Glossary K


a son of Śrī. Indra once stuffed his legs and head into his belly as a punishment. Indra foretold that until his long arms were cut off by Lord Rāma (which later occurred), Kabandha would not achieve peace.


the stringed instrument of Rādhārāṇī.


the ointment of Lord Jagannātha, the remnants of which were used by Lord Caitanya.


wife of Kasyapa and mother of the race of serpents.


the home of Lord Śiva in the Himalayas.


Kṛṣṇa’s age from the eleventh to the fifteenth year.


cheating religion.


the state of realization of one’s constitutional position as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, which is preliminary to manifestation of activities on the platform of devotional service.


the impersonal liberation of merging into the spiritual effulgence of Brahman emanating from the Lord.


a preparation of lampblack used to darken the edges of the eyelids; kohl.


stories and discussion on religious themes, especially from the purunas.




the invalidity of old age.

Kala namak

Black salt-a reddish-gray variety of salt with a distinct “hard-boiled egg-yolk” flavour. Black salt or kala namak, as it is known in Indian cuisine, is a major ingredient in the spice blend chat masala. Sprinkle black salt in Scrambled Curd. It is available at Indian grocers.


the snake of time.


a form of the Lord that is an expansion of the Lord’s original form.


eternal time.


Durgā-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 She is very powerful, superseded only by Lord Viṣṇu Himself, and is the external manifestation of the Lord’s internal potency, Yoga-māyā.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.


the “Age of Quarrel and Hypocrisy ” The fourth and last age in the cycle of a mahā-yuga. This is the present age in which we are now living. It began 5,000 years ago and lasts for a total of 432,000 years. It is characterized by irreligious practice and stringent material miseries. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam the age is personified as an evil black man who tries to kill a helpless cow and bull. The four legs of the cow represent the four principles of religiosity-namely, truth, cleanliness, mercy and austerity. The bull represents religion itself; The most recommended process of spiritual upliftment in this age is saṅkīrtana, the congregational glorification of the Lord through chanting His holy name. See Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā-mantra, ISKCON, Saṅkīrtana, Time.


a province in ancient India.


the many-headed serpent chastised by Lord Kṛṣṇa for poisoning a section of the Yamunā River.


the black intense form of Lord Śiva’s wife. She wears a necklace of skulls. Demigoddess to whom worshipers may offer meat. Durgā-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.


He is the tenth incarnation of Lord Viṣṇu. He arrives on a white horse at the end of Kali-yuga to annihilate all the remaining atheists.




līlā-avatāras appearing in each day of Brahmā.


wish-fulfilling trees.


Brahmā’s daytime, 4,320,000,000 years.


desire-fulfilling cows in Vṛndāvana.


a Vedic hymn which is composed of twenty-four and a half syllables.


exchanges of letters between a young boy and young girl concerning their awakening of attachment for one another.


spiritual cows, in the spiritual world, which yield unlimited quantities of milk.


the water-pot carried by sannyāsīs.


lust; the desire to gratify one’s own senses; Desire, especially material desire and sexual desire; lust, as opposed to prema. See Prema.


a high fever.


a province situated in the north western part of India.


the capital of King Drupada.


a demoniac king of the Bhoja dynasty and maternal uncle of Kṛṣṇa. The son of Ugrasena. He imprisoned his father and took charge of the kingdom. He killed the first six children of Devakī. Kaṁsa was killed by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.


the propounder of Vaiśeṣika philosophy, which states that atoms are the original cause of the creation.


beggars similar to gypsies who wear ivory earrings.


three divisions of the Vedas.


a brāhmaṇa minister of King Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He advised the King to kill his enemies by any means. (Ādi Parva in Mahābhārata)


a neophyte devotee in lowest stage of Vaiṣṇava life.


the name Yudhiṣṭhira used during the last year of exile in the kingdom of Virāṭa.

Kant, Immanuel

German rationalist philosopher, born in Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) in 1724. He laid down what are known as the regulative principles of modern science, such as the law of the conservation of matter and the principle of causality. Kant gave the world the theory that the universe was formed out of a cloud of dust. He died in 1804. See Idealism, Rationalism.


the virgin maiden; another name of the wife of Lord Śiva.


mucus, one of the three major elements of the gross body.


an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa who appeared in Satya-yuga as the son of Devahūti and Kardama Muni and expounded the devotional Sāṅkhya philosophy, the analysis of matter and spirit, as a means of cultivating devotional service to the Lord. (There is also an atheist named Kapila, but he is not an incarnation of the Lord.)

Kāraṇa Ocean

the corner of the spiritual universe in which Lord Mahā-Viṣṇu lies down to create the entirety of material universes.


imperfection of the material senses.

Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu

Mahā-Viṣṇu, the expansion of the Supreme Lord from whom all material universes emanate. He lies within the Causal Ocean and breathes out innumerable universes.


waterpot carried by sannyāsīs.


hand cymbals used in kīrtana.

Kardama Muni

the father of Lord Kapila and one of the chief forefathers of the population of the universe.


a deep, rounded pan with handles on both sides, used for deep-frying or pan-frying.


bondage to the reactions of fruitive activities.


the bondage of fruitive activities.


the division of the Vedas which deals with fruitive activities performed for the purpose of gradual purification of the grossly entangled materialist; The path of fruitive work. One of the three departments of Vedic knowledge, karma-kāṇḍa is taught by Dakṣa. See Apara-vidyā, Jñāna-kāṇḍa, Upāsanā-kāṇḍa.


relating to karma-kāṇḍa.


one of the six main Vedic philosophies. It states that the subtle laws of nature reward or punish one according to how one acts, without reference to an independent God; A doctrine of fruitive work taught by sage Jaimini. One of the six systems of Vedic philosophy. See Six systems.


those who consider devotional service to be fruitive activities.


the giving of the results of karma to the Supreme Lord.


a successful fruitive worker.


action in devotional service; the path of God realization through dedicating the fruits of one’s work to God.


one whose mind is colored with fruitive activity.


  1. material action performed according to scriptural regulations;
  2. action pertaining to the development of the material body;
  3. any material action which will incur a subsequent reaction;
  4. the material reaction one incurs due to fruitive activities; This Sanskrit word means ‘action’ or, more specifically, any material action that brings a reaction binding us to the material world. According to the law of karma, if we cause pain and suffering to other living beings, we must endure pain and suffering in return; One of the five tattvas, or Vedic ontological truths: the activity or work which the embodied living entity performs with the karmendriya, as well as the resultant reaction. The soul receives the due reaction to work by taking his next birth in a subhuman species, or the human species, or a superhuman species. Or the soul may be liberated from birth and death altogether. All this depends upon whether the karma performed within this lifetime is ignorant, passionate, good or transcendental. Karma dedicated in sacrifice as directed by Vedic injunctions raises the quality of a human being’s work. Sacrifice culminates in activity dedicated only to Lord Kṛṣṇa’s service. Such transcendental karma is called naiṣkarma. See Liberation, Life after death, Reincarnation, Saṁsāra, Supersoul, Tattva.


The five working senses or organs of action: the mouth (with the double function of speaking and eating), the hands, the legs, the genitalia and the rectum.


the working senses.


fruitive laborers.


one engaged in kārma (fruitive activity); a materialist.


the eldest son of Kuntī before her marriage to Pāṇḍu. She had received a mantra from Durvāsā Muni that she could call any deva and conceive children. In her innocence she called Sūrya, the sun-god and conceived Karṇa. She was forced to abandon the child out of fear of her relatives. Karṇa was then raised by Adhiratha and Rādhā. He fought against the Pāṇḍavas and was killed by Arjuna in the battle of Kurukṣetra.


the members of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s family.


From the Greek kth’n, one by one, plus thes, a god. A kathenotheist worships one god after another among a pantheon of gods, at intervals throughout the year. These gods are supposed to represent different facets of the absolute. See Atheism, Theism.


the name of a Vedic month occurring around October-November of the solar calendar, in which the Dāmodara form of Lord Kṛṣṇa is worshiped.


the younger son of Lord Śiva and Pārvatī. He is the presiding deity of warfare. Also known as Subrahmanya or Skanda.


the indirect relationship of compassion.


a kind of pickle.


one of the oldest sacred places of learning in India. The Purāṇic name of the modern city of Benares in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is the place of Lord Śiva and generally the followers of Lord Śiva live there. Ambā, Ambikā and Ambālikā were abducted by Bhīṣma from this city. This was the site of Lord Caitanya’s famous conversion of the leading impersonalist scholar of the day, Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī.


a great saint who was the father of many demigods and also of the Supreme Lord’s incarnation Vāmanadeva; one of the seven mental sons of Lord Brahmā.

Kaṭha Upaniṣad

one of the 108 Vedic scriptures known as Upaniṣads.


Keralan religious dance.


the material energy personified. She is also known as Durgā and Kālī and by many other names.


small conchshells.


the son of Kuntī (usually refers to Arjuna).


the thick belt and underwear worn by saintly persons.


the descendants of King Kuru who fought against the Pāṇḍavas in the Battle of Kurukṣetra.

Kaustubha gem

a jewel worn by Lord Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa, on His chest.


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

Kavi-karṇapūra Gosvāmī

a noted sixteenth-century author of Sanskrit poems and plays. He is one of the leading followers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Kāyastha caste

a Hindu community who are expert in managing business and government affairs; they are very reliable and faithful servants.


a province in ancient India. Five princes from this country joined with Yudhiṣṭhira in the battle of Kurukṣetra, and they were killed by Droṇa. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)


the false story of the incarnations of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma from respective black and white hairs of Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu.

Kesava Kasmir

learned scholar in Caitanya-lila.


the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, who has fine, long black hair.

Kesava Gaudiya Matha

This temple was established by Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, the sannyasa-guru of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The presiding Deities are Sri Sri Radha-vinoda-vihari.


Māyāvādī philosophers.


devotional platform of seeing the unlimited potency of Kṛṣṇa but still considering oneself equal with Him; pure, uncontaminated emotion.


a demon who attacked the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana in the form of a wild horse but was killed by Lord Kṛṣṇa.


cotton cloth.


a kind of light sweetmeat.


another name for Indraprastha. The forest in the part of the Kuru kingdom was devoured by Agni with the help of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna.


a valley between two mountains; a section of a book.


classes of lowborn men.


a saintly king who is famous for attaining unalloyed Kṛṣṇa consciousness just moments before his death.


birthplace and residence of the great Vaiṣṇava Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and site of a magnificent festival and Deity installation in which thousands of devotees took part, located in the West Bengal district of Rajasahi.


brother-in-law of King Virāṭa. He was killed during the last year of the Pāṇḍavas exile in the kingdom of Virāṭa. When he lusted after Draupadī, he was killed by Bhīma.


the present state of Gaya, in north-central India.


a sage who was killed by Pāṇḍu in the forest. Kindama had taken the form of a deer and was enjoying sex with his wife. Pāṇḍu, thinking the deer fit for sacrifice, killed the deer and its mate. Before leaving his body, Kindama cursed Pāṇḍu to die while he was enjoying his wife.


minor demigods inhabiting the heavenly planets. They can change their form at will.


a mountainous region near modern Udaipur, Rajasthan, where Arjuna did penance. Lord Śiva took the form of a Kirāta and fought with Arjuna.


another name for Arjuna.


a fierce Rākṣasa and the brother of Baka. He was killed by Bhīma during their exile in the forest. (Vana Parva in Mahābhārata)


glorification of the Supreme Lord. Narrating or singing the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His Holy Names; the devotional process of chanting the names and glories of the Supreme Lord; A related Sanskrit word is kīrti (fame). Hence, kīrtana means to glorify, and saṅkīrtana means to glorify congregationally, the fame of the Supreme Lord. Saṅkīrtana is the yuga-dharma, or the main occupation and attribute of the present age (Kali-yuga). See Bhakti, Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā-mantra, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Saṅkīrtana.


Kṛṣṇa as a young boy.


a great cheater.


description of devotional service indicating that it reduces or nullifies all kinds of suffering.


a prosperous kingdom in ancient India. Bhīmasena conquered this country for Yudhiṣṭhira before the Rājasūya sacrifice.


ten million.


temple in Tamil Nadu.


one of the seven great sages who were born directly from Lord Brahmā.


a town that is the government headquarters of a sub-division of the West Bengal district of Nadia. It is about ten miles east of Śrī Māyāpura.


devoid of spiritual behavior.


injunctions for Vedic rituals.




one who as attained perfection by the mercy of superior authorities.


perfection attained simply by the blessings of the Lord or a great devotee.


the son of Śaradvān. He was a brāhmaṇa by birth, but was inclined to the duties of a kṣatriya. He learned the Dhanur Veda from his father, and taught the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and the sons of Pāṇḍu what he had learned from his father. Due to politics he took the side of Duryodhana during the battle of Kurukṣetra. He later became the teacher of Mahārāja Parīkṣit.


a miserly man who wastes his life by not striving for spiritual realization.


perfection attained simply by the blessings of a great devotee or transcendentalist.


the sister of Kṛpācārya and the wife of Droṇa. Her son was Aśvatthāmā.


Literally, the all-attractive Lord; the main Sanskrit name of the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the source of all incarnations, and no one is equal to Him or greater than Him. The Vedas glorify His partial incarnations (which include the demigods), His impersonal Brahman effulgence, His almighty Nārāyaṇa feature with four hands, and at last His superexcellent pastimes as the most sublime youth who herds millions of cows in the forest of Vṛndāvana and dances with millions of cowherd girls (gopīs). There is nothing to compare with this, the two-armed form of the Lord, blackish like a rain cloud, with reddish lotus eyes and a world-enchanting smile. In the material world the owner of the body is called the soul, and the body is called a material designation. In the spiritual Vaikuṇṭha world, however, there is no such distinction. The owner of the body is not different from the body, for both are pure spirit. The divine body of Lord Kṛṣṇa in Vaikuṇṭha is the first and the cynosure of all spiritual forms. He is eternal, and His appearance within the material world as an avatāra is perpetual. Kṛṣṇa is personally Bhagavān, the possessor of six opulences in unlimited fullness: wealth, strength, beauty, knowledge, fame and renunciation. Semi-personally and impersonally, Kṛṣṇa is represented by the Supersoul and the brahma-jyotir Besides all-attractive, the name Kṛṣṇa also means the whole of existence and He who stops birth and death. Kṛṣṇa has unlimited other names like Govinda, Gopāla, Mukunda and Hari. These holy names are nondifferent from Him and indicate the forms He displays in His various pleasure pastimes. See Avatāra, Bhagavān, Bhakti, Brahmajyoti, Brahman, Deity, ISKCON, Īśvara, Līlā, Rādhārāṇī, Supersoul, Spiritual world, Viṣṇu.

Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana

another name of Śrīla Vyāsadeva.


description of pure devotional service indicating that it gradually attracts Kṛṣṇa toward the devotee.


bereft of one’s relationship with Kṛṣṇa.


a devotee of Kṛṣṇa.


devotion to Kṛṣṇa.


servant of Kṛṣṇa.


doing all work for the sake of Kṛṣṇa.


discussions or topics spoken by or about Kṛṣṇa.


the chanting of Kṛṣṇa’s name and pastimes.


the transcendental pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa.


associates of the Lord.


Prasāda, or prasādam-“the mercy of Lord Kṛṣṇa.” Food prepared for the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa and offered to Him with love and devotion. Because Kṛṣṇa tastes the offering, the food becomes spiritualized and purifies anyone who eats it. See also: Mahā-prasādam.


the treasure of love for Kṛṣṇa.


the feeling of spiritual separation from Kṛṣṇa.

Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmi

author of the immortal Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, considered the greatest work on the life and philosophy of Lord Caitanya. He composed it in his nineties, despite bodily infirmity. This book is especially revered by Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. He was ordered by Lord Nityānanda in a dream to go to Vṛndāvana where he studied the Gosvāmī literature under the direction of Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī.


the planet in the spiritual world where Krṣna resides. See also: Goloka Vṛndāvana.


another name of Draupadī.


the spiritual master, who is always embraced by Kṛṣṇa.

Kṛṣṇe matir astu

greeting of Vaiṣṇava sannyāsīs meaning “Let your attention be on Kṛṣṇa.”




a king of the Vṛṣṇi dynasty, and the son of Hādīka. He took the side of Duryodhana during the battle of Kurukṣetra. He was killed during the fratricidal war of the Yadus.


a name of Vidura.




the son of Śikhaṇḍī. He was killed by Lakṣmaṇa during the Kurukṣetra war.


one of the sons of Dhṛṣṭadyumna. He was killed by Droṇa during the Kurukṣetra war.


one of the sons of Dhṛṣṭadyumna. He was killed by Droṇa during the Kurukṣetra war.


one of the sons of Dhṛṣṭadyumna. He was killed by Droṇa during the Kurukṣetra war.


third of the four orders of the varṇāśrama system. A warrior who is inclined to fight and lead others. The administrative or protective occupation according to the system of four social and spiritual orders.


subordinate ecstatic symptoms, including dancing and bodily contortions; a division of anubhāva.


vow to leave household life and live in a place of pilgrimage devoted to Lord Viṣṇu.


one who is conscious of the body. Both the soul and the Supersoul are kṣetrajña, for the individual soul is conscious of his own particular body and the Supersoul is conscious of the bodies of all living beings.


field of activities, the body of the conditioned soul.

Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu

the Viṣṇu expansion of the Supreme Lord who enters within each atom and between each atom of the universe and enters the heart of every living entity. He is also called the Supersoul.


Gopīnātha Deity who stole condensed milk for Mādhavendra Purī.


hunger and thirst.


sense gratificatory activities performed under sinful conditions.


an auspicious grass used in Vedic rituals and sacrifices.


a great devotee-king and the author of Mukunda-mālā stotra, prayers to Lord Kṛṣṇa.


the place where there is no disturbance.


four learned ascetic sons of Lord Brahmā appearing eternally as children, who became great devotees of the Lord and great authorities on devotional service; Four sons of Brahmā, named Sanat, Sanandana, Sanaka and Sanātana, who are incarnations of the jñāna-śakti (power of knowledge) of Lord Viṣṇu. They live for the entire duration of universal time, but appear as children of only 5 years. One of the four Vaiṣṇava sampradāyas is called the Kumāra Sampradāya. They are its original founders.


a fair held every twelve years at Prayāga for spiritual upliftment; attended by people from all over India.


complete stoppage of the air currents within the body as part of the eightfold mystic process.




a variety of sweet potato with a rich, orange colour, popular in New Zealand.


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma during the battle of Kurukṣetra. (Bhīṣma Parva in Mahābhārata)


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma during the battle of Kurukṣetra. (Bhīṣma Parva in Mahābhārata)


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma during the battle of Kurukṣetra. (Bhīṣma Parva in Mahābhārata)


small lake or pond.


one of the one hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma during the battle of Kurukṣetra. (Bhīṣma Parva in Mahābhārata)


a sweetly-flavored reddish cosmetic powder which is thrown on the bodies of worshipable persons, also used by married women to decorate their foreheads.


the mother of the Pāṇḍavas and Lord Kṛṣṇa’s aunt in the Mahābhārata. She was the daughter of Śūrasena and the sister of Vasudeva. She was adopted by King Kuntībhoja and later married King Pāṇḍu. Her other name is Pṛthā.


a king of the Yadu dynasty, and the foster father of Kuntī. He took the side of the Pāṇḍavas during the Kurukṣetra war.


a type of osprey (female kurarī).

Kūrma Purāṇa

one of the eighteen Purāṇas. It describes the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s tortoise incarnation.


the Supreme Lord’s incarnation as a tortoise.


Indian shirts pullover.


a holy place due to the penances of King Kuru. It was here that the great Mahābhārata war was fought; situated about ninety miles north of New Delhi where Lord Kṛṣṇa spoke the Bhagavad-gītā to Arjuna, five thousand years ago. It is a place of pilgrimage.


all of the descendants of King Kuru, but specifically the 100 sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. The Pāṇḍavas were also descendants of King Kuru, but Dhṛtarāṣṭra wished to exclude them from the family tradition; enemies of the Pāṇḍavas.


the founder of the dynasty in which the Pāṇḍavas, as well as their archrivals, the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, took birth.


false logicians.


the first stage of the sannyāsa order. The kuṭīcaka lives in a hut nearby his village, and his family brings him food.


duplicity or fault-finding.


happy within the heart, but externally angry and offended.




one of the important demigods in heaven, and the treasurer of wealth. He benedicted the Pāṇḍavas during their exile in the forest; father of Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva.