Airavana, Airāvaṇa: 16 definitions


Airavana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. 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)

[«previous next»] — Airavana in Purana glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Airāvaṇa (ऐरावण).—A son of Irāvatī—the vehicle of Indra, also Irāvata.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 292 & 326.
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Airāvaṇa (ऐरावण) is the name of a cloud whose sound corresponds to the Ūrdhvaka note made by drums (puṣkara) according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 33. Accordingly, “after seeing that the Mṛdaṅgas, Paṇavas and Dardaras have been made, the great sage Svāti brought about a similarity of their notes with those of clouds... The great cloud named Airāvaṇa gave note to Ūrdhvaka... Those who want Success of performances should make to these clouds, offerings which are dear to spirits (bhūta)”.

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Airavana in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Airāvaṇa (ऐरावण) is the mount of Indra, as mentioned in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 115. Accordingly, “... then Vidyuddhvaja, elated with the boon of Śiva, seized his mace, and rushed furiously on Indra. He leapt up, planting his feet on the tusks of Airāvaṇa, and climbed up on his forehead and killed his driver”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Airāvaṇa, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Kavya book cover
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: De Gruyter: A Buddhist Ritual Manual on Agriculture

Airāvaṇa (ऐरावण) is the name of a Nāga-king (i.e., Nāgarāja), according to the Vajratuṇḍasamayakalparāja, an ancient Buddhist ritual manual on agriculture from the 5th-century (or earlier), containing various instructions for the Sangha to provide agriculture-related services to laypeople including rain-making, weather control and crop protection.—Accordingly, [after the Bhagavān explained the great heart-dhāraṇī], “Then Samantākāraparikaracchatra, the great Nāga king, [...] Airāvaṇa, [...]: These leaders of 84,000 Nāga kings, each surrounded by 77,000 of Nāga troops belonging to their abode, approached the Bhagavān, went up to him, circumambulated him three times, worshipped him with great worship, and having bowed down at his feet said to the Bhagavān, ‘[...]’”.

Note: For Airāvaṇa, usually spelt as Airāvata, this Nāgarāja is described in detail in Vogel (1926: 207–14).

Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Airāvaṇa (ऐरावण) refers to the vehicle of Śakra and is a previous incarnation of Asitākṣa, according to chapter 4.7 [sanatkumāra-cakrin-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.

Accordingly:—“[...] Wandering through births for a long time, he (i.e., Nāgadatta) became a Brāhman’s son, Agniśarman, in the city Siṃhapura. In course of time he became a three-staved ascetic and went to the city Ratnapura, devoted to severe penance of two months, etc. [...] The three-staved ascetic died and, because of his servant-karma, became the elephant Airāvaṇa, the vehicle of Śakra. [...] When his life as Airāvaṇa was finished, the soul of the three-staved ascetic fell and, after wandering through births, was born as a king of Yakṣas, Asitākṣa”.

General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Airāvaṇa (ऐरावण).—(see airāvata below); Indra's elephant (produced at the churning of the ocean), मागधोऽथ महापालो गजमैरावणोपमम् (māgadho'tha mahāpālo gajamairāvaṇopamam) Mahābhārata (Bombay) 6.62.46. See ऐरावत (airāvata).

Derivable forms: airāvaṇaḥ (ऐरावणः).

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

Airāvaṇa (ऐरावण).—m.

(-ṇaḥ) Indra'S elephant. E. irāvat the ocean, aṇ affix of descent; ocean-born: na is changed irregularly to ṇa.

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

Airāvaṇa (ऐरावण).—i. e. irāvan + a (the base is curtailed irāvant, ved., and cf. irāvatī), m. Indra's elephant, Mahābhārata 1, 1151.

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

Airāvaṇa (ऐरावण).—[masculine] [Name] of Indra's elephant.

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

1) Airāvaṇa (ऐरावण):—[from aira] m. ([from] irā-van), Name of Indra’s elephant, [Mahābhārata; Harivaṃśa; Lalita-vistara]

2) [v.s. ...] Name of a Nāga, [Mahābhārata ii] (cf. the next.)

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

Airāvaṇa (ऐरावण):—(ṇaḥ) 1. m. Indra’s elephant.

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

Airāvaṇa (ऐरावण) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Airāvaṇa, Erāvaṇa.

[Sanskrit to German]

Airavana in German

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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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Prakrit-English dictionary

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

Airāvaṇa (ऐरावण) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Airāvaṇa.

context information

Prakrit is an ancient language closely associated with both Pali and Sanskrit. Jain literature is often composed in this language or sub-dialects, such as the Agamas and their commentaries which are written in Ardhamagadhi and Maharashtri Prakrit. The earliest extant texts can be dated to as early as the 4th century BCE although core portions might be older.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Airāvaṇa (ಐರಾವಣ):—

1) [noun] (myth.) Indrās elephant; the elephant that is supposed to be the guardian of the north quarter of the universe.

2) [noun] (myth.) a demon.

3) [noun] ಐರಾವಣ ಮೈರಾವಣ [airavana mairavana] airāvaṇa mairāvaṇa (fig.) (pl.) any two kinsmen, who fight ferociously between themselves.

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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