Glossary S


transcendental sound vibration; the injunctions of the Vedas and Upaniṣads.


the evidence of transcendental sound, especially of the Vedas.


the material element of sound vibration.


transcendental sound; Sound, especially the Vedic sound, which is the self-evident proof of knowledge. As an authoritative testimony, the third of the three Vaiṣṇava pramāṇas. See Anumāna, Pramāṇa, Pratyakṣa.


vegetable or vegetable dish.

Sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]

the Lord’s transcendental form, which is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss; the eternal transcendental form of the living entity.


the natural condition of spiritual life: eternal, full of knowledge and bliss; The three qualities of Kṛṣṇa and His spiritual world: eternality, knowledge and bliss. See Brahmajyoti, Kṛṣṇa, Rādhārāṇī.


the mother of Śri Caitanya Mahāprabhu.


Indra-the chief demigod of heaven and presiding deity of rain, and the father of Arjuna. He is the son of Aditi.

Sacred thread

a thread worn by persons initiated into the chanting of the Gāyatrī mantra.


the Supreme Lord who is complete with six opulences.


the form of the Lord with six arms-two arms of Rāmacandra, two arms of Kṛṣṇa and two arms of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.


Six views or systems of Vedic philosophy. See Six systems.


see: Śiva


a practitioner of sādhana-bhakti; one who is nearing the perfection of Brahman realization; one who is a suitable candidate for liberation.


following the rules and regulations of devotional service to develop natural love for Kṛṣṇa.


one who has attained perfection by executing the rules and regulations of devotional service.


the beginning phase of devotional service, consisting of regulated practice.


the offense of criticizing a Vaiṣṇava.


the association of saintly persons [Cc. Madhya 22.83].


the best of gentlemen.


a saint or Krishna conscious devotee, or Vaiṣṇava. A wandering holy man; A saintly person, a devotee of the Lord; one of the three authorities for a Vaiṣṇava. See Guru, Śāstra.


demigods inhabiting the heavenly planets.


a yogī who worships the Supersoul in the Viṣṇu form.




“possessing attributes or qualities.” In reference to the Supreme Lord, the term signifies that He has spiritual, transcendental qualities.


Nakula’s twin, and the fifth of the sons of Pāṇḍu, and younger brother of Arjuna. He was born of the union of the Aśvinī-kumāra demigods and Kuntī. He was reputed for knowledge of scriptures, and he was exceptionally handsome.


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


a class of so-called devotees who, considering God cheap, ignore the scriptural injunctions and try to imitate the Lord’s pastimes; an offensive, immature devotee who does not follow proper devotional regulations.


a name for the Supreme Personality of Godhead meaning “He who has a thousand heads;” Ananta-Śeṣa-an incarnation of the Supreme Lord in the form of His thousand-headed serpent, on which Viṣṇu rests, and who sustains the planets on His hoods.


thousand prayers composed by Nāmmālvāra.


the thousand-mouthed snake incarnation, called Śeṣa Nāga.

Sahib “Lord”

title given to any gentlemen and usually to Europeans. This is a compliment.


one of the great archers on the side of the Pāṇḍavas during the Kurukṣetra war; one of the four horses that drove Lord Kṛṣṇa’s chariot; one of the wives of Lord Kṛṣṇa, after the Lord’s disappearance she entered fire and attained the spiritual world.


the condition of threefold miseries.


a name used by Draupadī during the Pāṇḍavas last year of exile in the kingdom of Virāṭa.


the philosophy of the Śiva-sampradaya, the disciplic succession descending from Lord Śiva


devotee of Lord Śiva; one who worships Śiva as the Supreme Lord.


pleasing to people of a similar nature.


a person within the intimate circle of the Lord.


a leafy vegetable that was a favorite of Lord Caitanya’s.


a devotee with material desires.


gopīs who are close associates of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s and who expand the conjugal love of Kṛṣṇa and His enjoyment among the gopīs.


love of God in friendship.


a relationship with the Supreme Lord in devotional friendship.


see: Sakhya-rasa above.


the devotional process of maintaining friendship with Kṛṣṇa.


the Deity of Kṛṣṇa who acted as a witness to the promise of an elder brāhmaṇa to a younger one.


persons who are plenary expansions of the Lord’s internal potency; the various energies of the Lord.


an empowered living entity who serves as an incarnation of the Lord; empowered by the Supreme Lord with one or more of the Lord’s opulences.


see: Śaktyāveśa-avatāra above.


the evil brother of Gāndhārī and notorious friend of Duryodhana. He master-minded the great gambling match that sent the Pāṇḍavas into exile for 13 years. In the great Kurukṣetra war he was killed by Sahadeva.


the worshipable Deity of the Lord Nārāyaṇa in the form of a round stone. It is described in detail in the final canto of the Padma Purāṇa.


a hardwood tree found in northern India.


he was one of the sons of Somadatta, a Kuru King. His brothers were Bhūri and Bhūriśravas. He was killed by Sātyaki during the Kurukṣetra war.


liberation of residing on the same planet as the Lord.


the liberation of residing on the same planet as the Supreme Lord.


a demon who desired Ambā for his wife. He was defeated by Bhīṣma in his attempt to win Ambā. He attacked Dvārakā with an airship made by the demon Maya. He was killed by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.


the King of Madras. His sister was Mādrī who was married to Pāṇḍu. He wanted to join the side of the Pāṇḍavas during the Kurukṣetra war, but was tricked by Duryodhana into offering him his services. He was killed by Yudhiṣṭhira during the Kurukṣetra war.


See Life after death.

Sāma Veda

one of the four original Vedas. It consists of musical settings of the sacrificial hymns. The Sāma Veda is rich with beautiful songs played by the various demigods. One of these songs is the Bṛhat-sāma, which has an exquisite melody and is sung at midnight.


seeing with equal vision. Therefore, one who has knowledge of the soul and how the soul transmigrates from one body to another does not pay attention to the body, which is nothing but a covering dress. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ [Bg. 5.18]. Such a person sees the soul, which is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Therefore he is a sama-darśi, a learned person.


total absorption and trance of the mind and senses in consciousness of the Supreme Godhead and service to Him. The word samādhi also refers to the tomb where a great soul’s body is laid after his departure from this world.


the internal bodily air which adjusts equilibrium. It is one of the five bodily airs controlled by the breathing exercises of the aṣtanga-yoga system.


stage when one is fully attached to Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet.


control of the mind.


the principle of Lord Śiva.


knowledge of one’s original relationship with the Lord.


one of the heroic sons of Lord Kṛṣṇa born of Jāmbavatī.


the ecstasy of the meeting and embracing of lovers.


one of the indirect relationships, respect.


supplementary Vedic literatures expressing the conclusions of particular self-realized authorities.


liberation of living as a personal associate of the Lord.


the liberation of becoming a personal associate of the Supreme Lord.


founders of the four Vaiṣṇava schools; they include Śrī Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī and Nimbārka.


a disciplic succession of spiritual masters, along with the followers in that tradition, through which spiritual knowledge is transmitted; School of thought. See Four Vaiṣṇava Sampradāyas and Siddhāntas.

Samprekṣya nāsikāgram

keeping one’s eyes half-open in the practice of yoga.


the cycle of repeated birth and death in the material world; The baddha-jīva (conditioned soul), captivated by the modes of material nature, is moved as if on a wheel through 8,400,000 kinds of births, lifetime after lifetime. At the lower range of the cycle are births within aquatic, vegetative and animal forms. At the middle range are births within human forms. At the upper range are births within superhuman forms, such as the demigods. But as high as the soul may reach, even up to the position of Brahmā, there is no freedom from saṁsāra. Impelled by prakṛti, kāla and karma, the jīva will surely be forced into another womb, until the day that soul surrenders to the origin of the force that turns the wheel of saṁsārathe īśvara, Kṛṣṇa. The materialistic theory of evolution put forward by Anaximander and Darwin imperfectly recapitulates the Vedic description of the cycle of birth and death. It is true that we were once microbes, fish, reptiles, mammals and apes. But who are we? We are spirit souls. Materialists have no knowledge of the soul. They are unable to explain how and why dead matter assumes the forms of the gradient species. The Vedas explain that the gradient species mark the evolution and devolution of the soul’s material desires. See Evolution, Karma, Life after death, Reincarnation.


Doubt. One of the five functions of buddhi. See Buddhi.


the cycle of repeated birth and death.


one of the Vedic reformatory rituals performed one by one from the time of conception until death for purifying a human being.




the knowledge portion of the Lord’s spiritual potency.

Sanātana Gosvāmī

one of the Six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana who was authorized by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu to establish and distribute the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He was the older brother of Rūpa Gosvāmī and was accepted by Rūpa Gosvāmī as his spiritual master. He and Rūpa Gosvāmī were both ministers in the Mohammedan court in Gauḍa, but renounced everything for the service of Lord Caitanya. The two brothers were ordered by Śrī Caitanya to write books establishing the philosophy of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism and to excavate the holy places in Vṛndāvana.


the eternal abode, the Vaikuṇṭha planets in the spiritual sky.


literally, the “eternal activity of the soul”, or the eternal religion of the living being-to render service to the Supreme Lord, which in this age is executed mainly by chanting the mahā-mantra. See also: Bhāgavata-dharma.


eternal activities performed by the living entity.


eternal, having no beginning or end.

Sanctum sanctorum

inner sanctuary or altar room that contains the main Deity of the temple


a delicate sweetmeat made with curd and sugar.


the existence potency of the Lord.


meeting point of two or more rivers.


charioteer and minister to King Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Sañjaya narrated the events of the Kurukṣetra war to Dhṛtarāṣṭra by the mercy of Vyāsa; also a former king of the Ikṣvāku dynasty.


an incarnation of Lord Śiva who appeared in South India at the end of the 7th century A.D. to re-establish the authority of the Vedic scriptures. He was a philosopher and lived about three hundred years before Rāmānuja. He did this at a time when India was under the sway of Buddhism, whose tenets deny the authority of the Vedas. He took sannyāsa at a very tender age and wrote commentaries establishing an impersonal philosophy similar to Buddhism, substituting Brahman (Spirit) for the void. He traveled all over India defeating the great scholars of the day and converting them to his doctrine of Māyāvāda, the advaita (non-dualism) interpretation of the Upaniṣads and Vedānta. He left the world at the age of 33; The incarnation of Śiva who appeared about 1400 years ago in South India to propagate Advaita Vedānta. He taught that Brahman is impersonal, there is no individuality apart from Brahman (all souls are really one soul), the cosmic manifestation does not emanate from Brahman, and the cosmic manifestation is without reality, like a hallucination. Though his philosophy is a distortion of the Vedic teachings, his mission was very important. He turned the Indian people away from Buddhism, back to the Vedas. See Advaita, Brahmajyoti, Brahman, Buddhism, Four Vaiṣṇava Sampradāyas and Siddhāntas, Māyāvāda philosophy, Six systems, Vedānta.


doubt, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.


a son of King Viraṭa. He was killed Droṇa during the Kurukṣetra war; the conchshell held by Lord Viṣṇu.


see: Śiva


one of the four original expansions of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the spiritual world; also, another name of Balarāma, given by Garga Muni.


the sacrifice prescribed for the Age of Kali, namely, congregational chanting of the name, fame and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


the place where the Lord killed Sankhāsura.


the process of linking with the Supreme by intellectually tracing out the source of creation.


analytical discrimination between spirit and matter and the path of devotional service as described by Lord Kapila, the son of Devahūti in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; analytical understanding of the body and the soul. Sāṅkhya-yoga-the process of linking with the Supreme by intellectually tracing out the source of creation; An analysis of matter and spirit taught by sage Nirīśvara Kapila. One of the six systems of Vedic philosophy. See Analysis, Six systems.


The congregational glorification of the Lord through chanting His holy name. The most recommended process of spiritual upliftment in the present age (Kali-yuga). See Caitanya Mahāprabhu, ISKCON, Kīrtana.


the day when a Bengali month ends. Also, the passage of the sun or any other planet from one Zodiacal sign to another.


devotees in the neutral stage of devotional service.


a convulsive disease caused by combination of kapha, pitta, vāyu.


the staff carried by a sannyāsī.


the renounced order, and fourth stage of Vedic spiritual life in the Vedic system of varṇāsrama-dharma, which is free from family relationships and in which all activities are completely dedicated to Kṛṣṇa. It is the order of ascetics who travel and constantly preach the message of Godhead for the benefit of all. The sannyāsī has no other purpose in life but to serve and please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he acts as the guru for the other divisions of society; The order of renunciation accepted by males in the Vedic culture. The fourth spiritual devision of life, according to the social system of four āśramas, sannyāsa is meant for ending material existence. It is usually accepted at age fifty, after a man has fulfilled his household responsibilities. The original Vedic sannyāsīs carried the tridaṇḍa, three bamboo rods wrapped together around a fourth, symbolizing that the body, minds and words are dedicated to the Supreme. The fourth stood for the soul. Māyāvādī sannyāsīs in the line of Śaṅkarācārya carry only one daṇḍa; the Buddhists carry none. All bona fide sannyāsīs wear orange or saffron robes and keep their heads shaven; all must follow standard principles: no meat-eating, sexual activity, gambling or intoxication, and all are meant to travel and preach as their only duty in life. See Brahmacārī, Gṛhasta, Vānaprastha.


one in the sannyāsa (renounced) order.


the oldest language in the world. The Vedas, or India’s holy scriptures, are written in Sanskrit; From saṁs (together) and kṛta (made), hence speech made together (refined), Sanskrit is an ancient language of culture, learning and spiritual wisdom. The Vedas are all written in Sanskrit.


the marginal stage of devotional service, passive love of God; the relationship with the Supreme Lord in neutrality.


see: Śānta-rasa above.


the father of Bhīṣma by Gaṅgā. He gave Bhīṣma the benediction that he could die only when he wanted to. It was said that anything he touched with his two hands would become youthful.




a village in the Ranaghat subdivision of the West Bengal district of Nadia. It is famous as the home of Śrī Advaita Ācārya, the associate of Lord Caitanya and incarnation of Mahā-Visṇu. It is close to Māyāpura.


Coconut milk-known as santan in Indonesian cooking, this creamy white liquid with a fresh, coconut flavour is extracted from fresh coconut pulp and is used in varieties of South East Asian and Indonesian dishes. It is available in cans from supermarkets and Asian grocers.


a brāhmaṇa’s curse.


the seven islands of the earth.


the seven sons, namely hearing, chanting, remembering, offering prayers, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, worshiping the Deity and becoming a servant of the Lord.


the seven palm trees in Rāmacandra’s forest.


the son of Gautama, and the father of Kṛpācārya.

Sāra grass

a whitish reed.




goddess of learning. Wife of Lord Brahmā. She usually sits on a white swan and holds a veena (stringed instrument) in her hands.


the first material creation by Viṣṇu.


Śaṅkarācārya’s commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra.


the soul, owner of the body.


traditional Indian dress worn by Hindu women-six yards long as a rule; Vedic women’s dress.


lit. “those who have sand in their eyes”; those situated in the gross bodily conception of life.


the second wife of King Yayāti. On account of overattachment to her, the king was cursed by Śukrācārya to lose his youth.


the bow of Lord Kṛṣṇa.


the liberation of achieving opulences equal to those of the Lord.


the liberation of achieving equal opulence with the Lord.


the liberation of having the same bodily features as the Lord’s.


the liberation of attaining a spiritual form like that of the Supreme Lord.


omniscient; one who knows everything-past, present and future.


the body engaged for the satisfaction of all kinds of material desires.


a name for the Supreme Personality of Godhead meaning “He who fulfills the desires of His devotees.”


one who desires material perfection.


Kṛṣṇa, the cause of all causes [Bs. 5.1].


all the material worlds.

Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya

a famous logician, adviser to King Pratāparudra of Orissa who surrendered to Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.


one who is indifferent to both pious and impious activities.


Ātma-nivedana-the devotional process of surrendering everything to the Lord.


Paramātmā-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.


the revealed scriptures, obeyed by all those who follow the Vedic teachings. Śās means “to regulate and direct” and tra means “an instrument”; Vedic literature; The Vedic scriptures; one of the three authorities for a Vaiṣṇava. In his purport to Cc., Ādi-līlā 17.157, Śrīla Prabhupāda writes: The word śāstra is derived from the dhātu, or verbal root, śas. Śas-dhātu pertains to controlling or ruling. A government’s ruling through force or weapons is called śastra. Thus whenever there is ruling, either by weapons or by injunctions, the śas-dhātu is the basic principle. Between śastra (ruling through weapons) and śāstra (ruling through the injunctions of the scriptures), the better is śāstra. Our Vedic scriptures are not ordinary law books of human common sense; they are the statements of factually liberated persons unaffected by the imperfectness of the senses. Śāstra must be correct always, not sometimes correct and sometimes incorrect. In the Vedic scriptures, the cow is described as a mother. Therefore she is a mother for all time; it is not, as some rascals say, that in the Vedic age she was a mother but she is not in this age. If śāstra is an authority, the cow is a mother always; she was a mother in the Vedic age, and she is a mother in this age also. If one acts according to the injunctions of śāstra, he is freed from the reactions of sinful activity. For example, the propensities for eating flesh, drinking wine and enjoying sex life are all natural to the conditioned soul. The path of such enjoyment is called pravṛtti-mārga. The śāstra says, pravṛttir eṣāṁ bhūtānāṁ nivṛttis tu mahā-phalā: one should not be carried away by the propensities of defective conditioned life; one should be guided by the principles of the śāstras. A child’s propensity is to play all day long, but it is the injunction of the śāstras that the parents should take care to educate him. The śāstras are there just to guide the activities of human society. But because people do not refer to the instructions of śāstras, which are free from defects and imperfections, they are therefore misguided by so-called educated teachers and leaders who are full of the deficiencies of conditioned life.


seeing everything through the medium of the Vedic literature; Cakṣuṣa means eyes; śāstra-cakṣuṣa means seeing through the eyes of scripture, as opposed to gross sense perception or mental speculation.


Mūla means root; śāstramūlaka means rooted in scripture, as opposed to laukika. See Laukika.

Sāṣṭānga-pranāma (Daṇḍavat)

a respectful obeisance executed by prostrating eight limbs of the body, namely the thighs, feet, hands, chest, thoughts or devotion, head, voice, and closed eyes.


eternal, unlimited existence.

  • Ṣaṭ-sandarbha–six Sanskrit works on the science of devotional service or Vaiṣṇava philosophy by Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī. These works present the entire philosophy and theology of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism in a systematic form. The six Sandarbhas are as follows: Tattva-sandarbha, Bhāgavat-sandarbha, Paramātma-sandarbha, Kṛṣṇa-sandarbha, Bhakti-sandarbha and Prīti-sandarbha. The Ṣaṭ-sandarbha is also called Bhāgavata-sandarbha, as it is an exposition on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam The first four Sandarbhas are devoted to sambandha-tattva, which establishes Krṣṇa as the highest Deity and the most exclusive object of worship. The Bhakti-sandarbha deals with abhidheya-tattva, which is bhakti (devotion to Krṣna), and the Prīti-sandarbha is concerned with prayojana-tattva, pure love of Godhead.


the son of Nakula who was killed by Aśvatthāmā while awaking from sleep in his tent; the brother of King Virāṭa. He was killed by Droṇa during the Kurukṣetra war.


the wife of Svāyambhuva Manu and mother of Devahūti.

Satī rite

voluntary suicide by a chaste widow at her husband’s funeral.


the wife of Lord Śiva and the daughter of Dakṣa, who burned herself alive when her father insulted her husband; when a widow burns herself in her husband’s cremation/funeral fire.


the mode of material goodness, predominated by Lord Viṣṇu.


Viṣṇu who expands the quality of goodness.


symptoms of ecstatic love coming from the transcendental platform; in the mode of goodness.


scriptures that are products of the mode of goodness.

Sātvata scriptures

Vedic scriptures meant especially for the devotees of the Lord.


one of the Pañcarātras, consisting of a conversation between Nārada Muni and Lord Saṅkarṣaṇa describing the rules and regulations of devotional service.


directing all of one’s desires to the Supreme Truth.


the first and best of the four cyclic ages of a mahā-yuga in the progression of universal time. Satya-yuga is characterized by virtue, wisdom and religion. It is known as the golden age, when people lived as long as one hundred thousand years. It lasts 1,728,000 solar years.

Satyaṁ param

the Supreme Absolute Truth, Kṛṣṇa.


one of the principal queens of Lord Kṛṣṇa during His pastimes in the city of Dvārakā.


a warrior from Kaliṅga who was killed by Bhīma during the Kurukṣetra war.


a renowned archer on the side of the Pāṇḍavas. He was killed by Droṇa during the Kurukṣetra war.


fasting for political purposes performed by Mahatma Gandhi.


a brother of King Drupada. He was killed by Droṇa during the Kurukṣetra war.


the son of Śini, and a prominent member of the Yadu dynasty. He was an intimate friend of Lord Kṛṣṇa and student of Arjuna. He fought during the Kurukṣetra war and killed many kings on the side of the Kauravas.


Lord Brahmā’s abode, the highest planet in the material universe; also called Brahmaloka.


a brother of King Suśarma, the King of the Trigartas.


another brother of King Suśarma, the King of the Trigartas. He was killed by Arjuna during the Kurukṣetra war.


another brother of King Suśarma, the King of the Trigartas.


the daughter of the fisherman King. She was the mother of Vyāsadeva by Paraśara Muni. She later married Mahārāja Śantanu and begot two children, Citrāṅgada and Vicitravīrya.

Satyavrata Manu

one of the administrative demigods who are the fathers and lawgivers of mankind.


another brother of King Suśarma, the King of the Trigartas.




another brother of King Suśarma, the King of the Trigartas. He was killed by Arjuna during the Kurukṣetra war.

Saubhari Muni

a powerful mystic who accidentally fell down to sex attraction.


the airship of King Śālva. It was created by the demon Maya, and Śālva used this airship to attack Dvārakā. It was destroyed by Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Śaunaka Ṛṣi

one of the chief sages at the conclave of sages gathered at the forest of Naimiṣāraṇya when Sūta Gosvāmī spoke Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.




a particular Vedic fire sacrifice offered to Lord Indra.


lady who saved her husband from death by her chastity.


the liberation of merging into the Brahman effulgence.


the liberation of merging into the spiritual effulgence of the Lord.


A state of doubting that may range from a tentative doubt in the process of reaching certainty to complete, total disbelief in everything. Usually, scepticism refers to a philosophy of disbelief, of which there are many. In India, the philosophies of Cārvaka Muni, the Buddhists and the Jains are founded upon disbelief in the Vedas. Māyāvādīs claim to accept the Vedas, but they sceptically reject the Vedic philosophy of Vaiṣṇavism. As Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, a famous Māyāvādī scholar, wrote about the teachings of ācārya Rāmānuja: Rāmānuja’s beautiful stories of the other world, which he narrates with the confidence of one who had personally assisted at the origination of the world, carry no conviction. These are the words of a man confined to a miniscule spectrum of awareness by his pratyakṣa and anumāna. Yet he thinks he can pass judgement on that which is beyond his senses and mind. There are many forms of Western scepticism as well, which go back to the ancient Greeks. See Buddhism, Materialism, Māyāvādī philosophy, Six systems, Voidism.


From the Greek sma, sign. The study of how words (or linguistic symbols) make sense, and how words apply to the things they refer to. Semantics attempts to define the conditions under which a statement can be analyzed as true or false.


A variant of deism in which God, the first cause, is supposed to sometimes intervene in the regular course of nature through geological catastrophes and the sudden rise of species. Noted semi-deists were nineteenth century British natural theologicans William Buckland (1784-1856), Adam Sedgewick (1785-1873), W.D. Conybeare (1787-1857), and Charles Lyell (1797-1875). See Atheism, Deism, Theism.


A mental attitude permeated by or predisposed to emotions produced of sense perception. For example, the sceptic David Hume rejected the standard moral obligations of his time, and argued that morality could only be valid when based upon what he termed sympathy and sentiment.

Śeṣa Nāga

an expansion of Lord Balarāma or Saṅkarṣaṇa who takes the form of a many-hooded serpent and serves as Lord Viṣṇu’s couch and other paraphernalia. He also holds the millions of universes on His hoods.


the last twenty-four years of Lord Caitanya’s pastimes.


offenses in Deity worship.


Deity worship.


a servant.


devotional service.


one who is served.


Krsna appearing bluish in the Dvarapa-yuga.


white in the Satya-yuga.


a perfected spiritual body.


the heavenly planet whose inhabitants possess all mystic powers; the planets of materially perfect beings.


a perfected person, or mystic; a demigod from Siddhaloka; one who has realized the Brahman effulgence; a perfect devotee.


Essential conclusion. See Four Vaiṣṇava Sampradāyas and Siddhāntas.


one who is greedy for material perfection.


philosophical work of Yāmunācārya


the mystic perfections.


mystic perfections usually acquired by yoga practice and natural to residents of Siddhaloka: becoming small like a particle (aṇimā-siddhi), or lighter than a soft feather (laghimā-siddhi), Get anything from everywhere (prāpti-siddhi), becoming heavier than the heaviest (mahimā-siddhi), create something wonderful or annihilate anything at will (īśitva-siddhi), to control all material elements (vaśitva-siddhi), possessing such power as will never be frustrated in any desire (prākāmya-siddhi), assuming any shape or form one may even whimsically desire (kāmāvasāyitā-siddhi).


a blend of yogurt and sugar candy.


the son of King Drupada, and the rebirth of Ambā, the daughter of the King of Kāśī. He was born to kill Bhīṣma, who he hated from his previous life. During the battle of Kurukṣetra, he fought in front of Arjuna, while attacking Bhīṣma. Bhīṣma dropped his weapons and this allowed Arjuna to fill Bhīṣma with arrows. Śikhaṇḍī was later killed by Aśvatthāmā, while awaking from sleep in the Pāṇḍavas camp.


curved temple tower or spire The roof of the sanctum sanctorum It is crowned by a cakra in a Lord Viṣṇu temple and a trident in a Lord Śiva temple


an instructing spiritual master.


eight verses by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu glorifying the chanting of the Lord’s holy name.


the main gate of the Jagannātha temple.


sitting place.


silk cotton tree.


a province in Bharata that was ruled by Jayadratha.


the father of Sātyaki, and a king of the Yadu dynasty.


the orbit of the polestar.


a king who was an enemy of Kṛṣṇa. The son of Damaghoṣa and King of Cedi. He was an incarnation of Jaya, a gatekeeper of Vaikuṇṭha. He was killed by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa during the Rājasūya sacrifice.


subordinate ecstatic symptoms including singing, yawning, etc.; a division of anubhāva.


the transcendental couple manifested as Lord Rāmacandra, Kṛṣṇa’s incarnation as the perfect king, and Lord Rāma’s eternal consort, Sītā.


the beloved consort of Lord Rāmacandra. She appeared in the house of Janaka Mahārāja, one of the twelve leading spiritual authorities in the universe. She was abducted by ten-headed demon, Ravana.


a rounded stone representation of Lord Śiva’s genitals often worshiped as a Deity by Śaivites.


worship of Lord Śiva’s linga. See above.


Lord Śiva’s appearance day, celebrating his advent from between Lord Brahmā’s eyebrows.


the most auspicious.


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.

Sivānanda Sena

a great householder devotee of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Six Gosvāmīs

they were deputed to go to Vṛndāvana to excavate the present places of pilgrimage. The present city of Vṛndāvana and the importance of Vrajabhūmi were thus disclosed by the will of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. See also: Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī and Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī.

Six systems

There are six systems of philosophy associated with the Vedic scriptures. These together are known as the ṣaḍ-darśana. The ṣaḍ-darśana (six views) are: 1) Nyāya (logic), 2) Vaiśeṣika (atomic theory), 3) Sāṅkhya (analysis of matter and spirit), 4) Yoga (the discipline of self-realization), 5) Karma-mīmāṁsā (the science of fruitive work) and 6) Vedānta (the science of God realization). The ṣaḍ-darśana are termed āstika philosophies (from asti, or it is so), because they all acknowledge the Veda as authoritative, as opposed to the nāstika philosophies of the Cārvakas, Buddhists and Jains (nāsti, it is not so), who reject the Vedas. Beginning with Nyāya, each of the ṣaḍ-darśana in their turn presents a more developed and comprehensive explanation of the aspects of Vedic knowledge. Nyāya sets up the rules of philosophical debate and identifies the basic subjects under discussion: the physical world, the soul, God and liberation. Vaiśeṣika engages the method of Nyāya or logic in a deeper analysis of the predicament of material existence by showing that the visible material forms to which we are all so attached ultimately break down into invisible atoms. Sāṅkhya develops this analytical process further to help the soul become aloof to matter. Through Yoga, the soul awakens its innate spiritual vision to see itself beyond the body. Karma-mīmāṁsā directs the soul to the goals of Vedic ritualism. Vedānta ultimately focuses on the supreme spiritual goal taught in the Upaniṣads. As can be seen in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the basis of these darśanas was an original, unified spiritual science (bhagavad-tattva-vijñāna) taught in very olden times by the twelve Mahājanas: Brahmā, Nārada, Śiva, Kumāras, Kapila, Manu, Prahlāda, Janaka, Bhīṣma, Bali, Śukadeva and Yamarāja. But due to the influence of māyā, scholars who followed the teachings of later sages like Gautama, Kaṇāda, Nirīśvara Kapila, Patañjali and Jaimini, became divided and contentious. The Vedic philosophy was misunderstood, and opposing schools came into being to serve sectarian ends. For instance, Karma-mīmāṁsā (which by 500 BC had become the foremost philosophy of the brāhmaṇa class) was misused by bloodthirsty priests to justify their mass slaughter of animals in Vedic sacrifices. But the unexpected rise of a novel non-Vedic religion challenged the power of Karma-mīmāṁsā. This new religion was Buddhism. By 250 BC, the influence of Karma-mīmāṁsā and other darśanas had weakened considerably. When King Aśoka instituted the Buddha’s doctrine as the state philosophy of his empire, many brāhmaṇas abandoned Vedic scholarship to learn and teach nāstika concepts of ahiṁsā (nonviolence) and śūnyatā (voidism). Buddhism in its turn was eclipsed by the teachings of the Vedāntist Śaṅkarācārya, who revived the Vedic culture all over India in the seventh century after Christ. But Śaṅkarācārya’s special formulation of Vedānta was itself influenced by Buddhism and is not truly representative of the original Vedānta-darśana. After Śaṅkarācārya, Vedānta was refined by the schools of great teachers (ācāryas) like Rāmānuja and Madhva. Having shed the baggage of Śaṅkarācārya’s crypto-Buddhism, Vedānta philosophers brought Vedic studies back to their original form as seen in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. See Advaita, Analysis, Dvaita, Four Vaiṣṇava Sampradāyas and Siddhāntas, Māyāvāda philosophy, Veda, Vedānta.

Skanda Purāṇa

one of the eighteen Purāṇas, or Vedic historical scriptures. It extensively describes Kali-yuga.


a statement having two meanings.


a Sanskrit verse.


the devotional process of remembering the Supreme Lord; constant thinking of Kṛṣṇa (one of the nine methods of devotional service).


a brāhmaṇa interested more in the external performance of the rules and rituals of the Vedas than in attaining Lord Kṛṣṇa, the goal of the Vedas; one who strictly follows the Vedic principles on the mundane platform.


a professional spiritual master.


the regulations of mundane religious activity.


the popular name for followers of the Vedas who are overly attached to elevation and salvation. They are very careful about the latter, but often not the spirit, of scriptural injunctions, confounding the mundane with the spiritual. They are very fond of the smṛti-śāstras and are thus known as smartas.


remembrance, a vyabhicāri-bhāva; revealed scriptures supplementary to the śruti, or original Vedic scriptures, which are the Vedas and Upaniṣads; scriptures compiled by living entities under transcendental direction; the corollaries of the Vedas; One of the five functions of buddhi. See Buddhi.


A section of the Vedic scriptures including the Mahābhārata and the Purāṇas. See Śāstra, Śruti-śāstra.


a spiritual master expert in the supplementary Vedic literatures.


the bathing ceremony of Lord Jagannātha.


affection for Kṛṣṇa, at which stage the lover cannot be without the beloved.


very peaceful.


Socrates (470-399 BC) is the most influential philosopher in the recorded history of the Western world. Plato was his disciple and Aristotle his grand-disciple. Socrates lived in Athens and taught a doctrine of the soul that is similar in many ways to the Vedic conception. In a 1966 Bhagavad-gītā lecture, Śrīla Prabhupāda said Socrates was a mukta-puruṣa (a liberated soul). According to his biographer Plato, Socrates was unjustly convicted for anti-state activities by the Athenean authorities, who ordered him drink poison. He did so cheerfully, and died preaching we are not these bodies to his followers.


From the Latin solus, (alone), and ipse, (self). A Western doctrine stating that the self is all that exists or can be known. There are two forms of solipsism: epistemological and metaphysical. The first form holds that since there is nothing to be known beyond the content of one’s own consciousness, one’s own consciousness is the underlying justification for, and cause of, the existence and nonexistence of knowledge of anything. The second form holds that there is no reality other than one’s own self. All things are creations of one’s consciousness at the moment one is conscious of them. In other words, there is no existence apart from my own awareness. Like Māyāvāda philosophy, solipsism arrives at a philosophical dead end. The questions that remain unanswered are: If my consciousness is the only reality, why can’t I change the universe at will, simply by thought? And if only I myself truly exist, why am I dependent for my life, learning and happiness upon a world full of living entities that refuse to acknowledge this truth? See Māyāvāda philosophy..


a life-extending heavenly beverage available on the moon to demigods on the higher planets.


the son of King Bālhīka and the grandson of King Pratīpa. He had three sons name Bhūri, Bhūriśravas, and Śala. He was killed by Sātyaki during the battle of Kurukṣetra.


a former king of Pāñcāla.


Candra, the demigod in charge of the moon.


the presiding deity of the moon.


the eternal living entity, who is the marginal energy, eternally part and parcel of the Supreme Lord; Known in Sanskrit as jīva, jīva-ātmā or ātmā, the soul is the eternal individual self, who is a tiny particle of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s spiritual potency located in the heart of the material body. The symptom of the soul is consciousness, and the power of the soul is taṭastha-śakti, the power of choice. Thus the soul is responsible for his liberation or bondage, though he has no power to either liberate himself or enjoy matter. The result of his choice, whether auspicious or inauspicious, is arranged by the Supersoul. As the air is always different from the smells it carries, so the soul is always different from the material designations it assumes due to the influence of the modes of nature. How a yogī perceives the soul’s direct relationship with the Supreme Soul is described in SB 11.14.45: He sees the individual souls united with the Supreme Soul, just as one sees the sun’s rays completely united with the sun. The sun is jyotiṣi, the source of light. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Soul, is the source of the light of consciousness of all living entities. Sunlight is composed of photons, which are tiny units of light. Similarly, each individual soul (jīva-ātmā) is a tiny unit of consciousness. See Consciousness, Ecstasy, Modes of nature, Supersoul.


the consonants in the Sanskrit alphabet.

Spirit soul

Jīva (jīvātmā)-the living entity, who is an eternal soul, individual but part and parcel of the Supreme Lord.


Also known as śabda-tattva, sphoṭavāda is the philosophy of a metaphysical school of Sanskrit grammarians that goes back to one Sphoṭāyaṇa, whose followers include Bhartṛhari and Jayanta Bhaṭṭa. The famous karma-mīmāṁsā philosopher Madana Miśra also accepted the sphoṭavāda doctrine, though other teachers of mīmāṁsā opposed it. Accordingly, there is a continuum of vibration (ekam eva yad āmnātam), which is partless (akhaṇḍa) and unbroken (akrama), which becomes manifest in sounds (dhvani) or syllables (varṇa). The sounds and syllables are not important. They are used as aids to achieve meditation upon the underlying continuum, where the indivisible unit of meaning (sphoṭa) is realized through śabda-pūrva-yoga. When the sphoṭa is realized, liberation is achieved in the monistic absolute. Clearly, this is a form of Māyāvāda philosophy. Interestingly, Śaṅkarācārya rejected the sphoṭavāda of the grammarians. Yet he accepted the basis of the sphoṭavāda philosophy, which is the śabda-yoga of Patañjali. In his Prabodhasudhākara 13.144, Śaṅkarācārya wrote, When one’s essential nature is contemplated upon for a moment or half a moment, then the subtle sound called anāhata is heard in the right ear. In 148 he explained further: If the mind is completely absorbed for a long time in that Light comprised within the subtle sound, it is surely not slated for the bondage of worldly existence again. Many modern forms of mysticism and meditation can be traced to this doctrine: Transcendental Meditation, Radha-Soami Satsang, Kirpal Singh Satsang, and so on. The subtle sound sought in these systems is the egoistic sound at the root of material existence. Beyond this, however, is the pure name (śuddha-nāma), which cannot be extracted from the ākāśa by śabda-yoga, but which must be received from the pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa. What these śabda-yogīs really seek is explained by Kṛṣṇa Himself: I am the sound in ether. … Of vibrations I am the syllable oṁ. … Of letters I am the letter A, and among compound words I am the dual compound. … Of poetry I am the Gāyatrī mantra. (Bg. 7.8, 10.33, 10.35) Hence, they seek Kṛṣṇa but He is to be known only by pure devotion (bhakti-yoga). See Māyāvāda philosophy.

Spiritual world

Referred to as Vaikuṇṭha, Goloka, the supreme abode (param-dhāma), and the spiritual sky (param-vyoma), it is the transcendental, eternal, three-quarters display of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s personal splendor. The names, form, qualities, activities and relationships of the spiritual world are ever-fresh and ever-free of the defects of birth, death, disease, and old age. Here the Lord displays His divine pastimes (līlā) which overflood the spiritual world with the sweetest nectar, the very life and soul of the liberated devotees who dwell there. As a tree on the bank of a river is reflected upside-down in the water, so the material world is a reflection of the spiritual world. What is highest in the spiritual world is lowest here. The highest līlā is Kṛṣṇa’s conjugal affairs with the gopīs. That is reflected here as sex life, the most entangling activity for the embodied soul. See Kṛṣṇa.


a plate (containing remnants of prasādam) offered to the forefathers and then to the best of the brāhmaṇas.


the ceremony of making offerings to one’s ancestors to free them from suffering; firm faith and confidence.


fatigue, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.


the acquirement of knowledge by hearing from scriptural authorities.


acceptance of the words of the revealed scripture and of the spiritual master.

Sravaṇam kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ

(SB 7.5.23); the devotional process of hearing and chanting about Lord Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa.


hearing from an authorized source. (This is the chief of the nine methods of devotional service).


the devotional process of hearing about the Supreme Lord.


activities that are ultimately beneficial and auspicious.


the commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra by Rāmānujācārya.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa-vijaya

a book of poems by Guṇarāja Khān, considered to be the first poetry book written in Bengal.


the energy of Godhead that maintains the cosmic manifestation; Śrīla-a title indicating possession of exceptional spiritual qualities. The most beautiful (spiritual) person.

Sri (sree, shree, shri)

honorific prefix, to be used before the Deities name.

Śrī Saila

sacred hill near Tirupati.


a name for Lord Śiva meaning “he whose throat is beautifully blue.”

Śrīdhara Svāmī

the author of the earliest extant Vaiṣṇava commentaries on Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Though a resident of Benares and a sannyāsī of Śaṅkara’s Māyāvāda school of philosophy, he taught pure Vaiṣṇava philosophy. He was a devotee of Lord Nṛsiṁha-deva, and his works were highly regarded by Lord Caitanya, especially his Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam gloss, Bhāvārtha-dīpikā. The Lord commented that anyone who wanted to write a commentary on Srīmad-Bhagavatam must follow the commentary of Srīdhara Svāmī.

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.


a title indicating possession of exceptional spiritual qualities. The most beautiful (spiritual) person.


the foremost of the eighteen Purāṇas, the complete science of God that establishes the supreme position of Lord Kṛṣṇa. It was glorified by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as the amalam purāṇam, “the purest Purāṇa.” It was written by Śrīla Vyāsadeva as his commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra, and it deals exclusively with topics concerning the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Lord Kṛṣṇa) and His devotees. Śrīla Prabhupāda has given Bhaktivedanta purports in English and wonderfully presented it to the modern world, specifically to give a deep understanding of Lord Kṛṣṇa; Also known as the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, this is a work of eighteen thousand verses compiled by sage Vyāsa as his natural commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra. It takes up where the Bhagavad-gītā leaves off. In Bg. 4.9, Lord Kṛṣṇa says that by knowing His transcendental appearance and activities in this world, one becomes free of the cycle of repeated birth and death. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam recounts with great relish the details of the Lord’s appearance and activities, beginning with His puruṣa incarnations and their līlā of cosmic manifestation, and culminating with Kṛṣṇa’s own appearance in Vṛndāvana 5000 years ago, and His most sweet rasa-līlā with the His cowherd girlfriends, the gopīs headed by Rādhārāṇī. See Bhagavad-gītā, Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Vedānta-sūtra.


a name of Viṣnu.


a chief follower of the six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana.


the sign of the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, on the chest of Lord Viṣṇu, or Nārāyaṇa.

Srīvāsa Ṭhākura

the incarnation of Śri Nārada Muni in Lord Caitanya’s pastimes. An intimate associate of Lord Caitanya. His courtyard served as the birthplace of Lord Caitanya’s saṅkīrtana movement, and his altar was the site of the mahā-prakāśa pastime (twenty-one hours of ecstatic manifestation) of Śrī Caitanya.


conjugal love of God; an array of garments worn for amorous purposes.


the power to create the cosmic manifestation.


a king of Kaliṅga. He was the son of Varuṇa by Parṇāśā. He died on the battlefield of Kurukṣetra when he released his mace at Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. His mace could not be thrown at one who was not engaged in combat or it would come back and kill the one who threw it. Since Lord Kṛṣṇa was not engaged in combat, the mace came back and killed Śrutāyudha.


offense of blaspheming the Vedic literature.


Literally, hearing. The core Vedic literature including the four Vedas (Ṛg, Sāma, Yajur and Atharva) and the Upaniṣads. See Śāstra, Smṛti-śāstra.


the personified Vedas.


the hymns of the Vedas.


knowledge via hearing; the original Vedic scriptures (the Vedas and Upaniṣads), given directly by the Supreme Lord.


the son of Sahadeva by Draupadī. He fought in the battle of Kurukṣetra and was killed by Aśvatthāmā while rising from sleep in his tent.


a son of Arjuna by Draupadī. He fought in the battle of Kurukṣetra and was killed by Aśvatthāmā while rising from sleep in his tent.


mistaking a dry tree without leaves for a person.


the maintenance of the universe by Viṣṇu.


continuous love of Godhead in devotional service.


(sthita-steady + dhīra-undisturbed + muni-sage) one who is always fixed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and as a result is undisturbed by material nature.


See Gross body.


book of prayers composed by Yamunācārya.


a prayer.


talking with women.




hemispheric Buddhist monument of worship.




regulated sense gratification according to the Vedas.


In philosophy, that which is derived from the mind and not external sources, or that which exists in the mind without any external reference or possible confirmation. It also refers to the particular way an individual understands an experience. Even though others experienced the same thing, because of his subjective attitude and outlook, he forms an opinion of what happened that is different from theirs. See Objective reality, Reality.


the father of Śakuni and Gāndhārī. He was the King of Gāndhāra.


description of pure devotional service indicating that it bestows all good fortune.


younger sister of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and an incarnation of Yogamāyā, the internal potency of the Supreme Lord. She married Arjuna, and begot Abhimanyu as her son. She is the yellow Deity found between Lord Jagannātha and Baladeva.


Kārtikeya, the son of Lord Śiva. The god of war. Also known as Skanda.


From the Latin substare, be under, be firm, support. Substance (vastu in Sanskrit) is the underlying support of all phenomena. It is the eternal Brahman, the cause, of which the world is the effect. The Vedic view of the substance of the world is different from the Christian view, called creatio ex nihilo. According to this theory put forward by Augustine (175-242), God created the world out of nothing. Augustine’s reasoning was based on the Biblical statement that in the beginning there was only God. Creatio ex nihilo was an attempt to break out of the paradoxical question, If in the beginning there was only God, and God is eternal, why is the world ever-changing? It was assumed that a doctrine of the material world’s direct emanation from God’s own substance could be true only if the material world had the same nature as God. But since it does not, and since God was alone in the beginning, He must have created the world from nothing. There is a paradox upon which creatio ex nihilo stumbles: ex nihilo, nihil fit, From nothing, nothing comes. According to the Vedic view, the substance of creation is tattva, true, just as God is true. The tattva of matter (prakṛti) is eternal, but it assumes temporary forms as God wills. Like a shadow, the material creation resembles the original form of the substance. But it does not have the potency of the original. Yet it has no other source than the substance. Its source is not nothing. See Absolute, Brahman.

Subtle body

Called liṅga-śarīra in Sanskrit, and also known as the astral body, the subtle body is the result of the conditioning of consciousness by the three modes of material nature. It includes the false ego, intellect and mind and is composed of cetana, consciousness under material influence. As long as the living entity remains within the cycle of saṁsāra, the subtle body is retained. But the steady practice of bhakti-yoga dissolves the subtle body, thus freeing consciousness from matter. See Consciousness, Ecstasy, False ego, Gross body, Intellect, Mind, Modes of nature, Saṁsāra, Soul, Supersoul.


a King of Kāmbhoja. He brought an akṣauhiṇī division of troops for Duryodhana. He was killed by Arjuna during Kurukṣetra war. (Droṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)

Sudāmā Vipra

a poor householder friend and devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa who was given immeasurable riches by the Lord.


one of the cowherd boy associates of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Sudarśana cakra

the disc weapon of the Supreme Lord.


the discus of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.


pure devotional service.


pure consciousness.


the spiritual platform of pure goodness; The transcendental mode of purified goodness. See Kṛṣṇa, Modes of nature.


the manifestation in a devotee of all eight ecstatic symptoms multiplied a thousand times and all visible at once.


the wife of King Virāṭa. Draupadī spent the last year of exile as a maidservant to this queen. (Virāṭa Parva in Mahābhārata)


the royal assembly court of the Yadus at Dvārakā.


a person born in a low family but raised to the platform of brāhmaṇa by initiation.


the wife of a śūdra.


a member of the fourth social order, laborer class, in the traditional Vedic social system. He is meant to render service to the three higher classes, namely the brāhmaṇas, the kṣatriyas, and the vaiśyas.


the conchshell of Nakula.



Sukadeva Gosvāmī

an exhalted devotee who recited the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to King Parīkṣit during the last seven days of the King’s life.


happiness or pleasure.

Śukla-yajur Veda

a version of the Yajur Veda.


a person in the mode of goodness; also, a name for Lord Viṣṇu.


the spiritual master of the demons.


see: above


pious persons who obey the rules of scripture and are devoted to the Supreme Lord.


auspicious activity; pious persons.


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


a great mountain situated at the center of the universe. It is the hub of the chariot of the sun.


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


the wife of King Aṅga and mother of Vena.


the mother of Dhruva Mahārāja.


another name for Garuḍa.


Paramātmā-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; Known as Paramātmā in Sanskrit, He is the third of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s three puruṣa incarnations: 1) Mahā-Viṣṇu, from whom unlimited universes emanate; 2) Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who enters each universe and is the source of birth of Brahmā; and 3) Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who expands into the heart of every living entity and every atom within the universe. The Supersoul dwells within the hearts of all living beings next to the soul. His spiritual form is four-armed and the size of a thumb. From him come the living entity’s knowledge, rememberance and forgetfulness. The Supersoul is the witness and permitter of karma. What He witnesses is punished or rewarded by prakṛti (see Bg. 13.23). See Brahman, Intellect, Īśvara, Karma, Life after death, Kṛṣṇa, Modes of nature, Soul.


the name of King Bhagadatta’s elephant that was very formidable during the battle of Kurukṣetra. He was killed by Arjuna.


deep sleep, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.


the father of Vasudeva and Pāthā.

Surabhī cows

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


demigods, devotees.


the stepmother of Dhruva Mahārāja.


a brother of King Virāṭa. He was killed by Droṇa during the battle of Kurukṣetra. (Karṇa Parva in Mahābhārata)


the sun planet.


the sun-god, who became the father of Karṇa. He is said to be the right eye of the Supreme Lord.


the King of the Trigartas. He was an ally of Duryodhana and brought an akṣauhiṇī division of troops to Kurukṣetra. He was very envious of Arjuna and was ultimately killed by Arjuna.


deep sleep, one of the levels of material consciousness.

Sūta Gosvāmī

the son of Romaharsaṇa. He was the great sage who related the discourse between Parīkṣit Mahārāja and Śukadeva Gosvāmī, which forms the basis of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam;.Naimiṣāraṇya-a sacred forest in central India where the eighteen Purāṇas were spoken and which is said to be the hub of the universe.


the name of Vasudeva in a previous birth.


the son of Bhīmasena and Draupadī. He was killed by Aśvatthāmā while awaking from sleep on the last night of the Kurukṣetra war.


the son of Vaidarbhī, or, in other words, one who is somewhat advanced in fruitive activities and who comes in contact with a devotee spiritual master. Such a person becomes interested in the subject matter of devotional service.


a mixture of different castes.


the intermediate manifestation of the mahat-tattva, when it is predominated by the mode of passion; an aphorism expressing essential knowledge in minimum words; a book of such aphorisms.




the power to perform the personal service of the Supreme Lord.


Nature, especially one’s individual nature; intuitive psychology; instinct.


a scripture.


specific duties of a particular body performed in accordance with religious principles in order to achieve liberation.


personal study of Vedic literature.


the wife of Agni, the fire-god.


relationship with Kṛṣṇa as a formally married wife.


Kṛṣṇa’s plenary portions.


the impersonalist misconception that one can become God simply by adopting the dress of a sannyāsī.


one fully in control of his senses and mind; title of one in the renounced, or sannyāsa, order; Gosvāmī-a person who has his senses under full control: the title of a person in the renounced order of life, sannyasa. (go-senses + svamī-master) master of the senses.


the form by which the Lord begets living entities in the material world .


Sleep, dreaming. One of the five functions of buddhi. See Buddhi.


Heaven. See Demigods, Life after death, Tri-loka.


the personal spiritual potency of the Lord.


fully independent.


the heavenly planets or abodes of the demigods in the material world.

Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī

the incarnation of the gopī Viśākha. He served as the secretary and intimate associate of Lord Caitanya at Purī and used to ease the pain of the Lord’s feelings of separation by reciting appropriate verses and singing devotional songs.


the stage of understanding Kṛṣṇa in truth while still maintaining some material connection.


the characteristics of the soul when purified of all material contamination.


the meeting of similar ecstasies from separate causes.


the perfection of one’s eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord.


realization of one’s eternal service relationship with the Lord.


forgetting one’s real constitutional position.


the living entity’s original eternal relationship of service to the Lord, the real form of the soul.


the upper material planets.


Kṛṣṇa’s original form as a cowherd boy in Vṛndāvana.


the ceremony in which a princess is allowed to choose her husband.

Svāyambhuva Manu

the Manu who appears first in Brahmā’s day and who was the grandfather of Dhruva Mahārāja.

Svetāśvatara Upaniṣad

one of the 108 Upaniṣads. It very clearly presents the Vaiṣṇava point of view regarding the Lord and the living entity.


the spiritual planet where Lord Viṣṇu resides within the material universe.


a son of King Virāṭa. He was killed in a ferocious battle with grandfather Bhīṣma. (Bhīṣma Parva in Mahābhārata)


the name of Kṛṣṇa meaning “He who has a very beautiful blackish form.”

Syāmānanda Gosvāmī (1535-1631)

one of the great Vaiṣṇava ācāryas who lived in Vṛndāvana after the time of Śrī Caitanya. He received the direct mercy of Rādhārāṇī in Vṛndāvana, was tutored in the bhakti-śāstras by Jīva Gosvāmī and delivered countless souls, especially in Orissa. He was initiated by Hṛdāya Caitanya dāsa and got the name Duḥkhi Kṛṣṇadāsa, but later he was called Syāmānanda by Jīva Gosvāmī, who noted his attraction for the Deity Śyāmāsundara.


From the Greek syllogisms, a reckoning all together, it is a logical structure of reasonable thought (step-by-step argument). The Sanskrit equivalent is parārthānumāna, reasoning for others’ understanding. See Logic.

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