by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahasaya | 2010 | 123,965 words

This page relates ‘Glossary’ of the Bhajana-rahasya, English translation, including commentary (vritti). The Bhajana-rahasya is a compilation of verses describing the mercy of the eight pairs of names (Yugala-nama) of the Maha-mantra.


Abhisāra–rendezvous or tryst with Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Ācamana–a ritual of purification in which one sips water from the palm of the right hand and then chants a particular name of the Supreme Lord.

Ācārya–spiritual preceptor, one who teaches by example.

Adhirūḍha-bhāva, adhirūḍha-mahābhāva–the highest state of mahābhāva, found only in the gopīs of Vraja. There are two types of adhirūḍha-bhāva: (1) modana and (2) mādana. (1) The adhirūḍha in which all the sāttvika-bhāvas of the nāyaka and nāyikā are aroused to a much greater extent than in the brightly burning (uddīpta) condition is called modana. Modana does not occur anywhere other than in Śrī Rādhā’s group. In some special conditions of separation, modana becomes mohana, and as an effect of this helpless condition of separation, all the sāttvika-bhāvas manifest in the blazing (sūddīpta) condition. (2) When mahābhāva increases even further it attains an extremely advanced condition. The paramount emotion in which it becomes jubilant due to the simultaneous manifestation of all types of transcendental emotions is called mādana. This mādana-bhāva is eternally and splendidly manifest only in Śrī Rādhā, and occurs only at the time of meeting. It is also referred to as mādanākhya-mahābhāva.

Ahaitukī-bhakti–unalloyed devotion.

Aiśvarya–opulence, splendour, majesty or supremacy; in regard to bhakti, this refers to devotion to Śrī Kṛṣṇa in a mood of awe and reverence rather than sweetness (mādhurya).

Aiśvarya-jñāna–awareness of the aspect of divinity.

Ajāta-rati-sādhaka–a sādhaka who has not attained the stage of bhāva.

Ānanda–spiritual bliss, ecstasy, joy or happiness.

Anartha–(an-artha = non-value) unwanted desires, activities or habits that impede one’s advancement in bhakti.

Anartha-nivṛtti–the clearing of all unwanted desires from the heart. This is the third stage in the development of the creeper of devotion, which occurs by the influence of sādhu-saṅga and bhajana-kriyā.

Aṇimā –the mystic perfection of being able to become small like a particle.

Anubhāvas–one of the f ive essential ingredients of rasa. The actions which display or reveal the spiritual emotions situated within the heart are called anubhāvas. They are thirteen in number.

Anurāga–(1) attachment, affection or love; (2) an intensified stage of prema which comes just prior to mahābhāva. In Śrī Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (14.146) anurāga has been defined as follows: “Although one regularly meets with the beloved and is well-acquainted with the beloved, the ever-fresh sentiment of intense attachment causes the beloved to be newly experienced at every moment as if one has never before had any experience of such a person. The attachment which inspires such a feeling is known as anurāga.”

Aparādha–an offence committed against the holy name, Vaiṣṇavas, the spiritual master, the scriptures, holy places or the deity.

Aparāhna–late afternoon.

Aprārabdha–not fructified; the action has been performed and its result, although not yet manifested, is gradually coming to fruition.

Ārati–the ceremony of offering a deity articles of worship, such as incense, lamp, flowers and fan, accompanied by chanting and bell-ringing.

Arcana–deity worship; one of the nine primary processes of devotional service.

Artha–acquisition of wealth, economic development; one of the four goals of human life (puruṣārthas).

Ārya-patha–the path of honesty and chastity indicated in the scriptures.

Āsakti–attachment; this especially refers to attachment for the Lord and His eternal associates. Āsakti occurs when one’s liking for bhajana leads to a direct and deep attachment for the personality who is the object of that bhajana. This is the sixth stage in the development of the creeper of devotion, and is awakened upon the maturing of one’s taste for bhajana.

Āśrama–one of the four stages of life: brahmācārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa.

Aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā–the pastimes that Śrī Kṛṣṇa performs with His associates during the eight periods of the day: (1) niśānta-līlā, pastimes at the end of night; (2) prātaḥ-līlā, pastimes at dawn; (3) pūrvāhna-līlā, morning pastimes; (4) madhyāhna-līlā, midday pastimes; (5) aparāhna-līlā, afternoon pastimes; (6) sāyaṃ-līlā, pastimes at dusk; (7) pradoṣa-līlā, evening pastimes; and (8) rātri-līlā, night pastimes.

Aṣṭāṅga-yoga–the yoga system consisting of eight parts: yama (the process of controlling the senses), niyama (restrain of the senses), āsana (bodily postures), prāṇāyāma (breath control), pratyāhāra (withdrawal of the mind from sensory perception), dhāraṇā (steadying the mind), dhyāna (meditation) and samādhi (deep and unbroken absorption on the Lord in the heart).

Aṣṭa-sakhīs–Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s eight principal gopīs: Lalitā, Vīśākhā, Citrā, Indulekha, Campakalatā, Raṅga-devī, Sudevī and Tuṅgavidyā.

Aṣṭa-sāttvika-bhāvas–see Sāttvika-bhāvas.

Aśvamedha–horse sacrifice.

Āvaraṇātmikā–the illusory energy’s function of covering real knowledge so the conditioned soul feels satisfied in any condition of life.

Avatāra–(literally means ‘one who descends’) a partially or fully empowered incarnation of the Supreme Lord who is described in the scriptures. An avatāra descends from the spiritual world to the material universe with a particular mission.

Bahiraṅga-śakti–the Lord’s external or material potency, also known as māyā-śakti.

Bhagavān–the Supreme Lord; the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Bhagavat-kathā–see Hari-kathā.

Bhajana–(1) activities performed with the consciousness of being a servant of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, (2) in a general sense bhajana refers to the performance of spiritual practices, especially hearing, chanting and meditating upon Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s name, form, qualities and pastimes.

Bhajana-kriyā–taking up the practices of bhakti, such as hearing and chanting. This is the second stage in the development of the creeper of devotion, and it occurs by the influence of sādhu-saṅga.

Bhakta–a devotee.

Bhakti–loving devotional service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Bhāva–(1) spiritual emotions, love or sentiments; (2) the initial stage of perfection in devotion (bhāva-bhakti). It is the sprout of prema, and it is also known as rati. This is the seventh stage of the creeper of devotion.

Brahmacārī–a member of the first āśrama (stage of life) in the varṇāśrama system; a celibate, unmarried student.

Brahma–the spiritual effulgence emanating from the Supreme Lord’s transcendental body.

Brāhma-muhūrta–the auspicious period of the day just before dawn, from one-and-a-half hours to f ifty minutes before sunrise.

Brāhmaṇa–the highest of the four varṇas (casts) in the varṇāśrama system; a priest or teacher.

Brāhmaṇī–a female brāhmaṇa;the wife of a brāhmaṇa.

Cakora bird–a bird that lives solely on moonlight.

Caraṇāmṛta–water that has been used to bathe the feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa or His associates.

Cit-śakti–the potency that relates to the cognisant aspect of the Supreme Lord. By this potency, He knows Himself and causes others to know Him. Knowledge of the Absolute Reality is only possible with the help of this potency.

Daṇḍa –a measurement of time; approximately 25–30 minutes; explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Third Canto, Chapter 11 and in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā 3.387–390).

Daṇḍavat-praṇāma–prostrated obeisances.

Darśana–seeing, meeting, visiting or beholding (especially a deity, a sacred place or an exalted Vaiṣṇava).

Dāsī–a maidservant.

Dāsya–(1) the second of the f ive primary relationships with the Lord that is established in the stages of bhāva or prema; love or attraction to Śrī Kṛṣṇa which is expressed in the mood of a servant; (2) the general relationship of practising devotees with Kṛṣṇa is known as kṛṣṇa-dāsya or bhagavad-dāsya. This means simply to recognise that one’s true identity is that of being Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s servant.

Devī-dhāma–the material world.

Dhāma–a holy place of pilgrimage; the abode of the Supreme Lord, where He appears and enacts His transcendental pastimes.

Dhāma-aparādha–offences committed towards the dhāma.

Dharma–(1) religion in general; (2) the socio-religious duties prescribed in the scriptures for different classes of persons in the varṇāśrama system.

Dhīra-lalita-nāyaka–Śrī Kṛṣṇa as a hero who is expert in the sixtyfour arts and in amorous sports, always situated in fresh youth, expert at joking, devoid of anxiety and controlled by the divine love of His beloveds.

Dīkṣā–initiation from a spiritual master.

Divyonmāda–a wonderful divine condition that resembles a state of utter confusion. It occurs in the stage of mohana-mahābhāva and has many different features such as udghūrṇā and citrajalpa. It is found virtually only in Śrīmatī Rādhikā.

Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava–(1) any Vaiṣṇava who follows the teachings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; (2) a Vaiṣṇava born in Bengal.

Gopa–a cowherd, either child or adult.

Gopī, Gopikā–a cowherd girl or woman of Vraja.

Gṛhastha–a member of the second stage of life (āśrama) in the varṇāśrama system; a householder.

Guñjā–a small, bright red seed with a black patch on the top. This seed is said to represent Śrīmatī Rādhikā.

Guru-paramparā–the disciplic succession through which spiritual knowledge is transmitted by bona fide spiritual masters.

Hari-kathā–narrations of the holy name, form, qualities and pastimes of the Lord.

Harināma–the chanting of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s holy name.

Hlādinī-śakti–this refers to the svarūpa-śakti which is predominated by hlādinī, bliss potency (see Svarūpa-śakti).

Īśvarī–queen, mistress or goddess.

Japa–loud chanting or soft utterance of the holy name of Śrī Kṛṣṇa to oneself.

Jāta-rati-sādhaka–a sādhaka on the platform of bhāva.

Jīva–the eternal individual living entity who, in the conditioned state of material existence, assumes a material body in any of the innumerable species of life.

Jñāna–(1) knowledge in general; (2) knowledge leading to impersonal liberation.

Jñānī–one who pursues the path of jñāna, knowledge directed towards impersonal liberation.

Kali-yuga–the present age of quarrel and hypocrisy that began f ive thousand years ago. (Also see Yuga.)

Kalpa–one day of Brahmā.

Kāma–(1) lust to gratify the urges of the material senses; (2) the gopīs’ transcendental desire to enjoy amorous pastimes with Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Kaniṣṭha-adhikārī–a neophyte practitioner of bhakti.

Karma–(1) any activity performed in the course of material existence; (2) reward-seeking activities; pious activities leading to material gain in this world or in the heavenly planets after death; (3) fate; previous actions which yield inevitable reactions.

Karma-kāṇḍa–a division of the Vedas that involves the performance of ceremonial acts and sacrif icial rites directed towards material benefits or liberation.

Kiṅkarī–a maidservant.

Kila-kiñcita–bodily symptoms of ecstasy: pride, ambition, weeping, smiling, envy, fear and anger (see Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Śrī Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, Anubhāva-prakaraṇa 39).

Kīrtana–(1) congregational singing of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s holy name, (2) loud individual chanting of the holy name or (3) oral descriptions of the glories of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s names, forms, qualities, associates and pastimes.

Kiśora (Kiśorī)–an adolescent boy (girl).

Kṛṣṇa-kathā–see Hari-kathā.

Kṣatriya–the second of the four castes (varṇas) in the varṇāśrama system; an administrator or warrior.

Kuñja–a grove or bower; a natural shady retreat with a roof and walls formed by trees, vines, creepers and other climbing plants.

Kuṅkuma–a reddish powder or liquid used by married women to apply to the part in their hair.

Laghimā –the mystic perfection of making oneself lighter than a soft feather.

Lālā–a Brajabhāṣā term of affectionate address for a young boy.

Līlā–the divine and astonishing pastimes of Śrī Bhagavān and His eternal associates.

Līlā-avatāra–Kṛṣṇa’s pastime incarnation. E.g. Balarāma, Kūrma, Nṛsiṃhadeva and Matsya.

Līlā-mādhurya–see Mādhurya.

Mādana, Mādanākhya–see Adhirūḍha-mahābhāva.

Mādhurya-rasa–the mellow of amorous love, also known as śṛṅgārarasa.

Mādhurya–(1) sweetness or beauty ; (2) Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s four unique qualities: līlā-mādhurya–astonishing pastimes; prema-mādhurya–He is surrounded by devotees who possess incom parable mādhuryaprema; veṇu-mādhurya–the mellifluous sound of His flute; and rūpa-mādhurya–His extraordinary beauty.


Madhyama-adhikārī–the practitioner of bhakti who has reached the intermediate stage of spiritual development.

Mahā-bhāgavata–a pure devotee of Śrī Bhagavān in the highest stage of devotional life, who is expert in Vedic literature, has full faith in Śrī Kṛṣṇa and can deliver the whole world.

Mahābhāva–this highest stage of prema follows the stages of sneha, māna, pranaya, rāga and anurāga, and manifests when anurāga reaches a special state of intensity.

Mahābhāva-vatī–endowed with mahābhāva, the highest loving sentiment.

Mahājana–a great personality who teaches the highest ideal and who by his conduct sets an example for others to follow.

Mahāmāyā, Māyā-śakti–the illusion-generating potency which is responsible for the manifestation of the material world, time and material activities. (Also see Māyā.)

Mahāpuruṣa–a great personality; one who is expert in the imports of the scriptures.

Maharṣi–a great sage.

Māna–the sentiment that prevents the lover and beloved from meeting freely and which gives rise to transient emotions like anger, despondency, doubt, restlessness, pride and jealousy.

Mānasī-sevā–service performed within the mind.

Mañjarī–a maidservant of Śrīmatī Rādhikā in the category of nityasakhī or prāṇa-sakhī.

Mantra–a spiritual sound vibration that delivers the mind from its material conditioning and illusion when repeated over and over; a Vedic hymn, prayer or chant.

Māyā–illusion; that which is not; Śrī Bhagavān’s external potency which influences the living entities to accept the false egoism of being independent enjoyers of this material world. (Also see Mahāmāyā, Māyā-śakti.)

Māyāvādī–one who advocates the doctrine of impersonalism.

Mohana–see Adhirūḍha-mahābhāva.

Muni–a sage, ascetic, spiritual scholar or self-realised soul.

Muralī–one of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s flutes that is thirty-six inches long, has four holes on its body and a mouthpiece at the end, and produces a very enchanting sound.

Nāma–the holy name of the Supreme Lord.

Nāma-ābhāsa–a semblance of the holy name. The stage of chanting in which one is becoming cleared of sins and offences but has not yet attained pure chanting.

Nāma-aparādha–offensive chanting of the holy name. Chanting of the holy name that is not accompanied by the attempt to give up sinful and offensive behaviour in one’s life.

Nāma-aparādhī–one who chants offensively.

Nāma-saṅkīrtana–the practice of chanting the holy name of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, especially congregational chanting.

Nāmī–the Supreme Lord, Śrī Bhagavān; the person addressed by the holy name.

Nara-līlā–human-like pastimes.

Nāyaka–hero; especially refers to Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Nāyikā–heroine; especially refers to Śrīmatī Rādhikā and the other gopīs.

Nikuñja–bower, grove; a solitary place for the meeting and enjoyment of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.

Nirviśeṣa–devoid of variety; featureless impersonal aspect of the Absolute.

Niśānta–the end of the night just prior to dawn.

Niṣkiñcana–free from all material possessions, entirely destitute; a renunciant.

Niṣṭhā–firm faith; established devotional practice that does not waver at any time. The fourth stage in the development of the creeper of devotion.

Nitya-sakhī–see Sakhī.

Nitya-siddha-gopīs–eternally liberated gopīs.

Niyama–one of the practices of aṣṭāṅga-yoga (see Aṣṭāṅga-yoga).

Pālya-dāsī–a maidservant of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. The word pālya means ‘to be nourished, cared for and protected’, and the word dāsī means ‘a maidservant’; thus, the pālya-dāsīs are maidservants under the affectionate care of Śrīmatī Rādhikā.

Parabrahma–the Supreme brahma, Śrī Bhagavān.

Parakīya-bhāva–paramour love; an amorous relationship outside of marriage.

Paramahaṃsa–a topmost, God-realised, ‘swan-like’ devotee of Śrī Bhagavān;the fourth and highest stage of sannyāsa.

Parama-tattva–the Supreme Absolute Truth, Śrī Bhagavān.

Paramātmā–the Supersoul situated in the hearts of all living entities as a witness and source of remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.

Parikramā–(1) circumambulation; (2) the path that encircles a sacred tract of land, such as Vṛndāvana or Vraja.

Paugaṇḍa–boyhood; from age six to ten.

Pītāmbara–the brilliant golden-yellow cloth that Śrī Kṛṣṇa wears.

Prabhu–master, lord or ruler.


Prahara–(same as yāma) a three-hour time period in the 24-hour day. The first prahara starts at brahma-muhūrta.

Prakaṭa-līlā–Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s manifest pastimes.

Prāṇakānta–the beloved of one’s life.

Praṇāma–an obeisance.

Prāṇanātha, Prāṇeśvara–literally means ‘the lord of one’s life’, but it carries the sense of one who is infinitely dearer to one than one’s own life.

Prāṇa-preṣṭha-sakhī–same as priya-narma-sakhī (see Sakhī).

Prāṇa-priyatama–one who is dearer than one’s own life.

Prāṇa-vallabha–the beloved of one’s life.

Prāṇa-sakhī–see Sakhī.

Prārabdha-karma–the results of previous activities which have already begun to bear fruit.

Prasāda–(literally means ‘mercy’) the remnants of food or articles offered to the deity, such as incense, flowers, garlands and clothing.

Prātaḥ–early morning, dawn.

Pravāsa–one of the four divisions of vipralambha, separation; the separation, due to their being in different places, of lovers who were previously intimately associated. Pravāsa has two divisions: going out of sight (pravāsa) and going to a distant place (sudūra-pravāsa).

Prema–(1) love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa which is extremely concentrated, which completely melts the heart and which gives rise to a deep sense of possessiveness (mamatā), in relation to Śrī Kṛṣṇa; (2) when bhāva becomes firmly rooted and unchecked by any obstacle it is known as prema.

Prema-bhakti–a stage of bhakti which is characterised by the appearance of prema (see Prema); the perfectional stage of devotion; the eighth and fully blossomed state of the creeper of devotion.

Prema-mādhurya–see Mādhurya.

Premī-bhakta–a devotee on the stage of prema.

Priya-narma-sakhā–see Sakhā.

Priya-narma-sakhī–see Sakhī.

Priya-sakhī–see Sakhī.

Priyatama–dear most beloved.

Pūjā–offering of worship.

Purāṇa–the eighteen historical supplements to the Vedas.

Puruṣārtha–the four goals of human life–kāma, artha, dharma and mokṣa.


Pūrva-rāga–loving attraction for Śrī Kṛṣṇa prior to meeting.

Puṣpāñjali–an offering of flowers from cupped hands to the Supreme Lord or His exalted devotee.

Rāgamārga–the path of rāga, spontaneous attachment (see Rāgānuga).

Rāgānuga–bhakti that follows in the wake of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s eternal associates in Vraja.

Rāgānuga-bhakta–a devotee on the path of spontaneous devotion.

Rāgātmikā–one in whose heart there naturally and eternally exists a deep spontaneous desire to love and serve Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This specifically refers to the eternal residents of Vraja.

Rājasūya–an elaborate fire sacrifice that establishes one as the emperor of the world.

Ramaṇī–a shy young girl who is expert in the various skills for awakening sweet emotions.

Rasa–(1) the spiritual transformation of the heart which takes place when the perfectional state of love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa, known as rati, is converted into ‘liquid’ emotions by combining with various types of transcendental ecstasies; (2) taste, flavour.

Rāsa-līlā–Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s dance pastimes with the vraja-gopīs, which is a pure exchange of spiritual love between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs, His most confidential servitors.

Rāsa-maṇḍala–a circular arena in which Śrī Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs perform their rāsa-līlā.

Rasika–one who is expert at relishing rasa; a connoisseur of rasa.

Rasika-śekhara–a title of Śrī Kṛṣṇa meaning ‘the foremost enjoyer’ or ‘master of the mellows of love’.

Rati–(1) attachment, fondness for; (2) a stage in the development of bhakti which is synonymous with bhāva (see Bhāva).


Ṛṣi–a sage learned in the Vedas.

Ruci–taste; ruci develops after one has acquired steadiness in bhajana. At this stage, with the awakening of actual taste, one’s attraction to spiritual matters, such as hearing and chanting, exceeds one’s attraction to any type of material activity; this is the fifth stage in the development of the creeper of devotion.

Rūpa-mādhurya–see Mādhurya.

Rūpānuga-bhakta–a devotee who follows Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī on the path of spontaneous devotion.

Sādhaka–one who follows a spiritual discipline with the objective of achieving pure devotion for Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and more specif ically, achieving bhāva-bhakti.

Sādhana–the method one adopts in order to obtain one’s specif ic goal (sādhya).

Sādhu–a saintly person or devotee.

Sādhu-saṅga–association of highly advanced devotees; the first stage in the development of the creeper of devotion and the most important factor for advancement in bhakti.

Sakhā–a male friend, companion or attendant. There are four types of sakhās in Vraja: (1) suhṛda–those whose friendship is mixed with a scent of parental mood, who are slightly older than Kṛṣṇa, who bear a staff and other weapons and who always protect Kṛṣṇa from demons; e.g. Subhadra, Maṇḍalībhadra and Balabhadra; (2) sakhā–those whose friendship is mixed with a scent of servitorship, who are slightly younger than Kṛṣṇa and who are exclusively attached to the happiness of rendering service to Him; e.g. Viśāla, Vṛṣabha and Devaprastha; (3) priyasakhā–those who are of the same age as Kṛṣṇa and take the exclusive shelter of the attitude of friendship; e.g. Śrīdāma, Sudāma and Stoka-kṛṣṇa; and (4) priya-narma-sakhā–superior in every way to the three other types of sakhās; they are engaged in extremely confidential services and possess a very special mood, such as Subala, Ujjvala and Madhumaṅgala.

Sakhī–a female friend, companion or attendant. Śrīmatī Rādhikā has five kinds of sakhīs: (1) Sakhī–Daniṣṭhā is an example. These sakhīs love and serve both Śrīmatī Rādhikā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa, but they are slightly more inclined towards Śrī Kṛṣṇa. (2) Nitya-sakhīs and (3) prāṇa-sakhīs–the only two kinds of sakhīs who are in the category of mañjarīs. These sakhīs serve both Śrī Rādhā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa, with a tendency to favour Śrīmatī Rādhikā. The prāṇa-sakhīs, like Rūpa Mañjarī and Rati Mañjarī, being even more intimately connected with Śrīmatī, are naturally the leaders of the nitya-sakhīs. (4) Priya-sakhīs and (5) priya-narmasakhīs–Lalitā and Viśākhā are examples.

Sakhya–love or attachment for Śrī Kṛṣṇa that is expressed in the mood of a friend; one of the five primary relationships with Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

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

Samādhi–meditation or deep trance.

Sambandha-jñāna–knowledge regarding sambandha-tattva, the mutual relationship between the Lord, the living entities and the material energ y.

Sāmīpya–the liberation of becoming a personal associate of Śrī Bhagavān.

Sampradāya–a line of disciplic succession.

Saṃvit–the knowledge portion, cognisant aspect, of the Lord’s spiritual potency.

Sañcāri-bhāvas–also known as vyabhicāri-bhāvas; thirty-three internal emotions which emerge from the nectarean ocean of sthāyibhāva, cause it to swell and then merge back into it. These include emotions such as despondency, jubilation, fear, anxiety and concealment of emotions.

Saṅkīrtana–congregational chanting of the names of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Sannyāsī–a member of the renounced order, a renunciant.

Sāri–a female parrot.

Sarovara–lake, pool or tank.

Sārṣṭi–in this liberation the opulence of the devotee is equal to the opulence of the Supreme Lord.

Sārūpya–a liberation in which the bodily features of the devotee are exactly like those of the Supreme Lord, apart from two or three symptoms found only on the body of the Lord.

Śaraṇāgati–surrender; approaching for refuge or protection: (1) to accept that which is favourable for kṛṣṇa-bhakti; (2) to reject that which is unfavourable; (3) to have faith ‘Bhagavān will protect me’;(4) to have dependence, thinking ‘Bhagavān will take care of me’; (5) to be fully self-surrendered (ātma-samarpaṇa); and (6) to be humble, feeling insignificant and very fallen.

Śāstra–scripture, especially the Vedic scriptures.

Sāttvika-bhāvas–one of the five essential ingredients of rasa (see Rasa); eight symptoms of spiritual ecstasy.


Sāyujya-mukti–the liberation of merging into the spiritual effulgence of the Lord.

Sevā–service, attendance on, reverence or devotion to.

Sevā-aparādha–offences in devotional service.

Siddha-deha–perfected spiritual body, which is fit to serve Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.

Śikṣā-guru–the person from whom one receives instructions on how to progress on the path of bhajana; the instructing spiritual master.

Śloka–a Sanskrit verse.

Smaraṇa–remembrance of the names, forms, qualities and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa; one of the nine primary limbs of bhakti.

Smṛti–(literally ‘that which is remembered’) the body of Vedic literature that is remembered, in contradistinction to Śruti, or that which is directly heard from or revealed by the great sages. Smṛti includes the six Vedāṅgas, the dharma-śāstras (such as Manusaṃhitā), the Purāṇas and the itihāsas.

Śrāddha–a ceremony in honour of and for the benef it of deceased relatives.

Śraddhā–faith in the statements of the śāstras which is awakened after accumulating pious devotional credits over many births.

Śravaṇam–hearing the transcendental descriptions of Bhagavān’s names, forms, qualities, pastimes and associates from the mouths of advanced devotees. One of the nine most important limbs of bhakti.

Śṛṅgāra-rasa–same as mādhurya-rasa, the amorous mellow.

Śruti–see Smṛti.

Sthāyibhāva–the permanent sentiment of love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa in one of five primary relationships of tranquillity (śānta), servitude (dāsya), friendship (sakhya), parental affection (vātsalya) or amorous love (mādhurya). This also refers to the dominant sentiment in the seven secondary mellows of laughter, wonder, heroism, compassion, anger, fear and disgust.

Śuddha-sattva–the state of unalloyed goodness; the quality of existence which is beyond the influence of material nature.

Śūdra–the lowest of the four castes (varṇas) in the varṇāśrama system; artisans and labourers.

Śuka–a male parrot.

Sukṛti–piety, virtue; pious activity. Sukṛti is of two types: eternal (nitya) and temporary (naimittika). The sukṛti by which one obtains sādhu-saṅga and bhakti is nitya-sukṛti because it produces eternal fruit.

Svarūpa–constitutional nature, inherent identity; the eternal constitutional nature and identity of the self which is realised at the stage of bhāva.

Svarūpa-śakti–the Lord’s divine potency, situated in the Lord’s form (svarūpa);also known as cit-śakti, the potency endowed with consciousness. Because this potency is situated in the Lord’s form, it is further known as antaraṅga-śakti, internal potency. Because it is superior to His marginal and external potencies, it is also known as parā-śakti, superior potency. The svarūpa-śakti has three divisions: sandhinī, saṃvit and hlādinī.

Svarūpa-siddhi–the stage in which a devotee’s internal spiritual form and identity (svarūpa) becomes manifest.

Sva-saṃvedya–the word saṃvedya means ‘capable of being known or realised’; the word sva means ‘oneself’; so the term svasaṃvedya literally means ‘that which has the power to be fully tasted or experienced by itself’. When anurāga reaches the state where it becomes the object of its own experience it is known as sva-saṃvedya. (Also see Mahābhāva.)

Tāmbūla–betel nut.

Tapasya–voluntary acceptance of austerity for the purpose of detaching oneself from the sense objects.

Tattva–truths, reality, philosophical principles; the essence or substance of anything (e.g. the truths relating to bhakti are known as bhakti-tattva).

Tilaka–clay markings worn on the forehead and other parts of the body by Vaiṣṇavas, signifying their devotion to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, or Śrī Viṣṇu, and consecrating the body as the Lord’s temple.

Tīrtha–holy place, place of pilgrimage.

Tulasī–a sacred plant whose leaves and blossoms are used by Vaiṣṇavas in the worship of Śrī Kṛṣṇa; the wood is also used for chanting beads and neck beads.

Udbhāsvaras–the symptoms which reveal the spiritual emotions situated within the heart are called anubhāvas. When they manifest mostly as external actions, they are known as udbhāsvaras. Sāttvika-bhāvas are also known as anubhāvas because they also reveal the emotions of the heart. The term udbhāsvaras is used, therefore, to distinguish between anubhāvas arising sponta neously from sattva (sāttvika-bhāvas) and those which manifest as external actions involving some conscious intention.

Udghūrṇā–a feature of divyonmāda (see Divyonmāda). A state in which many varieties of astounding and uncontrollable endeavours are manifest.

Upaniṣads–108 principal philosophical treatises that appear within the Vedas.

Uttama-adhikārī–the topmost devotee, who has attained perfection in his devotion unto Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Vaidhī-bhakti–devotion prompted by the regulations of the scriptures.

Vaijayantī-mālā–a garland made of five varieties of flowers and which reaches the knees.

Vaiṣṇava–literally means one whose nature is ‘of Viṣṇu’; a devotee of Śrī Kṛṣṇa or Śrī Viṣṇu.

Vaiśya–the third of the four castes (varṇas) in the varṇāśrama system; agriculturalists or businessmen.

Vaṃśī–one of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s flutes that is about thirteen inches long and has nine holes on its body.

Vānaprastha–a member of the third stage of life (āśrama) in the varṇāśrama system; retired life which entails freedom from family responsibilities and the acceptance of spiritual vows.

Varṇa–class, occupational division, caste; the four varṇas are: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra.

Varṇāśrama–the Vedic social system, which organises society into four occupational divisions and four stages of life (varṇas and āśramas).

Vastu-siddhi–the stage in which the vastu, or substantive entity known as the jīva, is fully liberated from matter. After giving up the material body, the living entity who has already attained svarūpa-siddhi enters into Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s manifest pastimes, where he or she receives the association of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His eternal associates for the first time. There one receives further training from His eternal associates. When one becomes established in the mood of their prema and one’s eternal service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one gives up all connection with this world and enters His spiritual abode. At this point the living entity becomes situated in his pure identity as a vastu, and this is known as vastu-siddhi.

Vātsalya-bhāva–one of the five primary relationships with Śrī Kṛṣṇa, namely, love or attachment for Him expressed in the mood of a parent.

Veda–the four primary books of knowledge compiled by Śrīla Vyāsadeva, namely, the Ṛg Veda, Sāma Veda, Atharva Veda and Yajur Veda.

Vedānta–‘the conclusion of Vedic knowledge’. The Upaniṣads are the latter portion of the Vedas and the Vedānta-sūtra summarises the philosophy of the Upaniṣads in concise statements. Therefore, the word ‘Vedānta’ especially refers to the Vedānta-sūtra.

Veṇu–(also called pāvika) one of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s flutes that is very small, not more than nine inches long, with six holes on its body.

Veṇu-mādhurya–see Mādhurya.

Vibhāva–is defined in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.1.15) as follows: “That in which rati is tasted (ālambana) and that cause by which rati is tasted (uddīpana) is called vibhāva.”

Vidhimārga–the path of bhakti which follows rules and regulations.

Vikṣepātmikā–the illusory energ y’s function of throwing the living entity into the ocean of material existence.

Vilāsa–pastimes, especially the playful amorous pastimes of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.

Vīṇā–a stringed musical instrument of melodious sound, the favourite instrument of Nārada Muni and of various other celestial personalities.

Vipralambha-rasa–the mellow of separation.

Viraha–separation (same as vipralambha).

Viśuddha-sattva–see Śuddha-sattva.

Vraja-devīs, vraja-ramaṇīs, vraja-sundarīs–the gopīs of Vraja.

Vrajavāsī–a resident of Vraja.

Vrata–a vow undertaken for self-purification and spiritual benefit.

Vyabhicāri-bhāvas–same as sañcāri-bhāvas (see Sañcāribhāvas).

Yajña–(1) a sacrifice in which a deity is propitiated by the chanting of prayers and mantras and the offering of ghee into the sacrificial fire; (2) any kind of intense endeavour which is directed at achieving a particular goal.

Yāma–(same as prahara) one of the eight periods of the day. Each yāma consists of approximately three hours.

Yāvad-āśraya-vṛtti–the highest state of anurāga.

Yoga–(1) union, meeting, connection or combination; (2) spirit ual discipline to link one with the Supreme; to stabilise the mind through karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga and bhakti-yoga, so that it is not disturbed by sense objects. Unless specified as such, the word yoga usually refers to the aṣṭāṅga-yoga system of Patañjali (see Aṣṭāṅga-yoga).

Yogamāyā–the internal potency of the Supreme Lord that engages in arranging and enhancing all His pastimes.

Yogī–one who practises the yoga system with the goal of realisation of the Supersoul or of merging into the Lord’s personal body.

Yuga–one of the four ages described in the Vedas: Satya-yuga, Tretā-yuga, Dvāpara-yuga and Kali-yuga.

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