Glossary of Important Sanskrit Words, Proper Nouns, and Epithets

Agastya famous sage, son of Mitra-Varuṇa and Urvaśī
Agni god of fire
Aikṣvāka “descendant of Ikṣvāku,” used mainly of Daśaratha and Rāma
Airāvata an elephant, Indra’s mount
Amarāvatī the city of the god Indra
apsarases celestial maidens or nymphs, known for their beauty; frequently seen in the service of superior gods, especially Indra
asuras a class of demons, the elder brothers of the gods
Ayodhyā capital city of the Ikṣvākus
Bala (v.1. Vala) demon slain by Indra. “Slayer of Bala” is a common epithet of Indra
Bharata Daśaratha’ s second son, by Kaikeyī
Bhogavatī city of the serpents conquered by Rāvaṇa
Brahmā creator divinity of the Hindu “trinity,” who is regarded as the “Grandfather” of all living creatures
Bṛhaspati family priest of Indra and the gods
Caitraratha Kubera’s pleasure garden on Mount Meru
cāraṇas celestial bards
Citrakūṭa mountain where Rāma, Sītā, and Lakṣmaṇa first live during their exile
daityas a class of demons descended from Diti
Dakṣa one of the ten mind-born sons of Brahmā; he is said to have had many daughters
dānavas a class of demons descended from Danu
Daṇḍaka the forest where Rāma, Sītā, and Lakṣmaṇa spend part of their exile
Danu a name of Kabandha
Daśaratha Rāma’s father and king of Ayodhyā
Dāśarathi “descendant of Daśaratha,” used of Daśaratha’ s four sons, especially Rāma
Dūṣaṇa a general in Khara’s army in Janasthāna, slain by Rāma
gandharvas a class of semi-divine beings known for their musical abilities. Gandharva women are noted for their beauty
Ganges a famous and important river of ancient and modern India, which is personified as the daughter of Mt. Himalaya. She is the sister of Pārvatī
Garuḍa the king of the birds; Viṣṇu’s mount
Godāvarī a river in the Deccan
guhyakas see yakṣas
Himalaya name of a mountain range and king of the mountains
Ikṣvāku family name of the royal House of Ayodhyā
Ilvala a rākṣasa; brother of Vātāpi
Indra king of the gods who leads their hosts into battle against the asuras
Janaka lord of Mithilā, father of Sītā
Jānakī “daughter of Janaka;” epithet of Sītā
Janasthāna part of the Daṇḍaka forest and the residence of Śūrpaṇakhā, sister of Rāvaṇa, and her brother Khara
Jaṭāyus a vulture, friend of Daśaratha
Jaya father of Virādha
Kabandha a rākṣasa slain by Rāma
Kaikeyī junior wife of Daśaratha and the mother of Bharata
Kailāsa mountain peak in the Himalayas where Śiva and Pārvatī reside
Kākutstha “descendant of Kakutstha;” a common epithet of princes of the Ikṣvāku dynasty, especially Rāma and his brothers
Kāma god of love
Kandarpa epithet of Kāma
Kausalyā senior wife of Daśaratha, mother of Rāma
Khara brother of Rāvaṇa and Śūrpaṇakhā
kinnaras mythical creatures with the head of a horse and a human body; kinnara women are famed for their beauty
Kosala kingdom of the Ikṣvākus
Krauñca a mountain or forest south of Janasthāna
Kubera god of wealth, son of Viśravas and half-brother of Rāvaṇa. Kubera is the king of the yakṣas
Kumbhakarṇa brother of Rāvaṇa, known for his great site
Lakṣmaṇa son of Daśaratha by Sumitrā, Rāma’s constant companion
Laṅkā Rāvaṇa’s capital city, scene of Sītā’s confinement and the epic’s culminating battle
Maithilī “woman of Mithilā,” epithet of Sītā
Māṇḍakarṇi a sage who lived on air for ten thousand years
Mandākinī tributary of the Ganges; sometimes an epithet of the Ganges
Mandara a mountain used as the churning rod in the mythical churning of the ocean
Manmatha epithet of Kāma
Mārīca a rākṣasa, son of Sunda and Tāṭakā
Maruts storm gods, companions of Indra
Mataṅga a sage whose ashram is near Ṛśyamūka mountain
Meru a mythical mountain; thought to be the axis mundi
Namuci an asura slain by Indra
Nandana the pleasure garden of Indra
Nandi a bull, Śiva’s mount
Niṣādas forest-dwelling hunters and fishermen
Pāka a demon slain by Indra; the deed gives rise to the common epithet of the great god: Pākaśāsana, “chastiser of Pāka”
Pampā the lake or river where Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa first encounter Hanumān and Sugrīva
Pañcavaṭī a forest where Rāma, Sītā, and Lakṣmaṇa live during their exile
piśācas a class of demons of a particularly low order
Prasravaṇa mountain where Rāma, Sītā, and Lakṣmaṇa reside for part of their exile
Pulastya mind-born son of Brahmā, ancestor of the rākṣasas
Puṣpaka the aerial chariot stolen by Rāvaṇa from Kubera
Rāghava any descendant of Raghu, used especially of Rāma and his brothers
Raghu son of Kakutstha, ancestor of Rāma
Rāhu the asura who causes eclipses by swallowing the sun and moon
rākṣasa a class of violent and bloodthirsty demons
Rāma eldest son of Daśaratha by Kausalyā
Rambhā an apsaras with whom Tumburu is in love
Rāvaṇa main antagonist of the Rāmāyaṇa; the rākṣasas’ ten-headed overlord who abducts Sītā
Ṛkṣarajas a monkey, father of Sugrīva
Rohiṇī daughter of Dakṣa, favorite consort of the moon
Ṛśyamūka the mountain where Rāma meets the monkey Sugrīva
Rudra epithet of Śiva
Rudras sons or companions of the storm god
Śabarī hermit woman who shows hospitality to Rāma
Śacī’s lord a common epithet of Indra; Śacī is Indra’s wife
Śakra a common epithet of Indra
Śarabhaṅga an ascetic whom Rāma, Sītā, and Lakṣmaṇa seek out after their encounter with the rākṣasa Virādha
Sarayū a river that flows through the kingdom of Kosala
Śatahradā mother of Virādha
Saumitri “son of Sumitrā;” matronymic epithet of Lakṣmaṇa
Sītā daughter of Janaka, wife of Rāma
Śrī goddess of royalty, consort of Viṣṇu
Sthūlaśiras sage who curses Kabandha to retain his hideous form
Śukra preceptor of the asuras
Sumitrā juniormost wife of Daśaratha, mother of Lakṣmaṇa and Śatrughna
Suparṇa epithet of Garuḍa
Śūrpaṇakhā a rākṣasa woman, sister of Rāvaṇa
Sutīkṣṇa a sage who shows hospitality to Rāma
Takṣaka serpent lord defeated by Rāvaṇa
Triśiras a rākṣasa lieutenant of Khara, slain in single combat by Rāma
Tumburu a gandharva cursed to become the rākṣasa Virādha
Vaidehī “woman of Videha,” epithet of Sītā
Vaiśravaṇa “descendant of Viśravas,” epithet of Kubera
Vaivasvata “descendant of Vivasvān;” patronymic epithet of Yama
Vālin king of the monkeys, husband of Tārā, and son of Indra; he is the elder brother of Sugrīva
Varuṇa god of the ocean
Vāsava an epithet of Indra
Vāsuki serpent lord defeated by Rāvaṇa
Vasus a class of gods
Vātāpi a rākṣasa, brother of Ilvala, slain by the sage Agastya
Vāyu god of the wind
Vibhīṣaṇa a rākṣasa, brother of Rāvaṇa, ally of Rāma
Vindhya a mountain range in central India
Virādha a rākṣasa, who, having attempted to abduct Sītā, is slain by Rāma