- abhyasayoga: Yoga, or union with God, through practice.
- acharya: Religious teacher.
- adharma: Unrighteousness; the opposite of dharma.
- Adhyatma Ramayana: A book dealing with
the life of Rama and harmonizing
the ideals of jnana and bhakti.
- advaita: Non-duality; a school of the Vedanta philosophy,
oneness of God, soul, and universe.
- Advaita Goswami: An intimate companion of Sri Chaitanya.
- adyasakti: The Primal Energy; an epithet of the Divine
- agamani: A class of songs invokingDurga, the Divine Mother.
- Ahalya: The wife of the sage Gautama. Because of her
misconduct she was
turned into a stone by the curse of her husband. The sage, however,
said that the touch of Rama's feet would restore her human form.
- ahamkara: Ego or "I-consciousness". See
four inner organs.
- ajna: The sixth centre in the Sushumna. See
- ajnana: Ignorance, individual or cosmic, which is
responsible for the nonperception of Reality.
- akasa: Ether or space; the first of the five elements
evolved from Brahman.
It is the subtlest form of matter, into which all the elements are
- Akbar: The great Mogul Emperor of India (A.D. 1542-1605).
- akshara: Unchanging; also a name of Brahman.
- Alekh: (Lit., the Incomprehensible One)
A name of God.
- Amrita: Immortality.
- anahata: The fourth centre in the Sushumna. See
- Anahata Sabda: Another name for Om.
- ananda: Bliss.
- anandamayakosha: The sheath of bliss. See
- Anandamayi: (Lit., Full of Bliss) An
epithet of the Divine Mother.
- anna: A small Indian coin, one sixteenth of a rupee.
- annamayakosha: The gross physical sheath. See
- Annapurna: A name of the Divine Mother as the Giver of Food.
- antaranga: Belonging to the inner circle; generally used
with reference to
an intimate disciple.
- arati: Worship of the Deity accompanied by the waving of
- Arjuna: A hero of the Mahabharata and the friend of
Krishna. See Pandavas.
- artha: Wealth, one of the four ends of human pursuit. See
- asana: Seat.
- asat: Unreal.
- ashtami: The eighth day of either lunar fortnight.
- Ashtavakra Samhita: A standard book on
- asrama: Hermitage; also any one of the four stages of life:
student stage, the married house-holder stage, the stage of retirement
and contemplation, and the stage of religious mendicancy.
- Assam: A province in the northeast corner of India.
- asti: Is, or being.
- asura: Demon.
- aswattha: The peepal-tree.
- Aswin: The sixth month in the Hindu calendar, falling in
the autumn season.
- Atma: Self, same as Atman.
- Atman: Self or Soul; denotes also the Supreme Soul, which,
the Advaita Vedanta, is one with the individual soul.
- Atmarama: Satisfied in the Self.
- Aum: Same as Om.
- Avadhuta: A holy man of great renunciation mentioned in the
- Avatar: Incarnation of God.
- avidya: Ignorance, cosmic or individual, which is
responsible tor the nonperception of Reality.
- avidyamaya: Maya, or illusion causing duality, has two
avidyamaya and vidyamaya. Avidyamaya, or the "maya of ignorance",
consisting of anger, passion, and so on, entangles one in worldliness.
Vidyamaya, or the "maya of knowledge", consisting of kindness, purity,
unselfishness, and so on, leads one to liberation. Both belong to the
relative world. See maya.
- avidyasakti: The power of ignorance.
- Ayodhya: The capital of Rama's kingdom in northern India;
the modern Oudh.
- baba: The Bengali word for father.
- babaji: A name by which holy men of the Vaishnava sect are
- babla: A tree, the Indian acacia.
- babu: Well-to-do gentleman; also equivalent to Mr. or Esq.
- Balai: Pet name of Balarama, Sri Krishna's brother.
- Balarama: Sri Krishna's elder brother.
- Banga: Bengal.
- Bankuvihari: A name of Sri Krishna.
- Baul: (Lit., God-intoxicated devotee)
Mendicant of a Vaishnava sect.
- bel: A tree whose leaves are sacred to Siva; also the fruit
of the same tree.
- Bhagavad Gita: The well-known Hindu
- Bhagavan: (Lit., One endowed with the
six attributes, viz. infinite
treasures, strength, glory, splendour knowledge, and renunciation) An
epithet of the Godhead; also the Personal God of the devotee.
- Bhagavata: A sacred book of the Hindus,
especially of the Vaishnavas
dealing with the life of Sri Krishna.
- Bhagavati: The Divine Mother.
- bhairava: An aspirant of the Tantrik
sect; also denotes the God Siva, especially one of His eight frightful
- bhairavi: A nun of the Tantrik sect.
- bhajan: Religious music.
- bhajanananda: The bliss derived from the worship of God.
- bhakta: A follower of the path of
bhakti, divine love; a worshipper of the Personal God.
- bhakti: Love of God; single-minded devotion to one's Chosen
- bhaktiyoga: The path of devotion, followed by dualistic
- Bharadvaja: A sage mentioned in the Purana.
- Bharata: A name of Arjuna; also a name of India.
- Bhaskarananda: A saint contemporary with Sri Ramakrishna.
- bhava: Existence; feeling; emotion; ecstasy; samadhi; also
denotes any one
of the five attitudes that a dualistic worshipper assumes toward God.
first of these attitudes is that of peace; assuming the other four, the
devotee regards God as the Master, Child, Friend, or Beloved.
- bhavamukha: An exalted state of spiritual experience, in
aspirant keeps his mind on the border line between the Absolute and the
Relative. From this position he can contemplate the ineffable and
attributeless Brahman and also participate in the activities of the
world, seeing in it the manifestation of God alone.
- bhava samadhi: Ecstasy in which the devotee retains his ego
communion with the Personal God.
- Bhavatarini: (Lit., the Saviour of the
Universe) A name of the Divine Mother.
- bheda: Difference.
- Bhil: A savage tribe of India.
- Bhishma: One of the great heroes of the war of Kurukshetra,
- bhoga: Enjoyment.
- Bibhishana: A brother of Ravana, the monster-king of
Ceylon, whom he
succeeded; but, unlike him, a faithful devotee of Rama.
- Bodha: Consciousness; Absolute Knowledge.
- Bodh-Gaya: A place near Gaya, where Buddha attained
- Brahma: The name by which the Brahmos invoke God.
- Brahma: The Creator God; the First Person of the Hindu
other two being Vishnu and Siva.
- brahmachari: A religious student devoted to the practice of
discipline; a celibate belonging to the first stage of life. See
four stages of life.
- brahmacharya: The first of the four stages of life: the
life of an
unmarried student. See four stages of life.
- Brahmajnana: The Knowledge of Brahman.
- Brahmajnani: A knower of Brahman.
Sri Ramakrishna used the term "modern Brahmajnanis" to denote the
members of the Brahmo Samaj.
- Brahmamayi: (Lit., the Embodiment of
Brahman) A name of the Divine Mother.
- Brahman: The Absolute; the Supreme Reality of the Vedanta
- Brahmananda: The bliss of communion with Brahman.
- Brahmanda: (Lit., the egg of Brahma) The
- Brahmani: The Consort of Brahma.
- Brahmani: (Lit., brahmin woman) The
brahmin woman who taught Sri
Ramakrishna the Vaishnava and Tantra disciplines, also known as the
- brahmara: The black bee.
- brahmarshi: A rishi or holy man endowed with the Knowledge
- brahmin: The highest caste in Hindu society.
- Brahmo: Member of the Brahmo Samaj.
- Brahmo Sabha: The meeting of the Brahmos.
- Brahmo Samaj: A theistic organization of India, founded by
Raja Rammohan Roy.
- Braja: Same as Vrindavan.
- Brinde: One of the gopis; also the name of a maidservant at
the Dakshineswar temple garden.
- Buddha: (Lit., one who is enlightened)
The founder of Buddhism.
- Buddha-Gaya: Same as Bodh-Gaya.
- buddhi: The intelligence or discriminating faculty. See
four inner organs.
- Captain: Colonel Viswanath Upadhyaya of Nepal, the Resident
Nepalese Government in Calcutta, and a devotee of Sri Ramakrishna. The
Master addressed Viswanath as "Captain".
- causal body: One of the three bodies or seats of the soul,
the other two
being the gross body and the subtle body. It is identical with deep
- chaddar: An upper garment.
- Chaitanya: Spiritual Consciousness; also the name of a
prophet born in
A.D. 1485, who lived at Navadvip, Bengal, and emphasized the path of
divine love for the realization of God; he is also known as Gauranga,
Gaur, Gora, or Nimai.
- Chaitanyalila: A play by Girish Chandra Ghosh depicting the
life of Sri Chaitanya.
- Chaitra: The last month in the Hindu calendar, falling in
the spring season.
- chakka: A vegetable curry.
- chakora: A species of bird.
- chakra: Any one of the six centres, or lotuses, in the
which the Kundalini rises. See Kundalini.
- chamara: A fan made of a yak tail, used in the temple
- chanabara: A Bengali sweetmeat made of cheese, first fried
in butter and
then soaked in syrup.
- chandala: An untouchable.
- Chandi: A sacred book of the Hindus,
in which the Divine Mother is described as the Ultimate Reality.
- Chandidas: The name of a Vaishnava saint.
- chandni: An open portico; the word is used in the text to
denote the open
portico at the Dakshineswar temple, with steps leading to the Ganges.
- Chandravali: One of the gopis of Vrindavan.
- charanamrita: The water in which the image of the Deity is
bathed; it is
considered very sacred.
- chatak: A species of bird.
- chetana samadhi: Communion with God in which the devotee
"I-consciousness" and is aware of his relationship with God.
- Chidakasa: The Akasa, or Space, of Chit, Absolute
- Chidananda: The bliss of God-Consciousness.
- Chidatma: The soul as embodiment of Intelligence and
- Chinmaya: The embodiment of Spirit.
- Chintamani: A mythical gem which has the power to grant its
whatever he may wish for; also a name of God.
- Chit: Consciousness.
- Chitsakti: The Supreme Spirit as Power.
- chitta: The mind-stuff. See four inner
- Chosen Ideal: See Ishta.
- daitya: Demon.
- dal: Lentils; also a soup made from lentils.
- Damodara: A name of Krishna.
- dana: Ghost.
- dandi: A sect of sannayasis who always carry a staff.
- dargah: Burial place of a Mussalman saint, considered
- darsanas, the six: The six systems of orthodox Hindu
the Samkhya of Kapila, the Yoga of Patanjali, the Vaiseshika of Kanada,
the Nyaya of Gautama, the Purva Mimamsa of Jaimini, and the Vedanta or
Uttara Mimamsa of Vyasa.
- Dasahara: A Hindu festival.
- Dasaratha: The father of Rama.
- Dasarathi: A mystic poet of Bengal.
- dasya: One of the five attitudes assumed by the dualistic
toward his Chosen Ideal: the attitude of a servant toward his master.
- Dattatreya: The name of a great Hindu saint.
- daya: Compassion.
- Dayamaya: The Compassionate One.
- Dayananda: The founder of the Arya Samaj (A.D. 1824-1883).
- deva: (Lit., shining one) A god.
- Devaki: The mother of Sri Krishna.
- devarshi: A godly person endowed with Supreme Knowledge; an
generally applied to Narada.
- devata: Deity or god.
- Devendra(nath) Tagore: A religious leader of Sri
father of Rabindranath Tagore.
- devotee: The word is generally used in the text to denote
one devoted to
God, a worshipper of the Personal God, or a follower of the path of
love. A devotee of Sri Ramakrishna is one who is devoted to Sri
Ramakrishna and follows his teachings. The word "disciple", when used
connexion with the Master, refers to one who had been initiated into
spiritual life by Sri Ramakrishna and who regarded Sri Ramakrishna as
- dharma: Righteousness, one of the four ends of human
generally translated as "religion", it
signifies rather the inner principle of
religion. See four fruits. The word is
also loosely used to mean "duty".
- dhoti: A man's wearing-cloth.
- Dhruva: A saint in Hindu mythology.
- Dhruva Ghat: A bathing-place on the Jamuna river at
- Dolayatra: The Hindu spring festival associated with Sri
- dome: One of the lowest castes among the Hindus.
- Draupadi: The wife of the five Pandava brothers.
- Drona: One of the great military teachers in the Mahabharata.
- Dulali: One of the pet names of Radha.
- Durga: A name of the Divine Mother.
- Durga Puja: The worship of Durga.
- durva grass: Common grass, used in worship.
- Durvasa: A sage with a very angry disposition, described in
- Duryodhana: One of the heroes of the Mahabharata,
the chief rival of the
- Dvaita: The philosophy of Dualism.
- Dwapara: The third of the four yugas or world cycles. See
- Dwaraka: The capital of Krishna's kingdom, situated in
one of the four principal holy places of India, the other three being
Kedarnath, Puri, and Rameswar.
- ego of Knowledge (of Devotion): The ego purified and
illumined by the
Knowledge (or Love) of God. Some souls, after realizing their oneness
with Brahman in samadhi, come down to the plane of relative
consciousness. In this state they retain a very faint feeling of ego so
they may teach spiritual knowledge to others. This ego, called by Sri
Ramakrishna the "ego of Knowledge", does not altogether efface their
knowledge of oneness with Brahman even in the relative state of
consciousness. The bhakta, the lover of God, coming down to the
plane after having attained samadhi, retains the "I-consciousness" by
which he feels himself to be a lover, a child, or a servant of God. Sri
Ramakrishna called this the "devotee ego", the "child ego", or the
- eight fetters: Namely, hatred, shame, lineage, pride of
good conduct, fear,
secretiveness, caste, and grief.
- eight siddhis or occult powers: Namely, the ability to make
oneself small as
an atom, light as air, etc.
- ekadasi: The eleventh day after the full or new moon, which
spends in full or partial fasting, prayer, and worship.
- ektara: A musical instrument with one string.
- "Englishman": A term often used by Sri Ramakrishna in
referring to men
educated in English schools or influenced by European ideas.
- esraj: A stringed musical instrument.
- ether: Akasa or all-pervading space.
- fakir: Beggar; often a religious, mendicant.
- five cosmic principles: Namely, ether (akasa), air (vayu),
water (ap), and earth (kshiti).
- five vital forces or pranas: Namely, prana, apana, samana,
udana. These five names denote the five functions of the vital force,
as breathing, digesting, evacuating, etc.
- four fruits: The four ends of human pursuit, namely, dharma
(righteousness), artha (wealth), kama (fulfilment of desire), and
- four inner organs: The four inner organs of perception,
(mind), buddhi (the discriminating faculty), chitta (mind-stuff), and
- four stages of life: Namely, brahmacharya (life of
garhasthya (life of married householder), vanaprastha (life of retired
householder), and sannyas (life of monk).
- gandharva: A class of demigods who are the musicians of
- Ganesa: The god with the elephant's head; the god of
success, the son of Siva.
- Ganga: The Ganges.
- Gangasagar: The mouth of the Ganges at the Bay of Bengal,
sacred place by the Hindus.
- ganja: Indian hemp.
- garden house: A rich man's country house set in a garden.
- garhasthya: The second of the four stages of life: the life
of a married
householder. See four stages of life.
- Gaur: Short for Gauranga.
- Gauranga: A name of Sri Chaitanya.
- Gauri: (Lit., of fair complexion) A name
of the Divine Mother; also
the name or a pundit devoted to Sri Ramakrishna.
- Gaya: A sacred place in northern India.
- Gayatri: A sacred verse of the Vedas recited daily by
Hindus of the three
upper castes after they have been invested with the sacred thread; also
the presiding deity of the Gayatri.
- gerrua: (Lit., ochre) The ochre cloth of
- ghat: Bathing-place on a lake or river.
- ghee: Butter clarified by boiling.
- Ghoshpara: A Vaishnava sect, the members of which generally
in questionable religious practices.
- Giri: One of the ten denominations of monks belonging to
the school of Sankara.
- Girirani: (Lit., the Queen of the
Mountain) Consort of King
Himalaya and mother of Uma.
- Gita Same as the Bhagavad Gita.
- golakdham: A game in which the player tries to get to
passing through different planes; on each false step he falls into a
- Goloka: The Celestial Abode of Vishnu.
- Gopala: The Baby Krishna.
- gopas: The cowherd boys of Vrindavan, playmates of Sri
- gopis: The milkmaids of Vrindavan, companions and devotees
of Sri Krishna.
- Gora: A name of Sri Chaitanya.
- goswami: Vaishnava priest.
- Govardhan: A hill near Vrindavan, which Sri Krishna lifted
finger to protect the villagers from a deluge of rain.
- Govinda(ji): A name of Sri Krishna.
- gram: A kind of bean.
- Great Cause: The Ultimate Reality.
- Guhaka: An untouchable who was a friend of Rama.
- guna: According to the Samkhya philosophy, Prakriti
contrast with Purusha (soul), consists of three gunas (qualities or
known as sattva, rajas, and tamas. Tamas stands for inertia or
rajas for activity or restlessness, and sattva for balance or wisdom.
- guru(deva): Spiritual teacher.
- Gurumaharaj: A respectful way of referring to the guru.
- Haladhari: A priest in the temple garden at Dakshineswar
and a cousin
of Sri Ramakrishna.
- Haldarpukur: A small lake at Kamarpukur.
- halua: A pudding made of farina.
- Hanuman: The great monkey devotee of Rama, mentioned in the
- Hara: A name of Siva.
- Hardwar: A sacred place on the bank of the Ganges at the
foot of the Himalayas.
- Hari: God; a name of Vishnu, the Ideal Deity of the
- Haridas: A disciple of Sri Chaitanya.
- Hari Om: Sacred words by which God is often invoked.
- hathayoga: A school of yoga that aims chiefly at physical
health and wellbeing.
- hathayogi: A student of hathayoga.
- havishya: Food consisting of boiled rice, butter, and milk,
and considered very holy.
- Hazra: A devotee who lived at the Dakshineswar temple
was of a perverse disposition. Same as Pratap Hazra.
- "hero": A religious aspirant described in the Tantra, who
sexual intercourse under certain conditions.
- hide-and-seek: The Indian game of hide-and-seek, in which
known as the "granny", bandages the eyes of the players and hides
herself. The players are supposed to find her. If any player can touch
the bandage is removed from his eyes and he is released from the game.
- hinche: A kind of aquatic plant eaten as greens.
- Hiranyakasipu: A demon king in Hindu mythology, the father
- Hiranyaksha: A demon in Hindu mythology.
- Holy Mother: The name by which Sri Ramakrishna's wife was
known among his devotees.
- homa: A Vedic sacrifice in which oblations are offered into
- Hriday: Sri Ramakrishna's nephew, who served as his
the period of his spiritual discipline. Also called Hridu and Hride. He
was expelled from the temple garden at Dakshineswar on account of
certain of his actions which displeased the temple authorities.
- Hrishikesh: A village on the Ganges at the foot of the
sadhus practise austerities.
- hubble-bubble: A water-pipe for smoking.
- Ida: A nerve in the spinal column. See
- Indra: The king of the gods.
- Indrani: The consort of Indra.
- Ishan: A name of Siva; also the name of a devotee of Sri
- Ishta(deva): The Chosen Ideal, Spiritual Ideal, or Ideal
Deity of the devotee.
- Isvara: The Personal God.
- Isvarakoti: A perfected soul born with a special spiritual
humanity. "An Incarnation of God or one born with some of the
characteristics of an Incarnation is called an Isvarakoti." (Sri
- Jadabharata: A great saint in Hindu mythology.
- jada samadhi: Communion with God in which the aspirant
lifeless, like an inert object.
- Jagadamba: (Lit., the Mother of the
Universe) A name of the Divine Mother.
- Jagai: Jagai and Madhai were two ruffians redeemed by
- Jagannath: The Lord of the Universe; a name of Vishnu.
- Jagannath: temple The celebrated temple at Puri.
- Jagaddhatri: (Lit., the Bearer of the
Universe) A name of the Divine
Mother. In this form She is represented as riding a lion in the act of
subduing an elephant.
- jal: The Bengali word for water.
- Jamuna: The sacred river Jumna, a tributary of the Ganges.
- Janaka, King: One of the ideal kings in Hindu mythology and
of Sita. Sri Ramakrishna often described him as the ideal householder,
who combined yoga with enjoyment of the world.
- japa: Repetition of God's name.
- Jatila and Kutila: Two trouble-makers depicted in the
Bhagavata, in the
episode of Sri Krishna and the gopis of Vrindavan.
- jilipi: A kind of sweetmeat.
- jiva: The embodied soul; a living being; an ordinary man.
- jivakoti: An ordinary man.
- jivanmukta: One liberated from maya while living in the
- jivatma: The embodied soul.
- jnana: Knowledge of God arrived at through reasoning and
discrimination; also denotes the process of reasoning by which the
is attained. The word is generally used to denote the knowledge by
which one is aware of one's identity with Brahman.
- jnanayoga: The path of knowledge, consisting of
renunciation, and other disciplines.
- jnani: One who follows the path of knowledge and
realize God; generally used to denote a non-dualist.
- Jung Bahadur: A high official of the Maharaja of Nepal.
- "ka": The first consonant of the Sanskrit alphabet.
- Kabir: A medieval religious reformer, mystic, and writer of
songs. He lived
during the last part of the fifteenth and the early part of the
century. Born in the low caste of the weavers, he became the founder of
religious sect. On account of the breadth and universality of his
teachings, he was revered by the Mohammedans and the Hindus alike.
- kadamba: A favourite tree of Sri Krishna.
- Kaikeyi: One of the wives of King Dasaratha and the mother
Bharata; through her evil machinations the king banished Rama to the
- Kailas: A peak of the Himalayas, regarded as the sacred
Abode of Siva.
- kaivarta: The fisherman caste.
- Kala: A name of Siva; black; death; time.
- Kali: A name of the Divine Mother; the presiding Deity of
Dakshineswar temple. She is often referred to and addressed by Sri
as the Adyasakti, the Primal Energy.
- kalia: A rich preparation of fish or meat.
- Kalidasa: The great Sanskrit poet and author of Sakuntala.
- Kalighat: A section of northern Calcutta, where is situated
the famous temple of Kali.
- Kaliya: The name of a venomous snake subdued by Sri Krishna.
- Kaliyadaman Ghat: A bathing-place on the Jamuna at
Sri Krishna subdued the snake Kaliya.
- Kaliyuga: One of the four yugas or cycles. See
- Kalki: The name of the next and last Incarnation, according
to the Purana.
- kalmi: An aquatic creeper with numerous ramifications.
- Kalpataru: The Wish-fulfilling Tree; refers to God.
- kama: Fulfilment of desire, one of the four ends of human
pursuit. See four fruits.
- Kamalakanta: A mystic poet of Bengal.
- kamandalu: The water-bowl of a monk.
- Kamarpukur: Sri Ramakrishna's birthplace.
- kaminikanchan: (Lit., "woman and gold")
A term used by Sri
Ramakrishna to refer to lust and greed.
- Kamsa: Sri Krishna's uncle, the personification of evil,
whom Sri Krishna
- Kanai: A pet name of the youthful Sri Krishna.
- Kanchi: A holy place in southern India.
- Kapila: A great sage in Hindu mythology, the reputed author
of the Samkhya philosophy.
- karana: Cause; also consecrated wine.
- karma: Action in general; duty; ritualistic worship.
- karmayoga: (Lit., union with God through
action) The path by which
the aspirant seeks to realize God through work without attachment;
also the ritualistic worship prescribed in the scriptures for realizing
- Kama: A hero of the Mahabharata.
- karta: Doer; master.
- Kartabhaja: A minor Vaishnava sect which teaches that men
should live together in the relationship of love and gradually idealize
their love by looking on each other as divine.
- Kartika: A son of Siva; commander-in-chief of the army in
- Kasi: Benares.
- kathak: A professional reciter of stories from the Purana
in an assembly.
- Katyayani: A name of the Divine Mother.
- Kausalya: The mother of Rama.
- kaviraj: Native physician of India.
- kayastha: One of the subsidiary castes in Bengal.
- Kedar(nath): A high peak in the Himalayas; one of the four
holy places of India, the other three being Dwaraka, Puri, and Rameswar.
- Kesava: A name of Sri Krishna.
- Keshab Bharati: The monastic teacher of Sri Chaitanya.
- Keshab (Chandra Sen): The celebrated Brahmo leader (A.D.
- Kha: (Lit, akasa) A symbol of the
- khoka: Baby.
- kirtan: Devotional music, often accompanied by dancing.
- kirtani: A professional woman singer of kirtan.
- kosakusi: Metal articles used in worship.
- kosha: (Lit., sheath or covering) The
following are the five koshas as
described in the Vedanta philosophy: (1) the annamayakosha, or gross
physical sheath, made of and sustained by food; (2) the
pranamayakosha, or vital sheath, consisting of
the five vital forces; (3) the manomayakosha, or mental sheath; (4)
the vijnanamayakosha, or sheath of intelligence; and (5)
the anandamayakosha, or sheath of bliss. These five sheaths, arranged
one inside the
other, cover the Soul, which is the innermost of all and untouched by
the characteristics of the sheaths.
- koul: A worshipper of Kali who follows the "left-hand"
rituals of the Tantra.
- kripasiddha: One who attains perfection through the grace
of God and
apparently without any effort.
- Krishna: One of the Ideal Deities of the Vaishnavas.
- Krishnachaitanya: A name of Sri Chaitanya.
- Krishnayatra: A theatrical performance depicting the life
of Sri Krishna.
- kshara: Changeable.
- kshatriya: The second or warrior caste in Hindu society.
- kshir: Milk thickened by boiling.
- Kubir: A Bengali mystic poet.
- Kumara: Sambhava A famous book by Kalidasa.
- Kumari Puja: (Lit., the worship of a
virgin) A ritualistic worship
prescribed by the Tantra, in which a virgin is worshipped as the
manifestation of the Divine Mother of the Universe.
- kumbhaka: Retention of breath; a process in pranayama, or
described in rajayoga and hathayoga.
- Kumbhakarna: A brother of Ravana mentioned in the Ramayana,
slept six months at a time.
- kumbhamela: An assembly of monks held every three years in
several holy places in India.
- Kundalini: (Lit., the Serpent Power) It
is the spiritual energy lying
dormant in all individuals. According to the Tantra there are six
the body, designated as Muladhara,Svadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata,
Visuddha, and Ajna. These are the dynamic centres where the spiritual
energy becomes vitalized and finds special expression with appropriate
spiritual perception and mystic vision. These centres, placed in the
Sushumna, form the ascending steps by which the Kundalini, or spiritual
energy, passes from the foot of the spine to the cerebrum. When an
easy pathway is formed along the Sushumna through these centres, and
the Kundalini encounters no resistance in its movements upward and
downward, then there is the Shatchakrabheda, which means, literally,
penetrating of the six chakras, or mystic centres. The Muladhara
situated between the base of the sexual organ and the anus, is
regarded as the seat of the Kundalini. The centres are metaphorically
described as lotuses. The Muladhara is said to be a four-petalled
Svadhisthana chakra, situated at the base of the sexual organ, is a
sixpetalled lotus. The Manipura, situated in the region of the navel,
contains ten petals. The Anahata, placed in the region of the heart, is
twelve petalled lotus. The Visuddha, at the lower end of the throat,
petals. The Ajna, situated in the space between the eyebrows, is a two
petalled lotus. In the cerebrum there is the Sahasrara, the thousand
petalled lotus, the abode of Siva, which is as white as the silvery
moon, as bright as lightning, and as mild and serene as moonlight. This
is the highest goal, and here the awakened spiritual energy manifests
itself in its full glory and splendour.
- kuthi: The bungalow in the Dakshineswar temple garden,
proprietors and their guests stayed while visiting Dakshineswar.
- Lakshmana: The third brother of Rama.
- Lakshmi: The Consort of Vishnu and Goddess of Fortune.
- lila: The divine play; the Relative.The creation is often
the Vaishnavas as the lila of God, a conception that introduces
of spontaneity and freedom into the universe. As a philosophical term,
the Lila (the Relative) is the correlative of the Nitya (the Absolute).
- lotus: Each of the six centres along the Sushumna is called
a lotus, since
they have a form like that of a lotus blossom. See
- luchi: A thin bread made of flour and fried in butter.
- M.: Mahendranath Gupta, one of Sri Ramakrishna's foremost
disciples and the recorder of The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.
- Madan(a): The god of love in Hindu mythology; also a
Bengali mystic and
writer of songs.
- Madhai: See Jagai.
- Madhava: A name of Sri Krishna.
- madhavi: A creeper.
- Madhu and Kaitabha: Two demons killed by the Divine Mother;
story is narrated in the Chandi.
- madhur: One of the five attitudes cherished by the
worshipper toward his Ideal Deity, Krishna:
the attitude of a wife toward her husband or of a woman toward her
- Madhusudan(a): (Lit., the Slayer of the
demon Madhu) A name of Sri Krishna.
- Mahabharata: A famous Hindu epic.
- mahabhava: The most intense ecstatic love of God.
- Mahadeva: (Lit., the Great God) A name
- Maha-Kala: Siva; the Absolute.
- Maha-Kali: A name of the Divine Mother.
- Mahakarana: (Lit., the Great Cause) The
- Mahakasa: The space of Infinity.
- Mahamaya: The Great Illusionist; a name of Kali, the Divine
- Mahanirvana: The great Nirvana or samadhi.
- Mahanirvana Tantra: A standard book on
- Maharshi: (Lit., a great rishi or seer
of truth) An epithet often applied to
Devendranath Tagore, the father of the poet Rabindranath.
- Mahashtami: The second day of the worship of Durga, the
- mahat: The cosmic mind; a term used in the Samkhya
denoting the second category in the evolution of the universe.
- mahatma: A high-souled person.
- Mahavayu: Cosmic Consciousness or the Life Force. The word
used to denote a current felt in the spinal column when the Kundalini
- Mahavir: (Lit., great hero) A name of
Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Rama.
- mahut: Elephant-driver.
- Maidan: A great field in Calcutta.
- Malaya breeze: The fragrant breeze that blows from the
Malaya (Western Ghat) Mountains.
- manas: Mind. See four inner organs.
- Manasoravar: A sacred lake in Tibet.
- Mandodari: Ravana's wife.
- Manikarnika Ghat: The famous cremation ground in Benares.
- Manipura: The third centre in the Sushumna. See
- manja: A glue of barley and powdered glass with which
given a sharp cutting-edge.
- manomayakosha: The mental sheath. See
- mantra: Holy Sanskrit text; also the sacred formula used in
- Manu: The great Hindu lawgiver.
- Manusamhita: A book on Hindu law by Manu.
- Marhatta: A race inhabiting the province of Bombay.
- Marwari: An inhabitant of Marwar, in Rajputana, in central
- math: Monastery.
- Mathur: The son-in-law of Rani Rasmani, and a great devotee
Ramakrishna, whom he provided with all the necessities of life at the
- maya: Ignorance obscuring the vision of God; the Cosmic
account of which the One appears as many, the Absolute as the Relative;
it is also used to denote attachment.
- "maya of ignorance": See avidyamaya.
- "maya of knowledge": See avidyamaya.
- mayavadi: A follower of the Maya theory of the Vedanta
according to which the world of names and forms is illusory, like a
- Mimamsaka: A follower of the Purva Mimamsa, one of the six
orthodox Hindu philosophy.
- Mirabai: A great medieval woman saint of the Vaishnava sect.
- mlechchha: A non-Hindu, a barbarian. This is a term of
by the orthodox Hindus to foreigners, who do not conform to the
established usages of Hindu religion and society. The word corresponds
"heathen" of the Christians and the "kafir" of the Mussalmans.
- mohant: The abbot of a monastery.
- moksha: Liberation or final emancipation, one of the four
ends of human
pursuit. See four fruits.
- mridanga: An earthen drum used in devotional music.
- mukti: Liberation from the bondage of the world, which is
the goal of spiritual practice.
- Muladhara: The first and lowest centre in the Sushumna. See
- muni: A holy man given to solitude and contemplation.
- munsiff: A judicial officer.
- Mussalman: A follower of Mohammed.
- Nada: The Word-Brahman, Om.
- nahabat: Music tower.
- Naishadha: A famous Sanskrit treatise by
- Nanak: The founder of the Sikh religion and the first of
the ten Gurus
of the Sikhs. He was born in the Punjab in A.D. 1469 and died in 1538.
- Nanda(ghosh): Sri Krishna's foster-father.
- Nandi: A follower of Siva.
- Nangta: (Lit., the Naked One) By this
name Sri Ramakrishna referred
to Totapuri, the sannyasi who initiated him into monastic life and who
went about naked.
- Narada: A great sage and lover of God in Hindu mythology.
- Narada Pancharatra: A scripture of the
- Naralila: God manifesting Himself as man.
- Narayana: A name of Vishnu.
- Narayani: The Consort of Narayana; a name of the Divine
- Narendra(nath): A disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, subsequently
world famous as Swami Vivekananda.
- Nareschandra: A mystic poet of Bengal.
- Narmada: A river in central India flowing into the Arabian
- natmandir: A spacious hall supported by pillars in front of
a temple, meant
for devotional music, religious assemblies, and the like.
- Navadvip: A town in Bengal which was the birth-place of Sri
- Navavidhan: (Lit., the New Dispensation)
The name of the Brahmo
Samaj organized by Keshab Chandra Sen after his disagreement with the
members of the Brahmo Samaj.
- nax: A card-game.
- neem: A tree with bitter leaves.
- "Neti, neti": (Lit., "Not this, not
this") The negative process of
discrimination, advocated by the followers of the non-dualistic Vedanta.
- New Dispensation: See Navavidhan.
- ni: The seventh note in the Indian musical scale.
- Nidhu Babu: A composer of light melodies.
- Nidhu Grove: A sacred grove in Vrindavan, where Sri Krishna
with the gopis in His childhood.
- Nidhuvan: Same as Nidhu Grove.
- Nikasha: The mother of Ravana.
- nikunja: Bower.
- Nimai: A familiar name of Sri Chaitanya.
- Nimai-sannyas: "Chaitanya's
Renunciation"; a play describing Sri
Chaitanya's embracing of the monastic life.
- Niranjan(a): (Lit., the Stainless One) A
name of God; also one of the
intimate disciples of Sri Ramakrishna.
- nirguna: Without attributes.
- Nirguna Brahman: (Lit., Brahman without
attributes) A term used to
describe the Absolute.
- Nirvana: Final absorption in Brahman, or the All-pervading
Reality, by the
annihilation of the individual ego.
- nirvikalpa samadhi: The highest tate of samadhi, in which
realizes his total oneness with Brahman.
- nishtha: Single-minded devotion or love.
- Nitai: A pet name of Nityananda.
- Nitya: The Absolute.
- Nitya-Kali: A name of the Divine Mother.
- nityakarma: Religious ceremonies which a householder must
day, but which are not obligatory for a sannyasi.
- Nityananda: (Lit., Eternal Bliss) The
name of a beloved disciple and
companion of Sri Chaitanya.
- nityasiddha: (Lit., eternally perfect) A
term used by Sri Ramakrishna to
describe some of his young disciples endowed with great spiritual power.
- Nrisimha: (Lit., Man-lion) A Divine
Incarnation mentioned in the Purana.
- Nyaya: Indian Logic, one of the six systems of orthodox
Hindu philosophy, founded by Gautama.
- Olcott, Col.: One of the well-known leaders of the
- Om: The most sacred word of the Vedas; also written as Aum.
It is a
symbol of God and of Brahman.
- ostad: Teacher of music.
- Padmalochan: A great pundit of Bengal, who recognized the
significance of Sri Ramakrishna's spiritual experiences.
- pagli: Mad woman.
- pakhoaj: A kind of double drum.
- pana: Aquatic plants like algae or water hyacinths, often
covering the surface of lakes in tropical countries.
- Panchadasi: The name of a book on
- panchatapa: (Lit., the austerity of five
fires) While practising this discipline,
the aspirant sits under the blazing sun, in the summer season, with
fires burning around him. Seated in the midst of these five fires he
practises japa and meditation.
- Panchavati: A grove of five sacred trees planted by Sri
the temple garden at Dakshineswar for his practice of spiritual
- Pandava(s): The five sons of Pandu: King Yudhisthira,
Nakula, and Sahadeva. They are some of the chief heroes of the Mahabharata.
- pani: Water.
- Panini: A well-known Sanskrit grammar
composed by Panini.
- Parabrahman: The Supreme Brahman.
- paramahamsa: One belonging to the highest order of
- Paramahamsa(deva): A name for Sri Ramakrishna.
- Paramatman: The Supreme Soul.
- Parashurama: A warrior sage in Hindu mythology, regarded as
a Divine Incarnation.
- Parikshit: A king of the lunar race and grandson of Arjuna,
mentioned in the Mahabharata.
- Parvati: Daughter of King Himalaya; the Consort of Siva,
She is regarded
as an Incarnation of the Divine Mother; one of Her names is Uma.
- Patanjala: One of the six systems of orthodox Hindu
philosophy, also known as the Yoga philosophy.
- Pavhari: Baba An ascetic and yogi of great distinction who
was a contemporary of Sri Ramakrishna.
- Phalgu: A river in northern India which flows under a
surface of sand.
- pice: An Indian coin, one fourth of an anna.
- Pingala: A nerve in the spinal column. See
- Prabhas: A holy place in Kathiawar, in western India, where
Sri Krishna gave up His body.
- Prahlada: A great devotee of Vishnu, whose life is
described in the Purana.
While a boy, he was tortured for his piety by his father, the demon
Hiranyakasipu. The Lord, in His Incarnation as Man-lion, slew the
- Prakriti: Primordial Nature, which, in association with
Purusha, creates the
universe. It is one of the categories of the Samkhya philosophy.
- prana: The vital breath that sustains life in a physical
body. See five vital forces.
- pranamayakosha: The vital sheath, consisting of the five
pranas. See kosha.
- Pranava: Om.
- pranayama: Control of breath; one of the disciplines of
- prarabdha karma: The karma, or action, performed by a man
divided into three groups: sanchita, agami, and prarabdha. The sanchita
karma is the vast store of accumulated actions done in the past, the
which have not yet been reaped. The agami karma is the action that will
be done by the individual in the future. The prarabdha karma is the
action that has begun to fructify, the fruit of which is being reaped
life. It is a part of the sanchita karma, inasmuch as this also is
in the past. But the difference between the two is that, whereas the
sanchita karma is not yet operative, the prarabdha has already begun to
operate. According to the Hindus, the fruit of all karmas must be
by their doer, and the character and circumstances of the life of the
individual are determined by his previous karmas. The prarabdha is the
effective of all karmas, because its consequences cannot be avoided in
any way. The realization of God enables one to abstain from future
action (agami karma) and to avoid the consequences of all one's
accumulated action (sanchita karma) that has not yet begun to operate;
but the prarabdha, which has already begun to bear fruit, must be
- prasad: Food or drink that has been offered to the Deity;
leavings of a superior's meal. The name
Prasad is short for, Ramprasad, a mystic poet of Bengal.
- pravartaka: A beginner in religion.
- prema: Ecstatic love, divine love of the most Intense kind.
- prema-bhakti: Ecstatic love of God.
- Premdas: A writer of devotional songs.
- puja: Ritualistic worship.
- puli: A kind of cake.
- Purana(s): Books of Hindu mythology.
- purascharana: The repetition of the name of a deity,
attended with burnt
offerings, oblations, and other rites prescribed in the Vedas.
- Puri: Situated in Orissa; it is one of the four principal
holy places of
India, the other three being Dwaraka, Kedarnath, and Rameswar; also one
of the ten denominations of monks belonging to the school of Sankara.
- purnajnani: Perfect knower of Brahman.
- Purusha: (Lit., a man) A term of the
Samkhya philosophy, denoting the
eternal Conscious Principle; the universe evolves from the union of
Prakriti and Purusha. The word also denotes the soul and the Absolute.
- Qualified Non-dualism: A school of Vedanta founded by
according to which the soul and nature are the modes of Brahman, and
individual soul is a part of Brahman.
- Radha: Sri Krishna's most intimate companion among the
gopis of Vrindavan.
- Radhakanta: (Lit., the Consort of Radha)
A name of Sri Krishna.
- Radhakunda: A place near Mathura associated with Krishna
- Radhika: Same as Radha.
- raga-bhakti: Supreme love, making one attached only to God.
- ragas and raginis: Principal and subordinate modes in Hindu
- Raghuvamsa: The name of a Sanskrit treatise by Kalidasa.
- Raghuvir: A name of Rama; the Family Deity of Sri
- Rahu: A demon in Hindu mythology, said to cause the eclipse
devouring the sun and the moon.
- Rajarajesvari: (Lit., the Empress of
kings) A name of the Divine Mother.
- rajarshi: A king who leads a saintly life; an epithet of
- rajas: The principle of activity or restlessness. See
- rajasic: Pertaining to, or possessed of, rajas.
- Rajasuya: The royal sacrifice, performed only by a
- Rajayoga: The famous treatise on yoga, ascribed to
Patanjali; also the yoga
described in this treatise.
- Rama(chandra): The hero of the Ramayana,
regarded by the Hindus as
a Divine Incarnation.
- Ramananda: A devotee of Sri Chaitanya.
- Ramanuja: A famous saint and philosopher of southern India,
of the school of Qualified Non-dualism (A.D. 1017-1137).
- Ramayana: A famous Hindu epic.
- Rambha: The name of a celestial maiden.
- Rameswar: Situated at the southern-most extremity of India
considered one of its four principal holy places, the other three being
Dwaraka, Kedarnath, and Puri.
- Ramlal: A nephew of Sri Ramakrishna and a priest in the
Kali temple at Dakshineswar.
- Ramlala: The Boy Rama; also the metal image of Rama
worshipped by Sri Ramakrishna.
- Ramlila: A Hindu religious festival depicting Rama's life,
observed annually by the Hindus of northern India.
- Ramprasad: A Bengali mystic and writer of songs about the
- Rani: (Lit., queen) A title of honour
conferred on a woman.
- rasaddar: Supplier of provisions.
- Rasmani, Rani: A wealthy woman of the sudra caste, the
foundress of the
Kali temple at Dakshineswar.
- Rathayatra: The Hindu Car Festival.
- Ravana: The monster-king of Ceylon, who forcibly abducted
Sita, the wife of Rama.
- rishi: A seer of Truth; the name is also applied to the
pure souls to
whom were revealed the words of the Vedas.
- Rudra: A manifestation of Siva.
- rudraksha: Beads made from rudraksha pits, used in making
- Rukmini: One of Sri Krishna's wives.
- Rupa and Sanatana: Two of the disciples of Sri Chaitanya.
- sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni: The notes of the Indian
corresponding to do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si.
- sabha: Assembly.
- Sachi: The mother of Sri Chaitanya; also the consort of
- sadguru: True teacher.
- sadhaka: An aspirant devoted to the practice of spiritual
- sadhana: Spiritual discipline.
- Sadharan Brahmo Samaj: A branch of the Brahmo Samaj.
- sadhu: Holy man; a term generally used with reference to a
- sagar: Ocean.
- saguna: Endowed with attributes.
- Saguna Brahman: Brahman with attributes; the Absolute
the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer of the universe; also the
God according to the Vedanta.
- Sahaja: (Lit., simple one) The term by
which a certain religious sect
refers to God; also the natural state.
- Sahasrara: The thousand-petalled lotus in the cerebrum. See
- Saiva: A worshipper of Siva.
- sakhya: One of the five attitudes cherished by the
toward his Chosen Ideal: the attitude of one friend toward another.
- Sakta: A worshipper of Sakti, the Divine Mother, according
to the Tantra philosophy.
- Sakti: Power, generally the Creative Power of Brahman; a
name of the
- Sakuntala: A celebrated play by Kalidasa.
- salagram: A stone emblem of God worshipped by the Hindus.
- samadhi: Ecstasy, trance, communion with God.
- Sambhu: A name of Siva.
- Samkhya: One of the six systems of orthodox Hindu
philosophy; founded by Kapila.
- samsara: The world.
- samskara: The tendencies inherited from previous births.
- sanai: A wind-instrument like an oboe.
- Sanaka, Sanatana, Sananda, and Sanatkumara: The first four
Brahma, the Creator, begotten of His mind; they are regarded as highly
- Sanatana Dharma: (Lit., the Eternal
Religion) Refers to Hinduism,
formulated by the rishis of the Vedas.
- Sanatana Goswami: A disciple of Sri Chaitanya and a great
saint of the Vaishnava religion.
- sandesh: A Bengali sweetmeat made of cheese and sugar.
- sandhya: Devotions or ritualistic worship performed by
every day at stated periods.
- Sankara: A name of Siva; also short for Sankaracharya, the
great Vedantist philosopher.
- Sankaracharya: One of the greatest philosophers of India,
of Advaita Vedanta (A.D. 788-820).
- sannyas: The monastic life, the last of the four stages of
life. See four stages
- sannyasi: A Hindu monk.
- santa: One of the five attitudes cherished by the dualistic
toward his Chosen Ideal. It is the attitude of peace and serenity, in
contrast with the other attitudes of love, which create discontent and
unrest in the minds of the devotees. Many of the Vaishnavas do not
recognize the attitude of santa, since it is not characterized by an
intense love of God.
- santih: Peace.
- Sarada Devi: The name of Sri Ramakrishna's wife, also known
as the Holy Mother.
- Sarasvati: The goddess of learning and music.
- sari: A woman's wearing-cloth.
- Sarvabhauma: A great scholar and contemporary of Sri
- sastra: Scripture; sacred book; code of laws.
- Sat: Reality, Being.
- Satchidananda: (Lit.,
Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute) A name of
Brahman, the Ultimate Reality.
- satrancha: An Indian game similar to backgammon or parchesi.
- sattva: The principle of balance or wisdom. See
- sattvic: Pertaining to, or possessed of, sattva.
- Satyabhama: A wife of Sri Krishna.
- Savari: The daughter of a hunter, and a great devotee of
- sava-sadhana: A Tantrik ritual in which a corpse (sava) is
used by the
worshipper as his seat.
- savikalpa samadhi: Communion with God in which the
between subject and object is retained.
- seer: A measure or weight equivalent to about two pounds.
- siddha: (Lit., perfect or boiled)
Applies both to the perfected soul and to boiled things.
- Siddhesvari: A name of the Divine Mother.
- siddhi: The eight occult powers which the yogi acquires
practice of yoga; perfection in spiritual life; the intoxicating Indian
- Sikhs: A religious and martial sect of the Punjab.
- Simhavahini: (Lit., One whose bearer is
the lion) A name of the Divine Mother.
- sishya: Disciple.
- Sita: The wife of Rama.
- Siva: The Destroyer God; the Third Person of the Hindu
other two being Brahma and Vishnu.
- six passions: Namely, lust, anger, avarice, delusion,
pride, and envy.
- six systems: See darsanas.
- six treasures: Namely, treasure, glory, strength,
splendour, knowledge, and
renunciation; these six in their entirety are the treasures of the
- smriti: The law books, subsidiary to the Vedas, guiding the
daily life and
conduct of the Hindus.
- "Soham": (Lit., "I am He") One of the
sacred formulas of the non-dualistic Vedantist.
- Sonthals: A savage tribe of central India.
- sraddha: Faith.
- sraddha: A religious ceremony in which food and drink are
offered to deceased relatives.
- Sri: Used as a prefix to the name of a Hindu man,
corresponding to Mr.
- Sridama: A devotee and companion of Sri Krishna.
- Srimati: A name of Radhika; also used as a prefix to the
name of a Hindu
woman, corresponding to Miss or Mrs.
- Srivas: A companion of Sri Chaitanya.
- sruti: The Vedas.
- sthita samadhi: Samadhi, or communion with God, in which
is firmly established in God-Consciousness.
- subadar: An officer in the Indian army.
- Subhadra: The sister of Sri Krishna.
- subtle body: One of the three bodies or seats of the soul.
At death the
subtle body accompanies the soul in its transmigration; during the
state the soul identifies itself with the subtle body. See
- Sudama: A devotee and companion of Sri Krishna.
- sudra: The fourth caste in Hindu society.
- Suka(deva): The narrator of the Bhagavata
and son of Vyasa,
regarded as one of India's ideal monks.
- Sukracharya: A holy man described in the Purana, and the
preceptor of the asuras or demons.
- Sumbha and Nisumbha: Two demons slain by the Divine Mother.
story is told in the Chandi.
- Sumeru: The sacred Mount Meru of Hindu mythology, around
the planets are said to revolve.
- Sushumna: Sushumna, Ida, and Pingala are the three
or nerves, among the innumerable nerves in the nervous system. Of
these, again, the Sushumna is the most important, being the point of
harmony of the other two and lying, as it does, between them. The Ida
on the left side, and the Pingala is on the right. The Sushumna,
which the awakened spiritual energy rises, is described as the
Brahmavartman or Pathway to Brahman. The Ida and Pingala are outside
spine; the Sushumna is situated within the spinal column and extends
from the base of the spine to the brain. See
- Svadhisthana: The second centre in the Sushumna. See
- Swami: (Lit., lord) A title of the monks
belonging to the Vedanta school.
- Swarup: A disciple of Sri Chaitanya.
- swastyayana: A religious rite performed to secure welfare
or avert a calamity.
- Syama: (Lit., the Dark One) A name or
Kali, the Divine Mother.
- Syamakunda: A place near Mathura associated with Sri
- Syamalasundara: A name of Sri Krishna.
- Syamasundar: A name of Sri Krishna.
- Tagore: An aristocratic brahmin family of Bengal.
- tamala: A tree with dark-blue leaves, a favourite tree of
- tamas: The principle of inertia or dullness. See
- tamasic: Pertaining to, or possessed of, tamas.
- tanpura: A stringed musical instrument.
- Tantra: A system of religious philosophy in which the
or Power, is the Ultimate Reality; also the scriptures dealing with
- Tantrik: A follower of Tantra; also, pertaining to Tantra.
- tapasya: Religious austerity.
- Tara: (Lit., Redeemer) A name of the
- tarpan: A ceremony in which a libation of water is made to
- Tattvajnana: The Knowledge of Reality.
- teli: A member of the oil-man caste.
- tilak: A mark of sandal-paste or other material, worn on
the forehead to
denote one's religious affiliation.
- Tillotama: A celestial maiden.
- Totapuri: The sannyasi who initiated Sri Ramakrishna into
- Trailanga: Swami A holy man who lived in Benares and was a
contemporary of Sri Ramakrishna.
- Tretayuga: The second of the four yugas or cycles. See
- tribhanga: (Lit., bent in three places)
An epithet of Sri Krishna.
- Tukaram: The name of a saint of Bombay.
- tulsi: A plant sacred to Vishnu.
- Tulsi(das): A great devotee of Rama and the writer of a
life of Rama.
- Turiya: (Lit., the fourth) A name of the
Transcendental Brahman, which
transcends and pervades the three states of waking, dream, and deep
- twenty-four tattvas, or cosmic principles: According to the
philosophy the twenty-four tattvas, or cosmic principles, are: the five
elements in their subtle forms (ether, air, fire, water, earth); ego,
"I-consciousness"; buddhi, or intelligence; Avyakta, or the
(in which sattva, rajas, and tamas remain in an undifferentiated
the five organs of action (hands, feet, organ of speech, organ of
organ of evacuation); the five organs of knowledge (eyes, ears, nose,
tongue, skin); manas, or mind; and the five sense-objects (sound,
form, taste, smell). They all belong to Prakriti, or Nature, and are
different from Purusha, or Consciousness.
- twice-born: A man belonging to the brahmin, kshatriya
vaisya (merchant) caste, who has his second, or spiritual, birth at the
of his investiture with the sacred thread.
- Uddhava: The name of a follower of Sri Krishna.
- Uma: The daughter of King Himalaya, and the Consort of
Siva; She is
an Incarnation of the Divine Mother.
- unmana samadhi: Samadhi in which the functioning of the
mind does not
- upadhi: A term of the Vedanta philosophy denoting the
imposed upon the Self through ignorance, by which one is bound to
- Upanishad(s): The well-known scriptures of the Hindus.
- upasana: Worship.
- vaidhi-bhakti: Devotion to God associated with rites and
prescribed in the scriptures.
- Vaidyanath: A holy place in Behar.
- Vaikuntha: The heaven of the Vaishnavas.
- vairagya: Renunciation.
- Vaisakh: The first month of the Hindu calendar, falling in
the summer season.
- Vaiseshika: One of the six systems of orthodox Hindu
philosophy, founded by Kanada.
- Vaishnava: (Lit., follower of Vishnu) A
member of the well-known
dualistic sect of that name, generally the followers of Sri Chaitanya
and of Ramanuja and Madhva in south India.
- vaisya: The third or merchant caste in Hindu society.
- Vajrasana: A centre in the Sushumna.
- Vali: A king who was punished by God in His Incarnation as
or the Dwarf, for his excessive charity and condemned to rule over the
- Vali: A monkey chieftain mentioned in the Ramayana
and killed by Rama.
- Valmiki: The author of the Ramayana.
- vanaprastha: The third of the four stages of life: the life
when husband and wife practise contemplation and other spiritual
disciplines. See four stages of life.
- Varuna: The presiding deity of the ocean in Hindu mythology.
- Vasishtha: The name of a sage mentioned in the Purana.
- Vasudeva: The father of Sri Krishna.
- Vasus: A class of celestial beings.
- vatsalya: One of the five attitudes cherished by the
toward his Chosen Ideal: the attitude of a mother toward her child.
- Vedanta: One of the six systems of orthodox Hindu
philosophy, formulated by Vyasa.
- Vedantist: A follower of Vedanta.
- Veda(s): The most sacred scriptures of the Hindus.
- vichara: Reasoning.
- Videha: (Lit., detached from the body)
An epithet given to King Janaka on
account of the spirit of detachment he showed toward the world.
- Vidura: The name of a great devotee of Sri Krishna
mentioned in the Mahabharata.
- vidya: Knowledge leading to liberation, i.e., to the
- vidyadhari: Demigoddess.
- vidyamaya: The "maya of knowledge." See
- Vidyasagar, Iswar Chandra: A great educator and
philanthropist of Bengal.
- vidyasakti: Spiritual power.
- vija mantra: The sacred word with which a guru initiates
- Vijaya day: The last day of the worship of Durga, when the
image is immersed in water.
- vijnana: Special Knowledge of the Absolute, by which one
universe and sees it as the manifestation of Brahman.
- vijnanamayakosha: The sheath of intelligence. See
- vijnani: One endowed with vijnana.
- vilwa: Same as bel.
- vina: A stringed musical instrument.
- Virat: The first progeny of Brahman in Hindu cosmology; the
the form of the universe; the All-pervading Spirit.
- Visalakshi: (Lit., the Large-eyed One) A
name of the Divine Mother; also
the name of a stream near Kamarpukur.
- Vishnu: The Preserver God; the Second Person of the Hindu
the other two being Brahma and Siva; the Personal God of the Vaishnavas.
- Visishtadvaita: The philosophy of Qualified Non-dualism.
- Visuddha: The fifth centre in the Sushumna. See
- Viswamitra: The name of a sage mentioned in the Ramayana.
He was a
companion and counsellor of Rama. Though born a kshatriya, by dint
of his austerities he was raised to the status of a brahmin.
- Viswanath: See Captain.
- viveka: Discrimination.
- Vivekachudamani: A treatise on Vedanta
- Vrindavan: A town on the bank of the Jamuna river
associated with Sri Krishna's childhood.
- Vyasa: The compiler of the Vedas and father of Sukadeva.
- Wish-fulfilling Tree: See Kalpataru.
- Yama: The King of Death.
- Yasoda: Sri Krishna's foster-mother.
- yatra: A country theatrical performance.
- yoga: Union of the individual soul and the Universal Soul;
method by which to realize this union.
- Yogamaya: The union of Purusha, the male principle, and
female principle, of Reality; also Sakti, or Divine Power.
- yoga samadhi: The samadhi that results when the devotee is
united with God.
- Yogavasishtha: The name of a wellknown
book on Vedanta.
- yogi: One who practises yoga.
- yogini: Woman yogi.
- Yogopanishad: The name of an Upanishad.
- Yudhisthira, King: One of the principal heroes of the Mahabharata,
known for his truthfulness, righteousness, and piety.
- yuga: A cycle or world period. According to Hindu mythology
duration of the world is divided into four yugas, namely, Satya, Treta,
Dwapara, and Kali. In the first, also known as the Golden Age, there is
great preponderance of virtue among men, but with each succeeding yuga
virtue diminishes and vice increases. In the Kaliyuga there is a
of virtue and a great excess of vice. The world is said to be now
through the Kaliyuga.
- Yugala Murti: The conjoined figures of a pair; generally
used to denote
the combined figures of Radha and Krishna.