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Uparichara - Vikarna - The Manurishi Foundation - Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms

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12.Uparichara - Vikarna


Uparichara: (sáns. hindú). A Vasu or demigod, who, according to the Mahabharata, became king of Chedi by command of Indra. He had five sons by his wife; and by an Apsara, named Adrika; condemned to live on earth in the form of a fish, he had a son named Matsya (fish), and a daughter, Satyavati, who was the mother of Vyasa.

Upasa: (sáns. hindú). (upa "near" + asa "sitting") Worship or meditation, mainly of the Saguna or conditioned Brahman, but also of the Nirguna or unconditioned Brahman. Comparing the sacred syllable "OM" to a bow, the individual soul to an arrow and Brahman to its target.

Upasaka: (sáns. hindú). (upa "near" + asaka "sitting") The worshipper. See Upasa.

Upashanta: (sáns. hindú). (upa "down" + shanta "calmed") The calmed down, appeased; one whose mind is controlled by the practice of Shama.

Upashruti: (sáns. hindú). A supernatural voice which is heard at night revealing the secrets of the future.

Upasita: (sáns. hindú). (upa "near" + asita "sitter") The worshipper. See Upasa.

Upasunda: (sáns. hindú). A Daitya, son of Nisunda, brother of Sunda, and father of Muka. See Sunda.

Upavedas: (sáns. hindú). Subordinate Vedas. These are sciences which have no connection with the Shruti or revealed Veda. They are four in number: 1. Ayurveda, medicine; 2. Gandharvaveda, music and dancing; 3. Dhanurveda, archery, military science; 4. Sthapatyaveda, architecture.

Upavi: (sáns. hindú). The name of a Rishi.

Upendra: (sáns. hindú). (upa "near, over" + indra "chief, lord") 1. The overlord. 2. Vishnu's 151st name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama.

Upendra: (sáns. hindú). A title given to Krishna by Indra.

Upoditi: (sáns. hindú). The name of a Rishi.

Uragas: (sáns. hindú). The Nagas or serpents inhabiting Patala.

Urja: (sáns. hindú). The strong.

Urjani: (sáns. hindú). Strength personified.

Urmila: (sáns. hindú). Daughter of Janaka, sister of Sita, wife of Lakshmana, and mother of Gandharvi Somada.

Urva: (sáns. hindú). Father of Richika and grandfather of Jamadagni.

Urvarapati: (sáns. hindú). (urvara "harvest" + pati "lord") The lord of the harvest.

Urvashi: (sáns. hindú). A celestial nymph, mentioned first in the Rigveda. The sight of her beauty is said to have caused the generation, in a peculiar way, of the sage Agastya and the sage Vasishtha by Mitra and Varuna. A verse says, "And you, 0 Vasishtha are a son of Mitra and Varuna." She roused the anger of these two deities and incurred their curse, through which she came to live upon the earth, and became the wife or mistress of Pururavas. The story of her amour with Pururavas is first told in the Shatapatha Brahmana. The loves of Pururavas, the Vikrama or hero, and of Urvashi, the nymph, are the subject of Kalidasa's drama called Vikramorvashi. See Pururavas.

Usha: (sáns. hindú). A Daitya princess, daughter of Bana and granddaughter of Bali. She is called also Pritijusha. She fell in love with a prince whom she saw in a dream, and was anxious to know if there were such a person. Her favorite companion, Chitralekha drew the portraits of many gods and men, but Usha's choice fell upon Aniruddha, son of Pradyumna and grandson of Krishna.

Chitralekha, by her magic power, brought Aniruddha to Usha. Her father, on hearing of the youth's being in the palace, endeavored to kill him, but he defended himself successfully. Bana, however, kept Aniruddha, "binding him in serpent bonds." Krishna, Pradyumna, and Balarama went to the rescue; and although Bana was supported by Shiva and by Skanda, god of war, his party was defeated, and Aniruddha was carried back to Dvaraka with his wife Usha.

Ushanas: (sáns. hindú). 1. The planet Venus or its regent, also called Shukra. 2. Author of a Dharmashastra or law-book.

Ushangu: (sáns. hindú). 1. The name of a Rishi. 2. A name of Shiva.

Ushapati: (sáns. hindú). (usha "Dawn" + pati "lord, husband") The lord or husband of Usha, a name of Aniruddha.

Ushas: (sáns. hindú). The dawn, the hwV of the Greeks and Aurora of the Latins. She is the daughter of heaven and sister of the Adityas. This is one of the most beautiful myths of the Vedas and enveloped in poetry. Ushas is the friend of men, and smiles like a young wife, she is the daughter of the sky, she goes to every house, she thinks of the dwellings of men, she does not despise the small or the great, she brings wealth; she is always the same, immortal, divine, age cannot touch her; she is the young goddess, but she makes men grow old. "All this," adds Max Müller, "may be simply allegorical language. But the transition from Devi, "the bright," to Devi, the goddess, is so easy; the daughter of the sky assumes so readily the same personality which is given to the sky, Dyaus, her father, that we can only guess whether, in every passage, the poet is speaking of a bright apparition or of a bright goddess, of a natural vision or a visible deity." She is called Ahana and Dyotana, "the illumer."

Ushasta: (sáns. hindú). The name of a Rishi.

Ushesha: (sáns. hindú). (usha "wife of Aniruddha" + isha "lord, husband") 1. The lord of the Dawn or Usha, a name of Aniruddha. 2. The lord of the night, a name of the moon-god.

Ushij: (sáns. hindú). Mentioned in the Rigveda as the mother of Kakshivat. A female servant of the queen of the Kalinga Raja. The king desired his queen to submit to the embraces of the sage Dirghatamas, in order that he might beget a son. The queen substituted her bondmaid Ushij. The sage, cognizant of the deception, sanctified Ushij, and begat upon her a son, Kakshivat, who, through his affiliation by the king; was a Kshatriya, but, as the son of Dirghatamas, was a Brahman. This story is told in the Mahabharata and some of the Puranas.

Ushmapas: (sáns. hindú). The Pitris or a class of Pitris.

Usra: (sáns. hindú). Dawn.

Utanka: (sáns. hindú). The name of a Rishi.

Utathya: (sáns. hindú). A Brahman of the race of Angiras, who married Bhadra, daughter of Soma, a woman of great beauty. The god Varuna, who had formerly been enamored of her, carried her off from Utathya's hermitage, and would not give her up to Narada, who was sent to bring her back. Utathya, greatly enraged, drank up all the sea, still Varuna would not let her go. At the desire of Utathya, the lake of Varuna was then dried up and the ocean swept away. The saint then addressed himself to the countries and to the river: "Sarasvati, disappear into the desert, and let this land, deserted by you, become impure." "After the country had become dried up, Varuna submitted himself to Uhathya and brought back Bhadra. The sage was pleased to get back his wife, and released both the world and Varuna from their sufferings."

Uti: (sáns. hindú). Help, protection.

Utkala: (sáns. hindú). The modern Orissa. It gives its name to one of the five northern nations of Brahmans. See Brahman.

Utkila: (sáns. hindú). The name of a Rishi.

Utpali: (sáns. hindú). Abounding in lotuses.

Utpara: (sáns. hindú). Endless, boundless.

Uttama: (sáns. hindú). (ut "high, excellent" + tama "highly") 1. The Highest. 2. The most Excellent. 3. A name of Vishnu, generally compounded with Purusha in Purushottama, meaning either the highest (urdhvatama) or the most excellent (utkrishtatama) Being. 4. The name of a grandson of Manu.

Uttamaujas: (sáns. hindú). A warrior of great strength, and an ally of the Pandavas.

Uttanapada: (sáns. hindú). A son of Manu and Shatarupa. By his wife Sunrita he had four sons, Dhruva, Kirtiman, Ayushman, and Vasu. Some of the Puranas gave him another wife, Suruchi, and a son, Uttama. See Dhruva.

Uttanapad: (sáns. hindú). Outstretched, supine. In the Vedas, a peculiar creative source from which the earth sprang. Supposed to refer to the posture of a woman in parturition.

Uttara: (sáns. hindú). (ut "over, excellent" + tara "crossing, most") 1. The Redeemeer. 2. The most Excellent. 3. Vishnu's 494 th name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama. 4. A son and daughter of the Raja of Virata. The son was killed in battle by Shalya. The daughter married Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna. 5. Later one. Shiva's 118th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Uttaraka: (sáns. hindú). (ut "over" + taraka "causing to cross") 1. The deliverer from rebirth, a name of Shiva. 2. Redeemer. Shiva's 500th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Uttarakuru: (sáns. hindú). A region lying far to the north (see Jambudvipa). In the plural, Uttarakuru means the inhabitants of this region.

Uttaramimansa: (sáns. hindú). A school of philosophy. See Darshana.

Uttaranaishadacharita: (sáns. hindú). A poem on the life of Nala, king of Nishada, written about the year 1000 CE by Harsha, a well known sceptical philosopher.

Uttararamacharita: (sáns. hindú). The later chronicle of Rama. A drama by Bhavabhuti on the latter part of Rama's life. The second part of King Rama, as the Mahaviracharita is the first. The drama is based on the Uttara Kanda of the Ramayana, and quotes two or three verses from that poem. It was probably written about the beginning of the eighth century.


Va: (sáns. hindú). 1. A name of Varuna. 2. A name of Varuna's dwelling.

Vac: (sáns. hindú). Speech. In the Rigveda, Vac appears to be the personification of speech by whom knowledge was communicated to man. Thus she is said to have "entered into the Rishis," and to make whom she loves terrible and intelligent, a priest and a Rishi. She was "generated by the gods," and is called "the divine Vac," "queen of the gods," and she is described as "the melodious cow who milked forth sustenance and water," "who yields us nourishment and sustenance." The Brahmanas associate her with Prajapati in the work of creation. In the Taittiriya Brahmana she is called "the mother of the Vedas," and "the wife of Indra who contains within herself all worlds." In the Shatapatha Brahmana she is represented as entering into a coitus with Prajapati, who, "being desirous of creating, connected himself with various spouses," and among them, "through his mind, with Vac," from whom "he created the waters;" or, as this last sentence is differently translated, "He created the waters from the world (in the form) of speech (Vac)." In the Kathaka Upanishad this idea is more distinctly formulated: "Prajapati was this universe. Vac was a second to him. He joined in coitus with her; she became pregnant; she departed from him; she produced these creatures; she again entered into Prajapati."

The Aitareya Brahmana and the Shatapatha Brahmana have a story of the Gandharvas having stolen the Soma juice, or, as one calls it, "King Soma," and that as the Gandharvas were fond of women, Vac was, at her own suggestion, "turned into a female" by the gods and Rishis, and went to recover it from them. In the Atharvaveda she is identified with Viraj, and is the daughter of Kama (desire). "That daughter of thine, 0 Kama, is called the cow, she whom sages denominate Vac-Viraj." The Mahabharata also calls her "the mother of the Vedas," and says, "A voice derived from Brahma entered into the ear of them all; the celestial Sarasvati was then produced from the heavens." Here and "in the later mythology, Sarasvati as identified with Vac and became, under different names, the spouse of Brahma and the goddess of wisdom and eloquence, and is invoked as a muse," generally under the name of Sarasvati, but sometimes as Vac. The Bhagavatapurana recognizes her a "the slender and enchanting daughter" of Brahma, for whom he had a passion, and from whom mankind was produced, that is the female Viraj. (See Viraj and Shatarupa.) Sarasvati as wife of Brahma and goddess of wisdom, represents perhaps the union of power and intelligence which was supposed to operate in the work of creation. According to the Padmapurana, Vac was daughter of Daksha, wife of Kashyapa, and mother of the Gandharvas and Apsaras.

Vacaspati: (sáns. hindú). 1. Lord of speech. 2. Shiva's 472nd name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vadanya: (sáns. hindú). 1. Generous, bountiful. 2. Eloquent. 3. The name of a Rishi.

Vadava: (sáns. hindú). The submarine fire which "devours the water of the ocean," causing it to throw off the vapors which are condensed into rain and snow. The word is also written "Badava." See Aurva.

Vadavanala: (sáns. hindú). See Vadava.

Vagdevi: (sáns. hindú). 1. The Goddess of Speech. 2. In the Brahmanas, Sarasvati is identified with this goddess. However, the connection of these two goddesses is not clear.

Vagisha: (sáns. hindú). 1. Lord of speech. 2. Shiva's 55th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98. 3. Mistress of speech. 4. An epithet of Sarasvati.

Vagishvara: (sáns. hindú). (vac "speech" + isvara "lord") 1. The Lord of (Vedic) speech. 2. A name of the Creator Brahma, who was first given the Vedas by Narayana and who then imparted that divine speech to the Rishis, his mind-born sons. 3. A name of Shiva, who revealed the Sanskrit alphabet to Panani with His Damaru.

Vagishvari: (sáns. hindú). (vac "speech" + ishvari "sovereign goddess") 1. The sovereign Goddess of speech. 2. A name of Sarasvati (i.e. Brahma's divine power of Vedic speech, personified as his consort).

Vahana: (sáns. hindú). A vehicle. Most of the gods are represented as having animals as their vahanas. Brahma has the Hansa, swan or goose; Vishnu has Garuda, half eagle, half man; Shiva, the bull Nandi, Indra, an elephant; Yama, a buffalo; Karttikeya, a peacock; Kamadeva, the marine monster Makara, or a parrot; Agni, a ram; Varuna, a fish; Ganesha, a rat; Vayu, an antelope; Shani, or Saturn, a vulture; Durga, a tiger.

Vahni: (sáns. hindú). Fire. See Agni.

Vahuka: (sáns. hindú). 1. Charioteer. 2. A name and office assumed by Nala in his time of disguise.

Vaibhojas: (sáns. hindú). The Mahabharata says, "The descendants of Druhyu are the Vaibhojas." Wilson claims they are, "A people unacquainted with the use of cars or beasts of burden, and who travel on rafts, they have no kings."

Vaibhraja: (sáns. hindú). 1. A celestial grove. 2. A grove of the gods on Mount Suparshva, west of Meru.

Vaidarbha: (sáns. hindú). Belonging to the country of Vidarbha or Birar. The people of that country.

Vaideha: (sáns. hindú). 1. Belonging to the country of Videha or Tirhoot. 2. The king or the people of the country. Janaka was called Vaideha and Sita was Vaidehi.

Vaidyanatha: (sáns. hindú). 1. Lord of physicians. 2. A title of Shiva. 3. Name of one of the twelve great Lingas. See Linga.

Vaijayanta: (sáns. hindú). The palace or the banner of Indra.

Vaijayanthi: (sáns. hindú). 1. Victorious. 2. The name of Vishnu's garland of forest flowers. See Vanamali.

Vaijayanti: (sáns. hindú). 1. The necklace of Vishnu, composed of five precious gems; pearl, ruby, emerald, sapphire, and diamond; it "is the aggregate of the five elemental rudiments." 2. A commentary by Nanda Pandita on the Vishnu Smriti.

Vaikarttana: (sáns. hindú). A name of Karna from his putative father, Vikarttana, the sun.

Vaikuntha: (sáns. hindú). 1. The Savior. 2. Vishnu's 405 th name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama. 3. The paradise of Vishnu, sometimes described as on Mount Meru, and at others as in the Northern Ocean. It is also called Vaibhra.

Vaimitra: (sáns. hindú). A goddess from the Vanaparva of the Mahabharata, perhaps a Matrika, who was born from the child Karttikeya (with a host of others), when Indra struck him with his thunderbolt. The group of goddesses were adopted by Karttikeya as his mothers.

Vainateya: (sáns. hindú). A name of Vishnu's bird Garuda.

Vairagi: (sáns. hindú). The dispassionate, one who is accomplished in Vairagya, dispassion. According to the traditional Yoga masters there are five degrees of Vairagya: Yatamana-Vairagya, dispassion through effort, Vyatireka-Vairagya, dispassion through analysis, Ekendriya-Vairagya, dispassion through the single mind-sense, Vashikara-Vairagya, dispassion through mastery, and Para-Vairagya, supreme dispassion due to Self-knowledge. See the Yogasutras I:15-16. In Dhyana Yoga, the yoga of meditation, Vairagya is always conjoined with Abhyasa, repeated practice, in the development of concentration. See Yogasutra I:12. In commenting on this sutra Vyasa says the flow of the mind is twofold, toward evil and good; the evil flow is arrested by Vairagya and the good flow is engendered by Abhyasa. Also see the Bhagavad Gita VI:35-6. In Jnana Yoga, the Yoga of wisdom, vairagya is the second of the Four Means, the Sadhana-Catushaya. (The Four Means are 1) Viveka (discrimination) 2) Vairagya (dispassion) 3) Shatsampatki (the sixfold wealth) which in turn consists of a) Shama (mind- control) b) Dama (sense-control) c) Uparati (withdrawal) d) Titiksha (endurance) e) Shraddha (faith) and f) Samadhana (concentration) and 4) Mumukshutva (desire of liberation).)

The need for Vairagya is based on the authority of the Mundaka Upanishad, which discusses dispassion. Dispassion comes from Viveka, discrimination between the Eternal and the non-eternal, and culminates in Sannyasa, complete renunciation. Both Vairagya and Viveka are brought about by Karma Yoga, the Yoga of selfless service, which purifies the mind and renders it fit for Jnana Yoga. See also the Bhagavad Gita II:52; V:22; VIII:16; IX:20-21; XIII:8; XVIII:52; the Yogasutras III:50; the first chapter of Valmiki's Yoga-Vasishtha, entitled Vairagya-Prakarana, in which Rama expresses his utter dispassion born of Viveka; and the Vairagya: (sáns. hindú). Shatakam "The Hundred Verses on Dispassion" by Bhartrihari.

Vairaj: (sáns. hindú). Manu the son of Viraj.

Vairajas: (sáns. hindú). Semi-divine beings or Manes unconsumable by fire, who dwell in Tapoloka, but are capable of translation to Satyaloka. The Kashikhanda explains this term as the Manes of "ascetics, mendicants, anchorets, and penitents, who have completed a course of rigorous austerities." See Pitris.

Vairochana: (sáns. hindú). A name of Bali.

Vaishali: (sáns. hindú). A city founded by Vishala, son of Trinabindu. This is "a city of considerable renown in Indian tradition, but its site is a subject of some uncertainty." It was a place among the Buddhists, and would seem to have been located on the left bank of the Ganges. Cunningham placed it about 27 miles north of Patna. It is frequently confused with Vishala i.e., Ujjayini.

Vaishampayana: (sáns. hindú). A sage who was the original teacher of the Black Yajurveda.

He was a pupil of the great Vyasa, from whom he learned the Mahabharata, which he afterwards recited to King Janamejaya at a festival. The Harivansha is also represented as having been communicated by him.

Vaisheshika: (sáns. hindú). The Atomic school of philosophy. See Darshana.

Vaishnava: (sáns. hindú). 1. The devotee of Vishnu. See Vishnu. 2. With a long terminal a, the consort of Vishnu, a name of Lakshmi.

Vaishnavi: (sáns. hindú). A Matrika. The shakti of Vishnu who was made manifest to aid Devi in a battle against the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha. For further details see Brahmani. In the Varahapurana Vaishnavi is attributed with the emotion of greed.

Vaishravana: (sáns. hindú). Patronymic of Kuvera.

Vaishvanara: (sáns. hindú). A name by which Agni is occasionally known in the Rigveda.

Vaishya: (sáns. hindú). The third or trading and agricultural caste. See Varna.

Vaitana Sutra: (sáns. hindú). The ritual of the Atharvaveda.

Vaitarani: (sáns. hindú). (The river) to be crossed; that is, the river of hell, which must be crossed before the infernal regions can be entered. This river is described as being filled with blood, ordure, and all sorts of filth, and to run with great impetuosity. A second river stated by the Mahabharata to be in the country of the Kalingas; it must be the river of the same name (vulg. "Byeturnee") somewhat higher up in Cuttack.

Vaivasvata: (sáns. hindú). 1. Name of the seventh Manu; he was son of Surya and father of Ikshvacu, the founder of the Solar race of kings. 2. Pertaining to the sun. Shiva's 478th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vajasaneyi Sanhita: (sáns. hindú). The body of hymns forming the White Yajurveda. See Vedas.

Vajin: (sáns. hindú). A priest of the White Yajurveda.

Vajra: (sáns. hindú). 1. The thunderbolt of Indra, said to have been made of the bones of the Rishi Dadhichi. It is a circular weapon, with a hole in the center, according to some, but others represent it as consisting of two transverse bars. It has many names: Ashani, Abhrottha, "sky-born"; Bahudara, "much cleaving"; Bhidira or Chidaka, "the splitter"; Dambholi and Jasuri, "destructive"; Hradin, "roaring"; Kulisa, "axe"; Pavi, "pointed"; Phenavahin, "foam-bearing"; Shatkona, "hexagon"; Shambha and Svaru. 2. Son of Aniruddha. His mother is sometimes said to be Aniruddha's wife Subhadra, and at others the Daitya princess Usha. Krishna just before his death made him king over the Yadavas at Indraprastha. 3. The adamant, unyielding. 4. A diamond.

Vajranabha: (sáns. hindú). The chakra (discus) of Krishna. According to the Mahabharata it was given to him by Agni for his assistance in defeating Indra and burning the Khandava forest.

Vaka: (sáns. hindú). A crane. A great Asura who lived, near the city of Ekacakra, and forced the Raja of the place to send him daily a large quantity of provisions, which he devoured, and not only the provisions, but the men who carried them. Under the directions of Kunti, her son Bhima took the provisions, and when the demon struck him, a terrific combat followed; each one tore up trees by the roots and belabored the other, until Bhima seized the demon by the legs and tore him asunder. Kuvera is sometimes called by this name.

Vakpati: (sáns. hindú). A late seventh or early eighth-century writer who wrote the Gaudavaho. Vikpati portrays Kali as an aspect of Durga called Vindhyavasini. See Gaudavaho.

Valakhilya: (sáns. hindú). Identical with the sages of that name. Shiva's 443 rd name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vala Khilyas: (sáns. hindú). 1. Eleven hymns of an apocryphal or peculiar character interpolated in the Rigveda. 2. Pigmy sages no bigger than a joint of the thumb, chaste, pious, resplendent as the rays of the sun." So described by the Vishnupurana, which sayS that they were brought forth by Samnati (humility), wife of Kratu, and were 60,000 in number. They are able to fly swifter than birds. The Rigveda says that they sprang from the hairs of Prajapati (Brahma). They are the guards of the chariot of the sun. They are also called Kharvas. Wilson says "they are not improbably connected with the character of Däumling, Thaumlin, Tamlane, Tom-a-lyn, or Tom Thumb."

Vallabha: (sáns. hindú). The beloved.

Vallabhacarin: (sáns. hindú). A religious movement within which devotion to the cowherd god is central.

Valli: (sáns. hindú). A Tamil name for the consort of Muruga.

Valmiki: (sáns. hindú). Born of an anthill. The name of the tenth son of sage Pracetas, who after leading the life of a highwayman was given the mantra Rama to repeat. He repeated this mantra with such total one-pointedness that he lost body consciousness and stayed seated in one position so long that his body became covered by an anthill. When he regained his outer consciousness, he had been transformed into a sage. He was the Guru of Bharadvaja and is considered the first and foremost of poets, the Adi-Kavi. He is said to be the first to compose a thirty-two syllable verse called a sloka, but it cannot be his, because the meter is found in the Vedas. At the request of Brahma, he narrated the Ramayana (the tale of Rama), in 24,000 verses filled with virtue and heroism. He also wrote the famous "Yoga-Vasishtha," which is composed of 36,000 verses and which contains the Vedantic teachings of Rishi Vasishtha to Rama. He himself is represented as taking part in some of the scenes he describes. He received the banished Sita into his hermitage at Chitrakuta, and educated her twin sons Kusha and Lava. "Tradition has marked a hill in the district of Banda in Bundlekand as his abode."

Vamacara: (sáns. hindú). Left-handed Tantrism.

Vamacaris: (sáns. hindú). Followers of the left-hand, or licentious, sect of Tantra. See Tantra.

Vamadeva: (sáns. hindú). (vama "beautiful" + deva "god") 1. The beautiful God. 2. The sixth of Shiva's 108 names, which refers to the fourth of his five faces and which is connected with the element water. (The other four faces or aspects of Shiva are Isana (Lord), Tatpurusha (That Being), Aghora (Non-Terrifying), and Sadyojata (the Today-Born).) 3. The name of a Rishi who revealed the five-syllabled mantra of Shiva and was one of the seers of the Rigveda. Vamadeva's Self-realization is described in the Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad. 4. Shiva's 48 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vamadevi: (sáns. hindú). 1. A Vedic Rishi, author of many hymns. In one of his hymns he represents himself as speaking before his birth, saying, "Let me not come forth by this path, for it is difficult (of issue): let me come forth obliquely from the side." Sayana, the commentator, says in explanation, "The Rishi Vamadeva, while yet in the womb, was reluctant to be born in the usual manner, and resolved to come into the world through his mother's side. Aware of his purpose, the mother prayed to Aditi, who thereupon came with her son Indra to expostulate with the Rishi." (This story accords with that told by the Buddhists of the birth of Buddha.) In the same hymn Vamadeva says, "In extreme destitution I have cooked the entrails of a dog," and Manu cites this to show that a man is not rendered impure even by eating the flesh of dogs for the preservation of his life. In another hymn he says, "As a hawk I came forth with speed;" and a commentator explains, "Having assumed the form of a hawk, he came forth from the womb by the power of Yoga, for he is considered to have been endowed with divine knowledge from the period of his conception." 2) a Vedic sage mentioned in the Mahabharata as possessor of two horses of marvellous speed called Vamyas. 3) a name of Shiva; also of one of the Rudras.

Vamakesi: (sáns. hindú). She who has beautiful hair. An epithet of Devi. The 351st name in the Lalita Sahasranama.

Vamana: (sáns. hindú). The dwarf incarnation of Vishnu. See Avatara.

Vamanapurana: (sáns. hindú). "That in which the four-faced Brahma taught the three objects of existence, as subservient to the greatness of Trivikrama (Vishnu), which treats also of the Shiva kalpa, and which consists of 10,000 stanzas, is called the Vamanapurana." It contains an account of the dwarf incarnation of Vishnu, and "extends to about 7,000 stanzas, but its contents scarcely establish its claim to the character of a Purana." Wilson states, "It is of a more tolerant character than the (other) Puranas, and divides its homage impartially between Shiva and Vishnu with tolerable impartiality. It has not the air of any antiquity, and its compilation may have amused the leisure of some Brahman of Benares three or four centuries ago."

Vamanayana: (sáns. hindú). She who has beautiful eyes. An epithet of Devi. The 332nd name in the Lalita Sahasranama.

Vanacharas: (sáns. hindú). Wanderers of the woods. Fauns, Dryads, or sylvan guardians.

Vanamala: (sáns. hindú). (vana "forest + mala "garland") Garland of forest (flowers), which hanging on Vishnu's neck is named Vaijayanti, the victorious.

Vanamali: (sáns. hindú). (vana "forest" + mali "wearing a garland") Wearing the Vanamala garland (i.e. the garland of forest flowers). Vishnu's 561st name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama.

Vanaprastha: (sáns. hindú). "A dweller in the worlds." A Brahman in the third stage of his religious life, passing his time as an anchorite in the woods. See Brahman.

Vanaspati: (sáns. hindú). (vanas "forest" + pati "lord") 1. The Lord of woods or forests, a name of Vishnu. 2. A name for large trees, especially the holy fig tree.

Vande Mataram: (sáns. hindú). See BandeMataram.

Vandita: (sáns. hindú). 1. The saluted, worshipped. 2, with a long terminal a, one who salutes or worships, one who performs Sandhya-Vandanam at dawn, noon, and dusk.

Vandya: (sáns. hindú). 1. Worthy of being saluted. 2. Worshipful. 3. Shiva's 18th and 471st names as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vani: (sáns. hindú). 1. Eloquent in words. 2. Relating to music; sound, voice. 3. Goddess of speech; a name of Sarasvati.

Vanmayaikanidhi: (sáns. hindú). The sole treasury of literature. Shiva's 232nd name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vansha: (sáns. hindú). A race or family. Lists of the Rishis or successive teachers of the Vedas which are found attached to some of the Brahmanas are called Vanshas.

Vansha Brahmana: (sáns. hindú). The eighth Brahmana of the Samaveda.

Vapusha: (sáns. hindú). The very beautiful.

Vapushmat: (sáns. hindú). A man who killed King Marutta of the Solar race. Dama, son or grandson of Marutta, in retaliation killed Vapushmat. With his blood he made the funeral offerings to the Manes of Marutta, and with the flesh he fed the Brahmans who were of Rakshasa descent.

Varada: (sáns. hindú). (vara "boon, blessing" + da "giver") 1. The giver of boons or blessings. 2. A name of Devi, also of Sarasvati. 3. Vishnu's 330th name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama. 4. Shiva's 17th and 1025th names as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Varaha: (sáns. hindú). The boar incarnation of Vishnu. See Avatara.

Varaha Kalpa: (sáns. hindú). The present kalpa or year of Brahma. See Kalpa.

Varaha Mihira: (sáns. hindú). An astronomer who was one of "the nine gems" of the court of Vikramaditya. (See Navaratna.) He was author of Brihatsanhita and Brihajjataka His death is placed in Shaka 509 (CE 587).

Varahapurana: (sáns. hindú). This Purana has been defined as "That in which the glory of the great Varaha is predominant, as it was revealed to Earth by Vishnu, in connection, wise Munis, with the Manava kalpa, and which contains 24,000 verses, is called the Varahapurana;" but this description differs so greatly from the Purana which bears the name in the present day, that Wilson doubts its applying to it. The known work "is narrated by Vishnu as Varaha, or in the boar incarnation, to the personified Earth. Its extent, however, is not half that specified, little exceeding 10,000 stanzas. It furnishes also itself evidence of the prior currency of some other work similarly denominated." "It may perhaps be referred to the early part of the twelfth century."

Varahashringadhrik: (sáns. hindú). One who wears the horn of the boar. Shiva's 1000th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Varahi: (sáns. hindú). A Matrika.The shakti of Varaha the avatara. Varahi was made manifest to aid Devi in a battle against the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha. For further details see Brahmani.

Varaja: (sáns. hindú). A woman with whom Krishna had an affair and became so terrified of Radha's wrath that she committed suicide.

Varanasi: (sáns. hindú). A name of the holy city of Benares; also called Kashi, derived from the two rivers, the Varana and the Nasi which flow into the Ganges downstream and upstream.

Varanavata: (sáns. hindú). The city in which the Pandavas lived during their exile.

Vararuci: (sáns. hindú). 1. A grammarian who is generally supposed to be one with Katyayana. There was another Vararuchi who was one of "the nine gems" at the court of Vikramaditya. 2. Having excellent taste. Shiva's 470th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Varashila: (sáns. hindú). Of excellent conduct. Shiva's 916th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Varddhakshatri: (sáns. hindú). A patronymic of Jayadratha.

Variyan: (sáns. hindú). The excellent one. Shiva's 16th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Varkshi: (sáns. hindú). Daughter of a sage, who is mentioned in the Mahabharata as being a virtuous woman, and wife of ten husbands.

Varna: (sáns. hindú). Class or caste. The Chaturvarna or four castes, as found established in the code of Manu, are: 1) Brahman. The sacerdotal and learned class, the members of which may be, but are not necessarily, priests. 2) Kshatriya. The regal and warrior caste. 3) Vaishya. Trading and agricultural caste. 4) Shudra. Servile caste, whose duty is to serve the other three. The first three castes were called dvija, "twice born or regenerate," from their being entitled to investiture with the sacred thread which effects a second birth. The Brahmans maintain that their caste alone remains, that the other three have been lost or degraded, and it is generally believed that there are no pure Kshatriyas or Vaishyas now existing. The numerous castes which have sprung up from the mating of people of different castes or from other causes are called Varnashankara, "mixed castes."

Varnashramaguru: (sáns. hindú). Preceptor of all castes and stages of life. Shiva's 234th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Varnin: (sáns. hindú). Religious student. Shiva's 235 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Varsha: (sáns. hindú). A region. Nine varshas are enumerated as situated between the great mountain ranges of the earth: 1) Bharatavarsha, India; 2) Kimpurusha or Kinnara; 3) Hari; 4) Ramyaka; 5) Hiranmaya; 6) Uttarakuru; 7) Ilavrita; 8) Bhadrashva; 9) Ketumala.

Varshneya: (sáns. hindú). A name of Krishna as a descendant of Vrishni. Name of King Nala's charioteer.

Varttikas: (sáns. hindú). Supplementary rules or notes to the grammar of Panini by later grammarians, as Katyayana, Patanjali, and others. Katyayana is the chief of these annotators, and is called Varttikakara, "the annotator."

Varuna: (sáns. hindú). "The universal encompasser, the all-embracer." One of the oldest of the Vedic deities, a personification of the all-investing sky, the maker and upholder of heaven and earth. As such he is king of the universe, king of gods and men, possessor of illimitable knowledge the supreme deity to whom special honor is due. He is often associated with Mitra, he being the ruler of the night and Mitra of the day; but his name frequently occurs alone, that of Mitra only seldom. In later times he was chief among the lower celestial deities called Adityas, and later still he became a sort of Neptune, a god of the seas and rivers, who rides upon the Makara. This character he still retains. His sign is a fish. He is regent of the west quarter and of one of the Nakshatras or lunar mansions. According to the Mahabharata he was son of Kardama and father of Pushkara.

The Mahabharata relates that he carried off Bhadra, the wife of Utathya, a Brahman, but Utathya obliged him to submit and restore her. He was in a way the father of the sage Vasishtha. In the Vedas, Varuna is not specially connected with water, but there a passages in which he is associated with the element of water both in the atmosphere and on the earth, in such a way as may account for the character and functions ascribed to him in the later mythology. Muir thus sums up in the words of the hymns the functions and attributes of Varuna: "The grandest cosmical functions are ascribed to Varuna. Possessed of illimitable resources (or knowledge), this divine being has meted out (or fashioned) and upholds heaven and earth, he dwells in all worlds as sovereign ruler; indeed the three worlds are embraced within him. He made the golden and revolving sun to shine in the firmament. The wind which resounds through the atmosphere is his breath. He has opened out boundless paths for the sun, and has hollowed out channels for the rivers, which flow by his command. By his wonderful contrivance the rivers pour out their waters into the one ocean but never fill it. His ordinances are fixed and unassailable. They rest on him unshaken as on a mountain. Through the operation (of his laws) the moon walks in brightness, and the stars which appear in the nightly sky mysteriously vanish in daylight. Neither the birds flying in the air, nor the rivers in their ceaseless flow can attain a knowledge of his power or his wrath. His messengers behold both worlds.

He knows the flight of birds in the sky, the paths of ships on the ocean, the course of the far-travelling wind, and beholds all the things that have been or shall be done. No creature can even wink without him. He witnesses men's truth and falsehood. He instructs the Rishi Vasishtha in mysteries; but his secrets and those of Mitra are not to be revealed to the foolish."

"He has unlimited control over the destinies of mankind. He has a hundred thousand remedies, and is supplicated to show his wide and deep benevolence and drive away evil and sin, to untie sin like a rope and remove it. He is entreated not to steal away, but to prolong life, and to spare the suppliant who daily transgresses his laws. In many places mention is made of the bonds or nooses with which he seizes and punishes transgressors.

Mitra and Varuna conjointly are spoken of in one passage as being barriers against falsehood, furnished with many nooses, which the hostile mortal cannot surmount; and, in another place, Indra and Varuna are described as binding with bonds not formed of rope. On the other hand, Varuna is said to be gracious even to him who has committed sin. He is the wise guardian of immortality, and a hope is held out that he and Yama, reigning in blessedness, shall be beheld in the next world by the righteous." "The attributes and functions ascribed to Varuna impart to his character a moral elevation and sanctity far surpassing that attributed to any other Vedic deity." The correspondence of Varuna with Ouranos has been already noted, but "the parallel will not hold in all points. There is not in the Vedic mythology any special relation between Varuna and Prithivi (the earth) as husband and wife, as there is between Ouranos and Gaia in the theogony of Hesiod; nor is Varuna represented in the Veda, as Ouranos is by the Greek poet, as the progenitor of Dyaus (Zeus), except in the general way in which he is said to have formed and to preserve heaven and earth.

Manu also refers to Varuna as "binding the guilty in fatal cords" In the Puranas, Varuna is sovereign of the waters, and one of his accompaniments is a noose, which the Vedic deity also carried for binding offenders: this is called Nagapasha, Pula kanga, or Vishvajit. His favorite resort is Pushpagiri, "flower mountain," and his city Vasudhanagara or Sukha. He also possesses an umbrella impermeable to water, formed of the hood of a cobra, and called Abhoga. The Vishnupurana mention an incident which shows a curious coincidence between Varuna and Neptune. At the marriage of the sage Richika, Varuna supplied him with the thousand fleet white horses which the bride's father had demanded of him. Varuna is also called Prachetas, Amburaja, Jalapati, Kesha, "lord of the waters"; Uddama, "the surrounder"; Pashabhrit, "the noose-carrier"; Viloma, Variloma, "watery hair"; Yadahpati, "king of aquatic animals." His son is named Agasti.

Varunani: (sáns. hindú). An early Vedic goddess who was the consort of Varuna and goddess of wine. She is said to have sprung from the churning of the ocean. The goddess of wine is also called Mada and Sura.

Varuni: (sáns. hindú). A variation of Varunani.

Varunimadavihvala: (sáns. hindú). She who is drunk with the wine of dates. An epithet of Devi. The 333rd name in the Lalita Sahasranama.

Varuta: (sáns. hindú). The protector.

Vasanta: (sáns. hindú). 1. Brilliant. 2. Spring and its deified personification as the friend of Kamadeva or Cupid. In the Bhagavad Gita (X:35), Spring is considered as one of the glories of the Lord. 3. Spring. Shiva's 689th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vasantasena: (sáns. hindú). The heroine of the drama called Mrichchhakati, "the toy cart."

Vasati: (sáns. hindú). The dawn. See Usha.

Vasava: (sáns. hindú). 1. The chief of the Vasus; a name of Indra, who is the chief of all the gods including the Vasus. 2. A name of Vishnu.

Vasavadatta: (sáns. hindú). A princess of Ujjayini, who is the heroine of a popular story by Subandhu. Some authorities consider it to have been written early in the seventh century. See Udayana.

Vasishtha: (sáns. hindú). 1. Most wealthy. 2. A Vedic sage to whom many hymns are ascribed. According to Manu he was one of the seven great Rishis and of the ten Prajapatis. There was a special rivalry between him and the sage Vishvamitra, who raised himself from the Kshatriya to the Brahman caste.

Vasishtha was the possessor of a "cow of plenty," called Nandini, who had the power of granting him all things (vasu) he desired, hence his name. A law-book is attributed to him, or to another of the same name. Though Vasishtha is classed among the Prajapatis who sprang from Brahma, a hymn in the Rigveda and the commentaries thereon assign him a different origin, or rather a second birth, and represent him and the sage Agastya to have sprung from Mitra and Varuna. The hymn says, "You, 0 Vasishtha, are a son of Mitra and Varuna, born a Brahman from the soul of Urvashi. All the gods placed in the vessel you the drop which had fallen through divine contemplation." The comment on this hymn says, "When these two Adityas (Mitra and Varuna) beheld the Apsara Urvashi at a sacrifice their seed (semen) fell from them. . . . It fell on many places, into a jar, into water, and on the ground.

The Muni Vasishtha was produced on the ground, while Agastya was born in the jar." There is a peculiar hymn attributed to Vasishtha in the Rigveda (Wilson, iv. 121) beginning "Protector of the dwelling," which the commentators explain as having been addressed by him to a house-dog which barked as he entered the house of Varuna by night to obtain food after a three days fast. By it the dog was appeased and put to sleep, "wherefore these verses are to be recited on similar occasions by thieves and burglars." In the same Veda and in the Aitareya Brahmana, Vasishtha appears as the family priest of King Sudas, a position to which his rival Vishvamitra aspired. This is amplified in the Mahabharata, where he is not the priest of Sudas but of his son Kalmashapada, who bore the patronymic Saudasa. It is said that his rival Vishvamitra was jealous, and wished to have this office for himself, but the king preferred Vasishtha.

Vasishtha had a hundred sons, the oldest of whom was named Shaktri. He, meeting the king in the road, was ordered to get out of the way; but he civilly replied that the path was his, for by the law a king must cede the way to a Brahman. The king struck him with a whip, and he retorted by cursing the king to become a man-eater. Vishvamitra was present, but invisible, and he maliciously commanded a man-devouring Rakshasa to enter the king. So the king became a man-eater, and his first victim was Shaktri.

The same fate befell all the hundred sons, and Vasishtha's grief was boundless. He endeavored to destroy himself in various ways. He cast himself from the top of Mount Meru, but the rocks he fell upon were like cotton. He passed through a burning forest without harm. He threw himself into the sea with a heavy stone tied to his neck, but the waves cast him on dry land. He plunged into a river swollen by rain, but although he had bound his arms with cords, the stream loosened his bonds and landed him unbound (vipasha) on its banks. From this the river received the name of Vipasha (Byas). He threw himself into another river full of alligators, but the river rushed away in a hundred directions, and was consequently called Shatadru (Sutlej). Finding that he could not kill himself, he returned to his hermitage, and was met in the wood by King Kalmashapada, who was about to devour him, but Vasishtha exorcised him and delivered him from the curse he had borne for twelve years. The sage then directed the king to return to his kingdom and pay due respect to Brahmans. Kalmashapada begged Vasishtha to give him offspring. He promised to do so, and "being solicited by the king to beget an heir to the throne, the queen became pregnant by him and brought forth a son at the end of twelve years." Another legend in the Mahabharata represents Vishvamitra as commanding the river Sarasvati to bring Vasishtha, so that he might kill him. By direction of Vasishtha the river obeyed the command, but on approaching Vishvamitra, who stood ready armed, it promptly carried away Vasishtha in another direction. The enmity of Vasishtha and Vishvamitra comes out very strongly in the Ramayana.

Vishvamitra ruled the earth as king for many thousands of years, but he coveted the wondrous cow of plenty which he had seen at Vasishtha's hermitage, and attempted to take her away by force. A great battle followed between the hosts of King Vishvamitra and the warriors produced by the cow to support her master. A hundred of Vishvamitra's sons were reduced to ashes by the blast of Vasishtha's mouth, and Vishvamitra being utterly defeated, he abdicated and retired to the Himalaya. The two met again after an interval and fought in single combat. Vishvamitra was again defeated by the Brahmanical power, and "resolved to work out his own elevation to the Brahmanical order," so as to be upon an equality with his rival. He accomplished his object and became a priest, and Vasishtha suffered from his power. The hundred sons of Vasishtha denounced Vishvamitra for presuming, though a Kshatriya, to act as a priest. This so incensed Vishvamitra that he "by a curse doomed the sons of Vasishtha to be reduced to ashes and reborn as degraded outcasts for seven hundred births." Eventually, "Vasishtha, being propitiated by the gods, became reconciled to Vishvamitra, and recognized his claim to all the prerogatives of a Brahman Rishi, and Vishvamitra paid all honor to Vasishtha. A legend in the Vishnupurana represents Vasishtha as being requested by Nimi, a son of Ikshvacu, to officiate at a sacrifice which was to last for a thousand years. The sage pleaded a prior engagement to Indra for five hundred years, but offered to come at the end of that period. The king made no remark, and Vasishtha, taking silence as assent, returned as he had proposed. He then found that Nimi had engaged the Rishi Gautama to perform the sacrifice, and this so angered him that he cursed the king to lose his corporeal form.

Nimi retorted the curse, and in consequence "the vigor of Vasishtha entered into the vigor of Mitra and Varuna. Vasishtha, however, received from them another body when their seed had fallen from them at the sight of Urvashi."

In the Markandeyapurana Vasishtha appears as the family priest of Harishchandra. He was so incensed at the treatment shown to that monarch by Vishvamitra, that he cursed him to be transformed into a crane. His adversary retorted by dooming him to become another bird, and in the forms of two monstrous birds they fought so furiously that the course of the universe was disturbed, and many creatures perished. Brahma, at length, put an end to the conflict by restoring them to their natural forms and compelling them to be reconciled. According to the Vishnupurana, Vasishtha had for wife Urja, one of the daughters of Daksha, and by her he had seven sons.

The Bhagavatapurana gives him Arundhati for wife. The Vishnupurana also makes him the family priest "of the house of Ikshvacu;" and he was not only contemporary with Ikshvacu himself, but with his descendants down to the sixty first generation "Vasishtha, according to all accounts (says Muir), must have been possessed of a vitality altogether superhuman," for it appears that the name Vasishtha is "used not to denote merely a person belonging to a family so called, but to represent the founder of the family himself as taking part in the transactions of many successive ages." Müir claimed (i. 337), "It is clear that Vasishtha, although he is frequently designated in post-vedic writings as a Brahman, was, according to some authorities, not really such in any proper sense of the word, as in the accounts which are given of his birth he is declared to have been either a mind-born son of Brahma, or the son of Mitra and Varuna and the Apsara Urvashi, or to have had some other supernatural origin." Vasishtha's descendants are called Vasishthas and Vastoshpati- "House protector." One of the later gods of the Veda, represented as springing from Brahma's coitus with his daughter. He was the protector of sacred rites and guardian of houses.

Vasu: (sáns. hindú). 1. The Abode; the Dweller, wealth. 2. Vishnu's 104th, 270th and 696th names as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama. 2. Eight of the thirty-three gods. (The other twenty-five gods are the eleven Rudras, the twelve Adityas, Indra and Prajapati.) In the Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad, sage Yajnavalkya says to Shakalya, "The Fire, Earth, Air, Atmosphere, Sun, Heaven, Moon and Stars, these are the (eight) Vasus, for in these all this is placed; therefore they are called Vasus." 3. In Vedic times, personifications of natural phenomena. They are Apa (water), Dhruva (pole-star), Soma (moon), Dhara (earth), Anila (wind), Anala (fire), Prabhasa (dawn), and Pratyusha (light). According to the Ramayana they were children of Aditi. 4. Wealth. Shiva's 327 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vasudeva: (sáns. hindú). (vasu "indwelling" + deva "god") 1. With a long initial a, a name of Krishna, derived from that of his father, Vasudeva (see 2 below); but as that is incompatible with his claims to divinity, the Mahabharata explains that he is so called "from his dwelling (vasanat) in all beings, from his issuing as a Vasu from a divine womb. The name was assumed by an impostor named Paundraka, who was killed by Krishna. See Paundraka. 2. With a short initial a, son of Shura, of the Yadava branch of the Lunar race. He was father of Krishna, and Kunti, the mother of the Pandava princes was his sister. He married seven daughters of Ahuka, and the youngest of them, Devaci, was the mother of Krishna. After the death of Krishna and Balarama he also died, and four of his wives burned themselves with his corpse. So says the Mahabharata, but according to the Vishnupurana he and Devaci and Rohini burned themselves at Dvaraka. He received the additional name of Anakadundubhi, because the gods, conscious that he was to be the putative father of the divine Krishna, sounded the drums of heaven at his birth. He was also called Bhukashyapa and Dundu, "drum." 3. Vishnu's 332nd, 695th and 709th names as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama.

Vasudha: (sáns. hindú). (vasu "wealth" + dha "producing") The wealth-producing; a name of the Earth-Goddess.

Vasuki: (sáns. hindú). 1. A Tamil name of the wife of the great sage Thiruvalluvar. 2. King of the Nagas or serpents who live in Patala. He was wound around the mountain Mandara and used to rotate the mountain at the churning of the ocean. See Shesha.

Vasumanas: (sáns. hindú). Having mind dwelling on wealth. Shiva's 328 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vasumati: (sáns. hindú). (vasu "wealth" + mati "having") The wealthy, a name of the Earth-Goddess.

Vasundhara: (sáns. hindú). (vasum wealth" + dhara "containing, supporting") 1. The wealth-containing. A name of the Earth-Goddess which occurs in a Vedic hymn recited when one is about to take a morning bath and while one puts a little earth on one's head. Riding a horse or the wheel of a chariot over a sacrificial ground renders it holy. Vishnu in His Dwarf incarnation also made the earth holy by taking three steps, one on the earth, one on the atmosphere, and one on heaven, 2. A name of Lakshmi.

Vasupati: (sáns. hindú). (vasu "wealth, vasus" + pati "lord") 1. The Lord of wealth; a name of Kubera. 2. The Lord of the eight Vasus; a name of Agni and of Indra. See Vasu.

Vasupriya: (sáns. hindú). One fond of wealth. Shiva's 866 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vasuretas: (sáns. hindú). Having wealth as semen virile. Shiva's 865th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vasushena: (sáns. hindú). A name of Karna.

Vasushravas: (sáns. hindú). Having riches as ears (?). Shiva's 668th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vata: (sáns. hindú). "Wind." Generally the same as Vayu, but the name is sometimes combined in the Veda with that of Parjanya, and Parjanyavata and Vayu are then mentioned distinctively.

Vatapi: (sáns. hindú). Vatapi and Ilvala, two Rakshasas, sons either of Hrada or Viprachitti. They are mentioned in the Ramayana as dwelling in the Dandaka forest. Vatapi assumed the form of a ram which was offered in sacrifice and afterwards eaten by Brahmans. Ilvala then called upon him to come forth, and accordingly he tore his way out of the stomachs of the Brahmans. He tried the same trick upon Agastya, but that austere sage ate and digested him. Ilvala, as before, called his brother to come forth, and assaulted the sage, who told him that his brother would never return. Then Ilvala was consumed by fire from the eyes of Agastya. The Mahabharata's story varies slightly.

Vatavasin: (sáns. hindú). "Dwelling in fig-trees" (vata). Yakshas.

Vatsa: (sáns. hindú). King of Vatsa, the capital of which was Kaushambi. A title of the prince Udayana. There are many persons named Vatsa.

Vatsala: (sáns. hindú). 1. The affectionate or loving. 2.Vishnu's 471 st name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama. 3. With a long terminal a, Vatsala is a name meaning, "She who looks upon God as her beloved Child, just as Devaci looked upon the divine infant Krishna."

Vatsaraja: (sáns. hindú). See Vatsa.

Vatsyayana: (sáns. hindú). A sage who wrote about erotic subjects, and was author of the Kama Sutras and Nyayabhasha. He is also called Mallanaga.

Vayu: (sáns. hindú). 1. Air, wind. 2. The god of the wind, Eolus. In the Vedas he is often associated with Indra, and riding in the same car with him, Indra being the charioteer. The chariot has a framework of gold which touches the sky, and is drawn by a thousand horses. There are not many hymns addressed to him.

According to the Nirukta there are three gods specially connected with each other. "Agni, whose place is on earth; Vayu or Indra, whose place is in the air; and Surya, whose place is in the heaven." In the hymn Purushasukta Vayu is said to have sprung from the breath of Purusha, and in another hymn he is called the son-in-law of Tvashtri. He is regent of the north-west quarter, where he dwells. According to the Vishnupurana he is king of the Gandharvas. The Bhagavatapurana relates that the sage Narada incited the wind to break down the summit of Mount Meru. He raised a terrible storm which lasted for a year, but Vishnu's bird, Garuda, shielded the mountain with his wings, and all the blasts of the wind-god were in vain. Narada then told him to attack the mountain in Garuda's absence. He did so, and breaking off the summit of the mountain, he hurled it into the sea, where it became the island of Lanka. Vayu is the reputed father of Bhima and of Hanumat, and he is said to have made the hundred daughters of King Kushanabha crooked because they would not comply with his licentious desires, and this gave the name Kanyakubja, "hump-backed damsel," to their city. Other names of Vayu (wind) are Anila, Marut, Pavana Vata, Gandhavaha, "bearer of perfumes"; Jalakantara, "whose garden is water"; Sadagata, Satataga, "ever moving"; and so on. 3. Shiva's 1001st name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vayupurana: (sáns. hindú). "The Purana in which Vayu has declared the laws of duty, in connection with the Shveta kalpa, and which comprises the Mahatmya of Rudra, is the Vayupurana; it contains twenty-four thousand verses" No manuscript containing this number of verses has yet been discovered, but there are indications of the work being imperfect. The Purana is divided into four sections, the first beginning with the creation, and the last treating of the ages to come. It is devoted to the praise of Shiva, and is connected with the Shivapurana, for when one of them is given in a list of Puranas the other is omitted.

Vayuvahana: (sáns. hindú). Wind-vehicled. Shiva's 246 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Veda: (sáns. hindú). root, vid, "know." "Divine knowledge." The Vedas are the holy books which are the foundation of the Hindu religion. They consist of hymns written in an old form of Sanskrit, and according to the most generally received opinion they were composed between 1500 and 1000 BCE. But there is no direct evidence as to their age, and opinions about it vary considerably. Some scholars have thought that the oldest of the hymn may be carried back a thousand years farther. It seems likely that some of the hymns were composed before the arrival of the Aryan immigrants in India, and there is no doubt that the hymns vary greatly in age and spread over a very considerable period. There are various statements as to the origin of the Vedas. One is that the hymns emanated like breath from Brahma, the soul of the universe. It is agreed that they were revealed orally to the Rishis or sages whose names they bear; and hence the whole body of the Veda is known as Shruti, "what was heard." The Vedas are now four in number 1) Rig, 2) Yajur, 3) Sama, 4) Atharva; but the Atharva is of comparatively modern origin. The other three are spoken of by Manu as the "three Vedas," and are said by him to have been "milked out as it were," from fire, air, and the sun. In reality the Rigveda is the Veda, the original work; for the Yajur and the Sama are merely different arrangements of its hymns for special purposes. Each Veda is divided into two parts, Mantra and Brahmana. The Mantra, or "instrument of conveying thought,' consists of prayer and praise embodied in the metrical hymns. The Brahmana, a collective term for the treatises called Brahmanas, is of later date than the Mantra. It is written in prose, and contains liturgical and ritualistic glosses, explanations, and applications of the hymns illustrated by numerous legends.

To the Brahmanas are added the Aranyakas and Upanishads, mystical treatises in prose and verse, which speculate upon the nature of spirit and of God, and exhibit a freedom of thought and speculation which was the beginning of Hindu philosophy. All the Vedic writings are classified in two great divisions, exoteric and esoteric: the Karma-kanda, "department of works," the ceremonial; and the Jnana-kanda, "department of knowledge." The hymns and prayers of the Mantra come under the first, the philosophical speculations of the Brahmanas, and especially of the Upanishads, under the second division. All are Shruti or revelation. See Brahmana, Upanishad, and so on. The Mantra or metrical portion is the most ancient, and the book or books in which the hymns are collected are called Sanhitas. The Rigveda and the Samaveda have each one Sanhita; the Yajurveda has two Sanhitas. As before stated, the Rigveda is the original Veda from which the Yajur and Sama are almost exclusively derived. The Rigveda consists of 1,017 Suktas or hymns, or with eleven additional hymns called Valakhilyas of an apocryphal character, 1,028.

These are arranged in eight Ashtakas, "octaves," or Khandas, "sections," which are again subdivided into as many Adhyayas, "chapters," 2,006 Vargas or "classes," 10,417 Riks or "verses," and 153,826 Padas or "words." There is another division, which runs on concurrently with this division, in ten Mandalas, "circles" or "classes," and 85 Anuvacas or "sections." The total number of hymns is the same in both arrangements. It is a generally received opinion that the hymns of the tenth Mandala are later in date than the others. A few hymns of the Rigveda, more specially some of the later hymns in the tenth Mandala, appear to contain some vague, hazy conception of one Supreme Being; but as a whole they are addressed directly to certain personifications of the powers of nature, which personifications were worshipped as deities having those physical powers under their control. From these powers the Vedic poets invoked prosperity on themselves and their flocks; they extolled the prowess of these elemental powers in the struggles between light and darkness, warmth and cold, and they offered up joyous praise and thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and personal protection. Chief among the deities so praised and worshipped were Agni, Indra, and Surya.

More hymns are addressed to Agni (Ignis), "fire," than to any other deity, and chiefly in its sacrificial character, though it receives honor also for its domestic uses. Indra was honored as the god of the atmosphere, who controlled the rains and the dew, so all-important to an agricultural people. Surya, "the sun," was "the source of heat," but he shared this honor with Agni, the sun being considered a celestial fire. Among the most ancient of the myths was that of Dyauspitar, "heavenly father," the regent of the sky. Others were Aditi, "the infinite expanse"; Varuna "the investing sky," afterwards god of the waters; Ushas, "the dawn," daughter of the sky: the two Ashvins, "twin sons of the sun," ever young and handsome, and riding in a golden car precursors of the dawn. Prithivi, "the broad one," as the earth was called, received honor as the mother of all beings. There were also the Maruts or storm-gods, personification of the wind, the special foes of Vritra, the spirit of drought and inclement weather, who was in constant conflict with Indra; Rudra, the howling, furious god, who ruled the tempest and the storm; Yama, the god of the dead and judge of departed spirits, also received his share of reverence; last, though apparently not least in the estimation of the Aryan worshippers, was Soma, the personification of the fermented juice of the plant so named.

This exhilarating liquid was alike acceptable to the gods and their worshippers, and many hymns are addressed to it as a deity. To each hymn of the Rigveda there is prefixed the name of the Rishi to whom it was revealed, as Vasishtha, Vishvamitra, Bharadvaja, and many others; and these sages are frequently spoken of as authors of the hymns bearing their names.

It is quite unknown when the hymns were first committed to writing. They were transmitted orally from generation to generation, and continued to be so handed down even after they had been collected and arranged by Krishna Dvaipayana, "the arranger." The oral teaching of the Vedas produced what are called the Shakhas or "schools" of the Vedas. Different learned men, or bodies of men, became famous for their particular versions of the text, and taught these versions to their respective pupils. These different versions constitute the Shakhas; they present, as might be expected, many verbal variations; but no very material discrepancies.

"The poetry of the Rigveda," says Cowell, "is remarkably deficient in that simplicity and natural pathos or sublimity which we naturally look for in the songs of an early period of civilisation." The Yajur or second Veda is composed almost exclusively of hymns taken from the Rigveda, but it contains some prose passages which are new. Many of the hymns show considerable deviations from the original text of the Rigveda. These differences may perhaps be attributable either to an original difference of the traditional text or to modifications required by the ritualistic uses of the Yajurveda. The Yajurveda is the priests' handbook, arranged in a liturgical form for the performance of sacrifices. As the manual of the priesthood, it became the great subject of study, and it has a great number of different Shakhas or schools.

It has two Sanhitas, one called the Taittiriya Sanhita, the other Vajasaneyi Sanhita, commonly known as the Black Yajurveda and White Yajurveda. Of these, the former is the more ancient, and seems to have been known in the third century BCE. These Sanhitas contain upon the whole the same matter, but the arrangement is different. The White is the more orderly and systematic, and it contains some texts which are not in the Black. The Sanhita of the Taittiriya or Black Yajurveda is arranged in 7 Kandas or books, 44 Prashnas or chapters, 651 Anuvacas or sections, and 2,198 Kandikas or pieces, "fifty words as a rule forming a Kandika." The Sanhita of the Vajasaneyi or White Yajurveda is in 40 Adhyayas or chapters, 303 Anuvacas, and 1,975 Kandikas. How the separation into two Sanhitas arose has not been ascertained. It probably originated in a schism led by the sage Yajnavalkya; but if it did not, it produced one, and the adherents of the two divisions were hostile to each other and quarrelled like men of different creeds. In later days a legend was invented to account for the division, which is thus given by both Vishnupurana and Vayupurana: The Yajurveda, in twenty-seven branches (Shakhas), was taught by Vaishampayana to his disciple Yajnavalkya. Vaishampayana had the misfortune to kill his sister's child by an accidental kick, and he then called upon his disciples to perform the appropriate expiatory penance. Yajnavalkya refused to join the "miserable inefficient Brahmans," and a quarrel ensued. The teacher called upon the disciple to give up all that he had learned from him; and the disciple, with the same quick temper, vomited forth the Yajur texts which he had acquired, and they fell upon the ground stained with blood.

The other pupils were turned into partridges (Tittiri), and they picked up the disgorged text; hence the part of the Veda which was thus acquired was called Taittiriya and Black. Yajnavalkya sorrowfully departed, and by the performance of severe penances induced the Sun to impart to him those Yajur texts which his master had not possessed. The Sun then assumed the form of a horse (Vajin), and communicated to him the desired texts. The priests of this portion of the Veda were called Vajins, while the Sanhita itself was called Vajasaneyi, and also White (or bright), because it was revealed by the sun. The statement that Yajnavalkya received this Veda from the sun is, however, earlier than the Puranas, for it is mentioned by the grammarian Katyayana. A more reasonable and intelligible explanation is, that Vajasaneyi is a patronymic of Yajnavalkya, the offspring of Vajasani, and that Taittiriya is derived from Tittiri, the name of a pupil of Yaska's.

Weber, a man highly acquainted with this Veda, says, "However absurd this legend (of the Puranas) may be, a certain amount of sense lurks beneath its surface. The Black Yajur is, in fact, a motley undigested jumble of different pieces; and I am myself more inclined to derive the name Taittiriya from the variegated partridge (Tittiri) than from the Rishi Tittiri." Goldstücker's view is, that the "motley character of the Black Yajurveda arises from the circumstance that the distinction between the Mantra and Brahmana portions is not so clearly established in it as in the other Vedas, hymns and matter properly belonging to the Brahmanas being there intermixed. This defect is remedied in the White Yajurveda, and it points, therefore, to a period when the material of the old Yajur was brought into a system consonant with prevalent theories, literary and ritualistic" The Samaveda Sanhita is wholly metrical. It contains 1,549 verses, only seventy-eight of which have not been traced to the Rigveda.

The readings of the text in this Veda frequently differ, like those of the Yajur, from the text as found in the Rig. Weber considered that the verses "occurring in the Samaveda Sanhita generally stamp themselves as older and more original by the greater antiquity of their grammatical forms." But this opinion is disputed. The verses of the Sama have been selected and arranged for the purpose of being chanted at the sacrifices or offerings of the Soma. Many of the invocations are addressed to Soma, some to Agni, and some to Indra. The Mantra or metrical part of the Samaveda is poor in literary and historical interest, but its Brahmanas and the other literature belonging to it are full and important. There were different sets of priests for each of the three Vedas. Those whose duty it was to recite the Rigveda were called Hotris or Bahvrichas, and they were required to know the whole Veda. The priest of the Yajurveda, who muttered its formulas in a peculiar manner at sacrifices, were called Adhvaryus and the chanters of the verses of the Samaveda were called Udgatris. The Atharvaveda, the fourth Veda, is of later origin than the others. This is acknowledged by the Brahmans, and is proved by the internal evidence of the book itself. It is supposed to date from about the same period as the tenth Mandala of the Rigveda, and as Manu speaks of only "the three Vedas," the Atharvaveda could hardly have been acknowledged in his time. Some authorities think its contents may be later than even the tenth Mandala of the Rigveda, although these two "stand nearly connected in import and origin."

There are reasons for supposing it to have had its origin among the Saindhavas on the banks of the Indus. One-sixth of the whole work is not metrical, "and about one-sixth (of the hymns) is also found among the hymns of the Rigveda, and mostly in the tenth book of the latter; the rest is peculiar to the Atharva." The number of the hymns is about 760, and of the verses number about 6,000. Whitney, an editor of the Atharva, speaks of it thus: "As to the internal character of the Atharva hymns, it may be said of them, as of the tenth book of the Rig, that they are productions of another and a later period, and the expressions of a different spirit from that of the earlier hymns in the other Vedas. In the latter, the gods are approached with reverential awe indeed, but with love and confidence also; a worship is paid them that exalts the offerer of it; the demons embraced under the general name Rakshasa are objects of horror whom the gods ward off and destroy; the divinities of the Atharva are regarded rather with a kind of cringing fear, as powers whose wrath is to be deprecated and whose favour curried, for it knows a whole host of imps and hobgoblins, in ranks and classes, and addresses itself to them directly, offering them homage to induce them to abstain from doing harm.

The Mantra prayer, which in the older Veda is the instrument of devotion, is here rather the tool of superstition; it wrings from the unwilling hands of the gods the favours which of old their good-will to men induced them to grant, or by simple magical power obtains the fulfillment of the utterer's wishes. The most prominent characteristic feature of the Atharva is the multitude of incantations which it contains; these are pronounced either by the person who is himself to be benefited, or more often by the sorcerer for him, and are directed to the procuring of the greatest variety of desirable ends; most frequently perhaps long life or recovery from grievous sickness is the object sought; then a talisman, such as a necklace, is sometimes given, or in very numerous cases some plant endowed with marvellous virtues is to be the immediate external means of the cure; farther, the attainment of wealth or power is aimed at, the downfall of enemies, success in love or in play, the removal of petty pests, and so on, even down to the growth of hair on a bald head.

There are hymns, too, in which a single rite or ceremony is taken up and exalted, somewhat in the same strain as the Soma in the Pavamanya hymns of the Rigveda. Others of a speculative mythicaI character are not wanting; yet their number is not so great as might naturally be expected, considering the development which the Hindu religion received in the periods following after that of the primitive Veda. It seems in the main that the Atharva is of popular rather than of priestly origin; that in making the transition from the Vedic to modern times, it forms an intermediate step rather to the gross idolatries and superstitions of the ignorant mass than to the sublimated Pantheism of the Brahmans." Such is the general character of the fourth Veda, but Max Müller translated a hymn in his Ancient Sanskrit Literature, which Wilson said in the Edinburgh Review, "We know of no passage in Vedic literature which approaches its simple sublimity." This hymn is addressed to Varuna, "the great one who ruffs over these worlds, and be holds all as if he were close by; who sees all that is within and beyond heaven and earth," etc. This Veda is also called the Brahmanveda, "because it claims to be the Veda for the chief sacrificial priest, the Brahman." It has a Brahmana called Gopatha and many Upanishads. 2. Vishnu's 127 th name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama.

Vedagarbha: (sáns. hindú). (vid "know" + garbha "womb, egg) Womb or source of the Vedas or of knowledge.

Vedakara: (sáns. hindú). Maker of the Vedas. Shiva's 139 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vedamatri: (sáns. hindú). "Mother of the Vedas." The Gayatri.

Vedangas: (sáns. hindú). (Veda + angas) 1. Members of the Veda. 2. The Shadangas or six subjects necessary to be studied for the reading, understanding, and proper sacrificial employment of the Vedas. 1) Siksha. Phonetics or pronunciation, embracing accents, quantity, and euphony in general. 2) Chandas. Meter. 3) Vydkarana. Grammar. Said to be represented by Panini, but rather by older grammars culminating in his great work. 4) Nirukta. Etymology or glossary, represented by the glossary of Yaska. 5. Jyotisha.. Astronomy. Such knowledge of the heavenly bodies as was necessary for compiling a calendar fixing the days and hours suitable for the performance of Vedic sacrifices and ceremonies. 6) Kalpa. Ceremonial. Rules for applying the Vedas to the performance of sacrifices. These rules are generally written in the form of Sutras or short aphorisms, and so they are known as the Kalpasutras or Shrautasutras. 3. Shiva's 339th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vedanta: (sáns. hindú). The orthodox school of philosophy. See Darshana.

Vedanta Paribhasha: (sáns. hindú). A modern textbook on the Vedanta philosophy.

Vedantasara: (sáns. hindú). "Essence of the Vedanta." A short work on the Vedanta philosophy.

Vedantasarasandoha: (sáns. hindú). One who is the cumulative essence of the Vedantas. Shiva's 33 rd name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vedantasutra: (sáns. hindú). The aphorisms of Badarayana on the Vedanta philosophy. They are commonly called Brahmasutras.

Vedarthaprakasha: (sáns. hindú). "Elucidation of the meaning of the Veda." This is the name of Sayana's great commentary on the Rigveda. Also of a commentary on the Taittiriya Sanhita by Madhavacharya.

Vedarthavid: (sáns. hindú). One who knows the meaning of the Vedas. Shiva's 1056th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vedashastrarthatattvajna: (sáns. hindú). One who is conversant with the principles and meanings of the Vedas and the scriptures. Shiva's 280 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vedavati: (sáns. hindú). The "Vocal daughter" of the Rishi Kushadhvaja, son of Brihaspati. When Ravana was passing through a forest in the Himalaya he met with Vedavati, a damsel of great beauty dressed in ascetic garb. He fell in love and tried to win her. She told him that gods and Gandharvas had sought to woo her, but her father would give her to no one but Vishnu, whom he desired for his son-in-law. Provoked at this resolution, Shambhu, king of the Daityas, slew her father; but she remained firm to her father's wish, and practised austerities to gain Vishnu for her spouse. Nothing daunted, Ravana urgently pressed his suit, and boasted that he was superior to Vishnu. He then touched her hair with the tip of his finger. This greatly incensed her, and she forthwith cut off her hair, and said she would enter into the fire before his eyes, adding, "Since I have been insulted in the forest by you who are wicked-hearted, I shall be born again for your destruction." So she entered the blazing fire, and celestial flowers fell all around. It was she who was born again as Sita, and was the moving cause of Ravana's death, though Rama was the agent.

Vedavit: (sáns. hindú). Knower of the Vedas. Shiva's 340 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vedavyasa: (sáns. hindú). "The arranger of the Vedas." See Vyasa.

Vedavyasa: (sáns. hindú). (veda "the Vedas" + vyasa "compiler") The compiler of the Vedas, a name of Vyasa, who arranged the Vedas in several Shakhas or branches.

Vedhas: (sáns. hindú). Creator. Shiva's 927 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vedodaya: (sáns. hindú). Source of the Veda. An epithet of the sun as the source of the Samaveda.

Vedya: (sáns. hindú). One who could be known. Shiva's 1055th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vegavat: (sáns. hindú). Swift. 1. A son of Krishna. 2. A Danava who fought on the side of the Shalvas against Krishna, and was killed by Shamba.

Vegin: (sáns. hindú). Having velocity. Shiva's 661 st name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vena: (sáns. hindú). Son of Anga, and a descendant of Manu Svayambhuva. When he became king he issued this proclamation, "Men must not sacrifice or give gifts or present oblations. Who else but myself is the enjoyer of sacrifices? I am for ever the lord of offerings." The sages remonstrated respectfully with him, but in vain; they admonished him in stronger terms; but when nothing availed, they slew him with blades of consecrated grass. After his death the sages beheld clouds of dust, and on inquiry found that they arose from bands of men who had taken to plundering because the country was left without a king. As Vena was childless, the sages, after consultation, rubbed the thigh (or, according to the Harivansha, the right arm) of the dead king to produce a son. From it there came forth "a man like a charred log, with flat face, and extremely short." The sages told him to sit down (Nishida). He did so, and thus became a Nishada, from whom "sprang the Nishadas dwelling in the Vindhya mountains, distinguished by their wicked deeds." The Brahmans then rubbed the right hand of Vena, and from it "sprang the majestic Prithu, Vena's son, resplendent in body, glowing like the manifested Agni." The above is the story as told, with little variation, in the Mahabharata, the Vishnupurana, Bhagavatapurana, and the Harivansha. The Padmapurana says that Vena began his reign well, but fell into the Jaina heresy. For this the sages pummelled him until the first of the Nishadas came forth from his thigh and Prithu from his right arm. Being freed from sin by the birth of the Nishada, he retired to a hermitage on the Narmada, where he engaged in penance. Vishnu was thus conciliated, and granted him the boon of becoming one with himself. See Prithi.

Venisanhara: (sáns. hindú). The binding of the braid. A drama by Bhatta Narayana (pre-eighth century CE). The plot is taken from the Mahabharata. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandu princes, was dragged by the hair of her head into the hall of the Kauravas by Duhshasana, and she vowed that it should remain dishevelled until the insult was avenged. After the death of the Kauravas she again braided her hair.

Venkata: (sáns. hindú). A hill which was a seat of the worship of Vishnu. It is the modern Tripati.

Venkatadri: (sáns. hindú). See Vankata.

Venkataramana: (sáns. hindú). (venkata "name of a hill" + ramana "charming") The charming (God) of Venkata (Hill), a name of Vishnu as the presiding deity of Tirupati Temple in South India.

Venugopala: (sáns. hindú). (venu "flute" + Gopala "name of young Krishna") The flute player Gopala, a name of Krishna. See Gopala.

Venulola: (sáns. hindú). (venu "flute" + lola "swinging") The swinging flute player, a name of Krishna.

Vetala: (sáns. hindú). A ghost or goblin; a sprite who haunts cemeteries and animates dead bodies.

Vetalapanchavinshati: (sáns. hindú). The twenty-five stories of the Vetala. The work is ascribed to an author named Jambhaladatta.

Vetravati: (sáns. hindú). The river Betwa, which rises in the Vindhyas and falls into the Jumna below Kalpi.

Vetta: (sáns. hindú). The knower. Shiva's 436th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vibhandaka: (sáns. hindú). Son of Kashyapa. An ascetic who retired from the world and lived in the forest with his infant son Rishya-Sringa. A sage of this name is sometimes classed among the great Rishis.

Vibhishana: (sáns. hindú). Terrible. A younger brother of Ravana. He, like his brother, propitiated Brahma, and obtained a boon. His was that he should never commit an unworthy action even in the greatest extremity. He was virtuous, and opposed to the practices of the Rakshasas. This led to a quarrel between him and Ravana, who kicked him from his seat. He flew off to Kailasa, and under the advice of Shiva he went and allied himself with Ramacandra, who received and embraced him as a friend. After the defeat and death of Ravana he was raised by Rama to the throne of Lanka.

Vibhu: (sáns. hindú). 1. The omnipresent, all-pervading, multiform. 2. Vishnu's 240th and 880th names as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama. 3. A name of Shiva.

Vibhushnu: (sáns. hindú). One who is desirous of shining well. Shiva's 532nd name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vibhuti: (sáns. hindú). 1. Glory, might, wealth. See the tenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita entitled Vibhiti-Yoga, where the glory of the Lord is described, and the third chapter of the Yogasutras, entitled Vibhuti-Pada, where the sovereign might or power of Yoga is described. 2. Consecrated ash used by Shiva's devotees. Smearing different parts of the body with this ash is considered the highest wealth, symbolizing purity and renunciation of desires. 3. A name of Lakshmi.

Vibodha: (sáns. hindú). Consciousness, awakening.

Vibudhagravarashreshtha: (sáns. hindú). The most excellent among the learned. Shiva's 791st name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vibudhashraya: (sáns. hindú). Support of the learned. Shiva's 407th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vicakshana: (sáns. hindú). Clever. Shiva's 767th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vicarana: (sáns. hindú). 1. Inquiry. In the Yoga-Vasishtha, Rishi Vasishtha lists Vicarana as the second of the Seven Stages of Knowledge (The Seven Stages of Knowledge or Jnana-Bhumikas are Shubhe'ccha (desire of good), Vicarana (inquiry), Tanumanasi (subtle mindedness), Sattvapatti (attainment of Truth), Asamsakti (nonattachment), Padarthabhavana (obliviousness of objects) and Turyaga (going to the Transcendent).). 2. A name of Vyasa's Brahma-Sutras, which are also known as the Vedanta-Dargana and which lead the seeker of liberation into proper inquiry of Brahman.

Vicari: (sáns. hindú). The inquirer, one who practices Atma-Vicara, or Self- inquiry (i.e. the inquiry into the nature of the true Self in accordance with Vedantic teaching). Vicara or inquiry is also presented as one of the four sentinels waiting at the gates of Salvation. (The other three sentinels waiting at the gates of Salvation are Shanti (peace), Santosha (contentment), and Satsanga (holy company).)

Vichitravirya: (sáns. hindú). Name of a king. See Mahabharata.

Vidagdha: (sáns. hindú). Clever. Shiva's 994th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vidagdhamadhava: (sáns. hindú). A drama in seven acts by Rupa on the loves of Krishna and Radha, written in 1533 CE.

Vidarbha: (sáns. hindú). Birar, and probably including with it the adjoining district of Beder, which name is apparently a corruption of Vidarbha. The capital was Kundinapura, the modern "Kundapur," about forty miles east of Amaravati.

Viddhashalabhanjika: (sáns. hindú). The statue. A comedy of domestic intrigue by Raja Shekhara. It was probably written earlier than the tenth century.

Videha: (sáns. hindú). (vi "less" + deha "body") 1. The bodiless. To realize the Self or Truth, which is bodiless, one should become unattached to both the gross and the subtle bodies and go beyond the ignorance pertaining to the causal body. To awaken such dispassion and put an end to identification with the body, 2. In Vedantic terminology a Videha-Mukta is one who, after having been a Jivanmukta (i.e. liberated in the body, for some time attains Videhamukti or disembodied liberation at the death of the body when Prarabdha-Karma is completely exhausted). 3. In Yogic terminology the Videhas are those who may be somewhat detached from the gross body but not so from the subtle body including the ego, and who are thus bound to be reborn, not being truly enlightened. See Yogasutras I:19. 4. The name of King Janaka's kingdom. Being wise and enlightened and having no identification with the body, Janaka was called Janaka of Videha and Janaka the Videha. The capital of Videha was Mithila. It corresponds with the modern Tirhut or North Bihar.

Vidhata: (sáns. hindú). 1. The Creator, a name of Brahma. 2. The Dispenser or Supporter. Vishnu's 45th and 284th names as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama.

Vidhatri: (sáns. hindú). 1. The Creatress. 2. A name of Sarasvati, consort of the Creator Brahma. 3. Creator. 4. A name of Brahma, of Vishnu, and of Vishvacarma. 5. Shiva's 929th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vidheyatma: (sáns. hindú). One with a controlled mind. Shiva's 173rd name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vidrumacchavi: (sáns. hindú). One having the luster of coral. Shiva's 288th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vidura: (sáns. hindú). (vid "to know" + ura "adjectifying suffix") 1. The wise. 2. A son of Vyasa by a Shudra slave girl, who took the place of his consort. Vidura was called Kshattri, a term ordinarily applied to the child of a Shudra father and Brahman mother. He was half-brother of Dhritarashtra and Pandu, and was recognized as a Jivanmukta, one liberated while alive, and who appears in the Mahabharata as the most intelligent among the intelligent. He is said to be the God Yama, born on earth through the curse of sage Mandavya. While he enjoyed the character of the "wisest of the wise," he gave good advice to both Kauravas and Pandavas, but in the war he sided with the Pandavas. See Mahabharata. 3. A mountain in Lanka, probably Adam's Peak.

Vidvan: (sáns. hindú). Scholar. Shiva's 30th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vidvanmodatarangini: (sáns. hindú). Fountain of pleasure to the learned. A philosophical work by Ramadeva.

Vidvattama: (sáns. hindú). Highly learned. Shiva's 417th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vidvattama: (sáns. hindú). Highly scholarly. Shiva's 488 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vidya: (sáns. hindú). 1. Knowledge, wisdom. The lower form of Knowledge is said to be the Vedas, when considered as a mere assemblage of words, while the higher form is said to be the Upanishads taught by the Guru to a dispassionate seeker. As compared to that higher knowledge called Brahmavidya Atmavidya, which deals with non-duality, the lower one pertaining to duality is but ignorance. According to all the Upanishads, knowledge alone saves one from ignorance which is the root cause of all suffering. Such knowledge regarding the oneness of Brahman and Atman is also called Para Bhakti (supreme devotion). 2. Upasana (worship or meditation). About thirty such Vidyas or Upasanas are expounded in the Upanishads. Those on the Nirguna Brahman (attributeless) bring about Sadyomukti (immediate liberation) and those on the Saguna-Brahman (with attribute) lead to Kramamukti (gradual liberation after death), as do those on some Pratika (symbol). 3. Knowledge personified as the Divine Mother in the form of Sarasvati, Lakshmi or Parvati. 4. A name of Lakshmi. 5. An epithet of Devi. The 549th name in the Lalita Sahasranama.

Vidyadhara: (sáns. hindú). (vidya "knowledge" + dhara "supporter") The supporters of (magical) science. A class of subordinate deities inhabiting the regions between the earth and sky, and generally of benevolent disposition. They are attendants of Indra, but they have chiefs and kings of their own, and are represented as intermarrying and having much intercourse with men. (See Genesis chapter 6 in the Bible.) They are also called Kamarupin, "taking shapes at will"; Khechara and Nabhaschara, "moving in the air;" Priyamvada, "sweet-spoken."

Vidyaranya: (sáns. hindú). "Forest of learning." A title of Madhavacarya, as patron of the city of Vidyanagara, afterwards altered to Vijayanagara, the capital of the last great Hindu dynasty of the Dakhin.

Vidyaranyasvami: (sáns. hindú). See Vidyaranya.

Vidyarashi: (sáns. hindú). Mass of learning. Shiva's 1100th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vidyesha: (sáns. hindú). Lord of vidya. Shiva's 406 th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vigatajvara: (sáns. hindú). One who is free from ailments. Shiva's 567th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vighnakaraka: (sáns. hindú). Cause of obstacles. Shiva's 711th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vighnesha: (sáns. hindú). (vighna "obstacles" + isha "lord") The who removes obstacles; a name of Ganesha.

Vijaganita: (sáns. hindú). A work on algebra. It is a chapter of the work called Siddhantashiromani, written by Bhaskaracharya.

Vijara: (sáns. hindú). The ageless, undecaying.

Vijaya: (sáns. hindú). 1. The all-excelling, all-conquering. 2. Vishnu's 147th name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama. 3. Victory. Shiva's 398th name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vijayanagara: (sáns. hindú). The capital of the last great Hindu dynasty of the south. It was originally called Vidyanagara, "city of learning," after the great scholar and minister Madhavacharya, entitled Vidyaranya, "forest of learning." But in the days of its glory the Vidya was altered to Vijaya, "victory."

Vijitatma: (sáns. hindú). One who has conquered the Atman. Shiva's 172nd name as listed in the Shiva Sahasranama. See the Lingapurana Part II, Chapter 98.

Vijnanabhanarupini: (sáns. hindú). She whose form is a mass of knowledge. An epithet of Devi. The 253rd name in the Lalita Sahasranama.

Vijnaneshvara: (sáns. hindú). Author of the law-book called Mitakshara.

Vijnani: (sáns. hindú). 1. Having full Knowledge, realized. According to Shankara, Jnana is that knowledge of the Self acquired from the Scriptures and the master (i.e. an indirect knowledge (Paroksha-Jnana), while Vijnana is the personal experience (Anubhava) or direct knowledge (Aparoksha-Jnana) of the Self). The prefix, Vi here expresses distinction or excellence (Vishesha).

Vikarna: (sáns. hindú). A son of Dhritarashtra.

Enciclopedia Hindu, Manurishi Fundación

  1. A - Apara Vidya - Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms - The Manurishi Foundation
  2. Apariccedya - Bhagavata - Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms - The Manurishi Foundation
  3. Bhagavatapurana – Citavanna - Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms - The Manurishi Foundation
  4. Citra - Dyutikara -Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms - The Manurishi Foundation
  5. Edidhishupati - Jivbarhiyajna - Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms - The Manurishi Foundation
  6. Jñanam - Kurantika - Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms - The Manurishi Foundation
  7. Kurira - Nagaharadhrik - Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms - The Manurishi Foundation
  8. Nagakesara - Prajapala - Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms - The Manurishi Foundation
  9. Prajapati - Saha - Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms - The Manurishi Foundation
  10. Sahadeva - Shvashva - Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms - The Manurishi Foundation
  11. Shyala - Uparati - Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms - The Manurishi Foundation

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