Bhagavad-gītā As It Is
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Original 1972 Edition - Macmillan Publishing - Collier Books

Bhagavad-gītā As It Is



Ācārya—a spiritual master who teaches by his own example.


Acintya-bhedābheda-tattva—Lord Caitanya’s “simultaneously one and dif­ferent” doctrine, which establishes the inconceivable simultaneous existence of the Absolute Truth as both personal and impersonal.

Acyuta—(lit., one who never falls down) infallible, an attribute of Kṛṣṇa’s.

Adhibhūtam—the physical nature.

Adhidaivatam—the universal form of the Supreme Lord.

Adhiyajña—the Supersoul, the plenary expansion of the Lord in the heart of every living being.

Adhyātma-cetasā—one who depends solely on Kṛṣṇa.

Aditi—the mother of the demigods.

Ādityas—the demigod sons of Aditi.

Advaita—nondual (indicating, when referring to the Lord, that there is no difference between His body and He Himself).

Advaitācārya—one of the four principal associates of Lord Caitanya Mahā­prabhu.

Agni—the demigod who controls fire.

Agnihotra-yajña—fire sacrifice.



Akarma (naiṣkarma)—action for which one suffers no reaction because it is performed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Ānanda—transcendental bliss.

Ananta—the name of the serpent with unlimited heads on which Viṣṇu rests.

Anantavijaya—name of King Yudiṣṭhira’s conchshell.

Aṇu-ātmā—the minute spirit soul, who is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa.

Apāna-vāyu—one of the internal bodily airs which is controlled by the aṣṭāṅga-yoga system. The apāna-vāyu travels downwards.

Aparā prakṛti—the inferior, material nature of the Lord.

Apauruṣeya—not made by man (that is, revealed by God).

Arcanā—the process of Deity worship, or engaging all the senses in the service of the Lord.

Arca-vigraha—the incarnation of the Supreme Lord in a form apparently made of matter to facilitate worship by neophyte devotees.

Āryan—one who knows the value of life and has a civilization based on spiritual realization.

Asāṅga—detachment from material consciousness.


Āśrama—one of the four spiritual orders of life—brahmacārī-āśrama, or student life; gṛhasta-āśrama, or married life; vanaprastha-āśrama, or retired life; and sannyāsa-āśrama, or the renounced order of life.

Aṣṭāṅga-yoga—(aṣṭaeight + aṅgapart) a mystic yoga system propounded by Patañjali in his Yoga-sūtras and consisting of eight parts—yama, niyama, āsana, prāṇāyāma, pratyāhāra, dhāraṇā, dhyāna and samādhi.

Asura(a—not + sura—godly) demon, one who does not follow the principles of scripture.

Āsuraṁ bhāvam āśrita—persons who are openly atheistic.

Ātmā—the self (refers sometimes to the body, sometimes to the soul, and sometimes to the senses).

Avatāra—(lit., one who descends) an incarnation of the Lord who descends from the spiritual sky to the material universe with a particular mission described in scriptures.

Avidyā(a—non+vidyā—knowledge) nescience, ignorance.



Bhagavān(bhaga—opulence+van—possessing) the possessor of all opulences, which are generally six—wealth, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation; an epithet of the Supreme Person.

Bhakta—a devotee, or one who practices devotion (bhakti).

Bhakti—love of God; purified service of the senses of the Lord by ones own senses.

Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja Prabhupāda—the spiritual master of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.

Bhaktivinode Ṭhākur—the grand-spiritual master of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.

Bhakti-yoga—the system of cultivation of bhakti, or pure devotional service, which is untinged by sense gratification or philosophical speculation.

Bhāva—the preliminary stage of transcendental love of Godhead.

Bhīma—one of the five Pāṇḍava brothers.

Bhīṣma—a great devotee and senior family member of the Kuru dynasty.

Brahmā—the first created living being.

Brahma-bhūta—state of being freed from material contamination. One in this state is characterized by transcendental happiness, and he engages in the service of the Supreme Lord.

Brahmacārī—celibate student under the care of a bona fide spiritual master.

Brahmacarya—the vow of strict abstinence from sex indulgence.

Brahma-jijñāsā—spiritual inquiry into one’s own identity.

Brahmajyoti(brahma—spiritual + jyoti—light) the impersonal effulgence emanating from the body of Kṛṣṇa.

Brahmaloka—the abode of Lord Brahmā.

Brahman—(l)the infinitesimal spiritual soul; (2)the all-pervading impersonal aspect of Kṛṣṇa; (3)the Supreme Personality of Godhead; (4)the total material substance.

Brāhmaṇa—the intelligent class of men, according to the system of social and spiritual orders.

Brahma-saṁhitā—a very ancient Sanskrit scripture of the prayers of Brahmā to Govinda, recovered from a temple in South India by Lord Caitanya.

Brahma-sūtrasee Vedānta-sūtra.

Buddhi-yoga(buddhi—intelligence + yoga—mystic elevation) the practice of devotional service. Action in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is buddhi-yoga, for that is the highest intelligence.


Caitanya-caritāmṛta—the authoritative scripture by Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja which describes Lord Caitanya’s teachings and pastimes.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu—an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa Himself who appeared in the 15th Century at Navadvīpa in Bengal. He was the inaugurator of the congregational chanting of the mahā-mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, and His life was the most perfect example of the practice of the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā.

Caṇḍālas—dog-eaters, the lowest class of human beings.

Candra—the demigod who rules the moon.

Candraloka—the moon.

Caturmasya—a vow of austerity accepted for four months during the year.

Citi-śakti(citi—knowledge+śakti—potency) internal or enlightening potency of the Lord.


Daśendriya—the ten sense organs: ear, eye, tongue, nose, skin, hands, legs, speech, anus and genitals.

Deva—a demigod or godly person.

Devakī—the mother of Lord Kṛṣṇa. When Kṛṣṇa appears in the material world, He first sends some of His devotees to act as His father, mother, etc.

Devakī-nandana—(Devakī—Kṛṣṇa’s mother+nandana—joy) Kṛṣṇa, the joy of Devakī.

Dharma—the capacity to render service, which is the essential quality of a living being.

Dharmakṣetra—a holy place of pilgrimage.

Dhīra—one who is undisturbed by the material energy.

Dhṛṣṭadyumna—the son of Drupada who arranged the military phalanx of the Pāṇḍavas on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra.

Dhṛtarāṣṭra—the father of the Kurus. Bhagavad-gītā was related to Dhṛtarāṣṭra by his secretary as it was being spoken on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra.

Draupadī—daughter of King Drupada and wife of the Pāṇḍavas.

Droṇācārya—the military teacher of Arjuna and the other Pāṇḍavas and the commander-in-chief of the Kurus on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra.

Drupada—a warrior for the Pāṇḍavas on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. His daughter Draupadī was the wife of the Pāṇḍavas, and his son Dhṛṣṭadyumna arranged their military phalanx.

Duryodhana—the chief of the evil-minded sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. It was for the sake of establishing Duryodhana as king of the world that the Kurus fought the Battle of Kurukṣetra.

Duṣkṛtam—miscreants who do not surrender to Kṛṣṇa.

Dvāpara-yuga—the third age of the cycle of a mahā-yuga. It lasts more than 4,320,000 years.


Ekādaśī—a special day for increased remembrance of Kṛṣṇa which devotees observe twice a month by fasting and hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord.


Gandharvas—the celestial singers of the heavenly planets.

Gāṇḍiva—the name of Aijuna’s bow.

Ganges—the sacred river which runs throughout the entire universe, begin­ning from the lotus feet of Viṣṇu. One is recommended to bathe in the Ganges for purification.

Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu—the Viṣṇu expansion of the Supreme Lord who enters each universe to create diversity.

Garuḍa—a giant eagle who acts as the carrier of Lord Viṣṇu.

Gāyatrī—a transcendental vibration chanted by the duly qualified twice­born classes for spiritual realization.

Godāsa—servant of the senses.

Goloka—a name of the planet of Kṛṣṇa.

Gosvāmī(gosenses+svāmī—master) master of the senses.

Govinda—name of Kṛṣṇa. “One who gives pleasure to the land, the cows and the senses.”

Gṛhastha—householder stage of life. One who lives in God conscious mar­ried life and raises a family in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Guṇa—a material quality, of which there are three–ignorance, passion and goodness.

Guṇāvatāras—the three incarnations who control the three modes of material nature. Brahmā controls passion, Viṣṇu goodness, and Śiva ignorance.

Guru —spiritual master.


Hanumān—the famous monkey devotee who served the Supreme Lord in His incarnation as Lord Rāmacandra and assisted Him in defeating the demon Rāvaṇa.

Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—the mahā-mantra, or great chant for de­liverance. Kṛṣṇa and Rāma are names of the Lord, and Hare ad­dresses the energy of the Lord. These names have been particularly recommended for chanting in this age.

Haridāsa Ṭhākur—a great devotee recommended by Lord Caitanya as nāmācārya (teacher of chanting of the holy name).

Haṭha-yoga—a system of bodily exercises to help control the senses.

Hiraṇyakaśipu—a great atheist killed by Kṛṣṇa in His incarnation as Nṛsiṁhadeva. Hiraṇyakaśipu’s son was the great devotee Prahlāda Mahārāja.

Hṛṣīkeśa—a name of Kṛṣṇa, the master of all senses.


Ikṣvāku—a son of Manu who received the knowledge of Bhagavad-gītā in the past.

Indra—the King of the heavenly planets.

Indraloka—the planet where Lord Indra resides.

Īśāvāsya(īśā—the Lord + vāsya—control) the concept that everything is owned and controlled by the Lord and should be used in His ser­vice.

Īśvara—a controller. Kṛṣṇa is parameśvara, the supreme controller.


Janaka—a great self-realized king and father-in-law of Lord Rāmacandra.

Japa—soft chanting of the holy names of God performed with the aid of 108 prayer beads.

Jīva (jīvātmā)—the soul or atomic living entity.

Jñāna—knowledge. Material jñāna does not go beyond the material body. Transcendental jñāna discriminates between matter and spirit. Perfect jñāna is knowledge of the body, the soul and the Supreme Lord.

Jñāna-kāṇḍa—the division of the Vedas which deals with empirical specu­lation in pursuit of truth.

Jñāna-yoga—the predominantly empirical process of linking with the Supreme, which is executed when one is still attached to mental speculation.

Jñārī—one who is engaged in the cultivation of knowledge (especially by philosophical speculation). Upon attaining perfection, a jñānī sur­renders to Kṛṣṇa.


Kaivalyam—the state of realization of one’s constitutional position as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, which is preliminary to manifes­tation of activities on the platform of devotional service.

Kāla—eternal time.

Kālī—a demigoddess to whom worshipers may offer meat.

Kali-yuga—the age of quarrel, the fourth and last age in the cycle of a mahā-yuga. This is the age in which we are now living. It lasts 432,000 years, of which 5,000 years have already passed.

Kālpa—a day in the time calculation of Lord Brahmā.

Kaṁsa—Kṛṣṇa’s uncle, who was always trying to kill Him.

Kapila—an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa who appeared in Satya-yuga as the son of Devahūti and Kardama Muni and expounded the devotional Sāṅkhya philosophy. (There is also an atheist named Kapila, but he is not an incarnation of the Lord.)

Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu (Mahā-Viṣṇu)—the Viṣṇu expansion of Lord Kṛṣṇa from whom all the material universes emanate.

Karma(1) material action performed according to scriptural regulations; (2) action pertaining to the development of the material body; (3) any material action which will incur a subsequent reaction; (4) the material reaction one incurs due to fruitive activities.

Karma-kāṇḍa—the division of the Vedas which deals with fruitive activities performed for the purpose of gradual purification of the grossly entangled materialist.

Karma-yoga—(1) action in devotional service; (2) action performed by one who knows that the goal of life is Kṛṣṇa but who is addicted to the fruits of his activities.

Karṇa—son of Kuntī and half brother of Arjuna. He fought against the Pāṇḍavas on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra.

Kaunteya—the son of Kuntī (Arjuna).

Kīrtana—glorification of the Supreme Lord.

Kṛpaṇa—one who is miserly and does not make use of valuable assets; specifically, one who wastes his life by not striving for spiritual realization.

Kṛṣṇa—the original name of the Supreme Lord in His original transcen­dental form; the Supreme Personality of Godhead, speaker of Bhagavad-gītā.

Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī—the author of Caitanya-caritamṛta.

Kṛṣṇa-karma—doing all work for the sake of Kṛṣṇa.

Kṛṣṇaloka—the planet in the spiritual world where Kṛṣṇa resides.


Kṣatriya—the administrative or protective occupation according to the system of four social and spiritual orders.

Kṣetra—field of activities, the body of the conditioned soul.

Kṣetrajña(kṣetra—field or body +jña—knowing) one who is conscious of the body. Both the soul and the Supersoul are kṣetrajña, for the individual soul is conscious of his own particular body and the Supersoul is conscious of the bodies of all living beings.

Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu—the Viṣṇu expansion of the Supreme Lord who enters within each atom and between each atom of the universe and enters the heart of every living entity. He is also called the Supersoul.

Kumāras—four great impersonalist sages, sons of Lord Brahmā, who became great devotees of the Lord and great authorities on devotional service.

Kumbhaka-yoga—complete stoppage of the air currents within the body as part of the eightfold mystic process.

Kuntī—Pṛthā, the mother of Arjuna and aunt of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Kurukṣetra—name of a place of pilgrimage held sacred since ancient times. It is located near modern New Delhi, India.

Kurus—all of the descendants of King Kuru, but specifically the 100 sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. The Pāṇḍavas were also descendants of King Kuru, but Dhṛtarāṣṭra wished to exclude them from the family tradition.

Kuvera—the treasurer of the demigods.


Lakṣmī—the goddess of fortune, consort of the Supreme Lord.


Līlāvatāras—innumerable incarnations, like Matsya, Kūrma, Rāma and Nṛsiṁha, who descend to display the spiritual pastimes of the Personality of Godhead in the material world.


Lokāyatikas—a class of philosophers, akin to the Buddhists, who existed when Lord Kṛṣṇa spoke Bhagavad-gītā and who accept that life is a product of a mature combination of material elements.


Madhusūdana—a name of Kṛṣṇa, “killer of the Madhu demon.”

Mahābhārata—great epic poem written by Vyāsadeva and describing the adventures of the Pāṇḍavas. Bhagavad-gītā is included within Mahābhārata.

Mahābhūta(mahā—great + bhūta—element) the five great material ele­ments: earth, water, fire, air and ether.

Mahā-mantra—the great chanting for deliverance: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.

Mahātmā—a great soul, one who factually understands that Kṛṣṇa is everything and who therefore surrenders unto Him.

Mahat-tattva—the total material energy.

Mahā-Viṣṇu—See Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu.

Mantra(man—mind+tra—deliverance) a pure sound vibration to deliver the mind from its material inclinations.

Manu—the administrative demigod who is the father of mankind.

Manu-saṁhitā—the lawbook for mankind which was written by Manu.

Manvantara-avatāras—the Manu incarnations, fourteen of whom appear in one day of Brahmā.

Māyā(mā—not + yā—this) illusion; an energy of Kṛṣṇa’s which deludes the living entity into forgetfulness of the Supreme Lord.

Māyāvādī—impersonalist or voidist adhering to the belief that ultimately God is formless and without personality.

Mukti—liberation, freedom from material consciousness.

Mukunda—name of Kṛṣṇa, “giver of liberation.”

Muni—a sage or self-realized soul.


Naiṣkarmasee Akarma.

Nakula—one of the younger brothers of Arjuna.

Nanda Mahārāja—Lord Kṛṣṇa’s foster father.

Nārada Muni—a great devotee of the Supreme Lord who can travel anywhere in the spiritual or material worlds to preach the glories of the Lord.

Narādhama—(lit., “lowest of mankind”) those who are socially and politically developed but have no religious principles.

Nārāyaṇa—the four-handed expansion of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Nirguṇa(nir—without + guṇa—quality) not possessing attributes (when applied to God, refers to the appearance of material attributes).

Nirmama—consciousness that nothing belongs to oneself.

Nirvāṇa—the end of the process of materialistic life.

Nitya-baddha—eternally conditioned.

Nṛsiṁha—an incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the form of half-lion, half-man.


omkāraom, the transcendental syllable which represents Kṛṣṇa and which is vibrated by transcendentalists for attainment of the Supreme when undertaking sacrifices, charities and penances.

om tat sat—the three transcendental syllables used by brāhmaṇas for satisfaction of the Supreme when chanting Vedic hymns or offering sacrifice. They indicate the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead.


Pāñcajanya—the conchshell of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Pañca-mahābhūta—the five gross elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether.

Pāṇḍavas—the five sons of King Pāṇḍu: Yudhiṣṭhira, Arjuna, Bhīma, Nakula and Sahadeva.

Pāṇḍu—a younger brother of Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s who died early, leaving his five young sons, the Pāṇḍavas, under the care of Dhṛtarāṣṭra.

Parag-ātmā—the soul, when attached to sense enjoyment.

Paramahaṁsa—the topmost class of God realized devotees.

Paramātmā—the Supersoul, the localized aspect of the Supreme Lord within the heart of all living entities.

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

Param dhāma—the eternal planets of the spiritual world.

Paramparā—the disciplic succession through which spiritual knowledge is transmitted.

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

Parā-prakṛti—the superior, spiritual energy or nature of the Lord.

Parāśara Muni—a great sage, the father of Vyāsadeva.

Parasurāma—an incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa who appeared in ancient times to overthrow the warrior class when they had become degraded.

Pārtha-sārathi—Kṛṣṇa, the chariot driver of Arjuna (Pārtha).

Pāṣaṇḍī—an atheist who thinks God and the demigods to be on the same level.

Patañjali—a great authority on the aṣṭāṅga-yoga system and author of the Yoga-sūtra.


Pitṛloka-the planet of the departed forefathers.

Prajāpati—(l)a progenitor of living entities; (2)Lord Brahmā.

Prahlāda Mahārāja—a great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa who was persecuted by his atheistic father but was always protected by the Lord.

Prakṛti—nature (lit., that which is predominated). There are two prakṛtisaparā-prakṛti, the material nature, and parā-prakṛti, the spiritual nature (living entities) —which are both predominated over by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Prāṇa—the life air.

Pranāva omkārasee Omkāra.

Prāṇāyāma—control of the breathing process (one of the eight parts of the aṣṭāṅga-yoga system).

Prasādam—food offered to Kṛṣṇa, which becomes spiritual when offered and which can purify the living entity.

Pratyag-ātmā—the soul, when purified of material attachment.

Pratyāhāra—withdrawal from sensual activities (one of the eight parts of the aṣṭāṅga-yoga system).

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

Pṛthā—the wife of King Pāṇḍu, mother of the Pāṇḍavas and aunt of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

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

Purāṇas—the eighteen very old books which are histories of this and other planets.


Puruṣam—supreme enjoyer.

Puruṣāvatāras—the primary Viṣṇu expansions of Kṛṣṇa who are involved in the creation, maintenance and destruction of the material universe.


Rajo-guṇa—the mode of passion of material nature.

Rāma—(1) name of the Absolute Truth as the source of unlimited pleasure for transcendentalists; (2) incarnation of the Supreme Lord as a perfect king (Lord Rāmacandra).

Rasa—relationship between the Lord and the living entities. They are of five principal varieties—neutral relationship (śānta-rasa), relation­ship as servant (dāsya-rasa), as friend (sākhya-rasa), parent (vātsalya-rasa) and conjugal lover (mādhurya-rasa).

Rāvaṇa—a powerful demon who wanted to build a staircase to heaven but was killed by Kṛṣṇa in His incarnation as Lord Rāmacandra.

Recaka—the state of equilibrium attained by offering the exhaled breath into the inhaled breath.

Rūpa Gosvāmī—chief of the six great spiritual masters of Vṛndāvana who were authorized by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu to establish and distribute the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.


Śabda-brahma—the injunctions of the Vedas and Upaniṣads.

Sac-cid-ānanda vigraha(sat—eternal existence+cit—knowledge+ānanda bliss; vigraha—form) the eternal form of the Supreme Lord, which is full of bliss and knowledge; or, the eternal transcendental form of the living entity.

Sādhaka—one who is a suitable candidate for liberation.

Sādhu—holy man, devotee.

Saguṇa—possessing attributes (when applied to God, refers to spiritual qualities).

Sahadeva—one of the younger brothers of Arjuna.

Samādhi—trance, absorption in consciousness of God.

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


Sanātana-dhāma—the eternal abode, the Vaikuṇṭha planets in the spiritual sky.

Sanātana-dhārma—the eternal religion of the living being—to render service to the Supreme Lord.

Sanātana Gosvāmī—one of the six great spiritual masters of Vṛndāvana who were authorized by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu to establish and distribute the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Sanātana-yoga—eternal activities performed by the living entity.

Sañjaya—the secretary of Dhṛtarāṣṭra who related Bhagavad-gītā to Dhṛtarāṣṭra as it was being spoken on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra.

Śaṅkarācārya—an incarnation of Lord Śiva who appeared in the Eighth Century to propagate an impersonalist philosophy with the aim of erasing Buddhism from India and reestablishing the authority of the Vedas.

Sāṅkhya(1) the devotional yoga process described by Lord Kapila in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; (2) analytical understanding of the body and the soul.

Saṅkīrtana-yajña—the sacrifice prescribed for the age of Kali; that is, congregational chanting of the name, fame and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sannyāsa—the renounced order of life, which is free from family relation­ships and in which all activities are completely dedicated to Kṛṣṇa.

Sarasvatī—the demigoddess in charge of learning.

Śāstra—revealed scripture.

Sattva—the mode of goodness of material nature.

Satya-yuga—the first of the four ages of a mahā-yuga. Satya-yuga is characterized by virtue, wisdom and religion, and it lasts 1,728,000 years.

Sītā—the wife of Lord Rāmacandra, an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa.

Śiva—the personality in charge of the mode of ignorance and the destruc­tion of the material universe.

Smaraṇam—constant thinking of Kṛṣṇa (one of the nine methods of devotional service).

Smṛti—scriptures compiled by living entities under transcendental direc­tion.

Soma-rasa—a heavenly beverage available on the moon.

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

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam—the scripture composed by Vyāsadeva to describe and explain Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes.

Śruti—scriptures received directly from God.

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

Śūdra—the laborer class of men, according to the system of four social orders and four spiritual orders of life.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī—great devotee who recited the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to King Parīkṣit during the last seven days of the King’s life.

Sukham—happiness or pleasure.

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

Surabhi—the cows in Kṛṣṇaloka. They can give unlimited milk.

Sūryaloka—the sun planet.

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

Svāmī—one who can control his mind and senses.

Svargaloka—the heavenly planets or abodes of the demigods.

Svarūpa(sva—own+rūpa—form) the living entity’s eternal relationship of service to the Lord, the real form of the soul.

Svarūpa-siddhi—perfection of one’s constitutional position.

Śyāmasundara—(śyāma—black + sundaravery beautiful) a name of the original form of Lord Kṛṣṇa.


Tamo-guṇa—the mode of ignorance of material nature.

Tapasya—voluntary acceptance of some material trouble for progress in spiritual life.

Tattvavit—one who knows the Absolute Truth in His three different features.

Tretā-yuga—the second age in the cycle of a mahā-yuga. It lasts for 864,000 years.

Tulasī—a great devotee in the form of a plant. This plant is very dear to the Lord, and its leaves are always offered to His lotus feet.

Tyāga—renunciation of activities performed with material consciousness.


Uccaiḥśravā—a horse born from nectar and considered to be a representa­tive of Kṛṣṇa.

Udāna-vāyu—bodily air which moves upwards and which is controlled by the breathing exercises of the aṣṭāṅga-yoga system.

Upaniṣads—the philosophical portions of the Vedas, as Īśa Upaniṣad, Kena Upaniṣad, etc. They are 108 in number.


Vaibhāṣikasa class of philosophers, akin to the Buddhists, who existed when Lord Kṛṣṇa spoke Bhagavad-gītā and who accept that life is a product of a mature combination of material elements.

Vaikuṇṭhas—(lit., without anxiety) the eternal planets of the spiritual sky.

Vairāgya—detachment from matter and engagement of the mind in spirit.

Vaiṣṇava—a devotee of the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa.

Vaiśya—the class of men involved in business and farming, according to the system of four social orders and four spiritual orders.

Vānaprastha—retired life, in which one quits home and travels from holy place to holy place in preparation for the renounced order of life.

Varāha—the incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa as a gigantic boar.

Vasudeva—the father of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Vāsudeva—(1) Lord Kṛṣṇa, “the son of Vasudeva”; (2) the state of pure goodness, which transcends the material modes of nature and in which one can understand the Supreme Lord.

Vedānta-sūtra (Brahma-sūtra)—the philosophical treatise written by Vyāsadeva to give the conclusion of all the Vedas.

Vedas—the four Vedic scriptures (Rg, Yajur, Sāma and Atharva-Vedas) and their supplements, the Purāṇas, Mahābhārata, Vedānta-sūtra, etc.

Vibhu-ātmā—the Supersoul.

Vibhūti—opulence by which Kṛṣṇa controls the entire material manifesta­tion.


Vijñānam—specific knowledge of spirit soul, his constitutional position and his relationship with the Supreme Soul.

Vikarma—unauthorized or sinful work, performed against the injunctions of revealed scriptures.

Virāṭa-rūpasee Viśva-rūpa.

Viṣṇu—the all-pervading Personality of Godhead (a plenary expansion of Kṛṣṇa) who enters into the material universe before creation.

Viṣṇu-tattva—innumerable primary or Viṣṇu expansions of Kṛṣṇa.

Viśvakośaan ancient Sanskrit dictionary.

Viśva-rūpa (virāṭa-rūpa)—the universal form of Lord Kṛṣṇa, as described in the Eleventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā.

Vivasvān—the name of the present sun-god, to whom Bhagavad-gītā was instructed at least 120,400,000 years ago.

Vṛndāvana—the site of Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental village pastimes, exhibited when He was present on earth about 5,000 years ago.

Vyāna-vāyu—one of the internal bodily airs which is controlled by the aṣṭāṅga-yoga system. The vyāna-vāyu acts to shrink and expand.

Vyāsadeva—the greatest philosopher of ancient times. He was an incarna­tion of Viṣṇu empowered for literary activities, and he compiled the Vedas, Purāṇas, Mahābhārata, Vedānta-sūtra, etc.



Yajñeśvara—an epithet of Kṛṣṇa, “Lord of sacrifice.”

Yamarāja—the demigod who punishes sinful living entities after their deaths.

Yamunācārya—a great spiritual master in the Śrī-sampradāya, one of the important disciphc lines.

Yaśodā—Lord Kṛṣṇa’s foster mother.

Yaśodā-nandana—the child of Yaśodā, Kṛṣṇa.

Yoga—linking of the consciousness of the infinitesimal living entity with the supreme living entity, Kṛṣṇa.

Yoga-māyā—the internal potency of the Lord, which hides Him from nondevotees.

Yogārūḍha—the highest stage of yoga.

Yogārurukṣa—the beginning stage of yoga.

Yogeśvara—name of Kṛṣṇa, “the master of all mystic power.”

Yudhiṣṭhira—the eldest of the five Pāṇḍava brothers.

Yuga—one of the four ages of the universe, which differ in length and which rotate like calendar months. See also Satya-yuga, Tretā-yuga, Dvāpara-yuga and Kali-yuga.

Yugāvatāras—the incarnations of the Lord who appear for each of the four different millenniums to prescribe the appropriate form of spiritual realization for that age.