Ashvin, Aśvin: 10 definitions

Introduction

Ashvin means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. 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 Aśvin can be transliterated into English as Asvin or Ashvin, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Aśvin (अश्विन्) refer to two Vedic deities, as defined in the Śivapurāṇa 1.16. Accordingly, “[...] the worship of Brahman, Dhanvantari and of the twin deities—Aśvins alleviates ailments, prevents foul death and suppresses all sickness instantaneously”.

Note: The Aśvins, two Vedic deities, are represented as the physicians who ride in a golden car drawn by horses. Professor Goldstucker (cp Muir’s Texts, Vol. V) thinks that the Aśvins represented two distinct elements, the cosmical and the human blended into one. The human element is represented by those legends which refer to the wonderful cures effected by them. The cosmic element relates to their luminous nature. It is more likely that there were some horsemen or warriors of great renown who inspired their contemporaries with awe by their wonderful deeds and more especially by their medical skill.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Aśvin (अश्विन्).—The gods of Vaivasvata epoch; sons of Badavā (saṃjñā) and Vivasvat born through the nose and hence Nāsatyas;1 fought with Vṛṣaparva in Devāsura war.2 Were taught the aśvasiras mantra by the sage Dadhyaṅga.3 Called on Cyavana. Being physicians they could not participate in soma. Cyavana offered a share in soma to them if they could give him a youthful form. He was made to look exactly like themselves so much so that Sukanyā was not able to distinguish her husband. On a prayer the Aśvins showed Sukanyā her lord and departed.4 In the yajña of Śaryāti, were allowed to partake of soma juice.5 Parents of Nakula and Sahadeva through Pāṇḍu's queen Mādrī.6 Came to Dvārakā to ask Kṛṣṇa to go to Vaikuṇṭha;7 worshipped for long life;8 form the nose of puruṣa;9 guard medicinal herbs in Candra hill of Plakṣa for nectar;10 born from the nostrils of Prajāpati; vanquished by Rāvaṇa;11 present in the Candraśāla of Devī.12 Fought with Devas against Kālanemi, being experts in citrayuddha.13 Also aśvikumārakau; worship of, in the grahabali.14 Born of Brahmā;15 the two forefeet of the śiśumāra (porpoise);16 inhabit the bhuvarloka;17 stood on Gayāsura, along with other gods;18 presented their weapons on the occasion of the marriage of Śiva with Lalitā to the divine couple;19 came with other gods to pray to goddess Lalitā for her victory against Bhaṇḍa;20 the ears of Vāmana avatāra21

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 13. 4, 10; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 59. 74-76; Matsya-purāṇa 9. 29; 11. 35-7; 25. 43; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 9. 64; III. 2. 7; Vāyu-purāṇa 84. 23-24,
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 10. 30.
  • 3) Ib. VI. 9. 52; 10. 17.
  • 4) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 3. 11-17. Vāyu-purāṇa 10. 71; 30. 84; 39. 49.
  • 5) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 3. 24-26.
  • 6) Ib. IX. 22. 28; Matsya-purāṇa 46. 10; 50. 50; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 20. 40.
  • 7) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XI. 6. 2; Vāyu-purāṇa 96. 154; 99. 245.
  • 8) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 3. 5.
  • 9) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 1. 29.
  • 10) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 19. 8; Vāyu-purāṇa 49. 9.
  • 11) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 1. 57; 7. 254.
  • 12) Ib. III. 35. 57.
  • 13) Matsya-purāṇa 148. 86, 97.
  • 14) Matsya-purāṇa 93. 16; 247. 10.
  • 15) Vāyu-purāṇa 65. 57.
  • 16) Vāyu-purāṇa II. 12. 32; Vāyu-purāṇa 52. 93; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 23. 103; Matsya-purāṇa 127. 23.
  • 17) Vāyu-purāṇa 101. 29; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 2. 27.
  • 18) Vāyu-purāṇa 106. 59.
  • 19) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 15. 24.
  • 20) Ib. IV. 20. 52.
  • 21) Matsya-purāṇa 246. 56.
Purana book cover
context information

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

Aśvin (अश्विन्) is the Sanskrit name for a deity to be worshipped (aśvinau, “the two Aśvinīs”) during raṅgapūjā, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra 3.1-8. Accordingly, the master of the dramatic art who has been initiated for the purpose shall consecrate the playhouse after he has made obeisance (eg., to Aśvin).

Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, 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 (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Raj Nighantu

Aśvin (अश्विन्) is the first month of the “autumn season” (śarada) in the traditional Indian calendar, according to the second chapter (dharaṇyādi-varga) of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu (an Ayurvedic encyclopedia). The physician (bhiṣaj) should pay attention to the seasonal (ṛtu) factor in the use of medicinal drugs. Accordingly, “the bulbous roots in winter season (viz., Aśvin), other roots in cold season and flowers during spring season are supposed to contain better properties. The new leaves or shoots in summer and the drugs, which grow in mud, like Lotus etc., should be used in autumn season”.

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.

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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Aśvin.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘two’; sometimes Āśvina is also used in this sense. Note: aśvin is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Aśvin (अश्विन्).—a. अश्व-अस्त्यर्थे इनि (aśva-astyarthe ini)] Possessed of horses, consisting of horses; Rv.4.2.5 m. A cavalier, a horse-tamer.

-nau (du.)

1) The two physicians of the gods who are represented as the twin sons of the Sun by a nymph in the form of a mare; cf. त्वाष्ट्री तु सवितुर्भार्या वडवारूपधारिणी । असूयत महाभागा सान्तरीक्षेऽश्विनाबुभौ (tvāṣṭrī tu saviturbhāryā vaḍavārūpadhāriṇī | asūyata mahābhāgā sāntarīkṣe'śvinābubhau) || [According to Vedic conception they are the harbingers of Uṣas or the dawn; they are young, beautiful, bright, swift &c.; and, according to Yāska, they represent the transition from darkness of light, when the intermingling of both produces that inseparable duality expressed by the twin nature of these deities; according to different interpretations quoted in the Nirukta they were 'heaven and earth', 'day and night', 'two kings, performers of holy acts' which may be traced to their dual and luminous nature. Mythically they were the parents of Nakula and Sahadeva and the physicians of the gods and are called Gadāgadau, Svarvaidyau, Dasrau, Nāsatyau, Vādaveyau, Abdhijau &c. They were celebrated for their active benevolence and curative power which they showed in restoring the sage Chyavana, when grown old and decrepit. to youth, and prolonged his life.]

2) Two horses.

3) (In astr.) The twins of the zodiac.

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

Aśvin (अश्विन्).—m. du. (-nau) The twin sons of Aswini by Surya, and physicians of Swarga. E. aśvinī and aṇ affix, the fem. termination is dropped.

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

Aśvin (अश्विन्).—[adjective] horsed. [masculine] horseman; [dual] the two Aśvins; [feminine] aśvinī their wife or mother.

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

1) Aśvin (अश्विन्):—[from aśva] mfn. possessed of horses, consisting of horses, [Ṛg-veda]

2) [v.s. ...] mounted on horseback, [Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa]

3) [v.s. ...] m. a cavalier

4) [v.s. ...] horse-tamer, [Ṛg-veda]

5) [v.s. ...] m. [dual number] (inā or inau) ‘the two charioteers’, Name of two divinities (who appear in the sky before the dawn in a golden carriage drawn by horses or birds; they bring treasures to men and avert misfortune and sickness; they are considered as the physicians of heaven), [Ṛg-veda] etc.

6) [v.s. ...] a Name of the Nakṣatra presided over by the Aśvins, [Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā]

7) [v.s. ...] the number, ‘two’ [ib.; Sūryasiddhānta]

8) [v.s. ...] (for aśvi-sutau) the two sons of the Aśvins, viz. Nakula and Sahadeva, [Mahābhārata v, 1816]

9) [from aśva] n. (= aśva-vat n. q.v.) richness in horses, [Ṛg-veda i, 53, 4.]

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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