A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda:

The Founder-Acarya of ISKCON (Acharya means Spiritual Teacher who teaches by example). He established the ISKCON society, opened over 108 temples all over the world, translated the Srimad Bhagavatam and Caitanya Caritamrita, Bhagavad Gita As It Is and other books into English and authored many other books as well all on the science of Krishna Consciousness.

Affectionately called Çréla Prabhupäd by his followers. He comes in the direct line of spiritual masters, known as the Brhama-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya, which extend all the way back to Krishna. He is Krishna’s chief representative for the modern world.

BBT - Bhaktivedanta Book Trust:

The publishing arm of ISKCON. Formed by Çréla Prabhupäd to publish and distribute his books.

Bhagavad Gita (Bhagavad Gita As It Is):

Bhagavad Gita is the most popular of all Vedic literatures. It is a record of the spoken words of Lord Krishna. Krishna’s (God’s) direct teachings on Spiritual Life.

The Bhagavad Gita As It Is is the authorized translation of the Gita in English by His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäd.

Brahmacari: see varëäçram


Brahmacarini means a celibate female student. However, technically there is no such thing as this in Vedic culture. Srila Prabhupad created this ashram so as to facilitate the young unwed girls who were joining the temple. However, he instructed it was an artificial system. The proper Vedic system is the girl remains at home, only the boy goes to the school of his spiritual master. The girls are trained at home and married before or just after puberty.

Brahmana: see varëäçram

Caitanya Caritamrita:

Caitanya Caritamrita is a great work by Krishna Das Kaviraj written in Bengali over 400 years ago and translated into English by Çréla Prabhupäd. It describes the teachings and activities of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who appeared in Bengal 500 years ago and is Lord Krishna Himself.


See varëäçram for a description of the class system.

In modern India the class system has degraded into a caste system. The difference is that a caste system is based on family birth only. If my father was a brahmana, then automatically I become brahmana. This is the caste system. It is not supported by the Vedas, but is a degraded from of varëäçram. The caste system is prone to all corruption and is suppressive. In the caste system as long as my father was a brahmana, then I must be respected as a brahama priest no matter what non-sense activities I engage in.

Vedic scriptures, however, define varëäçram to be based on one’s actions and personal character. It is defined in scripture what are the qualities and occupations of the different classes. Depending on ones occupation and his qualities he is to be known to belong to that class. It is by qualification, not by birth. This system of varëäçram is referred to as daiva, or Godly as it is based directly on Lord Krishna’s teaching in the Bhagavad Gita.


Dharma has many connotations. It is often translated to mean religion or religiousity. However, Çréla Prabhupäd has also defined it to means constitutional quality, or innate duty. The constitutional quality of sugar is that it is sweet. In relation to society one has certain innate duties or occupational duties. A policeman, for instance, has innate duties to society to perform. That is his dharma. In this way the four classes or varnas have specific duties to society to perform. As well as there are different duties or dharmas for men and women in society. The Sanatan-Dharma is our eternal dharma or eternal duty. That is our loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna.

GBC - Governing Body Commission:

Set up by Çréla Prabhupäd to manage and guide the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The board consists of a number of members from different places of the world.

Grhasta: see varëäçram

ISKCON - International Society for Krishna Consciousness:

ISKCON was legally established by Çréla Prabhupäd in July of 1966. ISKCON is the legal name for the Hard Krishna Movement. The purpose of ISKCON is to propagate the teachings of Krishna as presented to us through His Divine Grace, Çréla Prabhupäd. And to create a society of devotees where they can live and associate together for the purpose of glorifying and serving the Supreme Lord,. Sri Krishna.

Kanyä Däya:

Kanyä means young girl, unwed daughter. And däya means unforgivable duty or obligation. The term describes the father’s most obligatory duty to get his daughter married during her youth.


Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is God. The source of all material and spiritual energies. God is eternal and He is non-different from His name and form. Krishna displayed His original form and activities here on earth over 5,000 years ago. His teachings are recorded in the Bhagavad Gita.

Ksatriya: see varëäçram


The great history of Earth. It is the history of the rulers of the Earth planet at the time of Krishna’s appearance here 5,000 years ago. Bhagavad Gita, Krishna’s own direct teachings, is one of the chapters of the Mahabharat.

Manu Samhita (or Manu Smriti):

(refer to section on Information About Manu Samhita)


Mata means mother. In Vedic culture all women, except one’s wife, are addressed as mother, mataji. Ji at the end is a salutation of added respect.


Sankirtan is the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of God. It was used in this book in reference to the women’s traveling Sankirtan party. In this context sankirtan refers to the distribution of books which are about Krishna. Books which are about Krishna are also considered sankirtan as they chant the glories of Krishna Name as well.

Sannyasi: see varëäçram

Çréla Prabhupäd:

See A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda

Srimad Bhagavatam:

The Beautiful Story of God. The Bhagavatam is one of the 18 Puranas. The Puranas are the Vedic history books which related historical events that took place not only on this planet, but throughout the universe. These histories were written down 5,000 years ago, but tell of events that happened not just at that time, but back to the beginning of creation, 100’s of millions of years ago.

The Srimad Bhagavatam is the Purana which deals specifically with the histories of Bhagavan, God.

Sudra: see varëäçram

Vaishya: see varëäçram

Vanaprastha: see varëäçram


In human society there are 4 varnas and 4 asrams.

The 4 varnas are sudras, the laborer or working class man. The vaishya are the merchants, businessmen, and landlords. The ksatriyas are the government men, and the brahmanas, the educated or priestly class of men. All human societies have these 4 classes, however, the Vedic culture emphasizes these 4 class divisions, defining each of the duties and engagements in a scientific manner for organizing the society. The aim and result is a more peaceful and prosperous society that has God and religious or spiritual values and goals as its central foundation.

There are also 4 asrams. These are the 4 spiritual divisions. The word Brahma means spirit. Of or about spiritual or religious knowledge. The first social division is the brahmacari. This means a celibant student who is engaged in study and learning of brahman, or the spiritual qualities of life. The grhasta, the married man, then vanaprastha, one who is renouncing his family life, and sannyas, one who gives up all connection with worldly family life and dedicates his remaining years as a teacher of the scriptures.


Varëäçram Dharma are the laws and rules given by scriptural injunction which are intended to regulate and govern the social orders society.

Vedas (Vedic):

Veda means knowledge. The Vedas are scriptures written in the Sanskrit language. By their own description they are the oldest and original scripture of not just this planet, but the entire universe. There are 4 main Vedas, Rig, Yajnur, Sama and Atharva. And the Upanishads, the 18 Puranas or history books, of which Srimad Bhagavatam is consider the spotless Purana as it is a history of the many appearances of the Supreme Godhead and His activities. Bhagavad Gita is but one chapter of the Mahabharat. The history of the ruling kings of the planet at the time of Krishna’s advent 5,000 years ago.