Krishna.
He left the kingdom in the hands of his son, Janamejaya, and went
to the bank of the Ganga. Great sages from all over the world immediately
gathered there to witness his passing away. He spent his
final days hearing the narration of Shrimad-Bhagavatam from the
sage Sukadeva. Absorbed in ambrosial descriptions of Shri Krishna
and His bhaktas, Pariksit Maharaja gave up eating, drinking, sleeping,
and all fear of his imminent death.
Patanjali - a great maharsi and author of the yoga-sutra (see yoga in
the Glossary of Terms).
Patita-pavana - one who purifies and delivers the fallen souls; a
name for Shri Chaitanya and Nityananada and Shri Guru.
Prabodhananda Sarasvati - the uncle of Shri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami.
He was a resident of Ranga-ksetra and a sannyasi of the Shri Ramanuja
sampradaya. Gopala Bhatta Gosvami received diksa from him.
Prabodhananda was a worshiper of Laksmi-Narayana, but by the
mercy of Shri Gaurasundara he adopted the worship of Shri Radha-
Govinda. He wrote many books such as Shri Vrndavana-mahimamrta,
Shri Radha-rasa-sudhanidhi, Shri Chaitanya-candramrta, Sangitamadhava,
Ascarya-rasa-prabandha, Shri Vrndavana-sataka, Shri
Navadvipa-sataka, Sruti-stuti-vyakhya, Kamabija-Kamagayatrivyakhyana,
Gita-Govinda-vyakhyana, and Shri Gaura-sudhakaracitrastaka.
According to Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (163), in krishna-lila
Prabodhananda Sarasvati is Tungavidya, one of the asta-sakhis of
Pradyumna Brahmacari - a personal associate of Shri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu. He was a worshiper of Shri Nrsimhadeva and thus
Shriman Mahaprabhu additionally gave him the name
Nrsimhananda. In Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita Shrila Krishna Dasa Kaviraja
has narrated how within his mind Nrsimhananda Brahmacari created
a road out of valuable jewels and surrounded it by all kinds of
sublime paraphanalia (lakes and gardens etc.) so that Shri
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Prahlada - a great bhakta of Shri Krishna and son of Hiranyakasipu. As
a small boy of only five years old he was severly oppressed by his
father, Hiranyakasipu, who was bitterly opposed to Vishnu for having
killed his brother, Hiranyaksa. In spite of many threats and
attempts on his life, Prahlada remained composed and absorbed in
remembrance of Shri Krishna. He was protected in all such situations
and ultimately the Lord appeared as Nrsimhadeva to kill his demoniac
father. The history and teachings of Prahlada are renowned in
Shrimad-Bhagavatam and other scriptures.
Radha - the eternal consort of Shri Krishna and the embodiment of the
hladini potency. She is known as mahabhava-svarupini, the personification
of the highest ecstacy of divine love. She is the source of
all the gopis, the queens of Dvaraka, and the Laksmis of Vaikuntha.
Her father is Vrsabhanu Maharaja, Her mother is Kirtida, Her
brother is Shridama, and Her younger sister is Ananga Manjari. She
has an effulgent, golden complexion and She wears blue garments.
She is adorned with unlimited auspicious qualities and is the most
dearly beloved of Shri Krishna.
Radha-Syama - the divine couple Shri Shri Radha-Krishna.
Raghunandana Bhattacarya - the son of Harihara Bhattacarya and
a contemporary of Shriman Mahaprabhu. He was also known as
Smarta Bhattacarya. He wrote a lengthy book known as Astavimsati-
tattva (28 principles) dealing with the scriptural codes of
conduct for upanayana, marriage, sraddha, and many other essential
social and moral functions. Aside from this he wrote several other
smrti-sastras including Rasayatra-paddhati, Sankalpa-candrika,
Tripuskarasanti-tattva, Dvadasa-yatra-pramana-tattva, and Harismrti-
sudhakara. Kalirama Vacaspati and Radha-Mohan Gosvami
of Santipura each wrote commentaries on his Asta-vimsati-tattva.
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami - also known as Dasa Gosvami; a confidential
associate of Shriman Mahaprabhu. He was born in 1494 in
the village of Krishnapura within the Hugali district of West Bengal.
His father was Govardhana Majumadara and His uncle was
Hiranya Majumadara. His diksa-guru was Shri Yadunandana Acarya.
At an early age he gave up a beautiful wife and opulence like that
of Indra to take shelter at the feet of Shriman Mahaprabhu in
Jagannatha Puri. Mahaprabhu placed him under the guidance of
Svarupa Damodara Gosvami. After the disappearance of Shri
Chaitanya and Svarupa Damodara, he went to Vrndavana and remained
under the shelter of Shri Rupa and Shri Sanatana Gosvamis.
He stayed at Radha-kunda, constantly absorbed in bhajana. He
wrote three books: Stavavali, Danakeli-cintamani, and Mukta-carita.
In krishna-lila he is Rati Manjari.
Rama - a lila-avatara or pastime avatara of Shri Krishna; He is the
famous hero of the Ramayana. He is also known as Ramacandra,
Raghunatha, Dasarathi-Rama, and Raghava-Rama. His father was
Maharaja Dasaratha, His mother was Kausalya, and His wife was
Sita. He had three brothers named Laksmana, Bharata, and
Satrughna. The celebrated monkey Hanuman was His beloved
servant and devotee. After killing the pernicious demon, Ravana,
and rescuing Sitarani with the help of the monkey army, Rama
returned to Ayodhya and was crowned king.
Ramanuja - the celebrated Vaishnava acarya of the Shri sampradaya
who founded the Vedantic school which taught the doctrine of
visistadvaitavada, qualified non-dualism. He lived at Kancipuram
and Shri Rangam in South India in the 12th century. He is believed
to have been an incarnation of Sesa and is known also as both
Ramanujacarya and Yatiraja. He wrote commentaries on Bhagavad-
Gita, Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and Vedanta-sutra.
Rasaraja - the emperor of rasa; one who is supreme in relishing
the mellows of rasa; this is a name for Shri Krishna who is akhilarasamrta-
murti, the embodiment of the essence of all rasa.
Rupa Gosvami - an eternal associate of Shriman Mahaprabhu. He is
glorified as having established the inner desire of Shri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu in this world. He understood the confidential moods
of Shri Krishna and broadcast them in his many books. He was personally
instructed by Mahaprabhu at Prayaga and empowered to
write books explaining the esoteric truths of uttama-bhakti. His
unique contribution was to explain how bhakti is transformed
into rasa and how rasa is the real basis of loving relationships
with Shri Krishna. Some of his prominent books are Bhakti-rasamrtasindhu,
Ujjvala-nilamani, Vidagdha-madhava, and Lalita-madhava.
According to Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (180), he is Shri Rupa Manjari
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Mahaprabhu (see Chaitanya).
Sanatana Gosvami - an eternal associate of Shriman Mahaprabhu
and elder brother of Rupa Gosvami. He was personally instructed
by Mahaprabhu, who ordered him to write books explaining the
principles of bhakti and to excavate the lost places of krishna-lila in
Vraja. His Brhad-bhagavatamrta is considered to be the earliest of
the Gosvami writings and the source of inspiration for many other
works. He wrote a famous commentary on the tenth canto of
Shrimad-Bhagavatam, originally titled Vaishnava-tosani, which later
became known as Brhad-Vaishnava-tosani after Shrila Jiva Gosvami
wrote a tenth canto commentary known as Laghu-Vaishnava-tosani.
He also enumerated the basic principles of bhakti in his book Haribhakti-
vilasa. According to Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (181), he is
Lavanga Manjari in krishna-lila.
Sanda - one of the sons of Sukracarya and a teacher of Prahlada
Maharaja. The word sanda means a bull. Sanda embodies the nature
of one who is dull-witted in the matter of spiritual realization.
Sankara - another name for Siva (see Siva). Sometimes Sankara is
used as a short name for Sankaracarya.
Sankaracarya - a celebrated teacher of Vedanta philosophy and the
reviver of Brahmanism. He is understood to have been an incarnation
of Lord Siva. He was born in 788 and he died in 820 at the age
of thirty-two. According to some accounts of his life, he was born
approximately 200 BC. He was born into a Nambudaripada brahmana
family in the village of Kalapi or Kasala in the province of Kerala.
His father's name was Sivaguru and his mother was Subhadra. The
couple worshiped Lord Siva for a long time to obtain a son, and
thus when their son was finally born, he received the name Sankara.
His father passed away when Sankara was only three years old. By
the time he was six, Sankara was a learned scholar, and he accepted
the renounced order at the age of eight. He travelled all over India
to suppress the Buddhist doctrine and revive the authority of Vedic
Sankaracarya wrote a famous commentary on Vedanta-sutra
known as Sariraka-bhasya, Inquiry into the Nature of the Embodied
Spirit. Although he made an invaluable contribution by re-establishing
Brahmanism and the Vedic authority, which laid some
groundwork for the teachings of Shri Chaitanya, the precepts he established
are at odds with the Vedic conclusion and the Vaishnava
acaryas. He declared the Supreme brahma to be devoid of form, characteristics,
potencies, and qualities. He states that although brahma
is full of knowledge, it is not a conscious all-knowing being. Although
brahma is of the nature of transcendental bliss, it is not a
subjective experiencer of that bliss. brahma is not the creator of the
world. When that featureless brahma comes in contact with maya,
it assumes material qualities. These ideas have been strongly refuted
by all the Vaishnava acaryas.
Sapta-tala - the seven tala (palmyra) trees. In Treta-yuga the monkey
chief Vali once procured seven succulent tala fruits. He kept them
aside and went to bathe, thinking that he would enjoy them later.
Upon his return, he discovered that a poisonous snake had already
ruined them. Vali became furious and cursed the snake to obtain
the body of a tree. By the potency of this curse, the snake at once
manifested as seven Palmyra trees (sapta-tala). The father of the
snake was acutely distressed and cursed Vali in return that whoever
could pierce all seven tala trees with a single arrow would be
the cause of Vali's death. Later, Shri Ramacandra accomplished this
feat to assure Sugriva of His ability to kill Vali. In Kali-yuga when
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu travelled to South India to deliver the
jivas of that place, He came upon the sapta-tala trees. Upon seeing
them, He became overwhelmed with prema and rushed forward to
embrace them. As soon as He did so, the trees disappeared. By the
touch of Shriman Mahaprabhu they were delivered from the state of
acchadita-cetana, covered consciousness. When the local residents
witnessed this astonishing event, they could understand that
Shriman Mahaprabhu was directly Shri Ramacandra.
Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya - an associate of Shriman Mahaprabhu;
also known as Shri Vasudeva Sarvabhauma. According to the Gaura-
Ganoddesa-dipika (119) he was formerly Brhaspati, the preceptor of
the devas. At first his residence was in Navadvipa, but he came to
Puri dhama on the invitation of King Prataparudra, and was the
chief pandita in the king's court. He was one of the foremost scholars
of his time. When Mahaprabhu came to Puri dhama, Sarvabhauma
instructed Him for one week in the impersonal conception of
Vedanta. After this, Mahaprabhu explained the true meaning of
Vedanta and bestowed His mercy upon Sarvabhauma in such a way
that the Bhattacarya could understand Shri Krishna's true identity. At
that point Sarvabhauma submitted himself unto His lotus feet.
Saunaka and rsis - Once, Saunaka and other rsis organized sacrificial
yajnas for a thousand years in the holy place of Naimisaranya,
hoping to attain the supreme benediction. After some time, they
lost all hope of attaining their desired goal in this way, but they
attained their desired perfection through the answers that Shri Suta
Gosvami (the disciple of Shri Krishna-dvaipayana Vedavyasa) gave to
their questions. The six questions that they asked him are: (1) What
is the ultimate benediction for the jivas? (2) What topic can we hear
that will please the life of all souls, Paramatma Shri Hari? (3) What
were the purposes that Vasudeva Shri Krishna desired to fulfill when
He appeared from Devaki's womb? (4) What pastimes did Bhagavan
Vasudeva perform in His different avataras? (5) Please describe the
qualities and glories of Shri Hari. (6) Where did dharma take shelter
when Shri Krishna returned to His own abode?
All these rsis took shelter of Shri Suta Gosvami as guru, although
they took birth in high-caste brahmana families, whereas he took
birth in a lower caste. When they expressed their inquisitiveness
to Shri Suta Gosvami in a simple-hearted way, this dearmost disciple
of Shri Vedavyasa answered all their questions with gentle affection.
When they heard his answers, they all attained the supreme perfection.
This is an example of an inquisitive (jijnasu) devotee.
Siromani, Raghunatha - also known as Kanai Siromani or
Kanabhatta; a contemporary of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and author
of Didhiti, the famous nyaya commentary on the Tattvacintamani
of Gangesopadhyaya. He was a student of Shri Vasudeva
Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya in Navadipa. After completing his studies,
he went to Mithila for some time and then returned to Navadipa
to open his own school of nyaya. At that time Vasudeva
Sarvabhauma was invited by King Prataparudra to come to Orissa
to be the chief pandita in his court. As a result, Siromani became
distinguished as the foremost scholar of nyaya in Navadvipa during
his time. According to the Advaita-prakasa, Siromani desired that
his Didhiti would become the most famous commentary on Tattvacintamani.
However, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had written a commentary
on Tattva-cintamani which surpassed the work of Siromani.
Seeing this, Siromani became despondent. In order to fulfill
Siromani's desire, Mahaprabhu threw His own commentary into
the Ganga. Thereafter, Siromani's commentary became celebrated
as the pre-eminent commentary on Tattva-cintamani.
Siva - a qualitative expansion of Shri Krishna who supervises the material
mode of ignorance, and who annihilates the material cosmos;
one of the five deities worshiped by the pancopasakas. His name
literally means auspicious. In the Brahma-samhita (5.45) it is described
that Shri Krishna assumes the form of Lord Siva for the purpose of
carrying out the material creation. In the Shrimad-Bhagavatam
(12.13.16) Siva is described as the best of all Vaishnavas: vaishnavanam
Simantini-devi - is a name for Parvati, who at the instigation of her
consort Lord Siva, desired to have darsana of Gauranga
Mahaprabhu. Thus she went to see Him. After being blessed by
Him she took His footdust and placed it on her simanta (hair parting).
Thus that place bwcame famous as Simanta-dvipa. Ignorant
people call it Simuliya.
Shriman Mahaprabhu - a name for Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (see
Sukadeva - the son of Badarayana Vyasadeva and speaker of the
Shrimad-Bhagavatam to Maharaja Pariksit. In Goloka-dhama, Krishna's
eternal abode in the spiritual world, he is the parrot of Shrimati
Sugriva - the monkey chieftain in the Rsya-muka mountain, who
received Rama and Laksmana when they were searching for Sita.
He was the brother of Vali, who, due to a misunderstanding, was
vehemently inimical toward him. After taking Rama's help to kill
his brother, he summoned the monkey army to assist Rama in conquering
Ravana and recovering Sita. After the death of Ravana,
Sugriva accompanied Rama and Laksmana on their return to
Surabhi - a cow of divine origin. After Indra committed a grave
offense against Shri Krishna by flooding Gokula with torrents of rain,
he became very fearful, and thus he approached Surabhi for shelter,
knowing cows to be most dear to Krishna. The two of them went to
Navadvipa-dhama, knowing that Krishna would appear there in Kaliyuga
as Shri Gauranga. By chanting Gauranga's name, tears of love
filled their eyes and they quickly attained the darsana of Gauranga.
The Lord assured them that they would attain His service when He
would appear there. After He disappeared, Surabhi remained there
beside a banyan tree, constantly serving the lotus feet of Gauranga
by engaging in worship and bhajana.
Surya - the sun god; one of the five deities worshiped by the
Svarupa Damodara - one of the most intimate associates of Shriman
Mahaprabhu (Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila 2.105-106). His previous
name was Purusottama Acarya. After accepting sannyasa he
received the name Svarupa Damodara. He accompanied
Mahaprabhu to Puri and served Him constantly by reciting appropriate
slokas to nourish His confidential moods. He recorded
the activities of Shriman Mahaprabhu in the form of Sanskrit slokas,
which later became the basis of Chaitanya-charitamrita and other
biographical works on the life of Shri Chaitanya. In krishna-lila he is
Syama - (1) a name for Shrimati Radhika, one who is absorbed in
Syama (Shri Krishna), (2) a name for the Yamuna River, (3) a short
name for Syamala, a sakhi friend of Shri Radha, (4) a form of Durga
worshiped by tantrikas.
Tala - see Sapta-tala.
Uddharana Datta - a confidential associate of Nityananda Prabhu.
He was born into a wealthy family of gold merchants in 1481 in the
town of Saptagrama. His father and mother were Shrikara Datta
and Bhadravati. His wife was Mahamaya and his son was Shrinivasa
Datta Thakura. Uddharana Datta's wife died when he was only
twenty-six. After this he abandoned his wealth and family and
wandered everywhere as a servant of Nityananda Prabhu. In krishnalila
he was the cowherd boy known as Subahu, one of the dvadasagopalas
of Vraja, the twelve intimate cowherd boyfriends of Krishna
and Baladeva, who descended with Nityananda Prabhu (Gauraganoddesa-
Vamsi-vadanananda - the son of Chakauri Cattopadhyaya. At
birth, Shrila Vamsi-vadanananda Thakura was given the name
Vamsi or Vamsi dasa. He was also known as Vadana and
Vadanananda. He was born in 1494 or, according to others, in
1505, and was regarded as an incarnation of Krishna's flute. This
was later confirmed in Shri Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (179) - written
approximately 1576 - the book of Shrila Kavi Karnapura which
reveals the identities of Mahaprabhu's associates in krishna-lila.
The name Vamsi-vadana refers to Shri Krishna, the flute-player.
One who gives ananda (bliss) to Krishna by enabling Him to play
on the flute and thus attract the beloved gopis to Him is known
as Vamsi-vadanananda. Thus, although his birth name was simply
Vamsi dasa, he came to be known as Vamsi-vadanananda
Prabhu or Thakura. The names Prabhu and Thakura are titles of
respect for great personalities.
Vasudeva - the indwelling Lord of all beings, Shri Krishna who resides
everywhere and in all things. This word comes from the
verbal root vas, to reside. In another sense it means the son of
Vasudeva, derived from the Sanskrit verbal root vis to pervade;
means the all-pervading and omnipotent one.
Vishnu - the Supreme Lord of the cosmos who presides over the
material mode of goodness; the supreme amongst the five deities
worshiped by the pancopasakas.
Vishnupriya - the second wife of Shriman Mahaprabhu. Bhagavan
has three potencies known as shri, bhu, and nila. Shri Vishnupriya
Devi embodies the bhu potency. In krishna-lila she is Satyabhama
(Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika 47-48). Her father was Sanatana Misra,
who was King Satrajita in krishna-lila. After Mahaprabhu accepted
sannyasa, Vishnupriya engaged constantly in chanting hari-nama.
She would set aside one grain of rice for every round of hari-nama
that she chanted. In the evening she would cook that rice and
offer it to her Deity of Shri Gauranga. She would then give half to
Saci Mata and eat the remainder.
Vishnusvami - the head acarya of the Rudra sampradaya. He established
the doctrine of suddhadvaitavada, purefied non-dualsim, in
contrast to the impure doctrine of kevaladvaitavada, the impersonal
interpretation of monism. The famous Vaishnava acarya, Shri
Vallabha, established his conclusions on the basis of the philosophical
principles laid down by Vishnusvami. Vallabhacarya is
said to be an incarnation of Vishnusvami.
Visvambhara - a name for Chaitanya Mahaprabhu which means
one who maintains and nourishes the entire universe (see
Vrnda Devi - a confidential servant of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. She
is expert in making all arrangements for Radha-Krishna's amorous
pastimes in the kunjas of Vrndavana. She is the predominating
goddess of the Vrndavana forest and her partial expansion is Tulasi-
Devi. Sometimes the name Vrnda-Devi is used simply to refer to
Vyasadeva - a great sage and empowered incarnation of the Lord.
He was also known as Badarayana, Dvaipayana, and Veda-Vyasa.
His father was Parasara and his mother was Satyavati. He was the
step-brother of Vicitravirya and Bhisma. Because of the untimely
death of Vicitravirya, Satyavati requested Vyasa to become the
husband of Vicitravirya's two childless widows. From the womb of
Ambika, Dhrtarastra was born and from the womb of Ambalika,
Pandu was born. He was also the father of Vidura by a servant girl.
In addition, by his wife Arani, Vyasadeva was the father of the
great sage Shri Sukadeva, who spoke the Bhagavata Purana to
Maharaja Pariksit. Vyasadeva compiled and arranged the Vedas,
Vedanta-sutra, the Puranas, the Mahabharata, and Shrimad-
Bhagavatam, and he also established the uttara-mimamsa system of
Yadunandana - a name for Shri Krishna meaning one who appeared in
the Yadu dynasty.
Yamalarjuna - the twin Arjuna trees. Formerly they were
Nalakuvara and Manigriva, the sons of Kuvera, the treasurer of
the devas in the heavenly planets. Once, intoxicated with sensuous
desire and accompanied by many young ladies, Nalakuvara
and Manigriva were sporting naked in the Mandakini river. The
sage Narada Muni passed by at that moment. The ladies at once
covered themselves in shame and fell at the feet of Narada to beg
his forgiveness. However, Nalakuvara and Manigriva were so intoxicated
that they took no notice of Narada. Seeing them bereft
of all sense, Narada blessed them by cursing them to take birth as
trees. Thus they were born as twin Arjuna trees in Gokula. When
Bhagavan Shri Krishna appeared in Dvapara-yuga, He delivered them
from the state of covered consciousness by touching them with
His lotus feet.