The following is a glossary of terms and concepts in Hinduism. The list consists of concepts that are derived from both Hinduism and Hindu tradition, which are expressed as words in Sanskrit as well as other languages of India. The main purpose of this list is to define the concept in one or two lines, to make it easy for one to find and pin down specific concepts, and to provide a guide to the concepts of Hinduism all in one place.
Ambā (अम्बा), Ambikā (अम्बिका), Ambālikā (अम्बालिका): The three daughters of King of Benares, Eldest daughter Ambā was in love with King Shālwa
Amrit (अमृत): Ambrosia, the food of the gods, which makes the partaker immortal.
Ananta (अनन्त): Ananta may be 1.The thousand headed nāga that issued from Balrāma's mouth 2. Author and commentator of Katyayana sutra 3. Ananta was the name of present Shekhawati region of Rajasthan in India.
Andhaka (अंधक): Andhaka was the demon son of Shiva, and was created from a drop of his sweat. He was born blind. After birth, Andhaka was given to Hiranyaksha to be raised, as he had no sons. Later, Andhaka became the king of Hiranyaksha's kingdom.
Anusuya (अनुसूया): Sati Anusuya was wife of the sage Atri and mother of Dattatreya (दत्तात्रेय) who is considered by some Hindus (in western India) to be an incarnation of the Divine Trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.
Apsarās (अपसरा): Heavenly nymphs, The dancing girls of Indra's court
Bakāsura (बकासुर): A voracious, cruel and terribly strong Rakshasa or demon who lived in a cave near the city of Ekachakrapura whom Bhima killed to the great relief of the citizens.
Baṇāsura (बाणासुर): Banasura was a thousand-armed asura and son of Bali. He was a powerful and terrible asura. All people even the king of earth and Devas of heaven were afraid of him. Banasura was a follower of Siva. He had a beautiful daughter named Usha.
Behula (बेहुला):The daughter of Saha, a merchant of Nichhani Nagar; weds Lakshmindara, mentioned in the story of Manasa Devi who was the daughter of Shiva.
Bhagawān (भगवान): Form of address to Gods and great rishis, example-Bhagawan Sri Krishna, Narada, Vyasa. A Sanskrit word meaning "Holy or Blessed one". It is a title of veneration, often translated as "Lord" and refers to God.
Bhārata (भारत): Meaning ("descended from Bharata"). Bhārata may refer to 1. The Bhāratas, an Aryan tribe of the Rigveda 2. an early epic forming the core of the Mahabharata (allegedly comprising about a quarter of the extended epic) 3. the Republic of India (properly, Bhārata GaNarājya, भारत गणराज्य).
Brahmāstra (ब्रह्मास्त्र): A divine weapon, irresistible, one given by Lord Brahma himself.
Brahmachārin (ब्रह्मचारिन): A religious student, unmarried, who lives with his spiritual guide, devoted to study and service.
Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य): Celibacy, chastity; the stage of life of Vedic study in which chastity and service are essential, The word Brahmacharya symbolises a person who is leading a life in quest of Brahma, or in other words a Hindu student
Brahmin (ब्राह्ममन): One of four fundamental colours in Hindu caste (Varna) consisting of scholars, priests and spiritual teachers.
Braj (ब्रज): Braj (also known as Brij or Brajbhoomi) is a region in Uttar Pradesh of India, around Mathura-Vrindavan. It is considered to be the land of Krishna and is derived from the Sanskrit word vraja.
Brihadaswa (बृहदास्व): A great sage who visited the Pandavas during their forest hermitage and reminded them of King Nala of Nishadha who also lost his kingdom in the game of dice and who deserted his wife Damayanti because of a curse but ultimately regained both.
Brihadratha (बृहद्रथ): Commander of three regiments reigned over Magadha and attained celebrity as a great hero, married the twin daughters of the Raja of Kasi. His two wives ate each half of a mango given by sage Kausika and begot half a child each. A Rakshasi recovered the two portions from a dustbin wherein they were thrown and when they accidentally came together, they became a chubby baby, which she presented to the king, saying it was his child, which later became known as Jarasandha.
Chakra (चक्र): An energy node in the human body. The seven main chakras are described as being aligned in an ascending column from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Each chakra is associated with a certain colour, multiple specific functions, an aspect of consciousness, a classical element, and other distinguishing characteristics.
Caraka Saṃhitā (चरक संहिता): An ancient Indian Ayurvedic text on internal medicine written by Caraka. It is believed to be the oldest of the three ancient treatises of Ayurveda.
Chavadi: Place of public assembly of the village. It is the property of the entire community. In it all public business is transacted, and it serves also as the village club the headquarters of the village police and guest house for travellers.
Chitralekha (चित्रलेखा): Chitralekha was a friend of Usha and daughter of minister of Banasura. She was a talented lady who helped Usha to identify the young man, Aniruddha, seen in the dream of Usha. Chitralekha through supernatural powers abducted Aniruddha from the palace of Krishna and brought him to Usha.
Chitrasena (चित्रसेन): King of the Gandharvas who prevented the Kauravas from putting up their camp near the pond where he himself had encamped.
Chitrayudha (चित्रयुद्ध): A Kaurava prince who laid down his life in the war.
Chitrangada (चित्रांगद): Elder son of Santanu born of Matsyagandhi (Satyavati) who succeeded his father on the throne of Hastinapura.
Chitrāngadā: Chitrāngadā was one of Arjuna's wives. Arjuna travelled the length and breadth of India during his term of exile. In ancient Manipur in the eastern Himalayas he met Chitrāngadā, the daughter of the king of Manipur and married her. Babhruvahana was soon born to the couple. Babruvahana would succeed his grandfather as king of Manipur.
Chyavana (च्यवन): A great rishi, husband of beautiful wife Sukanyā whom Ashvins beheld at her bath
Daityas (दैत्य): Daityas were the children of Diti and the sage Kashyapa. They were a race of giants who fought against the gods.
Daksha (दक्ष): The skilled one, is an ancient creator god, one of the Prajapatis, the Rishis and the Adityas, and a son of Brahma.
Dākshāyani (दाक्षायणी): Dākshāyani is the Goddess of marital felicity and longevity; she is worshipped particularly by ladies to seek the long life of their husbands. An aspect of Devi, Dākshāyani is the consort of Shiva. Other names for Dākshāyani include Gaurī, Umā, Satī, Aparnā, Lalithā, Sivakāmini.
Damayantī (दमयंती): She is the wife of Nala whose story is told in the Mahabharata.
Dandaka (दंडक): A kingdom and a forest, had the same name, was a colonial state of Lanka under the reign of Ravana. Ravana's governor Khara ruled this province. It was the stronghold of all the Rakshasa tribes living in the Dandaka Forest.
Demons: A supernatural being that has generally been described as a malevolent spirit. A demon is frequently depicted as a force that may be conjured and insecurely controlled, they were constantly at war with devas.
Devadatta (देवदत्त): Name of Arjuna's conch, also Buddha's cousin.
Deva (देव): The Sanskrit word for god or deity. It can be interpreted as a demi-god, deity or any supernatural being of high excellence.
Devarata (देवरत): Father of Yajnavalkya, the gods had given him a great bow and neither gods, nor gandharvas, nor asuras, nor rākshsa, nor men had might to string that.
Devala (देवल): A sage who condemned the game of dice as an evil form of gambling and declared it unfit as entertainment for good people, as it usually offered scope for deceit and dishonesty.
Devavrata (देवव्रत): The eighth child of Santanu and Ganga who in time mastered the art yielding arms and learned the Vedas and Vedanta as also the sciences known to Sukra was crowned Yuvaraja (heir apparent), but later vowed to celibacy and was known as Bhishma.
Devayanī (देवयानी): The beautiful daughter of Shukracharaya, preceptor of the demons, who fell in love with Kacha, son of Brihaspati, preceptor of the Devas.
Dhruva (ध्रुव): Dhruva was the prince blessed to eternal existence and glory as the Pole Star (Dhruva Nakshatra in Sanskrit) by Lord Vishnu. The story of Dhruva's life is often told to children as an example for perseverance, devotion, steadfastness and fearlessness.
Dhumrāksha (धुमराक्ष): The Grey-eye rākshasha appointed by Rāvana who was slain by Hanumāna.
Dīpāvali (दीपावली, दिवाली): Lit. a row of lamps. A significant 5-day festival in Hinduism occurring between mid October and mid November. It is also popularly known as the Festival of Lights.
Draupadī (द्रौपदी): Daughter of King Drupada, King of Panchala,who was born from fire. She was the sister of Dhrishyadyumna. She married all the five Pandavas though Arjuna had won her in the Swayamvara, because of the vow that they would share everything in common.
Droṇa (द्रोण): A Brāhman discovered by Bhīshma, Son of a Brahmana named Bharadwāja; married a sister of Kripa and a son Aswathama was born to them; learnt military art from Parasurama, the maser. Later he became the instructor to the Kaurava and Pandava princes in the use of arms. He was slain by Dhrishtadyumna in Mahabharata war.
Drupada (द्रुपद): King of Panchala, Drona's friend, father of Draupadi who became the wife of the Pandavas
Duhsāsana (दुःशासन): brother of Duryodhana who dragged Draupadi into the assembly hall and attempted to strip her naked after she had been lost as a wager by Yudhishthira. He eventually gave up when Krishna came to Draupadi's aid. The pandava Bhima killed him at Kurukshetra and drank his blood in accordance with the vow he had taken.
Durdhara (दुर्धर): A son of Dhritarashtra killed by Bhima in the war.
Durgā (दुर्गा): A form of Devi, the supreme goddess. She is depicted as a woman riding a lion with multiple hands carrying weapons and assuming mudras.
Durjaya (दुर्जय): A brother of Duryodhana who was sent to attack Bhima, to save Karna's life but lost his own.
Durmata (दुर्मत): A son of Dhritarashtra who was killed by Bhima.
Durmukha (दुर्मुख): A chariot-borne warrior on the Kaurava side.
Durvāsa (दुर्वास): An ancient sage known for his anger who visited the Kauravas. Duryodhana asked him to visit his cousins, the Pandavas, hoping that they would incur his wrath.
Durvishaha (दुर्विषह): A warrior fighting on the Kaurava side.
Duryodhana (दुर्योधन): The eldest son of the blind king Dhritarashtra by Queen Gandhari, the eldest of the one hundred Kaurava brothers, and the chief antagonist of the Pandavas.
Dushkarma (दुष्कर्म): A warrior belonging to the Kaurava side.
Dushyanta (दुष्यंत): A valiant king of the Lunar, race, and descended from Puru. He was husband of Sakuntala, by whom he had a son, Bharata. The loves of Dushyanta and Sakuntala, her separation from him, and her restoration through the discovery of his token-ring in the belly of a fish, form the plot of Kalidasa's celebrated play Sakuntala.
Dussaha (दुस्सह): A son of Dhritarashtra killed by Bhima.
Dvaitavana (द्वैतवन): Dvaita Forest or Dvaitavana was situated to the south of the Kamyaka Forest. It contained within it a lake called the Dwaita lake. It was on the south-western outskirts of Kurujangala, near the borders of the desert (northern extension of the Thar desert into Haryana) (3,176). It also lay on the banks of the Saraswati River (known there as the Bhogavati) (3-24,176).
Dwaitayana (द्वैतायन): A forest where the Kaurava, cows were being bred and housed.
Dwārakā (द्वारका): Krishna renounced war in Mathura for the greater good and founded and settled in Dwārakā. Leaving the Vrishnis people in Dwaraka, Krishna returned to Mathura and killed Kamsa (his maternal uncle) and Kālayavans demon and made Ugrasen (his maternal grandfather) the king of Mathura.
Ekachakra (एकचक्र): It was a city where the Pandavas are said to have lived here with their mother, Kunti, when they were exiled to the forest and escaped from the burning of house of lac.
Ekalavya (एकलव्य): He was a young prince of the Nishadha tribes, who achieves a skill level parallel to the great Arjuna, despite Drona's rejection of him. He was a member of low caste and he wished to study in the gurukulam of Dronacharya.
Gajasura (गजासुर): Gajasura (elephant demon) is the name used to refer to demon Nila when he took the form of an elephant and attacked Shiva. He was destroyed by Ganapati.
Gaṇapati (गणपति): Lord of the territory, The fulfiller of desire, the god of merchants, Second son of Shiva and Pārvati. Amanuensis of Vyasa who agreed to write down without pause or hesitation the story of the Mahabharata dictated by Vyasa.
Gaṇesha (गणेश): The god of good fortune, commonly identified for his elephant head.
Gaṇeśa Chaturṭhī (गणेश चतुर्थी): Ganesh Chaturthi is an occasion or a day on which Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, makes his presence on earth for all his devotees. It is the birthday of Lord Ganesha. The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi.
Gāndhārī (गांधारी): Dhritarashtra's wife and queen mother of the Kauravas.
Gandharva s (गंधर्व): A class of celestial beings regarded as specialists in music.
Gangadwara (गंगद्वार): A place where sage Agastya and his wife performed penance.
Garuda (गरुड): It is a large mythical bird or bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology.
Gaurī (गौरी): Gaurī or Dākshāyani is the Goddess of marital felicity and longevity; she is worshipped particularly by ladies to seek the long life of their husbands. An aspect of Devi, Dākshāyani is the consort of Shiva.
Hamsa (हंस), Hidimbā (हिडिम्बा), Kamsa (कंस): Allies of King Jarasandha; the last married the two daughters of Jarasandha. Also Krishna's step-uncle whom Krishna killed.
Halayudha (हलयुद्ध): Plough-weaponed, an epithet of Balarama who wielded a plough as his weapon.
Hanumāna (हनुमान): Wise and learned monkey devotee of Sri Rama, who possessed extraordinary powers of discrimination and wisdom and who searched and found Sita in her confinement in Lanka. Son of Vayu and Anjana.
Hari (हरि): Hari is another name of Vishnu or God in Vaishnavism, Smarta or Advaitan Hinduism, and appears as the 650th name in the Vishnu sahasranama.
Harivamsa (हरिवंश): Harivamsa is an important work of Sanskrit literature. It is a kind of appendix to the Mahābhārata, that runs to 16,375 verses and focuses specifically on the life of Lord Krishna.
Hastināpura (हस्तिनापुर): Hastinapura is the capital and the kingdom of the Kauravas, the descendants of Kuru, which include the Pandavas. The throne of this city is the prize over which the great war of the epic is fought.
Hidimbā (हिडिम्बा): A powerful Asura, who had yellow eyes and a horrible aspect. He was a cannibal, and dwelt in the forest to which the Pandavas retired after the burning of their house. He had a sister named Hidimbi, whom he sent to lure the Pandavas to him; but on meeting with Bhima, she fell in love with him. By his mother's desire Bhima married her, and by her had a son named Ghatotkacha.
Hindu scripture: Sacred texts of Hinduism mostly written in Sanskrit. Hindu scripture is divided into two categories: Śruti – that which is heard (i.e. revelation) and Smriti – that which is remembered (i.e. tradition, not revelation).
Hinduism: A worldwide religious tradition that is based on the Vedas and is the direct descendent of the Vedic religion. It encompasses many religious traditions that widely vary in practice, as well as many diverse sects and philosophies.
Hiranyakashipu (हिरण्यकश्यप): Hiranyakashipu was an Asura, and also a King of Dravida whose younger brother, Hiranyaksha was killed by Varaha, one of the avatars of Vishnu. Identical with Shishupāla and Rāvana.
Indra (इन्द्र): King of the Gods. The chief deity of the Rigveda, the god of weather and war as well as Lord of Svargaloka in Hinduism.
Indrajīt (इन्द्र जीत): Son of Ravana, King of Lanka, also known as Meghanath, who conquered Indra, the Lord of Gods and received his name 'Indra-jit' (Victor of Indra), and who was killed by Rama's brother Lakshmana.
Ishvara (ईश्वर): A Hindu philosophical concept of God referring to the Supreme Being which is the lord and the ruler of everything. Hinduism uses the term Ishvara exclusively to refer to the Supreme God in a monotheistic sense.
Jambudvīpa (जम्बुद्वीप): The name of the dvipa ("continent") of the terrestrial world, as envisioned in the cosmologies of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, which is the realm where ordinary human beings live. Its name is said to derive from a Jambu tree.
Jambumali (जम्बुमली):The warrior Ravana sends to slay Hanuman when Hanuman not satisfied with finding Sita dashed about the Asoka grove and broke the trees and spoiled the pavilions.
Jarāsandha (जरासंध): A rākshasa father-in-law of Kamsa, Son of Brihadratha. Mighty king of Magadha of whose prowess all Kshatriyas were afraid. Killed by Bhima in a thirteen-day non-stop physical combat: with Sri Krishna and Arjuna as witnesses.
Jarita (जरित), Laputa (लपुत): Female companions of a saranga bird, who was a rishi named Mandapala in his previous birth when he was refused admission to heaven because he was childless.
Japa (जप): A spiritual discipline in which a devotee repeats a mantra or the name of God. The repetition can be aloud, just the movement of lips or in the mind.
Jātaka (जातक): The Jataka is a voluminous body of folklore and mythic literature, primarily associated with the Theravada Buddhist tradition, as written in the Pali language (from about the 3rd century, C.E.); The story of Rama is told in one of Jātakas.
Jatāyū (जटायू): Jatāyū was king of all the eagles-tribes, the son of Aruna and nephew of Garuda. A demi-god who has the form of an (eagle), he tries to rescue Sita from Ravana, when Ravana is on his way to Lanka after kidnapping Sita. His brother was Sampatī
Kacha (कच): Grandson of sage Angiras and son of Brihaspati, who went to seek knowledge under Sukracharya as a brahmacharin. Devayani, the preceptor's lovely daughter, fell in love with him. The Asuras (demons) suspecting him of wanting to steal the secret of reviving the dead, killed him a number of times. But due to Devayani's love for him, her father brought him back to life every time he was killed. Ultimately the secret was learnt by the devas who then succeeded in defeating the asuras.
Kagola (कगोल): A disciple of the great sage and teacher of Vedanta, Uddalaka. Although virtuous and energetic, he lacked the intelligence needed to master the Vedas. He was also the father of Ashtavakra, whose legendary crookedness was a result of his twisting in the womb whenever Kagola made a mistake in reciting the Vedas.
Kaikeyī (कैकेयी): She was the youngest of King Dasaratha's three wives and a queen of Ayodhya. She was the mother of Bharata.
Kailāsh (कैलास): It is a peak in the Gangdisê mountains, the source of rivers in Asia—the Indus River, the Sutlej River, and the Brahmaputra River—and is considered as a sacred place in four religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Bön faith. The mountain lies near Lake Manasarowar and Lake Rakshastal in Tibet.
Kaitabh (कैतभ): Kaitabh is an asura associated with Hindu religious cosmology. He along with his companion, Madhu, originated from one of the ears of God Vishnu. Kaitabh and Madhu were designed to annihilate Brahma.
Kālayāvan (कालयावन): Kālayāvan was an asura who surrounded Mathura with an army of thirty million monstrous friends. Then Krishna departed to build a city of Dwārkā amidst sea, transported all his people to this city and left them in Dwārkā. Then Krishna returned and slew Kālayāvan.
Kāl-Purush (काल-पुरुष): The time-man, Bengali name of Orion.
Kalī Yuga (कली युग): Kalī Yuga (lit. Age of Kali, also known as The Age of Darkness), is one of the four stages of development that the world goes through as part of the cycle of Yugas, as described in Hindu scriptures, the others being Dwapara Yuga, Treta Yuga, and Satya Yuga.
Kālī (काली): A dark, black aspect of the mother-goddess Devi whose consort is Shiva.
Kālindī (कालिन्दी): Kālindī was daughter of the Surya (Sun) who marries Lord Krishna while he was ruling at Dwarka, Kālindī is also another name for the river Yamuna in northern India.
Kāliyā (कालिया): Kāliyā was the name of a poisonous hydra or Nāga living on the bank of Yamuna River. Kāliyā was quelled by Krishna and sent to his abode in Ramanaka Dwīpa.
Kāma (काम): Best understood as aesthetics, the definition of Kama involves sensual gratification, sexual fulfillment, pleasure of the senses, love, and the ordinary enjoyments of life regarded as one of the four ends of man (purusharthas).
Kāmadeva (कामदेव): Kāmadeva is the Hindu god of love. He is represented as a young and handsome winged man who wields a bow and arrows.
Kāmadhenu (कामधेनु): Kamadhenu was a divine cow believed to be the mother of all cows. Like her child Nandini, she could grant any wish for the true seeker. Kamadhenu provided Vasishta with his needs for the sacrifices. Kamadhenu (kama-dhenu, 'wish-cow'), was a miraculous cow of plenty who could give her owner whatever he desired.
Kanyā pūjā (कन्या पूजा):A Hindu custom to worship virgin girls as a symbol of the pure basic creative force.
Kapila (कपिल ऋषि): A Vedic sage credited as one of the founders of the Samkhya school of philosophy. He is prominent in the Bhagavata Purana, which features a theistic version of his Samkhya philosophy.
Karkotaka (कर्कोटक): The naga who bit Nala at the request of Indra, transforming Nala into a twisted and ugly shape.
Kartavirya Arjuna (कार्तवीर्य अर्जुन): Kārtavīrya Arjuna was King of Mahishamati, kshatriya of Ramayana period believed to have a thousand arms. He had beheaded Jamadagni, father of Parashurama. In revenge, Parashurama killed the entire clan of Kartavirya Arjuna. Ravana was comprehensively defeated and was put to humiliation by him.
Karma Yoga (कर्म योग): The practise of disciplining action. Karmayoga focuses on the adherence to duty (dharma) while remaining detached from the reward. It states that one can attain Moksha (salvation) by doing his duties in an unselfish manner.
Karṇa (कर्ण): A matchless warrior, son of the Sun god and Kunti. Disciple of Parasurama. Also son of Radha, his foster-mother, and was known as Radheya.
Kārtikeya (कार्तिकेय): Commander of the armies of the devas, A god born out of a magical spark created by Shiva, his father. His brother is Ganesha.
Kashyapa (कश्यप): An ancient sage, father of the Devas, Asuras, Nagas and all of humanity. He is married to Aditi, with whom he is the father of Agni and the Savitrs. His second wife, Diti, begot the Daityas. Diti and Aditi were daughters of King Daksha and sisters to Sati, Shiva's consort. One of Dashratha's counsellors also.
Ketama (केतम): Another chief whose head was cut off by Drona.
Ketu (केतु): Ketu is generally referred to as a "shadow" planet. It has a tremendous impact on human lives and also the whole creation. Astronomically, Ketu and Rahu denote the points of intersection of the paths of the Sun and the Moon as they move on the celestial sphere.
Khaṇdavaprastha (खाण्डवप्रस्थ): The ancient capital from where the ancestors of Pandavas, Nahusha and Yayati ruled. The Pandavas rebuilt the ruined city and erected palaces and forts and renamed it Indraprastha.
Khara (खर): Khara was younger brother of Rāvana who was slain by Rama.
Kichak a (किचक): Sudeshna's brother, commander-in-chief of Virata's army, who made advances to Sairandhri (Draupadi). He was invited to meet her at night at the ladies dancing hall and was met instead by Valala (Bhima) dressed up as a female who killed him (Kichaka).
Kinnars (किन्नर): Human birds with instruments of music under their wings.
Kirāta (किरात): Huntsman, The non-Aryan aborigines of the land. They are mentioned along with Cinas for Chinese. Kiratas are believed to be of Tibeto-Burman origin.
Kirmira (किर्मीर): Kirmira was a Rakshasa, the brother of Bakasura, who lived in the Kamyaka Forest, and used to terrorize the Rishis who inhabited that forest. He ran into the Pandavas when they began their exile in the Kamyaka forest. Upon learning that Bheema was present, who had slain his brother Bakasura, the Rakshasa then challenged the Pandava to fight. After a fierce battle, Bhishma choked Kirmira to death.
Kishkindhā (किष्किन्धा): Kishkindhā was the kingdom ruled by a Vanara King Sugreeva, the younger brother of Bali, during the Ramayana period. This was the kingdom where he ruled with the assistance of his most intelligent minister, Hanuman.
Kosala (कोशल): Kosala was an ancient Indian Aryan kingdom, corresponding roughly in area with the region of Oudh. Its capital was Ayodhya, where Rama was born.
Kripa (कृपा): The concept of Divine Grace in Hinduism, especially in Bhakti Yoga.
Kripāchārya (कृपाचार्य): Aswathama's uncle who advocated a combined assault on Arjuna in battle as against Karna's boast that he could take him on single-handed.
Krishṇa (कृष्ण): The eighth avatar of Vishnu, one of the most worshipped by many Hindus. Krishna is famous for his lecture to Arjuna written in the Bhagavad Gita.
Krauncha-Vyuha (क्रौंच व्युह): military formation on a pattern supposed to resemble a heron with outstretched beak and spreading wings. In ancient Indian practice, armies were arrayed for battle in formations of definite patterns, each of which had a name such as Chakra, or Kurma or Krauncha, or Makara according to a real or fancied resemblance.
Kritavarma (कृतवर्म): A notable Yadava warrior fighting on the side of Kaurava forces.
Kshatriya (क्षत्रिय): One of the four fundamental colours (Varnas) in Hindu tradition, consisting of the warriors, soldiers and rulers of society.
Kshatradharma (क्षात्रधर्म): This is a form of spiritual practice that involves "Protection of the seekers and destruction of the evildoers". In other words, it is the duty of fighting against evil as told by lord Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita.
Kuntī (कुंती): Mother of Pandavas, Daughter of Sura also known as Pritha. She was given in adoption to the king's childless cousin Kuntibhoja and was named Kunti after her adoptive father.
Kunti-Madri (कुंती-माद्री): Queens of King Pandu who gave birth to three and two sons known as the Pandavas in the forest where he spent many years for having committed some sin. The sons were known as Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva.
Kurujangala (कुरुजाङ्गल): An ancient kingdom of India, in the north near the Yamuna and Ganges rivers. The main cities of the region are Hastinapura and Indraprastha. Its kings are sometimes called the Kurus. On a modern map of India, this kingdom roughly forms most of the Haryana state. Indraprastha (now known as Delhi the capital of India) was its capital.
Kurukshetra (कुरुक्षेत्र): Plain of, scene of great battle between the Pandavas and Kurus for the throne of Hastinapura resulted in a battle in which a number of ancient kingdoms participated as allies of the rival clans. The location of the battle was Kurukshetra in the modern state of Haryana in India.
Kurus (कुरु): The name of an Indo-Aryan tribe and their kingdom in the Vedic civilization of India. Their kingdom was located in the area of modern Haryana. Bhisma was their guardian.
Kusha (कुश): Kusha and his twin brother Lava are the children of the Hindu God Rama and his wifeSita, whose story is told in the Ramayana
Kusasthala (कुसस्थल): one of the provinces asked by Pandavas,
Lakshagrah (लाक्षागृह): The house of lac, The palace made out of lac at Benares where Pandavas along with Kunti were kept with a sense of banishment.The house was made with flammable materials which Purochana was to ignite at the opportune moment with the Pandavas entrapped inside. However, Vidura had seen through Duryodhana's plan and sent a miner to tunnel a shaft which the Pandavas used to escape.
Lomasa (लोमस): A brahmana sage who advised the Pandavas to reduce their retinue while repairing to the forest. Those unable to bear the hardships of exile were free to go to the court of Dhritarashtra or Drupada, king of Panchala. He accompanied Yudhishthira on his wanderings.
Mahābhārata (महाभारत): One of the two major ancient Sanskrit epics of India, the other being the Ramayana. The Mahabharata is of religious and philosophical importance in India; in particular, the Bhagavad Gita, which is one of its chapters (Bhishmaparva) and a sacred text of Hinduism.
Mahāvishnu (महाविष्णु): Lord of the Universe who took human birth in order to wrest his kingdom from Emperor Bali for the salvation of the world. Lord Vishnu also took birth as Rama, son of Dasaratha, to kill Ravana, King of Lanka.
Mahendra (महेन्द्र): A King who had attained heaven. Also the name of a mountain upon which Hanumana rushes while searchin Sita, shaking it in wrath and frightening every beast that lived in its woods and caves.
Mainaka (मैनक): Another mountain, well wooded and full of fruits and roots, Hanumana coursed through the air while searchin Sita.
Maitreya (मैत्रेय): A sage who visited the court of Dhritarashtra, expressed sorrow at the Pandava's plight, advised Duryodhana not to injure the Pandavas for his own good.
Makandi : One of the provinces asked by Pandavas, A province running along the banks of the Ganges, to the south of Hastinapura. Kampilya the capital city of Panchala was situated in the Makandi province within the southern Panchala kingdom (1,140).
Makara Sankaranti (मकर संक्रान्ति): A huge Religious festival regarding Sun. Lit. Makara means Capricorn and Sankranti is transition. It is about transition of Sun into Capricorn on its celestial path.
Mandavya (मंदव्य): A sage wrongly punished by the king by being impaled as the chief of robbers who had clandestinely hidden their stolen goods in a corner of his hermitage when he was in deep contemplation. Lord Dharma gave him this punishment for having tortured birds and bees in his childhood. At this Mandavya cursed Dharma who was born as Vidura, the wise, to the servant maid of Ambalika, wife of King Vichitravirya, who offered her to Sage Vyasa in place of Ambalika.
Mandodarī (मंदोदरी): Mandodari was the daughter of the King of Danavas, Mayasura and celestial dancer, Hema. She was the first wife of the Lord of Lanka Ravana.
Manipura: 'City of jewels' in Sanskrit. Manipura is the third primary chakra according to Hindu tradition. It is positioned at the navel region and it has ten petals which match the vrittis of spiritual ignorance, thirst, jealousy, treachery, shame, fear, disgust, delusion, foolishness and sadness.
Mantharā (मंथरा): Mantharā was a servant who convinced Kaikeyi that the throne of Ayodhya belonged to her son Bharata and that Rama should be exiled from the kingdom.
Mantra (मंत्र): An incantation with words of power. A religious syllable or poem, typically from the Sanskrit language. They are primarily used as spiritual conduits, words and vibrations that instill one-pointed concentration in the devotee. Other purposes have included religious ceremonies to accumulate wealth, avoid danger, or eliminate enemies. Mantras are performed through chanting.
Manu Smriti (मनुस्मृति): The Manusmriti translated Laws of Manu is regarded as an important work of Hindu law and ancient Indian society. Manu was the forefather of all humans and author of Manu Smriti. Certain historians believe it to have been written down around 200 C.E. under the reign of Pushymitra Shunga of Sangha clan.
Mārīcha (मारीच): A character in the Ramayana, uncle of Ravana who transformed himself into a golden deer at the behest of Ravana to entice Sita.
Māyā (माया): Maya is the limited, purely physical and mental reality in which our everyday consciousness has become entangled. Maya is believed to be an illusion, a veiling of the true, unitary Self—the Cosmic Spirit also known as Brahman. Maya originated in the Hindu scriptures known as the Upanishads.
Mayasura (मयासुर): Maya (मय), or Mayasura was a great ancient king of the Asura, Daitya and Rakshasa races upon earth. He was also the chief architect of the peoples of the netherworlds.
Medhavi (मेधवी): Son of Sage Baladhi who desired that his son should live as long as a certain mountain lasted. Filled with conceit, Medhavi angered Dhanushaksha who killed him by taking on the form of a bull and butting the mountain until it was broken to pieces.
Menakā (मेनका): Menakā is considered one of the most beautiful of the heavenly Apsaras. She was sent by Indra, the king of the Devas, to break the severe penance undertaken by Vishwamitra.
Meru (मेरु): An ancient mountain and mythical centre of the universe on which was situated the city of Brahma. Becoming jealous of Meru, the Vindya began to grow very high obstructing the sun, the moon and the planets. Agastya whom the Vindhya mountain respected asked it to stop growing until he crossed it on his way to the south and returned to the north again. But he did not return at all, having settled in the south.
Mithilā (मिथिला): Mithilā was a kingdom in ancient India. It existed in the eastern Gangetic plains in areas which is today spread over Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states of India, and parts of Nepal. Raja Janaka, father of Sita, was king of this kingdom.
Muchukunda (मुचुकुंद): Muchukunda was a great sage who kills Kalayavan, the great Yavana warrior king in the Indian epic Mahabharata.
Mukāsura (मुकासुर): Mukāsura was a demon, friend of Kauravas, who was sent to disturb the austerities, Arjuna was performing at Mount Kailash. Mukāsura went to forest where Arjuna was practicing his vows of prayer, vigil, and fast and attacked Arjuna in the form of a boar to kill. At the same time Shiva came in the form of a huntsman and saved him. Shiva gave Arjuna the Gandiva, the divine bow, and blessed him.
Nachiketa (नचिकेता): Nachiketa was son of a cowherd of the name Vājashrava, who was offered to Yama to find a place in Heaven by his father. Nachiketatas with his wits learnt the wisdom taught by death, found the Brahman and was freed from death.
Nāga (नाग): Nāga is the Sanskrit and Pāli word for a minor deity taking the form of a very large snake, found in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The use of the term nāga is often ambiguous, as the word may also refer, in similar contexts, to one of several human tribes known as or nicknamed "Nāgas"; to elephants; and to ordinary snakes, particularly the King Cobra and the Indian Cobra, the latter of which is still called nāg (नाग) in Hindi and other languages of India.
Nāgas (नाग): Nāgas were a group who spread throughout India during the period of the epic Mahabharata. The demi-god tribe called Suparnas (in which Garuda belonged) were arch-rivals of the Nagas. The well known Nagas are Ananta, Vasuki, Takshaka, Karkotaka and Airavata.
Nagavanshi (नाग वंशी): Nagavanshi dynasty is one of the Kshatriya dynasties of India. It includes a number of Jats and Rajput clans. The worshippers of Nāga (serpent) were known as Nāgā or Nāgil. The descendants of Nagas were called Nagavanshi.
Nahusha (नहुष): A mighty king who was made king of the gods because Indra had disappeared due to his killing Vritra through sin and deceit.
Naimiṣāraṇya (नैमिषारण्य): Naimiṣāraṇya (Naimisha Forest) was an ancient forest mentioned in the epic Mahabharata. It lay on the banks of the Gomati River (in Uttar Pradesh). The whole narration of Mahabharata took place at Naimisha forests, during a conclave of sages headed by sage Saunaka.
Naivedhya (नैवेध्य): Food or eatables prepared as offerings to God, prior to the oblation. (See also: Prasad)
Nala (नल): King of Nishadha who lost his kingdom in a game of dice and deserted his wife Damayanti because of a curse.
Nanda (नंद): Nanda is head of a tribe of cowherds referred as Holy Gwals and foster-father of Krishna, who was allegedly given to him by Vasudeva. Nanda was married to Yasoda. Krishna derives his name Nandalal (meaning son of Nanda) from him.
Nandi (नंदि): Nandi is the white bull which Shiva rides, and the leader of the Ganas. The white color of the bull symbolizes purity and justice.
Nārada (नारद): Narada is the Hindu divine sage, who is an enduring chanter of the names Hari and Narayana which other names for Vishnu, considered to be the supreme God by Vaishnavites and many other Hindus. He is regarded the Manasputra of Brahma as he was born of his thoughts. He is regarded as the Triloka sanchaari, the ultimate nomad, who roams the three lokas of Swargaloka, Mrityuloka and Patalloka to find out about the life and welfare of people.
Nārāyaṇa (नारायण): Nārāyaṇa is an important Sanskrit name for Vishnu. The name is also associated with Brahma and Krishna. He is also identified with, or as the son of, the original man, Purusha.
Narmadā (नर्मदा): The Nerbudda river, one of the most important sacred rivers, originating from Amarkantak is believed to have descended from the sky by the order of Lord Shiva. The personified river is variously represented as being daughter of a Rishi named Mekala (from whom she is called Mekala and Mekala-kanya), as a daughter of the moon, as a 'mind-born daughter' of the Somapas, and as sister of the Nagas. It was she who brought Purukutsa to the aid of the Nagas against the Gandharvas, and the grateful snake-gods made her name a charm against the venom of snakes.
Navadurga (नवदुर्गा): Literally means nine Durgas, constitute, according to Hindu mythology, the manifestation of Durga in nine different forms.
Navaratri (नवरात्रि): A Hindu festival of worship and dance. The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshipped.
Nikumbha (निकुम्भ): One of Ravana's generals who led the rakshasas against the host of monkeys and was slain.
Nīla (नील): Son of Agni; One of the monkey host placed at the gate guarded by Prahasta.
Nirvāṇa (निर्वाण): Literally "extinction" and/or "extinguishing", is the culmination of the yogi's pursuit of liberation. Hinduism uses the word nirvana to describe the state of moksha, roughly equivalent to heaven.
Nishādha (निषाध): A country where Indra, Lord of the gods had lived once disguised as a brahmana. King of the Nishadha was Guha who guarded Rama after he crossed Koshala kingdom on his exile.
Nishādha (निषाध): The Nishādha peoples were indigenous tribes inhabiting ancient India. The Indo-Aryan peoples of ancient India's Vedic civilization saw the Nishadhas as uncivilized and barbarian peoples. Nishadhas did not follow the Vedic religion, and were involved in a number of wars with Indo-Aryan kingdoms.
Om, or Aum (ॐ): the most sacred syllable in Hinduism, first coming to light in the Vedic Tradition. The syllable is sometimes referred to as the "Udgitha" or "pranava mantra" (primordial mantra); not only because it is considered to be the primal sound, but also because most mantras begin with it.
Palāsa (पलास): A tree Butea frondosa also called "flame of the forest".
Pānchāla (पांचाल): Pānchāla corresponds to the geographical area between the Ganges River and Yamuna River around the city of Kanpur and Benares. Anciently, it was home to an Indian kingdom, the Panchalas, one of the Mahajanapadas.
Pānchālī (पांचाली): Another name of Draupadi, Queen of the Pandavas and daughter of King Drupada.
Parashurama (परसुराम): Sixth avatara of Vishnu, the son of Jamadagni. His name literally means Rama-with-the-axe. He received an axe after undertaking a terrible penance to please Shiva, from whom he learned the methods of warfare and other skills. Parashurama's creation was a mistake as his mother was given a concoction made to produce a Kshatriya child. Parashurama was of mixed varna.
Prajāpatī (प्रजापित): Prajāpatīs are a group (or one) of creation gods, children of Brahma, including Daksha.
Pramanakoti (प्रमाणकोटि): A beautiful spot on the banks of the Ganges, to the north of Hastinapura, the Kuru capital (1,128). Duryodhana built a palace here for disporting himself in the waters of Ganges. A huge banyan tree was the mark of that place (3,12). Here he poisoned the food of Bhima, bound him and threw him into Ganges. Bhima was rescued by the Naga tribes living in the vicinity (1,128) (8,83) (9,56).
Prasad (प्रसाद): Food or other offerings, considered to be sanctified, after being presented to God. (See also: Naivedhya)
Purāṇa (पुराण): Purana meaning "ancient" or "old" is the name of a genre (or a group of related genres) of Indian written literature (as distinct from oral literature). Its general themes are history, tradition and religion. It is usually written in the form of stories related by one person to another.
Purochana (पुरोचन ): An architect and friend of Duryodhana, who built a beautiful wax palace named "Sivam" in Varanavata. Kunti prepared a lavish feast which left him intoxicated and led to his death as the wax palace burnt down.
Purushārtha (पुरुषार्थ): The four chief aims of human life. Arranged from lowest to highest, these goals are: sensual pleasures (kama), worldly status and security (artha), personal righteousness and social morality (dharma), and liberation from the cycle of reincarnation (moksha).
Quest: Hindu philosophy does not take a restrictive view on the fundamental question of God and the creation of the universe. Instead it lets the individual seek and discover answers in the quest of life. Seeking to know: 'Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going?'
Rādhā (राधा): Rādhā is one of the gopis (cow-herding girls) of the forest of Vrindavan, Krishna plays with her during his upbringing as a young boy; The other Radha is the wife of the charioteer Adhiratha, who found an abandoned new-born boy, whom he named Karna.
Rāhu (राहु): Rahu is a snake that swallows the sun or the moon causing eclipses. Rahu is one of the navagrahas.
Raibhya (रैभ्य): A sage whose hermitage was situated on the banks of the Ganges, near Rishikesh, a place, which gets its name, from Lord Vishnu appearing to him as Hrishikesh. The Pandavas during their wanderings visited it. This ghat was very holy. Bharata, son of Dasaratha bathed here. Indra was cleansed of his sin of killing Vritra unfairly by bathing in this ghat. Sanatkumar became one with God. Aditi, mother of the gods, prayed here to be blessed with a son.
Radheya (राधेय): Son of Radha, a name of Karna, who as a foundling was brought up as a son by Radha, the wife of the Charioteer Adhiratha.
Rajasūya (राजसूय): A sacrifice performed by a king to be entitled to assume the title of "Emperor".
Rā́kṣasaḥ (रा॑क्षस): A rakshasa alternately, raksasa or rakshas is a demon or unrighteous spirit in Hinduism.
Ṝgveda (ऋग्वेद): The Rigveda is a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns counted as the holiest of the four religious texts of Hindus, known as the Vedas.
Rishabha (ऋषभ): Rsabha, the bull, a Hindu god mentioned in epic and Puranic literature, is an unusual avatar of Vishnu. The second note of the Indian gamut (Shadja, rishabha, gandhara, madhyama, panchama, daivata, nishada -sa, ri, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni.)
Ṛta (ऋतं): Vedic principle of natural order believed to regulate and coordinate the operation of the universe on the natural, moral and sacrificial levels.
Ṛṣi (ऋषि): Rishi, also known as Mantradraṣṭa ("seer of the Mantras") and Vedavaktāra ("chanter of the Vedas") is a seer who "heard" (cf. śruti) the hymns of the Vedas. A rishi is regarded as a combination of a patriarch, a priest, a preceptor, an author of Vedic hymns, a sage, a saint, an ascetic, a prophet and a hermit into a single person.
Rukma (रुक्म): Elder brother of Rukmani, Heir apparent to the throne of Vidarbha. When defeated by Balarama and Krishna he established a new city Bhojakata, ashamed to return to Kundinapura, the capital of Vidarbha, and ruled over it.
Shachī (शची): Wife of Indra, king of the gods on whom Nahusha's evil eye fell. Through the help of Brihaspati, she caused Nahusha's downfall and restored Indra as the leader of the Devas. She was also known as Indrani.
Samvarta (संवर्त): Brihaspati's younger brother, a person of great learning.
Samba (संब): A Yadava youngster dressed as a woman who gave birth to a mace, as foretold by rishis.
Samudra manthan (समुद्र मन्थन): Samudra manthan or The churning of the ocean of milk is one of the most famous episodes in the Puranas and is celebrated in a major way every twelve years in the festival known as Kumbha Mela.
Sanga (संग): Son of Virata. When king Virata was wounded, he had to get into Sanga's chariot, having lost his chariot, horses and charioteer
Sanjaya (संजय): The narrator who tells blind Dhritarashtra the progress of the war from day to day. He told the king that a victim of adverse fate would first become perverted and loses his sense of right and wrong. Time would destroy his reason and drive him to his own destruction.
Sanjīvanī (संजीवनी):Sanjeevani is a magical herb (Selaginella bryopteris) mentioned in the Ramayana when, Lakshmana is badly wounded and is nearly killed by Ravana. Hanuman was called upon to fetch this herb from the mount Dronagiri a.k.a. Mahodaya in the Himalayas. Sushena took the life-giving plant and made Lakshman to smell its savour, so that he rose up whole and well.
Sankula Yuddha (संकुल युद्ध): A melee, confused fight, a soldiers battle as distinguished from the combats of heroes.
Satī (सती): One of name of Dākshāyani, Dākshāyani is the consort of Shiva. Other names for Dākshāyani include Gaurī, Umā, Aparnā, Lalithā, Sivakāmini etc. Sati is also the term for the immolation of a widow on her husband's pyre in Hinduism.
Satyajit (सत्यजित): A Panchala prince, a hero who stood by Yudhishthira to prevent his being taken prisoner by Drona, while Arjuna was away answering a challenge by the Samsaptakas (the Trigartas).
Satyaki (सत्यकि): A Yadava warrior, friend of Krishna and the Pandavas who advocated collecting their forces and defeating the unrighteous Duryodhana.
Satyavān (सत्यवान): Meaning the truth-speaker, husband of Savitri. The oldest known version of the story of Savitri and Satyavan is found in "The Book of the Forest" of the Mahabharata.
Satyavatī (सत्यवती): A fisherman's daughter who possessed uncommon beauty and emanated a divinely sweet fragrance and king Santanu became enamored of her, married her and made her his queen. The wife of Bhishma's father, Shantanu.
Savyasachi (सव्यसाचि): Ambidexter, one who can use both hands with equal facility and effect. A name of Arjuna who could use his bow with the same skill with either hands.
Shakti (शक्ती): An aspect of Devi and a personification of God as the Divine Mother who represents the active, dynamic principles of feminine power.
Shaktism(शाक्तं): Lit., "doctrine of power" or "doctrine of the Goddess") is a denomination of Hinduism that focuses worship upon Shakti or Devi – the Hindu Divine Mother – as the absolute, ultimate Godhead. It is, along with Shaivism and Vaisnavism, one of the three primary schools of Hinduism.
Śankha (शंख): Shankha is the divine Counch or sea shell, which is one of the insignia in the Hindu God Vishnu's hands. The sound emitted from Shankha when blown, is too divine, that is used for regular rituals for Vishnu. Śankha was also the name of one of sons of King Virata who was killed in Mahabharata.
Śatapatha brāhmaṇa (शतपथ ब्राह्मण): Shatapatha Brahmana ("Brahmana of one-hundred paths"), abbreviated ŚB) is one of the prose texts describing the Vedic ritual, associated with the White Yajurveda.
Shaivism (शैव धर्म): Shaivism names the oldest of the four sects of Hinduism. Followers of Shaivism, called "Shaivas", and also "Saivas" or "Saivites", revere Shiva as the Supreme Being.
Śeṣa (शेष): Shesha is a naga that takes human birth through Devaki, one of the primal beings of creation. Equivalent-Ananta or Atī-sheshan. In the Puranas, Shesha is said to hold all the planets of the universe on his hoods and to constantly sing the glories of Vishnu from all his mouths.
Shudra (शुद्र): One of the four castes in Hindu tradition, consisting of artisans, cleaners and labourers.
Shukracharya (शुक्राचार्य): Shukracharya was a guru in Hindu mythology. Known as the guru of the Asuras, he is also associated with the planet Shukra (Venus) which is named after him. He was born as the son of Rishi Brighu and his wife Ushana.
Siddhāshrama (सिद्धाश्रम): The Shiva's hermitage, Where Rama and Vishvamitra sacrifice for many days.
Simhanada (सिंहनाद): A lion-note or roar; a deep roar of defiance or triumph which warriors were wont to utter to inspire confidence in their friends, of terror in their enemies.
Sindhu (सिन्धु): The Indus River, Urdu دریائے سندھ; Tibetan: Sengge Chu ('Lion River'); Persian: Hindu; Greek: Sinthos; Pashto: Abaseen ("The Father of Rivers"); Mehran (an older name)) is the longest and most important river in Pakistan. Originating in the Tibetan plateau in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar.
Sini (सिनि): One of the suitors to Devaki's hand. A kinsman of the Kauravas.
Sītā (सीता): Sita was the wife of Rama, and is esteemed an exemplar of womanly and wifely virtue. Sita was herself an avatāra of Lakshmi, Vishnu's eternal consort, who chose to reincarnate herself on Earth as Sita, and endure an arduous life, in order to provide humankind an example of such virtues.
Sloka (श्लोक): A verse of lines in Sanskrit, typically recited as a prayer.
Sunda (सुन्द): Sunda and Upasunda were two brave and poerful asura princes who performed austerities to please Brahma, who bestowed them the boon that nobody else would slay them, other than each other. Later Brahma created a beautiful apsaraTilottama to creat differences within and destroyed them mutually.
Sushruta Samhita (सुश्रुतसंहिता): Suśruta Saṃhitā is a Sanskrit redaction text on all of the major concepts of ayurvedic medicine with innovative chapters on surgery, attributed to Sushruta, likely a historical sage physician of 6th century BC.
Sūtra (सूत्र): Sūtra refers to an aphorism or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a book or text. 'Sutras' form a school of Vedic study, related to and somewhat later than the Upanishads.
Sri Rama (श्रीराम): Also knew as Rama, Ramachandra or Sri Rama. Hanumana tells Bhima how he was deeply thrilled when he happened to touch Rama's body. This king of Ayodhya was banished to the forest for fourteen years, killed Ravana the king of Lanka who abducted his wife, Sita.
Srutayu (श्रुतायु), Astutayu (अस्तुतायु): Two brothers fighting on the Kaurava side attacked Arjuna but were killed.
Srutayudha (श्रुतायुद्घ): A Kaurava warrior whose mace hurled at Krishna rebounded fiercely, killing Srutayudha himself. Her mother Parnasa had obtained that gift from Varuna who had specified that the mace should not be used against one who does not fight, else it would kill the person who hurls it.
Swarga (स्वर्ग): An Olympian paradise, a place where all wishes and desires are gratfied, The heaven of Indra where mortals after death enjoy the results of their good deeds on earth.
Tāragam (तारगम): Tāragam is the name of forest, where dwelt ten thousand heretical rishis, who taught that the universe is eternal, that souls have no lord and that performance of works alone suffices for the attainment of salvation. Shiva taught them lesson and they became his followers. This legend is associated with Shiva's dance.
Tantra (तंत्र): The esoteric Hindu traditions of rituals and yoga. Tantra can be summarised as a family of voluntary rituals modeled on those of the Vedas, together with their attendant texts and lineages.
Tripura (त्रिपुरा): Tripura (meaning three cities, in Sanskrit) was constructed by the great architect Mayasura. They were great cities of prosperity, power and dominance over the world, but due to their impious nature, Maya's cities were destroyed by Lord Shiva.
Tulsī Dās (तुलसीदास): Goswami Tulsidas (1532–1623) was a Hindu poet and philosopher, translator of the epics into vernacular. Tulsidas wrote twelve books and is considered the greatest and most famous of Hindi poets.
Ugrasena (उग्रसेन): one-time King of Yadavas; deposed by his son Kams. His wife was Pavanrekha. Krishna killed Kams and established Ugrasena on throne.
Ujjayini (उज्जयिनि) or Ujjain (उज्जैन): is an ancient city of central India, in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh near which the ancient throne of Vikramaditya was discovered, one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus, where the Kumbh Mela is held every twelve years. It is also home to Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines to the god Shiva.
Ulūka (उलूक): 'An owl.' Son of Kitava. He was king of a country and people of the same name. He was an ally of the Kauravas, and acted as their envoy to the Pandavas.
Ulūpī (उलूपी): A daughter of Kauravya, Raja of the Nagas, with whom Arjuna contracted a kind of marriage. She was nurse to her stepson, Babhruvahana, and had great influence over him. According to the Vishnu Purana she had a son named Iravat.
Upaplavya (उपप्लव्य): A place in Matsya Kingdom, where the Pandavas settled after their exile of thirteen years.
Uparichara: A Vasu or demigod, who, according to the Mahabharata, became king of Chedi by command of Indra. He had five sons by his wife; and by an Apsaras, named Adrika, condemned to live on earth in the form of a fish, he had a son named Matsya (fish), and a daughter, Satyavati, who was the mother of Vyasa.
Upasunda (उपसुन्द): Sund and Upasunda were two brave and poerful asura princes who performed austerities to please Brahma,who besowed them the boon that nobody else would slay them, other than each other. Later Brahma created a beautiful apsaraTilottama to creat differences within and destroyed them.
Varaha (वराह): The third Avatar of the Hindu Godhead Vishnu, in the form of a Boar. He appeared in order to defeat Hiranyaksha, a demon who had taken the Earth (Prithvi) and carried it to the bottom of what is described as the cosmic ocean in the story.
Vaishnava (वैष्णव): A sacrifice performed by Duryodhana in the forest. Yayati, Mandhata, Bharata and others also performed it.
Vaishnava mantra (वैष्णव मंत्र): An invocation which endows a missile with some of the irresistible power of Vishnu.
Vaishnavism (वैष्णव धर्म): Vaishnavism is a tradition of Hinduism, distinguished from other schools by its worship of Vishnu or his associated avatars, principally as Rama and Krishna, as the original and supreme God.
Vālmikī (वाल्मिकी): Maharishi Valmiki is the author of the Hindu epic Ramayana, a brahman by birth, connected with the kings of Ayodhya, contemporary of Rama who invented the shloka metre, who taught the Ramayana to Kusa and Lava.
Vāmadeva (वामदेव): Vamadeva is the name of the "preserver" aspect of the god Shiva, one of five aspects of the universe he embodies. Also one of Dasharatha's priest.
Vamana (वामन): The fifth Avatara of Vishnu. He is the first Avatar of Vishnu which had a completely human form, although it was that of a dwarf brahmin.
Vanāsur (बाणासुर): Same as Banasur, was a thousand-armed asura, powerful and terrible. He was son of Bali. Bana was a follower of Siva. Banasura had a beautiful daughter named Usha.
Vanaprastha (वानप्रस्थ): The third stage of the dvija's life, when he is required to relinquish worldly responsibilities to his heirs and retires to the woods with his wife for an anchorite's life. A person who is living in the forest as a hermit after giving up material desires.
Vandi: Court poet of Mithila who on being defeated by Sage Ashtavakra in debate drowned himself in the ocean and went to the abode of Varuna.
Vārṇāvata (वारणावत): One of the provinces asked by Pandavas. A forest in which the Pandavas were asked to stay in a wax-house which was to be set on fire at midnight in order to kill the Pandavas while they were asleep.
Vāsava (वासव): Name of arrow of death, given by Indra to Karna.
Vashiṣtha (वशिष्ठ): Vasishtha was chief of the seven venerated sages (or Saptarishi) and the Rajaguru of the Suryavamsha. He was the manasaputra of Brahma. He had in his possession the divine cow Kamadhenu, and Nandini her child, who could grant anything to their owners. Arundhati was his wife.
Vasudhana (वसुधन): Another warrior who perished in the battle on the Twelfth Day.
Vasudeva (वसुदेव): Descendant of Yadu, husband of Rohini and Devaki. An epithet of Krishna. It means both son of Vasudeva and the supreme spirit that pervades the universe.
Vasuki: King of the Nagas or serpents who live in Patala. He was used by the gods and Asuras for a coil round the mountain Mandara at the churning of the ocean.
Vatapi: Vatapi and Ilvala, two Rakshasas, sons either of Hrada or Viprachitti. They are mentioned in the Ramayana as dwelling in the Dandaka forest.
Veda (वेद): Collectively refers to a corpus of ancient Indo-Aryan religious literature that are considered by adherents of Hinduism to be revealed knowledge. Many Hindus believe the Vedas existed since the beginning of creation.
Vibhīshaṇa (विभीषण): Vibhishana was a rakshasa, brother of Ravana. He was of a noble character and advised Ravana, who kidnapped and abducted Sita, to return her to Rama.
Vichitravīrya (विचित्रवीर्य): Vichitravirya was Bhishma's half brother, the younger son of queen Satyavati and king Santanu. Chitrangada, the elder brother of Vichitravirya, succeeded Santanu to the throne of Hastinapura. When he died childless, Vichitravirya, became king. He had two sons, Dhritarashtra and Pandu.
Vidarbha: Birar, and probably including with it the adjoining district of Beder, which name is apparently a corruption of Vidarbha. The capital was Kundinapura, the modern "Kundapur", about forty miles east of Amravati.
Vidura (विदुर): Vidura was a son of a maid-servant who served the Queens of Hastinapura, Queen Ambika and Ambalika. A friend of pandavas. After Krishna, he was the most trusted advisor to the Pandavas and had warned them repeatedly about Duryodhana's plots.
Vijayadashami (विजयादशमी):A festival celebrated on the tenth day of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu autumn month of Ashvin.
Vikarna (विकर्ण): A son of Dhritarashtra who declared the staking of Draupadi illegal, as Yudhishthira himself was a slave and had lost all his rights. Therefore, the Kauravas had not won Draupadi legally, he held
Vikramaditya (विक्रमादित्य): Vikramāditya is the name of a legendary king of Ujjain, famed for his wisdom, valour and magnanimity. The title "Vikramaditya" has also been assumed by many kings in Indian history, notably the Gupta King Chandragupta II.
Vikukshi: A king of the Solar race, who succeeded his father, Ikshwaku. He received the name of Sasada, 'hare-eater.' He was sent by his father to hunt and obtain flesh suitable for offerings. Being weary and hungry he ate a hare, and Vasishtha, the priest, declared that this act had defiled all the food, for what remained was but his leavings.
Vinda (विन्द), Anuvinda (अनुविन्द): Two brothers kings of Avanti, great soldiers whom were on the Kaurava side, they suffered defeat at the hands of Yudhamanyu.
Vindhyas (विन्ध्य): Vindhyas is a range of hills in central India, which geographically separates the Indian subcontinent into northern India (the Indo-Gangetic plain) and Southern India.
Virāta (विराट): King of Matsya, the country which was suggested by Bhima to live in incognito during the thirteenth year of their exile.
Vīrabhadra (वीरभद्र): Vīrabhadra was a demon that sprang from Shiva's lock of hair. Shiva burnt with anger when not invited in a sacrifice by Daksha and his wife Sati released the inward consuming fire and fell dead at Daksha's feet. Shiva burned with anger, and tore from his head a lock of hair, glowing with energy, and cast upon the earth. The terrible demon Vīrabhadra sprang from it. On the direction of Shiva, Virabhadra appeared with Shiva's ganas in the midst of Daksha's assembly like a storm wind and broke the sacrificial vessels, polluted the offerings, insulted the priests and finally cut off Daksha's head.
Vishnu (विष्णु): A form of God, to whom many Hindus pray. For Vaishnavas, He is the only Ultimate Reality or God. In Trimurti belief, He is the second aspect of God in the Trimurti (also called the Hindu Trinity), along with Brahma and Shiva. Known as the Preserver, He is most famously identified with His Avatars, especially Krishna and Rama.
Vishvakarmā (विश्वकर्मा): Vishwakarma is the presiding deity of all craftsmen and architects. he is the divine craftsman of the whole universe, and the official builder of all the gods' palaces. Vishwakarma is also the designer of all the flying chariots of the gods, and all their weapons.
Viśvamitra (विश्वामित्र): Brahmarishi Visvamitra or Vishvamitra was one of the most venerated rishi or sages of since ancient times in India. He was originally a Kshatriya but by austerities earned the title of Brahmarishi. He is also credited as the author of most of Mandala 3 of the Rigveda, including the Gayatri Mantra.
Vrikasthala (वृकस्थल): One of the provinces asked by Pandavas. This province and town were situated in the southern part of Kuru Kingdom (Kuru Proper + Kurujangala). Krishna visited the town of Vrikasthala (in Gurgaon district of Hariyana) and camped there for onee night (5,84).
Vrishnis, (वृषणि): The descendant of Vrishni, son of Madhu, whose ancestor was the eldest son of Yadu. Krsna belonged to this branch of the Lunar race. The people of Dwaraka were known as the Vrishnis. Tribals of this race were devoted to the Pandavas, who with Sri Krishna visited the Pandavas in their exile.
Vrishasena (वृषसेन): Son of Karna, A warrior on the Kaurava side, slain by Arjuna.
Vrishnis (वृषणि): The people of Dwaraka to which belonged Krishna. After the death of Duryodhana his mother cursed that after 36 years Krishna should persish alone miserably and his people, the Vrishnis, should be destroyed.
Vritra (वृत्र): Means "the enveloper". Vritra, was an Asura and also a serpent or dragon, the personification of drought and enemy of Indra. Vritra was also known in the Vedas as Ahi ("snake"), cognate with Azhi Dahaka of Zoroastrian mythology and he is said to have had three heads. He was son of Twashta who was defeated by Indra's weapons Vajrayudha. He was born out of his father's sacrificial flames and became Indra's mortal enemy.
Vrikodara (वृकोदर): Wolf-bellied, an epithet of Bhima, denoting his slimness of waist and insatiable hunger.
Vyasa (व्यास): Compiler of the Vedas, son of sage Parasara.
Yadu (यदु): A prince of the lunar dynasty; Yadu is the name of one of the five Aryan clans mentioned in the Rig Veda. His descendants are called Yadavas. The epic Mahabharata and Puranas refer to Yadu as the eldest son of mythological king Yayati.
Yajnignna (यज्ञ): A Vedicritual of sacrifice performed to please the Devas, or sometimes to the Supreme Spirit Brahman. Often it involves a fire, which represents the god Agni, in the centre of the stage and items are offered into the fire.
Yakṣa (यक्ष): Yaksha or Yakkha (Pāli) is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits or minor deities who appear in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The feminine form of the word is yakṣī or yakṣiṇī (Pāli: yakkhī or yakkhinī). subjects of Kubera, the god of wealth.
Yama (यम): Yama, also known as Yamarāja (यमराज) is the lord of death, first recorded in the Vedas. God of dharma, whose son was Yudhishthira. It is he whose questions Yudhishthira answered correctly whereupon his dead brothers were brought back to life on the banks of the enchanted pool.
Yamas: A yama (Sanskrit), literally translates as a "restraint", a rule or code of conduct for living virtuously.
Yamuna (जमुना): A river (also spelled Jamuna), joining with the Ganges. Literally meaning "twins" in Sanskrit, as it runs parallel to the Ganges, its name is mentioned at many places in the Rig Veda, written during the Vedic period ca between 1700–1100 BC, and also in the later Atharvaveda, and the Brahmanas including Aitareya Brahmana and Shatapatha Brahmana.
Yashodā (यशोदा): Yasodā was wife of Nanda and foster-mother of, Krishna, who was given to them by Vasudeva. Yasoda also played an important role in the upbrinding of Balarama and his sister Subhadra. She is also sometimes described as having her own daughter, known as Ekānaṅgā.
Yayati (ययाति): Emperor of the Bharata race who rescued Devayani from the well into which she had been thrown by Sharmishtha. He later married both Devayani and Sarmishtha. One of the ancestors of the Pandavas who became prematurely old due to Sukracharya's curse.
Yogi (योगी): One who practices yoga, These designations are mostly reserved for advanced practitioners. The word "yoga" itself—from the Sanskrit root yuj ("to yoke") --is generally translated as "union" or "integration" and may be understood as union with the Divine, or integration of body, mind, and spirit.
Yudhishthira (युधिष्ठिर): Yudhishthira was the eldest son of King Pandu and Queen Kunti, king of Hastinapura and Indraprastha, and World Emperor. He was the principal protagonist of the Kurukshetra War, and for his unblemished piety, known as Dharmaraja.
Yuga (युग): In Hindu philosophy (and in the teachings of Surat Shabd Yoga) the cycle of creation is divided into four yugas (ages or eras).
Yuga Dharma (युगधर्म): One aspect of Dharma, as understood by Hindus. Yuga dharma is an aspect of dharma that is valid for a Yuga,. The other aspect of dharma is Sanatan Dharma, dharma which is valid for eternity.
Yuyudhāna (युयुधान): Another name of Satyaki, who was not killed in the warfare but in a mutual fight among Yadavas.
Yuyutsu (युयुत्सू): A noble son of Dhritarashtra who bent his head in shame and sorrow when Yudhishthira lost Draupadi. He also disapproved of the unfair way in which Abhimanyu was killed.