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GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Abhidheya - comes from the verbal root abhidha, which means "to
set forth or explain," and the word abhidheya literally means "that
which is worthy of explanation." The means by which krishna-prema
can be achieved is the fundamental truth (tattva) that is most worthy
of explanation. The means by which the ultimate goal is
achieved, is the practice of sadhana-bhakti.
Abhimana - egoism; the self-conception with which one identifies.
Acarya - spiritual preceptor, one who teaches by example.
Acchadita-cetana - covered consciousness. This refers to living beings
such as trees, creepers, shrubs, stones, and other non-moving
beings whose consciousness is barely detectable.
Acira-sthayi - unenduring, impermanent.
Acit-vastu - unconscious objects.
Adharma - irreligion; failure to carry out one's socio-religious duties
prescribed in the sastra.
Adhikara - eligibility or authority by conduct and temperament to
perform a particular kind of work.
Adhina-tattva - the fundamental truth concerning the jivas who,
being eternally related to Shri Bhagavan as parts to the whole, are
adhina (subordinate) to His will; one of the aspects of sambandhajnana.
Advaita-jnana - knowledge of non-duality. Although in the true
sense this refers to the Supreme Absolute Personality of Godhead
who is devoid of all duality, the Mayavada conception of advaitajnana
is that the ultimate substance, brahma, is devoid of form,
qualities, personality, and variegatedness.
Advaita-siddhi - the perfectional stage of oneness aspired for by
those who cultivate an awareness of indistinct brahma.
Advaita-vada - the doctrine of non-dualism, monism - the doctrine
that emphasizes the absolute oneness of the living entities
with God. This is often equated with the Mayavada theory that
everything is ultimately one; that there is no distinction whatsoever
between the Supreme Absolute and the individual living entities;
that the Supreme is devoid of form, personality, qualities, and
activities; and that perfection is to merg oneself into the all-pervading
impersonal brahma. This doctrine was propagated by Shri
Sankaracarya (see Glossary of Names).
Advaita-vadi - one who advocates the doctrine of monism (see
Agama - is a part of Veda which deals with the science of Tantra.
Ahamkara - lit. aham (I) kara (am the doer) i.e. the false ego.
Ahamta - literally means 'I-ness'; egoism; self-consciousness.
Aihika - that which relates to iha (the here and now); that which
relates to this material world.
Aihika- sukha - material enjoyment pertaining to this world.
Aisi- sakti - divine potency, which is known as tatastha-sakti. Aisi
comes from the word Isa the Supreme Lord, Master or Controller
Aisvarya - opulence, splendor, magnificence, majesty, supremacy.
In regard to bhakti this refers to devotion which is inspired by the
opulence and majesty of the Lord especially in His feature as Lord
Narayana. This type of devotion restricts the intimacy of exchange
between Shri Bhagavan and His bhaktas.
Akarma - the non-performance of auspicious activities or prescribed
Akhanda - undivided, uninterupted, without a break, like the flow
of a stream of honey.
Akincana - one who considers he has nothing but Krishna. Having
nothing at all, utterly destitute materially. When referring to a
Vaishnava, this usually denotes an ascetic who is devoid of the spirit
of material enjoyment and accepts only the bare necessities for his
maintenance. Vaishnavas like the Pandavas who live in the midst of
family and material opulence only for the service of Bhagavan and
who are devoid of any desire for material enjoyment consider that
nothing belongs to them. Everything belongs to Shri Bhagavan. They
are akincana Vaishnavas.
Alam al-mashal - an Islamic term for the spiritual world.
Alankara - ornaments, embellishments etc.
Alankara-sastra - books concerning the literary embellishment of
worldly poetry, etc.
Amnaya - the teachings of the Vedas received through guruparampara
are known as amnaya.
Amutrika-sukha - enjoyment which pertains to the next life, particularly
enjoyment in the celestial planets yet to be attained after
the performance of pious activities.
Ana al-aqq - the Islamic equivalent of the Vedic aphorism aham
brahmasmi, "I am brahma."
Anadi-bahirmukha - the condition of the jivas in material existence
of being diverted from Krishna from a time without beginning.
Ananda - spiritual bliss, ecstasy, joy, happiness; that which Shri
Bhagavan relishes through His hladini-sakti (see hladini).
Ananya - having no other object; undistracted; devoted to only
one worhipable Lord, no one else.
Ananya-bhakti - exclusive or pure devotion; devotion which is not
mixed with any other desires and has no objective other than Shri
Anartha - unwanted desires in the heart which impede one's advancement
in bhakti. These anarthas are of four types: (1)
duskrtottha, those arising from past sins; (2) sukrtottha, those arising
from previous pious activities; (3) aparadhottha, those arising
from offenses; and (4) bhakty-uttha, those arising in relationship
Anartha-nivrtti - the clearing of all unwanted desires in the heart.
This is the third stage in the development of the creeper of bhakti,
which occurs by the influence of sadhu-sanga and bhajana-kriya.
Anga - limb, division, part; the various practices of bhakti such as
hearing and chanting are referred to as angas (of bhakti).
Anitya - temporary; not permanent or eternal.
Anitya-dharma - impermanent religion; does not accept the existence
of the Supreme Lord or the eternality of the soul.
Antaranga-sakti - Shri Bhagavan's internal potency (see svarupasakti).
Antarmukha - the inward tendency. Having one's attention focused
inwards towards the soul and spiritual enlightenment.
Antyaja - a person of the lowest class, outside of the varnasrama
system; literally antya means 'born last' and ja means 'those people'.
Anubhava - one of the five essential ingredients of rasa. The actions
which display or reveal the spiritual emotions situated within
the heart are called anubhavas. The anubhavas are thirteen in number:
1) nrtya (dancing), 2) vilunthita (rolling on the ground), 3) gita
(singing), 4) krosana (loud crying), 5) tanu-motana (writhing of the
body), 6) hunkara (roaring), 7) jrmbhana (yawning), 8) svasa-bhua
(breathing heavily), 9) loka-anapeksita (giving up concern for public
image), 10) lalasrava (salivating), 11) atta-hasa (loud laughter),
12) ghurna (staggering about), and 13) hikka (a fit of hiccups).
Anu- chaitanya - infinitesimal spiritual consciousness, represented
by the jivas.
Anu-cit-vastu - infinitesimal spiritual substance; the jivas, who are
conscious entities but minute in size.
Anudita-viveka - one whose spiritual discrimination is not awakened;
the spiritually unconscious.
Anukalpa - refers to acceptance by the bhakta of anu (a small
amount) kalpa (for minimum capability), meaning a quantity of
food (which is not in the category of grains, beans etc.) to maintain
sufficient energy for hari-seva.
Anu-padartha - infinitesimal object.
Anuraga - (1) attachment in general. (2) spiritual attachment. (3) a
specific stage in the development of prema which has been defined
in Ujjvala-nilamani (14.146) as follows: "Despite regularly meeting
and being already well-acquainted with the beloved, an everfresh
sentiment of intense attachment causes the beloved to be newly
experienced at every moment as if one had never before any experience
of such a person. The attachment which inspires such a feeling
is known as anuraga."
Anusilana - constant practice, study, or cultivation, especially the
culture of spiritual activities.
Aparadha - offenses committed against the holy name, the
Vaishnavas, the guru, the sastras, the holy places, the Deity and so
on. The verbal root radh means to give pleasure or satisfy and the
prefix apa means taking away. Thus the word aparadha signifies all
activities that are displeasing to Bhagavan and His bhaktas.
Apara-sakti - Shri Bhagavan's inferior or material potency.
Apauruseya - that which is not created by (purusa) man; divine;
that which is transcendental in nature, emanating directly from
Shri Bhagavan; the Vedas.
Aprakrta - transcendental, beyond the influence of material nature,
beyond the perception of the mind and senses, not created
by any human, beyond the material world, situated in Krishna's
transcendental abode, extraordinary, divine, pure, or consisting
of spiritual consciousness and bliss.
Aprarabdha- karma - the accumulated stock of reactions to activities
which are lying in a dormant condition and waiting to bear
fruit at some time.
Apurva - unprecedented, extraordinary, unparalleled.
Apsara - the heavenly wives of the Gandharvas; exceptionally beautiful
dancing girls in the court of Indra.
Apurna-jagat - the finite world; the material world.
Arati - the ceremony of offering articles to a Deity, such as incense,
lamp, flowers, and a fan, accompanied by the chanting of devotional
Arcanam - to worship the Deity in a temple with all different
types of paraphernalia. When this worship is conducted internally,
it is known as manasi-puja. Arcanam is one of the nine primary
angas of bhakti.
Aropa- siddha- bhakti - endeavors which by nature are not purely
constituted of bhakti. The performer of aropa-siddha-bhakti imposes
bhakti onto his activities, meaning he is performing an activity
that isn't one of the nine limbs of bhakti (navadha-bhakti),
or that isn't pure enough to be classified as suddha-bhakti, but he
is thinking that his activity is bhakti. Examples of personalities
performing aropa-siddha-bhakti are: Harischandra and Maharaja
Artha-pancaka - Shri Ramanuja's views on the following five subjects
1) sva-svarupa (the constitutional nature of the individual
self), 2) para-svarupa (the constitutional nature of the individual
self in relation to other living beings), 3) upaya-svarupa (the means
of achieving the highest goal of life - bhakti), 4) purusartha-svarupa
(the highest goal of life) and 5) virodhi-svarupa (the hinderances to
Arundhati-darsana-nyaya - Arundhati is a very small star, which is
situated close to the Vasistha star in the Saptarsi constellation
(the Great Bear). In order to view it, its location is first determined
by looking at a bigger star beside it, then if one looks carefully one
can see Arundhati close by.
Aryan - is derived from the Sanskrit verbal root r meaning 'to go
ahead' or 'progress'. Thus arya means one who is on the progressive
path of spiritual advancement. Those who follow the varnasrama
system; those who are advanced in terms of social and religious
culture i.e. Hindus.
Asakti - attachment. This especially refers to attachment for the
Lord and His eternal associates. Asakti occurs when one's liking for
bhajana leads to a direct and deep attachment for the person who is
the object of that bhajana. This is the sixth stage in the development
of the creeper of bhakti, which is awakened upon the maturing
of one's ruci for bhajana.
Asampurna - incomplete.
Asrama - (1) one of the four stages of life - student, married, retired,
or renounced - in which one carries out corresponding socio-religious
duties in the system known as varnasrama. (2) a hermitage,
usually in the association of others, which is established to facilitate
Asraya - (1) shelter, support, refuge, protection, container. (2) the
receptacle of prema; Krishna's bhaktas. Krishna may also become the
receptacle of prema for His bhaktas.
Asraya-alambana - the receptacle of love for Krishna, the bhaktas.
This is an aspect of vibhava, one of the five essential ingredients of
rasa (see vibhava). Although the word asraya also conveys the same
meaning as asraya-alambana, it may often be used in the general
sense of shelter or support. The word asraya-alambana, however, is
specifically used to indicate the receptacle of prema as one of the
necessary ingredients of rasa. It is not used in any other sense.
Asta-kaliya-lila - the pastimes which Krishna performs with His associates
in eight periods of the day. Sadhakas who are engaged in smarana,
or remembrance, meditate on these pastimes. The periods are as follows
(times are approximate): 1) nisanta-lila, pastimes at the end of
night (3:36 am-6:00 am); 2) prata-lila, pastimes at dawn (6:00 am-8:24
am); 3) purvahna-lila, morning pastimes (8:24 am-10:48 am); 4)
madhyahna-lila, midday pastimes (10:48 am-3.36 pm); 5) aparahna-lila,
afternoon pastimes (3:36 pm-6:00 pm); 6) sayahna-lila, pastimes at
dusk (6:00 pm-8:24 pm); 7) pradosa-lila, evening pastimes (8:24 pm-
10:48 pm); and 8) nakta-lila, midnight pastimes (10:48 pm-3:36 am).
Astanga-yoga - the yoga system consisting of eight parts: yama (control
of the senses), niyama (control of the mind), asana (bodily
postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (withdrawal of
the mind from sensory perception), dharana (steadying the mind),
dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (deep and unbroken absorption
on the Lord in the heart).
Asubha-karma - activities producing inauspicious results.
Asvamedha-yajna - a horse-sacrifice of antiquity in which vast wealth
is spent. Formerly the brahmanas were so highly qualified by purity
and in the skill of chanting mantras that the life of the animal would
be rejuvenated. By performing one hundred such sacrifices one
could attain the post of Indra. This sacrifice is forbidden in the age
of Kali as there are no qualified brahmanas to perform it properly.
Atattvika- sraddha - unreal faith; faith which is based on a false conception
of God, which gives rise to self-interested activities rooted
in pride and material desires. Belief which is not rooted in sastra.
Atirikta - separate; apart from.
Atma - the soul; it may also refer to the body, mind, intellect, or the
Supreme Self. It usually refers to the jiva soul.
Atma- nivedanam - to offer one's very self to Krishna. When one
offers oneself to the Lord, he no longer acts for his independent
pleasure. One engages body, mind, life, and everything in the service
of Shri Bhagavan. This is one of the nine primary angas of
Atyantiki laghu gopis - are yuthesvaris and also nitya-sakhis. Sakhis
such as Kusumika can be called atyantika-laghus, because they are
gentle in all respects and they are insignificant in comparision
with the other sakhis.
Aupacarika - figurative, metaphorical, attributive (see upacara).
Avaidha - that which is opposed to sastric injunctions.
Avaidha-karma - actions which defy the regulations of sastra.
Avastava-vastu - things which are not eternally existing; worldly
Avidya - ignorance, spiritual ignorance, illusion. Ignorance is of
four kinds: to mistake that which is impermanent to be permanent,
that which is full of misery to be blissful, that which is impure to be
pure, and that which is not the self to be the self. Avidya is one of
the five types of klesa, or miseries, destroyed by bhakti.
Avistata - being overpowered by something, or deeply absorbed in
it. Thus, when the bhakta is completely overpowered with affection
for Krishna by the continuous flow of remembrance of His lila,
that state is called raga.
Babaji - a term of respect which is given loosly (frequently improperly),
to sadhus and Vaishnavas, particularly those who have
given up all connection with household life. In the setting of this
book, this term specifically refers to the Vaishnava followers of
Shriman Mahaprabhu, who have given up all the duties and designations
of varnasrama society and who engage almost exclusively
in chanting hari-nama. Actual babajis live as strict renunciates,
they do not accept the external garb of sannyasis because sannyasa
is part of varnasrama. They do not wear the sacred thread of the
brahmanas because they have entered into bhavavastha and are
engaged in raga-marga. Such characteristics are to be accepted
only by those on the highest platform of eligibility, who retire
from the world to immerse themselves in private bhajana.
Baddha-dasa - the state of bondage; the state of the jivas in material
Baddha-jiva - the conditioned soul who is bound by matter. With
regard to the origin of the baddha-jiva this passage states that
Bhagavan's eternal associates in the spiritual world do not have
any contact with and are completely unaffected by the material
energy. Only some of the jivas that emanate from Maha-Vishnu
come into the material world. The original Bengali is as follows:
goloka-vrndavanastha evam paravyoma-stha baladeva o sankarsanaprakatita
nitya-parsada jiva-sakala ananta; tanhara upasya-sevaya
rasika; sarvada svarupartha-visista; upasya-sukhanvesi upasyera prati
sarvada unmukha jiva saktite cit-saktite bala labha kariya tanhara
sarvada balavan; mayara sahita tahandera kona sambandha nai;
mayasakti baliya kona sakti achena, tahao tanhara avagata nana; ye
hetu tanhara cit-mandala-madhyavarti evam maya tanhadera nikata
haite aneka dure; tanhara sarvadai upasya-seva-sukhe magna; dukha,
jada-sukha o nija-sukha ity adi kakhani janena na. tanhara nitya-mukta
premai tanhadera jivana; soka, marana au bhaya ye ki vastu, taha
tanhara janena na.
karanabdha-sayi-maha-visnura mayara prati iksana-rupa kiranagata
anu-chaitanya-gana o ananta; tanhara maya-parsva-sthita baliya
mayara vicitrata tanhadera darsana-patharuda-purve ye jivasadharanera
laksana baliyachi, se samasta laksana tanhadera ache,
tathapi atyanta anu-svabhava-prayukta sarvada tatastha-bhave citjagatera
dike evam maya-jagatera dike drstipata karite thakena. e
avasthaya jiva atyanta durbala, kenana, - justa va sevye-vastura krpalabha
karatah cid-bala labha karena nai. inhadera madhye ye saba jiva
maya-bhoga vasana karena, tanhara mayika-visaye abhinivista haiya
mayate nitya-baddha. yanhara sevya-vastur cidanusilana karena,
tanhara sevya-tattvena krpara sahita cid-bala labha karatah cid-dhame
nita hana; baba! amara durbhaga, krsnera nityadasya bhuliya
mayabhinivesa dvara mayabadha achi; ataeva svarupartha-hina haiyai
amadera e durdasa.
Baddhavastha - same as baddha-dasa.
Bahiranga-sakti - the external or material potency of Bhagavan,
also known as maya-sakti. This potency is responsible for the
creation of the material world and all affairs pertaining to the
material world. Because Bhagavan never directly contacts the
material energy, this potency is known as bahiranga, external.
Bahirmukha - having one's face turned away; having one's attention
diverted away from some object. This is commonly used with
the word Krishna (see Krishna-bahirmukha).
Bahudaka - the second of four stages of sannyasa. When a sannyasi
advances beyond the kuticaka stage, he no longer accepts anything
from home; instead he collects his necessities from many places. This
system is called madhukari, which literally means 'the profession of
bumblebees'. As bumblebees collect honey from many flowers, so a
sannyasi should beg from door to door but not accept very much from
any particular house. The bahudaka stage has been mentioned in
Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.12.43). In his commentary on this sloka, Shrila
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura defines the ascetic in this stage as,
one who has relegated the performance of karma to a secondary
position and who gives prominence to transcendental knowledge.
Banda - an Islamic term for servitor.
Behesht - an Islamic term for the Lord's spiritual abode, paradise, or
Bhagavan - the Supreme Lord; the Personality of Godhead. In the
Vishnu Purana (6.5.72-74) Bhagavan is defined as follows: suddhe
mahavibhuty akhye pare brahmani varttate maitreya bhagavac-chabda
sarva-karana-karane; sambharteti tatha bhartta bha-karo 'rthadvayanvita
neta gamayita srasta ga-kararthas tatha mune; aisvaryasya
samagrasya dharmasya yasasah shriyah jnana-vairagyayos caiva sannam
bhaga itingana - "The word bhagavat is used to describe the Supreme
brahma who possesses all opulences, who is completely pure,
and who is the cause of all causes. In the word bhagavat, the syllable
bha has two meanings: one who maintains all living entities
and one who is the support of all living entities. Similarly, the
syllable ga has two meanings: the creator, and one who causes all
living entities to obtain the results of karma and jnana. Complete
opulence, religiosity, fame, beauty, knowledge, and renunciation
are known as bhaga, or fortune." (The suffix vat means possessing.
Thus one who possesses these six fortunes is known as Bhagavan.)
Bhagavata- pravrtti - the tendency of the jiva to seek out and serve
the Supreme Person, Bhagavan.
Bhagavat- tattva - the fundamental conclusions which regard the
Absolute Truth, Bhagavan.
Bhajana - (1) the word bhajana is derived from the verbal root
'bhaj' which is defined in the Garuda Purana (Purva-khanda 231.3):
bhaj ity esa vai dhatu sevayam parikirtitah tasmat seva budhaih prokta
bhakti sadhana-bhuyasi - "The verbal root bhaj is used specifically
in the sense of seva, or service. Therefore, when sadhana is performed
with the consciousness of being a servant, it is called
bhakti." According to this sloka, krishna-seva, or loving devotional
service to Krishna is called bhakti. Such service is the intrinsic attribute
of bhakti or bhajana. Therefore whatever services are performed
in this consciousness may be referred to as bhajana. (2) in
the general sense bhajana refers to spiritual practices; especially
hearing, chanting, and meditating upon the holy name, form,
qualities, and pastimes of Shri Krishna.
Bhajana- kriya - taking up the practices of bhakti, such as hearing
and chanting. There are sixty-four primary angas of bhakti, of which
the first four are to take shelter of the lotus feet of shri-guru; to
receive diksa and siksa; to serve one's guru with great affection;
and to follow the path of sadhus. Without adopting these practices,
there is no question of making any advancement in bhajana.
This is the second stage in the development of the creeper of
bhakti which occurs by the influence of sadhu-sanga.
Bhajananandi - one who is absorbed in the bliss of bhajana; one
whose inclination is primarily for bhajana.
Bhakta - a devotee.
Bhakti - the word bhakti comes from the root bhaj, which means to
serve (see bhajana). Therefore the primary meaning of the word bhakti
is to render service. Shri Rupa Gosvami has described the intrinsic
characteristics of bhakti in Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11) as
follows: anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam anukulyena
krishnanu-silanam bhaktir uttama - "Uttama-bhakti, pure devotional
service, is the cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for
the benefit of Shri Krishna, in other words, the uninterrupted flow of
service to Shri Krishna, performed through all endeavors of body, mind,
and speech, and through expression of various spiritual sentiments
(bhavas). It is not covered by jnana (knowledge of nirvisesa-brahma,
aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity),
yoga or austerities; and it is completely free from all desires
other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Shri Krishna."
Bhakti-devi - the goddess of devotion. All potencies of the Lord
have personified forms. In Madhurya-kadambini (1.3) Shrila
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that bhakti is the svarupasakti
of Bhagavan and that she is yadrccha, which means that bhakti
has her own will. Being sva-prakasa, self-manifest, she is not dependent
on any other agency in order to manifest in a person's heart. In
the Bhagavatam (1.2.6) it is said: yato bhaktir adhoksaje ahaituky
apratihata - "that by which causeless and uninterrupted bhakti for
Lord Adhoksaja arises." The word ahaituky in this sloka indicates
that bhakti has no cause. The only cause of bhakti is bhakti herself.
Shrila Cakravartipada analyzes the meaning of this statement. He
says that bhakti situated in the heart of a bhava-bhakta is the only
cause for her manifesting in others. Since Krishna is under the control
of His unalloyed bhaktas, He has invested such power in them.
Therefore sadhana is not the true cause of bhakti's appearance.
Bhakti-devi, being self-willed, manifests bhakti in the heart when
she is pleased with the bhakta's unalloyed service attitude. Ultimately
this indicates that Bhakti-devi acts through the agency of
Krishna's bhaktas who are situated in the stage of bhava. When they
see the sincerity of the sadhaka-bhakta, the bhakti which is one with
the very nature of their hearts is transmitted into the hearts of the
sadhakas. Other than this, there is no cause for bhakti's appearance.
Bhakti- kanda - a division of the Vedas relating to bhakti, which is
performed exclusively for the benefit of Shri Bhagavan.
Bhakti- lata - the creeper of devotion. Bhakti is likened to a creeper
which grows in the bhakta's heart until it matures and produces the
fruit of love for Krishna. The bija, or seed, of this creeper is characterized
as krishna-seva-vasana, the desire to serve Shri Krishna. This desire
is sown in the heart of the bhakta by the grace of shri-gurudeva and it
manifests externally as sraddha, faith in the conclusions of the
sastra. After its intitial inception in the form of the bhakti-lata-bija,
the creeper develops through eight successive stages culminating
in prema. These stages are sadhu-sanga, bhajana-kriya, anartha-nivrtti,
nistha, ruci, asakti, bhava, and prema. Each of these are separately
described in this glossary.
Bhakti-lata-bija - the seed of the creeper of devotion. This refers to
the inception of the desire to serve Shri Shri Radha-Krishna in a particular
capacity which is known as krishna-seva-vasana. Within this
seed is the undeveloped conception of bhava. This seed externally
manifests as sraddha, or faith in the instructions and goal described
by the sastras. When this seed is watered by the methods of hearing,
chanting, and service to Vaishnavas, it grows into a luxurious plant
and ultimately delivers its fruit of love of God.
Bhakti- posaka- sukrti - pious activities which foster bhakti. This specifically
refers to the association of bhaktas and activities connected
to bhakti (see sukrti).
Bhakty-abhasa - externally resembles bhakti but does not have the
true characteristics of bhakti. There are two types of bhakty-abhasa.
Chaya-bhakty-abhasa is attained by association with suddha-bhaktas
during kirtana, recitation of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, or other devotional
performances. Pratibimba-bhakty-abhasa is the semblance of bhakti
that occurs in the hearts of those who adopt the angas of bhakti
with a desire for bhukti (material enjoyment) and mukti (liberation).
The stage of chaya-bhakty-abhasa is the result of great fortune,
Bharata-varsa - India (see Glossary of Places).
Bhava-bhakti - the initial stage of perfection in devotion. A stage
of bhakti in which suddha-sattva, or the essence of Shri Krishna's internal
potency consisting of spiritual knowledge and bliss, is transmitted
into the heart of the practicing bhakta from the heart of one
of His eternal associates and softens the heart by different kinds of
tastes. It is the first sprout of prema, or pure love of God. Bhavabhakti
is the seventh of the eight stages of development of the
bhakti-lata, the creeper of devotion.
In Shri Brhad-Bhagavatamrta there are five divisions of bhava accepted
amongst bhaktas: 1) jnana-bhakta (e.g. Bharata Maharaja), 2)
suddha-bhakta (e.g. Ambarisa Mahaaraja), 3) prema-bhakta (e.g.
Hanuman), 4) prema-para-bhakta (e.g. the Pandavas headed by
Arjuna), and 5) prematura-bhakta (atura means 'very eager for', or
agitated out of prema e.g. the Yadavas headed by Uddhava).
Bhavuka - (1) a bhakta at the stage of bhava who is thus able to
taste spiritual sentiments. (2) This word is sometimes used in a
slightly derogatory sense to refer to those who are prone to emotional
displays without possessing the true characteristics of krishnarati,
Bhedabheda-prakasa - a manifestation simultaneously distinct yet
not separate from Shri Bhagavan.
Bhoga - material enjoyment. Unoffered foodstuffs.
Bhogi - one who indulges in material enjoyment without restriction;
one who seeks material enjoyment as his life's aspiration.
Bhukti - material enjoyment.
Bhuta - one of the five elements; any living being; a spirit, ghost or
Bija - a seed (see bhakti-lata-bija).
Brahmacari - the first asrama or stage of life in the varnasrama
system; unmarried student life.
Brahma-gayatri - a Vedic mantra which is chanted at the three
junctures of the day by brahmanas.
Brahma-jnana - knowledge of impersonal brahma; knowledge aiming
at impersonal liberation.
Brahma-jnani - see jnani.
Brahma - the spiritual effulgence emanating from the transcendental
body of the Lord; the all-pervading, indistinct feature of the
Absolute. Depending on the context, this may sometimes refer to
the Supreme brahma, Shri Krishna, who is the source of brahma.
Brahmana - the highest of the four varnas or castes in the varnasrama
system; a priest or teacher.
Brahmani - a female brahmana; the wife of a brahmana.
Brahma-pravrtti - the tendency of the jiva to seek the all-pervading
Brahma-vada - the doctrine of indistinct nirvisesa-brahma which
has as its goal the merging of the self into Krishna's effulgence.
Brahma-vadi - one who follows the doctrine of brahma-vada.
Brhat-chaitanya - infinite spiritual consciousness, represented by
Brhat-cit-vastu - vast or infinite spiritual substance; Shri Krishna.
Buddhi-apeksa - the consideration that takes place through one's
intelligence of the sublime nature of madhura rasa and which in
turn assists in creating lobha.
But-parast - (Muslim) idolatry; worship of material elements, spirits,
or ordinary living beings.
Chaitanya - consciousness; the Universal soul or spirit.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu - Shri Krishna appearing in the mood of a bhakta
(see Glossary of Names).
Candala - an outcaste race known to eat dogmeat; one born in such
Cetana - conscious; an animate being.
Chaya-bhakty-abhasa - a shadow-like semblance of bhakti. This
refers to the activities of neophytes or ignorant people which
resemble bhakti, but which do not have the actual characteristics
of suddha-bhakti. Because these people engage in activities of bhakti
only when associating with real bhaktas, this semblance of bhakti
is connected with true bhakti, but it is transient in nature and is
therefore compared to a shadow.
Chaya-namabhasa - a shadow-like semblance of the pure name. This
refers to a stage of chanting in which the pure name is obscured by
ignorance and anarthas just as the sun, when covered by clouds,
does not manifest its full brilliance.
Chaya-sakti - Shri Bhagavan's shadow potency known as maya which
binds the living entities in the material world.
Cid-anubhava - direct experience or realization of spirit, one's spiritual
nature, or the spiritual dimension including Krishna's name,
form, qualities, pastimes, and abode.
Cid-anuraga - spiritual attachment; attachment for Shri Bhagavan,
His bhaktas, and things related to Him.
Cid-anusilana - spiritual practice or cultivation; the culture of pure
Cid-vastu - transcendental or cognitive substance.
Cid-vikrama - see cit-sakti.
Cinmaya - possessing full spiritual nature and consciousness; composed
of pure cognition; spiritual.
Cit - consciousness; pure thought; spirit; spiritual cognition or perception.
Citta - the heart, thoughts, mind and consciousnes.
Cit-dharma - spiritual nature or the characteristic function of a
Cit-jagat - the spiritual world. The world of pure spiritual consciousness.
Cit-kala - spiritual time which exists eternally in the present without
any intervention of past or future.
Cit-kana - a particle of spiritual consciousness; a conscious entity
who is spiritual in nature yet minute. This refers to the individual
Cit-sakti - Shri Bhagavan's internal potency by which His transcendental
pastimes are accomplished (see svarupa-sakti).
Cit-samadhi - spiritual trance or deep internal perception of spiritual
Daivi-maya - the divine potency of Krishna which acts in the material
world to bewilder the living entities who are seeking material
enjoyment separate from their eternal and natural relationship
with Krishna. This external potency consists of the three qualities of
nature: goodness, passion, and ignorance.
Damaru - a drum played by Lord Siva; a small two-headed drum
shaped like an hour-glass which, held in one hand, is played by
twisting one's wrist. The swinging actions causes a ball at the end
of each of two strings which are attached to the drum to hit the
drum ends at each turn.
Dandavat-pranama - prostrated obeisances; literally, falling like a
danda (stick) to offer obeisances.
Darsana - seeing, meeting, visiting with, beholding. This word is
used primarily in reference to beholding the Deity or advanced
bhaktas. Darsana also means doctrine or philosophical system, as in
Dasa - a servant; a servant of Krishna.
Dasa - state, condition; disposition; phase, stage.
Dasa-mula - 'ten-roots'. In the Ayur-veda, the science of herbal
medicine, there are ten roots which, when combined together
produce a tonic which sustains life and counteracts disease. Similarly,
there are ten ontological principles. When these are properly
understood and realized, they destroy the disease of material
existence and give life to the soul. The first of these principles is
known as pramana, the evidence which establishes the existence
of the fundamental truths. The other nine principles are known
as prameya, the truths which are to be established.
The pramana refers to the Vedic literature and in particular to
the Shrimad-Bhagavatam. The Bhagavatam is the essence of all the
Vedas; it reveals the most intimate loving feature of the Lord as
well as the soul's potential to unite with the Lord and His eternal
associates in their play of divine loving exchange.
Of the nine prameyas, the first seven relate to sambandha-jnana,
knowledge of the interrelationship between Shri Bhagavan, His
energies, and the living beings, both conditioned and liberated.
The eighth prameya relates to abhidheya-jnana, knowledge of the
means by which the living entity can become established in an
eternal loving relationship with Him. The ninth prameya relates
to prayojana, the ultimate goal to be attained by pursuit of the
transcendental path. That goal is known as krishna-prema, and it
takes on infinite varieties when manifest in the different bhaktas
possessing variegated moods of divine love.
Dasi - a female maidservant of Krishna or Shrimati Radhika.
Dasya - (1) the second of the five primary relationships with the
Lord which is established in the stages of bhava or prema; love or
attraction to Krishna which is expressed in the mood of a servant.
(2) in this world the general relationship of practicing bhaktas
toward Him is known as krishna-dasya or bhagavad-dasya. This means
simply to recognize that one's true identity is to be a servant of
Dasyam - one of the angas of sadhana-bhakti; to render service with
the pure egoism of being a servant of Krishna. Only when one renders
service with this attitude, giving up false conceptions of the
self, can one's bhajana practices attain perfection. According to
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.183) there are two kinds of dasya: in its
beginning form, dasya means to offer all of one's activities to Shri
Bhagavan, and in its mature stage, dasya means to render all kinds
of services to Him with the feeling that 'I am a servant of Shri Krishna,
and He is my master.' This attitude is called kainkarya. Dasyam is
one of the nine primary angas of bhakti.
Deva-bhasa - 'the language of the gods', the language spoken in the
celestial planets; Sanskrit.
Devas - celestial deities; beings situated in the celestial planets
who are endowed with great piety, tremendous lifespans, and superior
mental and physical prowess. They are entrusted with specific
powers for the purpose of universal administration.
Devatas - same as devas.
Devi-bhagavata and Devi-gita - (chapter 9) are two books that the
saktas promote as proving that Devi is the supreme personality.
However, the great acaryas and later scholars have not accepted
them as authoritative.
Dhama - a holy place of pilgrimage; the abode of the Lord where He
appears and enacts His transcendental pastimes.
Dharma - from the verbal root dhr meaning 'to sustain'; lit. that
which sustains; 1) the natural, characteristic function of a thing;
that which cannot be separated from its nature; 2) religion in
general. 3) the socio-religious duties prescribed in sastra for different
classes of persons in the varnasrama system; one's fixed
occupation in relation to the highest ideals known to man. Dharma
is aspired for by persons who not only desire enjoyment in this
world, but who hanker for something more, like Svarga. For this it
is necessary to follow the religious codes outlined in sastra. By
following the religious duties prescribed according to varnasrama,
one can enjoy happiness in this life and attain Svarga. The performance
of dharmika duties is foremost for such people, and therefore
their purusartha (goal of life) is known as dharma.There are
many types of dharma. Stri-dharma (a woman's dharma) refers to
the duties, behaviour etc., that sustain the proper nature of a
woman. Similarly, dharmas such as purusa-dharma, brahmanadharma,
sudra-dharma; and sannyasa-dharma, are described in
dharma-sastras. Ultimately, however, dharma means the natural
attraction of the part for the whole, the jiva for Krishna. All of these
other dharmas are only related to this temporary body, therefore,
in the midst of performing them, one must cultivate atma-dharma,
the soul's eternal occupation as servant of Krishna, so that one can
reach the point, either now or tomorrow, of sarva-dharman
parityajya, giving up all secondary dharmas and taking full shelter
of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna.
Dharma-sastra - religious sastras, such as Manu-samhita, delineating
the codes of behavior for human beings.
Dharma-visaya - the object of the soul's spiritual function; the
object of prema; Shri Krishna.
Diksa - receiving initiation from a spiritual master. In the Bhaktisandarbha
(Anuccheda 283) Jiva Gosvami has defined diksa as follows:
divyam jnanam yato dadyat kuryat papasya sanksayam tasmad
dikseti sa prokta desikais tattva-kovikaih - "Learned exponents of
the Absolute Truth declare that the process by which the spiritual
master imparts divya-jnana to the disciple and eradicates all
sins is known as diksa." He then explains divya-jnana, or divine
knowledge: divyam jnanam hy atra shrimati mantre bhagavat svarupajnanam
tena bhagavata-sambandha-visesa-jnanam ca - "Divya-jnana
is transcendental knowledge of the Lord's form and one's specific
relationship with the Lord contained within a mantra." This
means at the time of intiation, the guru gives the disciple a mantra
which, in course of time, reveals the particular form of the Lord
who is the object of one's worship and the bhakta's specific relationship
with the Lord in one of the relationships of dasya, sakhya,
vatsalya, or madhurya.
Diksa-guru - initiating spiritual master. One who gives a mantra
in accordance with the regulations of sastra to a qualified candidate
for the purpose of worshiping Shri Bhagavan and realizing
Him through that mantra is known as a diksa or mantra-guru.
Diksa-mantra - the mantras given by the guru at the time of initiation.
These mantras include the maha-mantra, brahma-gayatri, gurumantra,
guru-gayatri, gaura-mantra, gaura-gayatri, gopala-mantra,
and kama-gayatri. The guru's internal mood of service to Radha
and Krishna is transmitted through the medium of these mantras.
This is indicated in the following sloka from Bhakti-sandarbha
(Anuccheda 237): yo mantrah sa guruh saksat yo guru sa hari svayam
gurur yasya bhavet tustas tasya tusto harih svayam - "The mantra
(which is given by the guru) is itself the guru, and the guru is
directly the Supreme Lord Hari. He with whom the spiritual master
is pleased also obtains the pleasure of Shri Hari Himself." These
mantras are invested with divya-jnana, or transcendental knowledge
of Krishna's form and one's specific relationship with Him (see
also diksa and mantra).
Divya-nama - the transcendental name of Shri Krishna.
Divya-lila - transcendental pastimes.
Dravya - objects such as a table, a chair, and so on.
Drdha-niscaya - firm determination or resolve.
Dhrstata - a state of being reckless, bold or courageous. In chapter
twenty-one it is refering to those gopis who have left their husbands
and sons, and have abandoned all the rules and regulations
of varnasrama-dharma. The Dvaraka mahisis do not want to leave
all these things; they want to follow their husbands, and the rules
and regulations of varnasrama-dharma. That is why it is said here
that they give up the quality of dhrstata and serve Krishna just like
a housewife. Those who have left all these things and who have
the quality of dhrstata are called sakhis
Durjati - degraded birth or caste.
Durjati-dosa - the defect of a degraded birth; the defect of having
taken birth in a sinful or outcaste family. Such a defect is due to
Duskrti - impious or sinful deeds.
Dvija - anyone among the brahmanas, ksatriyas, or vaisyas who has
received a 'second birth' through the upanayana-samskara of being
invested with the sacred thread, which prepares one for studying
Ekadanda - a staff which is carried by the renunciates belonging to
the monistic school and, in particular, the followers of Shri
Sankaracarya. The staff consists of only one rod which symbolizes
their goal of attaining oneness with nirvisesa-brahma.
Ekadashi - is the eleventh day of the waxing or waning moon. Suddha
Ekadashi means that the whole eleventh day of the moon elapses
during the period between one sunrise and the next. Viddha Ekadashi
means that the eleventh day of the moon begins on one solar day
(sunrise to sunrise) and finishes on the next solar day, that is after
sunrise on the next day. In case of viddha Ekadashi, the observances
are made on the Dvadasi i.e. the twelfth day of the moon.
Folklore - (in reference to chapter seventeen), there is a saying: "To
make money by counting the waves." The explanation is as follows.
In ancient times, there was a rich vaisya, who became famous all
over the country as someone who could make money in any circumstances.
Some envious people poisoned the ears of the local King,
and managed to convince him to send the businessman far away,
where he would have no opportunity to make any money. The King
decided to send him to a lonely place near the sea. But this vaisya,
true to his character, sat on the beach counting the waves! Whenever
a vessel passed across the sea, he would stop it by waving his
arms, and then say, "You are not allowed to cross. The King has
appointed me to count the waves here, and your vessel is disturbing
them." He would argue back and forth, and only relent when he
had extracted a bribe. In this way, he became a rich man again.
Ganapatya - a worshiper of Ganesa.
Gandharvas - celestial beings situated in the higher planets who
are especially noted for their expertise in singing and music.
Ganga - the holy river, Ganga, also known as the Ganges (see Ganga
in the Glossary of Places).
Gathana - the formation, structure, or composition of a thing.
Gaudiya Vaishnava Acaryas - prominent teachers in the line of Lord
Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya - the school of Vaisnavism following
in the line of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Gauna - literally means "that which possesses qualities" or "that
which is secondary." Relates to a quality, having qualities; connected
to the three gunas (qualities of material nature); subordinate,
Gaurabda - a year in the era beginning from the appearance of Shri
Gauranga Mahaprabhu (corresponding to 1486 AD).
Gaura-lila - the divine pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who
is identical to Shri Krishna.
Gaura-Nama-Rasa - transcendental taste which comes from chanting
the holy name of Lord Gaura.
Gayatri-mantra - a sacred mantra repeated by brahmanas at the three
junctures of the day. The gayatri mantra is personified as a goddess,
the wife of Brahma and mother of the four Vedas (see diksa-mantra).
Ghata - a landing-stage (as on the bank of a river, pond, and so on).
Ghata-akasa - is the space that one can see in a pot. (Maha-akasa is
the great unlimited sky).
Godruma - one of the nine divisions of Navadvipa (see Glossary of
Gopas - the cowherd boys who serve Krishna in the mood of intimate
friendship. This may also refer to the elderly gopas headed by Nanda
Maharaja who serve Krishna in the mood of parental affection.
Gopis - the young cowherd maidens of Vraja headed by Shrimati
Radhika who serve Krishna in the mood of amorous love. This may
also refer to the elderly gopis headed by mother Yasoda who serve
Krishna in the mood of parental affection.
Go-sala - shelter for the cows.
Gosvami - one who is the master of his senses; a title for those in
the renounced order of life. This often refers to the renowned followers
of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who adopted the lifestyle of mendicants.
Descendants of the relatives of such Gosvamis or of their
sevaites often adopt this title merely on the basis of birth. In this
way, the title Gosvami has evolved into use as a surname. Leading
temple administrators are also sometimes referred to as Gosvamis.
Grhastha - the word stha means "to reside." The word grha means
"house," and also refers to the family members who inhabit a house;
as a verb, it means "to grasp, take on, or accept." The second asrama
or stage of life in the varnasrama system; family life.
Grhastha-tyagi - one who has renounced household life.
Gulli-danda - a game played with a bat and stick.
Guna - (1) in relationship to Krishna this refers to His transcendental
qualities which are heard, described, and meditated upon by
bhaktas as part of the practice of sadhana-bhakti. (2) qualities of
objects such as hardness and softness. (3) qualities in general such
as compassion, tolerance, and mercy. (4) the three ropes (binding
qualities) known as - sattva (goodness), rajas (passion), and tamas
Gunavatara - the primary presiding deities of the tri-gunas (three
gunas), Vishnu, Brahma and Siva presiding over the qualities of sattva,
rajas, and tamas respectively.
Hamsa - the third stage of sannyasa, as mentioned in Shrimad-
Bhagavatam (3.12.43). In his commentary on this sloka, Shrila
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura defines an ascetic in the hamsa
stage as jnana-abhyasa-nistha, one established in the cultivation of
Hari - a name for Shri Krishna (see Glossary of Names).
Hari-katha - narrations of the holy name, form, qualities, and pastimes
of Shri Hari.
Hari-nama - the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. Unless
accompanied by the word sankirtana, it usually refers to the practice
of chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra to oneself on a strand
of tulasi beads.
Hari-vasara - the day of Lord Hari; this refers especially to Ekadashi;
it also refers to other holy days such as Janmastami and Ramanavami
(check this Glossary for explanation of these terms).
Havisya - rice dried in the sun, cooked with water and mixed with
Heya - undesirable; fit to be given up; contemptible, base, vile.
Hladini - this refers to svarupa-sakti which is predominated by
hladini (see svarupa-sakti). Hladini is the potency which relates to
the ananda, or bliss, aspect of the Supreme Lord. Although the
Supreme Lord is the embodiment of all pleasure, hladini is that
potency by which He relishes transcendental bliss and causes others
to taste bliss. When visuddha-sattva is predominated by hladini,
it is known as guhya-vidya, or confidential knowledge. This guhyavidya
has two faculties: bhakti and that which bestows bhakti. It is by
these two agencies that bhakti, which consists of priti (prema), is
manifest. Bhakti which is of the nature of priti is itself a special
feature of guhya-vidya.
Ibada - an Islamic term for divine worship.
Ignorance five types -Lord Brahma first creates these five types of
ignorance (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.12.2.). Because of the desire to enjoy
maya, the jiva develops the false ego that he can enjoy material
sense gratification, and then the five types of ignorance - tamah
(not knowing anything about the spirit soul), moha (the illusion of
the bodily concept of life), maha-moha (madness for material enjoyment),
tamisra (forgetfulness of one's constitutional position due
to anger or envy) and andha-tamisra (considering death to be the
ultimate end) - cover his pure, atomic nature.
Isanugata - those who are devoted or surrendered to Isa (Shri
Bhagavan); the Vaishnavas.
Ishqh - an Islamic term for love (spiritual or mundane).
Ista-deva - one's worshipful deity; the particular form of Krishna toward
whom one is attracted and who is the object of one's love and
Isvara - the Supreme Lord or Supreme Controller.
Itihasa - (1) history in general. (2) a book which contains instructions
on dharma, artha, kama, and moksa, and narrations of ancient
events (dharmartha-kama-moksanam upadesa-samanvitam purva-vrta
katha-yuktam itihasam pracaksate). This definition is quoted in
Gaudiya-Vaishnava-abhidhana. (3) the fifth Veda. According to both
sruti and smrti, the Itihasa and the Puranas are considered the fifth
Veda. Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.12.39) states, itihasa-puranani pancamam
vedam; and (1.4.20), itihasa puranan ca pancamo veda ucyate. In his
commentary on (1.4.20), Jiva Gosvami quotes the Mahabharata
(Moksa-dharma 340.21), vedan adhyapayamasa mahabharata-pancaman
iti, "Vyasa taught the Vedas along with the fifth of their number,
the Mahabharata." Similarly in Manu-smrti (3.232) it is said,
akhyananitihasams ca. In his Manu-vartha-muktavali commentary on
this sloka, Kulluka Bhatta (a celebrated commentator on Manusmrti
from the twelfth century) states, itihasan mahabharatadin, "The
word itihasan refers to the Mahabharata and other literature."
These references establish that the word itihasa specifically refers
to the Mahabharata. Within the Mahabharata is found the
Bhagavad-Gita, which is accepted as the essence of all the Vedas
even by Shri Sankaracarya, who states in the introduction to his
Gita commentary, tad idam gita-sastram samasta-vedartha-sarasangraha-
bhutam, "This Gita-sastra is the essence of the purport of
all the Vedas." This further confirms that the itihasa is part of the
body of Vedic literature. Sruti itself (Chandogya Upanisad 7.1.2) declares
that the Itihasa and Puranas are the fifth Veda among the
body of Vedic literature, itihasam puranam pancamam vedanam vedam.
Jada - inanimate object; worldly, material.
Jada-anuraga - attachment for mundane material objects.
Jada-sakti - the material or external potency also known as maya.
Jadiya-kala - material time which is designated by the divisions of
past, present, and future.
Jaiva-dharma - the constitutional function of the jiva; unadulterated
love for the Supreme Lord.
Jangama - moving living beings such as animals, birds, insects, aquatics,
Janma - birth, origin.
Janmastami - the appearance day of Lord Shri Krishna which occurs on
the eighth day of the dark lunar fortnight of the month of Bhadra
(August-September). According to the Vishnu Purana, however,
Janmastami occurs on the eighth day of the dark lunar fortnight of
the month of Sravana (July-August). The reason for this difference
is that in some years the mukhya-candra-masa, or principal lunar
month falls in Sravana. The mukhya-candra-masa refers to a lunar
month which ends with a conjunction of planets, whereas gaunacandra-
masa refers to a lunar month which ends with an opposition
of planets. When the mukhya-candra-masa occurs in Sravana,
Janmastami falls in that month instead of Bhadra.
Japa - loud chanting or soft utterance of the holy names of Krishna to
oneself; usually referring to the practice of chanting hari-nama on
tulasi beads. The word japa comes from the verbal root jap which
means to utter or whisper repeatedly (especially prayers or incantations).
In the Sabda-kalpa-druma, japa has been defined as the utterance
of mantras either within the heart or verbally. In Haribhakti-
vilasa (17.155-159) Shrila Sanatana Gosvami describes japa in
the following words:
"In the Nrsimha-Purana it is said that japa-yajna is of three kinds:
(1) vacika (verbal), (2) upamsu (in a whisper), and (3) manasika
(within the mind). When a mantra is pronounced very distinctly
either in a high, low, or resonant voice it is known as vacika-japa.
When a mantra is uttered slowly with slight movement of the lips
and can be heard only by one's own ears it is known as upamsu-japa.
When one meditates on the meaning of the mantra by application
of the intelligence going repeatedly from one syllable to the next
and from one word to the next it is known as manasika-japa."
Jati - caste, race, or species.
Jati-bheda - caste distinction; the difference between various castes
Jism - an Islamic term for matter.
Jiva - the eternal individual living entity who, in the conditioned
state of material existence, assumes a material body in any of the
innumerable species of life.
Jnana - (1) knowledge, (2) knowledge which leads to impersonal
liberation: this concerns the atma's distinction from matter and its
identity with brahma.
Jnana-adhikara - eligibility for knowledge leading to liberation.
Jnana-kanda - a division of the Vedas which relates to knowledge of
the one, undifferentiated spirit known as brahma.
Jnana-mudra - the traditional posture of the hand formed with the
tip of the thumb touching the tip of the index finger.
Jnana-nistha - those who are fixed in the pursuit of monistic knowledge
aiming at liberation.
Jnana-viddha - vaishnava-dharma which is adulterated with jnana,
knowledge directed toward the attainment of impersonal liberation.
Jnana-yoga - the path of spiritual realization through a philosophical
search for truth.
Jnani - one who pursues the path of jnana, or knowledge, directed
toward impersonal liberation.
Kali-yuga - the present age of quarrel and hypocrisy which began
five thousand years ago (see yuga).
Kamya-karma - religious rites performed to obtain some specific
Kanistha-bhakta - the neophyte practitioner of bhakti.
Karatalas - small brass hand cymbals used for devotional songs.
Karma - (1) any activity performed in the course of material existence.
(2) pious activities leading to material gain in this world or in
the heavenly planets after death. (3) fate; former acts leading to
Karma-adhikara - eligibility for pious action leading to material gain.
Karma-kanda - a division of the Vedas which relates to the performance
of ceremonial acts and sacrificial rites directed toward material
benefits or liberation.
Karma-viddha - vaishnava-dharma which is adulterated with karma,
activities directed toward material benefits.
Karma-yoga - the path to God realization through dedication of
the fruits of one's work to God.
Karmi - one who pursues the Vedic path of karma directed toward
material gain or elevation to the heavenly planets.
Karya-sakti - the potency by which activity is carried out.
Kaudi - a small shell used as currency
Kaya-vyuha - direct expansions. All the four types types of Shrimati
Radhika's sakhis are nitya-siddha, and they are direct expansions
(kaya-vyuha) of Shrimati Radhika's own svarupa. She eternally manifests
eight bhavas as the eight principle sakhis and Her four different
types of service moods as the four different types of sakhis - namely,
priya-sakhis, narma-sakhis, prana-sakhis, and parama-prestha sakhis.
All these sakhis are kaya-vyuha direct expansions, whereas the
sadhana-siddha gopis are not expansions. The queens in Dvaraka
fall into a different category of expansion known as vaibhava-prakasa,
and the Laksmis in Vaikuntha are vaibhava-vilasa expansions of
Shrimati Radharani. The wives of Vamana and other avataras in
Devaloka are also expansions. Durga-devi in this world is a material
Kayastha - a particular caste in Hindu society; those born from a
ksatriya father and a sudra mother. They are generally well-educated,
and many work as writers. The kayasthas claim to be descendents
of Citragupta (the scribe of Yamaraja).
Kazi - a Muslim magistrate, usually the ruler of a town or city (like
Khicari - a savory dish of rice and dahl boiled together with ghee
Khoda - an Islamic term for God.
Kirtana - congregational singing of Krishna's holy names, sometimes
accompanied by music. This may also refer to loud individual chanting
of the holy name, as well as oral descriptions of Bhagavan names,
forms, qualities, associates, and pastimes. Kirtana is the most important
of the nine angas of bhakti.
Krishna-bahirmukha - being oblivious to Krishna due to having one's
attention focused outwardly toward the material world; ignorance
of Krishna and enthrallment with material enjoyment.
Krishna-dasya - service to Krishna; the dharma, or spiritual function of
the jiva. In its perfectional state this refers to prema.
Krishna-lila - the divine pastimes of Shri Krishna (see lila).
Krishna-prema - pure love for Krishna (see prema).
Krishna-unmukha - those whose attention is focused upon Krishna.
Krishna-vimukhata - the state of having one's attention turned away
from Krishna; the state of absorption in the material world.
Ksatriya - the second of the four varnas, or castes, in the varnasrama
system; an administrator or warrior.
Ksayonmukha - the decline or diminution of any object or thing;
the stage in which a jiva's relationship with the material world
gradually diminishes due to engagement in spiritual practice.
Ksudra-cetana - possessing minute consciousness; the living
Kunja - a grove or bower; a natural shady retreat with sides and a
roof formed mainly by trees and climbing plants.
Kuticaka - the first of four stages of sannyasa. According to the
Vedic system, when one first renounces family life, the ascetic will
construct a cottage (kutira) just outside his village and will accept
the necessities for his maintenance from his family members or the
villagers. This stage has been referred to in Shrimad-Bhagavatam
(3.12.43). In Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's commentary
on the afore-referenced sloka, he defines the kuticaka stage as
svasrama-karma-pradhana, predominated by the performance of
karma which pertains to one's own asrama, or stage of life.
Kutira - a cottage or hut.
Laukika - worldly, mundane, secular, pertaining to the material
Laukika-jnana - worldly knowledge, knowledge of worldly phenomena.
Laukika-sraddha - worldly regard; faith which is based on custom
or tradition and not on a deep understanding of the sastra.
Lila - divine sportive pastimes. Shri Bhagavan's activities, whether
in the matter of the creation of the material world or in the matter
of transcendental exchanges of love with His bhaktas, are never
under the influence of karma or material nature. They are all manifestations
of His self-willed potencies and are therefore known as
lila, divine sport or play. These pastimes are heard, described, and
meditated upon by bhaktas as part of the practice of sadhana-bhakti.
Lila-avatara - Krishna's lila (pastime) manifestations e.g.
Nrsimha,Varaha, Kurma etc.
Lila-katha - descriptions or narrations of the Lord's divine pastimes.
Linga-sarira - the subtle material body consisting of mind, intelligence,
Lobhamayi-sraddha - means that the bhakta wants to serve Krishna
in one of the four rasas: dasya, sakhya, vatsalya or madhurya, following
in the footsteps of the vraja-vasis. He should be greedy to attain
this. That is called lobhamayi-sraddha.
Lota - a thin steel container for water.
Madhavi - a fragrant flower which is white when it blossoms and
turns pink during the course of the day; the vine of the madhavi
Madhukari - collecting alms from door to door in the manner of a
bee who collects honey (madhu) by going from flower to flower.
Madhurya - sweetness or beauty. In regard to bhakti this refers to
devotion which is inspired by attraction to Krishna's sweet and intimate
feature as a beautiful young cowherd boy. This type of devotion
allows for the greatest exchange of love between Him and His
Madhurya-rati - love or attachment toward Krishna which is expressed
in the mood of a lover.
Madhyahna - the third period of the day; mid-day, noon (see astakaliya-
Madhyama-bhakta - the practitioner of bhakti who is on an intermediate
Mahabhava - the highest stage of prema or divine love. In Ujjvalanilamani
(14.154) mahabhava is defined: "When anuraga reaches a
special state of intensity, it is known as bhava or mahabhava. This
state of intensity has three characteristics: (1) anuraga reaches the
state of sva-samvedya, which means that it becomes the object of its
own experience, (2) it becomes prakasita, radiantly manifest, which
means that all eight sattvika-bhavas become prominently displayed,
and (3) it attains the state of yavad asraya-vrtti, which means that
the active ingredient of this intensified state of anuraga transmits
the experience of Radha and Krishna's bhava to whomever may be
present and qualified to receive it. This includes both the sadhaka
Mahajana - a great personality who teaches and sets an example for
Mahanta - the head of a monastery or temple.
Mahaprabhu - the Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna Chaitanya (see Chaitanya
in the Glossary of Names).
Maha-akasa - is the great, unlimited sky or space.
Mahaprasada - see prasada.
Mahatma - magnanimous or great soul; a title of respect offered to
those elevated in spiritual consciousness.
Mahavakya - principal statements or utterances of the Upanisads.
Pranava (om) is the true mahavakya of the Vedas as established in
Chapter Twelve. However, Shri Sankaracarya has widely broadcast
four aphorisms as mahavakyas. Therefore, the word mahavakya has
come to be associated with these expressions: aham brahmasmi, "I
am brahma," (Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad, 1.4.10); tat tvam asi svetaketo,
"O Svetaketo, you are that" (Chandogya Upanisad, 6.8.7); prajnanam
brahma, "The supreme knowledge is brahma," (Aitareya Upanisad,
1.5.3); and sarvam khalv idam brahma, "All the universe is brahma."
(Chandogya Upanisad, 3.14.1.)
Mala - see tulasi-mala.
Malphut - an Islamic term for ignorance.
Malati - a kind of jasmine flower or its plant.
Mamaji - maternal uncle.
Mamata - literally means 'my-ness'; attachment or possessiveness.
Mamata for material objects or persons is the cause of bondage,
whereas mamata for guru, Vaishnavas, and spiritual objects is the
cause of liberation; in the spiritual world mamata is one of the
characteristics of prema.
Mana - consists of the bhavas (such as Shrimati Radhika's jealous
anger) that prevent the nayaka and nayika from meeting freely, although
they are together, and attracted to each other.
Mantra - a mystical sloka composed of the names of Shri Bhagavan
which addresses any individual deity. Mantras are given to a disciple
by a guru at the time of diksa. The question may be raised that
since bhagavan-nama is independent, how can mantras, which are
composed of the names of the Lord (bhagavan-nama), be dependent
upon diksa? Shrila Jiva Gosvami has discussed this question in Bhaktisandarbha
(Anuccheda 284). He says that mantras are bhagavannamatmika.
This means that mantras are composed of the names of
Bhagavan. The difference is that mantras also contain some special
words like nama, svaha, and klim. Shri Bhagavan and the rsis have
invested mantras with special power by which those mantras reveal
one's own specific relationship with Krishna. Therefore it may seem
that mantras are endowed with some special potencies that are not
invested in nama. A contradiction arises because if bhagavan-nama
(which is lacking these special attributes) is able to bestow the
supreme object of attainment (parama-purusartha) without any need
for diksa, how is it that mantras are dependent on diksa when they
are even more powerful than nama?
Shrila Jiva Gosvami analyzes that by the constitutional nature of
mantras, they are not dependent on diksa. Nonetheless, people in
general are influenced by the bodily conception and their hearts
are polluted with abominable desires. In order to curb these tendencies,
the rsis have established regulations to be followed in the
arcana-marga. Otherwise, by constitutional nature, there is no difference
between nama and mantra in the matter of their independence
of any formalities.
Nama, being non-different from nami, or Bhagavan Himself, is
already invested with all potencies. Therefore in actuality, the glory
of nama is superior to that of mantras. Yet Jiva Gosvami says that
the diksa-mantras are invested with the power to reveal the sadhakas'
specific relationship with the Lord - shri bhagavata samam atmasambandha-
visesa-pratipadakas ca (Bhakti-sandarbha, Anuccheda
284). The same thing is stated in Anuccheda 283: divyam-jnanam hy
atra shrimati mantre bhagavat-svarupa-jnanam tena bhagavata
sambandha-visesa-jnanam ca (see diksa). This means that when a
guru who is situated on the platform of bhava gives diksa, the man
tras are invested with the knowledge of Bhagavan's svarupa and
knowledge of one's specific relationship with Him. Therefore, those
who are desiring to attain the prema-seva of Shri Krishna in Vraja in
one of the four relationships of dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, or madhura
should accept diksa-mantras from a guru who is established in one
of these moods.
Manu-samhita - a religious sastra spoken by the forefather of mankind
Manu, delineating the codes of behavior for all human beings.
Maya - illusion; that which is not; Shri Bhagavan's external potency
which influences the living entities to accept the false egoism of
being independent enjoyers of this material world.
Maya-sakti - the potency that creates bewilderment, which is responsible
for the manifestation of the material world, time, and
Mayavada - the doctrine of illusion; a theory advocated by the
impersonalist followers of Sankaracarya which holds that the Lord's
form, this material world, and the individual existence of the living
entitities are maya or false.
Mayavadi - one who advocates the doctrine of illusion (see
Maya-vikrama - see maya-sakti.
Mayika-tattva - the fundamental truth concerning Bhagavan's deluding
potency, which relates to the material world. One of the
aspects of sambandha-jnana.
Mimamsa - a philosophical doctrine which has two divisions: (1)
purva or karma-mimamsa founded by Jaimini, which advocates that
by carrying out the ritualistic karma of the Vedas, one can attain
the celestial planets, and (2) uttara-mimamsa founded by Badarayana
Vyasadeva, which deals with the nature of brahma. (See purvamimamsa
Mimamsaka - a philosopher. One who adheres to the mimamsa
philosophical doctrine of which there are two divisions. This usually
refers to those who follow the karma-mimamsa of Jaimini.
Mimamsa-sastra - (1) a sastra which ascertains fundamental philosophical
truths through analytical examination. (2) sastra dealing
with a branch of Vedic philosophy (see mimamsa).
Misra - mixed, adulterated.
Mithya-abhimana - false egoism; identification with the gross and
subtle material bodies.
Mleccha - derived from the sanskrit root mlech meaning to utter
indistinctly (sanskrit) - a foreigner; non-Aryan; a man of an
outcaste race; any non-Sanskrit-speaking person who does not conform
to the Hindu social and religious customs.
Moksa - see mukti.
Mrdanga - a double-headed clay drum which is used in the performance
of devotional songs.
Mujarrad - an Islamic term for spirit or consciousness.
Mukta-dasa - the liberated state.
Mukta-jiva - the liberated soul; those who are liberated from the
influence of material nature while still residing in this world, or
those who reside in the spiritual world.
Mukti - liberation from material existence. There are five types of
liberation: sarupya (obtaining the same form as Bhagavan), samipya
(living in close proximity to Bhagavan), salokya (living on the
same planet as Bhagavan), sarsti (having the same opulence as
Bhagavan), and sayujya (becoming one with Shri Bhagavan either
by merging into His body or by merging into His brahma effulgence).
The last type is vehemently rejected by the bhaktas. Although the
other four types of mukti are sometimes accepted by bhaktas as
they are not entirely incompatible with bhakti, they are never
accepted by those who are fixed on attaining unalloyed love for
Shri Krishna in Vraja.
Mukulita-cetana - budding consciousness. This refers to human
beings whose consciousness is superior to that of lower life-forms,
but who are devoid of morality and ethics. It also refers to those
who have a conventional sense of morality, but who have no faith
Mullah - Muslim religious scholar
Mumuksa - the desire for liberation.
Mumuksu - a person who is seeking liberation.
Murti - the Deity form of Shri Bhagavan.
Nagara - a town or city.
Nagara-sankirtana - act of singing religious songs in procession
through a city or village.
Naimittika-dharma - the temporary or circumstantial function of
an object or conscious being; that which relates to one's acquired
nature; circumstantial duty or religion.
Naimittika-karma - occasional religious duties induced by specific
Naimittika-sukrti - pious actions which bear temporary results; pious
actions leading to material enjoyment, opulence, acquisition of
knowledge, and mystic powers.
Naisthika-brahmacari - one who accepts a life-long vow of celibacy.
Naitika - that which is related to morality and ethics (see niti).
Nama - the holy name of Krishna, chanted by bhaktas as the main limb
of the practice of sadhana-bhakti.
Nama-bhajana - the practice of chanting the holy name softly to
oneself on tulasi beads.
Namabhasa - a semblance of the holy name. The stage of chanting
in which one is becoming cleared of sins and offenses but has not
yet attained pure chanting.
Nama-aparadha - offensive chanting of the holy name, or chanting
of the holy name which is subject to the ten kinds of nama-aparadha.
(see Chapter 24).
Nama-rasa - transcendental taste which comes from chanting the
Nama-sankirtana - the practice of chanting the holy name of Krishna,
especially congregational chanting.
Namaskara - offering obeisance, or the act of offering adoration,
praise, or reverence. Obeisance to Shri Bhagavan is of four types:
(1) abhivadana, salutation or bowing; (2) astanga, prostrated obeisance
performed with eight parts of the body (two hands, two
feet, two knees, the chest, and the forehead); (3) pancanga, obeisance
performed with five parts of the body (two knees, two arms,
and the forehead); and (4) kara-sira-samyoga, obeisance by joining
the hands to the head and bowing.
Nami - Shri Bhagavan; the person addressed by the name.
Namaz - a system of Muslim prayer
Nara-matram - refer to all human beings, regardless of caste, creed,
or material designation.
Narayana - an expansion of Krishna. The opulent Lord of Vaikuntha.
Navadha-bhakti - nine primary types of bhakti: sravanam, kirtanam,
visnu-smaranam, pada-sevanam, arcanam, vandanam, dasyam,
sakhyam, and atma-nivedanam - hearing, chanting, and remembering
the glories of Krishna, serving His lotus feet, worshiping Him, praying
to Him, carrying out His orders in the mood of a servant, making
friends with Him, and offering one's very self to Him (see under
the individual headings for more information on each of these).
Nimitta - a cause, reason, motive, instrument, or agent.
Nirapeksa - a Vaishnava who is detached from all material enjoyment
and the designations associated with varnasrama; literally
means independent, or one who is without needs.
Nirbheda - undifferentiated; that which is devoid of distinguishing
characteristics or qualities; often used as an adjective to describe
the impersonal brahma.
Nirbheda-brahma-jnani - one who seeks to attain the impersonal
brahma through the process of monistic knowledge.
Nirguna - free from the influence of the material qualities of goodness,
passion, and ignorance. In relationship to Shri Krishna, this
implies that He is endowed with transcendental qualities.
Nirvana - extinction, disappearance, dissolution; final emancipation
from matter and re-union with the Supreme Spirit; Mayavada
conception - absolute extinction or annihilation of individual
Nisanta-lila - Krishna's daily pastimes are divided into eight periods.
Nisanta-lila takes place at the end of night just prior to dawn
Nisarga - the acquired nature of a thing; that nature which is
acquired through long association or identification; the distorted
nature of a thing.
Nistha - firm faith; steadiness in one's devotional practices. This
is the fourth stage in the development of the creeper of bhakti.
Nistha occurs after the elimination of the major portion of one's
Niti - moral science, ethics, social morality, moral conduct or behavior;
political wisdom or science.
Nitya - eternal; invariable; daily; that which has no beginning and
Nitya-dharma - the eternal characteristic function of a thing, or
that which relates to its eternal constitutional function.
Nitya-karma - daily obligatory religious duties.
Nitya-satya - eternal truth or reality.
Nitya-sukrti - pious deeds which bear eternal results; pious deeds
which foster the eternal function of bhakti, such as the association
of bhaktas and contact with acts of devotion.
Nitya-tattva - eternal truth, reality or philosophical principle.
Nivrtti-marga - the path of detachment or abstinence from material
fruitive action and ritualistic religion.
Nyaya - the philosophy dealing with a logical analysis of reality,
also known as nyaya-darsana. This system of philosophy was founded
by Maharsi Gautama (see Gautama in the Glossary of Names). The
nyaya-darsana accepts sixteen principles: 1) pramana (evidence; the
means to obtain factual knowledge), 2) prameya (that which is to be
ascertained by real knowledge), 3) samsaya (doubt about the point
to be discussed), 4) prayojana (a motive for discussing the point in
question), 5) drstanta (citing instances or examples), 6) siddhanta
(demonstrated conclusion of an argument), 7) avayava (component
parts of a logical argument or syllogism), 8) tarka (persuasive reasoning),
9) nirnaya (deduction, conclusion, or application of a conclusive
argument), 10) vada (thesis, proposition, or argument), 11)
jalpa (striking disputation or reply to defeat the argument of the
opposition), 12) vitanda (destructive criticism; idle carping at the
assertions of another without attempting to prove the opposite
side of the question) 13) hetv-abhasa (fallacy; the mere appearance
of a reason), 14) chala (deceitful disputation; perverting the sense
of the opposing party's words), 15) jati (logic based merely on false
similarity or dissimilarity), and 16) nigraha-sthana (a weak point in
an argument or fault in a syllogism).
According to nyaya-darsana, misery is of nineteen types: the material
body, the six senses including the mind, the six objects of the
senses, and the six transformations - birth, growth, production,
maintenance, dwindling, and death. In addition to these, happiness
is considered as the twentieth form of misery because it is
simply a transformed state of distress. The naiyayikas, adherents of
the nyaya-darsana, accept four types of evidence: pratyaksa (direct
perception), anumana (inference), upamana (comparison), and sabda
(the authority of the Vedas).
The nyaya-darsana accepts the existence of eternal infinitesimal
particles known as paramanu. These, they claim, are the fundamental
ingredients from which the creation has sprung. But in order for
the creation to take place, there is need of an administrator who is
known as Isvara, Shri Bhagavan. Bhagavan creates the world by setting
the atomic particles in motion. Like these atomic particles,
Isvara is eternal and without beginning. Although the naiyayikas
accept the existence of Isvara, they do not believe that He personally
carries out the creation. He is merely the primeval cause. By His
desire, the atoms are set into motion whereupon they create all the
subtle and gross elements from which the creation comes about.
According to the nyaya-darsana, the jivas are innumerable, eternal,
and without beginning. The naiyayikas do not think that the
jivas are of the nature of consciousness, but that they are only substantive
entities which may be associated with intellectual, volitional,
or emotional qualities as a result of a proper combination of
causes and conditions. The nyaya-darsana advocates that the jiva
and Isvara are two entirely separate truths. The jiva's material existence
is due to karma. The creation occurs under the influence of
karma, and within the creation the jivas suffer the reactions of their
karma. Isvara's sole function is to set the creation in motion and to
reward the results of karma.
The naiyayikas say that the jiva can attain liberation from material
existence through philosophical knowledge of the sixteen principles.
They define mukti as complete cessation of material misery.
There is no factual happiness in mukti. In this liberated condition
the jiva is as if unconscious.
Nyaya-sastra - the sastras dealing with a logical analysis of reality.
The precepts of nyaya are mostly explained through analogies drawn
from an analysis of common objects such as a clay pot (ghata) and a
piece of cloth (pata), so these words are repeatedly encountered in
discussions of nyaya.
Pada-sevanam - literally means to serve the feet. However, the question
arises as to how a sadhaka can serve the feet of the Lord. Therefore
in his Krama-sandarbha commentary on Shrimad-Bhagavatam,
Jiva Gosvami has defined pada-sevanam as follows: pada-sevayam
pada sabdo bhakty eva nirdista tata sevayam sadaratvam vidhiyate - "In
the term pada-seva the word pada refers only to bhakti. The word
seva indicates that this bhakti, or service, should be done with great
love and respect." To take darsana of the Deity, to touch the Deity,
to do parikrama of the Deity, to follow the Deity in a procession, to
visit the Lord's temples or holy places such as the Ganga,
Purusottama-ksetra, Dvaraka, and Mathura; to observe festivals,
and to serve the Vaishnavas and tulasi are all included in pada-sevanam.
This is one of the nine primary angas of bhakti.
Panca-mahapapa - killing a brahmana, drinking intoxicating liquors,
theft, committing adultary with the wife of shri-guru and associating
with anyone guilty of these crimes.
Pancopasana - worship of the five deities - Surya, Ganesa, Sakti,
Siva, and Vishnu.
Pandita - Panda means 'the intelligence of one who is enlightened
by knowledge of the sastra', and the word pandita refers to one who
has such intelligence.
Papa - sin.
Parabrahma - the Supreme brahma, the source of the brahma
effulgence, Shri Bhagavan.
Parak-vrtti - the tendency to be focused outward toward the external
world or toward the senses and sense objects.
Paralaukika - concerning the next world; extra-mundane; spiritual.
Parama-dharma - the supreme or ultimate function of the jiva.
Parama-guru - grand-spiritual master; the guru of one's guru.
Paramahamsa - the fourth and final stage of sannyasa, which has
been referred to as niskriya (freedom from all material obligations)
in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.12.43). In his commentary on this sloka,
Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has defined niskriya as praptatattva,
realization of the Supreme Absolute Truth.
Paramartha - the highest truth; spiritual knowledge; the highest
object of attainment.
Paramarthika - that which relates to the supreme spiritual truth or
ultimate reality; real, essential, true; that which relates to a higher
Paramatma - the Supersoul situated in the hearts of all living entities
as the witness and source of remembrance, knowledge, and
Paramatma- pravrtti - the tendency of the jiva to seek Krishna in the
heart, who is known as Paramatma.
Para-sakti - Shri Bhagavan's superior potency which has three divisions:
cit, tatastha, and maya.
Paravyoma - means 'the spiritual sky'. Generally this refers to the
region of the spiritual sky where the Vaikuntha planets reside.
Patha-sala - literally means a school in which four subjects (patha)
are taught. These four subjects refer to the study of the four Vedas
or the four subjects - Sanskrit grammar, rhetoric, logic, and philosophy.
Phalgu-vairagya - futile renunciation; renunciation which is unfavorable
to bhakti. This is defined in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.256):
"When people who desire liberation give up objects which are related
to Krishna, considering them to be material, their renunciation
is known as phalgu-vairagya." Shrila Jiva Gosvami has explained in
his commentary that this especially refers to giving up prasada, or
remnants of food and other articles offered to Him. This giving up
of prasada is of two types: never requesting Krishna's prasada, and
refusing it when it comes unsolicited. The second one in particular
is considered to be an offense and therefore unfavorable to bhakti.
Pinda - riceballs or flour cake offered to the Pitris, or deceased
ancestors; a sraddha oblation.
Prabhu - master or Lord.
Prabhu-tattva - the fundamental truth concerning Bhagavan, who
is the master of the living entities and of material nature. This is
one of the aspects of sambandha-jnana.
Pradesika - regional, territorial, provincial. This comes from the
word pradesa, a province. When it is used in reference to particular
statements of the Vedas, it means that which is limited to a particular
context, or that which defines only a partial aspect of a concept.
This is in contrast to mahavakyas which are statements defining
the underlying essence of the entire Vedas (see mahavakya in this
Prahara - a day is divided into eight periods known as prahara, each
roughly three hours in duration.
Prakasa - a particular type of manifestation of Bhagavan. When a
single form is manifest in many places simultaneously and each of
these forms is identical in terms of bodily features, qualities, and
pastimes, such a manifestation is called prakasa.
Prakrta-bhakta - an unrefined or undeveloped bhakta. This is a term
which refers to the kanistha, or neophyte bhakta who worships the
Deity with faith but who renders no service to the Krishna's bhaktas.
Prakrti - (1) nature, the material world, the power that creates and
regulates the world. (2) matter as opposed to purusa, spirit. (3) the
primordial female energy, a woman or womankind.
Prakrti Devi - the goddess of nature.
Prana-natha - literally means the Lord of one's life, but it carries the
sense of one who is infinitely more dear than life itself.
Prani - a living or sentient being. Prani comes from the word prana
which means the breath of life or vital air. That which is living,
breathing, or possessed of vital air is called prani.
Prapatti - surrender or submission to Shri Bhagavan.
Prarabdha-karma - the results of previous activities which have
already begun to bear fruit.
Prasada - literally means mercy; especially refers to the remnants of
food offered to the Deity; may also refer to the remnants of other
articles offered to the Deity such as incense, flowers, garlands, and
Pratibimba-bhakti-abhasa - a reflective semblance of bhakti. This
refers to those who adopt the practices of bhakti with a desire for
material enjoyment and especially liberation. Because these people
have no faith in Krishna and no desire to please Him, their semblance
of bhakti is of the nature of an image which is disconnected from its
object, and is therefore compared to a reflection.
Pratyak-vrtti - the tendency to be focused inward toward the soul.
Pravrtti-marga - the path of fruitive action or ritualistic religion
which yields material piety and the facility to enjoy this material
Prayojana - a goal or object of attainment. In terms of bhakti, this
refers to the ultimate goal, krishna-prema.
Prema - (1) love for Krishna which is extremely concentrated, which
completely melts the heart, and which gives rise to a deep sense of
mamata or possessiveness in relation to the Lord (this is the general
definition of prema given in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, 1.4.1). (2)
When rati becomes firmly rooted and unchecked by any obstacle it
is known as prema. When some cause arises that could conceivably
ruin the relationship between the lover and beloved and yet their
bond remains completely unaffected, such an intimate loving relationship
is known as prema. When prema is augmented, it is gradually
transformed into sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, and bhava.
(Ujjvala-nilamani, 14. 59, 63).
Prema-bhakti - a stage of bhakti which is characterised by the appearance
of prema (see above); the perfectional stage of devotion;
the eighth and fully blossomed state of the bhakti-lata.
Prema-dharma - the religion which has as its goal the attainment of
unalloyed love for Shri Krishna.
Premadhikara - eligibility for the unalloyed loving service of Shri
Priti - love for Krishna which is also known as prema or bhakti. Jiva
Gosvami has defined priti in Priti-sandarbha (Anuccheda 65): tasya
hladinya eva kapi sarvanandatisayini vrttir-nityam bhakta-vrndesv eva
niksipyamana bhagavat-prityakhyaya varttate - "When the eternal
pleasure-giving faculty of the hladini potency, which alone has the
power to bring supreme delight to Krishna, manifests in the bhakta's
heart, it is known as bhagavat-priti, or love for Bhagavan." The symptom
of this priti is an uninterrupted desire to please the object of
priti, Shri Krishna.
Prthak - distinct; different.
Puranas - the eighteen historical supplements to the Vedas.
Purna-Brahma - the complete brahma who is the Supreme Personality
of Godhead, Bhagavan. Bhagavan is purna, the complete reality.
brahma, because it is the bodily effulgence of Bhagavan, is an aspect
of that reality.
Purna-cetana - possessing full consciousness; Shri Bhagavan.
Purna-sakti - complete potency.
Purna-vikasita-cetana - fully blossomed consciousness. This refers
to the bhava-bhaktas, or those who have awakened deep attachment
and love for Bhagavan.
Purusa - (1) the primeval being as the soul and original source of
the universe, the Supreme Being or Soul of the universe. (2) the
animating principle in living beings, the soul, spirit as opposed to
prakrti, or matter. (3) a male or mankind.
Purusartha - the goals of human attainment. In the Vedic sastras
these are classified into four categories: dharma, religious duty; artha,
acquisition of wealth; kama, satisfaction of material desires; and
moksa, liberation from material existence. Beyond all of these is the
development of unalloyed love for the Supreme Lord, who is the
embodiment of spiritual bliss and transcendental rasa. This is
known as parama-purusartha, the supreme object of attainment.
Purva-mimamsa - the philosophy established by Maharsi Jaimini,
also known as jaimini-darsana (see Jaimini in the Glossary of Names).
To thoroughly examine a topic and arrive at a conclusion is known
as mimamsa. Mimamsa comes from the verbal root man, to think,
reflect, or consider. Because in his book, Maharsi Jaimini has established
the correct interpretation of the Vedic statements and how
they may be decided through logical analysis, this book is known as
mimamsa-grantha. The Vedas have two divisions: purva-kanda (the
first part), dealing with Vedic karma; and uttara-kanda (the latter
part), dealing with the Upanisads or Vedanta. Since Jaimini's book
deals with an analysis of the first part of the Vedas, it is called purva??
mimamsa. As Jaimini's philosophy deals exclusively with an analysis
of Vedic karma, it is also known as karma-mimamsa.
Jaimini has minutely examined how Vedic ritualistic karma is
to be performed and what its results are. He has accepted the
Vedas as apauruseya (not created by any man), beginningless, and
eternal. His philosophy is established on the basis of the Vedas.
However, he has given prominence only to Vedic karma. He states
that the jivas are meant to performVedic karma only. By proper
performance of Vedic karma, one can obtain parama-purusartha,
the supreme goal, which in his opinion refers to the attainment
of the celestial planets.
In Jaimini's view, the visible world is anadi, without beginning,
and it does not undergo destruction. Consequently, there is no
need for an omniscient and omnipotent Isvara to carry out the
creation, maintenance, and destruction of the world. Jaimini accepts
the existence of pious and sinful karma. According to his
doctrine, karma automatically yields the results of its own actions.
Therefore, there is no need for an Isvara to award the results
Putra - a son; one who delivers his forefathers from the hell known
Raga - a deep attachment which is permeated by spontaneous and
intense absorption in the object of one's affection. The primary
characteristic of raga is a deep and overpowering thirst for the
object of one's affection. The desire for water is called thirst. When
the body is deprived of water, thirst arises. The greater the thirst,
the greater the longing for water. When this thirst reaches the
point that without water one can no longer maintain the body, it is
known as an overpowering thirst. Similarly, when the loving thirst
to please the object of one's affection becomes so intense that in
the absence of such service one is on the verge of giving up his life,
it is known as raga.
Raga-marga - the path of raga, or spontaneous attachment; see
Ragamayi bhakti - bhakti which is permeated with raga, or spontaneous
affection. Ragamayi bhakti is not within sadhana. It refers to
the stage after prema has arisen. In the beginning, there is prema,
which then develops into sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava
and mahabhava. When prema attains the state of raga it is called
ragamayi. It comes after one takes his birth in the womb of a gopi
and attains the association of Krishna's ragatmika-bhaktas. By that
association, first prema will come and then it will gradually evolve
to the stage of raga and on up to mahabhava. The word trsna used
here means 'thirst' to drink Krishna, His form (rupa), taste (rasa),
smell (gandha), sound (sabda) and touch (sparsa). The word
premamayi is a general term that can indicate the stage of prema
anywhere in its development from the stage of sneha right up to
the stage of mahabhava.
Raganuga-bhakti - bhakti which follows in the wake of the ragatmika
nature present in the hearts of the Lord's eternal associates in
Vraja is known as raganuga-bhakti.
Raganuga-prakrti - nature which impels one to follow the soul's
spontaneous attraction toward Krishna. When the intelligence is
liberated from the bondage of maya, human nature no longer needs
to be governed by rules and prohibitions; rather, it is prompted by
spontaneous love. The raganuga nature is the unadulterated nature
of the jiva. It is svabhava-siddha (the perfected state of the
self), chinmaya (transcendental), and jada-mukta (free from bondage
to dull matter).
Raganuga-sadhana - Shri Rupa Gosvami's conclusions regarding the
method for performing raganuga-bhajana are stated in Bhaktirasamrta-
sindhu (1.2.294-296) as follows: "One should constantly
remember one's dearest nava-kisora Shri Nanda-nandana and the
beloved associates of Krishna who are possessed of sajatiya-bhava or
the identical mood for which one aspires. One should always reside
in Shri Vraja-dhama with great attachment for hearing topics regarding
Krishna and His devotees. If one is physically unable to live in
Vraja, one should do so mentally. This is the method of raganugabhakti-
sadhana." Shri Rupa Gosvami continues: "A sadhaka who has
lobha for raganuga-bhakti should serve Shri Krishna both in the sadhaka??
rupa and the siddha-rupa in accordance with the bhava of the Vrajaparikaras
who possess the same mood for which he aspires. The angas
of bhakti such as sravana, kirtana, shri guru-padaasraya, and others in
regard to vaidhi-bhakti, are also useful and necessary in raganugabhakti.
But judicious sadhakas will adopt only those angas which
nourish their specific bhava, avoiding those which hamper it."
Examples of the angas of bhakti in regard to raganuga-sadhana are
as follows: Sravanam in madhura-rasa means that one will hear how
a maidservant serves Lalita, Visakha, Radha and Krishna. Kirtana
means that one will learn how to do pati-vancanam, that is speaking
sweet words to the husband in order to cheat him and go to participate
in the lila of Radha and Krishna. Smaranam means to remember
how Lalita and Visakha are rendering service to Shrimati Radharani.
Pada-sevanam means to take Shrimati Radharani to meet with Krishna
at night. Arcanam is done with the corner of the eyes. When Krishna
is returning from the cow-pastures with the cowherd boys and the
cows, all the gopis are standing at their doorsteps doing arcana with
the corner of their eyes. Everything is there; the flame is there,
water is there, sneha, mana, pranaya and everything else is there.
Krishna also accepts their worship with the corner of His eyes. This
is called arcana. Atma-nivedanam means gopijana-vallabhaya svaha:
"I am the maidservant of Radha and Krishna, and I am offering my
entire being to Them."
Ragatmika - one in whose heart there naturally and eternally exists
a deep spontaneous desire to love and serve Shri Krishna; one whose
bhakti is permeated with raga. This specifically refers to the eternal
residents of Vraja, who are attracted to Shri Krishna in a mood of
intimate love, free from any conception of the Lord's opulence or
Rajas - (See rajo-guna).
Rajasika - of the nature of rajo-guna.
Rajo-guna - the quality or nature of living beings which is
characterised by intense activity and passion.
Rama-navami - the appearance day of Shri Rama which occurs on the
ninth day of the light lunar fortnight of the month of Caitra
Ranjakata - in chapter twenty-one ranjakata is used to mean attraction.
The special implication is that a person's heart becomes
'colored', or dyed very thoroughly by an object due to his strong
attachment for it. That is the state of raga. When the person sees
the beautiful object, his vision at once becomes drawn to it, and
his heart becomes colored. Then, even if the beautiful object goes
out of his sight, still his heart continues to perceive it everywhere.
The coloring of the heart is called ranjakata and the strong
attachment that is established in the heart when the consciousness
becomes dyed in this way is known as raga.
Rasa - (1) the spiritual transformation of the heart which takes
place when the perfectional state of love for Krishna, known as rati,
is converted into liquid emotions by combination with various
types of transcendental ecstasies. In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (2.1.5)
bhakti-rasa is defined: "When the sthayibhava, or the permanent
emotion of the heart in one of the five primary relationships of
neutrality, servitude, friendship, parental affection, or conjugal
love, mixes with vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava, and vyabhicaribhava,
thus producing an extraordinary taste in the heart of the
bhakta, it is called bhakti-rasa."
The explanation of bhakti as rasa is the unique contribution of
Shrila Rupa Gosvami. The common view is that rasa applies to the
emotional experience of poetry or drama. This theory of rasa originated
from the Natya-sastra of Bharata Muni, a famous work on
Sanskrit poetics and drama. Rupa Gosvami's explanation of how
rasa is generated is exactly in accordance with Bharata Muni's definition;
yet he has explained the experience of rasa in terms of
bhakti, or love for Krishna. Thus, there is both a transcendental and
secular conception of rasa.
(2) the state of aesthetic consciousness.
Rasaraja - the emperor of rasa; one who is supreme in relishing the
mellows of rasa; this is a name for Shri Krishna who is akhila-rasamrtamurti,
the embodiment of the essence of all rasa.
Rasika-bhakta - one who is able to relish bhakti-rasa within his
heart. At the stage of bhava, a bhakta's heart becomes infused with
suddha-sattva from the heart of one of Krishna's eternal associates
in Vraja. This suddha-sattva is then known as krishna-rati, the first
dawning of divine love. When this permanent sentiment of love
combines with other ecstatic emotions, it generates the unique
experience of bhakti-rasa. One who is eligible to taste this rasa is
known as a rasika-bhakta.
Rati - (1) attachment, fondness for. (2) a stage in the development
of bhakti which is synonymous with bhava (see bhava-bhakti).
Riramsa - means the desire to taste Krishna for one's own enjoyment,
not for Krishna's pleasure. If that riramsa is to please Krishna, then it
comes in the category of kama and prema. Riramsa should be present
in kamanuga, whether it is tat-tad-bhava-icchamayi or sambhogaicchamayi;
riramsa is present in both. Riramsa is present in tad-tadbhava-
icchamayi, but it is tasted when the gopis and Krishna meet
together. And in sambhoga-icchamayi, the gopis are meeting with
Krishna in order to please Him. Riramsa is also present in Kubja, but
only to satisfy herself. Riramsa is not for one's personal enjoyment
in sambhoga-icchamayi and tat-tad-bhava-icchamayi.
If one has this riramsa toward Krishna and is practicing strictly
according to vaidhi-bhakti then he will attain to the class of Krishna's
queens in Dvaraka. In vaidhi-bhakti one worships Laksmi-
Narayana. Sadhakas who have riramsa towards Krishna will attain
Krishna, but their kama will be of the nature of Dvaraka, so they will
follow the mahisis (queens). Vaidhi means to be married by sastravidhi.
In the vaidhi-bhava, one desires to have Krishna as one's husband.
One may desire the Krishna of Vraja, but there is no marriage
in Vraja. Therefore, one cannot obtain Vraja bhava; instead, one
will attain Dvaraka.
Rsi - a great sage learned in the Vedas.
Ruci - taste. This is the fifth stage in the development of the creeper
of bhakti. Ruci develops after one has acquired steadiness in bhajana.
At this stage, with the awakening of actual taste, one's attraction to
spiritual matters, such as hearing, chanting, and other such devotional
practices, exceeds one's attraction to any type of material
Ruh - an Islamic term for the soul.
Ruh-mujarrad - an Islamic term for the liberated soul.
Sac-cid-ananda - that which is composed of sat (eternal existence),
cit (full spiritual consciousness), and ananda (spiritual bliss); often
refers to the transcendental form of Shri Krishna.
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Saci (see Chaitanya).
Sadhaka - one who follows a spiritual discipline to achieve a specific
goal. In this book this especially refers to a practitioner of
Sadhana - the method one adopts in order to obtain a specific goal
is called sadhana. Without sadhana one cannot obtain sadhya, the
goal of one's practice. There are many different types of sadhana
corresponding to various goals. Those who desire material enjoyment
adopt the path of karma as their sadhana. Those who desire
liberation adopt the path of jnana as their sadhana. Those who
aspire for the eternal loving service of Shri Krishna adopt the path of
bhakti as their sadhana. The sadhana of bhakti refers to spiritual practices
such as hearing, chanting, and so on.
Sadhana-bhakti - the practising stage of devotion; a stage of bhakti
in which the various spiritual disciplines performed for the satisfaction
of Shri Krishna are undertaken through the medium of the
senses for the purpose of bringing about the manifestation of bhava,
or spiritual prema.
Sadhana-catustaya - four types of sadhana (mentioned in Chapter
twelve) which are; nityanitya-vastu-viveka (discriminating between
eternal and temporary objects); 2) ihanutra-phala-bhoga-viraga (detachment
from enjoying the results of this life and the next life); 3)
sama-damadi sat-sampatti (the six types of opulences headed by control
over the mind and senses); and 4) mumuksa (the desire for
Sadhu - derived from the verbal root sadh meaning to go straight to
the goal (like an arrow), or to succeed, thus the sadhu means one
who is straight forward and speaks the truth unaffected by social
convention, as does sadhana mean the process of going straight to
the goal. Although in a general sense this may be translated as a
religious person or a bhakta, it refers to bhaktas who are highly ad??
vanced. Such bhaktas are also known as mahat (great souls) or
bhagavata (bhaktas who embody the characteristics of Bhagavan).
Their symptoms are described as follows (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.2-
3): mahantas te sama-citta prasanta vimanyava suhrda sadhavo ye, ye va
mayise krta-sauhrdartha janesu dehambhara-vartikesu grhesu jayatmajaratimatsu
na priti-yukta yavad-arthas ca loke - "The mahat or great
souls are endowed with the following qualities: They see all jivas
with equal vision. They are fully peaceful because their intelligence
is firmly fixed in Krishna. They are devoid of anger. They are
well-wishing friends to all jivas. They are sadhus, meaning that they
never consider others' faults. They are firmly established in a loving
relationship with the Supreme Lord, and they consider prema
to be the supreme object of attainment. They do not consider any
other object to be worthy of interest. They have no attachment for
people who are absorbed in material enjoyment, nor for wife, children,
wealth, or home. They have no desire to accumulate wealth
beyond what is necessary to maintain their body for the service of
Sadhu-sanga - the association of highly advanced bhaktas who possess
the qualities described above. The word sadhu-sanga does not
mean merely to be in the proximity of advanced bhaktas; it means to
seek them out, to remain with them, to offer them obeisances, to
serve them as far as possible, to hear spiritual instructions from
them, to perform spiritual practices under their direction, to follow
in their footsteps, and to conduct one's life according to their
In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.91) Shrila Rupa Gosvami specifically
defines what type of sadhu-sanga we should seek out - sajatiyasaye
snigdhe sadhau sangah svato vare. He says that we should associate
with bhaktas who are significantly more advanced than ourselves,
who are soft hearted, and who are established in the mood of service
to Krishna for which we individually aspire. This is the first
development of the creeper of bhakti after its inception in the form
Sadhya - the object or goal which is desired by a person and for the
attainment of which he undergoes a suitable process, is known as
sadhya. There are many different types of sadhyas, or objects of attainment,
and these are generally grouped into four categories:
dharma (religiosity), artha (economic development), kama (material
enjoyment), and moksa (liberation). The sadhya-vastu, or object
of attainment, for the bhaktas is bhagavat-priti, love for the Supreme
Lord. This is also known as prema. Bhakti or prema, being an
eternal function of Shri Bhagavan's svarupa-sakti, is not produced by
anything. Yet, when the bhakta's heart is purified by performing
sadhana-bhakti, it becomes fit to receive the manifestation of His
hladini or pleasure giving potency. At that time Krishna manifests
this potency in the bhakta's heart and it becomes known as bhagavatpriti
(see priti and purusartha).
Sadhya, susiddha, siddha and ari - These are four kinds of dosa
(faults) calculated according to jyotisa-sastra concerning the nature
of a sisya in accordance with his purva-karma. Some of them
appear to be good qualities, but from the absolute perspective, anyone
who takes a material birth has fault. In this context sadhya
indicates that the candidate has the adhikara to attain prema-bhakti
if he endeavors fully in this life. Susiddha has the adhikara to attain
perfection with very little endeavor and siddha has somewhat less
adhikara than him. Ari indicates that the sisya has so many ari
(inauspicious planets) in his chart that almost any endeavor he
makes for bhakti will simply create further hindrances. However,
when these four kinds of sisyas accept krishna-mantra from sad-guru
all of their hindrances can be removed.
Sagnika-brahmana - is a brahmana who keeps a perpetual fire burning
in his house for the sake of performing yajna.
Saiva - a worshiper of Shri Siva.
Sakhi - a female friend, companion, or attendant.
Sakhya - love or attachment for the Lord which is expressed in the
mood of a friend; one of the five primary relationships with Krishna
which are established in the heart when the sadhaka has attained
the stage of bhava or prema.
One of the angas of sadhana-bhakti; the worship of the Lord
while one is in the stage of sadhana in the mood of being a friend
of the Lord. Although Shri Bhagavan possesses all opulences and
majesty, a bhakta who thinks of the Lord as his friend and endeavors
to please Him in this way exhibits this mood of friendship
toward the Lord. In the summer season, thinking that his worshipful
Lord must be suffering greatly from the heat, the sadhaka
will fan Him and offer Him sandalwood and other fragrant and
cooling substances. When one does so, he demonstrates a mood
of friendship toward the Lord. The difference between dasyam
and sakhyam is that sakhyam is imbued with visrambha-seva, the
mood of intimacy, free from any formal restraint. This is one of the
nine primary angas of bhakti.
Sakta - a worshiper of Sakti or Durga.
Sakti - (1) power or potency. (2) the wife of Lord Siva, also known
as Durga, who presides over the material energy; one of the five
deities worshiped by the pancopasakas.
Saktyavesa-avatara - an empowered incarnation; a jiva who, due
to submission to Bhagavan becomes avesa (empowered) by Him to
act powerfully on His behalf.
Samadhi - meditation or deep trance either upon the Paramatma
or upon Krishna's lila.
Samaja - human society; a meeting, assembly, congregation or community.
Samajika - that which relates to society and social ideas (see samaja).
Sambandha-jnana - knowledge regarding sambandha-tattva, the
mutual relationship between the Lord, the living entities, and
the material energy. The word sambandha means connection, relationship,
and binding. The living entities are eternally and inseparably
connected to the Supreme Lord, who is therefore the
true object of relationship. The general relationship between the
living entities and Shri Bhagavan is one of servant and served. But
in the perfectional stage of bhakti, one becomes established in a
specific relationship with the Lord either as a servant, friend,
parent, or beloved.
Sambandha-tattva - the principle regarding the mutual relationships
between Bhagavan, the living entities, and the material energy.
Sambhoga - full pleasure. Experienced in the loving dealings between
Krishna and His associates in Vraja. The object of these deal
ings, which embody a wonderful, ecstatic sentiment of rejoicing,
is solely to give pleasure to each other.
Samhita-sastras - religious sastras which delineate the laws for human
Sampradaya - (samyak + pradaya): that process or path that bestows
the Supreme Absolute Truth thoroughly and perfectly. A line of
disciplic succession; established doctrine transmitted from one
teacher to another; a particular system of religious teaching. The
Padma Purana predicts the advent of four authorized lines of
Vaishnava disciplic succession as well as their founding acaryas in
the age of Kali: ata kalau bhavisyanti catvarah sampradayinah shribrahma-
rudra-sanaka vaishnavah ksiti-pavana - "In the age of Kali
four Vaishnava sampradayas will purify the earth. These are known
as the Shri (Laksmi), Brahma, Rudra, and Sanaka (Catuhsana)
These sampradayas are renowned by the names of the acaryas
who established their doctrines in recent times (Padma Purana):
ramanujam shri svicakre madhvacaryam caturmukha shri visnusvaminam
rudro nimbadityam catuhsana - "Laksmidevi accepted Ramanuja,
Caturmukha Brahma accepted Madhvacarya; Rudra accepted
Vishnusvami; and Catuhsana, the four Kumaras, accepted Nimbaditya
as the respective heads of their sampradayas."
Although Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu claimed a link with the
Madhva sampradaya, His line is distinguished as the Gaudiya
sampradaya (the sampradaya established in the land of Gauda). Because
He is Shri Bhagavan Himself He has presented the highest
conceptions of love of God which were previously unknown to any
of the sampradayas.
Samsara - (1) material existence; the cycle of repeated birth and
death. (2) householder life; domestic life.
Samskara - (1) a sacred or sanctifying ceremony. (2) reformation or
training of the mind; impression on the mind of any previous experience
or acts done in a former state of existence.
Samvit - this refers to svarupa-sakti which is predominated by
samvit (see svarupa-sakti). Samvit is the potency which relates to
the cit, or cognizant, aspect of Shri Bhagavan. Although Bhagavan
is the embodiment of knowledge, samvit is the potency by which
He knows Himself and causes others to know Him. When the
samvit potency is prominent in visuddha-sattva, it is known as
atma-vidya, knowledge of the individual self and Bhagavan. This
atma-vidya has two faculties: (1) jnana, knowledge itself; and (2)
jnana-pravartaka, one who or that which promotes knowledge.
The worshiper's knowledge is manifest by these two faculties.
Knowledge of absolute reality is possible only with the help of
Sandhini - this refers to svarupa-sakti which is predominated by
sandhini (see svarupa-sakti). Sandhini is the potency which relates
to the sat, or existential aspect of Shri Bhagavan. This is the potency
by which He maintains His own existence and the existence
of others. When the sandhini potency is prominent in
visuddha-sattva, it is known as adhara-sakti, the all-accomodating
potency. The spiritual abode of the Lord and His associates are
manifest by this adhara-sakti.
Sandhya - evening - the junction of day and night.
Sandhya-arati - the ceremony of worshiping a Deity with various
types of paraphernalia such as incense, flowers, and a ghee lamp,
performed at evening twilight with the chanting of devotional
hymns and musical accompaniment.
Sandhya-vandana - the chanting of Vedic mantras such as brahmagayatri
at dawn, noon and sunset.
Sankhya - the path of knowledge involving an analysis of spirit and
matter. This philosophy is atheistic in nature. It was propagated by
the sage Kapila, who is different from the avatara of the Lord known
as Kapila, the son of Kardama and Devahuti. The sage Kapila, who
was born in the dynasty of Agni, is referred to in the Mahabharata
(Vana-parva 221.21): kapilam paramarsin ca yam prahur yataya sada
agni sa kapilo nama sankhya-yoga pravartaka - "That person whom
the renunciates proclaim as the founder of the sankhya-yoga system
is the great sage Kapila who appeared in the dynasty of Agni."
Sankirtana - congregational chanting of the names of Krishna.
Sankucita-cetana - contracted consciousness. This refers to animals,
birds, insects, and aquatics. Their consciousness is more de
veloped than that of the non-moving entities, yet inferior to human
consciousness. Sankucita-cetana is mainly limited to the activities
of eating, sleeping, mating, fearing, moving about of their
own volition, fighting with other animals over territory and possessions
which they claim as their own, and becoming angry in the
face of encroachment. Beings at this stage of consciousness have no
knowledge of the next life and no tendency to inquire about God.
Sannyasa - the fourth asrama, or stage of life in the varnasrama
system; renounced ascetic life.
Sannyasi - a member of the renounced order.
Saranagati - also known as saranapatti; surrender; approaching for
refuge or protection. In Bhakti-sandarbha (Anuccheda 236)
saranagati is described:
anukulyasya sankalpa pratikulyasya varjanam
raksisyatiti visvaso goptrtve varanam tatha
atma-niksepa karpanye sad-vidha saranagati
There are six symptoms of self-surrender: acceptance of that
which is favorable to bhagavad-bhajana, rejection of that which is
unfavorable, firm faith in the Lord as one's protector, deliberate
acceptance of the Lord as one's guardian and nourisher, submission
of the self, and humility.
Sarartha-darsini - commentary on Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Shrila
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gives the following commentary
on slokas 11.20.27-30, 32-33: "In the first two slokas quoted above,
the nature of a person who is in the beginning stage of eligibility
for bhakti is described. By the association of sadhus one develops a
taste for hearing hari-katha. At that time he loses interest in all
other activities, and begins to chant shri-nama with firm determination.
However, due to his previous habits and conditioning, he is
unable to give up material enjoyment and the desire for such enjoyment.
Yet even while engaged in such enjoyment he knows that it
is offensive and he condemns it.
"What is meant by drdha-niscaya, firm determination? 'Whether
my attachment for family, home, and so on is destroyed or increased,
whether I experience ten million impediments in bhajana or none,
even if I am impelled to lust, or must go to hell for my offenses, I will
never give up bhakti. I will not agree to adopt karma or jnana, even if
Brahma himself comes to recommend it.' This is known as drdhaniscaya.
From the outset, the more one's bhajana is firmly resolved
for bhakti, the less it will be distracted by unfavorable things.
"Will the bhakta remain obstructed by desires for material enjoyment?
No. This is answered by Shri Bhagavan in the next two slokas.
'By hearing and repeating hari-katha, all desires for material enjoyment
within the bhaktas heart are gradually destroyed. When the
sadhaka worships Me, I come and sit in his heart, at which time his
faults can no longer remain. Why? Because it is not possible for
material desires to sit in the same heart with Me, just as it is impossible
for the sun and darkness to be present in the same place. The
knot of the false ego is pierced without delay, all doubts are dispersed,
and the desires for karma are annihilated. This is My eternal
"A bhakta thus develops faith in hearing hari-katha, and having
abandoned faith in the pursuits of karma and jnana, he loses interest
in such activities. But suppose for some improbable reason he
were to desire the fruits of such activities - then what? This is
answered in the next two slokas. 'The benedictions of elevation to
the celestial planets, liberation, the attainment of My supreme
abode, as well as whatever else is obtained by fruitive activities,
austerity, knowledge, renunciation, yoga practice, charity, religiosity,
or other beneficial methods of sadhana, are easily obtained by
My bhaktas through the power of bhakti-yoga.'"
Sarira - the body; bodily frame.
Sariraka-bhasya - the commentary on Vedanta-sutra by Shri
Sankaracarya; Inquiry into the Nature of the Embodied Spirit (see
Sankaracarya in the glossary of names).
Saririka - that which relates to the material body and its acquisitions
Sarva-darsi - one who is all-seeing; one who sees that Bhagavan is
the complete Absolute Truth and the source of brahma and
Sarva-kalika - activities which are applicable for all time.
Sastra - Scripture especially the Vedic scriptures.
astriya-sraddha - conviction based on deep faith in the sastras in
the practice of bhakti.
Sat-karma - pious deeds recommended in the karma-kanda section
of the Vedas.
Sat-sanga - see sadhu-sanga.
Satta - existence.
Sattva-guna - the quality or nature of living beings which is
characterised by wisdom and purity.
Sattvika - of the nature of sattva -guna.
Sattvika-bhava - one of the five essential ingredients of rasa; eight
symptoms of spiritual ecstasy arising exclusively from visuddhasattva,
or in other words, when the heart is overwhelmed by emotions
in connection with the five primary moods of affection for
Krishna or the seven secondary emotions. The eight symptoms that
constitute sattvika-bhava are: (1) stambha (becoming stunned), (2)
sveda (perspiration), (3) romanca (standing of the hairs on end), (4)
svara-bhanga (faltering of the voice), (5) kampa (trembling), vaivarna
(pallor or change of color), (7) asru (tears), and (8) pralaya (loss of
consciousness or fainting).
Satya - truth, reality; demonstrated conclusion.
Saura - a worshiper of Surya, the sun god.
Sautramani-yajna - a particular sacrifice in honor of Indra which is
described in the Yajur Veda. It is said that by performing this yajna,
one obtains a place in the heavenly planets. Although drinking
wine is forbidden for brahmanas, this yajna involves the acceptance
of wine in a manner that does not result in a brahmana's falldown.
Savisesa-vada - the doctrine which acknowledges that the Absolute
Truth is a transcendental personality possessing non-material
form, features, and attributes.
Savisesa-vadi - one who adheres to the doctrine of savisesavada.
Seva - service, attendance on, reverence, devotion to.
Sevaite - priests or servants of a Deity.
Shallow earthen plate - (quoted in chapter 10) Vaishnavas who now
live at Gadigacha in Navadvipa, who look upon the world as a
shallow earthen plate. The shallow earthen plate is a lid for a water
pot. Even if the pot is very large, it can only hold a small quantity of
water. i.e. Nyayaratna is saying although the earth is a vast container,
it was reduced to a shallow lid by the immense scholarship
and authority of the Vaishnavas of Godruma.
Siddha - (1) realized or perfected. (2) liberated souls who reside in
the spiritual world. (3) a liberated soul who accompanies Bhagavan
to the material world to assist in His pastimes, or one who has
attained the perfectional stage of bhakti (prema) in this life, whose
symptoms are described in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (2.1.180):
avijnatakhila klesa sada krishnashrita kriya siddha syu santata prema
saukhyasvada parayana - "One who is always fully immersed in activities
related to Shri Krishna, who is completely unacquainted with
impediments or material distress, and who incessantly tastes the
bliss of prema is called a siddha-bhakta."
Siddhanta - philosophical doctrine or precept; demonstrated conclusion;
established end; admitted truth.
Siddhi - eight mystical perfections attained through yoga (see yogasiddhi).
Siddhi-kami - one who covets mystic powers (see yoga-siddhi).
Siksa - instructions received from a teacher; as one of the limbs of
bhakti, this specifically refers to instructions received from a guru
Siksa-guru - the person from whom one receives instructions on
how to progress on the path of bhajana is known as siksa-guru, or
instructing spiritual master. After hearing instructions from the
sravana-guru, the person from whom one hears about the fundamental
truths of Bhagavan, a desire may arise to engage in bhajana. If
such a desire arises, the person whom one approaches in order to
learn how to perform bhajana is known as a siksa-guru. The sravanaguru
and siksa-guru are usually one and the same person as stated in
the Bhakti-sandarbha, Anuccheda 206 - atha sravana-guru bhajanasiksa-
gurvo prayakam-ekatam-iti tathaivaha.
Siva - a qualitative expansion of Shri Bhagavan (see Glossary of
Siva-ratri - a festival in honor of Siva which is observed with a fast
during the day and night of the fourteenth day of the dark half of
the month of Phalguna (February-March).
Smaranam - rememberance and meditation upon Krishna's names,
forms, qualities, and pastimes. Smaranam should be done in connection
with nama-sankirtana. There are five stages in the process
of smarana known as smarana, dharana, dhyana, dhruvanusmrti, and
samadhi: (1) a little investigation or examination of Shri Hari's names,
forms, and so on is called smarana; (2) to withdraw the mind from
all external objects and fix it in a general way upon the name, form,
etc. of Shri Hari is called dharana; (3) to contemplate the Lord's
names, forms, etc. in a concentrated manner is called dhyana; (4)
when that rememberance proceeds in an uninterrupted manner
like a continuous flow of nectar, it is called dhruvanusmrti, and (5)
that meditation in which the object of one's contemplation is the
only thing manifest in the heart is called samadhi. Smaranam is one
of the nine primary angas of bhakti.
Smarta - an orthodox brahmana. One who rigidly adheres to the
smrti-sastras (in particular, the dharma-sastras or codes of religious
behavior), being overly attached to the external rituals without
comprehending the underlying essence of the sastra. They are distinct
from the Vaishnava smartas and smrti-sastras such as Hari-Bhakti
Smarta-karma - social and religious rites prescribed by the smrtisastras.
Smrti - (1) that which is remembered (2) tradition as distinguished
from sruti, revelation. The body of sacred literature which is remembered
(in contradistinction to sruti, or that which is directly
heard by or revealed to the rsis). These include the six Vedangas,
the dharma-sastras such as Manu-samhita, the Puranas, and the
Sneha - affection. In chapter twenty-one two kinds of sneha are
being described by Babaji Mahasaya. He says that sneha is related
to sakhya-bhava, this does not mean in the intimate sense of relationship.
That kind of sakhya-bhava comes under the category of
sambandha-rupa. Sakhya-bhava in this chapter means the ordinary
type of sakhyam, which comes in the nine items of bhakti that
Prahlada Maharaja mentions in Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Here sakhyam
is in vaidhi-bhakti, and it means to serve Krishna with an ordinary
sense of friendliness (sakhya-bhava), and to know Krishna as a friend
(sakha). Since this comes under the jurisdiction of vaidhi-bhakti,
it is not part of raganuga-bhakti. The other kind of sneha comes in
the category of prema (sneha, mana, pranaya, etc.), and therefore
cannot be performed in raganuga-sadhana, but it can come in
ragatmika-bhakti. It cannot be followed. It can only develop in
prema after vastu-siddhi, when the bhakta has taken birth in the
womb of a vraja-gopi, and so it cannot be practiced in raganugasadhana-
Sraddha - faith. This refers to faith in the statements of the sastras
which is awakened after accumulating pious devotional activities
over many births. Such faith is aroused in the association of saintly
bhaktas and it is the external manifestation of the seed of the creeper
of bhakti. The inner essence of that seed is the conception which is
planted in the heart of the disciple to serve Shri Shri Radha-Krishna in
a particular capacity (see also bhakti-lata-bija).
Sraddha - a ceremony in honor of and for the benefit of deceased
relatives. The forefathers are offered pinda, an oblation of rice and
meal, which endows them with a body suitable to attain pitr-loka,
the planet of the forefathers. There they enjoy a high standard of
Sravana-guru - the person from whom one hears instructions regarding
the fundamental truths of Shri Bhagavan, His energies, the
living entities, and bhakti is known as the sravana-guru.
Sravanam - hearing the transcendental descriptions of Bhagavan's
names, forms, qualities, pastimes, and associates from the mouths
of advanced bhaktas. One of the nine most important angas of
Shri Bhasya - The commentary which Reveals the Transcendental
Beauty and Opulence of the Lord; a commentary on Vedanta-sutra
by Shri Ramanujacarya.
Sruti - (1) that which is heard. (2) revelation, as distinguished from
smrti, tradition; infallible knowledge which was received by Brahma
or by the great sages in the beginning of creation and which descends
in disciplic succession from them; the body of literature
which was directly manifest from the Supreme Lord. This applies
to the original four Vedas (also known as the nigamas) and the
Sthavara - non-moving living entities like trees, creepers, shrubs,
Sthayibhava - one of the five essential ingredients of bhakti-rasa;
the permanent sentiment of love for the Lord in one of the five
primary relationships of tranquility, servitude, friendship, parental
affection, or conjugal love. This dominant emotion of the heart in
one of the five primary relationships is also known as mukhya-rati,
primary attachment. The sthayibhava can also refer to the dominant
sentiment in the seven secondary mellows of laughter, wonder,
heroism, compassion, anger, fear, and disgust. In that case it is
known as gauna-rati, secondary attachment.
Sthula-sarira - the gross material body consisting of physical elements.
Subha-karma - activities producing auspicious results.
Suddha-abhimana - pure egoism; the conception of being a servant
Suddha-bhakta - a pure bhakta; one who performs suddha-bhakti.
Suddha-bhakti - pure devotion; devotion which is unmixed with
fruitive action or monistic knowledge, and which is devoid of all
desires other than the exclusive pleasure of Krishna; this is also known
Suddha-bhava - the pure or genuine state of bhava-bhakti; the genuine
spiritual emotions which manifest at the state of bhava.
Suddha-jiva - the pure spiritual entity in his liberated state free
from material designations.
Suddha-jnana - knowledge of the relationship between Bhagavan,
the jivas, and maya.
Suddha-nama - pure chanting of the holy name. When one is freed
from all offenses and anarthas, the pure holy name descends and
appears on the fully purified and transcendental senses - known
thus as suddha-nama.
Suddhavastha - the pure or liberated state of the jiva.
Sudra - the lowest of the four varnas, or castes, in the varnasrama
system; artisans and laborers.
Sukrti - piety, virtue; pious activity. Sukrti is of two types: nitya,
eternal, and naimittika, temporary. The sukrti by which one obtains
sadhu-sanga and bhakti is nitya-sukrti. It is eternal because it
produces eternal fruit. Bhakta-sanga, or the association of bhaktas,
and bhakti-kriya-sanga, or contact with acts of devotion, are nityasukrti.
These activities are said to be nitya-sukrti and not bhakti
proper when they are performed accidentally or without pure
sraddha. When this type of sukrti acquires strength after many
lifetimes, sraddha develops toward sadhu-sanga and ananya-bhakti.
The sukrti by which one obtains material enjoyment and impersonal
liberation is naimittika-sukrti. It is temporary because it produces
temporary results. Karma, yoga, and jnana are all naimittikasukrti.
Naimittika-sukrti does not have the power to awaken faith
in transcendental objects, such as the Lord's holy name,
mahaprasada, bhakti, and the Vaishnavas.
Sunyavada - the doctrine of nihilism or voidism, which has as its
goal complete annihilation of the self.
Sura - a god, divinity, deity, sage; this specifically refers to the
devas situated in the celestial planets. The brahmanas are known
as bhu-sura, gods on earth, because they represent the Supreme
Svabhava - the true nature of a thing which forms an essential part
of its composition.
Svabhavika-anuraga - the spontaneous attraction that one experiences
toward the Supreme Lord and His bhaktas when one becomes
established in one's pure spiritual nature.
Sva-dharma - (1) one's 'own duty'; the true eternal spiritual function
of the self. (2) in regard to varnasrama-dharma, this refers to
the temporary duties prescribed in accordance with one's social
caste. Thus sva-dharma is used in both the absolute and relative
Svarasiki - in chapter twenty-one is used in the sense of undivided
remembrance of Krishna's lila. When raga has awakened in
the heart of the bhakta, then Krishna's lila automatically manifests
in his heart in a continuous flow, without cessation or interruption.
Such a condition is called svarasiki.
Svarupa-sakti - Shri Bhagavan's divine potency. It is called svarupasakti
because it is situated in His form. This potency is chinmaya, fully
conscious, and thus it is the counterpart and antithesis of matter.
Consequently it is also known as cit-sakti, potency which embodies
the principle of consciousness. Because this potency is intimately
connected with the Lord, being situated in His form, it is further
known as antaranga-sakti, the internal potency. Because it is superior
to His marginal and external potencies both in form and glory,
it is known as para-sakti, the superior potency. Thus, by its qualities,
this potency is known by different names - svarupa-sakti, citsakti,
antaranga-sakti, and para-sakti.
The svarupa-sakti has three divisions: (1) sandhini, the potency
which accommodates the spiritual existence of Krishna and all of
His associates; (2) samvit, the potency which bestows transcendental
knowledge of Him; and (3) hladini, the potency by which
Krishna enjoys transcendental bliss and bestows such bliss upon
His bhaktas (see sandhini, samvit, and hladini).
The supreme entity known as Parabrahma is composed of saccid-
ananda. These features (eternal existence, full-cognizance,
and supreme bliss) can never be separated from each other. Similarly
sandhini, samvit, and hladini are always found together. No
one of these potencies can ever be separated from the other two.
However, they are not always manifest in the same proportion.
When sandhini is prominent in visuddha-sattva, it is known as
svarupa-sakti predominated by sandhini. When samvit is prominent,
it is known as svarupa-sakti predominated by samvit. And
when hladini is prominent, it is known as svarupa-sakti predominated
Svarupa-siddhi - the stage in which a bhakta's svarupa, or internal
spiritual form and identity, becomes manifest. This comes at the
stage of bhava-bhakti.
Svarupata-jada-mukti - liberated from matter in terms of the revelation
of one's svarupa. This refers to svarupa-siddhi, the stage in
which bhava manifests in the bhakta's heart from the heart of one
of the Lord's eternal associates. At this stage one's internal spiritual
identity becomes manifest and the intelligence is freed from
the influence of matter, yet one's relationship with the material
world remains intact due to the presence of the material body.
Tamas - (see tamo -guna).
Tamasika - of the nature of tamo-guna.
Tamo-guna - the quality or nature of tamasika jivas which is characterized
by indolence and ignorance.
Tantras - the verbal root tan means "to expand", so tantra is that
which expands the meaning of the Vedas. A class of Vedic literature
dealing with a variety of spiritual topics and divided into three
branches: the Agamas, Yamala, and principal Tantras; a class of works
teaching magical and mystical formularies, mostly in the form of
dialogues between Siva and Durga. These are said to expound upon
five subjects: (1) the creation, (2) the destruction of the world, (3)
the worship of the gods, (4) the attainment of all objects, especially
of six superhuman faculties, and (5) the four methods of union with
the supreme spirit by meditation.
Tantrika - one who is completely versed in the mystical science of
Tapasya - asceticism; austerity.
Tarkibi - an Islamic term for the conditioned soul.
Tata - the border region between land and water; a shore. A marginal
Tatastha-sakti - the marginal or jiva potency of Shri Bhagavan. Because
the jiva-sakti is included neither within the svarupa-sakti nor
within maya-sakti, it is known as tatastha-sakti, the marginal potency.
The word tata means a shore or bank, like the shoreline of an
ocean; and the verbal root stha means to be situated. The shore is
not part of the ocean, yet it is not part of the land which borders
the ocean. One situated on the shoreline is known as tatastha. He is
situated neither within the ocean, nor on the land.
In his Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Gosvami has described the
tatastha-sakti as follows: "The jiva-sakti is known as tatastha-sakti
for two reasons. First of all it cannot be included within mayasakti
for it is beyond maya-sakti. Secondly, although jiva-sakti is
overcome by ignorance, the defect of being overcome in this way
cannot touch the Paramatma situated in his heart. This is understood
by the following analogy. We see that some portion of the
sun's rays can be covered by shade or clouds, but the sun itself
cannot be covered. Similarly, the individual soul, who is
vibhinnamsa, a separated part of Him, can be covered by maya, but
Krishna Himself can never be covered.
"From this it may be understood that the jiva-sakti is separate
from the svarupa-sakti also for the following reason. Svarupa-sakti
is present in the Paramatma. If the jiva-sakti were included within
the svarupa-sakti, then the defect of the jivas being overcome by
ignorance would be transposed upon the svarupa-sakti situated
within the Paramatma as well, and ultimately upon the Paramatma
Himself. Since that is not the case, it is evident that the jiva-sakti
is not included within svarupa-sakti. Consequently, because the
jiva-sakti is included neither within svarupa-sakti nor within mayasakti,
it is known as tatastha-sakti."
Tatastha-vikrama - see tatastha-sakti.
Tatkalika - activities which are relative to a particular period of time.
Tattva - truth, reality, philosophical principle; the essence or substance
Tattvika-sraddha - real faith; faith which is based on the understanding
of tattva and which prompts one to dedicate one's entire
being to attain the Supreme Lord.
Thakura - a term addressing Shri Bhagavan and the Deity. Other
great personalities such as Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura are sometimes
so called, implying that they have become saksad-dharitva,
qualitatively as good as God through their full dedication to
Tilaka - clay markings worn on the forehead and other parts of the
body by Vaishnavas, signifying their devotion to Lord Krishna or Vishnu,
and consecrating the body as the Lord's temple.
Tridanda - a staff which is carried by the Vaishnava sannyasis. It
consists of three rods symbolizing engagement of body, mind, and
words in the service of the Lord. These three rods may also signify
the eternal existence of the servitor (the bhakta), the object of
service (Bhagavan), and service, thus distinguishing Vaishnava
sannyasa from the mayavada ekadanda sannyasa.
Tulasi - a sacred plant whose leaves and blossoms are used by
Vaishnavas in the worship of Lord Krishna; a partial expansion of
Tulasi-mala - a strand of wooden beads made of the tulasi plant,
used like a rosary by Vaishnavas for counting their chanting of
harinama; a necklace of small tulasi beads, known as kanthi-mala,
worn on the neck by Vaishnavas to indicate their devotion to Shri
Krishna and acceptance of diksa.
Tyagi - a renunciate or ascetic.
Uddipana-vibhava - an aspect of vibhava which refers to those things
which stimulate rememberance of Shri Krishna, such as His dress and
ornaments, the spring season, the bank of the Yamuna, forest groves,
cows, peacocks, and so on. Vibhava is one of the five essential ingredients
of rasa (see vibhava).
Udita-viveka - one whose spiritual discrimination has been awakened;
the spiritually awake.
Upacara - a figurative expression; assignment of meaning, quality,
or appellation to something, metaphor.
Upakarana - (1) ingredient, constituting material, instrument. (2)
the upakaranas of rasa are the ingredients which combine to produce
rasa; namely, sthayibhava, vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava, and
vyabhicari-bhava. (3) upakarana may also refer to the paraphernalia
which is offered to the Deity.
Upanayana - a ceremony in which a guru initiates a boy into one of
the three twice-born classes by investing the boy with the sacred
thread, and teaching him the Brahma-gayatri mantra, whereupon
he becomes eligible to study the Vedas under his guru. This is one of
the Vedic samskaras, or purificatory ceremonies.
Upasana - spiritual practices, especially worship of the Deity.
Upasana literally means 'to sit near'. Thus upasana refers to all
those activities by which one approaches the Lord in order to
Urddhva-pundra-tilaka - the vertical clay markings of the Vaishnavas
worn on the forehead and other parts of the body to symbolize their
devotion to Lord Krishna or Vishnu.
Uttama-bhakta - the topmost practitioner of bhakti.
Uttara-mimamsa - the philosophy established by Vyasadeva dealing
with the latter division of the Vedas (see Vyasa in the Glossary
of Names). After thorough analysis of the Upanisads, which comprise
the latter portion of the Vedas, and the smrti-sastras which
are supplements to the Upanisads, Vyasadeva summarized the philosophical
conclusions of those treatises in his Brahma-sutra. This
Brahma-sutra, or Vedanta-sutra, is also known as vedanta-darsana or
Like the other philosophical systems, vedanta-darsana accepts
certain fundamental principles. The principles of the vedantadarsana
are not the imagination of Vyasadeva, but are established
on the basis of the apauruseya-veda-sastras, which are understood
to have been spoken directly by Shri Bhagavan. The statements of
Bhagavan are by definition completely free from the defects of
mistakes, illusion, cheating, and imperfect senses. On the other
hand, the fundamental principles which are accepted in the other
systems are products of their authors' imaginations. The other
systems are based on man-made sastras, composed by greatly learned
sages. As a result they are subject to the defects of human limitation.
The vedanta-darsana accepts brahma as the supreme fundamental
truth. What is the nature of that brahma? The first sutra of vedantadarsana
states: athato brahma-jijnasa - "Now, therefore, inquiry
should be made into brahma." The entire vedanta-darsana is presented
in order to answer this inquiry. In the course of analyzing
what brahma is, one also becomes acquainted with the truths of the
jivas, the creation, liberation, and other such topics. As this is a vast
subject matter, only a brief introduction has been given here.
Vaidha-dharma - duties which have been prescribed by the Vedas or
their corollary sastras.
Vaidhi-bhakti - devotion prompted by the regulations of sastra.
When sadhana-bhakti is not inspired by intense longing, but is instigated
instead by the discipline of the sastra, it is called vaidhi-bhakti.
Vaidhi-prakrti - the nature of the sadhaka which impels him to
follow the rules and regulations of sastra. As long as the intelligence
is under the control of maya, human nature must be regulated
by rules and prohibitions. Thus, in this condition the vaidhi
nature will certainly be in effect.
Vaidhi-pravrtti - the proclivity to follow the religious codes of sastra.
Vairagya - detachment or indifference to this world; a spiritual
discipline involving the acceptance of voluntary austerities to
achieve detachment from the sense objects.
Vaisesika - a later division of the nyaya school of philosophy, also
known as vaisesika-darsana. It was founded by Kanada Rsi and
differs from the nyaya system of Gautama (see Kanada in the Glossary
of Names). Kanada accepted six principles: (1) dravya (elementary
substances which are nine in number - earth, water,
fire, air, ether, time, space, the soul, and the mind), (2) guna (characteristics
of all created things such as form, taste, smell, sound,
and tangibility), (3) karma (activity), (4) samanya (universality;
the connection of different objects by common properties), (5)
visesa (individuality; the essential difference between objects),
and (6) samavaya (inseparable concomitance; the relation which
exists between a substance and its qualities, between a whole and
its parts, or between a species and its individuals).
According to the vaisesika-darsana the jivas are innumerable.
The merit or demerit attaching to a man's conduct in one state of
existence and the corresponding reward or punishment which he
receives in another is called adrsta (that which is beyond the
reach of consciousness or observation). Due to the force of this
unforseen accumulated karma, the jiva falls into the cycle of creation
and undergoes birth, death, happiness, and distress. When
the jiva obtains philosophical knowledge of the six principles, his
adrsta is destroyed and he can attain liberation from the bondage
of material existence. The vaisesikas define mukti as final release
from material misery. There is no direct mention of Isvara in the
aisesika-darsana of Kanada.
Vaisesika-jnana - knowledge of worldly phenomena; classification
of such phenomena into various categories such as dravya (objects),
guna (qualities) and so on.
Vaishnava - literally means one whose nature is 'of Vishnu' in other
words, one in whose heart and mind only Vishnu or Krishna resides. A
bhakta of Shri Krishna or Vishnu.
Vaishnava-dharma - the constitutional function of the soul which
has as its goal the attainment of love for Krishna. This is also known
as jaiva-dharma, the fundamental nature of living beings, and nityadharma,
the eternal function of the soul.
Vaisya - the third of the four varnas or castes in the varnasrama
system; agriculturalists and businessmen.
Vanaprastha - the third asrama or stage of life in the varnasrama
system; retired life which entails freedom from family responsibilities
and the acceptance of spiritual vows.
Vandanam - principally refers to the offering of prayers or the recitation
of Sanskrit slokas composed by suddha-bhaktas. Akrura attained
perfection through vandana, offering prayers.
Vandanam may also be divided into another three categories:
(1) kayika, by the body; (2) vacika, by speech; and (3) manasika, by
the mind. Although vandanam is actually included within arcana
(worship), it has been listed as an independent anga to show its
importance. To offer obeisance with one hand, to offer obeisance
directly facing the Deity, behind the Deity, or with one's right
side facing the Deity are all considered to be offenses. Vandanam
is one of the nine primary angas of bhakti.
Vantasi - one who eats his own vomit. This refers to one who
abandons household life and formally enters the renounced order,
but who again establishes connection with women.
Varna - one of the four social orders, castes - priest, administrator,
businessman, or laborer - in which one carries out corresponding
socio-religious duties in the system known as varnasrama.
Varnasrama-dharma - the Vedic social system, which organizes
society into four occupational divisions and four stages of life
(varnas and asramas).
Vastava-vastu - any really existing or abiding substance; that which
is grounded in transcendence; Bhagavan, His atomic parts (the jivas),
and His potency (maya).
Vastu - an object, thing, or substance; that which has existence.
Vastu-siddhi - the stage in which the vastu, or substantive entity
known as the jiva is fully liberated from matter. After giving up the
material body, the living entity who has already attained svarupasiddhi
enters into Shri Krishna's manifest lila, where he or she receives
the association of Krishna and His eternal associates for the
first time. There one receives further training from His eternal
associates. When one becomes established in the mood of their
prema and one's eternal service to Krishna, one gives up all connection
with this world and enters His spiritual abode. At this point
the jiva becomes situated in his pure identity as a vastu, known as
Vastuta-jada-mukti - liberated in terms of one's constitutional
make-up as a vastu, or conscious living entity; permanent release
from the encasement of the gross and subtle bodies which cover
the atma and facilitate the jiva's interaction with the material
energy; complete freedom from all contact with matter and the
material world. This refers to vastu-siddhi.
Vatsalya - love or attachment for Shri Krishna expressed in the mood
of a parent.
Vedanta - the end of Vedic knowledge. The Upanisads are the
latter portion of the Vedas, and the Vedanta-sutra summarizes the
philosophy of the Upanisads in concise statements. Therefore,
the word Vedanta especially refers to the Vedanta-sutra (see uttaramimamsa).
Shrimad-Bhagavatam is considered to be the natural commentary
on Vedanta-sutra by the same author, Vyasadeva. Therefore,
in the opinion of the Vaishnavas, Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the
culmination or ripened fruit of the tree of all Vedic literature.
Vibhava - the causes for tasting bhakti-rasa. These are of two types:
(1) alambana, the support (this refers to Krishna and His bhaktas
who possess in their hearts spiritual love known as rati which can
be transformed into rasa by combination with the other four ingredients
of rasa); and (2) uddipana, the stimulus (objects conGL
O S S A R Y OF TE R M S ???941
nected to Krishna which arouse one's spiritual love for Him and
cause that love to be transformed into rasa).
Vibhinnamsa - Shri Bhagavan's separated portions; the living entities.
Viddha-Vaishnava-dharma - religious practices which go by the name
of Vaishnava dharma but which are adulterated with karma and jnana.
Vidhi - rule, law, religious injunction or regulation.
Vidhi-marga - the path of bhakti which follows rules and regulations.
Vidya - knowledge, learning, science, philosophy.
Vidyadhara - a class of supernatural beings who possess magical
powers and knowledge of various heavenly arts and sciences, especially
singing and dancing.
Vidyadhari - females of the above class of supernatural beings.
Vigraha - (1) individual form, shape, or embodiment. (2) the Deity
form of Krishna.
Vijnana - realized knowlege; knowledge distinguishing one thing
from another; science.
Vikarma - prohibited acts; actions against the codes of sastra.
Vikasita-cetana - budding consciousness. This refers to human
beings who have an increased sense of morality and have also
awakened faith in God. It also refers to those who have developed
a taste for the practice of sadhana-bhakti in accordance with the
directions of sastra.
Vilasa - (1) pastimes, especially the playful amorous pastimes of
Shri Shri Radha-Krishna in Vraja. (2) a particular type of manifestation
of the Lord. That form which, although manifesting different
bodily features for the purpose of accomplishing particular
pastimes, is almost identical with its original root form, is known
Vina - a stringed musical instrument of melodious sound, the
favorite instrument of Narada Muni and of various other celestial
Vipaksa-vaisistya - is a specific incident that is either seen (drsta)
or is inferred (anumati) about relating with vipaksa (an opposing
Visaya - an object of the senses, anything perceptible by the senses;
any object of affection, concern, or attention; sensual enjoyment.
Visaya-jnana - knowledge of material objects, knowledge acquired
through the senses.
Visayalambana - the object of the transcendental senses on which
there is alambana (dependence) for the advancement of prema. This
is an aspect of vibhava, which is one of the five essential ingredients
of rasa (see vibhava).
Visayi - a materialistic person, a sensualist.
Visesa-guna - special characteristic quality. The special characteristic
quality of a truly abiding entity, or vastava-vastu, is its svabhava.
Vishnu - the Supreme Lord of the cosmos (see Glossary of Names).
Vishnu-maya - Shri Bhagavan's external potency, also known as Durga.
Visrambha - lit. vigita means 'completely devoid of' and srambha
means 'awarness of his majesty or greatness' i.e. complete intimacy
without feelings of inferiority or worship. (1) loosening, absence of
restraint, confidence, trust, intimacy, love. (2) In his Locana -rocani
commentary on Ujjvala-nilamani (14.108) Jiva Gosvami has defined
visrambha as the feeling of complete identification with the beloved
such that one's identity is not separate from that of the beloved.
In his Ananda-candrika commentary on the same sloka,
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has defined visrambha as deep faith,
devoid of formality. Visrambha impels one to think that one's life,
mind, intelligence, body, and possessions are one in all respects
with the life, mind, intelligence, and body of the beloved.
Visrambha-guru-seva - service to guru which is imbued with deep
faith and intimacy (see visrambha). Service devoid of formality.
Complete absence of any feeling of separateness from the guru.
This type of service is possible only in an advanced stage.
Visuddha - completely pure; beyond the influence of material nature.
Visuddha-sattva - the state of unalloyed goodness; the quality of
existence which is beyond the influence of material nature. Shridhara
Svami has defined visuddha-sattva in his commentary on a sloka
from the Vishnu Purana (1.2.69): tad evam tasyas try-atmakatve siddhe
yena svaprakasata-laksanena tad-vrtti-visesena svarupam va svarupa
sakti-visistam vavirbhavati, tad-visuddha-sattvam tac-canya-nirapeksas
tat-prakasa iti jnapam jnana-vrttikatvat samvid eva, asya mayaya
sparsabhavat visuddhatvam - "The Lord's cit-sakti is known as svaprakasa.
The term sva-prakasa means that it reveals itself and illuminates
others also. Just as when the sun rises it makes itself known
and illuminates other objects, so when cit-sakti arises in the heart,
one can then understand the nature of cit-sakti and come to know
oneself according to one's true spiritual identity.
"Because the cit-sakti is sva-prakasa, its vrtti is also sva-prakasa.
The word vrtti literally means function, which refers to the active
agency through which the cit-sakti operates. The cit-sakti is composed
of hladini, sandhini, and samvit. The particular svaprakasavrtti
of this three-fold cit-sakti which reveals Bhagavan, His form,
and the transformations of His cit-sakti, such as His associates
and dhama, is known as visuddha-sattva. In other words, visuddhasattva
is the self-revealing agency of the cit-sakti, through which
the Bhagavan and His paraphernalia are revealed to the bhaktas.
Because it has no contact with the external energy, it is known as
Visvasa - belief, trust, faith, confidence.
Viveka - discrimination; conscience; judgment; spiritual knowledge.
Viveki - one who discriminates; one whose spiritual consciousness
Vraja-rasa - the mood of ecstatic love for Krishna which inundates
the hearts of Krishna's eternal associates in Vraja (see rasa).
Vyabhicari-bhava - one of the five essential ingredients of rasa;
thirty-three internal spiritual emotions which emerge from the
nectarean ocean of sthayibhava, cause it to swell, and then merge
back into that ocean. These include emotions like despondency,
jubilation, fear, anxiety, and concealment of emotions. They are
of two kinds: dependent (paratantra) and independent (svatantra).
Dependent emotions are those that are under the control of either
mukhya or gauna-rati. Mukhya dependent emotions are either
superior (vara) or inferior (avara). The superior mukhya dependent
emotions are those that (a) arise in connection with rati,
and also (b) nourish the rati. Of these, the direct (saksat) superior
mukhya emotions nourish mukhya-rati, and the separated
(vyavahita) superior mukhya emotions nourish gauna-rati.
The inferior (avara) mukhya dependent emotions are those that
arise in connection with rati, but do not nourish either the mukhya
or the gauna-rati.
The independent vyabhicari-bhavas (svatantra), are those that
are not controlled either by the mukhya or gauna-rati. These are
divided into the following three categories:
(1) Rati-sunya: emotions that arise in people who do not have
(2) Raty-anusparsana: emotions that do not have the quality of
krishna-rati, but which contact rati later, due to some particular
(3) Rati-gandhi: emotions that manifest a trace of rati, even
though they are independent.
Vyabhicari-bhavabhasa - refers to vyabhicari-bhavas that are observed
in improper or inappropriate persons or things. There are
two types: antagonistic (pratikulya) and improper (anaucitya).
Antagonistic vyabhicari-bhavas are emotions that arise in people
who are hostile to Shri Krishna, and who have no rati. There are two
types of improper abhasa: non-existence (asatyatva) and incapability
(ayogyatva). When a bhakta experiences some emotion toward
Krishna and projects that feeling upon non-moving living
entities or animals as if they were experiencing that emotion, the
abhasa is said to exhibit non-existence in the case of the nonmoving
entities and incapability in the case of animals. However,
these distinctions do not apply to Krishna's eternal associates in
Vraja, who serve Him in species such as trees, plants, and animals.
Vyakula - agitated and restless
Vyavahara - behavior, conduct, social customs, practice.
Vyavaharika - routine, common, ordinary; relating to practical life
and social customs.
Yaga - offering oblations; any ceremony in which offerings or oblations
Yajna - a sacrifice in which a deity is propitiated by the chanting of
prayers and mantras and the offering of ghee into the sacred fire.
Yati - an ascetic; one who has restrained his passions and abandoned
his involvement with material civilization.
Yavana - a barbarian, a Muslim, i.e. one who does not follow
suddhacara, (pure lifestyle), one who eats flesh, takes intoxicants
and does other degraded activities. This term sometimes refers to
any foreigner or to those excluded from varnasrama society.
Yoga - (1) union, meeting, connection, combination. (2) a spiritual
discipline aiming at establishing one's connection with the Supreme.
There are many different branches of yoga such as karma-yoga, jnanayoga,
and bhakti-yoga. Unless specified as such, the word yoga usually
refers to the astanga-yoga system of Patanjali (see astanga-yoga).
Yogi - one who practices the yoga system with the goal of realization
of the Paramatma or of merging into the Lord's personal body.
Yuga - an age of the world. Four ages are described in the Vedas:
Krta or Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali. The duration of each yuga
is said to be respectively 1,728,000; 1,296,000; 864,000; and 432,000
years. The descending numbers represent a corresponding physical
and moral deterioration of mankind in each age. The four
yugas comprise an aggregate of 4,320,000 years and constitute a
maha-yuga, or great yuga.
Yugala - a couple or pair.
Yugala-kisora - the divine youthful couple, Shri Shri Radha-Krishna.
Yukta-vairagya - appropriate renunciation; renunciation which is
suitable for entrance into bhakti. This is defined in Bhakti-rasamrtasindhu
(1.2.255): "When one is detached from material sense enjoyment,
but accepts in appropriate proportion objects which are favorable
to one's bhakti, and shows special inclination toward things
which are directly related to Krishna, such as mahaprasada, his renunciation
is known as yukta-vairagya." (See phalgu-vairagya with which
this is contrasted.)
Zamindar - a landowner, landlord (responsible for property taxes
to the government).