Appendix:Glossary of Hinduism

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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.

Table of Contents: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


  • Abhimanyu (अभिमन्यु) : Son of Arjuna and Subhadra who was married to Uttara, daughter of King Virata.
  • Āchārya (आचार्य): Teacher or Guru.
  • Achuta (अचुत): A synonym of Sri Krishna.
  • Adhiratha (अधिरथ) : Karna's foster-father.
  • Aditi (अदिति) : A goddess of the sky, consciousness, the past, the future and fertility.
  • Agastya (अगस्त्य) : A great sage whose life-story the Pandavas learnt while on pilgrimage to holy places is wife Lopamudra was equally a great sage in her own right.
  • Aghāsur (अघासुर) : A dragon sent by Kans to destroy Krishna
  • Agnihotra (अग्निहोत्र): A sacrifice to God Agni.
  • Ahamkara (अहंकार): A Sanskrit term that refers to egoism, that is the ego of one's self, the identification of one's own ego.
  • Ajātasatru (अजातशत्रु): Having no enemy, friend of all born things, an epithet of Yudhishthira.
  • Akampana (अकम्‍पन): A rākshasa slain by Hanumaān at seize (Unconquerable)
  • Akshayapatra (अक्षयपत्र): A wonderful vessel given to Yudhishthira by the Sun god which held a never-failing supply of food.
  • Alambasa (अलम्‍बस): A Rakshasa friend of Duryodhana who had joined his forces but Satyaki compelled him to flee from the battlefield.
  • Amarāvati (अमरावती) : The city of Indra
  • 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): The thousand headed nāga that issued from Balrāma's mouth
  • Angada (अंगद): One of the monkey host; Son of Valī
  • Aniruddha (अनिरुद्ध): Son of Pradyumna (a rebirth of Shatrughana who married with Chārumati and Ushā
  • Anjalikā (अंजलिका): The greatest of Arjuna's arrows with which he slays Karna
  • Anshumat (अंशुमत): A mighty chariot-fighter
  • Apsarās (अपसरा): Heavenly nymphs, The dancing girls of Indra's court
  • Aquila (अक्‍विला): Equivalent, Garuda; the divine eagle

]] (अरणि): An upper and a lower piece of wood used for producing fire by attrition.

]] (आरण्यक) : Part of the Hindu Śruti that discuss philosophy, sacrifice and the New Year holiday.

  • Arjuna (अर्जुन) : The third of Pāndavas
  • Artha (अर्थ) : Wealth, one of the objects of human life, the others being Dharma, (righteous- ness), Kama (satisfaction of desires), Moksha (spiritual salvation).
  • Ashtavakra (अष्‍टवक्र): A towering scholar while still in his teens.
  • Ashvins (अश्‍विन) : The divine twins
  • Ashwamedha (अश्‍वमेध): The horse sacrifice
  • Asvamedha Yajna (अश्‍वमेध यज्ञ): A horse sacrifice.
  • Ashwasena (अश्‍वसेन): Five mighty arrows shot by Karna
  • Asita (असित): A sage who held that gambling was ruinous and should be avoided by all wise people.
  • Astra (अस्त्र): A missile charged with power by a holy incantation.
  • Ātma (आत्‍मा): The underlying metaphysical self, sometimes translated as spirit or soul.
  • Ayodhyā (अयोध्या): Unconquuerable, The city in the country of Koshala


  • Badarikasram (बद्रीकाश्रम): Badarikasram is a place sacred to Vishnu, near the Ganges in the Himalayas, particularly in Vishnu's dual form of Nara-Narayana.
  • Bahu : A king of the Solar race. who was vanquished and driven out of his country by the tribes of Haihayas and TaIajanghas. He was father of Sagara.
  • Balarāma (बलराम): An avatar or incarnation of Adisesha the thousand-hooded serpent on which Lord Mahavishnu reclines in Vaikuntha.
  • 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.
  • Banasura (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.
  • Bhadra (भद्र): A mighty elephant
  • 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.
  • Bhagīratha (भगीरथ) : Son of Dilipa, king of Kosala
  • Bhaktī (भक्ति): A Sanskrit term that means intense devotion expressed by action (service). A person who practices bhakti is called bhakta.
  • Bharadwāja (भरद्वाज): A rishi, father of Yavakrida.
  • Bhārgava (भार्वग): Karna's divine weapon
  • Bhaumāsur (भौमासुर): A demon slain by Krishna
  • Bhīma (भीम): The second of Pāndavas who excelled in physical prowess as he was born of the wind-god.
  • Bhīshma (भीष्‍म): Bhīshma was son of Shāntanu, the great Knight and guardian of the imperial house of Kurus.
  • Bhūta : A ghost, imp, goblin. Malignant spirits which haunt cementeries, lurk in trees, animate dead bodies, and delude and devour human beings.
  • Bibhatsu (बिभत्‍सु): One of Arjuna's name meaning a hater of unworthy acts.
  • 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.
  • Brihadaswa (बृहदास्‍व): A great sage who visited the Pandavas in 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.
  • Brihannala (बृहन्नल): Name assumed by Arjuna while living at Virata's court in incognito. He taught arts to Uttarā, the princess of the kingdom of Virata.
  • Brihatbala (बृहत्बल): A daring warrior who charged at Abhimanyu caught in the Kaurava army's net.
  • Bhojas (भोजस): A branch of the Yadava clan belonging to Krishna's tribe.
  • Bhuminjaya (भुमिंजय): Another name of prince Uttara son of Virata who had proceeded to fight the Kaurava armies, with Brihannala as his charioteer.
  • Burisrwas (बुरिस्‍र्वस): One of the powerful kings on the side of the Kauravas.


  • Caste (कास्‍ट): Mythical origin of hindu system of racial continuity, equivalent in modern vernacular, birth (jāti)
Diagram of chakras
  • 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.
  • Chala (चल): A Kaurava warrior.
  • Champā (चम्‍पा): A city on banks of Ganges river where Karna found as a babe by Adhiratha and Rādhā
  • Chāndāla (चांडाल): A person of a degraded caste, whose conduct was much below standard and whose cause pollution.
  • Chānd Sadāgar (चांद सागर): A merchant-prince of Champaka Nagar. Manasā Devi woos the devotion of him
  • 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.
  • Chekitana (चेकितन): Head of one division of the Pandava army.
  • Chitra (चित्र): A son of Dhritarashtra killed in the war.
  • Chitrakūta (चित्रकूट): The mountain where Rama was advised to go by Bhardwāja, the hermitage of Vālmīki
  • 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.
  • Chyavana (च्‍यवन): A great rishi, husband of beautiful wife Sukanyā whom Ashvins beheld at her bath


  • Daruka (दरुक): Sri Krishna's charioteer.
  • 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 Aditi and Brahma.
  • 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.
  • Darshana (दर्शन): A country whose king attacked Bhagadatta's elephant in an effort to save Bhima.
  • 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.
  • Devatā (देवता): 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 Sukracharaya, preceptor of the demons, who fell in love with Kacha, son of Brihaspati, preceptor of the Devas.
  • Devendra (देवेन्‍द्र): King of the Gods.
  • Devī (देवी): The female version of a Deva, ie. a female deity or goddess. Devi is considered to be the Supreme Goddess in Shaktism.
  • Dhanvantari (धन्‍वंतरी): An avatar of the Hindu God Vishnu. Dhanvantari appears in the Vedas as the physician of the gods, and is the god of Ayurvedic medicine.
  • Dharma (धर्म): Righteous course of conduct. Can mean law, rule or duty. Beings that live in harmony with Dharma proceed quicker towards moksha.
  • Dharmagranthi (धर्मग्रंथी): Assumed named of Nakula at Virata's court.
  • Dharmananda (धर्मनन्‍द):The delighted of Dharma, a name of Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma or Yama.
  • Dharmavyadha (धर्मव्‍याध): He possessed the secret of good life and lived in the city of Mithila. He was a meat-seller.
  • Dhananjaya (धनन्‍जय): One of the names of Arjuna.
  • Dhanusaksha (धनुसक्ष): A great sage whom Medhavi, son of sage Baladhi, once insulted. He took the form of a bull and butted at that mountain and broke it to pieces. Then Medhavi fell down dead.
  • Dhaumya (धौम्‍य): Preceptor of the Pandavas, who accompanied them during their exile to the Kurijangala forest, singing Sama hymns addressed to Yama, Lord of Death.
  • Dhrishtadyumna (धृष्‍टद्‍युम्‍न): Supreme commander of the Pandava forces and twin brother of Draupadi.
  • Dhritarāshtra (धृतराष्‍ट्र): Elder son of Vichitravirya and Ambika, born blind, father of Duryodhana.
  • Dharmaputra (धर्मपुत्र): The son of Yama, epithet of Yudhishthira.
  • Dhartarashtras (धार्तराष्‍ट्र): Sons of Dhritarashtra
  • 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 Hindu children as an example for perseverance, devotion, steadfastness and fearlessness.
  • Dhumrāksha (धुमराक्ष): The Grey-eye rākshasha appointed by Rāvana who was slain by Hanumāna.
  • Draupadī (द्रौपदी): Daughter of King Drupada, King of Panchala, who married all the five Pandavas though Arjuna had won her in the Swayamvara, because of the vow that they would share everything in common.

]] (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 of 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 (दुसासन): Duryodhana's brother who dragged Draupadi to the hall of assembly pulling her by her hair.
  • 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 got 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.
  • 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.
  • Dussaha (दुस्‍सह): A son of Dhritarashtra killed by Bhima.
  • 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.


  • Flute : Lord Krishna had a flute which he used to play in the woods and all the herd-girls of Braj used to go out on the voice of this flute.


]] (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.

]] (गणेश): The god of good fortune, commonly identified for his elephant head.

  • Gāndhārī (गांधारी): Dhritarashtra's wife and queen mother of the Kauravas.
  • Gandharvas (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.
  • Ghatotkacha (घटोत्‍कच): Son of Bhima from demoness Hidimba.
  • Gopas (गोप): Equivalent, herd-boys
  • Gopāla (गोपाल): Name of Krishna indicating his origin as a god of flocks and herds.
  • Gopīs (गोपी): Gopi is a word of Sanskrit origin meaning 'cow-herd girls'.
  • Govardhan (गोवर्धन): Govardhan is a hill located near the town of Vrindavan in India.
  • Govinda (गोविन्‍द): One of the epithets of Sri Krishna and Vishnu; it means a cow-keeper and refers to Krishna's occupation in Gokula, the colony of cowherds
  • Grihastha (गृहस्‍थ): The second of the four phases(Purushartha) of a man, when a person gets married and settles down in life and begets children.
  • Guru (गुरु): Revered preceptor, A spiritual teacher. In contemporary India, the title and term "Guru" is widely used within the general meaning of "wise man".


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • Indrajīt (इन्‍द्र जीत): Son of Ravana, King of Lanka, who conquered Indra, the Lord of Gods and who was killed by Rama's brother Lakshmana.
  • Indraprastha (इन्‍द्रप्रस्‍थ): Indraprastha (City of Indra) was a major northern city in ancient India that was the capital of the kingdom led by the Pandavas in the Mahabharata epic, located upon the banks of the river Yamuna and extremely close to the modern national capital of Delhi.
  • Indrakila (इन्‍द्रकिला): A mountain Arjuna passed on his way to the Himalayas to practise austerities to acquire powerful new weapons from Lord Mahadeva.
  • 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.


  • Janamejaya (जनमेजय): A king who conducted a great sacrifice for the well being of the human race.
  • Janārdana (जनार्दन): A name of Krishna
  • Jarāsandha (जरासंध): A rākshasa father-in-law of Kans, 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, A.D.); 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
  • Jayadratha (जयद्रथ): A warrior on the side of Kauravas who closed the breach effected by Abhimanyu in the Chakravyuha military formation by Dronacharya and trapped him inside.
  • Jnana (ज्ञान): Knowledge of the eternal and real


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kālayāvan (कालयावन): Kālayāvan was an asura who surrounded Mathura with an army of thirty million monstrous friends. Then Krishna departed to built 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.
  • Kali (कलि): Kali was a demon, the embodiment of the Fourth yuga who possesses Nala.
  • Kālī (काली): A dark, black aspect of the mother-goddess Devi whose consort is Shiva.
  • Kālindī (कालिन्‍दी): Kālindī was daughter of the Sun who marries Lord Krishna while he was ruling at Dwārkā, Kālindī is also another name for the river Yamuna in northern India.
  • Kāliyā (कालिया): Kāliyā was the name of a poisnous hydra or Nāga living on the bank of Yamuna River. Kāliyā was quelled by Krishna and sent to his abode in Ramanaka Dwīpa.
  • Kalki (कल्कि): The tenth avatar of Vishnu who is yet to come and will appear as a man on a horse at the end of Kali Yug.
  • 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.
  • Kamsa (कंस): Maternal Uncle of Sri Krishna and son of Ugrasena, also son-in-law of Jarasandha, whom Sri Krishna killed.

]] (कण्‍व): Father of Shakuntala

  • Kausikam (कौसिकम्): A sage who learnt from Dharmavyadha the secret of Dharma, of performing one's duty.
  • Karma Yoga (कर्म योग): The practise of disciplining action. Karma yoga 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. [1]

]] (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.

  • Kartavirya (कर्तविर्य): A great warrior who defeated Ravana, King of Lanka.
  • 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 Adityas. 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.
  • Kauravas (कौरव): Kaurava is a Sanskrit term, that means a descendant of Kuru, alternate name of sons of Dhritarashtra.
  • Kausalyā (कौसल्‍या): She was the eldest of King Dasaratha's three wives and a queen of Ayodhya. She was the mother of Rama.
  • Kekaya (केक‍य): A brave warrior on the Pandava side into whose chariot Bhima got during the fighting on the sixth day.
  • Ketama (केतम): Another chief whose head was cut off by Drona.

]] (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.
  • Kichaka (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. He lived in the forest of Kamyaka, 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.
  • Koshala (कोशल): A Kingdom Rama passes through when going into Exile.
  • 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.

]] (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 (क्रौंच): Curlew-heron.
  • 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.
  • Kubera (कुबेर): One of the gods of wealth and riches.
  • Kumbha (कुम्भ): Kumbha was a rakshasa who led a host against the monkeys when Hanumana fetches healing herb.
  • Kumbhakarna (कुम्भकर्ण): Brother of Ravana, King of Lanka, who was asleep most of the time because of the curse of Brahma.
  • 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.
  • 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


  • 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.

]] (लक्ष्मण): Younger step-brother of Rama and son of Sumitra and King Dasaratha. Duryodhana's gallant young son also bore this name.

  • Lakshmī (लक्ष्मी): Goddess of prosperity, wealth and good fortune. She is the consort of Vishnu and an aspect of Devi.
  • Lankā (लंका): An island city, generally identified with Ceylon, the home of Ravana.
  • 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.
  • Mānasarovar (मानसरोवर): A sacred lake in the Himalayas
  • Mandara (मंदर): The mountain used as a curning stick for churning the ocean using Vasuki nāga as rope by gods on one side and asuras on other side.
  • 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.
  • Mansā Devī (मन्‍सादेवी): The goddess of snakes, daughter of Shiva by a mortal woman.
  • 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 Sunga of Sangha clan, who is alleged to have persecuted many Buddhists, to regulate a code of conduct consolidating Hinduism.
  • Mārīcha (मारीच): A character in the Ramayana, uncle of Ravana who transformed him self into a golden deer at the behest of Ravana to entice Sita.
  • Marutta (मरुत्त): A king of the Ikshwaku dynasty whose sacrifice was performed by Samvarta in defiance of Indra and Brihaspati.
  • Mātalī (मातली): Charioteer of Indra who took Arjuna to the kingdom of gods.
  • Mathurā (मथुरा): The capital of Yadavas which was invaded by Kams
  • 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.
  • Medhavi (मेधवी): Son of Sage Baladhi who desired that his son should live as long as a certain mountain lasted.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • Nachiketatas (नचिकेतस): Nachiketatas 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 in Hindi and other languages of India.
  • 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.
  • 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.

]] (नरसिंह): The fourth avatar of Vishnu. He is a mixed form of a man and a lion.

  • 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.
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.

]]s (नारायण): Krishna's kinsmen.

]] (नारायणाश्रम): A charming forest where the Pandavas had halted during their wanderings.

  • 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.

]] (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 : (Also Aum, ॐ) is 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.
are the five acknowledged sons of Pandu, by his two wives Kunti and Madri. They are  Yudhishtira,  Bhima,  Arjuna  and  Nakula ,  Sahadeva

]] (पाण्‍डु): Second son of Vichitravirya and Ambalika who succeeded to the throne of Hastinapura on his father's death, as his elder brother Dhritarashtra was born blind, father of the Pandavas.

  • 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.
  • Paravasu (परवसु): Son of Raibhva and elder brother of Arvavasu whose wife was violated by Yavakrida, who was killed with a spear by a fiend for his sin.
  • Parikshit (परिक्षित): Son of Abhimanyu and grandson of the Pandavas who was crowned king after the holocaust claimed the Kauravas and the Pandavas.
  • Pārvatī (पार्वती): Goddess of love, the consort of Shiva and mother of Ganesha,Rukmini prayed to her for saving her from the cruel Sisupala king of Chedi, as she had set her heart on marrying Krishna.
  • Paurava (पौरव): A Kaurava hero.
  • Prahasta (प्रहस्‍त): Means long-head, One of Ravana’s generals slain by Nila.
  • Prajāpatī (प्रजाप‍ित): Prajāpatīs are a group (or one) of creation gods, children of Brahma, including Daksha.

]] (पुण्डरिक्ष ): Krishna, the lotus-eyed one.

]] (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.

  • 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).
  • Pitāmaha (पितामह): Literally grandfather, which however carried no imputation of senile infirmity but denotes the status of the pater familias.
  • Ptirushottama (प्‍तिरुषोत्तम): An epithet of Sri Krishna. It is one of the names of Vishnu and means the Supreme Being.



  • 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 Ganga. 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".

]] (रा॑क्षस): A rakshasa alternately, raksasa or rakshas is a demon or unrighteous spirit in Hinduism.

]] (रामायण): Part of the Hindu smriti, written by Valmiki. This epic of 24,000 verses in seven kandas (chapters or books) tells of a Raghuvamsa prince, Rama of Ayodhya, whose wife Sita is abducted by the rakshasa Ravana.

  • Ratī (रती): Ratī is the goddess of passion and lust, and a daughter of Daksha. She married Kamadeva, the God of love.

]] (रावण): King of Lanka who abducted Sita, the beautiful wife of Ramachandra. Ravana is depicted in art with up to ten heads, signifying that he had knowledge spanning all the ten directions.

]] (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.)

]] (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.

  • Rishyasringa (ऋष्यश्रृंग): Son of sage Vibhandaka, who had grown up seeing no mortal except his father. The king of Anga, which was afflicted with a dire famine, to bring rain and plenty, invited him.

]] (ऋतुपर्ण): The king of Ayodhya to whom Nala became the charioteer.

]] (रोहिणि): The wife of Vasudeva and mother of Balarama

  • Romapada (रोमपद): King of Anga which was once visited by a great drought.
  • Rudra nritya (रुद्र नृत्‍य): Siva's cosmic dance of destruction.
  • 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.

]] (रुक्‍मिणी): Daughter of Raja Bhismak, born at Kundalpur. Rukmini was the first wife and queen of Krishna, the 8th avatar of Vishnu. She was an avatar of Lakshmi.


  • Sadhana (साधना): Spiritual exercise by a Sadhu or a Sadhaka to attain moksha, which is liberation from the cycle of birth and death (Samsara), or a particular goal such as blessing from a deity.
  • Sahadéva (सहदेव): Youngest of the Pandava princes who offered the first honors to Krishna at the Rajasuya sacrifices.
  • Sairandhri (सैरंध्री): A maid servant or female attendant employed in royal female apartments.
  • Śakra (सक्र): Śakra is identified with the Vedic deity Indra. Śakra is sometimes named as one of the twelve Ādityas.
  • Shakuni (शकुनि): Shakuni was the brother of Gandhari. He was very fond of his nephew Duryodhana. He won the Pandavas' half of the kingdom for his nephew, as a wager in a rigged game of dice.
  • Salva (सल्‍व): Friend of Sisupala, who besieged Dwaraka Sri Krishna's kingdom to avenge Sisupala's death at the latter's hand.
  • Shalya (शल्‍य): Ruler of Madradesa and brother of Madri and uncle of the Pandavas who because of having received hospitality from Duryodhana went over to his side.
  • Samadhi (समाधि): A term used in yogic meditation. Samadhi is also the Hindi word for a structure commemorating the dead.
  • Sampāti (सम्पाति): Sampati was one of the two sons of Aruna, elder brother of Jatayu. Sampati lost his wings when he was a child.
  • Samsaptaka (संसप्‍तक): One who has taken a vow to conquer or die, and never to retreat. The Samsaptakas were suicide-squads, vowed to some desperate deed of daring.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sankula Yuddha (संकुल युद्ध): A melee, confused fight, a soldiers battle as distinguished from the combats of heroes.
  • Sanyāsin (सन्यासिन): One who has renounced the world and its concerns.
  • Saraswati (सरस्वती): Saraswati is the first of the three great goddesses of Hinduism, the other two being Lakshmi and Durga. Saraswati is the consort of Lord Brahmā, the Creator.
  • Sarayū (सरयू): Sarayu was an ancient Indian river, sometimes thought of at probably today's Ghaghara river, and sometimes as a tributary.The river where Lakshamana practices austerities.
  • Satī (सती): One of name of Dākshāyani, Dākshāyani is the consort of Shiva. Other names for Dākshāyani include Gaurī, Umā, Aparnā, Lalithā, Sivakāmini etc.
  • 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.
  • Saugandhika (सौगंधिका): A plant that produced a very beautiful and fragrant flower that Bhima went to get for Draupadi.
  • 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.
  • Shālwa (शाल्व): The King with whom Ambā was secretly in love.

]] (शेष): Shesha is a naga, 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.

  • Shikhandi (शिखण्डी): Daughter-son of Drupada, A girl turned man, warrior on the Pandava side. He had been born in an earlier lifetime as a woman named Amba, who was rejected by Bhishma for marriage.
  • Shiva (शिव): Shiva is a form of Ishvara or God in the later Vedic scriptures of Hinduism. Shiva is the supreme God in Shaivism, one of the major branches of Hinduism practiced in India.
  • Shivi (शिवि): Shivi was a great, powerful and generous king. Indra and Agni once tested his generosity by becoming birds when the king gave flesh from his body to fulfil his duty.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Soma (सोम): A ritual drink of importance among Hindus. It is frequently mentioned in the Rigveda, which contains many hymns praising its energizing or intoxicating qualities.
  • Somadutta (सोमदत्त): One of the suitors to Devaki's hand. A kinsman of the Kauravas.

]] (स्थूण): A Yaksha, follower of Kubera, who exchanges his identity with Shikhandin, A rakshasa who helps disturb Vishvamitra's sacrifices.

  • Subahu (सुबाहु): King of Kulinda in the Himalayas, ally of the Kauravas.
  • Subrahmaniam (सुब्रहमण्यम): The southern mountain deity.
  • Sudarsana (सुदर्सण): A warrior on the Kaurava army.
  • Sugrīva (सुग्रीव): Monkey-king, friend of Sri Rama, and brother of mighty Vali whom Sri Rama killed.
  • Sujata (सुजाता): Daughter of Sage Uddalaka and wife of Kagola, his disciple who had virtue and devotion but not much of erudition, mother of Ashtavakra.
  • Suka (सुक): A sage, son of Vyasa, who related the Srimad Bhagavata to King Parikshit, grandson of Arjuna.
  • Sukanyā (सुकन्‍या): Meaning - Fair-maid, The wife of Chyavana whom the Ashvins beheld at her bath, bare of any garment.
  • Sunda (सुन्‍द): 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 apsara Tilottama to creat differences within and destroyed them.
  • Surabhi (सुरभि): The wish-bestowing cow that came first from the sea in the process of churning of the Ocean by gods and daityas.
  • Sūrya (सूर्य): A solar deity who is one of the three main Vedic Gods.
  • Susarma (सुसर्म): King of Trigarta, a supporter of the Kauravas who backed the proposal to invade Matsya, Virata's country.
  • Sushena (सुषेन): A monkey chief ; at siege of Lanka.
  • 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.
  • Srinjayas (श्रीन्‍जय): Pandava supporters.
  • 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.
  • Swayamvara (स्‍वयं‍वर): Meaning - Own-choice, Swayamvara, in ancient India, was a practice of choosing a life partner, among a list of suitors by a girl of marriageable age.


  • Tall (टल्‍ल): One of Ravana's counsellors
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • Uchchaihśravas : Uchchaihsravas was the white horse of Indra, produced at the churning of the ocean. It is fed on ambrosia, and is held to be the king of horses.
  • 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): Ujjayini 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 Mahakal, 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 step-son, Babhruvahana, and had great influence over him. According to the Vishnu Purana she had a son named Iravat.
  • Unchhavritti (उन्‍छवृत्ती): The life of a mendicant, begging his food.
  • 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 apsara Tilottama to creat differences within and destroyed them.
  • Urvasī (उर्वसी): An apsara in Indra's court, whose amorous overtures Arjuna declined.
  • Ushanas (उशना): Ushanas were appointed as priests of asuras, who knew the science of bringing to life.
  • Uttara (उत्तर): A son of the Raja of Virata. Uttara was killed in battle by Salya.


  • Vaiśampayana (वैशंपायन): A celebrated sage who was the original teacher of the Black Yajur-Veda. He was a pupil of the great Vyasa, from whom he learned the Mahabharata, which he afterwards recited to King Janamejaya at a festival.
  • 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.
  • Vaishya (वैश्य): One of the four fundamental varnas (colours) in Hindu tradition comprising of merchants, artisans, and landowners.
  • Vajrayudha (वज्रयुद्ध): The weapon with which Indra killed Visvarupa on suspicion because his mother belonged to the asura tribe of daityas.
  • Valala (वलाल): Assumed name of Bhima when, he worked as a cook at Virata's court.
  • 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.

]] (वर्ण): Means - colour, Varna refers to the four naturally existing classes of society as given in the Hindu scriptures: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra.

  • Vārnāvata (वारणावत): 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.

]] (वरुण): A god of the sky, of rain and of the celestial ocean, as well as a god of law and of the underworld.

]] (वरुणी): The goddess of wine.

  • 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. Arundhatiwas 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.

]] (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 Amaravati.
  • Vidura (विदुर): Vidura was a son of a maid-servent 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.
  • 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. Son of Brahma, 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.
  • Visvarupa (विस्‍वरुप): Name of Twashta's son who became the preceptor of the gods, Brihaspati having left when insulted by Indra.
  • Viswarupa (विस्‍वरुप): All-pervading, all-including form. See the description in the Bhagavad Gita chapter eleven.
  • Vriddhakshatra (वृद्घक्षत्र): King of the Sindhus, father of Jayadratha into whose lap his son Jayadratha's head was caused to fall by Arjuna after cutting off Jayadratha's head.
  • Vrishdarbha (वृषदर्भ): A king of Benares, associated with the story of "The king, the Pigeon, and Hawk".
  • Vrishnis, (वृषणि) Kekayas (केकय): Tribals who 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): 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.
  • Vyuha (व्‍युह): Battle arrays.


  • 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.
  • Yajna (यज्ञ): A Vedic ritual 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.
(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.


  • Yayati (ययाति): Emperor of the Bharata race who rescued Devayani from the well into which she had been thrown by Sarmishtha. 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): Yudhisthira 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.
  • 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.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Flesher: This reference is missing