Vrindavan Rasamrita:
A Comprehensive Hindu Glossary

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Aarti (A ritual of offering light)

Aarti is a Hindu ritual of worship that involves waving a lit lamp or candle in front of a deity, typically in a circular motion. It is accompanied by devotional songs and the offering of incense, flowers, and food. Aarti signifies the reverence and adoration of the divine and is performed in temples and homes to seek blessings and express devotion.

Akshaya Tritiya

Akshaya Tritiya is an auspicious Hindu festival celebrated on the third day (Tritiya) of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) in the Hindu month of Vaishakha (April-May). It is considered an opportune day for new beginnings, including weddings, housewarming ceremonies, and initiating business ventures. Devotees also engage in acts of charity and offer prayers for prosperity.

Aparigraha (Non-greed)

Aparigraha is one of the ethical principles (yamas) in yoga and Hindu philosophy. It advocates non-greed and non-possessiveness. Practicing Aparigraha involves letting go of excessive material desires and attachments, promoting a simple and contented lifestyle, and recognizing the impermanence of worldly possessions.

Ashram (Spiritual retreat or hermitage)

An Ashram is a tranquil place, often in a natural setting, where individuals seek spiritual growth, learning, and contemplation. It serves as a retreat or hermitage for spiritual seekers, offering guidance and teachings under the guidance of a spiritual teacher or guru.

Asta Sakhi (Eight main companions)

The Asta Sakhi refer to the eight principal companions or confidantes of Shrimati Radharani in her divine relationship with Lord Krishna. These sakhi, including Lalita, Vishakha, Tungavidya, Chitra, Indulekha, Rangadevi, Sudevi, and Campakalata, collectively play essential roles in facilitating and enhancing the love and pastimes of Radha and Krishna in the spiritual realm of Vrindavan. They symbolize the various facets of devotion and love in Hindu mythology.

Avatar (Divine incarnation)

An avatar is a concept in Hinduism where a divine being, such as Lord Vishnu, descends to Earth in human or other forms to restore cosmic order, protect dharma (righteousness), and guide humanity. Avatars are believed to possess divine qualities and fulfill a specific divine purpose during their earthly incarnations.


Banke Bihari Temple

The Banke Bihari Temple is a renowned Hindu temple in Vrindavan, India. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna, particularly in his child form as Banke Bihari. The temple is a significant pilgrimage site and is known for its devotion-filled atmosphere and the unique sway (jhula) on which the deity is placed during darshan (worship).


Barsana is a historic town in Vraj Bhoomi, known for its deep connection with Lord Krishna and Radha. It is believed to be the birthplace of Radha, Krishna’s divine consort. The town is famous for its colorful Lathmar Holi festival, where women playfully “beat” men with sticks, reenacting the playful love between Radha and Krishna.

Bhajan (Devotional song)

Bhajan is a devotional song or hymn that expresses love and devotion to a deity or the divine. It is an integral part of bhakti (devotion) traditions in Hinduism and is often sung during religious gatherings, ceremonies, and spiritual practices as a means of connecting with the divine.


Bhakti is a central concept in Hinduism and refers to the path of devotion and love for the divine. It emphasizes a deep, personal connection with God and often involves rituals, prayer, and selfless devotion. Bhakti is one of the primary paths to spiritual realization and enlightenment in Hindu philosophy.

Bhakti Yoga (Path of Devotion)

Bhakti Yoga is the path of devotion and love for the divine. It involves deep devotion, worship, prayer, and surrender to God. Devotees on the path of Bhakti Yoga seek a personal and loving relationship with the divine, often expressed through rituals, bhajans (devotional songs), and acts of service.


Bhandara refers to a community meal or food distribution, often organized by religious institutions or individuals as an act of service and charity. It is a way of sharing blessings and abundance with others and is commonly observed during religious festivals and events.


Bhandiravan is a forest located near the town of Barsana in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is considered to be sacred by Hindus, and it is said to be the place where Krishna and Radha first met. Bhandiravan is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims, and it is known for its beautiful flowers and trees.

Brahma Kund

Brahma Kund is a sacred bathing tank located in Vrindavan. It is associated with a legend where Lord Brahma, the creator in Hinduism, performed penance to seek forgiveness for his arrogance. Devotees believe that taking a dip in the Brahma Kund purifies the soul and helps attain spiritual growth.

Brahma Vimohan Lila

Brahma Vimohan Lila recounts the incident where Lord Brahma, the creator, was bewildered by Krishna’s divine manifestations. Krishna simultaneously expanded himself into multiple forms, leaving Brahma in awe and realizing Krishna’s supreme divinity. This episode emphasizes the transcendental nature of Krishna’s existence.

Brahmacharya (Celibacy or right use of energy)

Brahmacharya is one of the ethical principles (yamas) in yoga and Hindu philosophy. It encourages celibacy or the responsible and mindful use of one’s sexual energy. Brahmacharya is also interpreted as the path of self-control and moderation, fostering inner strength and spiritual growth.

Braj Bhasha

Braj Bhasha is a medieval Indo-Aryan language and literary tradition predominantly spoken in the Braj region of India, known for its association with Lord Krishna. It is a mix of Sanskrit and regional dialects and is the language in which many devotional compositions, including poems and songs, celebrating the divine love of Radha and Krishna are composed.

Braj Ki Holi

Braj Ki Holi is a unique and exuberant celebration of the Hindu festival of Holi in the Braj region, particularly in Mathura and Vrindavan. It is renowned for its colorful and playful traditions, including the Lathmar Holi where women playfully “beat” men with sticks, reenacting the playful love between Radha and Krishna.

Braj Ki Maati

Braj Ki Maati refers to the sacred soil of the Braj region, particularly Vrindavan and Mathura. It holds profound significance for devotees as it is believed to be blessed by the divine presence of Lord Krishna. Pilgrims often collect this soil as a token of their visit to these holy places.

Braj Yatra

Braj Yatra is a pilgrimage that takes devotees to various sacred places associated with Lord Krishna’s life, particularly in the Braj region of India. It involves visiting temples, ashrams, and significant landmarks connected to Krishna’s childhood and adventures. Braj Yatra is a spiritual journey that allows devotees to immerse themselves in the divine pastimes of Krishna.


Brijwasi refers to the people who are native to the Braj region, particularly those living in towns like Mathura and Vrindavan. They have a deep cultural and spiritual connection to Lord Krishna and actively participate in the religious and festive traditions associated with Krishna’s life.

Butter stealing (Makhan Chori)

Makhan Chori, also known as butter stealing, refers to one of the playful exploits of Lord Krishna during his childhood in Vrindavan. Krishna, known as a mischievous child, would often sneak into houses to steal butter. This act is a beloved part of his divine pastimes, symbolizing his innocent yet divine nature.


Campakalata Sakhi

Campakalata Sakhi is a gopi renowned for her knowledge of flower arrangements and the art of decorating. She contributes to the visual beauty of Radha and Krishna’s rendezvous, infusing the surroundings with the fragrant allure of Vrindavan’s natural beauty.

Chappan Bhog

Chappan Bhog is a traditional offering of 56 different food items to deities, especially Lord Krishna, during religious ceremonies and festivals. It represents a grand display of devotion and culinary expertise, with various sweets and savory dishes meticulously prepared and presented to the divine.


Chaturbhujdas (1597-1679) was a Vaishnava poet and devotee of Krishna. He was born to the poet Kumbhandas in Jamunavata village in Braj, India. Chaturbhujdas was initiated into the Pushtimarg sect by Gusain Vitthalnath at the age of 11 days. He is considered one of the Ashtachap poets, a group of eight Vaishnava poets whom Mewar’s royal family patronized.


Chhitswami (also spelled Chhithaswami) was a 16th-century Indian poet and devotee of Krishna. He was one of the eight poets (ashtachhap) who were part of the Vallabha Sampradaya, a Vaishnava sect that originated in the Braj region of India.

Chir Ghat

Chir Ghat (also spelled Cheer Ghat) is a holy ghat (a series of steps leading down to a water body) on the banks of the Yamuna River in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is one of the most important ghats in Vrindavan, and is associated with the Hindu god Krishna.

Cow Veneration

Cow veneration is the practice of revering and respecting cows in Hinduism. Cows are considered sacred animals, revered for their gentle nature and divine qualities. They symbolize purity, motherhood, and the embodiment of the divine feminine energy in Hindu culture. Cow protection and care are essential aspects of Hindu dharma.


Darshan (Viewing or being in the presence of the deity)

Darshan is the act of seeing or being in the presence of a deity, often in the context of a temple or sacred place. It is a significant aspect of Hindu worship, allowing devotees to have a direct spiritual experience and seek blessings by gazing upon the divine form of the deity.

Dhenukasura's defeat

Dhenukasura’s defeat is an episode where Lord Krishna, along with Balarama, defeated the demon Dhenukasura in the forests of Vrindavan. This event illustrates Krishna’s role as a protector of dharma (righteousness) and his ability to rid the world of malevolent forces.

Diksha (Initiation)

Diksha is a sacred initiation or consecration ceremony in Hinduism and other spiritual traditions. It marks the beginning of a spiritual journey or the formal acceptance of a disciple by a guru (spiritual teacher). Diksha involves rituals, mantras, and the transmission of spiritual knowledge, leading the seeker toward spiritual growth and realization.



Gobindadas (1535–1613) was a Bengali Vaishnava poet known for his body of devotional songs addressed to Krishna. He lived in an atmosphere of Krishna-bhakti preached by Sri Chaitanya (1486–1533), and he composed extensively on the Radha-Krishna love legend. He is also known as Govindadasa Kaviraja.

Gopal Bhatta Goswami

Gopal Bhatta Goswami was a prominent saint and one of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan in the Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition. He made significant contributions to the theological and literary aspects of Bhakti, authoring important texts like the “Hari-bhakti-vilasa” and establishing the worship of the deity Radha-Raman in Vrindavan.


Gopashtami is a Hindu festival that celebrates Lord Krishna’s transition from a young boy to a cowherd. It is observed on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) in the Hindu month of Kartik (October-November). Devotees honor Krishna’s role as a cowherd and his love for cows, a symbol of divinity and purity.

Gopeshwar Mahadev Temple

The story behind the temple is that Lord Shiva wanted to participate in the Raas Leela, a divine dance performed by Lord Krishna and his consorts. However, only women were allowed to participate in the Raas Leela. So, Lord Shiva disguised himself as a Gopi and was able to join the dance. When Lord Krishna saw Lord Shiva in the disguise of a Gopi, he named him Gopeshwar, which means “Lord of the Gopis”.

Gopi Vastra Haran

Gopi Vastra Haran is a legendary incident in which Lord Krishna playfully stole the clothes of the gopis (cowherd maidens) while they were bathing in the Yamuna River. This episode highlights Krishna’s mischievous charm and the deep love and trust the gopis had for him, symbolizing the intimate relationship between the divine and devotees.

Gopinath Temple

The Gopinath Temple is a historic Hindu temple located in Vrindavan, dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is one of the prominent temples in the town and holds significance for its association with the devotional saint Madhu Pandit Goswami. The temple is a place of worship and pilgrimage for devotees.

Govardhan Hill

Govardhan Hill, located near Mathura in Vraj Bhoomi, is a sacred site in Hinduism. It is associated with Lord Krishna, who, according to legend, lifted the entire hill on his finger to protect the villagers from a deluge sent by Indra. This act of divine intervention symbolizes the importance of devotion and faith in Hindu spirituality, and Govardhan Puja is celebrated with fervor by devotees.

Govardhan Lila

Govardhan Lila is a significant episode in Lord Krishna’s life where he lifted the Govardhan Hill on his finger to protect the residents of Vrindavan from the wrath of Lord Indra’s rains. This act signifies the supremacy of devotion over rituals and showcases Krishna’s divine powers, emphasizing his role as a protector of his devotees.

Govardhan Puja

Govardhan Puja, also known as Annakut, is a Hindu festival celebrated on the fourth day of Diwali (Kartik Sud Choth). It commemorates the episode in which Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Hill to protect the residents of Vrindavan from Lord Indra’s wrath. Devotees create elaborate offerings of food (annakut) to worship Lord Krishna and Govardhan Hill.

Govind Dev Temple

The Govind Dev Temple is an ancient Hindu temple situated in Jaipur, Rajasthan, dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is known for its stunning architecture and the exquisite deity of Lord Krishna in the “seven-year-old” form. The temple is a center of devotion and holds daily darshan (viewing) for devotees.

Guru (Spiritual teacher)

A guru is a spiritual teacher or guide who imparts spiritual knowledge, guidance, and wisdom to their disciples. The guru-disciple relationship is revered in various spiritual traditions, including Hinduism, as the means to attain spiritual growth and realization.

Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima is an annual Hindu festival celebrated on the full moon day (Purnima) in the month of Ashadha (June-July). It honors and expresses gratitude to one’s spiritual teacher or guru for their guidance and teachings. Devotees pay homage to their gurus and seek their blessings on this auspicious day.


Haridas Thakur

Haridas Thakur was a revered saint and an associate of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a key figure in the Bhakti movement. Haridas Thakur is renowned for his deep devotion to the holy name of the Lord and his role in spreading the practice of congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra.

Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu

Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu was a prominent saint and a devotee of Lord Krishna in the Bhakti tradition. He is known for his devotional compositions and teachings that emphasize the importance of devotion and surrender to the divine.

Holi (especially the Lathmar Holi)

Holi is a colorful Hindu festival celebrated with enthusiasm and joy across India and other parts of the world. The Lathmar Holi is a unique variation of Holi celebrated in Barsana and Nandgaon, where women playfully “beat” men with sticks, reenacting the playful love between Radha and Krishna. It is a lively and vibrant celebration of love and unity.

Homa (Fire offering)

Homa is a sacred fire ritual in Hinduism, also known as Yajna. It involves the ceremonial offering of various substances into a consecrated fire while reciting Vedic mantras. Homas are performed for various purposes, including worship, purification, and seeking blessings or divine intervention.


Imli Tal

Imli Tal is a picturesque sacred pond located in the holy town of Vrindavan, India. It holds immense spiritual significance as a place where Lord Krishna is believed to have played and engaged in pastimes during his childhood. The pond’s serene waters and surrounding trees create a serene atmosphere for devotees and pilgrims.

Indulekha Sakhi

Indulekha Sakhi is one of the eight (ashta) most intimate and beloved friends of Radha in Hindu mythology. She is known for her intelligence, wit, and playful nature. Indulekha is often depicted as being skilled in makeup and dressing, and she enjoys helping Radha to enhance her beauty. She is also known for her ability to provide comfort and support to Radha, especially during her times of sadness and despair.



Janmashtami is a significant Hindu festival celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Krishna, who is considered an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It falls on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada. Devotees fast, sing devotional songs, and participate in various celebrations to honor Krishna’s birth, with the Dahi Handi tradition being a prominent part of the festivities.

Japa (Repetition of a mantra)

Japa is a devotional practice in which a mantra or sacred chant is repeated repetitively, often using a string of prayer beads (japa mala). It is a form of meditation and a means of connecting with the divine. Japa is widely practiced in various spiritual traditions, including Hinduism and Buddhism.


Javat is a village near Mathura in the Braj region of India, known for its association with Lord Krishna’s childhood pastimes. It is believed to be the site where Krishna and Radha spent time together during their divine love stories. Javat has several temples and landmarks commemorating these events.

Jhulan Yatra

Jhulan Yatra, also known as the Swing Festival, is a Hindu festival celebrated during the month of Shravan (July-August). Devotees create swings (jhulas) and decorate them beautifully to symbolize the swings on which Radha and Krishna played during their divine love pastimes in Vrindavan. It is a time of devotion and merriment.

Jiva Goswami

Jiva Goswami was a prominent saint, scholar, and philosopher in the Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition. He made significant contributions to the understanding of Bhakti philosophy and authored important texts that continue to influence the devotional culture, including “Bhakti Sandarbha” and “Gopala Champu.”

Jnana Yoga (Path of Knowledge)

Jnana Yoga is one of the four main paths of spiritual practice in Hinduism. It focuses on acquiring knowledge and wisdom to realize the ultimate truth and attain liberation. Practitioners of Jnana Yoga seek self-realization through self-inquiry, contemplation, and the study of sacred texts.


Kalia Naag Damana

Kalia Naag Damana refers to the episode where Lord Krishna tamed the venomous serpent Kalia, who resided in the Yamuna River. Krishna danced on Kalia’s multiple hoods, eventually subduing him. This act showcases Krishna’s supremacy over evil forces and his ability to protect his devotees.

Karma Yoga (Path of Action)

Karma Yoga is a path of spiritual growth through selfless action and service. It emphasizes performing one’s duties and actions without attachment to the outcomes. By dedicating actions to the divine and acting with a sense of duty and compassion, practitioners of Karma Yoga aim to attain spiritual liberation.

Kartik Purnima

Kartik Purnima is a significant Hindu festival celebrated on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Kartik (October-November). It holds special religious significance as devotees take holy baths in rivers and perform various rituals to gain spiritual merit. Lighting lamps and offering prayers to Lord Krishna are common practices during this festival.

Katyayani Peeth

Katyayani Peeth is a sacred shrine located in Vrindavan, India, dedicated to Goddess Katyayani, a form of Goddess Durga. It is a place of worship and pilgrimage, particularly during the Navaratri festival when devotees seek the blessings of the Divine Mother.

Kesi Ghat

Kesi Ghat is a prominent bathing ghat located on the banks of the Yamuna River in Mathura, India. It is named after the demon Kesi, whom Lord Krishna defeated. The ghat is a significant pilgrimage site and is associated with various stories and pastimes of Lord Krishna.


Kelimal is a complex and sophisticated poem that is full of symbolism and metaphor. It is not simply a description of Radha and Krishna’s physical love play, but rather a meditation on the nature of divine love. Kelimal is divided into 12 chapters, each of which describes a different aspect of Radha and Krishna’s love. The chapters cover topics such as their first meeting, their secret rendezvous, their quarrel and reconciliation, and their ultimate union.

Kelimal is a beautiful and moving poem that celebrates the power of divine love. It is a must-read for anyone interested in Braj Bhasha literature or in the devotional tradition of Hinduism.

Kirtan (Devotional singing)

Kirtan is a devotional practice involving the singing or chanting of hymns, mantras, or devotional songs in a group setting. It is a central component of Bhakti Yoga and is used to express devotion and create a spiritually uplifting atmosphere. Kirtan often involves call-and-response singing and can be accompanied by musical instruments like drums and harmoniums.


Krishnadas (Krishna Das) is one of the Ashtasakha’s of Krishna, a group of eight saints who are considered to be the most important disciples of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Krishnadas is known for his devotional songs and poems, which are still popular today.


Kumbhandas is recognized as one of the “Ashtasakhas” or the of Lord Krishna. He composed devotional hymns and songs in praise of Lord Krishna, which have been pivotal in spreading the messages and stories of Krishna’s life, teachings, and divine leelas (plays).

Kusum Sarovar

Kusum Sarovar is a sacred reservoir in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is a place where Lord Krishna and his friends are said to have played during their youth. The sarovar is surrounded by lush gardens and is a serene spot for meditation and reflection for devotees and visitors.


Lalita Sakhi

Lalita Sakhi is one of the prominent gopis (cowherd maidens) and a close friend of Shrimati Radharani. She plays a crucial role in facilitating the divine love between Radha and Krishna. Lalita Sakhi’s character exemplifies unwavering loyalty and devotion to Radha and Krishna.

Lathmar Holi

Lathmar Holi is a unique and spirited celebration of the Hindu festival of Holi in the town of Barsana, near Mathura, India. During this festival, women playfully “beat” men with sticks (lath) to reenact the playful love between Radha and Krishna. Lathmar Holi is marked by lively processions, music, and vibrant colo

Lila (Divine play)

Lila refers to the divine play or cosmic drama enacted by deities, particularly Lord Krishna in Hindu mythology. It signifies the playful and miraculous actions of the divine, which are beyond human comprehension. Lila serves as a reminder of the transcendental nature of the divine and its interactions with the world.


Maan Mandir

Maan Mandir is a historic temple in Vrindavan dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is known for its unique architectural features, including the “sulbha-samadhi” of the saint-poet Swami Haridas. The temple is a place of worship and pilgrimage, attracting devotees and tourists alike.

Madan Mohan Temple

The Madan Mohan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located in Vrindavan, dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is one of the seven temples established by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s deciples Sanatana Goswami and holds significance as a place of devotion and spiritual worship.

Madhavendra Puri

Madhavendra Puri was a revered saint and devotee in the Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition. He is known for his deep devotion to Lord Krishna and his role in spreading the practice of devotional service. Madhavendra Puri’s life and teachings continue to inspire devotees on the path of Bhakti Yoga.

Maha Raas

Maha Raas is a divine dance of Lord Krishna with the gopis, particularly celebrated during the festival of Sharad Purnima. It signifies the ultimate union of the soul with the divine and is considered the most profound expression of Krishna’s love and devotion in Hindu mythology.

Mala (Rosary for counting chants)

A mala is a string of prayer beads used for counting repetitions of mantras or prayers during meditation and devotional practices. It typically consists of 108 beads and a larger bead called the “guru bead.” Malas are used to maintain focus, enhance concentration, and deepen one’s connection with the divine.

Mandir or Temple (Place of worship)

A mandir, commonly known as a temple, is a sacred place of worship in Hinduism and other religions. It serves as a sanctuary for devotees to offer prayers, perform rituals, and seek spiritual solace. Temples are dedicated to various deities and play a central role in religious and cultural life.

Mantra (Sacred chant or formula)

A mantra is a sacred word, phrase, or sound that is repeated, chanted, or meditated upon for its spiritual significance and transformative power. Mantras are an integral part of various spiritual traditions, including Hinduism and Buddhism, and are used to focus the mind, invoke divine energy, and attain spiritual goals.

Maya (Illusion)

Maya is a philosophical concept found in Hinduism and other Eastern traditions. It refers to the illusory nature of the material world and the deceptive veil that prevents individuals from perceiving the ultimate reality. Maya suggests that the physical world, though it appears real, is transient and a temporary manifestation of a deeper, spiritual truth.

Murti (Representation of deity in physical form)

A murti is a physical representation or image of a deity in various forms, such as statues, idols, or images, used in Hindu worship. Murtis serve as focal points for devotion and allow devotees to connect with the divine in a tangible way. They are treated with reverence and are an essential aspect of temple worship and home shrines.



Nanddas was a prominent medieval Indian poet and devotee, counted among the Ashtsakha, which translates to ‘Eight Friends’ or ‘Eight Close Devotees’. He played a crucial role in shaping the Bhakti movement in India, promoting devotion through his poetic renditions, thereby solidifying the place of Radha-Krishna devotion in the cultural and religious landscape of the region.


Nandgaon is a village in Vraj Bhoomi closely associated with Lord Krishna’s childhood. It is believed to be the home of Krishna’s foster father, Nanda Baba, and his mother, Yashoda. Devotees visit Nandgaon to witness reenactments of Krishna’s mischievous activities and participate in lively festivals during their pilgrimage.


Nidhivan is a sacred grove located in Vrindavan, India, known for its mystical and spiritual significance in Hinduism. It is believed to be the forest where Lord Krishna and Radha performed their divine pastimes during the night. Devotees consider Nidhivan a highly sacred site and believe that the trees and atmosphere here are imbued with the divine presence.



Parmanandadas was one of the Ashtsakha (eight principal disciples) of Lord Krishna in the North Indian Bhakti (devotion) tradition. His poetic hymns and verses, deeply infused with love for the divine, are considered significant contributions to devotional literature and have inspired countless devotees over the centuries.

Parikrama (Circumambulation)

Parikrama is a devotional practice in which devotees circumambulate a sacred place, temple, or deity in a clockwise direction. It is a form of worship and a means of seeking blessings and spiritual purification. Parikrama holds great significance in Hinduism, and it is often performed during pilgrimages to holy sites, allowing devotees to connect with the divine and absorb the sanctity of the place.

Parrots of Vrindavan

Parrots of Vrindavan are often depicted as witnesses and messengers of the divine love between Lord Krishna and the gopis (cowherd maidens). In Hindu mythology, they symbolize love, devotion, and the close connection between nature and the divine. The parrots are believed to carry messages of love and play a role in Krishna’s pastimes.

Prasad (Holy offering)

Prasad refers to the sanctified food or offerings that are first presented to a deity during religious rituals or worship and then distributed to devotees as a symbol of divine blessings. Consuming prasad is considered an act of receiving the deity’s grace and is believed to purify the body and soul. It is a common practice in Hindu temples and religious ceremonies.

Pravachana (Religious discourse)

Pravachana is a religious discourse or sermon, often delivered by a spiritual teacher or guru, to impart spiritual knowledge and guidance to the audience. These discourses typically focus on topics related to scripture, philosophy, and the path to spiritual realization. Pravachanas play a crucial role in disseminating spiritual teachings and inspiring devotees.

Prem Mandir

Prem Mandir, which translates to the “Temple of Love,” is a renowned Hindu temple located in Vrindavan, India. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha and is celebrated for its exquisite white marble architecture and intricate carvings depicting the divine love stories of Radha and Krishna. Prem Mandir serves as a place of worship, meditation, and spiritual reflection for devotees and visitors.

Puja (Ritualistic worship)

Puja is a ritualistic form of worship commonly practiced in Hinduism. It involves offering prayers, flowers, incense, and various offerings to deities or the divine. Puja is performed with devotion and specific rituals, often in temples or at home altars, as a means of seeking blessings, guidance, and spiritual connection with the divine.


Radha Damodar Temple

The Radha Damodar Temple is a historic Hindu temple located in Vrindavan, India. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha and holds great significance in the Vaishnava tradition. The temple houses the deity of Lord Damodar, a form of Krishna, along with Radharani. Devotees visit this temple to seek the divine blessings and experience the devotion of the divine couple.

Radha Raman Temple

The Radha Raman Temple is an important Hindu temple in Vrindavan, dedicated to Lord Krishna in his form as Radha Raman. The temple is famous for its deity of Krishna, which is believed to be self-manifested from a sacred saligram stone by Shri Gopal Bhatt Goswamiji. Devotees revere this deity, and the temple is known for its intricate and beautiful marble architecture.

Radha Vallabh Temple

The Radha Vallabh Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the divine couple Radha and Krishna. It is located in the city of Vrindavan, India, and is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for devotees of Radha and Krishna. The temple was founded in the 16th century by the saint Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu. The central deity of the temple is a black stone murti of Krishna, known as Shri Radha Vallabh. The murti is said to be self-manifested.


Radhashtami is a Hindu festival dedicated to the birth anniversary of Shrimati Radharani, the beloved consort of Lord Krishna. It typically falls on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada or Bhadon. Devotees offer prayers, sing bhajans, and celebrate Radharani’s divine love and devotion to Krishna.

Raghunath Bhatta Goswami

Raghunath Bhatta Goswami was a revered saint and one of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan in the Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition. He was a prominent disciple of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and made significant contributions to the devotional culture through his writings and teachings. Raghunath Bhatta Goswami’s devotional hymns and poems, particularly those glorifying Lord Krishna, continue to inspire devotees.

Raja Yoga (Path of Meditation)

Raja Yoga is a path of spiritual practice that focuses on meditation and mental control. It aims to achieve self-realization and union with the divine through meditation techniques, concentration, and the control of the mind and senses. It is often associated with the teachings of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

Raman Reti

Raman Reti is a sacred sand dune in Gokul, believed to be the playground of Lord Krishna during his childhood. It is associated with various pastimes and adventures of Krishna, making it a revered site for devotees and pilgrims.

Rangadevi Sakhi

Rangadevi Sakhi is a gopi known for her skill in arranging the stage and backdrop for the various love games and dramas enacted by Radha and Krishna. Her creativity and dedication help create the perfect ambiance for their divine encounters.

Rangji Temple

Rangnathji Temple, Vrindavan is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Rangnathji, an incarnation of Vishnu. It is one of the largest and most popular temples in Vrindavan, and is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus from all over India. The temple was built in the 19th century in the Dravidian style of architecture. It is a beautiful and imposing structure, with a large gopuram (gateway) and a seven-storeyed spire. The temple complex also includes a number of smaller shrines, gardens, and a lake.

Ras Lila

Ras Lila is a sacred and enchanting dance-drama in Hindu mythology, particularly associated with Lord Krishna. It depicts his divine love and playful interactions with the gopis (cowherd maidens) of Vrindavan. Ras Lila is celebrated during the festival of Diwali and is considered a symbol of devotion, illustrating the transcendental nature of Krishna’s love.

Rishi (Sage)

A Rishi is a revered and enlightened sage or seer in Hinduism, known for their deep spiritual insight, wisdom, and knowledge of ancient scriptures. Rishis are considered divine channels who receive revelations and insights from the cosmos. They play a crucial role in preserving and disseminating spiritual teachings and are highly respected in Indian spiritual traditions.

Rupa Goswami

Rupa Goswami was one of the prominent theologians, philosophers, and saints in the Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition. He was a direct disciple of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and played a significant role in systematizing and propagating the teachings of Bhakti Yoga. Rupa Goswami’s literary works, particularly the “Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu,” are revered texts on the science of devotion.


Sadhana (Spiritual practice)

Sadhana refers to the disciplined and systematic spiritual practices undertaken by individuals to attain spiritual growth, self-realization, and a deeper connection with the divine. These practices often include meditation, prayer, mantra repetition, self-discipline, and ethical living. Sadhana is an essential aspect of various spiritual paths, including Hinduism and Buddhism.

Samadhi (State of superconsciousness)

Samadhi is a profound state of superconsciousness and deep meditation in which the practitioner experiences a profound union with the divine or transcends the ego and individual self. It is a state of inner peace, bliss, and profound insight. Samadhi is a central goal in yogic and spiritual practices, leading to self-realization and spiritual awakening.

Sanatana Goswami

Sanatana Goswami, a key figure in the Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition, was one of the Six Goswamis of Vrindavan. He was a revered saint, theologian, and scholar who played a significant role in establishing the foundations of the Bhakti movement. Sanatana Goswami’s writings, including the “Haribhakti Vilasa,” continue to guide devotees on the path of devotion.

Satsang (Gathering in truth or in the company of the holy)

Satsang refers to a spiritual gathering or association with like-minded individuals who seek truth, wisdom, and spiritual growth. It involves discussions, chanting, meditation, and devotional practices in the company of spiritually enlightened beings or teachers. Satsang fosters a supportive and uplifting environment for seekers on their spiritual journey.

Seva Kunj

Seva Kunj is a sacred garden located in Vrindavan, India, associated with the divine love pastimes of Lord Krishna and Radha. It is believed to be the place where the divine couple met and performed various playful activities. Devotees visit Seva Kunj to offer their prayers and immerse themselves in the bhakti and devotion that permeates the atmosphere. It is a significant pilgrimage site for Vaishnavas.

Shahji Temple

The Shahji Temple is a revered Hindu temple located in Vrindavan, India. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha and is known for its stunning architectural beauty and intricate marble work. The temple complex features a deity of Lord Krishna as a child (Lala Ji) and is a site of worship, celebration, and spiritual reflection for devotees and visitors alike.

Sharad Purnima

Sharad Purnima is a Hindu festival celebrated on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Ashwin (September-October). It is associated with the divine Raas Lila of Lord Krishna and the gopis, particularly the Maha Raas dance. Devotees fast, sing devotional songs, and observe the beauty of the moon on this night, believing it to be especially enchanting.

Shastras (Religious scriptures)

Shastras refer to the ancient religious texts and scriptures of various Indian spiritual traditions. These texts encompass a wide range of topics, including philosophy, theology, ethics, rituals, and spiritual practices. Examples include the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and various Puranas. Shastras serve as authoritative sources of spiritual knowledge and guidance for practitioners.

Shishya (Disciple)

Shishya is a term used in Indian spiritual traditions to refer to a devoted disciple or student who seeks guidance and instruction from a guru or spiritual teacher. The relationship between a guru and shishya is characterized by deep respect, trust, and a commitment to spiritual growth and learning.

Shrimati Radharani

Shrimati Radharani, often referred to as Radha, is a central figure in Hindu mythology and the most beloved companion of Lord Krishna. She symbolizes divine love and devotion and is considered the embodiment of pure, selfless love for Krishna. Radharani’s devotion and her role in Krishna’s pastimes in Vrindavan hold profound significance in Hindu spirituality.

Smriti and Shruti (Remembered and heard scriptures)

Shruti and Smriti are two categories of sacred Hindu texts. Shruti is considered to be divinely revealed scripture, while Smriti is considered to be human-composed scripture.

Shruti (Sanskrit: श्रुति, “heard”) is the oldest body of Hindu scripture. It consists of the four Vedas: Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, and Atharva Veda. The Vedas are collections of hymns, prayers, and rituals. They are believed to have been revealed to ancient sages through divine inspiration.

Smriti (Sanskrit: स्मृति, “remembered”) is a later body of Hindu scripture. It includes texts such as the Upanishads, the Puranas, and the Dharmashastras. Smriti texts are believed to be based on the Vedas, but they are not considered to be divinely revealed. They are instead considered to be the product of human thought and reflection.

Sriji Temple, Barsana

The Sriji Temple is a sacred Hindu temple located in Barsana, India. It is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Radha, who is believed to be the eternal consort of Lord Krishna. The temple is a significant pilgrimage site, particularly during the Lathmar Holi festival, when devotees come to celebrate the divine love of Radha and Krishna.

Stotra (Hymn of praise)

A stotra is a devotional hymn or song composed in praise of a deity, often with the intention of expressing devotion, gratitude, and reverence. Stotras are an integral part of Hindu devotional practices and are recited or sung during worship, rituals, and spiritual gatherings to connect with the divine and seek blessings.

Sudevi Sakhi

Sudevi Sakhi is a gopi who assists in various aspects of Radha and Krishna’s love stories, including dressing and adorning them. Her role adds depth to the intricate narratives of devotion and romance in Vrindavan.


Surdas, also known as Sant Surdas or Surdas Ji, was a revered 15th-century saint and poet-singer in the Bhakti movement. He is celebrated for his devotional compositions, particularly his heartfelt poems and songs dedicated to Lord Krishna. Surdas’ work emphasizes the importance of love and devotion in the path of Bhakti Yoga.

Swami (Monk or religious teacher)

Swami is an honorific title used to address monks, ascetics, or spiritual teachers in Hinduism and other Indian spiritual traditions. Swamis often renounce worldly attachments and dedicate their lives to spiritual pursuits, self-realization, and the service of humanity. They may lead monastic communities, impart spiritual teachings, and guide seekers on their spiritual journeys.


Tapasya (Austerity or penance)

Tapasya refers to the practice of rigorous self-discipline, penance, and asceticism undertaken by individuals to purify the mind, body, and soul. It is a means of cultivating inner strength, self-control, and spiritual growth. Tapasya may involve fasting, meditation, physical hardships, and other forms of self-denial in pursuit of higher spiritual goals.

Tirtha (Pilgrimage site)

Tirtha signifies a sacred pilgrimage site or place of religious significance in Hinduism. These sites are associated with divine legends, saints, or historical events and hold spiritual sanctity. Pilgrims visit tirthas to seek spiritual purification, blessings, and a deeper connection with the divine. Prominent tirthas include Varanasi, Badrinath, and Dwarka, among others.


Tungavidya is one of the lesser-known gopis in Krishna’s pastimes. She is known for her musical talents and her contributions to the enchanting melodies that accompany the divine dances and love stories of Radha and Krishna in Vrindavan.



Vallabhacharya (1479-1531 CE) was an Indian saint and philosopher who founded the Krishna-centered Pushtimarg sect of Vaishnavism. He is also known for his philosophical system of Śuddhādvaita, which emphasizes the oneness of God and the soul.

Vallabhacharya’s teachings are based on the belief that Krishna is the Supreme Lord and that all other gods are manifestations of him. He also taught that the soul is eternally one with Krishna, and that the goal of life is to realize this oneness. Vallabhacharya’s Pushtimarg sect is known for its emphasis on the importance of bhakti, or devotional love for Krishna. Pushtimarg devotees worship Krishna through the medium of his images, which are believed to be embodiments of the divine.

Vasant Panchami

Vasant Panchami is a Hindu festival celebrated on the fifth day (Panchami) of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) in the Hindu month of Magha (January-February). It marks the arrival of spring and is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Saraswati, the deity of knowledge, music, and arts. People wear yellow attire, fly kites, and celebrate the onset of a colorful season.

Vishakha Sakhi

Vishakha Sakhi is another important gopi and confidante of Radharani. She is known for her quick wit and her role in mediating and enhancing the love between Radha and Krishna. Vishakha Sakhi represents the qualities of understanding and support in the divine love of Vrindavan.

Vraj Bhoomi

Vraj Bhoomi is a sacred region in Northern India, renowned for its association with Lord Krishna’s early life and adventures. It encompasses towns and villages like Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana, and Nandgaon, where Krishna is believed to have spent his childhood and performed divine activities. Vraj Bhoomi holds immense significance in Hinduism and is a pilgrimage destination for devotees seeking a deeper connection with Krishna’s divine pastimes.

Vrata (Religious vow or fast)

Vrata refers to a religious observance or vow undertaken by individuals in Hinduism to express their devotion, seek blessings, or fulfill a religious commitment. Vratas often involve fasting, prayer, and specific rituals performed on designated days or during festivals. These practices vary in intensity and purpose, with some vratas dedicated to specific deities or to achieve particular life goals.

Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir

The Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir is a magnificent temple under construction in Vrindavan, India. Once completed, it will be one of the tallest temple complexes globally and dedicated to Lord Krishna. The temple aims to serve as a center for spiritual and cultural activities, featuring exhibitions, educational facilities, and a unique viewing gallery offering panoramic views of Vrindavan.


Yajna (Sacrificial ritual)

Yajna is a sacred ritual in Hinduism that involves the offering of oblations, often into a sacred fire, as a means of invoking divine blessings, purifying the environment, and fulfilling spiritual or worldly desires. Yajnas are performed with precise rituals, mantras, and offerings and can vary in complexity from simple daily rituals to elaborate ceremonies conducted during special occasions and ceremonies.

Yamuna Aarti

Yamuna Aarti is a devotional ritual performed on the banks of the Yamuna River, primarily in places like Vrindavan and Mathura. During the aarti, devotees gather to offer prayers, light oil lamps, sing devotional songs, and pay homage to the sacred river Yamuna. It is an expression of gratitude and reverence towards the river, which is considered holy in Hinduism.

Yamuna River

The Yamuna River is one of the major rivers in India, originating from the Himalayas and flowing through several northern states before merging with the Ganges in Allahabad (Prayagraj). It holds immense religious and ecological importance, often referred to as the “sister” of the Ganges in Hindu tradition. Many sacred towns and ghats, including Mathura and Vrindavan, are situated along the banks of the Yamuna, making it a significant pilgrimage and cultural site.

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