Abhicara, Abhicāra, Ābhicāra: 22 definitions


Abhicara means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi, Hindi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

Alternative spellings of this word include Abhichara.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Abhicara in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Abhicāra (अभिचार) refers to “black magic”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.36. Accordingly, as Bṛhaspati said to Indra:—“[...] there is the presiding deity of sacrifices who dispenses the fruits of all sacrifices. He does it with reference to the performer. He is not independent of the performer. Neither Mantras nor medicinal herbs, nor black magic [viz., abhicāra], nor worldly activities, nor the Vedas, nor the two systems of Mīmāṃsās, nor other sacred texts based on Vedic passages are able to know Śiva—so the ancient authorities say. [...]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Ābhicāra (आभिचार).—Incantations done by purohita and ministers for defeating the enemy—according to Bhaṇḍa;1 Brhaspati did this on behalf of Indra to vanquish Rāji's sons.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 21. 97.
  • 2) Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 9. 19.
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Abhicāra (अभिचार) refers to “occult magic”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 2), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “We shall now proceed to give a brief description of (the qualifications of) a jyotiṣaka. [...] He must be of cleanly habits, able, noble-minded, eloquent and of originality and imagination; must possess a knowledge of place and time; be meek and without nervousness, must be difficult of conquest by his fellow students; must be able and devoid of vices; must be learned in matters of expiatory ceremonies, of Hygiene, of Occult Magic [i.e., abhicāra] and of ablutions; must be a worshipper of the Devas and an observer of fast and penance; must be of remarkable genius and capable of solving any difficulties save in matters of direct divine interference; and finally, he must be learned in astronomy, natural astrology (Saṃhitā) and horoscopy”.

Source: Google Books: Studies in the History of the Exact Sciences (Astronomy)

Abhicāra (अभिचार) refers to the “cursing” (of enemies), according to the grahaśānti (cf. grahayajña) section of the Yājñavalkyasmṛti (1.295-309), preceded by the section called vināyakakalpa (1.271-294), prescribing a rite to be offered to Vināyaka.—Accordingly, “[Purpose of the rite]—The object of grahayajña is not only to get wealth and happiness but also for the purpose of ‘cursing’ (abhicāra) enemies. [...]”.

Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: University of Vienna: Sudarśana's Worship at the Royal Court According to the Ahirbudhnyasaṃhitā

Abhicāra (अभिचार) (Cf. Ābhicārika) refers to “aggressive magic”, according to the Ahirbudhnyasaṃhitā, belonging to the Pāñcarātra tradition which deals with theology, rituals, iconography, narrative mythology and others.—Accordingly, “[...] [The demons born of] the aggressive magic (abhicāra) of [his] enemies, having failed to take hold of him, frightened will possess the performer [of the ritual], like a river[’s fury] blocked by a mountain. Droughts will end and enemies will run away. In his kingdom there will not be dangers in the form of untimely deaths, wild animals, beasts of prey, thieves, illnesses etc. and strength shall reside in his lineage”.

Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Google books: Genesis and Development of Tantra

Abhicāra (अभिचार) or “ sorcery” refers to one of the various objectives expected of the Kāmyeṣṭis (“Vedic rituals following the basic pattern of the new and full-moon sacrifice”).—There is a certain group of Vedic rituals which are referred to as “kāmya”. Those which are performed following the basic pattern of the new and full-moon sacrifice are called kāmyeṣṭi. [...] According to the analysis of W. Caland, the objectives expected of the kāmyeṣṭis are: [e.g., sorcery (abhicāra)] [...], etc. (Cf. Caland 1908: VI–VII). Although Vedic rituals were a reliable way for the people of ancient India to fulfill their objectives, Tantric rites too claim to bring about the attainment of wishes.

According to the Siddhayogeśvarīmata, the twelve kinds of black magic (abhicāra) are:

  1. murder (māraṇa),
  2. expelling someone (uccāṭana),
  3. annihilation (jambhana),
  4. paralysing (stambhana),
  5. benumbing (mohana),
  6. nailing down (kīlana),
  7. taking away someone’s speech (vācāpahāra),
  8. making someone dumb (mūkatva),
  9. deaf (bādhirya),
  10. blind (andhana),
  11. impotent (śaṇḍhīkaraṇa) and,
  12. changing one’s form (rūpasya parivartanam).
Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Abhicāra (अभिचार) refers to “black magic” or “witchcraft”.

Source: Professor Gudrun Bühnemann: Buddhist Deities and Mantras in the Hindu Tantras

Abhicāra (अभिचार):—The following seven abhicāra rites are listed in the Tantrasārasaṃgraha (cf. also Agni-Purāṇa 306.1) and the Mantrapāda:

  1. immobilization (stambha),
  2. causing dissension (vidveṣa),
  3. eradication (uccāṭa),
  4. liquidation (māraṇa),
  5. creating confusion or madness (bhrānti, bhrama),
  6. destruction (utsādana)
  7. and creating illness (roga, vyādhi), especially fever.

These rites are briefly defined in the anonymous commentary on the Tantrasārasaṃgraha.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

abhicāra (अभिचार).—n S Incantation or magic to destroy or injure.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

abhicāra (अभिचार).—n Incantation or magic employ- ed for malevolent purposes.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Abhicara (अभिचर).—A follower, servant, attendant.

Derivable forms: abhicaraḥ (अभिचरः).

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Abhicāra (अभिचार).—

1) Exorcising, enchanting, employment of magical spells for malevolent purposes; magic itself (being regarded as one of the Upapātakas or minor sins); दिग्गजैर्दन्दशूकैश्च अभिचारावपातनैः (diggajairdandaśūkaiśca abhicārāvapātanaiḥ) Bhāg 7.5.43; अभिचारेषु सर्वेषु कर्तव्यो द्विशतो दमः (abhicāreṣu sarveṣu kartavyo dviśato damaḥ) Manusmṛti 9.29;11.63.197; K.19; ब्रह्मद्विषो ह्येष निहन्ति सर्वानाथर्वणस्तीव्र इवाभिचारः (brahmadviṣo hyeṣa nihanti sarvānātharvaṇastīvra ivābhicāraḥ) Mv. 1.62.

2) Killing गतः क्रियां मन्त्र इवाभिचारिकीम् (gataḥ kriyāṃ mantra ivābhicārikīm) Ki 3.56.

Derivable forms: abhicāraḥ (अभिचारः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Abhicara (अभिचर).—m.

(-raḥ) A servent. E. abhi after, and cara who goes.

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Abhicāra (अभिचार).—m.

(-raḥ) Magic for a malevolent purpose, the spells and diagrams of the Atharva Veda and some of the Tantras, pupposed to produce mental aberration, love, hatred, loss of feeling or paralysis, and death. E. abhi before cara to go, and ghañ aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Abhicāra (अभिचार).—i. e. abhi-car + a, m. Incantation, making charms for mischievous purposes, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 11, 197.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Abhicāra (अभिचार).—[masculine] incantation, sorcery.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Abhicara (अभिचर):—[=abhi-cara] [from abhi-car] m. a servant, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

2) Abhicāra (अभिचार):—[=abhi-cāra] [from abhi-car] m. exorcising, incantation, employment of spells for a malevolent purpose, [Atharva-veda etc.]

3) [v.s. ...] magic (one of the Upapātakas or minor crimes).

4) Abhīcāra (अभीचार):—[=abhī-cāra] [from abhi-car] a m. exorcising, incantation, [Āpastamba-dharma-sūtra]

5) [=abhī-cāra] b See abhi-√car.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Goldstücker Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Abhicara (अभिचर):—[tatpurusha compound] m.

(-raḥ) A servant. E. car with abhi, kṛt aff. ac; (cara being ṭit, the femin. would be abhicarī).

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Abhicāra (अभिचार):—[tatpurusha compound] m.

(-raḥ) Incantation, employment of charms or spells for a malevolent purpose.—The Shaḍviṃśa-Brāhmaṇa names as such purposes: killing an enemy and depriving him of his cattle or property; it gives an account of four sacrifices which are performed for the attainment of these objects, (see śyena, trivṛdagniṣṭoma, saṃdaṃśa and vajra) and describes the manner in which the mantras are to be recited at these sacrifices; (see viṣṭuti).—The Tantrasāra (as quoted by Rādhākāntad.) names six purposes of incantation, viz. causing death (māraṇa), mental aberration (mohana), stoppage of the bodily functions (stambhana), hatred (vidveṣaṇa), ruin (uccāṭana) and submission (vaśīkaraṇa). [Comp. e. g. also the following passage from the Skanda-Purāṇa: kuśairvā dūrvayā devi āsane śubhrakambale . upaviśya tato devi japedekāgramānasaḥ (scil. gurugītām) . śuklāsane vai śāntyarthe vaśye raktāsanaṃ priye . abhicāre kṛṣṇavarṇaṃ pītavarṇaṃ dhanāgame . uttare śāntijāpyasyāvaśye pūrvamukhoditam . dakṣiṇe māraṇaṃ proktaṃ stambhane paścime mukham . mohanaṃ sarvabhūtānāṃ bandhamokṣakaraṃ param . devabhūpapriyakaraṃ rājānaṃ vaśamānayet &c.]—Suśruta speaks of a variety of fever caused by incantation (see abhicārajvara and comp. abhiṣaṅgajvara), the symptoms of which are, according to the Nighaṇṭa Prakāśa, thirst, mental aberration, abscesses, delirium, fainting, anguish, excessive heat &c.—Manu (likewise Viṣṇu &c.) when speaking of incantations (9. 290.) makes a distinction between abhicāra, mūlakarman and various kṛtyā; the former comprises, according to Medhātithi and Kullūka as well incantations founded on vaidik writings (vaidika or śāstrīya, such as the Śyena &c.), as those founded on vulgar superstition (laukika, such as taking the dust of the feet, digging in needles—sūcīnikhanana in the E. I. H. Mss. of Medh. being apparently a better reading than mūlanikhanana in the present edd. of Kull.—&c.) for the purpose of causing death; mūlakarman is, according to both comm., subduing a person by means of mantras, drugs &c. (Kull.: mantrauṣadhādinā; Medh.: mantrādikriyayā); the kṛtyā are, according to Kullūka, incantations for the sake of causing ruin, making sick &c., according to Medh., for the sake of causing ruin, animosity between friends or relatives, working wonders &c. (uccāṭanasuhṛdbandhukalahavicitrīkaraṇādihetavaḥ).—Manu fines a person who employs charms two hundred Paṇas (9. 290.), classes in another passage abhicāra and mūlakarman amongst the Upapātaka (11. 63.) and makes the expiation of an abhicāra depend on the performance, thrice repeated, of the penance called Kṛchchhra (11. 197.). But as these clauses would jar apparently with the vaidik texts which impliedly sanction the employment of charms by regulating the sacrifices Śyena &c. performed for incantatory purposes, Kullūka qualifies the definition of Manu 11. 63. by commenting that abhicāra is an upapātaka, if it causes the death of an innocent or unoffending person (śyenādiyajñenānaparādhasya māraṇam), while Medhātithi seems merely to lay stress on the fact of death itself (although the death be that of an enemy) and perhaps too on the condition of death being caused by a vaidik kind of incantation (Medh. to 11. 63.: abhicāro vaidikena śāpādinā mantraprayogeṇa śyenādiyāgena vā śatrumāraṇam, or to 11. 197.: vaidikena japahomādinā śatrormāraṇamabhicāraḥ); for the same reason, probably, both comm. agree in giving to the penalty clause (9. 290) the additional sense: ‘if the incantation does not cause death’, and qualify, in the clause 11. 197., the incantation as one ‘directed against a person who ought not to have been brought under the spell (i. e. an innocent or unoffending person)’; some however, as results from Medh.'s discussion on the latter verse, give it a different bearing, for they supply the preceding word yājana at abhicāra and subject thus to the penance Kṛchchhra, not the yajamāna or the person who institutes an incantatory sacrifice, but the ṛtvij or the priest who performs for him such a sacrifice. But in spite of these efforts of the commentators to establish a harmony between Manu and the Veda, it will seem that another possibility alluded to by Medhātithi is more plausible, viz. that Manu did not attach any scriptural authority to such voluntary rites, as the incantatory sacrifices, and, therefore, did not consider himself at variance with the Veda, when he interdicted incantations in an unqualified manner; (Medhātithi: nanu ca kāmyānyapi niṣiddhāni . kāmātmatā na praśasteti . yattasya viṣayaḥ . sa tatraiva vyākhyātaḥ). E. car with abhi, kṛt aff. ghañ.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Abhicara (अभिचर):—[abhi-cara] (raḥ) 1. m. A servant.

2) Abhicāra (अभिचार):—[abhi-cāra] (raḥ) 1. m. Magic.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Abhicāra (अभिचार) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Ahiyāra.

[Sanskrit to German]

Abhicara in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Hindi dictionary

[«previous next»] — Abhicara in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Abhicāra (अभिचार) [Also spelled abhichar]:—(nm) incantation, employment of spells for a malevolent purpose, sorcery, black magic; ~[raka] one who practises incantation, a conjurer; ~[rakriyā] witchcraft; sorcery; ~[] incantational, incantatory; a conjurer.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Abhicara (ಅಭಿಚರ):—[noun] a person employed to perform services, esp. household duties, for another; a servant.

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Abhicāra (ಅಭಿಚಾರ):—

1) [noun] an action done against one’s promise; betrayal of trust or allegiance.

2) [noun] the supposed use of an evil supernatural power over people and their affairs; witchcraft; black magic; sorcery.

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Ābhicāra (ಆಭಿಚಾರ):—

1) [adjective] of or related to the art of hypnotism or mesmerism.

2) [adjective] leading to misconception or wrong impression.

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Ābhicāra (ಆಭಿಚಾರ):—[noun] the use of charms, spells, and rituals in seeking or pretending to cause or control events or govern certain natural or supernatural forces; occultism; magic; sorcery.

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Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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