Diary of a Traveling Monk

Volume 1



By Indradyumna Swami


Bharat Natyam: traditional Indian style of dance.


Brahmacari: unmarried male devotee practicing celibacy.


Brahmacarini: unmarried female devotee practicing celibacy.


CIS: Commonwealth of Independent States (the former Soviet Union).


Darsana: an audience with the Supreme Lord or His representative.


Dhoti: traditional Indian garment worn by men


Duma: Russian Parliament.


Ekadasi: The eleventh day after the full and new moon, a special day for increased remembrance of Krsna. Abstinence from grains and beans is prescribed.


Food for Life: charitable food distribution program run by Hare Krsna devotees worldwide.


FSK: formerly the KGB, now reorganized.


Gandharva: extraordinarily beautiful demigod singers and musicians.


Gaura-arati: evening prayers in the temple..


Gulabjamun: traditional Indian sweet made of milk and flour, rolled into balls, deep-fried, then soaked in a sugary syrup.


Guru-puja: worship of the spiritual master.

Gurukula: the school of the spiritual master, traditional Vedic education.


Harinama:public chanting of the holy names of the Lord.


ISKCON: International Society for Krishna Consciousness.


Ista-gosthi: discussion amongst temple devotees.


Janmastami: the anniversary of Lord Krsna’s appearance in this world.


Japa: soft recitation of the Lord’s holy names as a private meditation.


Jnani: one who tries to understand the Supreme through the process of speculative knowledge.


Kali-yuga : (Age of Kali) the present age, characterized by quarrel. It is the last in the cycle of four ages. The present Kali-yuga began 5,000 years ago.


Kamsa: Krsna’s uncle, who constantly plotted to kill Krsna.


Kirtana: congregational chanting the holy names of the Supreme Lord.


Ksatriya: a warrior or administrator. The second of the four Vedic social orders.


Kumaras: four learned ascetic sons of Lord Brahma, appearing eternally as children.


Laksmi: colloquial term for money, in reference to Srimati Laksmi devi the goddess of fortune and eternal consort of Lord Narayana.

Lord Jagannatha: the Supreme Lord, Lord of the Universe. The Deity form of the Lord at Puri, Orissa.


Lord Nrsimhadeva: the half-man, half-lion incarnation of the Supreme Lord. He protected Prahlada Maharaja and killed the demon Hiranyakasipu.


Pranama: to join the hands, palms together, in front of the chest, in prayer or as a gesture of respect.


Prasadam: the Lord’s mercy; food or other items spiritualized by being fiirst offered to the Supreme Lord.


Ratha-yatra : an annual festival in which Deities of the Supreme Lord are drawn in procession upon huge, lavishly decorated, canopied chariots.


Salagrama-sila: a Deity incarnation of the Supreme Lord in the form of a stone.


Sankirtana: congregational glorifiication of the Supreme Lord, Krsna,


especially through chanting of His holy names: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.


Sikha: tuft of hair customarily at the back of the head of male devotees of Krsna.


Vyasa-puja: worship of the compiler of the Vedas, Srila Vyasadeva, or his representative, the bona fiide spiritual master.


Vyasasana: the seat of Vyasa, on which the representative of Srila Vyasadeva sits.


Yatra: temple or area of preaching.