Ashvamukha, aka: Ashva-mukha, Aśvamukha; 4 Definition(s)
Ashvamukha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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.
The Sanskrit term Aśvamukha can be transliterated into English as Asvamukha or Ashvamukha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
Aśvamukha (अश्वमुख) or Aśvakamukhya (अश्वकमुख्य):—They are mentioned in the Bṛhatsaṃhitā and were probably a north-western people. Its literal meaning “horse-faced” is interesting and there appears to have been a similar inference about them from the Greek sources also. They are probably the same as the Assekenoi of the Greeks or the Aśvakas.(Source): Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna
1a) Aśvamukha (अश्वमुख).—A horse-faced image on the figure of God of Love.*
- * Matsya-purāṇa 261. 53.
- 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 22. 56; Matsya-purāṇa 4. 53; Vāyu-purāṇa 47. 57; 69. 31.
- 2) Matsya-purāṇa 121. 58.
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.
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)
Aśvamukha (अश्वमुख) is the name of a ‘river mouth’ (mukha) into which the lake Anavatapta flows from its western corner, according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV). Accordingly, At the northern boundaries (of Jambudvīpa), in the Snowy Mountains (Himavat), there is lake called Anavatapta. At the four corners of the lake there are four mouths from which the water flows out: at the west, the Horse’s Mouth (Ma t’eou = aśvamukha). In the south, the Ox’s Mouth empties into the Sin t’eou (Sindhu). In the west, the Horse’s Mouth empties into the P’o tch’a (Vakṣu). Its bed also consists of golden sand (suvarānavālukā). The Vakṣu comes from the mountain in the north and empties into the western ocean (paścimasamudra).(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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.
Languages of India and abroad
Aśvamukha (अश्वमुख).—a. [aśvasya mukhamiva mukhamasya] having the head or face of a horse.
-khaḥ a horse-faced creature, a Kinnara or celestial chorister; (according to others) a kind of demigod distinct from the preceding.
-khī a Kinnara woman; भिन्दन्ति मन्दां गतिमश्वमुख्यः (bhindanti mandāṃ gatimaśvamukhyaḥ) Ku.1.11.
Aśvamukha is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms aśva and mukha (मुख).(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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Search found 3 books and stories containing Ashvamukha, Ashva-mukha or Aśvamukha. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra (by Helen M. Johnson)
Brihat Samhita (by N. Chidambaram Iyer)
Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra (by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön)
Act 1.7: Explanation of the parable ‘as numerous as the sands of the Ganges’ < [Chapter XIV - Emission of rays]