Ancient, Mythological, Vedic Names

Name Meaning
Abhimanyu Arjuna's son with Subhadra who married Uttara, daughter of King Virata.
Acharya Guru or Teacher.
Achuta Another name os Sri Krishna meaning imperishable.
Adhiratha Karna's foster-father.
Adi Shankara The first Hindu philosopher who consolidated the principles of the Advaita Vedanta.
Aditi A goddess of the sky, consciousness, the past, the future and fertility.
Advaita A school of Hindu philosophy often called a monistic or non-dualistic system which refers to the indivisibility of the Self (Atman) from the Whole (Brahman).
Agastya A great sage in mythilogy, his wife Lopamudra was equally a great sage in her own right. Agastya was born of both Gods, Mitra and Varuna, from Urvashi.
Agneyastra Agneyastra is the fire weapon, incepted by God Agni, master of the flames.
Agni Hindu fire god.
Agnihotra A sacrifice to God Agni.
Ahi Means snake.
Airavata Lord Indra's white elephant.
Ajatasatru Having no enemy, friend of all born things, an epithet for Yudhishthira.
Akshayapatra A mythilogical vessel given to Yudhishthira by the Sun god which was never empty of food.
Amaravati The city of Indra.
Amarkantak The place from where the Narmada River, the Sone River and Johila River emerge.
Amba, Ambika, Ambalika The three daughters of King of Benares, Eldest daughter Amba was in love with King Shalwa
Amrit The food of the gods, which makes one immortal.
Ananta The thousand headed snake, Adisesha. Author and commentator of Katyayana sutra.
Andhaka Andhaka was the demon son of Shiva, and was created from a drop of his sweat. He was born blind. After birth, Andhaka was given to Hiranyaksha to be raised, as he had no sons. Later, Andhaka became the King of Hiranyaksha's Kingdom.
Anga Mlechchha Kings, a Kaurava supporter.
Angada Son of Vali. One of the Vanar in Lord Rama's army.
Aniruddha Son of Pradyumna (a rebirth of Shatrughana who married with Charumati and Usha).
Anjalika The greatest of Arjuna's arrows with which he slays Karna.
Anjana Mother of Hanuman or Anjaneya.
Anshumat A mighty chariot-fighter.
Anusuya Sati Anusuya was wife of the sage Atri and mother of Dattatreya who is considered by some Hindus (in western India ) to be an incarnation of the Divine Trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.
Apsaras Heavenly beauties, The dancers of Indra's court.
Arjuna The third of Pandavas, son of Pandu.
Artha Wealth, one of the objects of human life, the others being Dharma, (righteous- ness), Kama (satisfaction of desires), Moksha (spiritual salvation).
Arundhati Wife of sage Vasishtha.
Arya civilised, best.
Asamanja Son of Sagra.
Ashtavakra A towering scholar who is still in his teens.
Ashta Lakshmi Eight aspects of goddess Lakshmi, symbolising eight sources of wealth.
Ashvatthaman Son of Dronacharya and last supreme commander of the Kaurava force, strong as a horse.
Ashvins The divine twins.
Ashwapati Uncle of Bharata and Shatrughna.
Ashwasena Five mighty arrows shot by Karna.
Asita A sage who held that gambling was ruinous and should be avoided by all wise people.
Asmaka A Kaurava warrior who attacked Abhimanyu.
Astra A missile charged with power by a holy mantra.
Atma The underlying metaphysical self, at times translated as spirit or soul.
Ayodhya Unconquerable, The city in the country of Koshala. Rama's Kingdom.
Babhruvahana Son of Arjuna from his wife Chitrangada.
Bahu A King of the Suryavansh.
Bahuka The changed name of Nala, as a charioteer of Rituparna, the King of Ayodhya. Another name of King Bahu.
Baladeva Balarama, elder brother of Sri Krishna.
Balarama An avatar or incarnation of Adisesha the thousand-hooded serpent on which Lord Mahavishnu reclines in Vaikuntha.
Bhadra Goddess Parvati, A mighty elephant.
Bhadrakali Bhadrakali is also known as the gentle Kali, who came into being by Devi's wrath, when Daksha insulted Shiva. She is the consort of Virabhadra.
Bhagadatta King of Pragjyotisha, a Kaurava ally.
Bhagawan Translated as 'Lord' and refers to God.
Bhagavati Goddess Parvati, Shiva's wife. Also translated as 'Goddess'.
Bhagiratha Son of Dilipa, King of Kosala.
Bhakti A Sanskrit term that means devotion. A person who practices bhakti is called bhakta.
Bharadwaja A rishi, father of Yavakrida.
Bharata Emperor Bharata, son of Dushyanta and Shakuntala. Bharata (Ramayana), a son of Dasharatha, younger brother of Rama. Bharata Muni, the author of the Natyashastra. Bharata (Bhagavata), the eldest of a hundred sons of a saintly King by name Rishabha Deva according to the Bhagavata purana.
Bhargava Karna's divine weapon.
Bhima The second of Pandavas who excelled in physical power. Son of the wind-god Vayu.
Bhishma Bhishma was son of Shantanu, the eldest of the Kurus.
Bhishmak Raja of Kundalpur and father of Rukmini.
Bhoja A branch of the Yadava clan belonging to Krishna's tribe.
Bhuminjaya Another name of prince Uttara's son of Virata who had proceeded to fight the Kaurava armies, with Brihannala as his charioteer.
Bhurisravas Bhurisravas was a prince of the Balhikas and an ally of the Kauravas, who was killed in the great battle of the Mahabharata.
Bibhatsu One of Arjuna's name meaning a hater of unworthy acts.
Brahma Creator of the universe, The Hindu creator god, and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. He must not be confused with the Supreme Cosmic Spirit of Hindu philosophy, Brahman.
Brahmastra A divine weapon, irresistible, one given by Lord Brahma himself.
Brahmadatta King of Benares or Varanasi.
Brahman The signifying name given to the concept of the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality that is the Divine Ground of all being.
Brihadaswa A great sage who visited the Pandavas in their forest hermitage and reminded them of King Nala of Nishadha. He had also lost his Kingdom in the game of dice and had deserted his wife Damayanti because of a curse but ultimately regained both.
Brihadratha 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, became a chubby baby. She presented the baby tothe King, saying it was his child, which later became known as Jarasandha.
Brihadyumna A King, a disciple of sage Raibhya.
Brihannala Name assumed by Arjuna while living at Virata's court in disguise. He taught arts to Uttara, the princess of the Kingdom of Virata.
Brihaspati Father of Kacha and priest of devas.
Brihatbala A daring warrior who charged at Abhimanyu caught in the Kaurava army's net.
Chakra An energy node in the human body. Wheel.
Chala A Kaurava warrior.
Champa A city on banks of Ganges river where Karna found as a baby by Adhiratha and Radha. They adopted him.
Chandraketu A devotee of Manasa.
Charachitra A son of King Dhritarashtra who perished in the war. Kaurava.
Chedi Kingdom of Shishupala, old name of present Chanderi.
Chekitana Chekitana was son of Dhrishtaketu, Raja of the Kekayas, and an ally of the Pandavas.
Chitra A son of Dhritarashtra killed in the war. Kaurava.
Chitraksha One of the many sons of King Dhritarashtra who fell in the war. Kaurava.
Chitrakuta Chitrakuta was in mountain forests where Rama, Sita and Lakshmana spent eleven and half years of their exile. Here the principal trinity of the Hinduism, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, took their incarnations.
Chitralekha Chitralekha was a friend of Usha and daughter of minister of Banasur. She helped Usha to identify the young man, Aniruddha, seen in the dream of Usha. Chitralekha through supernatural powers abducted Aniruddha from the palace of Krishna and brought him to Usha.
Chitrasena King of the Gandharvas who prevented the Kauravas from putting up their camp near the pond where he himself had encamped.
Chitrayudha A Kaurava prince who laid down his life in the war.
Chitravarma A brother of Duryodhana who was killed in the war. Kaurava.
Chitrangada Chitrangada was one of Arjuna's wives. Babhruvahana was soon born to them.
Chyavana A great rishi, husband of beautiful wife Sukanya whom Ashvins beheld at her bath. Created Chyavanaprash which is reputed to have restored his vitality.
Daruka Sri Krishna's charioteer.
Dadhichi Dadhichi was a Vedic King, son of Atharvan, who turned a great Rishi. Dadhicha gave his bones to destroy Vritra, a brahmin, who became the head of the Asuras.
Daityas Daityas were the children of Diti and the sage Kashyapa. They were a race of giants who fought against the gods.
Daksha The skilled one, is an ancient creator god, one of the Prajapatis. Son of Aditi and Brahma.
Dakshayani Dakshayani is the Goddess of marital felicity and longevity. An aspect of Devi, Dakshayani is the consort of Shiva. Other names for Dakshayani include Gauri, Uma, Sati, Aparna, Lalitha, Sivakamini.
Damayanti She is the wife of Nala whose story is told in the Mahabharata.
Dandaka A Kingdom and a forest, had the same name. A 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.
Dasaratha King of Ayodhya and Lord Rama's father.
Darshana A country whose King attacked Bhagadatta's elephant in an effort to save Bhima.
Dasharna Dasharna was an ancient Indian Kingdom in Malwa region near Mandsaur. The queen of Chedi Kingdom and mother of Damayanti were daughters of King of Dasharna.
Devadatta Name of Arjuna's conch, also Buddha's cousin.
Deva The Sanskrit word for God or deity.
Devarata Father of Yajnavalkya, the gods had given him a great bow. Neither gods, nor gandharvas, nor asuras, nor rakshsa, nor men had might to string that.
Devaki Mother of Lord Krishna.
Devata 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 The eighth child of Santanu and Ganga who in time mastered the art of arms and learned the Vedas, Vedanta and the sciences known to Sukra. He was crowned Yuvaraja (heir apparent), but later vowed to celibacy and was known as Bhishma.
Devayani The beautiful daughter of Sukracharaya, teacher of the demons, who fell in love with Kacha, son of Brihaspati, teacher of the Devas.
Devendra King of the Gods.
Devi The female version of a Deva, ie. a female deity or goddess.
Dhanvantari 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 Righteous course of conduct. Can mean law, rule or duty. Beings that live in harmony with Dharma proceed quicker towards moksha.
Dharmagranthi Assumed named of Nakula at Virata's court.
Dharmananda A name of Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma or Yama. Eldest of Pandavas.
Dharmavyadha He possessed the secret of good life and lived in the city of Mithila. He was a meat seller.
Dhananjaya One of the names of Arjuna.
Dhanusaksha A great sage whom Medhavi, son of sage Baladhi, once insulted. Sage Baladhi desired that his son should live as long as a certain mountain lasted. Dhanusaksha took the form of a bull and butted that mountain and broke it to pieces. Then Medhavi fell down dead.
Dhaumya Tutor of the Pandavas, who accompanied them during their exile to the Kurijangala forest, singing Sama hymns addressed to Yama, Lord of Death.
Dhrishtadyumna Supreme commander of the Pandava forces and twin brother of Draupadi.
Dhrishtaketu Dhrishtaketu are 1. Son of Dhrishtadyumna. 2. Son of Sisupala, King of Chedi, and an ally of the Pandavas. 3. A King of the Kekayas, also an ally of the Pandavas. 4. Son of Satyadhriti. 5. Son of Nriga.
Dhritarashtra Elder son of Vichitravirya and Ambika, born blind, father of Duryodhana.
Dharmaputra The son of Yama, Yudhishthira.
Dhruva 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.
Dhumraksha The Gray eyed rakshasha appointed by Ravana who was slain by Hanuman.
Dilipa Son of Anshumat and father of Bhagiratha.
Draupadi Daughter of King Drupada, King of Panchala. Arjuna had won her in the Swayamvara, but because their Mother asked them to share everything in common unknowingly, she married all the five Pandavas.
Drona A Brahmin who learnt military art from Parasurama. Later he became the guru to the Kaurava and Pandava princes in the use of arms.
Drupada King of Panchala, Drona's friend, father of Draupadi.
Duhsasana Duryodhana's brother who dragged Draupadi to the hall where the game of dice was played.
Durdhara A son of Dhritarashtra killed by Bhima in the war.
Durga A form of Parvati. She is depicted as a woman riding a lion with multiple hands carrying weapons and assuming mudras.
Durjaya A brother of Duryodhana who was sent to attack Bhima, to save Karna's life but lost his own. Kaurava.
Durmarsha A son of Dhritarashtra killed by Bhima. Kaurava.
Durmata A son of Dhritarashtra who got killed by Bhima. Kaurava.
Durmukha A chariot-borne warrior on the Kaurava side. Kaurava.
Durvasa An ancient sage known for his anger who visited the Kaurava.
Durvishaha A warrior fighting on the Kaurava side.
Duryodhana The eldest son of the blind King Dhritarashtra by Queen Gandhari, the eldest of the one hundred Kaurava brothers.
Dushkarma A warrior belonging to the Kaurava side.
Dushyanta A valiant King of the chandravansha, and descended from Puru. He was husband of Sakuntala, by whom he had a son, Bharata. The love story of Dushyanta and Sakuntala, her separation from him, and her restoration through the discovery of his token-ring in the belly of a fish, form the plot of Kalidasa's celebrated play Sakuntala.
Dussaha A son of Dhritarashtra killed by Bhima.
Dvaita A branch of Hindu philosophy, founded by Shri Madhvacharya that advocates dualism and stresses a strict distinction between God and soul.
Dwaitayana A forest where the Kaurava cows were being bred and housed.
Dwaraka Place where Lord Krishna lived after leaving Mathura.
Dyumatsena King of Shalwas and father of Satyavan.
Ekachakra city where the Pandavas lived with their mother, Kunti, when they were exiled to the forest after escaping from the burning of house of lac.
Ekalavya He was a young prince of the Nishadha tribes. He wished to study under Dronacharya. Drona, however, rejects Ekalavya on account of the prince's humble origins. Thus he embarks upon a program of self-study in the presence of a clay image of Drona and achieves a level of skill equal to that of Arjuna.
Gajasura Gajasura (elephant demon) is the name used to refer to demon Nila when he took the form of an elephant and attacked Shiva. He was destroyed by Ganapati.
Ganapati Lord of the territory, The fulfiller of desire, the god of merchants, Son of Shiva and Parvati.
Ganga A holy river in Northern India, believed to be a goddess by Hindus, Equivalent Ganges, The story of the birth of Ganges was told to Rama and Laxmana by Vishvamitra.
Ganesha The god of good fortune, commonly identified for his elephant head. Son of Shiva and Parvati.
Gandhari Dhritarashtra's wife and queen mother of the Kaurava.
Gandharva A class of celestial beings regarded as specialists in music.
Gadiva Arjuna's most potent bow.
Gangadwara A place where sage Agastya and his wife performed penance.
Garuda Lord Vishnu's vehicle. A large mythilogical bird.
Gauri Gauri or Dakshayani is the Goddess of marital felicity and longevity. An aspect of Devi, Dakshayani is the consort of Shiva.
Gayatri A revered mantra in Hinduism, found in the Yajur Veda.
Ghatotkacha Son of Bhima from demoness Hidimba.
Gita See Bhagwad Gita.
Gopa Lord Krishna's childhood mates, cow herd-boys.
Gopala Name of Krishna indicating his origin as a god of flocks and herds.
Gopis Lord Krishna's childhood mates, cow-herd girls.
Govardhan Govardhan is a hill located near the town of Vrindavan in India .
Govinda One of the names of Sri Krishna and Vishnu. It means a cow-keeper and refers to Krishna's occupation in Gokula, the colony of cowherds.
Grihastha The second of the four phases (Purushartha) of a man, when a person gets married and settles down in life and begets children.
Guha King of Nishadha.
Guru Revered tutor, A spiritual teacher.
Halayudha Plough-weaponed, an epithet of Balarama who wielded a plough as his weapon.
Hanuman Son of Vayu and Anjana. Devotee of Sri Rama, who possessed extraordinary powers.
Hari Hari is another name of Lord Vishnu.
Harivamsa Harivamsa is an important work of Sanskrit literature. It is a kind of appendix to the Mahabharata, has 16,375 verses and focuses specifically on the life of Lord Krishna.
Hastinapura 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 Mahabharata was fought.
Hidimba A powerful Asura, who had yellow eyes. He was a cannibal, and dwelt in the forest to which the Pandavas retired after the burning of their house of lac. He had a sister named Hidimbi, whom he sent to lure the Pandavas to him; but on meeting with Bhima, she fell in love with him. By his mother's desire Bhima married her, and by her had a son named Ghatotkacha.
Hiranyakashipu 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 Shishupala and Ravana.
Hiranyaksha Hiranyaksha was an Asura of the Daitya race, and a King of Dravida who was killed by Lord Vishnu after he took the Earth to the bottom of the ocean. He had an older brother named Hiranyakashipu.
Holika Holika was a demoness who was killed on the day of Holi. She was the sister of King Hiranyakashipu. The story of Holika's conflict signifies the triumph of good over evil.
Hrishikesha Lord Krishna. A Hindu pilgrim centre of importance.
Ikshvaku Ikshvaku was the first King and founder of the Surya Vansha. He was the son of Manu (the first man on earth), sired by the Sun God, Surya. Rama, of the epic Ramayana is a descendant of the house of Ikshvaku.
Ilvala Ilvala and Vatapi were asuras, the rulers of Badami.
Indra King of the Gods. The chief deity of the Rigveda, the god of weather and war and the Lord of Heaven in Hinduism.
Indrajit Son of Ravana, King of Lanka, who conquered Indra, the Lord of Gods and who was killed by Rama's brother Lakshmana.
Indraprastha Indraprastha (City of Indra) was the capital of the Kingdom led by the Pandavas in the Mahabharata epic, located upon the banks of the river Yamuna.
Indrasenan A kinsman of the Pandavas, son of Nala and Damayanti.
Indrasena Daughter of Nala and Damayanti.
Indrakila A mountain Arjuna passed on his way to the Himalayas to practise austerities to acquire powerful new weapons from Lord Mahadeva.
Iravan Arjuna's son by a Naga princess Ulupi who fell in the battle on the eighth day, fought on the side of the Pandavas. Was killed by the Rakshasa Alumvusha.
Ishvara The Hindu oncept of God referring to the Supreme Being which is the lord and the ruler of everything.
Jambavan He was the King of the Himalayas who had incarnated as a bear in order to serve Lord Rama. He is also considered as the King of bears and first son of Brahma, before humans were created. Jambavan was present when the churning of the ocean took place and was supposed to have circled the world seven times.
Janaka King of Mithila, father of Sita devi who was wife of Lord Rama.
Janamejaya A King who conducted a great sacrifice for the well being of the human race.
Janardana A name of Lord Krishna.
Jarasandha A rakshasa, father-in-law of Kamsa, 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, Laputa Female companions of a saranga bird, who was a rishi named Mandapala in his previous birth.
Jalasura A demon killed by Bhima.
Japa A spiritual discipline in which a devotee repeats a mantra or the name of God.
Jataka The Jataka is a voluminous body of folklore and mythic literature. The story of Rama is told in one of Jatakas.
Jatasura A Rakshasa who disguised himself as a Brahmin and carried Yudhishthira, Sahadeva, Nakula, and Draupadi. He was overtaken and killed by Bhima.
Jatayu Jatayu was King of all the eagles-tribes, the son of Aruna and nephew of Garuda. Had the form of an eagle, and tried to rescue Sita from Ravana while being taken away to Lanka.
Jaya A son of King Dhritarashtra, who was killed by Bhima in the war
Jayadratha A warrior on the side of Kauravas who closed the breach effected by Abhimanyu in the Chakravyuha formation by Dronacharya and trapped him inside.
Jayatsena A warrior fighting on the side of Kaurava.
Jiwal The charioteer of Rituparna, King of Ayodhya, who accompanied with Bahuka.
Jnana Knowledge of the eternal and real.
Kacha Grandson of sage Angiras and son of Brihaspati, who studied under Sukracharya as a brahmacharin. Devayani, the tutor'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 devas learnt the secret defeating the asuras.
Kagola A disciple of the great sage and teacher of Vedanta, Uddalaka.
Kaikeyi She was the youngest of King Dasaratha's three wives and a queen of Ayodhya. She was the mother of Bharata.
Kailash The Holy abode of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in the Himalayas. The mountain lies near Lake Manasarowar.
Kaitabh Kaitabh is an asura. He along with his companion, Madhu, originated from one of the ears of God Vishnu. Kaitabh and Madhu were supposed to destroy Brahma.
Kalayavan Kalayavan was an asura who surrounded Mathura with an army of thirty million monsters. Then Krishna built the city of Dwaraka amidst sea, transported all his people there, returned and slew Kalayavan.
Kal Purush The time-man, Bengali name of Orion.
Kali Kali was a demon, the personified spirit of the Fourth yuga who possesses Nala.
Kalindi Kalindi was daughter of Sun god who marries Lord Krishna while he was ruling Dwaraka, Kalindi is also another name for the river Yamuna.
Kaliya Kaliya was the name of a poisonous snake-Naga living on the bank of Yamuna River. Kaliya was controlled by Krishna and sent to his abode in Ramanaka Dwipa.
Kal nagini A serpent who kills Lakshmindara, the son of Chand Sadagar who was a merchant-prince of Champaka Nagar.
Kalki The tenth avatar of Vishnu who is yet to arrive and will appear as a man on a horse at the end of Kali Yug.
Kamadeva Kamadeva is the Hindu god of love. He is represented as a young and handsome winged man who wields a bow and arrows.
Kamadhenu Kamadhenu was a divine cow believed to be the mother of all cows. Her child is Nandini and they could grant any wish for the true seeker.
Kampilya Capital of the Panchala Kingdom ruled by Drupada.
Kamsa Maternal Uncle of Sri Krishna and son of Ugrasena, also son-in-law of Jarasandha, whom Sri Krishna killed.
Kanika Minister of Sakuni.
Kanka Assumed name of Yudhishthira at Virata's court.
Kava Father of Shakuntala.
Karkotaka The naga who bit Nala at the request of Indra, transforming Nala into a twisted shape.
Kartavirya Arjuna Kartavirya Arjuna was King of Mahishamati, kshatriya of Ramayana period believed to have a thousand arms. He had beheaded Jamadagni, father of Parashurama. In revenge, Parashurama killed the entire clan of Kartavirya Arjuna. Ravana was comprehensively defeated and was put to humiliation by him.
Kausikam A sage who learnt from Dharmavyadha the secret of Dharma, of performing one's duty.
Karma A Sanskrit term that comprises the entire cycle of cause and effect.
Kara 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 A great warrior who defeated Ravana, King of Lanka.
Kartikeya 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 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 Kaurava is a Sanskrit term, that means a descendant of Kuru, alternate name of sons of Dhritarashtra.
Kausalya She was the eldest of King Dasaratha's three wives and a queen of Ayodhya. She was the mother of Rama.
Kekaya A brave warrior on the Pandava side into whose chariot Bhima got during the fighting on the sixth day. Usinaras, the Sibi, the Madras, and the Kekayas were the direct descendants of Yayati's son Anu.
Kesava One of the names of Sri Krishna.
Keshini Wife of Sagara
Ketama Another chief whose head was cut off by Drona.
Ketu Ketu is generally referred to as a 'shadow' planet. It has a tremendous impact on human lives and also the whole creation. Astronomically, Ketu and Rahu denote the points of intersection of the paths of the Sun and the Moon as they move on the celestial sphere.
Khadavaprastha 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 Khara was younger brother of Ravana who was slain by Rama.
Kichaka 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 Human birds with instruments of music under their wings.
Kirata 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 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
Kishkindha Kishkindha 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.
Kosala Kosala was an ancient Indian Aryan Kingdom, corresponding roughly in area with the region of Oudh. Its capital was Ayodhya, where Rama was born.
Kripacharya 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.
Krishna 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.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Another name of Sage Vyasa.
Krauncha Curlew-heron.
Kritavarma A notable Yadava warrior fighting on the side of Kaurava forces.
Kshatriya One of the four fundamental colours (Varnas) in Hindu tradition, consisting of the warriors, soldiers and rulers of society.
Kshatradharma This is a form of spiritual practice that involves 'Protection of the seekers and destruction of the evildoers'. In other words, it is the duty of fighting against evil as told by lord Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita.
Kubera One of the gods of wealth and riches.
Kuchasthala A city where Krishna stayed the night on his way to the court of Dhritarashtra.
Kumara Son of Shiva and Parvati who conquered and slew the demon Taraka.
Kumbha Kumbha was a rakshasa who led a host against the monkeys when Hanumana fetches healing herb.
Kumbhakarna Brother of Ravana, King of Lanka, who was asleep most of the time because of the curse of Brahma.
Kundalpur Capital of Raja Bhismak who was father of Rukmini, the wife of Krishna.
Kundinapura Capital of Vidarbha.
Kunti 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 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.
Kurma Tortoise, The second avatar of Vishnu where he took the form of a tortoise.
Kurukshetra 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 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 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 The house of lac, The palace made out of lac at Benares where Pandavas along with Kunti were kept with a sense of banishment.
Lakshmana Younger stepbrother of Rama and son of Sumitra and King Dasaratha. Duryodhana's gallant young son also bore this name.
Lakshmi Goddess of prosperity, wealth and good fortune. She is the consort of Vishnu.
Lakshmindara Son of Chand Sadagar who weds Behula. He was slain by Kal-nagini but restored to life by Mansa.
Lanka An island city, generally identified with Ceylon , the home of Ravana.
Lava Kusa and Lava were sons of Rama and Sita.
Lomasa A brahmana sage who advised the Pandavas when they where in forest. He told them that 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.
Lopamudra Daughter of the King of Vidarbha who married sage Agastya.
Madhava One of the names of Krishna. It means the Lord of Lakshmi.
Madhu The name of Kingdom of Shatrughna.
Madhusudana Another name of Krishna, the slayer of the asura Madhu.
Mahadeva Another name of Shiva.
Mahaparshwa One of Ravana's generals.
Maharaksha Son of Khara slain at Lanka.
Mahavishnu Lord of the Universe who took multiple avatars to maintain righteousness and for mankind.
Mahendra A King who had attained heaven. Also the name of a mountain upon which Hanumana rushes while searching for Sita, shaking it in wrath and frightening every beast that lived in its woods and caves.
Mainaka Another mountain, well wooded and full of fruits and roots, Hanumana coursed through the air while searchin Sita.
Maitreya 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.
Malini Malini was the name of river that was flowing in the forest where the ashrama of Kanva rishi was situated.
Mandhatri Mandhatri was a King, son of Yuvanaswa, of the race of Ikshvaku, and author of a hymn in the Rigveda.
Manasarovar A sacred lake in the Himalayas.
Mandara The mountain used as a curning stick in Samudra manthan for churning the ocean using Vasuki naga as rope by gods on one side and asuras on other side.
Mandavya 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 meditation. 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.
Mandodari Mandodari was the daughter of the King of Danavas, Mayasura and celestial dancer, Hema. She was the first wife of Ravana.
Manipura 'City of jewels' in Sanskrit. Manipura is the third primary chakra according to Hindu tradition. It is positioned at the navel region.
Manasa Devi The goddess of snakes, daughter of Shiva to a human woman.
Manthara Manthara 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 An incantation with words of power. A religious syllable or poem, typically from the Sanskrit language.
Maricha A character in the Ramayana, uncle of Ravana who transformed himself into a golden deer at the behest of Ravana to entice Sita.
Markandeya A sage who told Yudhishthira the story of a Brahmana, Kausika.
Marutta A King of the Ikshwaku dynasty whose sacrifice was performed by Samvarta in oppose of Indra and Brihaspati.
Matali Charioteer of Indra who took Arjuna to the Kingdom of Gods.
Matanga A rishi during Ramayana period, Rama and Laxman pass by while searching Sita on way to mountain Rishyamuk on which lived Sugriva.
Mathura The capital of Yadavas which was invaded by Kamsa.
Matrikas A group of mother Goddesses.
Matsya The first avatar of Vishnu, where he came in the form of a fish.
Maya 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.
Mayasura Maya, or Mayasura was a great ancient King of the Asura, Daitya and Rakshasa races upon earth. He was also the chief architect for the people of the netherworlds.
Medhavi Son of Sage Baladhi who desired that his son should live as long as a certain mountain lasted.
Menaka Menaka 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 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.
Mithila Mithila was a Kingdom in ancient India . King Janaka, father of Sita, was King of this Kingdom.
Mitra One of the Adityas.
Moksha Refers to liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth.
Muchukunda Muchukunda was a great sage who kills Kalayavan, the great Yavana warrior King in the Indian epic Mahabharata.
Mukasura Mukasura was a demon, friend of Kauravas, who was sent to disturb the austerities, Arjuna was performing at Mount Kailash. Mukasura 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.
Nachiketa Nachiketa was son of a cowherd, Vajashrava, who was offered to Yama to find a place in Heaven by his father. Nachiketa with his wits learnt the wisdom taught by Yama. Thus having learnt from Yama, and finding Brahman, Nachiketa was freed from death.
Naga Naga is the Sanskrit and Pali word for a minor deity taking the form of a very large snake, found in Hindu mythology.
Nagas Nagas existed during the period of the epic Mahabharata. The demi-god tribe called Suparnas (in which Garuda belonged) were arch-rivals of the Nagas. The well known Nagas are Ananta, Vasuki, Takshaka, Karkotaka and Pingala.
Nagavanshi Nagavanshi dynasty is one of the Kshatriya dynasties of India . It includes a number of Jats and Rajput clans. The worshippers of Naga (serpent) were known as Naga or Nagil. The descendants of Nagas were called Nagavanshi.
Nahusha A mighty King who was made King of the gods because Indra had disappeared due to him killing Vritra through sin and deceit.
Naivedhya Food or eatables prepared as offerings to God, prior to the oblation. Prasad.
Nakula Fourth brother of the Pandavas.
Nala King of Nishadha who lost his Kingdom in a game of dice and deserted his wife Damayanti because of a curse.
Nanda Nanda is head of a tribe of cowherds 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 Nandi is the white bull which Shiva rides, and the leader of the Ganas. The white color of the bull symbolizes purity and justice.
Nandini Vasishtha's divinely beautiful cow, child of Kamadhenu.
Narasimha The fourth avatar of Vishnu. He is a mixed form of a man and a lion.
Nara Arjuna or Dhananjaya. Also name for Man.
Narada Narada is the Hindu divine sage. 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.
Narayana Narayana 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.
Narayaasrama A charming forest where the Pandavas had halted during their wanderings.
Narayaanstra Narayanastra is the personal missile weapon of Vishnu in his Narayana form, this astra lets loose a powerful tirade of millions of deadly arrows simultaneously.
Narishyanta Narishyanta was son of Vaivasvata Manu and belongs to solar race of Kshatriyas.
Narmada One of the most important sacred river, originating from Amarkantak is believed to have descended from the sky by the order of Lord Shiva. The personified river is variously represented as being daughter of a Rishi named Mekala (from whom she is called Mekala and Mekala-kanya), as a daughter of the moon, as a 'mind-born daughter' of the Somapas, and as sister of the Nagas.
Neta Neta was daughter of Shiva and friend of Manasa Devi.
Nikumbha One of Ravana's generals who led the rakshasas against the host of monkeys and was slain.
Nila Son of Agni; One of the monkey host placed at the gate guarded by Prahasta.
Nishadha 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.
Panchajanya Name of Krishna's conch.
Palasa A tree, also called the 'flame of the forest'.
Panchala Panchala 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.
Panchali Another name of Draupadi, Queen of the Pandavas and daughter of King Drupada.
Panchalya A son of King Drupada who died in the war.
Panchvati The place beside the river Godavari where Rama, Sita and Laxmana stayed in exile.
Pandavas Pandavas are the five acknowledged sons of Pandu, by his two wives Kunti and Madri. They are Yudhishtira, Bhima, Arjuna and Nakula , Sahadeva.
Pandu 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.
Paramhamsa The supreme swan.
Parasara A great sage, father of Veda Vyasa.
Parashurama 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.
Partha Another name of Arjuna.
Paravasu Son of Raibhva and elder brother of Arvavasu whose wife was violated by Yavakrida, who was killed with a spear by a friend for his sin.
Parikshit Son of Abhimanyu and grandson of the Pandavas who was crowned King after the holocaust claimed the Kauravas and the Pandavas.
Parada The name of a brahman who brought news of Nala to Damayanti.
Parvati Goddess of love, the consort of Shiva and mother of Ganesha and Karthikeya.
Pasupatastra Pasupatastra is the irresistible and most destructive personal weapon of Siva.
Paurava A Kaurava hero.
Pavanrekha Wife of Ugrasena, mother of Kamsa.
Phalguna Arjuna.
Pitamaha Literally means grandfather. Bhishma.
Prabhasa The Vasu who seized Vasishtha's divine cow.
Pradyumna Son of Krishna and Rukmani.
Prahasta Means long-head, One of Ravana's generals slain by Nila.
Prajapati Prajapatis are a group (or one) of creation gods, children of Brahma, including Daksha.
Prasad Food or other offerings, considered to be sanctified, after being presented to God. Naivedhya.
Pratikhami Duryodhana's charioteer.
Prayag The holy place where Ganga and Jamuna meet.
Pritha Mother of Karna and of the Pandavas; equvivalent Kunti.
Pudarikaksha Krishna, the lotus-eyed one.
Purochana An architect and friend of Duryodhana, who built a beautiful wax palace named 'Sivam' in Varanavata.
Purumitra A Kaurava warrior.
Purushartha 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).
Purushottama An epithet of Sri Krishna. It is one of the names of Vishnu and means the Supreme and ideal most amoung men.
Pushkara The brother of Nala to whom nala lost his Kingdom and all that he possessed in gambling.
Radha Radha 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.
Rahu Rahu is a snake that swallows the sun or the moon causing eclipses. Rahu is one of the navagrahas.
Raibhya A sage whose hermitage was situated on the banks of the Ganga, near Rishikesh, a place, which gets its name, from Lord Vishnu appearing to him as Hrishikesh. The Pandavas during their wanderings visited it. This place is 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 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.
Rajasuya A sacrifice performed by a King to be entitled to assume the title of 'Emperor'.
Rakshasa A rakshasa alternately, raksasa or rakshas is a demon or unrighteous spirit in Hinduism.
Rama The Seventh Avatara of Vishnu. The life and heroic deeds of Rama are written in the Sanskrit epic, The Ramayana.
Ramanaka dwipa The home of Kaliya Naga, a poisonous snake, on the banks of Jamuna river.
Rambha An apsara in the court of Indra.
Rati Rati is the goddess of passion and lust, and a daughter of Daksha. She married Kamadeva, the God of love.
Ravana King of Lanka who abducted Sita, the beautiful wife of Lord Ramac. Ravana is depicted in art with up to ten heads, signifying that he had knowledge spanning all the ten directions.
Rewati Daughter of Raja Rewat who marries Balarama.
Rigveda 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 Rishabha, the bull, a Hindu god mentioned in epic and Puranic literature, is an unusual avatar of Vishnu. The second note of the Indian classical music.
Rishi 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.
Rishyamuk Mountain on which Sugriva lived.
Rishyasringa 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.
Ritupara The King of Ayodhya to whom Nala became the charioteer.
Rohini The wife of Vasudeva and mother of Balarama
Romapada King of Anga which was once visited by a great drought.
Rudra A Rigvedic god of the storm, the hunt, death, Nature and the Wind. Rudra is an early form of Shiva and a name of Shiva in the Shiva sahasranama.
Rukma Elder brother of Rukmani, Heir apparent to the throne of Vidarbha. When defeated by Balarama and Krishna he established a new city Bhojakata, the capital of Vidarbha, and ruled over it.
Rukmini Daughter of Raja Bhismak, born at Kundalpur. Rukmini was the first wife and queen of Krishna. She was an avatar of Lakshmi.
Shachi Wife of Indra, King of the gods on whom Nahusha's evil eye fell. She was also known as Indrani.
Sadhana 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.
Sagara King Sagar is one of the greatest Kings of Suryavansha in the Satya Yuga. He was King of Ayodhya, ancestor to King Dasharatha. He had two wives Keshini and Sumati. Asamanja was his son from Keshini.
Sahadéva Youngest of the Pandava princes who offered the first honors to Krishna at the Rajasuya sacrifices.
Saibya A ruler friendly to the Pandavas.
Sairandhri A maid servant or female attendant employed in royal female apartments.
Saindhava Jayadratha.
Sakra Sakra is identified with the Vedic deity Indra. Sakra is sometimes named as one of the twelve Adityas.
Shakuni 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 Friend of Sisupala, who besieged Dwaraka Sri Krishna's Kingdom to avenge Sisupala's death at the latter's hand.
Shalya 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 A term used in yogic meditation. Samadhi is also the Hindi word for a structure commemorating the dead.
Sambu Sambu was son of Krishna, who married Lakshmana, daughter of Duryodhana.
Samkhya A school of philosophy emphasising a dualism between Purusha and Prakrti, propounded by sage Kapila.
Sampati Sampati was one of the two sons of Aruna, elder brother of Jatayu. Sampati lost his wings when he was a child.
Samsaptaka 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 Brihaspati's younger brother, a person of great learning.
Samba A Yadava youngster dressed as a woman who gave birth to a mace, as foretold by rishis.
Sanga Son of Virata. When King Virata was wounded, he had to get into Sanga's chariot, having lost his chariot, horses and charioteer.
Sanjaya The narrator who tells blind Dhritarashtra the progress of the war from day to day.
Santa Daughter of Dasharatha, Wife of sage Rishyasringa.
Santanu King of Hastinapura, father of Bhishma.
Sanyasi One who has renounced the world and its concerns.
Sarasana One of the Kaurava brothers who died in the war.
Sarmishtha Princess and daughter of asura King Vrishaparva, wife of Yayati, who got angry with Devayani and pushed her into a dry well. Sarmishtha gave birth to Druhyu, Anu, and Puru.
Saraswati Saraswati is the first of the three great goddesses of Hinduism, the other two being Lakshmi and Durga. Saraswati is the consort of Lord Brahma, the Creator.
Sarayu Sarayu was an ancient Indian river. The river where Lakshamana practices austerities.
Satanika Virata's son whose bead was severed by Drona.
Sati One of name of Dakshayani, Dakshayani is the consort of Shiva. Other names for Dakshayani include Gauri, Uma, Aparna, Lalitha, Sivakamini etc.
Satyajit A Panchala prince, a hero who stood by Yudhishthira to prevent him being taken prisoner by Drona, while Arjuna was away answering a challenge by the Samsaptakas (the Trigartas).
Satyaki A Yadava warrior, friend of Krishna and the Pandavas who advocated collecting their forces and defeating the unrighteous Duryodhana.
Satya Narayana Vishnu, Embodiment as Krishna.
Satyavan Meaning the truth-speaker, husband of Savitri.
Satyavati 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.
Satyavrata Warrior on the Kaurava side.
Saugandhika A plant that produced a very beautiful and fragrant flower that Bhima went to get for Draupadi.
Savitri Wife of Satyavan.
Savyasachi 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 An aspect of Devi and a personification of God as the Divine Mother who represents the active, dynamic principles of feminine power.
Shakuntala Shakuntala was mother of Emperor Bharata and the wife of Dushyanta. Shakuntala was born of Vishvamitra and Menaka.
Shalwa The King with whom Amba was secretly in love.
Shankara A name of Shiva. A great magician , friend of Chand Sagar.
Sankha Shankha is the divine Counch or sea shell, which is one of the insignia in the Hindu God Vishnu's hands. Sankha was also the name of one of sons of King Virata who was killed in Mahabharata.
Shantanu Shantanu was King of Hastinapura, father of Bhishma. Shantanu weds Satyavati, a fisherman's daughter.
Shatrughna One of Dasharatha's four sons, King of Madhu.
Shesha Shesha is a naga, one of the primal beings of creation. Equivalent-Ananta or Ati-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.
Shiva A supreme God in Hinduism. Shiva is commonly known as 'the destroyer' and is the third god of the Trimurti.
Shikhandi 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.
Shishupala Shishupala was son of Damaghosha, King of Chedi, by Srutadeva, sister of Vasudeva; he was therefore cousin of Krishna, but he was Krishna's implacable foe, because Krishna had carried off Rukmini, his intended wife. Shishupala was Identical with Hiranyakashipu who was slain by Krishna at the time of Dharmaputra's Rajasuya sacrifice.
Shivi 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.
Shri Another name of Lakshmi, a goddess, the delight of Vishnu.
Shrutkirti Daughter of Kushadhwaja; bestowed on Shatrughna.
Shukracharya 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.
Siddhashrama The Shiva's hermitage.
Simhanada 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 The Indus River, originating in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar.
Sinhikha The grim rakshasi who rose from the sea and caught Hanuman, when he coursed through the air like Garuda in search of Sita.
Sini One of the suitors to Devaki's hand. A kinsman of the Kauravas.
Sita Sita was the wife of Rama, and is esteemed an exemplar of womanly and wifely virtue. Sita was herself an avatara 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 A verse of lines in Sanskrit, typically recited as a prayer.
Smarta A Hindu denomination, which follows Advaita philosophy and considers that all gods are manifestations of Ishvar.
Sruti Hindu scriptures. Shruti is believed to have no author; rather a divine recording of the 'cosmic sounds of truth', heard by rishis.
Soma 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 One of the suitors to Devaki's hand. A kinsman of the Kauravas.
Sthua A Yaksha, follower of Kubera, who exchanges his identity with Shikhandin, A rakshasa who helps disturb Vishvamitra's sacrifices.
Subahu King of Kulinda in the Himalayas, ally of the Kauravas, Subahu was a demon who tried to interrupt Viswamitra's yaga. He was slain by Lord Rama.
Subhadra Wife of Arjuna, sister of Sri Krishna and mother of Abhimanyu.
Subrahmaniam Another name for Lord Kartikeya. Son of Shiva and Parvati.
Sudakshina A warrior on the Kaurava side.
Sudarsana Sudarshan Chakra is a spinning disc like weapon with very sharp edge, which is one of the weapons in the Hindu God Vishnu's hands. 2. A warrior on the Kaurava army.
Sudeshna Queen of King Virata whom Sairandhri (Draupadi) served.
Sudeva A Brahman who traced Damayanti in Chedi and later helps Damayanti in her quest to find Nala. He was friend of Damayanti's brother.
Sugriva Monkey-King, friend of Sri Rama, and brother of mighty Vali whom Sri Rama killed.
Sujata Daughter of Sage Uddalaka and wife of Kagola, his disciple who had virtue and devotion but not much of erudition, mother of Ashtavakra.
Suka A sage, son of Vyasa, who related the Srimad Bhagavata to King Parikshit, grandson of Arjuna.
Sukanya Meaning - Fair-maid, The wife of Chyavana whom the Ashvins beheld at her bath, bare of any garment.
Suman Son of Asamanja.
Sumati Wife of Sagara.
Sumitra Abhimanyu's charioteer. One of Dasharatha's three wives; mother of Lakshamana and Shatrughna.
Sunda Sunda and Upasunda were two brave and powerful 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 create differences within and destroyed them mutually.
Suniti Mother of Dhruva.
Suparshwa One of Ravana's counsellors.
Surabhi The wish-bestowing cow that came first from the sea in the process of churning of the Ocean by gods and asuras.
Surpankha Sister of Ravana; desires Rama; seeks to become Lakshamana's wife.
Supratika Name of King Bhagadatta's elephant.
Surya Sun God, one of the three main Vedic Gods.
Susarma King of Trigarta, a supporter of the Kauravas who backed the proposal to invade Matsya, Virata's country.
Sushena A monkey chief ; at siege of Lanka.
Sutra Sutra 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.
Suvarna A soldier on the Kaurava side.
Sri Rama Also knew as Rama, Ramachandra or Sri Rama.
Srinjayas Pandava supporters.
Srutayu, Astutayu Two brothers fighting on the Kaurava side attacked Arjuna but were killed.
Srutayudha 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 Heaven, a place where all wishes and desires are gratified, The heaven of Indra where mortals after death enjoy the results of their good deeds on earth.
Sveta A son of King Virata who fell in battle to Bhishma's arrow.
Syala A Yadava prince who insulted the sage Gargya, and was the cause of his becoming the father of Kalayavana, a great foe of Krishna and the Yadava family.
Tall One of Ravana's counsellors.
Tara Mahadevi, Kali, or Parvati. Tara is also the name of Vali's queen.
Taragam Taragam 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.
Taraka A demon slain by Kumara, the first son of Shiva.
Tandava Siva's cosmic dance.
Tantripala Assumed name of Sahadeva at Virata's court.
0 Tilottama was an Apsaras. She is reputed to have been created by Vishwakarma from Tila seeds. She was responsible for bringing out the mutual destruction of the Asuras Sunda and Upasunda.
Tripura Tripura (meaning three cities, in Sanskrit) was constructed by the great architect Mayasura. They were great cities of prosperity, power and dominance over the world, but due to their impious nature, Maya's cities were destroyed by Lord Shiva.
Trishira Trishira that is, one having three heads, was an asura mentioned in the Ramayana. He was one of the seven sons of Ravana, and his other brothers were Indrajit, Prahasta, Atikaya, Akshayakumara, Devantaka and Narantaka.
Tulsi A divine plant according to Hinduism
Uchchaihsravas 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.
Udayana Udayana was a prince of the Lunar race, and son of Sahasranika. He was King of Vatsa, and is commonly called Vatsaraja. His capital was Kausambi. Also a name of Agastya.
Uddalaka A great sage and teacher of Vedanta.
Uddhava The friend and counselor of Krishna. According to some he was Krishna's cousin, being son of Devabhaga, the brother of Vasudeva. He was also called Pavanayadhi.
Ugrasena one-time King of Yadavas; deposed by his son Kamsa. His wife was Pavanrekha. Krishna killed Kamsa and established Ugrasena on throne.
Ujjayini or Ujjain An ancient city in central India , where 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 Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines to the god Shiva.
Uluka '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.
Ulupi A daughter of Kauravya, Raja of the Nagas, with whom Arjuna contracted a kind of marriage. She was nurse to her stepson, Babhruvahana, and had great influence over him. According to the Vishnu Purana she had a son named Iravat.
Umadevi Wife of Shiva.
Upachitra One of King Dhritarashtra's sons who perished in the war.
Upaplavya 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 Sund and Upasunda were two brave and powerful 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 create differences within and destroyed them.
Urmila Second daughter of Janaka; bestowed on Lakshmana.
Urvasi An apsara in Indra's court, whose amorous overtures Arjuna declined.
Usha Wife of Aniruddha, daughter of Banasura.
Ushanas Ushanas were appointed as priests of asuras, who knew the science of bringing to life.
Uttanka Uttanka was a pupil of Veda, the third pupil of Dhaumya rishi. The other two pupils of Uttanka were Janamejaya and Poshya.
Uttara A daughter of the Raja of Virata. She married Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna.
Vaisampayana A celebrated sage who was the original teacher of the Yajur-Veda. He was a pupil of the great Vyasa, from whom he learned Mahabharata, which he afterwards recited to King Janamejaya.
Vaishnava The followers of Vaishnavism are referred to as Vaishnava.
Vaishravan Elder brother of Ravana to whom Rama returned Pushpaka after the death of Ravana.
Vaishya One of the four classification in Hindu tradition as per their occupation which comprises of merchants, artisans, and landowners.
Vaivasvata Manu Vaivasvata Manu (also Manu Vaivasvate) is one of the 14 Manus. He was born to Saranya and Vivasvat and was the King of Dravida during the epoch of the Matsya Purana. He was the founder of the Suryavansha race of Kings.
Vajrahanu One of Ravana's generals.
Valala Assumed name of Bhima when, he worked as a cook at Virata's court.
Vali One of five great monkey warriors in Ramayana, a son of Indra. King of Kishkindha and the cruel elder brother of Sugriva. He was killed by Rama.
Valmiki Sage Valmiki is the author of the Hindu epic Ramayana, taught Ramayana to Rama's twin sons Kusa and Lava.
Vamadeva 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 The fifth Avatara of Vishnu as that of a dwarf brahmin.
Vanasur Same as Banasur, was a thousand-armed asura and very powerful. He was son of Bali. Bana was a follower of Siva. Banasura had a beautiful daughter named Usha.
Vandi Court poet of Mithila who on being defeated by Sage Ashtavakra in a debate drowned himself in the ocean and went to the abode of Varuna.
Varaha The third avatar of Vishnu, who came in the form of a boar.
Varna Means colour, Varna also refers to the four classification in Hindu tradition as per their occupation as Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra.
Varavata 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.
Vareya The charioteer of Rituparna, King of Ayodhya, who accompanied with Bahuka.
Varuna God of the sky, of rain and of the celestial ocean.
Vasava The name of arrow given by Indra to Karna.
Vasishta Vasishta was chief of the seven sages (Saptarishis) and the Rajaguru of the Suryavamsha. He was Brahma's son. He had in his possession the divine cow Kamadhenu, and her child Nandini, who could grant anything to their owners. Arundhati was his wife.
Vasudhana Another warrior who perished in the battle on the Twelfth Day.
Vasudeva Descendant of Yadu, husband of Rohini and Devaki. Father of Krishna. A name 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 as a coil round the mountain Mandara at the churning of the ocean.
Vatapi Vatapi and Ilvala are two Rakshasas who are mentioned in the Ramayana as dwelling in the Dandaka forest.
Vayu The god of air and wind who is also father of Bhima and Hanuman.
Veda Vedas form the earliest record of the Hindu scriptures. There are four Vedas called Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva
Veda Vyasa Vyasa, author of the Mahabharata.
Vibhandaka A hermit who retired from the world and lived in the forest with his infant son Rishyasringa.
Vibhishana Vibhishana was brother of Ravana. He was a noble character and advised Ravana, who abducted Sita, to return her to Rama.
Vichitravirya 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 Vidarbha has been mentioned in Mahabharata as the capital city.
Vidura Vidura was a son of a maid-servant 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.
Vijaya Name of Karna's bow.
Vikarna A son of Dhritarashtra who declared the staking of Draupadi is illegal, as Yudhishthira himself was a slave and had lost all his rights.
Vikramaditya Vikramaditya 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. Hero of Vikram and Vetal tales.
Vikukshi A King of the Surya vansh, 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 polluted the food..
Vinda, Anuvinda Two brothers Kings of Avanti, great soldiers whom were on the Kaurava side, they suffered defeat at the hands of Yudhamanyu.
Vindhyas Vindhyas is a range of hills in central India , which geographically separates the Indian subcontinent into northern India and Southern India.
Virata King of Matsya, the country which was suggested by Bhima to live in disguise during the thirteenth year of their exile.
Virabhadra Virabhadra was a demon that sprang from Shiva's lock of hair out of anger during Daksha yaga when Sati devi gave up her life.
Viradha A fierce rakshasa who seizes Sita.
Virasen Father of Raja Nala, King of Nishadha.
Virochana An asura, son of Prahlada, and father of Bali. He is also called Drisana. When the earth was milked, Virochana acted as the calf of the Asuras.
Vishnu One of the Trimurtis (Hindu Trinity), along with Brahma and Shiva. Known as the Preserver, He is most famously identified with His avatars, especially Krishna and Rama.
Vishvakarma 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.
Visvamitra Vishvamitra was one of the most venerated rishi or sages of since ancient times. He was originally a Kshatriya but by austerities earned the title of Brahmarishi. He is also credited as the author some parts of the Rigveda, including the Gayatri Mantra.
Visoka Bhima's charioteer.
Visvarupa Name of Twashta's son who became the preceptor of the gods.
Vivimsati A Kaurava hero.
Vriddhakshatra King of the Sindhus, father of Jayadratha into whose lap his son's head was fell by Arjuna.
Vrika A Panchala prince who fell in battle.
Vrindavana A garden in Mathura where Krishna passed his youth, under the name of Gopala, among the cowherds.
Vrisha, Achala Sakuni's brothers.
Vrishdarbha A King of Varanasi, associated with the story of 'The King, the Pigeon, and Hawk'.
Vrishni The people of Dwaraka to which belonged Krishna. After the death of Duryodhana, his mother Gandhari cursed that after 36 years Krishna should persish alone miserably and his people, the Vrishnis, should be destroyed.
Vrishasena Son of Karna, A warrior on the Kaurava side, slain by Arjuna.
Vritra Means 'the enveloper'. Vritra, was an Asura and also a serpent or dragon. He was 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 Wolf-bellied, an epithet of Bhima, denoting his slimness of waist and insatiable hunger.
Vyasa Compiler of the Vedas, son of sage Parashara.
Yadavas The descendants of Yadu, who lived near the Yamuna river.
Yadu A prince of the Chandra vansh. His descendants are called Yadavas. The epic Mahabharata and Puranas refer to Yadu as the eldest son of mythological King Yayati.
Yaduvamsi Those of the clan of Yadu.
Yajna A Vedic ritual or sacrifice performed to please the Gods 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.
Yaka Yaksha or Yakkha is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits or minor deities who appear in Hindu mythology. The feminine form of the word is yaki or yaki.
Yama Yama, also known as Yamaraja is the lord of death. God of dharma, whose son was Yudhishthira.
Yashoda Yahsoda was wife of Nanda and foster-mother of, Krishna, who was given to them by Vasudeva. Yashoda also was mother to Balarama and his sister Subhadra.
Yavakrida Son of Sage Bharadwaja who was bent upon mastering the Vedas.
Yayati 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.
Yoga Spiritual practices performed primarily as a means to enlightenment. Traditionally, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Raja Yoga are considered the four main yogas. Hatha Yoga has asanas or exercises.
Yogi One who practices yoga. Refer above for Yoga.
Yudhamanyu A Panchala prince supporting the Pandavas, who was assigned the task of protecting the wheels of Arjuna's chariot along with Uttamauja. He was slain in his sleep by Ashvatthama.
Yudhishthira Yudhisthira was the eldest son of King Pandu and Queen Kunti, King of Hastinapura and Indraprastha. He was the principal protagonist of the Kurukshetra War, and for his unblemished piety, known as Dharmaraja.
Yuga In Hindu philosophy, the cycle of creation is divided into four yugas (ages or eras).
Yuyudhana Another name of Satyaki, who was not killed in the warfare but in a mutual fight among Yadavas.
Yuyutsu 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.