Diary of a Traveling Monk

Volume 1

 

Glossary

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.