Glossary N


the saintly king who was the father of Lord Ṛṣabhadeva.


a so-called party of devotees who worship Viṣṇupriyā.




a wife of a serpent.


a town or city.


a race of serpents.


a snake. Śeṣa-nāga is the incarnation of Lord Sankarṣaṇa, or Baladeva.


a sacred forest in central India where the eighteen Purāṇas were spoken and which is said to be the hub of the universe.


a forest dweller, desdants of Naishada, an ugly dwarf born of the thigh of King Vena.


another term for akarma; action for which one suffers no reaction because it is performed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.


one who has been celibate since birth.


star; also refers to an asterism. In Vedic astrology there are twenty-seven asterisms.


a mongoose, the enemy of snakes.


the fourth of the Pāṇḍavas. He was the son of Mādrī by the twin Aśvinī Kumāra demigods. Nakula and his brother Sahadeva were taken care of by Kuntī after Madrī entered the funeral fire of Pāṇḍu. Nakula was reputed for being handsome.


an offense against the holy name of the Lord.


congregational chanting of the holy names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, usually accompanied by hand cymbals (karatālas) and clay mṛdaṅga drums. Lord Caitanya and the Vedic literatures recommend this saṅkīrtana as the most effective means of God-realization in the present age of Kali.


the stage just above the offensive stage of chanting the name of God, in which one realizes a dim reflection of the holy name.


ācārya of the chanting of the holy names (Haridāsa Ṭhākura).


Hindu greetings, meaning “obeisances.”


a famous South Indian devotee who lived before Rāmānuja and composed many beautiful prayers.

Namo nārāyaṇāya

greeting of Māyāvādī sannyāsīs meaning “I offer my obeisances to Nārāyaṇa.”


baked leavened bread.

Nanda Mahārāja

the king of the cowherd men of Vṛndāvana, Vraja, foster father of Lord Kṛṣṇa.


the festival of Nanda Mahārāja; Kṛṣṇa’s birthday.


the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, who is the darling son of Nanda Mahārāja.


the beautiful forest in the celestial world where Lord Indra sports with his wife and where there is heavenly music and dancing.


lower garden.


one of the chief personal servants of Lord Nārāyaṇa in His spiritual abode, Vaikuṇṭha.


the introductory portion of a drama, which is written to invoke good fortune.


the bull carrier of Śiva found in many Śiva temples.


the king, who is an earthly god.

Nara-Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi

an incarnation of the Supreme Lord appearing as two sages to teach by example the practice of austerities.

Nārada Muni

a pure devotee of the Lord, one of the sons of Lord Brahmā, who travels throughout the universes in his eternal body, glorifying devotional service while delivering the science of bhakti. He is the spiritual master of Vyāsadeva and of many other great devotees; A great sage among the demigods, the favorite son of Brahmā, and one of the foremost authorities on viṣṇu-bhakti. In Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad, Brahmā taught Nārada the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Nārada is famous throughout the universe for his ecstatic chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. He taught the Nārada-pañcaratra and the Nārada-bhakti-sūtra and gives a number of illuminating discourses in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other Purāṇas. Among Nārada’s prominent disciples are Prahlāda, Dhruva, Citraketu (Vṛtrāsura), the Haryaśvas, and Vyāsadeva, who compiled all the Vedic scriptures. See Bhakti-yoga, Brahmā, Demigods, Prahlāda, Vyāsa.

Nārada Pañcarātra

Nārada Muni’s book on the processes of Deity worship and mantra meditation.


the lowest of mankind, those who are socially and politically developed but have no religious principles.


the father of King Bhagadatta. He was killed by Lord Kṛṣṇa.


a name for the Supreme Lord as well as for Yamarāja, meaning “he who is in charge of the hellish regions”.


candidate for hellish life.


lake of hell.

Narasiṁha, Lord

Nṛsiṁha-deva-the half-man, half-lion incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who killed the demon Hiranyakasipu and saved His devotee, Prahlada Mahārāja.


a devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa.


one who has dedicated his life to the Supreme Lord Nārāyana, or Kṛṣṇa.


a name for the majestic four-armed form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead meaning “He who is the source and goal of all living entities.” The resting place of all living entities, who presides over the Vaikuṇṭha planets; Lord Viṣṇu, He is an expansion of Kṛṣṇa.


the human race or a human being.

Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura

a renowned Vaiṣṇava spiritual master in the disciplic succession from Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is famous for his many compositions of devotional songs. He appeared in the 16th century in Khetari. in the West Bengal district of Rajasahi, just north of Nadia. He was devoted to Lord Caitanya from birth. His father was a king and dedicated to Lord Nityānanda. Narottama went to Vṛndāvana and became the initiated disciple of Lokanātha Gosvāmī. He studied under Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī and preached widely throughout India, making many thousands of disciples.


bereft of all good sense.


bereft of all intelligence.


Śiva as the cosmic dancer.

Natural theology

A theological movement of the late seventeenth to early nineteenth century that minimized traditional revealed theology. Natural theology was the attempt of rationalist philosophers to acquire and demonstrate God consciousness by innate or natural reason. See Rationalism.

the day on which Lord Jagannātha, Śrīmatī Subhadrā and Lord Balarāma enter seclusion for fifteen days before Ratha-yātrā.

the eternal transcendental form of Kṛṣṇa as pre-youth.

the topmost holy place, ninety miles north of Calcutta. In the 15th and 16th centuries the city became the greatest center of Sanskrit learning in all of India. Lord Caitanya, the yuga-avatāra, appeared there in the late 15th century and propagated the chanting of the Holy Names all over India. His appearance made Navadvīpa the crest jewel of all holy places in the present age.

nine planets.

the ninth day of the waxing and waning moon.


Muslim ruler or a big landowner

Nawab Hussein Shah

the Muhammdan governor of Bengal during the time of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s appearance.

Nesis (Gr.)

Factual, intellectual knowledge, as opposed to mere opinion (dxa). See Epistemology.

Neti neti

the negative process of the jñānīs: “This is not spirit, this is not Brahman.”

Netrotsava festival

the festival of painting the eyes of Lord Jagannātha during the Nava-yauvana ceremony.

Newman, John Henry (1801-1890)

an English cardinal who became one of the most outstanding European religious thinkers and essayists of the 19th century. He spent his life defending Christian truth against various forms of so-called rationalism.

New Philosophy

A European intellectual movement of the seventeenth century that directly led to the rise of modern science, New Philosophy owed much to Descartes’ analytical, mechanistic view of the material world. The essential premise of New Philosophy is that knowledge is how something is made. The arcana naturae (secrets of nature) are to be exposed by experimenta lucifera (experiments of light), and the results of such experiments are to be validated by the reproduction of nature’s effects with the help of mechanical apparatus.

Newton, Sir Isaac

English scientist who lived from 1643 to 1727. He was a follower of the Unitarian wing of Christianity, and tried to keep his science firmly grounded upon his faith. Newton opposed Descartes, whose philosophy he perceived as leading science away from the Bible.


sleep, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.


a yogī who worships the Supersoul without form.


one’s constitutional position.


the Lord’s energy that destroys the creation.

Nilambar Cakravartī

the grand father of Sri Caitanya Maha-prabhu.

Nilambara Cakravartī

the great astrologer and scholar Vaisnava, Garga Muni, of Krsna-lila.


a devotee king, ruler of Videha.


Lord Caitanya in His childhood.




without cessation, continuously, constantly.


a completely liberated saint.


the impersonal conception of the Supreme Truth as being without any qualities.


without material qualities; uncontaminated by the three modes of material nature.


fasting completely, even from water.


consciousness that nothing belongs to oneself.


the winding up of all energies employed in creation.


the cessation of material activities and existence, which according to Vaiṣṇava philosophy, does not deny spiritual activities and existence; freedom from and the end of the process of materialistic life; Literally, of, or like, a candle extinguised. A Sanskrit term for deliverance from material identity or extinction of the false ego, nirvāna is often identified with Buddhism. However, it is to be found throughout the Vedic literatures, e.g. in Bhagavad-gītā 2.72, 5.24-26, and 6.15. See Buddhism, False ego, Liberation, Modes of nature.


indifference, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.


impersonalists who accept an Absolute but deny that He has any qualities of His own.


Correct apprehension. One of the five functions of buddhi. See Buddhi.


acting in a way forbidden in the śāstra.


free from material desires.


free from all material possessions; having nothing; a renunciant.


the transcendental position above the three modes of nature.


the eternally conditioned soul, bound in the material world.


Kṛṣṇa’s eternally present pastimes.


souls who never come in contact with the external energy.


an eternally liberated soul.


one who has attained eternal perfection attained by never forgetting Kṛṣṇa at any time; an ever-purified associate of the Lord

Nityānanda Prabhu

the incarnation of Lord Balarāma who appeared as the principal associate of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.


a sect of demons who were killed by Arjuna at the request of Indra.


the path of renunciation, which leads to liberation; directions for giving up the material world for higher spiritual understanding.


either following rules and regulations insufficiently (niyama-agraha) or fanatically without understanding the goal (niyama-āgraha).


restraint of the senses.


the proper reception of guests; lit. “a sacrifice to satisfy people.”


a king who was cursed to become a snake because of a slight discrepancy in his service to brāhmaṇas. He was delivered by Lord Kṛṣṇa.


dance hall.

Nṛsiṁha Purāṇa

one of the eighteen Purāṇas. It describes the pastimes of the Supreme Lord in His half-lion, half-man incarnation.

Nṛsiṁha-caturdaśī festival

the appearance day of Lord Nṛsiṁha.


the half-man, half-lion incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who killed the demon Hiranyakasipu and saved His devotee, Prahlada Mahārāja.


Opposite of phenomenal. The root of the word numinous is the Latin numen, nod: a nod as a sign of command. From this comes the sense of a divine will or divine command. Thus the term numinous indicates the felt presence of the divine spirit, the transcendental, the everlasting. See Phenomenalism.


logic; Gautama Muni-one of the seven sons born from Lord Brahma’s mind. He belongs to the family of Aṅgirā Ṛṣi and is the author of Nyāya-śāstra, the science of logic, which explains that the combination of atoms is the cause of everything; One of the six systems of Vedic philosophy; taught by sage Gautama. See Logic, Six systems.


the Sanskrit literary works, written by the ancient Ṛṣi Gautama Muni and his followers, that teach the philosophical science of logic. Nyayu (or dialectics) was founded by Gautama and is one of the six major schools of Indian philosophy.

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