Abhedananda. One of the monastic disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, known as Kali during his early life.

Achintya-bhedabheda-vada. The philosophic doctrine of the Bengal Vaishnavas, which holds that the ultimate Truth is not pure sameness or non-duality but is difference in sameness, duality in nonduality, the apparent contradiction being explained away thus: that in the infinite, finite contradictions are no contradictions; but how it is so, would ever remain inconceivable to finite intellect or reason.

Adbhutananda (Latu). An illiterate monastic disciple of the Master noted for his single-minded devotion, austerity and tendency to meditation. His sparkling originality in answering questions on spirituality in general, and non-dual knowledge in particular, was a marvel of the spiritual world.

Adhikarika Purusha. A person commissioned by God to do good to the world; though liberated in life, he is born again and again with full memory of his previous lives, till he finishes that duty of his, when he merges for all times in Brahman (See IV.3.29 and Vyasa’s Brahma Sutras 3.3.32).

Adhyasa. False superimposition. Mistaking of Reality for that which does not exist. Take for example the rope-snake. When a rope is mistaken for a snake, the snake is said to be superimposed on the rope. (For details See: the introduction to Swami Vireswarananda’s English translation of the Brahma Sutras together with the philosophical portions of Sankara’s commentary).

Adhyatma-Ramayana. A book by Vyasa in which the story of Sri Rama’s life is told with a great emphasis on the divine nature of the hero and on the Vedantic non-dualism.

Adiganga. A small river in the suburb of south Calcutta on which the well-known Kali temple of Kalighat stands. (Adi=original).

Advaita. Non-dual; a philosophical theory which advocates that in the Absolute or Brahman or Atman there is not the slightest touch of duality however attenuated.

Advaitananda. A monastic disciple of the Master, known as Gopal (Senior) during his pre-monastic days.

Agamacharya. A teacher of the Agamas or the Vedas.

Agami (Karma). The action performed in this life which produces its result in a future life. 

Agrahayana. The eighth month of the Bengali year.

Airavata. Name of the elephant of Indra, king of heaven. Once upon a time it arrogantly tried to check the onward rush of the Ganga but failed to withstand its current, which proved too powerful for it, and was carried away.

Aishwarya. Splendour, lordship, wealth.

Aitihya. Legendary tradition (illustrating some moral principles or ideals); regarded as one of the six Pramanas or proofs, which are Pratyaksha (sense perception), Anumana (inference), Upamana (analogy), Sabda (verbal authority), Anupalabdhi (non-perception; the non-perception of a jar, for example, proves its absence in a certain place), Arthapatti (postulation).

Ajna. See Centres.

Ajnana. See Avidya.

Alimpana. Ornamental drawing of liquid rice-paste on walls and floors or wood-planks during ceremonial occasions.

Anahata. See Centres.

Anahata Dhvani. Sound not produced by the contact of one thing with another (See II.11.23).

Anganyasa. The touching of the heart, the head, the tuft of hair on the crest of the head, the arms, the eyes, and the palms accompanied with the uttering of proper Mantras; the idea being that those deities represented by the Mantras, are invoked to be present there in those parts of the body and purify them

Anima etc. (the eight powers). (1) Anima (the power of becoming very small like an atom), (2) Laghima (that of becoming very light), (3) Prapti (that of obtaining anything at will), (4) Prakamya (that of irresistible will), (5) Mahima (that of increasing one’s size and weight at will), (6) Ishitva (that of supremacy or lordship), (7) Vasitva (the power of keeping under control), and (8) Kamavasayita (the power of suppressing desires).

Anjali. A cavity formed by cupping the palms of both the hands joined together. Hence secondarily, such a cavityful of flowers, water, etc.

Annameru. A mountain of food — a big heap of food which is distributed amongst the needy as an act of piety.

Annapurna. The power of Brahman represented as distributing Anna or food. One of the presiding deities of Kasi.

Apara Vidya. All relative knowledge (See Mundaka Upanishad 1. 1. 4-5).

Apta. A man who has attained the absolute Truth.

Arati, Aratrika. The vespers, accompanied by the waving of lights.

Arghya. A respectful offering or oblation to gods or venerable persons consisting of rice, Durva grass, etc.

Arjuna. The great hero of the Mahabharata, friend and disciple of Sri Krishna.

Arthavada. Eulogy. A Vedic sentence recommending a precept by stating the good arising from its observance, and the evil from its non-observance and strengthening both the statements by adducing historical instances in support.

Arya. The so-called Hindus and their culture and civilization are called “Arya’’ in their ancient literature, religious or secular. The word is also used before the name of a person to whom respect is meant to be shown, implying that he lives up to the required standard.

Arya Samaj. It is a society claiming to be the real followers of the Vedas, founded by Swami Dayananda, a rare dynamic personality.

Asaucha. Defilement caused either by birth or death of a kinsman within certain degrees.

Ashada. The third month of the Bengali year.

Ashoka. A kind of large tree (Saraca Indica or Jonesia Asoca).

Asphanaka. A kind of Buddhist meditation.

Ashtavakra Samhita. A book on non-dualism of the extreme type, the expounder being the great sage Ashtavakra.

Aswin. The sixth month of the Bengali year.

Atke. The cooked food offered to Jagannath (the Lord of the World) at Puri kept dried to be taken by the devotees for the purification of the body and the mind whenever required. Also called Mahaprasad (the great Prasad).

Aul. A sect of the Vaishnavas.

Aum. Om. Otherwise called Pranava ; it is a Mantra composed of the three letters A, U and M. It is the first manifested sound. All other Mantras and sounds are derived from it. (Mandukya Upanishad 1-12).

Avadhuta. A man who has attained divine knowledge and has renounced all worldly attachment and connection.

Avidya, Ajnana. Primal ignorance. It veils the true nature of Brahman and makes it appear as the universe and all the persons and things in it. It has for its support (Asraya) and also for its object (Vishaya) Self-Brahman. So it makes of It a Jiva who is ignorant and does not know the non-dual Self. This ignorance (Avidya, Ajnana) is beginningless but comes to an end when the knowledge of SelfBrahman is attained.

Avidya Maya. The power of Brahman leading man away from God. (Ibid. III.3.20 and See Vidya Maya).

Avidya Sakti. A woman who takes man away from religion. (See V. 7.10 and See Vidya Sakti).

Awakening (Jagarana) of Devas and Devis. The Devas and Devis who are the particular cosmic aspects of the one universal consciousness, sleep or lie dormant in images; when they are properly worshipped and meditated on in the images with devotion, they get awakened and respond to people’s prayers.

Ayan Ghosh. A cowherd of Vraja, described as the husband of Sri Radha in the books of the Vaishnavas of Bengal.

Ayodhya. The capital of Sri Ramachandra. The modern town on the bank of the river Sarayu.

Ayurveda. The science of medicine and surgery regarded as a supplement to the Atharvaveda. It has eight departments: (1) Salya (surgery), (2) Salakya (diagnosis of the disease of the head and organs attached thereto), (3) Kaya chikitsa (the treatment of the ailments of the whole body), (4) Bhuta Vidya (the treatment of mental disease supposed to be brought about by evil spirits, psychologically known as spirit personalities), (5) Kaumarabhritya (the child treatment), (6) Agadatantra (the antidotes), (7) Rasayanatantra (alchemical treatment), and (8) Vajikaranatantra (treatment for increasing generative power).

Babu. The word is used at the end of the name of a gentleman like the word Mr., which is prefixed to the names. When it is used without a name it is meant to show respect to the person for whom it is used. Badsha, A Muslim emperor.

Bagdi. One of the so-called low castes of the society of Bengal; its members were noted for the valour and power of endurance; they proved to be good soldiers when Bengal was independent; later, losing that opportunity of showing their talent, many of their descendants turned highwaymen.

Balaram Babu. Balaram Basu, a householder devotee of Sri Ramakrishna. Baul. A sect of the Vaishnavas, its followers appearing outwardly as mad (Baul=Batula=mad).

B.E. The Bengali Era, When 593 years 3 months and 14 days are added to it, it roughly corresponds to the Christian era. “Be a rat again”. See Punarmushikobhava.

Belur Math. The monastery at Belur on the bank of the Ganges, five miles up from Howrah. The Headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission.

Bhadra. The fifth month of the Bengali year.

Bhagavan. The Lord of the universe who possesses the six Bhagas, naturally and absolutely, the Bhagas being lordliness, moral excellences, fame, splendour, dispassion and knowledge. Or Bhagavan is one who is thoroughly conversant with the origin and destruction of all creatures, their prosperity and adversity, their knowledge and ignorance truly and fully. Hence, secondarily, persons of great eminence.

Bhagavata. It is a Pauranic devotional book much read in this country. It illustrates the truth of the Vedanta by means of stories. A part of it describes the life of Sri Krishna, which has made it an authoritative book of the Vaishnavas.

Bhagiratha. An ancient king of the Solar race to which Sri Ramachandra belonged.

Bhagirathi. Another name of the river Ganges, so called because she was brought from heaven on to earth by Bhagiratha, king of the Solar race. Bhairava. The word has three meanings : (1) a god (deity) of that name, (2) a person belonging to a particular community, and (3) one of the six Ragas. See Ragas and Raginis.

Bhairavi. A woman belonging to a particular Sakta religious community. (2) A particular class of goddesses (female deities). (3) One of the Raginis.

Bharata. The king of ancient India, It is after his name that this country is known as Bharatavarsha. There was another king of the same name who had to be born as a deer as he loved and too constantly thought of a deer in his lifetime and again as an anchorite who remembered his previous births with their follies and who, therefore, outwardly appeared as inert because he would not engage himself in any kind of activity.

Bharat, Bharatavarsha. The ancient name of the country known as India in the English atlas. By Bharat was meant the two countries of India and Pakistan into which the country was partitioned on August 15, 1947.

Bhattacharya. It is a surname added to the names of some Brahmins. Bhatta=a title of the learned Brahmins; Acharya=Guru or preceptor or teacher.

Bhavas. Devotional moods, spiritual ideas; the word has various meanings.

Bhavabhuti. A Sanskrit poet; the author of the well-known drama Uttara Ramacharita, noted for its sublime theme and treatment.

Bhavamukha. Bhava means a being, an idea, and Mukha the source. The word means the source of all beings and thoughts, and ideas. (See III.3.11-15).

Bhavasamadhi, Savikalpa Samadhi. When one is conscious of one mental modification only, namely, “I am a part of God’’, “a mother of God’’, etc., one is said to be in Bhavasamadhi. (See III.2.7 and II.13. 5-10 and II.1.11).

Bhek. The religious garb of a Vaishnava mendicant.

Bhiksha. Bhiksha is whatever physical necessities one gets by begging but without the accompanying stricture. (See Gita 4. 22 and 9. 22).

Bhikshamata. The first lady from whom a boy, at the time of his investiture with the sacred thread, receives foodgrains according to traditional injunctions.

Bhringi. An attendant of Siva.

Bhuh. The earth.

Bodhana. The ceremony of awakening the Goddess Durga in the evening before Her annual worship on the seventh day of the bright fortnight of the month of Aswin. (See 'awakening' and the months of the Bengali year).

Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshvara. Mythologically, Brahman as the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe is respectively called, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshvara. Philosophically he is the first born Jiva, who identifies himself with the aggregate of the subtle bodies of the universe; he is the creator of the gross universe.

Brahmacharin. A student serving his Guru or preceptor and observing the vow of continence and hardship.

Brahma-muhurta. The last part of the night.

Brahman. The all-pervading principle, the Self of all beings, the Reality which is one only without a second and besides whom there really exists nothing else. (See for Its definition Taittiriya Upanishad 2.1 and the commentary of Sankara on it).

Brahmani. (1) A woman belonging to the Brahmin caste, (2) Sri Ramakrishna’s Guru (Bhairavi) with whose help he practised Tantric disciplines.

Brahma-Shakti. The power of Brahman; Brahman as creating, preserving and destroying the universe. (See Svetasvatara Upanishad 1.1.2 and 6.8; Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2.5.19 and Gita 7.12-14).

Brahma-vari. Brahman as holy water. The holy water of the Ganges was called so by Sri Ramakrishna.

Brahmo. A member of the Brahmo Samaj.

Brahmo Samaj. The monotheistic society founded by Raja Rammohan Roy and organized by Maharshi Devendranath Thakur (Tagore). Brahmananda Kesavchandra Sen seceded from it and started another, which in its turn got split and a third came into existence called the General Brahmo Samaj of India, Kesav’s being known afterwards as the New Dispensation.

Buddha. Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.

Buddhacharita. A drama on Buddha’s life (by the great poet Girishchandra Ghosh, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna) based on Ashvaghosha’s book of the same name and its English translation by Edwin Arnold.

Buddhagaya. It is the place, in the province of Bihar, where Buddha realized the supreme knowledge.

“Bundling of rice and plantain". Brahmins depend for their maintenance on whatever they earn by officiating in the sacrifices of others. They get as their fee, rice, plantain and other food articles and clothes etc., that are offered to the gods and the manes. Hence, “Bundling of rice and plantain’’ is contemptuously used for a bread-earning profession.

Centres (six). Ida, Pingala, Sushumna and other Nadis, Chakras or Padmas (lotuses), talked of in the Yoga-sastras. They are the very subtle paths for Prana or the vital force to travel. Chakras or lotuses are the centres governing, through grosser and grosser plexuses, ganglia nerves, arteries, etc., particular regions of the human body and mind and their functions. Although most of them have their physical counterparts in the gross human body, the correspondence should be taken as rough and tentative.

Ida and Pingala are associated with the left and right sympathetic cords respectively on each side of the Sushumna, which is in the central canal of the spinal column. The so-called lotuses are all stipulate within the Sushumna, pierced through by a subtler Nadi named Citrini. These Chakras are the centres of the manifestation of the Prana-sakti, their objective manifestations being the plexuses and ganglia and lobes found on those regions of the vertebral column and the brain. In this sense alone their locations should be sought as follows : (1) The Muladhara Chakra is in the region midway between the anus and the genitals; (2) Swadhishthana, at the root of the genitals, (3) Manipura, in the spinal centre opposite the navel, (4) Anahata, opposite the heart, (5) Visuddha, at the back of the throat in the spinal column, (6) Ajna, frontally between the eye-brows; from the back side it corresponds with the pineal gland, the pituitary body and the top of the cerebellum, (7) Sahasrara, corresponds with the upper cerebrum These centres are associated with Vrittis or moral and immoral qualities; those of Swadhishthana and Manipura being all bad, those of Anahata mixed, and those of the higher ones being all good.

In the Sahasrara is the eternal abode of Siva or pure consciousness; in the lowest centre lies the Kundalini or the same consciousness manifested as individual Prana Sakti and the ideal is to take the manifested, limited and veiled consciousness and power back to its unmanifest, — unlimited pristine effulgence of pure consciousness in the Sahasrara, mergence of apparent Jiva into the real eternal Siva through the gradual falling off of veils and limitations as the Kundalini rises to higher and higher centres.

Chacchadi. A mixed Bengali dish or curry consisting of many vegetables not too dried nor too watery and generally a little too hot.

Chakra. (1) A circle of devotees, (2) one of the six centres in the Canal Centralis.

Chamara. Bushy tail of the Chamari or the yak (Bos Grunniens) used as a fan.

Chandala. One belonging to the lowest stratum of the Hindu society.

Chapati. A kind of thin bread or cake of flour.

Chatushpathi. Same as Tol (Sanskrit school).

Chosen Ideal. Any one of God’s divine forms chosen by a Sadhaka or by his Guru for him The Sadhaka continually repeats the name of and meditates on the form of that Deity and thereby ultimately has the great realization (of God), the ultimate truth.

Dakshina Kali. The benign aspect of Kali the Mother, the power of Brahman — Brahman Itself as creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe. As the Genetrix and nourisher of the world, She is the Mother of all. She has a four-armed form with sword and a severed head in the left hands and boon and freedom from fear in the two right hands.

Dakshineswar. The village on the bank of the Ganges five miles north of Calcutta where Sri Ramakrishna lived for many years in a room in the temple premises of Rani Rasmani.

Dal. Pulses.

Danta. The long stick-like kitchen vegetable.

Dandi. A Sannyasin who carries a staff in his hand throughout his monastic life.

Darsana. Literally, those that help us in seeing God. Philosophical systems. There are six orthodox schools of Indian philosophy, namely, Nyaya, Vaiseshika, Sankhya, Patanjala, Mimamsa or Purva Mimamsa and Vedanta or Uttara Mimamsa.

Darves. (1) A sect of Vaishnava devotees. (2) A Mohammedan devotee.

Dasaratha and Dasarathi. Dasaratha is Sri Ramachandra’s father. Dasarathi is (1) Sri Ramachandra, (2) a Bengali composer of some devotional songs addressed to the Mother.

Dasa or Dasya Bhakti. See five moods (Panchabhava).

Dayananda (Swami). The founder of the Arya Samaj.

Dengodanta. A kitchen vegetable (Amaranthus Lividus).

Destroyer of Tripura. Siva, who destroys by His grace, the three states of relative consciousness, viz., the wakeful, the dreaming and the deep sleep states. He is so called also because he killed, according to the Puranas, the demon named Tripura.

Devasura fight. According to the Puranas it is a fight between the gods and the demons, their enemies. It means a struggle for supremacy between two classes of the senses of men — (1) The senses under moral training moving in accordance with the scriptures and (2) the senses prompted by the natural urges (Asuras).

Deva, Devata, Devi. Literally, shining one. The word sometimes means Brahman and sometimes Its divine forms, both male and female. Deva=male deity, Devata=both male and female deity, Devi = (1) female deity, (2) the power of Brahman or Brahman Itself when It appears to create, preserve and destroy the universe, (3) a lady is also so called when respect is meant, as she is regarded an earthly representative of the divine Mother.

Dharma Chakra. The wheel of Dharma set in motion by Gautama Buddha.

Dharapat. A table-book dealing with measurement of land, money etc., by Subhankara.

Dhoti. The wearing-cloth of a man.

Dhruva. The boy-devotee mentioned in the Bhagavata.

Dhuni. Sacred fire lighted by holy men.

Dipavali or Dewali. Literally a series of lamps. A religious festival that takes place in the month of Kartik when there is illumination. Divyabhava. Intensified state of the mood of the spiritual teacher. (See IV.4.59.)

Divyachara. The Tantric rites and ceremonies of the highest order meant for people who have got, or are about to get, the divine outlook on life and everything around them; the two other modes are the Virachara (the heroic) and the Pasvachara (the animal).

Dol-yatra. The swinging festival of Sri Krishna. It comes once annually on the full moon day of the month of Chaitra. It is the birthday of Sri Chaitanya of Bengal.

Durga. The power of Brahman. Literally the incomprehensible One. In Her ten-armed form She is worshipped annually in the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Aswin.

Durga Puja. Worship of Durga.

Durvagrass. Panucum dactylan.

Eight miraculous powers. (vide Anima etc.)

Eternal Religion. Sanatana Dharma the religion of the Vedas. The religion of the Hindus is referred to in the scriptures by that name.F. A. Examination. The first examination in arts in the Indian universities after the Entrance or the Matriculation.

Fakir. A Hindu or a Mohammedan religious mendicant.

Family Deity. Some aspect of Brahman in the form of a Devata worshipped by a family generation after generation.

Farewell gift. Pandits or devotees are invited on ceremonial occasions. They are presented with money, cloth, and other things by the host when he bids good-bye to them.

“Father" (Baba). This word is used in this book to show how Mathur Babu and all the members of his family addressed Sri Ramakrishna. The Vaishnava man of renunciation is also called “father".

Five moods (Panchabhava). The devotional moods (1) of calmness (Santa), (2) of a servant of God (Dasya), (3) of a friend of His (Sakhya), (4) of a mother or father of the Lord (Vatsalya) and (5) of a wife or sweetheart of God (Madhura). (II.13.5-30.) To these may be added a sixth, namely, the attitude of a son or a daughter (Apatya).

Forms of God. Everything in the universe is a form of God: Kali, Durga, Siva, Vishnu and others are called divine forms.

Four fruits. The four ends of human life, namely, moral excellence (Dharma), money (Artha), enjoyments (Kama) and freedom from all bondages (Moksha).

Fourteen regions. The fourteen spheres, namely, the seven heavens and seven nether worlds.

Fourth state (the Turiya). Superconscious state. It is called the fourth in relation to the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep just as when a rope is mistaken for the three things, namely, a stick, a snake and a garland, the rope, their substratum, may be called the fourth.

Frog in the well. One who knows his own neighbourhood only and has no experience of the world at large; narrow-minded people.

Gadadhar, Gadai. The name given to Sri Ramakrishna by his father, who had a dream in Gaya that Vishnu, Gadadhar Himself (the wielder of mace), would be born of him. (Vide I.3.21).

Gajana. A festival held in honour of Siva in the month of Chaitra.

Ganda. Four Cowries make one Ganda; and five Gandas make one pice, (1/64th of a rupee)

Ganesa, Ganapati. The spiritual son of Siva and Parvati.

Ganga. A river in India rising in the Himalayas and flowing into the Bay of Bengal and held by the entire Hindu world as sacred — as sacred as the Jordan is to the Christian. Its English name is the Ganges.

Gangasagar. The mouth of the river Ganga in the Bay of Bengal.

Garuda. The king of birds, a bitter enemy of serpents. His parents were Kasyapa and Vinata.

Gauranga, Gaur or Gora. Sri Krishna Chaitanya is called so. It refers to the fair complexion of his body.

Gaya. It is a town in Bihar; a station of the Eastern Railway. It is a place of pilgrimage, its presiding deity being Gadadhar or Vishnu.

Gayatri. A very well-known sacred Vedic Mantra, repeated during morning, midday and evening prayers, (cf. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 6.14.1-8).

Ghagra. A skirt with many longitudinal folds.

Ghasphul. A kind of flower growing on some very small grass.

Ghatapratishtha. The installation of a jar during worship.

Ghee. Butter boiled over fire.

Girish, Girishchandra. A noted Bengali dramatist. A devotee of Sri Ramakrishna who highly praised his faith and predicted his future spiritual attainments which came true.

Gita, Bhagavad. It is a part of the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata by Vyasa. It is a conversation between Sri Krishna and Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, teaching Arjuna the knowledge of the Self and the secret of work based on that knowledge.

Goloka. The eternal abode of Vishnu.

Gopala. Krishna, the cowherd boy.

Gopala’s mother. A woman devotee of Sri Ramakrishna (Vide IV.6 & IV.7).

Gopis. Literally cowherd women, especially those who sported with the Lord in His incarnation as Krishna.

Gosain. Goswami, a respectable Vaishnava householder Guru.

Gotra. A family or a race or a lineage traced to a sage of note.

Govinda. Name of Vishnu, Sri Krishna.

Gunas (three). Gunas are the three essences of Maya or Prakriti, the power of Brahman. They are not separable from one another and are always changing. Everything of the universe consists of Gunas — Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. (Vide Gita 7.13 and 14. 5-20).

The word Guna means a quality. It depends for its existence on its substratum (Guni). So, these essences of Prakriti, though not the qualities of anything, are called Gunas, inasmuch as they depend for their apparent existence on Self-Brahman the only Reality, just as a rope-snake which has no real existence, depends, for its apparent existence, on the rope, its real substratum. Guna also means a rope. Hence Guna means figuratively that which binds people to transmigration, even as a rope binds animals to posts, trees, etc.

Guru. The spiritual teacher (Vide III.3.21).

Gurubhava. The power or the mood of the spiritual teacher (Vide III.3.21).

Gurugita. A book describing the glory of the Guru or spiritual teacher.

Halwa. A preparation of coarse flour of wheat, sugar, Ghee and milk or water.

Hanuman. The well-known devotee of Sri Ramachandra.

Hara. Another name of Siva.

Hari. (1) A name of God, (2) the pre-monastic name of Swami Turiyananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna.

Harisabha. Religious congregations of the Vaishnavas where people listen to the reading of scriptures.

Haritaki. The yellow myrobalan tree or fruit.

Hathayoga. A difficult mode of practising Yoga (meditation). Ha=the moon or the Ida; Tha=the sun or the Pingala. Hence Hathayoga=the Yoga by means of which the current of Prana flowing through Ida and Pingala is forcibly stopped and is made to pass through Sushumna. (Vide I.8.11 and III.1.15).

Havishyanna. Sacred food, Ghee, milk, rice, sesame, barley etc.

“Head and tail”. The unnecessary parts of anything; the metaphor being taken from fish whose fleshy portion lies between the head and the tail, which are consequently of no use.

Hemanta. One of the six seasons of the year. The months of Kartik and Agrahayan.

Hindola (spring). Seasonal Raga (melodic structure).

Hladini (Shakti). The bliss-giving power of Brahman. (See Vishnupurana 1.12.69).

Holy Mother. The holy spouse of Sri Ramakrishna.

Homa. A mythological bird.

Hriday, Hriide, Hriidu, Hriidayram Mukhopadhyaya. Nephew of Sri Ramakrishna.

Humour of wind. The human body is composed of the five elements of which the Ayurveda does not take account of Akasa, or the continuum interpenetrating everything else, nor the Prithivi, the solid. Of the other three, Vata or Vayu is not this air, but the menstruum in and by which it is held together in the body; it is expressed as various forces, such as the nerve force, the electro-motor, the molecular force; in fact it is the moving power in the body. Agni is known as Pitta (literally bile) whose function is metabolism and consequent-production of bodily heat, including acids. Apa is called Kapha (literally phlegm) the principle of moisture. So, Vayu, Pitta and Kapha are the principles of activity, heat and moisture respectively in the body, ordinarily, as in this book, translated as the humour or fluid of wind, bile and phlegm

Indra. The king of gods.

Isvara. Brahman with attributes. Philosophically Brahman Itself working through Maya with Sattva prevalent.

Isvarakoti and incarnations of God. (Vide IV.3.28-29; also III.2.3).

Ista. A divine form of Brahman, (Vide Chosen Ideal)

Itihasa. History (legendary or traditional).

Jadasamadhi. Absolute concentration of mind having no content.

Jaina. The religion generally regarded as founded by Mahavira, a contemporary of Gautama Buddha.

Jagannatha. The image installed in the famous temple at Puri. It is said that within the image are kept the bones of Sri Krishna’s body, which fact accounts for the especial attraction of Sri Chaitanya. Literally, the Lord of the world.

Jyaishtha. The second month of the Bengali year.

Janaka. The king of ancient Videha; the father of Sita.

Janaki. Sita, the daughter of Janaka.

Janmashtami. The eighth day of the black fortnight of the lunar month of Sravan, the birthday of Sri Krishna.

Japa. Continuous repetition of a Mantra with the mind concentrated on its meaning, sometimes with a form

Jatismara. One who remembers his past lives.

Jayramvati. The name of the village (in the district of Bankura, West Bengal) where the Holy Mother was born.

Jhulan. The swinging festival of Sri Krishna.

Jilapi. A kind of sweet.

Jiva. A mortal. Philosophically Brahman Itself under the influence of Maya with Rajas and Tamas prevalent. (See Isvara).

Jivakoti. (Vide IV.3.28-29 and IV.2.3).

Jivatma. The self as the Jiva.

Juncture worship. A special worship of Mother Durga at the juncture of the eighth and the ninth lunation of the bright fortnight in the lunar month of Aswin. The time of juncture is regarded as very auspicious.

Kaikeyi. A wife of Dasaratha, the king of ancient Ayodhya. She gained notoriety by being instrumental in banishing Rama to forest for fourteen years.

Kaivarta. Fisherman. Rani Rasmani belonged to this caste.

Kali, Kalika. The power of Brahman who has become the three Gunas. She is the one who creates, preserves and destroys the universe. She was the chosen Ideal of Sri Ramakrishna.

Kalighat. In south Calcutta where there is a famous temple of Kali. Kaliyuga. The iron age, the fourth age of the world, the present age. It commenced with the passing away of Sri Krishna about 5000 years ago.

Kalki. The last of the ten incarnations of God, who, it is said, will come at the end of Kaliyuga and destroy the wicked.

Kamakhyapitha. The holy place near Gauhati in Assam where the presiding deity is Mother Kamakhya, where one of the 51 parts of the body of Sati (Siva’s consort) fell; hence an important holy place for the followers of Tantra.

Kamalakanta. A famous poet and devotee of Bengal, especially famous for popular devotional songs addressed to Kali, the universal Mother.

Kamandalu. A water-pot especially used by ascetics.

Kamarini. A blacksmith woman.

Kamarpukur. The village in the district of Hooghly in West Bengal where Sri Ramakrishna was born. Kamsa. The maternal uncle of Sri Krishna who was killed by the latter for his tyranny.

Kanai. A name of Sri Krishna.

Kanyakubja. The part of the country now called Kanauj in U.P.

Kapalika. A sect of Tantrics, believed to be notorious for their revolting religious practices. They are found both among the Buddhists and the Hindus.

Kapila. The author of the Sankhya philosophy.

Karanyasa. Special gesticulations of the hands during worship.

Karma Yoga. The Yoga of action, through which man seeks union with God by the performance of selfless actions, which together with their fruits, are dedicated to the Lord.

Karnataka. A kind of music pertaining to South India.

Kartabhaja. A sect of the Vaishnavas with esoteric practices.

Kartika. (1) The spiritual son of Siva and Parvati, (2) the seventh month of the Bengali calendar.

Kasi, Kasidham, Varanasi, Banaras (Benares). The famous holy place of India in Uttar Pradesh. The presiding deities here are Sri Viswanath (the Lord of the universe) and Annapurna, His power.

Kasikhanda. A Puranic book describing the glory of Kasi.

Katha. One-sixtieth part of an acre.

Kathaka. A person who reads religious books for people and explains them

Katyayani. The goddess in Vrindavan who was worshipped by the Gopis, to get from her the boon of getting Krishna as their sweetheart.

Kaula. Derived from the word Kula. A perfected man according to the Tantras.

Kaupina. A small piece of cloth worn generally by monks around the loin.

Kausalya. The mother of Sri Ramachandra.

Kavirdas. A holy man and poet of Northern India of the Middle Ages, noted for his liberal unorthodox views on religion and society.

Kayastha. A caste in Hindu society, generally found in Northern India; one of the three intellectual castes of North India, the other two being Brahmins and Vaisyas. Kayet is the slang for Kayastha.

Kazi. A Muslim judge during the Pathan and the Mughal rule in India.

Khol. An earthen drum, both sides of which are played by the hands during singing the name and glory of the Lord in a peculiar kind of tune noted for its high spiritual pathos.

Kinnara. A heavenly singer and dancer.

Kojagari (Kojagari Lakshmi). The full moon night of the month of Aswin when vigil is kept throughout the night with an anxious expectation of meeting Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, who is supposed to call out, for showing her favour to one who keeps vigil with the words, “Ko jagrati (who is awake)?’’ from which comes the word Kojagari.

Koran. The holy book of Islam

Krishna. An incarnation of God of that name, the friend and teacher of Arjuna of the Mahabharata. Krishna Chaitanya. The monastic name of Sri Gauranga or Nimai.

Kshatriya. The warrior class.

Kundalini. The coiled power. (Vide III.2.28-33; See also Centres).

Kurma. A tortoise. In the Puranas it is said that God assumed the form of a tortoise and held the world on Its back during the dissolution of the universe.

Kurukshetra. The place near Delhi where the famous battle described in the Mahabharata was fought.

Kusilava. Kusa and Lava, the twin sons of Sri Ramachandra.

Laddu. A kind of sweetmeat made of Ghee, sugar and powdered pulse.

Lakshmana. Brother of Sri Ramachandra.

Lakshmi. (1) The goddess of wealth. (2) It is the name of Sri Ramakrishna’s niece.

Lanka. Ceylon according to Indian tradition.

Letti. A kind of flour preparation.

Lila. Divine play or sport.

Lilaprasanga. The Bengali book called Sri Sri Ramakrishna Lilaprasanga of which this book is a translation.

Luchi. A thin cake of flour fried in Ghee.

Madhurabhava. See the five moods.

Mahabharata. The great Hindu epic of that name.

Mahamahopadhyaya. A title given to a person very proficient in Sanskrit literature, philosophy, etc.

Mahamaya. The divine Mother, the divine will.

Maharshi. A great sage.

Mahavakya. A great Vedantic saying stating the oneness of the individual self and Brahman.

Mahavidyas. They are ten in number. (1) Kali; (2) Tara, (3) Shodasi, (4) Bhuvaneswari, (5) Bhairavi, (6) Chinnamasta, (7) Dhumavati, (8) Vagala, (9) Matangi and (10) Kamala; worshipped and pleased, they are all givers of the knowledge of Brahman.

Mahavira. (1) The Jain saint of that name and (2) a name of Hanuman.

Maheswara. The great Lord, a name of Siva.

Mallar. A seasonal Raga (melodic structure) sung in the rainy season.

Mandakini. The Ganga in heaven.

“Mansion”. It is the name of the building near the Kali temple at Dakshineswar where the proprietors of the temple lived when they visited it.

Mantra. A formula sacred to a deity, by the loving and reverent repetition of which the deity is realized.

Master (The). Sri Ramakrishna.

Math. A monastery.

Mathur. Mathuranath, Mathuramohan. A devotee of the Master, son-in-law of Rani Rasmani.

Mathura. A place of pilgrimage where Sri Krishna was born. It is a district town of Uttar Pradesh.

Mathur. The songs indicating the pangs of separation the Gopis felt when Krishna went away to Mathura. Maund. A weight of 82 lbs. or 40 seers.

Maya, Avidya, Prakriti (according to the Vedanta), Sakti. The power of Brahman. It is recorded as neither real nor unreal nor both. It consists of the three Gunas (See Gunas). It is the same as Avidya (See Avidya). The only difference between them is that in Maya, the Guna called Sattva predominates and in Avidya, Rajas and Tamas preponderate. The pure Existence-Knowledge- Bliss as reflected in Maya is the all-knowing and all- powerful Isvara (Vide IV 4.16) and as reflected in Avidya, it is the little-knowing Jiva of small powers. The whole universe is a transformation of Maya (Vide Gita 7.14). Brahman is Being, Maya or Avidya is the Becoming, neither real, nor illusory. Just as the earthen pot, remaining all the while nothing but earth, gets a temporary name, form and usage shifting from moment to moment or the false appearance of a snake in a piece of rope remaining the same unchanged rope all the while gets a name, form and action, all false and fleeting; so the Brahman, the pure Being-Consciousness-Bliss, remaining from eternity to eternity the same unchanged and unchangeable substratum, appears as the fleeting universe of matter and mind, of name, form and usage or action of ever-changing facts and acts. Hence it is a “mere statement of fact’’ and acts without having any substance by themselves as such but with having a real substance in the Being, which lends a sort of shadowy quasi-existence to them.

Months of the Bengali year. (1) Vaisakh, (2) Jyaishtha, (3) Ashadh, (4) Sravan, (5) Bhadra, (6) Aswin, (7) Kartik, (8) Agrahayan, (9) Paushh, (10) Magh, (11) Phalgun and (12) Chaitra. Vaisakh, the first month begins in the middle of April.

Mother of the Universe. Brahman is so called because It is the Genetrix of the universe. One, who knows God as one’s mother, loves Him most dearly.

Mridanga. A drum, whose main body is of earthenware, covered all over with leather-straps, the right and left openings covered with hides and played upon with the hands; much used in Sankirtan or singing of Lord’s name and glory.

Muladhara. The basic centre (See Centres).

Muni. A great thinker on God, generally an ascetic.

Munsiff. A subordinate judicial officer.

Naga. A sect of naked Sannyasins.

Nagakesara. A flower.

Nahavat (khana). A music room. In short, “nahavat-khana’ is referred to as “Nahavat’.

Namaz. Islamic prayer.

Nanda festival. A festival held at Sri Krishna’s birthday at Vraja, by the people of Vraja, whose chief was Nanda, the foster father of Sri Krishna.

Nandi. An attendant of Siva.

Narayana. A name of God, the inner controller of all beings.

Narendar. Sri Ramakrishna used to call Narendra thus.

Neti-dhauti. (Vide III.1.26, footnote).

Neti, neti. See “Not this, not this“.

Nilachala. Puri in Orissa.

Niranjan. A monastic disciple of Sri Ramakrishna.

Nirvikalpa Samadhi. The mental modification “I am Brahman”, when one is not conscious of it nor of any mental modification. (Vide II.1.5-11; also Gita 6.10-32).

Nitai. Nityananda, the principal companion of Sri Chaitanya.

Nityananda. Vide Nitai. 

“Not this, not this“. These words from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (2.3.6) negate the whole universe superimposed on Brahman and immediately prove that It alone exists and nothing else. (Vide Mandukya Upanishad 7 and Sankaracharya’s commentary on it).

Nyasa. Assignment to deities of different parts of the body with gesticulations and uttering of Mantras.

Nyayachancu. A title given to a person highly learned in the Nyaya philosophy.

Om. See Aum.

Padmasana. A particular cross-legged sitting posture in religious meditation.

Pakhoaj. A sort of double drum.

Panchavati. A cluster of five trees. (Vide II.8.10 and foot-note).

Paramahamsa. A man who has the knowledge of Brahman and has renounced the world.

Parasara. The father of Vyasa.

Para Vidya. The knowledge of Brahman. (See Aparavidya).

Patal. (1) A kitchen vegetable, (2) a chapter.

Paush. The ninth month of the Bengali year.

Phalaharini. Sri Kali, worshipped in the month of Jyaishtha with special offerings of all kinds of fruit; hence the name phala (fruit), harini (gatherer) or eater. Philosophically, one who destroys the effects of past deeds of the worshippers.

Phalgu. A river near Gaya in Bihar.

Phalgun. The eleventh month of the Bengali year.

Pice. A coin, one sixty-fourth of a rupee.

Pie. A coin, one twelfth of one anna, which is one sixteenth of a rupee.

Pinda. A ball of rice or powdered wheat offered to the deceased forefathers.

Pithasthanas. There are fifty-one in all. Each of them contains a part of the body of Sati, Siva’s consort.

Pitris. Forefathers, manes.

Prakriti. According to the Sankhya philosophy, the one nonconscious origin of the universe consisting of the three Gunas. It has no power of independent action. It acts in the presence of Purusha only.

Prakritilina. (Vide I. Introduction.3 and IV.3.28).

Pranava. The syllable Aum. (Vide II.11.23).

Pranayama. Restraining the breath and at the same time repeating the name or attributes of a deity. Prasada. Food offered to deities.

Prayaga. The confluence of the three rivers, the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Saraswati near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.

Prayopavesana. Lying before the image of a deity without taking food or drink with a view to having a boon.

Premananda. A monastic disciple of Sri Ramakrishna.

Punarmushiko bhava. Once a holy man saw a mouse sinking in the river near his hermitage. He saved its life and kept it in his hut. Seeing it successively pounced upon by a cat, a dog and a tiger, it was ultimately raised to a tiger, when one day it attempted to spring upon him. “O ingratitude, be the mouse again’’, saying so the holy man sprinkled a little water on it and it was re-converted into the same mouse. The proverb simply means “going back to one’s former condition’’. Puranas. The eighteen sacred works by \yasa containing the whole of the Hindu mythology.

Puranic age. When Puranas were written; generally ascribed to the period when Buddhism declined or according to some, during the hey-day of Buddhism.

Purascharana. Performance of the prescribed number of Japa of the name of Devas and Devis and offering of oblations, etc.

Purnahuti. The final oblation.

Purnabhisheka. Full initiation into Tantric rites.

Purushas. According to the Sankhya they are the many souls consisting of pure consciousness. They are non-doers and witnesses of the changes of Prakriti. According to the Vedanta, Purusha is one and not many and means Brahman.

Radha, Radhika, Radharani, Rai, Srimati. An incarnation of the divine power of bliss having pure Sattva for the material of her person.

Raga. Melody type, melody structure, the basis of Indian melody.

Raghuvira. Ramachandra the hero of the Raghus. The family deity of Sri Ramakrishna.

Ragini. Female Raga. According to classification each of the six Ragas (males) have six Raginis (females). Thus Bhairava, for example, is a Raga and Bhairavi a Ragini. They are secondary Ragas grouped with primary ones to denote affinity.

Rahu. Mythologically, a demon who disguising himself as a god, sat among the gods and partook of nectar churned out of the ocean by the gods and demons. When the fraud was detected, his head was cut off by Vishnu. But as he had drunk a little of nectar, which went up to the throat, that portion of his body became immortal. He thenceforward wreaked vengence on the sun and the moon, who detected him while he was partaking of nectar. Hence he swallows the sun and the moon periodically, which is known as the eclipses. After some time, they get out of the throat. Astronomically, it is the shadows of the moon and the earth coming between the other two.

Rai. The same as Radha.

Raja. Literally a king.

Rajas. The Guna of that name. (See Gunas)

Rajasika. Pertaining to Rajas, one of the three essences of Prakriti. (See Gunas)

Raja Yoga. Process of reaching out to truth through deep concentration of mind. The famous Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali deals with it.

Rakhal. A monastic disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, regarded as his spiritual child. He was known as Swami Brahmananda during his monastic life. The first President of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission with its headquarters at the village of Belur on the Hooghly river opposite to Calcutta.

Rakshasas. The inhabitants of Lanka, the kingdom of Ravana who was killed by Sri Ramachandra.

Rakshasa-gana. All men and women are divided, according to their inner nature, into the three groups, namely, Deva-gana, Nara-gana and Rakshasa-gana, the divine, the human and the demoniac, respectively. A woman of the last group is believed to become a widow soon after marriage, if married to a man of the second group.

Raktabija. The demon killed by Goddess Durga. Another demon like himself was born from each drop of blood that fell to the ground during his battle with Her.

Rama, Ramachandra. The King of ancient Ayodhya; an incarnation of God; the hero of the epic Ramayana.

Ramayana. The famous epic describing the life of Sri Ramachandra.

Ram, Ramchandra Datta, Ram Babu. A householder devotee of Sri Ramakrishna.

Ramlal, Ramlal Chattopadhyaya. Nephew of Sri Ramakrishna. Ramprasad. The famous saint of Bengal, a devotee of Kali, who composed many devotional songs which have since become a perennial source of inspiration to devotees.

Rang. It is a Mantra, the name of fire.

Rani. Literally a queen.

Rasa. The dance of the Gopis of Vrindavan with Sri Krishna.

Rasagolla. A kind of sweetmeat, spongy ball full of juice.

Rasmani (the Rani). The foundress of the Kali temple at Dakshineswar.

Rathayatra. The Chariot or Car festival of Jagannatha (Vide IV.5.7). 

Rishi. A seer of spiritual truth. 

Rudraksha. Elaeocarpus Genitrus. The seeds of this tree formed into beads for rosaries.

Sabda Brahman. Brahman as sound, as the Vedas.

Sadhaka. A spiritual aspirant. (Vide II.1).

Sadhakabhava. The attitude of a spiritual aspirant.

Sadhana. Spiritual discipline. (Vide II.1).

Sadhu. A holy man.

Saiva. A follower of Siva.

Sajina. A kitchen vegetable. Legume of the morunga.

Sakhi-bhava. The attitude of a female friend towards God.

Sakta (Shakta). A worshipper of Sakti.

Sakti (Shakti). Sometimes the word means a woman.

Sakya Simha. A name of Buddha, born in the Sakya clan.

Salagrama. A round stone symbol of Vishnu.

Sama, Dama, etc. The six treasures. (1) Keeping under control the internal and (2) external organs, (3) desisting from all worldly actions, (4) endurance, (5) profound contemplation and (6) faith in the words of the Guru and the Vedanta.

Samadhi. Profound concentration of mind, ecstasy.

Samhita. Collection or anthology; Rig Veda Samhita = a collection of Riks or a kind of Vedic hymns. Manu Samhita = collection of socio-religious rites and customs, prevalent and ought to be followed at that time, by Manu, the author. When referring to the Vedas it means the Mantra portion of them.

Samskaras. Impressions of past activities in previous births in the mind. The word also means purifying ceremonies.

Samskrit (Sanskrit). Once it was the spoken language of the cultured people of India. It is much cultivated all over India even now and Pandits speak it as fluently as their mother tongue.

Sanchita. Result of past accumulated Karma.

Sandesh. A kind of sweet.

Sandhini Sakti. The power of Brahman that preserves the universe.

Sandhi Puja. See Juncture worship.

Sandhya. The Vedic prayer said thrice a day in the morning, midday and evening.

Sankaracharya. The great commentator of the Gita, Upanishads and the Brahma Sutra.

Sankirtana. The chorus of the Lord’s name and glory.

Sannyasa. The vow of a Sannyasin.

Sannyasin. One who renounces the world in order to realize God.

Sannyasini. Nun.

Saraswati. The goddess of learning.

Sastras, scriptures. The Vedas and other books in accordance with them.

Sattva (Guna). See Gunas.

Sattvika. Pertaining to Sattvaguna.

Savikalpa Samadhi. See Bhavasamadhi.

Siddhartha. A name of Buddha.

Sikh (ism). The religion founded by Nanak. A Sikh = a disciple, inasmuch as he lays the greatest emphasis on the grace of the Guru, who, according to him, is God Himself.

Silver mountain. The snow-capped Kailasa mountain in Tibet.

Simhavahini. Literally, a Goddess whose carrier is a lion. There is an image of Her installed in a temple at Jayramvati, the Holy Mother’s birth-place.

Sita. The spouse of Sri Ramachandra, an incarnation of God.

Siva (Maheswara); The auspicious (Great God).

Sivalinga. A symbol of Siva, the male principle in creation, made of stone or other materials; a holy symbol worshipped with the holiest of motives viz., for the cessation of transmigration.

Sivaratri. The fourteenth day of the dark fortnight of the lunar month of Magha. In that night Siva is worshipped every three hours and fast and vigil are kept throughout the night.

Smritis. The body of traditional law, secular or religious.

Snanayatra. The full moon day of the month of Jyaishtha, the day on which the bathing ceremony of Jagannath (Puri) takes place.

Sraddha. An obsequial ceremony in honour of dead relatives, so named, as it is done with Sraddha or reverence to the memory of the deceased.

Sri. It is a term used before the names of those whom one wishes well, indicating prosperity, hence implying “may you be prosperous’’ or simply prosperous so-and-so. It connotes respect as well.

Srikshetra. The town of Puri in Orissa.

Srimati. The name of Radha.

Sriraga. One of the Ragas or melodies sung in the morning.

Sri Sri Ramakrishna Lilaprasanga. See Lilaprasanga.

Suddhodhan. The father of Buddha.

Sufi. A sect of Mohammedans, noted for their tolerance, love of God and persecution at the hands of the bigoted Muslims for their monastic tendencies.

Suka. Sukadeva. The great sage, the son of Vyasa, noted as the perfect specimen of Sannyasins, the Paramahamsas.

Sumeru. A sacred mountain.

Sushni. A kind of green.

Swadhishthana. See Centres.

Swaha. The Mantra uttered in offering oblations to gods.

Swami. A Sannyasin. The word is added to the proper name of a Sannyasin as a mark of respect. Swami = my lord.

Tamas (Guna). One of the three essences of Prakriti. (See Gunas)

Tanpura. A stringed musical instrument.

Tantradharaka. One who dictates Mantras from a book at the time of worship.

Tapas, Tapasya. Austerity.

Tappa. A style of singing, a mode of presenting a Raga through the introduction of an unconventional variation.

Tarkabhushana. It means the same thing as Tarkalankara.

Tarkalankara. A title given to a person learned in Logic.

Tarkavagisa. The meaning is the same as Tarkalankara.

Tarpana. Offering of libations to gods or forefathers.

Three fires. Figuratively, three miseries, (1) arising from bodily diseases etc.; (2) from living beings and (3) from natural phenomena such as rain, storm etc.

Tilaka. Sectarian symbol marked on the forehead and other parts of the body.

Tirthankaras. Jaina saints.

Tol. A Sanskrit school.

Tripurasundari. A name of the divine Mother.

Triveni. The confluence of the three rivers, namely, the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati at Allahabad.

Tulsidas. A great Vaishnava saint. His Ramayana, the crown-jewel of the Hindi literature, is very widely read in Northern India. Turiya. See Fourth.

Ulu. It is a sound uttered by Hindu ladies on ceremonial occasions with the help of the tongue striking against the inner parts of the cheeks alternately.

Upanayana. The ceremony of the investiture with the sacred thread.

Vaikhari. Articulate utterance.

Vaikuntha. Abode of Vishnu.

Vairagi. Literally a dispassionate man. A holy man following the Vaishnava religion.

Vaiseshikas. A class of dualistic philosophers like the Nyaya philosophers.

Vajra teachers. A class of Buddhist teachers.

Vakula. A tree (Minusopos Elengi) or its flower.

Valmiki. The author of the Ramayana.

Vamachara. The left-handed Sadhana. The heroic mode of Tantric worship. It is so called because the worshipper is taught, according to this method, to raise the Coiled Power from the basic centre to the thousand petalle lotus in such a way that the centres in the Canal Centralis are kept to the left. It is also held that “Varna” means “opposite” and in this discipline the aspirant takes an opposite turn from the path of enjoyment to that of renunciation through sublimation.

Vanaprasthin. A man who having finished his duties as a householder, retires to a forest to lead the life of a recluse.

Vanalinga. A special stone-symbol of Siva.

Varanasi. Banaras.

Vasanta. (1) Seasonal Raga for the spring season, (2) the season itself.

Vasudeva. The father of Sri Krishna.

Vata. See Humour of wind.

Vatsalya. See Five moods.

Vayu. See Humour of wind.

Veda. The most ancient authoritative scripture of the Hindus. Amongst other things, it deals with injunctions and prohibitions regarding actions.

Vedanta. The last part of the Vedas, dealing with meditation and the knowledge of Self-Brahman. 

Vidya Maya. The power of Brahman leading Godward. (Vide III.3.20. See Avidya Maya).

Vidya Sakti. (1) The power of Brahman that leads Jivas on to It. (2) A woman of godly nature. (See Avidya Sakti).

Vijaya. The tenth day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Aswin on which the image of Mother Durga is immersed in water.

Vilva. Wood apple (Aegle Mormelos).

Vina. A stringed musical instrument.

Virat. The Cosmic all-pervading Being identifying himself with the entire gross world.

Vireswara. Another name of Swami Vivekananda, so named because he was believed to have been born at the blessing of the Vireswara Siva in Kasi.

Vishnu. An aspect of Brahman preserving the universe.

Visuddha Centre. See Centres.

Visvesvara, Visvanatha. The Lord of the universe. The presiding deity of Kasi.

Vivekananda. The principal disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, who first carried his message to the West and founded the Sri Ramakrishna Math and Mission.

Vital airs. They are Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana and Vyana, performing various life-giving functions in the body.

Vyakarana. Grammar.

Vyasa. The author of the Brahma Sutras etc.

Yamuna. A tributary of the Ganga.

Yasoda. The foster-mother of Sri Krishna.

Yatra. A kind of dramatic entertainment accompanied by a large number of songs.

Yoga Maya. The Maya of Brahman consisting of the three Gunas.

Yogananda, Yogen, Yogin. A monastic disciple of the Master.

Yogi, Yogin. A man who has realized God. One who is in the habit of meditating on God. (See Gita 6.47)

Yugi, Jugi. The weaver caste of the Hindu society.