Glossary H


the father of Kṛtavarmān.


a dynasty of demoniac kings destroyed by Lord Paraśurāma.

Hamlyn, David W.

Professor of Philosophy at Birbeck College, University of London. He is the author of a number of books on philosophy and the editor of Mind magazine.


the great famous monkey devotee of Lord Rāmacandra. The eleventh portion of Rudra. He is the brother of Bhīma and the son of the wind-god, Vāyu, and Añjana, the daughter of Gautama Ṛṣi. The story of how Bhīma and Hanumān met is told in the Vana Parva of the Mahābhārata. Hanumān gave a benediction to Bhīma that he would ride on the flagstaff of Arjuna’s chariot and strike terror into the Kaurava troops with earth trembling battle cries. He served the Supreme Lord in His incarnation as Lord Rāmacandra and assisted Him in defeating the demon Rāvaṇa.


a name of Lord Śiva-the guṇa-avatāra who is the superintendent of the mode of ignorance (tamoguṇa) and who takes charge of destroying the universe at the time of annihilation. He disguised himself as a Kirāta and fought with Arjuna over a boar. Lord Śiva was pleased with Arjuna and gave him a benediction of the Paśupati astra by which he could kill Jayadratha. He also gave a benediction to Aśvatthāmā that he could kill the remaining soldiers on the side of the Pāṇḍavas while they were sleeping in their tents. He is also considered the greatest Vaiṣṇava, or devotee, of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He is confused by some with the Supreme Lord.


Rādhārāṇī-Lord Kṛṣṇa’s most intimate consort, who the personification of the internal, pleasure potency of Lord Kṛṣṇa. She appeared in this world as the daughter of King Vṛsabhānu and Kirti-devī and is the Queen of Vṛndāvana. The most favorite consort of Kṛṣṇa in Vrindavana, situated on Lord Kṛṣṇa’s left on altars and pictures.

Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra

a sixteen-word prayer composed of the names Hare, Kṛṣṇa, and Rāma: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare, Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare is the personal form of God’s own happiness, His eternal consort, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Kṛṣṇa, “the all-attractive one,” and Rāma, “the all-pleasing one,” are names of God. This prayer means “My dear Rādhārāṇī and Kṛṣṇa, please engage me in Your devotional service.” The Vedas recommend the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra as the easiest and most sublime method of awakening one’s dormant love of God; the great chant for deliverance. These names have been particularly recommended for chanting in this age; The chanting of this mantra is the most recommended means for spiritual progress in this age of Kali, as it cleanses the mind and enables one to transcend the temporary designations of race, religion, and nationality and to understand one’s true identity as an eternal spiritual being. In other words, simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa one can directly experience self-realization and lead a blissful life. See Kali-yuga, Mantra.


the ritual and devotional practices of the Gauḍīya-vaiṣṇava-sampradāya, codified into twenty chapters by Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī and Śrīla Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī. The work represents extensive scriptural research and includes a Sanskrit commentary written by Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī called Dig-darśiṇī Tika.


Kṛṣṇa’s Sudarśana weapon, the wheel.


topics of Lord Hari, Kṛṣṇa.


the chanting of the names of Lord Hari (Kṛṣṇa); Saṅkīrtana-yajña-the sacrifice prescribed for the Age of Kali, namely, congregational chanting of the name, fame and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


congregational chanting of the holy names of the Supreme Lord.


the appendix to the Mahābhārata. It is a summary of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes by Śrīla Vyāsadeva.


“Chant the holy name.”


the twenty-eighth king in the Tretā-yuga. He appeared in the dynasty of the sun as the son of Triśaṅku, and he is celebrated in the Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa as the pious king who satisfied Viśvāmitra Muni by sacrificing his kingdom, wife, and son.

Haridāsa Ṭhākura

although born in a Muslim family, he was a confidential associate of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He was so absorbed in the nectar of the Holy Name that he chanted day and night, and it was his regular practice to chant 300,000 names of the Lord daily. Lord Caitanya made him the nāmācārya (teacher of chanting of the holy name).The Muslim government and caste-conscious Hindus attempted to persecute him, but all of their efforts failed, as he was under the direct protection of the Lord.

Haridvāra (Hardwar)

a famous place of pilgrimage in the northern foothills of the Himālaya Mountains. This is where . Ajāmila went for purlfication, where Prajāpati Dakṣa performed his sacrifice and lost his daughter Satī, and where some drops of nectar falling from the hand of Mohinī-mūrti, the Lord’s incarnation as a woman, landed. Because these drops of nectar fell, there is a Kumbha-melā every twelve years here. Nowadays the town is known as Haradwara, meaning “the gateway to Lord Śiva.”


congregational chanting of the holy names of the Supreme Lord, the recommended sacrifice for this age.


the Supreme Lord, who removes all obstacles to spiritual progress; Lord Viṣṇu, the seeing the Deity of the Lord.


jubilation, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.



the ancient capital city of Bhārata-varṣa, or India. The Sanskrit word hasti means elephants and in this city there were many elephants kept. It occupies a portion of what is today called New Delhi; The capital city of the Pāṇḍavas. When Dhṛtarāṣṭra wanted to give the Pāṇḍavas half of the kingdom, this part was given.


the indirect relationship of laughing.


the practice of postures and breathing exercises for achieving purification and sense control.



Hawking, Stephen

Famous British physicist (*1942) who believes the riddle of the origin of the universe can be solved by mathematics. Hawking is a positivist. See Logical Positivism, Positivism.


the horse-headed incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He spoke the Vedas to Lord Brahmā.


Lord Kṛṣṇa’s horse-headed incarnation, who returned the stolen Vedas to Brahmā.

Heavenly planets

the higher planets of the universe, residences of the demigods.


hellish planets within this universe meant for the punishment and rectification of the sinful.


This term comes from the Greek hens, one, plus thes, God. Henotheism is a form of polytheism. It postulates that there are many gods, one of which rules the others, as Indra rules the demigods. The ruling god, however, is neither absolute nor eternal. He is just for the time being more powerful than the other gods. Max Mūller mistakenly thought the Vedic religion was henotheistic: the Vedas present many gods, and when any one of them is worshiped, that god or goddess becomes the highest deity of the Vedas. See Atheism, Demigods, Polytheism, Theism.

Herā-pañcamī festival

celebration of the coming of the goddess of fortune to the Guṇḍicā temple.


a Rākṣasa who fought with Bhīma and was killed. This incident is mentioned in the Ādi Parva of the Mahābhārata.


the sister of Hiḍimba. She later married Bhīma and begot a son named Ghaṭotkaca.


the great mountain on the northern side of India. The Pāṇḍavas stayed for some time in this region.


a newly-concocted name for members of various social and religious groups of India.


This term is derived from the name of a river in present-day Pakistan, the Sindhu, Sind or Indus. Beginning around 1000 AD, invading armies from the Middle East called the place beyond the Sindhu river Hindustan and the people who lived there the Hindus. (Due to the invaders’ language, the s was changed to h.) In the centuries that followed, the term Hindu became acceptable even to the Indians themselves as a general designation for their different religious traditions. But since the word Hindu is not found in the Vedic scriptures upon which these traditions are based, it is quite inappropriate. The proper term is Vedic Dharma. See Dharma.




the total material energy.


the father of Ekalavya, and the King of the Niśadhas, forest dwellers.


a powerful demon and great atheist who tormented his son Prahlāda Mahārāja, a great devotee, and was killed by Kṛṣṇa in His incarnation as Nṛsiṁha-deva (the half man-half lion form of Lord Viṣṇu).


the demoniac son of Kaśyapa who was killed by Lord Varāha.


a king of Daśārṇa. His daughter was married to Śikhaṇḍī.

Hlādinī śakti

Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure potency.


a major Hindu holiday celebrated on the last day of the bright fortnight of the month of Phalgun (February-March). This festival is said to be one of Kṛṣṇa’s favorates. The most popular activity is ther throwing of colored water and powder by participants on each other.


the maternal grandfather of Ambā. He recommended to Ambā that she approach Paraśurāma to influence Bhīṣma to marry her.


South Indian dynasty that ruled part of South India.


a name of Kṛṣṇa meaning “the master of all senses.”


bereft of intelligence.


Humanism grew into a distinct ideological movement during the Renaissance as a reaction against feudalism and medieval theology. It proclaims freedom of the rational individual, opposes religious asceticism, and promotes man’s rights to pleasure and the satisfaction of earthly desires and requirements. It is dedicated to fostering the ethical and creative development of the individual without reference to God or other concepts of the supernatural. In the nineteenth century, humanism took the shape of a secular religion; a prominent humanist of that time was Karl Marx. Today, the term is commonly used to mean a set of entirely non-religious beliefs and values. See Marxism, Relativism.

Hume, David

Along with Locke and Berkeley, Hume (1711-1776) is classified as one of the three principle British empiricist philosophers. He taught that knowledge is comprised of sense data; there is no a priori knowledge; existence is identical to our own ideas; there is no objective connection between cause and effect, and there is no mind, self, or spiritual substance apart from a bundle of sense impressions and ideas in our heads. See Empiricism.


A method of reasoning widely used in the Western world for a very long time. An example from history is found in De Stella Martis by Kepler, who was puzzled by the problem of the shape of the orbit of Mars. Unable to figure it out by empirical observation, Kepler decided to simply suppose that the orbit was elliptical. Following this hypothesis, he worked out positions for the planet that corresponded well with its observed positions. Thus his hypothesis was not formed on the basis of previous observations, as it would have been had Kepler followed the empirical method. Rather, it was devised by speculation. The observations were then deductively brought into line with that speculation. See Abduction, Deduction, Induction.