Glossary P




the devotional process of serving at the Lord’s feet.


foot journey; to go on pilgrimage by foot.


a superintendent of an Orissan temple.

Padma Purāṇa

one of the eighteen Purāṇas, or Vedic historical scriptures. It consists of conversation between Lord Śiva and his wife, Pārvati.


a name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead meaning “He who has a lotus flower sprouting from His navel” or “He whose navel resembles a lotus.”


the lotus flower held by Lord Viṣṇu.


water ceremoniously offered for washing feet.


100 paise equals one rupee.


ripe, mature, reliable


the power to rule and maintain the living entities.


a seat that can be carried by four men, usually used to transport great personages or ladies.


attendants who look after a temple’s external affairs.


South Indian dynasty of rulers.


five kinds of products of the cow used to bathe the Deity.


the five gross elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether.


the five daily sacrifices performed by householders to become free from unintentional sins.


the Lord-Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, His plenary portion-Nityānanda Prabhu, His incarnation-Advaita Prabhu, His energy-Gadādhara Prabhu, and His devotee-Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura.


the conchshell of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.


the kingdom of King Drupada.


the five sense objects.


five kinds of nectar used to bathe the Deity.


the standard Vaiṣṇava method of temple worship taught in the Pañcarātras.


Vedic literatures describing the process of Deity worship. See also: Nārada Pañcarātra.


the devotional process of Deity worship and mantra meditation as found in the Pañcarātra literature.


the process of worshiping the Deity, as explained by Nārada Muni. Also, a five-day fast, as explained by Kauṇḍilya Ṛṣi.


worship by impersonalist Māyāvādīs of five deities (Viṣṇu, Durgā, Brahmā, Gaṇeśa and Vivasvān) that is motivated by the desire to ultimately abandon all conceptions of a personal Absolute.

Panch masala

a mixture of five whole spices used in preparing vegetable dishes.

Panch puran

Five-spice—two varieties of five-spice are prominent in the world of vegetarian cuisine—Chinese five-spice powder and Indian panch puran, a blend of five whole spices. Chinese five-spice powder is a combination of five dried, ground spices, generally cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns, the pungent brown peppercorns native to the Sichuan province. When used as a condiment for fried food, it is used in sparing quantities because it is very potent. Try making your own by grinding together 2 or 3 small sections of cinnamon stick, a dozen cloves, 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds, 2 teaspoons of Sichuan peppercorns, and 3 or 4 star anise. Keep the powder in a well-sealed jar in a cool, dry place. Obtain your ingredients at any Asian grocery store. You can also purchase Chinese five-spice ready-made. Panch puran is most often associated with Bengali cuisine. It is a combination of equal quantities of fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black mustard seeds, and nigella (kalonji) seeds. Panch puran is always fried in ghee or oil before use to release the dormant flavour in the seeds. Mix your own, or purchase it ready-mixed at Indian grocery stores.


the five pious ksatriya brothers Yudhiṣṭhira, Bhīma, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva. They were intimate friends of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s and inherited the leadership of the world upon their victory over the Kurus in the Battle of Kurukṣetra.


a brahmāṇa guide at temples and holy places; see also: Paṇḍita.


word indicating that Kṛṣṇa is honored even by learned scholars.


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


a learned scholar.


a scholar learned in Vedic literature, not only academically but also by dint of spiritual realization. Though this is the proper definition of the word, the term is also loosely applied to any scholar.


the function of carrying Lord Jagannātha to His car prior to the Ratha-yātrā procession.


a great king of the Kuru dynasty, and the father of the Pāṇḍavas, Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva; the heroes of the Mahābhārata. He had two wives, Kuntī and Mādrī. He was a younger brother of Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s who died early, leaving his five young sons under the care of Dhṛtarāṣṭra.


the South Indian dynasty that ruled over Madurai and Rāmeśvaram in South India.


The belief that all things are imbued with God’s presence, because all things are in God (Gr. pan, all; en, in, and thes, God). See Atheism, Theism; The belief that God is identical to the universe.


further explanations of a subject.


The belief that God pervades all things as a psychic force. Hence, God’s consciousness is behind the movement of matter; our individual consciousness is an aspect of God’s. This falls short of true theism. See Atheism, Theism.


a name for the Ekādaśī that occurs during the dark part of the month of Caitra. It means “that which takes away sin.” Another name for this day, having the same meaning, is Pāpamocani.


the name for the Ekādaśī that occurs during the light part of the month of Aśvina. It means “that which has the power to pierce sin personified.”


From the Greek par, contrary to, and dxa, opinion, paradox originally meant anything that goes against common sense but yet still may be true. Nowadays it more commonly means an insoluble dilemma, or a contradiction.


the superior, spiritual energy or nature of the Lord.


helping others.


transcendental knowledge.


the Supreme Brahman, the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa.


the sixth incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who appeared in ancient times to overthrow the warrior class when they had become degraded, who destroyed twenty-one consecutive generations of lawless members of the ruling class. He taught the science of weapons to Droṇa and Karṇa.


relationship with Kṛṣṇa as His paramour.


the relationship between a married woman and her paramour; particularly the relationship between the damsels of Vṛndāvana and Krṣṇa.

Param Brahman

the Supreme Brahman, the Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Param dhāma

the eternal planets of the spiritual world.


the supreme goal of life.


the most learned scholar.

Paramaṁ padam

the Lord’s transcendental abode.

Paraṁ satyam

the Supreme Truth

Paramahaṁsa Bābājī

he who is on the highest platform of spiritual asceticism and who has given up all social and caste designations. The only designation maintained by him is that of being a tiny servant of the unlimited Supreme Personality of Godhead.


one who acts as an ācārya, directly presenting Lord Kṛṣṇa by spreading His name and fame.


a topmost, God-realized, swanlike devotee of the Supreme Lord; highest stage of sannyāsa.


the Supersoul, the localized aspect Viṣṇu expansion of the Supreme Lord residing in the heart of each embodied living entity and pervading all of material nature. See Supersoul.


the supreme controller, Lord Kṛṣṇa.


the disciplic succession through which spiritual knowledge is transmitted by bona-fide spiritual masters; Literally, one after the other. It refers to the disciplic succession of spiritual masters and their disciples who became spiritual masters, beginning with Kṛṣṇa and Brah-mā, His disciple at the dawn of creation. See Four Vaiṣṇava Sampradāyas and Siddhāntas.


a name of Arjuna, “chastiser of the enemies.”


one half of Brahmā’s lifetime of 311 trillion 40 billion years.

Parasara Muni

a great sage, the speaker of the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, and the father of Śrīla Vyāsadeva.


the spiritual sky.




Vedic knowledge of transcendence concerning the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His service, as distinct from apara-vidyā. The upāsanā-kāṇḍa scriptures make up the para-vidyā of the Vedas. See Apara-vidyā, Avidyā, Upāsanā-kāṇḍa.


the total aggregate of the senses.


the path that circles a sacred tract such as Vrndavan or Braj


the son of Abhimanyu and grandson of Arjuna. When the Pāṇḍavas retired from kingly life, he was crowned king of the entire world. He was later cursed to die by an immature brāhmaṇa boy and became the hearer of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and thus attained perfection.


the theory of transformation in the creation of the universe.


an extraordinarily fragrant white flower that Lord Kṛṣṇa brought from the heavenly planets for His wife Rukmiṇi.


devotees who are personal associates of the Lord.


the third stage of sannyāsa, wherein the devotee constantly travels and preaches.


Knowledge though another’s senses. The second of the five stages of Vedic knowledge.


Kṛṣṇa, the chariot driver of Arjuna (Pārtha).

Pārvata Muni

a great sage who is a constant companion of Nārada.


Sati, Lord Śiva’s consort, meaning daughter of the mountain. She was reborn as the daughter of Himālaya after consuming herself in mystic fire at Dakṣa’s sacrificial arena.




an “offender,” or atheist; a nonbeliever; one who thinks God and the demigods are on the same level, or who considers devotional activities to be material.


a mystic noose used to capture Bali Mahārāja.


another name of Draupadī, the wife of the Pāṇḍavas.


See Modes of nature (Rajo-guṇa).


the ultimate weapon of Lord Śiva. This weapon was used by Arjuna to kill Jayadratha.


a great authority and propounder on the aṣṭāṅga mystic yoga system and author of the Yoga-sūtra. He imagined the form of the Absolute Truth in everything.


the lowest of the universe’s fourteen planetary systems; also, the lower planets in general; also the seventh tier of the lower planetary systems, where Bali Mahārāja reigns.


a brāhmaṇa’s duty to be conversant with the Vedic scriptures; study of the scriptures.


Lord Caitanya, the deliverer of the fallen souls.


a husband.


players in a drama.


the age from five to ten years.


an enemy of Lord Kṛṣṇa who attempted to imitate Him.


the seven elements that constitute the body.


patience and gravity.


the conchshell of Bhīmasena.




The philosophical position that accepts personality as ultimate. Early Buddhist philosophers, themselves impersonalists, used the term puruṣa-vādī (Skr. personalist) in reference to the Vedic worshipers of the Mahāpuruṣa (the Supreme Person). In Western philosophy, personalism is often used as a synonym for relativism. Śrīla Prabhupāda used the term in the absolute sense, referring it only to the worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not to the worship of demigods, humans or human ideals. He equated impersonalism with atheism. See Atheism, Impersonalism, Relativism, Theism.


Sanskrit verses granting various benedictions.


another name for Arjuna; one of the months corresponding to January/February or February/March.


weak, temporary.


A doctrine of sense perception and reality that is associated with the British philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). For Mill, all knowledge is derived from sense perception. Things are real only when they are perceived. Therefore the material world cannot be said to exist apart from perception. Phenomenalism is closely associated with empiricism and induction. It is not to be confused with phenomenology. See Empiricism, Induction, Numinous.


A modern development in European rationalism. Its most famous exponents are Franz Brentano (1838-1917), Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), Martin Heidegger (1899-1976), Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961). Phenomenology investigates consciousness through experience. Some of its theories are reminiscent of Vedic knowledge, for example, the theory of the triumvirate of consciousness: the knower, the act of knowing, and the thing known. In Vedic terminology, these are jñātā, jñāna, and jñeya. See Mind/body problem, Rationalism.


From the Greek phlos, lover, friend, and sophs, wise, learned. A philosopher is someone who loves wisdom and erudition (sopha). Therefore he devotes himself to knowledge, that it may bloom into wisdom without hindrance. In Bg. 7.17, Lord Kṛṣṇa declares that when a sage devotes himself to knowing Him, he becomes very dear to the Lord.

Phul gobhi



the Indian cuckoo bird.


an offering made to departed ancestors.


a hobgoblin follower of Lord Śiva.


forefathers; especially those departed ancestors who have been promoted to one of the higher planets.


the pedestal or altar of the Deity. The pitha is in the sanctum sanctorum (inner sanctum)


offering oblations of water before one’s forefathers.


the planet of the ancestors, a heavenly planet.


bile, one of the three main elements of the body.


Disciple of Socrates, teacher of Aristotle, and a prolific writer (427-347 BC). Almost all that is known about Socrates comes from Plato’s works. A Platonic doctrine that resembles the Bhagavad-gītā philosophy of the three modes of material nature is the care of the soul. The soul is said to work within the body through three faculties: appetite, spiritedness and reason. The appetitive faculty is lowest of the three. It consists of the drives for physical enjoyment (of food and sex) and for the avoidance of pain. Thums, or spiritedness, is the middle faculty. It is excitable, aggressive and pugnacious, and seeks adventure and honor. Highest is the faculty of reason. It expresses itself as inquiry and as worthy activity. Reason seeks beauty, truth and goodness. The appetites can be compared to a herd of sheep, spiritedness to a sheepdog, and reason to a shepherd. Care of the soul means to keep the three faculties in harmony, so that they don’t meddle in one another’s purpose. The purpose of appetite is to see that the body is properly cared for. Spiritedness’s purpose is to fight fear and complacency. The purpose of reason is impose order upon the other two, to maintain harmony, and to care for the soul. Reason gets its sense of correct order and harmony by contemplation of the Good, described as a realm of eternal, unchanging thought-forms. When reason harmonizes human life with the Good, the soul is freed from human ignorance and suffering. British philosopher A.N. Whitehead (1861-1947) said the whole history of Western philosophy consists of nothing more than footnotes to Plato. See Idealism.


Plotinus lived in Egypt and Rome some two centuries after Christ (204-270 AD) and is the founder of the Neoplatonist school of Greek philosophy. As a young man in Alexandria, he learned philosophy under Ammonius Saccas. There is speculation that Ammonius Saccus was originally from India. Plotinus tried to visit India but failed. Back in the Mediterranean world, he taught that the soul is eternal and transmigrates from body to body (reincarnation). The gradation of species of living entities emanates from the impersonal spiritual essence, God. The philosophical soul gradually ascends to that essence and merges into it. Neoplatonism had a strong influence on the early Christian church. See Mysticism, Plato.


a yellow maize or cornmeal grown in northern Italy, where it is regarded as a staple food. Polenta is graded according to its texture and is available fine-, medium-, or coarse-ground. It is available at most supermarkets and health food stores.


The belief in the existence of many gods. See Atheism, Theism.

Popper, Karl

Austrian-born philosopher of science (1902-1994) who taught at the University of London. His most influential books are Logic of Scientific Discovery, The Open Society and Its Enemies and Conjectures and Refutations. Popper was a staunch opponent of logical positivism, which he challenged with his own theory of falsifiability.


the Lord’s special care and protection for His devotees.


A rationalist doctrine founded by French philosopher Auguste Compte (1798-1857), who argued that human thought unavoidably evolves from theological thinking at the lowest stage, through metaphysics (depersonalized philosophy) at the middle stage, to positivism at the highest stage. Positivism consists of the elements of modern science: mathematics, logic, observation, experimentation and control. According to Compte, the highest form of religion is worship of reason and universal humanity, devoid of any reference to God. See Empiricism, Logical positivism, Metaphysics, Rationalism.


a holy place near Dvārakā where the fratricide of the Yadu dynasty took place.


a place for preaching given by the spiritual master or Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda, Śrīla

Śrīla Prabhupāda-(1896-1977) His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. He is the tenth generation from Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The founder-ācārya, spiritual master of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Śrīla Prabhupāda was the widely-acclaimed author of more than seventy books on the science of pure bhakti-yoga, unalloyed Kṛṣṇa consciousness. His major works are annotated English translations of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, and the Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. He was the world’s most distinguished teacher of Vedic religion and thought. Śrīla Prabhupāda was a fully God conscious saint who had perfect realization of the Vedic scriptures. He worked incessantly to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world. He guided his society and saw it grow to a worldwide confederation of hundreds of ashrams, schools, temples, institutes, and farm communities. See Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.


master at whose feet all other masters surrender.



Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī

a great Vaiṣṇava poet-philosopher and devotee of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He was the uncle of Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī.


awakening, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.


a king who, entangled in fruitive activities, received instructions on devotional service from Nārada Muni.


the ten sons of King Prācīnabarhi. They achieved perfection by worshiping Lord Viṣṇu.


state in India.


the total material energy in its unmanifest state; The unmanifest (avyakta) material nature (Gr. chos). See Modes of nature, Tan-mātras.


one of the four original expansions of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the spiritual world; also the first son of Lord Kṛṣṇa by Rukminī. He fought against Śālva in the fight for Dvārakā. (Vana Parva in Mahābhārata)


the capital city of Narakāsura and his son Bhagadatta.


A rationalist doctrine founded by American philosopher C.S. Peirce (1839-1914) that attempts to halt all metaphysical speculation about the truth by arguing that practical human activity is the only real test of truth. See Rationalism.


a designation given to brāhmaṇas who represent the king when the throne is vacant.


a three-hour period, eight of which make up each day.

Prahlāda Maharāja

a great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa who was persecuted by his atheistic father, Hiraṇyakaśipu, but was always protected by the Lord and ultimately saved by the Lord in the form of Nṛsiṁha-deva; A great devotee of the Lord in His Narasiṁha (man-lion) feature, Prahlāda is one of the foremost authorities on bhakti-yoga. Many important verses in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are spoken by him.


idle talk on mundane subjects.


a kind of fever called viṣṇu jvāra.


the progenitors of living entities, chief of whom is Lord Brahmā; The demigods in charge of populating the universe.


citizens (including all species of life).


forms of the Lord manifested for His pastimes.


the mystic ability to fulfill any of one’s desires.


the manifestation on earth of the Supreme Lord’s pastimes.


the high walls surrounding the temple grounds.


materialistic devotees not advanced in spiritual knowledge.


pseudo devotees of Kṛṣṇa who take devotional service cheaply and do not follow the regulations of the scripture; materialistic so-called Vaiṣṇavas who imagine themselves to be confidential devotees.


on the material platform.


material nature, the energy of the Supreme (lit., that which is predominated).; the female principle enjoyed by the male puruṣa. There are two prakrtis-apara-prakṛti, the material nature, and para-prakrti, the spiritual nature (living entities)-which are both predominated over by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; One of the five tattvas, or Vedic ontological truths: (material or spiritual) nature. See Daivi-prakṛti, Modes of nature, Tattva.


māyā’s power to throw one into the material world.


the ecstatic symptom of talking like a madman.


Evidence, proof. The term refers to sources of knowledge that are held to be valid. In the Brahmā-Madhva-Gauḍīya Sampradāya, the school of Vedic knowledge that ISKCON represents, there are three pramāṇas. They are pratyakṣa (direct sense perception), anumāna (reason), and śabda (authoritative testimony). Of these three pramāṇas, śabda is imperative, while pratyakṣa and anumāna are supportive. See Anumāna, Pratyakṣa, Śabda.


inattention or misunderstanding of reality.


woman, to whom a man becomes madly attached.


one who is crazy because he cannot control his senses.


the daughter of the sage Kaṇḍu by the heavenly society girl Māriṣā who became the wife of the Pracetās.


(consciousness) absorbed in maintaining one’s bodily existence.


Oṁkāra-oṁ, the root of Vedic knowledge; known as the mahā-vākya, the supreme sound; the transcendental syllable which represents Kṛṣṇa, and which is vibrated by transcendentalists for attainment of the Supreme when undertaking sacrifices, charities and penances.


breath control used in yoga practice, especially aṣṭāṅga-yoga (one of the eight parts of the aṣṭanga-yoga system).


that mellow of love when there is a possibility to receive direct honor, but it is avoided.


the life air.

Pranava oṁkara

Oṁkāra-oṁ, the root of Vedic knowledge; known as the mahā-vākya, the supreme sound; the transcendental syllable which represents Kṛṣṇa, and which is vibrated by transcendentalists for attainment of the Supreme when undertaking sacrifices, charities and penances.


one who has already attained the Brahman position.


those merged in Brahman realization.


mystic perfection of acquisition by which the yogī can reach his hand anywhere and obtain whatever he likes.


the mystic ability to immediately obtain any material object.


the method inducing the audience to become more and more eager to hear by praising the time and place, the hero and the audience.


undisturbed by the modes of nature.

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. Literally, mercy. When sattvic foods (milk, grains, fruits, vegetables, sugar and legumes) prepared by a devotee are offered to the Deity of Kṛṣṇa as prescribed in the system of bhakti-yoga, the offering is transformed into prasādam, the mercy of the Lord. Prasādam is delicious, nourishing but most important, transcendental. Ordinary food, unoffered to Kṛṣṇa, breeds karmic reactions for every mouthful that is eaten, because so many living entities gave up their lives during the preparation. But food offered to Kṛṣṇa is freed of sin and invokes an attraction to Kṛṣṇa in whomever accepts it. See Bhakti-yoga. See also: Mahā-prasādam


food offered to Lord Jagannātha.


joyfulness attained when one is relieved from material conceptions.


a daughter of Svāyambhuva Manu who was the wife of Dakṣa.


the father of Mahārāja Śantanu.


the worship of a form that is the reflection of a false material form.


accepting charity; the duty of a brāhmaṇa to accept contributions from his followers.


counteracting agents such as mantras and medicines.


desire for name and fame or high position.


the son of Draupadī and Yudhiṣṭhira. He was killed by Aśvatthāmā while awaking from sleep in his tent.


the soul, when purified of material attachment.


Direct sense perception. 1) The first of the five stages of Vedic knowledge, considered as a subordinate, not self-evident, proof of knowledge. 2) The first of the three Vaiṣṇava pramāṇas. See Anumāna, Empiricism, Experientia, Pramāṇa, Śabda.


withdrawal of the senses from all unnecessary activities, as a means of advancement in the aṣṭāṅga-yoga system..


introduction to a drama, when the players first enter the stage in response to the time.


the condition of separation of lovers who were previously intimately associated.


the path of sense enjoyment in accordance with Vedic regulations.


atonement for sinful acts.


(modern Allahabad) a very sacred place, mentioned in the Purāṇas, situated at the confluence of the holy Ganges, Yamunā and Sarasvatī Rivers. A Māgha-melā and a Kumbha-melā are celebrated here. Every year many thousands of pilgrims come to bathe in the holy waters. It was here that Lord Caitanya instructed Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī for ten days.


the ultimate goal of life, to develop love of God.


activity which is immediately beneficial but not ultimately auspicious.


Love, especially love of Kṛṣṇa. Cc., Adi-līlā 4.165 distinguishes prema from kāma (lust). Prema is evinced by service to Kṛṣṇa’s senses, whereas kāma is evinced by service to the senses of the material body. See Kṛṣṇa.


pure love of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the highest perfectional stage in the progressive development of pure devotional service.


congregational chanting in love of Godhead.


an abundance of love that brings about grief from fear of separation although the lover is present.


one who has great love for the spiritual master.


real love of God, the highest perfectional stage of life.

Pretsila Hill

a hill about 540 feet high, located five miles northwest of Gayā in the state of Bihar. Pilgrims perform the śraddha ceremony there. A long flight of steps which leads to the summit and temple was constructed in 1774 by Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda’s ancestor Madan Mohan Dutt.




the son of Svāyambhuva Manu and brother of Uttānapāda. He once ruled the universe.

Problem of evil

Professor A.L. Herman, philosopher at the University of Wisconsin, compiled a list of twenty-one attempts to solve the problem of evil put forward by Western philosophers and theologians during the Christian era. He admits that the list is not exhaustive, only representative. Of those he listed, Herman says none will suffice to dissolve the problem, and of unlisted attempts, he comments, I think this result must be inevitable for all such similar attempts undertaken within the context of the traditional Western approach to the problem of evil. The problem stems from three assumptions, only two of which seem to be compatible: 1) God is omnipotent; 2) God is omnibenevolent; 3) Evil exists. For evil to exist, so the argument goes, God must either be less than all-powerful or less than all-good. The Vedic answer is given by Śrīla Prabhupāda in On the Way to Kṛṣṇa, Chapter Three. Accordingly, the human perception of good and evil is due to the influence of the three modes of material nature upon consciousness. These three modes originate in Kṛṣṇa, who is omnipotent and omnibenevolent. Though the modes and their effects are within Kṛṣṇa, He is not in them. Hence, the human perception of good in this world does not correspond to the goodness of Kṛṣṇa, the source of the world. For example, electricity is perceived in the home in terms of heat (in an electric stove) and cold (in a refrigerator). But at the power plant, electricity is not known in terms of the duality of heat and cold. In the home, whether electrical heat and cold are good or bad depends upon ever-changing circumstances and individual opinions. At the power plant, such changing circumstances and differing opinions do not occur. The power plant is not responsible for the reasons that cause people to say electrical heat is good, electrical cold is bad, or vice-versa. Similarly, individuals of different natures, circumstances and opinions define good and evil differently. Death is evil if it happens to me. Death is good if it happens to my enemy. Or death may be good for me if it delivers me from lingering agony, and not good if it does the same for my enemy. Although life and death, or good and evil, are within Kṛṣṇa, His own divine goodness is not within them. The good and evil we ascribe to life and death or anything else are creations of the material mind. See Modes of nature.


a woman whose husband has left home and gone to a foreign country.


the father of King Drupada.


the name of Devakī in a previous birth.


Kuntī, the wife of King Pāṇḍu, mother of the Pāṇḍavas and aunt of Lord Kṛṣṇa. See also: Kunti-devi.

Pṛthu Mahārāja

an empowered incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa who demonstrated how to be an ideal ruler.


priest, one who offers pūjā or worships the Deity in a temple.


offering of worship.

Pulastya (Pulaha)

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


a harlot, or unchaste woman.


a name for the Supreme Personality of Godhead meaning “He whose eyes are like the reddish lotus flower.”


verses that increase one’s piety; one who is glorified by such verses.


karma-pious activities, which help to liberate one from the cycle of birth and death in the material world.


a preliminary ritualistic performance for the fulfillment of certain desires.


five preliminary devotional activities performed to qualify for initiation.


Literally, very old. Within the smṛti section of the Vedic scriptures, there are eighteen Mahā-purāṇas (great books of ancient wisdom). Of these, the greatest is the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, also called Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. See Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.


the eighteen major and eighteen minor ancient Vedic literatures compiled about five thousand years ago in India by Srila Vyasadeva that are histories of this and other planets; literatures supplementary to the Vedas, discussing such topics as the creation of the universe, incarnations of the Supreme Lord and demigods, and the history of dynasties of saintly kings. The eighteen principal Purāṇas discuss ten primary subject matters: 1) the primary creation, 2) the secondary creation, 3) the planetary systems, 4) protection and maintenance by the avatāras, 5) the Manus. 6) dynasties of great kings, 7) noble character and activities of great kings, 8) dissolution of the universe and liberation of the living entity, 9) the jīva (the spirit soul), 10) the Supreme Lord.


the stage of equilibrium attained by offering the inhaled breath into the exhaled breath.




the life air.




the complete whole, Lord Kṛṣṇa.


the day of the full moon.


a minister of King Duryodhana. He died in the fire of the house of lac in Vāraṇāvata.


performance of sacrifice.


the Personality of Godhead, under whom all other persons remain.


the primary expansions of Lord Viṣṇu who effect the creation, maintenance and destruction of the material universes.


a sacred hymn glorifying the Supersoul of the universe.


the goal of life.


the enjoyer, or male; the living entity or the Supreme Lord; Viṣṇu, the incarnation of the Lord for material creation; the male or controlling principle; erson, enjoyer or soul. This term may be applied to both the jīva and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. See Personalism.


Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is the Supreme Person, meaning “the most exalted person.”


a king who was captivated by the celestial woman Urvaśī.


the youngest son of King Yayāti, who agreed to exchange his youth for his father’s old age.


the ecstasy of lovers before their meeting.


the injunction in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam against praising characteristics or activities of others.


one of the twenty-seven asterisms in Vedic astrology.


a lake in western India dear to Lord Brahmā. At this place of pilgrimage is the only authorized temple of Lord Brahmā the world.


the ceremony of offering flowers to the Lord.


a name for the Supreme Lord meaning “He whose teeth are as white as jasmine flowers.” Also, a devotee of Lord Śiva renowned for his poetic skill.


a witch who was sent by Kaṁsa to appear in the form of a beautiful woman to kill baby Kṛṣṇa but who was killed by Him and granted liberation.



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