Glossary of Important Proper Nouns and Epithets

Aikṣvāka “descendant of Ikṣvāku,” patronymic used mainly of Daśaratha and Rāma
Anasūyā wife of the sage Atri, famous for her devotion and chastity
apsarases celestial maidens or nymphs, known for their beauty
asuras class of demons, the brothers of the gods
Aśvapati father of Kaikeyī and maternal grandfather of Bharata
Aśvins twin deities of the vedic pantheon renowned for their beauty
Ayodhyā capital city of the Ikṣvākus
Bhāgīrathī epithet of the Ganges
Bharadvāja sage who renders hospitality to Rāma and to Bharata
Bharata Daśaratha’s second son, by Kaikeyī
Brahmā creator divinity of the Hindu “trinity,” regarded as the “Grandfather” of all living creatures
Bṛhaspati family-priest of Indra
Citrakūṭa mountain where Rāma, Sītā, and Lakṣmaṇa live during their exile
dānavas class of demons descended from Danu
Daṇḍaka forest where Rāma, Sītā, and Lakṣmaṇa spent the greater part of their exile
Daśaratha Rāma’s father and king of Ayodhyā
Dāśarathi “descendant of Daśaratha,” patronymic used of Daśaratha’s four sons, especially Rāma
gandharvas class of semi-divine beings known for their musical abilities; gandharva women are noted for their beauty
Ganges a famous and holy river
Guha king of the Niṣādas and lord of Śṛṅgaverapura; he was an ally of Rāma, and assisted him during his exile
Ikṣvāku family name of the royal house of Ayodhyā
Indra king of the gods
Jābāli a minister of King Daśaratha
Jāhnavī epithet of the Ganges
Janaka king of Mithilā and father of Sītā
Jānakī “daughter of Janaka,” patronymic used of Sītā
Kaikeyī younger wife of Daśaratha and mother of Bharata
Kailāsa mountain peak in the Himalayas
Kākutstha “descendant of Kakutstha,” patronymic used of princes of the Ikṣvāku dynasty, especially Rāma and his brothers
Kālindī epithet of the Yamunā
Kaśyapa son of Marīci and father of gods and demons
Kausalyā senior wife of Daśaratha and mother of Rāma
Kekaya name of the father of Kaikeyī, and of the country of her birth in northwest India
Khara a brother of Rāvaṇa
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
Kubera god of wealth. son of Viśravas and half-brother of Rāvaṇa
Lakṣmaṇa son of Daśaratha and Sumitrā, and Rāma’s constant companion
Maithilī woman of Mithilā, epithet of Sītā
Mandākinī river flowing near Mount Citrakūṭa in Rāma’s place of exile
Mantharā hunchbacked slave-woman of Kaikeyī
Manu traditionally considered the father of the human race; the legendary founder of the Ikṣvāku dynasty
Maruts companions of Indra
Mithilā Janaka’s capital city
Nandigrāma village where Bharata lived during Rāma’s exile
Nārāyaṇa epithet of Viṣṇu
Niṣādas forest-dwelling hunters and fishermen, ruled by Guha
Prajāpati “lord of creatures,” epithet of Brahmā
Rāghava “descendant of Raghu,” patronymic used especially of Rāma and his brothers
Raghu son of Kakutstha and ancestor of Rāma; also used like “Rāghava”
Rājagṛha capital city of the Kekayas
rākṣasa class of violent and bloodthirsty demons, ruled by Rāvaṇa
Rāma eldest son of Daśaratha and Kausalyā, and hero of the Rāmāyaṇa
Rāvaṇa main antagonist of the Rāmāyaṇa, the ten-headed overlord of the rākṣasas
Śacī’s lord epithet of Indra, Sacī being Indra’s wife
Sagara an Ikṣvāku king, ancestor of Rāma
Śakra epithet of Indra
Sarayū river flowing on the outskirts of Ayodhyā
Śatrughna son of Daśaratha and Sumitrā, and Bharata’s constant companion
Saumitri “son of Sumitrā;” metronymic used of Lakṣmaṇa
Sītā daughter of Janaka, wife of Rāma, and heroine of the Rāmāyaṇa
Śrī goddess of royalty and consort of Viṣṇu
Śṛṅgaverapura town on the Ganges, ruled by the Niṣāda king, Guha
Sumantra charioteer and adviser to King Daśaratha
Sumitrā youngest wife of Daśaratha and mother of Lakṣmaṇa and Śatrughna
Suparṇa epithet of Garuḍa, Viṣṇu’s mount
Tamasā river near the Ganges
Vaidehī “woman of Videha,” epithet of Sītā
Vaiśravaṇa “son of Viśravas,” patronymic used of Kubera
Vaivasvata “son of Vivasvān,” patronymic used of Yama
Vāmadeva a minister of King Daśaratha
Varuṇa lord of the ocean
Vāsava epithet of Indra
Vasiṣṭha Daśaratha’s family preceptor
Videha country of Sītā’s birth
Viṣṇu one of the three main gods of the Hindu “trinity,” along with Brahmā and Śiva
Yama god of death
Yamunā a famous and holy river
Yudhājit son of the king of the Kekayas, brother of Kaikeyī and maternal uncle of Bharata