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Arjuna, 9 Definition(s)


Arjuna means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. Check out some of the following descriptions and leave a comment if you want to add your own contribution to this article.

In Hinduism


1a) Arjuna (अर्जुन).—(kārtavīrya)—son of Kṛtavīrya. Lord of seven islands and of Haihayaṣ, samrāṭ and cakravartin. By the grace of Hari he got 1000 arms and enjoyed aṣṭaaiśvaryas. Learnt the merit of yoga from Dattātreya. Ruled in peace for 85,000 years1 and was ambitious to have more territorial possessions.2 Was engaged in water-sports with women wearing the garland of Vaijayanti.3 Imprisoned Rāvaṇa in his capital Māhiṣmatī and released him on an appeal from Pulasya.4 In the course of a hunting expedition, he came to the hermitage of Jamadagni who entertained him with the help of his Kāmadhenu. The king, envious of the sage's prosperity, desired its possession, and on being refused by the sage, he took the cow by force.5 Parasurāma who was away, heard the story on his return, went to Arjuna's capital, cut off his head with his axe after a terrible battle in which Matsyarāja took part and recovered the cow and the calf.6 Jamadagni regretted his son's action as the king was a naradeva, and killing him was an offence greater than brāhmanicide.7 Had 1000 (?) sons, (100 sons) all of whom except five died in battles. These sons killed Jamadagni when Rāma and his brothers were gone out.8 These five were great warriors.9 His minister was the evil Candragupta and the purohita, Garga.10 Incarnation of Viṣṇu Cakra;11 to his family belonged Tālajaṅgha;12 performed thousands of yajñas with golden yūpas and vedis, which were attended by gods. A Rājaṛṣi, paśupāla, kṣetrapāla.13

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 15. 17-19; 23. 24-27; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 30. 4. 75; 69. 9, 49, 56; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 11. 11-21; Matsya-purāṇa 43. 15; Vāyu-purāṇa 94. 10.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 3. 9; I. 12. 21.
  • 3) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 15. 20.
  • 4) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 15. 21-22; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 33. 50; Matsya-purāṇa 43. 37-40;
  • 5) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 15. 23-26; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 26. 7 whole chapter, chaps. 27 and 28; 30. 4.
  • 6) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 15. 27-36; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 30. 5-15; 32. 61; 38 8, 27; 40. 19; 41, 37, 38; 44. 14; 47. 63, 88.
  • 7) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 15. 37-41; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 38. 8.
  • 8) Matsya-purāṇa 43. 46-51;
  • 9) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 16. 9-12.
  • 10) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 28. 31-63.
  • 11) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 37. 27-28; 40. 66.
  • 12) Vāyu-purāṇa 94. 50.
  • 13) Matsya-purāṇa 43. 13-25.

1b) A son of Raivata Manu.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 5. 2.

1c) A Pāṇḍava, son of Indra and Kuntī and father of Śrutakīrti. Had a son Irāvān by Ulūpi and another son Babruvāhana by the daughter of Maṇipurapati. Father of Abhimanyu by Subhadrā.1 Promised Draupadī to cut off Aśvathāma's head and place it before her for his killing her sons when asleep. Aśvathāma heard this and ran for escape. Arjuna pursued him. Unwilling to slay the son of his preceptor, he bound him with ropes and took him to his queen's presence. She requested Arjuna to release him on the ground that he was a Brāhmaṇa, a son of the guru, and for the sake of his old mother Gautamī. Bhīma was not for the release. But Arjuna took the hint from Kṛṣṇa, and after depriving him of his crest-jewel, banished him.2 Accompanied Yudhiṣṭhira to see Bhīṣma on the eve of his death.3 A playmate of Kṛṣṇa.4 Had a chariot with monkey standard. When he was once in the forest with Kṛṣṇa, they met Kālindī, daughter of the Sun god anxious to marry Kṛṣṇa. When Arjuna burnt Khāṇḍava, Kṛṣṇa was his charioteer. Drove away the princes who attacked Kṛṣṇa returning with Satyā of Kośala.5 Commended by Indra to Kṛṣṇa's protection.6 Consoled by Kṛṣṇa when banished to the forest.7 A great name among the Kurus.8

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 22. 29-33; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 71. 154 and 178; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 14. 35; 20. 40; V. 12. 17-24; 35. 28.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 7. 15-57.
  • 3) Ib. I. 9. 3.
  • 4) Ib. X. 22. 31.
  • 5) Ib. X. 58. 4, 13-25, 54.
  • 6) Ib. X. [67 (V) 36]; Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 13. 17-18.
  • 7) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 64. 9.
  • 8) Ib. X. 68. 28.
  • 9) Ib. X. 71. 22-30, 45-46; 72. 13-16, 29 and 32; 73. 31 and 34.

1d) The reference is to both Pāṇḍava Arjuna and Kārtavīrya Arjuna, both noted for military prowess. Parīkṣit is compared to them.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 12. 21.

1e) A tīrtha sacred to Pitṛs.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 22. 43.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

about this context:

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Kathā (narrative stories)

Arjuna (अर्जुन) is the name of a mighty warrior, who was the great-grandfather of Janamejaya, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 9. He had a son named Abhimanyu. The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’) is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta’s quest to become the emperor of the Vidhyādharas. 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.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

about this context:

Kathās (कथा) are special kind of Sanskrit literature: they are a kind of a mix between Itihāsa (historical legends) and Mahākāvya (epic poetry). Some Kathās reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of the historical deeds of the Gods, sages and heroes.

Dharmaśāstra (religious law)

Arjuna (अर्जुन) is a Sanskrit word, identified with Terminalia arjuna (arjun tree) by various scholars in their translation of the Śukranīti. This tree is mentioned as having thorns, and should therefore be considerd as wild. The King shoud place such trees in forests (not in or near villages). He should nourish them by stoole of goats, sheep and cows, water as well as meat.

The following is an ancient Indian horticultural recipe for the nourishment of such trees:

According to Śukranīti 4.4.110-112: “The powder of the dungs of goats and sheep, the powder of Yava (barley), Tila (seeds), beef as well as water should be kept together (undisturbed) for seven nights. The application of this water leads very much to the growth in flowers and fruits of all trees (such as arjuna).”

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra

about this context:

Dharmaśāstra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharma-shastra) is a category of Hindu literature containing important instructions regarding religious law, ethics, economics, jurisprudence and more. It is categorised as smṛti, an important and authorative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

Āyurveda (science of life)

Arjuna (अर्जुन).—The Sanskrit name for an important Āyurvedic drug.—The plant having straight bole and white bark is found commonly. It is astringent, pacifies kapha and pitta, checks diarrhoea and is best as cardiac tonic.

Source: Google Books: Essentials of Ayurveda

The appearance of a single dot or speck on the Sclerotic coat (Śukla), coloured like a (drop of the) hare’s blood, is called Arjuna.

Source: archive.org: Sushruta samhita, Volume III

about this context:

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Hindu science dealing with subjects such as health, medicine, anatomy, etc. and has been in use throughout India since ancient times.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) One of the Hands of Famous Emperors.—Arjuna: the Tripatāka hand moved forward again and again.

2) One of the Hands indicating Trees.—Arjuna, the Siṃha-mukha hand;

Source: archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)

about this context:

Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

General definition (in Hinduism)

Arjuna (अर्जुन):—One of the sons of Pāṇḍu, begotten by Dharmarāja (god of wind) through the womb his wife Kuntī. He had a son by his wife Draupadī named Śrutakīrti. He had another son named Irāvān through his wife named Ulupī (daughter of the Nāgas). He had another son named Babhruvāhana by the womb of the princess of Maṇipura. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.22.27-28, 9.22.32)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Arjuna: The third of Pāndavas and Krishna's cousin. He is, together with Krishna, considered the hero of Hindu epic Mahabharata. He plays the listener in the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita which is a philosophical conversation between Arjuna and Krishna.

etymology: Arjuna (Devanagari: अर्जुन, Thai: อรชุน Orachun, Tamil: அர்ஜுனன் Arjunan, Javanese: Harjuno, Herjuno, Malay: Ranjuna; pronounced [ɐrˈɟunɐ] in classical Sanskrit (lit. bright or silver (cf. Latin argentum))

The Mahabharata refers to Arjuna by ten different names. The names and their meanings are as follows.

  • Arjuna - one of taintless fame and glow like silver (Argentum)
  • Phalguna - one born on the star of Phalguna
  • Jishnu - conqueror of enemies
  • Kiriti - one who wears the celestial diadem, Kiriti, presented by Indra
  • Swetavahana - one with white horses mounted to his chariot
  • Bibhatsu - one who always fights wars in a fair manner
  • Vijaya - victorious warrior
  • Partha - Son of Pritha or Kunti
  • Savyasachi - Skillful in using both arms, ambidextrous
  • Dhananjaya - one who conquers riches
  • Gudakesa - Conqueror of sleep
Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

1) Arjuna was the third Pandava, born to Kunti, the wife of Pandu, by the grace of Indra. He rivalled his divine father Indra in his prowess in arms. It was said that none of the mortals and few of the Gods could stand up to him in battle, such was his skill with his bow, Gandiva. His guru is Drona, who had taught all the Pandavas and Kauravas.

He is an incarnation of Nara, one of the primeval twins. He won the hand of Draupadi, the Panchala princess, by his feat of marksmanship and she became the common wife of all the five Pandavas. In addition to her he married many other women during his voluntary exile. One of his wives is Subhadra, the sister of Krishna, through who be had a valiant son Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu was slain treacherously by the great warriors on the Kaurava side, who could not defeat the young warrior in fair combat.

Arjuna's friendship with Krishna is legendary. Krishna is both his friend and his teacher. Krishna was Arjuna's charioteer in the great battle of Kurukshetra. The principal rival of Arjuna was Karna, whose skill with the bow came close to matching Arjuna's. So evenly matched were these two warriors, that Arjuna had to resort to an ignoble stratagem to slay Karna, killing him with a missile when Karna was attempting to move his chariot that had gotten stuck in the mud. This shameful act was against the laws of combat prevailing at that time.

2) Aruna was the son of the great sage Kashyapa and Vinata, a daughter of Daksha. His mother had obtained a boon from her husband that she would have two offspring who surpassed the thousand sons (the serpents) of her sister (and co-wife) Kadru in glory. She gave birth to two eggs, which did not hatch for a long time. In her impatience, she broke open one of them and found Aruna inside it, but he had an undeveloped lower body. He cursed his mother to bondage for her impatience. He then took to the skies and achieved great glory by becoming the charioteer of Surya, the sun.

Garuda, the mount of Lord Vishnu is his brother. He emerged from the other egg, which Vinata had left undisturbed for a thousand years. The story of the birth of Garuda and Aruna is told in greater detail here.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

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