Ashvini, Aśvinī: 15 definitions


Ashvini 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 Aśvinī can be transliterated into English as Asvini or Ashvini, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Jyotiṣa

Aśvinī (अश्विनी):—Name for a particular section of the ecliptic. It is also known as Aśvinīnakṣatra. Nakṣatra means “Lunar mansion” and corresponds to a specific region of the sky through which the moon passes each day. Aśvinī means “wife of the Aśvins” and is associated with the deity known as Aśvinī (“the horse-headed twins who are physicians to the gods and children of the Sun”). The presiding Lord of this lunar house is Ketu (South lunar node).

Indian zodiac: |0°| – |13° 20' Meṣa|
Meṣa (मेष, ‘ram’) corresponds with Aries

Western zodiac: |26° Aries| – |9° 20' Taurus|
Aries corresponds with Meṣa (मेष, ‘ram’) and Taurus corresponds with Vṛṣabha (वृषभ, ‘bull’).

Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Aśvinī (अश्विनी):—One of the sixty-eight Siddhauṣadhi, as per Rasaśāstra texts (rasa literature). These drugs give siddhi (success) in mercurial operations. Even so, they are more powerful than rasa (mercury) itself. These may perform all the kāryas (‘effects’) and grant dehasiddhi (‘perfection of body’) and lohasiddhi (‘transmutation of base metals’) both.

Rasashastra book cover
context information

Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Aśvinī (अश्विनी).—The wife of Akrūra, and mother of thirteen sons.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 45. 32-3.

1b) A nakṣatra; as part of nāgavithī;1 effect of śrāddha, performed in;2 as the presiding deity of musical melody aśvakrantā.3

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 48.
  • 2) Ib. 82. 14.
  • 3) Ib. 86. 64.
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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Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Aśvinī (अश्विनी) refers to the first of twenty-seven constellations (ṛkṣa), according to the Mānasāra. Ṛkṣa is the third of the āyādiṣaḍvarga, or “six principles” that constitute the “horoscope” of an architectural or iconographic object. Their application is intended to “verify” the measurements of the architectural and iconographic object against the dictates of astrology that lay out the conditions of auspiciousness.

The particular nakṣatra, also known as ṛkṣa (e.g., aśvinī) of all architectural and iconographic objects (settlement, building, image) must be calculated and ascertained. This process is based on the principle of the remainder. An arithmetical formula to be used in each case is stipulated, which engages one of the basic dimensions of the object (breadth, length, or perimeter/circumference). In the context of village planning and measurement, the text sates that among the stars (ṛkṣa), the ones that are pūrṇa (odd), are auspicious and the ones that are karṇa (even), inauspicious.

Vastushastra book cover
context information

Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Aśvayujau ‘the two horse-harnessers’ denotes the stars β and ζ Arietis. Aśvinyau and Aśvinī (अश्विनी) are later names.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Aśvinī (अश्विनी) refers to one of the twenty-seven constellations (nakṣatra) according to according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV).—Aśvinī is the Sanskrit equivalent of Chinese Leou, Tibetan Tha-skar and modern Arietis.

Aśvinī is classified in the first group: “The moon revolves around the earth in 28 days. If the moon enters one of the six following constellations (e.g., Aśvinī), then at that moment, the earth trembles (bhūmicala) as if it would collapse, this shaking extends up to the god of fire (Agni). Then there is no more rain, the rivers dry up, the year is bad for grain, the emperor (T’ien tseu) is cruel and the great ministers are evil”.

Source: Bulletin of the French School of the Far East (volume 5)

Aśvinī (अश्विनी) is the name of a Nakṣatra mentioned in chapter 18 of the Candragarbha: the 55th section of the Mahāsaṃnipāta-sūtra, a large compilation of Sūtras (texts) in Mahāyāna Buddhism partly available in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese.—Chapter 18 deals with geographical astrology and, in conversation with Brahmarāja and others, Buddha explains how he entrusts the Nakṣatras [e.g., Aśvinī] with a group of kingdoms for the sake of protection and prosperity.

The Aśvinīnakṣatra comprises the following realms:

  1. T'i-ti-chö-p'o (Ditiśava?),
  2. Sou-mo-po-lo (Somapala?),
  3. To-lo-pi-ni (Talapini?),
  4. A-chö-jo (Aśanya?),
  5. Kiu-sa-lo-seu (Kusarasi?),
  6. Si-tou-na (Sthūna or Sithūna?),
  7. So [P'o]-lo-chouen-tchö (Saraśuṇḍi or Varaśuṇḍi?),
  8. Kin-na-to-li (Kinnatari?),
  9. Che-p'o-ni-li (Śvanili?),
  10. La-p'o-che-ki (Lavaśiki?),
  11. Kia-tch'a-li-p'i (Khaṭalibi?),
  12. K'ia-so[p'o]-li (Khasari or Khavari?),
  13. Pe-ma (Śvetāśva?).
Mahayana book cover
context information

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.

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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Aśvinī (अश्विनी) refers to one of the various Nakṣatras mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Aśvinī).

Source: The Indian Buddhist Iconography

Aśvinī (अश्विनी) refers to the first of the 28 nakṣatras (“constellations”) of the zodiac, as commonly depicted in Buddhist Iconography, and mentioned in the 11th-century Niṣpannayogāvalī of Mahāpaṇḍita Abhayākara.—The nakṣatras are described collectively in the dharmadhātuvāgīśvara-maṇḍala of the Niṣpannayogāvalī. In this maṇḍala the nakṣatras are given one face and two arms, which are clasped against the chest in the añjalimudrā:—“the deities [viz., Aśvinī] are decked in bejewelled jackets and they all show the añjali-mudrā”.—In colour, however, they differ. [viz., Aśvinī is given the colour white].

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.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Aśvinī (अश्विनी).—[aśvastaduttamāṅgākāro'styasya ini ṅīp]

1) The first of the 27 Nakṣatras or lunar mansions (consisting of three stars).

2) A nymph considered in later times as the mother of the Aśvins, the wife of the Sun, who concealed herself in the from of a mare.

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

Aśvinī (अश्विनी).—f. (-nī) 1. The first of the twenty-eight Nakshatras or constellations in the moons path, hence considered its mansions. 2. In mythology, a nymph, the asterism personified. 3. The wife of Surya, who concealed herself in the form of a mare. E. aśva a horse, in and ṅīp affixes; the symbol of the Nakshatra is a horse’s head, figured by three stars in the head of Aries.

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

1) Aśvinī (अश्विनी):—[from aśvin > aśva] f. Name of the wife of the two Aśvins (who in later times was considered as their mother; cf. aśvinī-putrau below), [Ṛg-veda v, 46, 8]

2) [v.s. ...] the head of Aries or the first of the 28 Nakṣatras, [Jyotiṣa; Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā]

3) [v.s. ...] (aśvini, shortened for the sake of metre), [Sūryasiddhānta]

4) Āśvinī (आश्विनी):—[from āśvina > āśva] f. Name of a kind of brick (iṣṭakā), [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa; Kātyāyana-śrauta-sūtra]

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

Aśvinī (अश्विनी):—(nī) 3. f. The first lunar mansion; a nymph, wife of the sun.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Aśvinī (अश्विनी) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Assiṇī.

context information

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

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Aśvini (ಅಶ್ವಿನಿ):—

1) [noun] a goddess, mother of the twin Divine physicians.

2) [noun] one of the two apex stars in the constellation Aries.

3) [noun] a kind of women (who are strong like horse, in work or in sexual potency).

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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