Aghora: 22 definitions


Aghora means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. 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.

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In Hinduism

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Wisdom Library: Elements of Hindu Iconograpy

1) Aghora (अघोर):—One of the five aspects of Śiva, known collectively as the Pañchabrahmās. They are emanations from the niṣkala-Śiva. According to the Rūpamaṇḍana, the face of Aghora should be of terrific look, set with three yellow coloured eyes and the mouth having side tusks; on the head there should be a garland of human skulls and a snak, and snake ornaments everywhere; two snakes serving as the ear-rings, two others as keyūras, one as hāra, one as yajñopavīta, one as kaṭisūtra (the waist-zone), the snakes Takṣa and Puṣṭika as anklets, and so on; there should also be a garland composed of scorpions (vṛśchika). The colour of the body of Aghora should be blue like the nīlotpala, and that of the jaṭās, yellow, and these should be adorned with the crescent moon.

The general look of this aspect of Śiva should resemble that of Kāla (the god of death) and appear as though terrifying a host of enemies. The left hands should bear in them the khaṭvāṅga, the kapāla, the kheṭaka and the pāśa while the right ones, the triśūla, the paraśu, the khaḍga and the daṇḍa

The Śrītatvanidhi gives somewhat different description. For Aghora should have, according to this work, four; each of these faces should have three eyes; the colour of Aghora should be blue. This face ought to point to the southern direction. There should be the paraśu, veda (a book?), aṅkuśa, pāśa, śūla, kapāla, ḍhakka and akṣamālā in the hands of Aghora.

2) Aghora (अघोर):—Second of the twelve emanations of Rudra, according to the Rūpamaṇḍana.

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Himalayan Academy: Dancing with Siva

Aghora: अघोर “Nonterrifying.” An aspect of Śiva which, like Rudra, personifies of His power of dissolution or reabsorption. Ghora means “terrific, frightful, terrible, etc.” See: Sadāśiva.

Source: Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śaivism)

Aghora (अघोर).—The southern face of Sadāśiva is called Aghora literally "not terrific"; but it expresses the terrific aspect of destruction of ignorance. Aghora is associated with Vidyākalā. It is Kartṛsādākhya. He destroys the ignorance.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva

1) Aghora (अघोर) refers to one of the five faces of Sadāśiva that revealed the Āgamas (sacred texts).—According to the sṛṣṭikrama method mentioned in the Uttarakāmikāgama, “Vijayāgama, Niśvāsāgama, Svāyambhuvāgama, Anala and Vīrāgama are from the face called Aghora”. According to the saṃhārakrama mentioned in the Pūrvakāraṇāgama, “Vijayāgama, Niśvāsāgama, Svāyambhuvāgama, Anala and Vīrāgama are from the face called Aghora”.

According to the Ajitāgama, “Svāyambhuva, Vīra, Raurava, Makuṭa and Kiraṇa are emanated from the Aghora face”. According to the Rauravāgama, “Raurava, Makuṭa, Vimala and Candrajñāna are from the Aghora face of Sadāśiva”.

2) Aghora (विमल) or Aghorāgama refers to one of upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the Vijayāgama which is one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The purpose of revealing upāgamas (e.g., Aghora Āgama) is to explain more elaborately than that of mūlāgamas (e.g., Vijaya-āgama) and to include any new idea if not dealt in mūlāgamas.

Shaivism book cover
context information

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Aghora (अघोर) is used as an epithet for Śiva, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.41.—Accordingly, as Viṣṇu and others eulogized Śiva:—“[...] obeisance to Vāma, Vāmarūpa, Vāmanetra, Aghora, the great lord and the Vikaṭa. Obeisance to Tatpuruṣa, to Nātha, the ancient Puruṣa, the bestower of the four aims of life, Vratin, and Parameṣṭhin. Obeisance to you, Īśānas, Īśvara, Brahman, of the form of Brahman, the Supreme Soul”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Aghora (अघोर).—The form of Maheśvara in the 32nd kalpa, all black.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 29, 76.
Purana book cover
context information

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

1) Aghorā (अघोरा) refers to “benign” and is used to describe the Goddes, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—[...] In the course of the initiation that renders him fit to worship the deity, the adept is purified of his sins and spiritual impurities by this penetration. It is brought about by the goddess herself who is the Transmental (unmanā), that is, by her Command of which it is a sign. And so although the goddess is benign (aghorā), she appears to be fierce (ghorā), because of the awesome power of the infusion of energy that her devotee experiences in this way.

2) Aghorā (अघोरा) refers to one of the six Goddesses (parā-ṣaṭka) associated with Jālandhara (which is in the southern quarter), according to the Manthānabhairavatantra.—[...] The six Goddesses (parā-ṣaṭka): Jālāvvā, Tīvrā, Tīkṣṇā, Caṇḍikā, Aghorā, Amarā.

3) Aghora (अघोर) also refers to one of the Siddhas of the Tradition of the Eastern House (pūrvagṛha-āmnāya), according to the Manthānabhairavatantra.

4) Aghora (अघोर) is the name of Kubjikā’s consort.—An important early influence on the cult of the goddess Kubjikā that contributed to her lunar associations came from the cult of Svacchandabhairava, otherwise called Aghora. Aghora is in various contexts identified as Kubjikā’s consort. Moreover, his lunar character is clearly evident. Thus he is said to have the form of the moon and one should think him in this form in the calyx of the lotus of the heart. Aghora is, amongst other things, a medicine god. His consort, an embodiment of his curative powers, is named appropriately Vyādhibhakṣiṇī—‘Disease Eater’. [...] Aghora is white “the colour of cow’s milk, like snow, jasmine or the moon”.

5) Aghora (ऊर्ध्वकेश) refers to one of the eight Bhairavas also associated with Jālandhara.—[...] The eight Bhairavas: Ruru, Kāla, Bahurūpa, Pracaṇḍaka, Tryambaka, Tripurānta, Ūrdhvakeśa, Aghora.

Shaktism book cover
context information

Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Aghora is mentioned in the Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam as a "Divine Great weapon":

“At their request, I called in my mind the Divine Great weapon, named Aghora, beautiful and terrible and containing the strength of all the Devas, to kill him. It was inconceivable and it was blazing with fire.”


“For full divine one thousand years I remained awake with eyelids wide open in thinking of the Aghora weapon, the destroyer of all obstacles, whereby the killing of Tripurāsura might be effected and the troubles of the Devas be removed. ”

S.D.B., Book 11, Chapter 4

Source: HAL: The (un)dreadful goddess

The male deity or epithet aghora plays an importa nt role already in pre-tantric Śaivism. The vedic Aghora-mantra, which evokes three forms of Rudra, is one of the five mantras of the Pāśupatas. The Śaiva Siddhānta adopts these five mantras (commonly known as the five Brahma-mantras), and, at a later date, associates them with five heads of Śiva. The Aghora mantra thus becomes identified with the frightening Southern face and Bhairava.

The Aghora-mantra itself mentions three for ms of the god:

  1. the undreadful or benign (aghora),
  2. the dreadful (ghora)
  3. and the more dreadful than the dreadful (ghoraghoratara) .
Source: Universal Yoga: The Five Faces of Shiva

Aghora is associated with the southern direction and jῆāna Shaktī--the power of knowledge; as well as the Buddhi rūpa meaning the form of the intellect. This face is associated with the Pranamaya Kosha, and represents the rejuvenating and dissolving qualities of Shiva as well as being connected with the water element and Svadishthana chakra.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

1) Aghora: Represents Jñāna Śaktī(Infinite Knowledge). It is function of Prakṛti (nature, consort of Shiva) and Parā Śaktī. This face of Śiva is Buddhi rūpa (Intellect). Represents Pūrṇagiri Pīṭha. Banaliṅgam. One billion (100,00,000) mantras are trying to describe this face of Śiva. Smoke(Dhumra varṇa) in color. It represents our balanced aspect of Ahaṃkāra Tattva (our ego nature). Mixture of Prāmaṇa and Prameya. It represents the forces of Rudra.

2) (third face of Shiva) - Aghora -Dissolution/Rejuvenation. South. Fire. Agni

According to Śaiva Agama, Lord Shiva performs five actions - creation, preservation, dissolution, concealing grace, and revealing grace. Each of the five actions corresponds to a name and form of Shiva with varying attributes.

Source: Oxford Reference: A Dictionary of Hinduism

A euphemistic epithet of Śiva, applied to him in his awe-inspiring or terrible mode, whether mythologically or iconographically (Aghora-mūrti). Sometimes referred to as Aghora-Bhairava. Iconographically, the term is also applied to Śiva's southern face, representing universal Law (dharma).

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

aghōra (अघोर).—a (a & ghōra) Careless, unapprehensive, unanxious, unsolicitous.

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aghōra (अघोर).—a (S) Formidable, terrible, dreadful, frightful, monstrous, shocking;--applied freely to objects, places, actions. Ex. a0 araṇya A frightful wilderness; a0 karma A dreadful deed; a0 daṇḍa Awful punishment; a0 nidrā Profound sleep; a0 pātaka Monstrous sin; a0 duḥkha, a0 yātanā, a0 bhōjana, a0 śrama &c.

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

aghōra (अघोर).—a Terrible, formidable-applied freely to objects, places, actions aghōrī a Vile Horrible Loathsome.

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

Aghora (अघोर).—a. Not terrific or fearful.

-raḥ [nāsti ghoro yasmāt]

1) Name of Śiva or of one of his forms, (īśānāghoranā- mānau vāmadevastataḥ param | sadyojāta iti proktaḥ kramaśo'rcanakarmaṇi ||)

2) A worshipper of Śiva and Durgā.

-rā [aghoraḥ śivaḥ upāsyatvena asyāṃ sā, aghora-ac] The fourteenth day of the dark half of Bhādra sacred to Śiva (bhādramāsyasite pakṣe hyaghorākhyā caturdaśī | tasyāmārādhitaḥ sthāṇurnayocchivapuraṃ dhruvam ||).

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

Aghora (अघोर).—mfn.

(-raḥ-rā-raṃ) Formidable, terrible. m.

(-raḥ) 1. A name of Siva. 2. A worshipper of Siva, and DeVi in their terrific forms. f.

(-rā) The fourteenth day of the dark half of the month Bhadra, upon which Siva is worshipped. E. a implying resembance, and ghora formidable.

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

1) Aghora (अघोर):—[=a-ghora] mfn. not terrific

2) [v.s. ...] m. a euphemistic title of Śiva

3) [v.s. ...] a worshipper of Śiva and Durgā

4) Aghorā (अघोरा):—[=a-ghorā] [from a-ghora] f. the fourteenth day of the dark half of Bhādra, which is sacred to Śiva.

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

Aghora (अघोर):—[tatpurusha compound] I. m. f. n.

(-raḥ-rā-ram) Not formidable, not terrible. Ii. m.

(-raḥ) 1) A name of Śiva.

2) A worshipper of Śiva and Durgā in their terrific forms. Iii. f.

(-rā) The fourteenth day of the dark half of the month Bhādra (August-September), upon which Śiva is worshipped. E. a neg. and ghora. (The name of Śiva taken in a euphemistic sense.)

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

Aghora (अघोर):—[a-ghora] (raḥ) 1. m. A name of Shiva; () 1. f. a particular day when Shiva is worshipped; a. Formidable, very terrific.

[Sanskrit to German]

Aghora 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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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Aghōra (ಅಘೋರ):—

1) [adjective] not frightening; not terrific.

2) [adjective] of the nature of causing fright; terrific.

--- OR ---

Aghōra (ಅಘೋರ):—[noun] name of one of the five faces of Śiva; a euphemistic title of Śiva.

context information

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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