Glossary G


Lord Caitanya, the life and soul of Gadādhara Paṇḍita.


a name for the Personality of Godhead meaning “He who wields a club [in one of His four hands];” an intimate associate of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Gadāira Gaurāṅga

Lord Caitanya, the Lord Gaurāṅga of Gadādhara Paṇḍita.


a brother of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Lord Baladeva. He was born to Vasudeva’s wife Rohiṇī.


the club held by Lord Viṣṇu.


the king of the elephants. He was saved from a crocodile by Lord Viṣṇu and awarded liberation.


an item of cloth, worn casually, usually around the waist.


the famous bow of Arjuna gifted to him by Varuṇa before the burning of the Khāṇḍava forest. (Ādi Parva in Mahābhārata)


a mountain situated east of Mount Meru. Renowned for its fragrant forests, it forms the boundary between Ilāvṛta-varṣa and Bhārata-varṣa.


a province in ancient India believed to be the present day Afghanistan.


the saintly and faithful wife of King Dhṛtarāṣṭra and mother of one hundred sons. The daughter of King Subala of Gāndhāra. She was a great devotee of Lord Śiva from her childhood. Lord Śiva blessed her with a benediction she could have one hundred sons. Śrīla Vyāsadeva also blessed her with the same benediction. She was married to Dhṛtarāṣṭra, who was blind. When she found out that her future husband was blind, she voluntarily blindfolded herself for the rest of her life. She is considered one of the most chaste women of all time.


the celestial demigod dancers, singers, and musicians of the heavenly planets.


the demigod in charge of material opulence and freedom from misfortune. He is the son of Lord Śiva and Pārvatī, and is the scribe who wrote down the Mahābhārata. He has an elephant head. He has a rat for a carrier.


the famous and holy Ganges river of India, which runs throughout the entire universe. She originates from the spiritual world, and descended when Lord Vāmanadeva kicked a hole in the top of the universe. One is recommended to bathe in the Ganges for purification. She married Mahārāja Śantanu and begot the famous devotee and warrior, Bhīṣmadeva


the holy lands of Lord Caitanya’s birthplace.




inner sanctuary or altar room that contains the main Deity of the temple. The literal meaning is “womb chamber.”


the Vedic ceremony of purification to be performed by parents before conceiving a child.

Garbhodaka Ocean

the body of water that fills the bottom part of each material universe.

Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu

the second Viṣṇu expansion, who enters each universe and from whose navel grows a lotus upon which Lord Brahmā appears. Brahmā then creates the diverse material manifestations.

Garga Muni

the family priest for the Yadu dynasty.






Lord Viṣṇu’s eternal carrier, a great devotee, the son of Aditi and Kaśyapa who takes the form of an eagle and is the bird carrier of Lord Viṣṇu. He is often found atop a pole facing the entrance of Viṣṇu temples. The emblem of Garuḍa is always on the chariot of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Garuḍa Purāṇa

one of the eighteen Purāṇas, or Vedic historical scriptures.


pride, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.




the places in Bengal where Lord Caitanya stayed.


pullers of Lord Jagannātha’s car.

Gauḍīya Maṭha

a Vaisnava institution, originally with 64 temples in India and elsewhere, founded by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Thākura for propagating the sacred teachings of Lord Caitanya throughout India and the world. It was first established in 1918 as the Śrī Bhaktivinoda Āsana. In 1919 he re-established it as the Viśva-vaiṣṇava-rāja-sabhā, an institution originally established by Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī and re-instituted by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. The organization ultimately came to be known as the Gauḍīya Maṭha. Its influenced waned after the passing of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.

Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sampradāya

the authorized Vaiṣṇava disciplic succession of bona fide spiritual masters coming through Śrīla Madhvācārya and Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; the followers in that tradition.

Gauḍiya Vaiṣṇava

specifically, a Vaiṣṇava born in Bengal, or, more generally, any Vaiṣṇava who follows the pure teachings of Lord Caitanya; The name gauḍīya refers to the region of Bengal and Bangladesh. A Vaiṣṇava is a devotee of Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa. Hence, a Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava is a practicioner of the form of Vaiṣṇavism associated with Bengal, as started by Caitanya Mahāprabhu some 500 years ago. See Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Kṛṣṇa, Vaiṣṇava, Viṣṇu.

Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya

the Bengal Vaisanava sect founded by Caitanya Maha-prabhu in the late fifteenth century. Lord Caitanya’s immediate disciples, the six Gosvamis, inititated the resurection of Vrndavana.


Radha and Krsna combined into one form as the Golden Avatar.

Gaura mantra

mantra composed of the four syllables gau-ra-aṅ-ga.

Gaura Pūrṇimā

the appearance day of Lord Caitanya.

Gaura-gopāla mantra

mantra composed of the four syllables rā-dhā-kṛṣ-ṇa.


(gaura-golden; candra-moon) a name of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu denoting His appearance to be like that of a golden moon.


the name of a particular sahajiyā sect.


Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī

the disciple of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura who was the initiating spiritual master of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.


the beautiful, golden-complexioned Lord, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.


condition when the devotee takes the form of giving protection to the Lord; category of dāsya-rasa.


the mellow of friendship in awe and veneration.


of fair complexion.

Gautama Muni

one of the seven sons born from Lord Brahma’s mind. He belongs to the family of Aṅgirā Ṛṣi and is the author of Nyāya-śāstra, the science of logic, which explains that the combination of atoms is the cause of everything.


a sacred mantra that a brāhmaṇa chants silently three times a day at sunrise, noon and sunset to attain the transcendental platform; the Vedic mantra that delivers one from material entanglement.


a famous holy place on the bank of the Phalgu River in the state of Bihar, where many pilgrims go to offer worship on behalf of their forefathers. The imprint of the lotus feet of the Lord are enshrined there, and it was there that Lord Caitanya met and was initiated by Isvara Purī. Lord Buddha attained here nirvāṇa. This is one of the four places in India where many pilgrims come to offer oblations to deparated ancestors.


transcendental bliss that is complete (lit. “concentrated”).


rice prepared at home, not offered to Lord Jagannātha in His temple.


Māyāvāda philosophy, which sees no distinctions, stating that everything is one.


the son of Bhīma by Hidimbī, a Rākṣasa woman. He played a very important role in the Kurukṣetra war. He was killed by Karṇa with the Śakti weapon of Indra.


steps that lead down to holy river, lake or kuṇḍa.


clarified butter




Śiva-the guṇa-avatāra who is the superintendent of the mode of ignorance (tamoguṇa) and who takes charge of destroying the universe at the time of annihilation. He disguised himself as a Kirāta and fought with Arjuna over a boar. Lord Śiva was pleased with Arjuna and gave him a benediction of the Paśupati astra by which he could kill Jayadratha. He also gave a benediction to Aśvatthāmā that he could kill the remaining soldiers on the side of the Pāṇḍavas while they were sleeping in their tents. He is also considered the greatest Vaiṣṇava, or devotee, of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He is confused by some with the Supreme Lord.

Giridhārī (Govardhana)-silā

stones from Govardhana Hill in Vṛndāvana. Worship of these stones was inaugurated by Lord Caitanya and Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. On the basis of statements from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Lord Caitanya established the non-difference of Govardhana Hill and Kṛṣṇa. By such worship Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī got the direct darśana of the Lord.


the capital city of Jarāsandha.




a feeling that one is in a faulty position, a vyabhicāri-bhāva.


servant of the senses.


the ultimate source of all energies.


warehouse, storage room.

Goldsmith, Oliver (1730-1774)

an Anglo-lrish author who was famed as an essayist, poet, novelist, playwright, biographer and historian. One of his major poems is “The Deserted Village”.

Goloka Vṛndāvana (Kṛṣṇaloka)

the highest spiritual planet in the kingdom of God, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s personal abode.

Good and evil


See Modes of nature (Sattva-guṇa).

Goonda (guṇḍa)

hired thug.

Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī

one of the Six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana, who directly followed Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and systematically presented His teachings, born at the beginning of the 16th century near Śrī Raṅgam in South India. He met Lord Caitanya as a child when the Lord stayed with his father, Vyenkata Bhaṭṭa, during the four-month rainy season. On the order of Lord Caitanya he journeyed to Vṛndāvana to join the other Gosvāmīs. While on pilgrimage he obtained twelve śālagrama-śīlās. Later, a Dāmodara śilā manifested Himself as the beautiful Rādhā-ramaṇa Deity, Who is worshiped to this day with great eclat. Gopāla Bhaṭṭa assisted Sanātana Gosvāmī in his writing.


a name of Kṛṣṇa as a young boy; the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, who protects the cows.


type of clay used for tilaka.


Śiva-the guṇa-avatāra who is the superintendent of the mode of ignorance (tamoguṇa) and who takes charge of destroying the universe at the time of annihilation. He disguised himself as a Kirāta and fought with Arjuna over a boar. Lord Śiva was pleased with Arjuna and gave him a benediction of the Paśupati astra by which he could kill Jayadratha. He also gave a benediction to Aśvatthāmā that he could kill the remaining soldiers on the side of the Pāṇḍavas while they were sleeping in their tents. He is also considered the greatest Vaiṣṇava, or devotee, of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He is confused by some with the Supreme Lord.


the cowherd girls of Vraja, who are generally the counterparts of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s hlādini-sākti, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. They assist Her as maidservants in her conjugal pastimes with the Supreme Personality of Godhead; Gopāla Kṛṣṇa’s cowherd girl friends, who are His most surrendered and confidential devotees.


the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is dear to the gopīs.

Gopuram (gopura)

highly carved soaring towers over the gates of the temples


other name for Gosvāmī.


a Vaiṣṇava who is interested in spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness.


“the way of the Gosvāmīs,” i.e., transcendental devotional service.


a person who has his senses under full control: the title of a person in the renounced order of life, sannyasa. (go-senses + svamī-master) master of the senses.


a stone from Govardhana Hill in Vṛndāvana; it is as worshipable as Kṛṣṇa Himself.


Kṛṣṇa, the lifter of Govardhana Hill.


a large hill dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa and His devotees. Kṛṣṇa held it up for seven days to protect His devotees in Vṛndāvana from a devastating storm sent by Indra.

Govinda dāsa Ṭhākura

the author of several important Vaiṣṇava songs.


name the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa. “One who gives pleasure to the land, the cows and the senses.”


mundane activities.


talk concerning family life.


a poet who writes only about the relationship between man and woman.


a name used by Nakula during the last year of the Pāṇḍavas’ exile in the kingdom of Virāṭa.


one who is attached to living in a comfortable home although it is actually miserable; one attached to the material duties of family life.

Gṛham andhakūpam

the “blind well” of family affection.


envious materialistic householder who lives only for sense gratification.


home. For spiritual cultivation one requires an undisturbed place or the good association of devotees.


householder stage of life. One who lives in God conscious married life and raises a family in Kṛṣṇa consciousness; regulated householder living according to the Vedic social system; the second order of Vedic spiritual life.

Gross body

The body that grows on food is known in Sanskrit as the sthūla-śarīra, the gross body. It is a combination of the gross material elements moved about by the soul under the spell of the three modes of material nature. This body is ever-changing, transformed by birth, growth, maturity, reproduction, old age, and death. The living entity who rides within the heart of the body attempts to find satisfaction through sense happiness. But sense happiness is inseparable from sense distress. By Vedic knowledge, the body can be engaged in acts of sacrifice that liberate the soul from the duality of happiness and distress. The body of a pure devotee, who keeps himself always in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, loses its ordinary material qualities, just as a piece of iron loses its usual qualities when it is kept within fire. As the iron becomes fiery, similarly the body of a pure devotee is spiritualized. See Ecstasy, Elements, Modes of nature, Soul, Subtle body.


a province in northwestern India.


incarnations who control material qualities; the presiding deities of the three modes of nature. Viṣṇu, Brahmā and Śiva.



the material world.


the three modes, or qualities, of material nature: Brahmā controls passion, Viṣṇu goodness, and Śiva ignorance.


Nirguṇa-without material qualities; uncontaminated by the three modes of material nature.


washing and cleansing the Guṇḍicā temple.


Sikh religious complex, which usually includes a temple and guest house.


disobeying the instructions of the spiritual master.


a disciple’s gift to his spiritual master, collected by begging and given as a token of gratitude.


the mercy of the spiritual master.


a school of Vedic learning. Boys begin at five years old and live as celibate students, guided by a spiritual master.


worship of the spiritual master.


spiritual master; one of the three authorities for a Vaiṣṇava. Literally, this term means heavy. The spiritual master is called guru because he is heavy with knowledge. See Sādhu, Śāstra.