Bahuka, aka: Bāhuka, Bahukā, Bāhukā; 8 Definition(s)


Bahuka 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.

In Hinduism

Itihāsa (narrative history)

Bāhuka (बाहुक).—According to the Harivaṃśa, Bāhuka, (also known as Asita in some texts), was the father of Sagara. In consequence of his leading a debauched life, Bāhuka lost his kingdom. He was in exile with his two spouses. Yādavī, his elder wife, was preparing to commit satī, when he breathed his last. But she was forbidden from her act by the sage Bhārgava because she was pregnant.

(Source): Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (harivaṃśa)
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Itihāsa (इतिहास) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Purāṇas, 2) the Mahābhārata and 3) the Rāmāyaṇa. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smṛti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to śruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

Vaiṣṇavism (Vaiṣṇava dharma)

Vṛka's son was Bāhuka. The enemies of King Bāhuka took away all his possessions, and therefore the King entered the order of vānaprastha and went to the forest with his wife. Bāhuka died when he was old, and one of his wives wanted to die with him, following the satī rite. At that time, however, Aurva Muni, knowing her to be pregnant, forbade her to die. Knowing that she was pregnant, the co-wives of the wife of Bāhuka conspired to give her poison with her food, but it did not act. Instead, the son was born along with the poison. Therefore he became famous as Sagara (“one who is born with poison”). Sagara later became the emperor. The place known as Gaṅgāsāgara was excavated by his sons.

(Source): VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam
Vaiṣṇavism book cover
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Vaiṣṇava (वैष्णव, vaishnava) or Vaiṣṇavism (vaishnavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Viṣṇu as the supreme Lord. Similair to the Śāktism and Śaivism traditions, Vaiṣṇavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the daśāvatāra (‘ten avatars of Viṣṇu’).

Śilpaśāstra (iconography)

Bāhuka (बाहुक) is depicted as a sculpture on the third pillar of the southern half of the maṇḍapa of the temple of Lokeśvara.—Probably, the story from the Viṣṇudharmottara is the source for the visualization of three sequences here, from left to right. A lady lying on a bed is feeding her baby. The baby is sucking her breast. By the side of her bed are sitting a man and his consort. We venture to think that it is Bāhuka who is holding the hand of his second wife to forbid her from doing some nasty act to the child. And the lady with the child is Yādavī.

The next scene is, about the two ladies after the death of their husband, Bāhuka. A lady in distress is sitting in a maṇḍapa, pavilion. Probably, she is the second wife. She looks quite desperate. With a child in her arms, Yādavī is sitting under a tree, with a cheerful face.

(Source): Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śilpa)
Śilpaśāstra book cover
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Śilpaśāstra (शिल्पशास्त्र, shilpa-shastra) represents the ancient Indian science of creative arts such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vāstuśāstra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Bāhuka (बाहुक):—Son of Vṛka (son of Bharuka). He had a son named Sagara. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.8.2-4)

(Source): Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Bahuka (बाहुक): The changed name of Nala, as a charioteer of Rituparna, the king of Ayodhya. Also other name of king Bahu.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

A river to which sacrifices were offered (M.i.39; J.v.388f.). v.l. Bahuka.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).


bahuka : (adj.) many.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Bahuka, (adj.) (fr. bahu) great, much, many, abundant J. III, 368 (b. jano most people, the majority of p.); V, 388; IV, 536; Mhvs 36, 49; PvA. 25 (gloss for pahūta Pv. I, 52); DhA. II, 175.—nt. bahukaṃ plenty, abundance A. II, 7=Pug. 63; Vism. 403 (opp. thokaṃ). Compar. bahukataraṃ more J. II, 88 (v. l. bahutaraṃ). (Page 485)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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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.

Relevant definitions

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Varṣṇeya : The charioteer of Rituparna, king of Ayodhya, who accompanied with Bahuka.
Jīwal (जीवल): The charioteer of Rituparna, king of Ayodhya, who accompanied with Bahuka.

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