Agastya, aka: Āgastya; 15 Definition(s)


Agastya means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Agastya in Purana glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Agastya (अगस्त्य):—The consequences of using various flowers in worship, (eg. agastya flowers) leads to success, according to the Bhaviṣya-purāṇa (brahmaparva, 197:1-11)

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhavishya-purana

Agastya (अगस्त्य).—Genealogy. Descended from Viṣṇu in this order Brahmā-Marīci-Kaśyapa-Sūrya-Agastya. (See full article at Story of Agastya from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Agastya (अगस्त्य).—A son of Pulastya and Havirbhū: he was Dahra-agni in his previous birth.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa, IV, 1. 36.

1b) A contemporary of Kṛṣṇa and Rāma; and a resident of Mount Malaya. Visited by Balarāma.1 Came to Syamantapañcaka to see Kṛṣṇa.2 Called on Parīkṣit practising prāyopaveśa.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa, X. 79. 17.
  • 2) Ib. X. 84. 5.
  • 3) Ib. I. 19. 10.

1c) Married the first born daughter of King Malayadhvaja Pāṇḍya, and had a son Dṛḍhācyuta.1 Cursed the Pāṇḍyan king Indradyumna to become an elephant.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 28. 32.
  • 2) Ib. VIII. 4. 9-10.

1d) The constellation (Canopus) that moves fast above Dhruvamaṇḍala.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 21. 101; Vāyu-purāṇa 50, 155.

1e) A hill of that name.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 124. 97.

1f) Born of garbha; born later as Dattāli;1 (Dattoli). residence (bhavana) at Mahāmalaya;2 relation of, to Potṛyaṇa;3 Udayantaka mountain brought by; and his wife.4

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 28. 22; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I, 10. 9.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 48. 23.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 59. 93, 208.
  • 4) Vāyu-purāṇa 108. 44, 53.

1g) A group of Rākṣasas.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 162.

2) Āgastya (आगस्त्य).—The Brahmarākṣasas—a clan moving about in the night;1 of Surabhi forest;2 summoned Kauberaka to live at Hariśṛṅga.3

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 8. 59 and 62; Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 195-6.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 121. 62.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 47. 60-1.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Agastya (अगस्त्य) refers to the name of a Tīrtha (pilgrim’s destination) mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. III.86.10). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Agastya) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Agastya is also mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IV.20.11) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Agastya (अगस्त्य) is a Sanskrit word referring to Sesbania grandiflora, a small tree from the Fabaceae (legume) family of flowering plants. It is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā and the Suśruta-saṃhitā. It is also known as Agasti. In English, the plant is known as the “vegetable hummingbird”, “agati” or the “humminbird tree”. It has many botanical synonyms, among which: Aeschynomene grandiflora, Agati grandiflora, Coronilla grandiflora and Emerus grandiflorus.

This plant (Sesbania grandiflora) is also idintified with Muni, a medicinal plant used for the treatment of all major fevers (jvara), as described in the Jvaracikitsā (or “the treatment of fever”) which forms the first chapter of the Sanskrit work called Mādhavacikitsā.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Agastya is the name of one of the eighteen Siddhars mentioned in the Abhidāna-cintāmaṇi, a 12th century lexicon by Hemacandra. The Siddhars refers to ancient intellectuals of Tamil Nadu and are the teachers of Siddha medicine: an ancient practice of South-India claiming to over 8,000 years old.

According to tradition, Nandi and Agastya learnt the Siddha system of medicine and Śivayoga from Śiva, and imparted it to a number of disciples (eg., Agastya). These Siddhars are united by their philosophy, accepting the human body as the microcosm of the universe, and seeing the human evolution as the ultimate accomplishment of the regenerative power of the Universe.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Agastya.—In the Tamil Siddha tradition, Agastya (Agattiyar in Tamil) is celebrated as the pioneer of the Siddha cult as well as father of a Tamil School of medicine. Many of the Tamil Siddhas trace their origin to Agastya. Invariably, there exist many local traditions and fabulous myths on him.

Maṇimekalai also tells about the miraculous birth of the sage and his relation to Vasiṣṭha. The first reference to Agastya as the “Father of Tamil” and the first Tamil grammarian is found in Nakkīrar’s commentary to Iraiyanār’s Akapporul (8th century C.E).

According to another tradition, Agastya married Lopamudrā and had a son named Sāgaren. He led the first colony of Brahmans from the north and settled in southern India under the auspices of Kulasekara Pāṇḍya, the founder of Pāṇḍyan dynasty of Madurai.

Source: DSpace at Pondicherry: Siddha Cult in Tamilnadu (shaivism)
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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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Āgastya (आगस्त्य).—Name of an ancient writer of Vedic grammar and Prātiśākhya works; cf. R. Pr.I.2.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Agastya (अगस्त्य) is the name of a sage who was in the company of Bharata when he recited the Nāṭyaveda them, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 35. Accordingly, they asked the following questions, “O the best Brahmin (lit. the bull of the twice-born), tell us about the character of the god who appears in the Preliminaries (pūrvaraṅga). Why is the sound [of musical instruments] applied there? What purpose does it serve when applied? What god is pleased with this, and what does he do on being pleased? Why does the Director being himself clean, perform ablution again on the stage? How, O sir, the drama has come (lit. dropped) down to the earth from heaven? Why have your descendants come to be known as Śūdras?”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Āgastya (आगस्त्य) is the name of a plant which is considered a vegetable fit for use in oblation offerings, according to verse 25.128b-134 of the Īśvarasaṃhitā. Accordingly, “... they [eg., Āgastya] are to be cut with a knife or sickle uttering vīryanantra, shall notice the (presence of the worms), insects and wash them (vegetables) many times, with water. They are to be kept as before, in cooking vessels, either alone or mixed up with each other with salt, pepper, mustards, jīraka, leaves of śrīparṇī, water, waters of the coconut, their fruits and grinded with honey mixed up with ghee, together with pulses, black gram, neem and varieties of green gram with soups. Kinds of green gram and others without soup but with salt and others”.

Source: Isvara Samhita Vol 5

Agastya (अगस्त्य) or Agastyasaṃhitā is the name of a Vaiṣṇava Āgama scripture, classified as a sāttvika type of the Muniprokta group of Pāñcarātra Āgamas. The vaiṣṇavāgamas represent one of the three classes of āgamas (traditionally communicated wisdom).—Texts of the Pāñcara Āgamas are divided in to two sects. It is believed that Lord Vāsudeva revealed the first group of texts which are called Divya and the next group is called Muniprokta which are further divided in to three viz. a. Sāttvika (eg., Agastya-saṃhitā). b. Rājasa. c. Tāmasa.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva (pancaratra)
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Sage Agastya, who was dwarfish in appearancem is considered the doyen of Tamil mystics and the father of the Tamil language. He is to the Tamil language what Panini was to Sanskrit. Agastya is famous for teaching the “Āditya Hṛdaya” mantra to Sri Rama on the eve of his battle with the demon Ravana. Rama is believed to have won victory vecause of the power of the prayer to the Sun taught by Agastya.

Kāryasiddhimalai literally means “garland (of songs) which ensures success in undertakings”. Other works attributed to Agastya are:

  1. Agastya Gita (in the Varahapurana)
  2. Agastya Samhita (in Skandapurana)
  3. Siva Samhita (in Bhaskara Samhita)
  4. Dvaida Nirnaya Tantra
Source: Google Books: 101 Mystics of India

According to legend, the sage Agastya is an incarnation of Agni. Agni and Vayu had been cursed by Indra for insubordination to be born as mortals. Vayu was born as Vasishta (this account is different from the popular one where Vasishta is a wish-born son of Brahma). According to this curse, Agastya was born as the son of MitraVaruna Rishi (this is different from the dual Mitra-Varuna mentioned in the Rig Veda) and the Apsara Urvashi. Among the many epithets of Agastya are KumbhaSambhava (born in a pot) and MitraVaruni (son of MitraVaruna). From an early age he displayed an aptitude for the scriptures and spirituality.

He married Lopamudra, the daughter of the king of Vidharba. He also had another wife named Kaveri, who was the daughter of a sage named Kavera.

He is also famous for his curses. He cursed Nahusha who had insulted him, to be born as a giant python. Bheema was instrumental in releasing Nahusha from the curse. He had also cursed a king named Indradhyumna to be born as an elephant, for the King busy with his prayer, was late in receiving the sage.

He is also famed for drinking the ocean dry.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Agastya (अगस्त्य): A great sage whose life-story the Pandavas learnt while on pilgrimage to holy places, his wife Lopamudra was equally a great sage in her own right.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Relevant definitions

Search found 208 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Agastyāśrama (अगस्त्याश्रम).—The Purāṇas make mention of several āśramas connected with sage Ag...
Agastyasaṃhitā (अगस्त्यसंहिता) or simply Agastya is the name of a Vaiṣṇava Āgama scripture, cla...
Agastyacāra (अगस्त्यचार).—[ṣa. ta.] the course of Canopus, the time of its rise which ushers th...
Agastyatīrtha (अगस्त्यतीर्थ).—This is one of the five tīrthas or sacred places of worship lying...
Agastyavaṭa (अगस्त्यवट).—This is a sacred shrine in the neighbourhood of the Himālayas. Arjuna ...
Agastyeśvara refers to one of the sixteen liṅgas worshipped in the maṇḍapas at the Adi Kumbeswa...
Agastyagītā (अगस्त्यगीता).—[agastyena gītā vidyābhedaḥ] Name of a sort of विद्या (vidyā) mentio...
Agastyadarśana (अगस्त्यदर्शन) is the name of a festival that once existed in ancient Kashmir (K...
Agastyakūṭa (अगस्त्यकूट).—This is the sacred mount where the sage, Agastya, sat and did penance...
Agastyakumbhayoni (अगस्त्यकुम्भयोनि).—Born from a pitcher into which Mitra and Varuṇa dro...
Agastyodaya (अगस्त्योदय).—1) the rise of Canopus which takes place about the end of Bhādra; wit...
Agastyaparvata (अगस्त्यपर्वत).—This is a mountain in South India believed to belong to the Kāla...
Agastyasaras (अगस्त्यसरस्).—This is another name for Agastya tīrtha.
Lopāmudrā (लोपामुद्रा).—f. (-drā) The wife of the saint Agastya and daughter of the king of Vid...
Kāverī (कावेरी) is the name of a river and is one of the most sacred rivers which takes its ris...

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