Glossary: B

babaji
one who devotes the major portion of his life to solitary devotional practices, especially chanting the Lord’s names.

Badarayana
See Krishna-dvaipayana Vyasa.

Badarika (-ashrama)
The holy place on the banks of the Alakananda and Sarasvati Rivers, among the peaks of the Himalayas, where Lord Nara-Narayana and Dvaipayana Vyasa reside.

Baka (-asura)
A demon who assumed the form of a crane to kill Krishna and Balarama. Krishna killed him by tearing apart his beak.

bakula
Mimusops elengi, an evergreen tree of the Indian subcontinent, with small, shiny, thick, narrow, pointed leaves, straight trunk, and spreading branches. Blooms between March and July with tiny, cream-colored, aromatic flowers. The flowers retain their aroma days after being picked or having fallen and therefore symbolize unwavering devotion.

Baladeva Vidyabhushana
A prominent scholarly acharya in the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya. He studied under Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti, by whose direction he composed Sri Govinda-bhashya, the Gaudiya commentary on Vedanta-sutra, in the first decades of the eighteenth century.

Baladeva
See Balarama.

Bala-gopala
The infant cowherd Krishna.

Balarama (Baladeva, Balabhadra)
Krishna’s elder brother, and His first plenary expansion, son of Vasudeva and Rohini.

Bali
King of the Daitya demons, son of Virocana, and grandson of the great Vaishnava Prahlada. When Lord Vamana tricked Bali into donating three paces of land and then with two steps covered the universe, Bali achieved perfection by surrendering everything he had to the Lord.

Balvala
A demon who disturbed the sacrifices of sages in the Naimisha forest. They appealed for help to Lord Balarama, and the Lord killed him.

balya
Childhood.

Bana (-asura)
A thousand-armed demon, son of Bali. He was a favored devotee of Lord Siva’s. When Bana’s daughter Usha hid Krishna’s grandson Aniruddha in Bana’s palace, the demon arrested Aniruddha, and a battle ensued between Krishna and Lord Siva. Defeated, Lord Siva begged Krishna to spare Bana’s life. Krishna then severed all but four of Bana’s arms and blessed him to become an eternal associate of Siva.

bandhujiva flowers
red flowers used to decorate hair.

BBT
The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust; the publishing house solely and exclusively authorized to publish Srila Prabhupada’s books.

bhagavad-bhakti
Devotional service to the Supreme Lord.

Bhagavad-gita
The essential teachings on progressive spiritual life and pure devotion to the Supreme Lord spoken by the Supreme Lord Himself, Krishna, to His friend Arjuna at Kurukshetra in the last moments before the great battle. Vyasadeva included the Bhagavad-gita in the Bhishma-parva of the Mahabharata.

Bhagavan
The Personality of Godhead, who possesses in full the six opulences (bhagas) of perfection—strength, fame, beauty, knowledge, renunciation, and power to control.

bhagavata
anything related to Bhagavan, especially the Lord’s devotee and the scripture, Srimad-Bhagavatam.

bhagavata-dharma
The principles of devotional service to the Supreme Lord.

Bhagavatam
See Srimad-Bhagavatam.

bhagavata-vidhi
Devotional service expressed mainly through chanting the names of the Supreme Lord, serving His devotees, and studying Srimad-Bhagavatam. In the modern age, bhagavata-vidhi is recommended as the prime means of spiritual advancement, with support from the Pancaratric method of formal worship.

bhagavat-katha
Discussions about the Supreme Lord and His devotees.

bhajana
Loving devotional service to the Supreme Lord, performed favorably and free from the selfish motives of profit and liberation.

bhajana-kriya
to practice devotional service under the spiritual master’s guidance.

bhajana-kutira
A cottage, hut, or similar place for performing one’s devotional service.

bhajananandi
a devotee who is satisfied to cultivate devotional service for himself.

bhaja
the imperative form of “to worship.”

bhakta
A devotee of the Supreme Lord.

bhakta-vatsala
a description of Krishna’s quality of loving kindness shown toward His devotees.

bhakti
Devotional service to the Supreme Lord. Bhakti in practice is the prime means of spiritual success, and perfected bhakti, pure love of God, is the ultimate goal of life.

bhakti-lata
lit., “the creeper of devotional service.” A term used to liken the stages of a devotee’s growth in devotional service to the growth of a creeper growing upward.

Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu
lit., “The Ocean of the Pure Nectar of Devotional Service”; a treatise on the science of devotional service (bhakti), written by Srila Rupa Goswami.

bhakti-rasa
The ecstatic taste of personal reciprocation with the Supreme Lord in pure devotional service.

bhakti-shastras
The scriptures, headed by Srimad-Bhagavatam, that teach one to render pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord.

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
the spiritual master of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada; an acharya in the Gaudiya–Vaishnava-sampradaya.

bhakti-vaibhava
understanding Krishna’s manifestations by devotional service.

Bhaktivedanta
a title conferred upon Srila Prabhupada by the Gaudiya Math, meaning “one who has understood that the conclusion of Vedic scripture is bhakti (devotional service).”

Bhaktivedanta Institute
an organization within ISKCON which conducts scientific research and education in accordance with the Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura
an acharya in the Gaudiya Vaishnava disciplic succession; the father of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.

bhakti-yoga
The spiritual discipline of linking to the Supreme Lord through pure devotional service.

bhandira
A fig tree of the banyan species.

Bharata

1. The second brother of Lord Ramachandra. When Bharata’s mother, Kaikeyi, obliged her husband to send Rama into exile and give the throne to Bharata instead, Bharata placed Rama’s shoes on the throne and ruled as His representative until Rama returned.

2. The eldest son of Rishabhadeva. He was close to achieving pure love of God but became attracted to a helpless deer and so himself had to be born a deer. Then once again he was born as the seemingly dull brahmana Jada Bharata. In this third life he instructed King Rahugana and achieved ultimate perfection.

3. The son of Dushmanta (Dushyanta) and Sakuntala.

Bharata Muni
An ancient sage, author of the Natya-shastra, a standard textbook on drama and poetry.

Bharata-bhumi
ancient India.

Bharatas
The royal descendants of Bharata the son of Dushmanta. The Kurus belong to this dynasty.

Bharata-varsha
The planet earth, named after Bharata the son of Rishabhadeva. In a more restricted sense, greater India.

Bhauma (-asura)
A demon born of Lord Vishnu’s incarnation Varaha and Bhumi, the goddess earth. He is also known as Narakasura. After causing havoc in Indra’s heaven and on earth, he was killed by the original Vishnu, Krishna.

bhauma-vrindavana
Vrindavana on earth.

bhava
Ecstasy in love of God. Various kinds of bhava join together as the components of prema.

bhava-roga
the disease of material existence.

bhedabheda
The doctrine of simultaneous difference and nondifference between God and His energies. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught a version of this bhedabheda philosophy qualified as acintya (“inconceivable”).

Bhima (-sena)
The second and strongest of the five Pandava brothers, a great club fighter, voracious eater, and intolerant punisher of wrongdoers. In the Battle of Kurukshetra he fulfilled his vow to kill Duryodhana and all the Kaurava brothers.

Bhishma
The son of Santanu and the sacred Ganga. He was one of the twelve mahajanas, the great authorities on Vedic knowledge. As the elder of the Kuru warriors, he led Duryodhana’s forces in battle until felled by the arrows of Arjuna. He passed away gloriously at his own chosen moment in the presence of Krishna.

Bhishmaka
The king of Vidarbha and father of Rukmini, Krishna’s first wife.

Bhrigu
One of the mind-born sons of Brahma. He founded a prominent family of Vedic sages.

Bhrigus
The family of Vedic sages and brahmanas founded by Bhrigu Muni.

Bhumi
The earth, and the goddess who presides over it.

Bhur (Bhu-mandala, Bhurloka)
The middle region of the universe, which includes the planet earth.

Bila-svargas
The subterranean heavenly planets, where specially empowered demons and other creatures enjoy exceptional power, health, and opulence, unaware that after a fixed duration of life they too will die.

Bilvamangala Thakura
A great Vaishnava poet, also known as Lilashuka. He was the author of Krishna-karnamrita, a book rediscovered and revered by Lord Chaitanya.

bimba
Momordica coccinia, a vine with bright red fruit often used to describe the color of lips.

bindi
a red dot worn on the forehead by Hindu women, signifying wedded status.

bolo
the imperative form of “to chant” or “to say.” (Bengali).

Brahma
The first finite living being in the material creation. He was born from the lotus growing from the navel of Garbhodaka-shayi Vishnu. At the beginning of creation, and again at the start of each day of his life, Brahma engineers the appearance of all the species and the planets on which they reside. He is the first teacher of the Vedas and the final material authority to whom the demigods resort when belabored by their opponents.

brahma-bandhu
one born in a brahmana family but lacking brahminical qualification.

brahma-bhuta
the liberated or spiritual platform of consciousness.

brahmacari
A celibate boy in the student phase of spiritual life, receiving education at the residence of a spiritual master.

brahmacharini
feminine variant of brahmachari.

brahma-jyoti
The spiritual effulgence of the Supreme Lord’s body. It pervades the space between the spiritual planets of the eternal kingdom of God, and it is conceived of as His impersonal aspect. Those who achieve impersonal liberation enter it, apparently losing their personal identities.

Brahmaloka
The highest material planet, the residence of Lord Brahma and his associates. Also known as Satyaloka.

brahma-muhurta
The hour and a half just before sunrise, a time-span considered the most auspicious for daily spiritual practices.

Brahman
The impersonal, all-pervasive aspect of the Supreme Truth. Another meaning of the word brahman is the transcendental sound of the Vedas.

brahmana
A member of the most intelligent class among the four occupational divisions in the varnashrama social system.

brahmana thread
a loop of six to nine threads, worn around the neck and torso of a male brahmana, used in chanting mantras.

brahmananda
The bliss enjoyed from impersonal realization of the Supreme.

Brahmanas
The shruti texts that explain the ritualistic sections of the original Vedas.

brahmarshi
A sage among brahmanas.

Brahma-samhita
Lord Brahma’s prayers glorifying the Supreme Lord.

brahmastra
An atomic weapon powered by mantra, carried by arrow, and able to be accurately aimed at a single person.

brahma-vadi
A seeker of impersonal realization of the Supreme.

Brahmoism
the philosophy of Brhama-samaj, a reformist Hindu movement.

brihad-mridanga
lit., “the great drum.” A phrase coined by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura; refers to the power of publishing books as an instrument for preaching.

Brihaspati
The spiritual master of Indra and the demigods, and ruler of the planet Jupiter. He is a son of the sage Angira and grandson of Brahma. His son is Uddhava, the great devotee of Krishna.

Brijbasi
(var.sp.,Vrajavasi). A resident of Vrindavana. This spelling also generally refers to the company which produces the typical religious posters and calendar art seen everywhere in India.

BTG
Back to Godhead magazine, the magazine of the Hare Krishna movement.

buddhi-yoga
another term for bhakti-yoga (devotional service to Krishna), indicating that it represents the highest use of intelligence (buddhi).