Glossary D

Glossary D


a thief, particularly an armed robber.


the bodily necessities of life.


meekness, vyabhicāri-bhāva.


demons; a race of demons descending from Diti.


the social system given by God for the upliftment of mankind; Varṇāśrama-dharma-the system of four social and four spiritual orders established in the Vedic scriptures and discussed by Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā.

Daivī māyā

the Lord’s divine deluding potency, the material energy.

Daivī prakṛti

see: Yogamāyā; Daivi in Sanskrit means divine, and prakṛti means nature. This term refers to the original spiritual nature, out of which matter (guṇa-māyā), personified as goddess Durgā, manifests (see Bg 7.14). The word daivi is closely related to deva, God. Daivi-prakṛti is therefore nature that is abhinna, not separate from God. A synonym for daivi-prakṛti is para-prakṛti (superior nature, see Bg 7.5). Śrīla Prabhupāda explained the daivi-prakṛti to be the person of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī: … Just like we are trying to be under the guidance of Rādhārāṇī, daivi-prakṛti. Prakṛti means woman, and daivi means transcendental woman. (SB lecture in Los Angeles, August 19, 1972) See Prakṛti, Rādhārāṇī.


a name of Sati


Satī, daughter of Dakṣa and wife of Lord Śiva.


one of the sons of Brahmā and a chief progenitor of universal population; The Sanskrit word dakṣa literally means expert. A son of Brahmā, Dakṣa was expert in kāmya-karma, activities full of lusty desire. As a prajāpati or progenitor of living beings, he had the facility for unlimited sexual intercourse. Blinded by pride in the course of performing Vedic sacrifices, he offended Śiva. After a great fight with Śiva’s ghostly associates, Dakṣa’s head was replaced with that of a goat. Then Dakṣa gave up his life because of his degraded condition. Attaining a new demigod form, Dakṣa followed the same path as before and offended Nārada Muni.


a disciple’s gift to his spiritual master upon initiation, collected by begging and given as a token of gratitude.


right-wing group of gopīs, who cannot tolerate womanly anger.

Dālbhya Muni

an ancient sage and grammarian.


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


controlling the senses and not deviating from the Lord’s service.


a name for Śrī Kṛṣṇa meaning “one who is tied around the waist with rope.” This name refers to the Lord’s pastime of allowing Mother Yaśodā to bind Him.


the sons born to Kasyapa Prajapati by his wife danu; a race of demons.


charity, one of the six duties of a brāhmaṇa.


the pastime of Lord Nityānanda breaking the staff of Lord Caitanya.


respectful prostrated obeisances offered to an elevated personality, such as one’s spiritual master or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The word literally means “like a pole.”; falling flat like a rod.


a staff carried by those in the renounced order of life, sannyāsīs.

Dārī sannyāsī

a bogus tantric sannyāsī who keeps women.


“poor Nārāyaṇa,” an offensive term used by Māyāvādīs to equate poor men with the Supreme Lord.


the act of seeing and being seen by the Deity in the temple or by a spiritually advanced person. A verbal noun meaning the act of beholding or seeing. It also translates as ‘audience’. When one goes to the temple of the Lord to have His audience and to behold Him, one is said to have the Lord’s darśana; This Sanskrit term literally means a vision. It may mean a vision of something difficult to see (e.g. Brahmā’s vision of Vaikuṇṭha), or knowledge of something difficult to know (e.g. Vedānta-darśana). See śaḍ-darśana, Six systems.

Darwin, Charles

British naturalist of the nineteenth century (1809-1882) who presented the world his version of the theory of evolution in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection; or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859). In fact, the theory that living forms in earlier times were not what they are now, but were simpler organisms that evolved in complexity, was proposed by Anaximander (610-546 BC), who studied fossils in a cliffside. His theory was rejected in ancient Greece, but was revived in the nineteenth century, principally by Darwin. All areas of modern Western thought continue to be influenced by Darwinism. Philosophers and scientists have grown increasingly divided over his theory. One section of scientists argues there is no certain law of evolution it happened completely by chance. Another section holds that the evolutionary process is encoded in some sort of cosmic algorithm. A recent trend in philosophy, called postmodernism, views Darwinism as simply a matter of historical interpretation: it is a metaphor for capitalism and a white male-centered power structure. There is a growing feeling that the ideas of Darwin, like those of Marx and Freud, are obsolete. See Saṁsāra.


the charioteer of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.


door, gateway.


servant; term used as addition to the name of a newly initiated disciple, meaning servant of Kṛṣṇa.


ten Vedic rituals performed one by one, from the time of conception until death, for the purification of human beings.


the day before Ekādaśi, when one prepares to observe the sacred fast.


the father of Lord Rāmacandra.


the founder of one branch of the Yadu clan.


the introduction to Jayadeva Gosvāmī’s Gītā-govinda.


the ten sense organs: ear, eye, tongue, nose, skin, hands, legs, speech, anus and genitals.


the servitor relationship with the Lord.


See: Dāsya-rasa


the devotional process of rendering service to the Lord.


the occupational duty of rogues and thieves.


an combined incarnation of Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva of the Supreme Lord who appeared as the son of Anusuyā by Atri Muni to teach the path of mystic yoga.


a forest fire; often refers to the self-kindled fire of material existence.

Davies, Paul

British-born professor of mathematical physics at the University of Adelaide in Australia. He is the author of some twenty books on science.


leaders of the dayitās; they come from the brāhmaṇa caste.


servants who carry the Deity of Lord Jagannātha to His chariot.


A form of reason that comprehends the cause of an effect from authoritative testimony or a priori knowledge. See Abduction, ṁroha/Avaroha, Hypothetico-deduction, Induction, Logic.


A term first used by the Calvinists in the seventeenth century, deism is the belief in God as the first cause of the universe, who created the laws by which the universe is governed, but who is in no way immanent in His creation. God’s maintenance of the world means nothing more than the permanence of natural laws. Nature follows a regular course. The sole purpose of the world is to be the habitat of mankind. The deists opposed mystical and supernatural interpretations of scripture; human reason is the true measure of scriptural understanding. Many of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America (e.g. Adams, Jefferson and Paine) were of deistic inclination. See Atheism, Semi-deism, Theism.

Deity of the Lord

the authorized form of Kṛṣṇa worshiped in temples.


As Lord Kṛṣṇa appears in the sound of His holy name, so also He appears within the arcā-avatāra, His incarnation as the Deity worshiped in the temple. The central focus of every ISKCON temple around the world is the worship of Kṛṣṇa’s Deity form as represented in stone, metal, wood or as painted pictures. Through ceremonial services (pūjā) conducted according to Vedic tradition, the devotees fulfill the Lord’s injunction in Bg 9.27: Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform do that, O son of Kuntī, as an offering to Me. This pūjā purifies the minds and senses of the devotees and connects them to Kṛṣṇa in an attitude of love. Māyāvādīs decry service to the Deity as idol worship. They argue that God is not present within the Deity, because He is everywhere. But if He is everywhere, then why is He not within the Deity as well? Moisture is also everywhere, even within the air. But when one needs a drink of water, he cannot get it from the air. He must drink the water from where water tangibly avails itself to be drunk: from a faucet, a well, or a clear stream. Similarly, although God is everywhere, it is in His Deity form that He makes Himself tangibly available for worship. See Avatāra, Kṛṣṇa.


universal controllers and residents of the higher planets; The Sanskrit equivalent is deva or devata. Demigods are jīvas whom the īśvara empowers to represent Him in the management of the universe. The first of the demigods is Brahmā. Indra is the demigod of rain, Sūrya of the sunshine, Candra of the moonshine, Varuṇa of water. There are thirty-three million demigods in all. They live in the upper regions of the universe called svarga, or heaven. Less intelligent people worship the demigods through karma-kāṇḍa rituals to get material blessings in this life, and to be granted entrance into svarga in the next life. In the Bhagavad-gītā, Lord Kṛṣṇa condemns demigod worship as being avidhi-pūrvaka, against the true purpose of the Vedas. See Tri-loka.


impious beings who do not follow the instructions of the Lord.

De omnibus est dubitandum (Lat.)

Doubt is everything. See Scepticism.

Descartes, Ren

French rationalist philosopher of the seventeenth century (1596-1650), called the father of modern philosophy. He broke free of Scholasticism, the Christian re-interpretation of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy that had long held sway in European schools. Descartes is an important founder of the modern scientific attitude. He viewed the material world as a mechanism wholly describable by numerical values. Modern science, more Cartesii (after the manner of Descartes), tries to describe everything in terms of mathematics. Descartes strongly believed that science can help mankind become masters and possessors of nature. Through scientific advancement we might rid ourselves of an infinity of maladies, both of body and mind, and even perhaps the enfeeblement brought on by old age, if we had sufficiently ample knowledge of their causes, and of all the remedies provided for us by nature. Convinced that his revolutionary approach to knowledge would at least free himself from an infinity of maladies, Descartes wrote at age forty-two that he would be surprised if he lived less than over a hundred years. Unfortunately, he died at age fifty-four. See Cogito ergo sum, Rationalism.


In Orissan temples it corresponds to the vimana or towered sanctum. It is a cubical inner apartment where the main Deity is located, with a tower over it.


See Demigod.


Kṛṣṇa, the joy and darling son of Devakī.


professional dancing and singing girls trained to dramatize Vaiṣṇava ideology; they are called māhārīs in Orissa.


a type of demigod.


the Ekādaśī that occurs when the demigods go to sleep.


the conch of Arjuna which was obtained by Maya Dānava from Varuṇa.


the daughter of Svāyambhuva Manu who was the wife of Kardama Muni and the mother of the Lord’s incarnation Lord Kapila.


the mother of Lord Kṛṣṇa. She was the daughter of King Devaka and a wife of Vasudeva’s. When Kṛṣṇa appears in the material world, He first sends some of His devotees to act as His father, mother, etc.


an ancient authority on the Vedas.


the brother of Mahārāja Śantanu.


a title meaning “sage among the demigods.”; usually refers to Nārada Muni.


a demigod or godly person.


the material world, under the control of the goddess Devī, or Durgā.

Devotional service

the process of worshiping Lord Kṛṣṇa by dedicating one’s thoughts, words and actions to Him with love.


the Ekādaśī that occurs when the demigods awaken from sleep.


abode, place of residence; usually refers to the Lord’s abodes.


a name for Arjuna meaning “he who attains great wealth by conquest.” This name refers to Arjuna’s collecting vast wealth for Yudhiṣṭhira’s Rājasūya sacrifice.

Dhanur Veda

a Vedic treatise on the science of warfare.


the incarnation of the Supreme Lord who is the father of medical science.


the earth planet.


fixed concentration, prior to full meditation (dhyāna).


religious scriptures that prescribe regulations of social organization and religion.


a hypocrite, especially one who accepts sannyāsa but again becomes agitated by senses.


See: Dharma-dhvajī.


buildings usually found in holy places in India which provide free or cheap rooming for pilgrims and mendicants.


a holy place of pilgrimage.


strictly according to religious principles.


another name for King Yudhiṣṭhira.


a name for Yudhiṣṭhira, the first son of Pāṇḍu, or for Yamarāja, the lord of death. It means “the king of religiosity.”

Dharmaḥ kaitavaḥ

cheating religions.


religious principles; one’s natural occupation. The capacity to render service, which is the essential quality of a living being. The occupational eternal duty of the living entity, regarded as inseparable from the soul himself; The Sanskrit term dharma is variously translated as duty, virtue, morality, righteousness, or religion, but no single English word conveys the whole meaning of dharma. The Vedic sage Jaimini defined dharma as a good which is of the nature of a command that leads to the attainment of the highest good. In Bg 18.66, Lord Kṛṣṇa commands us to give up all other dharmas and surrender to Him. This is the paro-dharma, or supreme command (good, duty, virtue, etc.) of the Vedas.


one who abides by Vedic law, or religious principles.


the son of Śiśupāla. He took the side of the Pāṇḍavas during the Kurukṣetra war and was killed by Droṇa.


the younger brother of Devala, and the priest of the Pāṇḍavas.


a mystic demon who took the form of a donkey and was killed by Kṛṣṇa.


one who is undisturbed by the material energy in all circumstances; ecstasy of sober love for Kṛṣṇa.


a man who washes clothes.


a long cotton cloth, traditionally worn by lndian men, that covers the lower half of the body.


the fire born son of King Drupada, who arranged the military phalanx of the Pāṇḍavas on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, and the brother of Draupadī. He was born to kill Droṇa, and did so by severing his head. He was later killed by Aśvatthāmā while awaking from sleep.


the father of the Kauravas. He was born of the union of Vyāsa and Ambikā. He was born blind because Ambikā closed her eyes during conception, out of fear of the sage. He was reputed to have the strength of ten thousand elephants. The uncle of the Pāṇḍavas whose attempt to usurp their kingdom for the sake of his own sons resulted in the Kurukṣetra war. Bhagavad-gītā was related to Dhṛtarāṣṭra by his secretary as it was being spoken on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra.


perseverance or endurance; forbearance, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.

Dhruva Mahārāja

a great devotee who at the age of five performed severe austerities and realized the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He received an entire planet, the Pole Star.


the polestar, which is a spiritual planet within the material universe and is presided over by Dhruva Mahārāja.


the stage exhibited by a devotee when only one or two transformations are slightly present and it is possible to conceal them.


ceremony of offering incense and a flower to the Deity.




meditational yoga.


the spiritual master who initiates according to the regulations of the śāstras.


spiritual initiation.


the son of Aṁśumān and father of Bhagiratha. He was born in the sun dynasty and was an ancestor of Lord Rāmacandra’s.


Greek term for discernment or intellect, similar to the Sanskrit buddhi. See Intellect.


the stage exhibited by a devotee when four of five ecstatic symptoms are manifest.


See Buddhi, Dinoia, Intellect.


a wife of Kaśyapa Muni, and the mother of the demons Hiraṇyākṣa and Hiraṇyakaśipu.

Divya Desam temples

108 important Viṣṇu temples sung about by the 12 Alwar devotees of Tamil Nadu.


transcendental madness in separation from Kṛṣṇa.


Hall of Public Audience


Hall of Private Audience.


the swing festival of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.


a very large, thin pancake. made of fermented rice flour. They are often wrapped round a spiced potato filling and are then called masala dosa.


one of the three constituents of the body, according to Ayurveda. They are kapha (mucus), pitta (bile), and vāyu (air) .


the daughter of King Drupada, and wife of the Pāṇḍavas. She was born from a sacrificial fire to be the wife of Arjuna. She was won by Arjuna at her svayaṁvara. She was a great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa.


South India.


devotional service or a person eligible to act in devotional service.


Matter, material (physical) objects, material possessions.


firm determination.


the martial preceptor of the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas. The military teacher of Arjuna and the other Pāṇḍavas and the commander-in-chief of the Kurus, who was obliged to fight the Pāṇḍavas on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. He was the son of the great sage Bharadvāja. He wife was Kāpī, and his son was Aśvatthāmā. He was killed by Dhṛṣṭadyumna during the great Kurukṣetra war.


the King of Pāñcāla, and the father of Draupadī and Dhṛṣṭadyumna. He was involved in a quarrel with Droṇa over half his kingdom. He engaged a sage name Yāja in a sacrifice to get a son who could kill Droṇa and a daughter who could marry Arjuna. Thus Dhṛṣṭadyumna and Draupadī were born. In the battle of Kurukṣetra he was killed by Droṇa.


a musical style that means ‘fixed verse’.


From the Latin dualis, containing two. There are two types of dualism in Western thought: metaphysical and religious. Metaphysical dualism is covered under the entry for the Mind/body problem. As a religious term, it was introduced in 1700 by Thomas Hyde in his work The Ancient Persian Religions. He characterized as dualism the conflict between the two principle gods of Zoroastrianism, the good Ormazd and the evil Ahriman. Zoroastrian dualism strongly influenced Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All three adhere to a doctrine of eternal struggle between God and Satan. But dualism, in the words of philosopher G.C. Nayak, is not an attempt to solve the problem of evil within the theistic concept. (From Evil and the Retributive Hypothesis, 1993, p. 44) Hence, none of the above religions, insofar as they are dualistic, can be considered truly theistic. See Atheism, Dvaita, Metaphysics, Mind/body problem, Problem of Evil, Theism.


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)


the only daughter of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Gāndhārī. She was married to Jayadratha.


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)


bad association.


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)


royal court, meeting place.


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)


the material energy.


the place in a house where mother Durgā is worshiped.


Lord Śiva ‘s wife in a fierce form, riding a tiger. The goddess is empowered by the Supreme Lord to preside over the material nature and bewilder the souls situated there into misconceiving themselves to be their material bodies and enjoyers and controllers of the mundane creation. She is very powerful, superseded only by Lord Viṣṇu Himself, and is the external manifestation of the Lord’s internal potency, Yoga-māyā. Once a fallen soul takes to the path of God consciousness, she continues to offer various material allurements so as to test his sincerity and determination to serve the Lord. Once the Lord accepts the struggling soul she can no longer influence that soul and it is thus liberated.


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)

Durvāsā Muni

a partial incarnation of Lord Śiva, a powerful mystic yogī, famous for his fearful curses. He is known for being easily angered. He granted a benediction to Kuntī that she could call any demigod and conceive children. Duryodhana once pleased Durvāsā and asked for a benediction that he and his thousands of disciples would visit Yudhiṣṭhira at a time when Draupadī had already eaten from her copper pot. The idea was that Durvāsā would become angry and curse the Pāṇḍavas. The plan back fired because Lord Kṛṣṇa saved the situation. (Vana Parva in Mahābhārata)


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)


the first born and chief of the evil-minded one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, and chief rival of the Pāṇḍavas. He was a wicked asura by birth. He became envious of the Pāṇḍavas and tried in many ways to kill them. It was for the sake of establishing Duryodhana as king of the world that the Kurus fought the Battle of Kurukṣetra. He was killed by Bhīma when the later broke his thighs on the last day of the battle of Kurukṣetra.


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)


miscreants who do not surrender to Kṛṣṇa.


a miscreant.


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Śalya Parva in Mahābhārata)


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma. (Śalya Parva in Mahābhārata)


the power to cut down rogues and demons.


the twelfth day after the full or new moon, thus the day after Ekādaśī, when one breaks one’s fast by eating grains.


Vyāsadeva (Vyāsa)-the literary incarnation of God, and the greatest philosopher of ancient times. The son of Parāśara, and the compiler of the original Vedic scriptures, including the eighteen Purāṇas, Vedānta-sūtra, the Mahābhārata, and the Upaniṣads. He played a very important part in guiding the Pāṇḍavas during crucial times. He gave the vision of the battle of Kurukṣetra to Sañjaya so that he could relate it to Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He is still living in this world.


Duality. It is also the name of a system of Vedānta established by Madhvācārya. See Advaita, Dualism, Four Vaiṣṇava Sampradāyas and Siddhāntas, Madhva, Vedānta.


the Vedānta philosophy taught by Nimbarkācārya. This philosophy posits a simultaneous oneness and difference between the tiny spirit souls and the Supreme Lord. Later, Lord Caitanya gave further development to this idea as acintya-bhedābheda-vāda.


a forest where the Pāṇḍavas lived during their exile in the forest.


the third age of the cycle of a mahā-yuga. It lasts more than 864,000 years.


the doors of the body, such as the eyes and ears.


the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, Lord of the city of Dvārakā.


the island kingdom of Lord Kṛṣṇa, lying off India’s west coast, where He performed pastimes five thousand years ago. The capital city of the Yadus. Lord Kṛṣṇa had this city built to protect the Yadus from the attacks by the demons. It is an island situated off the eastern part of India, which is now known as Gujarat. When Lord Kṛṣṇa left this world, the ocean enveloped the whole city.


the duration of Brahmā’s life, 311 trillion 411 billion years.


unworthy sons of the twice-born.


See: Brahma-bandhu


a brāhmaṇa, or twice-born person.


island; planet.

Dvivida gorilla

a huge, apelike demon killed by Lord Balarāma.


the doorkeeper sculptures by the doorways of Hindu and Buddhist temples.

Dxa (Gr.)

Opinion, as opposed to factual knowledge (nesis).

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