Avatara, Avatāra: 25 definitions
Avatara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi, Hindi. 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.
Alternative spellings of this word include Avatar.
Images (photo gallery)
(+5 more images available)
Purana and Itihasa (epic history)Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia
Avatāra (अवतार).—(Incarnation). The incarnations of Mahāviṣṇu:— General information. God takes three kinds of incarnations such as avatāra, āveśa and aṃśa. That which has full power is avatāra; that which has power only for the time being is āveśa and partial incarnation in aṃśāvatāra.* The incarnations of Viṣṇu are countless. Hermits, Manus, Devas (gods) and sons of Manus are incarnations in part (aṃśāvatāras) of Viṣṇu. Complete avatāras are ten in numbers of which Balabhadra Rāma is not considered as an avatāra by some. Instead of him they place Buddha. (See full article at Story of Avatāra from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Avatāra (अवतार).—Of Hari, innumerable. Kṛṣṇa is the Lord himself. Metaphysics of.*
- * Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 3. 26 and 28, 30-39.
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.
Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)
Avatāra (अवतार) refers to “śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself or His plenary portion who descends from the transcendental realm into this material creation for the deliverance of conditioned souls”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya - 2nd Edition
Avatāra (अवतार) refers to:—(literally means ‘one who descends’) a partially or fully empowered incarnation of the Supreme Lord who is described in the scriptures. An avatāra descends from the spiritual world to the material universe with a particular mission. (cf. Glossary page from Bhajana-Rahasya).Source: Pure Bhakti: Brhad Bhagavatamrtam
Avatāra (अवतार) refers to:—A partially or fully empowered incarnation of Śrī Kṛṣṇa who is described in the scriptures and who descends to the material universe with a particular mission; Literally, ‘one who descends.’. (cf. Glossary page from Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta).
Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).
Kavya (poetry)Source: OpenEdition books: Vividhatīrthakalpaḥ (Kāvya)
Avatāra (अवतार) in Sanskrit (or Avayāra in Prakrit) refers to “substitute for a temple”, as is mentioned in the Vividhatīrthakalpa by Jinaprabhasūri (13th century A.D.): an ancient text devoted to various Jaina holy places (tīrthas).
Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.
Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram
Avatāra (अवतार) refers to the “process of descent (i.e. persistence)”, according to the Jayadrathayāmala verse 4.20.58-59.—Accordingly, “O goddess! Sinless one! I will explain to you all the Śākta and Śāmbhava (states) as well as the Āṇava (condition) and Kula which is a special (viśeṣa) grace. The process of emanation (sṛṣṭikrama) is the first. Descent (i.e. persistence) [i.e., avatāra] is the second. Withdrawal is the third and the Inexplicable (anākhyeya) is the fourth”.
Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)Source: Kunpal: Shantideva's Bodhisattva-charyavatara
Avatāra means ’to enter’, ’entering’ or ’entrance’.
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.
India history and geographySource: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
Avatāra.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘ten’. Note: avatāra is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.
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
Pali-English dictionarySource: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
avatāra : (m.) descending; entering; plunging into.
Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.
Marathi-English dictionarySource: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
avatāra (अवतार).—m (S) A descent upon earth of some deity under a human, bestial, or other form. There are particularly ten descents or incarnations of viṣṇu. viz. matsya, kūrma, varāha, nṛsiṃha, vāmana, paraśu- rāma, rāma, kṛṣṇa, buddha, kalkī. Of these nine are past. 2 fig. A term for a pious or distinguished person; for an atrocious, world-appalling villain; for a wild, violent, refractory child. 3 S Descending, descent. 4 With this word are formed some useful appellatives or descriptive names, answering to our Aristides (the just), Phocion (the good), Scipio (the chaste), Tarquin (the proud), Ulysses (the wise), Ӕneas (the pious), Hotspur &c.: as karṇāvatāra A name or designation for a man of extraordinary generosity; kṛṣṇāvatāra--for a man remarkable for sportiveness, gaiety, frolic, fan; dharmāvatāra--for a man of justice, virtue, goodness; bauddhāvatāra--for a man of silence, stillness, quietness; rāmāvatāra--for a man of chastity, purity, veracity; rudrāvatāra or yamāvatāra--for a man fierce, fiery, ferocious, terrible; vāmanāvatāra--for a man characterized by dwarfishness &c. a0 ghēṇēṃ or dharaṇēṃ To enter upon or take up an incarnation. Used of one who starts off into wild, violent, disorderly, dissolute conduct: or of one who displays any particular and extraordinary genius for. a0 hōṇēṃ or sampaṇēṃ g. of s. (To come to the end of one's incarnation.) To be reduced to indigence or obscurity.Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
avatāra (अवतार).—m Incarnation, descent upon earth of some deity. avatāra ghēṇēṃ Take up an incarnation. Start off into wild conduct. avatāra sampaṇēṃ Be reduced to indigence or insignificance.
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.
Sanskrit dictionarySource: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Avatara (अवतर).—Descent शंसन्ति कार्यावतरं हि सन्तः (śaṃsanti kāryāvataraṃ hi santaḥ) N.3.53; Śi.1.43.
Derivable forms: avataraḥ (अवतरः).
--- OR ---
Avatāra (अवतार).—[ava-tṛ karaṇe ghañ]
1) Descent, alighting; descending or going down into; (fig) accepting, resorting to पाखण्डिपथावतारः (pākhaṇḍipathāvatāraḥ) Dk.47; advent, setting in; वसन्तावतारसमये (vasantāvatārasamaye) Ś.1.
2) Form, manifestation; मत्स्यादिभि (matsyādibhi)- >वतारैरवतारवताऽवसुधाम् (vatārairavatāravatā'vasudhām) Śaṅkara.
3) Descent of a deity upon earth, incarnation in general; कोऽप्येष संप्रति (ko'pyeṣa saṃprati) >वः पुरुषावतारः (vaḥ puruṣāvatāraḥ) U.5.33; धर्मार्थकाममोक्षाणामवतार इवाङ्गवान् (dharmārthakāmamokṣāṇāmavatāra ivāṅgavān) R.1.84; ऋष्यवतारोऽयं नृपतिः (ṛṣyavatāro'yaṃ nṛpatiḥ) Ks.7.18.
4) An incarnation of Viṣṇu; विष्णुर्येन दशावतारगहने क्षिप्तो महासंकटे (viṣṇuryena daśāvatāragahane kṣipto mahāsaṃkaṭe) Bh. 2.95. (There are ten incarnations of Viṣṇu; the following verse from Gīt. describes them; vedānuddharate jagannivahate bhūgolamudvibhrate daityaṃ dārayate baliṃ chalayate kṣatrakṣayaṃ kurvate | paulastyaṃ jayate halaṃ kalayate kāruṇyamātanvate mlecchānmūrchayate daśākṛtikṛte kṛṣṇāya tubhyaṃ namaḥ || matsyaḥ kūrmo varāhaśca narasiṃho'tha vāmanaḥ | rāmo rāmaśca kṛṣṇaśca buddhaḥ kalkī ca te daśa || Varāh. P.
5) Any new appearance, growth, rise; navāvatāraṃ kamalādivotpalam R. 3.36; parīvādanavāvatāraḥ 5.24; yauvanāvatāre K.289; Ve.3; Śānti.2.26;3.14; Ks.8.3;
6) Any distinguished person (who, in the language of respect, is called an avatāra or incarnation of a deity).
7) Aiming at object.
8) A landing place; रुद्धे गजेन सरितः सरुषावतारे (ruddhe gajena saritaḥ saruṣāvatāre) Śi.5.33.
9) A sacred bathing place.
11) A pond, tank,
12) Introduction, preface.
13) Crossing; °रं लभ् (raṃ labh) To gain one's object (with gen.).
Derivable forms: avatāraḥ (अवतारः).Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary
Avatāra (अवतार).—m. (= Pali otāra, especially in meaning 4) [(1) as in Sanskrit, descent, appearance (on earth), e.g. Mahāvastu ii.263.6 °raṃ gacchati, appears, is born;] (2) entrance into, attainment of (a moral state), Lalitavistara 182.10 -mahākaruṇāvatāra-tāṃ, state of attainment of great compassion; so, perhaps (or to 3), pratisaṃvid-avatāro and pratiśaraṇāvatāro, Lalitavistara 35.16 and 17; Samādhirājasūtra 19.6 mahākaruṇāvatārābhimukhāni cittāni, thoughts tending to attainment of great compassion; (3) intellectual penetration, comprehension (compare avatarati): Lalitavistara 423.2 and 11 and Gaṇḍavyūha 469.9 pratītyāvatāra-, penetration, comprehension of (origination by) dependence, see pratītya; Lalitavistara 423.5 ekaviṣaya-sarvadharma-samatāvatāra-cakraṃ wheel of the comprehension of the equality of all substantial states as belonging to one sphere; followed in [compound] by (-jñāna)- kuśala or -kauśalya, clever(-ness) in (the knowledge of) the penetration of… (Tibetan ḥjug pa, entrance), -avatāra- kuśala Mahāvyutpatti 856, 858; -kauśalya Rāṣṭrapālaparipṛcchā 8.10; -avatāra- jñāna-kuśala Lalitavistara 8.13; Mahāvyutpatti 835; -svabhāvāvatāra(-tā) Rāṣṭrapālaparipṛcchā 4.13, 15; in Mahāvastu i.47.6 = 81.15 meter (supported by some [Page071-b+ 71] readings of mss.) indicates reading jñānasāgar'avatāra nāyakā(ḥ), the [compound] agreeing with preceding mānasaṃ, (a mind) that penetrates into the ocean of knowledge; avatā- reṇa, by penetration, Gaṇḍavyūha 40.2; yathāsvam avatāraiḥ (so read) Gaṇḍavyūha 253.19; avatārataḥ Bodhisattvabhūmi 80.4; avatāraḥ Bodhisattvabhūmi 80.22; 81.6; -sukhopāyāvatāra-dharmadeśanatā Bodhisattvabhūmi 82.18, preaching doctrines that are capable of comprehension by easy means; mahāyāna-samudayāvatāra-nirdeśanām ava- tarati Daśabhūmikasūtra 56.14—15; (4) (way of) entrance, ingress in the sense of opportunity for hostile approach; weak spot, often as object of a form of labh or adhi-gam, find, obtain, the subject often being Māra the Evil One, so Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 145.3 (na ca tatra māraḥ pāpīyān) avatāraṃ lapsyate (om. WT with v.l.); especially often in cpds. avatāra-prekṣin (compare Pali otārāpekkha), avatāra- (or raṃ) -gaveṣin, looking for, seeking a point of attack, these two often together and especially with Māra as subject; Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 474.6 and 7 na…avatāraprekṣy avatāragaveṣy avatāraṃ lapsyate; Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 398.1 na… °raprekṣy…avatāraṃ lapsyate; Lalitavistara 47.10 (verse) yasyāva- tāra (acc. sg.; so divide) labhate na manaḥ praduṣṭam; Lalitavistara 260.18 avatāraprekṣī avatāragaveṣī (māraḥ, bodhi- sattvasya)…(19) na…avatāram adhyagacchat; Mahāvastu iii.298.16 °ram adhigantum; avatārārthī (= °ra-prekṣī) avatāraṃgaveṣī, of Māra, with reference to the Bodhisattva, Mahāvastu ii.241.5; of the daughters of Māra Mahāvastu iii.286.10; 299.4; avatāraprekṣī skhalitāṃ gaveṣī Rāṣṭrapālaparipṛcchā 18.10; avatāra- prekṣin also Mahāvyutpatti 5357; Divyāvadāna 322.7; Śikṣāsamuccaya 152.9; śatruvad avatāraprekṣī 230.14; avatāragaveṣin Divyāvadāna 322.7; (Māraḥ …) avatāraṃ labhiṣyati Samādhirājasūtra 22.35.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
(-raṃ) 1. Descent, especially of a deity from heaven; the appearance of any deity upon earth, but more particularly the incarnations of Vishnu in ten principal forms which are well known, viz. 1. The fish. 2. The tortoise. 3. The boar. 4. The man-lion. 5. The dwarf. 6. and 7. The two Ramas. 8. Krishna. 9. Budd'Ha and 10. Kalki. A pious or distinguished person, in the language of respect or flattery, is also called an Avatara, a descent or incarnation of the deity. 2. A Tirtha or sacred place. 3. Translation, translating 4. Descent. 5. Crossing. E. ava before, tṝ to cross, affix ghañ.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Avatāra (अवतार).—i. e. ava-tṛ10 + a, m. 1. Descent. 2. Entering into, [Daśakumāracarita] in
Avatāra (अवतार).—[masculine] descent, [especially] of a deity from heaven, incarnation, appearance; [adjective] rin.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum
Avatāra (अवतार) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—Īśvaraśataka. Report. Viii.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary
1) Avatara (अवतर):—[=ava-tara] [from ava-tṝ] m. descent, entrance, [Śiśupāla-vadha i, 43]
2) [v.s. ...] opportunity, [Naiṣadha-carita]
3) Avatāra (अवतार):—[=ava-tāra] [from ava-tṝ] m. ([Pāṇini 3-3, 120]) descent (especially of a deity from heaven), appearance of any deity upon earth (but more particularly the incarnations of Viṣṇu in ten principal forms, viz. the fish tortoise, boar, man lion, dwarf, the two Rāmas, Kṛṣṇa, Buddha, and Kalki, [Mahābhārata xii, 12941 seqq.])
4) [v.s. ...] any new and unexpected appearance, [Raghuvaṃśa iii, 36 & v, 24, etc.], (any distinguished person in the language of respect is called an Avatāra or incarnation of a deity)
5) [v.s. ...] opportunity of catching any one, [Buddhist literature]
6) [v.s. ...] a Tīrtha or sacred place, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]
7) [v.s. ...] translation, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]
8) [v.s. ...] ([accusative] with √labh, ‘to get an opportunity’), [Divyāvadāna]Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Avatāra (अवतार):—[ava-tāra] (raṃ) 1. n. Descent; incarnation.Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)
[Sanskrit to German]
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.
Hindi dictionarySource: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary
Avatāra (अवतार) [Also spelled avatar]:—(nm) an incarnation; ~[vāda] the theory of incarnation; —[dharanā/lenā] to become incarnate.
See also (Relevant definitions)
Starts with (+4): Avatarabheda, Avataracaritra, Avataradvadashakirtana, Avataraka, Avatarakatha, Avatarakritya, Avataram, Avataramala, Avataramalika, Avataramantra, Avataran, Avatarana, Avataranamangala, Avataranem, Avatarani, Avataranika, Avatarapradurbhava, Avataraprekshin, Avatarasaukhya, Avatarastavaraja.
Ends with (+84): Abhidhammavatara, Agvavatara, Alamkaravatara, Amshavatara, Anavatara, Ankavatara, Arcavatara, Archavatara, Aveshavatara, Balaramavatara, Balavatara, Bhagavadavatara, Bhaktavatara, Bijavivritikalpalatavatara, Bodhicaryavatara, Bodhicharyavatara, Bodhisattvacaryavatara, Bodhisattvacharyavatara, Buddhavatara, Buddhavishayavatara.
Full-text (+127): Oyara, Avatarakatha, Dashavatara, Kalki, Narasimha, Avataraprekshin, Nrivaraha, Narakesarin, Avataradvadashakirtana, Avataramantra, Nrisimha, Nrihari, Parashurama, Dasharupabhrit, Varaha, Kalanki, Avataravadavali, Nrikesari, Nrikesarin, Pancashakti.
Search found 57 books and stories containing Avatara, Avatāra, Ava-tara, Ava-tāra; (plurals include: Avataras, Avatāras, taras, tāras). You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary) (by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja)
Verse 1.5.9 < [Chapter 5 - Priya (the beloved devotees)]
Verse 1.5.8 < [Chapter 5 - Priya (the beloved devotees)]
Verse 1.2.33-34 < [Chapter 2 - Divya (the celestial plane)]
The Matsya Purana (critical study) (by Kushal Kalita)
Part 1.3 - Incarnations of Viṣṇu < [Chapter 4 - Religious aspects of the Matsyapurāṇa]
Part 5 - Pañca-lakṣaṇa (the five characteristics) and the Matsyapurāṇa < [Chapter 1 - Introduction]
Part 1c - Architecture (vāstu) in the Matsyapurāṇa < [Chapter 7 - Art and Architecture in the Matsyapurāṇa]
Chandogya Upanishad (Madhva commentary) (by Srisa Chandra Vasu)
Shrimad Bhagavad-gita (by Narayana Gosvami)
Verse 4.8 < [Chapter 4 - Jñāna-Yoga (Yoga through Transcendental Knowledge)]
Verse 4.7 < [Chapter 4 - Jñāna-Yoga (Yoga through Transcendental Knowledge)]
Verses 1.24-25 < [Chapter 1 - Sainya-Darśana (Observing the Armies)]
Shri Gaudiya Kanthahara (by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati)
Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī)