Atharva, aka: Atharvā; 3 Definition(s)


Atharva means something in 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.

In Hinduism


[Atharva in Purana glossaries]

1) Atharva (अथर्व).—Among the Vedas, this has the fourth place. It comprises different kinds of incantations of occult powers for the destruction of enemies. Atharvan the son of Vasiṣṭha was the author of this Veda. In Chapter 6 of the third section of Viṣṇu Purāṇa the following reference is made to Atharvaveda: "Sumantu Maharṣi who was of infinite glory, first taught this Atharvaveda to his disciple Kabandha. (Sumantu Maharṣi was the son of Jaimini, who was the disciple of Vedavyāsa). Kabandha divided Atharvaveda into two parts and communicated them to two Maharṣis named Devadarśa and Pathya. Devadarśa’s disciples were: Medhā, Brahmabali, Śautkāyani and Pippalāda. Pathya had three disciples named Jābāli, Kumudādi and Śaunaka. They also made Atharvaveda compilations. Śaunaka divided his compilation into two and gave one part to Babhru and the other to Saindhava. Muñjikeśa learnt it from Saindhava and divided the compilation first into two and later into three parts. The five divisions of the Atharvaveda—Nakṣatrakalpa, Vedakalpa, Saṃhitākalpa, Āṅgirasakalpa and Śāntikalpa, were made by Muñjikeśa. Nakṣatrakalpa contains Brahma’s works: Saṃhitākalpa contains Mantra Vidhi; Āngirasakalpa contains ābhicāra and Śāntikalpa contains taming of horses, elephants etc.

The mantras (incantations) in Atharvaveda and their uses are given below:— (See full article at Story of Atharva from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Atharvā (अथर्वा).—This muni is referred to in Mahābhārata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 43, Verse 50, as a professional chanter of Chandaveda. Once under the curse of Bhṛgu Maharṣi, Agni hid himself under the sea. (See "AGNI"). At that time, it was Atharvā who, at the suggestion of the Devas, went under the water and discovered Agni. (Mahābhārata, Vana Parva, Chapter 222, Verse 8).

2) Atharvā recovered Agni, and re-created the worlds which were lying dormant owing to the absence of fire. (Mahābhārata, Vana Parva, Chapter 222, Verse 19).

2) Atharvā was born from Brahmā’s face. His wife was Śānti, the daughter of Kardama. Citti was another name for Śānti. But there are some Purāṇas which refer to Citti as another wife of Atharvā. Also, there are Purāṇas which say that Atharvā was Aṅgiras himself.

3) Atharvā (अथर्वा).—This name has been used as a synonym of Śiva. (Mahābhārata, Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 17, Verse 91).

4) Atharvā (अथर्वा).—In Ṛgveda another Atharvā may be seen. It is said that he was the author of the Atharvaveda. After learning Brahmavidyā from Brahmā, it was this Atharvā who first brought fire to the earth from heaven. Atharvā had two wives named Śānti and Citti. This Atharvā was the same person as Atharvaṇa, the son of Vasiṣṭha. (Bhāgavata, 4th Skandha, Chapter 1).

(Source): Puranic Encyclopaedia

Atharvā (अथर्वा).—A Laukikāgni; is Bhṛgu; father of Darpahā. Belongs to Dadhyaṅgātharvaṇa category.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 29. 8, 9; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 12, 9.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Atharva in Sanskrit glossaries]

Atharva (अथर्व).—= अथर्वन् (atharvan) See below.

Derivable forms: atharvaḥ (अथर्वः).

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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