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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Moynihan / South Asia Center

Glossary

Ayodhya (EYE-’YODE’-YA)- Capital city of Kosala which was ruled by Dasaratha, later by Rama.
Asoka (AH-’SHOW’-KA) - Garden in Lanka where Ravana kept Sita captive.
Avatar (AH-VAH-’TAR’) - The incarnation of a god into another form. The incarnation of Vishnu on earth is Rama.
Bharata (BAH-’HRA’-TA)- Son of Queen Kaikeyi and the half brother of Rama.
Boon - A promise or reward
Brahma (‘BRAH’-MA) - The creator god of the Hindu triad of gods which includes Shiva and Vishnu.
Chitrakoot (CHEE-TRAH-’KOOT’)- A beautiful forest where Rama, Sita and Lakshmana lived.
Dandaka (‘DAHN’-DA-KA)- Great forest which Rama, Sita and Lakshmana traveled through for ten years of their exile.
Dasaratha (DAH-SHAH-’RAH’-TA)- King of Kosala and Rama's earthly father
Dharma (‘DAR’-MA)- Laws, duties and obligations
Dushan (‘DOO-SHUN)- Brother of Ravana and Surpurnakha.
Ganges (‘GAHN’-JEEZ)- The river considered sacred by Hindus.
Garuda (GAH-’ROO’-DA)- King of winged creatures
Godavari (GO-’DAH’-VA-REE)- River Rama, Sita and Lakshmana cross to get to Panchavati.
Hanuman (‘HUN’-YOU-MUN)- Monkey warrior who became Rama's devoted friend and servant.
Indrajit (IN-’DRAH’-JIT)- Ravana's favorite son who fought Rama with magical weapons.
Jambuvan(‘JAM’-BUH-VAHN)- Leader of the bears who found Sita.
Janaka (‘JAH’-NA-KA)- King of Mithila who found Sita in a furrow.
Jatayu (JA-’TIE’-YOO)- The great bird who tried to rescue Sita and was killed by Ravana.
Kaikeyi(KYE-’KAY’-YEE)- Dasaratha's youngest queen and the mother of Bharata. She called for Rama's exile.
Kailasa (KYE-’LAH’-SA)- Mountain where Hanuman found the medicinal herbs.
Kausalya (COW-’SAL’-YA)- Dasaratha's queen and Rama's mother.
Khar (CAR)- Brother of Ravana and Surpurnakha.
Kiskindha (KISH-’KIN’-DA)- The monkey kingdom ruled by Sugriva.
Kosala (KOH-’SAH’-LA)- The kingdom ruled by Dasaratha.
Kush (COOSH)- Sita and Rama's son, twin of Lava.
Lakshmana (LAKS-’SHMA’-NA)- Queen Sumitra's son and devoted half-brother of Rama.
Lanka (‘LAHNG’-KA)- Island kingdom ruled by Ravana
Lava (‘LAH’-VA)- Sita and Rama's son, twin of Kush.
Lotus (‘LOW’-TUSS)- Flower; Hindu symbol of beauty, purity & good fortune
Manthara (‘MAHN’-TA-RA)- Maid servant who convinced Kaikeyi to have Rama exiled and make Bharata king.
Mantra (‘MAHN’-TRA)- Hindu prayers or incantations.
Mareech (MUH-’REACH’)- The magician who helped Ravana capture Sita.
Nala (‘NAH’-LA)- Son of the great builder who helped Rama construct the bridge to Lanka.
Panchavati (PUN-CHA-’VAH’-TEE)- Rama, Sita and Lakshmana’s abode in the forest.
Payasam (‘PYE’-EH-SUM)- A mixture of rice pudding, milk and sugar.
Rakshasas (‘RAHK’-SHA-SHASS)- Warrior-demons.
Ravana (‘RAH’-VA-NA)- King of Lanka who kidnaped Sita and was defeated by Rama.
Sanyasi (SUN-’YAH’-SEE)- A religious man who lives in a forest, a hermit.
Sarayu (SAH-’RYE’-YOO)- The river that runs alongside Ayodhya.
Sari (‘SAH’-REE)- A garment of yards of cloth draped to form a skirt and head or shoulder covering.
Sat-purusa (SAHT-POO-’ROO’-SHA)- The ideal Hindu man.
Shiva (‘SHIV’-AH)- The deity whose bow Rama lifted to win Sita's hand in marriage.
Surpanakha (SHURE-’PAH’-NAH-KA)- Ravana's demon sister.
Sita (‘SEE’-TA)- Daughter of King Janaka, wife of Rama; name literally means “furrow.”
Sugriva (SOO-’GREE’-VA)- Monkey king of Kiskindha who helped Rama get Sita back.
Sumantra (SOO-’MAHN’-TRA)- Charioteer of Kosala.
Sumitra (SOO-’MEE’-TRA)- One of Dasaratha's queens and mother of twin sons Shatrughna and Lakshmana.
Tataka (‘TAH’-TA-KA)- Demoness who was killed by Rama.
Valmiki (VAHL-’MEE’-KEE)- Poet and author of the Ramayana who helps Sita and her twin sons.
Vasistha (VAH-’SEESH’-TA)- Priest to King Dasaratha.
Vibhishana (VEE-’BEE’SHA-NA) - Ravana's brother who leaves Lanka to join Rama.
Vishnu (‘VISH’-NOO)- God who came to earth in the form of Rama to rid the world of demons.
Vishwamitra (VISH-WAH-’MEE’TRA)- Religious man; went to forest with Rama to kill the demons that were bothering him.

REFERENCE AND CLASSROOM MATERIALS