Ambika, Aṃbikā, Ambikā: 22 definitions

Introduction

Ambika 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

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

1) Ambikā (अम्बिका):—One of the twelve guṇas associated with Piṇḍa, the seventh seat of the Svādhiṣṭhāna-chakra. According to tantric sources such as the Śrīmatottara-tantra and the Gorakṣasaṃhitā (Kādiprakaraṇa), these twelve guṇas are represented as female deities. According to the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā however, they are explained as particular syllables. They (eg. Ambikā) only seem to play an minor role with regard to the interpretation of the Devīcakra (first of five chakras, as taught in the Kubjikāmata-tantra).

2) Ambikā (अम्बिका):—Sanskrit name of one of the twenty-four goddesses of the Sūryamaṇḍala (first maṇḍala of the Khecarīcakra) according to the kubjikāmata-tantra. The Khecarīcakra is the fifth cakra (‘internal mystic center’) of the five (pañcacakra) and is located on or above the head. She presides over the pītha (‘sacred site’) called Virajā.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Ambikā (अम्बिका) is a Sanskrit word referring to one of the sixty-eight places hosting a svāyambhuvaliṅga, one of the most sacred of liṅgas according to the Śaivāgamas. The presiding deity residing over the liṅga in this place (Ambikā) is named Umāpati. The list of sixty-eight svāyambhuvaliṅgas is found in the commentary of the Jirṇoddhāra-daśaka by Nigamajñānadeva. The word liṅga refers to a symbol used in the worship of Śiva and is used thoughout Śaiva literature, such as the sacred Āgamas.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva

Ambikā (अम्बिका) is the name of a deity who received the Cintyāgama from Gopati who in turn, received it from Sudīpta through the mahānsambandha relation, according to the pratisaṃhitā theory of Āgama origin and relationship (sambandha). The cintya-āgama, being part of the ten Śivabhedāgamas, refers to one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgamas: 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.

Ambikā obtained the Cintyāgama from Gopati who in turn obtained it from Sudīpta who in turn obtained it from Sadāśiva through parasambandha. Ambikā then, through divya-sambandha transmitted it to the Devas who, through divyādivya-sambandha, transmitted it to the Ṛṣis who finally, through adivya-sambandha, revealed the Cintyāgama to human beings (Manuṣya). (also see Anantaśambhu’s commentary on the Siddhāntasārāvali of Trilocanaśivācārya)

Source: academia.edu: A Critical Study of the Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja (II) (shaivism)

Ambikā (अम्बिका) is the name of a Goddess (Devī) presiding over Virajā: one of the twenty-four sacred districts mentioned in the Kubjikāmatatantra (chapter 22). Her weapon is the mudrā and paṭṭiśa. Furthermore, Ambikā is accompanied by the Kṣetrapāla (field-protector) named Anala. A similar system appears in the 9th century Vajraḍākatantra (chapter 18).

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

1) Ambikā (अम्बिका, “mother”):—Name of one of the sixty-four mātṛs to be worshipped during Āvaraṇapūjā (“Worship of the Circuit of Goddesses”, or “Durgā’s Retinue”), according to the Durgāpūjātattva. They should be worshipped with either the five upācāras or perfume and flowers.

Her mantra is as follows:

ॐ अम्बिकायै नमः
oṃ ambikāyai namaḥ.

2) Ambikā (अम्बिका, “the mother”).—One of the names of the Goddess, Devī, who is regarded as the female principle of the divine; the embodiement of the energies of the Gods.

Source: Sreenivasarao's blog: Saptamatrka (part 4)

Ambika or Kaumari refers to one of the seven mother-like goddesses (Matrika).—The Matrikas emerge as shaktis from out of the bodies of the gods: Kaumari from Skanda. The order of the Saptamatrka usually begins with Brahmi symbolizing creation. Then, Vaishnavi and Maheshvari. Then, Kaumari, Guru-guha, the intimate guide in the cave of one’s heart, inspires aspirations to develop and evolve.

Shaktism book cover
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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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

1) Ambikā (अम्बिका) is another name for Śakti (prime cause, created from the body of Īśvara), according to Śivapurāṇa 2.1.6, while explaining the time of great dissolution (mahāpralaya):—“[...] this Śakti is called by various names. Pradhāna, Prakṛti, Māyā, Guṇavatī, Parā. The mother of Buddhi Tattva (The cosmic Intelligence), Vikṛtivarjitā (without modification). That Śakti is Ambikā, Prakṛti and the goddess of all. She is the prime cause and the mother of the three deities. [...]”.

2) Ambikā (अम्बिका) is an epithet of the Goddess (Devī), who incarnated as Satī, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.14. Accordingly as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“[...] On seeing the mother of the universe born of Vīriṇī, Dakṣa joined his palms in reverence, paid respects to her and eulogised her. [...] O mother of the universe, those who eulogise Thee with the names of Bhavānī, Ambikā, Jaganmāyā and Durgā will have everything”.

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Ambikā (अम्बिका).—Elder sister of Ambālikā. (See AMBĀLIKĀ).

2) Ambikā (अम्बिका).—Another name of Pārvatī. (Agni Purāṇa, Chapter 12).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Aṃbikā (अंबिका).—Wife of Śiva.1 Daughter of Dakṣa reborn of Menā.2 Pacified by Citraketu.3 Surname of Pārvati and Yogamāyā.4 Gave bhikṣā to Vāmana.5 In her honour a festival was celebrated at a sacred spot called Ambikāvana. In this Gopas participated.6 Represents Soma while Śiva is Agni.7 Worshipped in ceremonials before digging tanks.8

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 12. 13.
  • 2) Ib. IV. 7. 59.
  • 3) Ib. VI. 17. 17.
  • 4) Ib. X. 2. 12.
  • 5) Ib. VIII. 18. 17.
  • 6) Ib. X. 34. 1-3.
  • 7) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 27. 112; IV. 14. 6; 15. 52; 44. 86.
  • 8) Matsya-purāṇa 58. 26.

1b) A daughter of the King of Kāśi and wife of Vicitravīrya.1 Mother of Dhṛtarāṣṭṛa.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 22. 24. Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 20. 36.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 48. 34.
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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Kavya (poetry)

Source: archive.org: Naisadhacarita of Sriharsa

Ambikā (अम्बिका) refers to the nine Goddesses known as the Mātṛs, and is mentioned in the Naiṣadha-carita 7.98.—The poet refers to the nine Ambikās or the Goddesses more commonly known as the Mātṛs.

context information

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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: WorldCat: Rāj nighaṇṭu

Ambikā (अम्बिका) is another name for Ambaṣṭhā, an unidentified medicinal plant, according to verse 4.77-79 of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu. The fourth chapter (śatāhvādi-varga) of this book enumerates eighty varieties of small plants (pṛthu-kṣupa). Ambaṣṭhā is a highly controversial plant. Vaidyas use different plants at different places for this. The reason is the confused description of the drug by various authors. Together with the names Ambikā and Ambaṣṭhā, there are a total of sixteen Sanskrit synonyms identified for this plant.

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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

1) Ambikā (अम्बिका):—One of the daugthers of Kāśirāja, who, together with her sister named Ambālikā, were taken away by force and were married to by Vicitravīrya.

2) Ambika is one of the major rivers in the Indian state of Gujarat. The river has its origins in Saputara Hill ranges in the Nasik district of Maharashtra. Ambika has a drainage area of 2715 km2 and its travels 136 km before joining with Arabian sea.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Ambika was the second of the Kashi princesses who were abducted by Bhishma to become the wives of his half-brother Vichitraveerya. However, the eldest Amba refused to marry him, on the plea that she was plighted to Shalwa and therefore only Ambika and Ambalika were married to Vichitraveerya.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

1) Ambikā (अम्बिका)—One of the eleven wives of Rudra, called a Rudrāṇī.

2) In the epic Mahabharata, Ambika (अम्‍बिका) is the daughter of Kashya, the King of Kashi, and wife of Vichitravirya, the king of Hastinapura. Along with her sisters Amba and Ambalika, she was taken by force by Bhishma from their Swayamvara. Bhishma challenged the assembled Kings and Princes and defeated them. He presented them to Satyavati for marriage to Vichitravirya. Vichitravirya married only Ambika and Ambalika, and refused to marry Amba since she had already given her heart to another.

Source: Oxford Index: Indian Culture

1 Another name for the goddess Durgā. Iconographically, the name may be reserved for Durgā when she is seated on, or attended by, a lion or tiger. The name is also applied to Umā (Parvatī), and to goddesses in general.

2 A Jain attendant goddess, perhaps originally of independent status, who is attached to the Nemi, the twenty-second Jain tīrthaṅkara, and associated with childbirth and prosperity. Her mount is a lion.

3 Dhṛtarāṣṭra's mother in the Mahābhārata. She shut her eyes during intercourse with Vyāsa, hence her son was born blind.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: A Critical Study of the Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja (II)

Ambikā (अम्बिका) is the name of a Goddess (Devī) presiding over Virajā: one of the twenty-four sacred districts mentioned in the 9th century Vajraḍākatantra (chapter 18). Her weapon is the mudrā and paṭṭiśa. Furthermore, Ambikā is accompanied by the Kṣetrapāla (field-protector) named Anala and their abode is the āmra-tree.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: archive.org: The Jaina Iconography

Ambikā (अम्बिका) (or Kuṣmāṇḍinī, Kuṣmāṇḍī, Āmrā) is the name of the Yakṣiṇī accompanying Neminātha: the twenty-second of twenty-four Tīrthaṃkaras or Jinas, commonly depicted in Jaina iconography.—Neminātha’s emblem is known to be a conch-shell from the Jaina canonical texts. The Śāsana-devatās who attend upon him are Yakṣa Gomedha and Yakṣiṇī Ambikā (Digambara: and Kuṣmāṇḍinī). The Chowri-bearer, in his case, is King Ugrasena. His Kevala-tree is called Mahāveṇu or Vetasa.

This Yakṣiṇī of Neminātha has the Śvetāmbara description of a Goddess, who rides a lion and bears a bunch of mangoes, nose, a child and goad. The Digambara image of the Yakṣiṇī is described as also riding upon a lion, but as bearing two hands with a bunch of mangoes and a child.

Source: WikiPedia: Jainism

In Jainism, Ambika is the Yakṣi "dedicated attendant deity" or Śāsana Devī "protector goddess" of the 22nd Tirthankara, Neminath. She is also known as Ambai, Amba and Amra Kushmandini. According to the tradition, her colour is golden and her vehicle is lion. She has four arms. In her two right hands she carries a mango and in the other a branch of a mango tree. In one of her left hands, she carries a rein and in the other she has her two sons, Priyankara and Shubhankara.

etymology: Ambika (Sanskrit: अम्बिका, Oriya: ଅମ୍ବିକା Ambikā "Mother") or Ambika Devi (अम्बिका देवी Ambikā Devī "the Goddess-Mother")

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-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ambikā (अम्बिका).—

1) A mother, good woman, also used like अम्बा (ambā) as a term of respect or endearment; अत्तिके अम्बिके शृणु मम विज्ञप्तिम् (attike ambike śṛṇu mama vijñaptim) Mk.1.

2) Name of a plant (ambā 2); Name of another plant कटुकी (kaṭukī).

3) Name of Pārvatī, wife of Śiva; आशीर्भिरेधयामासुः पुरः पाकाभिरम्बिकाम् (āśīrbhiredhayāmāsuḥ puraḥ pākābhirambikām) Ku.6.9.

4) Name of the middle daughter of Kāśīrāja and the eldest wife of Vichitravīrya. Like her youngest sister she had no progeny, and Vyāsa begot on her a son named धृतराष्ट्र (dhṛtarāṣṭra).

5) Name of a Jaina deity.

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

Ambikā (अम्बिका).—f.

(-kā) 1. A mother. 2. A name of Parvati. 3. The mother of D'Hritarashtra. 4. One of the female. domestic deities of the Jainas. 5. A medicinal plant. See kaṭukī. E. ambā a mother, and kan affix; like a mother.

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

1) Ambika (अम्बिक):—[from ambā] m. Name of a man, [Kāṭhaka; Anukramaṇikā]

2) Ambikā (अम्बिका):—[from ambā] f. ([vocative case] ambike), mother, good woman (as a term of respect), [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā] and, [Taittirīya-saṃhitā] (cf. [Pāṇini 6-1, 118]), [Pāṇini 7-3, 107] [commentator or commentary] ([vocative case] ke) and, [Kāśikā-vṛtti] (in Veda [vocative case] optionally ka and ke)

3) [v.s. ...] a Name applied to the harvest (as the most productive season), [Kāṭhaka]

4) [v.s. ...] a sister of Rudra, [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā; Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa]

5) [v.s. ...] Name of Pārvatī (the wife of Śiva), [Harivaṃśa; Yājñavalkya] etc.

6) [v.s. ...] of the wife of Rudra Ugraretas, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

7) [v.s. ...] of one of the mothers in Skanda’s retinue, [Mahābhārata ix, 2630]

8) [v.s. ...] of a daughter of the king of Kāśi (wife of Vicitravīrya, and mother of Dhṛtarāṣṭra), [Mahābhārata] etc. (cf. ambālikā)

9) [v.s. ...] one of the female domestic deities of the Jainas, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

10) [v.s. ...] Name of a place in Bengal, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

11) [v.s. ...] Name of two rivers, [Hemādri’s Caturvarga-cintāmaṇi]

12) [v.s. ...] the plant Wrightia Antidysenterica.

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. 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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