Arjuna; 18 Definition(s)

Introduction

Arjuna means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, 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.

In Hinduism

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)
Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
context information

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).

Ayurveda (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
Ayurveda book cover
context information

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.

Purāṇa

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: Bhagavata Purana

1) Arjuna (अर्जुन).—The third of the Pāṇḍavas. Genealogy. Descended from Viṣṇu thus: Brahmā, Atri, Candra, Budha, Purūravas, Āyus, Nahuṣa, Yayāti, Pūru, Janamejaya, Pracinvān, Pravīra, Namasyu, Vītabhaya, Śuṇḍu, Bahuvidha, Saṃyāti, Rahovādi, Raudrāśvan, Matināra, Santurodha, Duṣyanta, Bharata, Suhotra, Suhotā, Gala, Gardda, Suketu, Bṛhatkṣetra, Hasti, Ajamīḍha, Ṛkṣa, Saṃvaraṇa, Kuru, Jahnu, Suratha, Viḍūratha, Sārvabhauma, Jayatsena, Ravyaya, Bhāvuka, Cakroddhata, Devātithi, Ṛkṣa, Bhīma, Pratīca, Śantanu, Vyāsa, Pāṇḍu, Arjuna. (See full article at Story of Arjuna from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Arjuna (अर्जुन).—A son of Emperor, Nimi. One Arjuna, son of emperor Nimi, got philosophical advice from a Muni named Asita (Brahmāṇḍapurāṇa, Chapter 47).

3) Arjuna (अर्जुन).—(See Kārttavīryārjuna).

4) Arjuna (अर्जुन).—A member of Yama’s assembly. The other members are: Kapotaroma, Tṛṇaka, Sahadeva, Viśva, Sāśva, Kṛśāśva, Śaśabindu and Mahīśvara. (Mahābhārata, Sabhā Parva, Chapter 8, Verse 17).

(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

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
Purāṇa book cover
context information

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.

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
Dharmaśāstra book cover
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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.

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’), mentioning Arjuna, 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.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Kathā book cover
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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.

Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Arjuna (अर्जुन), son of Keśava, is the grand-father of Harivyāsamiśra (C. 1574 C.E.): the composer of the text Vṛttamuktāvalī. Harivyāsa belongs to Ṣanāḍhya family and he was the son of Rāmacandra, grandson of Arjuna and great grandson of Keśava. His grandfather is described as a mine of good qualities, a great devotee of Viṣṇu and well adorned among scholars.

(Source): Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
Chandas book cover
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

General definition (in 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

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

In Buddhism

Vajrayāna (Tibetan Buddhism)

Arjuna (अर्जुन) is the name of the tree (vṛkṣa), identified with Terminalia arjuna, and associated with Kilakilārava: the north-western cremation ground (śmaśāna) according to the Vajravārāhī-sādhana by Umāpatideva as found in te Guhyasamayasādhanamālā. The tree associated with the north-west is sometimes given as Pārthiva or Dhanañjaya. As a part of this sādhana, the practicioner is to visualize a suitable dwelling place for the goddess inside the circle of protection which takes the form of eight cremation grounds.

These trees (eg., Arjuna) that are associated with the cremation grounds are often equated with the eight bodhi-trees of the Buddhas (the current buddha plus the seven previous one). According to the Śmaśānavidhi each tree has a secondary tree (upavṛkṣa) that is depicted as lovely and covered in vaṅga flowers and fruit. In each tree lives a naked rākṣasa who is wrathful in form, who eats human flesh and who has the animal face or the mount of the dikpati in his cremation ground.

The Guhyasamayasādhanamālā by Umāptideva is a 12th century ritualistic manual including forty-six Buddhist tantric sādhanas. The term sādhana refers to “rites” for the contemplation of a divinity.

(Source): Wisdomlib Libary: Vajrayogini
Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

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.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Arjuna (अर्जुन) refers to a kind of tree (vṛkṣa) commonly found in the forests (vaṇa) of ancient India, mentioned in the Uvavāiya-sutta (sanksrit: Aupapātika-sūtra). Forests have been a significant part of the Indian economy since ancient days. They have been considered essential for economic development in as much as, besides bestowing many geographical advantages, they provide basic materials for building, furniture and various industries. The most important forest products are wood and timber which have been used by the mankind to fulfil his various needs—domestic, agricultural and industrial.

Different kinds of trees (eg., the Arjuna tree) provided firewood and timber. The latter was used for furniture, building materials, enclosures, staircases, pillars, agricultural purposes, e. g. for making ploughs, transportation e. g. for making carts, chariots, boats, ships, and for various industrial needs. Vaṇa-kamma was an occupation dealing in wood and in various otherforest products. Iṅgāla-kamma was another occupation which was concerned with preparing charcoal from firewood.

(Source): archive.org: Economic Life In Ancient India (as depicted in Jain canonical literature)
General definition book cover
context information

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.

India history and geogprahy

Arjuna (अर्जुन) is the name of a member of the mahāparṣad (assembly) mentioned in the “Ciñcaṇī plate of the reign of Cittarāja”. Accordingly, “Now, while the Mahāmaṇḍaleśvara, the illustrious Cāmuṇḍarāja, who, by his religious merit, has obtained the right to the five mahāśabdas... is governing Saṃyāna, he addresses all persons, whether connected with himself or others (such as Arjuna)...”.

This plate (mentioning Arjuna) was found together with eight others at Chincaṇī in the Ḍahāṇu tāluka of the Ṭhāṇā District, North Koṅkaṇ, in 1955. The object of the inscription is to record the grant, by Cāmuṇḍarāja, of a ghāṇaka (oil-mill) in favour of the temple Kautuka-maṭhikā of the goddess Bhagavatī at Saṃyāna. The gift was made by pouring out water on the hand of the Svādhyāyika (scholar) Vīhaḍa, on the fifteenth tithi of the dark fortnight (i.e. amāvāsyā) of Bhādrapada in the śaka year 956.

(Source): What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras

Arjuna is the name of a tree mentioned in the Kathasaritsagara by Somadeva (10th century A.D).—It is found in the Vindhya forest.

Somadeva mentions many rich forests, gardens, various trees (eg., Arjuna), creepers medicinal and flowering plants and fruit-bearing trees in the Kathasaritsagara. Travel through the thick, high, impregnable and extensive Vindhya forest is a typical feature of many travel-stories. Somadeva’s writing more or less reflects the life of the people of Northern India during the 11th century. His Kathasaritsagara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Arjuna, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravahanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyadharas (celestial beings).

(Source): Shodhganga: Cultural history as g leaned from kathasaritsagara
India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

arjūna (अर्जून).—m (S) The name of a warrior, the third of the pāṇḍava. 2 or arjunasātāḍā or arjunasādaḍā m A tree, Terminalia alata glabra. Also Pentaptera Urjuna. Grah.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
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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