Glossary L


mystic ability to make one’s body very light


a book by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī describing Kṛṣṇa, His incarnations and His devotees.


one hundred thousand, written as 1,00,000.


a very brave son of Duryodhana. He was killed by Abhimanyu during the battle of Kurukṣetra.


a younger brother of Lord Rāmacandra’s. An incarnation of Saṅkarṣaṇa, He accompanied Rāma and Sītā in Their exile.


the transcendental couple of Lord Kṛṣṇa in His four-armed form and the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī.

Lakṣmī-vijayotsava festival

the pastime of Lakṣmī’s victory during the Ratha-yātrā festival.


the goddess of fortune and the eternal consort of the Supreme Lord as Lord Nārayaṇa, who resides in the unlimited spiritual realm of Vaikuṇtha.

Laksman Sen

King of Bengal in the 12th century. His grandfather, Vijaya Sen, founded the city of Navadvīpa in 1063 on the eastern bank of the Ganges. Laksman Sen was crowned king in 1178, and he made Navadvīpa his capital. The ruins of his kingdom can still be found in the villages of Bamanpukur and Māyāpura. He was a great patron of learning and sponsored the famous Jayadeva Gosvāmī, author of Gītā-govinda.


the golden city of Rāvaṇa, situated some eight hundred miles south of India, in Ceylon.

Laos (Galangal)

there are two varieties of galangal-greater and lesser. Both are closely related, although the lesser is more important. Greater galangal (Alpinia galanga), native to Indonesia, is related to ginger. Its large, knobby, spicy roots taste rather like ginger and are used in Indonesian cooking. Lesser galangal (Alpinia officinarum) is the rhizome of a plant native to China. Its roots have a pepper-ginger flavour and are used in many Indonesian and Malaysian dishes. In Indonesia it is also known as laos. Laos or galangal can occasionally be obtained fresh from Chinese or Indonesian shops. Peel and slice it before use. If unavailable, substitute fresh ginger. Laos powder is also used, especially in Indonesian cooking. It is less hot and more bitter than fresh laos. Use very sparingly or substitute slices of fresh ginger.


combination of green vegetables, often mixed with rice.


a sweet or salty yogurt drink.


Ordinary, mundane or commonplace; nonscriptural, as opposed to śāstramūlaka. See Śāstramūlaka.


(Gr.) Reason, argument, word, speech, or knowledge of something. In Greek philosophy, lgos has three aspects of meaning: structured thought, structured speech and the structured appearance of the world. See Logic.


freedom from the material concept of life; being situated in one’s constitutional position as an eternal servant of God; In Sanskrit, mokṣa or mukti. Vedic culture guides mankind through four stages of value development: dharma (religiosity), artha (economic development), kāma (sense gratification) and mokṣa (liberation of the soul from birth and death). Beyond even mokṣa, taught Caitanya Mahāprabhu, is the fifth and unsurpassed stage, love of God (prema). See Ecstasy, Life after death, Karma, Nirvāna, Prema.

Life after death

All the great religions of mankind teach that this present life is meant to cultivate a life in the hereafter. Among the various sects of Judaeo-Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, two paths of cultivation can be discerned: 1) the path of elevation, and 2) the path of salvation. The elevationists aim for an elevated state of material happiness in the afterlife. Their hope is to join their family and friends in the celestial realm known as heaven in the Bible and svarga in the Vedas. The Bhagavad-gītā warns that although life in heaven is much longer than on earth, it is not eternal: When they have thus enjoyed vast heavenly sense pleasure and the results of their pious activities are exhausted, they return to this mortal planet again. Thus those who seek sense enjoyment by adhering to the principles of elevation achieve only repeated birth and death. (Bg 9.21) Salvationists, on the other hand, aim to be saved from their mortality. They often speak of salvation as the surrender of the mortal self to the eternal light that is Nirvāna, Brahman or God. Some speak of salvation as a state of unbroken prayerful contemplation upon a personal deity. These are descriptions of impersonal Brahman and Paramātmā realization. Impersonal Brahman, as explained in the brahma-jyotir entry, is the formless effulgence of Kṛṣṇa’s personal form. Mystics and yogīs who are able to negate their minds’ attachments to the world of material form may lose themselves within this formless light. Paramātmā is Kṛṣṇa’s form as the Supersoul, who dwells within the hearts of all living beings as the overseer and permitter (see Bg 13.23). Paramātmā realization is semi-personal, because the salvationist’s relationship to the Supersoul in the heart remains passive. More than wanting to serve God, the salvationist wants to be saved from death and rebirth. Thus impersonal Brahman and semi-personal Paramātmā realization are incomplete. The complete realization is the realization of the Personality of Godhead through bhakti-yoga. The most fortunate salvationists can attain only the śānta-rasa (passive relationship in awe and reverence). The four higher rasas are reserved for Kṛṣṇa’s pure devotees. By flooding the senses with eternal nectar from the original, pure source of pleasure God Himself love of Kṛṣṇa completely liberates the devotee from attraction to temporary material sense pleasures. Thus the consciousness of the soul completely takes shelter of its original position as an eternal associate of the Lord in the spiritual world. As long as he or she still possesses a physical body, the fully Kṛṣṇa conscious devotee is called jīvan-mukta, liberated while still within the material world. When he or she gives up the physical body, the fully Kṛṣṇa conscious devotee remains forever with Kṛṣṇa in the spiritual world. This is videha-mukti, liberation that transcends the material world altogether. See Bhakti-yoga, Brahmajyoti, Brahman, Karma, Liberation, Nirvāna, Prema, Rasa, Reincarnation, Saṁsāra, Supersoul.


innumerable incarnations, like Matsya, Kurma, Rāma and Nṛsiṁha, who descend to display the spiritual pastimes of the Personality of Godhead in the material world.


Kṛṣṇa’s internal potency, the energy that helps to enact His pastimes.


a transcendental '‘pastime“ or activity performed by God or His devotee; The endlessly expanding spiritual activities and pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. See Kṛṣṇa.


phallic symbol which is used in the worship of Lord Śiva.



the subtle body: mind, intelligence and false ego.



Locana dāsa Ṭhākura

a great Kṛṣṇa conscious spiritual master.


This is one of the four main branches of philosophy (besides epistemology, ethics and metaphysics). Logic is the study of reasoning systematic thought expressed in language (speech) that accounts for what we know in this world. Through logic the experience of the world is made intelligible. See Epistemology, Ethics, Fallacy, Lgos, Metaphysics, Nyāya, Philosophy.

Logical positivism

A twentieth century development of positivism and empiricism. Its basis is the theory of verification, which claims the only valid truth is that which is proven by the modern scientific method. Language should emulate mathematical logic in order to express this truth. Metaphysical statements and values are meaningless. One of its founders is the British philosopher A.J. Ayer. See Empiricism, Positivism.


a generic term for the deity presiding over one of the directions: Indra for the east, Agni for the southeast. Yama for the south, Sūrya for the southwest, Varuṇa for the west, Vāyu for the northwest, Kuvera for the north, and Candra for the northeast.


a pretender.


a class of philosophers, akin to the Buddhists, who existed when Lord Kṛṣṇa spoke Bhagavad-gītā and who accept that life is a product of a mature combination of material elements.




a sage who guided the Pāṇḍavas during their exile in the forest. He took them to many places of pilgrimage. (Vana Parva in Mahābhārata)